RPM, an international shipping and logistics company, is carving its own path as a leader in vehicle transportation and specialized freight. The vehicle transport sector has fallen years behind traditional freight management standards with limited automation and visibility.
RPM is leveraging Turvo’s TMS Platform, with its unique collaboration cloud and advanced and modern tech, to connect everyone involved in a shipment for faster, more efficient, automated logistics. In its quest to move the industry forward, RPM is empowering operations leaders and challenging Turvo to help solve supply chain challenges, deliver a superior customer experience, and meet high-growth objectives regardless of market conditions.
In this episode, created with the help of a livestream audience, Luis Pajares, Chief Customer Officer at Turvo, Rick Grubb, Chief Information Officer at RPM, and Brad Janer, Vice President of Customer Operations at RPM, join Scott Luton and Greg White to discuss:
– How RPM’s years of operational excellence combined with Turvo’s leading Collaboration Cloud platform and TMS drive RPM’s massive expansion and revenue growth.
– RPM’s strategy for building a world-class tech stack using a “lego-effect” to integrate best-of-breed solutions and proprietary apps to differentiate their business.
– Why RPM chose Turvo as their technology partner to digitize their complex logistics network and provide 100% visibility to their customers, carriers and business partners.
– What a culture of “we” means to RPM and why it’s central to their success.
– How companies like RPM leverage modern TMS to eliminate communication barriers, both internally and externally, to unlock full collaboration with all supply chain players.
– The benefits of Turvo Academy and guided training in preparing a highly qualified staff that meets customer expectations.
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 are. Scott Luton and Greg White here with you on Supply Chain Now. Welcome to today’s livestream. Greg, how are you doing today?
Greg White (00:42):
I’m doing quite well.
Scott Luton (00:43):
Folks, we’ll be talking about a unique sector in the world, the global world of of supply chain, and how this company in this sector is investing in technology and other things, like team members and partnerships, to grow and succeed. Greg, it should be a great conversation, right?
Greg White (00:58):
Yeah. It should. We got quite the panel here. We’re going to get to here one team story.
Scott Luton (01:02):
It is always fun. I’m looking forward to getting your insights related to this story. And, folks, all of y’all we’re going to hear from Greg and an incredible panel, but we want to hear from you as well. So, y’all chime in, let us know what you think as we work our way through the conversation. So, Greg, with that micro machine inspired intro, you’re ready to go?
Greg White (01:21):
Scott Luton (01:22):
With no further ado, I want to welcome in our esteemed panel here today, Rick Grubb II, Chief Information Officer with RPM; Bradley Janer, Vice-President of Customer Operations with RPM; and our friend Luis Pajares, Chief Customer Officer with Turvo. Hey. Hey. Brad, Rick, how are we doing?
Bradley Janer (01:46):
Rick Grubb (01:46):
Scott Luton (01:47):
Great to meet you both. And, Luis, great to have you back with us.
Luis Pajares (01:51):
Great to be back, Scott and Greg. And Brad and Rick, great to see you as well.
Scott Luton (01:55):
Wonderful. Greg, back by popular demand, we’ve enjoyed our previous conversations with Luis, right?
Greg White (02:00):
Yeah. No doubt. Based on the pre-show, I’m going to guess that he is going to have to moderate these two as well. These guys are in the same studio together and I feel like you guys could do, like, supply chain logistics radio.
Scott Luton (02:14):
You know, we were talking about their radio voices and all that they’re bringing to the table. In fact, what did we not talk about in the pre-show? Including, folks, Brad, Rick, and Luis, basketball. So, we want to start with a little fun warmup question. And, Greg, you’re going to have to chime in here as well. So, March Madness is right around the corner. I think all the brackets come out Sunday night. So, what I want to do, and we’re going to go around the horn and, Brad, we’re going to start with you, is give us two quick answers. Number one, your favorite to win the NCAA Basketball National Championship via the March tournament. And number two, your dark horse team for listeners that may be building their own brackets. So, Brad, let’s start with you. What’s your two teams?
Bradley Janer (02:59):
I’m a Michigan fan, but also a realist. But I like to keep it in the Big Ten, so I’m going to go boiler up, we’ll get Purdue winning it. And then, dark horse, I’m going to go with Xavier. I think they always get close, but never quite there.
Scott Luton (03:10):
Wonderful. The Purdue Boilermakers and the Xavier Musketeers. Love that, Brad. Great start. Okay. Rick?
Rick Grubb (03:17):
There’s a joke up here in Michigan that, how do you know a Michigan grad? They’ll tell you in the first few minutes. So, I’m going to go with Kansas to win the whole thing. And then, I’m going to go for Michigan as the dark horse. But they’ve got to still play their way in the Big Ten Tournament. It’s a real long shot.
Scott Luton (03:32):
Love that. And we’re going to have to put that rule of thumb to the test. So, Kansas Jayhawks and the Michigan Wolverines. All right. Luis, how about you?
Luis Pajares (03:41):
I’ve been impressed with the way Alabama’s played all year. I’m going to say that I’ve got them to win. And as far as dark horse, I’m kind of in between two teams. One of them is Indiana. I think they’re kind of hanging around there in the top middle tier set. So, either them or even TCU. I’m going to go with one of those as my dark horse.
Scott Luton (04:02):
We’re getting bonus, bonus expertise from Luis here today. I love that. So, Bama and then Indiana or TCU. Greg, your two picks?
Greg White (04:11):
Just so Rick doesn’t become my father’s favorite son, I’m going to pick Kansas to win it all. And because they’re a local favorite, really have no chance and they would be the darkest of dark horses, I would say, Kennesaw State is my dark horse. They snuck into the tournament by beating Liberty last night -yesterday.
Scott Luton (04:30):
Love that. The KSU, The Owls. Man, that’s a program that’s been jumpstarted. So, hey, thanks everybody for sharing their picks. I want to recognize before we jump into a great story here and we’re going to walk away with lots and lots of learnings, action learnings at that, I’ll give a shoutout to some of the folks we’ve got tuned in here today. We’ve got Andrew Miller “from the everlasting winter land of Minneapolis.” I love that. Andrew, great to see you. Kyle Wegman, “Shoutout to Bradley Janer coming to you from Raleigh, North Carolina.” How about that? Abdirahman from Somalia, great to see you here today. Pelin Taser from Chicago, the great City of Chicago, and then Anthony from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I bet it’s gorgeous up there. We better sneak this one as well. We have got Samantha Foley from Dallas, Texas. Luis, your neighbor down there. Great to see you, Sam. All right. And welcome everybody. I know we couldn’t hit everybody. Y’all keep the comments coming. We got a great conversation teed up here today.
Scott Luton (05:23):
All right. So, let’s see here. I want to start with kind of the RPM side of the story here. So, recognized leader in the vehicle transportation space, RPM has grown tremendously the last few years. I think our due diligence said 65 percent alone in 2022. We all surpassed that level of growth in 2023. So, focusing in on that niche market that isn’t as mature as a general freight market, you know, vehicle, especially freight, you name it, a lot of folks will point to how your sector may lag behind the rest of the freight market when it comes to embracing technology and putting it in the headlock. I want to ask you both – and, Rick, I’m going to start with you first – what really sets RPM apart?
Rick Grubb (06:01):
Well, first, Greg and Scott, thank you so much for the opportunity for us to tell our story here. I’m super excited to say all this stuff that I’ve been sort of been thinking about. The only reason we lag behind, I think, is because we’re one of the first to do it, taking lessons and learnings from the freight brokering industry and applying it here. And I think the really thing that sets us apart are two sort of big things. The first is, everybody says technology is an enabler, but I’m not sure everybody lives it. We believe that people are always going to be needed, especially for customer relationships, those high-touch areas for, like, white glove service. So, we’re just seeking to enable the things that don’t need human intervention. So, that’s the first thing.
Rick Grubb (06:42):
The second is, we really believe in something that we call internally One RPM. It’s a concept that we’re all the same team. We work really hard across all the business functions and break down any silos to determine what we need to do as a business to deliver for our shippers and our carriers. So, there’s no one person saying, here’s what we really need the system to do. There’s no IT people often in a dark room building something and going, “Ta da, look at what we made you.” We all work together to get the solution done. As you can imagine, being on the bleeding edge is not easy, but it’s sort of where we love to live. And this culture really lends itself to great solutions to help deliver.
Scott Luton (07:20):
Love that. Thank you so much, Rick. Enablement and that One RPM. Brad, what would you add to that?
Bradley Janer (07:26):
Yeah. I’m coming up on four years here at RPM, so I’ve seen a lot of things happen, a lot of things change. And kind of going off the thread of the One RPM idea, I think one of the differentiators for us is really the vision that we have collectively from our experience. And that’s both in the transportation kind of space as well as technology. We’ve worked with sophisticated freight shippers and different technology companies through our experience outside of RPM. And we know what that polished, comprehensive solution really looks like. We know really from the technology what our customers are expecting.
Bradley Janer (07:58):
So, obviously, that vision doesn’t come together overnight, but we’re working on formulating that roadmap. And based on that experience, we can start chipping away at that technical gap in a lot of ways. I think on the other side of it, too, you’ll probably hear me talk a lot about the problem solving that we do and what our people do here. And that’s really at the forefront on the operational side and that seems very obvious. It’s not a groundbreaking idea, but I think making a culture that is centered around finding unknown problems is a lot harder to do than some people realize. And we pride ourselves in being able to do that. And it’s probably, I would say, one of the more underestimated elements that kind of sets us apart.
Rick Grubb (08:37):
It’s like more of a culture of experimentation than like pass-fail.
Bradley Janer (08:40):
Yeah. There’s no playbook.
Scott Luton (08:42):
I love that. And it doesn’t happen overnight, as Brad said. It takes at least 48 hours, right? But, hey, I’m going to get Luis and Greg to weigh in on what they heard there. But to all of our audience in the cheap seats, from Brooks in Dallas, to Nicholas and Detroit, I think Gil was up in Charleston, let us know what resonated really with y’all as they walk through those three or four things that really sets RPM apart.
Scott Luton (09:02):
All right. So, Luis, let’s get your take. Of course, you know and y’all collaborate to a great extent with RPM team. What did you hear there as Brad and Rick shared what sets them apart?
Luis Pajares (09:11):
Well, I think they both hit it. They’ve got operational excellence. They’ve got a business model that works. They’ve got technology that supports their business model. And, of course, the culture. So, you bring all those things together and they obviously work really, really well for RPM. I get a lot of chance to talk to many, many people, and technology many times is an afterthought, especially around how their customer’s experience is served by the technology. But with RPM, technology is a critical component of that entire success model, and I think Rick and Brad said it really, really well.
Scott Luton (09:52):
Great point. A couple of those there, and on your last one, we’re going to dive deeper into that technology side of the RPM story and y’all’s collaboration. Greg, I’d love to get your take on what we’ve heard already from Rick, Brad, and Luis.
Greg White (10:06):
Yeah. Well, some of the folks that have watched this before might know that I’ve done some investing in this space. And a lot of companies call themselves tech enabled brokers. It is about just embracing technology. It’s about embedding technology into your processes and into your business model. And I think in the very near future, we’ll go back to just calling them brokers because any of those brokers that aren’t tech enabled will be gone. The pace at which business moves today is too rapid for you to try and do it, to Luis’s, point to try and do it.
Scott Luton (10:37):
Excellent point, Greg. Okay. So, back to Brad and Rick. So, given y’all’s strong partnership with Turvo, we’re going to elaborate a little more on that in here momentarily. And we understand that a big part of your extensive onboarding program includes what we’ve talked about before here, Turvo Academy. Many of your employees, regardless of what functional area they’re in, you know, ops, marketing, finance, HR, you name it, go through it. So, how does Turvo Academy equip your ops staff in particular for success? And, Brad, let’s start with you.
Bradley Janer (11:07):
Yeah. Sounds good. We’ve had the luxury of hiring really talented people both from inside kind of this industry, but more importantly outside and getting a different perspective. So, it’s critical we set them up for success and really invest in transferring that knowledge of both transportation and just the brokerage model in general. Like you mentioned, regardless of the function, no one can skip our training no matter where you come in within the organization. We want to make sure that we’re using Turvo to the fullest. The last couple years we’ve been all over the place. We haven’t really used Turvo the right way and we haven’t really discovered really what that tool could do for us. But we are recalibrating that approach with Turvo and we’ve seen a lot of benefit there. But, I mean, training in general in most respects, it’s really just exposure to theory at that point of what you’re about to walk into.
Bradley Janer (11:52):
But I think bridging the gap between the theory and what you’re about to truly experience, that’s what separates good training from great training. And I think that’s where Turvo Academy has really had the biggest impact for us. It’s an intuitive tool. It has the live examples. It gets people up to speed much quicker. And I would imagine most people would agree, but the quicker you can get someone off the ground, shorten that learning curve, from my experience, you’re going to get better engagement from your employees. They’re going to be more confident in the decisions that they make. From what I’ve seen, a lot more collaboration off the bat. So, it revolves around that digitization of a process and training isn’t excluded from that. And that’s where Turvo Academy, I think, has really been showcased within our program.
Scott Luton (12:31):
Brad, I love that. And it sounds like y’all have had a Maserati in the garage. Y’all have taken out for a 20 mile per hour drive and now you’re going full bore with it. I love that. All right. Rick, what would you add to that?
Rick Grubb (12:42):
The support organizations, like IT, marketing, finance, they also have to go through the same training. While the operations team has a six to eight week sort of training window before they can come up to the floor and actually do the work, the rusty organizations have to attend the first two weeks. I’m going to tell you, I’m trying to get IT people in here and investing and building this place. That two week delay was bothersome at first, but every single person who comes out of it tells me it was invaluable for them to learn the history of the company, what a broker does, and how to use all the things that we do every day to get the job done.
Rick Grubb (13:13):
You know, I used to work at a company that had this very big motto about the say-do ratio, leaders do what they say they’re going to do. And to that end, even the COO, the CFO, and myself, we will be working up here covering loads sometimes, learning what the pain points are of what our employees are going through so we can figure out how to fix it with tech. It only takes a few minutes for me to become annoyed by why do we have to do this manually. And then, we’ll have to figure out a way to find a way around it. So, it’s been invaluable to the people that actually do the main business work we do, but also for all the support organizations to understand and to be part of that One RPM story.
Scott Luton (13:48):
I love that. And I love that say-do ratio. I would argue that the annoyance ratio leads to lots of innovation across global supply chain, for sure. All right. So, Luis, we’ve heard a lot about they really spoke to the Turvo Academy and they also spoke to onboarding and really some cultural elements there. Luis, what would you observe?
Luis Pajares (14:06):
Yeah. So, Turvo Academy is certainly one resource we make available to our customers. And, again, it goes back to their commitment that technology is an integral part of the way that they move the Maserati. There are other things that I think RPM and Turvo do really well together and we have our quarterly success plan workshops. So, to Brad’s point, years ago, there were a lot of feature functionality that we developed in the way we work closely with our partners like RPM. We get together quarterly. We look at the things that are happening, not only in their business, but the features, the rich features that we’re rolling out. And we’re making sure that they’re leveraging every bit of that so that they can maximize technology in their business. Turvo Academy, again, one resource. There’s many other resources that RPM is committed, the team is committed to making sure they get the most out of their Turvo platform.
Scott Luton (15:02):
Love that. Greg, we’re coming to you next. But before I do, Steven Bee says, “Spartan Strong.” So, clearly, Michigan State is at the top of his list for the March Madness. “I have to agree with Rick, the training is invaluable to all of us regardless of job function.” Great to hear that, Steven.
Greg White (15:16):
Especially after he said Spartan Strong to two Michigan fans, he had to agree lest.
Scott Luton (15:22):
Oh, Greg. What’d you hear there when it comes to both Turvo specific onboarding and then onboarding in general?
Greg White (15:29):
The commitment to educating and onboarding and enabling the team of a company is incredible. I think Henry Schein, who had this entire passport concept ,where you went and met with members of the departments, whether you interacted with them or not, to know what they did, and I felt that was very valuable. Knowing the technologies and the toolsets that you’re using is really important. And I got to say, really notable that the CIO actually does the work because the IQ, the irritation quotient, is directly proportional to the solution ratio. And it’s good to experience that firsthand and to get pissed off when stuff takes too long, because that does help you understand what’s going on. Because, look, we all know that plans are made in the boardroom, but solutions are delivered on the desktop. And the more often you get to the desktop or in that frontline experience, the more likely you are to deliver solutions that are meaningful to those people who are most important, and that’s your customer facing. It’s critical to do that and I applaud you for doing it, Rick. It’s impressive.
Scott Luton (16:37):
And to both organizations here, RPM and Turvo, for investing in that frontend, that onboarding program because it’s so critical to the employee experience, and getting employees feeling like they’re successful, and being able to use the tools. So, good stuff there. All right. So, let’s switch over, continuing the tech theme of today’s conversation, Rick, I’m going to go to you next. So, talk about connected systems and integrations and how these things play a big part in your success and growth. Rick.
Rick Grubb (17:05):
So, Greg talked earlier about labeling oneself a digitally or technically enabled broker. This is the central part of what we do. Our systems get our shippers and their needs and vehicles into our system as quick as possible to get their logistic needs meet. They have on-demand visibility of where their stuff is at. We have tools and pricing tools to figure out how to negotiate effectively for the people trying to find carrier coverage, tracking for the carriers, everything all the way down to how do we process claims or electronic fulfillment, finding cars on a lot with VIN scanning capabilities. All this stuff contributes.
Rick Grubb (17:43):
There’s a little bit of going back, Brad said something about vision and strategy. But I think it also starts with philosophy. The tools have to deliver for our shippers and for our carriers and for the employees. So, those three connected, that Maserati has to be able to carry kids around, and also have cup holders, and also be able to go fast. So, meeting all these requirements has to have all these things connected. I use the analogy I think with Luis one time on a prep call here, but it’s like Legos. Each Lego is different size and shape, but all of them build this house that holds the whole thing together and everyone lives inside it. So, it’s integral to how we do business here.
Scott Luton (18:19):
Love it. Okay. And really quick before I go to Brad next, if you can license out that VIN tag, because whenever I park at the Atlanta Airport, I can never find my car. So, we’ll talk about that after show perhaps. All right. So, Brad, let’s go to you next. You know, talking about these connected systems and integrated technologies, how’s that play a part?
Bradley Janer (18:38):
Yeah. And I kind of want to answer this question from the perspective of my ops team specifically too. Because ops, we sit in the middle of everything here. And it would, literally, be impossible for us to do our jobs without working with every department on a daily basis. We have to be plugged in to pretty much everything at all times. And you add Turvo’s platform kind of into that equation, too, and that allows us to really quickly share information across our teams. It helps us measure that we’re operating where we need to be. And it really just removes a lot of the communication barriers. It makes it a little bit of a quicker turnaround.
Bradley Janer (19:10):
But when we’re talking about this connected ecosystem, really with ops in mind, we have access to lots of information, almost infinite amounts of information it feels like. And that gives my team, the operations team, the ability to really to do two things very well in kind of a general sense. And one is just quickly being able to understand what do we need to solve right now immediately kind of down that task list. And then, two is, really, when we step back, how do we take that data, analyze it using all of these connected pieces, all this data coming from different sources to help us improve. That’s part of the monumental piece of it.
Bradley Janer (19:44):
And for ops, I mentioned it earlier, too, problem solving, that is our identity and we need those integrated systems to eliminate a lot of the time it takes to complete the manual blocking and tackling and start focusing on the value added tasks. And, to me, you do that well, that’s where opportunity turns into that sustained growth in my eyes.
Scott Luton (20:05):
Excellent point, Brad. You know, what are we solving? How can we leverage all this data? And how can we really remove all the time intensive stuff that we might, can automate it, and give our team more time to serve and take care of customer’s needs or to innovate or what have you? Luis and Greg, I want to come to y’all next, but really quick, I want to share a couple comments here. TSquared, who holds down the fort for us on YouTube, enjoys your nourishment there, Greg. Great to see it. Perhaps after today’s show, Luis, Seham is interested in how Turvo connected with Future Shape. Maybe we can talk about that afterwards. “Turvo and RPM are fascinating.” And, Seham, great to have you back with us, a pride of Philadelphia. And finally, Pelin, hey, you’re new to industry? How can you learn more? Take notes from this conversation here. And, finally, Graham says, “Hey, what’s up, Brad? Long time no see. Small world.” Great to see you, Graham.
Scott Luton (20:52):
All right. So, Luis, we were just talking about connected systems, integrated technologies, giving your team time back, gaining alignment around, not only what are we trying to do here, what we’re trying to solve, but leveraging proverbial big data to do just that. So, Luis, comment on what you heard Brad and Rick both shared.
Luis Pajares (21:10):
Yeah. It’s really hard to follow Brad and Rick because they kind of say it so well already. I’m going to repeat what they said. Again, I think their success has been by leveraging the collaboration platform, Turvo. And Rick talked about having his entire organization, his shippers, his carriers all having visibility to the same data. Brad talked about it all being connected internally and operating as one team, whether inside your four walls or your outside walls. And, again, it’s been a joy to work with the RPM team because they fully understand the power of collaboration and taking a TMS way beyond just planning, execute, and settling, and being able to address those business problems that has allowed them to grow. So, it’s been a wild ride. And I would say this growth that RPM has put in place because of the technology that they’ve built and made work together.
Scott Luton (22:13):
Well said, Luis. Well said. All right. Greg, man, a lot of different angles from today’s conversation, but what’d you hear Brad, Rick, and Luis share?
Greg White (22:20):
Well, I heard the most important thing you can ever do when you’re developing solutions, and that is to begin with the end in mind. First start with the outcome that you desire and work back into the processes, and the technologies, and the tools, and the people, and the training that get you there. That’s so key to doing what RPM is doing. So, many people just plugged in a technology and expect magic to happen. Truthfully, that is so often the case, thousands of technology implementations, myself. And I’ve found that to be the case way too often to the point that we started preemptively. And I’m sure, Luis, you guys do at Turvo as well, you start preemptively priming the team to recognize that, first of all, this has to be outcome-based. And if the outcome is significant enough, it will be supported by both the management and the people on the desktop that we talked about. And then, you build it to support best, better practice than you’ve been able to accomplish when you were on a spreadsheet or using a manual process as well.
Scott Luton (23:23):
Yeah. Well said there, Greg. And by the way, Henry loves that, ” Begin with the end in mind.” Henry, great to have you here today. And Tom is with us. So, Tom joined us on a similar show about a year and some change ago and set the world on fire. Great to have you back with us, Tom. And, yes, you’re welcome. We all try to share the good word as often as we can.
Scott Luton (23:42):
Okay. So, I want to keep driving here. So, it goes without saying, the massive investment that RPM has made in technology, that’s clearly established. But I want to ask Rick and Brad about how that changes the game when it comes to competition, in particular when it comes to transparency. So, Rick, what would you add there?
Rick Grubb (24:02):
Yeah. I was thinking a little bit about this earlier. I am unequivocally incredibly proud of the tech we have here and what it does. I also don’t think we’ve even scratched the surface of our potential and the things that we can do. We have had the single largest investment in IT in RPM’s history last year. We’ll rival that again this year, building these things.
Rick Grubb (24:22):
And when you say transparency, it’s an interesting word because I think everybody says, “Oh, yeah. I want you to be transparent. Let’s be transparent.” So, of course, the customer ops team and their relationships with the customer is great. I just think transparency is something people say they want but they don’t really care until they absolutely need it. You know, 95 percent of our shipments go off without a hitch. They should be pretty much going through the system and just chiming through, and getting from point A to point B without a problem. But it’s the 5 percent where we need to know what happened, where’s it at, how do we handle it, how do we treat this exception. So, writing tech in a way that treats every shipment, it can become a potential exception, makes that level of transparency for our operators to find the problem, execute, fix, and communicate. That’s what I feel from the tech point of view. I assume you’re going to follow up, Scott, with Brad here. So, how do you feel with the operational side?
Bradley Janer (25:11):
You’re talking about the shipment level and all of the detail, treating it as an exception, and I think, yeah, you have to have all of that so we can piece the puzzle together. For me, when I’m thinking about transparency, too, it really comes back to the data integrity and how well we keep the accurate information. Because it’s not just looking at the shipment level, did we have the breadcrumbs, did we do the right things in sequential order just based on the SOP. When we’re looking at our data, how do we look at the customer’s business as a whole and use the information we’ve been collecting. And, really, not only just taking that as raw information but putting it through our systems, putting it through our problem solvers, and then helping them come up with better ways to improve their process, really, even their decision making. I think that’s when transparency kind of goes on the next level. It’s not just transactional. It’s how do we actually add that value.
Rick Grubb (25:59):
So, day-to-day we do shipments, but we capture all that data. We are learning from it. What we learned, it helps create that sticky relationship, it helps increase our footprint in the market.
Bradley Janer (26:09):
One of the examples I’ve been using a lot, too, is trailer utilization. Right now in data at the transactional level, it’s relatively easy to figure out how much we’ve moved, how many units we picked up. But if we start digging into it, we start tracking how much space was left on that trailer, and can we start fitting together better routing plans. Or even the fact that some, I would say, asset-based carriers may be waiting to fill their trucks up based on production schedules. But if we have the flexibility to bring in different types of trailers that don’t maybe need nine cars to move, it can use three or four, fill it up, it’s a win-win for the carrier to get the trailer utilization. And more than likely there’s some cost savings down the line for the shipper as well.
Scott Luton (26:49):
Love that. All right. So much ground covered there. Luis, Greg, we want to be on Brad and Rick’s next live show. Luis, when it comes to really doubling down, tripling down perhaps, on technology, especially again, driving needle with transparency and visibility, which is really table stakes these days, it’s no longer a nice to have. You got to have. Luis, what’d you hear there?
Luis Pajares (27:10):
Well, I like the word transparency a whole lot better than visibility. I felt like all of last year, all we kept talking about was visibility. And a lot of times that got equated to a blue dot somewhere. And as I was listening to Brad talk about transparency, it’s all the data that’s important to that customer. It’s how you differentiate your business to maybe provide more value to your customer. So, I really, really like that transparency. And maybe we ought to be using that term a whole lot more as we talk about how our technology helps our business with our customers.
Scott Luton (27:44):
Luis, preach it louder to the folks in the back. Greg, I bet you’re dying to jump in here. Tell us what you heard between Brad, Rick, and Luis.
Greg White (27:52):
I don’t get a tinker’s about transparency or visibility unless, as described here, it translates into learnings or a predictive event or something that advises action. We talk about this so much and you are so right, Luis, visibility, transparency. But I think it’s that kind of reaching, that constant attempting to grow, and that’s what really differentiates them from the typical tech-enabled brokerage. I mean, these guys are really taking that knowledge, learning from it, changing their processes, and improving how they serve their customers.
Scott Luton (28:31):
Well said. All right. Really quick, I want to share Seham had an interesting comment here, “Everyone wants a ChatGPT experience with tech.” That is so true. And then, Marco chimes in – I think also a great comment – “Tech companies need to understand, it’s not plug and play but rather consult and design and build. Integrations are living, breathing things with their own unique needs, quirk, et cetera.” Nicely said, Marco. All right.
Scott Luton (28:56):
So, moving right along, Brad and Rick, y’all both have kind of touched on this, but I want to ask it again. I don’t want to leave anything in the blind spot. So, tech led logistics company where it’s not lip service, as Greg just mentioned. It’s real. It’s palpable. You’re combining all that business expertise from you and the team with that advanced technology that we’ve spent in the last almost 40 minutes talking about. Combine those two things and other elements of what makes you successful and tell us what it means to meet your customers at their level of tech. And, Rick, let’s start with you.
Rick Grubb (29:27):
Yeah. We have a pretty typical corporate IT organization, but there is a unique aspect that I didn’t have before in my career. We have a whole team off to the side that’s literally just for integrations. And not the technical term for the people on the stream who understand IT, but how do we integrate externally with our customer shippers and how do they integrate with us. We have a new leader there. She has over 15 years of industry experience doing exactly this thing. And their entire job is to speed the capability of getting data from our shippers into our system. Once it’s in our system, we’re good. But the part of getting it into us is the hard part. And every single one is a unique special snowflake with their own unique requirements.
Rick Grubb (30:11):
So, sometimes that means, “Hey. Here’s an API you guys can call and here are the credentials. Here’s how you have to send it.” Sometimes, “Do you have an EDI file? Can you send us the format? We’ll write an integration for you.” And sometimes it’s 14 different Excel spreadsheets attached to an email as an attachment. It doesn’t matter where you are, we will get you into our system. And in order to do that, we had to build a combination of internal and external tech to build a platform to do that as quickly as possible. Because as soon as the sales team wins a contract, they’re like, “Hey. You got to get the stuff in tomorrow because they want to start moving stuff.” And so, it is probably one of the most challenging and speed driven aspects of the organization here. It’s one thing to build the future. It’s another thing to respond tactically to what’s happening on the field. To meet them at their level of tech is to say, “What do you got? We’ll figure out how to get it in.”
Scott Luton (30:59):
I love that. You mean to tell me sales professionals don’t tell you what’s coming. They don’t ask for permission. They ask for forgiveness. Is that how it works, Rick and Brad?
Rick Grubb (31:08):
We have an amazing sales organization and I love every one of them.
Bradley Janer (31:12):
Yes, we do.
Scott Luton (31:13):
Well hey, I’m only kidding. I’ve done plenty of that in my career. So, I love the transparency there. Brad, what would you add to that? And then, we’re going to get Luis’s comments and then, Greg, we’re going to go to you and kind of talk about the bigger picture and how you’re seeing this stuff applied in general. Brad, what would you add to what Rick shared?
Bradley Janer (31:30):
I think when it comes down to there’s still this common theme that they want the best in class technology that is future proof. I mean, that’s the standard. And that standard is really going to just keep getting higher and higher. But through the ops lens, too, I have a really high standard for my department and I’ll keep coming back to this, but we could be the best problem solvers in the industry. But if we don’t have the right tech to make that skillset really scale, then we’re just going to end up spinning and, ultimately, not providing really any meaningful solutions to the customers or the carriers. So, for me, it’s twofold. You can’t do one without the other. You arm the problem solvers with the right tech. And when you do that, that’s when you start setting the new standard. And that’s really what we’re driving at. We know we can do that. And we’re forging towards that. We got the roadmap. And the pieces are coming together.
Scott Luton (32:15):
Love it. Good stuff. All right. Luis, before I get you to weigh in here, Luke, you’re asking some great questions in the chat, so thank you for that. And Henry, you’re jumping right on it. They talk about balancing transparency and maintaining trade secrets. Y’all keep the questions and comments coming, Luis, what a story here. Again, when it comes to meeting that customer where they are tech-wise.
Luis Pajares (32:36):
Yeah. And that’s one of the things that we think a lot about, is, how do we make sure that as we’re evolving our own technology, we’re able to stay ahead of what our customers, like RPM, are going to be asking for. So, things like making sure that these integrations or the way that you meet your customers move to more self-service so that you’re able to move faster. So, when they close a contract with a new customer, you can move faster. The total cost of expense to get that integration going is lower. API first, yes. We still have a lot of customers who want EDI. Can you imagine a lot of times, RPM customers are going to think EDI is the cat’s meow, but it’s been around since 1950. Yeah, we’ve got to continue to evolve the technology at Turvo so that they can meet their customer where their customer needs to be, whether it’s going to be EDI or API first, self-service, make it easy. Make it easy to say yes to your customers.
Scott Luton (33:40):
Well said, Luis. And API, what’s old is new again in some circles. Who knows? Greg, now we’ve heard a lot of this related to the partnership that’s established here, RPM and Turvo. But when it comes to meeting the customers where they are from a tech standpoint, talk about that in more of the general industry sense, Greg.
Greg White (33:59):
Well, I mean if we didn’t recognize we needed to enable companies of every size in sophistication level during COVID, I don’t know when we ever would. Because the smallest of things can cause the entire breakdown of a supply chain. The famous question is, how many parts does it take to build a Ford F150? And some of them may only come from one source in the entire world or they may come from the smallest company in the entire world. They may come from the least sophisticated company in the entire world. But they still are critical to the completion of the task, to the outcome that we desire. So, enabling companies of every size, every level of sophistication, any number of employees, parts or integration with other businesses is absolutely critical. So, this ability to open it up to everyone is really important.
Greg White (34:51):
We shouldn’t think of supply chain as a chain, in fact. We should think of it as a commerce ecosystem. Because some of those people, they don’t even know what supply chain means. They just know they make this little washer and Ford wants 40 million of them, whatever the product is. But I think we have to acknowledge that. And in order for technology to support the stability of the supply chain, it has to include the ability for anyone, everyone, moms and pops, street vendors, whoever builds this stuff or sells this stuff to be part of the ecosystem.
Scott Luton (35:26):
Well said there, Greg. All right. So, bringing it back to RPM and Turvo and the success that y’all are having together, let’s talk about from Brad and Rick, how does that partnership help drive real transformation, innovation, of course, real growth and success? Beyond what you’ve already shared – and, Brad, let’s start with you – what else would you add to that?
Bradley Janer (35:49):
Turvo is the centerpiece of our execution platform, and that provides us pretty much the jumping off point for everything. But I think the culture of both of our companies is really important to call out. We’re both dedicated to those exact things, transformation of how we manage the supply chain and creating innovative ways to really bridge that gap. We’re not going to do the same thing over and over again for our customers. RPM is not looking to be another broker in the space. We want to disrupt how it’s been done. And we want to provide solutions to, really, the under serviced markets, which the vehicle transportation space definitely falls into, as well as specialized freight in general. We want to craft a shipper, a carrier’s experience around what they want. And that’s where, I think, transformation innovation, they come together, they meet. It’s a powerful combo. And I think Turvo, they’re side by side with us on that mission right now.
Scott Luton (36:39):
Brad, I love how you start your answer with culture. And you can tell, we don’t go back 17 years of knowing each other, but that authenticity with where you come from with that culture, where it all starts, and when you can bake that into the partnership that y’all have here, man, it’s like you get your cake and eat it too. Rick, what would you add to what Brad shared there?
Rick Grubb (36:58):
I also want to start with culture just because he got praised for it.
Bradley Janer (37:02):
It’s his idea.
Rick Grubb (37:03):
It’s interesting, we work together every day. I talk to Brad every day. And just to hear our different perspectives, you know, while we sit here is really interesting. While I agree Turvo is sort of central to our entire process, I’ve never been anywhere where a single systems solved all of my company’s problems. So, we have to build things outside on the way in and outside on the way out to process all that stuff. The partnership with Turvo, for me, as a technologist has really been about pushing them technologically to achieve some of the things we need to do our business. And they’ve been really great partners for that, whether it’s road mapping, what are the features – like Luis was saying going forward – or whether it’s something really unique like they have an API that we can load data in through and we need to change it somehow and their ability to help us do that as well. So, the partnership is sort of, again, integral to all of this. You know, we have quarterly meetings. We just had the first customer advocacy group sort of meeting, and Brad went down and attended. So, the partnership continues to grow, you know, since we’ve been around for a long time with Turvo. And they have grown with us. And I know some of the stuff that’s in the system is there because we asked them, because RPM asked them to do this for us.
Scott Luton (38:16):
That seems to me, Luis, make the whole ecosystem better. Maybe some of the ideas and questions they’re asking for allows you and the Turvo team to innovate. And by the way, Luis, you got to be just tickled to hear Brad and Nick talk about the partnership and how it’s powered, you know, being a big part of their recipe for success. But, Luis, from your side of the table, so to speak, what do you see? What’s some of the outcomes that you are able to accomplish together?
Luis Pajares (38:42):
You know, we’ve been partners since 2016. It was the year that RPM first deployed Turvo. To echo what they’ve said, we’ve come together a long, long way. I think it goes back to the simple solution that if you’re customer-focused and if you really care about your customer success, and you listen, you are going to do really well together. So, the culture of both teams do work really well together. We do push each other hard together. And they’re actually two really nice guys that I got to work with, which makes it a whole lot easier to do. It is about fit in terms of strategy, business direction, culture of the team. And I’m very fortunate to be partners with the RPM team.
Scott Luton (39:26):
I love that, Luis. Hey, really quick, Greg, before I come to you, speaking of former guest, Steve Lyons is chiming in, fellow Michigander. He was a great guest about eight months or so ago. Steve, hope this finds you well and look forward to catching up soon. Greg, I love kind of the transparency that they have shared, some elements here today. Your take on this partnership and how they’re all talking about it.
Greg White (39:50):
In any good business partnership, regardless of whether it’s between technology and a business partner, you push one another. Look, we have to think all the way back to some of the earliest innovations. When Henry Ford was researching how to change transportation in America, what is it that you need? A faster horse was the answer that he got. And knowing that that was not possible, he innovated on that and figured out how to put more horsepower into some other mechanism, automobile now. And it’s very similar. You don’t build a technology because you have this great vision for the future. You build a technology because you have a great vision for how to innovatively solve a problem that customers have brought to you. And when Rick and Brad continue to bring the challenges that they face in their business to Luis and the team at Turvo, and Turvo responds in kind to help solve that problem, or any technology provider, frankly, that creates a really, really good symbiosis between companies and a great relationship where companies get better.
Scott Luton (40:58):
Yes. What a wonderful word, symbiosis, symbiotic relationships. I should point out, you know, we’ll have to have these folks back for another hour because clearly lots of good stuff come out of this partnership. But to Luis’s point, and I think Brad and Rick mentioned it, pushing each other. I bet there’s been some tough conversations and some tough days as there is with any kind of really successful partnership. Because as Brad or Rick mentioned, we don’t want to do the same things over and over again. That’s not how you really drive innovation and growth. So, I really appreciate what y’all shared here today.
Scott Luton (41:31):
Luis, let’s talk about Turvo for a minute. Because I think folks have been with us over the last 50 minutes have really wrapped their head around what kind of partnerships are available, some of what Turvo does. But for the three people out there that may be really new to Turvo, in a nutshell, tell us about what Turvo does and we’re going to share a resource with everybody.
Luis Pajares (41:49):
Yeah. Simply put, we’re the leading collaboration platform for the supply chain. We bring people and data and systems together so that everybody in one roof or under all roofs can work together and bring a great experience to your customer’s customers. That’s what we do.
Scott Luton (42:11):
It’s just that easier, it sounds that way. But, hey, we’ve seen this. Greg, I bet this is the fourth or fifth conversation, many of those we’ve had with Luis. And, hey, some of their customers are not only showing up here, but also in the chat, like Steve and Tom, those are great signals as outsiders. So, Luis, I appreciate that. You always bring resources. We’ve got a resource here I want to share, the ROI Snapshot of the RPM story. Tell us why folks should check out this resource, Luis.
Luis Pajares (42:42):
It’s the story that Rick and Brett have been talking about. And every business executive is looking for a way to make their business stand out and, not only grow, but to grow profitably. And this snapshot is kind of the playbook on how RPM has achieved, you know, 60 percent growth year over year and 40 percent the year over that. And it’s great reading.
Scott Luton (43:06):
Agreed. And easy to download, easy access. We dropped the link in the chat. And you know what? We don’t have many shows where two of our guests are kind of in the same studio. I love that there was a segment of today’s conversation where y’all two were really vibing between and kind of you were triggering each other’s thoughts. Really cool element, I think, to today’s conversation. And I hate that we’re approaching end of it.
Scott Luton (43:28):
Let me share a couple quick comments and we’re going to make sure how folks know how to connect with all of you. Jack says, “If I asked before what they wanted, they would’ve said a faster horse. So true, Jack. And, Greg, I love that when you bring that into some of these conversations. We mentioned Amanda – big thanks to Amanda and Katherine behind the scenes helping to make production happen – we dropped that link to get the ROI Snapshot. Y’all check that out. All right.
Scott Luton (43:51):
So, let’s start with RPM Freight Systems team. Folks, y’all are rocking and rolling. I really appreciate y’all’s time here. Rick, let’s start with you, how can folks connect with you and the RPM team?
Rick Grubb (44:02):
Yeah. Well, first, there’s the LinkedIn, I think, is on this chat, so you can catch me on LinkedIn. rpmmoves.com, our company website. But, also, if anyone wants to talk specifically to me, my email is real easy, its just r2, like the robot from Star Wars – email@example.com.
Scott Luton (44:19):
Love it. I bet there’s some stories there. And we are dropping the link again to connect with Rick, Brad, and Luis, probably, in the chat. Brad, what would you add to that? How can folks connect with you and that radio voice of yours?
Bradley Janer (44:34):
You can connect with me on LinkedIn as well and, yeah, even in my email directly. It’s bjaner, J-A-N-E-R, @rpmmoves.com as well. Yeah, I’m looking forward to hearing some of the feedback from all of this. And I got to give a shoutout to [inaudible] for the User Group One out in Dallas a couple months ago going through the ice storm. This one’s for you, guys.
Scott Luton (44:53):
Oh, man. I bet y’all have some more stories there that some will never see the light of day, I bet, we’ll see. Rick and Brad, a pleasure. Luis, how can folks connect with you and the heavy hitting Turvo team?
Luis Pajares (45:05):
Yeah. So, I can be found on LinkedIn as well. Visit us at Turvo at www.turvo.com. And I really would like to thank Brad and Rick for joining us here today and for your partnership. And it’s always a pleasure to speak with you guys. And Scott and Greg, same thing.
Scott Luton (45:24):
Man. Luis, back by popular demand. Always a pleasure. And always enjoy meeting friends, customers, allies that you bring to the table. Big thanks to all of y’all. And, Greg, I’m going to get your key takeaway after we bid our guests ado. We’ve been chatting with Rick Grub II, Chief Information Officer with RPM. Thank you for joining us, Rick. Brad Janer, Vice-President of Customer Operations with RPM. Brad, always a pleasure. And Luis Pajares, Chief Customer Officer with Turvo. Luis, looking forward to connecting with you again really soon. Enjoy that time with that family. I know they’re just outside the door, huh?
Luis Pajares (46:04):
They are. They’re going to be banging on that door any second.
Scott Luton (46:07):
That is right. Well, thank you, Luis. And we’ll see all three of y’all again very, very soon. Keep up the great work.
Greg White (46:14):
Rick Grubb (46:15):
Bradley Janer (46:15):
Scott Luton (46:19):
Man, I’ll tell you, the stories, the stories, the stories. There might have been another thought there. Maybe we are going to get one of those stories from the infamous customer meeting down in Dallas. You never know. But a lot of fun. As Steve Lyons says, “User Group One.” Clearly, they had some camaraderie and a lot of fun with that. Greg, I really enjoyed this last hour. I’ll tell you, when you get customers together, you get these partners together, folks that are going through the journey doing big things, driving change, and finding success in the market that we find ourselves in right now, that helps to remind me why we do what we do here. But all of that aside, in the last hour as folks leave and go on to do big things in their offices and teams, wherever they are around the world, what is one aspect of that conversation that they got to keep in mind?
Greg White (47:10):
Well, you have to seek outcomes, not approaches. Much like an internal customer, like Brad might ask Rick for a solution or Rick might ask an external resource like Luis for a solution, don’t say “This is what I want to do,” don’t say “I want a faster horse.” Say “I want to get from the farm to town faster.” And let the innovators determine how they can make you do that. When you build those false boundaries, companies will, they’ll build exactly what you ask them for. But that doesn’t necessarily get you the result. It’s important to communicate the outcome whenever you’re talking about a technological innovation. And when you’re a fast moving company like RPM, it’s clear that they, again, begin with that end in mind. This is the outcome we want. Give us some ideas on the approach that we can take to tackle that. Now, there’s a lot of underlying stuff that goes on for that process, at least begin with the end in mind.
Scott Luton (48:09):
I love that. And I’ve seen it in action here at Supply Chain Now as we use all sorts of different technologies. When I start to say, “Hey, I want that faster horse,” Greg goes, Uh-uh. Uh-uh.” That’s not how we want to address it. So, I really appreciate that. Other folks need to learn from you. And, hey, other folks really need to learn from Luis and Brad and Rick, folks out there making it happen. And I really enjoyed —
Greg White (48:32):
That is a great partnership. Clearly very productive.
Scott Luton (48:35):
Okay. Folks, appreciate all the feedbacks that come in via the chat. We appreciate it. I know we couldn’t get to as many comments. We had so much to work through, different elements of the story here today, but thanks for being here. Big thanks again, Katherine and Amanda, Chantel, all the folks behind the scenes helping make production happen. Greg, always a pleasure to knock these out with you.
Greg White (48:52):
Scott Luton (48:53):
Folks, it’s great to talk about these things, but, man, take the principles, take the experiences, take the wins, take the mistakes, whatever, and act on it. That’s what it’s all about. And with that said, Scott Luton and the Supply Chain Now team, challenging you to do good, to give forward, and to be the change. We’ll see you next time right back here at Supply Chain Now. Thanks everybody.
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.
Brad Janer is an experienced Operations Leader with over 11 years in the transportation industry. Driven by empowering people and creating growth opportunities, Brad takes pride in providing the best professional development possible for his team. As Vice President of Customer Operations, his goals revolve around scaling RPM’s growing vehicle transportation business and providing a superior customer experience. In addition to his primary job functions, Brad has been focused on bridging the gap between operations and technology to create products and services that truly separate RPM from others in the industry. Connect with Brad on LinkedIn.
Rick Grubb is an experienced leader with over 25 years in IT. He has worked in multiple industries including consumer packaged goods, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, automotive, healthcare, and aviation manufacturing at varied industry-leading corporations. He is also a graduate of the General Electric Executive Leadership Program. As Chief Information Officer, Rick drives the continued technical evolution of RPM, including the automation and acceleration of frictionless transactions between customers and carriers from opportunity management to invoice payment. Connect with Rick on LinkedIn.
Luis Pajares is the Chief Customer Officer at Turvo. He ensures a deep understanding of each customer’s business to best serve them with appropriate solutions that fuel success. Luis previously served as the Chief Revenue Officer at Turvo, where he led the growing sales and marketing teams. Luis Pajares has a proven track record of success with over 30 years in software and Saas solutions in both large publicly traded and pre-IPO companies. He served as Group Vice President for Oracle Communications and was a senior member of the management team responsible for strategy and execution. Prior to Oracle, Luis led the transition of Tekelec, a telecommunications company, from a publicly-traded company into private equity, later culminated by the Oracle acquisition. Additionally, Luis led worldwide sales for Airvana, a provider of mobile IP solutions, where he helped take the company public in 2008. From 1999 to 2003, Luis was Sr. Vice President at Inet Technology, a provider of business and operations management solutions, where he managed the Company’s sales, consulting, customer service, product line management and marketing organizations. Luis helped the company grow sales to over 500+ customers on six continents. Prior to Inet, Luis held a general manager role overseeing product development, finance, and customer functions at Alcatel where he responsible for Alcatel’s business in Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and Canada. He came to Alcatel as part of the DSC acquisition where he was Vice President of Mobile Networks. Luis began his career in communications at Texas Instruments where he was responsible for negotiating defense contracts. He then moved to NEC America where he held various sales and management positions responsible for selling to enterprise, education, and service provider customers. Luis holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Florida and an MBA from the University of Dallas. Luis lives in Dallas, Texas. Connect with Luis on LinkedIn.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is 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.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.