Supply Chain Now
Episode 1150

We were looking at loads, we were looking at states, and all these different pieces, but we didn’t know how to look at all that and make decisions or gauge how we were doing.

- Clint Graflund, VP of Operations, Stone Distributing

Episode Summary

When you build something that has never been done before, you need clear understanding – and a solid plan – for every level of the supply chain. Stone Distributing, a leading premium beverage wholesaler in southern California, wanted to get their team out of the load building business. They partnered with Zengistics, a technology driven supply chain and logistics partner that provides scalable managed transportation offerings, to break supply chain norms, disrupt the status quo, reimagine the supply chain – and ultimately create a blueprint for repeatable financial success.

Matthew Zimmer is the President of Zengistics and Clint Graflund is the VP of Operations for Stone Distributing. In this livestream-based episode, they joined Scott Luton and Greg White to talk about how this 4PL-Shipper duo broke down industry challenges to pioneer a superior supply chain with Turvo at the heart of it all.

Listen in to learn how they partnered to build:

– Best-in-class supply chains that serve as industry blueprints for innovation and success

– A tech stack based on Turvo’s Collaboration Cloud and TMS, which ticked boxes that were beyond the reach of other industry solutions

– A repeatable 4PL/Shipper model that is quick for new customers to deploy

– Absolute trust and peace of mind in logistics partners to handle the shippers’ most important assets

– 100% visibility and collaboration for everyone in the supply chain

– Transparent costs, profitability, and complete financial analytics

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:04):

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, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you are. Scott Lutton and Greg White with you here on Supply Chain Now. Welcome to today’s live stream. Greg, how are we doing today?

Greg White (00:41):

Doing quite well, Scott. How are you?

Scott Luton (00:43):

I’m doing outstanding. Outstanding. We had a wonderful green show or a pre-show conversation —

Greg White (0:48):

Yes.

Scott Luton (0:48):

— with our guests. Big show here today.

Greg White (00:50):

And the most important thing, we’re talking about beer.

Scott Luton (00:54):

That’s right. Good cold beer during these really hot days.

Greg White (0:57):

No kidding.

Scott Luton (0:58):

So, speaking of, Greg, since you kind of let the cat ought to the bag a little bit, big show today as we dive into an innovative relationship between a shipper and a 3PL, 4PL fueled forward by Turvo’s high powered, highly collaborative Cloud technology. Two leaders and organizations we’re featuring here today. Well, Greg, they set out to break supply chain norms, disrupt the status quo, reimagined supply chain, and ultimately create a new blueprint for repeatable, repeatable financial success. Good show, huh?

Greg White (01:27):

Wow. Yes. I’m sorry I misinterpreted leaders. I thought you meant, since we were talking about beers, you meant leaders, not liters.

Scott Luton (1:38):

Like growlers —

Greg White (1:37):

Snarly. I had it in my head. But yes, clearly, yes. You’re going to hear from some folks who have been there and done that as a team. And I love it when we have these stories where we get to talk about, you know, the challenges they were facing and how they attacked them and solved them. And just the little bit that Clint shared with us before we kicked off, you guys don’t get to hear all that, it was fascinating. So, he’s going to share more of that along with Matt here in just a minute.

Scott Luton (2:03):

That’s right.

Greg White (2:03):

But I’ll let you formally introduce them after you —

Scott Luton (2:06):

I appreciate.

Greg White (2:06):

— you do some housekeeping.

Scott Luton (02:07):

Yes, a little bit of housekeeping. And of course, the Clint, Greg, that you mentioned is Clint Graflund from SDC. He’s joined by Matt Zimmer from Zengistics that we’ll bring on in just a second. But folks, we’re going to hear from Matt and Clint. A lot of good stuff. We want to hear from you as well.

Scott Luton (2:22):

We got a jam-packed show here today. To Kevin. Good to see you, Kevin. And Adam, dear old friend there. Kendall is tuned in. Our buddy Josh Goody [phonetic] tuned in from Seattle, Jonathan from Louisiana, and John Peterson once again from Marietta, Georgia, and a lot more.

Greg White (02:40):

I was just at Moxie Burger. Dad cometh [phonetic].

Scott Luton (02:42):

Really?

Greg White (02:43):

Yes. Yes.

Scott Luton (2:44):

Well, we’ll have to —

Greg White (2:45):

It’s been a tight schedule, as you know, for the last couple weeks, Scott, right?

Scott Luton (02:48):

Well, you know, speaking of burgers and good food, we may just start there in a second. But I want to —

Greg White (02:55):

Or food like it.

Scott Luton (02:56):

Or food like it, that’s right. So, are you ready? Are we ready to bring on our two featured guests here today. With no further ado, I want to welcome in Matt Zimmer, President of Zengistics. And Clint Graflund, Vice President of Operations for Stone Distributing Company.

Scott Luton (3:13):

Hey. Hey, Matt. How you doing?

Matt Zimmer (03:14):

I’m doing well. How you doing?

Scott Luton (03:16):

Wonderful. Great to see you. And Clint, how are you doing, sir?

Clint Graflund (03:19):

Outstanding.

Scott Luton (03:20):

Wonderful. Wonderful. And we weren’t lying. We really enjoyed that pre-show conversation.

Greg White (3:24):

Yes.

Scott Luton (3:24):

Getting to know a little bit more because you all have incredible — an incredible story that we’re going to unpack a lot of today. Aren’t we, Greg?

Greg White (03:30):

Yes, I think the first thing we need to unpack is, you know, Stone Distributing, also known as SDC, does not distribute stone. They distribute beer.

Scott Luton (03:41):

Good beer.

Greg White (03:41):

One of the beers is called stone but it’s still beer.

Matt Zimmer (3:44):

Right.

Scott Luton (03:45):

Good cold beer.

Greg White (03:48):

Right. It is not gravel.

Scott Luton (03:50):

That’s right. We’re going to talk supply chain and beer with two innovators. So, I want to start though, before we get into you all’s story, Clint and Matt, before we get into your story, I want to start with a little fun warm-up question because today is national hot dog day. So — and let all the people celebrate as we have parades and the like. So, I’m going to ask you both. And Matt, I’m going to start with you, because Clint’s answer might be a little bit different. So, Matt, what is the perfect hot dog and where do you get it?

Matt Zimmer (04:16):

I mean, I got two young kids, so a plain hot dog goes down pretty quick. But a little bit of brown mustard, sauerkraut. When I lived in Toronto, they had pretty good street vendors that had the hot dogs there. So, if I could probably go pick one, I would. I just got back from New York City. We passed a thousand hot dog guys. Passed on the mall. Didn’t have one this weekend, but that’s where I go. A little bit of brown mustard, sauerkraut. Toronto sounds pretty good.

Scott Luton (04:42):

Oh, Matt, making us hungry. Folks — and before I go to Clint and Greg with this question, we want to hear from you. Where do you get — what’s on your perfect hot dog and where do you get it? So, let us know.

Scott Luton (4:52):

All right. So, Clint, as I mentioned, your answer may be a little bit different. What — where do you get your perfect hot dog?

Clint Graflund (04:58):

I — so, I don’t eat a lot of hot dogs, if I’m being honest. But when I do, it’s typically grabbing one at Costco. Hot mustard and onions on those. But yes, in terms of hot dogs, that’s probably as good as it gets for me.

Scott Luton (05:13):

So, Clint, Amanda and I both agree with you. I bet Greg does too. Amanda says, I can’t leave Costco without that $1.50 hot dog and drink. They are the best.

Scott Luton (5:21):

All right. So, Greg, one of our favorites is already out there with what Clint shared. What — where do you get the perfect hot dog?

Greg White (05:27):

I think, it’s funny, Matt, that you mentioned that. Because I was thinking New York Street vendors. I love those. That onion sauce that they put on the dog with mustard, and I can’t even remember what else, but mostly just mustard and the onion sauce. Oh, and relish. So, you get sweet relish and onions together with mustard. It is just — it’s unbelievable. But I love anything hot dogs. Costco is right up there. Mustard and relish, yes.

Scott Luton (05:54):

I’m going to steal your thunder, Greg. I got to steal your thunder. You’ve made — you all three — you all made me hungry. Even the simple Costco dog, but relish, coleslaw, mustard, tabasco, right, and you get it on — at the turn at the golf club. That is always like one of the best hot dogs you ever eat, you know. Even if it’s been in there rolling around for like three weeks, it’s still good. And let me just add to a couple —

Greg White (6:15):

Because you’re hungry.

Scott Luton (6:17):

That’s right. You’re starving because you’re — you’ve had a couple beers already, right? Eric says, Costco hot dog with ketchup and mustard. Eric, I’m with you on the mustard side, not so much on the ketchup side. Wellington says, McAllen, Texas. We’ll have to find out about that. John says, cheesedog from Brandi’s World Famous hot dogs.

Greg White (06:33):

So that —

Scott Luton (06:35):

Is that good?

Greg White (06:36):

Legendary. It’s this dumpy little shack by the railroad tracks, literally, still there in Marietta. And man, I’ve totally forgot about that. Yes, that’s fantastic.

Scott Luton (06:46):

All right. So, now we’re going to have a — next one on my next shows is going to be —

Greg White (06:50):

One location at Brandy’s.

Scott Luton (06:52):

Yes.

Greg White (06:53):

If trains are going by while we’re eating hot dogs, then that makes it a supply chain show, wasn’t it?

Scott Luton (06:59):

That’s right. We can fit it in all in and of course with a delicious cold stone brew.

Greg White (7:04):

Yes.

Scott Luton (7:05):

All right. So, we’re going to dive in, Clint and Matt. As we teased on the front, and you all have got an outstanding story that I think folks are going to take a lot from this conversation. They’re going to be inspired. They’re going to be emboldened to think differently, right, with based on you all’s relationship and the outcomes. So, I want to start with level setting just a little bit so folks can kind of view things in kind context. So, to that end, Clint, tell us a more about SDC.

Clint Graflund (07:30):

OK. So, SDC, we’re a premium beverage wholesaler in Southern California. We were established in 1999 by the founders of Stone Brewing, Greg Koch and Steve Wagner. Since then, we’ve grown to become the largest distributor of independent craft beverages in the country. Some brands you might recognize, Stone Brewing, Coronado Brewing, Pizza Port, JuneShine, Russian River.

Clint Graflund (7:52):

We have around 400 team members. We service roughly 12,000 accounts in both the on and the off premise. We service an area stretching from Santa Barbara in California down to the border with Mexico, and as far east as like Palm Springs or Big Bear. We deliver around 6 million cases a year of beer. Out of two — roughly a thousand — two 1,000 roughly square foot facilities. We have one here in San Marcos, where I’m at today in North County San Diego, and we have another in Downey which is in Southeast Los Angeles County.

Scott Luton (08:23):

6 million. 6 million cases of beer. And I love that what I found on you all’s website — which you all should venture over folks, you’ve been taking care of beer like no one else since 1996. A track record of doing it. All right. So, now that we’ve level set on the SDC side. Matt, tell us more a little about Zengistics.

Matt Zimmer (08:43):

Yes. I mean, at first — with a quick snippet about myself, I used to kind of call myself a non-freight guy that runs a freight company.

Scott Luton (8:50):

Right.

Matt Zimmer (8:50):

And we, kind of, evolved a little bit from that lately. Part of that is, you know, that’s not good for either side, myself or the company. So, we’ve really pivoted and now it, kind of, how I describe Zengistics is we’re a technology company that moves freight.

Matt Zimmer (09:03):

We use what we consider managed services or transportation as a service offering where we come in and we usually take, you know, in many cases, a hundred percent of a company’s inbound or outbound freight. There’s no doubt we do spot, we do RFQ for smaller pieces. But our bread and butter is kind of that, you know, taking over entire piece of business that we consider managed services. And then what we’re doing inside of that is consolidating loads, route optimization, figuring out ways not only to control cost on the freight line but being able to move up into the SG&A and the indirect spend by being able take over some of their planning resources to be able to align those, those shipments better.

Matt Zimmer (9:42):

And then through a lot of our data and analytics, we’ve actually been able to find that we can actually help customers grow revenue through different innovation around how we’re thinking about total cost of ownership, return on investment from where they want to possibly put a new co-pack or a distribution.

Matt Zimmer (09:58):

So, really, we’re kind of this non-asset technology company. No doubt we’re moving freight. Trying to de-commoditize the commodities, as we kind of call it. We are owned by a billion dollar asset trucking company, although we are run independently. I think we’ve done some really cool things around how an asset and a non-asset can play together and kind of transform the space. But technology really built around Turvo is what we’ve done. Our intellectual properties, we have about 20 different software applications API’ed around Turvo that, I think, gives us the leverage and the consistency to move forward.

Scott Luton (10:29):

Love that. And as we’re going to get more into you all’s partnership and the big things that’s done and led to it has been powered by Turvo. And so, we’ll have some resources from the Turvo team as part of our conversation here today. And by the way, Matt, I love that technology company that moves freight, delivering peace of mind.

Matt Zimmer (10:47):

Yes.

Scott Luton (10:47):

All right. So, Greg, now anything you want to add? And now that we’ve gotten some valuable context, the world needs more context, in my opinion at least. Now that Clint and Matt kind of shared a little bit more about what they had done and what they do. Anything that you think is really important as we move into their story?

Greg White (11:02):

Yes. Well, I just going to tease it a little bit because we’ve heard a little bit about the story. And I think, you know, mostly what I want to hear is this challenge that they faced together and how they solved it, both with and without technology, was a really interesting part of our discussion pre-show. So, I’d love to jump into that. Can we just jump into that?

Scott Luton (11:22):

We are. And that’s exactly where we’re going next. It’s like you’re reading my mind or something. So —

Greg White (11:26):

It’s like I’m reading the show notes.

Scott Luton (11:28):

As we start to understand — keeping it real here, right? As we start to understand this powerful partnership we’ve been touting here for the first few minutes that’s been built between your organizations and with the Turvo team. I want to start with Clint. You wanted to build something that had never been built before. So, walk us through that process a little bit.

Clint Graflund (11:47):

Sure. So, when I was working with Stone Brewing, this was about five years ago, the freight management was a really big spend for us, and it was also a really critical component of what we did. With Stone, like a lot of, you know, kind of independent craft brewers move a lot of, kind of, multi-stop full truckload. And it was really challenging for us to really kind of understand the how are we doing?

Clint Graflund (12:10):

So, kind of at 30,000 feet, we wanted to get out of the load building business, having people huddled around Excel and trying to build these loads that were coming our way. And also, we really needed to find a way to better understand or measure how we were doing. So, you know, beyond just accessorials and fuel, we want to look at the whole picture at the time Stone and Still does manufacturers on two coasts.

Clint Graflund (12:31):

So, you’re hitting 50 states. Where should we be manufacturing it? How often should we ask our distributors to place order? We were kind of in a made to order situation with all of our distributors, brew to a forecast, and produce to order. So, there were — I had a lot of ideas and thoughts on how we could get this done. There was enough predictability in my mind in the model that we could do a lot better than we did. But there just didn’t seem to be any carriers that I spoke with that really had the ability to or the willingness to, kind of, lean into that with us.

Scott Luton (13:00):

Greg, what stood out there? And before we get Matt to comment, what stood out there as Clint shared as he set out and to build that really execute on his bold vision?

Greg White (13:10):

I think the complexity of it is what’s really notable, right? You’re brewing on two coasts and shipping, I mean, really very close to the coast. You said Richmond, correct?

Clint Graflund (13:21):

Yes.

Greg White (13:22):

And L.A., San Diego. So, very near the coast. So, there’s a big gap in between those two areas. And the challenges of that are monumental, right? So, I think that’s something you have to acknowledge, is that the incredible complexity of covering a country from the coast.

Scott Luton (13:39):

Yes.

Clint Graflund (13:40):

Yes.

Scott Luton (13:40):

All right. So, Matt, I’m want to bring you in here, before I’m going to ask you in just a second about how you came up with the plan, but anything you want to comment on as Clint was, kind of, laying that out the front end? Anything you want to comment on really quick, Matt?

Matt Zimmer (13:51):

Yes. I mean, I think the important thing is, and where Clint and I, I think hit it off right off the bat was, you know, he was looking to go do something different. And that’s kind of how we think about our business, right? I mean, 15,000 people can move freight, right? Just 15,000 freight, how many — whatever you want to call it. There’s many of them, right?

Matt Zimmer (14:09):

It’s actually, how do you go solve the most complex problems, right? And Clint’s problem, sure, it was part about moving freight, but it was also the data side of it. The understanding of that, I think a very important piece that’s often missed is, you know, I consider myself an operator, right? What is the information that operation is getting to go work with sales?

Scott Luton (14:28):

Right.

Matt Zimmer (14:28):

I mean — like, you know, it’s always like, well, my sales guys are — you have these order cadence to these order patterns. I have no way to convince them. Well, you can convince them through data and you can convince them through other ways of doing that. And so, part of it was, is just the willingness on both sides to go — try to go do something that, as we said before, hadn’t been done in that way before. And the willingness to go throw everything at it from, as Greg said, both a technical and a non-technical way was really critical. But it’s how do you solve problems and not just how do you move freight?

Scott Luton (14:57):

Yes. All right. So, I’m going to dive a little deeper there. So, both of you, as you all are describing results driven supply chain veterans. So, you paint this picture. You go lock yourself and maybe your team is in a room. You get — you have a few eureka moments, maybe a few spirited debates and discussions, and you draw up this new supply chain plan. Matt, how does that happen?

Matt Zimmer (15:17):

Yes. I mean, I tell this story all the time. You know, Clint and I sat down and we were in a room and I think we walked out with, you know, probably Zengistics agreeing to probably 12 or 15 different things that I knew how to do about two of them. I mean, honestly. And so, you know, it came back in to Zengistics and we shut the door with the team, and I said, OK, we got to go figure out these other 13, like.

Scott Luton (15:40):

Right.

Matt Zimmer (15:40):

And it was almost all built around the technology side of it. Let be really clear, it was — it’s all the data and the analytics side. The cost per case equivalent is, as Clint is referring to, on a multi-stop. You can just imagine one pick, three drop at three different states, right?

Matt Zimmer (15:56):

You have different pallets on the last leg versus the first one. So, how are you applying the miles versus the dimensions in a true cost versus how a lot of people did that before? How are you building real-time visibility where they can see that in real-time? How is that pivotable? How can you look at accessorials, take out fuel? Oh, by the way, let’s be really clear. You got to go deliver it 98, 99% fill rate, and through the rest of it.

Matt Zimmer (16:19):

And so, it was really kind — but that’s where the team at Zengistics, and this is where I’m really proud of the group that we have, are really good at doing this kind of stuff. We want to go solve the most complex things and try to go do things that haven’t really been thought of before. But really, it had to start with the analytics suite that we kind of build around that.

Scott Luton (16:38):

Yes.

Matt Zimmer (16:38):

And then once we had the data, then it was just a constant back and forth between us and Stone around, what does the data mean? And more importantly, how do we actually go drive the result that we’re looking for? Obviously, we’re doing this to drive down cost

Scott Luton (16:52):

Right.

Matt Zimmer (16:52):

To drive up service. And so, how are we actually applying this to it? It’s great that you have a number in front of you. What are we going to go do about it? What are — are we going to go change minimum pallet quantities per distributor? I — Clint in the green room said it, maybe we stop shipping a special release to Montana because it doesn’t make any viable financial sense to go make that happen. Those were all conversations that we had that started coming ought to the data side of it.

Scott Luton (17:14):

Matt, I love that. And, Greg, I’m going to get you to weigh in after we hear from Clint. And really — but really quick, Clint, before I get you to comment here on how this happened. To the audience, as you hear Clint and Matt talk about doing things different, doing things bold, you know, challenging long held assumptions, looking out for smart business, driving down those costs, as Matt talked about and raising those service levels. Tell us what resonates with you. You know, whether you’re in the beer industry or not. Tell us what you can identify with.

Scott Luton (17:42):

So, Clint, from your perspective, how does all this happen? As Matt described a lot of the, you know, going into the, the war room and having those discussions. What — what’s the missing piece that you’d like to share?

Clint Graflund (17:52):

Well, I mean, I think for us it really started with X’s and O’s. The capabilities of building trust. And I think that’s where we started with Zengistics is, you know, we do need to get the freight carried. You know, we need to get picked up on time. You know, we need — you know, competitive pricing. And they did a great job with that piece. And as we kind of sat down and said, OK. You know, we talked about doing this, let’s kind of lean into it. I just threw everything but the kitchen sink at Matt, but I’d like to see this, I’d like to see this at this clip. I’d like a dedicated team. You know, here’s what we need to do and here’s what it should look like when we pivot. And, you know, for me it was, you know, kind of taking this in bite-sized chunks and started kind of watching it, kind of, progress.

Clint Graflund (18:26):

Stone made a lot of decisions operationally based on what we were able to kind of put together. An example would be shipping to Colorado, for example, out of the East Coast. Intuitively you might think West Coast is the way to go there. But looking at the data and the way this tool looks and, hey, we can stop at these other two, you know, distributors on the way. And that service Colorado out of Richmond, which was actually less expensive at the time for us to manufacture beer.

Clint Graflund (18:51):

We were making real decisions based on this data, and that’s what we needed. I think Matt touched on it, it’s not only convincing sales but the operations team as well. Hey, we should be brewing this here and, you know, these folks should be ordering every other week, not every week. And really kind of using the data that this, kind of, program put together to make decisions.

Clint Graflund (19:07):

So, we were in the room multiple times talking about, OK, here’s what the data’s telling us and interpreting it together. So, you know, in short, it was — we were looking more for like a thought partner than just an execution partner. It was really kind of fun to look at data that we — neither of us had ever looked at before in that way, and then start to make decisions on and build cases internally at Stone to make decisions.

Scott Luton (19:26):

I’m so glad you mentioned that. And Greg, I’m going to get your comment, but you know, you got to have the data to look at the data. And I — we’re going to get to that in a minute about where that came from. But Greg, as we heard from Matt and Clint talk about these powerful conversations that led to big actions and big outcomes, what stands out to you?

Greg White (19:43):

Yes, two things. The metrics driven is critical and not common. You know, in my past I dealt with a lot of wine and spirits and beer distributors, and it’s kind of a wild west show with a lot of those companies, even some of the really, really big ones. And to see what Clint even was conceiving, you can see where it wasn’t in the industry because some of the older players, they used to take the benefit of the doubt from not having data, not just — with their customers but with those revenuers.

Greg White (20:17):

So, you know, you think about a company started in 1999, they’re much — they have much less of that legacy and much more of the eyesight towards the modern way of doing business. And a lot of old distributors and brands are coming around to that. But, you know, this is really — I think it’s hard to overstate how different this is than, you know, the traditional big beer or even craft beer industry.

Greg White (20:45):

So, the metrics is one, and I think the partnership of getting together and solving the problems together, presenting them, and then each of you respectively locking yourselves and your people in a room to figure out what the other has asked for or offered, and how you can adapt to that. I think that is a really, really powerful statement for how to create a good partnership. And, you know, you —

Scott Luton (21:07):

That’s right.

Scott Luton (21:08):

— again, you all didn’t get to see this, but you will here, these two can kind of finish one another’s sentences. So, I mean, it really has worked like that. And that is the kind of relationship that you want to have. Gone are the days of trying to hide everything from your vendors, if that’s what you want to call them, or you know, your suppliers to sharing that information and — both of you capitalizing on.

Scott Luton (21:33):

So, true. Quick comment from John Peterson, the biggest challenge is not getting the data, it’s taking that data — isn’t getting the data. It’s taking that data and turning it into something useful. Love how they basically clean sheeted this and created something powerful. I’m with you John.

Scott Luton (21:48):

All right. So, Matt, I want to shift over to you. I want to talk about, you know, we’ve mentioned Turvo and how that helped enable what you are describing here. So, let’s talk about the critical selection process. So, what were some of the boxes, Matt, that had to be checked when it came to picking the right TMS in supply chain solution? And how did you land on Turvo?

Matt Zimmer (22:06):

Yes. I mean, I’ll be honest. I mean, Turvo was selected before I came into the organization, but I will say that probably the biggest reason I chose to come to Zengistics from outside the industry was because of Turvo. The collaborative nature of the technology, the data side of it, but it’s also really powerful in the way that the OpenAPI works with a lot of other software pieces as we said. We probably have 15 to 20, I mean, tech — probably tells we may have more. Technologies API’ed into that. And how we think about being a technology organization is we’re here to drive the best efficiency we can. Obviously, we care about service. We care about delighting our customers. But we can also do this in a far more efficient manner that also reduces costs and total cost of ownership to our customers.

Matt Zimmer (22:57):

And so, for Turvo, what really works is, A, we have a great relationship inside of Turvo. Although they’re large and have a very solid system, we — there’s still areas of conversation around where do we think the next API could come in? Or we really believe that if you could API into this kind of technology, that would really help us move forward. So, we have a very open collaborative discussion with Turvo of how it works today. The platform is incredible in itself and the amount of data that it collects.

Matt Zimmer (23:26):

And so, the ability from our data team which is really one of the most important pieces behind the scenes is just exactly as the comment from the person stated. It’s not just about the data, it’s what are you doing with the data. How are you actioning the data? And inside of Turvo, I mean, real-time analytics, real-time financials by carrier rep, by region, by load, by customer, by everything. It’s all there.

Matt Zimmer (23:50):

And how we built the power BI for Stone, it was cost per case equivalent by state, by distributor, by skew out of each manufacturing. You can pivot on one versus the other and see, what was that if I would have taken that last stop out versus another stop? What would my cost have been? I mean, these are actionable pieces of data that was all there. All 100% build inside of Turvo and Turvo’s ability on how to not only be able to collect the data, operate, but be able to build really strong user interface that you can get the data out of and action it.

Scott Luton (24:25):

Clint, I’m going to get your response to some of that. Siham [phonetic] says, so there are good shipper XPL relationships. Very sarcastically, I love that. Great to have you here as always, Siham.

Greg White (24:35):

No lack of effort, right? I mean, to assure that, clearly —

Scott Luton (24:39):

That’s right.

Greg White (24:39):

— what Matt and his team do really well is get engaged.

Scott Luton (24:44):

That’s right. Yes, excellent point. And Kim, great to have you. Jeff, Bob, I’ll try to get you all’s comments in just a second.

Scott Luton (24:50):

Clint, respond — you were sharing a couple of things in the pre-show, and hopefully you can share some there. As Matt described, you know, what they were looking for. What boxes had to be checked? Any quick comment there, Clint?

Clint Graflund (25:03):

I would just say I really liked John’s comment about the ability to get data because we could get data all day long. It was very difficult for us to turn that into something that we could action. Like, we’re looking at loads, we’re looking at states, and all these different pieces, but kind of how do we look at all this and make decisions or kind of gauge how are we doing?

Clint Graflund (25:21):

To be frank, I — you know, I — the first time I’d heard of Turvo was from Matt. I hadn’t heard of it before. Actually, I should say I’d heard of it, but I had no real familiarity with it in terms of what it could do.

Scott Luton (25:30):

Yes.

Clint Graflund (25:31):

So, I was, sort of, agnostic in terms of what tool that he used. We just talked about, this is how we need to look at things. He pitched the tool and what they — way — they could do, and we were kind of off to the races from there.

Scott Luton (25:39):

Yes. Greg, I know that really resonated with you as we were having that conversation.

Greg White (25:43):

Yes.

Scott Luton (25:43):

I’m pretty sure.

Greg White (25:44):

Technology is just a hammer, right? I mean, it really is. You — you’ve got to identify the problem that you needed solved and either pick, select the right technology or configure the right technology to solve that problem. That’s the only use for technology, is to get you to your goal. Outcome, Scott, as you love to say, right?

Scott Luton (26:05):

I do. I do. Actionable insights too, is one of our favorite things to talk about here, because what are insights if they’re not actionable, right?

Greg White (26:12):

True.

Scott Luton (26:12):

Matt, I’m coming to you next in just a second. I want to reference Bob’s comment here. So, great one here. Bob says, the whole reason for success is that trust that was built up between the shipper and the provider. Create that trust upfront, great results will happen. Traditionally, the shipper does not trust the provider, and the provider does not trust the shipper.

Scott Luton (26:31):

I think that is so on point because Clint and Matt, for you all to go into and talk about a bold new direction and the whole new vision, a whole way of doing things, challenging long held assumptions, long way — long held ways of doing business. The trust between you and your respective teams must have been off the charts. And clearly to get the results and fight through the good days and the bad days that comes with any change.

Scott Luton (26:54):

Matt, let’s talk about analytics. I believe both of you all have mentioned here and certainly as part of our earlier conversations that Turvo offers the best analytics and industry. So, Matt, tell us more about Turvo’s financial reporting, data and analytics.

Matt Zimmer (27:10):

Yes. I mean, you know, I know a lot of different Turvo users out there and it’s still — I can say, shocks me. But how — don’t get me wrong, Turvo is great from a user ability perspective. So, I mean, one thing about — I mean, we’re talking a lot about data and analytics back and forth. I also want to be really clear that, you know, you got to be able to provide world class operations and service.

Scott Luton (27:33):

Execute.

Matt Zimmer (27:33):

Absolutely. And I think Clint uses this example all the time. I mean, during Covid, I think we still maintain 98 or 99% fill rate during Covid where we know, because we’re associated with a lot of other companies. People are nowhere near that. So, you have to go kind of hit on there. But the thing I like that always fascinated me about Turvo and the reason I like it is, A, the user ability operationally is great, right? You’re able to — through automation, track and trace all of your loads. The backend automation on AR/AP, it all moves.

Matt Zimmer (28:03):

But the financial side of Turvo, I mean, it’s a real time P&L. And for a president of an organization as important — I’ve worked for Fortune 500s and worked from some larger global companies. And, you know, it takes two weeks after the end of the month to get financial closes to find out what happened on the P&L that you’re already two weeks too late on.

Matt Zimmer (28:25):

The thing I’ve always loved about Turvo, and it probably drives the team crazy, is you can see it in real time. I know this load. I lost $180 in this load for three weeks in a row is trended down two percent and what happened there. It allows you to go make great decisions inside of there. But you’re able to hold your team accountable from a financial perspective and a service per perspective.

Matt Zimmer (28:45):

You can look at it by carrier rep, by account manager, by customer operations rep. You can see your AR/AP velocity, your cash side all in real time. And —

Scott Luton (28:55):

Right.

Matt Zimmer (28:56):

You know, last I checked, I mean, most of the brokerages are in business for profit, and no better way to run a profitable organization than one that has outstanding financial controls. And the bottom line is totally by far is the best financially reported system that I’ve seen in terms of real-time that we’re making decisions in the afternoon. Many, many times that are affecting later afternoon or the next morning in terms of how we’re thinking about market. Where we’re starting to see market conditions starting to move.

Matt Zimmer (29:27):

I don’t need DAT and a lot of other sonar to help me understand market. I can actually see it through real-time data and real-time visibility inside of our systems when things are starting to move and why that is. And then go make accordingly action to it.

Scott Luton (29:42):

I love it. Repeatable, repeatable, repeatable. Greg, I’m coming to you next.

Scott Luton (29:46):

But Kim Winter, get this, good evening from Dubai. Plenty of info to digest about Turvo. Kim, we got to get you up to speed, but great to have you as always.

Scott Luton (29:54):

Greg, you know, we’ve really — we — there’s a lot out on the table, but I want to go back to something Matt shared at the front end of his last response about, you know, you can basically have all the data, all the technology, all the cool bells and whistles, but you still got to be able to execute operationally. That really monked everything else he shared. He really sends out to me. But, Greg, what you hear there from Matt’s focus on financial reporting, analytics, data insights?

Greg White (30:20):

What I heard really was that the, you know, the — to address the trust question earlier, that the trust was implied and expected. It wasn’t foreign as it seemed from that statement, right? That the supplier has to trust the shipper, shipper has to trust the supplier. They just trusted one another. And for whatever reason, right, they just assumed that the other party was trustworthy. And I think that’s a huge leap.

Greg White (30:44):

And I’m sure they did investigation. And, Clint, I’m sure you can tell us all about that. But I’m sure they did investigation and checked references and all that stuff. But I think the maturity of their business relationship is really a key lever here. And then the technology that they deployed allowed them to leverage that trust into execution which continues the trust because just getting trust at the beginning was another thought I got from that comment.

Greg White (31:10):

All a valid comment, right? But I — it just made me really, really think about that component of a relationship. You have to continue that trust by continuing to execute and continuing to deliver. And I think it’s interesting that saying that what this conversation has been about is about the nature of that relationship without using those specific words, right? Without using synergy or — right, or trust, or, you know, any of those other, kind of, typical words that you expect here. And I think that’s really, really powerful.

Greg White (31:42):

And then on the, you know, on the tech side, I think it, you know, it’s — everyone has experienced the situation where a technology is unable or inflexible to deliver what you need from a business standpoint. And I think what we’re hearing is a story of great capability, but also incredible flexibility so that a provider like Zengistics can adapt the technology to the unique instance of a shipper like SDC.

Scott Luton (32:10):

Clint, I want to ask you and Matt a question here. But before I do, anything, any comment you want to add about the trust factor? Because you were putting a lot of — what’s the phrase? A lot of eggs in the same — in one basket with what you were looking to build. What really — was there an early realization you had that, hey, man, we got some trust here. I know they can do it. Let’s do it. What — anything you can share, Clint?

Clint Graflund (32:35):

All I would say is trust and verify is my favorite saying. You know, with all the volatility over the last five or six years in freight, we had some challenging situations with some of our carriers. Good people I worked with and, you know, good companies. But the trust was difficult to build, particularly when, you know, freight rates start going crazy. You start to, kind of, find things in your invoice that don’t make sense.

Clint Graflund (32:56):

And, you know, again, it comes back to the transparency piece for me. I mean, I have always, you know, like Matt and the Zengistics teams from the jump. I really like what they had to say and, kind of, what the — they put their best foot forward. But we both agreed that, hey, we want something that we can look at on a daily, weekly, monthly basis that, kind of, shows that we’re doing what we say we’re doing., both of us.

Scott Luton (33:12):

Love it.

Clint Graflund (33:12):

We’re both on the side and on the Zengistics side. So, I think, you know, trust is something that’s built over time. I mean, Zengistics didn’t have all the Stone business initially. We gave them some of the business and they continued to grow until they became the carrier for Stone Brewing. And that was built with, you know, transparency, looking at the numbers together and executing. So —

Scott Luton (33:30):

Thank you for sharing that, Clint. I think a lot of us can relate to a lot of what we just shared there. I want to ask you all both. And I’ll start with you, Clint, did you consider building your own proprietary software given that that very specific vision that you had in your mind, Clint?

Clint Graflund (33:48):

So, I won’t go into a lot of detail, but yes. I’m kind of a data geek. So, I first attempted to do it in a — in Microsoft Access and that did not go well. We then brought in a system called Click, but the challenge that we kept coming back to was we were getting data from multiple sources and multiple times. There was data integrity issues. And so, the vision that we had, we just really had a hard time executing on it. And we felt collectively that, gosh, wouldn’t it be nice if we had a carrier partner that could take all these different data elements, put it together for us. So, I like my team to focus on executing to the numbers that they have in front of them and not spending a bunch of time in office churning numbers and looking at data integrity. So, yes.

Scott Luton (34:25):

Matt, your thoughts there?

Matt Zimmer (34:27):

Yes, from us internally, I mean, obviously, you know, we licensed and used Turvo, so we have the option at end of contract to not use Turvo. That’s never — of all the stuff that we’re working on, that’s the least of our concerns right now that that actually works really, really well. So, in terms of building our own, no. In terms of is there a better technology option that we could go out and third party that could give us what we need? You know, obviously we look at it and we take a look through our technology side, always moving forward on what’s the right, you know, technology for us. And we’re pretty convinced that we have the right partner with Turvo. And that, so we’re happy where we stand.

Scott Luton (35:06):

Greg, any comments there?

Greg White (35:09):

No, I mean, I think they pretty much nailed it, right? Yes. Not something I really have an opinion on, yes.

Scott Luton (35:18):

So, what about — Clint, I’m going to stick with you here. So, an executive response for operations. You’ve got to trust your logistics partner. We’ve certainly have doubled down on that. Tell us why. Anything else you want to add to why that’s possible? And what are some of those benchmarks that you look at beyond what you’ve shared, Clint?

Clint Graflund (35:37):

You know, I guess I’ll circle back to transparency. We have to find a way to where both, you know, the supplier and the shipper can get together and look at numbers together and understand what they mean. That, to me, was everything. Again, I’d had some great relationships with other companies that I’d worked with, but had a really hard time building the trust that I wanted to.

Clint Graflund (35:54):

And again, I’ll come back to the, you know, kind of where freight has gone over the last four or five years.

Scott Luton (35:57):

Right.

Clint Graflund (35:58):

Volatility and freight. What happens when, you know, freight rates, you know, drop or they go up like crazy. Your partners, kind of, shows their cards at that point in terms of who they are and if they’re willing to work with you. I mean, everyone’s in this to make, you know, make a buck, but at the same time, we don’t have to gouge each other.

Clint Graflund (36:13):

And so, you know, that means a lot to me. And I was with Zengistics at a time where the, you know, kind of some of those things came about. And then really again, you know, measuring the service piece. When we talked a lot about the, you know, the data and which is important. But it’s also really, hey, if we’ve got a — we’ve got to pivot, you know, is there somebody I can call that’s going to pick up the phone and understands our business?

Scott Luton (36:30):

Right.

Clint Graflund (36:30):

That’s another thing that really is frustrating. You know, Stone is not one of the bigger shippers for some of the big guys. We call them, and they’re like, who are you? And you’re trying to get to explain what’s going on. That’s frustrating. Whereas if somebody knows, you know, who you’re talking to, they know your business, they know how to help you, that goes a long way.

Scott Luton (36:44):

Well said, Clint. I want to bring in — this is Aaron’s comment here. Trust is built on transparency, as you’re talking about Clint. Transparency, Aaron says, is built on visibility and sharing, which is the bridge that connects to collaboration. This is the DNA of Turvo, which cultivates mutually beneficial relationships between the people moving freight and who they’re moving it for. Nicely said, Aaron. It’s almost poetic there, ain’t it, Matt?

Scott Luton (37:08):

Matt, before we move forward.

Matt Zimmer (37:10):

Yes.

Scott Luton (37:10):

Anything you want to comment there on what Clint shared, or Aaron, for that matter, what Clint shared around the trust, how you could build it? Some of the tougher challenging days and how you all work together to fight through? Anything you want to comment on there, Matt?

Matt Zimmer (37:23):

I think about this right now when you take a look at where the freight market is, right? It has this knee jerk reaction because it’s always the shipper has the advantage or the carrier has the advantage. And then once one guy feels like they’ve gotten really screwed on one side, it flips back the other way, right? And that’s just how the markets go. That’s why there’s no equilibrium kind of in the freight space. That’s not how we built the relationship with Clint.

Matt Zimmer (37:47):

And so, you’re talking about transparency and openness.

Scott Luton (37:50):

Right.

Matt Zimmer (37:50):

In the beginning of Covid, we got massacred. There’s no other way of saying it, financially massacred —

Clint Graflund (37:56):

Yes.

Matt Zimmer (37:56):

— on the stone business. And I went back to Clint very openly and said, I’m getting killed here. And I need help. I need help. But I guarantee I will be better than the market, but I need help. And as long as you can prove that you’re better than the market, I will be fair back to you.

Matt Zimmer (38:16):

And so, yes, I don’t have major super highs, and I don’t have major super lows inside the Stone thing because we work to make sure that it’s fair on both sides. And so, we talked about data and transparency there. There’s also got to be a mutual partnership of understanding that we got to — it’s not in any of our best interests not to be working together. There’s a lot of work that we put into this. And so, how do you make that work?

Matt Zimmer (38:39):

And so, Clint and I have worked on seven different financial models over the four years or so because it ebbs and flows. And when the market has softened too much, I don’t wait until the end of the quarter to come back and try to go do the right thing. And if something happens the other way, but it’s all kind of through that side of it.

Matt Zimmer (38:57):

So, I think that’s a really important piece of what great partnerships look like. In the end of the day, kind of. Zengistics way that we think about the business is, yes, we want to support customers, but my main job is obviously to try to make Clint look as good as he can. That he can get promoted within the organization. It’s like, what keeps Clint up at night? What are the things I can solve for you? Not how do I run loads inside my business? How do we go do that?

Matt Zimmer (39:20):

And Clint, and I’ve been able to go build that. And the other great thing though is, is like Clint’s kind of this Southern California, you know, mentor, right? Like a lot of guys respect how Clint has thought about a lot of different things. And the partnerships and the openness that he’s been able to build with us in other brands and stuff really works.

Matt Zimmer (39:41):

But the end of the day, what I think works for us inside of our business is consider us a disruptive brand, Zengistics, it’s what we do. We’re disrupting what traditional brokerage kind of looks like. We have a disruptive technology around Turvo.

Matt Zimmer (39:55):

But what works really best for us is when we have the partner on the other end who is — wants to disrupt. Stone came in trying to change the way that beer was done, right?

Scott Luton (40:03):

Yes.

Matt Zimmer (40:03):

We have other beverage brands, whether it’s fastest growing water brand or functional, you know, beverage brand. You know, we really — so, that really works for us. We’re not the best brand. We’re not the best company for everyone out there. Where we are is people who really want to go try to transform through there because we build a relationship and a partnership that really is a lot more than just moving loads and trying to roll up the P&L as much as we can. It’s about really trying to service and grow their company, and by being the right partner through it for the long term.

Scott Luton (40:33):

Well said, Matt. Now, Clint, Matt said, brought in the Southern California thing. I think you mentioned pre-show Southern California well-known for beer and biomed, is that right?

Clint Graflund (40:43):

Biotech, yes.

Scott Luton (40:44):

Biotech, that’s right. And anything else you want to add about the Southern California aspect to how you lead businesses and supply chains? It’s a good place to be, I imagine, right?

Clint Graflund (40:56):

It’s a good place to be. The weather’s pretty good. But there’s a lot of craft beer actually across the country right now. But there’s certainly a lot of craft beer in Southern California and San Diego. And so, it was nice to, you know, be able to kind of work with other craft breweries to say, how are you all doing it? And, you know, what are some of the challenges?

Clint Graflund (41:15):

And I think what I found is that it was so similar in terms of the things that they were trying to struggle with. Like, they don’t want to ship LTL. They do want to ship, you know, multi-stop full truckload. But how do I know whether I’m getting gouged or whether I’m getting a good deal? It was just a — it was a — it was just good to see that, you know, that everyone was struggling with the same things that we are. But it was also, at the same time, frustrating because I couldn’t, no matter who I talked to, get an answer to, oh, hey, here’s the way to do it.

Scott Luton (41:36):

Right

Clint Graflund (41:36):

It’s just difficult to do.

Scott Luton (41:38):

Greg, we’ve covered a lot of ground. I want to bring in, JR’s comment here. JR says, collaboration, learning the shipper’s business and having a long-term partnership mindset are key. Well said, JR.

Scott Luton (41:50):

I’ve got a couple more questions for Matt before we wrap and we’re going to make sure we share some resources and stuff. Greg, as you heard that on the ground we covered trust, the technology, the ability to execute market conditions, Clint was just referencing. What else sticks out in your mind here, Greg, as we work through this partnership?

Greg White (42:08):

Well, I mean, I think that they’re looking so far beyond where so many companies are. Not only are they operating, both of you, are operating above where most companies operate. But you’re looking beyond that even. And, you know, we see it all the time that companies talk a good game, right? You know, 85% of companies want to use technology, but 95 still use spreadsheets. So, you know, I mean, and that’s — those are real statistics, by the way.

Greg White (42:42):

You know, I think making the commitment to using and enabling technology to give you the visibility, the actionable insights, the transparency between partners and the ability for you each to know your business well enough to know what you can give to one another in those challenging times. That’s what’s really valuable. Because when everything’s going smooth, you can almost do it on paper. But everything is almost never going smoothly. So — right?

Scott Luton (43:11):

Right.

Greg White (43:12):

So, when there are those challenges, that’s when the metrics and the capabilities and the visibility and transparency, when that all starts to pay off, and those can be really, really painful times. Companies’ profits are made or lost often in the turns, right? As we’ve talked about with Gartner, many, many times. When we’re in a challenging time, when prices are rising or descending rapidly, or demand is rising and descending rapidly, or it’s — or even when it’s just highly variable, all of those are incredibly challenging times.

Greg White (43:43):

And to be able to identify what you can give and what you need to get, most importantly, is key to being successful in those times. So, it’s more than just the transparency that’s shared between the partners, right? It’s the —

Scott Luton (43:55):

Right.

Greg White (43:55):

— it’s the knowledge of where you stand so you can negotiate fairly with your trading partners when times are tough.

Scott Luton (44:04):

Well said, Greg. I want to bring in Siham’s [phonetic] comment here. There are many risk management terms, now cliche, but Matt described it best. Thinking about what could happen, monitoring and having a plan. Well said there, Siham [phonetic].

Scott Luton (44:18):

OK. Speaking of Matt, Matt, I’ll get back to you. We’re going to make sure folks know how to connect with you all both, and we’ve got some resources from Turvo we’re going to share in a second. But first, final couple questions for you. Your operators, Matt, have their fingers on the pulse in the day-to-day. And you trust that solution that you’ve helped build. What specific Turvo features are you think are most important for folks to know about here?

Matt Zimmer (44:40):

Yes, I think first we talked about the financial real-time reporting of Turvo. I think if customers trying to — companies trying to understand their financial wherewithal by employee, by all that, that’s a great one for it. The ability to API into so many different things. I mean, we put a lot of upfront people into our account management side, as Clint says. He has person that he calls, and if that person at 2:00 in the morning doesn’t answer, then he calls me. There’s someone, there’s no 1-800 number. We put a lot of people around account management.

Matt Zimmer (45:11):

But the way that we build supply chains on our carrier team, the way that our track and trace, the way that our AR/AP is almost a hundred percent automated. We don’t have — we literally have very little people. And so, Turvo is allowing us not only through the Turvo, but the API features of that be able to bring in the best.

Matt Zimmer (45:30):

That’s what this industry is so weird. It’s also great. There’s so many, like, niche players who play like a certain thing inside the logistics space. I’m only going to focus on AR/AP. I’m only going to focus on OCR or whatever. We’ve been able to build the best of BRE technology, bring it in that does — I’d rather do something great than to do six things OK.

Matt Zimmer (45:49):

And so, we built a lot of technology around that. And so, if you really want a very efficient organization with great transparency and great data, then you can export into other features, Snowflake, Power BI, or whatever for all your analytics, Turvo’s as good as it gets.

Scott Luton (46:06):

OK. I’d say that’s a ringing endorsement. And I love your comment there, Greg. I love this. I want to do one thing, absolutely great. Best in class, best in the world, rather than six things, just, OK.

Greg White (46:18):

Hedgehog concept, right?

Matt Zimmer (46:20):

Yes.

Scott Luton (46:21):

All right. So, Matt, quick follow up question, let’s bring it back to Zengistics. So, how does all of that that you described there help to differentiate your company from other 3PL freight providers out in the market?

Matt Zimmer (46:32):

Yes. I mean, I think we went through it. I think I’ll pose it the other way, not as much as us, but from the shippers’ side of the business, right? I talked to sales people and everything else. We tried to grow our business with salespeople and it’s like, yes, it’s all built on communication and service. And don’t get me wrong, those are great. But the reality is, is those are table stakes, right? Like the reality is, is delivering world-class service, you don’t hear us talk much about that on this show. But Clint will attest, we’re great at what we do. We deliver world class service.

Matt Zimmer (47:02):

I think shippers are selling themselves short by not asking their 3PL and 4PL partners. How do you solve my most complex problems? How do you help me generate more revenue? How do you help reduce my indirect labor, my over — my SG&A overhead through planning resources or whatever else?

Matt Zimmer (47:19):

If all you’re going to do is just keep running a commodity thing and then just go out for dollars and cents on who can move it, I think shippers are selling themselves short. I think, whereas Zengistics has done a really good job is we’ve changed even the conversation. I don’t really even talk. I — I’m still in the sales cycle, a lot of big deals. We don’t talk a lot about moving the freight because I know I’m going to move the freight at world class standards.

Matt Zimmer (47:41):

What I’m also going to do is help you generate more revenue. Give you transparency into cost. We’re going to work on cost drivers that we’re going to be responsible to go reduce. I’m going to guarantee consolidation metrics. Like there’s a bunch of stuff right now in large companies on emissions erosion. Everyone’s talking about green vehicles and all, and that’s all the right stuff as well.

Scott Luton (48:00):

Right.

Matt Zimmer (48:00):

Just ship 10% less through consolidation strategy and you’ve met your emissions thing. So, my thing is more to kind of, I think shippers are letting the 3PLs get off too easy by just asking for service and communication, where I think that the bar should be higher. And the 3PLs that can hit it and deliver on world class service and help solve customers’ issues are the ones they go to. And I’m confident Zengistics is that partner.

Scott Luton (48:26):

I really appreciate that, Matt. And Josh, I love your comment here. Amazingly, insightful conversation between some folks that are clearly disrupting the status quo in a space that’s ripe for it. Thanks for having these guys on with. Thank you, Josh. I appreciate that, and I agree with you.

Scott Luton (48:42):

Clint and Matt, I really have enjoyed you dive into your partnership. The change you’ve been driving. And of course, what it’s led to. So, Clint, for folks that may want to —

Clint Graflund (48:53):

Grab a beer?

Scott Luton (48:53):

— grab a beer with you — yes, or a Costco hot dog, or talk about the beautiful thing that you’ve been building, or the beautiful venue of Southern California. How can folks learn more and connect with you and our friends at SDC?

Clint Graflund (49:08):

Sure. So, you can connect with me on LinkedIn, or at our website at stonedistributing, all one word, .com. And if you’re looking to try a Stone Beer somewhere near you, you can go to stonebrewing.com and click on beer finder, and you can find someone who’s selling Stone Beer close to you.

Greg White (49:25):

I like that.

Scott Luton (49:25):

I love — man, we need more beer finders. That’s like the beer easy button. I love that, Clint.

Greg White (49:30):

Yes, you’re right.

Scott Luton (49:32):

And Clint, I really appreciate you take — as busy as you all both are, Clint, I really appreciate you taking some time out and sharing the story behind, the bold vision and what you’ve done and how you’ve done it. And that begs a question, Matt, president at Zengistics, how can folks connect with you? You’ve got just a little bit of passion here.

Matt Zimmer (49:49):

Yes.

Scott Luton (49:49):

Which I really admire. How can folks connect with you and the Zengistics team?

Matt Zimmer (49:53):

Sure. zengistics.com. Go see what we’re doing. Also, as — I’m also out on LinkedIn as well, you can find me or matt.zimmer@zengistics.com if you want to send something direct. But I think Clint’s right — I mean, reach out to Clint. He’s great at answering stuff and he know his supply chain. And I know for a fact, I’ve sent people his way. He will answer the call if you give them a ring. So, he’s a great resource to utilize for sure.

Scott Luton (50:14):

Clint, you’re ready to go?

Clint Graflund (50:18):

I’m ready.

Greg White (50:18):

I’m glad he didn’t give his phone number.

Clint Graflund (50:20):

I know, right.

Scott Luton (50:19):

So, Greg, I’m going to come to you for a final thought here in just a second and then one of your favorite key takeaways. But before we do that, I want to offer up — so we’ve talked a lot about Turvo here today. You all check them out. Don’t just take Clint and Matt’s word for it, or our word for it, or what have you. You can start by checking out this Logistics Success Playbook, a great resource from our friends at Turvo. And you can also learn more at turvo.com.

Scott Luton (50:46):

So, Greg, we’ve heard quite a story and have really enjoyed ourselves as we have gotten to know Clint and Matt and their partnership better. If folks forget everything else and remember just one thing that drives our action up as they leave this event here today, Greg, what would that be?

Greg White (51:03):

Metrics driven is the key. Metrics driven allows Zengistics to have superior customer service, to provide ideas, to do collaboration, right? And, you know, it made me think of a long time ago, I worked at a company, like, three years in a row got a customer service award. And in the third year we realized that we’ve — sorry, messed things up too often if we have excellent customer service, because our customer service was totally responsive.

Greg White (51:35):

But what — how Zengistics has transitioned is to make it pre-emptive. Those pre-emptive strikes to help avoid problems or quickly respond to disruptions in the supply chain, that’s critical. And it cannot be done. Cannot be done without metrics. A metric driven strategy. You have to know where you stand, where the product stands, where the customer stands, and where the market stands to be able to attack these problems and either prevent or respond rapidly to them. So, metric driven is the leverage to transparency and visibility and actionable insights and all of that, right? You cannot manage what you do not measure. So, measure as much as you can.

Scott Luton (52:20):

Man, and with that, I think we’re spiking the football on the conversation here today. I love it. I want to say thanks once again to our panel, Clint Graflund, vice president or operations —

Clint Graflund (52:30):

Yes, thanks for having me.

Scott Luton (52:31):

— for SDC. Clint, thanks so much for joining us. Great to have you. Of course, Clint was doing one half of the dynamic duo, he was joined by the other one. Matt Zimmer, president of Zengistics. Matt, really appreciate what you’ve done and helping us build this story and share that, which I think is going to inspire a lot of folks, out in our global audience. But thanks for being here, Matt.

Matt Zimmer (52:50):

Appreciate it. Thank you.

Greg White (52:51):

Thanks, Matt.

Scott Luton (52:51):

And of course, a big thanks to our friends at Turvo. A big thanks to all the folks that tuned in today. I know we couldn’t get to all the questions, but I bet Matt and Clint’s teams. Greg, my hunch is — Greg, is their teams who might connect with some of the comments and questions after the fact, and enjoy some post-show conversations over a nice, cold, tasty adult beverage. That’s right.

Scott Luton (53:12):

But Greg, great to have you here, as always.

Greg White (53:15):

My pleasure.

Scott Luton (53:15):

Great show here today. And folks, but here’s the challenge, you know, you heard Matt and Clint tell their story. You’ve heard Greg call out certain components that you got to take — pay attention to. But now that you’ve got all the information, deeds not words. You got to find something and take action and change the current status quo. That’s our — all of our call to action and responsibility. So, with that said, on behalf of our entire team here at Supply Chain Now, Scott Luton challenging you to do good, to give forward, and to be the change that’s needed. And we’ll see you next time right back here at Supply Chain Now. Thanks, everybody.

Intro/Outro (53:51):

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.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Featured Guests

Matt Zimmer is the President and Advisory Board member of Zengistics, a technology driven supply chain and logistics partner that provides scalable managed transportation offerings. Prior to that, he served as the Chief Operating Officer at Flash Global. Zimmer has also held other executive level roles with Fortune 500 and Private Equity owned organizations. Connect with Matt on LinkedIn.

Clint Graflund is the Vice President of Operations at Stone Distributing Company, a leading premium beverage wholesaler in southern California. He is a dynamic leader with 25+ years in supply chain and has held senior leadership positions in distribution and logistics operations across multiple industries including beverage, life sciences, and retail industries. Connect with Clint on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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Vicki White

Controller

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

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Constantine Limberakis

Host

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Greg White

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

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

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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