Supply Chain Now
Episode 1258

One of the things we're really focused on as our anchor is helping customers shop when they want, where they want, and how they want. And to do that requires mass transformation and innovation.

-Jennifer McKeehan

Episode Summary

In today’s dynamic consumer landscape, it is essential for businesses to continually adapt and stay ahead of the curve to meet evolving customer demands.

In this episode of Supply Chain Now, sponsored by Microsoft, we welcome back Jennifer McKeehan – an industry leader spearheading groundbreaking innovation in retail supply chain transformation.

With her extensive experience at Peloton and The Home Depot, McKeehan now serves as Senior Vice President of End-to-End Delivery at Walmart, a role where she’s instrumental in shaping the future of retail.

Shining a spotlight on the company’s extensive network of 4,600 US outlets, with 90% of the US population living within 10 miles of a Walmart store, McKeehan discusses several key supply chain initiatives helping to keep the organization at the forefront of the national retail market.

From recently completing it’s 30,000th drone delivery to investing billions of dollars in automation to boost both the customer and employee experience, McKeehan highlights exactly how the company is pursuing mass transformation to order to help customers shop when they want, where they want and how they want.

Tune in as McKeehan shares her own experience and advice on breaking into the senior leadership ranks of a global company, as well :

· Sharing tips for building a team that wins day in and day out.

· Highlighting the value that diverse team environments can bring to the table.

· Outlining the key trends that will define global supply chain in 2024.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

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

Scott Luton (00:32):

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

Kevin L. Jackson (00:41):

Hey, it’s hump day. I don’t know what it is where you are, but I’m ready to go on the backend slide.

Scott Luton (00:49):

You always have a good day, Kevin. I appreciate you, man. Well, hey, folks, wonderful show here today. We’re going to be diving into the world of retail supply chain and speaking with a true dynamo. I’ll tell you what, we’re going to be taking on a variety of topics from the importance of diversity, to key topics defining global supply chain this year, to the ever evolving and powerful role of technology and industry today, and the human factor, of course. But stay tuned for an informative, enlightening, and entertaining conversation. Kevin, this should be good one, huh?

Kevin L. Jackson (01:18):

Oh, no. I’m looking forward to learning. I mean, you think about Walmart and all of the products and services they provide, their supply chain must be something else.

Scott Luton (01:31):

It is. And it’s led by incredible people as well and contributors all along the way across the whole ecosystem, we’ll probably touch on that here today. So, today’s episode is presented in partnership with our friends at Microsoft who’s doing some pretty cool things in the industry as well, helping us all to move forward successfully. More on that a bit later. But as I said, let’s introduce our repeat, our featured, our rock and roll guest here today. Our guest is a global operations and supply chain executive with more than 15 years of experience across retail and e-commerce channels. Before coming to Walmart, she served as senior vice-president and global head of supply chain for Peloton. Prior to that, our guest served as vice-president of supply chain for the Home Depot. She’s gotten recognition awards for her work from across industry, including being featured on Atlanta Business Journals and Georgia Tech’s 40 Under 40. How about that? From a personal standpoint, our guest enjoys giving forward and demonstrates that passion by serving a variety of charitable causes, including missions such as the Children’s Healthcare Hospital of Atlanta. We’re pleased to welcome a repeat guest and friend of the show, Jennifer McKeehan, Senior Vice-President End-to-End Delivery at Walmart. Jen, how you doing?

Jennifer McKeehan (02:38):

Good morning, guys. It’s good to see you.

Scott Luton (02:40):

You as well. Kevin, we’ve been talking about this thing for weeks, haven’t we?

Kevin L. Jackson (02:43):

Oh, no. Absolutely. I learned so much. Especially your background, Jen, is just amazing. I mean, no wonder they scooped you up there at Walmart.

Scott Luton (02:55):

And that’s one of my favorite parts. You’re traveling, spending time out in the markets with associates everywhere. And we’ll touch on that in a minute, Jen, but welcome back. And we’re going to start with a little fun warm-up question. So, I think this is your third or fourth appearance here. I’ve learned tons, 18 pages of notes with just about every appearance. But what we haven’t spoken about is you and your family have a bit of a Georgia Tech football tradition. And usually in my visits there, they always include the stop at The Varsity, a restaurant that dates back forever. So, Jen, I’m going to put you on the spot, what does your family’s order look like at The Varsity?

Jennifer McKeehan (03:31):

Well, you can’t go to The Varsity and not get hot dogs. They serve hamburgers. And my kids barely eat the hot dogs. They get the Orange Frosty.

Scott Luton (03:39):

Yes. Yes.

Jennifer McKeehan (03:41):

A little bit of food and a whole lot of sugar on the way to the football game is the way we start the day.

Scott Luton (03:45):

Well, they get to burn it off throughout the day and that’s such a great tradition. And now, for me, it’s the Yellow Dog always with slaw, sometimes it’s relish, and always the onion rings versus the French fries for me and my kids at The Varsity. Kevin, how about you?

Kevin L. Jackson (03:59):

Oh, no. I always get mustard ketchup with a lot of relish.

Scott Luton (04:06):

You can’t put ketchup on a hot dog.

Kevin L. Jackson (04:09):

Oh, man. You know, you got to have the ketchup, man. You got to have your ketchup.

Scott Luton (04:13):

All right. We’ll have that debate later. We’re all big fans of The Varsity clearly, so we’ll have to meet there and do a show there one time. I bet they’ve got an incredible operation and supply chain behind it. All right. So, last time, Jen, or just a minute ago, we were talking about your visits out in the market, out in the field. You mentioned last time that “the magic takes place in the stores.” We love that. It’s still one of my favorite T-shirt-isms from last year. Because you were sharing that you really valued your time that you’re able to spend with those remarkable associates out in the stores. One of our favorite moments. So, comment on that if you would, and then roll right into telling us about your current role at Walmart.

Jennifer McKeehan (04:48):

Absolutely. And I think particularly at Walmart, there’s 4,600 stores within 10 miles, 90 percent of America, everywhere. When we’re on family vacation, we stop at the store and try to find a driver out backs. But I think from my roots as an intern at Home Depot to just the amazing culture Walmart has built, the magic is in the stores or just in the frontline associates taking care of the folks that take care of the customer and the rest will solve itself. And here at Walmart, the ways we get to do that, our team has the opportunity to lead anything of how we move product from the supplier or the seller all the way to the customer’s doorstep. So, we call it Port to Porch, connecting our suppliers and sellers all over the world through the supply chain, through stores, and to a customer’s doorstep, and all the pieces and parts in between. So, we call it anything that moves, water, wheels, and wings over here.

Kevin L. Jackson (05:43):

Wow.

Scott Luton (05:43):

I love it.

Jennifer McKeehan (05:44):

I know the wings are a fun add. We like talking about the drones, so we’ll talk about that later today.

Scott Luton (05:49):

We will. Let’s talk about all of it. I love that Port to Porch. Kevin, I want to go back though and ask you about what she started on the frontend, you’re taking care of the team members that take care of the customers. What a wonderful management philosophy to embrace. Kevin, your thoughts?

Kevin L. Jackson (06:05):

Well, the thing that really popped into my mind is my dependence on Walmart. I’m sorry, but I do a lot of travel as a businessman.

 

Jennifer McKeehan (06:15):

[Inaudible].

 

Kevin L. Jackson (06:19):

Well, I do a lot of travel as a businessman, right? Pack up your bag, make sure you don’t have to check anything, so you put it in the overhead. Sometimes it gets pretty tight. I remember one trip down in Florida and I was ready to go to a meeting. I’ve all suited up, ready to go put my pants on, and didn’t have a belt. My pants is falling off me. And I said, “Oh, no. I can’t go to this meeting like this. Walmart.” It saved me. That’s what it is. I mean, if you need something, there’s always a Walmart nearby that you can go and get whatever you need easily, quickly. So, dependence on the Walmart, maybe that’s a disease or something, but it’s okay with me.

Scott Luton (07:08):

And, Jen, to your point and to Kevin’s point, did you say 4,600 stores? What was that statistic you shared?

Jennifer McKeehan (07:13):

4,600 stores within 10 miles of 90 percent of the population.

Scott Luton (07:19):

To Kevin’s points, they’re always there. And I’ll tell you, a big fan. It’s interesting, Jen, we talked about this I think last time you joined us as a student of retail and leadership, and of course, we’re all consumers. It’s been fascinating to see Walmart continue to evolve both from an in-store experience and from an e-commerce experience, so kudos. And I love watching your travels as you spend time out there with associates across the globe, really. I can only imagine what your whiteboard may look like. All the initiatives that I’m sure you’re leading, you’re part of as that evolution continues, right? So, if you could, when you think of the last year or so, what are some of the thoughts that come to your mind in terms of those initiatives and your biggest wins that you’re most proud of?

Jennifer McKeehan (08:01):

Sure. Well, Kevin, I love your story about last minute. That actually happened to me last week on the road. I was going to go to a site that I didn’t plan on, and so I ordered some jeans and a sweater Walmart Express, and it was at the hotel in 45 minutes. I was like, boom, I didn’t know I was on the team and still executed it flawlessly, and I was like, “This is awesome.”

Kevin L. Jackson (08:23):

I did good. I did good.

Jennifer McKeehan (08:28):

The hotel staff was like, “What is happening in the parking lot?” That’s life. But, Scott, back to your question, I think there’s so many amazing things happening at Walmart, whether it’s in delivery and transportation or just the entire end-to-end enterprise. And so, I think one of the things that we’re really focused on as our anchor is helping customers shop when they want, where they want, and how they want. And to do that requires just mass transformation and innovation. And we’re seeing that in both the physical space of how we move and operate our supply chain as well as the digital space in terms of technology or how we communicate with customers.

 

Jennifer McKeehan (09:04:

And so, in the physical space, we’re investing billions of dollars in automation. And that helps us not only create capacity, speed, accuracy for our customers, but what we also love about it is it’s creating great jobs and opportunities for our associates. And so, now we have automation happening in some of our ambient DCs. We’ve all unloaded a truck where you’ve got the cart and stacked floor to door. Now, we’re having a product come out that’s palletized that can go straight to the aisle that it’s intended to go to. Not only is that faster and creates capacity, but from an associate experience and a customer experience, it’s awesome and we’re getting product to the floor faster.

Kevin L. Jackson (09:46):

That’s amazing.

Jennifer McKeehan (09:47):

And there’s examples like that everywhere. Our automated pickup and delivery, they’re 25,000 or 35,000 square feet, we’ve put them in the back of stores. And so, think of it like a micro fulfillment center that we can create faster order delivery for customers on the broad assortment of what Walmart can provide within an hour or two hours at your doorsteps. You’re not waiting for someone to put it on a truck and ship it to you. And so, there’s just a lot happening in the physical space.

 

Jennifer McKeehan (10:15):

In the digital space, obviously AI is a really hot topic, and Walmart has been at the forefront of how we think about using that to touch our customers, to help our associates, and to drive better decision-making in our supply chain. And so, we see that everywhere from how we’re predicting demand of what customers are going to be in what store by what hour, so we can make sure we put the right associates on the floor to support them. Or routing and batching, we’re moving a lot of packages around a lot of places and making sure that we’re doing that, that creates speed and accuracy for the customer. So, just really fun, endless – and then, don’t forget the drones.

Kevin L. Jackson (10:51):

Don’t forget the drones.

Jennifer McKeehan (10:54):

I think when we had talked last, we had a few thousand deliveries. It was kind of on the front side of that. We just completed our 30th thousandth delivery, and announced this spring that we’ll be in 75 percent of the Dallas-Fort Worth area by the end of the year, and so super exciting. You think I need something, and 20 minutes later, it’s literally dropped on your doorstep. That’s game changing. And so, we’re really, really excited about what that looks like.

Scott Luton (11:18):

I got to put my socks back on because you’ve just blown them off with all that you’ve shared. Seriously, you just shared a podcast series in your last response. I’m trying to figure out my best part. And while I figure that out, Kevin, my hunch is maybe the AI and the drones piece of Jen’s response there, Kevin, might be your favorite out of all those initiatives and those wins that she just walked through. And there’s plenty more I’m sure that we can’t get to here today. Your favorite part of that, Kevin?

Kevin L. Jackson (11:44):

Well, when I hear all the initiatives, the thing that jumped in my mind is the data connectivity that you have to have in order to even make that work. I mean, think about it. You have to know your customer, where they live, if they’re home, you got to know their address, you got to understand if there’s any wires that the drone may need to fly over or fly under in order to get to the porch, does the porch have a roof over it. I mean, how do you actually collect all that data and turn it into information that you can leverage to meet the customer’s expectation? And that is amazing. It really is. And it highlights the value that Walmart must place on automation and leading edge technology and, dare I say, digital transformation.

Scott Luton (12:38):

Yes. Kevin, well said. And, Jen, I’m not sure if we shared this pre-show, but Kevin is a former naval aviator, so air clearance and 30,000 drones, I mean Kevin’s thinking about this as a technologist, as an aviator, as a business leader, so love that. Thirty thousand drone deliveries, that’s fascinating to see how fast that has come and how it continues to evolve. Clearly, DFW, Dallas-Fort Worth, is going to be a continued important proving ground as that continues to expand.

 

Scott Luton (13:05):

But I got to go back, out of all that stuff you shared, I got to tell you, I got to double down on what I shared earlier, your and Walmart’s continued focus on both the customer, but also the associates, is so important. And you can hear some of those elements that Jen just walked through, how it makes associates, because employees, associates, team members, they want to succeed. And if we can make it easier for them to succeed, make it safer for them to succeed, man, mountains will move and the heights we’ll go to. It’s palpable. Every time we interview you, Jen, it’s something that I think a lot of folks want to be associated with, so love it, Jen. I can’t wait to get our next update. It’ll be tough to top the one here. Jen, just to put a fine point on this, out of all of that you shared, what’s the one thing that you find yourself talking most about with your family and your friends and what have you?

Jennifer McKeehan (13:55):

There’s a lot of good stories, but I would say one of the things just in terms of that we’re really excited about, and drones are certainly a piece of it, but it’s giving customers so many options to shop how they want. BCG said that, I think, it was in 2017, 17 percent of sales are e-comm. And in 2027, ten years later, 47 percent of sales, of retail sales will come from [inaudible].

Kevin L. Jackson (14:20):

Wow. Huge change.

Jennifer McKeehan (14:21):

And if you think about the landscape today, over half of Walmart’s digital orders stem from the stores. So, we think of stores as a competitive heart of our supply chain and leveraging them to serve customers differently. And so, we have drones, that’s certainly a piece of it, but now we have 6:00 a.m. delivery. I mean, you think about the mom, me, who forgot school lunch, like drop off those fruit snacks and the Capri-Sun. So, early delivery, late delivery, express delivery, we’re just adding and we’re doing that from listening to the customer. What do you want? What do you prefer? Here at my house, we use in-home and they will bring groceries into your house. And so, a Walmart associate walks in the door, and I come home from a week of travel, and the milk is refreshed for Saturday and I’ve got vegetables in the drawer so I can feel like I’m trying to be healthy. There’s so many things that Walmart is sort of stacking on top of each other. And when you just think about what that looks like to help people save money and live better, I go to sleep with a good heart, so it’s really exciting.

Kevin L. Jackson (15:29):

All that sounds really great. But the other thing to sort of highlight is you were talking about how your e-commerce is growing and then you juxtapose that against the value of brick and mortar, having an actual physical store. And it’s the blend that enables Walmart to satisfy their customers no matter where they are, no matter what they need. They talk about brick and mortar going away, but that’s not exactly true. It’s really important to have both the virtual and the online and to have that married with the physical because both are needed, I guess, all the time. Do you see that, Jen?

Jennifer McKeehan (16:12):

Yeah. Kevin, I love how you said that. We talk a lot about don’t let the customers see your org chart. And rarely anymore do we talk about just stores or supply chain. And what I think has been transformational for Walmart is we talk about it as end-to-end however we’re servicing the customer. And so, stores is supply chain, logistics, and transportation, we’re all under the same umbrella because it’s really thinking about how do we use all of our assets in a multi-capability capacity, not just I assume a customer walks into a store or I assume I ship them their e-comm order. And that has been just the accelerator of servicing customers in a different way because we don’t think of them as brick and mortar e-comm. We just think of them as Walmart, the omnichannel retailer. And we operate like that internally. It’s not just, “Hey, pin it together for the customer.” That’s how we partner as teams. We think about that in an end-to-end way. And that has led us to some really, I think, different supply chain decision. For the supply chain nerds out there like me, that’s led us to do different things because the trade-offs are more holistic.

Kevin L. Jackson (17:17):

Meet the customer where they are, right?

Jennifer McKeehan (17:19):

That’s right. That’s right. Or maybe you send the truck not all the way full, because if you get it there at the right time for the stores, the productivity that helps them with is better than the expense on the truck. And so, that connectivity that we’re making really good end-to-end decisions that then is unlocking cost and value back to the customer.

Kevin L. Jackson (17:40):

That’s using data to create information so you can make the right decisions. That’s powerful.

Scott Luton (17:46):

Yes. The right decisions faster and more confidently in real time, almost. I mean, that’s where we are as an industry. Jen and Kevin, good stuff. We could take a deep dive, but Jen’s got limited time. I’m going to kind of pivot to this next segment of our conversation where we kind of get some leadership perspective from Jen here. So, we’re recording this session during Women’s History Month here at the tail end, but the way we look at it, we celebrate that every month women are creating history across global business. Kevin, you and I have talked about that time and time again. So, Jen, in your view, how is diversity critically important in general, especially in what a lot of folks call this male dominated global supply chain industry, your thoughts there?

Jennifer McKeehan (18:24):

Yeah. Well, we’re trying to make it a little less male dominated. One person at a time. I think we’ll make progress. I would say, and we talk about this a lot, just diversity is important in all sorts of lenses, whether that’s race or gender or just, honestly, experience and background. And so, I think particularly in supply chain, supply chain is such a fast moving evolution. What made you successful ten years ago or made you a subject matter expert ten years ago is so different today. And so, finding ways to tap into that diversity of thought and diversity of experience has been really important focus for Walmart, for my team, and I think in general for the industry. Walmart has around 36 percent of their global officers are women, which is up 5 percent in the last two years. And so, you see at Walmart really intentionality on adding diversity at all levels of the organization because when people can see someone operating, you can see yourself doing that, so I think that has been really important.

 

Jennifer McKeehan (19:23):

But I also think just creating a diverse team environment, whether you’re a white male, that is just as important of embracing the diversity as it might be a person of color or a woman. Because our team sort of has a theme of better together because it’s the diversity of thought of approach of solutioning that when we bring all that together, we always end up with a better answer. And so, I think that’s really where the value comes of how are you being inclusive in that diversity of people, experience, and thought so that you get to a better answer together. And I think we have seen that come to light in my team this year. Just in my leadership team, we went from 50 percent to 100 percent diverse leaders in the last 12 months. And I’m telling you, that’s adding value to the business. I see it in the numbers. And so, that, I think is the real value.

Scott Luton (20:16):

Jen, I loved your answer. I’m going to get Kevin to weigh in a second. I want to just add to it, there’s study after study, folks, and a lot of our audience will know because we talk about it a lot, where the data shows and supports the points you’re making. It brings value to the top line, the bottom line, and all points in between. Kevin, I know you’re itching to kind of weigh in here on what Jen shared about diversity.

Kevin L. Jackson (20:36):

She said it really in many, many different ways, but the breadth of your diversity drives the breadth of your innovation and that’s really what you need in today’s world.

Scott Luton (20:46):

Well said. Okay. I’m going to have 36 pages of notes here today, Jen and Kevin.

Jennifer McKeehan (20:51):

I’m going to interview Kevin next.

Scott Luton (20:56):

So, Jen, this next question is kind of based on your last answer. I’m going to tweak this a little bit because it seems based on the great changes that Walmart is making out in industry, and as you said, it’s one person at a time, as we get more allies out there that are willing to help us make more change. But still, timelessly, it’s tough to break into the senior ranks of leadership in a global company. Can you speak to that challenge and can you also give a piece of advice or offer some encouragement to other listeners out there or viewers out there that are trying to do the exact same thing that you’ve done, Jen?

Jennifer McKeehan (21:28):

Sure. I would say, one, I’m lucky that Walmart has a culture of belonging. And we talk a lot about that and I think live a lot of that. And you see that regardless of the group, the title, the level you’re in. And so, I do think Walmart is a special place that makes it easier than most. That being said, it’s still not easy. It’s not easy breaking into the senior ranks of a very tenured company and being the new kid. And like Walmart, you’re the new kid for the first five, ten years. Until I got my ten year badge, I will not feel like I’ve earned my first stripe. You’re doing that as a woman.

 

Jennifer McKeehan (22:00):

And I don’t want to sugarcoat it to also say that it’s easy. But I will say I had so many people reach out to be welcoming and warm and like, “Hey, how can we help?” And I think the key of what helped me assimilate was leveraging those folks that offered to help, creating relationships, understanding that it wasn’t going to feel easy. But putting in the work and the time to create the relationships, you’ve got to earn that trust, that confidence, that credibility when you’re the new person in the room and that’s fair. Hey, what got you here won’t get you there. And so, I think understanding how to do that in a culture friendly way to whatever organization you’re in was really key for me.

 

Jennifer McKeehan (22:43):

And, also, understanding, we always talk about the first 90 days, your goal is to listen, to learn. But I think really doing that, and that means sometimes you got to feel like you’re sitting on your hands. I mean, it’s so exciting to be there. You’re like, “I can’t believe I’m here. Pinch me. I’m going to change the world.” You will. You will. But you also have to make sure that you have the trust, credibility, and confidence of your peers and your team before you try to go accelerate some of that world on fire energy that you got in your belly. And so, I think it’s just finding the rhythm.

Scott Luton (23:15):

Oh, okay. Kevin, your thoughts first on that leadership advice and career progression advice that Jen just shared.

Kevin L. Jackson (23:21):

Yeah. Leadership is all about doing it together, and I think that’s something that Jen really brought up. I mean, you come into a new environment and you have to really understand culture. Culture is critical when it comes to collaboration and, more important, in communication. You have to know how people are exchanging information or giving information, but how they receive information, and that’s part of the culture. And sometimes that takes a little bit of learning. I can appreciate you sitting on the hand saying, “I have all these great ideas. I want to make all these.” Don’t discount the history, the knowledge of others because that’ll enhance the impact of your great idea.

Scott Luton (24:07):

Well said. Okay. Just I want to add two quick things. Both of y’all referenced culture and, Jen, you talked about building the trust, confidence, and credibility with your peers. I would add to that the idea of this rapport bank, which someone shared with me two decades ago, maybe more. Well, in this society we live in, most folks are making constant withdrawals, poor bank, asking favors, asking, asking stuff. I think it’s really important that the savviest folks as they’re trying to earn that trust and credibility and rapport amongst the team is they’re making deposits. They’re doing what, Jen, you described as folks reaching out to you, “Hey, how can I help? Welcome to the team, how can I help?” I think that is huge.

 

Scott Luton (24:44):

And then, the other thing that really sticks out to me in your answer, Jen, that bias for action is so important, we hire for it, we bake that into our teams. But to your point, there is immense value to you, and what you and Kevin both said, call time out, thinking through the situation or being patient to earn the skills you need to act most successfully. That is a tough thing to learn and an even tougher thing to put into practice. But it’s so valuable to your point, Jen and Kevin. Okay. Great advice. Man, we’re going to owe someone a consulting invoice or something, Jen and Kevin.

 

Scott Luton (25:15):

So, Jen, old saying, old cliche, it’s true though. It takes a village. It really does. But better yet, I heard this phrase from one of our past guests said that global supply chain is the ultimate team sport. I love that. So, when you think of teams, you were talking about referencing your leadership team a minute ago – a couple times, really, when it comes to building a team that can win day in and day out, even on those toughest days. What are some of your key considerations there, Jen?

Jennifer McKeehan (25:42):

I love that. It is the best team sport. And when I think about what that looks like, one, it’s thinking through, Well, what really is that team you need to be successful? And we just talked about, it’s not just the transportation logistics team, it’s the stores teams, it’s the supply chains, and it’s the merchant team. So, really thinking about, Well, who are my customers? And who are the board of directors of how this team’s going to be successful? And it’s probably more than what your org chart shows [inaudible] in big places and highly matrix environments.

 

Jennifer McKeehan (26:10):

So, I would say, one, I think sometimes we say stakeholders, but I would think of who’s the big team that we need to serve or need to get input from. Two, I think in that village, we talked a little bit about it, but making sure that you have diversity of thought. There’s a lot of history to learn from. You need folks who have been tried and true and understand how we got to where we are today. You need folks that are going to help you think differently about where you get to tomorrow.

 

Jennifer McKeehan (26:36):

I love this, I have a gentleman on my team, he was a pharmacist for 20 years. And he’s now the one architecting our entire parcel station, final mile delivery strategy. You think that’s cool. And he has brought an immense amount of innovation and thought and strategy to how we do that. And so, I think particularly in supply chain, we’re used to you had to grow up in transportation, you had to grow up in distribution. I think thinking differently about what are the capabilities and skills we need as the village that’s going to make the most productive team. And so, things like that, I think just thinking differently about what got us here and what we need to get there and putting the right folks in the right seats that work together so that we don’t show the customer org chart.

Scott Luton (27:20):

Well said, Jen. I love that and I love that story of the pharmacy pro that’s coming in and making an impact in such a different way. Kevin, when you heard Jen’s response there and building the team that wins day in and day out, what comes to your mind?

Kevin L. Jackson (27:33):

The breadth of the team. And the fact that Jen includes the customers part of their team. And that’s an important thought process, you have to not only include, I guess, that close circle, but all of the concentric circles around that center circle. They’re all part of the team. I love that.

Scott Luton (27:52):

You got me thinking about a Venn Diagram, like the Omega Venn Diagram. Kevin and Jen, I’ll just pick out one more thing. I love how you mentioned a couple of times of hiring folks, employing folks, promoting folks that help us think differently about where we’re trying to get to. So, often as humans, as leaders, as supply chain pros, we cling to what got us here. And as we all know, going back to those e-commerce numbers, Jen, you shared 17 percent of all retail in 2017 was e-commerce, 47 percent by 2027, that requires us to think differently.

Kevin L. Jackson (28:23):

No, no. Absolutely. Because like you say, Jen, what gets us here won’t get us there.

Scott Luton (28:30):

No doubt. No doubt. All right. So, as we start to wrap, come down to home stretch – I wish we had all day to spend with Jen diving into some of these stories. I look forward to your book coming out at some point, Jen. Man, the stories we’re not getting to today, I can only imagine – let’s get your perspective on maybe a broader view of the supply chain industry. So, if you were to be preparing the supply chain state of the union, and this isn’t going to be fair to give you one question here, but amongst your address of all the different points, what are a couple of key characteristics that you think define global supply chain in 2024?

Jennifer McKeehan (29:02):

It always feels like you pick the word of the year. We come out of COVID and the word was sort of resilience. And I think the 2024, 2025 words are going to be around connectivity, because it’s really around how are we connecting our decisions, how are we connecting to the customer. All of us see a thousand things around just visibility, new software, tools, tech that’s out there. But really at the end of the day, it’s about connectivity in your decision making, in your flow, in your communications and visibility to all of that. From what I see from a technology standpoint, a customer expectation standpoint and just sort of a speed and service, that connectivity is the unlock that we’re all really chasing.

Scott Luton (29:41):

Yes. Well said. And, Kevin, I know Jen is speaking your language there, right?

Kevin L. Jackson (29:45):

Oh, yeah. Absolutely. Data, data, data. If you don’t have connectivity, you can’t get that data. And if you don’t have that data, you lose situational awareness. And this is a global environment that’s operating 24/ 7, 365. So, if you lose that connectivity, you lose that data, and you lose the business.

Scott Luton (30:05):

Yes. And speaking of other words, Jen and Kevin, that we’ ve been using extensively, ecosystem. But to be fair, I’ve been using ecosystem since Ms. Beckham’s ninth grade chemistry class, I believe, or maybe biology class. And I think it naturally applies to business. And going back to the points we made earlier, it’s both a digital but also a physical, ecosystem involves it all. And to your point, Jen and Kevin, without that powerful connectivity – goodness gracious – that speed and service you’re talking about, that operational velocity, man, without that connectivity, it’s like we’re going to be plugging along like a snail.

 

Scott Luton (30:41):

So, let’s keep going down this path of the technology because truly it is without a doubt inseparable from supply chain management as it is today. But the human factor, too, remains a critically important component that keeps things moving forward. Kevin, we talk about all the times, my favorite parts of the story. But, Jen, speak to or maybe elaborate on your points there a minute ago about the ideal role of technology and industry today.

Jennifer McKeehan (31:05):

Sure. Walmart’s mission says that we’re people-led and tech-powered. And I love that, people come first and people are our greatest asset, with the background of tech powering them to either create good jobs into great careers or to make what their job is better, like we talked a little bit about before. And so, I think as we see technology both in the physical space, whether that’s automation, how we think about associates being able to execute their jobs. If you’re in a grocery DC, you have to lift a 50 pound box of meat all day long. That’s a hard job versus some of the upskilling roles that we’re creating around managing the systems or thinking differently around the technology that’s supporting the automation that will now do that. And so, I think that’s a really big piece of it, but it still starts with the people. Same thing in the automation AI space. We’re leveraging AI to help associates do their tasks faster or more easier for them to find the product on the shelf. But it’s still the associate that’s the center of what we do. And so, I think that balance got to your exact point of people-led and tech-powered and how we think about those together will be the real unlock of technology in the future.

Scott Luton (32:25):

Agreed. But, hey, I’m going to steal that from you. I didn’t say that. People-led, tech-powered. I love it.

Jennifer McKeehan (32:29):

Well, I stole that from Walmart.

Scott Luton (32:34):

That’s good. But we just got our title. I love that mantra. And it’s so true and we’re living it. Kevin, your thoughts on people-led, tech-powered?

Kevin L. Jackson (32:42):

That emphasizes the fact that technology enhances the human. It doesn’t replace the human. So, don’t be afraid to use things like artificial intelligence. It’s not taking your job away. It’s enabling you to do what humans do best. So, technology is there to help you. It’s not a robot. It’s a cobot. It’s there to help you.

Scott Luton (33:09):

I love that. And who knows? These exoskeletons, it’s been fascinating to see these rapidly evolve. It’d be really interesting as those massively are found out in the markets helping these heavy lifts that you were talking about, Jen, get so much more lighter and easier and safer. I’ll tell you, technology, the pace of evolution and change is just remarkable.

Kevin L. Jackson (33:29):

They’re accelerating.

Scott Luton (33:30):

Yeah. And accelerating. That’s right. It’s getting faster. People-led, tech-powered, what a timeless way of looking at that evolution. Okay. So, speaking of evolution, supply chain in general, certainly supply chain performance has evolved a long way in terms of how it’s viewed by boardrooms, by consumers, all points in between across the global ecosystem. So, Jen, how do companies like Walmart now view the supply chain organization, say, as a profit center?

Jennifer McKeehan (33:57):

You hear this in a lot of places now, but particularly at Walmart, we have such a deep retail and logistics expertise that’s focused at the center of the customer. And we talked about Port to Porch, and so when we think about that particularly at Walmart, largest importer in the U.S., one of the largest private fleets. Shoutout to the fleet drivers, 15,000 drivers, and they are the safest fleet on the road nine years in a row. They listen to podcasts a lot while they’re driving. So, shoutout to our amazing fleet drivers. And then, we talked about our store footprint and how we think about that as a delivery hub. It’s the next best thing to the post office. So, when you pin all that together, we’re servicing Walmart customers, but now we’re also servicing our marketplace sellers, helping them import their goods all the way through the supply chain, helping them get that to the customer as an extension of Walmart. And then, we’re also in the commercial B2B market with our white label go local delivery service. So, folks like Books-A-Million or 1-800-FLOWERS or Sur La Table, we’re now delivering for them also. And what I love about that is we have this connected capability and capacity that’s in service of the Walmart customer, but we can also help other folks with our customer focused approach in our DNA.

 

Jennifer McKeehan (35:11):

And so, that has been a really fun sort of transformation of how we think about our Walmart logistics apparatus because there’s so many good folks and clients out there that we can help. And if I’m ordering something from Walmart, I’m probably ordering a book from Books-A-Million next door. And [inaudible] and take that to Scott’s house and drive some density and volume. And the real point of that is, I think less about a profit center, more about how do we lower the total cost of delivery so that we can put that back in the price of bread and milk. And we talked on our earnings call, we lowered our cost of delivery 20 percent with some of the highest NPS we’ve seen. And we did that because we’re finding ways to invest back so that we can pass that savings along to the customer while we help other folks in the market. So, super exciting stuff.

Scott Luton (35:58):

Don’t forget that belt for Kevin, Jen. Don’t forget that belt for Kevin. The book, the belt.

Kevin L. Jackson (36:04):

My pants are falling off, that’s for sure.

Scott Luton (36:10):

You never know where we’re going to go in these conversations, Jen. I love this. Man, it’s such a fascinating sneak peek, little hour long sneak peek into all the cool things you’re doing. Kevin, respond though to that ever evolving view of supply chain at Walmart.

Kevin L. Jackson (36:24):

So, it goes back to that diversity. If you didn’t have the diversity of thought, that different worldview, then you couldn’t keep up with the change that we’re all experiencing. So, it is critical to every part of every business. And I like the idea of you refer to the extensions of Walmart and these are your partners, the Books-A-Million, these are entities that, basically, you put your arms around each other in order to make it easier and better for that drone to drop it on my porch.

Scott Luton (37:03):

There we go, 30,000 and no telling whether it’ll be a year from now. Good stuff, Kevin. Jen, I tell you what, what a million dollar perspective here today. If I can pull out one more thing – we’re going to make sure folks can connect with you and the Walmart team a second – you mentioned that fleet of incredible talented truck drivers. And September is National Truck Drivers Appreciation each year. A couple of years ago, we met one of your big time award, highly recognized truck drivers, her name was April, and it was incredible conversation. If I can put you on the spot, Jen, let’s do that again. Let’s spotlight a couple of your incredibly talented truck drivers in September, again we’ll have to have you back. Those folks, talk about people who keep us moving, those incredible truck drivers are something else.

Jennifer McKeehan (37:47):

I love it. They’re incredible. The Walmart fleet is the culture and DNA of Walmart. They just make magic happen. So, we’re proud of those folks. We’ll come back in September and celebrate.

Scott Luton (37:56):

No doubt. Okay. Okay.

Kevin L. Jackson (37:56):

Awesome. Awesome. I’ll hold you to that.

Scott Luton (38:00):

All right. So, Jen, thanks so much for taking time out. Undoubtedly, as a consumer – and I am very impartial here – I will tell you the experience in the store and online as Amanda, our CEO here, can attest because she knows e-commerce inside and out. Those experiences have evolved is nothing short. It’s such a great study on supply chain, customer experience, and leadership. So, we look forward to putting our finger on the pulse again down the road a bit. But appreciate all you do. How can folks connect with you, Jen, and the team at Walmart?

Jennifer McKeehan (38:31):

Love that. You can always find me on LinkedIn – we were talking about my travels – Where In The World Is Jen? My husband checks LinkedIn, so you can always connect on LinkedIn. If you’re interested in being a driver or working for Walmart, careers@walmart.com. Or if you’re interested in being one of our Spark platform drivers that helps fuel Walmart delivery, you can do that at driveforspark.com.

Scott Luton (38:51):

Wonderful. Wonderful.

Kevin L. Jackson (38:52):

Awesome.

Scott Luton (38:53):

And, Kevin, who wouldn’t want to work for Jen, right, and the team at Walmart?

Kevin L. Jackson (38:57):

Yeah. I want to sign up to be a drone driver. Can I do that?

Scott Luton (39:01):

Maybe. All right. Before we get out of here, before we thank Jen and the whole team, and of course all the folks that tuned in here today, Kevin, we got to give a big high five to our friends at Microsoft who’s also doing some cool things out there in industry. Your thoughts there, Kevin?

Kevin L. Jackson (39:16):

Oh, yeah. I got to say, Microsoft Cloud for manufacturing, for example, really brings the best of Microsoft to their partners to accelerate digital transformation and manufacturing. They do this by unlocking the engineering and design innovation with cloud computing and artificial intelligence. They build a resilient – that’s an important word – resilient supply chain to anticipate risk and enable intelligent factories and to help modernize the customer experience. Things like using digital twins to simulate different scenarios for product design optimization or process improvement or even factory setup and they enhance the factory workers’ performance, be it a seamless communication. We talked a lot about the importance of data and communications and collaboration, and they do this also with immersive training. The use of industrial metaverse. We talked about that earlier this week, Scott, for onboarding and upskilling. This helps the organization to gain visibility into operations, to identify opportunities, and to leverage artificial intelligence for optimization. This really also drives the ability to create advanced demand forecasting models to help the customer. Always customer focused. And we’ve talked a lot about that, but Microsoft is there with Walmart and everyone else to deliver to the customer when and where that customer is.

Scott Luton (40:58):

You can do about everything, but get a yellow dog with coleslaw from The Varsity and the metaverse.

 

Kevin L. Jackson (41:04):

And relish. And relish.

 

Scott Luton (41:06):

And relish. Just no ketchup. I’m okay. Well hey, thank you for that, Kevin. I appreciate that. And, Jen, I’ll tell you incredible story. I love what y’all are doing from a supply chain standpoint, from a consumer standpoint, from a leadership standpoint. Big thanks to Jennifer McKeehan with Walmart. Jen, we look forward to having you back soon.

 

Jennifer McKeehan (41:23):

Good to see you guys.

 

Scott Luton (41:24):

You bet. Also big thanks to Kevin L. Jackson. Find Digital Transformers wherever you get your podcasts from. Kevin, I’ll tell you those episode tallies continue to grow and grow. We’re going to be approaching 30,000 as drone deliverers at Walmart soon. But thanks for being here with us here today, Kevin.

Kevin L. Jackson (41:41):

No, thank you very much. I mean, Digital Transformers is growing fast. So, maybe if I have to go drive drones, I won’t miss the shows. Just let me know.

Scott Luton (41:52):

Hey, I see who we’re competing with. I see who we’re competing with. All right. Also big thanks, again, to our collaborative partners over at Microsoft, helping us bring these incredible inspiring stories and leaders to our global audience. So, to our listeners, hey, thank you’all at the top of the list. Appreciate y’all tuning in, listening, viewing, whether you’re driving trucks, as Jen mentioned, or out there just making it happen. Really appreciate y’all being here. Hey, be sure to find Supply Chain Now and Digital Transformers wherever you get your podcasts. But take something you heard here from Jen today or Kevin today, put it into practice. Your teams will be highly appreciative. Deeds, not words. That’s the name of the game. And on those lines, Scott Luton challenging you to do good, to give forward, and to be the change. And we’ll see you next time right back here at Supply Chain Now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (42:37):

Thanks for being a part of our Supply Chain Now community. Check out all of our programming at supplychainnow.com, and make sure you subscribe to Supply Chain Now anywhere you listen to podcasts. And follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on Supply Chain Now.

 

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Featured Guests

Jennifer McKeehan is a global operations and supply chain executive with more than 15 years of experience across retail and e-commerce channels. In August of 2022 she was named Senior Vice President of End-to-End Delivery at Walmart. In this role her scope of influence encompasses first, middle, and last mile fulfillment while embodying the culture to achieve the common purpose of saving people money so they can live better. Before coming to Walmart Jennifer served as Senior Vice President and Global Head of Supply Chain for Peloton Interactive leading the team responsible for all operational aspects of the Supply Chain including transformation across people, process, and technology. She oversaw sales and operations planning, distribution, transportation, inventory allocation, technology and final mile across all channels including connected fitness, accessories, and apparel. Jennifer was also Vice President, Supply Chain for The Home Depot leading the inventory planning and replenishment supply chain functions as well as digitization and integrated decision making for all fulfillment channels across stores and online, managing $15B+ of inventory. Featured on Atlanta Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, Georgia Tech 40 under 40, Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business School guest speaker. Jennifer is also a member of Leadership Atlanta Class of 2020. In her personal time, Jennifer serves on the Emerging Leaders Committee for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, cheering on Georgia Tech football and spending time with her husband and four children. Jennifer has a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Georgia Tech and lives in Midtown. Connect with Jennifer on LinkedIn. 

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Kevin L. Jackson

Host, Digital Transformers

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

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Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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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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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Allison Giddens

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

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

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Billy Taylor

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

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

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

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

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Tandreia Bellamy

Host

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

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

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

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

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Marty Parker

Host

Marty Parker serves as both the CEO & Founder of Adæpt Advising and an award-winning Senior Lecturer (Teaching Professor) in Supply Chain and Operations Management at the University of Georgia. He has 30 years of experience as a COO, CMO, CSO (Chief Strategy Officer), VP of Operations, VP of Marketing and Process Engineer. He founded and leads UGA’s Supply Chain Advisory Board, serves as the Academic Director of UGA’s Leaders Academy, and serves on multiple company advisory boards including the Trucking Profitability Strategies Conference, Zion Solutions Group and Carlton Creative Company.

Marty enjoys helping people and companies be successful. Through UGA, Marty is passionate about his students, helping them network and find internships and jobs. He does this through several hundred one-on-one zoom meetings each year with his students and former students. Through Adæpt Advising, Marty has organized an excellent team of affiliates that he works with to help companies grow and succeed. He does this by helping c-suite executives improve their skills, develop better leaders, engage their workforce, improve processes, and develop strategic plans with detailed action steps and financial targets. Marty believes that excellence in supply chain management comes from the understanding the intersection of leadership, culture, and technology, working across all parts of the organization to meet customer needs, maximize profit and minimize costs.

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

Laura Lopez serves as our Supply Chain Now Marketing Coordinator. She graduated from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente in Mexico with a degree in marketing. Laura loves everything digital because she sees the potential it holds for companies in the marketing industry. Her passion for creativity and thinking outside the box led her to pursue a career in marketing. With experience in fields like accounting, digital marketing, and restaurants, she clearly enjoys taking on challenges. Laura lives the best of both worlds - you'll either catch her hanging out with her friends soaking up the sun in Mexico or flying out to visit her family in California!

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Jake Barr

Host

An acknowledged industry leader, Jake Barr now serves as CEO for BlueWorld Supply Chain Consulting, providing support to a cross section of Fortune 500 companies such as Cargill, Caterpillar, Colgate, Dow/Dupont, Firmenich, 3M, Merck, Bayer/Monsanto, Newell Brands, Kimberly Clark, Nestle, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Sanofi, Estee Lauder and Coty among others. He's also devoted time to engagements in public health sector work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. At P&G, he managed the breakthrough delivery of an E2E (End to End) Planning Transformation effort, creating control towers which now manage the daily business globally. He is recognized as the architect for P&G’s demand driven supply chain strategy – referenced as a “Consumer Driven Supply Chain” transformation. Jake began his career with P&G in Finance in Risk Analysis and then moved into Operations. He has experience in building supply network capability globally through leadership assignments in Asia, Latin America, North America and the Middle East. He currently serves as a Research Associate for MIT; a member of Supply Chain Industry Advisory Council; Member of Gartner’s Supply Chain Think Tank; Consumer Goods “League of Leaders“; and a recipient of the 2015 - 2021 Supply Chain “Pro’s to Know” Award. He has been recognized as a University of Kentucky Fellow.

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Marcia Williams

Host

Marcia Williams, Managing Partner of USM Supply Chain, has 18 years of experience in Supply Chain, with expertise in optimizing Supply Chain-Finance Planning (S&OP/ IBP) at Large Fast-Growing CPGs for greater profitability and improved cash flows. Marcia has helped mid-sized and large companies including Lindt Chocolates, Hershey, and Coty. She holds an MBA from Michigan State University and a degree in Accounting from Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay (South America). Marcia is also a Forbes Council Contributor based out of New York, and author of the book series Supply Chains with Maria in storytelling style. A recent speaker’s engagement is Marcia TEDx Talk: TEDxMSU - How Supply Chain Impacts You: A Transformational Journey.

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Constantine Limberakis

Host

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal & Host

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Manager & Executive Producer

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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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

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

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

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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.