Digital Transformers
Episode 39

Data is incredibly powerful, but also it's the Achilles heel of just about every kind of transformation initiative.

-Rob Cushman

Episode Summary

It’s both an incredibly exciting and unclear time for supply chain transformation, but the right trifecta of technologies can help light the way to greater resilience and agility. In this episode, Kevin L. Jackson joins IBM’s Debbie Powell and Rob Cushman to discuss how hybrid cloud, data and artificial intelligence — when leveraged correctly — can create new levels of visibility and predictive insight for customers. Tune in to hear case studies, key considerations and the outlook moving forward for game-changing supply chain technology.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:01):

Welcome to Digital Transformers, the show that connects you with what you need to build, manage, and operate your digital supply chain. Join your host in a timely discussion on new and future business models with industry leading executives. The show will reveal global customer expectations, real world deployment challenges, and the value of advanced business technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, and robotic process engineering. And now, we bring you Digital Transformers.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:33):

Hello. This is Kevin L. Jackson, and welcome to Digital Transformers on Supply Chain Now. Supply chains are emerging from two years of pandemic buffeting only to face a whole new wave of challenges, war, inflation, energy, and resource shortages. The urgency to transform and build more resilient and sustainable supply chains has never been higher. But budgets are tight, the outlook is uncertain, and running day to day business is full of surprises.


Kevin L. Jackson (01:12):

In this episode, I am joined by Rob Cushman, IBM Worldwide Leader Supply Chain Transformation, and Debbie Powell, Digital Transformation Leader, IBM Systems Supply Chain, to discuss how smart leaders are turning to a new trifecta of hybrid cloud data and artificial intelligence to navigate their way out of the chaos. Welcome to the show.

Debbie Powell (01:43):

Thank you, Kevin.

Rob Cushman (01:44):

Hi, Kevin. Thanks for having us on.

Kevin L. Jackson (01:46):

Oh, it is my pleasure. Thank you both. So, starting with Debbie, then Rob, please introduce yourself and the roles you play within IBM.

Debbie Powell (01:56):

Yes, I’ll do that. So, Kevin, I’m the Digital Transformation Lead in IBM System Supply Chain. And IBM Systems is our internal organization for the manufacturing and delivery of IBM hardware. So, we have our own supply chain. I’m an initiative lead for a lot of our AI and cloud projects, including end-to-end supply visibility, continuous intelligent planning. And it really has evolved over the past few years, and especially because we are an emerging technology company, so it’s exciting because we’re on the leading edge all the time.

Kevin L. Jackson (02:34):

Wow. Sounds like a big job. And, Rob.

Debbie Powell (02:38):

Fun job.

Rob Cushman (02:40):

Very exciting job. Kevin, my role is I lead everything in our IBM Consulting business related to supply chains. All the work that we do around strategy and consulting, and application technology, and data and analytics, and even business process outsourcing is all my remit. And I think what’s a little bit different about IBM – part of the reason that I joined the team – was that we actually have our own supply chain. So, unlike most of our competitors, we still have a big complicated global supply chain with really sophisticated products and technologies. And we treat that, I treat Debbie, as my Client Zero, we call it. So, we use that as a vehicle to drive innovation into our own business and, ultimately, better performance for our customers. And in doing that, that becomes our test pad to try out kind of all of our ideas and innovations on ourselves before we take them to clients so that we bake in all those, you know, learnings and experience into kind of how we show up to serve our clients in a different way.

Kevin L. Jackson (03:51):

Yeah. I think that’s known as drinking your own champagne, right?

Debbie Powell (03:56):

Champagne, that’s right. And we do have very strong relationship. And Rob and Rob’s team, they give us concepts and ideas. We’ve got continuous intelligent planning. We knew we wanted to do something really integrating planning and fulfillment, and they were working on – what we call – CAP, and we adopted it. Our executives were totally bought in. And that’s one of our high priority initiatives. The other thing is we’re a showcase, so we’ve got, in our end, end visibility. What we’ve created the last few years is a very strong cognitive Advisor, or some people call it Control Tower. So, I get the opportunity to share that with Rob’s clients, to show them the art of the possible. So, it’s a very strong partnership and we’re thought leaders together.

Kevin L. Jackson (04:40):

Wow. That’s really good. I think visibility is one of the most important aspects of any business process, especially supply chain, which is connected with so many other things in an organization. So, Rob, how did you find yourself leading such an impressive global team? Have you always been focused on supply chain?

Rob Cushman (05:03):

You know, I have. I’ve spent my whole career working at the intersection of supply chain and technology oriented industries. I sort of fell into that early on, mostly because what I love about supply chain is it’s a very kind of hands on, learn by doing kind of profession. And so, that worked really well for me. And the opportunity to do things like, you know, work everywhere from the executive suite all the way down to the shop floor in the factory or distribution center has always been something I’ve really enjoyed. And so, I’ve done that both as a consultant. And then, I had actually a stretch in my career where it sort of bothered me that my clients would say things like, “You know, Rob, you’ve got great ideas and seem fairly smart, but you’ve never really run the business and owned the P&L.” And so, I actually left consulting for a few years to run a pre-IPO company and take it to a liquidity event, and then came back to consulting.


Rob Cushman (06:03):


And here at IBM, I probably always in my career wanted to work for IBM because it really is the sort of an iconic brand. And, frankly, as a technology oriented supply chain professional, IBM has this richness of all of its history kind of in the semiconductor industry, and the PC industry, and the servers ,and all kinds of, I think, technology innovation. And so, my mission kind of here is to kind of bring all of that DNA to show up and serve our clients in a consulting capacity in a new and different way. And that’s where you hear Debbie described, like, not only are we working together to drive new innovations into our own supply chain business, but then we also show up kind of in the cycle of helping our clients envision, and solution, and deliver their future. We actually, you know, cross pollinate our teams in all of those capacities.

Kevin L. Jackson (06:59):

Well, you know, everybody knows IBM as a technology company, but it’s really over the years has been a business innovation organization. They’ve revamped themselves so many different ways and I think it sort of reflected in your broad background.

Rob Cushman (07:18):

Yeah. Well, I think, one of the things that’s fascinated to me, like, IBM is the company that invented the barcode, kind of put people on the moon. I think, like, five Nobel Prize winners. So, there’s something really special here that we’re probably trying to get back to a bit. As we invent, we invent ourselves as a consulting and hybrid cloud and AI company. But bring to bear all that kind of richness of history in how we serve our clients.

Kevin L. Jackson (07:47):

Right. And, Debbie, what were the highlights of your journey to IBM?

Debbie Powell (07:53):

I had worked for a metal working manufacturer prior to joining IBM, and I was given the opportunity to join IBM. So, I’ve been in supply chain the whole time, but I’ve had different roles, so some operations, some IT, some transformation. But I really like the transformation. I really like it here at IBM, because we’re a technology company, we’re expected to be on the leading edge. So, we’ve got a lot more opportunities and a lot more advantages because we’re a technology company. The technology is there. Whether it’s cloud, big data, speed, it’s there. It’s really the operation side, the process reengineering, the change management. And that’s what is exciting to me as well, marrying those two. And that’s what, of course, Rob does in IBM Consulting is he does a lot of that, all of that for his clients.

Kevin L. Jackson (08:48):

Yeah. That’s a very interesting path. You know, I personally also followed an unexpected route to IBM. I was with IBM for about six years. I was outsourced from Chase Manhattan Bank. I had a technology project, global project VP position. And Chase just outsourced all of their technology to IBM. It was, however, a great professional outcome for me personally, and it really set my path to cloud computing. I mean, the audience knows that I’ve been doing cloud computing for such a a long time. And speaking of cloud, Debbie, I understand that IBM sees cloud as a very important tool for supply chain transformation. Can you explain that viewpoint?

Debbie Powell (09:40):

Yes. And I’ll specifically talk about what we’ve done in supply chain. So, we have moved all of our legacy systems and also our Advisors, our system of engagements to the cloud, to a hybrid cloud. So, with the hybrid cloud, of course, to get the security of the private cloud and a lot of economies as far as the administration and of the infrastructure, et cetera. But you also get the speed and performance, and it’s easy to connect. It’s easy to connect with microservices and even to our legacy systems. So, supply chain has gotten very popular over the last couple years.

Debbie Powell (10:16):

Rob and I have always been in supply chain. For us, we’ve always been popular, but now the world understands what we do in supply chain and we’ve gotten faster and faster. With all these disruptions, we’ve always had disruptions, now we have — so we got to go faster and faster, and that’s what the cloud has provided for us.

Kevin L. Jackson (10:34):

Wow. Yeah. A lot of people don’t understand that cloud underlies a lot of the innovation that’s happening today. And, Rob, in our pre-show discussions, you mentioned the supply chain trifecta or trilogy with data cloud and artificial intelligence. What was the genesis of that idea?

Rob Cushman (10:58):

Like, to me, cloud is probably one of the most misunderstood – maybe current time anyway – at concepts for supply chain leaders. And I think it’s very tempting to sort of think of it as like, “Oh, I’m modernizing my application stack. I’m moving legacy applications to the cloud. I’m variabilizing my IT costs.” But I think if we reflect on what’s happened in the last two years in particular, what we’re seeing is this incredible power that can be unleashed when we connect any one supply chain with the broader ecosystem of trading partners. And I think we’ve always sort of known as supply chain professionals, well, we’ve been busy busting silos within our own enterprises for many years. And I think the cloud plays an important role in starting to connect, you know, multiple legacy systems that’s certainly part of the journey that we’ve done kind of in our own supply chain transformation, connecting 17 different legacy systems, for example, into our cognitive solution so that we can just go to one place, single pane of glass and see all that information.

Rob Cushman (12:17):

But we now know based on the pandemic that it’s almost like the even more valuable information that we need that we don’t have is what comes from outside the four walls of our company. And the ability to see in near real time, like, what is the inbound supply picture, what shipments are kind of held up in what locations or need to be expedited at the next node, or downstream into our customers. We have an incredibly high service level on our deliveries to our customers, and part of the way that we do that is we have incredible visibility into what’s happening in our downstream supply chain, all the way to deliver it to B2B customers.

Rob Cushman (12:59):

And so, this kind of idea of the trifecta is that if you look at what the really forward thinking supply chain leaders are doing, they’re realizing that, you know, kind of the data is the kind of currency, the most important or most valuable currency in kind of all of supply chain, especially that data outside my own supply chain and kind of now taking that data, putting it in the cloud in one place, where you can see it all together in a synchronized way. And then, on top of that, build visualizations in whatever tool of choice that you like. Most companies, Power BI or Tableau, are starting to apply predictive analytics to it so that I’m mining that data to identify the exceptions that humans need to intervene and take action on.

Rob Cushman (13:52):

And we even have started to kind of talk about AI, in our business, as augmented intelligence. So, we’re trying to help humans, not be as burdened by the kind of dull and the dumb transactional work. And we’re trying to elevate them. And Debbie can share some great examples today about how we, in our own business, when we flag an exception, our Advisor solution actually gives humans multiple kind of options of next best actions to choose from. And that, I think, is a really powerful new value proposition for our clients, and, frankly, allows them to deliver outcomes and a better experience to their customers in ways that, frankly, we’ve just never really been able to do in supply chain. So, that’s the genesis of that trifecta, data analytics, AI together.

Kevin L. Jackson (14:47):

No, that’s really good. And I want to hear more about those examples from Debbie. But before we go there, Rob, there was a recent IBM chief supply chain officer study, and it stated, and I quote, “Over the next two to three years, CSCO say that issues related to supply chain disruptions, technology infrastructure, sustainability, and market shifts are their greatest challenges.” Wait. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. I thought we just went through all of this. That was the fire. Aren’t we annealed? Aren’t we ready? Didn’t COVID fix all that? Wasn’t that enough?

Rob Cushman (15:33):

Yeah. Well, you know, I agree. It’s like the more we get to the other side of the pandemic, the more it feels like the light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train. I mean, look, probably since the financial crisis in 2008, ’09, we started to kind of get this sense that in our increasingly connected and complex global world that maybe we were in this era of just continuing disruptions, and some might say accelerating disruptions.

Rob Cushman (16:10):

And I think, clearly, the study that we do with our chief supply chain officers every year is in part grounded on a working group that we have with senior supply chain leaders. And the last one that we did a couple weeks ago, we were already hearing from our customers in Europe that their supply chains are being impacted, factories are being shut down due to kind of energy shortages. There are radical changes in product mix that customers are demanding. They’re shifting to value brands and buying in smaller pack sizes and quantities. So, we’re, I think, clearly, like in an era of nonstop disruption. And I think part of what we talk about with our clients is you got to match that with a mentality of nonstop transformation. And that’s part of the way that Debbie and I work together is, you know, we have some heavier lift transformation work that we’ll do, and then there’s a kind of quarterly, kind of agile release cycle that we continue over time to kind of plan, prioritize the back load, lock and load, and execute those transformation cycles. And I think that that’s the world that we’re all in now.

Rob Cushman (17:33):

You know, the big findings from the supply chain, a study that I think that are particularly relevant to the folks listening today are big theme around continuing disruption and the need to mitigate that with better visibility. Which means data that is as close to real time as possible and to flag exceptions and to react to them very quickly, kind of back to our trifecta, that’s what’s really critical. Second, just continuing and really accelerating labor shortages and a lot of supply chain operations. And there’s this feeling in our last working group meeting, it’s like 20 percent of the workforce is, like, vanished. And so, where we might have been worried three, four years ago about if we pursue these automation agendas, what are we going to do with that surplus headcount that we’re creating. Now, we’re like we need that to keep the lights on.

Rob Cushman (18:33):

And I think lastly on the sustainability front, that’s just like the through line through everything. And I think a lot of companies, it’s still early days in terms of kind of how do we operationalize. I mean, obviously, great stuff going on and reporting and packaging and, I think, things that are getting the ball rolling. But, clearly, we’re going to have to be building sustainability use cases into every domain of supply chain, not just responsible sourcing and procurement, but, frankly, use cases in planning that are optimizing around carbon, probably even, you know, things that challenge some of the orthodoxies of supply chain in the past. Like, we tended to think, you know, smaller shipments, more frequent. I think we’re going to see a slowing down, like let’s put more things on boats and out of the bellies of airplanes.

Rob Cushman (19:30):

And so, I think a lot of really exciting things are happening, but that’s going to challenge a lot of the things that, if you grew up like me working in supply chain and all the things that I was taught, the principles, time and costs and steps and touches, or these things are all bad, and lot sizes should be as small as possible, maybe we’re going to see some rethinking there.

Kevin L. Jackson (19:52):

I’m wondering, did you just coin a new term there? I heard transformation cycle. I hadn’t heard that before. And, Debbie, you work directly with supply chain executives every day, have you seen this transformation cycle? How has this trifecta really materialized with them? And Rob mentioned, you had maybe some good examples of case studies to share.

Debbie Powell (20:20):

Well, yes. Yes, I do. And as a matter of fact, in the beginning of the pandemic, we really saw where our digital transformation came into play. And for the first year, we were on top of all of our disruptions. And with that, we decided, well, we’re going to double down on our digital transformation. Now, as far as transformation cycles and prioritizing, of course, we’re an agile shop and a design thinking shop, so we really look at, not only use cases, but personas, and our users are very, very involved in it, and our whole management system kind of dictates that. So, we’ve got our iterations as far as when we deploy different functions, and even from a process perspective, so that’s very important.

Debbie Powell (21:06):

Now, Rob mentioned near real time, now, because supply chain data is data in motion, that’s what makes it especially challenging and especially exciting. And that’s where our Advisor came into play that I talked about earlier, that I mentioned in my intro. And what we had done is we had built a very strong data platform. Rob mentioned 17 different data sources. Those were just our internal sources. In addition, we’re bringing data from outside our four walls, bringing it in, and marrying that with our transactional data so that we do get that full visibility.


Debbie Powell (21:40):

I’ve got several examples of how this has helped us. One I’ll mention is, you know, on our Advisor, we have a natural language interface, and that’s become really important. We saw the value quicker than we expected, because, one, anybody can ask the question. Now, it’s built on top of this very strong data platform that’s near real time, but anybody can ask the question, so it really changed the way we work. We don’t have executives or even up line managers sending emails or calling and asking for information. They can go into the Advisor and ask the question. And it comes back with all of the evidence, because AI is about providing evidence as well. We’ve seen it promotes more cross functional use cases, where that’s really where the value is when it’s cross-functional.

Debbie Powell (22:29):

And, also, we’ve learned that – I think Rob mentioned this as well – our early professional hires don’t really want to work like we did. [Inaudible] a lot of spreadsheet and spending all day on crunching through numbers to later then make the decision. No. We want to do that for them and our technology allows us to do that where they’re focused on making those decisions.

Debbie Powell (22:53):

Another example, Rob mentioned that their recommendation, we taught Watson where the different business process for a supply shortage and how we mitigate shortages. And, of course, we look at different things. Do we have different locations that have that supply? Are there alternative parts that we can use? You know, on and on. We’ve got a lot of different things. And before we had our Advisor, it would sometimes take four to six hours for a commodity manager to mitigate one part shortage. With their Advisor, now they can do it in a matter of seconds. So, that’s where the technology is. But, of course, we have to reengineer our processes by using automation, intelligent workflow, and then give them the time to do the important stuff, make the decisions, not the non-value added stuff that our systems can do for them.

Debbie Powell (23:48):

The other thing is – I’m sorry, I could probably go on, so I’m just going to tell you one more thing. You know, when people are transitioning into new jobs, we found that it’s so much easier to do because you don’t have to understand the nuances of every single different IT system. Like all companies, we’ve got a separate ERP system, a separate scheduling system, logistics, so they’re best in class systems that the data has to come together, the data has to be transformed. And that’s what we do in digital transformation, and that’s what we bring to our users so that they can get this information fast and make the right decisions.

Rob Cushman (24:25):

And I think maybe just to add to that, I think the phenomenon that Debbie is describing that I think is a ground swell, you know, more broadly everywhere in supply chain, is this growing sort of almost bifurcation from a technology landscape between there’s always going to be the systems of record and transaction that kind of run the business at a detailed level. Debbie called them systems of engagement, some call them systems of intelligence or orchestration, but now there’s this new stuff being built in the cloud kind of pulling up the data from those legacy applications and a lot of other places to drive a whole different experience for employees, but also a better experience for customers. I mean, Debbie is being a little bit modest.

Rob Cushman (25:18):

I mean, one of the things that we’re incredibly proud of is that throughout the first year of the pandemic, we still delivered like percent SLA on our shipments to customers, because we’ve made those investments in digital transformation and because we were able to use those tools to, basically, be ahead of problems. As opposed to what happened to a lot of clients, where they’d got into these war rooms and they’re dealing with some data that’s eight hours old and some data that’s 24 hours. Like, we had that kind of all in one place and we could run the business very dynamically. And that really helped us to deliver kind of better experience, better outcomes for our customers, and, frankly, better financial outcomes for us too.

Debbie Powell (26:09):

Absolutely. [Inaudible].

Kevin L. Jackson (26:11):

Those were some great examples. And something I mentioned or noticed, data, data, data, data. I mean, wow, everything, every other word is data. So, Rob, with those examples that Debbie provided as guideposts, how can companies really drive this, apparently, data-led innovation?

Rob Cushman (26:37):

Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, I think that’s exactly the right takeaway. So, it is all about the data. And I think, for supply chain leaders, it’s important to separate the wheat from the chaff a little bit. Like, the data is the most valuable kind of currency in the supply chain kind of ecosystem, but it’s also the hardest. It’s the long pole in the tent. Most of the time, when we build these intelligent supply chain solutions, there’s a lot of skin, knees, and elbows around kind getting that data. How clean is the data where you start to run predictive algorithms, and we discovered that even though we thought the data was pretty clean, it really wasn’t. So, the data is the long poll in the tent, that’s an important takeaway for senior leaders.

Rob Cushman (27:30)

I also think, like if I had a dollar for every time I’ve gone to a client and they say something like, “Oh, well, you know, data? We’re good on data. We’ve got a lot of data warehouses. You know, like, we could have a really nice dinner tonight here in New York.” And so, what leaders really need to understand is those data warehouses are full of, you know, data and all kinds of different granularity, all kinds of different aging. Some of it is really only refreshed, like, on a monthly basis. Most of it is not very useful to drive the kind of business outcomes that Debbie’s been describing in some of those examples. So, data is incredibly powerful, but also it’s the Achilles Heel of just about every kind of transformation initiative.

Rob Cushman (28:27):

The other thing is that – and, again, back to the cloud – the only place to keep that data is in the cloud. And it used to be, we used to be sort of nervous about the cloud. Like, “Oh, my gosh. Can we put data in the cloud? Will it be safe? Will it be secure?” Well, now we know that the cloud is arguably the most secure, the most scalable, the most flexible, the easiest place for us to do that kind of agile development that Debbie was describing of kind of managing a backlog of features that we’re going to continue to innovate as our business changes day to day. So, yes, data. And, yes, the cloud. And then, that becomes this flywheel of opportunities to create better outcomes and results.

Kevin L. Jackson (29:16):

Wow. Wow. So, Debbie, as Customer Zero, you experienced all of this, so do you have any advice or predictions for supply chain transformation next year, in 2023?

Debbie Powell (29:33):

What we’re working on right now is our intelligent workflows. And that’s where you embed AI and automation. And we focus on our Advisor visibility, especially the data visibility, that’s a really good place to start. But we want to up our game on that and we want to do more automation, so our users are doing less and less of the non-value add. So, that’s where I see the future is, and that’s where we’re really investing in right now.

Kevin L. Jackson (30:04):

So, the future of supply chain landscape has really changed. It’s going to be really different than it is today. I’m going to throw this to both of you, so how can organizations embrace this idea of the transformation cycle, this constant change? First, Debbie, then Rob, if you have any additional comments.

Debbie Powell (30:29):

The other thing that I want to mention I think covers this question, Kevin, our introduces. And then, the last question is, we’re also pushing for more business technologists than just people who do operations because we want to take advantage of our emerging technology. So, we see a change in our workers as well, and becoming more and more in tune with emerging technology and what we want to do there and with data. So, between intelligent workflow and that, that’s what we see in the future as far as how to help with these disruptions. I think, we’ve always had disruptions. Now, not as big as the pandemic, but there’s always been disruptions. And, now, we get the information fast, whether it’s weather or pandemic, and we need to stay in front of it, not on top of it.

Rob Cushman (31:22):

And I think to add, you know, from where I sit, Kevin, I think some really exciting things are happening in the world of supply chain. We now know that supply chain is a board level topic and investment priority. I think we’re seeing a change in mindset, like supply chain, quite frankly, is always been like a cost focused profession, like, how do you continue to squeeze, you know, more and more quarter to quarter, year over year. And what we learned was we basically built these supply chains that were so cost optimized that they were brittle and inflexible. And if demand wasn’t within sort of a fairly predictable upper and lower control limit, we got into a lot of trouble. So, I think now what we see is this migration away from the cost optimized supply chain to one where it really is focused on how does supply chain deliver that customer experience, both for the external customer and also, as Debbie was describing, there’s this generational change in supply chain talent that’s happening, and that talent wants to work with data and analytical tools and predictive algorithms. And so, we’re seeing that pivot.

Rob Cushman (32:38):

And then, I think when you look at, like, where the technology investments going to go, there will be, I think, continue to be this kind of drumbeat of ERP kind of moved to the cloud, SAP, Oracle, whatever your preference is. But I think more and more we’re going to see the true differentiation and innovation happen in the cloud with these intelligent solutions.

Rob Cushman (33:06):

And Debbie used this word that we use here at IBM, this concept of intelligent workflows. And taking the kind of business as it stands today, starting to rethink that with design thinking, but then kind of natively embed kind of how are we using data and automation, and, ultimately, AI or augmented intelligence to deliver better outcomes. So, I think there’s a really exciting – I mean, I won’t pretend to have a crystal ball. I think if you look at the ground swell, like, supply chain, super important investment area, but we’re going to need to show up with a different mindset than the last kind of 30, 40, 50 years that supply chain has been grounded in. Mostly going back to the Toyota production system, if we’re really honest. And I think that’s where we’re going to have a lot of fun as a profession.

Kevin L. Jackson (34:02):

Wow. You described a supply chain industry that’s really cool. It’s not boring anymore.

Rob Cushman (34:13):

Well, I think —

Debbie Powell (34:18):

[Inaudible] just that everybody didn’t know it.


Kevin L. Jackson (34:18):

It’s always been exciting. Nobody knew it.

Rob Cushman (34:20):

Yeah. Well, I’ve been super gratified that my family actually has so many feeling of what I actually do for a living now that we’ve been through the pandemic. But, you know, it is exciting to see how many young people are electing supply chain majors. And I think, you know, I feel a responsibility to engage them kind of at IBM or wherever they want to work in our profession in ways where they’re not key stroking things into kind of legacy applications or putting stuff in Excel and they’re really, I think, having a much more exciting career.

Kevin L. Jackson (35:02):

Right. Right. So, thank you both. But how can the audience reach out to you to learn more about supply chain, this cool supply chain and digital transformation? First Rob, then Debbie.

Rob Cushman (35:17):

Yeah. Well, I think a couple things. One, in as much as, you know, we are in the consulting business, our intent is to be of service to the broader community of supply chain practitioners, so I think this is a super exciting time, this is, frankly, a super unclear time for a lot of people, so delighted to just kind of have conversations and share the things that we’re learning in a very kind of open source sort of mentality. And always delighted to connect with people on LinkedIn. I think there’s a couple things that we will share that can be in the show notes. A case study that we did publicly about the work that Debbie and I have been describing about transforming our own supply chain. A new point of view that we published around, like, this kind of trifecta and how does that kind of shape a different kind of thinking in supply chain transformation. And then, that chief supply chain officer of the study that we mentioned.

Kevin L. Jackson (36:19):

Great. Thanks. And, Debbie?

Debbie Powell (36:22):

Same with me, you can find me on LinkedIn.

Kevin L. Jackson (36:24):

LinkedIn. Okay. Awesome. So, thanks again for spending your time with us. So in closing, I would like to invite everyone to check out a wide variety of industry thought leadership at Supply Chain Now. And you can find Digital Transformers and Supply Chain Now wherever you get your podcast. So, be sure to press that button and subscribe. So, on behalf of the entire team here at Supply Chain Now, this is Kevin L. Jackson wishing all of our listeners a bright and transformational future. We’ll see you next time on Digital Transformers.

Intro/Outro (37:07):

Thank you for supporting Digital Transformers and for being a part of our global Supply Chain Now community. Please check out all of our at Make sure you subscribe to Digital Transformers anywhere you listen to or view the show, and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on Digital Transformers.

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Featured Guests

Debbie Powell has been with IBM for over 23 years and currently leads IBM’s internal supply chain digital transformation in IBM Systems. Connect with Debbie on LinkedIn.

Rob Cushman is IBM Consulting’s global leader for Supply Chain. He has been working at the intersection of business transformation, technology and supply chain for nearly three decades. Rob has led major operations transformation programs as both a consultant and line industry executive. In recent years he has specialized in building intelligent supply chains in the cloud, infused with data, analytics and AI. He is based in New York. Connect with Rob on LinkedIn.


Kevin L. Jackson

Host, Digital Transformers

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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., 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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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


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

Creative Director, Producer, Host

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

Host, The Freight Insider

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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Mary Kate Love

VP, Marketing

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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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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Tandreia Bellamy

Host, Supply Chain Now

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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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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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 & 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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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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Constantine Limberakis


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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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

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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