Supply Chain Now
Episode 945

You want to be able to create a system that's flexible when your forecasts inevitably turn out to be wrong. We're seeing people address uncertainty by combining labor flexibility and automation flexibility.

-Ellen Patridge, Senior Product Manager, 6 River Systems

Episode Summary

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

This week, Scott Luton, Greg White, and Kevin L. Jackson welcomed Ellen Patridge from 6 River Systems. She shared her insights on the inventory complexities still facing retailers, and what they are trying do to guard their bottom line without failing to serve their customers’ changing demand.

This week’s news stories include:

• Evidence that suggests American Eagle is not just a supply chain leader, but that they are closely connected to consumer sentiment as well

• The significance of Panasonic’s new electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant in Kansas

• New technologies being applied to perfect the operation of checkout free convenience stores

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:00:03):

Welcome to supply chain. Now the voice of global supply chain supply chain now focuses on the best in the business for our worldwide audience, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and today’s critical issues. The challenges and opportunities stay tuned to hear from those making global business happen right here on supply chain now.

Scott Luton (00:00:31):

Hey, Hey, good morning, Scott Luton, Greg white, and Kevin L. Jackson here with you on supply chain. Now. Welcome to today’s livestream, Greg, how you doing?

Greg White (00:00:40):

I’m doing great. I’m I am, uh, looking forward to another week at this one will have to be a lighter week for you than it than, than last week. That’s right. We put in the time last week, man.

Scott Luton (00:00:53):

We sure did. We sure did. We cranked out the donuts and they were really good tasty donuts, but Kevin, how are you doing?

Kevin L. Jackson (00:00:59):

Hey, I’m great. Last week was my New York week, man. I started it off, uh, on the hill at Wimbleton I, well, I was in New York city, but I was with IBM and they actually streamed the Wimbleton finals. And, uh, uh, I was on the hill there at, uh, Brooklyn bridge right next to Brooklyn bridge and I was on a New York, uh, television show over the week, uh, last week and a radio show. Hey, I’m a new Yorker now

Scott Luton (00:01:31):

Forget. So Kevin, uh, Greg to my ears, at least it sounds like the only person that had a bigger week last week than Kevin would be, uh, cam who, who won the, uh,

Greg White (00:01:46):

Smith

Scott Luton (00:01:47):

Cameron,

Greg White (00:01:48):

Cameron Smith. Wow. Put the lights out. I mean, he

Kevin L. Jackson (00:01:53):

<laugh>

Greg White (00:01:54):

Aint under in the final round of, of the open championship made it look easy, frankly. I mean, yes, it was the smoothest calmest crushing of the greatest players in the world that I’ve recently maybe ever seen, man, just no sweat. He just didn’t sweat whatsoever. And his playing partner also named Cameron, right. The Cameron’s as they were calling him. <laugh> finished second.

Scott Luton (00:02:21):

So, so, uh, that, that was, that was my CTV yesterday I thought. But, uh, Kevin Wim Wimbledon sound, your Wimbledon trip. Sounds wonderful as well. Yeah. Uh, that’s always a treat each and every year and Hey, but today speaking of

Kevin L. Jackson (00:02:35):

Treats cup, have you ever heard of a PIs cup?

Greg White (00:02:38):

I hope yes. PIs is a local Laur or something, right?

Kevin L. Jackson (00:02:45):

Yeah. It’s a gen Laur, but that’s what you drink when you’re at Pembleton uh, is a general cure with, uh, a strawberry in it and it’s cool. And it’s really good. First time I’ve had one. So, uh, okay. A pens cup.

Greg White (00:03:02):

I’ll have to, actually, it’s funny, you mentioned that Kevin, because I saw some opportunities for Watson to learn some things, by the way. Um,

Kevin L. Jackson (00:03:10):

For Watson screwed up big time.

Greg White (00:03:13):

I mean, it’s, it’s gotta be really hard. It, this was an AI analysis, Scott, where Watson said curios would beat, uh, Djokovic, obviously not taking into account, uh, um, mental toughness and stability because I could never have seen it happening. And in fact, I don’t know if you saw this too, Kevin, but as you looked back on the first set, you realized that Djokovich was trying some things to see how KIOS would respond. Um, and also KIOS was crushing every single serve. Um, and, and it just took him a minute to figure out his game. Uh, Joe lost the first set and just decimated the poor guy in the next set

Kevin L. Jackson (00:04:03):

That served. Right. And he just figured out, you know, it was a mental game. It wasn’t physical. It was, it was

Greg White (00:04:11):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:04:12):

Well, uh, tune in here next week for, uh, tennis analysis live. <laugh> watching now. Uh, but I know Greg, you play and Kevin, you may play as well, but regardless sounds like you had quite the experience, uh, up at Wimbleton. Um, on that note, talking about quite the experience today, it’s the supply chain buzz digital transformer’s edition, right? You’re third, third week, uh, every third, Monday of each month, um, we’re gonna be sharing some of the leading stories across global business. And we also have got a special guest joining us about 1225. Um, Ellen Patriot with six river systems will be joining us as we talk, uh, a lot of retail, a lot, lot of things, retail here today. Uh, but we’re gonna be talking about a variety of topics and, uh, Greg and Kevin, we want to hear from folks what your thoughts are, uh, in the cheap seats or the sky boxes or whatever. We wanna refer to the folks in the comments. We’d love to get your take on what we’re talking about. Uh, speaking of which Greg and Kevin let’s say hello to a few folks, uh, Shelly Phillips is back with us. We gotta get, um, Shelly’s story. Kevin Shelly shared with us last week that she was part of a team that went from zero to $60 million. And she was like employee number one. So we gotta get Shelly’s story at some point.

Greg White (00:05:26):

Yeah, she might have been CEO if I’m not mistaken.

Scott Luton (00:05:30):

I think that, that makes a lot of sense to me. Uh, Greg Catherine, of course, Catherine and Chantel and Amanda, all part of our are, uh, incredibly talented production team. Big, thanks to what they do Katherine, up

Greg White (00:05:42):

In the north Georgia mountains by a lake, just reminding us all that. It’s not always 95 degrees and 95% humidity in Georgia. Right?

Kevin L. Jackson (00:05:52):

<laugh>

Scott Luton (00:05:53):

You, you right about that? Uh, Savannah is back with it. I think Savannah was with us, uh, last week on a session. Great to see you here today via LinkedIn. Hey, let us know where you’re tuned in from. We love connecting the dots. Um, this is, I think Susan Christopher is tuned in from Nebraska via LinkedIn folks. If you ever get a LinkedIn user graphic like that, it’s just a little security setting on your LinkedIn. You can change that. Uh, if you like, but welcome in Susan, uh, Michael Rowan from Cleveland, Ohio via LinkedIn. Great to have you here, Michael, Greg, I gotta know what you’re laughing about.

Greg White (00:06:27):

I just love, I love your LinkedIn tips. This ought to be the, the supply chain buzz and LinkedIn operat operating tips, right.

Scott Luton (00:06:34):

And tennis and tennis.

Greg White (00:06:36):

I know you can’t stand to see it when you can’t see their names. So you’re, you’re one person at a time trying to educate people on how you share, share their profile.

Scott Luton (00:06:46):

That’s such a great observation

Kevin L. Jackson (00:06:48):

Audience. Yeah. You know, Scott’s all about connecting with the

Greg White (00:06:52):

Audience in truth. That is in truth, right?

Scott Luton (00:06:54):

Both of y’all you, you you’re dialed in you’re dead on. Right. And plus, uh, to be able, not to attribute wonderful input and t-shirt isms to the right people, you know, but it’s all about making a connection. Y’all both. So, so right. Um, Ts squared. Hello? Hello. Hello. Uh, tuned in from YouTube’s holding down to Fort force as always. Great to see you here today. Gene pleasure. Good. Old GP is back with us from north Alabama. Great to see you here, Jean, uh, to Greg’s point earlier, Catherine is not bragging.

Greg White (00:07:26):

No, not bragging at all. Right.

Scott Luton (00:07:29):

Three and breezy, man. I’m jealous Kathryn.

Greg White (00:07:32):

Yeah. And she’s either looking at a forest, a mountain or a lake, right. I mean there’s only three views up there, so

Scott Luton (00:07:40):

<laugh> beautiful. Um, well, great to have everybody and y’all keep chiming in. We’ve got a lot to get through here today with Greg and Kevin and, and our, uh, wonderful guest. Um, Ellen’s gonna join us about 1225. So I wanna start though, Greg and Kevin, uh, today we published an outstanding episode, uh, Enrique and Al uh, Alvarez. And I sat down with shaker NA Raja last, uh, couple weeks ago. And he has got Greg and Kevin an incredible backstory, you know, came, came from a very, um, poor family. I think he had eight or nine siblings in India. Um, his brother came here because he had a health condition. Shaker came with him, you know, with, with next to nothing. And then he, uh, found his American dream. And, and now he he’s the fearless supply chain leader of one of the, uh, big retail brands doing special things across global business. And that’s of course, American Eagle. Uh, so y’all check out this, this incredible episode that we published here today, wherever you get your podcast, you can just find and subscribe to supply you now. Um, Greg or Kevin, Kevin, go ahead. You’ve been tracking American Eagle and what they’ve been up to

Kevin L. Jackson (00:08:52):

Well, yeah, I’ll say what, what a life. I mean that, uh, you know, a, a brand shows its worth when it can, um, can change itself, modify itself, upgrade itself with, uh, with its audience and, and American Eagle is one of those that, that, you know, uh, tunes in with their audience and it, it, it modifies it change it, it listens to its audience. Um, and I know a as a supply chain leader, you, you gotta go with the flow. So I’m sure that was a great story.

Scott Luton (00:09:24):

Uh, well, it really was, he was very transparent and authentic in, in what he shared. Uh, Greg, uh, you’ve been tracking American Eagle and what they’ve been up to,

Greg White (00:09:33):

I haven’t, uh, so much, but I, you know, I have, uh, two, two, uh, gen Z daughters and a millennial daughter. So I’ll make some references back to them and see what they’re seeing. <laugh>

Scott Luton (00:09:44):

Love it. Uh, y’all check, check that out. And, you know, uh, Amanda, you reminded me Amanda, wasn’t, uh, a member of the American Eagle team back in college. Uh, I don’t, I think I’ve forgotten to share that with shaker, but, uh, y’all check out the, the wonderful conversation we had, uh, with, uh, shaker and Enrique. Um, George is tuned in from river falls, Wisconsin via LinkedIn. George, you gotta give us, you know, <laugh>, if we talk anything around here, is weather, give us a weather update from what is going on in river falls, Wisconsin, um, and where

Kevin L. Jackson (00:10:17):

Food, those are the two top topics on supply chain. Now

Scott Luton (00:10:20):

What’s that

Kevin L. Jackson (00:10:22):

Weather and food.

Scott Luton (00:10:23):

Yes, that’s right.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:10:26):

Food

Greg White (00:10:28):

Weather.

Scott Luton (00:10:29):

We

Kevin L. Jackson (00:10:30):

<laugh>,

Scott Luton (00:10:31):

We’re elevating the conversation with weather and food. That is right. Kevin and Greg, uh, and Shelly, uh, I agree with you. He is absolutely visionary and he’s not doing things as they’ve always been done, making some really big moves and yes, very humble. So I appreciate that. Um, Shelly, um, okay, so Greg and Kevin, what I wanna get into wanna get into the news, right. We got a couple stories we’re gonna cover before Ellen joins us. And, uh, Greg, I think we’re gonna start with some really cool things going on in Kansas, your home state and, and a estate where I spent two years with the air force in Wichita. Tell us what’s going on there.

Greg White (00:11:08):

Yeah. Uh, so Panasonic is, is opening this $4 billion electric vehicle EV plant, uh, battery plant in Kansas. So let’s talk about that first and then what we can talk a little bit about why, at least I think that matters in Kansas anyway. Um, first of all, EV vehicle sales are up 13%. Um, and, and a lot of that would be higher if it weren’t for the fact that you can’t build them, which is why they need battery plants. Hmm. Um, 66% of the EV market is Tesla, which is Panasonic’s biggest customer. So, um, this is predominantly their, uh, B uh, battery and electronic division. Um, you know, Panasonic’s a very broad company. People may or may not remember that they bought blue yonder, a technology company, a supply chain technology company, and they intend to spend another, uh, $4 billion on that. So, um, they are all, all over the place and, and trying to keep up with this demand.

Greg White (00:12:13):

And I think one of the cool things about it from a native can standpoint is Kansas has, you know, has at times been very, very prominent in the manufacturing industry. I mean, the aircraft industry it’s Wichita, Kansas is known as the air capital of the world, Cessna beach li jet Moony and Steerman all started there, uh, innumerable other companies that have operated outta there, not to mention Boeing who built a number of their aircraft fuselage and, and componentry in, uh, the Wichita area until they consolidated things back to Seattle. But, but there are a ton of other companies that you, you know, that I think, uh, people don’t think about and Panasonic’s business case for this was that there’s such a great manufacturing skill set in, uh, in Kansas. So the town that they’re operating in is called DeSoto. It’s just west of Kansas city, the suburbs of Kansas city between Kansas city and Lawrence, which is where the university of Kansas is.

Greg White (00:13:17):

Um, so they’re gonna build this facility to, in addition to one, they just built, uh, near sparks Nevada Reno, uh, to try and keep up with demand from Tesla who is, you know, obviously making things happen in the EV space. So, I mean, there, there are a ton of, there are a ton of points of pride, right? If you think about this, uh, lots of companies, you probably never thought about not to mention pizza hut, but that’s not really manufacturing, is it <laugh>, um, the Coleman company, spirit Aero systems, Heston field queen AGCO, farm equipment, um, Hills pet food, uh, spirit, a systems Bushnell and garment all are or have been home in, uh, in Kansas. So, okay. And, and not, and there are pharmaceutical companies, Roach was there, Cerner is still in Kansas city. Um, so, uh, you know, there’s a lot of good talent there. And what have we been talking about over the last several weeks? People are staying away from manufacturing jobs in droves. So if you can find a population that wants to work in manufacturing, uh, go there. Right? Yep.

Scott Luton (00:14:30):

So Kevin, I’d love to get your thoughts here, you know, as a former aviator that air capital world and which Todd’s gotta resonate with you, but what are some of your thoughts here, Kevin?

Kevin L. Jackson (00:14:40):

Well, actually it it’s sort of a little personal because, uh, my son, he had a, uh, a card lease and he was, he was he’s, uh, needed to turn his lease in. And he was debating whether to get a new lease or, um, uh, or not, or buy a car. And in, in talking with him, we surprisingly got into a conversation about electric vehicles, uh, because the, the market for electric vehicles is blowing up while, whereas the, the market for used vehicles are getting kind of soft. And if you get into, at least you are, you’ll probably be committed to four or five or six years. And if, if you look at the market at that time, gas cars will definitely lose their value. So we’ve started talking about, uh, electric cars. And, uh, one of the things that kind of jumped out to me is that where, why as the, a electric car, if you just look at its price is about $10,000 more than a, uh, uh, uh, traditionally fueled car.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:16:00):

Okay. The federal government gives you actually a $7,500 credit to buy an electric vehicle, which brings the price down to about, uh, the same, but, but more important is that the tax credit is based upon the vehicle. Yep. So they, um, it’s, it’s like, uh, when a manufacturer sells, gets this, you get this credit on a manufacturer’s car up until they sell their 200th vehicle. Hmm. So the federal government is actually subsidizing the market in order to get more electric vehicle manufacturers. And in fact, you, you can’t even get the, uh, credit if you buy a Tesla because interesting, the Tesla, they sold their 200th vehicle back in, in 2018. Um, so the, the, the electric EV market is gonna get much broader. So it’s like, and these credits are gonna go away. So in four or five years, the value of an electric car is going to, you know, go through the roof, not even wonder well, but how can I actually charge it because there’s not enough charging stations and, and things like that. But, you know, um, it’s really becoming an important discussion, right? When you’re thinking about your, your vehicle

Scott Luton (00:17:42):

A agreed. And I think it, mm-hmm, <affirmative> the infrastructure aspect of this, this whole, uh, subject matter deserves. It’s, you know, we could have a, we could be talking for a week straight on all the ramifications, but regardless big win for Kansas, Greg big win, congrats to you and, uh, any, uh, uh, native canons. It’s great to see. And, um, and Kevin, I appreciate your kind of how you personalized it with you and your sons, uh, car buying conversations that perfect. Greg quick comment there.

Greg White (00:18:11):

Yeah. I think that’s important to understand is it is far more economical if it’s a city car, think of it as a city car, which is most drivers on the planet. It’s far more economical to use an EV than to use a gas, uh, fueled car, right. Because yeah, the, the big NOx Kevin was talking about our range and charge, you know, in charging stations. Right. So, um, yeah, I think you and I did not know that it was that close. I remember doing the evaluation back in 2014. Um, talk about a personal story, Scott and I did the math with my middle daughter and, and she goes, oh, daddy, it, it, it’s only gonna take you 10 years to, to offset the cost of gasoline if you buy this car. And I was just like, uh, cuz I was really kind of in the ether about it. I just wanted an electric. And then when she put it like that, she was trying to be helpful. She was just a little kid

Kevin L. Jackson (00:19:14):

<laugh>

Greg White (00:19:15):

And I was just like, oh my God, it doesn’t make sense. Does it? But, but I, it, it sounds like it’s coming closer and closer. Oh

Kevin L. Jackson (00:19:24):

Yes. Right. And in fact, the, uh, some of the manufacturers, they were actually installed a charger in your home, in your garage at no price, no charge.

Scott Luton (00:19:34):

How about that? All right. So really quick for the second time, we’re gonna have to move to this next story. Folks.

Greg White (00:19:39):

We

Scott Luton (00:19:39):

Got Ellen <laugh>. We got Ellen with six river systems joining us here about 1225 ish. Looking forward to her, getting her take on all things, retail inventory, and more, uh, really quick George river falls, Wisconsin, 89, sunny and dry. Thank you for that. George painting that picture. Um, SI I, where is the fifth car? I’m not quite following you, but Hey, it’s not the first time. If you can, uh, uh, clarify a little bit there. Uh, Hey, Dr. Julio is back with us, Julio. Great to see you here today. Really always enjoy your take on what we’re talking about. Um, Kevin, as we keep tracking, uh, kind of moving into a different topic here, let’s talk about retail. And in particular, when you first shared this article and, and kind of this, this topic, I was, I was, uh, I misread it. I thought you were talking about the, um, customer checkout lanes that, um, are growing in demand, but you’re talking about an actual checkout free store, which is also a big trend. So tell us more Kevin,

Kevin L. Jackson (00:20:40):

Right? E exactly. So EV everyone, you know, well, my wife excluded likes the self checkout lane. My wife says, I want somebody checking me out. <laugh> but you were there. But, but now, uh, and Amazon sort of pioneered this, you sort of walk in, you pick up anything you want, uh, and you walk out, you, you don’t have to check out. Right, right. As you are picking stuff out, they, if they have a camera and they scan and it automatically scans, like it’s built into the, uh, cart, what you put into the cart, um, and, uh, they already have your, your credit card number. And so you just pick it up and, and walk out, uh, and you, you may sort of think, well, what’s so big about that, you know, there’s computers, right. And there’s, uh, they’ve been around for a while. It’s you just need a camera and RFI scanning.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:21:41):

That’s, that’s no big deal. Right. Um, but when you sort of lift the hood, you say, well, where are the computers that are doing all that calculation? Well, if you were a store, you would, you know, if you gonna put those computers in the back room, that would cost you a lot of money and it’s prohibited the cost of the computers to do this is prohibitive. And then you say, well, no, no people wouldn’t buy their own computers. They would use the cloud. <laugh> right. Everyone’s using the cloud now. So, so this is easy, just, you know, push all the video up to the cloud and, you know, do all your compute in the cloud. But if you think about it, even with your smartphone, sometimes you’re trying to do video and you get the spooling because you don’t have enough bandwidth, um, plus that bandwidth cost.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:22:41):

And if you have any type of, um, outage, the store has to shut down. So the cloud is really not a good solution. You may use the cloud to sort of test it out, but it’s not something that you can go operational with. So how is Amazon actually doing this? And it’s using edge computing, not cloud computing, right. And it’s using artificial intelligence. That’s right there on the, uh, the floor when you’re coming in. So all the compute is being done locally, and it’s not just Amazon care for Sansbury seven, 11, and circle K are all transitioning to this environment where shoppers just pick up what they want and, and walk out the cost of these cameras. And sensors is just dropping as well as the artificial intelligence models. This is, what’s making this a reality and, and think about it. You can be in a small seven 11, and in order to do this, you will need up to 200 cameras. Okay. So that’s a lot of bandwidth that you would need if you were just pushing that video up to the cloud. Right? So edge computing is really changing the re the face of retail.

Scott Luton (00:24:25):

Mm love that. That’s exciting. And you gotta give the people what they want. Uh, I have not been to a checkout free store yet. Uh, there’s something psych Greg, I’m coming to you next, uh, for your quick comment, but there there’s something psychologically, right. To, to walk into a store, picks something out and walk, walk, you know, put it in your pocket and walk out. I’m gonna have to rewire my brain a bit, but Greg, your take on this checkout, free store concept and technology behind it.

Greg White (00:24:50):

Yeah, truly. I think it’s gonna do away with a whole industry shoplifting. So, uh, I think it’s a little bit unfair shoplifters because now they’ll just pay for stuff when they leave the store.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:25:01):

<laugh>

Greg White (00:25:02):

So if so, I guess to get used to it, you have to think like a shoplifter. So, um, but yeah, I think so I’ve had the, I’ve actually had the opportunity to see these stores some years back. And at previous company that I ran, we worked with Amazon and it is fascinating. They form a visual net. That’s about, uh, a quarter of an inch by a quarter of an net inch, by having all these cameras, um, cross, you know, they cross their beams and, you know, they’re shooting everything from a hundred angles basically. Right? It’s it is a very, very impressive, uh, initiative, an edge computing for anyone who doesn’t know, instead of going all the way up to the cloud. Maybe you just go over to a little Bush, they’re starting to put computers seriously. They’re starting to put computers where phone switching devices are and cable boxes and things like that, where they only need a relatively small amount of compute power.

Greg White (00:25:58):

It can be much more proximate to the store. Right. Um, and there’s all kinds of ways. If just, if you don’t know, just Google edge, compute comput, Kevin’s the expert. It is fascinating to, uh, to just envision what that could mean. So, yep. Um, but anyway, I think it it’s important. And you know, what’s interesting about this is I just had on my new letter today, an article about how omnichannel, right. Is now the baseline for con the com consumer experience. They expect you to be prem. They expect it to be easy, right. As Kevin said, I’m, I’m a laggard, right. Lots of people. And I see it every time I go to the grocery store, which is more and more frequent now, Scott, by the way. Yeah. Um, I’m now allowed to shop <laugh>, but, um, there are people, you know, in, in a Kroger store, let’s say there are eight of, of these self checkouts and they are always just rotating people through there. And maybe two or three of the 13 or 14 regular registers right. Are open. So, uh, people are definitely buying off, off on it. For sure. That’s right.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:27:13):

So one thing we gotta think about from a supply chain point of view, though, um, uh, think about the data that you’re getting in real time and how fast the supply chain has to respond, uh, to these changes, these real time changes. So the importance of data, that’s the feedback to the supply chain that has to go all the way back to the source of those products that people are picking up off the shelf and walking up. Yeah.

Greg White (00:27:47):

Well, and what, and what have I always said, we don’t forecast items because items don’t do anything. Right. Items don’t sell, they don’t trend, they don’t grow, they don’t die. They don’t do anything. What do they do? They wait, they wait for a shopper to come in and select them with 200 cameras in a store. You can start to create images of those shoppers and say, oh, here comes Greg, that idiot’s gonna go to the regular register and

Scott Luton (00:28:14):

He’s gonna comes be an

Greg White (00:28:16):

Apple, a bunch of bananas and some intimates donuts. So,

Scott Luton (00:28:20):

So, well, the, the planning, so we’ll have to save the rest of this conversation for later. But the, the, the planning impact is a fascinating one. The, the impact to customer experience is a fascinating one. And Hey, it’s coming to a city near you, uh, store near you. So y’all check that out, uh, about

Kevin L. Jackson (00:28:35):

We’re the pick and pack job, right? The customers are doing the pick and pack. Right,

Greg White (00:28:40):

Right. That job is rendered useless. So then soon so will be the, will be the, uh, the cashier.

Scott Luton (00:28:47):

Yes. Right. All right. So we’ll have to, uh, Paul’s a conversation here. I wanted to say hello to a couple quick folks. Jonathan Hernandez, welcome in via LinkedIn. Let us know where you’re tuned in from. We’d love to hear your thoughts on what we’re talking about. T squared, uh, maybe to shoplifts and take another form. It probably will.

Greg White (00:29:03):

Yes. Take oceans 11 to do shoplift. Now you’re gonna have to knock out the power, dig a hole, right.

Scott Luton (00:29:10):

And listen to this impact that Ronald has, uh, identified. I wonder how self checkout will impact the pulse shopping, uh, impulse shopping market. No more tabloid magazine sales at register. Not a joke,

Greg White (00:29:23):

Not a joke. There are no watch. AALL its at the self checkout lane, which is why I don’t another reason I don’t use it.

Scott Luton (00:29:29):

That’s right. Ryan hope this finds you well in akin, South Carolina. Great to have you here. Um, okay. So, uh, we got a great guess as much as I’ve enjoyed the, uh, the conversation on the front end and we’ve had to kind of move kind of quick today, uh, on this lightning round of, uh, the supply chain buzz here at supply chain. Now we’ve got a wonderful addition to the conversation. So Greg and Kevin joined me in welcoming Ellen senior product manager with six river systems. Ellen. Good afternoon. How you doing?

Ellen Patridge (00:30:02):

Hello doing well. How are you guys?

Scott Luton (00:30:05):

It’s so great to see you. We enjoyed quite a, an eclectic pre-show conversation with Ellen. Uh, had a lot of fun talking about the garbage plate and Rochester, New York. Y’all have to Google that for the sake of time, but

Kevin L. Jackson (00:30:18):

Yeah, also it’s not just, you know, can’t get the, uh, uh, portrait portraits. What’s that? Come get happy. I know on

Scott Luton (00:30:29):

Yes, I was misreading Elm’s last name, Kevin.

Ellen Patridge (00:30:33):

Yeah. I just

Scott Luton (00:30:34):

Out there,

Ellen Patridge (00:30:34):

I just have to spoil it for everyone and say it’s Patridge instead of Partridge. And

Kevin L. Jackson (00:30:40):

You did it all the time though, don’t you?

Ellen Patridge (00:30:42):

Yeah. All the time Partridge in APA tree, you know, whatever it takes, plenty of song references all around.

Scott Luton (00:30:48):

Well, so, uh, now that Kevin has outed me there, uh, Ellen and my, my incredible ability to misread, uh, names and, and whatnot. Ellen, I wanna talk about, um, uh, before we get into retail and inventory, I wanna talk about one of the countries I’m, I’m guessing here least favorite holidays. It is fresh spinach day here on July 18th across the country.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:31:13):

How far man? You know, maybe <laugh>

Scott Luton (00:31:17):

Oh gosh. Alright. So clearly Kevin’s a fan. Greg is not a fan. I tend to be a little bit with Greg. I try to sneak in some, some raw spinach in my salads from time to time, but Ellen, if it’s not spinach <laugh>, if it’s not spinach, we’re in the middle garden season for so many folks, what is one healthy, you know, vegetable you do get in your diet regularly.

Ellen Patridge (00:31:39):

Sure. Yeah. I mean, well, if we’re saying that regularly, I’d say like broccoli pretty much just gets paired with everything, but we’re talking about like favorites that’s uh, I, I love a good stealth. Veggie is my go to like, anytime, you know, you talk about putting into like smoothies or on salads or different things. Uh, my favorite is, uh, grading up zucchini and getting that into like chocolate cupcakes or chocolate cakes. So like, it adds a little bit of moisture into cake. Um, but also just kind of a casual stealth veggie getting into interesting dessert. Um, yeah, veggie. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:32:15):

That’s interesting.

Ellen Patridge (00:32:16):

Zucchini, super versatile. Put it in pasta sauce, put it in chocolate cake, you know, whatever it takes. Uh,

Scott Luton (00:32:22):

Ellen, you’re blowing my mind here. I’m gonna have to compare these, uh, practices with what, you know, Amanda does a lot. She’s an incredible cook. Uh, and uh, we just get picked up some squash and zucchini from the local farmer’s market. We’re gonna have to check out this, these stealthy vegetables, uh,

Kevin L. Jackson (00:32:38):

Just don’t seem to go together.

Ellen Patridge (00:32:41):

I mean, they’re great though. Yeah. I feel especially if you just have extra zucchini. Yeah. You just, it same as a banana and banana bread, you know, just different

Scott Luton (00:32:50):

<laugh>

Ellen Patridge (00:32:51):

Well, maybe not quite the same. All

Scott Luton (00:32:53):

Right. Well, so Ellen has talked about, she brought some new, uh, culinary practices to the table with the stealthy vegetable and, and, uh, also broccoli. We’re all. I think most of us, big BR big fans of broccoli. I could eat just about every meal. Uh, Kevin’s a big fan of spinach, Greg. You’re gonna last word here before move to retail and inventory. Talk with Ellen, Greg, your thoughts on what’s your go-to vegetable.

Greg White (00:33:15):

Uh, I’d have to say, uh, broccoli, cucumbers and or okra. Any, anything that can be fried? Of course, yes. Is my favorite vegetables. So

Scott Luton (00:33:25):

I’m with you. Okay. So, uh, now we, that was the shortest celebration of any holiday on the buzz. Uh,

Greg White (00:33:37):

I dunno about you. I don’t, I avoid spinach, but to your point, if it is steal placed into if it’s a spinach pasta or it’s in a pasta. Yeah. Right. I actually eat spinach.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:33:51):

Spinach is delicious.

Ellen Patridge (00:33:54):

<laugh> also though. Yeah. Yeah. There are a lot of ways to do it. Right. But unfortunately there are ways to do it wrong. So, you know, it kinda

Scott Luton (00:34:03):

Well, so let’s, let’s do something where we can find maybe more consensus and that’s talking supply chain, talking, retail, talking inventory, and Ellen, I appreciate what you bring to the table. Uh, and your expertise in this regard. I wanna, um, you know, we know you’re, you’re tracking these things with what you and the six river systems team do. Uh, there’s an interesting article that hit all of our radars, uh, over the last couple days, uh, from our friends at retail, dive telling us what I would argue. And we probably all would argue what we already know. Normal is still nowhere in sight, whether it applies to inventory or supply chain, you know, it’s Greg and Kevin, we’ve all talked about that. Genie’s not going back in the bottle, but that’s where we wanna start a conversation with you, Ellen, you know, what are some of the observations you have, uh, related to, you know, this article via retail dive or in a bigger picture with what’s going on, uh, in the retail space, across the country?

Ellen Patridge (00:34:54):

Sure. Yeah. Um, I feel like the, the word uncertainty can kind of cover a lot of the things that, that article dives into. So like as they point out, uh, being able to forecast demand and manage your inventory out into the future has been really hard. Uh, consumer trends are not very steady and they’ve definitely shifted since the start of the pandemic. So going back to 2020, but also like looking into this year, like dealing with inflation, dealing with gas prices, like there are so many things that kind of impact that inventory planning. And so because of that, like a lot of the customers that we’re talking to, you know, like they’re trying to forecast, you know, what is our peak going to be like, what do we expect to come out at the end of the year? Um, but they may not even be able to rely on like peak forecast from last year or even just looking at last quarter to know what the end of their year is going to look like. Just a lot of uncertainty.

Scott Luton (00:35:44):

Yep. Well said, Ellen, uh, Greg, I wanna circle back to you, uh, based on what she’s already shared or some of your observations when it comes to retail.

Greg White (00:35:52):

Uh, yeah. Well, uh, let me state first that I was wrong. Scott,

Scott Luton (00:35:57):

Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait a second. Wait a second. Let’s record

Greg White (00:36:01):

That again. I’ll say it again. I’ll say it again. Yeah. I was wrong. What did I say that the key word for supply chain would be this year stability. We can’t even begin to approach stability, right? We, we can’t even begin to, uh, think about stability because as Ellen said, predictability is also out the window. So, uh, think, think about, uh, where some of these retailers are that, you know, the target instance is well known by now. They’re not even the worst offender. There were many, many who are worse. They were just Mo more prominent and had just spent 4 billion on supply chain technology and planned to spend $2 billion a year. They had just gotten done bragging about all of that when they cut their, uh, um, they cut their earnings forecast because they had flubbed on this. And then two weeks later, cut it again dramatically.

Greg White (00:36:58):

So this is how far from normal we are. And even the best, the brightest and the highest spending in the industry are struggling to keep up what, uh, I will argue to our, our previous point in, in the show. They’re still forecasting off of last quarter or last year. And they’re still forecasting items, which is a huge gap in, in allowing companies to predict the future. Because as I said, those I, those that toilet paper didn’t jump off the shelf into people’s shopping carts during the great toilet paper shortage of 2020 people hold it off forcefully and stuffed it into shopping carts at Costco, and then ran out the door with it. Um, so I, I think we have to think about how we can, can close that gap, but in this day and age, the best we can do is be supremely responsive and start to shift our gaze towards the future. Because even the most advanced technology does not support that very well. These days shift our gaze towards the future. However, we can do it and towards the consumer, whenever we can.

Scott Luton (00:38:03):

Okay. Beautiful. Beautifully said there, Greg, Kevin, I’m coming to you next, but really quick T squared going back to food, he says he, or she says, uh, he says, try rhubarb for the dead taste buds, uh, hashtag tart, but Ron shepherd. That’s what I hear Ron agrees with Kevin spinach is awesome. So Kevin, you got some allies there, Kevin, but coming back to retail and inventory and observations there, what, what do you seeing Kevin?

Kevin L. Jackson (00:38:34):

So what I am seeing is, uh, organizations refusing to learn. Right? All right. They’re putting more money into how to forecast better using what happened last month or last year. I mean, it’s all, it’s like take that money and put it into systems that sense what’s happening today, right? Like these, um, uh, checklists, uh, uh, check checkout list, retail stores, right? Right. You have to monitor and get data on what the customers is doing right now in order to feed and design your supply chain. It’s just a waste of money. Well, why, why do people refuse to, uh, you know, listen, listen to their own ears and see what their own eyes are telling them and, you know, feel the pain that they’ve experienced in their wallet because they failed to forecast based upon they continually fail to forecast based upon the past mm-hmm I mean, stubbornness

Scott Luton (00:40:01):

And so many folks are doing it. Kevin. Excellent comment. Tell you and Greg, quite the one, two punch and throw Ellen there. We got like a, uh, a threeway tag team championship team right here. Yeah. Ellen, Ellen. You’re in.

Ellen Patridge (00:40:13):

<laugh> great. Go. Let’s do it.

Scott Luton (00:40:14):

So, Ellen, if you would respond to what, you know, Greg’s talking about shift to gaze, Kevin’s like folks, what are, y’all doing? Ellen respond, and then we’re gonna kind of pulse, uh, you with what you’re seeing business leaders do. So your, your, uh, thoughts, Sarah Ellen.

Ellen Patridge (00:40:28):

Yeah. I mean, just like the main things are just saying like, yes, for the things Greg and Kevin are saying, you know, we’re looking at folks who are facing a ton of uncertainty and because of that, like their, uh, responsiveness is important is, uh, Greg, I believe you said that we’re just perfect. And I think flexibility, uh mm-hmm <affirmative> and basically that’s the word I had in mind, but I feel like both of those are the same, like being able to, you know, react to what you’re seeing and not just keep looking to the past. Right. And not just keep trying to improve the way you did do things, which I think it’s like heaven, what you’re saying, you know, we shouldn’t just keep trying to like, oh, we just need to do what we’ve always done a little bit better. Like, we need to be thinking about things differently because of, you know, kind of what we’re facing right now. Right.

Scott Luton (00:41:13):

We gotta be, we gotta be better at being, uh, contortionist, if I can say that word. Right. Uh, and, and changing how we view kind of what Greg and Kevin and Ellen, what are all saying, changing what we do, changing, how we view, uh, supply chain management for that matter and retail and inventory, all good stuff. Um,

Kevin L. Jackson (00:41:31):

It’s like fighting the last war <laugh> over and over again

Scott Luton (00:41:37):

And fighting the urge to do business as usual. Right. Greg, you were gonna say something.

Greg White (00:41:42):

Yeah. Supply chain, uh, academia does not help. You know, I keep saying we’ve been teaching the wrong thing for decades and decades because, and this is a world Kevin, that you’re not familiar with in supply chain. We used to have, uh, a complete lack of robust data. All we had was what had sold as data, right? So we had to do that in 1868 and 1903. When a lot of the forecasting techniques that are used today were created, by the way, that’s not a joke. I mean, that’s serious, right? These are re regression techniques and all these other techniques were, were created before any of us were born. Mm. And, um, and now we have much more robust data where we can, that’s why we need to shift our gaze because we still think in the industry, we still think we’re forecasting items. And I’ve been fighting this battle for now 15 years. And eventually we have to recognize two things. One that we are forecasting, the wrong thing. We have to think of three things actually to Ellen’s 0.1, we’re forecasting. The wrong thing. Two forecast is not the only, uh, the only answer because there are two kinds of forecasts, Scott, wrong and lucky. And 99.9, 9% of forecasts are not lucky.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:43:06):

So <laugh>,

Greg White (00:43:08):

So we have to, to Ellen’s point, we have to focus on resilience and responsiveness and flexibility and agility, whatever you want to call it because of the forecast is going to be wrong, right. At least for the foreseeable future, the next five, 10 years, probably.

Scott Luton (00:43:25):

Right. So

Kevin L. Jackson (00:43:26):

Your sweaters, a forecast forecast is a guess, and we’re putting more money to be able to guess better

Scott Luton (00:43:31):

Guessing

Kevin L. Jackson (00:43:33):

Money to actually looking at what’s happening. <laugh>

Scott Luton (00:43:37):

All right. So, uh, Ellen, we’ve got a passionate crew here today. Ellen, I’m coming back to you in just a second. Wanna share a couple quick comments? Ts square says it looks like the efficiency, responsiveness, uh, responsive and agile supply chains are converging to making a new type of supply chain given the wanted retail customer experience and the requirements needed to meet it. Excellent analysis, Ts squared, Tony. Great. See you here, Tony, via LinkedIn, let us know where you’re tuned in from agree with Kevin about forecast. And he said, look, what he says, supply chain now says it <laugh>

Greg White (00:44:08):

Yes. I

Kevin L. Jackson (00:44:09):

Love that. There you

Scott Luton (00:44:12):

Manav says, I think we all

Kevin L. Jackson (00:44:14):

Tshirt

Scott Luton (00:44:15):

That’s right. Says I think we need to also look into crisis management, uh, and, and you know, what we need when you reinvent, uh, our approach to crisis management, perhaps. Um, alright, so Ellen, I’ll circle back. There’s so much to get through here today. Uh, a lot of passion, a lot of expertise, but Ellen, you know, you, you talk a bit, you and your team talk with business leaders all the time, you know, what do you see business leaders doing, uh, to have a different and a much better peak season,

Ellen Patridge (00:44:44):

Right? Yeah. Um, so as I break it into a few different buckets, so, you know, we get into this like inventory planning idea of just continuing to keep a pulse on the industry that you’re in and the customers that you’re working with and checking in frequently with those trends and different things that you’re seeing. But I think overall, like what we’re getting at here is, you know, like it can be really like, was it forecast are either wrong or lucky and they’re probably not gonna be lucky. So because of that, <laugh>, I’m like, was that a good, like generalization of that? I forgot the percent you gave. Um, yeah,

Greg White (00:45:16):

That’s good.

Ellen Patridge (00:45:17):

Uh, yeah, probably, probably not. Um,

Scott Luton (00:45:20):

OK.

Ellen Patridge (00:45:21):

So because of that, you wanna be able to create a system that’s flexible when inevitably those forecasts are wrong. So how we’re seeing people create that flexibility is through both labor flexibility, as well as automation flexibility. So like labor flexibility is like creating a system and a, uh, like fulfillment center that is able to easily bring people in and that people want to work for. And that is huge, especially in the labor market today. Like being able to make your warehouse be somewhere where, when you have peak CS and demands, or you have changes, you are able to get folks in from the labor market. Because right now, like I go to warehouses and it’s so common for folks to be like, yeah, we’re losing people to the warehouse just literally right across the street. Mm. Like, right down the road. And the people that I see who are doing it well and are able to retain that labor.

Ellen Patridge (00:46:13):

It’s not just about pay because oftentimes they’re all offering the same or similar pay, but it’s about perks incentives and creating a team, uh, creating folks who are like, you know, kind of there and working together and understand like, you know, the company and what they’re trying to go for. Um, and then just creating a job that they want to come to every day. Mm. Which kind of gets into that flexible automation in those things, like taking away redundant tasks and having easy to kind of bring in and roll out automation based on whatever throughput you’re getting at. So like, you know, if you have, uh, kind of, you know, static kind of monolithic structures, like, you know, those are only gonna be made for a certain throughput, but being able to bring in robots or different things that you can scale up or scale down as you need, that’ll help with the labor in terms of like making their jobs easier. But it’ll also help you with your throughput to respond as needed based on the demand that maybe you weren’t expecting.

Scott Luton (00:47:08):

Okay. Uh, systems level thinking. No, no.

Greg White (00:47:12):

That’s. And with all respect to Matt Fitzgerald’s mother, um, there’s no reason to apologize for automation anymore because automation is not taking anyone’s job. No, one’s, it is not taking, especially not in a fulfillment facility, people as we about earlier, they’re staying away in droves from the dark, what they perceive as the dark dirty, dangerous, and dead end jobs in warehouses. So, um, there there’s really no other choice. It’s much like, uh, you know, the, the checkout free stores and all of these other options. It it’s, it’s more flexible. It’s more responsive to the consumer in the moment and it, and it allows companies to continue to operate with a dearth of, of, uh, human capital. So I, I, I don’t see that there’s really any choice here. And, um, and I, I think that I love the, um, the chucks, right? The, your that’s what you call your robots, correct.

Greg White (00:48:11):

Uh, that they can be assistive, um, and cobots, or, uh, or, or they can do the, the, the work themselves. So it, it allows a lot of flexibility into a facility we’re coming into peak season. We keep talking about this it’s time to be building capacity. All you gotta do is just call Ellen or one of our colleagues and say, we need 10, 20, 50 more. Yeah. And then, and then, um, what is it, we’ve heard this story before you took somebody and up their, up their Chuck capacity, right. Um, by something like 30 or 50% in just days, right?

Ellen Patridge (00:48:56):

Yeah. I mean, yeah. Basically once you have, yeah. Once you have one, it’s easy to add in more. So like, if the system’s set up, you can keep filing more checks in based on the throughput that you have and whether that’s a peak rental or just adding into the fleet that you already have.

Greg White (00:49:12):

Um,

Kevin L. Jackson (00:49:12):

So one thing I, I, for some reason I keep thinking about, you know, how much wood is a wood Chuck. No, anyway, so, but, but, um, you know, I’m an engineer, right? And I’m thinking of a warehouse warehouse as inputs and outputs, that output is, uh, uh, output is what you put out on the floor, right. But an input in the traditional supply chain is your forecast, right? The input to what a warehouse does is its forecast. But that input is changing. It’s changing to be, what’s actually happening. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> on the sales floor, whatever you are selling. So you need to have that warehouse, that house that not only can sense what’s happening on the floor, but can, uh, reflect that need and deliver what’s needed so that the trucks can know what to pick and pack and put out on, on that floor. So the, the, the warehouse, the automation you have in a warehouse is critical. It’s crucial to this transition from the old world of doing these 99 plus nine, 9% wrong forecast to tell you where else to be, to actually looking at what’s going on on the floor.

Scott Luton (00:50:37):

So this is a perfect segue. Uh, uh, you know, you mentioned Matt, um, uh, Matt Fitzgerald, Ellen, earlier, one of your colleagues at six river systems, he made a great point. Uh, you know, he said, uh, to paraphrase, we’re not six river robots, we’re six river systems. <laugh> I think, I think this is an important clarification. So with that said, tell us in a nutshell, what six river systems does, Ellen.

Ellen Patridge (00:51:04):

Sure. Yeah. I love that phrasing from Matt. She, um, yeah, so, you know, we are, you’re essentially a wall to wall fulfillment solution. So, you know, we have Chuck the robot, that’s able to autonomously move and work as a cobot with folks, um, picking, but also work and drive, um, separate from people. Uh, but in addition, this, we also have an entire suite of cloud services meant to manage this work as they come into the system. Um, so with this, we are looking to essentially optimize across all the processes that you have help to offset labor shortages by making it easier to attract train and retain associates like that UI, that screen, that folks are working with having an easy to use workflow, um, as well, like trying to increase the efficiency of folks, like how do we group that work together? Like how, what order do we pick it in? Right. What boxes does it go in? Uh, kind of, you know, focusing not just on the robots themselves, but all the operations that you need to do in order to get work done at the end of the day.

Scott Luton (00:52:06):

Ellen, I’m so glad you shared that. Cause yeah. Uh, what Kevin was just saying earlier about being an engineer and kind of the layout of the warehouse. I mean, these are areas that, that your team can impact as well, not just about the, um, the automation technology side, but kinda the process side as, and, and of course the impact on, on people, uh, and making it life, making life easier for our dear people and hardworking folks out there across, uh, supply chains. So I love that, Ellen. Um, alright. So one more question, Ellen te this has been a fast moving, uh, quick hitting Greg, Kevin and Ellen. I’ll tell you what, uh, the three of y’all are operating at a high level this Monday, Monday morning already. You don’t need a couple days to get warmed up. What’s that Kevin

Kevin L. Jackson (00:52:50):

Don’t stop the fun, lets keep on, on,

Scott Luton (00:52:54):

Well, on that note, speaking of fun, Kevin, uh, if I can pull this graphic up, we Greg and I had a blast, uh, with Ellen’s colleagues, uh, let’s see, that was will and John from six river systems and we had this webinar focused on how to solve three common peak challenges we made. We made Greg have talked about music and led Zep quite a bit throughout the hour. Um, but Ellen, did you catch this webinar and not no spinach mentions Kevin. Um, <laugh> Ellen, did you catch this and uh, your key takeaway here.

Ellen Patridge (00:53:31):

Yeah. So I think, you know, will and John awesome folks, uh, I think the main takeaway here is, you know, there are, uh, essentially, you know, peak is coming, but it’s not here yet. Which means that you still have time to prep. Scott, I’m stealing some of your words here, please. So please. Yeah. Uh, so I would just say the main takeaway here is, you know, you should definitely check out this webinar. It digs into like how to empower your labor force. A lot of the stuff that we talked about earlier around labor planning, how to deal with seasonal spikes and demand, um, and also how to improve customer satisfaction and retention. So kind of, if the stuff we’ve been talking about today resonates with you. I think that webinar is going to be an awesome thing to check out.

Scott Luton (00:54:12):

Um, agreed. Yeah. Ellen, and you know what we also talked about in this session, Greg, if you remember CROs CROX, the CROX is talk about popularity and that I can’t imagine, uh, how CROX plans and forecasts cause my kids love, they can’t get enough CROs and that’s been one of y’all’s partners that you, that you, you have helped op optimize their operations and make it easier to meet their demand. Um, enormous demand, uh, here in recent years. So y’all check out the webinar. We’ve got the link in the comments, uh, Greg, and we’ve talked about it. Like you’re not here a little bit, but, uh, your takeaway from that webinar and a lot of fun we had,

Greg White (00:54:49):

Well, I mean, I think about, um, how supply chain plays into the bigger picture of companies these days and how, um, you know, you’re not, you’re not just satisfying your current customers. You’re also defending your brand identity and CROX is a great example of that, by the way, one of the most capital efficient public companies on the planet. Hmm. Um, and, and a lot of that has to do with how they manage their supply chain and, you know, think that taking, and, and you nailed this, um, is that this is the year of responsiveness, right? First it was supply problems. Then it was demand problems. We are not predicting effectively, which we’ve talked about and nausea here, but also the supply problems right now. I mean, think about this Scott, as we were, as I was preparing for this show. Yes. Which I know it’s hard to believe, but I do.

Greg White (00:55:43):

<laugh> um, I was thinking about where we are in peak season and that a lot of goods for peak season are landing now or will be, or should be, and will be landing in the next two, three months. I mean, that’s how early some of these goods get here. And then I started thinking about some discussions we’ve had, or some news we’ve heard about, uh, iRobot who will probably be selling Roombas from last year because of the port backups. They didn’t receive their Roombas before Christmas and only received them in the first quarter of this year. And, uh, and how many companies have become more responsive to avoid that scenario for this peak season. And, um, I think it’s really, really important. And I think Ellen, you nailed it. That responsiveness is the theme of the day for supply chains

Scott Luton (00:56:36):

That, and take action. Now don’t send your hands and, and say, woe is me and we gotta stuck there’s options out there. Hey, Kevin, I’m gonna get your last word. But before I do really quick, Jonathan, uh, agrees, you know, culture. We we’ve mentioned that throughout the conversation here today. Uh, big part, uh, completely agree with that. Uh, Dr. Julio is talking about, um, going back to forecasting, it’s not about the methods rather how they are misused and not understood. That’s a great point, Fred Berg’s with us here today. Great summer. It’s a great summer day to be in supply chain, Greg. That is the hook

Greg White (00:57:11):

Doc holiday of supply chain.

Scott Luton (00:57:12):

Yeah. Holiday of supply chain. Thank you. Yes. Um, and I’m not ignoring, we couldn’t get all the comments here. We got a link to the website, but, uh, uh, why is GSU making some great points here? We’ll have to have a, a full blown forecasting and, and, uh, planning conversation soon, but Kevin, your final word about, um, kind of, you know, retail inventory getting ready for peak, your final thoughts here, Kevin.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:57:36):

So I was looking at TV day and they were talk, they were interviewing this woman and it’s June. Right. And she was talking about how she is already finished her Christmas shopping now, now, now, now why? Because <affirmative> because of last year there were so many shortages. She started at the normal time. Right. You know, people are starting little couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, right. To do Christmas shopping, you know? Um, and she said, I am not gonna be caught, um, hot, um, without the toys under the tree this year, because of last year. So how many of the forecast models have what happened last year in them? Right. So how many of them are going to forecast customers that are going to start buying stuff because they believe, or they feel there’s gonna be supply chain issues this year. Mm. So that’s almost guaranteed that, right. You know, it’s not gonna mean 99.9, 9% wrong. It’s gonna, you’re gonna put like another seven nines on that. <laugh>

Scott Luton (00:58:57):

It’s gonna be like, Wimbleton like the Wimbledon mistake.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:59:02):

So, um, so you, you, you have to leverage automation and understand your customers today. They have the experience of last year and that’s how that’s gonna drive their actions.

Scott Luton (00:59:17):

Amen. Well said, Kevin and Greg, uh, and Ellen, you’re gonna get the final word here today. Um, let’s make sure folks know how to connect with you, Ellen. Uh, also six river systems. What’s the easiest way we’ve got the webinar out there, but what’s the easiest way.

Ellen Patridge (00:59:31):

Yeah. So easiest way to connect with me. You can find me on LinkedIn. I believe that everyone has found me just by searching Ellen, Patrick, um, the image. But in addition, I would say if you wanna check out six server systems, so we have six river.com. If you wanna check out our website and also you can follow six server systems on Twitter and LinkedIn are the two best spots.

Scott Luton (00:59:52):

Excellent. And, you know, uh, beyond the webinar, we’ve got, there’s a ton of resources that you can check out via, uh, there, their social handles, uh, and connect with Ellen. Uh, we’ve really enjoyed our conversations with Ellen. She’s very connected, um, uh, with what’s going on in the industry and very personal, we had a lot of fun talking food to sports to, to you name it. Um, so Greg and Kevin, uh, heck of a show here with Ellen, uh, patron with six river systems, Kevin really quick, how can folks find you lead? Of course, digital transformers, one of our most popular, uh, uh, podcasts here at, at, uh, supply chain now almost at six river systems at supply chain. Now, um, Kevin, how can, how can folks find, find your show?

Kevin L. Jackson (01:00:35):

Well, always on digital transformers, I’m gonna plug next week. We release our new July, um, addition of digital transformers. And we’re gonna talk about the largest blockchain implementation currently in the us federal government called Emma. So that’s gonna be that’s that big show actually have the project manager from the, uh, us census bureau gonna talk about digital transformation of the us federal government. So that’s gonna be a big show and you can find on, yeah, so you can find me on supply chain now.com digital transformers, Twitter, Kevin underscore Jackson, or LinkedIn.

Scott Luton (01:01:22):

Wonderful. It’s just that easy. And of course you can look up digital transformers with Kevin Jackson, wherever you podcast and subscribe. So you gonna miss a thing. Uh, Ellen, Greg and Kevin. One of my favorite acronym acronyms, uh, lately has been VUCA stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, uh, Jose Montoya. Great to have you here. Love your great work you do. But as Jose says, it’s in our daily life, therefore we have to be prepared. It’s not going anywhere. George is like, Hey, can we say bull whip effect? <laugh> uh, yeah, say it louder for the folks in the back George excellent point. Um, but folks, whatever you do, Greg, throw down the gauntlet, uh, issue your challenge. And then I’m a son off here with Ellen and Kevin and me and you issue your challenge. What do folks gotta do?

Greg White (01:02:09):

Well, I mean, we’ve gotta focus on responsiveness. Uh, uh, and, and, and we’ve got to make sure that we are looking to the future. We are forecasting the right things, casting our gaze into the future, but yes, I have to, I have to stipulate that with this. I feel so good about the future of supply chain with people like Ellen out there, uh, to carry on mantle as some of us get old. So thank you, Ellen. I appreciate, I appreciate your point of view and your expertise

Scott Luton (01:02:38):

<laugh>, um, shifting your gaze. That is such a, uh, a shakes period. Very dramatic. I’m gonna completely steal that from you, Greg, but I agree, uh, a lot of passion and expertise and, uh, content we covered here today on the supply chain buzz big, thanks to all of y’all that tuned in most importantly, also big thanks to Greg, Kevin and Ellen, uh, for the conversation today, make sure you connect and follow these folks across social. Make sure, Hey, if you’re a supply chain leader, business leader, retail leader, make sure you take action. There’s so many great resources out there that can help you make it easier on your people through this upcoming peak season. But Hey, they’re not gonna do it for you. You gotta, you gotta take the first step and reach out. So connect with Ellen and the six river systems team, uh, but whatever you do, folks, uh, big thanks, uh, to the production team as well for making it happen today. Uh, Scott Luden challenging you to do good to give forward and to be the change that’s needed. And with that said, we’ll see next time, right back here. Won’t supply chain now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (01:03:39):

Thanks for being a part of our supply chain. Now, community check out all of our programming@supplychainnow.com and make sure you subscribe to supply chain. Now anywhere you listen to podcasts and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on supply chain. Now.

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Featured Guests

Ellen Patridge is a Senior Product Manager at 6RS, specializing in fulfillment center optimization algorithms that drive work prioritization, cartonization, path planning, and many other operations within a warehouse. Over the past 4+ years, Ellen has worked across both product management and data analytics, leading the product development of all the allocation algorithms in use at 6RS and building out of many of the reporting tools and dashboards used by customers and internal teams. She is an operations research engineer at heart with a passion for everything inventory, and enjoys bridging the gap between technology and the people using it. Connect with Ellen on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

Kevin L. Jackson

Host, Digital Transformers

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.

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Vicki White

Controller

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.

From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.

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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.

She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.

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Greg White

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

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.

Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog.  He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community.  Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include CiscoMicrosoft, Citrix and IBM.  Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane UniversityO’Reilly MediaLinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight.  Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems EngineeringCarrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.

He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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Jeff Miller

Host

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.

An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.

A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.

A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning.  He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.

Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.

Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics.  He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.

He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.

A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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