Norbert Majerus wrote the book on lean-driven innovation—literally. After leading a legendary R&D transformation during his tenure at Goodyear, he turned to the written word as a vehicle to share his wisdom and insights on the application of lean principles. And now, he’s even experimenting with a new genre, the novel, to get his ideas across. Join Billy and Norbert as they discuss Norbert’s new work, Winning Innovation, along with the importance of culture, formulating the right recipe for innovation and more.
Welcome to the winning league, a show dedicated to dissecting business and leadership excellence. We take a deep dive into various aspects of business and operational excellence, current events and personal and leadership development topics. The guests on the podcast will be credible industry leaders and practitioners offering a portfolio of techniques and methods for positive growth.
Billy Taylor (00:30):
Welcome to the winning link. I have an exciting guest for you today. Mr. Norbert Majerus. Norbert is a renowned author of two books. Uh, he also goes all over the world to speak at conferences and workshops around innovation. Right. I call him mystery innovation himself. Uh, he speaks at the shingle Institute, uh, which considers a Nobel prize of operational excellence. The association of manufacturing excellence. He goes globally, uh, helping companies, uh, tap into their innovative, uh, talents to and ideas. So, but, but I further ado. I’ll let Mr. Norbert introduce himself and tell you a little about himself. Well, welcome Norbert.
Norbert Majerus (01:07):
Well, thank you, Billy. And, uh, thanks for my new title. I will, uh, I will try to, uh, keep using and I will quote you for it. <laugh> I? Yeah, I actually worked at Goodyear. That’s where I met Billy. I worked there for 39 years and I spent my whole career in innovation and, um, I have more, I have 60 patents just counting us patents. So I did do my share of innovation, but then I also got exposed to lean, uh, later in my career. And, um, uh, we, um, uh, together with my team at Goodyear, we came up with something, uh, very unique. We found that, uh, uh, you apply lean thinking to innovation. You may actually get more out of it than if you apply it to, uh, uh, to, to manufacturing because you get multi, you get a multiplier out of it and, uh, you can, um, you can really, uh, uh, also use it as the road to apply it, uh, in, in your whole corporation.
Norbert Majerus (02:07):
And the more parts of your corporation are part of that initiative to hire the gains from it. So, uh, Goodyear, let me, uh, publish, uh, the results at that time. And, um, in my first book, uh, lean driven innovation. And then, um, after I retired, I, um, kept working with clients and, and so, and there were also so many other stories that, uh, I hadn’t, that had made it in the first book. So, uh, I had more than enough and, uh, decided to write a business novel now, which is all stories. And, um, try to let the user come up with what do these stories, tell me, and how can I use those in my work and in my company.
Billy Taylor (02:54):
So your new book, this is it winning innovation. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and it’s a novel. Give me a little background about the book and the content.
Norbert Majerus (03:02):
Yeah, well, um, I had to, uh, I, I wanted to, uh, get a few things across, uh, first of all, um, the, uh, the, uh, uh, an, um, innovation for me, uh, should be, uh, driven by, uh, by R and D by the people who know the technology and, but it should be embraced, uh, by the whole company. And, um, uh, so it, uh, the other, uh, uh, big idea is, uh, it’s a, it’s a culture change just like, uh, lean, and it’s not a culture change that gets in conflict with any lean transformation that you do. It’s a culture change that adds a lot of synergy. And, um, the, um, uh, and I also, um, wanted to get the ideas across that. Um, if you do a lean transformation, uh, I was always of the opinion. You just transferred the processes and everything else falls in place, but I was barely wrong.
Norbert Majerus (04:03):
Um, the, the cultural part is often more difficult than the posters or the technical part. And, um, I learned that that, uh, if you do the two together, okay, you are, uh, the results are better and much faster mm-hmm <affirmative>. So I think you lo lose an opportunity if you just focus on processes and then try to bring the people along. Um, doing the two at the same time is really the, the way to do it and all those ideas and many more, um, come out in a story. And it’s an, um, uh, it’s the come, uh, I placed it in, um, in, uh, in Europe, in the Northern part of Italy, a beautiful place, uh, just as, uh, well known for food and wine and for than for bike racing, of course. And, uh, and I picked a bicycle company because I’m a big, uh, cyclist, and I know that industry quite well, so there was a natural, and it was very colorful.
Norbert Majerus (05:03):
And also, um, I wanted to bring the idea of the winning in there. Um, it’s um, uh, and, uh, in, in, in this book, the, the company that I’m talking about is very good in winning. They win bicycle races, they have a racing team and they win bicycle races, but they don’t win the business. And, uh, they used to be really good in the business. They’re very competent. They make the best bike in the world, but their revenue is coming down. And, uh, they see the writing on the wall that they have to innovate in order to, uh, to, to, to win both on the road and in the
Billy Taylor (05:40):
Business that that’s, that’s kinda like most companies though in their journey to, to innovate right, to stay with the market. And one of the things that I noticed, you know, being a leader, uh, in my fortune 500 career, as well as working with other companies now earning the right to change. And you said around the cultural piece, most companies in their innovative processes, they do have the processes and the tools. So they go out and they say, here’s what we’re gonna do. But what they don’t do is the cultural, right. The inclusive, right. To get people, to feel that this is what we need. And we’re a part of it because that’s where we as humans, we don’t reject change. We reject change being forced up on us. And, and just think about number when you and I are working, uh, in north America, right?
Billy Taylor (06:27):
You throw a new idea over the fence. Billy developed this new idea, and I threw all, I threw it back over the fence. It was like a civil war of product development. And I would say to Arbor, Hey, listen, listen, I have to hit the number, rounding black and out the back, man. That’s all I, I want. And so with Abert, we actually built our relationship over some of these examples, and we were out on some events and we got to know each other, uh, and become really close because a lot of times actually norberd acts as my agent. I think sometimes cuz people try to, uh, connect with me through Naber. But what that is is that’s a cultural shift even beyond that. So how important is that nor on people’s journey to get everybody at the table.
Norbert Majerus (07:12):
Yeah. That is kind of, um, uh, a very big challenge. It was a very big challenge as Goodyear, as you, as you, uh, may remember the, um, uh, we, we used to, and I, that’s how I was educated at that time. Uh, don’t worry about, um, uh, if anybody can sell the product or if anybody can make it, you just design it and then it becomes their problem. And that’s a very expensive way to design the innovation because you design it many, many, many times you design it every time somebody, uh, figures out something that doesn’t work. And, um, uh, also, uh, so if you, if you really wanna be successful at that, you get to get, um, before you even, uh, while you still work on the idea, you get everybody engaged and get their input and, uh, you will have a, uh, a product that is much better and you get them much faster because you don’t have all these, uh, these three work loops.
Norbert Majerus (08:13):
But I also, uh, remember the times Billy, when, uh, whenever innovation we did, uh, interfered with manufacturing and, um, uh, you know, very well, uh, all these new products, uh, they take time away. They take, uh, production time, capacity away, and a lot of, uh, that’s why at Goodyear, we built our own, um, innovation center. That’s where we made all our prototypes and, um, that we found out was not the way to do it. And actually, I, I still remember coming to Fayetteville the first time when I met you, I was on the team when we decided to let the plan build all the prototypes that engaged the plan from the very beginning, of course they say, oh yeah, don’t we get more? No, you get less headaches. Yes. You help us develop it. So we get your input when we design it, we have all degrees of freedom that’s. So if we notice something that has to be done differently, um, it can be done at that time. I, um, heard from a, a major company, they, um, uh, still do a major effort to separate everything. And at Goodyear, we made this effort to integrate everything absolutely. From, uh,
Billy Taylor (09:29):
It was a collective gate process, a collect, you know, what quality was at the table, right? Finance was at the table. Sales was at the and marketing. And here’s why that was important. Yeah, I recall, right. We, we went from LVA low value added products to high value added products. So we were, we were changing how we were gonna, uh, go to market and, and customer wanted our product, but we were releasing problem, the, the product, like you said, that was developed in sort of an incubator. And, and so that product, when it got to me may have ran 10 to 20, 30% waste and the, the quality person and when they were in the room and, and I had to, to say, who’s gonna eat that 40% right now, they had buy in to go in and help me. And there was a collective team effort, and I believe that helped drive profitability for that company, because I remember back when we were a negative EBIDA company in the journey to over a billion dollars, EBIDA it was driven by innovative products.
Norbert Majerus (10:34):
Yep. And, and not only, you know, we, we did a lot of, uh, good things at the same time. Uh, Billy, we also implemented, uh, project management organization. Absolutely. We, uh, we developed that collaboration and so on and so on. So I believe that all has to happen for innovation. Absolutely. It’s not just having more great ideas. Uh, if you, you need to really, uh, get these ideas, uh, through your system and, uh, they are not good ideas unless you make good money on them. And, uh, that’s something that I’m glad that we figured out. And that is a story that, uh, that I developed, uh, in this book really from an idea, uh, all the way, uh, through, um, uh, a successful, uh, successful product in the market. And I think that’s what it’s all about to engage really everybody in that process and, uh, that synergy engaging everybody, that’s really, uh, how you make a successful product. And that’s how you win absolutely. In the, with innovation. Well,
Billy Taylor (11:37):
And that’s continuous improvement. When you look at companies, innovation, tap tapped into that, that, that whole talent base, uh, some of the best ideas come from the lower rank people in the organization. Right. And so one of the things that I believe successful companies do on our innovative journeys, our contingent proven journeys is, do change with the people, not to the people. And so when you bring them in and they’re, they’re inclusive, that’s when you really start to get traction, that’s when you start to, to, to see the impact in the marketplace. Right.
Norbert Majerus (12:11):
Well, let, um, place, right. Well, uh, I’m glad you brought that up. Let me give you an example of, uh, of a gentleman that I knew he built experimental tires for me, and he built them, like you said, round and plug and out to back 12 of an hour or 12 of them a shift that’s what’s in my, uh, that’s what is the union contract? And that was it. And, uh, after the, uh, the, the plan, uh, had gone through a transformation actually, uh, won the DME excellence award, uh, at the end, they, um, the people changed mm-hmm <affirmative> and, uh, it struck me. I went through that plan 20 years after I worked with those people and I did a tour and there’s the same gentleman. His name was built by the way. And he shows us how he builds a tie now. And I thought, oh, I hope that he doesn’t show us how he built them when, when he built them for me.
Norbert Majerus (13:05):
And it was totally changed. He explained to the group how he owns the machine. Yes. He’s responsible for it. And, uh, before he couldn’t care less, now his goal was to make the best possible tire that he possibly could make. Yes. And, um, and, and he was so proud. He was actually, he put his name on the tire. Yes. And I said, but why did you do that? And he said, well, I wanna see if this tire wins the next, uh, the NASCAR race next weekend. And, and it, it absolutely blew my mind. And I’m, I’m saying now, man, if I could have gone to build when, when we struggled to get an approval at, uh, I D know, uh, manufacture and, uh, bill had, and I could ask him, Hey, um, uh, how can I do this better? Do you have any idea how can make this a little bit more title or this and that? I’m sure he would’ve loved to help me. Absolutely. But it just wasn’t in the books at that time.
Billy Taylor (13:59):
No, but you know, you mentioned Ville, uh, I have a book coming out called the winning link and it talks about how to build an inclusive culture, how to get your ideas from your people. Uh, you know, I, I, I, I actually have had to experience to have to build relationships, uh, with the steel workers. And, and I thought it’s a great opportunity, but my greatest story is around a union vice president. And we’re walking became one of my greatest contributors and innovators, but day one, he didn’t own anything. And he felt that we were doing it to them. It was all adversarial. Right. And like you say, if he would’ve been invited to the table, his, his most powerful statement to me, when I asked him, he says, of course I love to help, but no one ever asked me. And, you know, one thing that we were on a tour, and I said to him, I says, approximately how many people work here? And he looked at me and he goes, you want me to be honest? I, yeah. He says about half of them. I said, about half of them. I thought he was gonna say 3000, 400 people. He says, they’re not working because you’re not including them.
Norbert Majerus (15:07):
Absolutely. And, uh, a, a story that I tell in my book on that subject is, um, this, uh, the owner of this, uh, bicycle company, he, um, uh, he he’s in a conversation with, uh, the, the leader of the transformation. And, uh, she is, uh, trying to convince him, uh, I mean, they talk about innovation, how the, the company becomes more innovative. And he says, well, we, we, uh, we, we can’t win in innovation. He said, because we don’t have any innovators. And then she says, well, how many people work here? <laugh> yeah. And they said, well, we have 300 people here on the site. She said, well, then you have 300 innovators. Right. And then she says, but you also have a, a manufacturing plant with another 300. So here you have 600 innovators. And I said, well, I never looked at it that way. Can you help me make this work? And she said, yes, that’s why I’m here. Absolutely. That’s what the inclusion means. And at the end, of course, as the story develops, uh, those people get engaged, they have ideas. And in fact, the manufacturing, uh, vice president, uh, uh, comes, uh, in a meeting one day, he said, we always in manufacturing, we thought innovation was the privilege of R and D. He said, and now, finally, my guys, the people in my plant are so happy because now they can also contribute. Right.
Billy Taylor (16:30):
That’s right. So now what, what happens to companies that fail to innovate that don’t embrace the need to innovate? You know, we we’ve heard of the, the, uh, Kodaks. Yeah. We’ve heard of the blockbuster video company that were thriving at one point, but right. The, the, the, the, the, the, the market need changed or the market desire change, and they didn’t move with it. Yeah.
Norbert Majerus (16:55):
Well, I actually, uh, was fortunate. I met, uh, I worked actually with the gentleman who was on the team that developed the first digital camera for Kodak. Okay. He was working at Kodak in R and D and he showed me a picture of the prototype and, uh, and how the picture was actually displayed on an analog TV at that time. And Kodak had all that technology. So why did they not jump on it? And they had it in 1975, that was 10 years before the next digital camera came out, by the way, that was so many, by the way. And, uh, but the, the story is very simple. Kodak made so much money on film. They, the only concern was how can we kill this thing? Yeah. Because this thing will kill our film. That was, and many companies went that route. Unfortunately, I could give you another three or four examples, right.
Norbert Majerus (17:52):
On top of my head, um, exactly the same story. And that is something that, uh, a big obstacle in the culture that companies have to overcome. And, uh, also, um, companies make these tiny little improvements and, uh, continuous improvement. And, uh, a lot of these improvements are in cost. And, um, yes, uh, it is a lot, I, my experience, it’s a lot easier to win if you bring out new products. Yes. Uh, it, you get a jump in price. When you bring out a new product, people pay more money for innovation. Yes. And if you wanna grow your market share, you can do it by making a, a better product. For example, yes. You still have to do the best quality you can. Yes. You can do it by making a cheaper product. You have to do that. You have to manufacture your product as efficiency as efficiently as you can. But when you are done with those two <laugh>, you have to come up with something new. Yes. And then you make something new at that same quality level at that same efficiency. And now you are starting to win in innovation and many, uh, successful business. People went on record saying it’s probably the cheapest way to do it. If you just, uh, promote the innovation and have a good system to, to drive the innovation, a good culture to drive the innovation in your company.
Billy Taylor (19:19):
So, so when I look at that is the book available now?
Norbert Majerus (19:23):
Yeah. The book book has been printed it’s out on Amazon, it’s out through the, through the publish, uh, Rutledge Taylor, Francis, um, affiliated in this case, uh, yeah, just, um, just type my name or type the book title on Google and you will find it.
Billy Taylor (19:41):
Okay. So what what’s going on with Naor in the future? Any speaking engagements workshops?
Norbert Majerus (19:47):
Um, yeah, I, um, of course, um, uh, COVID put a big D in, uh, into my business. I try to do, uh, try to do consulting. I’m still, uh, doing, um, consulting, but I prefer the teaching, uh, to be quite honest, I’d rather teach the people, the principles, the principles, um, uh, of the process, but also the principles of the transformation, uh, change management, uh, the behaviors, the, uh, the principles that change your culture. Yes. And then maybe coach them along the way. I’d rather do that than go into a company and say, now do this, now do that. That never worked for me. Um, I’d rather engage them. Uh, they come up with the ideas and, uh, I may, um, then look at, ’em say, yeah, this sounds good. And maybe we could rethink a little bit here and there, and then it’s their idea.
Norbert Majerus (20:44):
They go do it, they have the background. Now they know what they are doing. They have been taught. And, um, maybe with a little bit of coaching, sometimes those transformations are much more successful in my mind. That’s something I’d like to do. That’s something I promote in my books. Right. I should, I should be doing that. So I, I like to teach, um, uh, do, do keynotes and so on. Yeah. That’s always a good way, but if I, if I don’t teach anything in that keynote, I have not done my job. That’s uh, that’s my, and I don’t think I changed my mind so quickly on that.
Billy Taylor (21:21):
So how do people get in contact with you Nara?
Norbert Majerus (21:24):
Well, uh, as I said, my name is very unique if you know my name and if you type my name on Google, you will find me. Okay. Um, and, um, uh, I, uh, uh, maybe in your podcast, you’re very welcome to publish my phone number. My,
Billy Taylor (21:40):
Uh, yeah. Email LinkedIn.
Norbert Majerus (21:42):
Yeah. I’m on LinkedIn. You find me on LinkedIn without a problem. And, um, my, uh, my, my, my first name.my last email@example.com to make it easy. And I, uh, I will answer everybody who contacts me and if, uh, I help a lot of people by the way. And I don’t, um, I don’t, uh, need to charge money for it. If somebody wants to ask me questions, I’d be happy to answer them. And, um,
Billy Taylor (22:11):
You heard that NA bird offered some pro bono advice as well, and Nara, and I would actually be doing a workshop at the AME conference in October. And so, um, stay tuned for that and, and, and, and stay tuned to, to the LinkedIn, uh, uh, to LinkedIn to see what’s going on in Aber. And Naber, you are a winning link. And so, uh, I look forward to more podcasts and I wanna thank everybody for joining the winning link. And as my favorite saying goes, remember, if you make people visible, they will make you valuable with that being said, Naber thank you for being on the winning link and stay tuned. Talk to you later. Bye-bye thank you for listening to the winning link. Please go to our website for links to everything that was mentioned in today’s episode, please subscribe to the winning link to be notified of our latest news events and updates. We welcome you to the link team.
Norbert Majerus, Beginning in 2005, Norbert implemented a principles-based lean product development process at the three global innovation centers of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. For more than a decade he was Goodyear’s lean champion in research and development. In 2016, Norbert published his first book, Lean-Driven Innovation, which received the Shingo Research Award. Also in 2016, with Norbert’s guidance the Goodyear R&D organization applied for and received the AME Excellence Award. Norbert, born and raised in Luxembourg, has a Master’s degree in Chemistry from the Universitaet des Saarlandes, Saarbruecken, Germany, and worked most of the disciplines in the Goodyear innovation centers in Luxembourg and Akron. Norbert has taught workshops and has spoken at many conferences in the United States and other countries. Since retiring from Goodyear in 2017, he continues to share his extensive lean expertise via Norbert Majerus Consulting and as a board member of LPPDE (Lean Product and Process Development Exchange). Connect with Norbert on LinkedIn.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Data Analytics and Metrics Intern
Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.
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.