“Every company should strive to make sure that all of their operations are in alignment with consumer expectations and with their own corporate values. They just can’t allow their activism or PR activity to get ahead of them.”
– Kelly Barner, Dial P for Procurement
In some cases, truth is stranger than fiction; just look at any set of major news headlines. Sometimes a true story comes along that is not only strange, it is also instructional – if we give it the opportunity. We just need the proper context and full awareness of all sides of the issue.
Case in point: the friction between North Face, the outdoor goods retailer and manufacturer, and the oil and gas industry, who – much to North Face’s chagrin – provide the substances and materials that make up a significant portion of the products they sell. North Face is concerned with protecting their brand from the potential damage of publicly associating with oil and gas, which leaves them in a tough spot with regard to their supply chain.
In this episode of Supply Chain Now, Scott Luton and Kelly Barner, Host of Dial P for Procurement, take on this true story and do their best to provide fair representation of all perspectives:
• Who are the major players, what choices set this story in motion, and where are we now?
• The investments required to build and ensure a green or sustainable supply chain and the risks associated with a company’s ‘practice’ falling out of line with their ‘preach’
• How critical it is for all functions in an enterprise to have a voice when a potentially high publicity choice is about to be made
Welcome to supply chain. Now the voice of global supply chain supply chain now focuses on the best in the business for our worldwide audience, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and today’s critical issues. The challenges and opportunities stay tuned to hear from those making global business happen right here on supply chain now.
Scott Luton (00:33):
Hey, good morning. Welcome to today’s show Scott Luton Kelly Barner with you here right here on supply chain. Now we’ve got a Greeley neat, special little project that we’re kicking off here today. And Kelly, by the way. Good morning. How are you doing?
Kelly Barner (00:47):
Hey, I’m doing just fine, Scott. Thanks for having me.
Scott Luton (00:50):
You bet. I’m looking forward to this. So, you know, this conversation is going to be a Frank informative conversation. It’s going to be focusing on taking a deep dive into just one singular issue. That’s timely, relevant, and important, and the global community is clamoring for it or about it, or it’s getting their attention. This issue here today has created quite a stir across I would argue across industries. So w we don’t let the cat out of the bag just yet, right? Kelly? No, no,
Kelly Barner (01:21):
No. We’re going to build up to it. We have this very planned down.
Scott Luton (01:25):
That’s right. So these topics that we’re going to cover through this, uh, yet to be named series is going to really come from the conversations that we’re having with our community, the feedback we get and the headlines, right? So I’m really once Kelly NACADA, we’re chatting about this concept. I’m really excited about it because I think Kelly, and I’d love to get your take here. I think the opportunity that we have to lean in to some of these topics and these developments that need more than just a couple of minutes of comments and give our take in this case, we’re going to be getting Kelly. Barners take them on this topic and also to inform, to add context and to really hopefully create awareness of all sides of some of these important developments, right?
Kelly Barner (02:06):
Absolutely. And this is actually, this is tough because I think most people watching and listening probably think of you and I as content creators, but in order to be good creators, you also have to be consumers. And it’s hard not only to stay on top of all of the stuff that happens, industry-wide on specific topics, headlines in the news, but then they kind of flashed past and every once in a while you think whatever happened with that. So this is nice. This is like we’re indulging ourselves really digging in deep into one particularly relevant story.
Scott Luton (02:38):
Excellent. Well put, and also to your point, we’re going to have the chance as we get deeper into this yet to be named series, to give you updates on what’s what’s, uh, what’s happened since we, we first dove deep. So I should also mention Kelly Barner, if you’ve tuned into splotch in now, before, of course she hosts stop P for procurement. Uh, she also leads buyers meeting point. She’s part of the art procurement team. So talk about a content creator. You’ve got it in spades with Kelly Barner. So I’m looking forward to hearing her take here today. Now let’s unveil the topic, Kelly. Okay. So tonight, today, we’re going to be talking about north face versus the oil and gas industry. And there’s a little bit of drama in that title, but that really, when it comes down to that, that was kind of a big theme here. So we should also add one of the big signals that this was important is, you know, you put out a very informative and an opinionated post on LinkedIn and it’s garnered hundreds of comments and reactions. And at last count, over 30,000 views and it got a lot of attention clearly, right?
Kelly Barner (03:46):
It did. And I would love to say that every single one of my posts on LinkedIn gets 30,000 views that does not usually happen. So clearly the story resonates with me
Scott Luton (03:54):
Not yet next week, we’re working on it. Okay. So, Kelly, I think it’s really important when we, when we, uh, tackle, uh, stories like this to really set the table first. All right, we’re going to walk our, our listeners through in case they maybe have in case the story hadn’t hit their radar. So let’s name the primary players that what’s the play bill here, Kelly.
Kelly Barner (04:16):
Okay. So we’ll set the stage, the characters, we have a number of very colorful characters in, in today’s story that we’re sharing. So this actually begins with a company called Innovex based in Colorado, and they are producers of well-oiled well related technologies north face. Of course they headline, right? They’re important players in this story. And then we have two other groups that kind of come into the story. Later. One is Liberty oil, field services and their CEO, Chris Wright, and the other one is the Colorado oil and gas association. So we have a number of different players. Most of whom in this case are in the oil and gas industry, in different roles, in different states on the other side or in the other corner, maybe I should say we have north face. So those are all of our players that we’re going to meet today.
Scott Luton (05:08):
Wonderful. And I should add if you’re one of three people that may not recognize a north face, huge brand, uh, founded in 1968, lots of outdoor clothing, footwear related equipment. If you’re outdoors and enjoy being out there, it’s got something for you. So which adds to the intrigue of this entire conversation. So now that Kelly’s walked us through the primary players that you’re going to hear about and, and better understand, now let’s set the scene. So Kelly, what happened?
Kelly Barner (05:39):
Okay. So we’re taking everyone back to, let’s say fall of 20, 20 someone at Innovex decides they want to do a really something nice for all of the employees for Christmas. And so Colorado, it’s a cool place. They have a lot of whether they decide you want to be really classy. It’s been a hard year for 400 of our employees. We are going to order them beautiful north face jackets. Well, we want them to remember where the gift came from. So on the one side, of course it comes embroidered with north face and they have a program you’ve probably seen like the weather channel, for instance, embroidered. On the other side, you can have your corporate logo and isn’t that such a nice thought.
Scott Luton (06:21):
I’d love. I’d love to get one. I
Kelly Barner (06:23):
Would like to get one too. Well, you don’t work for oil and gas. Do you, Scott.
Scott Luton (06:28):
Kelly Barner (06:29):
So supply chain now, maybe good, but here’s what happened. The order comes in 400 jackets, right? That’s a commercial sale with the branding request and sales projection on the grounds that it does not meet their brand standards to put the Innovex corporate logo alongside the north face corporate logo. And I want to make sure I get the details of this, right? Because this is actually a quote. It does not meet their brand standards. And the company made the decision to therefore turn them down, quote, the same way they’d reject the porn industry or tobacco industry. And so they said, no, you cannot have the jackets with the logo on the side. So that’s where this kind of all started. This is the central issue. The decision behind north face saying, Nope, you’re an oil and gas does not meet our brand standards. No, you can’t have the co-branded jackets.
Scott Luton (07:23):
Okay. So a little, a couple, two disclaimers for our listeners that have made it this far with us. So number one, this is certainly less about anyone’s position on the environment and products and, and brand integrity really is. It’s more about, um, supply chain and procurement lessons learned. So stay tuned as Kelly continues to unpack this, this, uh, story. And secondly, we’re going to present a variety of use. We’ve got some great questions, uh, that we’ve heard from Kelly social and, and other parts of, of the internet. And we’re going to walk through that too here momentarily. But first let’s discuss some of the fallout from this decision that north face made a few months back. And Kelly, tell us more.
Kelly Barner (08:06):
So actually, before I give you a fallout, I have a third disclaimer. So I have my awesome Boston love public library shelf behind me. And I don’t just have it because I live in Boston and love to read and all of that kind of thing, although it does look cool. My initial career path, I have a master’s degree in library and information science. My original focus was to go into the corporate library world. So research whether market Intel, any kind of internet using pay for, for you services. That’s what my original training is in. So you’re going to see there’s a lot of different resources on the show notes of this episode. You will note, I made a point to make the rounds. There is no such thing as politically neutral news anymore. So you’ll see. I made the point. I made the rounds. I have stuffed from all over. I found responses directly from the companies whenever I could. So there’s no angle here. As Scott said, we’re just looking to discuss the sides, talk about the fallout, see what other people can learn. That’s so that’s my third added disclaimer, that
Scott Luton (09:11):
I had no idea. So I didn’t know that about that, about you, but it makes a ton of sense. Now it makes a ton of sense.
Kelly Barner (09:16):
So really useful actually. So do tell more. Yes. So here’s, here’s the story initially. You just had 400 sad people in a VAX, but like all industries, oil and gas talks and word starts to spread. Not only that the order has been turned down, but why the order has been turned down and here’s the problem. If you’ve ever been into a north face, you’re not going to find a lot of cotton. You’re not going to find a lot of natural fibers. What you’re going to find are things made of a lot of synthetic products and that’s awesome. That’s innovation. It’s what allows them to be lightweight, very warm, waterproof, tough to abrasion. They deal with all those wild outdoorsy things that north face consumers like to do. The hitches. It means that most of them are made from byproducts of the petroleum industry. So no, you’re not going to walk in there and find a gas canister, but there’s a lot of different processes that you start with petroleum and there’s all different kinds of byproducts.
Kelly Barner (10:20):
So any kind of nylon based, right? Polypropylene, all of those kinds of things that are good for waterproofing and temperature buffering. So there’s the problem. And the industry starts to say, well, wait a minute, but sure, you wouldn’t let us buy the jackets, but you wouldn’t be able to make the jackets if we didn’t all do business together. So this is where we’re kind of bubbles up to Liberty in Texas and another group in Colorado, the Colorado oil and gas association. I have to say, these are humorous group of folks. I give them a lot of credit because one thing they did not do is call for a boycott, very divisive, right? Very disruptive to businesses. Not saying all boycotts are bad, but in this case, they chose to go for visibility and understanding. So Chris writes starts this campaign called thank you north face.
Kelly Barner (11:17):
And when I first saw the story, he bought a billboard directly across the street from north face headquarters. So that every day is everybody comes and goes from work. They say this big, huge billboard that says, thank you north face, because you’re our number one customer. You buy so much from our industry. We appreciate you. He started a website, he made a video and he goes through and he lists all of the products. And all of the materials that north face is reliant upon oil and gas for now, the Colorado oil and gas association, they made their first ever of the customer of the year, extraordinary customer of the year. They awarded it to north face on surprisingly. They awarded it in absentia. North face did not actually show up to make a speech and claim their award, but it started to cause a lot of visibility.
Kelly Barner (12:09):
And that’s when I first encountered the story, I saw it on the news. And my initial response was this has to be one of those buzzy headlines that once you dig into the details you find out, that’s not really what the story was about. And for procurement or supply chain person, the deeper I dug. And the more I read, the more I realized that not only was it absolutely what had happened, it’s a cautionary tale and a free lesson for anybody else in our industry that is willing to think this through and hear us out and maybe prevent the same thing from happening to them. So
Scott Luton (12:42):
We’re going to get to some of those lessons via Kelly’s take next. I should. I think it’s important for folks know, cause I didn’t really connect the dots here. The furniture industry, I’ve I’ve how many friends raise your hand if you’ve spoken to lots of friends and they’re waiting for 10 months on couches or tables or whatever. Right. But one of the reasons there is because a lot of the plastics just like with automotive and some other industry, many other industries that are made from oil and gas, different components, they’re lacking and think of what took place in Texas, between the weather and many of other challenges, it really has impacted a lot of these component parts. And so that’s of course, part of the story here with north face, from a, from a different angle. All right. So, Kelly, again, I appreciate how you wrapped your last thought there, that there are lots of supply chain in procurement lessons to be learned here because that’s, that’s really what we’re, we’re aiming to do. It’s an intriguing story from a variety of different perspectives, but there’s always great lessons for all of us to learn in global business. So let’s get now Kelly’s real take. So where do we start?
Kelly Barner (13:45):
So I think we start with this had to be explained one of two ways, either sales did not realize how dependent north face is on the oil and gas industry for their revenue, which is really scary and probably not the case or they simply don’t like the optics. You know, let’s think about who the typical north face consumer is. They’re environmentally oriented. A lot of them are young. So brand image and brand reputation are incredibly important. They do not want to be associated with oil and gas. So chances are as we dig sales, absolutely new and yet made the decision that despite the fact that all of these products are still in the north face supply chain, they weren’t going to make the sale. Now I think knowing the audience for this program, the other important thing is to talk about what are we talking about when we say supply chain?
Kelly Barner (14:41):
A lot of times we separate, you know, procurements on the buy side and supply chain is on the south side, but it’s really one big long either chain or ecosystem that goes all the way from some raw material on one end to a consumer’s hands, whether it B2B or B2C on the other end. So in reality, sales and procurement are sort of separate intersection points, but they’re sitting on that exact same chain. And so my heart went out to the procurement folks at north face because somebody has to negotiate with these suppliers the next time they want to buy more of whatever this material or substances. I mean, your negotiating leverage just went down by the way, you know, just, just a little bit in an era where all of our conversations, whether on dial P or elsewhere are about building relationships and collaboration, and what happens to companies when you can’t get the products and services that you need to operate. Everybody spent the last year, 18 months being worried about that. Now we are deliberately, it would seem offending critical suppliers. So thinking through, was it done knowingly if it was done knowingly, did anybody really think through the impact? And if they thought through the impact, did they ask anyone in procurement or supply chain before they issued this response? I can’t find any evidence that people internally had any role in the decision making process beyond the brand affiliation.
Scott Luton (16:14):
It would be interesting. We’re going to, in a minute, we’re going to talk about stuff. Some opposing viewpoints, not really opposing, but kind of different alternative viewpoints. And we’re going to talk about the type of product that in a vex was ordering. How, how cool would it be and, or maybe interesting in a nerdy way for me, at least to see all the other companies that requested and have ordered these products to see you kind of the criteria for how north face makes this, this big brand decision. Cause that’s a, that’s an interesting trifecta, uh, that you alluded to earlier in that quote from, uh, NBC 12, wherever that is oil and gas porn and the tobacco industry has quite a, quite a trifecta. Okay. Now, so what else? Uh, let’s keep driving. I’ll get your full take here. So what, what else would you add?
Kelly Barner (17:06):
So I think the other big thing that I would add is right now, there are a lot of big initiatives going on around diversity and inclusion around sustainability. My own take is always sort of the rough advice, get your own house in order, before you start asking other people to do things or judging other people. So if you’re going to put a diversity initiative in place where you say, you know, the workforce has to be this type of diverse or just playing, you need to report on it, put yourself through a pilot. Are we diverse? Is our board diverse? Can we report on our current talent diversity because a lot of companies can’t and that goes for diversity, just as well as, and this is where I got a really interesting comment from Ben Diavik keel. She’s the founder and CEO of Resilink. And she pointed out that based on their research, um, although all CSR programs begin with supply chain mapping and sub tier visibility, meaning not just who do you buy from, but who do they buy from?
Kelly Barner (18:11):
How many companies know who’s in their supply chain? Their data shows that more than 85% of companies don’t have that sub tier supply chain visibility. So there’s always a question that you’re creating a PR nightmare for yourself by going out and saying either we’re committing to X percent diversity or X percent sustainability or emissions reduction, you know, however you choose to set up your ESG metrics and you may not know where you are today. You may not know how you’re going to get from where you are today to where you want to be. So although the PR piece is a Loring and it’s absolutely part of the ROI, in addition to brand perception, you have to make sure you’re doing the work internally, especially before you start expecting anybody else to live by those standards. And I think that’s where it, Scott, as you had said, this isn’t about, you know, justifying which industry is good or bad. This isn’t pro-environment anti environment. This is simply about consistency. And do you know what you’re talking about? And if you’re making money with one hand in a certain way, right? Are all of your actions consistent with that value? That’s where some of the questions start to come up. And honestly that’s where most of the discussion on LinkedIn went.
Scott Luton (19:35):
Yeah. And, and, and that was interesting to see, see, see the, um, no, I was going to say it back and forth, not really a back and forth, it was view and additional thought and an additional view. And it really generated a lot of comment discussion there, which was really intriguing to walk through. So you mentioned the company, uh, resilient, right? Resilient and that’s spelled folks will have the, um, the link there in the, in the comments are E S I L I N C. And I also want to add, uh, speaking of the companies, you know, we had Laurie Chanel, senior vice president for procurement strategic sourcing and procurement, um, is her official title with Georgia Pacific on the most recent dial P livestream. And, you know, there was a lot of ton of goodness and we had some other panelists, great panelists there with Lori, but ton of goodness, one of my favorite things that she talked about, and really you could just tell she lives because it’s baked into, into her POV is transparency and humility, transparency, and humility. And you know, when I think of Kelly that, uh, effective, uh, supplier relations or as she put it preferred partnerships, absolutely. Those are important. And, and I’m curious what any discussions, other than saying, no, we’re not going to fill that order. I’m curious to see what other exchanges that were, that was had there between, uh, north face and Innovex
Kelly Barner (21:01):
And were they potentially done with the blinds closed? So that from the corporate boardroom, they didn’t have to see that big billboard across the street.
Scott Luton (21:08):
Yeah. Interesting. Well, you know, whatever your take here and we’re going to walk through some, if you’re, if you’re good, I’m going to move into some of the other alternative viewpoints that we, that we’ve seen across, across the internet, regardless of your take on this whole situation, you got to say that these folks have approached this with a little bit of sense of humor. And, you know, as we say, a thousand times to all of our different shows is really important to maintain a healthy sense of humor through these, these challenging times we’re living through. Okay. So I wanna, I want to walk through, uh, two or three, three different points here, Kelly, and then I’m gonna, um, get your take and your response to them. So first off, so north face and its parent company is VF, right? Uh, VF is a very diversified organization.
Scott Luton (21:54):
I believe it’s the same VF that makes turret bonds for like the, the wind energy sector. I’m pretty sure, I think they’ve got a site, a manufacturing site here in Georgia, which is why I think the only reason I know that. So north face released a statement and we’re really, I think it’s important context. This request was not in a vex, didn’t say, Hey, we want a thousand north face jackets or shirts or something that you get from the catalog. This is, this is, uh, uh, according to them that more unique co-branding program, which Kelly mentioned upfront. So we’re going to include your full statement in the notes, but I want to include this quote and then we’ll get, Kelly’s take here, quote, we manage co-branding requests on a case by case basis. There are times we choose not to sell product to certain organizations from a variety of industries, with the intent of placing their logo next, ours. This includes companies in the oil and gas industry in quote, okay. So Kelly, any comments as to their statement and, and maybe that, that point within your statement.
Kelly Barner (22:56):
Absolutely. So a couple of comments, first thing to me is about the location of the statement. So once this all started to unfold, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop, right? This has been so public when his north face kind of respond, I’m waiting for the next chapter of the story. It kind of never came and I would search and I would look, uh, and I want to actually give a shout out to a colleague, John Hanson. Um, he initially found north Face’s response, but it was in a very obscure, some kind of ecological fabrics industry journal behind a paywall. You can’t access the article unless you have a subscription. Okay. So that’s not going to work. So we had to get creative. And I thought to myself, where do you put unnecessary, but potentially controversial statement that you have to make, but don’t actually want anyone to ever see.
Kelly Barner (23:49):
Right? You put it on Twitter. So I went to their Twitter account at midnight. Yeah, exactly. Cause that’s what I think about at midnight, I went to their Twitter account and there it is pinned right to the top of their profile. You know, we’ve been in the news. We would like to respond to this. Here’s the information. And so, you know, to me, that’s a very muted response. It’s a response to that. If anyone challenges them, they can say, oh yes, we responded. Here’s our answer right here. I think my issue around the response is they are still continuing to generate revenues based on their reliance, on and partnership with companies in the oil and gas industry. So that’s fine. I mean, companies all across the world have different kinds of sustainability goals to reduce or increase certain things by dates in the future. But if it’s your current stated objective that your interests do not align with the interests of this industry, then how do you justify currently today generating the vast majority of your revenues based on them.
Kelly Barner (24:54):
And it’s not even coats, it’s climbing ropes, it’s water bottles, it’s right. Packaging. Even that the different products come in. And so I think that created a very difficult situation for themselves. If, for no other reason than let’s say going forward, they want to try to either move away from oil and gas or help oil and gas become more sustainable so that they do feel comfortable putting that Innovex logo on there, on their jackets. Well, now that partnership bridge has been not only burned, burned, hit with a wrecking ball, then like you bury it with sand. It is gone. There is no retreating back over that bridge. That’s not the way to innovate with the supply chain. Um, and so, you know, it’s, it’s unfortunate, but as long as these products and materials are in their supply chain, I kind of wish they had taken the equal opportunity to educate that oil and gas took, um, be in their corner or not. They informed people, they educated, they got the word out. I wish north face had taken the same opportunity because I think there’s a lot of appetite for information about actionable sustainability. What are real companies who are dependent upon these products and materials doing to either lessen the impact they have on the environment, or simply work them out of their supply chains. And we’re not getting to learn that in this case.
Scott Luton (26:19):
Yeah. Excellent point. A lot of good points there as was one of the statements in the, um, the string of comments it’s centered on greenwashing, right? Which we’re all learning a lot more about. And, um, you know, one of the concerns there from some is that, you know, when we have situations like this, it can really take the focus off of where companies really are making huge strides when it comes to the circularity and sustainability and protecting the environment, which is so important. But I want to also add along those lines, Kelly, second point here is we look at a wide range of comments in many would point to how the new north face is making considerable progress based on what I could find on their website on its commitment, to be a hundred percent responsibly sourced apparel fabrics by 2025. So that’s just four short years away, but it’s still four short years away is my hunch. But what’s your take here?
Kelly Barner (27:19):
You know, my hunches from a revenue standpoint for short years in terms of innovation is for very long years in terms of revenue. Um, I also think that this is something I personally find interesting. So it’s something I follow. Um, maybe a parallel example is what Lego is actually trying to do in a similar area to get some of these, uh, synthetic materials out of the construction of the bricks. They’re trying to move to plant-based materials. I mean, that’s excellent. It’s something our kids come into contact with. For honest, sometimes they put the Legos in their mouth, wouldn’t it be better if they could be natural products? Yes, probably. Um, but what Lego has found is that not only is it very difficult to get the right kind of mix of products so that the brick has the same feel and weight and doesn’t fall apart and cost, right?
Kelly Barner (28:07):
Legos are already expensive, but they found speaking of supply chains, the supply chain for these alternate substances and materials is not as mature as something that has existed as long as what we see in oil and gas. So let’s say optimistically speaking over the next couple of years, north face manages to identify a plant-based alternative to, you know, they’re petroleum based materials that they’re using now is the supply chain going to be ready to provide mature product in the quantities that they need predictably within four years. And then they have to convert their production processes over because there’s a possibility even in manufacturing, they may have to alter the equipment that they use. You know, maybe it can’t be subject to the same kinds of temperatures or pressures or right. Then they have to go through testing for years, strikes me as extremely optimistic. Um, and yet kudos to north face.
Kelly Barner (29:07):
I mean, every company should strive to make sure that all of their operations are in alignment with consumer expectations and with their own corporate values. Um, I know supply chain now has a very important set of core values. So do I buyers meeting points. So does art of procurement. It’s not always easy to live by those values, but you do it because once you walk away from them, it becomes a question of who the team is and what they stand for. And so it does seem like there should be room for transition we’re towards, or we’re moving away from, and here’s our action plan and here’s who we’re partnering with. But in the short term, it seems like there’s gotta be a more middle of the road way to play it so that you’re never forgetting that every single customer is also potentially a supplier doing unnecessary damage that just doesn’t need to be taken.
Scott Luton (30:03):
Good. Interesting comments there. I really appreciate that. Um, and I’m, I’m on the north face.com the website, and to point out a couple of other gains that are there, they’re driving, let’s see here they are launching the first, their first products intentionally designed for circularity in 2022 at we’ve talked about the responsibly source apparel fabrics by 2025. They’re also looking to have all footwear and equipment by 2030. That is a, is a pretty audacious and aggressive goal. So, but I love your, your context around, you know, having us both, having been a part of youth a lot more tonight, but being a part of, uh, sourcing efforts to find new suppliers or replace replacing current suppliers, um, you know, part for part the same being equal is challenging enough as we talked about we’ll have stream when at, to your point, when you go from one raw material, made a certain way to another, uh, it gets a lot more challenging, which is one of the reasons why to, to really become green organizations and truly become to build circular products.
Scott Luton (31:16):
That is part of the big challenge and big, big, big gap, but we’re going to get it done. A lot of smart people are working at, uh, at the north face and other other places for sure. Okay. So also it’s a little more, uh, general alternative viewpoints here, cause you heard from folks, I think repeatedly in some cases that wanted, uh, or at least their took their take was less about this specific conversation and more pointing to kind of the, the, um, uh, the environmental concerns that the, uh, credible environmental concerns, uh, that oil and gas industry brings to light. And that that’s, that’s fair. It’s different from this story, but anyway, what’s your take?
Kelly Barner (32:03):
So absolutely that’s, that’s a hundred percent fair, um, as is the notion that no company should have to put their brand next to a company that they don’t want to put their brand next to. I think as we’ve seen that can create some very difficult situations because once you start to say no to some people and yes to others, you’re constantly going to be playing this game of justifying your decision. Um, and I did have people who, for the most part, constructively jumped into the conversation and said, you know, good on north face. They should, uh, moving away from oil and gas. They’re not good for the environment at the same time. And it’s funny because I didn’t even have this thought until today. I got a, an early listen on the conversation you just had with Debra doll on the circular economy. If you think about it, the materials that north face is using byproducts from oil and gas, maybe if north face wasn’t buying them, they would be disposed of in some very harmful way.
Kelly Barner (33:09):
So maybe currently north face is actually participating in something of a circular economy, keeping those byproducts out of the waste stream and turning them into useful products down, down the road. Um, there are a lot of different ways to look at this issue. You know, I do not envy anybody with brand management responsibility these days. It’s, it’s not an easy manner, but neither is trying to back up the claims that your operation is sustainable. It’s expensive. It takes a lot of energy. It takes a lot of creativity. And because of all that, the ROI and the customer loyalty is huge. And so any company that goes down that road, oh, is it to themselves and their shareholders, if they’re publicly traded, um, their employees most definitely. And also their fan base to make sure that everything is kept consistent, um, you know, make sure that you’re acting on the principles that you have conversations with people in your sales channel, because pretty much everything is public.
Kelly Barner (34:15):
Now, you know, this is your mom’s advice. If you’re not comfortable with it being above the fold on the front of the newspaper, if anybody still gets newspapers anymore in paper copy. If you’re not comfortable with it being there, don’t say it and sure, a sec, don’t put it in writing. I mean, that’s where we get the NBC 12 story from. We have the letter that north face sent to this company it’s being quoted in the press. So it becomes part of the public record very quickly, especially when there’s interest around the story. Like there is this one. And I would also say, I mean, I love the humor aspect, anybody that finds himself in a difficult situation, make sure that options on the table, because talk about memorable, talk about effective, talk about reach, you know, almost back to this idea of content creation versus concerns, assumption from a content creation standpoint, he certainly has their policy, which is good practice and they’re entitled to have right.
Kelly Barner (35:11):
They created the contents of the letter that went to the media, but it didn’t have the same reach that oil and gas and the different companies that were players there had between their video, their website, their billboard, right? So thinking about how many people you want to reach, what’s the best way to reach them. And what’s the best way to hold their attention and be memorable. There are, it wouldn’t surprise me someday to find this as a B-School case study, to tell you the truth and have students this operationally from a sane sustainability standpoint, from a marketing and PR and communication standpoint, there is a ton to study and learn from here.
Scott Luton (35:47):
I agree, which is exactly why we wanted to dive into a little deeper and understand all the different dynamics at play. And I appreciate that, you know, you just, uh, no one wants to keep a secret these days. And of course, I’m kidding. Of course, I’m kidding. Visibility and transparency is how we’re going to really solve many of the greatest challenges, the, the societal challenges that we have even. So, and that’s a good thing. So transparency and humility as our dear friend, Lori from GP shared with us. Okay. So Kelly, I think you have really given us a variety of lessons and points to ponder here. Um, do you have a final supply chain lesson to be learned, and then I will make sure folks know how to connect with you?
Kelly Barner (36:33):
As a matter of fact, I do. And it actually goes back to one of our earliest points. Each of us, whether we’re functioning as an individual consumer, a procurement professional, a supply chain professional, a sales professional, we all have a responsibility to be informed, right? So if you’re a consumer and diversity and inclusion or sustainability, or maybe even small and local business collaboration is important to you research the companies that you buy from. I mean, it, it was interesting because it hadn’t occurred to me before this like, oh, that’s right. As environmentally as they brand themselves, north face is completely dependent upon oil and gas. If their consumers didn’t choose to go find that information and Innovex, hadn’t wanted to order those nice jackets for Christmas, this might have never come to light. So each of us has a responsibility to do our research. Google is so easy. Go find some information, follow up on these stories, make sure you know, where your dollars are going, whether you’re spending your personal dollars from your wallet or whether you’re spending corporate dollars, right through procure to pay, or whether you’re simply choosing who to partner with the supply chain be informed. It really is important.
Scott Luton (37:46):
Excellent point. Uh, we’d all be in a better situation if we had more in truly informed consumers. So that’s a really important, good thought there. Okay. So just coming attraction before we kind of wrap with Kelly here, we’re inviting a variety of people that will be taking apart of this little project, this little series that we’re cooking up here. And, you know, our dear friend, Greg white, this phrase of violent agreement came out in an earlier podcast. I think with our friends from connects us. I can’t remember exactly connects us rather, but I do expect some violent, maybe not violent, but a lot of disagreement. Right. And that’s kinda, you know, it’s kind of what we’re after these different viewpoints diving deeper into a singular story and then offering some updates on some, on some latter shows. So I think we’ve got a recording date set up with a variety of folks right now. So stay tuned for what should be, I think some intriguing conversations diving deep on, on some of the most compelling content and situations and developments across industry. Okay. Kelly, how can folks connect with Kelly Barner?
Kelly Barner (38:50):
Probably the easiest way is to find me on LinkedIn, just look me up Kelly Barner. I’m also buyer’s meeting point on LinkedIn and Twitter, and you can find me at buyer’s meeting point.com. And to that point about disagreement, we’re all big kids here, right? We can agree. We can disagree, keep it clean and keep it constructive. And I very much look forward to your comments regardless of where you fall on this issue, because more voices gets us to a better solution faster. So please do reach out and join this conversation.
Scott Luton (39:21):
That’s a great note there. I should add it on the front end. Uh, folks, we want to hear from you. We want to hear your voice and POV and you know, um, different strokes, different folks. That is how we arrive at better places from a variety of perspectives. So, um, so keep it coming, uh, via social, uh, in, in maybe if you’re viewing this, you know, in a particular channel, throw the comments in there and we’ll try to get back in and make sure you’re part of the conversation. Okay. Everybody hopefully enjoyed deeper dive into this intriguing story. We think between the north face and versus Olin, kick-ass a lot of good news here. If you’re willing to look for it. And a lot of interesting takes. So Kelly, thanks for sharing yours here today, uh, to our listeners. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this conversation as much as I have. I’m much more informed and aware and I’ve had a couple of chuckles based on some of the things we’ve shared and all that’s good news as well on behalf of our entire team here and half of supply chain. Now Scott Luton signing off for now, which you need the best of wherever you are. Most importantly, Hey, do good gift forward. Be the change that’s needed on that note. We’ll see you next time right here at supply chain now. Thanks. Bye-bye
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Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.