Challenging times are ahead for retailers as inflation continues and discretionary spending trends downward. On this week’s Buzz, Scott and Greg join forces with 6 River Systems Head of Customer Success Andrew Fink to discuss retail forecasting challenges, rising labor rates and how retailers like Walgreens are rising to the occasion with new technologies and delivery methods. Tune in to find out what you need to know and do ahead of peak season—and how AMRs (autonomous mobile robots) can help you get it done more efficiently.
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 (00:30):
Hey, good morning, Scott Luton and special guest Andrew Fink with you here on supply chain. Now. Welcome to today’s live stream, Andrew, how are you doing?
Andrew Fink (00:39):
I’m doing well. Thanks Scott. Appreciate the invite today.
Scott Luton (00:42):
You bet. Uh, we’re excited to have you, Hey, you know, Monday mornings, uh, Murphy’s law is still alive and well that’s, that’s how it goes, uh, across the technology landscape, but we’re, uh, tickled to have you, uh, here with this on the supply chain buzz here today, as we dive into, uh, retail, retail and more retail peak season is right around the corner. I look forward to your observations around that and how we can make peak season a bit more manageable, right?
Andrew Fink (01:09):
Scott Luton (01:11):
That is the name of the game. So before we do that though, all right, so Andrew, I think, you know, I, I knew I messed up. I knew how this Monday was gonna play out when, as I was starting to make coffee this morning and, you know, coffee grounds, when you take ’em out from the previous day, if you’re not really careful that filter just gives away and, and they’ll go everywhere and it landed all across my counter. I knew what I was in for today. <laugh> and <laugh> so the hips I’ve kept on coming was your Monday morning, better than mine?
Andrew Fink (01:42):
Uh, yeah, started fine. We’re good. Okay. Still early.
Scott Luton (01:45):
<laugh> still early. That’s right. Knock on wood. But, uh, so let’s try this. I wanna try to bring in my, uh, partner in crime here, Mr. Greg White, who will be hosting today’s session with me. So Greg let’s, uh, let’s swoosh you in, Hey, Hey, Greg White. How you doing? Hey,
Greg White (02:07):
I never get swooshed in. That is awesome.
Scott Luton (02:10):
So it’s almost like Andrew and Greg are swapping rolls and messing with me.
Greg White (02:13):
Yeah, it’s great to be here, Andrew. Thanks for
Andrew Fink (02:16):
Welcome, Greg. Yeah. Nice to see you. <laugh>
Scott Luton (02:19):
Well, you know, we, we certainly much like industry, we roll with the punches here at supply chain now, and today it’s all about supply chain buzz, right? We’re gonna be walking through some of the, uh, news that you’ve gotta keep on, on your radar, front and center and getting, uh, Greg and Andrews take on some of those developments. So, uh, but as always, Greg, we want to hear from all the folks that are joining us in the cheap seats, right?
Greg White (02:43):
Yes. Sky boxes, cheap seats, front row, wherever they are.
Scott Luton (02:48):
That is right. So, Hey, bring your voice
Greg White (02:50):
Just that you’re here. Just that I’m here. Just that any of us are here <laugh> is good enough. That’s deep.
Scott Luton (02:57):
I’m with you. Yeah. Um, alright, so we’re gonna, uh, dive into some of the topics here in just a second before we do let’s, uh, I wanna share this, um, this event, uh, this opportunity to really do good. Uh, so Greg, as you know, we’ve been supporting this leveraging logistics for Ukraine, with our friends at vector global logistics. For quite some time, we just got an update from Enrique Avaz last week. He showed us video. Yeah. So Andrew, the whole purpose here is to get, um, uh, vetted, you know, identify vetted needs and work with vetted providers and, and get humanitarian aid, you know, across the water in where it needs and what they need and where it needs to be. And, uh, Greg Enrique updated us. I think he showed video footage of one of their partners loading up. I think it was what, 10, 11 containers.
Greg White (03:48):
Yeah, 10, I think, I think it was 10 or, or nine. I’m not, I’m not sure, but it was a lot of containers. Um, ground transportation donated containers at cost, um, which if you knew what cost was, you’d be really peeved at what you’re ch being charged right now. Um, all, all a ton of goods and labor, uh, and on the other side in Poland and Romanian Moldova, and where every else, this winds up landing a ton of people, making sure that folks get the aid that is headed their way. You know, none of this is a, um, you know, it’s not a it’s, it’s not a United way. Um, right. It’s not a salvation army effort. It’s not a red cross effort. It’s just a bunch of great people getting together. That’s right. And doing what they can get done. And, um, Enrique and his team coordinating this deserve all the props. And of course, all of the donors who have contributed so much to this
Scott Luton (04:47):
Agreed very well said. Uh, so folks, uh, these, you know, these outcomes that Greg is sharing are all powered by these, these working sessions. So even if you’re not in possession to donate, that’s okay, come to these working sessions, you can put your zoom on mute and you can learn some of the market Intel, some of the needs, some of what’s being done, but the next one’s July 12th at 11:00 AM Eastern time. Uh, there’s a link in, uh, the comments and, and team and big thanks to Amanda, Catherine, and Chantel for helping the power production here today. Let’s drop a link to this meeting in the comments. Okay, Andrew, you know, it’s really cool when the global supply chain community comes together to really do, um, you know, deeds, not words type of efforts like that and, and really meet a need it that, you know, it reminds me how cool it is to be in the supply chain industry these days. Right.
Andrew Fink (05:38):
Oh man. I, I gotta tell you, I’m fortunate to be in here now for three, four years, and it’s, it’s exciting time I can tell you, and this is what a wonderful cost. Thank you for
Scott Luton (05:46):
That. That’s that is right. Um, okay. So let’s say alleges a few folks, Greg and Andrew, cause it’s not just us here today as always. It is Gary Smith from New York, our dear friend, Gary Smith. Yeah. It’s been a little while. How you doing Gary? Yeah. Uh, Greg I’ve seen Gary a as it should be. Gary is a wonderful keynote. Um, and he is that matter. He’s a great author. Um, he, he submits a lot of, uh, he gets a lot of his writings, uh, picked up by various publications. So Gary, let us know what your latest one is. And, uh, I hope to reconnect with you soon. And do, do we need to do a temperature check Greg up in New York?
Greg White (06:27):
Yeah, let’s do Gary. Let’s hear what it’s like. Um, it might give us a little hope down here in the toasting decide,
Scott Luton (06:32):
Hey Andrew, how far is Plymouth from New York city?
Andrew Fink (06:37):
Uh, call it three and a half hours
Scott Luton (06:38):
Drive three and a half hours. All right.
Greg White (06:41):
Three and a half hours drive. If you don’t get a ticket by the mass staring up
Scott Luton (06:51):
One. Great to see it. Uh, Greg and Andrew, Juan is a supply chain leader, manufacturing plant leader. He and I took a Braves game in, I bet it’s been four or five years ago now. Uh, he’s also a very avid runner. He’s got, uh, I bet he’s got big trophy case of, uh, like five K wins, but Juan hope this finds you well and great to see you here. Brenda Allen, Kenny Bob’s foods, Greg, uh, one of our favorite contributors.
Greg White (07:18):
Oh my gosh. I owe her an address. I need to do that. Yes. Yes.
Scott Luton (07:23):
Um, and Andrew, while Greg does that, so he can get some goodies, uh, some delicious sauces and spices, Andrew, uh, Kenny bobs, I believe, and, and correct me if I’m wrong, Brenda. I think y’all had your formal plant opening over the weekend. I saw something on social, uh, or maybe a new production line open, but uh, great to have you here and let us know of course from Springfield, Tennessee neuron from India via LinkedIn. Great to see you here today. Looking forward to your perspective, Jason peak from Irvine, California.
Greg White (07:54):
Oh man. One of my favorite, um, in and out burgers is in Irvine.
Scott Luton (07:59):
I, I, I gotta tell you. I’ve never been, it sounds very Hollywoodish Irvine it’s
Greg White (08:04):
Well, it’s one of the old school ones. So it had drive-throughs on both sides. Um, and you have never seen traffic, uh, like God, is it Irvine? It is Irvine. You’ve never seen traffic like that street at lunchtime. It’s unbelievable. Okay.
Scott Luton (08:21):
Out. Well, Hey, you sold me at, in and out. You sold me in and out Andrew
Greg White (08:27):
Scott Luton (08:28):
Are you a big fan of store? Are you a big fan of in and out burger? Andrew?
Andrew Fink (08:33):
I haven’t been in a long time. It that’s a very California thing when I was there, but I have, I don’t think there’s anything in the Northeast.
Scott Luton (08:38):
Okay. So that’s a challenge to our friends in and out, you know, Hey, you gotta, you gotta put one up in Plymouth and I think we just got, I wanna say gray. We just got one in the Atlanta area.
Greg White (08:51):
No, no, no. Okay.
Scott Luton (08:52):
Maybe not. That’s okay.
Greg White (08:54):
We’re not east of the Mississippi. Yeah. I don’t think they’re um, cause Truet Kathy or Dan, Kathy, um, was trying to do a partnership with them to bring them east of the Mississippi and they just couldn’t work.
Scott Luton (09:07):
Wow. Uh, alright. Brenda says Kenny Bob’s foods is up and run full speed ahead. How about that grand opening? All right. On Saturday, Brenda, that is outstanding. So congratulations from our entire team here. Uh, old John B John binos with us here today via LinkedIn from New Jersey. As we know up, up there, not too far from where you are. Um, Andrew, John, give us a highlight of your weekend. I love, uh, so Greg, I don’t know if you’ve been seeing, but John’s been sharing some great observations kind of about life, uh, especially on LinkedIn. So John Love it, keep it coming.
Greg White (09:44):
You know, you know, what’s odd about LinkedIn is people kind of fall in and out of your stream. And I have no idea what the logic is of, of someone being in or outta your stream. So you have to kind of reconnect even on the platform every once in a while. That’s
Scott Luton (10:00):
Right. That is right. Uh, Greg, so it’s that algorithm and everybody’s trying to crack the LinkedIn and the Google algorithms these days and not having any luck. I don’t think no. Yeah.
Greg White (10:12):
<laugh> including Google or
Scott Luton (10:15):
<laugh> uh, let’s see. Wind roads design is also a big fan of Gary Smith. Uh, completely agree. Hey dad, uh, pops is in the house. Uh, this is my dad, Don Luton tuned in from Aiken, South Carolina via Facebook actually. That’s my mom and dad there in the picture. Uh, looks like they’re on a beach somewhere. Uh, well deserved. Uh, Gary says Gary 77 degrees in New York. Can we square that? Andrew is, is, uh, Gary speaking the truth?
Andrew Fink (10:42):
Yeah, he is. It’s uh, it’s gonna rain today.
Scott Luton (10:45):
Greg White (10:46):
Yeah. Okay. Yeah, here too.
Scott Luton (10:48):
Greg White (10:48):
It. Uh, 82 feels like 88 right now in lovely Atlanta metropolitan area.
Scott Luton (10:55):
<laugh> uh, gene pledger is tuned in from Northern Alabama. Great to see you gene as always, uh,
Greg White (11:01):
Probably about the same there, except about to be hit by a tornado in Northern Alabama, that
Scott Luton (11:05):
Storms coming across Alabama. Huh?
Greg White (11:07):
Well, I don’t know. I don’t know how bad they are, but we’re gonna get thunderstorms. So it will definitely hit there first. So gene we’d appreciate a heads up when it starts coming
Scott Luton (11:16):
Across. Hey Gary, uh, his latest article coming out of the darkness, it’s gonna be published in supply chain management review in November. That’s wonderful. Gary, the hits keep on coming. You’ve got a gift for sure. Ju great to have you back really enjoyed your perspective on, on, on the last couple of our live streams here, uh, and remind everybody where you’re, where you’re viewing from. And then finally, John B says we can highlight with celebrating his mother’s birthday with the whole family. It’s been a few years since they all got together. That is beautiful. Isn’t it?
Greg White (11:46):
Yeah, that is great. That’s fantastic. It’s good to see that happening. Um, all over the world really
Scott Luton (11:53):
That’s right. That is right Greg. Okay. So Andrew and Greg, uh, we’ll, we’ll be circling back to everyone in the cheap seats and trying to bring their, uh, voice and perspective in throughout today’s, uh, very in, uh, interactive buzz, but let’s get down into some of the, the news stories across global business. Shall we?
Greg White (12:13):
Scott Luton (12:14):
Lettuce, lettuce. All right. So <laugh>, let’s start with this story from our friends at retail dive, and I’m gonna tee this up and then Greg, I’m gonna come. I wanna get your take on it. And Andrew, feel free to share your observations. Uh, but for starters, uh, analysts are projecting a very challenging second half of the year for retailers. When did I’m surprised, has challenging. I thought the challenging phase has already start, has been started for a couple years now. Right? Um, but as the article points out with consumers spending a lot more money here lately on things like food and gas and other everyday items kinda must haves. There’s not nearly as much discretionary dollars to spend. In fact, according to research by N P D 83% of us consumers plan to reduce their spending on products on, on the nice to haves, I guess, uh, in the next three to six months. So Greg looking at that path ahead, what’s your take here?
Greg White (13:14):
Well, I, I mean, I, I think early when, when I could still be, uh, sort of objective about it early in the pandemic, I thought once everybody gets cut loose and, and free, they’re gonna travel their butts off, which my first thought was that would be bad for productivity. Right. And maybe that’s a portion of the labor shortage. I think the other portion is that everyone is still making money off their YouTube channel. So
Scott Luton (13:44):
7 cents a week, yes. 7 cents a week goes wrong way.
Greg White (13:47):
Right, right. Um, but I, but I think because inflation has kind of hit that inflection point for, for a lot of people. It, and a lot of the value or a lot of the prices have hit at home at a much, much higher rate than even is being reported at, uh, as the blended rate. So a lot of staple items have, have been at the kind of 16%, uh, inflation rate, you know, Scott for, uh, family reasons. I keep track of, if we think we’ve got it bad here, I keep track of how the economy is in Argentina, right? 52%, their bank rate bank lending rate is 52% per year. And the inflation rate is 62% per year. And that’s not, that’s about half of what it’s been at its highest just during my lifetime. So, but that’s obviously incredible. Um, and I think people are starting to feel the pinch, I’ve read a number of articles where people are, um, they still have savings because a lot of people put their, uh, what do they call it?
Greg White (14:52):
Snap dollars, whatever their stimulus money, they put it into savings. Um, but they’re feeling even though they have more savings than they’ve had in the past, they’re feeling less confident about it. And there are a lot of reasons for that. So, um, and, and of course the other thing you have to recognize in retail and Andrew, you’re familiar with this, you deal with this every day comp sales, right. A sales downturn is compared to the same time last year. And of course sales were still exploding this time. Last year, this was, uh, win in inflation Q2 of last year was when inflation really, really started to take off. So, um, and that was because of rampant demand. So it’s hard to keep up with those numbers.
Scott Luton (15:38):
That’s right, Andrew. Uh, whether it is as, um, you know, what you do at six service systems or just as a consumer, uh, what, what different decisions have you and your family have been making?
Andrew Fink (15:50):
You know, it’s funny, I just got the oil bill cuz up in the Northeast oil heats the house. Right. And, uh,
Greg White (15:55):
Andrew Fink (15:56):
Last quarter was I think 800 to fill the tank. And so same fill up process was $1,100. So that’s 300 bucks for, you know, this, this bill that you’re not gonna spend in, you know, men’s warehouse or wherever you go shopping. Right. So
Scott Luton (16:12):
Yeah, man, it really hits home in real dollars, uh, as, as the article and as Greg’s speaking to as well. So I appreciate you sharing that, Andrew. Um, I am going back to the weather a second. I’m I’m hoping we’re supposed to have a very rainy, uh, week this week in the Metro Atlanta area. And I hope so for our grass because watering grass these days. Holy cow. Yeah. Water. My, my son Ben is our director of water management around here. And occasionally he’ll leave a sprinkler on too long and it shows up in the bill quick. Uh, Andrew, Greg, lemme tell you.
Greg White (16:45):
Wow. I’m sure it does.
Scott Luton (16:46):
Uh, Behar welcome via LinkedIn. Let us know where you’re tuned in from. Uh, Jean is, is happy to oblige us with the, the warning, the weather warnings.
Greg White (16:55):
Thank you, Jean. We appreciate that’s
Scott Luton (16:57):
Right. Uh, Shelley, uh, from the Denver area. Great. See you Shelley via LinkedIn Gary man. It’s like a Gary Smith fan club around here today. I love it. Gary’s a great dude. Uh, Gary’s the best. She says so knowledgeable and always willing to help Julio. Uh, she has tuned in via LinkedIn from Fort Myers, Florida
Greg White (17:14):
Fort Myers ever
Scott Luton (17:15):
Been to Fort Myers. Great,
Greg White (17:17):
Beautiful area down there. Yeah. Um, I went, uh, sailing around the Gulf out of there. Um, couple years back in 2020, if you can believe that. Okay. I mean, what else would you do when you can’t be near anybody, but get on a boat and go out to sea,
Scott Luton (17:32):
Right? Andrew, any sailing, uh, in your background?
Andrew Fink (17:36):
No, it usually ends up with an upside down boat so we can keep away from <laugh> anything like that and then we’ll parachute on it. So don’t do it.
Scott Luton (17:44):
I love it. I love it. Uh, alright. And Hey, ho Jose Montoya. Great to have you here today. Uh, love your live stream. O R D
Greg White (17:53):
O R D. Is that Chicago or Orlando?
Scott Luton (17:56):
I’m thinking Orlando is Orlando. Andrew, any guesses
Greg White (18:01):
You want me Orlando?
Scott Luton (18:01):
Yeah, bit O R D is Orlando. I went down there twice and it sounds, uh, in the last 30 days and it sounds really familiar.
Greg White (18:08):
That’s O’Hare international in Chicago must be Orlando.
Scott Luton (18:13):
What do I know?
Greg White (18:13):
I always too confused. I hope I’m glad that’s not what they put on the tickets because I would wind up in the wrong
Scott Luton (18:19):
That right. Uh,
Greg White (18:21):
Uh, if Jose, if he is in, uh, Chicago, I wanna know if he’s gonna have some Chicago style pizza or Chicago and if so, where, or would he like a recommendation? Yeah. Exa and yeah, if no picks it didn’t
Scott Luton (18:37):
Have that’s right. Jose, take a picture of what, what you’ve been eating on and send it, send our way. All right. So Andrew and Greg moving right along. I want to get into this, this, um, neat story here from sourcing journal and, uh, you know, the RF just had Greg and Andrew, their supply chain 360 event. It was a, you know, they do all, you know, the big show of course, RF. Well, this is a new event for them. And by, uh, all accounts, least initially it was a hit. Uh, one of their speakers was the supply chain leader from Walgreens, uh, Roxanne Flanigan, chief supply chain officer, uh, and the sourcing general kind of references what she shared at supply chain 360 and some of the cool things we’re doing at Walgreens. She says the company has experimented on a variety of different approaches to fulfill and deliver orders. She says, as you can see in the, in the headline there, you name quote, you name it, we’re doing it in quote,
Greg White (19:33):
I, I see that in the article for sure.
Scott Luton (19:36):
So a little context though, because some folks, some folks, maybe a couple of ’em may be surprised of their overall footprint. Walgreens has 9,000 stores across the country, and that puts them based on where their network’s built out within five miles of 80% of the us population. So we shouldn’t be surprised anymore as we’re heading out wherever you you’re going in summer and you pass a Walgreens and you pass Walgreens. I mean, they’ve really strategically built out their, their network there. Some of the things they’ve been doing, Andrew and Greg new partnerships with third party delivery apps like Instacart, one of Amanda’s favorites, DoorDash and Postmates, uh, like many retailers, Walgreens has used stores to fulfill orders. Right? We’ve seen a lot of that in the last couple years. Um, they’ve added four micro fulfillment centers to their network and lately they’ve been experimenting with drone delivery. I believe Greg, uh, as the article mentioned, they’ve got about a hundred thousand customers that are able to use drone delivery as they’re, as they’re piloting and, and getting feedback around how that’s working. Uh, Roxanne says supply chain leaders should focus more on where consumers, uh, are going next, when how are they evolving? Not what consumers are expecting now. Right. Not where they are. It’s kinda like that. Um, was it a Wayne Gretsky? Yeah.
Scott Luton (20:56):
Quote, yeah. Andrew where
Greg White (20:58):
The bucket is going. Yeah.
Scott Luton (20:59):
Right. Um, and I love this quote cause she, she’s kind of referring to where things are headed rather than where they are now to some degree she says, quote, are you really gonna have a milkshake delivered, uh, or that $15 sandwich? And I think that is an interesting comment. And we’ll see how, um, you know, some of the, some of these delivery services and apps are gonna play out. So Greg, uh, your take on what you’re seeing at Walgreens or the article or, or heck even the, the home run event, evidently that was supply chain 360.
Greg White (21:35):
Yeah. All of that. I mean, I think of course, anything that NR does is high quality. Every retailer should attend. It’s usually free for retailers thanks to their service providers, um, who sponsor these kind of events. Um, and it’s topnotch, obviously Walgreen’s one of the biggest, one of the biggest, uh, stores, not just in the United States, but in the world because they’ve combined with boots, the chemist from the UK, uh, to make a much, much bigger Alliance. And I mean, I don’t know what it’s like up where you are Andrew, but I know when I’m at a street corner when I see a Walgreens. So, uh, I thought there were 9,000 in Atlanta.
Andrew Fink (22:15):
Mine’s 3.8 miles away.
Greg White (22:18):
There’s Walgreens, there’s a CVS. Um, or the ones that keep going to prison, um, uh, the <laugh> right aid no longer. Um, but, uh, but anyway, I think, look, this is a really high quality organization they have focused on even before you called it supply chain, supply chain for a long, long time. And they’ve done a great, uh, a great, um, amount of work, really interesting that they’re trying all these things, I’d be interested to learn a little bit more about which they’re seeing as sustainable feasible cont you know, continually feasible because I it’s, uh, funny now that things have slowed down from a delivery standpoint, how much pain people are expressing about these delivery services and how much they cut in to the gross margin and how much more they cost, as she said, how much more they cost the consumer. Right. That’s
Scott Luton (23:16):
Right. Um, so Andrew, uh, your take on, on some of the experimentation and, and some of the successes they’re having over at Walgreens.
Andrew Fink (23:25):
Yeah. That, and without saying too much, they’re a great partner and I I’ve experienced working with them in the past. And, um, you know, I, I, I really appreciate how they are looking at different technologies to, to automate their facilities. They’re really, they’re really doing everything they can to get the product to you as fast as possible. Mm. And as I think, as reasonable as possible,
Scott Luton (23:44):
Right. Yes. Agreed.
Greg White (23:46):
Uh, I’ve never failed to find a what Youma call it in a Walgreens. Kidding. That’s not the footstep item. They want it
Andrew Fink (23:56):
Dunno what the margin is. I dunno what call it, but yeah. Right.
Greg White (24:00):
It’s gotta be good. Yeah.
Scott Luton (24:03):
Couple quick comments here. Jose is heading to Savannah later this week from Chicago after he gets his field of pizza from Jordan’s. Uh, so, oh,
Greg White (24:12):
Scott Luton (24:13):
We’re gonna have to hook up soon. I’m sure you’re gonna connect with bill St. Kevi down in Savannah. One of the great people in industry Tony Sheroda, uh, our dear friend from the reverse logistics association loved that RF includes returns and reverse logistics. That’s an important topic to focus on Anne Kathy Robertson was on those panels. Tony, great call out.
Greg White (24:33):
Scott Luton (24:34):
You know, Greg and Andrew, I know certain digital media platform that, that never leaves out the reverse logistics and returns, uh, sector. Right. Greg,
Greg White (24:46):
I can’t imagine who that could be. Scott. Well,
Scott Luton (24:49):
We have been very fortunate and, uh, have really enjoyed partnering with Tony and RLA for several years as focusing on that aspect of, of global business, that really as Tony calls it, he calls it the dark side of supply chain because a lack of visibility and recognition and, and that’s, uh, a great call out.
Greg White (25:08):
I think it’s important for folks to recognize, you know, I’ve always said the supply chain begins and ends with the consumer. And, um, I think that you have to recognize, and I think one of Tony’s best philosophies is figure out how to avoid it being returned. Right. Right. If we, if we don’t have reverse logistics, Tony has done, done his job. He’s I mean, that’s right. He’s literally a man trying to work himself out of a job. So I think that’s bold. I mean, it’s a bold, uh, and honorable things doing,
Scott Luton (25:38):
Uh, agree, agree the pride of Detroit right there. All right. Andrew, you, I think you were gonna comment on, on that, that sector, that reverse logistics side.
Andrew Fink (25:46):
Yeah. It’s very interesting. Again, having at least the last seven, eight months I’ve been to about 30 sites of my own and just, you can see the sites that are having trouble with it and just, you know, where it’s, it’s a, it bogs down on what should be the, you know, the better part of their process and getting this stuff out the door to you. Right. So they’re worried about stuff coming back in. So I’ve seen it, I’ve seen it bad.
Scott Luton (26:08):
Yep. Agreed, agreed. Lots of opportunity, uh, in that space in general and appreciate what Tony and arlay has been doing to help, uh, facilitate, uh, information and intelligence and innovative practices. Um, okay. So, uh, Greg and Andrew, uh, you know, Andrew, I did, I don’t think I shared, so Andrew, you serve as director of customer success with six river systems. Right. And we’ve enjoyed these chats. Uh we’ve I think we’ve had a member of your team join us about once a month here. Uh, usually for the buzz. And you’re talking about all kinds of different things across the industry. Um, before we get to talking more retail, retail, retail by the, by the buggy load, um, Greg Andrew did y’all know that today is national bingo day.
Greg White (26:56):
I had no idea.
Scott Luton (26:58):
Okay. Have you ever won anything significant via the game of bingo?
Greg White (27:04):
I don’t think I’ve played bingo since second grade. So <laugh>
Andrew Fink (27:08):
I used, I used to work at a bingo hall. What for saying
Scott Luton (27:11):
Greg White (27:11):
Oh yeah. It’s awesome.
Andrew Fink (27:13):
Scott Luton (27:14):
Where at what part of the country?
Andrew Fink (27:16):
It was like a civic center, the kidsy New York or something? Yeah.
Scott Luton (27:19):
Did you say it was a terrible experience?
Andrew Fink (27:21):
Oh, oh, it’s awful. It’s good story. Zach.
Greg White (27:24):
Are there cheaters? I mean, do people cheat?
Andrew Fink (27:27):
Cheaters smokers? Yeah. What’s going on. Yeah.
Scott Luton (27:30):
Greg White (27:31):
Andrew Fink (27:32):
Yeah. Mostly old.
Greg White (27:33):
Yeah. I think of, I think of, uh, better call SA whenever I see if you’ve ever watched better call Saul.
Andrew Fink (27:40):
It’s a it’s about that long. Is it
Greg White (27:42):
Really? Oh, that’s awesome.
Andrew Fink (27:44):
Scott Luton (27:45):
Uh, whenever I hear the word bingo, I think of cousin Eddie from, uh, uh, Christmas vacation when there’s that moment. And I can’t remember what he’s responding to right this moment, but he goes bingo, just like that or in the middle of that movie. Uh, cuz I’ve never won anything at the game. Bingo ever, ever. Um, so Andrew question for you, if not bingo, clearly, clearly you’re associating some, um, some bad experiences with the game. Bingo. What was one of your favorite games as a kid?
Andrew Fink (28:16):
Yeah, so I have a love, hate relationship with monopoly. Okay. It, it was, it was great. And then it was strategic and I loved that sort of process, but it was, uh, so long. So I think if I could find it shorter way to play monopoly where it wasn’t like a day. Yeah. I I’d probably enjoy it more.
Scott Luton (28:32):
<laugh> okay. So monopoly, Greg.
Greg White (28:34):
Uh, well first I’ve got, I got some tips for you, so <laugh>, you can probably end the game in about four hours if you do it this way, but I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna put that out there. I’ll um, gosh, I mean board games, I am awful at, I, I remember there was a, uh, electronic game in the eighties called Simon where you had to like, remember beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep. Yeah. Loved. I loved that. And um, I, I was okay at that, but I played a lot of outdoor games when I was a kid. And honestly we, we’re not kinda board game people very much. <laugh> a lot of trivia and stuff like that. What about you?
Scott Luton (29:21):
Yeah. Uh, huge trivia fan huge trivia. I’ve got some great stories that maybe will publish when I’m dead and gone. Andrew and Greg,
Greg White (29:31):
Are you really good? I mean, do you know a lot of trivial stuff?
Scott Luton (29:34):
Uh, I know I’m I’m yes I am. Uh, I’m very good at trivial factoids that you really don’t need to know. Cause a lot of the, you know, so if you’ve got a broad, um, a knowledge base you’re really well suited for trivia and you get me and Amanda together, we we’ve been known to, to take some, um, some bar, uh, prizes from those trivia games. Plus I’m a big fan of trivia games. Tri pursuit was always one of our favorites. Um, but of course, video games, they’re in a different category, but you know, Nintendo and Sega Genesis, the original Nintendo. And of course the Sega Genesis that was, uh, um, being that gen X or eighties child, those were like inseparable for my childhood.
Greg White (30:19):
I actually own a Gallagher machine, so nice. I don’t own it. Great. If my wife owns it, I gave it to her as a gift for Christmas.
Andrew Fink (30:28):
<laugh> cause look, it’s chiming in here.
Scott Luton (30:31):
Nice. You’re right. Good drew. That’s right. Um, alright, so, oh man, wait a second. Wait a second. That’s
Andrew Fink (30:39):
What I mean,
Scott Luton (30:39):
That’s what you are referring to Andrew. First off Russ says when Clark goes down the hill and sled into the store, that’s when cuts. Eddie says bingo. Russ. Thank you. My man.
Greg White (30:50):
Impressive Russ, not kids. Quiet down Russ. <laugh>
Scott Luton (30:57):
That’s the, the Russ thorn. Yeah. Uh, gene pledger. How to make your grandmother curse. Bingo. Sorry. <laugh> my favorite joke. How about that? Um, and, and Andrew, maybe you can, you can speak from experience as, uh, from those halls. Uh, Scott, uh, this is mom. Scott’s great at trivia. Don’t let him fool ya. Nice. Okay. My mom you’re, you’re ruining my opportunity to make some money with
Greg White (31:22):
He’s trivia. He’s sandbag mom. So yes.
Andrew Fink (31:25):
Scott Luton (31:25):
<laugh> come on mom. He’s a,
Greg White (31:27):
So he’s a trivia hustler, Andrew
Scott Luton (31:31):
Man. My, my noted man. My, my folks are out me. Goodness gracious. Okay. Uh, well let’s shift gears here. As much as I would love to talk all kinds of reindeer games across the ecosystem. Uh, Andrew, you’ve got some really, uh, valuable expertise and, and uh, I think you’ve been spent a lot of time at 30 sites coast to coast. And we’re gonna dive into that a bit, but I wanna start Greg and Andrew with this article, from our friends at, uh, logistics management. And it speaks to a slight made decline here in the us when it comes to retail sales, kind of the starting point of what we were talking about earlier, right? The second half year is gonna be a, a challenging time for retailers. So Andrew, when it comes to the retail environment here in the us, give us some of your observations.
Andrew Fink (32:16):
You know, I’m obviously I’m seeing it from the fulfillment side. So here are some things that, that I felt in discussions with the various customers that we have. Yep. Uh, one the forecasting uncertainty. So Hey may dropped. What’s gonna happen now. Right? What’s the next six months look like? Uh, so there’s a lot of uncertainty. And so a lot of our customers, customers provide forecasts on the next six months and those aren’t, uh, as accurate as they need to be because of the uncertainty. So that’s one, the second piece is the labor labor rates going up, right? So we’ve got inflation, we’ve got sales dropping, and now we’ve got this sort of labor pressure of, you know, not only finding labor, but also the rate pressure. Um, folks won’t pay more money, otherwise I’m not gonna come work for, for you. Right. And so the rates are going up.
Andrew Fink (33:02):
And so they’re filling that I know in, in my experience the last year and a half, two years, uh, the average rate we use has gone up $4 an hour. So wow. It’s, it’s, it’s pretty significant when you start adding the number of folks that work at these DCS. Right. And then the third piece I’d say is, um, uh, you know, we, we bought based on history over the last two years, things got stuck in the boats and then all of a sudden we’ve got this Glu of inventory. So I just visited two sites last week and one’s got 800,000 units too much in the warehouse. And so they’re looking for ways to, you know, get them out the door, get ’em to the right people. So that those are the three things that I’m seeing over the last six months.
Scott Luton (33:39):
Uh, Greg common on what you heard there. Well, uh, one of those things, or just
Greg White (33:42):
In general, yeah, it’s hard. It’s hard to be as in the market is Andrews when his company provides the fulfillment for a lot of these retail organizations. Um, but I mean, I, I can tell you what I’ve read and I can tell you what I am seeing and, and hearing on the street from fellow, uh, consumers. And that is a great deal of concern. And obviously, like we talked about earlier high numbers to hit for last year. Uh, so they will almost certainly turn down. Uh, it is, um, you know, even, even the Fed’s rhetoric on, on recession recession has changed. Um, now it’s looking like a three quarter point, um, uh, rate change in, in the next, um, month. And, um, and that’s because they’re trying to create a soft landing, a soft landing me is a euphemism for a little recession. Um, whereas before, just weeks ago they were saying no recession necessary. Right. So, uh, unquestionably the, the, um, economy is retracting. Let me disclaim that with, I am not an economist, but I’m as accurate as they’re. So, um,
Speaker 5 (35:00):
Greg White (35:02):
So yeah, I mean, very true. I think we’re gonna continue to see, uh, sales decline it’s unquestionable. And, and I think that will also, Andrew, I don’t know what you’ve seen, but I think that will turn the tide in terms of labor, as people’s, as people’s, uh, savings come down, um, layoffs are becoming manifest in many, many industries. I mean, right in, in technology, which is usually a leader in everything but rational spending, um, the tide has completely turned actually turned months ago towards trying to make a profit instead of growing at any cost and over 21,000 layoffs in startups, the startups tracked by crunch base this year. So, um, you know, I think we’re gonna see, uh, some, some things change in terms of employment. Um, and people will take jobs that now make 15 or 20 bucks an hour less they starve. Right?
Scott Luton (36:01):
Yep. So Andrew, I’ll give you a chance to, uh, one final comment here and I wanna move into forecasting as some of what you’re picking up from, uh, your site visits, last comment, Andrew.
Andrew Fink (36:11):
No, I, I, I totally agree with what Greg was saying. I, I, I definitely feel even from, from new opportunities for XRS I’m feeling, um, you know, retailers sort of hold back on technology purchase decisions as well, because there there’s too much uncertainty, so totally with you.
Scott Luton (36:27):
So speaking of uncertainty,
Greg White (36:29):
Can I just on that?
Scott Luton (36:30):
Yeah. Greg please
Greg White (36:31):
Is so counterintuitive. I mean, it has always happened in the past Andrew and I know you’re new to this industry, somewhat new, new by mine and Scott’s standards, right? You bet. But that’s the irony that has always concerned me is that when things get tough and when they ought to be getting more efficient retailers instead hold back. And a lot of that is a function of the fact that their margins are very tight, right? Manufacturers make all the money in supply chains, they make double digit net net margins. Whereas a retailer makes kind of three to 5% and a distributor is lucky if they make 3%. So it’s, it’s ironic. And, um, but understandable, considering the tight, tight margin on profit that they, that retailers run on. But at the same time, they take a huge risk in inventory and in, you know, and in labor. And I would think that if anything taught us to build for the future, it would’ve been, um, you know, it would’ve been this pandemic, but there are also a ton of cash, poor retailers out there that are on the edge. There’s a whole articles with whole lists of companies that, um, analysts think will go bankrupt or, or have significant financial difficulties in the next few months.
Andrew Fink (37:47):
I agree with you. Mm.
Scott Luton (37:50):
So, uh, talk about difficulty then I’ll pick up there cause forecasting’s never been easy ever. Right. And then the last couple years have happened. Of course it, despite all the technological gains, it’s still a very difficult thing to get it right. Or even get it accurate or even semi accurate. Uh, so Andrew, I wanna ask you, you know, what are you seeing when it comes to forecasting some of your observations and, and maybe it’s, it’s some of the things you’re picking up as you’re out to, uh, sites across the country, what are you seeing out there?
Andrew Fink (38:18):
You know, it’s interesting. We, we, uh, sent out notes, I think in March, April about peak, you know, six months away, we’re already forecasting on it and we’re start planning on it. Uh, a lot of great responses from our customers, but so many said, they’re not gonna get their forecast this year until probably mid Q3, which, um, you know, from a planning perspective is challenging. If you want to get the right things to the right sites, to make sure they can scale and, and hit their volume increases in October, November, December, that’s late. And so what we’re feeling is that the, the, the estimates aren’t accurate, um, at least for the first few months, this year, they haven’t been, and then they’re delayed. And so it’s gonna impact our customer’s ability to scale quickly. Uh, so that’s a concern, obviously from a forecasting perspective.
Scott Luton (39:03):
Yeah. That ripple effect mm-hmm <affirmative> um, and, um, you know, we’ve seen a lot, you know, let’s make sure everyone’s on the same page with acronyms around here. So when we talk about AMR, we’re talking about autonomous mobile robots. So despite some of the challenges you’re pointing out, Andrew here, uh, as we’re creeping very quickly, the creepings not the word for it. We’re fast and furiously getting closer and closer to peak. How have you seen companies leverage AMRs to make for a more manageable peak season?
Andrew Fink (39:35):
So for us, uh, you know, at least that’s all I can go by. Uh, you know, we have the ability to sort of scale up for short periods of time so we can add, right. We can add EMRs to a facility, uh, as they add labor for, for peak. And then we can pull ’em back at the end of, you know, at the end of December or wherever their peak is. In some cases like we’ve had the customer where their peak was, um, March and April mm-hmm <affirmative>. So we, we brought in AMRs to support that additional volume and additional labor. Um, we also got some really cool simulation tools that allow us to take sort of forecast and then come back and say, Hey, we think you’re gonna need X amount of, um, additional AMRs in order to support your additional shift, your additional labor, et cetera, to me, the ability to, for whoever it is, the ability to sort of ramp up quickly and, and add some capacity to support your throughput. I mean, that’s the best thing we can do here.
Scott Luton (40:23):
Mm, yeah. That scale that, that, uh, dynam, am I making up a word here? Dynam the, yeah, thank you very much. <laugh> so that’s, there’s big value there, right? Big value there, Greg. Uh, your thoughts.
Greg White (40:37):
Yeah. I love that ability. Uh, frankly, I think that is probably the future for at least, um, remote fulfillment or, you know, or for e-com fulfillment, um, because it has to be so precise. It has to be so fast and it has to be so responsive. You literally cannot hire people fast enough, especially in this market where you could just go order 20 or 30 chucks. And, and here they come, a whole truckload of chucks.
Andrew Fink (41:03):
Well, and, and a lot of our sites are using the technology, the AMRs as, as sort of recruiting, uh, for, for associates, they’re saying, Hey, this is really cool in, in one of our facilities, uh, they actually have a logo outside the facility. It’s a, uh, a wood Chuck, we call our AMRs Chuck. Um, yeah. So they actually have a whole brand around it and they actually use it in their recruiting because it’s, it’s easier on the associates. Yes. It’s more fun. Right. It’s very visual, you know, you’re following ANR around. So it’s, it’s kind of a cool way to recruit as well.
Scott Luton (41:36):
I think you hit on something really key here. Um, when you say it makes it easy on associates, you know, I think that is, that is critical. Um, you know, not only do, do, do team members, um, uh, especially in these, these, uh, high pressure environments have all the pressure of getting stuff done, right. GSD, but they’re humans, they got all the other pressures of navigating through these times too. So it’s a no brainer. How, what are, you know, uh, whether it’s through technology like you’re describing, or just in general, you know, how can we make it easy on these highly valued team members? Right. I
Andrew Fink (42:11):
Scott Luton (42:13):
Okay, Greg, I know you’re about, uh, you wanna wait in
Greg White (42:16):
Here? Anyone watch top gun, the new top gun. I’ve watched it twice already. I need to
Andrew Fink (42:20):
Greg White (42:20):
It go. You need to go see it gotta go because it is a lot about that transition from, you know, I mean, drones can’t do it all. E even in the military, even with their multi-trillion dollar budgets, drones, can’t do it all. Um, and, uh, I think there there’s a lot of, a lot of alignment. I thought about this, about cobots and things like that. Um, when watching that movie only for a split second, honestly, because most the coolest movie ever made re I mean really
Scott Luton (42:52):
Seriously, everybody. That’s what everybody says. It’s crazy. It’s very real,
Greg White (42:55):
Scott Luton (42:56):
But to be, to be fair, since we’re talking about movies for a second, I can’t wait to see the Elvis movie. I think it’s two and a half hours long, and evidently it was a four hour movie. They cut it down to two and a half hours. Wow. But looks like Hollywood may be finally back between top gun and this Elvis, which is big early returns, but Greg, uh, back to, uh, the conversation here with Andrew, you said it was kind of, uh, it, the bit about that conversion, uh, from the, yeah. I think
Greg White (43:22):
Knowledge that, and, and it’s not cool for Andrew to say this, but I mean, I think we have to, as objective observers to realize that people are staying away from fulfillment jobs in droves, they don’t want those jobs. Right. I mean, Amazon has been having this problem for nine on a decade. And, um, and, and as have others who who’ve gone heavily into eCommerce, those are dark, dirty, dangerous jobs. Right. And someone else right. Also added dull. Um, so, uh, in some cases, right, but I think this makes the job more technological. It also allows the retailers to have some incredible reliability in case they can’t hire. Um, right. And, and I think that the, the thing that we used to do back when our parents were working in early, you know, when us gen Xers were working, we used to apologize for automation taking people’s jobs. But the fact is people don’t want these jobs in a lot of cases. So we’re not taking jobs away from anybody by, by implementing automation. We’re actually trying to stabilize and, and, uh, create resiliency in the supply chain by doing the necessary work that is not otherwise getting done.
Andrew Fink (44:37):
But, you know,
Scott Luton (44:37):
Andrew Fink (44:39):
It is an issue, um, in perception, when we go to new customers, right? This is, these are going to take my job. And so some of what we deal with when we walk into new sites, we are, we’re dealing with sort of changing that perception, right? This is about working with you, um, yep. Not taking your job, it’s gonna make your job easier. Right. You walked with it and you know, the quality should be better. It takes you hours to train, not weeks to train, so it should make your life easier. We’re not trying to take a job away.
Greg White (45:06):
It’s also like having a buddy at work, by the way, if you’ve ever walked around with one of these things, it really is
Andrew Fink (45:14):
The associates name ’em, which is kind fun. So, uh, they actually have a naming in contest and yeah, you’d be surprised at some of the names. It’s really kind funny. I’ll have to you,
Greg White (45:22):
So can you set it up? So you work with the same, the same Chuck every day.
Andrew Fink (45:27):
No, that’s part of, part of the deal is you, you go to the next one that’s available and the other one goes back and, and goes to, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s kind of a, you avoid you having to go walk around with it.
Greg White (45:37):
Right. Well, and then you don’t become too attached Andrews.
Andrew Fink (45:40):
Greg White (45:41):
Andrew Fink (45:42):
Scott Luton (45:43):
Well, um, and there’s some really cool videos. Yeah. Uh, of the Chuck experience you off to check it out at, uh, six river systems site, but really quick, I wanna share a couple quick comments, comments, and then I wanna level set Andrew with the, maybe two people as part of our, our viewing audience and maybe unfamiliar with six river systems. First off, Julio says simulation is always useful before introducing new technologies and tools completely agree with that. Uh, Brenda is a big fan, not only of top gun, but Elvis as well. And that’s impressive. Elvis was
Greg White (46:14):
Don’t you imagine her like working until nine o’clock at night and going to the late movie. I mean, they have to be busting it at
Scott Luton (46:22):
That’s right. Uh, Baja Baha. Good to see you here today via LinkedIn, let us know where you’re tuned in from and, and let us know what your, your take is in our conversation. Let
Greg White (46:31):
Us know who that, that profile pick too. That’s pretty. That
Scott Luton (46:34):
Is a good looking profile
Greg White (46:37):
Who he looks like, um,
Scott Luton (46:39):
Greg White (46:40):
The guy from Norcos. I cannot remember his name.
Scott Luton (46:43):
<laugh> all right. So Andrew, uh, for the, again, handful of folks that may be unfamiliar with six river systems, tell us about, uh, what y’all do in a nutshell,
Andrew Fink (46:52):
You know, it’s, it’s funny and, and prepping for this. I was, I was trying to think of a way to say that, like when I’m talking to my mom, cuz she has no idea what I do. So’m like, what do you do? <laugh> so right. So when, when you go and order something online, mom, an under Armour or Nike, there’s all these providers that are working behind the scenes to make sure they get you that product. And so what we’re doing is automating those warehouses to make, basically to get that product to you faster, cheaper, easier, et cetera. We happen to use AMRs, but we also align with the warehouse management system so that the two talk together and basically the system actually works within the warehouse from all the components within wall, the walls. So picking pack out, chipping all the things that required to get you that under armor shirt, if I would try to say it right. But she still has no idea.
Greg White (47:38):
So, so we, uh, so we talked to one of your colleagues and we’ve talked to so many, I can’t recall who it was, but when they loaded in, I think it’s the situation you were talking about back in March or April, all these extra chucks, they just roll ’em in, it’s
Andrew Fink (47:54):
Just UN unbox ’em yeah,
Greg White (47:56):
Yeah. Basically unbox ’em it’s a few minutes or an hour, right. To get connected to the system. Yeah. And then off they go, they’re part of the team. Yeah. I mean the training is not a, for the, uh, for the chucks and then they then assist the workers on the floor. Right. That is
Andrew Fink (48:13):
True. You go right back and go out there with the fleet and support ’em. Yeah. Well, you know, I, I had one comment, uh, I forgot to mention earlier is when I was at a, a site in Ontario, California, um, that this site, um, fulfills for Disney. Yeah. And, uh, this, the GM of that site actually has figured out the best way to get resource, the constraints they have right around labor and associates. They, they, uh, recruit through a state based organization that has, uh, uh, folks on the autism spectrum, very visual technology. And so he says, they’re the most loyal group he’s got and they recruit their to, to, to add to their workforce. And they’re actually becoming some of the most loyal team members that they have because of the sort of visual nature of the training. Kinda interesting.
Greg White (48:54):
I love that too. I mean, very precise. I mean, there, you know, when, depending on where you are on that spectrum, I don’t know where you guys are, but I actually great on that spec.
Andrew Fink (49:02):
Um, yeah, no, a lot of us do <laugh>.
Greg White (49:05):
Yeah. Right. Um, but it, um, depending on where you are, man, they are so precise. You can just be right just, uh, that, that kind of precision, which is required in fulfillment is perfect. I’m glad that we are including people with their gifts. I was reading an article the other day about think of what those gifts are, not what those limitations are and what are the kinda jobs that you can apply that too
Scott Luton (49:28):
Well said? Well said creating opportunities for all, uh, a great point there. Um, okay. Uh, a couple quick comments here. Brenda says they don’t work on Sundays is Sunday is movie day. There we
Greg White (49:39):
Scott Luton (49:40):
Uh <laugh> and Steve welcome in from Atlanta and you, Hey, appreciate that feedback. Um, I always enjoy and learn something from these conversations and great to have you here today. Let us know what your take is on these things we’re talking about. All right. So moving right along, I wanna pull up this, this, uh, visual here. So Greg and I had a blast mm-hmm <affirmative> with a couple of your colleagues, Andrew, John, and will from the six river systems team.
Andrew Fink (50:06):
Yeah. They’re on my team actually. I love ’em. They’re great.
Scott Luton (50:08):
Oh, great. Well, they are, they are like natural. We’re talking to Hollywood earlier. <laugh> they just rolled in and it’s like, they were just having a conversation. Cause our, our aim as always is, we’re sitting around, you know, a lunch table, uh, breakfast table, dinner table, your pick, and just being real and breaking bread and talking industry. I think I got that, that metaphor, right, Greg, if it is indeed that metaphor, I always get metaphors and assemblies confused, but John and will, uh, and just how natural and authentic and fun as they were sharing their expertise around, you know, how to solve three common peak challenges. Uh, Greg did, did you, well, I know you did. Uh, how much did you enjoy the webinar with John
Greg White (50:50):
Will? Well, you know, we’ve been talking about how difficult it is to forecast, right. And I think it shows how far ahead of the game six river is to be talking about how to get ready for peak early in the year. Right. Because I don’t know that everybody, every consumer knows how early some retailers have to decide on what goods and what colors and sizes and quantities that they need in order to get ’em here for Christmas. Right. Right. Um, and it is months and months. So, uh, getting ahead and getting companies prepared for that, I think was incredibly visionary, frankly.
Scott Luton (51:27):
Agreed. Now we may, Andrew, we may have chatted a little bit about music and woven in a bunch of led Z uh, references. Nice. But Hey, you gotta have fun as you’re getting work done, right? Yeah. Yeah. So up. So, uh, folks, if you missed this webinar, uh, uh, this how to solve three common peak challenges, we’re gonna drop the comment you can see to replay, you gotta register for it, but you can see to replay, uh, that’s already been dropped in the comments. Y’all check it out and let us know, uh, along those conversation lines from the webinar, uh, some of your favorite led Z songs. Nice. Um, okay. So Andrew and Greg, Andrew, great to have you here today really have enjoyed, uh, Rob Bon elbows with you. We didn’t get a chance to talk about your beloved Patriots. Uh, you know, Greg’s a big chief’s fan, so I didn’t bring it up <laugh> until just a few minutes left. But Andrew, your, your bold prediction for the Patriots, this, this coming football season. Oh,
Andrew Fink (52:24):
I’m going to get hate mail. Uh, I, I think
Greg White (52:28):
Of course you’re gonna get hate mail
Andrew Fink (52:30):
Nine and eight is what I’m saying. Ooh.
Greg White (52:32):
You mean you’re gonna get hate mail from your fellow? Yeah,
Andrew Fink (52:36):
Maybe 10 and seventh.
Greg White (52:37):
Scott Luton (52:38):
Andrew Fink (52:38):
Scott Luton (52:40):
And Greg, your, uh, bold prediction and brief prediction for the chiefs
Greg White (52:47):
12 and five <laugh> I think probably 12 and five. Yeah. I mean, we’re learning a whole new group of, of offensive players. So
Andrew Fink (52:54):
I, I get that.
Scott Luton (52:56):
Okay. All right, man. We’ll see what happens. Uh, one bowl or maybe not. So bold prediction is the Falcons are gonna stink here in 2022. They got a couple years to get things.
Greg White (53:05):
Is that really true? Are they gonna be that bad?
Scott Luton (53:08):
I, uh, just, uh, we have to get Clay’s take, or man Amanda’s take, or maybe Catherine Chan,
Greg White (53:15):
But I don’t fall him closely enough to,
Scott Luton (53:18):
Chantel’s a big Rams fan. So they’ve been, they’ve been, uh, high on life here lately, but the, the Falcons have so many needs. Right. Uh, and so many limitations with, um, uh, what do they call the, the, the salary cap? It might be a couple years for they’re able to turn around and be more competitive as Andrew said, pre-show they gotta have a quarterback for sure. Yes. But, um, alright. And Amanda says Falcons equal terrible in the, uh, so she’s putting out math equations there. All right. So Andrew let’s make sure folks, uh, again, folks, you can check out that, uh, webinar with Greg, John and will, and I, uh, link is in the chat, but Andrew, how can folks connect with you, uh, and the sixth river systems team?
Andrew Fink (54:01):
Uh, great question. So for, for six river, obviously we’ve got, um, on both Twitter and LinkedIn, it’s six, the number six river systems feel free to connect. That’s always a great way. They, um, you know, pretty good, pretty good LinkedIn and, and Twitter feeds, uh, for me, uh, LinkedIn, Andrew think, uh, and think, I think is what it ends up being, um, feel free to connect. We’d love to, you know, would love to get, get, uh, I don’t know, get more active in this, in this group as well.
Scott Luton (54:27):
Wonderful. Uh, it outstanding conversation and you know, you can talk AMRs retail site visits, Patriots, maybe a little bit of Boston, red Sox chat, maybe some cool places to eat up in Massachusetts. Uh, you name it. So make sure y’all connect with Andrew Fink, even bingo, six river surf. Bingo.
Andrew Fink (54:49):
Oh, there’s some good stories.
Scott Luton (54:50):
<laugh> well, I got just one final question that work in a bingo hall. Did you have to wear one of those ruffled shirts that Jerry Seinfeld hated
Andrew Fink (54:58):
The pirate shirt? No, I’d have to wear the pirate shirt. No,
Greg White (55:00):
No, that’s good. <laugh>
Scott Luton (55:02):
So, Greg, uh, quite the conversation here today, Murphy’s law tried to bite us on the front end, but we successfully navigated it partially due to our team and Andrew Fink, uh, always, uh, run, uh, rolling with the punches. So we appreciate that, Andrew. So, Greg, uh, if you had one takeaway from what Andrew shared here today, your favorite part of the conversation not related to top gun or Elvis, what
Greg White (55:28):
Would that be? Oh, golly. Well, if you’re gonna gimme that limitation. No, I would say, look, I would say forecasting is hard. That is the most, that is the most important thing to think about. And for many years in supply chain, we have focused on the forecast, which is 100% of the time wrong in some yeah. Right. And what we need to start to focus on is how do we respond to, um, the unexpected in the supply chain and, and what gives us the agility to do so. And I think, you know, what Andrew talked about and we’ve talked about before with these folks at sixth river is the agility that you get from saying, Hey, it’s this time, you know, it’s our peak time of year. We need some extra hands virtual hands. Right. And you can plug ’em right in. So I think recognizing that the forecast is not your supply chain and that you have to build resiliency into it. Um, even aside from that,
Andrew Fink (56:22):
Scott Luton (56:22):
Said, well said, well said, and despite all the challenging times we’ve been through and, and clearly what we’re coming, you know, what, what lies ahead? There’s a lot of, of, uh, new, innovative and emerging solutions out there to help you navigate. So y’all check that out. Um, okay. Folks really have enjoyed the buzz conversation here today. Be sure to connect, uh, with Andrew Fink and the six river systems team, be sure to connect with Greg, uh, or follow him on LinkedIn in particular, where you’re gonna see supply chain commentary every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And as you know, with Greg, he brings Frank by the truckload <laugh> uh, and, and Frank is not a relative to Chuck. I mean, frankness frankness, and <laugh> the truth, uh, by the truckload, he tells it like it is and makes sure y’all, y’all connect with him there, but whatever you do, most importantly, whatever you do, Hey, it’s all about deeds, not words, uh, you know, join us for that.
Scott Luton (57:17):
Leveraging logistics for Ukraine meeting in July love for you to be, if nothing else more informed on what’s going on, uh, you know, take those steps as supply chain leaders, take those steps that are gonna help your associates navigate through their own journey, much more easier and give ’em new opportunities. All you get, do all of that. And you gotta take that, that bold action. So Scott Luton and Greg white and our tire team here at supply chain now challenging you our listener to do good, to give forward and to be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see you next time, right back here on supply chain now. Thanks.
Andrew Fink (57:51):
Bye. Thanks guys.
Thanks for being a part of our supply chain. Now, community check out all of our email@example.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.
Andrew Fink is the Director of Customer Success at 6 River Systems. Andrew has been leading customer success and professional services organizations for over 20 years. Andrew has been extremely fortunate to have worked with incredible software companies that have platforms enabling e-commerce, retail AI and logistics. Andrew brings a customer-first mindset to post sales teams with an eye towards scale and operational efficiency. Connect with Andrew on LinkedIn.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Cisco, Microsoft, 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 University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier 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.
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.
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’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.