Supply Chain Now
Episode 906

It's not just the labor in comparing the robot versus the manual labor. It's the secondary effects that improve the ROI: the accuracy, the service level, the ability to hit the truck, the critical pull time [...] when you take all of those under consideration, you get to a really lucrative ROI.

- Eran Frenkel

Episode Summary

Supply chain: increasingly, it’s a game of “innovative or get left behind.” And what better way to innovate than robotics that empower the workforce and increase the accuracy, speed and quality of production processes? Join Scott, Greg and Karin as they chat with 6 River Systems’ Eran Frenkel about the rise of robotics as a key digital supply chain investment on this week’s Supply Chain Buzz.

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, everybody. Scott Luton, Karin Bursa, and Greg White with you here on Supply Chain Now. Welcome to today’s livestream. Greg, how you doing?

Greg White (00:00:39):

I am doing quite well, Scott. How are you doing?

Scott Luton (00:00:42):

Great to see you. And Karin, how are you doing?

Karin Bursa (00:00:45):

I’m doing great this morning. It’s good to be here with you guys.

Scott Luton (00:00:47):

Wonderful. We got quite a panel. We got a big guest joining us here shortly, but you know, Karin and Greg, today is a Supply Chain Buzz where we share some of the leading stories across global business every Monday at 12 noon Eastern time. So, as I mentioned, Eran Frenkel with 6 River Systems is with us here today. That’s going to be a fun conversation. We’ll talk about a variety of things. So, buckle up, folks, and get ready ‘cuz we want to hear from you as well. So, Karin and Greg, I’ll ask y’all a quick hitter of the start, one highlight from your weekend, just one highlight from your weekend. So, who would like to go first?

Karin Bursa (00:01:31):

I’ll go first, but I’m not sure anybody else is going to think of it as a highlight.

Scott Luton (00:01:38):

Do tell, do tell.

Karin Bursa (00:01:40):

I often start these projects in the yard when I ask for things a few times and it doesn’t miraculously happen. So, I started one of those yesterday.

Scott Luton (00:01:52):

Okay.

Karin Bursa (00:01:53):

And it took my husband and two boys to finish the project.

Scott Luton (00:01:58):

Wow. That was a massive project.

Greg White (00:02:00):

But they did.

Karin Bursa (00:02:01):

They did.

Greg White (00:02:01):

[Inaudible]

Karin Bursa (00:02:01):

And I very happy. I’m very happy with the results, so.

Greg White (00:02:04):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:02:05):

I love that. We’re going to have to get pictures. Greg, how about you?

Greg White (00:02:10):

My youngest daughter who just finished, what, her junior year of college came down to visit us. So that was a fun weekend. Interesting. And we were practicing all of the various cum laudes and what order they go in because she’s like one 100th of a point from summa cum laude, from her GPA standpoint, so.

Scott Luton (00:02:38):

She is really sharp like her parents, huh?

Greg White (00:02:41):

She is. And, you know, to quote the movie Clueless, I couldn’t be prouder if she’d actually earned an A, so.

Scott Luton (00:02:48):

Love that. Well, it sounds like both of y’all had wonderful weekends, and, hey, we’re teed up for a great conversation here today on Supply Chain Buzz. But before we do, Karin and Greg, I want to share a couple of quick announcements. And then, we’re going to say hello to a few folks out in the audience. I want to start with, hey, it’s all about purpose. It’s all about leveraging the resources you have to do good across the globe and [inaudible] team is really proud to continue our work in support of Vector Global Logistics as we look to leverage logistics for Ukraine. So, they’ve been doing these for a couple months now. It’s led to real impact, meaning containers on the water headed to folks with vetted needs in Ukraine and Poland and elsewhere. And basically, it’s a biweekly working session where folks with needs join folks with resources, folks who are looking to help or folks looking to learn about what’s going on and what updates on the needs and the situation. So, the next one is tomorrow at 11 am Eastern time. And I think we’re going to drop the link in the comments and then –

Greg White (00:03:53):

The newly crowned heroes of humanity, Vector Global Logistics by the Supply Chain and Procurement Awards.

Scott Luton (00:04:00):

That is such a great call out.

Karin Bursa (00:04:02):

Yes.

Scott Luton (00:04:02):

That is such a great callout. Karin and Greg, that was all last week. I think we’ve got a press release out there with all the winners, but Vector was deemed the champion of humanity. Karin, pretty cool, huh?

Karin Bursa (00:04:16):

It very cool and well deserved, well deserved. And, I love this particular initiative, which is just one of many that Vector has with time, effort, attention, their talent behind over the years as well.

Scott Luton (00:04:30):

That’s right.

Karin Bursa (00:04:32):

A good shout out.

Scott Luton (00:04:33):

That’s right.

Greg White (00:04:33):

You sometimes wonder how they have time to do business, but they’ve made this such a core part of their business that it really is just another one of those operational things that they do.

Scott Luton (00:04:44):

I love it.

Greg White (00:04:44):

I love how it’s in the forefront of their operations.

Scott Luton (00:04:48):

Great, great comments there, Greg and Karin. On a lighter note, a home run event coming up, a new event coming up with our friends at the National Retail Federation Supply Chain 360, June 20th and 21st in Cleveland, Ohio. Whenever I hear at Cleveland, it takes him back to Bernie Kosar and the Browns or Cleveland Rocks, which Drew Carey thing.

Greg White (00:05:13):

Drew Carey, yeah.

Scott Luton (00:05:14):

Karin, were y’all fans of that show?

Karin Bursa (00:05:16):

I was. I was. I like Drew Carey.

Scott Luton (00:05:18):

I think the president of the United States was the actual musical group that sang the song. Greg, you have to check me on that.

Greg White (00:05:25):

Is that right?

Scott Luton (00:05:25):

Yeah. I’m pretty sure.

Greg White (00:05:27):

The United States of America. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:05:28):

Yes. They also sing Peaches.

Greg White (00:05:32):

Peaches. Yep. That song.

Scott Luton (00:05:33):

Lots of others.

Greg White (00:05:33):

Millions of peaches.

Scott Luton (00:05:34):

Millions of peaches. Peaches for me. Hey, but y’all check out.

Karin Bursa (00:05:39):

This is a new event, right? Scott, the Supply Chain 360, right? And, Supply Chain Now is going to play a part in it. Right? What’s going on there?

Scott Luton (00:05:48):

Well, you know, so we’ve been collaborating with Jon Gold, NRF team, and this is another chapter in that collaboration. We may, Greg and Karin, we may be there in person. It kind of depends on a couple things, but Jon Gold’s going to be with us on a livestream this Wednesday talking about how many retail supply chains are really acting on how to bake more sustainability into their model. And he’s going to share, Greg, a couple of things that folks and supply chain leaders should be doing. Jon Gold always is a great interview, huh?

Greg White (00:06:22):

Unquestionably. I mean, he’s a huge advocate for retailers, right? He spends so much time in Washington, DC. You got to feel sorry for him. But this is a huge advocacy group. Right? And I think no better advocacy than what to do about your supply chain today, which is one of the things we’re going to be talking about a little bit later today as well. So, yeah, I love that NRF, aside from the big show, all of their advocacy, arguably lobbying and what else, whatever else they’re doing, they’re having these really focused operational shows on the important aspects of the business, very targeted.

Scott Luton (00:07:03):

Well said. So, y’all check that out. Registration is still open, Supply Chain 360 in Cleveland, and we’ve got the link we’re dropping in the comments. Okay. So, Greg and Karin, great comments and questions. You’re quite the one-two punch. Again, we’ve got Eran Frenkel joining us from 6 River Systems here in about 15 minutes. You don’t want to miss that. Let’s say hello to a few folks, and then I’ve got one story I want to get both of y’all to weigh in on, that both of y’all are very, very familiar with and been a part of it. And that’s, of course, the Gartner MQ, the Magic Quadrant, but we’re going to get to that in just a second. Let’s say hello to a few folks. Samaneh is back with us, via LinkedIn. Samaneh, let us know where you are tuned in from. Great to have you here today. Of course, Catherine, Chantel, Amanda, Klay, the whole production team is behind the scenes, helping to make it happen. Yes, it is rainy here in the Atlanta area this morning.

Greg White (00:07:59):

Okay.

Scott Luton (00:08:01):

All that mulch I put out this weekend washed away, and I’m kidding.

Greg White (00:08:06):

It’ll be holding water in here very shortly. Right?

Scott Luton (00:08:10):

Okay.

Greg White (00:08:10):

Which is the whole point.

Scott Luton (00:08:11):

Thank you for your optimism, Greg. I really appreciate that. Dr. Rhonda is tuned in.

Greg White (00:08:17):

I’m not seeing rain, guaranteed. She’s in Phoenix.

Scott Luton (00:08:21):

So, have y’all seen – so, Dr. Rhonda has been putting out some great content focused on a variety of things, including mental health and awareness. So, we’ll see if she can drop her podcast, a link to one of her latest episodes in the comments. Karin, have you caught any of those yet?

Karin Bursa (00:08:40):

I have. They’re very inspirational. Her energy just comes through in the conversation. So, I could learn a few things from Rhonda.

Scott Luton (00:08:50):

I love that. I love that. So, keep the good stuff coming.

Greg White (00:08:52):

Including how to hike up a mountain. It seems like [inaudible] a day, right? Oh, my gosh. Where does she get the energy? I don’t know.

Scott Luton (00:09:01):

Josh Goodey is back with us. Josh of the Seattle area.

Greg White (00:09:06):

Right. Of the Seattle goodies.

Scott Luton (00:09:09):

That’s right. The Seattle goodies. That’s right. We’re talking pedigree and lineage here. But Josh always brings it on the livestreams much like Rhonda and others. So, great to have you here. Let’s see here. I am thinking we pronounced two syllables, Pape perhaps. And if I got that wrong, let me know, but great to have you here, via LinkedIn, and let us know where you’re tuned in from. Jose Sanchez from Atlanta, via LinkedIn. Great to have you back, Jose. I saw also one of our favorites here, Gene Pledger. Karin and Greg, you can’t have a buzz without old GP, right?

Greg White (00:09:45):

There are a lot of ways to interpret that and hope both of them. At least the two that immediately come to mind are always true.

Scott Luton (00:09:51):

That’s right. That is right. And Gene is from the Northern Alabama area and I’m pretty sure – Gene, refresh our memory. Well, so Karin’s an Auburn alum. I think Gene might be on the other side of the fence, Karin. I’m not sure.

Karin Bursa (00:10:06):

I think he is.

Greg White (00:10:06):

Let’s not go there. Let’s just ignore them now again –

Karin Bursa (00:10:08):

Yeah. Let’s [inaudible]. It’s great to see you on the livestream today.

Greg White (00:10:14):

Let’s talk about something we can all enjoy.

Scott Luton (00:10:16):

Fair enough.

Greg White (00:10:17):

[Inaudible]

Scott Luton (00:10:18):

Hey, we can all team up on Jimbo, right? So, we’ll save that for a later time. Of course, Amanda is with the production team, behind the scenes, helping to make it happen today. Byron Evans Sr. from Waco, Texas. Great to have you back with us, from a beautiful part of the world. Pape from Senegal. So, ask and ye shall receive, and let me know, Pape, if I’m pronouncing your name correctly. Let’s see here, Dmitriy is tuned in via LinkedIn. Great to see, Dmitriy. Let us know where you are viewing from.

Scott Luton (00:10:52):

Okay. So, Karin and Greg, before Eran joins us and we talk all things robotics and automation. I want to get y’all’s take on a recent released report on supply chain planning solution providers from our friends at Gartner, and what I want to do, before I get y’all to weigh in, some of the folks out there may not be familiar with the MQ, right, as it’s called by some folks in the know, like the two of y’all perhaps. The Magic Quadrant is a regularly released series of market research reports, again published by Gartner. They release of a lot of MQs for a wide variety of market niches. I had no idea. I started diving into this over the weekend. 3PLs, salesforce automation, network services, and many, many more. And, as I mentioned, the popular supply chain planning solutions MQ has recently released I think just last week. And I wanted to get y’all the way in on some of the things that maybe stood out to you. And, Karin, we’ll start with you. Any observations specifically related to this MQ?

Karin Bursa (00:11:57):

Yeah. This MQ is probably the single most important or most influential report that gets published for the supply chain planning market space. The bottom line is it stimulates a ton of discussion and whether you agree or disagree, it is always interesting and there is always a little magic in the quadrant, thus the name magic quadrant. So, don’t you agree, Greg? There’s always just – there’s always a few surprises. I’ve been involved with this particular magic quadrant for more than 25 years. And I’ve seen it go through several different iterations and changes. There is some science behind it, so there are 15 critical capabilities that help to do some of the assessment of the solutions, and then it’s got that important X, Y axes, completeness of vision. So, vision is important for the solution provider and then ability to execute, which is the Y axis for it.

Karin Bursa (00:13:09):

And where you want to be? You’ll want to be in the leaders’ quadrant. You want to be in the upper right-hand side. And, you know, there are four quadrants. They’re all important, but there are 22 vendors in this year’s magic quadrant. The prior one for 2021 had 18. So, just making it into the quadrant is a huge accomplishment so don’t think that because a solution provider is in the niche quadrant, they aren’t worth considering. They are. They met the criteria to be included ‘cuz there’s another 10 in addition to those 22 that get honorable mentions. So, if you make the quadrant, there’s something special about the solutions you’re bringing to market.

Greg White (00:13:58):

And particularly in the supply chain planning market where there are literally over a hundred supply chain planning solution providers. So, to be even considered for this, you have to be of a certain size and veracity as a company. You have to have a relatively international presence. All of those things go into determining the viability of the company and not just the technology itself. So, there are all kinds of aspects that are investigated here. It’s really important. I think it’s been Tim Payne who has been doing this for a long time along with Amber Salley. They’ve made a really conscious effort to shake up the status quo, if you will, and not necessarily leave companies in the leaders’ quadrant because they’ve always been there because technology has evolved and new players have come into the marketplace and they have been doing some really, really innovative things.

Greg White (00:14:54):

And I think one of the frustrations can be as an analyst, probably as an analyst, but also as a technology provider, which Karin and I have both been and participated in this magic quadrant, is that it’s so hard to rise above the noise because there are hundreds of vendors, but also to be recognized because the old school, if that’s what you want to call them, type vendors kind of rule the narrative in the marketplace, but there are plenty of other vendors out there. And as Karin said, don’t just look at the leaders, look at the visionaries, look at the challengers, even look at the niche players, because the reason some of them may be a niche is because of a very specific market that they focus on that could be your market. It could be you if you are a particular type of retailer or manufacturer or distributor or whatever. Those niche players can be very, very valuable. And, of course, the leaders are setting the standard in terms of new technologies and ability to reach the entire world. You know, this is not a US-centric thing. Almost all of these companies operate around the world in some aspect.

Karin Bursa (00:16:13):

Yeah. Absolutely. And this process is – for a solution provider, this is a big effort. This is not something you fill out an RFI and you’re done. I mean, are you with me, Greg? I mean, the process starts, they’re getting ready to kick off the next magic quadrant analysis. So, it will start in the kind of the June, July timeframe where they will survey the market and make the decision on who’s going to be in the quadrant. And then, there’s like an RFI process. There’s a briefing process. There’s customer reference process. So, for this one that just published last week, I think it was distributed on the 18th. It has a 16th published date on it, from May 16th. But when that started, it was July of last year. So, it’s taken –

Greg White (00:17:11):

Yeah. That’s true.

 

Karin Bursa (00:17:12):

All that time to come to market, to get vetted and to be reviewed. And then, the vendor gets to counter if they disagree with some of the rankings on them. They don’t get to see everybody else. They just get to see the write-up on their strengths and weaknesses.

Scott Luton (00:17:31):

Greg, I’m going to give you –

Karin Bursa (00:17:32):

Strengths –

Scott Luton (00:17:31):

I’m sorry. Go ahead.

Karin Bursa (00:17:32):

And opportunities. Strengths and opportunities.

Scott Luton (00:17:36):

Sounds good to me. Greg, I’m going to give you the final word.

Greg White (00:17:40):

Yeah. I think the important thing to understand here is unlike other evaluations, you can’t advertise or buy your way to the top of this list and it’s evidenced by the fact that some of the largest players with some of the largest marketing budgets in this one of the largest markets in supply chain technology are not in the leaders’ quadrant. So, it is as fair an evaluation as you can get. And as Karin says, they dig very deep. In fact, I don’t know if it comes out every year now, Karin, but it used to only come out every other year because so much work went into the research and analysis here. And, frankly, as a solution provider, I was thankful that it was only every other year.

Karin Bursa (00:18:27):

They want it to be annual. When it gets slowed down, it’s because of challenges either from the analysis process or with the review process. But the goal is that this behemoth of a report is to be an annual report. It doesn’t always make it annual, the 2021 took two years with COVID in the midst of it to come to market.

Scott Luton (00:18:54):

Well, check that out. And, you know, Greg and Karin, I imagine when Mike Griswold joins us next week. We’re probably going to touched on this. The top 25 is I think this week, I think. The Gartner Top 25 will be released I believe, so y’all stay tuned. I think it’s next – well, it’s next Wednesday, a week from this coming Wednesday. Join us 12 noon as we dive deeper into some of this stuff. Okay.

Greg White (00:19:18):

A great example is Mike is probably one of the most knowledgeable analysts in the industry and he, I think, has chosen, may even tell you that he actively avoids having his own magic quadrant because it is so much work and he has so many analysts, clients or, you know, analysis clients. So, it’s not something that you can do even part-time. It is – I mean, it really is a great and as objective and analysis as you’re going to get.

Scott Luton (00:19:50):

Don’t poke the bear. I think we’ve learned that from our monthly – we’ve learned that. It was his nickname, right? The bear.

Greg White (00:19:56):

Oh, that’s right. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:19:57):

Yeah.

Greg White (00:19:58):

Of course, Griswold, Griswold.

Scott Luton (00:19:59):

So, all right. So, really quick, I want to say hello to a few folks, and then we’re going to bring in our featured guests here today on the Supply Chain Buzz. Really excited. We’ll be chatting with Eran here momentarily. Gene is confirming. We can’t leave any unclosed loops. He is a big [inaudible] fan. Dmitriy is confirming. Currently from Kansas City, Missouri. How about that.

Greg White (00:20:21):

Go, Chiefs.

Scott Luton (00:20:22):

Go, Chiefs, as Greg always says. So, Dmitriy, welcome in. Dr. Rhonda appreciates our feedback. “You’re so kind. Super thankful to learn whatever’s happening in the supply chain world from your insightful community. And we need some rain here, for sure.” She says, “Haven’t seen rain since March 5th.”

Karin Bursa (00:20:41):

Oh, wow!

Scott Luton (00:20:41):

Wow. How about that? So, these –

Greg White (00:20:44):

So, starting July 15th, around that, that monsoon season in Phoenix, they should see it about every day.

Scott Luton (00:20:52):

Okay. That’s good to know.

Greg White (00:20:53):

For about 30 minutes. Floods the streets, and then they’re dry 30 minutes later. That’s the way it worked when I lived there.

Scott Luton (00:20:57):

I like your optimism, Greg, and your weather reporting. Own the money. Maybe we’ll get an update on the –

Greg White (00:21:04):

Almost as easy as San Diego, which today is 73 and something.

Scott Luton (00:21:10):

Right. Sadiq, great to see you here, via LinkedIn. Let us know where you’re tuned in from. Sayari from Tunisia, via LinkedIn, great to see you here today. Stay tuned. Debbie Grant is with us. Debbie, let us know where you are tuned in from. Great to see you here today. Jose, thanks for your feedback. “I love the show,” he says, “and the helpful information you bring us every week.” Thanks, man. I really appreciate that.

Greg White (00:21:33):

Yeah. Whatever gets you coming back, Jose. That’s what we’re going to do.

Scott Luton (00:21:36):

That’s right. And from one Jose here in Atlanta to another Jose out in California, one of our faves here. “Hello,” Jose Montoya says from Southern California, host of coffee with – I always get this wrong, Coffee on Logistics and Supply Chains. So, check that out. Jose does a lot of great work there. Okay. So, Greg and Karin –

Greg White (00:22:01):

Yes.

Scott Luton (00:22:02):

We have got a wonderful guest. We really enjoyed our pre-show conversation with the one and only Eran, coast-to-coast, Frenkel. So, let’s go ahead and bring in our guest. Please join me in welcoming Eran Frenkel, Vice President of Technical Operations with 6 River Systems. Eran, how are you doing today? Great to see you.

Eran Frenkel (00:22:27):

Hey, good morning. Thank you for having me.

Scott Luton (00:22:29):

Well, we’re excited to have you here. We’ve really enjoyed our kind of our monthly chitchats with you and members of your team. It’s really interesting to see all the things that you’re doing here in this commerce era we find ourselves in and then some. But, Greg, Karin and Eran, we’re going to start with a little bit of fun here. So, I bet, my bet is y’all had no idea that today is National Taffy Day. So, where I want to start, if you’re like me, a child of the ‘80s, Laffy Taffy, Now and Laters, that was part of my weekend. And if my folks let me, my daily diet back in the day.

Greg White (00:23:13):

What about carnival taffy?

Scott Luton (00:23:15):

Never had carnival taffy. Never. I don’t think so. So, all right. So, clearly, I mean, let me write that down there, Greg. But, Eran, let’s start with you. So, tell us if it’s not taffy, what’s your go-to candy?

Eran Frenkel (00:23:32):

Yeah. I’ll take you a little bit of the bit and track if you don’t mind. So, I’m going back to my childhood around the ‘80s, a little bit before, in Israel. My favorite thing back then, that is still the favorite thing today is chocolate-covered orange peels. I don’t know if you know that candy or not. I think that you can, but the combination of the bitterness of the orange peel with the sweetness of the chocolate still does it for me.

Scott Luton (00:24:01):

You know, we’ve gotten some –

Karin Bursa (00:24:02):

That sounds [inaudible] to me.

Scott Luton (00:24:03):

Right. We’ve got some really unique answers with these questions that we usually warm up with. That ranks up there, Eran. So, we’re going to have to check that out. Karin, your favorite candy, your go-to candy.

Karin Bursa (00:24:16):

Peanut M&M’s. I cannot be left alone in the room with a bag of peanut M&M’s, so.

Scott Luton (00:24:26):

Okay.

Karin Bursa (00:24:26):

Just be warned. Yes.

Scott Luton (00:24:28):

No. All right. Middle note, do not leave. Okay. Greg –

Greg White (00:24:33):

Or do.

Scott Luton (00:24:35):

What about you, Greg White?

Greg White (00:24:37):

I am such a sweet freak that it’s hard to pin it down to one thing, but it’s probably a Snickers bar.

Scott Luton (00:24:45):

Okay.

Greg White (00:24:47):

Yeah. Unquestionably, a Snickers bar. My dad and I used to sit down and eat them together. And I can tell you when they changed the formula in the chocolate and in the caramel –

Karin Bursa (00:24:58):

Wow.

Greg White (00:24:59):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:24:59):

Man.

Greg White (00:25:00):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:25:01):

I just love the commercials. I love the commercials, which [inaudible] folks –

Greg White (00:25:04):

You’re not yourself?

Karin Bursa (00:25:05):

Yes.

Scott Luton (00:25:06):

Yeah.

Karin Bursa (00:25:07):

Perfect.

Scott Luton (00:25:07):

Great commercials. Hey, really quick. And I promise we’re going to move into the heavy lifting in here. But Corey, hey, appreciate this feedback. Corey’s from Toronto, Corey Weekes. “Fantastic show. Always get great insights from these Monday lives.” Corey, hey, don’t be a stranger. Come on back. And we look forward to you weighing in today and we’re going to be talking a lot about some of the cool, innovative automation and robotics that are continuing to immerse themselves in supply chain organizations. Keep up. Dr. Rhonda says, “Yummy. My teeth cannot handle taffy. I bite them within minutes, not good for the caps and expensive implants.” Hey, I get that, for sure.

Greg White (00:25:45):

You can almost feel taffy pulling your teeth out of your gum. I mean, even just regular teeth out of your gums, right? Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:25:51):

You’re so right. You’re so right. All right. We’re going to circle back, maybe to some more candy talk. But, Eran, again, great to have you here today. And I want to kind of start changing gears, get to the center of plate topic. We’re going to be conducting, Eran, Karin and Greg, a bit of a state of the union update for robotics. You know, we’re going to be talking about what the landscape looks like out there. And, Eran, where I want to start with is, we’ve got a really neat article from our friends at Modern Materials Handling. Great read. It came out just not too long ago. And, I want to get your take. But, first, this is author, Bob Tribelcock, reflects a bit on big trade shows from 2007 and kind of forward, you know, ProMat, MODEX and stuff, and just how far automation has come and evolved since. He also shares some of the results in this survey. Y’all can check it out. Perhaps, we can drop link into comments.

Scott Luton (00:26:47):

He shares results from a recent survey focused on robotics automation that was conducted in the last few months. And one of my favorite takeaways from the data is that those companies according to their survey that are either looking to use robots or already are using robots, they’re not looking to replace labor, but rather they’re using robotics to empower the workforce, helping them to get more done and get it done easier. But that’s just one of my favorite takeaways. Eran, I want to – tell us, from this article and kind of in general, what are some of the things you’re seeing?

Eran Frenkel (00:27:20):

Yeah. I love it. We first started with dessert and now we are moving to the main course.

Greg White (00:27:27):

Very European.

Scott Luton (00:27:29):

Yes.

Eran Frenkel (00:27:29):

Yes, exactly. So, I start with general and then we can deep dive into the article. We see rich brands that are coming from the industry. First, we see a double digit year over year, eCommerce growth, that return to the pre-COVID levels, but with higher expectations for delivery times, delivery equality and the return process. Second, as you just mentioned, the labor shortages, both in the front line and the managers driven by the increased demand of warehouse employees, which reduce supplies of those employees. And, three, supply chain management delays to get product to the warehouse shelves, making it harder to manage inventory and to forecast. Those trends increase the gap between businesses that implemented robotics or add their industry from point on solutions into their businesses and fulfillment as compared to the businesses who did not, because those system had to optimize the labor, improve the productivity, reduce onboarding time and increase the employee retention.

Scott Luton (00:28:34):

All right. So, Greg, I’m going to come to you first. Eran just shared a lot there. But what’s one thing you heard him share or what’s one of your key takeaways from this article from Modern Materials Handling we’re referring to?

Greg White (00:28:47):

I think it’s fascinating, the juxtaposition of our perception of robotics here in the states versus Europe, for example, where, a good friend of mine, Lauren [inaudible] ran wine and spirits warehouses that were virtually completely lights-out, and where we are still apologizing for taking jobs away from humans who refuse to take the jobs that are out there. I think, you know, that juxtaposition of our perception and of Bob’s analysis versus what’s really going on in the world, I think is really, really important. For instance, I work with a company that does robotics operating systems in Southeast Asia, where labor is very, very cheap and still there is an incredible desire for robotics and autonomous in the workplace. And I think that this is a largely the lagging nature of the way the US and North America has handled this is a cultural issue that goes back to the ‘50s when you can’t take my job was the thing. Right? And I think we have to kind of welcome ourselves to this century, in this millennia, and say it is okay to use robotics because it’s not taking anyone’s job. No one. Not one single person. Remember, we had a two million workers shortage of supply chain talent prior to COVID and the explosion of eCommerce.

Scott Luton (00:30:25):

Right. Excellent points there, Greg and Eran. Karin?

Karin Bursa (00:30:28):

Yeah. I agree. I really like the article that that Bob Tribelcock put together. He always does his homework, but Peerless, the publishing group, did some actual surveying of the market as well. So, there’s some really good metrics in here. And I would encourage folks to read the article because if I’m remembering correctly, I was just looking back at it, but 40% of the respondents said they have no plans. That to me is –

Greg White (00:30:56):

That’s right.

Karin Bursa (00:30:57):

That’s a problem. So, I’m not saying you have to be there today or next year, but this needs to be in your five-year roadmap, where you start thinking about how you’re augmenting your teams, how you’re streamlining operations, how you’re creating efficiencies. So, for that 40% who answered no plans, let’s go back and take another look at the strategy overall.

Scott Luton (00:31:21):

Excellent point, Karin. And, Eran, I want to circle back to you because in our previous conversations with 6 River Systems, it’s not about just dropping robotics into warehouse or fulfillment center as Karin’s talking about. It’s holistic, you know, and it has a ripple effect on the operation and the organization far beyond, you know, having an army of Chucks around. So, speak to that, if you would, and any final points related to this article and the research behind it.

Eran Frenkel (00:31:49):

Yeah. And maybe I’ll start with the latter. I’ll take exactly what Karin just said and why 40% of the companies are not planning to use robotics. So, I think that the survey inside the article did a great job breaking down the reap. So, I find it interesting to look at those challenges that the companies are facing when they’re pursuing the robotics, because that can better explain why the companies are still hesitant to implement them. The first point that the article, the survey showed, and they send it to more than 200 people or 200 operators, the ROI, the operators are finding it hard to realize the promised value of the systems, but they also find it harder to measure as besides [inaudible] improvements the robot also have secondary benefits such as improving the quality, making the associates life easier and making it easier to flex up and down to address changing in peak seasons. The survey also speaks about the lack of robotics expertise and the impact on culture.

Eran Frenkel (00:32:50):

The operators are experts in running warehouses, but they are not experts in running robotic system. There are also concerns, to Greg’s point, how those robots will impact their labor and culture. Will it improve their life or create anxiety that the robots will take jobs? And, finally, the survey talks about the long time from first call to go live, the downtime associated with the implementation and the ongoing operations and the funding. In 6 River, we are looking specifically, we are not surprised, we were not surprised by looking at those survey results in trying to find ways to mitigate those risks during our GTM and operations processes.

Scott Luton (00:33:33):

All right. I want to circle back here in a second ‘cuz I want to get all three of y’all to weigh in on some predictions in the short term, because I believe that 40% figure that everyone’s is talking about that folks that aren’t considering, I bet that’s going to drop precipitously, if I use that Greg White word the right way, in the months and years to come. But really quick, on a lighter moment, we mentioned candy and folks are sharing here. So, I got to share a couple quick ones here. Dr. Rhonda loves peppermint patties in the freezer. Have you ever done that?

Greg White (00:34:07):

Oh, yes. Yes, of course.

Scott Luton (00:34:08):

And chilled peanut buttercups. I got to check that out. John Perry’s with us. John, great to have you here. Hopefully, you’ve brought your iconic sense of humor. We like John’s dad jokes around here. “Saltwater taffy from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Always the way to go.”

Greg White (00:34:24):

Eran, you’re going to get a shot at those here pretty soon, I think.

Scott Luton (00:34:27):

That’s right. We’re going to keep that cat in the bag. Amanda says, “Give me anything chocolate, especially with caramel.” I’m with you there. And, Jose, “Taffy’s a type of candy invented in the US, made by stretching or pulling a sticky mass of boiled sugar, butter, vegetable oil, flavorings, colorings until it becomes aerated, tiny air bubbles produced resulting in the light, fluffy and chewy candy.” Man, I wonder if his middle name is Mars or – he knows candy.

Greg White (00:34:57):

Okay. Next. How is chocolate made? Go with that?

Scott Luton (00:35:02):

That’s right. I love that, Jose.

Greg White (00:35:04):

He refuses to determine, to even state whether he eats candy. Instead, he describes it. I like – that was a nice dodge, Jose. Pretty good.

Karin Bursa (00:35:14):

I like his discipline. That’s a [inaudible].

Scott Luton (00:35:18):

Focused. Okay. So, speaking of discipline, we got to get back into the center topic here today, robotics automation, the impact on supply chain, kind of a forward-looking snapshot, which is what this survey is really – the survey’s kind of speaking to, again, the current state, but also where we’re headed. And, folks, again, we’re talking about the state of robotics that came to us via our friends at Modern Materials Handling. Y’all check that out. And, I believe Amanda dropped link to the article in the comments, check that out in the data that we’re all referring to.

Scott Luton (00:35:47):

Okay. Eran, we love talking predictions around here partially because as Greg always says, no one will ever know that you’re wrong ‘cuz they won’t go back and uncover your predictions. But, Eran, if you had to look, if you had to break out the crystal ball and think of what lies ahead for robotics and automation systems in industry, global business, global supply chain, two to three years out, what can we expect?

Eran Frenkel (00:36:13):

Yeah. I’ll give you like the way that I see it. So first of all, as you mentioned, I’m going to see, we are going to see a significant uptake in the user of robotics automation as we go through the effects of the pandemic, the supply chain management that I mentioned before and the labor shortages. The second flavor, to Greg’s point, I don’t see a fully automated lights-out distribution management – sorry, distribution center in United States in the next five years. I think that COVID accelerated by five years the rush for lights-out due to the labor shortage and probably get us to up to 80% automation. But due to the long tail, the edge cases, those, in my opinion, will prevent it from happening in United States. And the third part of that, I see the hardware becoming more of a commodity and the software becoming the differentiator between the different OEMs. It’s the software that runs the robots, the warehouses, the WMS, the machine learning created from the sensors and the integration between the robot that is running inside the warehouse to the entire supply chain, from manufacturer to freight, to fulfillment, to sort center, to last mile. So, it’s kind of like a mouthful, but this is how I see the next three years.

Scott Luton (00:37:26):

It’s a mouthful like a good Heath bar as our friends, Colin Bansof mentions. I’m with you, Canadian coffee, toffee. All right. So, Greg, I’m going to come to you next. You know, as Eran was kind of painting his vision for where we’re headed next two to three years, what are some of your thoughts there?

Greg White (00:37:45):

In the next two to three years, and in fact it’s already started happening, I see companies building their fulfillment facilities, considering robotics first rather than second to labor because as I said this labor shortage is not going to cease. People are staying away from this kind of jobs and droves. And I see that happening. I see also one of the big objections in the survey was the integration, the implementation of robotics. I see companies like 6 River and others overcoming the, whatever you want to call it, customization so that robotics is more apified so that you can plug it in more easily. You don’t have to have robotics experts in the warehouse. Think of it as, you know, an iPhone-type implementation. And secondly, I see, or thirdly, I should say, secondly, among the software, I see companies creating this or removing the barriers between different brands where a 6 River and a whoever else might mirror or whoever can operate in the same warehouse using their respective strength and it is completely transparent to the users in the workplace, because there are companies working on a universal OS that allows, instead of, as Eran was talking about, instead of it being, you know, Mac versus Windows, it’s a universal operating system that allows these toys to play nice with one another.

Scott Luton (00:39:20):

I love that. I had no idea. I love that. Who knows? Maybe the same team can work on universal TV remote so we can get one for all TVs out there. We’ll see. That might be wishful thinking.

Greg White (00:39:30):

Well, when you say it like that, Scott, it makes robotics sound more, more impossible, not less.

Karin Bursa (00:39:35):

That’s right.

Greg White (00:39:36):

Think about how long we’ve been trying to conquer that.

Scott Luton (00:39:38):

Holy cow. But I do love – kidding aside, I’d love that prediction you’re making Greg about the different technologies working together without impact to the user. That sense of kindred spirits and collaboration is great for industry, I believe. Karin Bursa, what’s your bold prediction a couple years from now?

Karin Bursa (00:39:55):

Oh, couple – I mean, it’s coming. It’s coming. There’s already lights-out manufacturing facilities in the United States. So, we do have those, and those are going to be more complex certainly than a distribution center operation. So, the value proposition here, I mean, Greg just mentioned one of them that I hadn’t even considered, and that is shared facilities. And as we look at more and more direct consumer, so Eran mentioned eCommerce, right, so I’ve got more distribution centers, maybe with a smaller footprint that are serving my customers so they can get their products, you know, in a 24, 48-hour period of time, whatever the commit is to them, and to do that, this starts to make a lot of sense. So, I think we’re going to see 3PLs and 4PLs. We’re going to see them in the brand owner facilities as well. I think there’s huge opportunity for higher accuracy or reduced error rates and reduced injury and not necessarily replacing labor, but maybe we’re augmenting labor in different areas of the business. So, I think it’s kind of an exciting time to be in this sector. And it’s fascinating to go and watch if you’ve ever had the opportunity to, you know, even in manufacturing to see some of the robotic manufacturing processes. It’s really cool in a distribution center as well.

Scott Luton (00:41:27):

I couldn’t agree more. Hey, really quick, Eran, before we move to making sure folks kind of have a primer on 6 River Systems, I want to pose this question to you from Corey and, hey, happy for you to take this offline. And, Corey, a great question, but I’m going to see if he can weigh in here. “What about post receiving, putaway and picking steps? What is your outlook on pack kitting, value added activities being performed by robots?” Any thoughts you want to share there, Eran?

Eran Frenkel (00:41:56):

Yeah. Yeah. so, 6 River already operate in some of those facilities, sorry, in some of those process path. The way that – for example, putaway is something that we do today. Picking obviously that’s our bread and butter. The thing that I’m seeing there is that when you think about automation, I mention up to 80% of automation. It’s really looking at the bulk, or if you do [inaudible], you look at the 80% of the items and then you are trying to create automations for them, and then the 20%, those will be processed by exceptions, hospitals, et cetera. That’s the way that we are doing that. And really, we are looking at this world-to-world operations to manage everything that is happening inside the four walls with integration for outside supply chain, upstream and downstream processes.

Scott Luton (00:42:50):

Love that. And by the way, man, Corey has got some serious certifications. He’s got all of them. I feel that he could teach us something or two. Corey, great to have you today, and great question here. And Eran, thank you for addressing that kind of on the spot. All right. So, Greg, Karin and Eran, for just a minute, just for the handful of folks that may have not have caught some of your colleagues joining us here for The Buzz and some other programming, let’s just make sure that folks know, in a nutshell, what 6 River Systems does. So, Eran tell us what the company does.

Eran Frenkel (00:43:22):

Yeah. So, we are a solution provider that is working hard to make the fulfillment faster, easier, and simpler. We operate, as I mentioned before, with 3PLs, eCommerce and retail, B2B distribution, and medical. We have a flexible solution that is easy to deploy wall to wall that combines software and our hardware, the Chuck, which is our autonomous robot, that combines with artificial intelligence and our operational expertise creates a really appealing solution for our customers. I’ll touch on a point that Greg mentioned before. We spend a lot of time, and that’s my team. I’m the head of technical operations. We spend a lot of time simplifying the deployment process for our robots, and we accelerate that as part of the pandemic. Today, when you get a robot at 6 River, for example, you want to flex up and down, we will ship a robot. All the operators need to do is to take the robots out of the crate, turn it on, and the robot is already ready to go. You can start using that immediately. And then, when your peak season is over, you put it back in the crate and you ship it to us. We’re spending a lot of time thinking about it, simplifying our deployment operations, as well as simplifying the operations of that robot in the warehouse.

Scott Luton (00:44:40):

I love that. Does Chuck happen to play right field? Because my dear beloved Atlanta Braves could use an extra outfielder too. But –

Greg White (00:44:51):

Funny, you went to right field. I was thinking drums, but –

Scott Luton (00:44:54):

We’ll take both, take both. Thank you for sharing what 6 River Systems is up to. All right. So, what we want to do is, I think we’ve got a great resource, Karin and Greg and Eran, from our friends at 6 River Systems. I want to share that really quick here. There we are right here. And what this is focused on, this is a presentation, Eran, from Jerome Dubois, from 6 River Systems, on the Cost of a Mispick. I love this. I love quantifying these terms that we all assume. We know the cost. And I assume we know this. I assume we know that. Some of the key takeaways in this resource, and we’re dropping links in the comments, calculating the impact of a mispick on your bottom line, determining the value delivered in terms of investment payback, really important, and of course the benefits us on the work that Eran and his team are doing. But, hey, enough for me. Eran, what is your favorite aspect of this presentation by your colleague, Jerome?

Eran Frenkel (00:45:55):

Yeah. So, remember when we spoke about the survey results and we saw that the number one challenge there is calculating the ROI, and that’s really what this presentation is about because it’s not just the labor and comparing the robot versus the manual labor. It’s those secondary effects that improve the ROI, the accuracy, the service level, the ability to hit the truck, the critical pull time. And, what Jerome showed is that when you take all of those under consideration, you get to a really lucrative ROI in the example that he provided less than six months, which is very appealing for our customers, because they can see the benefits right away. That combined with the quick implementation really create a killer replication, and you can sign up in August and get going in October, right in time for the holiday pick.

Scott Luton (00:46:51):

I love that. I love that. Greg and Karin, I’m going to circle back for your key takeaway there based on what Eran is sharing. But first, Jose is speaking to Corey. I love the conversations between the conversations. So, Jose was part of the demo at Vert and 6 River Systems in Atlanta. And most of the processes that Corey was asking about and Eran was speaking to were covered and that took place around MODEX here just a month or so ago. Ashish, I’m with you. I like the word that different technologies work together. There needs to be more of that. So, Greg, I’m glad you brought that up. And as we mentioned, Amanda dropped the link to the webinar on demand, the Cost of a Mispick, and more as what Jerome talks about.

Scott Luton (00:47:37):

Okay. Karin, I’m going start with you, whether it is the importance of truly quantifying what these operational errors and challenges cost us, whether it’s the return on investment of doing, you know, making the investment, doing what you are predicting. It’s going to happen more and more. It’s a tidal wave of automation and robotics. But what’s a key takeaway for you from today’s conversation?

Karin Bursa (00:48:01):

Yeah. The first thing is I believe the ROI is there. And it, you know, can be put together for each company and its unique opportunities. In fact, you know, I’m going to plug a recent episode from TEKTOK that just published on framing your business case for digital supply chain investments. This is a digital supply chain investment. This is augmenting what you’re doing in the physical world and is physically moving goods. So, I firmly believe the ROI is there. I think there are learning opportunities and it will cause you to be more disciplined about your operations and that’s going to lead to good things as well.

Scott Luton (00:48:46):

And I’m so glad you brought that up. That is episode 37 of TEKTOK. We blink and you knocked out 37 episodes. That’s three times the average episodes for podcasts out across universe.

Karin Bursa (00:48:58):

[Inaudible]

Scott Luton (00:48:59):

Yeah. Usually, it’s less than 12 for the 2.5 million podcasts out there. Great episode. It’s been well received. Amanda, if we can drop the link to that in the comments, that would be great, Framing your Business Case for Digital Supply Chain Investments. Good stuff there, Karin. All right. Greg White, we’re talking investments, we’re certainly talking your language, supply chain of course, much like Karin, what’s one of your key takeaways from our conversation here with Eran?

Greg White (00:49:25):

Well, so having been a service provider and a retail practitioner and before and now still a consumer, I can tell you that the cost of a mispick is absolutely devastating, devastating to the credibility of your organization. You’ll have to determine what the actual dollar amount is, but, I mean, just think about. Everyone, just close your eyes for just a split second. Don’t go to sleep. Close your eyes and imagine that your favorite retailer sends you the wrong thing, right, in the two days in which they promised it. How pissed off are you? I mean, we actually had this problem in warehouses shipping to our stores and we had – I worked for a big retail chain, now O’Reilly Automotive. At the time we had 790 stores. And if you mispick to a hundred of those stores, you got 110 phone calls because you also got their district managers calls. So, it is hugely impactful, not to your bottom line only, but to your top line and your brand esteem and credibility as an organization. So, yeah, I mean, this is a pet peeve of mine, mispicks, as you can tell.

Scott Luton (00:50:41):

I can.

Greg White (00:50:42):

I think, not just being able to – not just being able to account for it, but also, and most importantly, being able to avoid it. There have been technologies forever trying to avoid mispicks. We started with visual assistance, VMware, if you’ve heard of VMware, by the way, who just got bought by Broadcom. But all of these things where we try to make humans able to not mispick and it’s still unbelievably difficult, even I bet, Eran, the robot-assisted humans may even occasionally mispick, right? So, it’s something that’s very costly. Obviously, it’s one of the key ROIs for robotics and autonomous.

Scott Luton (00:51:29):

Well said. And now I know, I’m adding to my short list of things that really gets Greg White going.

Karin Bursa (00:51:36):

[Inaudible], man.

Greg White (00:51:37):

Do not send me the wrong thing.

Scott Luton (00:51:40):

Well, hey, I want to circle back to something because I think Eran needs to say a little bit louder for the folks in the back, because, you know, deeds not words is a mantra of ours here at Supply Chain Now. But, you know, there’s time to take action prior to the coming season, right, like so many companies are doing.

Greg White (00:52:01):

Good point.

Scott Luton (00:52:02):

So, Eran, let’s go back to that timeframe. You just kind of probably, you know, picked. Folks can still act and get the system implemented to benefit their organization, this peak.

Eran Frenkel (00:52:14):

Yeah. You can. You can. You’re probably two months or so to finish all the red lines and learning about the system, certain action. And then, we will work hard, work with your operations, plan the ideal solution, deploy it, make it live and ramp it before the BFCM weekend.

Scott Luton (00:52:41):

Wow. How about that, Greg and Karin? I mean, that’s real deeds not words, in my book. A couple things here, I think Amanda agrees –

Greg White (00:52:53):

Sorry. Can I just ask a quick question? And you can watch three heads nod in unison. And that is, as three solution providers, I can assure you that we all agree on this singular point and that is you will not be waiting on your solution provider. Your solution provider will be waiting on you to solve this problem.

Scott Luton (00:53:13):

I love that. Excellent point. And there were –

Greg White (00:53:15):

I think that’s the beauty of the way technology has gone in the last few decades is it is so much easier to run as what you said, so much easier to implement and the companies are so far ahead of the game.

Scott Luton (00:53:27):

You got four heads nodding all at once I believe there. Karin, what would you add to that, what Greg just shared?

Karin Bursa (00:53:33):

Well, I’m passionate about getting the right things, but I’m not quite to Mr. White’s level. But customer acquisition cost is huge, right? And to lose some of your best customers is a challenge in any market, but especially in today’s market. So, I agree that the technology providers are really kind of leading and ready to go. If I had, you know, 60, 90 days to get something in place, I’d be working hard on it right now, especially with where we are from a human capital perspective and having a workforce that’s going to be trained and available to work long hours and handle increased volume.

Greg White (00:54:21):

Excellent point, Karin. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:54:22):

That’s right. And y’all noticed, Eran used a new acronym, at least to me, that I picked up on a couple months back, BFCM, Black Friday Cyber Monday. That’s a thing. That acronym is a thing as I’ve learned. So, it’s kind of like IRL. I learned IRL. IRL is in real life. Now that [inaudible] are back in-person. They’re meeting all their digital friends for the first time. So, hey, oftentimes, my kids are teaching me these acronyms lately, but I learned from –

Karin Bursa (00:54:58):

Be careful. Be careful with those.

Scott Luton (00:54:59):

No kidding. You’re so right.

Greg White (00:55:01):

Always know what they mean.

Scott Luton (00:55:03):

So, Amanda was talking about what Greg was alluding to. It just happened to us for a birthday gift for one of our kids, and she was very annoyed and you don’t want Amanda very annoyed. I promise you. Dr. Rhonda is sending congrats, good vibes to Karin on TEKTOK and the great journey and content coming out of that podcast. Great work, KB. Okay.

Karin Bursa (00:55:27):

Thank you, Dr. Rhonda. Thank you. I appreciate that.

Scott Luton (00:55:30):

All right. So, Eran, you know what I love about your interview here and, you know, we’ve just met – I feel like we’re like second or third cousins based on kind of just how you share what’s on your mind. But, Greg and Karin, is it just me or is it like when Eran’s talking about how you can change your organization and prep for peak, he’s like, it’s done, it’s easy button. It’s what we do. Is that – Greg, I know you’re nodding. Is that the air you get from Eran as well?

Greg White (00:56:01):

Absolutely. I mean, again, I think, you know, what we have to acknowledge as practitioners is that when we implement a new technology, we may do it only once. Right? Most likely only once. Eran and his team do it over and over and over and over and over again every single year. So, they have to be better at it.

Eran Frenkel (00:56:27):

No, we actually have [inaudible].

Greg White (00:56:28):

You’ve refined the process.

Eran Frenkel (00:56:29):

We have a name for that, Greg, internally that I share with you, the rapid deployment machine. That’s RPM.

Scott Luton (00:56:37):

RPM.

Karin Bursa (00:56:37):

I like it. I like it.

Scott Luton (00:56:38):

Love it all. So, let’s do this. Let’s make sure folks know how to connect with you, Eran. And we’ve already put the link to the Cost of a Mispick, that resource, out in the comments looks like across social. But how can folks, you know, if they reach out, want to grab a cup of coffee with you or compare notes, you know, talk about some of the things that make up the real art of the possible here in short order, how can I connect with you in 6 River?

Eran Frenkel (00:57:04):

Yeah. I would love to meet your listeners either in-person or virtually. I’m not a big Twitter person, but LinkedIn will be the best way to reach me. And if you want to follow 6 River and connect with 6 River, you can do it via LinkedIn or Twitter.

Scott Luton (00:57:20):

Wonderful. It is just that easy, really have enjoyed our time with Eran Frenkel here, VP of Technical Operations with 6 River Systems. But before you go, before we wrap, we’re going to wrap here in just a minute or two, Karin, I gave Greg the opportunity to kind of share a final thought a moment ago. Same thing for you. Beyond inviting people to check out TEKTOK, what else would you add as we wrap up here today?

Karin Bursa (00:57:47):

Oh, just same thing I always say. It’s a great time to be in supply chain. And if you’re not innovating, you’re going to get left behind. So, I would encourage folks to get started, and I’m not telling you have to boil the ocean but start with one distribution center or start with one initiative and build your, what is it, muscle memory. Dr. Rhonda, muscle memory coming back. So that you can just enhance those capabilities and start changing your culture. If culture is the problem, let’s start changing it a little bit at a time.

Scott Luton (00:58:19):

Well said. So well said. And by the way, Ashish picks up on something Greg said a moment ago. He says, “Hey, Greg, rightly said that it is about how much pissed off leads to change the direction to new technology.” That that is so well – that’s so right, you know, because if it doesn’t prompt organizations to do something about it, it prompts entrepreneurs to jump in and fix old or new problem that is causing a lot of conservation across the world of consumers. So, I love that. Well said, Ashish. Okay. Folks, a great conversation here today. Greg, really quick, the Hilton Head global logistics, transportation, supply chain carrier index, what’s that number at today?

Greg White (00:59:04):

Scott, I have to tell you, it got really high last week. So, outside of the Port of Savannah, which is the smaller of the two, there were 17 ships. And here they come again. So, I’m going to do a really quick count, 4, 8, 12, 14, 15, not in motion, including two oil tankers and the rest cargo ships. And one on its way into port. So, not as backed up in Charleston as we have seen in the past so I’m not sure exactly what’s going on there. But, Scott, I am willing to run over to Savannah, grab a cold beverage and talk to the port authority over there.

Scott Luton (00:59:51):

Let’s do it. Let’s do a show. We’ll do this afternoon.

Greg White (00:59:53):

Sweet tea is what I mean, Scott. Why are you laughing?

Scott Luton (00:59:56):

Well, I love that, Greg, and we’ll get another update on the index maybe later this week. Folks, be sure to join us Wednesday as UPS joins us at 12 noon for a live and then Jon Gold with NRF, as we mentioned, joins us Thursday at 12 noon. Big thanks to all of you. Big thanks to production team. Big thanks to our featured guest, Eran Frenkel with 6 River Systems. Eran, really enjoyed your perspective today. I look forward to having you back.

Eran Frenkel (01:00:22):

Thank you. Thank you for inviting me. It was fun.

Greg White (01:00:24):

You bet. Thanks, Eran.

Scott Luton (01:00:25):

Hey, make sure y’all connect with him on LinkedIn. Big thanks to my cohosts, Greg White and Karin Bursa. Be sure to check out Tequila Sunrise and TEKTOK, digital supply chain podcasts, respectively. And, folks, whatever you do, hey, speaking of what Karin was talking about, just take action. If it’s a baby step, if it’s a massive leap, you know, dip into that RPM that that Eran was talking about and really whether it’s robotics or automation or other changes that you need to make in your organization to really capitalize on this environment that we in because as Karin said it is a beautiful time to be in supply chain. Folks, whatever you do though, do good, give forward, be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see you next time right back here on Supply Chain Now. Thanks, everybody.

Intro/Outro (01:01:10):

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.

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Featured Guests

Eran Frenkel is VP of Technical Operations, where he is responsible for deployment, software reliability, hardware reliability, change management, and integration testing. Prior to joining 6 River, Eran held multiple technical leadership roles at Amazon Robotics and Amazon. Eran has a BS in Electrical Engineering and an MBA from Tel Aviv University in Israel, and an MSC in Technical Innovation Management from Johns Hopkins University. Connect with Eran on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

Karin Bursa

Host, TEKTOK

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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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