Supply Chain Now
Episode 1015

If we think about the saturation of warehouses in any industrial park, users have the ability to go from a Walmart to an Amazon to a Walgreens, to whomever, right down the road. And they're jumping for less than a dollar of incremental change to their salary. But if you are able to create an environment and a culture that makes their job easier, makes them less stressed out or less tired at the end of the day, and you're paying them a comparable fair wage, you're going to see retention increase.

-Ryan Kitchie

Episode Summary

Headed into Halloween, candy prices are getting downright spooky, but never fear! Scott and Greg are back with the Buzz to break down the latest on inflation, along with top headlines related to labor, NATO intervention and more. Joined by Ryan Kitchie of 6 River Systems, the team also tackles hidden costs of turnover and automation’s full potential in a tight labor market.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:00:03):

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 (00:00:30):

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

Greg White (00:00:37):

Doing quite well, Scott. How are you doing?

Scott Luton (00:00:40):

We’re doing great. Good weekend. It’s gorgeous here. Again, best time of year, one of the best times of year here in the Metro Atlanta area. And –

Greg White (00:00:47):

You’re getting your fall as you desired, and it doesn’t appear to be a false fall this time. Right?

Scott Luton (00:00:52):

We’re keeping our fingers crossed, Greg. We are keeping our fingers crossed.

Greg White (00:00:55):

It’s going to get hot. It will be around Halloween when all those poor kids have their costumes on, right?

Scott Luton (00:01:02):

That’s right. Speaking of Halloween, that’s one of the things we’ll be talking about here on the Supply Chain Buzz, where we share some of the leading stories across global business. Greg, we’re going to be talking about a variety of topics today, and we’ve got a great guest joining us about 12:25 PM Eastern Time as Ryan Kitchie with 6 River Systems will be here. And, finally, Greg, folks should get ready ‘cause we’re going to hear from them as well, right?

Greg White (00:01:27):

Yeah, no doubt. Let me check that out and see if we’re hearing from [inaudible].

Scott Luton (00:01:32):

We got a bunch of folks –

Greg White (00:01:32):

Oh, yeah.

Scott Luton (00:01:33):

[inaudible] in. But before we say hello to a few folks, I want to make sure folks are aware of the U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index for Third Quarter 2022 just came out, chock-full of insights on the domestic freight market. We had a great review livestream last week, Greg. We’ll be releasing that replay this week. But you know what’s great about the Freight Payment Index beyond all the information?

Greg White (00:01:58):

Tell us, Scott.

Scott Luton (00:02:00):

It’s free. It is free. You can check it out. You can sign up for it to hit your inbox each quarter at freight.usbank.com. And, Greg, this is – we look forward to discussion each quarter, right?

Greg White (00:02:14):

Yeah. And a great one this quarter. So, when we publish that show, which we do live at every quarter, so keep your calendar open for that. But when we publish that, it’s a great opportunity to hear from somebody who’s not only a supply chain educator at the top, arguably the top supply chain school in the world, Michigan State, but also an incredible economist, studier and user of the Freight Payment Index, so he knows of what he speaks.

Scott Luton (00:02:43):

That’s right. So y’all check that out, freight.usbank.com. One other quick note before I say hello to a few folks, we want to wish everybody around the world Happy Diwali to all of our friends and Supply Chain Now family and listeners, you name it, that are tuned in that celebrate this sacred holiday.

Greg White (00:02:59):

I’m so glad that they’ve shortened that. You know, it’s used to be, and I think sometimes still is called Deepavali, the Festival of Lights, right?

Scott Luton (00:03:09):

Yeah. Yeah.

Greg White (00:03:09):

But, boy, that’s a lot for me to spit out.

Scott Luton (00:03:13):

Well, you know, I struggled to get my kids’ names right still from time to time. So, I’ll take all the convenience we can get. But, hey, if you celebrate this wonderful holiday, we’re wishing you all, all the very best. Okay, so let’s – Greg, we’re going to move fast today. This is a jampacked session. It looks like we got a jampacked cheap seats, sky box, you name it. I want say hello to Donna via LinkedIn. Donna, let us know where you’re tuned in from. Great to have you here with us today. Bob tuned in from – well, I’m not sure. Bob, let us know where you’re tuned in from, via LinkedIn. That’s right. Todd Morley is with us here today, via LinkedIn. Todd, great to see ya. Bill Vining, also via LinkedIn. Good morning to you. I bet Jonathan is happy this morning. Greg, why do you think?

Greg White (00:04:03):

Oh, yeah. What a struggle. And you too. Tigers – all the tigers had a good weekend, didn’t they?

Scott Luton (00:04:11):

That’s right.

Greg White (00:04:13):

The Lions, not so much, but the Tigers, come on.

Scott Luton (00:04:16):

Oh, gosh. Jonathan, congrats to your LSU Tigers. And, yes, as Greg mentioned, Clemson snuck past Syracuse this weekend. That was a tough game to watch, especially the first half. But, Jonathan, great to see you.

Greg White (00:04:27):

But they tried to do the way, didn’t they?

Scott Luton (00:04:29):

Man, you’re in line. Katherine, I really appreciate all the work. You and Amanda and Chantelle, the whole production team does behind the scenes, great to see you.

Greg White (00:04:38):

And the comedy. Supply chain and comedy, I mean, you’re going to see it folks. But Katherine is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met, and super quick and witty. She did it again today.

Scott Luton (00:04:50):

She did.

Greg White (00:04:51):

Right?

Scott Luton (00:04:52):

We may have to recycle that joke later in the episode, but Katherine always brings it. Hey, old TV, Tom Valentine’s with us here today. “Happy Diwali, Scott and Greg.” Tom, hope this finds you and your family well. All right. Greg, I’m going to hit just a couple more of these. Julio, good morning again for my supply chain internship in Houston. Great to have you back with us, Julio. And he also, he’s a big Stros fan. The Astros and the Phillies going to duke it out in the World Series. Greg, if you had to pick really quick, who’s winning?

Greg White (00:05:25):

Phillies.

Scott Luton (00:05:25):

Ooh, Julio.

Greg White (00:05:27):

Sorry. I mean, first of all, I hate the Astros because they’re cheaters, but maybe not this season or else we just haven’t found out yet. But the Phillies, look, I mean, I mean, San Diego came into that series hot, hot, hot, and they absolutely crushed them. Now, Astros did the same with the Yankees. I mean, even the judge had to leave the courtroom.

Scott Luton (00:05:54):

All right, finally, Gene Pledger. Great to have you back with us, GP. Tuned in via LinkedIn. “Hello from Pack Expo Chicago.” Hey, he’s got something in common with our esteemed guests here today. And finally, Tafara is tuned in from Zimbabwe, via LinkedIn. Great to have you here. Looking forward to your perspective as we work our way through a lot of interesting stories here today. Okay. So, Greg, are you ready to dive into – we got a jampacked episode. You ready to dive into the first story here today?

Greg White (00:06:23):

Yes. Let’s dive.

Scott Luton (00:06:25):

All right. Let’s dive.

Greg White (00:06:26):

Wow.

Scott Luton (00:06:27):

So, you are starting with a, a tough topic, right?

Greg White (00:06:29):

Yep.

Scott Luton (00:06:30):

So, the Korean automaker Hyundai is looking into claims of child labor in its U.S. supply chain. So, Greg, according to Reuters, Hyundai is expecting the sever ties with at least one of its suppliers in Alabama, and that would be Smart Alabama in Luverne. And an investigative report documented kids there working as young as 12 years old in that plant. Now, those findings led the Alabama Department of Labor to get involved, and they found kids as young as 13 working at a second Hyundai supplier. This one called SL Alabama in Alexander City. Greg, your thoughts?

Greg White (00:07:09):

Well, I read not just this article but also some related articles. And this is a long – of the latest in a string of arguable offenses by these Korean companies operating in Alabama. Smart and SL, both Korean based companies or divisions of them. And, very often strangely, Latin – Central and South American, migrants as the underage workers, right? And in fact, in one case, one parent had three kids working in one plant, and that’s not all of it. So, the Department of Labor has been investigating these companies and the combination of companies since at least 2009 for health, OSHA violations, amputations and other issues that have occurred in these plants. Scott, you’re really familiar with metal stamping as it occurs, and that’s what Smart does. And it’s a dangerous business. It’s definitely not any place for kids. Obviously, there are laws against that. And Alabama specifically has a law that no one under 18, even though the legal working age is 16, no one under 18 can work in a mental stamping facility – metal stamping facility in Alabama. So, I’m not saying, not saying it’s impossible for Hyundai to have not known about this. I’m just saying it’s impossible for me to believe that Hyundai didn’t know about this after over 10 years of discussions with the Department of Labor of the U.S. and the various states.

Scott Luton (00:08:56):

Right. Yeah, we’re going to keep our fingers on the pulse of this story. So, we’ll see if they do indeed sever ties. And, of course, Greg, as you mentioned, it is a dangerous – it can be really dangerous. Lot of moving in parts, a lot of big presses. Of course, not a place, not a place for kids. So, moving right along on a little bit of a lighter story, not really light, but this is interesting, Greg. So, get this, NATO, as we all know, NATO members have donated tons of military weaponry and supplies to Ukraine to support the country’s brave efforts at repelling the Russian invasion. Greg, anyone that knows us and follow Supply Chain Now knows of our efforts to volunteer with our friends at Vector Global Logistics, who have sent over 500,000 pounds of humanitarian supplies to folks from Ukraine and Poland. So, maybe we can drop a link to that in the chat.

Scott Luton (00:09:50):

But, hey, now, NATO members are looking at more closely aligning their procurement efforts to not only replace all of that inventory, but also to streamline procurement and supply needs for any future contingencies. So, this effort, right, it’s been at work for quite some time was recently boosted in September when NATO’s 30 members and 20 allied countries set up working groups to “define multinational strategies to mitigate supply chain constraints” as well as ramp up production and help make equipment more interchangeable, which of course is, it can be a challenge when you’re talking about basically 50 different militaries from 50 different countries. Greg, your thoughts here?

Greg White (00:10:32):

I mean, I think in some cases it’s a good idea; in some cases, not. I mean, you know, it’s not as many people from the military have said it’s not what – it’s not what we have in terms of military technology that’s really secret. We know that’s already been stolen in a lot of cases. It’s what we know that causes us to build certain mechanisms about our enemies, or whatever you want to call them. Russia is unquestionably an enemy. And sometimes that can be, with the wavering politics in Europe, it can be dangerous to share some of that information. So, I think, you know, there’s a lot of benefit in standardizing a goodly number of the products so that when you put a weapon in a Swedish guy’s hands, it’s the same as the weapon in the American soldier’s hands as well. Things like that, maybe even just some of the supplies, right? I mean, I don’t know how much, how well they like Taco Bell in Sweden or in Poland or other NATO countries, but, you know, we actually have Taco Bells on site. Scott, I don’t know if you ever had that when you were deployed, but even in moving camps, we have those. And I think that’s a huge benefit to the world.

Scott Luton (00:11:55):

Well, it’s interesting. You know, along – going back a second ago, you know, all NATO members agreed to boost military funding. I’m not sure the timeframe. It was a couple years ago, but what the data shows is, it wasn’t until Russia invaded Ukraine that there was action behind or the deeds behind those words. So, it’s interesting, you know. We learn a lot from the military, right? The global business does, and I think in this case, perhaps, the global military ecosystem might be learning something from global supply chain. We’ll see.

Greg White (00:12:28):

Well, anything those countries can do to contribute is helpful because the U.S. funds, a huge, huge portion of NATO. Right?

Scott Luton (00:12:37):

That’s right. That’s right.

Greg White (00:12:39):

It has been, let’s say, encouraging, in some cases, demanding, depending on who’s in office, that those countries participate in their own protection. So, if that can happen, that’s a huge burden off of the US’ shoulders as well.

Scott Luton (00:12:56):

That’s right. And before I get any texts, let me just – of course, the military basically invented logistics, right? I’m not taking anything away from that. This is more about the planning and the collaboration amongst many different systems and entities and countries and leadership structures. This is a big deal. So, we’ll see how it plays out, and most importantly what the outcomes are. Not business outcomes, maybe in this case, Greg, although of course there’s a bunch of private and public companies that are going to be making and delivering the supplies that we’re talking about. But a lot of government outcomes and military outcomes as well. Okay. So, Greg, we got a little time. I can’t believe it. We’re actually a couple minutes ahead of schedule.

Greg White (00:13:37):

Let’s go back to Monday. I’m just kidding.

Scott Luton (00:13:39):

Yeah, no kidding. That’s a tough story on a Monday morning.

Greg White (00:13:43):

That definitely deserves a revisit. And they’re going to get a substantial revisit on that.

Scott Luton (00:13:49):

Yep. No doubt. No doubt. PseudoScientist is in the cheap seats and he says, “I’m always in the cheap seats.” Well, hey, let us know what you’re thinking on these stories. We’d love to share y’all’s perspective here today. Clay Phillips, the diesel, because his engine’s always running here as well. “Happy Buzz Day,” he says. Let’s see here.

Greg White (00:14:07):

Glad he said that. I’ve been forgetting that the last couple weeks, right? Happy Buzz Day. The term that Clay invented.

Scott Luton (00:14:13):

That’s right. That’s right. Now, get this, Peter Bolle, all night and all day, he’s checking us out on Facebook. Peter, great to have you back. Good old PB.

Greg White (00:14:21):

I think maybe LinkedIn might be being blocked in Canada.

Scott Luton (00:14:24):

Is it?

Greg White (00:14:25):

I don’t know. He seems to be having problems with it.

Scott Luton (00:14:27):

“Well, YouTube,” he says, “even better here.” So, cheers to you as well, Peter. Hope this finds you well. Katherine appreciates your comments and perspective on her sense of humor. Very real Julio, not a fan of your Astros comments. Bob –

Greg White (00:14:44):

I actually hope not.

Scott Luton (00:14:45):

We asked Bob where he – so he’s in the Nashville area, which is a great city. Lots of great food and people there in Nashville. And, probably a lot of happy football fans. Although they got a big test coming up, I think, in a couple weeks as Georgia and Tennessee get together. Right? That’d be a good game.

Greg White (00:15:04):

I’m sorry. I thought you were talking about the Titans. Yes. Yeah, they got a big test coming.

Scott Luton (00:15:10):

All right. So, Greg, now we’re getting to move to some lighter, some lighter news, right? Those first two stories. Of course, never going to make light of what’s taking place in Ukraine. It’s heartbreaking to see some of the latest attempts, latest actions that are going on there. But all that aside, moving to a much lighter note, Halloween here in the States, and probably many other places, is right around the corner. But, Greg, I’ll tell you, the inflation, nothing – inflation, inflation touches everything, right? And it’s going to be touching our wallets when it comes to inflation fueled candy prices. So, get this, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, candy here in the States is generally going to be 13.1% more expensive than last year. But I got some specific examples for you, Greg. Let me see if I can pull this up. Do you like Skittles, Gregory?

Greg White (00:16:06):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:16:09):

Forty-two percent more than what they cost as last year and I wonder –

Greg White (00:16:12):

And that really hits me. Hard.

Scott Luton (00:16:15):

Well, yeah. So, Skittles up 42% more than last year. Starburst, at least according to Axios, prices are up 35% more than last year. And, I’m curious, I wonder if you’re getting the same amount of candies. You know, this, what shrinkflation, I think that some folks have coined that where you’re not only paying more but you’re getting less. Greg, are there going to be some tears in your household? Are you going to be a – here’s a better question. Are you going to be a full candy bar or a full candy package household this Halloween?

Greg White (00:16:49):

You know, our neighborhood is fairly small and it’s like kids have forgotten that it’s here. But we have a bunch of doctors in the neighborhood, and instead of giving out healthy treats, they love to give out full-size candy bars. Makes them feel important, I think. And so, it’s kind of a – it’s kind of an arms race when it comes to candy. So yes, full-size packs of Starburst, definitely Skittles. I mean, everybody loves Skittles.

Scott Luton (00:17:18):

Everybody loves Skittles.

Greg White (00:17:18):

And, and you know, what’s interesting about these statistics, Scott? 13.1% increase in prices this year, 2.5% since August. The amount of time that it took candy prices to rise previously, 13%, was between 1997 and 2006, 19 years ago.

Scott Luton (00:17:41):

Wow.

Greg White (00:17:42):

13%. And it’s gone up 13% in this year. So, just to give you some perspective of how overrun this nation and the world is with inflation, a 2% inflation rate, which is what we had before all the stimulus and everything causes prices to double every 36 years. An 8.2% inflation rate causes prices to double every eight and three quarters years. So, we have over four times the inflation rate that we had. And, you know, the value of everything doubling three times as fast, at least three times as fast.

Scott Luton (00:18:26):

Well, I tell you, I sure am glad I brushed up on my multiplication and my fractions this morning, Greg, ‘cause you just threw a lot of math at our listeners there. But the point is, man, the prices and how fast, it’s remarkable. So, this is what we did. First off, I see special guests, my mom, Leah Luton, tuned in from Aiken, South Carolina.

Greg White (00:18:46):

What about [inaudible]?

Scott Luton (00:18:46):

She wants to know – right. She wants to know about these commodities known as Milk Duds. Mom, we’ll get our research team on that ASAP and I’ll get back to you soon.

Greg White (00:18:55):

Yeah. That’s a good question. And I would imagine because Milk Duds their shelf life isn’t as long as some other candy. They get kind of chalky and hard.

Scott Luton (00:19:04):

Yeah. That’s a good point, Greg. Well, let me tell you what we did here in Luton household, Greg.

Greg White (00:19:08):

Yes, Scott.

Scott Luton (00:19:08):

As we had to cut the middle man out and we went straight to the stores. Yeah. We’re getting – we’re getting our pallets of candy Airheads ‘cause I’m a little bit partial to. They work great for motivating your kids in different ways, at least when they’re still young like mine are. In fact, we barter. Our Luton economy is based on Airheads here and within our four walls.

Greg White (00:19:28):

Is that right?

Scott Luton (00:19:30):

So yeah. Cut out the middle man and go straight to the source.

Greg White (00:19:34):

So, you’re buying it wholesale. There you go, people. The consumer will find a way. Right?

Scott Luton (00:19:39):

That’s right. Because as Greg always says, the consumer is the beginning and the end of supply chain, right, Greg?

Greg White (00:19:47):

Indeed.

Scott Luton (00:19:48):

Indeed.

Greg White (00:19:48):

Indeed. And if we haven’t seen that before, we are sure seeing it now because we continue to spend money, even though everything has gone up in some cases, 30, 40%. Right?

Scott Luton (00:19:59):

Man, unbelievable.

Greg White (00:20:00):

It is incredible. I don’t know. I hope we don’t run out kind of all at once. Right?

Scott Luton (00:20:06):

Well, I saw, – and I’m going to share a couple of quick comments here in just a second, but I saw over the weekend, I think it was a Whirlpool CEO, right? They’re doing some big things to try to attack their inventory there. And he was quoted, I’m going to paraphrase it, basically, you know, typically when demand starts to really decrease, you know, prices can go with it in conjunction moving in the same direction, but they’re seeing demand not crash, but really dropped dramatically. But prices and costs are increasing in many ways. So, it’s a very unique time. Of course, Halloween, anything consumer-related, all of life is going to be impacted, right, with what’s going on in supply chain. But I tell you, we’re going to be writing a book about this in 20 years from now and look back at these times and learn a lot from it from a global business standpoint. Greg, your final comment for it, share a couple.

Greg White (00:20:57):

Yeah. There are a ton of people learning a lot about it now. I think I saw Mike Rowe, from Dirty Jobs fame, now Mike Rowe Works, which is a great – it’s a great philanthropy, I think, whatever initiative to put people to work in skilled, but not college jobs. And he said there are 7 million, and he’s just talking about men here, 7 million, what he calls able bodied men who are not in the workforce in any manner. They have in fact stopped looking for work. And that’s why – you know, this is the question I think a lot of us have been asking for months, is how can there be so many open positions when so many people aren’t working? And it’s because many, many people have stopped looking, right? They’ve got a YouTube channel or a side hustle that’s now their front hustle or whatever.

Greg White (00:21:47):

So, I think, and also remember the 3.6 million more baby boomers retired last year than were expected to, and they were already retiring at a rate of 10,000 a day. So, I think a lot of people have just kind of hung it up, at least for now, what could happen is this inflationary, you know, stagflation, I guess we ought to call it at this point like they did in the ‘70s, where it’s inflationary but demand is falling. I think that could bring some people back into the workforce. And we know that labor is what we need in a lot of cases. Labor is what put us in this position. You know, as demand rose and people couldn’t work, right, we saw the impact. We’re going to talk a lot about in just a few minutes –

Scott Luton (00:22:39):

That’s right.

Greg White (00:22:40):

How you can offset that because some of those changes, I believe, are permanent in terms of workforce.

Scott Luton (00:22:47):

Yeah. So much spend – a lot of what you brought out there so much we could talk about over, you know, the next six hours. But we are going to talk a good bit about warehousing and workforce here in just a second. Some great ideas coming from our guests. I want to share a couple of quick comments here. Folks, we’re trying to make it easy. So, some of the articles we’ve talked about on the front end here, we’ve dropped those links so y’all can check them out and develop your own take. So, y’all do that. Hello to this person from Lisbon, Portugal. Sometimes, if your profile shows up like this, especially on LinkedIn, it’s just a security setting on your profile. You can change it. That way we can see who you are. But greetings to you there in a beautiful Portugal.

Greg White (00:23:28):

Scott’s side hustle is LinkedIn support.

Scott Luton (00:23:30):

Greg is completely kidding.

Greg White (00:23:34):

[Inaudible] for LinkedIn support, you could make millions.

Scott Luton (00:23:36):

Oh, gosh. Jose. That is Jose. So, Jose, welcome, welcome. Let’s see here. I also wanted to recognize, we mentioned Tennessee coming up that big – they’re having a big year, right? Big year. And they got Georgia in a few weeks. And Todd clearly big old Vols fan. So, congrats on a great season thus far. And let’s see here.

Greg White (00:23:57):

What barn burner, I’m still going back to that Alabama game [inaudible].

Scott Luton (00:24:01):

Right. It sure was. Great game. Julio talks about the port of LA. “I saw the lowest loaded import containers in September since 2009.” How about that?

Greg White (00:24:12):

Yeah. That’s incredible. You know, I haven’t paid much attention sadly to what the backup is there. You know, I have my own East Coast index that for the last couple weeks I’ve been failing to check up on which I’m going to do right now. Okay.

Scott Luton (00:24:31):

Yeah. Do that.

Greg White (00:24:33):

But it’s interesting. I wonder what the state of LBC in LA are.

Scott Luton (00:24:39):

Well, the Wall Street journalists –

Greg White (00:24:41):

If anyone knows.

Scott Luton (00:24:42):

Yeah.

Greg White (00:24:43):

I like that Julio knows.

Scott Luton (00:24:45):

Many, many folks believe the bottleneck. Wall Street Journal over the weekend was talking about the bottlenecks really has been addressed. Now, some of that of course could – you know, we talked last week, Greg, about imports to all U.S. ports, seaports, is dropping second half the year. But probably a number of factors compiling to resolve what was an ongoing bottleneck for the last couple years, right?

Greg White (00:25:09):

Yeah. I can tell you, Port of Savannah still jammed up and looks like there’s some building traffic outside of Charleston. Let’s take a look. Let’s take a look at [inaudible] here.

Scott Luton (00:25:16):

Real time updates. Real time updates.

Greg White (00:25:21):

It’s in real time, folks, so forgive me [inaudible].

Scott Luton (00:25:25):

While you look up to Port of LA.

Greg White (00:25:27):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:25:27):

All right. This is probably – Amanda says, “Kids are gonna be eating Skattles, Skattles, and Sunburst candies, Snookers and Twinx chocolate bars in our neighborhood.” I think she’s talking about maybe knockoff candies instead of [inaudible]. Sometimes those are typos and I always hit those typos. But I think I get your point, Amanda. So, great point too.

Greg White (00:25:50):

Wow. It does look like – it does look like, I mean, the log jam offshore has largely broken. I mean, at least right this moment. I don’t see a lot of ships at anchor within 150 miles of LA, so.

Scott Luton (00:26:03):

And that is our Greg White, global shipping and transportation logistics freight, both coasts, index has compiled by.

Greg White (00:26:10):

Just like now, right?

Scott Luton (00:26:12):

That’s right. And good morning to you, Glorimar. She’s on a training break, didn’t want to miss The Buzz. Hey, we appreciate you being here with us and all we can share.

Greg White (00:26:20):

No training break.

Scott Luton (00:26:22):

Yes, training break. But didn’t want to miss The Buzz.

Greg White (00:26:25):

Oh, yeah. I thought you said on a train. Sorry.

Scott Luton (00:26:28):

So, Glorimar, great to see you. And, hey, we got the powerful duo here, mom and dad. So, hey, dad.

Greg White (00:26:37):

All right. What’s dad’s favorite candy? That’s what I’m – probably Swedish Fish, don’t you think? As much as he likes fishing.

Scott Luton (00:26:43):

Could be, could be. If Fudge Rounds were a candy, that would be – that would be on that short list, dad. But we’ll see. We’ll see what candy he wants to ask about.

Greg White (00:26:53):

What’s yours, Scott?

Scott Luton (00:26:55):

Well, so, Airheads has become –

Greg White (00:26:57):

Really.

Scott Luton (00:26:58):

I think after stealing them from my kids’ candy bags for quite some time, they, you know, developed a little craving. But hey, Snickers, Twix, you know, chocolate-covered shares are good around the holidays. But I’ll stop there ‘cause I try to – all good things in moderation, right, Greg? All good things –

Greg White (00:27:18):

I have come back around to my favorite from my high school days, a candy bar that was introduced when I was in high school called the Whatchamachella – Whatchamacallit.

Scott Luton (00:27:28):

Okay.

Greg White (00:27:29):

Watchamacallit.

Scott Luton (00:27:29):

That was good. Yeah, I remember those commercials back in today, but, so I digress – so we digress –

Greg White (00:27:35):

No, I digress. I just got you to –

Scott Luton (00:27:38):

So I’m going to take one comment and then we’re going to bring on a great guess here today because as Emmett Rogers says, yes, we are excited for Ryan Kitchie, the legendary Chicago icon.

Greg White (00:27:49):

Why do I guess [inaudible] works for Ryan?

Scott Luton (00:27:52):

Maybe, I don’t know. But Gary says, “Cub Scouts are selling one bag of popcorn yesterday in Naperville, Illinois for 23 bucks for one little bag.” Gary says, “How will he explain to the Den Leader while sales are down?” It’s an excellent question, Gary, excellent question.

Greg White (00:28:11):

He should bring you back to their next Den meeting, Gary, and maybe you can help.

Scott Luton (00:28:17):

We’ll have an S&OP meeting. That’s right. All right.

Greg White (00:28:20):

Here is supply and demand [inaudible].

Scott Luton (00:28:17):

Right. Okay. We got to get back. We’re going to rein it back, Greg, ‘cause we got a great guest here today. We really enjoyed our pre-show conversations. And I want to introduce – Greg, you ready to go?

Greg White (00:28:35):

I am now. Yes, I am.

Scott Luton (00:28:36):

Buckle up.

Greg White (00:28:37):

I think I have spilled all my excess energy. Yes.

Scott Luton (00:28:40):

All right. Well, here we go. I want to welcome in special guest, Ryan Kitchie, Solutions Executive with 6 River Systems. Hey, hey, Kitchie, how you doing?

Ryan Kitchie (00:28:54):

Good afternoon, Scott. Good to see you, sir.

Scott Luton (00:28:56):

You as well. Greg, we enjoyed chatting with Ryan pre-show today, didn’t we?

Greg White (00:29:01):

Yeah. Welcome aboard. Can we call you Kitchie? Did we know each other well enough to do that?

Ryan Kitchie (00:29:05):

Absolutely, absolutely.

Greg White (00:29:06):

Okay. I love it when –

Ryan Kitchie (00:29:06):

When it feels right, let it be.

Greg White (00:29:07):

Yeah. I love it when people just, they just go with one name. I like that. Kitchie. It’s also a definition, right?

Scott Luton (00:29:15):

Well, so, folks, just to clarify, Ryan goes by his last name very often, maybe his closest friends. So, he is granted me and Greg OG status. So, it is going to be Kitchie throughout the next 30 minutes or so. And, hey, who is – so Emmett is really – Kitchie, Emmett’s really ready to hear what you got, huh?

Ryan Kitchie (00:29:37):

Yep. This is where you guys are seeing some of my friends and family join in and watch me take the stage today. So, appreciate the love there, Emmett. Much, much love for you too, sir.

Greg White (00:29:46):

Emmett Rogers sounds like a great name for an NFL running back, doesn’t it? I mean, it could be.

Ryan Kitchie (00:29:50):

It does. It absolutely does.

Scott Luton (00:29:51):

It does. Great, great comment. And by the way, closing the loop. Mom says, “Dad’s candy is salt caramel chocolate.”

Greg White (00:29:59):

Oh, that’s one taste. Yeah.

Ryan Kitchie (00:30:01):

That’s a good pick. That is a good pick.

Scott Luton (00:30:03):

That’s right. We will check on – we’ll get our research team on that. But, Ryan, before we move into, especially topics on warehouse and workforce and some creative things going on there, we’re going to keep the Halloween conversation going ‘cause, Kitchie, we want to know one of your favorite Halloween moments or memories, or one of your favorite costumes of all time. Kitchie.

Ryan Kitchie (00:30:28):

I got you here, Scott. So, I had two come to mind. One was the four years in a row that I had addressed as a Power Ranger, the Red Power Ranger to be specific. And then, the second was stimulated by your conversation with Greg about the king size candy bars. Growing up, I remember chasing after one house that had two liters of soda that me and my siblings and my friends, we would just sprint to and come home and have, you know, 10, 12 different things of two liters soda that [inaudible] –

Greg White (00:30:55):

Every kid got a two liter?

Ryan Kitchie (00:30:56):

Every kid got a two liter until they’re [inaudible]. Right? They could only have so many in the house, you know?

Greg White (00:31:01):

Wow.

Scott Luton (00:31:02):

Goodness gracious.

Ryan Kitchie (00:31:02):

A little different. It’s a little different approach to candy giving, I’d say.

Greg White (00:31:05):

Man.

Scott Luton (00:31:07):

All right, so Kitchie, that is – I like the four years. At least you were consistent. Four years, your parents knew what to plan for, always the Red Power Ranger. Greg, that’s going to be tough to top, but what’s one of your favorite Halloween moments?

Greg White (00:31:19):

Well, Halloween is my wife’s favorite holiday. So it’s always big around our house. And one year, we had just bought a new house and we had a haunted house warming. And to see a bunch of grownups come in and it was kind of during recession, so everybody, they really needed it, right? And to see a bunch of grownups must have spent hundreds of hours or dollars on their costumes. One of my buddies came as a pirate. I mean, he sold me. I was sure he was actually a pirate. No, I mean, that was a really great memory and a lot of people had a lot of fun and got a lot of people who didn’t know together and warmed the house at Halloween.

Scott Luton (00:32:08):

Love it. Love it. If Philip Jordan is tuned in here today, one year as I was sharing pre-show, we both got scrubs and I believe I was Dr. Pepper and he was Dr. Scholls, I believe is how that worked. And we had a lot of fun with that. Okay. Todd’s given us a 11-point, 11.3-day delay in Savannah. Thank you for that factoid. Todd, also says Kitchie –

Greg White (00:32:33):

That’s great to know.

Scott Luton (00:32:34):

It is great to know. Todd says, “Kitchie is both a verb and a noun.” Hey, we’re learning some –

Ryan Kitchie (00:32:39):

There we go.

Scott Luton (00:32:40):

It’s English diagramming, best practice here today. Guatam, hey, thank you. Happy Diwala to you as well, we were talking out in the front end. All the best to you and your family. Thank you for sharing. And then, finally, we’re talking costumes, right? The Halloween moments. Amanda says that her mom had crayon costumes made for the whole family one year. Her dad was a green crayon and walked her and her brother around, the red and purple crayons, puffing on a cigar and drinking at Jack Daniels. And that’s even funnier if you know Fred McGuff. So, Fred, hope this finds you well. Okay. So, with that backdrop, now we got to get into, you know, some of the issues of our day. And I want to pop this story up here ‘cause this is where we want to start. So, Ryan, you’ve been tracking this story here in the warehousing industry, as I mentioned, especially on the topic of workforce, this interesting article from our friends at ID Logistics, which really speaks to the real cost of how warehouse turnover rates. So, Ryan, tell us more here.

Ryan Kitchie (00:33:42):

Yeah, absolutely, Scott. So, this article does a really nice job of outlining some of the apparent costs of warehouse turnover, but what a lot of organizations don’t think about, or some of those non-topical or non-top of mind costs that are associated to it. So, the easy ones are well lost productivity, right? If I have 10 people that are fulfilling 10,000 units a day, two people don’t show up, I’m 2000 units short against my goal for that day. Well, outside of those 2000 units that weren’t shipped, what else am I getting hit with in my bottom line that’s going to impact my business for the future? Right? So, we think about HR costs. We think about hiring and training costs, background vetting costs, and then we think about customer acquisition costs, especially if you’re in a direct-to-consumer environment, Scott, you think about if I said I was going to get my order yesterday and it still hasn’t showed up, why am I going to go back and buy Scott Luton’s shirt and pants again when I can go buy Greg White shirt and pants and he delivers on his promise? So, I think –

Greg White (00:34:35):

Darn skippy [inaudible].

Ryan Kitchie (00:34:38):

Darn skippy, exactly. But it’s those very present costs that are top of mind for operators. But then there’s those hidden costs that come together. And, you know, ID logistics talks about $8500 and this was something that came out in Q1 of this year as we know inflation and where the economy’s going that’s really the basement of the floor costs that I’m seeing for warehouse turnover in the marketplace today.

Scott Luton (00:35:01):

So Kitchie, well, one thing you’re sharing is turnover is costing us all a lot more than what we may think and assume. Greg, your thoughts on this article and Ryan’s take here today?

Greg White (00:35:13):

Yeah. It’s interesting not tied directly to labor. But, you know, today I’ve published one of my commentaries on Revlon who is swirling the drain for a lot of reasons. But also one of the costs that they’re incurring is penalties from their retailers by not delivering on time and in full. And that is a brutal, really hardcore costs. There’s also expediting costs and various and sundry things that you have to absorb when you get behind, right? So, I mean, there’s so much that you don’t think about. And I think this is sort of the key of the risk management mix or balance of supply chain is we need to put numbers around these things. We need to understand the impact of these things because to date we have focused mostly on the cost of the product and the cost of freight, right? Cost of delivery, cost of induction, all of that sort of thing. But there are so many more costs, including as in the case of Revlon, the long term and probably permanent cost to your brand esteem. This is literally a company that’s being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange because their performance has been so poor that their valuation has declined. They will now be an OTC stock. So, the Wolf of Wall Street is coming for Revlon.

Scott Luton (00:36:36):

Well, really interesting. And, Greg, on your final point, that’s kind of what Kitchie was saying on the front end. Folks, because of picking errors and turnover, folks aren’t going to buy shirts from me.

Greg White (00:35:48):

Right.

Scott Luton (00:36:48):

Right. No more plaid shirts. They want the cool shirts from Greg White and incorporated white, is that right Kitchie?

Greg White (00:36:53):

Tee-shirts mostly. They’re buying from me.

Scott Luton (00:36:58):

So, I’m going to take a couple of quick comments here ‘cause we’re going back to the ports. A lot of folks are talking about the ports here today. Glorimar says that she can see the Port of LA from where she is and it’s empty. And her husband, who I think works at the port, port there in LA, is struggling to get loads. Man. Now on a different note –

Greg White (00:37:18):

Tell him to move to Mississippi Basin. He can start going green down downstream.

Scott Luton (00:37:25):

Man. It’s heartbreaking to see what’s going on there. Now, Tom says, back to Halloween, “We should be all giving away Stuckey’s pecan rolls for Halloween. Probably thanks to our friend Stephanie Stuckey.

Greg White (00:37:36):

Not everybody is a pecan fan. I mean –

Scott Luton (00:37:40):

All right.

Greg White (00:37:39):

I mean, they’re delicious and we all love [inaudible], of course. But, man, just imagine getting that in your – I’m going to take a Whatchamacallit every single time.

Scott Luton (00:37:51):

So, Kitchie, we’re just going to the Halloween theme of The Buzz, what we’re going to use a week from now. But Kitchie, what was one of your favorite candies you would get when you’d knocking on doors back in the day, aside from like two-liter Cokes and sodas?

Greg White (00:38:06):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:38:06):

I’ve never even heard of that. But, Kitchie, what’s one – what candy that you loved?

Ryan Kitchie (00:38:10):

So I would say I’m a big Kitka fanatic. Anytime, I can get my hands on a Kitkat, it doesn’t stand a chance. It’s going to be gone in an instant.

Scott Luton (00:38:19):

Man, I’m with you. I am with ya.

Greg White (00:38:21):

Okay. I’m with – you have to forgive me. KitKats are the ones you break apart, right?

Ryan Kitchie (00:38:24):

Correct. Break me off a piece.

Greg White (00:38:26):

Cookie in the middle. Yeah.

Ryan Kitchie (00:38:29):

Wafer cookie. Yeah. Exactly.

Greg White (00:38:30):

I always get them confused with Twix, but –

Ryan Kitchie (00:38:33):

I would also give [inaudible] mention to Whoppers, my mom’s favorite Halloween candy, and she turned me on those as well.

Greg White (00:38:39):

[Inaudible]. You don’t like [inaudible], Scott?

Scott Luton (00:38:41):

No. As my mom pointed out here, we’re always great to have mom and dad with us, right? Milk Duds. Even though they’re terrible for your teeth. Man, I want to eat through those. Okay.

Greg White (00:38:53):

[Inaudible].

Scott Luton (00:38:55):

They were terrible. Right? All right, so we got to get back to work, folks. We were just talking about the real cost of high warehouse turnover rates. Loved your perspective there, Kitchie and Greg. So, let’s shift gears up ‘cause this is an interesting perspective here. Christian Dow with MHI writes in this article that “you can’t afford not to automate.” And I would submit that he’s probably not wrong. But, Kitchie, your thoughts here.

Ryan Kitchie (00:39:22):

Yeah, Scott, this article really jumped out at me for a couple of reasons. If we think about the supply chain space and how companies have been differentiating themselves, people have looked at automation in the past two to five years as a way to differentiate their position in the supply chain and how they’re moving their goods between facilities to customers, et cetera. And that was the last two to five years. He makes it very clear for a lot of reasons that this article where it’s going to be table stakes if not expected, from organizations to have some baseline level of automation going into the next two or five years. And some of those reasons are going to be right. Changing consumer purchasing behavior is one of those biggest drivers but it also goes back to that labor and retention element that we talked about on the previous article, right?

Ryan Kitchie (00:40:02):

If you’re not automating and you have a linear relationship to labor, if you have 20% of your staff not show up, there’s 20% of your business that you’re losing that day, right? So, if you find ways to automate with pieces of your supply chain, right, you become less dependent on that labor in a linear manner. And if someone doesn’t show up, maybe it’s not a thousand units, maybe it’s only 200 units, right, for either that B2B or direct-to-consumer case that Greg and I were kind of bouncing back and forth there. And then, also when we think about RFPs from a third-party perspective, right, customers who are entering into RFPs for service providers are going to start to make this a requirement moving forward. Because if they want futureproof their business, wouldn’t they want their service provider be future proofing theirs?

Scott Luton (00:40:41):

I love that. And by the way, folks, y’all should know that Scott’s plaid shirt company, we’re investing heavily in automation. No more letdowns in 2023. But kidding aside, Greg, speak to what Kitchie was just sharing in automation in general.

Greg White (00:40:55):

Yeah, well, white tee-shirts we have been automated for a decade, so just letting you know.

Ryan Kitchie (00:41:01):

I love it.

Greg White (00:41:02):

But, I mean, but I think that’s a really good kind of maybe, maybe segue. Look, get them to show up for work. Hell, you can’t even get them to show up to apply for work. That’s the foundational problem, right? The outgoing generations were the physical workers in warehouses, and you used to have to fight a battle against automation to be able to automate your facilities. Now, these incoming generations, they fully expect those mundane, those dark, dirty, dangerous and dull jobs to be automated so they don’t have to do them. And they are staying away from those jobs in droves, in manufacturing, in warehousing, in transportation, right? So, it’s not even just that you risk productivity when your staff doesn’t show up, you risk productivity by even having a staff because in a lot of cases, there’s not enough people to fill those jobs, those 7 million able-bodied men who are not applying for those jobs and have the ability to work them, is just one example, right?

Greg White (00:42:06):

So, let’s think about this and shift the narrative on automation from apologizing for it to recognizing that it is an absolute must because there are jobs that human beings shouldn’t be doing, including 12-year-olds doing metal stamping. It doesn’t even have to be that dangerous. It just has to be that dissatisfying for people to not want to do that job and because they want to apply their intellect, not their brute force to work these days. So, the world has changed and we have to recognize it. And that’s why not only can you not afford it, you can’t even expect to be able to do it, much less do it affordably.

Scott Luton (00:42:49):

That’s right. China is investing. They were the number one –

Greg White (00:42:53):

The largest labor force on the planet. Right.

Scott Luton (00:42:55):

Right, right. And they’re trying to get out in front of some of their population demographics, every country, every, every workforce. Bill is a big fan of some knowledge dropping here today, as are we, Kitchie. TSquared says, “Looks like the mantra of connect and develop with a bit of collaboration never sleeps.” How about that? It’s like poetic.

Ryan Kitchie (00:43:15):

I love it.

Scott Luton (00:43:17):

This LinkedIn user –

Greg White (00:43:18):

I want to know if [inaudible] is an NFL fan. I’m curious if he’s an NFL fan, who his team is.

Scott Luton (00:43:22):

Let us know. Let us know who your NFL team is. This may be Jose, I believe. “Automation also attracts talent. People want to work at companies that invests in technology.” I completely agree.

Greg White (00:43:34):

Excellent point. I mean, it really becomes a big part of your identity as a corporation.

Scott Luton (00:43:39):

Yep. Before I – I’m going to grab Julio’s comment in just a minute. I’m going to make an observation on Walgreens and the automation they’ve got. But, Kitchie, I’m going to give you the last word. You know, kind of playing on, I think it was Jose’s point here, you know, about traction. I think not only we’re making – when automation’s applied successfully, right, and with the business goals in mind, we’re also making it easier for our team, right? Making their life easier to do more fulfilling work. But, Kitchie, your final comment here around automation.

Ryan Kitchie (00:44:11):

Yeah, Scott, thank you. So, to that point, really, both of the articles that we touched on, they talked about the importance of retention and how businesses should be tracking that as a top KPI. And when we think about automation attracting labor, it also keeps them in the building, right? If we think about the saturation of warehouses in any industrial park, users have the ability to go from a Walmart to an Amazon to a Walgreens, to whomever right down the road. And they’re jumping for less than a dollar of incremental change to their salary. But if you are able to create an environment and a culture that makes their job easier, makes them less stressed out or less tired at the end of the day, and you’re paying them a comparable fair wage, you’re going to see retention increase. And, again, it’s a platform or a mechanism to make this, you know, not appealing job, more appealing to people and making sure that we can support the business around us.

Scott Luton (00:45:02):

Well said, very – and let me correct myself. This was Ryan that mentioned automation also attracts talent, people in a work at companies that invest in technology. So, Ryan, thank you for that. All right. So, Greg and Kitchie, I want to do a couple things here. I want to share just a couple quick comments here, ask and they shall deliver. TSquared’s a big Ravens fan. That’s his home team. And a big fan of – who’s EAP? Is that an acronym for a player? All right, so TSquared, you stumped us here.

Greg White (00:45:33):

[Inaudible]. I’m trying to –

Scott Lutton (00:45:34):

Oh, here we go.

Ryan Kitchie (00:45:34):

Yeah, I should know that.

Scott Lutton (00:45:36):

Edgar Allan Poe, [inaudible] player.

Greg White (00:45:39):

Oh, of course. Yeah. Boy, you can see that the way he writes, this sort of cryptic kind poems.

Scott Lutton (00:45:47):

That’s right.

Greg White (00:45:47):

We can that, too.

Scott Luton (00:45:49):

That’s good point.

Greg White (00:45:49):

We need to have – we need to sit down and have a discussion someday, Tyrone, about Edgar Allen Poe. We’ll go to Charleston and learn a lot about where he was deployed in the Army, by the way.

Scott Luton (00:46:00):

Okay. All right. So, Jose says, “In Portugal, 3 PLS have the same problem with labor force shortages. No doubt it’s an issue. And warehouse automation looks like one of the solutions.” Gary Miller says, “The competition for talent automation is fierce. If you’re an engineer that can design, program or implement an automated system in manufacturing or warehousing, you will be in demand for a very long time.” And I like Bill’s comment here, “Workers won’t AC. Given the choice from hot and AC, they will choose work in the AC.”

Greg White (00:46:32):

Excellent point. I mean that’s –

Ryan Kitchie (00:46:32):

That’s really is.

Greg White (00:46:34):

It’s really, really foundational, but it is a great point.

Scott Luton (00:46:37):

That’s right.

Ryan Kitchie (00:46:37):

I didn’t. Picking orders in a warehouse in Atlanta during June and July, holy cow.

Greg White (00:46:42):

Right. Can you imagine it?

Scott Luton (00:46:44):

Okay. So what I want to do here, I got 12:46, so we got some bonus time with Ryan Kitchie here. So, Ryan, as we talked about pre-show, Greg and I have really enjoyed kind of an army of 6 River Systems folks that have been with us on livestreams and webinars, you name it this year, really have enjoyed their perspective. But for the three people that missed some of those maybe, Kitchie, you know, what does 6 River Systems do?

Ryan Kitchie (00:47:10):

Sure. So 6 River Systems, Scott, we’re the warehouse automation division of Shopify. We work with 3 PLS, retailers, wholesale parts distributors, to really help them mitigate the macro labor challenge, increase performance in their warehouse, and eliminate the amount of missed picks and errors that are leaving the building. We work with large companies and a good proof point for us would be Walgreens, Scott, that you mentioned earlier, right? We help them increase the flow of goods within their facility, lower training times to nearly 15% or 15 minutes per new associate, and helping them skate it off, moving into a new building and signing a new lease on that square footage that they currently have, which is a pretty penny.

Scott Luton (00:47:49):

Okay. I’m glad you picked back up on that ‘cause I want, I’m going to speak about Walgreens in just a second. Julio’s talking about Walmart. Julio says, “I read a very interesting article about Walmart’s implementation of automation and augmented reality technology and inventory management. A hundred percent adoption rate across 4500 stores and significant improvements.” Julio, that’s good stuff. We’ll look for that. Also, I had a great interview with Mike Prince, a senior executive with Walmart. Y’all can check that out in our Supply Chain Now library that just dropped a week or two ago. Speaking of Walgreens, I read, on the last few four or five days that, you know, we’re talking a lot about warehousing talent, right, and supply chain talent. Well, of course Walgreens leans on pharmacy, pharmacist talent and evidently there’s a big dearth of talent in that space too.

Greg White (00:48:37):

Has been for a while, yeah.

Scott Luton (00:48:40):

Well, this is new to me. But one of the things, and, 6 River Systems may be involved, I’m not sure. Kitchie and I didn’t plan this. But Walgreens is a developing like city block-sized automation centers that’s going to take a lot of mundane work off their current staff of pharmacists, right? And allow them to spend their time on more, more involved work, right? And it’s going to save Walgreens, at least Wall Street Journal said, a billion dollars a year. Holy cow. How about that? So, Kitchie, do you think –

Greg White (00:49:15):

[Inaudible] I’m just kidding.

Scott Luton (00:49:17):

That’s right. But, I mean, really what I love about, you know, and I don’t have the full case study, it was a pretty brief article. But, yeah, I love how it was evident to me at least. They’ve identified that business objective, right? And they’re not going to bridge that talent gap anytime soon. So, let’s get the mundane and the stuff that the blocking and tackling off that valuable talent, you know, staff’s plate and figure out a way to practically automate it. And not only are you going to have happier – I would argue – happier team members, right? They can spend their time in more fulfilling work. But, man, how about those bottom-line results, Kitchie?

Ryan Kitchie (00:49:58):

I love it. And, if you think about it, look at Walgreens, right? A hundred-year company that they often, if not all the time, have to stay ahead of these trends and these curves in order to create the brand and achieve what they’ve done over the past hundred plus years. So, I don’t know about this story personally, Scott, but it doesn’t make – it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest to hear this. And I’m excited to read more about the article that you’re referencing.

Scott Luton (00:50:19):

Wonderful. Okay. Greg, I’m get your take, just automation in general, retail, you know, Walgreens, Walmart, you name it, your thoughts.

Greg White (00:50:28):

Yeah. Well, I’m just only slightly off topic, but I have been going through security quite a bit as I’ve been traveling over the football season. And, the last time I went through security, I didn’t show my ID or my boarding pass to a human being. I slipped it into a little card reader, your driver’s license and then you put the, your boarding pass, which is now electronic, on another reader and they sit behind a screen just to make sure that you’ve done it. And we are not far from even at airport security, that role being largely or completely automated with only supervisors bouncing around for exceptions. Likewise, think about the fact that we are now scanning our own groceries. Yes, we are the employer, employees of our own suppliers. We should get free labor [inaudible], right?

Ryan Kitchie (00:51:18):

Free labor. Free labor.

Greg White (00:51:21):

‘Cause it takes me about an hour even to use one of those. So, I should save like 19 bucks. But, you know, we’re going to see more and more of this automation because people, you know, I think our generation, generation X and beyond, recognize that certain tasks should be automated. And it’s been a bit unnatural that we’ve kept some of them manual for so many years. And now, as that generation that required those manual jobs as they leave the workforce, it’s much, much more natural to automate those to see those being automated now, as I say, very often, Scott, we can quit apologizing for automation, right? It is an absolute necessity. We’re not putting anyone, not anyone, at least not in industrialized countries, we’re not putting anyone out of work because as we’ve proven, at least in the U.S. and a lot of the European countries, people again are staying away from these jobs and drove. They don’t want them, aren’t going to take them.

Scott Luton (00:52:19):

So, human, big human labor in mundane tasks, quote of the Raven, never more, never more.

Greg White (00:52:27):

Oh, my god. That is beautiful.

Ryan Kitchie (00:52:31):

Wonderful. Truly outstanding.

Scott Luton (00:52:34):

I can see, I can feel in the forest my 13-year-old daughter, the massive eye roll after I shared that, but we’ll save that for later.

Greg White (00:52:39):

No, that was brilliant.

Scott Luton (00:52:41):

Todd says, “Robotics companies are truly software companies in disguise.” Todd says, “He really likes to follow me technology of 6 River Systems.” I like that. Follow me technology.

Greg White (00:52:52):

Come on, [inaudible].

Scott Luton (00:52:55):

Tom says, “We are seeing more demand for incremental automation where it makes sense for small to mid and larger companies, but they’re open to larger scope of integration of automation.” And Tom notes, old TV notes.

Greg White (00:53:08):

Yeah. And I could see that, Tom. I can see that accelerating in those industries really rapidly because it’s even harder for small, SMBs to get staff than the big companies. Right?

Scott Luton (00:53:20):

Good point. Kitchie?

Ryan Kitchie (00:53:22):

I was just going to say, and it’s the responsibility of the marketplace to provide those solutions at an economical price point so that those small and medium-sized businesses can lean into automation. How are they going to curb this demand curve? How are they going to change the way their consumers are purchasing? They need to have access to the tools to be able to fight the big juggernaut that is Amazon or Walmart to compete. So, I think that’s a really great point.

Greg White (00:53:43):

Agreed.

Scott Luton (00:53:43):

That’s right. Heads up to our production team. I got 12:53. We’re going to keep Ryan Kitchie with us through the end of the show here today. We’ve a couple of resources –

Greg White (00:53:51):

Oh, man, you’re closing out with us. Thanks.

Ryan Kitchie (00:53:52):

I feel so lucky. I feel so lucky.

Scott Luton (00:53:54):

Well, hey, before we –

Greg White (00:53:56):

[Inaudible] rookie in the field, right to the end of the game. We want to get 100 yards.

Scott Luton (00:54:01):

I think Kitchie is more like a – he’s like a five or six-year veteran. He’s already learned the ropes and he’s out there making the big sack or catching the big touchdown pass or whatever you’re –

Greg White (00:54:12):

Yeah. I would say touchdown pass. I’m thinking Ryan Kitchie, that sounds so tight end like [inaudible]. Definitely tight end.

Ryan Kitchie (00:54:22):

I grew up with the tight end.

Greg White (00:54:22):

Wide open over the middle and shoves that Mike linebacker off to get open.

Ryan Kitchie (00:54:27):

Exactly. The Heisman. Yeah. I love it.

Scott Luton (00:54:30):

All right. So, let’s talk about some great resources. I love the – Greg and I both like all the events and kind of how y’all build them at 6 River Systems, right? It’s never, never pitchy. It’s more about networking –

Greg White (00:54:42):

[Inaudible].

Scott Luton (00:54:43):

And new ideas. That’s right. Well, nice Greg. Nice.

Ryan Kitchie (00:54:47):

There it is.

Scott Luton (00:54:48):

Networking new ideas, being able to, you know, kick the tires on things. And this upcoming event, Ryan, we can see Chuck in action out in LA. Tell us more about this.

Ryan Kitchie (00:54:58):

Yeah, so this is one of our open house events. So, we are doing these on a monthly or bi-monthly basis with our current install base. And really the intent of these sessions is to make the first introduction to automation easier for people, right? This is completely free of charge. All you have to do is register, give us your name and your information and show up at the slotted time. You’ll get the opportunity to see Chuck moving. You’ll get the opportunity to actually use and pick on Chuck and see how easy it is to implement this within your own supply chain. So, really just trying to break down the barrier for people to actually see different forms of automation in person. And, if they’re not in the Los Angeles area and you don’t want to travel, we’ll have more coming later this year and early next. So, definitely a lot of opportunities to see Chuck roaming around in action here soon.

Scott Luton (00:55:43):

I love that. And, evidently as I share this graphic, again, these are popular because even a few weeks out you’ve got one of the three sessions already full. So, folks are taking advantage of this offering, huh?

Ryan Kitchie (00:55:56):

Absolutely. Availability is limited, so please get on there and register. We’d love to have you. And if there’s any questions, you can point those my way.

Scott Luton (00:56:05):

All right. And he’s got more gifts.

Greg White (00:56:08):

There is an In-N-Out Burger.

Ryan Kitchie (00:56:10):

Yes.

Greg White (00:56:10):

Conveniently located nearby.

Ryan Kitchie (00:56:13):

That there is. Good call.

Scott Luton (00:56:16):

All right. So, Greg, we’ll have to book our flight soon and check your boarding pass technology that you’re seeing out there.

Greg White (00:56:23):

Crazy.

Scott Luton (00:56:24):

Okay. Let’s move right along to this white paper, so the fun stuff, with meeting Chuck, and the networking and the conversations. And then here’s, you know, taking a deeper dive on 8 Reasons Why Autonomous Mobile Robots Beat Traditional Automation. So, Kitchie, your thoughts here. Why should folks check this out?

Ryan Kitchie (00:56:43):

Yeah. This is a really good piece of material for people to leverage. And I’ll tell you why is when we think about warehouse, warehouse automation, we think about the traditional highly mechanized, caged auto stores, goods to persons, the Amazon-like systems, and that’s not necessarily what it needs to be. So, for 6 River Systems and AMR provider in the marketplace today, we provide 80% of that value that you get from these large, highly mechanized systems at 20% of the cost. And when I talk about the responsibility or onus on the providers to make things accessible for those small and medium-sized businesses, AMRs is a really at this point, you know, five or six years into being an organization at large, that we are at 6 River Systems a great way for people to kind of dip that toe into automation and not have to make a 5 or $10 million capital expenditure in order to see a lift in their business. So, that’s a good piece of material. I highly encourage people to give it a read.

Scott Luton (00:57:35):

Wonderful. Greg, I’m going to share a couple comments here in just a second. Well, let me go ahead and share it. Bob says, “He’s had great success with 6 Rivers just as you describe.”And this is Bob in Nashville. So, Bob, thank you for sharing.

Greg White (00:57:49):

What’s Bob’s business?

Scott Luton (00:57:51):

Yeah, Bob, feel free, drop it in there.

Ryan Kitchie (00:57:53):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:57:56):

This is.

Greg White (00:57:55):

Do you know, Kitchie?

Scott Luton (00:57:55):

Do you know, Kitchie?

Ryan Kitchie (00:57:56):

Yeah, no, Bob Klunk is a current customer of ours. He is the Chief operating Officer at one of our installs. But great, great – I’m really happy to see him join. And I appreciate this support, Bob.

Scott Luton (00:58:06):

Okay. How about that? Man, the customers show up on a livestream singing the praises. That ain’t even bad.

Greg White (00:58:11):

That’s practically testimonial.

Ryan Kitchie (00:58:12):

That’s a good sign.

Scott Luton (00:58:14):

This is from Ryan again. Ryan says, “Small to mid-sized companies need more flexible automation that is less capital intensive but can adapt as a company grows.”

Ryan Kitchie (00:58:25):

I can take that one again, Scott.

Scott Luton (00:58:27):

Sure.

Ryan Kitchie (00:58:27):

It’s Ryan Robertson from MD Logistics, one of other installs of ours. So, just him preaching really what we’ve talked about today. And, Ryan, appreciate the support and I know that you’ve been able to actualize a lot of the benefits that we’ve talked about today for your business.

Scott Luton (00:58:41):

Okay. Man, how about that? All right, so we got to leave it there. But before we start to sign off, Greg, I’m going to give you the last word here in just a second. I want to make sure – so Kitchie, of course, folks can – you’ll be at a lot of these open house events where they can come meet Chuck, you and the rest of the team, so they can maybe meet you at one of those. You can, of course, download the white paper. Where else can folks connect with you and the team, Kitchie?

Ryan Kitchie (00:59:08):

So, great question, Scott. You can reach me on LinkedIn. The Supply Chain Now team will make sure that my LinkedIn information is available for you. Go to 6river.com to just see the latest and greatest that we have on our website. Or you can email me at ryan.kitchie@6river.com, or if you don’t want to talk to me, you can email info@6river.com and we’d be happy to help and assist in any way possible.

Scott Luton (00:59:30):

Who wouldn’t want to talk with a Hall of Fame building NFL tight end Ryan Kitchie, Greg, huh? All right. Before I get Greg’s last, final takeaway –

Greg White (00:59:40):

People are going to be buying those rookie card. [Inaudible] I’ll tell you, Google is looking for his rookie card.

Scott Luton (00:59:44):

That’s right. TSquared says, “The ‘RUDI’ partnership needs to be more abundant in the warehouse space.” Agreed with that and really appreciate all of your inputs here today, TSquared, who holds down the fort for us, by the way, on YouTube. Again, we dropped Ryan’s LinkedIn profile there. We dropped the link to the white paper and the Meet Chuck event in LA and I’m not talking lower Alabama, but the real LA on November 2nd. So y’all check that out. Okay. Greg. Ryan Kitchie, with 6 River Systems, great guest here today on The Buzz. What was one of your favorite things that you gleaned from this hour-long conversation here today, Greg?

Greg White (01:00:23):

Yeah, I think the – I think the combination of Shopify and 6 Rivers makes a whole lot of sense for small businesses, right? You know, I have this whole file folder full of companies that I call ABA, anyone but Amazon, that are giving small businesses the opportunity to compete in marketplaces all over the world. And Shopify is one of those that has – you know, they’ve brought out all kinds of capabilities, even sourcing of goods, all kinds of things that help small businesses have a chance against Amazon and in marketplaces where they don’t have to pay the exorbitant fees and risk the intellectual property of their company as you do with Amazon. So, I love what 6 Rivers is doing to contribute to that. And, as Ryan said, this is the part that I love the most, 80% of the value at 20% of the cost.

Greg White (01:01:22):

That’s an – the return on investment in that is incredible. It literally makes it acc accessible to any size business who wants to explore automation. And because in a lot of cases, this follow me technology, it allows you to augment the work of a human being. It allows you to keep your staff engaged in the parts they need to be engaged in and support them with the technology that can increase your efficiency and timing and really truly your brand esteem to your customers. Remember, we talked about that. Even your brand’s reputation is what you deliver through supply chain.

Scott Luton (01:02:03):

Excellent final word there. Hey, we’re going to break the rules ‘cause this is our show. Kim Winter, great to see you here today. And, a question, I think this is Jose, is 6 River Systems in Europe, Kitchie?

Ryan Kitchie (01:02:14):

We sure are, Jose. We are in the UK and Europe, so would be happy to have a conversation. Just find me through the means that we shared earlier.

Scott Luton (01:02:24):

Great. It’s just that easy. Great question. Okay. Big thanks to Ryan Kitchie with 6 River Systems. Thank you, Ryan.

Greg White (01:02:30):

Yeah. Thanks, Ryan.

Ryan Kitchie (01:02:31):

Thank you for having me on the show, guys, a real hi-mom-and-dad moment for me. I know Scott’s parents are in the crowd as well, but thank you so much for having me. I really enjoyed the time.

Scott Luton (01:02:41):

Hey, you bet. We’ll have you back, I’m sure. Everyone that showed up, really appreciate all the comments and we couldn’t get some of them, but y’all keep them coming. I love that aspect of The Buzz. Big thanks to our production team, right? Amanda, Chantelle, Katherine and Clay for helping to keep these shows humming right along. Greg, always a pleasure to knock out these shows with you. And big thanks. Thank you, Kitchie. Big thanks to mom and dad who showed up on The Buzz. I love when they find a way to plug in and pose their perspective and questions as well. Folks, whatever you do, hey deeds not words. Clearly, it’s opportunities right there, but it’s not going to do it for you. You got to reach out and connect with Kitchie and make things happen. But whatever you do, deeds not words. Scott Luton, Greg White, our entire Supply Chain Now team challenging you to do good, give forward and be the change. We’ll see you next time right back here on Supply Chain now. Thanks, everybody.

Intro/Outro (01:03:40):

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

Ryan Kitchie is a Solutions Executive at 6 River Systems where he is responsible for providing solutions and insights for warehouse operators globally. Before 6RS, Ryan has nearly a decade experience in robotics and automation- starting at CH Robinson where he spent years onsite at Amazon Robotics managing the North American transportation network. Ryan holds a B.A from Marquette University and is an avid golfer. Connect with Ryan on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

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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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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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Vicki White

Controller

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

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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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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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Greg White

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

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

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

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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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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.

With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.

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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 transitioning from active duty in the US Army. 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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Jeff Miller

Host

Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business.  Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM.  When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.

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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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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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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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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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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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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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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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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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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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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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