Supply Chain Now
Episode 1184

The concepts of fast product development, continuous improvement, continuous learning, and customer centricity are the things that are most relevant in today's world to stay competitive and innovative.

-Archita Prasad

Episode Summary

As we head into the holiday season and peak season for retailers, issues like shipping loss, increased risk, and even porch piracy are on the minds of merchants and consumers alike. Considering new shipping innovations, keeping shipping challenges front of mind, and utilizing tools for continuous improvement and customer-centricity will allow retailers to stay competitive and innovative in today’s world.

In today’s episode of Supply Chain Now, hosts Scott Luton and Greg White welcome Archita Prasad, Vice President of Strategy & Innovation at UPS Capital to the show, to discuss the importance of adopting a lean, agile mindset and taking advantage of advanced technologies and data-driven solutions to improve the shipping experience for both businesses and consumers.

Join us today and learn about:

  1. A new UPS product called “Delivery Defense,” an advanced analytical tool that uses machine learning and historical shipping data to provide predictive insights to businesses
  2. How to make better shipping decisions and reduce shipping-related risks
  3. What all retailers and merchants can do to create a more positive and customer-centric customer experience

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

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

Scott Luton (00:32):

Hey, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you are, Scott Luton and Greg White with you here on Supply Chain Now. Welcome to today’s show. Greg, how you doing today?

Greg White (00:42):

How many times are we going to have this discussion today?

Scott Luton (00:44):

It feels like about 18 thus far.

Greg White (00:47):

So, I’m doing very well. But it does seem like we’ve had this same question three or four times today, haven’t we? It’s been a big day, but I like how we’re wrapping it up.

Scott Luton (00:56):

Well, you know what, a big day for a lot of big things taking place in a big global industry. And, hey, we’re going to continue – I’ll try. We’re going to continue that theme here today as we’re going to be talking about shipping challenges and innovations, especially for merchants and consumers. And, Greg, we’re going to be trying to answer that age old question that has risen to the top in recent years. Hey, where’s my stuff? Right?

Greg White (01:20):

Right.

Scott Luton (01:21):

So, it should be a good show.

Greg White (01:22):

All that matters.

Scott Luton (01:24):

That’s right. That is right. So we got a great business leader joining us just momentarily. And, Greg, looking forward to working through a great conversation in the minutes ahead. So, with that said, I want to introduce our featured guests here today, Archita Prasad, vice president of Strategy and Innovation with Insureshield Shipping Insurance by UPS Capital. Archita, how you doing?

Archita Prasad (01:49):

Hey, thank you. I’m doing really good. How are you guys?

Scott Luton (01:53):

Wonderful. Yeah, we’re better now, Greg, right?

Greg White (01:56):

Yeah. Welcome aboard.

Archita Prasad (01:57):

Thank you so much. Thank you for having me.

Scott Luton (02:00):

Well, Archita, you know, you’ve already proven – Greg, she’s already proven to her and her team their problem solvers already, right? We’ve already uncovered that in the pre-show.

Greg White (02:07):

Yeah, no doubt.

Archita Prasad (02:08):

Absolutely. Yeah.

Scott Luton (02:09):

All right. Well, let’s get to know you a little better, Archita, and I want to start with spent, and we got our two-decade rule around here, but you spent more than 20 years as a senior leader in strategy and transformation and change management amongst other things as some of the most well-known businesses in the world, IBM, NCR, and now, of course, UPS. You’re also a certified lean coach, amongst other things. So, question for you, what is one lean tool that you believe more business leaders should utilize today?

Archita Prasad (02:40):

Wow. Lean, that takes me back to my previous life. Lean is something that I did long, long back when I was with the auto industry, but nonetheless, the concepts of lean are easily transferable to what we do today. Agile, that’s a concept that we use that’s very, very important for how we run our business today. So, the lean principles or agile principles rather, they borrow a lot of the concepts from lean, right, to achieve flexibility, adaptability, responsiveness, speed. The concepts like customer feedback, fail early, learn fast, iterative development, all these are concepts which are very closely aligned to lean concepts of delivering value to the customer most efficiently by eliminating waste across the process. But returning to your question on a tool, it’s difficult for me to call out a single tool. I would say it’s the mindset. It’s a lean, agile mindset. The concept of fast product development, continuous improvement, continuous learning, customer centricity, these are the things which I would say is what’s most relevant in today’s world to stay competitive and innovative.

Scott Luton (04:04):

Archita, well said. I love that customer centricity, that mindset, so powerful. Greg, we’ve been talking a lot for years now, even a lot this week, even about removing waste out of the equation in all of its forms. Greg, your quick response.

Greg White (04:20):

Yeah. What a cool evolution from lean into agile, which I hadn’t really thought about the relationship there, but both trying to accomplish the same thing, right? Be efficient, grow rapidly, evolve rapidly. Yeah, it’s fantastic.

Scott Luton (04:36):

And one quick follow up on a personal note. Archita, you shared with us pre-show, I just laid out that you’re a certified lean coach, but you also have other coaches like we all do, meaning our kids, our smart coaches that help us do everything else in life. Is that right, Archita?

Archita Prasad (04:50):

Yes, I have three of them.

Scott Luton (04:53):

Are their consulting fees as expensive as all the others out there?

Archita Prasad (04:58):

Oh, that’s a lifetime consulting fee.

Scott Luton (05:01):

Yes. I love that. All right.

Greg White (05:05):

Approximately $600,000 until they go to college. So –

Scott Luton (05:01):

Goodness gracious.

Greg White (05:08):

Just so you know, for your budget.

Scott Luton (05:11):

That’s right. That’s right. All right, moving right along. I want to get to the topic at hand today. We’re going to be focusing on effective and innovative ways to improve shipping, which, you know, it’s going to help our listeners have on a variety of levels, but including help them have more successful peak season, right? So, first I want to level set a bit here, Archita. What do you see as the primary challenges and opportunities for merchants in the latter half of this year?

Archita Prasad (05:37):

Yeah. So, the latter of half of the year is an exciting time for the retailers. As we approach the peak season, the retailers, they are securing their supply chain to get ready to serve the increase in demand that comes with the holiday season. But at the same time, they are anticipating, they are expecting a significant increase in the shipping loss and risks and also increase in porch piracy threat. Now, if I substantiate that with some recent stats or historical stats during the pandemic, e-commerce grew by about 20%. And during the same period, we saw an alarming increase in the e-commerce fraud, about 40%, and porch piracy that grew by about 20-25%. So these are the issues which really impact the merchants directly. They impact their top line, their profit margin, and most importantly their customer’s experience.

Scott Luton (06:44):

Greg, so bad actors aren’t just stealing trailers of stuff, they’re stealing smaller parcels off folks’ porch, huh?

Greg White (06:54):

Yeah, you know, anytime anything grows, the theft of it grows. This is one of the things that we’ve dealt with in retail forever. There is – you have this notion of shrink, right, which is just expected to be in the 2% range for most retailers. If they can keep it at 2%, they’re pretty happy. So you’ve got it built into the profit margins. We all pay for it. All of us consumers pay for it. So, yeah, the ability to limit that is, is critical, especially as the goods get out of the retailer’s hands much earlier in the transaction than they do when you go into a store.

Scott Luton (07:35):

Well said, Greg. And just to recapture those numbers Archita shared with us or heard, and correct me if I got anything wrong, Archita, that happens all the time, but e-commerce grew about 20% during the pandemic. Porch piracy grew about 25% and fraud grew about 40%, man. Okay, so shifting gears. From that consumer standpoint, let’s talk about – let’s get some of the good news. Two or three of your best tips for consumers out there that might be in the higher risk areas affected by porch piracy – I keep want to say privacy – porch piracy and other, any other negative shipping outcomes. What are some of your tips there, Archita?

Archita Prasad (08:12):

Yeah, sure. So they have a few options. You know, I’ll talk about three options here. The first one is access points, which is a much safer alternate delivery option. So, they can choose to get their packages delivered to UPS Access Points. And we have a huge network of UPS Access Points. We have about 24,000 of those spread across the nation with which about 92% of the US population living within 5 miles of any access point. Then, the second one is, of course, insurance. So, you know, nowadays the retailers, most of the retailers, they offer the option to ensure their package at the checkout, you know, point. So that’s also a good way to safeguard your shipment. And then, the third thing is My Choice, so My Choice membership, UPS My Choice membership, that allows you to ask for flexibility. So you can ask for your packages to be delivered at a different time or a different day depending upon your schedule. And it also gives you real-time tracking, real-time visibility, so you are informed about your package status all the time.

Scott Luton (09:29):

Love that, Archita. All right. So, Greg, out of those three options, the UPS access points, you and I have used something similar. I think we’ve may have used UPS in the last year or so. What are your thoughts, Greg? Out of those three options, anything you’ve used and seen successful?

Greg White (09:46):

Well, I am fortunate, I guess, to have kind of a covered porch where it’s easy to put the stuff out of you from the street. So, I haven’t had had to do that. By access points, Archita, are you talking about, I assume, UPS stores.

Archita Prasad (10:02):

Yeah.

Greg White (10:03):

And are there other types of things as well?

Archita Prasad (10:05):

Yeah, there are other types, other access points as well. UPS –

Greg White (10:09):

Yeah. Well, I would think – first of all, I love the guy that runs our UPS store near our house. Seriously. We send him Christmas cards. So, it’s great to get in and see Richard, 1720 Mars Hill Road, Acworth, Georgia, [Inaudible] 101. But, yeah, I mean, I think that’s a great option. You know, there are lots of those stores around 24,000. I had no idea. I think that’s more than there are McDonald’s, if I’m not mistaken, so they’re pretty close to you.

Archita Prasad (10:38):

We’ll have to check that.

Greg White (10:39):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (10:39):

Yeah. We got to check that, or you know what, you could pick up your package, you get some McNuggets as my daughters call them all in one same trip, 92%.

Greg White (10:48):

Well, you know, as often as a UPS store is in a strip mall, I don’t know if this is true everywhere, but in Georgia there’s always a subway at cleaners and a grocery store, so, right?

Scott Luton (10:58):

Okay. One trip.

Archita Prasad (11:00):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (11:00):

Archita, you’re about to add something there.

Archita Prasad (11:02):

No, I was just agreeing to what Greg was saying.

Scott Luton (11:05):

Okay. So, 92%. That’s what we all do, Archita. I’ve spent five years now agreeing with what Greg has said.

Archita Prasad (11:13):

I’m just following suit.

Scott Luton (11:16):

But I want to get back to this 92 – talk about coverage, 92% when you look at these UPS access points are within 5 miles, 92% of the American population. That is –

Archita Prasad (11:27):

Yeah. It’s pretty convenient and accessible.

Greg White (11:30):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (11:30):

Yeah. And I would just echo, and it’s funny that Greg had the address memorized. I do not. But over the years, and I think I’ll shared with other, some of our other interviews with UPS executives, the UPS stores are just – they have really been impactful in my entrepreneurial journey. All right. So, I want to shift gears. Speaking of UPS, we’re going to shift over, I want to level set first, Archita, before we talk about some of the new innovative things that you’re going to share with our audience. For some that may not know, UPS Capital is what powers Insureshield Shipping Insurance. And as I’ve seen – yeah, how about that, Greg?

Greg White (12:06):

Say that three times fast.

Scott Luton (12:08):

Tongue, tongue twister for me. But as I’ve seen on some other outlets, including, I think I was checking out Good Morning America, y’all have rolled out this new innovative product called Delivery Defense. So, Archita, first off, what is it and how have you seen it help Insureshield customers with their SX, their shipping experience?

Greg White (12:29):

Oh.

Archita Prasad (12:30):

Wow. SX, I like that.

Scott Luton (12:33):

I stole it blatantly. I got to be honest.

Archita Prasad (12:35):

I’m going to use it now.

Scott Luton (12:38):

From me to you.

Archita Prasad (12:40):

Delivery Defense is an advanced analytical tool that provides predictive insights to businesses, which helps them make better shipping decisions. And us being UPS, it leverages the largest UPS carrier data, historical shipping information, and uses advanced, sophisticated machine learning data models to assign a confidence score to a given address. So, the score is on the scale of one to 1000, one being the lowest confidence and thousand being the highest confidence. So basically, what it does is it provides or it predicts the likelihood of a successful delivery for a given address or at a given address. Now, this kind of intelligence, it empowers the merchants to make much better-informed shipping decisions, helping them decide whether to ship, how to ship, helping them become a lot more efficient. Now that the score that I talked about, they can put specific business rules depending on the score that they get for the address, right? So if it’s high confidence, they can choose to still deliver. If it’s low confidence, they can choose for alternate delivery locations like UPS access points that I talked about. And then, if it’s average, they can just opt for insurance.

Scott Luton (14:10):

We need more confidence scores. I love that. Now, Greg, I heard a couple of, I saw your head nods and a couple of hmm as Archita was explaining the model behind Delivery Defense. Your thoughts, Greg, on what she just shared.

Greg White (14:22):

Yeah, it’s basically a scale of zero to 99.9, right? What’s the percentage that it doesn’t get stolen? So I like that. Like I said, have not had to use it, but I think that’s a really good tactic. What I was thinking was a merchant could actually shape your shipping options based on that. They could pretty much just exclude it being shipped to your house if the score is too low and say, or enforce insurance on the recipient, whatever.

Archita Prasad (14:51):

Yep.

Greg White (14:52):

So, I think that gives them a lot of options and I just see that happening almost invisibly for the consumer, right? So, they just go, “Oh, well I can’t get it shipped to my house but I can get it shipped to the nearest UPS store.

Archita Prasad (15:06):

Yep.

Greg White (15:06):

Fine.

Scott Luton (15:07):

Well said. All right. Before we move on, speaking of confidence scores, Archita, are you – do you happen to be a baseball fan?

Archita Prasad (15:14):

No, sorry.

Scott Luton (15:15):

No. Okay.

Archita Prasad (15:16):

Sorry.

Scott Luton (15:17):

Are you based in the Atlanta area, Archita?

Archita Prasad (15:18):

Yes, I am.

Scott Luton (15:19):

Okay. A llright. So you’re an honorary Atlanta Braves fan, okay, at least for today. And we’re assigning a confidence score to that upcoming – we’ll probably publish this. You know what, I’m going to save this because it might jinx the Braves versus Phillies so I’m just going to save it. But I was about to assign a confidence score to the NLDS, but I’m going to save that for later. But you still are an honorary Atlanta Braves fan, at least today, Archita.

Archita Prasad (15:42):

I am. I am.

Scott Luton (15:43):

Okay. All right. So, let’s tie things back. So earlier you mentioned some of the primary challenges that merchants have at this point in the year. Let’s speak more now that we really understand how Delivery Defense works. How can – using this innovation, how can it assist in mitigating some of these challenges while ensuring those safe and timely decisions that we got to have, Archita?

Archita Prasad (16:05):

Yeah. So, the key challenges that we talked about were shipping loss, risks and porch piracy. So, a tool like Delivery Defense, it empowers the merchants to take a preventive measure. As I said earlier, if the address – depending on the score that they get for the address, they can take preventive measures. They can either choose to ship it at an alternate delivery location or opt for real-time tracking or by insurance. So it basically helps them mitigate these losses by being more proactive about the decisions. Right? And our research, or our early findings using this tool indicates that the merchants are able to save up to 30% of their loss using this tool.

Scott Luton (16:54):

Okay. So, it could be a stupid question, but I’m going to ask anyway. For those high-volume shippers, can you set up presets based on the scoring so those decisions can be made without even –

Archita Prasad (17:04):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (17:05):

You know, any human involvement?

Archita Prasad (17:06):

Yeah, no, absolutely. They can set business rules within their system. So this is an automated process. They can say that within a certain range, do this. Within a certain range, continue with shipment. So, we are trying to make it absolutely seamless and automated and as efficient as we can for the merchants.

Scott Luton (17:25):

Love that, Archita. And, Greg, in the bigger sense of automate – all these conversations we’ve been having, automation, taking some of the blocking and tackling off of the human decision makers, I think this kind of is accepting that direction. Greg, would you agree?

Greg White (17:39):

Yeah. I think this goes to what we were talking about before where you could just set it up in your shopping cart as a merchant and just have it handled, right? That way you don’t have to make those manual decisions. I think that integration is, it’s incredible, right? It’s freeing.

Scott Luton (17:56):

Yes. Just have it handled. Just have it handled. Hey, I’ll sign up for that today, Archita, today. All right. So let’s get some examples, some success stories from businesses that have utilized Delivery Defense already. You’ve already shared that 30% figure, I think 30% less theft or loss I think is what you shared there. What other results have you seen, Archita?

Archita Prasad (18:18):

Sure. So, you know, we have launched the pilot with the few select customers and we are seeing very promising results so far. We serve a diverse set of customers, right? So, we have provided, or we are providing different options for the customers to integrate Delivery Defense into their existing systems, existing processes. So, for example, it can be integrated into the label creation process, you know, basically helping them identify the addresses which need special attention or which need preventive measures. At the same time, it is also useful to help reduce the empty box returns by determining when it’s safe to offer early refunds or when it’s advisable to wait till we receive the package back. So, there are diverse uses of this tool and we work very closely with our customers to identify what’s most suitable for them. And we are seeing some, as I said, very promising and great results. Now, sharing some key findings or I can’t share too much yet, but I would love to –

Scott Luton (19:37):

You have to kill us, right?

Archita Prasad (19:41):

Yeah. But I would still – I’m actually very, very proud of what we have created and how it’s helping our customers. I’m really proud. But again, sharing some key findings. When we look at the overall customer volume and map it against the address confidence score, what we are seeing is that a very small amount of addresses, roughly about 2%, is contributing to about 10% of the losses, right? So, the point being that by redirecting, rerouting just a small volume, 2% of the addresses, they are able to realize huge improvement or they’re able to reduce their losses by a significant amount. Now, when we did the same analysis just for retail industry, the results were slightly different. In this case, by rerouting about 5-10% of their volume, they’re able to reduce their losses by one third or 30%. That’s significant. That’s huge.

Scott Luton (20:46):

Agreed. Agreed. Greg, before I’m going to ask her about e-commerce applications, because, Archita, you’ve already – when you were talking about returns, that seemed to be a great advantage when it comes to leveraging delivery defense, anything else for those e-commerce businesses that you haven’t mentioned when it comes to Delivery Defense that you’d like to –

Archita Prasad (21:08):

Yeah, so delivery defense is a tool that’s valuable for any type size of the business, especially e-commerce. Like for large, large volume retailers, they are able to integrate Delivery Defense into, or seamlessly integrate Delivery Defense into their systems using API, you know, either at the checkout point or at the label creation point. And then for smaller growing merchants, we have another version of the tool available that’s the user-friendly web tool version, which we are launching pretty soon. So, the point being that there are different ways that the customers can use it. And Delivery Defense, it uses collective experience and intelligence of the entire UPS network, which is made up of data points from about 11 billion deliveries. That’s significant. That’s huge, right? Yeah, go ahead.

Scott Luton (22:14):

Yeah. Eleven billion, Greg, we talk about the ecosystem of data.

Archita Prasad (22:19):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (22:19):

And whether it’s reporting or technologies or whatever that leverages 11 billion data points, Archita, that’s something.

Archita Prasad (22:25):

Yeah. And in the past, this kind of insight or intelligence hasn’t been available for our merchants, right? And even if they tried to do it, it has been a manual process. It’s been a cumbersome time-consuming process, but Delivery Defense by using, you know, our data, our sophisticated technology, it has changed the game and it has made this entire process a lot more efficient and lot more, you know, doable for merchants.

Scott Luton (22:58):

And impactful in a practical manner.

Archita Prasad (23:00):

Of course.

Scott Luton (23:01):

Greg, based on what we’ve heard here – before we shift, we’re going to kind of make the turn down to home stretch and talk about predictive analytics in a second. But before we do that, Greg, any other thoughts as it relates to what Delivery Defense offers?

Greg White (23:16):

Yeah, I think it’s kind of a full loop security system if you think about it. If it identifies where it’s dangerous or, you know, risky to deliver and where it’s risky that you could receive a fraudulent return, then it allows you to identify policies that help eliminate that. I was thinking about the fact, way back when, Archita, when you were talking about whether you give an instant refund or you wait until confirmation of receipt. You know, I’d always thought of that, and I think for the most part it’s true that the people that wait for you to receive are small, whatever you want to call it, niche merchants. And they just don’t have a good system other than physical visual verification that they got it back.

Archita Prasad (24:05):

Yep.

Greg White (24:06):

But with this, anyone can choose what their policy is situationally. And I think that is really, really incredible because then this becomes their system for eliminating as much risk as they can from the delivery and making sure, first of all, the risk is not really on the merchant, because by the way, the merchant’s already been paid. The risk is really on the consumer. So helping alleviate the risk for the consumer as well. So, I think that’s a really, really important thing. And that could be a quantum leap for a lot of smaller merchants that are out there kind of struggling with the manual management of things like returns.

Scott Luton (24:49):

Archita?

Archita Prasad (24:50):

Yep.

Scott Luton (24:51):

Let me ask you a quick question, those 11 billion data points, I’m assuming that’s a dynamic set. So with each passing day, maybe each passing hour, the data is evolving and changing and giving you the latest and greatest actions to take, right?

Archita Prasad (25:05):

Absolutely. Yeah. So as we get more data points, the tool itself is becoming more intelligent. We are adding additional features, additional enhancements to make it even more impactful for our customers.

Scott Luton (25:18):

Technology is learning something new every day, even in the evenings as we sleep, Greg and Archita. That’s a thought, huh? All right. I want to shift gears as we kind of start to come down to home stretch. I want to talk more about predictive analytics, get some of your thoughts and experiences and expertise, Archita, starting with how can predictive analytics from where you sit help prevent shipping disasters and those negative outcomes, such as porch piracy.

Archita Prasad (25:46):

Yeah. So, we talked about Delivery Defense, that’s the live example. But the porch piracy or post-delivery loss, which is the loss that happens after a delivery scan has occurred, that contributes to about 70% of the total losses. Right? So, the point being that porch piracy is a huge culprit in this area.

Archita Prasad (26:13):

Delivery Defense or predictive analytics, which sits at the heart of delivery defense, it uses machine learning. It uses the historical shipping data for a given address to forecast the shipping outcome for that particular address. So, what we are doing with Delivery Defense is the ultimate example of how predictive analytics can use – can be used to address porch piracy issues. It empowers the merchants, as I said earlier and we talked about it several times, to take appropriate actions. It makes them much better informed and it helps them mitigate their shipping issues, shipping problems.

Scott Luton (27:02):

Lessening problems, saving them time, being smarter shippers amongst some of the advantages. Do –

Archita Prasad (27:08):

Top line helping them save their – increase their top line, protect their margins, and above all their customer experience, their customer experience.

Scott Luton (27:20):

Very cool. All right. So, and, Greg, chime in if I skip over you. I want to make sure we get your comment, Greg, if I’m moving too fast forward. But I want to apply it from predictive analytics to porch piracy, but also apply predictive analytics to some of these extreme climate conditions from wildfires, tropical storms, earthquakes, other natural disasters that we’ve seen, especially in recent years. Tell us more about how you see predictive analytics combating the shipping risk that are associated with some of these disasters.

Archita Prasad (27:54):

So, there are many different things that we can do using predictive analytics to address the extreme weather conditions or how to address shipping issues in these conditions. I’ll just name a few. The first one is the early warning system. So, basically looking at historical weather data to come up with advanced warning system or a system that can predict about extreme weather conditions, allowing merchants, shippers, to plan accordingly. Right?

Scott Luton (28:30):

Right.

Archita Prasad (28:30):

So that’s something that we can always do. Then –

Scott Luton (28:33):

Planning in supply chain.

Archita Prasad (28:35):

Yes.

Scott Luton (28:35):

Who’d have thought that was something, Greg and Archita, huh? So early warning systems is one.

Archita Prasad (28:41):

Yeah. Then second, I would say route optimization, looking at real time weather data to plan your routes optimally appropriately. And third, I would say is asset protection. So analyzing your shipping lanes, your cargo, looking at the historical lane data, shipping data, weather data to estimate the amount of risk associated and giving the merchants the option to opt for insurance. And there are many more, but all of them basically look at or target at helping the customers save their cost and, again, the same thing, the customer experience most importantly because imagine the second half, holiday season, we are expecting packages and something really, really, really, really important and the package doesn’t show up, and you would never ever buy from that merchant again.

Scott Luton (29:42):

Right. That’s right. And it would break your kids’ hearts.

Archita Prasad (29:45):

Yes.

Scott Luton (29:45):

It would ruin their day. It adds to the tidal wave postseason of returns that come back.

Archita Prasad (29:52):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (29:53):

Let’s just do it right the first time. Get it right the first time.

Archita Prasad (29:55):

Yep. That’s the goal.

Scott Luton (29:57):

That is the goal. Right? And going back, tying up full all the way back to the lean conversation, taking waste out if we do it right the first time more often.

Archita Prasad (30:05):

Poka-yoke.

Scott Luton (30:07):

Yes.

Archita Prasad (30:06):

If you remember Poka-yoke.

Scott Luton (30:08):

Yes. Mistake proofing.

Archita Prasad (30:09):

Yes.

Scott Luton (30:10):

Archita, man, I feel like I just got a pop quiz, Greg. All right. So, Greg, any comment there on some of those advantages that Archita just shared?

Greg White (30:18):

Yeah, well I can empathize with the impact of weather, living in a coastal area, right, and having endured that. And in this last storm, we had a storm blow by South Carolina. In my area, it didn’t have much impact other than some canceled dinner reservations and some delayed shipments. And I got to tell you, as a consumer, I knew that in this area that they could have gotten here, they may have had to have gone around some other areas. They could have gotten here on time if they had in any way planned and understood road things like road conditions and the actual weather that went through instead of whatever they used to determine they couldn’t deliver. And I didn’t blame UPS. Right? I didn’t blame – I didn’t blame the weather, whatever that storm’s name was, Franklin or whatever. I blamed the merchant because I just felt like they should do more diligence. And, you know, I think we’ve also seen a lot of companies, they just default to know whenever there is weather in a situation, whether it’s extreme or not, and use it as a point to let down a little bit and not perform. So, you know, a couple of those things were things I could have used. One of which was a hand-crank radio that I could’ve used before the storm.

Archita Prasad (31:43):

Yeah. And for smaller merchants, this becomes even more useful because this is the last opportunity to create a good experience with their customers. If that goes wrong, they lose their customer forever.

Greg White (31:56):

Yep.

Scott Luton (31:58):

That’s a great comment. And especially for the small businesses as you point out, Archita. All right. So if folks want to learn more about Delivery Defense, maybe want to join the pilot, if I heard you right, the ongoing pilot, before, I guess, widespread deployment, Archita, want to speak to that?

Archita Prasad (32:15):

We are almost concluding with the pilot and we are open for launch.

Scott Luton (32:21):

Nice. Ready for launch. If folks want to learn more, if they want to sign up for the program, if they want to pick your brain, whether it’s lean, whether it’s shipping, whether it’s supply chain or technological innovation, if they want to compare notes with you, Archita, how can folks connect with you?

Archita Prasad (32:35):

insureshield.com, that’s our website. And if they want to connect with me personally, it’s my LinkedIn.

Scott Luton (32:42):

Okay. It’s just that easy. Yeah, we’ll include that link in the show notes because that’s a really long URL that I can never memorize, Greg and Archita. We’ll include that in the show notes. And big thanks for your time here today, Archita Prasad, vice president of Strategy and Innovation with Insureshield Shipping Insurance by UPS –

Greg White (33:01):

Well done.

Scott Luton (33:02):

Capital. Hey, we try. Archita, thanks for being here.

Archita Prasad (33:04):

Thank you so much. It was really a pleasure being with you guys. Thank you.

Greg White (33:07):

Yeah, thank you very much.

Archita Prasad (33:08):

Thank you.

Scott Luton (33:09):

Well, so don’t go anywhere just yet. So, Greg, out of all of that, right, we covered a lot of ground there, a lot of different applications, a lot of them are universal across industry, a lot of them are very more targeted like some of the specific examples we shared. If you had to point out to our listeners one key thing from our conversation with Archita here today, what would that be, Greg?

Greg White (33:32):

Well, any opportunity to deliver better is great, especially as Archita talked about. If you are a small business, you’re disadvantaged already because you don’t have access, you don’t have your tool, the kind of advanced technologies. And this one is being provided for you that gives you insight into how likely it is to get delivered, enables you to build policies and adapt on the fly around that. And then, likewise, for returns, which is a critical, Scott, how much we love to say the supply chain is circular, right, so it’s critical for those small businesses. So I see this in an incredible bridge to level the playing field with the big e-comm companies out there.

Scott Luton (34:20):

Love that, Greg. What a great note to finish on. Folks, don’t ship like it’s 1982. Lean in to doing something different and take advantage of those 11 billion and growing data transactions that’s offering up a dynamic solution. So big thanks to Archita. Big thanks to the team behind that helped make production happen here today. Greg, always a pleasure to knock out these conversations with you. But, folks, to our listeners out there, hopefully we’ve enjoyed this chat with Archita and the team of Insureshield. To put something in action note, learn something. Archita brought a truckload of brilliance. Take something. Put it to use. It’s all about action, deeds not words. With that said, on behalf our entire team here at Supply Chain Now, Scott Luton challenging you, all of our listeners, to do good, give forward and be the change that’s needed. And we’ll see you next time right back here as Supply Chain Now. Thanks, everybody.

Intro/Outro (35:12):

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

Archita Prasad, As the Vice President of Strategy & Innovation at UPS Capital, Archita develops and implements the overall corporate strategy, spearheads growth initiatives, and leads the ongoing digital transformation journey. She has more than 20 years of experience as a senior leader in business strategy and transformation, change management, and organizational strategy planning. Prior to joining UPS, Archita worked at NCR and IBM in various executive roles, where she led strategic transformation initiatives aimed at increasing customer value and growing the business. Archita is a certified Lean Coach, Lean Master, and Design Thinking Practitioner. In addition, she is a Section 4 Certified Strategist and has received Executive Education Program Certifications from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. She holds a Master of Business Administration from the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad, India, and a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from the University of Mumbai.  Connect with Archita on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

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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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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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Katherine Hintz

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Katherine Hintz, MBA is a marketing professional 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 Reuter

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

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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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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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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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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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tandreia Bellamy

Host

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

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

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

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

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Marty Parker

Host

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

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

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jake Barr

Host

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

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Marcia Williams

Host

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

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Constantine Limberakis

Host

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal & Host

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Manager & Executive Producer

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

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

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

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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