Supply Chain Now
Episode 846

The automation paradox tells us that the more heavily automated a building or a function becomes, the more valuable the people who are supporting it are.

-Fergal Glynn, Vice President of Marketing at 6 River Systems

Episode Summary

The Supply Chain Buzz is Supply Chain Now’s regular Monday livestream, held at 12n ET each week. This show focuses on some of the leading stories from global supply chain and global business, always with special guests – the most important of which is the live audience!

For too long, people have looked at automation with a wary eye, seeing it as a threat to their jobs and livelihood. What we have learned in practice, however, paints a very different picture – one that is better for workers. Fergal Glynn, Vice President of Marketing at 6 River Systems, recently joined The Buzz to share his perspective on the actual impact of automation in fulfillment centers.

In this session, created in collaboration with a live digital audience, Fergal, Scott, and Greg talk about:

  • The skyrocketing cost to move a shipping container from China to the United States right now – on top of the delays being faced at nearly every U.S. port
  • How humans and robots are learning to work in automated harmony in fulfillment centers and warehouses
  • The latest trends and innovations in fulfillment center management.

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 (00:00:31):

Hey, good morning. Scott Luton and Greg White with you here on Supply Chain Now. Welcome to the Supply Chain Buzz, our regular Monday livestream 12 noon, Eastern Time. Greg, how you doing?

Greg White (00:00:42):

I am doing well. I’m glad to get my buzz on.

Scott Luton (00:00:47):

Every Monday, 12 noon, like clockwork, right?

Greg White (00:00:49):

Yeah. Right. If only it were an actual buzz, but –

Scott Luton (00:00:55):

We’ll save that for Tuesday.

Greg White (00:00:56):

That would make this show a lot harder for us to do.

Scott Luton (00:00:59):

That’s true. All right. So, it is Supply Chain Buzz.

Greg White (00:01:02):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:01:03):

Where we share some of the leading stories across global business every Monday, 12 noon, Eastern Time. And, today, Greg, just in case you didn’t know, we got a special guest joining us, a brown 12:25 PM, Eastern Time, the one and only Fergal Glynn with 6 River Systems, which is a company doing big things in industry. He’s going to be here with us. Greg, one heck of a guest, right?

Greg White (00:01:23):

Yeah. I’m excited. They are managing the robot takeover of the world.

Scott Luton (00:01:30):

Led by Chuck, right?

Greg White (00:01:31):

That’s –

Scott Luton (00:01:32):

An army of Chuck.

Greg White (00:01:32):

I mean, I think what they’re doing is cool. You know, robotics, automation, autonomous, all going to be huge part of the landscape of supply chain going forward. You know, we say this all the time, Scott. We had 2 million unfilled jobs in supply chain in 2019 before anyone knew what supply chain was. And, now, that gap is even broader. So, it’s important that we embrace and do so appropriately. And we’re going to talk about how to do that as well, the increase in automation and autonomous and robotics.

Scott Luton (00:02:06):

Agreed. We’re going to be talking automation, all that stuff Greg just mentioned and workforce and how all that wires together and creates opportunities for all. So, buckle up and get ready. And, hey, we want to hear from you, too. So, we’re going to say a little to a few folks in the comments and we’d love to hear your take on what you hear as we work our way through the conversation. Hey, Greg –

Greg White (00:02:26):

Yes, Scott.

Scott Luton (00:02:26):

A quick programming note though, before we get started and before we say hello to some folks, let’s talk about our 2022 Supply Chain and Procurement Awards because nominations are open, Greg, right?

Greg White (00:02:39):

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, you know, this is a global awards ceremony where we want companies from around the world. Hey, we’re willing to take interstellar nominations as well, but feel like communication could be a difficulty. But, yeah, nominate those companies whether they’re practitioners or service providers or people that are doing great things in supply chain. Check out all the categories of awards that we have on the website, supplychainprocurementawards.com.

Scott Luton (00:03:11):

That’s right.

Greg White (00:03:12):

And make sure that the people doing the best in the industry are getting recognized around the world. It’s kind of weird, isn’t it, Scott? Around the world.

Scott Luton (00:03:22):

It is weird. But you know what’s really cool about it? Folks, as Greg said, nominate, nominate, nominate, right? We’ve had some recent entries from Packard, our friends over at Packard, fulfilled, Longbow Advantage. We’ve had Rose Martin with Wintech nominated for the unsung hero award. It’s organizations, enterprises, individuals, practitioners, you name it. And the great thing is, is $200 – is a nomination – $200 nomination fee. And all that gets donated to our friends at the nonprofit Hope for Justice, which is leading the fight at eradicating modern slavery and human trafficking. So, learn more at supplychainprocurementawards.com. Greg, excited, coming up on May 18th, right?

Greg White (00:04:06):

Yeah. And 100% of your nomination fee is going to a good cause.

Scott Luton (00:04:11):

That’s right.

Greg White (00:04:11):

I think it’s great, Scott, the way that you and Kelly have constructed this thing to be giving in every single facet.

Scott Luton (00:04:21):

Agreed.

Greg White (00:04:21):

So, yeah. I’m looking forward to it. I know, you know, we used to do the Atlanta Supply Chain Awards. Right? You did it for a number of years even before. And we just decided to broaden that to give a world perspective because we have such an incredible world audience. So, I think it’s going to be interesting to see not just who gets nominated, but where they come from.

Scott Luton (00:04:45):

Right. The best [inaudible]. The best.

Greg White (00:04:47):

I mean, there’s supply chain excellence all over the world.

Scott Luton (00:04:51):

Agreed, agreed.

Greg White (00:04:53):

Let’s celebrate that.

Scott Luton (00:04:55):

Absolutely. So important. And celebrate it while contributing towards one of the issues of our time. One last thought about that. We did do the Atlanta Supply Chain Awards for a couple years, and we heard -you know, during those years we restricted it to companies that had operations in the Metro Atlanta area and we heard so much from folks around the globe, “Hey, are we eligible?” And we had to tell them no. Well, I got tired of telling people no, so it is global. And wherever you are, no matter how big, how small, you name it, interstellar, I don’t care, you’re all eligible in joining us to celebrate not only the successes you’re having, but to celebrate, to donate and fuel a great cause. Okay.

Greg White (00:05:36):

Amen.

Scott Luton (00:05:36):

Okay, supplychainprocurementawards.com. Let’s say hello to a few folks. Speaking of the best ecosystem –

Greg White (00:05:43):

No kidding.

Scott Luton (00:05:43):

In the entire world. Josh Goodey is tuned in from beautiful, rainy Seattle. “Happy Monday and last day of February to y’all.” Josh, I’m hoping you’re bringing it again today. Greg, he’s been with us some prior livestreams, right?

Greg White (00:05:57):

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, like so many people, Josh brings some great insights to these things. It’s great having people interact with this.

Scott Luton (00:06:05):

That’s the best. It is the best. Keivan has tuned in as always. The new abnormal something he coined long before we heard that to put out there. Keivan, I hope this finds you well. Max Gomez from Mexico is tuned back in via LinkedIn.

Greg White (00:06:19):

There we go.

Scott Luton (00:06:19):

Great to see you, Max.

Greg White (00:06:21):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:06:21):

Eyueal, Eyueal perhaps, and if I got that wrong, I apologize, tune in from Ethiopia. So great to see you here via LinkedIn. Love to get your comments as we work our way, Eyueal, throughout the conversation here today. We’ve got the Royal Ambassador of Charleston Supply Chain Ecosystem, Silvia Judy. Great to see you [inaudible], Silvia.

Greg White (00:06:41):

Yeah. Right. Always, always good to have a finger on the pulse of the big ports on the East Coast, and that Silvia is in touch with. Also, keeping us in touch with Germany, right?

Scott Luton (00:06:54):

That’s right. I think I saw some recent photos related to a visit, a recent visit of hers, but we’ll – maybe she’ll share, maybe she’ll share, Silvia, and great to have you here regardless. Lamont Hardy from San Diego, right, Greg?

Greg White (00:07:10):

Yeah. Yeah. So, Lamont was active this weekend. I think I saw a few posts from him and some comments on things this weekend. I mean, it’s amazing. You know, you don’t think of everybody being kind of active all the time, but just like supply chain, supply chainers never stop, right?

Scott Luton (00:07:29):

Never stop. Never stop. Lamont, great to have you here today. Eddie’s tuned in from Memphis, Tennessee. Love that, Eddie. Look forward to your perspective. Peter’s tuned in from Kenya via at LinkedIn. Great to see you, Peter. Davin holding down the fort up in Canada. Davin, I hope this finds you well. Great to see you here today. Tim Perkins –

Greg White (00:07:46):

[Inaudible] an update on that beard, Davin. That picture, what? That’s a few months old now I think, so I’d love to see if he’s growing that out or if he’s shaping that up. So, maybe you could just share that in the feed.

Scott Luton (00:07:58):

We need the beard update, Davin. It’s good call out there. Tim Perkins. Hey, Peter Bolle, all night and all day, is back with us here. Peter, I hope this finds you well. Let’s see here. Chris is tuned in from Reston, Virginia. Have you ever been to Reston, Virginia, Greg?

Greg White (00:08:16):

I’m embarrassed to say I don’t know that. I’ve been to a lot of places in Virginia and through a lot of places in Virginia, so –

Scott Luton (00:08:27):

Well, you’re going to have to let us know Chris –

Greg White (00:08:29):

In Virginia.

Scott Luton (00:08:29):

Right. You’re going to have to let us know where that is. Erwin’s tuned in –

Greg White (00:08:33):

The name sounds really familiar, but I just don’t know. Is it okay if I look it up on a map, Scott?

Scott Luton (00:08:38):

Please. Yeah. Do that as I’m saying hello to go a few other folks here before we dive in. Erwin, from Jakarta, great to see you, Erwin. Let’s see, Peter’s given us a weather update. A 14-degree Celsius up in Montreal today. It sounds –

Greg White (00:08:52):

Minus. I think that’s a minus 14. So, is it a minus?

Scott Luton (00:08:55):

Luke – let’s see here.

Greg White (00:08:59):

Oh, yeah.

Scott Luton (00:08:59):

[Inaudible] Luke Smaul is with us here and, I can’t find his comment here. But, Luke, great to have you here. I hope this finds you well. Rohit is tuned in –

Greg White (00:09:08):

We’re getting close –

Scott Luton (00:09:09):

From –

Greg White (00:09:09):

We’re getting close. We’re getting close to my favorite holiday and probably Luke’s favorite holiday, St. Patrick’s.

Scott Luton (00:09:17):

Right.

Greg White (00:09:18):

[Inaudible].

Scott Luton (00:09:19):

Right around the corner, right around the corner.

Greg White (00:09:21):

[Inaudible]. West of Washington. Oh, I know why I remember the name. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:09:29):

And, hello Brad Reeves from Grand Rapids in Michigan. Hello to everyone else that we couldn’t get to. We look forward to having y’all here as we work through a couple of stories, a couple of updates, and of course, Fergal Glynn’s joining us from 6 River Systems around 12:25 PM, Eastern Time. But if that’s the case, Greg, we got to get cracking. You ready?

Greg White (00:09:49):

Yeah. Let’s do this. I suppose we ought to get to work, right? Ultimately, I think these people are here to get some information.

Scott Luton (00:09:57):

I agree with you. Now, before we start talking supply chain though, you know, I want to point this out. You know, it’s been a – it is a tough time going back, you know, what 10 days now or so midst of this global conflict that is Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But the good news there, Greg, and if you look hard, you can find, that news it’s really been a beautiful thing to see the world come together in support of the Ukrainian people. And so, I just grabbed a couple of images I saw over the weekend that I just, I love, from the Arch there in St. Louis to that is the Peace Tower in Ottawa, a new landmark for me, with the Space Needle in Seattle, of course Christ Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, you name it, really the world coming together. And, you know, my favorite thing that I saw, Greg, I think favorite without a doubt over the weekend, and that’s to see the brave Russian people speak out against Putin’s invasion from Moscow to Siberia to Saint Petersburg. Arrest of protestors were made in 51 cities across Russia, according to the AP. I love that they’re finding their voice and they’re uniting with the world against the aggression that we’ve seen.

Greg White (00:11:17):

You know, I studied, not everybody probably does, but, you know, I studied Soviet politics during the Cold War. Putin is a particularly ruthless and deadly leader. Those people may never be seen again. And they know it when they hit the street. So, it takes an exceptional amount of courage to do what those people are doing in Russia, because they know there is a very good chance that if they are abducted, they will never be seen, never be freed. So, I think that’s exceptional. Obviously, I think the leader, Zelensky, of Ukraine, though he’s on the border now of Belarus and Ukraine negotiating with the Russians in what is effectively a war zone with a country that allowed Russian troops to cross their territory to get to Kyiv faster. Man, the guts of that guy and those people to stand and fight is just, it’s inspiring. It’s impressive. And, frankly, it’s absolutely necessary, absolutely necessary.

Scott Luton (00:12:27):

Excellent perspective there. I’m with you. So, our prayers, thoughts, best wishes and support. You know, there’s lots of sites out there y’all can go Googling or you can donate to the effort. We’ve found a couple this weekend. So, I wanted to start there ‘cause, you know, it’s truly, with few exceptions, glaring exceptions, but it is what it is. It’s brought the world together and we certainly need that at a time like this.

Scott Luton (00:12:52):

So, all right. So, setting that aside and I want to say hello to Jason T. Hopkins is back. You know, Jason dropped a teacherism last week on the livestream. Old TV is back with us, Tom Valentine, the one only. Good Monday afternoon to you as well. TSquared holds down the fort. Ready for Monday nourishment, getting ready for the Cookie O’Puss ice cream cakes for Saint Patrick’s Day. How about that?

Greg White (00:13:19):

Okay. Carvel is new to Georgia, relatively new to Georgia. So, I’m not that familiar with Carvel and their ice cream traditions. I’m pretty familiar with the burgers, which are pretty tasty.

Scott Luton (00:13:32):

We got to see pictures, TSquared. Pictures, my friend. And finally, hey, Garry Harper, old friend, is back with us. I want to say we sat down with Garry in Charleston what it feels like forever ago, but it’s probably about two years ago, Greg, if you remember.

Greg White (00:13:44):

Yeah. Yeah, of course. It was 2019, correct? Yeah. Well –

Scott Luton (00:13:50):

Agreed.

Greg White (00:13:51):

And we may be heading back there. Oh, there’s a teaser for him, Scott. We may be heading back to South Carolina to talk global commerce, global international affairs and global supply chain, so.

Scott Luton (00:14:02):

Well, that is a perfect segue ‘cause, of course, global supply chain, right? That’s where we’re starting. That’s where folks are tuned in here. So, TPM 2022 is taking place right this minute, Greg. Well, it might be a little bit early. I’m not sure what time they get started. I bet they’re already cracking up. Long Beach, California –

Greg White (00:14:20):

They’re making TikTok videos right now.

Scott Luton (00:14:23):

That and lots of deals, right? Lots of deals, especially those critical yearlong freight contracts. So, get this, Greg, speaking of ocean freight, according to The Wall Street Journal, [inaudible], the average price for the 40-foot container move from China to the US is between 70K and eight – $7000 and $8000 right now. Last year it was about 5500. And that’s if you book in advance. Now, the spot prices to move a container from Shanghai to the US, around $16,000 right now. Last year, that was 4700. So, Greg, your thoughts on the pricey – if you want to ship something, be prepared to pay the price.

Greg White (00:15:07):

Well, and many companies have paid the price, obviously, because we look at the backup in the ports. And think about this, also, not just the cost of the container but the cost of re-routing, which a lot of companies are having to do because the West Coast ports are clogged up and now some of the Gulf Coast ports are clogged up. And, now, you know, as we’ve talked about, some of the East Coast ports are clogged up. I mean, the ones in New York and New Jersey are always inefficient, but that’s starting to move south and impact some of the ports like Charleston and Savannah and Jacksonville as well. So, I don’t know that people understand that that is an additional cost as well. So, yeah, I mean, and the rates were up last year over what they had been before, and this doesn’t even address – I mean, this does identify that rates are up incredibly, but it doesn’t address the extreme cases like 25 or $30,000 containers, which can occur based again on how subject, let’s say, to the spot market you are.

Scott Luton (00:16:14):

You know, we’re in the wrong business. We should have been in that container shipping ocean freight business, Greg. I tell you. But you make great points because these aren’t set in stone. They fluctuate quite a bit. But there’ll be a lot of deal making going on with all of our friends out there at TPM this week. And I’ve heard a lot of great feedback. You know, our friend of the many, hundreds, and if not, thousands of people out there, Cathy Morrow Roberson, Greg, who’s a great follow on Twitter. She’s offering up summaries each and every day. So, y’all check that out. Here’s Luke Smaul. Luke Smaul tuned in from a very wet Seattle. I thought I saw Luke somewhere. Luke, great to have you here.

Greg White (00:16:51):

When you say very in front of wet Seattle, I mean, you don’t even need to say wet Seattle, right? But when you say very, I wonder what that must be like. Actually, I used to know. I used to work up in that area of the country quite a bit. Oh, I mean, when it stops raining, I got to tell you everything is so green and when the sun hits it, it’s amazingly beautiful because it just rains all the time. And, you get used to doing things like mowing your lawn during the misting rain. Because if you didn’t, as I was advised, you would never mow your lawn.

Scott Luton (00:17:27):

Wow. Well, Luke let us know and we won’t see some pictures. But, Luke, all things –

Greg White (00:17:32):

Right.

Scott Luton (00:17:34):

Right. Luke loves talking digital transformation. Of course, that will be the backdrop of our conversation with Fergal Glynn with 6 River Systems here momentarily. He’ll be joining us in about a little less than 10 minutes. Hey, Gene Pledger is tuned in. Great to see you, Gene, as always. Peter Bolle talking about the 12K to 23K in the span of four months in the spot market. Holy cow, Peter. Dr. Rhonda is back with us. She’s running late. That’s okay. Rhonda, you have full permission. Probably, [inaudible].

Greg White (00:18:02):

Literally running late, Scott. Literally running, right?

Scott Luton (00:18:05):

Right. And Garry’s confirming our memory. It was 2019 we sat down with Garry in Charleston. He’s with Zebra now. So good to see you, Garry. All right. So, I want to bring up – so Rohit asked a great question and it’s stemmed from one of your updates that he has seen, Greg, and we haven’t – we need to educate our ecosystem ‘cause this is new to me. I knew you were on a cadence. I didn’t know what cadence. But you’re dropping this thought-provoking supply chain commentary every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Is that right, Greg?

Greg White (00:18:41):

Yeah, that’s right. I do a post, usually find an article, do a little summary or commentary on the article and drop it on LinkedIn and Twitter – LinkedIn, Twitter, and I think also Facebook. I can’t remember if I’m still doing Facebook. Am I?

Scott Luton (00:18:59):

I’ll check. I’ll check with the team. We’ll see. But what you can hang your hat on. And, folks, I’ve been working with Greg White a long time. And what I’ve always loved about Greg White is not only, beyond his brilliance, which I’m partial but it’s true, he tells it like it is. And, man, these posts, that this commentary is full of not only insights you need to know, but the teacherisms, right, which Fergal is going to bring by the truckload here in a minute. But, Greg, one in particular, here a minute ago, well I think this was from last week, you were talking about some of the peak season challenges that iRobot has had. Of course, they weren’t unique to iRobot, but tell us, give us a little tease of what you were talking about here and then we’ll make sure folks know where to find it.

Greg White (00:19:44):

Yeah. So, I think the important, if I can distill it down, the important thing to understand is that 67% of iRobots demand happens from October to December. So, they are effectively a toy. They’re not, of course. It’s a good cleaning device. But it’s a big time Christmas gift. So, a lot of their demand occurs that time year, and they missed the season and they just got their product in after having unfulfilled orders. And what that made me think of was some of the companies that are, they are planning very, very far ahead not only a season, but sometimes a year in a season ahead. And also, they’re evaluating their supply chain that if they’re to miss a season, they might just skip a season.

Greg White (00:20:37):

You know, my daughter just bought a car and she was looking for a 21 Acura, 2021 Acura. There weren’t any, because Acura, at some point in the model year 2021, stopped making cars, you know, retooled for their 2022’s and just went to the 2022’s and they were therefore available to provide the 2022’s actually early. And it made me think what a brilliant strategy that could be. Because you avoid the whiplash effect now. iRobot has all these Roombas that they’re going to sit on until fourth quarter of this year, a good portion of them, because they just got them and almost 70% of their demand occurs in the fourth quarter. So, they’re going to be selling year-old iRobots, or they’re going to be promoting the heck out of them at them out before the next season.

Greg White (00:21:30):

So, if you can assess the risk as equally as great that you’ll miss the season as make the season, skip the season and start over ahead one season, just, you know, the genius that you would expect from one of the premier Japanese car brands and other brands that have done the same thing, but it just struck me how smart it is to do that.

Scott Luton (00:21:52):

Well, your commentary strikes me every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Team, if we can, a big, thanks to Chantel, Amanda and Catherine behind the scenes making production happen today, if we can drop a link to this iRobot commentary from Greg in the chat. Folks, we’d invite engage there. Of course, you need to connect and follow Greg so you can engage in those thought-provoking conversations every week. And we’d welcome that. But, Greg –

Greg White (00:22:17):

And if you like, can I – sorry.

Scott Luton (00:22:518):

Sure, please.

Greg White (00:22:19):

Sorry, Scott. If you like the article, click on the article. It’s all – my commentary is in LinkedIn or in this respective social media, but the article is also linked. If you click on the article, you’ll go to my paper. You can subscribe there. I will get better about dropping the link in so you can subscribe right from my commentary.

Scott Luton (00:22:37):

Yes. We’re not sitting on our hands around here at Supply Chain Now, but, hey –

Greg White (00:22:40):

On [inaudible].

Scott Luton (00:22:41):

You know, one final thought here, and we’re going to be bringing in Fergal in just one second. I hope that major league baseball does not take a page from, I think it was [inaudible], in skipping a season. We cannot skip seasons around here. Folks, owners, players, folks, we’ve been through a pandemic. We’re facing this global conflict right now. It’s silly. Y’all get down, make a deal happen. You know, take a page from the folks out at TPM who’s making deals happen left and right. Y’all make –

Greg White (00:23:13):

Take me out to the ball game.

Scott Luton (00:23:15):

Yeah. Take –

Greg White (00:23:16):

And that’s what we need to think about, right?

Scott Luton (00:23:18):

That’s right. That is right.

Greg White (00:23:18):

I mean, we’re going to need some – we’re going to need some entertainment.

Scott Luton (00:23:24):

No kidding. Departure, departure.

Greg White (00:23:26):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:23:26):

Protect the psyche. Okay. So, Greg, I’ll tell you that was kind of a whirlwind front end of the Supply Chain Buzz here at Supply Chain Now. We’ve got an outstanding guest and we’ve enjoyed rubbing elbows with the great folks over at 6 River Systems going back a couple years now. They’ve been really – man, it’s a heartbeat of the automation, and really making fulfillment happen better, easier, more enhanced optimizing it. We’re going to learn a lot more here today. I want to welcome in our featured guest, Fergal Glynn, Vice President of Marketing at 6 River Systems.

Scott Luton (00:24:04):

Hey, Fergal, how you doing, sir?

Fergal Glynn (00:24:06):

Hi, Scott. Hi, Greg. It’s nice to be here.

Greg White (00:24:09):

Hey, welcome aboard.

Scott Luton (00:24:10):

It is so great to have you back. I think the last time we connected was part of the ever-popular Flow event y’all do each year.

Fergal Glynn (00:24:20):

Right.

Scott Luton (00:24:21):

We had a chance to sit down with micro as part of, which one of the things you are doing at Flow. So, great to have you back.

Fergal Glynn (00:24:27):

Thank you, Scott. It’s good to be here.

Scott Luton (00:24:29):

You bet. Now, Greg, we’ve got this incredible senior leader related to a company on the move, but you know where we’re starting our conversation with Fergal, right?

Greg White (00:24:42):

No. Tell me, Scott.

Scott Luton (00:24:44):

Food. We love talking food. And before we get into automation –

Fergal Glynn (00:24:48):

Where else would we start?

Scott Luton (00:24:50):

We love food around here. And, folks in the cheap seats, the sky boxes as it were, love talking food, too. So, Fergal, you make your home in the Boston area. And Boston, of course, is known for many things to include great, great cuisine. What’s one of your favorite go-tos in Boston for dining?

Fergal Glynn (00:25:09):

My favorite restaurant, and it’s a Boston-founded and headquartered restaurant chain, it’s called Legal Sea Foods. And, unfortunately, just this weekend, the founder of Legal Sea foods, Roger Berkowitz, he passed away age 94.

Scott Luton (00:25:29):

Wow.

Fergal Glynn (00:25:30):

Ninety-four. But Legal Sea Foods, it’s my [inaudible].

Scott Luton (00:25:34):

It’s a place to go. Well, if I heard –

Greg White (00:25:38):

It’s a shame we lost him, but it just goes to show what a great diet a seafood diet is.

Scott Luton (00:25:44):

Yeah. Ninety-four. What a – wow. What a full life. And if I heard you correctly, Fergal, I think Greg’s been to the original in Boston. We haven’t been to Boston yet. It’s on our priority list. But are there locations around the country as well?

Fergal Glynn (00:26:00):

Yeah. And, in fact, oftentimes in airports around the country I see them. I think the flight maybe in the morning is bringing a lobster down to Orlando or Miami and you can go and get it to go at the airport.

Scott Luton (00:26:17):

I love it. And I love how they make that map [inaudible], Greg.

Greg White (00:26:19):

I didn’t even think about that. Now, they have one of my favorites because the company I work for called Server Logistics, their founder was from Boston, the spicy fish nuggets kind of – have you had that Fergal? Outstanding.

Fergal Glynn (00:26:37):

I think I’ve had everything on the menu. Yeah.

Greg White (00:26:41):

Me too. I used to die for a layover in certain airports, so I could go and have some clam chowder or something.

Fergal Glynn (00:26:49):

But my favorite sauce is the pink sauce, not the spicy, but the pink, the mix of, I think, it’s ketchup and mayo.

Greg White (00:26:56):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:26:57):

Okay. I’m sold to all that.

Greg White (00:27:00):

Sorry, Scott. I know you’re hungry.

Scott Luton (00:27:02):

I’m starving now. Folks, in the comments, if y’all been to Legal Sea Foods, drop a link, drop a comment in there and let us know your favorite thing on the menu as Fergal said he likes everything, he’s had about everything, but let us know about Legal Sea Food. Okay. So, Greg and Fergal, are y’all ready to get down to business?

Greg White (00:27:20):

I guess we got to get to work, Fergal.

Fergal Glynn (00:27:22):

Yes.

Scott Luton (00:27:23):

We got to, we got to. I want to bring up this story that hit our radar from our friends over at Harvard Business Review. And, folks, if HBR is not on your radar, then make sure it is, a great thought-provoking content, just like Greg, over HBR.

Greg White (00:27:40):

Maybe, a little bit more educated than me.

Scott Luton (00:27:43):

Maybe. Just a smidge. But this piece, this piece here focuses on research on how the human workforce views automation. Now, I want to add a little context and then I’m going to come to you, Fergal, get your take on this, then, Greg, get your commentary. But for a little context here, the global warehouse automation market was worth about $15 billion in 2019. Greg, Fergal, that number is expected to climb to some $30 billion by 2026. Man, those are big numbers. The authors behind this research spoke at length with about 80 members of the warehouse industry across the globe, but mainly focused on frontline workers and supervisors. So, with that backdrop, Fergal, talk to us about what you gathered from this research.

Fergal Glynn (00:28:29):

Thank you, Scott. Yeah. I thought this was such a great piece and it’s great hearing it from the associates on the concrete floor in the warehouse. So, it’s a completely different perspective than like what we commonly read and hear about, which may maybe from, say, the director or the VP level who’s managing those. And kind of what caught me just was, like, throughout the pandemic, the labor shortage combined with an increase in particularly eCommerce order demand has just encouraged many warehouses to not only just investigate, but to very quickly go and implement robotic automation. And this type of automation, robotic, flexible automation, it is possible to go and to deploy it like really, really fast in a matter of weeks or days. And kind of then like tying back to the report itself, there is a common misconception that when implementing automation, that like this automation or these robots can take jobs away from employees.

Fergal Glynn (00:29:43):

But the fact is, we have both in, like both sides of the Atlantic where the study took place, we have a massive labor challenge. And, automation, particularly mobile robots working alongside the associates in the warehouse, it can actually improve the quality of working life by easing the strain of manual labor by reducing the walking that somebody, that an associate needs to do within the warehouse to do their job. And, then we’re seeing as well firsthand that mobile robotics are helpful to companies to help them actually attract, train and retain their labor force.

Scott Luton (00:30:37):

Yes. And, oftentimes, give those hirees a better paying job where they’re actually adding credentials to their knowledge, knowledge set, and what have you. So, if I can, so these points you’re making, Greg, you may have opined once or twice very passionately about this stuff because there’s not nearly as many folks that want to take some of the jobs which is leading to the reason we must have more automation in our fulfillment centers and warehouses. Greg, speak to that for a second.

Greg White (00:31:09):

Yeah. It’s inevitable at this point. I mean, you know, 3.6 million more people, 55 and over, retired last year than we expected to. And they continue to consider it at a higher rate – consider to continue – continue to consider leaving the workforce at a higher rate than any other age group. So, that’s basically the baby boomers are leaving, and those are the people who have done these jobs traditionally. I’ve long said that we need no longer apologize for putting automation into these jobs because nobody wants them. And, frankly, the incoming generation, nobody is an overstatement, but very few people want them as is evidenced by many articles and discussions. We’ve had ALA Manufacturing and warehouse job gaps. And the incoming generations are unlikely to take a job unless it ties somehow to technology, so either working over the top of technology or working with and in collaboration with technology. That’s what the incoming gen Z and millennials are really interested in. So, I think, honestly, I really think the number that you gave, I think that might be conservative.

Scott Luton (00:32:26):

Yeah.

Greg White (00:32:26):

Because of the pace of change towards e-commerce. Scott, you know, I just recently adopted use of Instacart, which you’ve loved for over a year, maybe two, I don’t even know. And I just saw how impactful that was, but I also – because e-commerce has gotten big in other areas, areas we never expect it. But there’s just not enough people to do the job, to do it effectively enough. And, you know, one of the things that this Harvard Business Review article speaks to is safety in the workplace. And people don’t like the three Ds of supply chain: dark, dirty, and dangerous, and particularly not the dangerous. So, you know, as the perception of technology or of supply chain becomes more technology and intellectual based and less brute force and dirty hands and elbows based, I think you’ll see this accelerate.

Scott Luton (00:33:24):

Agreed, agreed. I want to back up and, Fergal, I’d love to get any other takes you have around this piece of research. But on the front end of Greg’s response, he talked about the notion of cobots, right. And I know that’s a big part of the appeal with Chuck and 6 River Systems kind of going to the earlier point you were talking about, Fergal. So, anything else before we get into what y’all are doing, some of the cool things you’re are doing at 6 River.

Fergal Glynn (00:33:50):

I suppose just adding on to safety. So, I mentioned that it reduces the physical effort, [inaudible] in terms of the walking and pushing something being heavy that being like a traditional big manual cart. And so, the robotic automation removes that. The other very topical feature of these systems is when you think about a world in a pandemic and with a virus that when you implement automation, like first of all, you can have more true push through your building with the same number of people, or you can meet your existing true put level with less people. So, automation means you can get more done with less people. Now, when you think about the world in a pandemic like that’s a good thing because you need less people in the building. But also built into these collaborative mobile robot solutions, there’s a certain level of base level of social distancing already built in. So, with the algorithms that are used to create a pick pot, it is possible to alter certain levers so that you can keep your associates out of an aisle that already has an associate, or you can keep associates in certain zones or certain parts of the building so that at least out on the warehouse floor, you’re able to keep your people at a safe distance.

Scott Luton (00:35:30):

Love that. And what we’ve learned, one of the great things, silver linings, about the last couple years is how the employee experience, to include safety, has reemerged as a top priority for organizations as it should be. So, Fergal, I love how you’re speaking to some of that.

Scott Luton (00:35:46):

I’m going to bring a couple comments in from the cheap seats here. Amanda and Catherine and Chantel, if we can make sure we drop that Harvard Business Review article in the comments so folks can check that out and give us their take on that.

Scott Luton (00:36:02):

Keivan, and Keivan, good stuff here. He says, “Robotics and automation for warehouses and plants reduce the release time of an order that will finally reach a customer’s hands. The workforce in these areas should focus on maintenance and quality control and monitoring aspects. However, complete crew removal may not be achievable for non-standard personalized products.” Let’s see, Lamont says, “Walmart and Amazon are already leading in that direction,” talking about some of the robotics things that they play it there. Fergal, but you’re speaking to – your last part of your response there was focused on some of the custom, you know, customizable, making up words here, aspects of Chuck and 6 River Systems Solution, right?

Fergal Glynn (00:36:49):

That’s right. And, I love that comment that was just on the screen. And maybe just to touch on that a bit more, two points on that. Like, one is in terms of the promise or the service level of agreements that we have to our customer. With these types of systems, you’re able to have like a guaranteed service level. And so, like, and how that works is, for example, if you know there’s a certain order that needs to be on the truck that departs at 4 PM today, and now it’s 12 minutes past 3, well, the system can automatically make sure that the next pick that occurs in the building is that order that needs to get out the door because the robot will travel to where that pick needs to take place. And so, we’re doing this –

Scott Luton (00:37:43):

Dynamic.

Fergal Glynn (00:37:44):

[Inaudible] service level. And then, the other point I want to touch on in the comment is around – there’s this thing known as the automation paradox. And so, the automation paradox tells us that the more automation or the more heavily automated a building or a function becomes, the more valuable the people who are supporting it. And so, I love in the comment that it talks about the workforce is actually able to focus on the maintenance, quality control and monitoring aspects. And it goes right back to what we were talking about a few minutes ago, that automation is actually able to, like, increase the value of the jobs of the people who are working in the warehouse.

Scott Luton (00:38:31):

Agreed. I got a couple of comments I’m going to share. But first, Greg, I got to circle back to you and you’re chopping at a bit.

Greg White (00:38:37):

Yeah. Well, I mean, look, it hasn’t almost never been the case that automation has eliminated people’s jobs. It has more, and to Fergal’s point, elevated people’s jobs. I mean, had John Henry not fought so hard against the steam engine, he could very well have been running a steam engine rather than pounding spikes into the rails himself, so. And, I think that’s often the case is you see the elevation of humans to do human things where machines do machine things. I mean, if you think about the work that people don’t want today and they will want even less in the future, it’s repetitive, it’s dangerous, right? It’s mundane, those things, and more of course, can be done by automation, which elevates humans to do the exceptional, the quick thinking, you know, the rapid –

Scott Luton (00:39:32):

Creative.

Greg White (00:39:33):

Creative and things that are not supported by data because it takes data to run these machines. You know, I harken back to – I did a lot of work in Norway at a time and all of their liquor wine and spirits is all run by the state. But 4PL companies, they had a completely lights out warehouse except for single bottle packing. So, they could take pallets, they could take cases, they could take, you know, all sorts of things and do it without a human being being involved at all except for identifying what gets, you know, gets picked and shipped to elsewhere. But when it came down to the most delicate, the most costly, the most important things that needed to be handled, that always fell to a human. And, I think that will often be the case.

Scott Luton (00:40:25):

All right. So, on that note, I’m going to take a couple quick comments here, and then Fergal I want to make sure folks know – they probably already know, maybe two people across the world maybe don’t know what 6 River Systems does. We’ll go there next. But, really, first, Davin’s part of the welcome committee. He’s officially welcoming Fergal to the livestream. I love that, Davin. Michael going back to seafood, right? I’m not going to forget about the seafood. Y’all made me hungry.

Greg White (00:40:50):

I remember that Legal Sea Food in Atlanta.

Scott Luton (00:40:52):

I missed it.

Greg White (00:40:53):

I used to go to the airport early for afternoon flights so I could eat there.

Scott Luton (00:40:57):

Michael, man, I missed it. But, thank you for sharing. Garry, a big fan of Legal Sea Food in Boston and the airports. Peter’s dropping in their URL. I love that. Josh says, “Second best clam chowder he’s ever had behind – ” is it Evars, Ivars? Ivars.

Greg White (00:41:13):

Ivars.

Scott Luton (00:41:14):

Fergal, have you ever had Ivars clam chowder?

Fergal Glynn (00:41:16):

Not yet, but I’m going to go check it out.

Scott Luton (00:41:19):

Okay. All right. So, putting food aside for the moment, Michael also says, “Robotic arms also reduce the size of facilities and allow companies to repurpose older warehouses closer to city populations.” And, we all know what’s going on with, you know, urban, urban fulfillment these days. Jason Hopkins is back with us. Jason had a teacherism last week I believe I saw. “Great insights. Human and machine interoperability will be key in future processes. Let’s strive for machine plus human instead of human versus machine.” Fergal, let’s pick it back up there. You’re nodding your head. Agree with Jason?

Fergal Glynn (00:41:57):

I do. And a customer of ours, DHL, and I remember this from our Flow conference last year that, like, that was very much the topic of how they think – the subject of how they think about automation.

Scott Luton (00:42:12):

Love it.

Fergal Glynn (00:41:15):

It’s this marriage that’s required.

Scott Luton (00:42:19):

Right. It’s not either or. You know, speaking of DHL, they just made – announce a massive $400 million investment into coal chain. Greg and I met one of their presidents leading that investment just the other day. We’ll be releasing that interview soon. But we’ll have to dive deeper maybe in the future appearance, Fergal, of y’all’s intriguing work with DHL. Speaking of you, Fergal, and the team there, Chuck and the rest of the team, speak, if you would, in a nutshell, just so folks, you know, little level setting, tell us about what 6 River Systems does.

Fergal Glynn (00:42:53):

Yep. Certainly, so we’re focused on solving our customers’ business challenges, and like there’s three big areas of value and challenges that we solve. So, for our customers, we help them, as mentioned, offset their labor shortages and we do that by providing a solution, Chuck, that’s – so Chuck is our autonomous mobile robot. So, we provide a solution that makes it easier for our customers to attract, train and retain associates. Another benefit our customers get is we help them to increase their operational efficiency. So by adding automation onto the warehouse floor and, in particular, the way like we have approached how we built our robot, where it’s a directed workflow, so, a directed workflow means the associate on the warehouse floor that associate follows Chuck ‘cause Chuck knows where to go. Chuck doesn’t stop for a break. Chuck moves at a nice brisk walking pace.

Fergal Glynn (00:43:54):

And then finally, because of the flexibility with like how we’ve built our solution, it helps our customers to like boost their resilience and reduce business risk. An example of that being, there are many, both 3PLs and retailers in the world today that have multiple warehouses. And so, as demand ebbs and flows between buildings, because nothing is bolted to the floor, you can back a truck up, take your robots from building A and move them to building B. And so, kind of finally like how this all works, it’s like we’re producing a combination of cloud-based software services and hardware, which includes our AMR Chuck and all of its onboard control software and workflows, to, like, help our customers improve the efficiency of warehouse operations alongside working directly with their existing WMS that they already have.

Scott Luton (00:44:52):

Love it. And I love the fact that Chucks can take field trips, Greg, to other sites and help in the good fight there. Really quick, little departure, now that Fergal is just kinda level set and make sure everybody understands what 6 River Systems does. Rohit has got a question. So, Greg, a moment ago you were talking about, you know, the path ahead. Rohit asks a follow-up question to that, and, Fergal, I’d love to get you and Greg just to weigh in really quick, your readers digest response to this. Rohit says, “Speaking of automation, loading, unloading is the process which is only possible,” he says, “through people. Do you think automation can take over loading and unloading to containers?” Greg, you first.

Greg White (00:45:35):

Unquestionably, at least for some kinds of products. I mean, we need to have some discipline when we load these things. Throwing garbage bags full of stuffed toys into a container is not going to be easy to automate, but if you palletize or package the product and then put it in the container then certainly you could do that.

Scott Luton (00:45:55):

And Peter Bolle said – you are talking the same thing here.

Greg White (00:46:00):

Barcoded too. I didn’t –

Scott Luton (00:46:02):

Peter says –

Greg White (00:46:03):

Good call, Peter.

Scott Luton (00:46:04):

Peter says, “Certainly, if it can all be palletized and barcoded, it can be easily accomplished,” he says.

Greg White (00:46:11):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:46:12):

Barcode would have all the information.

Greg White (00:46:12):

We need more discipline there, right?

Scott Luton (00:46:14):

Yeah. Agreed.

Greg White (00:46:15):

And, you know, and I think you’d have to do a cost analysis to determine whether the extra effort is worth it.

Scott Luton (00:46:20):

Excellent point there, Greg. All right. Fergal?

Fergal Glynn (00:46:22):

So, I agree with Greg that there will be certain scenarios, certain permutations that we will be able to automate. And we see that already today for both, like, inbound work and outbound work in a building. And then, just to kind of point out, I think why AMRs are receiving a lot of attention today for picking is that it’s actually picking, that makes up a vast majority of the costs in a warehouse where like, you know, your inbound and your outbound percentage-wise is much less than what we’re spending, particularly in warehouses that are doing manual picking.

Scott Luton (00:47:05):

Excellent point, Fergal. And, by the way, I love permutation. What a great word, Fergal. I’m about to look that up in a second, make sure I’m on the same page with you. Hey, Rohit, great question, Rohit. Keep the questions coming. We can’t always get to as many questions based on what we’re chatting through here today, but great question. And Davin, and I’m adding what Davin says here. “It’s not the beginning of the robot overlords that most naysayers try to turn it into.” Excellent point.

Greg White (00:47:32):

Yeah. That happened a long time ago, so. I saw, I saw iRobot.

Scott Luton (00:47:39):

Okay. So, Fergal, we’ve got some big things coming up here in the Atlanta area. We have what is referred to regarded as the biggest and greatest supply chain trade show in, at least, the Western Hemisphere. And, of course, I’m talking about MODEX 2022. That’s coming up March 28th through the 31st. Now, 6 River, Greg. It’s one of our favorite, you know, events like that. Companies like 6 River, really, they put on the Ritz, right? You get to see that automation and robotics.

Greg White (00:48:12):

That’s where we met Chuck originally.

Scott Luton (00:48:14):

That’s true.

Greg White (00:48:14):

In 2020, right?

Scott Luton (00:48:16):

That is true, Greg. So, Fergal, what do y’all have planned up your sleeves for MODEX 2022?

Fergal Glynn (00:48:22):

We’re so excited to get back to Atlanta first time for MODEX in Atlanta in two years. We’re going to be showing like the latest and greatest features in our product line. We’re going to be introducing some new and exciting pieces of hardware that complement Chuck that allow our company, our solution to be able to go and work in areas of the warehouse that we don’t work in today. But we’re adding capabilities to the solution that allow our customers to get more value from the operation. And so, we position what we’re doing as a wall-to-wall fulfillment solution. And so, visitors to MODEX will be able to see this end-to-end demo where it’s really like wall-to-wall in the building from replenishment to outbound. And then, also we’re going to be introducing some floor-to-ceiling capabilities as well.

Fergal Glynn (00:49:25):

So, think about in a building where there may be those picks or tasks that need to take place that are higher than somebody can reach on their own from ground level. And so, we’ve got some exciting stuff to show there. And then, we like to have fun as well. We like to have fun.

Scott Luton (00:49:40):

Yes, you do.

Fergal Glynn (00:49:41):

We like attendees to be able to come in and use Chuck. And we’ve been running – it’s been a couple of years since we’ve run this, but we do a picking challenge. So, we have this competition called Pick to Win, where you can come in and you can compete with your colleagues. You get to compete with everybody else at the event for great prizes. And we’re going to have different prizes on offer every day. So, if you’re in the area, MODEX is free to attend. If you’re in the area, come on in, come visit us at Booth 8832, sign up for Pick to Win. In 30 seconds, you’ll be trained on how to use Chuck and you can be competing against your colleagues or other folks at this show.

Scott Luton (00:50:26):

Well, so two quick questions, Fergal. Are you offering prizes and is there any drug testing involved of the athletes in the Pick to Win competition?

Greg White (00:50:34):

Excellent question. No. Yeah.

Fergal Glynn (00:50:36):

So, performance and [inaudible] are not allowed.

Greg White (00:50:42):

No iRobots or HGH allowed. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:50:42):

PEDs are not allowed Fergal says. We’ll get that out to the press. But, yeah, MODEX is free to attend. I see our production team has dropped that into the comments. Greg, you were alluding to their presence last go round a couple years ago. What’d you hear there that would make you turn out and compete?

Greg White (00:51:00):

Well, I mean, honestly, I’d like to go head-to-head with Chuck. I know he would whip me. But I think it would be fun – I think it would be fun to do kind of, as we were talking about it, a John Henry type comparison of a human versus Chuck and see how that goes. Also, is it possible that Chuck has some bartending skills or anything like that you could possibly use in a home?

Fergal Glynn (00:51:30):

So, it’s funny. That’s one of the most frequent questions, yeah, we get asked. But Chuck is very happy in the warehouse. That’s where Chuck is at home.

Scott Luton (00:51:40):

That’s the next release, right, Fergal?

Greg White (00:51:42):

Probably, you shouldn’t be serving drinks there.

Scott Luton (00:51:45):

Love it.

Scott Luton (00:51:47):

Yeah. At least not during the week. Hey, speaking of pleasant environments, Dr. Rhonda drops a great comment here and, really, I love how we’ve through this automation conversation, we’ve kept the work workforce front and center throughout. And I think that that’s really emblematic of what organizations must do. She says, “Critical to keep a pulse on employees’ needs in workplace, whatever this environment looks like today. Yes, performance training and tech development is key as well as knowing what our clients and partners need as things continue to change. Super fun space to work in. Never a dull moment or a normal day.” Well said there, Dr. Rhonda. So great to have you here today.

Scott Luton (00:52:27):

All right. So, we’ve dropped – speaking of MODEX, we’ve dropped a link in the comments so that you can learn more about, you know, connecting and picking to win, competing against Chuck at MODEX. But y’all got one – well, hang on a sec. Before we talk about this tour, Chuck, where did this name come from? I’m not sure if I’ve ever asked.

Greg White (00:52:46):

I’m glad you asked that. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:52:48):

Yeah. So, Fergal is there a really cool story behind how y’all named Chuck Chuck?

Fergal Glynn (00:52:53):

Yeah. There is, and actually it ties back to the beginning of our conversation and we were talking about Boston. So, it’s the Charles River that flows through Boston. And when we were thinking up of a name for our company, we wanted there to be an association with Boston and there was already like a ton of companies that were using Charles River. But we thought, “Oh, wow.” So, Chuck, as an alternative to Charles, like Chuck. It sounds and it feels like something that should be in a warehouse. And so, Chuck is from the Charles River.

Scott Luton (00:53:32):

It also feels very approachable. It’s a very approachable name.

Greg White (00:53:36):

Yeah, it is.

Scott Luton (00:53:36):

I can picture going and grabbing a beer or a playing around the golf with someone named Chuck, Greg. Huh?

Greg White (00:53:43):

Yeah. Well, my dad’s name is Charles. So, he was a Chaz.

Scott Luton (00:53:47):

Oh, is it?

Greg White (00:53:49):

Yeah. I mean, I think a nickname is always a good thing and so appropriate you’re right, Fergal, for a warehouse. You can just see him wearing his like blue button-down shirt with his name on there.

Scott Luton (00:54:00):

I love it.

Greg White (00:54:00):

I just think that.

Scott Luton (00:54:02):

It’s perfect. It is.

Fergal Glynn (00:54:03):

And then, like, our customers though end, when they get their robots, they name them themselves. And so, as you go around the country from warehouse to warehouse, in some facilities named after sports teams. Sometimes it’s named after sports players. Oftentimes, we see Disney characters show up, capital cities around the world. Our customers, they get to have some fun as the robots are coming into the building. And, oftentimes it’s the associates who get to decide like what these robots will be named.

Scott Luton (00:54:36):

Love it. I love that.

Greg White (00:54:38):

It’s kinda like Cabbage Patch Kids. You get to – you could name your own Chuck, right?

Scott Luton (00:54:45):

Or Garbage Pail Kids if you’re a child of the ‘80s.

Greg White (00:54:49):

Right. If you’re born in this century.

Scott Luton (00:54:52):

All right. So, Fergal, as if MODEX was enough and I’m not envious of you and your team. Y’all going to have a very busy month of March. But talk to us about this site visit, which we’ve got in the comments as well, at Project Verte on March 30th, which is I think the middle day of MODEX. Tell us about that.

Fergal Glynn (00:55:11):

So, we have this great customer, Project Verte. They’re just outside of downtown Atlanta and they have generously offered to open up their doors for operators who are interested, operators at MODEX, who are interested in seeing Chuck and our fulfillment solution in action. And to sign up, visit 6river.com/modex2022. We will be providing transportation to the warehouse. We’ll bring you back as well. But, in there, you’re going to get to hear from the leaders of Project Verte. You’re going to be able to see firsthand associates using it and maybe as well go out and pick real customer orders yourself. So, I hope to see as many of you possible there.

Scott Luton (00:56:00):

I love that. And the link is in the comments, folks, learn more about that and MODEX. And, you know, Greg, we’ve had an opportunity to rub elbows with the folks at Project Verte Dynamic Organization on the move. And it’s neat to see y’all’s collaboration, Fergal.

Scott Luton (00:56:16):

All right. So, Greg, before we make sure folks know how to connect with Fergal, I want to give, and while he’s still here with us –

Greg White (00:56:22):

Yeah. Sure.

Scott Luton (00:56:22):

I want to give you an opportunity to kind of share one of your final thoughts around Chuck and the 6 River Systems story.

Greg White (00:56:29):

Well, I think there’s nothing to fear here, first of all. You know, it’s absolutely necessary, the safety that is instilled, the accountability and the quality that is uplifted by using this kind of technology is great. And it does. I will contend until the day I die. It does elevate, not eliminate people’s skills and their jobs and their capacity to work. And, again, it allows technology to do technology things and people to do people things in a way that is both productive for the company and very much more satisfying for the individual. So –

Scott Luton (00:57:12):

Well said.

Greg White (00:57:12):

I think it, you know, it’s inevitable. Of course, it’s inevitable because, you know, the changing nature of the workforce, but it’s also something to embrace because it’s going to elevate all of us.

Scott Luton (00:57:25):

Well said. Nothing to fear here. I love how you started that. Okay. Fergal, always a pleasure to reconnect with you and your team. Love, love the – this might sound a little bit cheesy, but I mean it. I love kind of the fun factor, how y’all look for ways to engage that and play that up. It makes – you know, just like Greg said there’s nothing to fear but it makes it all much more approachable. So, Fergal, how can folks connect with you and the 6 River Systems team?

Fergal Glynn (00:57:51):

You can go to our website, also connect with me on LinkedIn, and connect with our company on Twitter.

Scott Luton (00:58:00):

Wonderful. Or, if you’re in Boston, you might want to check out Legal Sea Food and you might just see Fergal chowing down with the family. And definitely if you see him, make sure you get his take on what you should get from the menu. Is that right, Fergal?

Fergal Glynn (00:58:14):

That’s right. You can’t go wrong with the lobster roll.

Scott Luton (00:58:18):

Okay.

Greg White (00:58:18):

Oh, that’s true. Absolute truth.

Scott Luton (00:58:19):

You heard it from the expert here. Well, big thanks to our friend, Fergal Glynn, Vice President of Marketing with 6 River Systems. We’ll see you again really soon, Fergal.

Greg White (00:58:29):

Thanks, Fergal.

Fergal Glynn (00:58:29):

Thank you.

Scott Luton (00:58:33):

I love it. There’s so much going on that they’re involved with. But, Greg, you said, like you always get the teacherisms. There’s nothing to fear here, folks. You got to lean into automation and lean into the opportunities that it will offer your career and your professional journey like so many of the folks in the comment said. And, you know, I’ll take all the pronunciation tips that I can get, Greg. Peter tells me that the Verte – hang on sec, let me back up to this first. “The T-E in Verte is silent.” So, it’s verrr. You got to roll the R’s.

Greg White (00:59:09):

It’s like VE with three Ds. That’s the way I try to think of some of these words in ver, or sometimes it’s kind of like that. So, yeah, it really depends too on accent.

Scott Luton (00:59:23):

Yes.

Greg White (00:59:23):

Because Peter is in Quebec, so that’s – it’s somewhat – it’s pronounced somewhat differently than it is in some in France and even areas of France pronounce it differently. [Inaudible] on that because to us, it’s just like Steve Martin said they got a different word for everything. But if you’re there and you listen to it enough, you can actually hear it.

Scott Luton (00:59:46):

Well, thank you, Peter, for having our back there. Chris says, “Thanks for the discussion. Hope to run into everybody at MODEX.” We do too, Chris. Dr. Rhonda, appreciate you contributing today as always. Love that. Jason –

Greg White (01:00:00):

[Inaudible] that she’s doing this with headphones in and like climbing a mountain, right?

Scott Luton (01:00:05):

No kidding. That’s all I can picture, Dr. Rhonda. Yeah. You’ve given us good tidings from the mountain top. Jason says –

Greg White (01:00:13):

Excellent point.

Scott Luton (01:00:13):

And this goes back to a conversation back and forth, but Jason loves the – kind of what Fergal was speaking to where automating jobs but giving the workers that are, you know, moving on to other opportunities, educating them, investing in their workforce, right? The organization wins. They win. The customers win. I mean, everyone wins here.

Greg White (01:00:35):

It’s a really excellent point because, you know, in a lot of business societies or business cultures, it’s a given that that’s going to happen, but you can’t count on it. And some companies are very shortsighted about things like automation and autonomous, and they have to recognize that people will be elevated, less they be eliminated. And, the elevation is much, much more productive to the company, but not everyone sees that early in an automation adoption phase, so.

Scott Luton (01:01:06):

Agreed, agreed. Keivan, great to have you here today. Appreciate your commentary throughout these livestreams. Always a pleasure.

Greg White (01:01:13):

Yeah. Thanks, everybody.

Scott Luton (01:01:15):

Yeah. Appreciate that feedback there. Make sure you connect with Rob Moreland as well. Peter’s given some more cuisine input there. I love Peter Bolle.

Greg White (01:01:26):

[Inaudible] saying it’s one of the best foods you’ll ever eat.

Scott Luton (01:01:29):

All right.

Greg White (01:01:29):

[Inaudible]

Scott Luton (01:01:31):

Hey, delicious. Hey, y’all already made me hungry. So, I’m hitting lunch right after we wrap here in just a second. But, Greg, always a pleasure. I love –

Greg White (01:01:39):

Yeah. Likewise.

Scott Luton (01:01:40):

You know, one of the coolest things about this is, is being able to bring on leaders from highly innovative and cutting-edge aspects of industry here today. I love what 6 River Systems is doing. So, stay tuned as they will join us again in the month of March, which is almost here, believe it or not.

Scott Luton (01:01:59):

All right. So, Greg, big thanks to you. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week. But, you know, we got to challenge. We got to challenge all of our listeners, right? We got to challenge our listeners and all the folks in the comments and wherever. If you’re listening to the replay, wherever you are, I wishing you all the best. But, folks, hey, do good, give forward, be the change that’s needed. And, hey, folks in Ukraine, we’re with you 100%, prayers and best wishes to you –

Greg White (01:02:26):

Fight the good fight.

Scott Luton (01:02:26):

By truckload. Fight the good fight. That’s right, Greg. And, folks, we’ll see everybody here next time right here on Supply Chain Now. Thank you, everybody.

Intro/Outro (01:02:33):

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

Fergal Glynn is VP of Marketing and Enablement at 6 River Systems (6RS). Before 6RS, Fergal was a member of the leadership teams at Docurated (acquired by Quark Software), Veracode (acquired by CA), and BlueNote Networks (acquired by Aspect Software). Earlier in his career, Fergal was a developer at Fidelity Investments and Oracle. Fergal holds a B.Eng in Computer Engineering from the University of Limerick in Ireland and an MBA from Babson College. Connect with Fergal 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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