Dial P for Procurement
Episode 23

Part of the challenge for companies trying to adhere to the law is that it's not clear exactly what that outcome is going to be. This is in flux until the first big company or entity gets slapped with a penalty. They're going to be made an example of. Then everyone's going to pull back and say, okay, now this is on my radar. Now what do I do?

-Constantine Limberakis, Senior Director of Global Product & Solutions Marketing, riskmethods

Episode Summary

Governments and regulators across the globe are stepping up their oversight of corporate operations so they can drive more ethical and environmentally sustainable business practices. Each effort to uncover harmful and unethical business practices – such as environmental degradation, unfair or unsafe working conditions, and modern slavery – increases the challenge for procurement and supply chain professionals increases.

One such example, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, takes effect on June 21, 2022. It states that all goods made in Xinjiang, China will be presumed to involve slave labor unless the company can prove otherwise. Like other ESG laws, the Uyghur FLPA will require companies to increase visibility into first-tier suppliers as well as sub-tier suppliers. What do we need to do to prepare for this act and other ESG laws and regulations?

In this livestream-based episode of Dial P for Procurement, Kelly Barner and Scott Luton welcome Constantine Limberakis, Senior Director of Global Product & Solutions Marketing at riskmethods, to discuss:

  • Who the Uyghurs are and why they and the autonomous region of Xinjiang are they being singled out for international oversight
  • What products and commodities are exported from this region, and how many industries and/or supply chains will be affected by the new law
  • The questions that remain open about how this law will be enforced and what the penalties will be for those who do not comply

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:00:01):

Welcome to Dial P for Procurement, a show focused on today’s biggest spend supplier and contract management related business opportunities. Dial P investigates the nuanced – and constantly evolving – boundary of the procurement supply chain divide with a broadcast of engaged executives, providers, and thought leaders. Give us an hour and we’ll provide you with a new perspective on supply chain value. And now, it’s time to Dial P for Procurement.

Scott Luton (00:00:31):

Hey, hey, good afternoon. Scott Luton and Kelly Barner here with you on a Dial P for Procurement edition of Supply Chain Now. Kelly, how are you doing?

Kelly Barner (00:00:40):

I am doing great, Scott. How are you?

Scott Luton (00:00:42):

I’m doing wonderful. We’ve got an outstanding livestream teed up here today.

Kelly Barner (00:00:46):

Yes, we do.

Scott Luton (00:00:48):

It’s one of our dear friends. Of course, we should add that Dial P for Procurement is presented jointly with our friends over at Buyers Meeting Point. And Kelly, talking about the topic, the subject matter we’re tackling the day up, a really a high stakes topic, right?

Kelly Barner (00:01:02):

It’s very high stakes. And it’s funny that you say talking because over the last few years, all anybody has done was talk about supply chain, and we’re about to see some serious action. So, I’m glad that we have our guest with us today to help educate us on this topic and then tell us what we need to be doing to be ready.

Scott Luton (00:01:20):

Agreed. Yeah. They certainly – our guest is in the know, helping organizations to take that action a number of different ways across global supply chain. And he’s a repeat guest, one of our dear friends. So, looking forward to that. We’re going to introduce him in just a minute. We’ve got a quick announcement to make and then we’re going to say hello to a few folks. But hey, folks, you’re in the right place today for a wonderful show. Now, Kelly, do you know that – I think we have surpassed some 1,300 registrants just on LinkedIn for our 2022 supply chain and procurement awards, which as you know, also, is fueled by purpose, right?

Kelly Barner (00:02:00):

That’s right. Yeah. And we’ll be mentioning a little bit about this today because modern slavery, human trafficking, those are the key focus of our philanthropy partner, Hope for Justice. And we chose that partner simply because these types of issues are both important in modern business and in supply chain. And because there’s something that the kinds of folks joining us today and listening on demand later can affect through their work. So, huge opportunity to do good and learn.

Scott Luton (00:02:29):

Can’t agree more and you put it much more eloquently than I ever can, but Hope for Justice, that’s what it’s all about, their noble mission, finding a way to support it. We’re really excited about how we’re going to be able to support them financially via the awards while celebrating the successes across global business. So, folks, you can still join. May 18th is a date of the live reveal. And you can venture over to LinkedIn. There’s a direct link in the comments. And of course, you can also find us at supplychainprocurementawards.com, jointly presented between Supply Chain Now, Buyers Meeting Point and our friends at Art of Procurement. Okay. So, Kelly, let’s say hello to just a couple of folks because, you know, we want to make this very conversational. You know, our guest is an expert who have a lot of value he’s bringing to the table, between him and the organization, the good things they’re doing. But we want to hear from all the folks that are in the cheap seats as it were, like Chadley. Chadley is back with us. And I like his enthusiasm.

Scott Luton (00:03:33):

Let’s go, let’s go, let’s get into this. Let’s dive in. Chadley, welcome back via LinkedIn. And don’t forget to let us know where are you dialed in from, right. Let’s see here. Daniel is already tuned in and he’s already asking questions. Daniel, we’ll try –

Kelly Barner (00:03:49):

Wow.

Scott Luton (00:03:50):

He’s ready to go as well.

Kelly Barner (00:03:51):

Go, Daniel.

Scott Luton (00:03:53):

We’ll try to circle back to this, but Daniel, welcome to the conversation. Let us know where you’re tuned in from via LinkedIn. Thomas is with us from Boston, MA, Kelly.

Kelly Barner (00:04:03):

Yeah, Boston.

Scott Luton (00:04:05):

A neighbor. And you know, so much to get through over the next hour or so. But we can’t get through it, Kelly, without our dear friend and repeat guest, the one and only – can I introduce our guest here today?

Kelly Barner (00:04:21):

Please do.

Scott Luton (00:04:22):

Okay. The one and only, Constantine Limberakis, Senior Director of Global Product and Solutions Marketing at riskmethods. Hey, hey, Constantine, how you doing?

Constantine Limberakis (00:04:34):

Hey, guys, how are you?

Scott Luton (00:04:35):

We are doing wonderful. And we’re doing now – we’re even better now that you have joined us. And Kelly –

Kelly Barner (00:04:40):

That’s true. Welcome back.

Constantine Limberakis (00:04:42):

Great. Great. It’s happening.

Scott Luton (00:04:44):

We learned a little tidbit about Constantine pre-show. So, he’s got a slew of nicknames, but one of my favorites is Dino. So, if with your permission, if we can use that here, and you know, what is it about nicknames? They always do just this. They create smiles. Maybe that’s why we use them so much, but –

Constantine Limberakis (00:05:03):

Yeah. For sure. For sure.

Scott Luton (00:05:05):

Great to have you back. So, Kelly, before we dive into kind of a warm up topic with Dino here, we’ve got a slew of folks that the dam has burst. And so, let’s say hello to a few folks here. Alyssa’s back. I think she’s been with us on some previous livestreams, tuned in from Boston as well. It looks like she’s part of the Thermo Fisher Scientific team. Great to have you here, Alyssa, via LinkedIn. Of course, diesel, Clay Phillips. Diesel because the motor is always running there. Dino and Kelly, happy Dial P day here at Supply Chain Now. Great to see you, Clay. Steve Trussel tuned in from Florida via LinkedIn, Total Sourcing Solutions. Okay, Steve. Great to have you here. Looking forward to your –

Kelly Barner (00:05:48):

I just recently met Steve. Steve, I’m glad you’re here today.

Scott Luton (00:05:51):

Fantastic. Man, it’s really a small world once you start peeling the layers of the onion back, right. And James. James is with us, part of the riskmethods team, also from Boston, MA. I’m picking up a little trend here. We’ve got a strong northeastern contingent on today’s livestream, and global as well. But I think we’re all ready to dive into the topic today. But where we’re getting started, Kelly, I think we also found out that – everybody knew maybe, folks are aware of this week in business history that you and I are big history nerds, right?

Kelly Barner (00:06:28):

Oh, big time.

Scott Luton (00:06:29):

Well, self-identify.

Kelly Barner (00:06:30):

Yeah, nerds and geeks. Yes.

Scott Luton (00:06:31):

Right. Whatever labels thrown at us, we’re big – we love studying history. Well, we found out that Dino here is also a big history nerd. So, tell us, Constantine, what’s your favorite part? Place, time, whatever. What was your favorite element when it comes to history?

Constantine Limberakis (00:06:48):

You know, I like when there’s like a confluence or pivotal point of change. I would probably say like the Renaissance. I think that’s probably such a cool time when things kind of came back together and there’s this elevation of enlightenment and ideas of science. And it’s just kind of a cool – you know, if you go to places like Italy and France and you see just the evolution of that. I think it’s probably one of my favorites. Not the only – I got a lot, but that’s one that comes to mind. To be enlightened, right? How do you come up with these classical ideas and reinvent them? So, yeah, that’s something I really enjoy, is understanding that period of history. In fact, I will tell you, I actually went to the area in the Loire Valley. And you can go visit on top of this where France – one of the Kings of France invited DaVinci before he died to live with him in the Loire Valley. And you can actually visit the house where he did the inventions for the past five years of his life before he died and actually see his deathbed. And I was there for the 500th anniversary of his death in Loire Valley. So, really cool. I highly recommend you guys. If you like that kind of stuff, you could go to France and see it. Cool stuff.

Scott Luton (00:08:04):

Wow. Kelly, the Renaissance, you know, we talked about eureka moments around here quite often.

Kelly Barner (00:08:07):

I know.

Scott Luton (00:08:09):

Can you imagine living through that period of time, Kelly?

Kelly Barner (00:08:14):

I know, seriously. And DaVinci is such a fascinating character. One of my favorite things about him is that, you know, he’s so famous for all of those different sort of pencil sketch drawings that he did. Every single mechanical design had a fatal flaw in the picture so that, you know, there was no security back then, if you got the picture, you had the design. And so, he drew in a little flaw so that if anybody else actually followed the instructions, other than him, the device wouldn’t work. So, he was a very clever guy in multiple ways.

Scott Luton (00:08:45):

Wow. I had no idea. I learned something. See, we hang out with Kelly Barner, Dino, and you’re always going to learn something with every conversation. And frankly, I feel the same way with you. We’ve had a couple conversations with you here, Dial P, Supply Chain Now. And I’ve gotten a lot of feedback, a lot of value from what you bring to the table and how you do it. So, with that said, we’ll try not to nerd out on history too much over the next hour. But, you know, you can’t – you can learn so much and act so much more informed by looking back through annals of history, for sure. Really quick, Kelly, before I turn over to you, as we get into the topic of the day, say hello to Jamie Crump, who’s – can you just see –

Kelly Barner (00:09:29):

Hello, Jamie.

Scott Luton (00:09:32):

The mountains of North Georgia? I mean, that just comes with a nice little picture. I bet it’s a gorgeous day up where she is. Okay. So, folks we want to hear from you throughout the conversation. So, welcome, everybody. You know we couldn’t hit on everybody, but we want to hear from your take throughout today’s discussion. So, Kelly, with that said, where are we starting with Constantine here today?

Kelly Barner (00:09:54):

So, we’re actually going to start someplace very broad. So, our primary topic for today is the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, super intense legislation. It’s taking effect on June 21st. So, just a few short weeks away from now. We are going to go from soup to nuts on this law and what it means for supply chain professionals. But when Constantine and I were prepping for today, I thought he made an interesting point that ties to everything that procurement and supply chain professionals do right now. And that’s this complexity of having some of these conversations and taking all the inputs from the news and the world around us, but remaining professional. So, Constantine, I’m going to tee you up there and let you sort of share the perspective that you had shared with me yesterday, because I think it applies to today, 100%, but it also applies to so many of the other conversations that we end up having with business partners, with suppliers. What are your thoughts around the best way for us as professionals to handle these topics?

Constantine Limberakis (00:10:56):

Yeah, I think this is such an important thing, Kelly. I mean, when you talk about things that are going on geopolitically that has an impact on supply chains, you know, you always – there’s this fine line of how we look at this maybe personally or then how we – statement – make statements with – as part of our corporations and companies. It’s a struggle, but – and then at some point, where do we kind of draw the line and make a decision. And I think that’s part of what’s happening here with some of these regulations. You know, sometimes companies are caught between Iraq and a hard place and saying, “How am I – by doing something, what we’re going to talk about with this Uyghur law, what’s the impact that’s going to have on my business versus the ESG component.” The environmental, social, governance component of not only being, you know, in – it slapped maybe with a fine or an issue with a regulation, but then there’s the perception of reputation.

Constantine Limberakis (00:11:50):

So, there’s this – all these dynamics of how companies are going to have to think through what is their decision point. They’re going to say, “I’m willing to do this because this is what our business has founded on, or this is going to have a huge impact, I have to wait and see.” So, that’s part of the challenge here. And I think this discussion point we’re going to have is front and center to that very much, because we’re seeing it every day in the news. And there’s different aspects that relate to the Uyghur law, as well as what’s happening in China and globally.

Kelly Barner (00:12:20):

Yeah. So, to get us started with, if you would just give us sort of the level set, where are we starting? Who – is it Uyghurs or Wygurs? I guess I’ve heard it both ways. What’s the –

Constantine Limberakis (00:12:32):

You know, unfortunately, I’m not a linguist. I don’t know the exact way to pronounce it because am I pronouncing in Chinese or another language. I think it’s Uyghurs. Uyghurs. I think it’s Uyghurs. I just want to make sure. But if we do pronounce it incorrectly, I don’t want anybody to –

Kelly Barner (00:12:45):

Yes. Yeah.

Constantine Limberakis (00:12:47):

Maybe we can ask for the recommended pronunciation, but we’ll go with Uyghurs for now.

Kelly Barner (00:12:52):

We’ll go with Uyghurs.

Constantine Limberakis (00:12:54):

Okay.

Kelly Barner (00:12:53):

So, who are the Uyghurs and what is the aim of this law?

Constantine Limberakis (00:12:58):

Yeah, that a really great question. So, I mean, if we go back, use the history textbook, right? It’s a place – it’s – the people themselves are a group of, in a semi-autonomous region of China, that are ethnically Chinese, but have a very strong cultural diversity, let’s just say, of their background. Most of the Uyghurs are Sunni Muslim and the history behind it has a lot to do with the evolution and the spread of Islam. But it also has a lot to do with the self-trade routes that we talked about going way back into antiquity up through into the middle ages and all this where a lot of trade was going by. So, these people, they developed a very unique culture and they are part of this western part of China that borders places, like Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Constantine Limberakis (00:13:46):

So, it’s a very interesting melting pot of cultures and diversities. And the challenge that happened is, I think partly because of, in the late nineties, there was a push on some revolt that was going on in that region. There were some, you know, let’s just say, riots happening. There was concerns about maybe even terrorism spreading wider in China and there’s this connection and this is where it becomes political about how do we control terrorism and this is a spread of extremism. And as a result of some of these things that have happened over time, what’s been seen by Westerners, let just say people at – and from the outside of China is, there’s been this concern over labor or forced labor that’s happening in this autonomous region where it’s become a challenge for certain parts of this culture to express themselves.

Constantine Limberakis (00:14:37):

And so, there’s this kind of maybe clash of culture. And so, from a supply chain economic perspective, this law has gotten really – based on the attention of people that are in politics and the business to say, “Look, there’s a concern here where there’s this forced labor that’s happening within this region where certain parts of this population are being contained.” And our concern is over these wider concerns of humanitarian issues with these people being forced to work in a certain way that is counter to what we feel is something we want to be able to support as part of our business and supply chains. And that’s the context for this, is that it’s evolved and it’s really come front forward, particularly with people buying a lot of supplies and we can talk more about what comes out of this region and why it’s so critical for supply chains, for sure.

Scott Luton (00:15:31):

Hey, really quick, Kelly, and I love that backdrop. Level setting is so important in these – in all conversations in business supply chain and beyond, but really helpful here. So, thank you for that, Dino. A couple quick comments here, because we got conversations within the conversations going. Richard, glad this is getting some coverage. I’m with you, right. And again, the global supply chain community is in a unique position to actually take action, right? Deeds, not words to do something about it. Daniel is asking about, other than the US, any other countries planning similar legislation. Richard, it’s Johnny on the spot. I think Canada, he says, and the Netherlands have publicly accused China of genocide perhaps there planning similar legislation. Excellent point there. Maybe we’ll get both of y’all to respond. But finally, on a lighter note, very lighter note – hey Eric, I see you, man. I appreciate that. Go, Atlanta Braves, defending the crown. Okay. So, back to – I know we’re getting into the legislation after we kind of did some level setting. Kelly, where are we going next with our dear friend?

Kelly Barner (00:16:34):

So, before we actually go to the next question, I’m going to jump way back and answer one of the questions that Daniel asked upfront. I want to get this out front and center because it’s material to everything we discuss today. One of the things that’s important about this particular law is that, materials coming from this province in China are assumed to be the product of forced labor unless your company can prove otherwise. So, it’s not about proving, you know, good mind, bad mind, like we might have in conflict minerals. Everything coming from this region is assumed to be problematic. So, now, that being said, Constantine, which supply chains are affected? What are the typical materials, products, components that would be coming out of the Jinjiang Province of China?

Constantine Limberakis (00:17:23):

Yeah. So, that’s a really great question and you start digging deeper into this. And if you’re not familiar with the topic, you’d be like shocked and surprised at what does come out of this region. So, I think the supply chains that are most effective are those in solar and textiles. Believe it or not, tomatoes of all things.

Kelly Barner (00:17:40):

Interesting.

Constantine Limberakis (00:17:42):

And they’ve already received a lot of scrutiny in this area. So, in terms of just some of the statistics that we want to stick to, I think there’s an estimate. It’s the source of one-fifth of the world’s cotton. So, if we’re talking about the south, we’re thinking about cotton, we’re thinking about where these places are – you know, where it’s coming from. And then 45%, I think is the statistic of polysilicon, which is a key material that’s used for solar panels.

Constantine Limberakis (00:18:07):

So, that on top of other areas, raw materials, including coal, petroleum, gold, electronics and other things that companies are involved in the supply could face. And I think there’s even been some activism around allegations of forced labor that have been linked to Chinese manufacturers around gloves, aluminum, car batteries, hot sauce of all things. So, I mean, there’s just so many elements here of, again, understanding and having the transparency to what you just said, Kelly, of assumed to be.

Kelly Barner (00:18:40):

Yes.

Constantine Limberakis (00:18:41):

And that’s the question, right? How do you know, how do you put some proof to that? And that’s the challenge here that we face.

Kelly Barner (00:18:49):

And it further shows how interconnected supply chain is with everything. So, if you work in a company and it sounds like, given that range of things you mentioned, Constantine, this is not just one industry. This is a lot of different industries with materials and components at different layers of production. This might be something that would both come under supply chain and legal concerns, but could also potentially come under the umbrella of ESG or environmental, social, and governance initiatives. So, does dealing with this law also create a good opportunity for supply chain team leads and professionals in a company to reach out to whoever heads up ESG in the company and sort of align?

Constantine Limberakis (00:19:34):

Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, this shows the dynamic of how, you know, when you’re dealing with a supply chain risk or compliance program or challenge, that you have a diverse group of people that are involved in understanding what this means, right. Is it reputation control? Is it legal? Is it procurement? Is it logistics and distribution for supply chains? And so, yeah. This is a perfect opportunity for us to get more awareness. And I think the construct and the content for this – and a lot of this is being driven by what we’re seeing. If you just look at – you know, you turn on CNBC and the conversations around ESG as a context for, we are going to be investing in companies that are putting this front and center and putting that – them back at the top line revenue construct, then says, “Well, we need to do a better job in deciding how we do this operationally and showing that we’re actually doing something,” not saying and just putting words to something, what we’re pursuing for the sake of feeling good, right? It’s an actual thing that’s happening. So, yeah, this is a perfect construct for that. But then the challenge I think we face with this is, how do you embody that and how do you ensure that these things are happening? And sometimes, it’s coming from legislation, like we just saw with this law and that’s forcing us to rethink what our supply chains are and how we build those supply chains.

Kelly Barner (00:20:52):

And the stakes are clear. So, we know customs is going to be the group that will be enforcing the law. And as with so many things, there’s a whole range of potential consequences. But just to maybe give people a sense of what the stakes are here, what are the different types and forms of consequences and downsides that will result from companies running a file of this new requirement?

Constantine Limberakis (00:21:19):

Well, let’s just kind of reiterate what we started from. It said that the law was signed in December by Biden. It’s set to go in effect in June. It bans all goods made in the Jinjiang promise – the province or with ties or certain entities of programs that are under the sanctions that transfer, I think what they call minority workers to these job sites. Unless, as you said, the importers can demonstrate to the US government that its supply chain is free of forced labor. Now, that becomes kind of a fuzzy line because it remains very difficult for how stringently this law is going to be applied. And if it ends up affecting a handful of other companies or far beyond what it was intended to do. So, there’s a broad interpretation of the law that could cast certain scrutiny on these goods. But I think at this – right now, it’s not very clear what the ramifications are, aside from having these goods arriving at these US ports that are going to be seized by US Customs and Border Protection.

Constantine Limberakis (00:22:21):

So, it’s not like there’s a specific number that’s going to say, you’re going to be fined X million per billion revenue you are. And that’s a part of the challenge that I think for companies that are trying to meet and adhere to the law, but because of the – you know, it’s not really clear exactly what that outcome’s going to be. I always say that you’re going to know when the first person that gets slapped by it is going to be the one that’s going to pay the penalty. And it’s going to be a company and it could be a big company. Just to give you guys some perspective, some of the, you know, the challenges that have been happening here with companies like, Tesla were opening up a factory, manufacturing at the Jinjiang Province. Walmart was denying back, I think in January about having deliberately moving sourced goods with textiles. And so, you know, this is kind of this flux. And until that big company or whatever entity gets slapped, we’re not really going to know. And they’re going to be made an example of that everyone’s going to pull back and say, “Okay, now this is on my radar. Now, what do I do?”

Scott Luton (00:23:28):

So, we’ve got – as we expected, this is conjuring up some thoughts from the Sky boxes here. I want to share a couple here.

Constantine Limberakis (00:23:34):

Yes, for sure. For sure.

Scott Luton (00:23:56):

First off, Peter Bolle, all night and all day. Welcome back. Welcome in. Love to hear your take here. Yes, you have missed your Dial P installments. Glad you’re back.

Kelly Barner (00:23:46):

And we’ve missed you back, Peter. Thank you for being with us.

Scott Luton (00:23:47):

Right. Eric, fellow Atlanta Braves fan. He said he posted on this topic a few weeks ago. He says, “Technology companies like Google and Dell are supporting the Chinese communist party’s ability to oppress not only Uyghurs, but their society.” And he puts a link to his other thoughts there. So, Eric, thanks for weighing in. A lot of things going on, for sure. Thomas Dent says, “ESG needs to be contested when we have defense contractors toting ESG narratives. I have some questions.” It’s good to have questions.

Kelly Barner (00:24:20):

Interesting, Thomas.

Scott Luton (00:24:21):

Yeah. Bring the – you know, the best conversations had the toughest questions. So, great point there, Thomas. Steve says, “The trick long term is to build in pace planning in your category management to help with the risk assessment and mitigation. Regardless of the issue, if you continually are asking yourself, what would happen if you’ll be assessing and preparing for those risks.” Well said there, Steve. Okay. So, Kelly, really, as you can tell, there’s a lot of thoughts.

Kelly Barner (00:24:51):

Yes.

Scott Luton (00:24:51):

But, you know, one of the cool things just to weigh in, it is, you know, guilty or assumed guilty until you can prove your innocence. It’s an interesting take, an interesting application. I applaud the government here, the federal government in taking that action as a starting point. And I think, what Dino and both of y’all said, there will undoubtedly need to be some tweaks, right?

Kelly Barner (00:25:17):

Yes.

Scott Luton (00:25:18):

But the conversations and the questions based on what the – how heavy and how dire the allegations have been, you know, it’s good for – to see action taking place rather than a lot of political rhetoric, right?

Kelly Barner (00:25:35):

Yeah. Well – and there’s the court of law and then there’s the secondary court of public opinion. And so, I would imagine to your point, Constantine, the very first company that ends up being made an example of because of this law is certainly going to face a lot of scrutiny, potentially fines, potentially loss of certain kinds of status. You don’t want to end up on a watch list, right?

Constantine Limberakis (00:25:58):

Uh-huh.

Kelly Barner (00:25:59):

But depending on the kind of company it is, especially if you are first or second tier consumer facing the public, backlash from shareholders, from consumers, from brand partners, it could be even more substantial than what you’re necessarily facing legally. I would think that kind of thing, that sort of brand reputational risk is a concern with a lot of different supply chain issues, not just this one particular law.

Constantine Limberakis (00:26:25):

Yeah, yeah. I mean – and again, you got great brands like Tesla and Walmart. Everybody know these companies. There’s other big companies that are doing business there. And so, I’m sure it’s front and center on their attention because they have the right and need to be able to properly manage their business and focus on that and be able to look at, you know, these challenges that they’re facing. But then, you know, this legislation is trying to put some kind of enforcement in how they do business and the outcome’s going to be, how do you best build relationships for improving the transparency or supply chain? So, you know, as a person in that process to say, “We know what’s going on with our business. We know who our suppliers are.” And this is where further values the requirement or need to say, “Well, who am I doing business with and how am I doing business with them? And who should I know more about, or what kind of assessment should I be doing on a due a diligence basis to make sure we have this transparency.”

Constantine Limberakis (00:27:14):

So, we know how we can manage that and manage maybe a potential backlash may – which may be unfounded, right? There might be some unfounded aspect to this because they’re associating something that may not be true, but then that’s that kind of, again, realm of public opinion that could take information and may not be accurate, or it might be something that is not – has not been delivered properly. So, those are, again, the challenges here that, how do you better improve what you need to do and manage as a business for managing – or manage something like this that is going be – become even more important as time evolves here.

Kelly Barner (00:28:00):

Now, how common is it with a law like this to require companies to prove compliance? In most cases, I think of it as being, if you get caught doing the wrong thing and we can prove you did the wrong thing, then there’s penalties, but this one is completely the opposite. You – as we’ve said, Scott, you know, you’re assumed guilty until proven innocent. That’s sort of the opposite of the American way, but this law and its goal are so high stakes that we’ve actually flipped that. Is this a frequent thing? Is this a unique kind of law?

Constantine Limberakis (00:28:31):

This law – for the Uyghur law – in some ways it is.

Kelly Barner (00:28:35):

Yeah. [Inaudible]

Constantine Limberakis (00:28:34)

In some ways, it isn’t. So, you know, again, us being a German based company, one of the things that is coming up in the requirement is this supply – German Supply Chain Act. And I’m going to say this in German, the lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz. That’s how you say it.

Scott Luton (00:28:54):

Wow.

Kelly Barner (00:28:55):

Wow. Can you do that again?

Constantine Limberakis (00:28:58):

It’s a lot. Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz. That’s literally the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act.

Kelly Barner (00:29:03):

Wow.

Constantine Limberakis (00:29:02):

Yeah. And I – and so, this law is based on – refers to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. And it has other certain consequences and ramifications that I’m not going to go into detail. But basically, it targets based on size. And there is a requirement that has the ability for companies with 3,000 or more employees. And then after 2024, for those with a thousand or more, to be registered with a specific branch office, a federal branch in Germany and be able to comply with the human rights requirements and standards that are as part of the law, as part of the foundation. And here, there are some specific fines that they call out as part of the law. So, it is much more defined. And I think this is part of a greater requirement.

Constantine Limberakis (00:29:49):

I think it says, “In the event of a significant violation, it’s 175,000 euros exclusion from public procurement contracts is envisioned.” And there’s all these kinds of challenges. But I think the bigger picture here is, what’s happening within wider EU. So, there’s an EU due diligence law that’s coming out. There are other similar laws in other countries that are part of the EU. There are similar laws in the UK. So, this is part of a grander scheme of things that’s evolving. But to your question about how other similar laws, well, in one case – this is, you know, in one case it’s based on the US, that’s coming from the port of origin. And the other case, it’s actually is part of the detail within your supply chain. And it’s being dictated by a government. And that’s going to give a fine based on the size of your company. So, there’s different degrees of this, but it’s something that’s very top of mind. And depending upon where you’re doing business, you might be seeing these laws as kind of common challenges where you’ve been trying to solve that in a similar way.

Scott Luton (00:30:46):

So, I want to share a couple quick comments. A comment and a question here that I think just folds right into what we’re talking about. Richard says, “More transparency equals higher demand for sustainable and ethical practices. It’s difficult though, as a large company to have transparency over all suppliers, but companies will be held accountable if a supplier, even if it’s a tier four or five operates in an unethical manner.” And Kelly, Tim Nelson with Hope for Justice has made the point with us that it’s not – while we needed to identify those bad actors in these long, you know, global supply chains, it’s more about – it’s not about, you know, shaming, right? It’s more about leaders. What are you doing about it, right? Because it’s going to be there. What are you doing about it? And I love that point because it kind of goes back to the point that Constantine made on the frontend, right?

Scott Luton (00:31:40):

It’s about the actions we take, how are we remitting the situation? And then one other comment here, I’m trying to keep up. A lot of stuff. Dino, told you, you’re back by popular demand, because you bring a tidal wave of feedback each time. Mark says, “The supplier has proved a statement that they do not use force labor. Is this enough? Or do we require onsite audits or anything else to build the burden of proof that we are all – that we are meeting all requirements of the act”? So, would y’all like to weigh in on what Mark is asking there?

Constantine Limberakis (00:32:15):

Yeah. I think the way you do that is by looking at the different pillars of information that you’re getting. And that’s one thing that we try to do at riskmethods, is by looking at different ways. So, part of that information might be coming from media, risk media monitoring that we do 24 by 7, by 365. We pull the data in. We use our algorithms to determine what’s relevant and not relevant to your supply chain. Another way might be using third other kinds of data from trusted sources like a DMV or Creditsafe or an Ecobots or an Integrity Next that comes in by way of you looking at that and saying, “Well, this is what this company says.” You may have your own data you’ve collected as part of performance reviews. And then you have the actual voice of your supplier. So, you want to quadri – is that triangulate? Quadri. No, before – I guessed it before. So, do you bring all that together? And you say, “Okay. How can I make a decision based on this?”

Kelly Barner (00:33:07):

Yeah.

Constantine Limberakis (00:33:08):

And that to me is very powerful because you’re not just getting one source, but then you’re forcing -you’re looking at it based on the impact of your business, based on the potential reputational control, based on the impact on your business partners, if they’re second or third tier supplier. You’re depending upon how deep they go in your channel. That would be a way how to answer that. You need to have right – as much information as you can to see what you think is necessary to make those decisions.

Kelly Barner (00:33:37):

And I think an important piece of that is that voice of the supplier that you mentioned, Constantine.

Constantine Limberakis (00:33:41):

Yeah.

Kelly Barner (00:33:42):

And so, you know, we opened today by talking about some of the difficult things that procurement and supply chain professionals have to be able to do as part of our job. And one of those is having what I imagine could be awkward or uncomfortable conversations with our suppliers, because if this is truly sort of a whitelist founded law, then it’s incumbent upon us to find out what our suppliers and their suppliers are doing to ensure that these goods and materials don’t enter into their supply chain. How do we even start that conversation with supply partners?

Constantine Limberakis (00:34:20):

Well, I think it starts with the relationship itself. It’s on how much that trust has been built, right? And this goes far beyond just regulation and, you know, being concerned about finding – it’s, do you invest in your suppliers to decide on – you know, is this the innovation factor? It’s that – there was a study that was done about four or five years ago that looked at specific angles of how you work with suppliers and the ultimate result of that research found that, you know, the ones that had the best relationships actually had the best outcomes in terms of performance and the best outcomes in terms of price negotiation because they were willing to work with each other and it’s that trust. And I think this is part of that, right? How well do you know them and how well – and it’s easier said than done because in certain regions, that could be very challenging and you might not have an option. And it comes down to certain commodities and we just read the statistic on the polycarbonate. I may not have a choice.

Constantine Limberakis (00:35:14):

And especially with what’s going on now in the Ukraine, which we haven’t even touched, think about the fact that you have these demands, these supply chains. There might be certain constraints of where these commodities or these core materials are coming from. You might just have to go to that region and you have to face the potential of that issue. So, that – it’s not an easy question to answer. And it’s something that’s going to be a challenge, I think, especially in this situation where we’re in right now with supply chain challenges in general.

Kelly Barner (00:35:46):

Yeah. And you say, go to that reason in the sense of sourcing, right, or buying from. But if we think to bring in yet another thing we haven’t talked about yet, which are the lingering effects of COVID. You also literally can’t go to that region because of China’s zero COVID policy. My understanding is that, almost nobody gets in or out. So, you can’t even say, “Listen, this is so important. I’m going to go walk the factory myself. I’m going to go walk the area myself.” That’s not even an option. How is the inability to get firsthand insight, creating further challenges for the companies that are trying to adhere to this law?

Constantine Limberakis (00:36:28):

Yeah, yeah. It’s a difficult challenge. And I think this is where getting as much information as you can around a particular area or supply chain or commodity by being able to visualize it and understand what news is able to come out of that region is a major starting point because then you get a sense. And then being able to reach out to those suppliers. You know, this digital transformation of supply chains, being able to, you know, find out as much as you can interacting with them, not even being on site, but what kind of facilities do you have to be able to understand what they’re doing and how they’re doing it without being on site has even become more important and making sure that that’s transparent. So, I don’t know if there’s an easy answer for that. I think it’s technology can help us, definitely, in many ways.

Kelly Barner (00:37:13):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:37:16):

You know, being more aware for our procurement and sourcing professionals of some of these challenges that aren’t easily solved, that you’re just you’re spilling out. I think that’s an important first part of the journey here. A lot of comments here. I’m going to try to pick and choose a couple. It’s so much good stuff. We don’t have time to tackle all of it. There’s a lot of thoughts around – Steve talks about, “My approach has always been boots on the ground of some sort to prove compliance. And my company’s requirements had to exceed my toughest customers’ requirements.” I love that. Eric clarified on what he posted something earlier. It was actually from the victims of communism, corporate complicity, scorecard. That’s a new one for me. I’ll check that out. Peter makes a great point. Blockchain can solve some of the issues. Full traceability, cradle to grave, right.

Kelly Barner (00:38:06):

And I’m going to cover Constantine on this one. Peter, you’re in lockstep. Constantine said this yesterday. So, 100%.

Constantine Limberakis (00:38:12):

Yeah. We did say this yesterday.

Kelly Barner (00:38:13):

You guys are thinking right along the right lines of that. Was there anything you wanted to add to that point, Constantine, since it’s been [inaudible] now?

Constantine Limberakis (00:38:19):

Well, in some cases, you know, a blockchain can work when it comes to traceability of something you could put a label on, but how are you going to do that with a package, you know, with commodities. That’s the challenge, right? That’s the hard part where things can get swapped out or redirected. I think the word that they used in an article that I read was bifurcated. So, how do we know that some product wasn’t relabeled and went rematched then moved to a different location and imported through a different part – you know, a different port or a different way because it was repackaged, you know? And so, the blockchain could take us on so far, but how traceable is that from where a performance point of origin. That’s the struggle there. So, you can put a tag on something, but that might be easier for a manufactured good or something that’s kind of more, you know, gone into the process. But when it’s something from a raw material, I think – you know, that’s really a real challenge. But yeah, maybe there’s going to be improvements in technology that we just don’t know yet from there.

Kelly Barner (00:39:17):

Yeah. And actually think your mention of cotton earlier was an excellent example because that is such a raw material that so many things are done with and that so many further processes are done in so many places. And so, we may talk today about first, second, third tier suppliers. You could easily be talking about seventh, eighth, ninth tier suppliers once you actually map all this out. I have to imagine part of the complexity is figuring out, okay, this box of garments or this cloth that I’ve purchased from Malaysia or Thailand, figuring out did that raw material originate in Jinjiang, is it covered by this law? You end up with sort of like a money laundering effect, whereas things are processed again and again, to your point about the tag, being able to follow these things as they move globally. This really is it – you quickly start to get a sense that this is not overwhelming, right? This is something we need to be working to solve because there are serious human ramifications for us not addressing the problem. But this is not a, where is my toilet paper, where is my Amazon box kind of problem. This is global long reaching and very complex.

Constantine Limberakis (00:40:35):

Yeah. Absolutely. And I don’t know where this is going to end up in the long run, you know. Again, the public opinion aspect is certainly one element that’s going to continue helping us to enforce these laws. But it will be interesting to see how the Biden administration decides to promote and push forward because of what I had mentioned before. But in some cases, it’s not as exactly clear what the – how stringent this is going to be applied. Are there other elements that we’re going to see here where that’s going to be pushed more than others? I mean, a classic example of this is with the – back in the day with the conflict minerals, as part of the Sarbanes-Oxley. I mean, I remember going to conferences with a couple of other groups and they were talking about that, like, this was going be the thing, right? Conflict minerals, gold, [inaudible] and tantalum and tin. You know, where is this coming from? The Congo, there was a lot of attention given to that region. And I think it’s still something companies are still aware of and enforcing, but you just don’t hear about it, right?

Kelly Barner (00:41:38):

Yeah.

Constantine Limberakis (00:41:37):

And so, is this kind of the – I’ll use a word and I’ll use another German word, Zeitgeist of giving –

Kelly Barner (00:41:45):

That one’s a little shorter.

Constantine Limberakis (00:41:48):

They say Zeitgeist. It’s German. It’s Zeitgeist because the Z is pronounced like [inaudible]. But anyway, the point being that the – that’s kind of gotten attention – full attention because of what’s going on with China, right. And then what’s going to happen with Ukraine. That’s front and center, but then these – there is other – there’s all these regions that also have conflicts that you have to be aware of. And I think this is why it’s so important to understand your industry and what you’re buying and where you’re buying it from, because some of these things you just don’t know about. We don’t hear about it, it’s because the media isn’t covering it, right. But it doesn’t mean that it’s not there. And that goes back to the gentleman’s point about boots on the ground.

Kelly Barner (00:42:24):

Yeah.

Constantine Limberakis (00:42:25):

You know, that’s exactly right.

Scott Luton (00:42:27):

Is there some kind of Mensa Test that folks have to pass to be part of the riskmethods team? Constantine, you just dropped more words and knowledge than I’ve – you must forget more stuff than I’ll ever know. Really, man. It’s amazing how you’re weighing in –

Kelly Barner (00:42:41):

But it’s all in German, Scott. So, nobody knows what any of it means.

Constantine Limberakis (00:42:45):

Well, yeah. Well, it’s a –

Scott Luton (00:42:45):

Well – but what you recalled about those conflict minerals, I’ve forgotten and you even named some of the elements, for lack of a better word. So, you’ve got a standing invitation to come on back. You make us look – well, you make me look smarter. Kelly’s – you know, Kelly scored very highly on the Mensa Test. They don’t allow – they don’t give folks like me the Mensa Test, but let’s share a couple comments here.

Constantine Limberakis (00:43:09):

Sure.

Scott Luton (00:43:08):

Peter, you’re on fire, man. Procurement must evaluate on value creation, customer satisfaction and not cost savings. Jamie asked a great question. Wondering how smaller businesses will handle this. Walmart has the resources, but small and diverse owned companies will not have the boots on ground and probably have a few less options, of course. And then finally Steve says, “In my experience, the majority of suppliers in China have two or three company names, so that just complicates matters. I would usually address that during my strategic category management review as political risk. And based on the criticality of the item or commodity, I would dual source from a less risky supplier or country.” Man, there’s – Kelly – Dino, there’s a ton of expertise in the Sky boxes here today. So, I’ll keep that coming. Any – you want to address any of those comments, whether it’s small business, some things that Steve suggested? Any comments there, Kelly?

Kelly Barner (00:44:08):

You know, I think the thing that I want to address – actually, Scott, I think you’ve made kind of the point of the day, that there was a time when we talked about conflict minerals all the time. That was the concern. And to Constantine’s points around, yes, we have this law, we know what is required. The penalties and the details around enforcement are a lot less clear. So, one of the things that many companies are dealing with on an individual basis is sort of this challenge to prove that whether it’s ESG or supplier diversity, or just plain sustainability, that it’s not a box check. It’s not a fluffy sort of PR initiative, that there’s some teeth and some meat and some real work, right. So, I think we are going to find out, I would imagine, in relatively short order, if this is going to be an actively enforced law, or if this is about, is this a federal box check?

Kelly Barner (00:45:04):

Is this about having something on the books in case there’s a clearly egregious case of violation that it says in writing, “You can’t do this,” or it spells out where the burden of proof is. I think it’s going to be incredibly interesting to see just how, you know, any strategy has to be operational. Is this law operational as written? What does the interpretation look like? Once again, you know, maybe that’s the bad news. The good news is, it’s yet another reminder of how exciting and high stakes and important it is to have really high skilled supply chain professionals.

Constantine Limberakis (00:45:40):

Yeah. Yeah. I think – I don’t think in the big picture that this is going to go away, right? This is not just like it’s a trend. And I think this is part of that wider thing that’s been evolving, whether we call the corporate social responsibility back in the day or we call it ESG today. I mean, like I said before, you turn on CNBC and you hear the word ESG all the time. And it’s like, guys, this is – it’s becoming something. It’s not just the fringe of any more of people saying, “Well, this is something that we want to do as part of our corporate – you know, our corporate idea or who we want to be.” It’s become the mainstream and that everyone – you’re under the scrutiny of everybody and anything when things happen. And so, to your point, Kelly, I think taking action on this is an ability whether it’s enforced or not. It’s an ability for you to audit your own business and be able to know in what’s going on, how it’s going on and having the right tools in place and procedures in place is going to help you make sure that you’re doing this better, particularly if we’re going to see other types of laws happen.

Constantine Limberakis (00:46:40):

And in fact, in that supply chain laws guide, we just – we put a litany of all the ones that are out there. And those are just the ones that we’ve seen more important. I mean, there’s even – like you go to places like Norway. There’s a Norway law that’s going on. I mean, any place you’re going to do business, this is going to be front and center and you got to understand the nuances.

Scott Luton (00:46:58):

And we’re going to talk about that resource that Dino just mentioned in just a minute. But Kelly, maybe before we start talking action, I know we were chatting about the due diligence clause in the act. What –

Kelly Barner (00:47:13):

Yes. So, this is the steps that are required to prove that you’re abiding by it. And so, Constantine, I guess what I would ask you clearly, supply chain risk is not work that’s ever done. You know, to what extent would most mature preexisting supply chain, risk management programs catch something like this? And to what extent, and maybe how frequently do companies need to be revisiting, where they’re looking, what data sources they’re pulling in, how they’re approaching decision making. Is this something that would naturally fold in if you had a mature program or is this something where you need to very deliberately say, “We need additional provisions and effort and attention paid to remain compliant with this new law”?

Constantine Limberakis (00:47:56):

Yeah. I think you’ll have to take a look at how you’ve looked in the past at managing these laws and how you’ve tried to address them and then understand what additional information you think you might need. Now, something like this, because it’s kind of under the covers a little bit, it’s not going to be something front and center that even maybe a supplier or a sub tier might be admitting, right? So you’re going to almost have to be more investigatory and being able to have these additional resources to be able to monitor that or know what’s going on. And so, I think it definitely is a maturity question of how you’ve managed these things before. But I think for the most part, every company or a lot of companies we’ve talked to are always looking to do it better. I don’t think anybody’s perfectly solved it because it sometimes requires a number of different solutions, if you want to call it, to be able to manage.

Constantine Limberakis (00:48:43):

In some cases, it’s your contracts. In some cases, it’s your procurement. In other cases, it’s – what’s your representation that you have in places like D.C., in terms of these discussions and industry groups where you’re trying to play or play a pivotal role in discussing how the industry manages this. As we had talked about earlier, Kelly, I mean, earlier this year, we had a company that came to our – us and said, “Hey, we’re a very large semiconductor manufacturer. This has become very important to us. And we know another competitor tried doing this and they got in trouble or they had a challenge because their suppliers pushed back in China and said, you know, we had to apologize for whatever we wanted to do.” So, there’s these – again, it’s very challenging and it’s not an easy answer, but it comes down to how you’re trying to manage that, what you’ve done in the past and how you think that a solution could help you improve on that. But there’s – I don’t think there’s one way to solve this problem.

Scott Luton (00:49:47):

Great. So much great perspective in this conversation, Dino. I wish we had another more time. And I want to point out two additional comments. And I’m sorry, we couldn’t get everybody’s comments here today as we kind of come down the homestretch. But Jamie, excellent question. Could this type of need for transparency be the push for blockchain that the pandemic was for video conferencing? What a great question there.

Kelly Barner (00:50:09):

Interesting.

Scott Luton (00:50:10):

And Eric – you know, Eric has been very active part of the conversation today. He’s excited this conversation is happening, he says. Having served in US Navy for 20 years. Thank you, Eric. I’ve seen forced labor in multiple countries. Seeing that has impacted me personally. I bet. So, Eric, we’ll have to say, we’ll have to bring you back for a deeper conversation. I really appreciate your passion here today. Okay. So, as smart people always do, they kind of boil down the path forward into simple steps, right? Simple steps. Let’s take bites of the elephant. And Dino, my guess is, you’ve got a couple of suggested first step or two as folks want to take action about these challenges that we’ve been chatting through today, right? So, what’s – what would you say? Reasonable first step for companies to take, if they’re not sure this regulation affects them or their suppliers.

Constantine Limberakis (00:51:07):

Yeah. I think the first thing they need to do is get a good assessment of what they think or what they have acknowledged is happening in China. Like what percentage of their supply base, how much work is being done there. And then being able, just to assess how they’re currently monitoring for any information that they’re getting on those suppliers today, because that could become a challenge because of the filtering. I mean, even trying to use technologies like Google. Google Maps, for instance, in China, they don’t work, right. So, getting an assessment of knowing how transparent is that supply chain today, specifically for this law. And then being able to assess, okay, well, how do we want to then – what next steps do we want to take? What type of monitoring do we want to do on our suppliers? What kind of assessments do we want to put together to get that information firsthand from our suppliers? And then be able to bring that information together to say, “Okay, what percentage of our supply chains are going to be impacted by this, whether it’s based on category or whether it’s based on a business unit product that we have that goes into the manufacturing.”

Constantine Limberakis (00:51:55):

I think those are some of the keyways, but it all goes down to the collaboration of how you’re currently managing other aspects of similar laws. But knowing particularly because of China being a very high impact for many companies doing business there, that would be an approach to take. And then understanding what kind of technologies you have already, or how you want to implement those and bring those into the fold of what you already may have within a supplier management system or supplier information management tool, like across the source to pay or supply chain tool. Those are things I would start taking a look at to see how easy is it to bring that information in, to make sure you have this holistic view and where this might be one piece out of many that you’re tracking for a particular supplier.

Scott Luton (00:52:57):

So, I really appreciate that. That is actual advice that folks can take, whether they ever have a conversation with you or not. And that’s very valuable, but there’s also, we’ve got a great resource that you referenced earlier that we’ll make sure folks are aware of, it is supply chain laws you should know and it’s a downloadable resource from our friends at riskmethods. And we’re going to drop the link in the chat. So, folks can check that out. Briefly describe this and any other resources you might point people in the direction of.

Constantine Limberakis (00:53:32):

Yeah. I mean, I think this is kind of a byproduct of the demand of what came out of a lot of the asks that our customers have had or just the conversations that we’ve had and, you know, governments and regulators in many countries are, again, stepping up the scrutiny of these supply chain laws. And so, what we decided to do is, put together a kind of a collection, if you will, of the best of going back to 2014 of all these different types of laws, what they are and how you should look at them. And we’re not subscribing to say that we’re a compliance company. We’re not a legal entity. We don’t promote the certification of the laws. But what we do do is, help increase the awareness of how you should be tracking this and understand the management of these as part of your wider supply chain risk process or even ESG or compliance.

Constantine Limberakis (00:54:21):

And so, we put these together to provide brief descriptions so that our prospects and customers can get more familiar with these terms, particularly if they’re going to be going out to new regions and understanding what the legal aspects are. And so, again, we’ve looked at laws that are anything from the California Transparency Supply Chain Act. If you believe it, that happened in 2014, all the way up to this new act that, you know, with the Uyghur and the Norwegian Transparency Act we talked about before and everything in between, primarily in the UK, the EU and the US. So, those are the regions that we looked at the most that would be impacting our audience. And it’s a good 11-page read, not necessarily the lightest reading, but it’s good as a reference, I will say, unless you really like this kind of stuff. It’s a good reference to get back to.

Scott Luton (00:55:09):

So, it’s not for the faint of heart is what you’re saying. You know what, global supply chain is not for the faint of heart, right?

Kelly Barner (00:55:14):

No.

Constantine Limberakis (00:55:15):

Yes, for sure.

Scott Luton (00:55:16):

You got to lean into these things. And this is a extremely challenging, one of many aspects of doing business in 2022, but the good news – and there’s always good news if you go looking for it. The good news is, supply chain leaders and practitioners and organizations, there is demand to tackle this and to not allow industry as a growing demand, to not allow industry to, unfortunately, help fuel it, but to help combat it. And, you know, Kelly, that’s a big part of our partnership with Hope for Justice. And I love the role. One of many that Constantine and his team have in arming folks with the information and data they need to make better decisions that help fuel this Renaissance that’s taking place that, hopefully, is going to change global industry for the better. So – but Kelly, before we say adieu, we got to make sure folks connect with Constantine.

Kelly Barner (00:56:08):

Absolutely.

Scott Luton (00:56:10):

But what’s your – give you kind of the final pre word for – before your final word. So, your thoughts.

Kelly Barner (00:56:19):

So, actually, Scott, I keep thinking about Maryna Trepova. We spoke to her. She’s a procurement professional from Ukraine, Constantine. She just recently got herself out of Kyiv. And right near the end of our conversation, she said something about, sometimes procurement people feel small and they think that they’re small and therefore, there’s not much they can do. And if there’s anything that I heard over and over again in this last hour, it’s that, we may be small, but we are mighty and there’s a lot that we need to do. So, the opportunity is massive.

Scott Luton (00:56:49):

Okay. Well said. And as we also mentioned in that brilliant conversation with the – with a intrepid, brilliant, extraordinary, brave individual that Maryna Trepova is, you know, small nudges is how we work collectively together to move mountains. And, you know – but you got to have the data, you got to have the information, right. And you got to have the purpose leadership, deliberate purpose. So, Constantine, man, you’re better than advertised. There’s a reason to demand and the market is there, really. You know, these are complicated issues and I appreciate you and Kelly, how y’all been able to take the last hour and talk about them in a way that anyone, almost regardless of their experience, can start to better comprehend and be poised to take action because that’s what it’s all about. How can folks connect with you and the riskmethods team?

Constantine Limberakis (00:57:45):

Many different ways. I think the easiest way is just to go to riskmethods.net, take a look at the information that we have. We’re doing tons of stuff with regard to the Ukraine crisis and the war there. We have other information about our products. So, just visit us there and see where that guides you. A lot of the different resources that we just brought up can give you just information. If you’re just looking to learn more about this industry and understand what risk monitoring is, for instance, that would be the best way to do that. So, I appreciate – and then if you guys want to reach out to us directly, that would be fantastic. But yeah, those are great places to go.

Scott Luton (00:58:19):

Awesome. Constantine, Dino, Limberakis, I really enjoyed all your perspective today. Folks, we’ve got the link. We’d encourage you to connect with them, but we’ve got the link to that resource supply chain laws you should know in the comments, easy to download. Constantine, thank you so much. And we hope to have you back here on Dial P for Procurement on Supply Chain Now again very, very soon.

Constantine Limberakis (00:58:43):

Thank you for having me.

Kelly Barner (00:58:45):

Thanks, Constantine.

Scott Luton (00:58:46):

All right. See you soon. All right. What – always a pleasure. Always a pleasure. Love Constantine’s passion, his intellect, been there, done that, his ability to have a conversation, you know, an agnostic conversation about industry, willing to help beyond what riskmethods does. Of course, riskmethods, quite a powerful organization in its own, right. But Kelly, you’re our procurement guru here. What’s been some of your key takeaways from what Dino said here?

Kelly Barner (00:59:18):

I mean, whenever you see something that you do for a living, show up in the news, it’s a good idea to take notice. But for me personally, I guess I welcome the tough conversations. This is not an easy thing to talk about. We mentioned it’s not an easy thing to talk about with suppliers. And yet, every time something is hard to discuss, it means that there’s really an opportunity to do something important. And as we see with the way this law is structured, not taking these steps and not having these conversations actually makes you and your organization culpable. So, I love that we get to have this kind of conversation on Dial P and we have these tough conversations on Supply Chain Now. I think it’s important because as many of the folks in the audience mentioned today, this is something that needs to be talked about, but you’re not necessarily hearing from it everywhere. So, I’m glad to be one place people can go for straight information on a hard topic. And I think Constantine’s an excellent person to, to help us get the basics, figure out how to take action, right. Better understand the overall situation. I learned a ton this hour. So, this was great.

Scott Luton (01:00:25):

Yeah. Agreed, agreed. As Clay shared, great show, love the insights, eye-opening. I agree in a very real manner there. And then Peter says, “Clay, don’t be such a suck up.” So, I love that, Peter and Clay. I love y’all both. But, you know, as we start to wrap, and we’ll wrap here in a minute, folks, make sure you connect with Constantine and riskmethods. Download the resources. Hey, they’re free. And you’ll be more informed and more empowered to take action. And as someone brilliant in the comment said, at some point, informed professionals make informed decisions, such as –

Kelly Barner (01:01:02):

Yes.

Scott Luton (01:01:03):

It’s so simple, but it’s so true. But, you know, we were talking about how difficult this conversation is to have as wrap here, Kelly. And it is. It is, right, especially live in front of all of our friends across social media. But imagine how difficult it is to flee your country and – with your family and work in a whole new city, a whole new country, a whole new people, a whole new community and be able to compartmentalize that and still do your job, do your work and make an impact. That is the – if – I’m not sure what the definition of bravery is, but that’s got to be right there amongst them. So, y’all – I think the team dropped in the episode where Kelly and I sit down with Maryna.

Kelly Barner (01:01:43:):

Yes, please watch that.

Scott Luton (01:01:44):

Yeah. It will – it is eye-opening as well. So, y’all check that out. Kelly, a pleasure to have this conversation with you. We love Dino around here. Love his perspective and hey, a little side note. If you want to have a real fun conversation with Dino, talk wine with him. Remember that conversation last time, we talked about the wine supply chain.

Kelly Barner (01:02:03:):

Yes.

Scott Luton (01:02:04):

It was so fun. But Kelly, always a pleasure. How can folks connect with you?

Kelly Barner (01:02:08):

LinkedIn is the best way. And of course, if you enjoyed this, subscribe to Dial P. There’s a new episode every single Thursday,

Scott Luton (01:02:14):

Awesome. Folks, make sure you connect with Dino and the riskmethods team. But whatever you do, whatever you do, there’s so many different things you can do here. You got to take action. You got to be like Kelly and Dino and certainly, Maryna Trepova. You got to do good. You got to give forward and you got to be the change that’s needed. Deeds, not words. With that, we’ll see you next time right back here on Dial P, on Supply Chain Now. Thanks, everybody.

Intro/Outro (01:02:37):

Thank you for joining us for this episode of Dial P for Procurement. And for being an active part of the Supply Chain Now community. Please check out all of our shows and events at supplychainnow.com. Make sure you follow Dial P for Procurement on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to catch all the latest programming details. We’ll see you soon for the next episode of Dial P for Procurement.

 

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Featured Guests

Constantine Limberakis is the Senior Director of Product & Solution Marketing at riskmethods. As a thought leader with over twenty years of experience, Constantine has held a variety of strategic roles in product marketing, product development, and market research within procurement and supply management. Today, based on its unique combination of AI-powered technology and industry experts, Constantine evangelizes the benefits of The riskmethods Solution™ for achieving best-in-class supply chain risk management to leading enterprises globally. Connect with Constantine on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Kelly Barner

Host, Dial P for Procurement

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more.  In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

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

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Vicki White

Controller

Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.

From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.

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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.

She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.

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Greg White

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise

When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.

Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.

Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.

With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

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.

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Jeff Miller

Host

Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business.  Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM.  When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.

An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.

A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.

A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning.  He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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

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Ben Harris

Host

Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.

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