Supply Chain Now
Episode 896

We are going to reshore all of our manufacturing immediately.
- Pretty much everyone during the pandemic

Reshoring is harder than it sounds.
- Everyone today

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!

With regular host Scott Luton on the road, Kelly Barner, host of Dial P for Procurement, stepped in to kick the week off right with Greg White. After trying to logic their way through the fan appeal of the USFL, they took four top news stories and discussed them individually before looking for connections between them.

In this session, created in collaboration with a live Supply Chain Now audience, Kelly and Greg covered:

  • Why the anticipated sudden reopening of the port in Shanghai may be too much of a good thing for other port cities around the world
  • How successful Tempur Sealy is likely to be in their quest to diversify sourcing so they can mitigate the risk of future China lockdowns
  • Whether working in the metaverse will help Kraft Heinz solve its supply chain problems
  • Does our amusement at the Ukrainian “hacktivist” DDoS attack on Russia’s vodka supply chain outweigh the concern about cybersecurity in general?

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (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,

Kelly Barner (00:31):

Hey everybody happy Monday. Welcome to the buzz here on supply chain. Now I’m Kelly Barner sitting in for Scott Luton, but I’m thrilled to have you with me, Greg, how you doing today?

Greg White (00:41):

I’m doing well. Thank you. I’m I’m thrilled to have you as the adult in the room <laugh> for this. So, which is always so fun. We get, we get to hear totally new perspectives

Kelly Barner (00:51):

And we don’t wanna make it sound like more than it is being the adult in the room basically means having a mouse and being able to tell time <laugh> so it doesn’t actually guarantee any level of conversation. Sophistication. I’ll probably not my Have a whole bunch of stuff we’re gonna talk about today. Um, including you and I are both gonna figure out if we know anything between us about the SFL little bit of spring

Greg White (01:24):

Football, right. If anyone does

Kelly Barner (01:25):

Exactly. I know. So as, as we’re going in and getting started can see folks have already popped up and started saying hi in the chat, uh, feel free to educate Greg and I we’re trying to navigate this SFL thing. Yeah. Um, so I’m gonna throw to you on this first, Greg, because you were sharing back in the green room that this is actually sort of a reincarnation of something that already existed before that I’m just now discovering as new, because I didn’t notice the other time they tried it

Greg White (01:55):

<laugh> well, Kelly, truthfully, you could have been in grade school when they tried it last because the USFL, um, LA last was in the eighties. So the great and most famous player of the old FL is Herschel Walker running for Senate now, by the way. But the great running back from the university of Georgia, um, he actually played in the FL before he came over to the NFL and ultimately the FL failed. But I see that that, that the mere specter of failure has not stopped them from doing it all over again. <laugh> The same teams, the New Jersey generals, Birmingham stallions, Houston gamblers, all names from that league. I don’t know why I remember that. And I don’t remember if any of these other teams actually existed in the previous league. Are there only eight teams? I don’t know.

Kelly Barner (02:51):

There’s not a lot.

Greg White (02:52):

I, I think that there are about as many fans in the fans as there are teams in the league, um, from looking at the highlight reel, which opened with a field goal and a fumble <laugh> to give you an idea. So, um, and I gotta tell you, Kelly, I’m a little bit burned by the old, uh, what did I call it? The league of UNT talented players, uh, league that occurred during COVID that was supposed to have been funded for three years. That lasted eight weeks.

Kelly Barner (03:22):

Was that the one that was supposed to be really aggressive? Like we’re promising it’s gonna be more aggressive than normal football.

Greg White (03:28):

Yeah. Yeah, I think so. Uh, it was really hard to watch, honestly, Kelly, it was terrible. And Amanda, you know, to give us an idea of how people have tried to adapt football, um, talked, talked about arena football, which <laugh> she said, I’m sorry, this is hilarious. She said is like watching football at the circus <laugh>,

Kelly Barner (03:53):

Which

Greg White (03:53):

Is perfect description for arena football and probably a lot more entertaining than SFL football. So,

Kelly Barner (04:01):

And perhaps better attended.

Greg White (04:03):

Yeah. Clearly

Kelly Barner (04:03):

Everybody likes the circus.

Greg White (04:05):

Yeah, that’s right. <laugh> that’s right. And I I’ve gotta tell you I’ve I think if you watch enough highlights or enough of these games, you will get a look at the quality of the stands for a few stadiums around the country, because nobody is watching these games as near as I can tell people might be watching ’em on television, honestly, Kelly it’s week four, the season, and I already forgot that they existed. So, uh, I’m not sure what to think about it. What, what do you think about, I mean, you’re you and I, I think we are blessed to be fans of two of the greatest football teams in the league. So you the Patriots and me the what as a serious Kelly as a serious NFL fan, what do you really think about this curious?

Kelly Barner (04:52):

Well, I’m not a serious NFL fan. I would never try to pretend with this audience NASCAR fan, even though didn’t Don’t Kelly, what football team I cheer for the Shrewsbury Patriots, The very, oh, okay. I, I cheer for the very local team, you know? Yeah. With the fifth and sixth graders playing on

Greg White (05:12):

It with your kids on it,

Kelly Barner (05:14):

With my kids on it. But what I will tell you what I think you talked about how many people watch this sport. Here’s what I think is interesting. Usually these sports end up being something that the different networks fight over. Right. Right. Is this race gonna be on Fox or ESPN? Right. There’s my NASCAR perspective. These games are being simultaneously broadcast, I think on Fox sports and another broadcast channel. To me, that was kind of interesting, cuz usually

Greg White (05:40):

That’s very telling

Kelly Barner (05:41):

And these channels are willing to share and isn’t that nice?

Greg White (05:45):

Yeah. Yes, yes. How polite? Yes. Yeah. Well, I mean, if, I don’t know how long the games are even, but you know, everybody’s got throwaway time. What day do they play on? Oh yeah. Um, maybe

Kelly Barner (05:57):

Saturdays,

Greg White (05:58):

Maybe it’s maybe these games are played at five 30 in the morning on Sunday instead of those infomercials with an actual NFL player. Terry Bradshaw. I mean, it could be that it

Kelly Barner (06:10):

Could be,

Greg White (06:11):

I hope it’s not costing Terry Bradshaw money because it gives so much of it away. Every season.

Kelly Barner (06:15):

I know that’s right. You could win Terry Bradshaw’s money. That’s right, exactly. <laugh> so we’re we have Scott away so that you and I get to have a good time to

Greg White (06:25):

Play. Yeah.

Kelly Barner (06:26):

But Greg, I feel like I need to warn you. We are being watched.

Greg White (06:30):

Of course we are.

Kelly Barner (06:31):

We are being watched. Yes. Scott is keeping an eye on us. He’s in Orlando, Scott, you would better be doing something more fun than watching the buzz after this.

Greg White (06:41):

Okay. And more interesting than watching the, uh, the USFL I should say. Yeah,

Kelly Barner (06:45):

Exactly. That’s right. Um, but if anybody watching wants to educate Greg and I we’re open to adding to our FL knowledge, uh, we also have Dr. Ronza bump Zimmerman with us. Happy Monday to you, Dr. Rhonda, thank you for being here. And uh, we’ve

Greg White (07:05):

Maybe, maybe Rhonda, you could play in the USFL, the, the quarterback and we know you can run. So, so

Kelly Barner (07:16):

You just never

Greg White (07:16):

Know yourself if recruiting, you don’t do that to yourself. <laugh>

Kelly Barner (07:20):

And we’ve got Ryan. Hello Ryan. Long time listener. First time live streaming. Don’t let us good ruin your faith in the supply chain. Now family of programming <laugh> this is gonna be a wild start to the week.

Greg White (07:32):

And, but we are gonna get to supply chain, Ryan. So yes, hang tight.

Kelly Barner (07:36):

Yes. And I’m gonna make sure everyone is a good start to their week. I’m gonna let Greg talk about China. So buckle up. This is about to get interesting. Um, and I also wanna say hi to Kivan. Hello? Kivan thank you for all of our regulars that have rejoined us.

Greg White (07:52):

Right.

Kelly Barner (07:54):

All right, Greg, you ready?

Greg White (07:55):

Let’s do it. Let’s talk about something meaningful, right? Outta

Kelly Barner (07:58):

The gate. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Something me, are you suggesting the USFL and the circus are not meaningful societal institutions?

Greg White (08:06):

Uh, no. I’m suggesting that the circus is meaningful, but the SFL is not just to be clear.

Kelly Barner (08:12):

Okay. Just so we’re totally, absolutely clear. Okay. <laugh> so in terms of talking about something meaningful, maybe a supply chain thing, um, people are starting to panic that they’re going to get what they’ve been hoping for. Right. So things in Shanghai have been pretty backed up. Right. And China is basically saying, Hey, we’re getting ready to clear this backlog. We’re gonna start sending ships out, sending containers out. So basically they’re saying heads up incoming. Um,

Greg White (08:45):

I like that

Kelly Barner (08:46):

<laugh> that’s, that’s the technical right information. Yeah. Probably sounds different in Chinese. Um, but currently in LA there are 16,000 containers waiting to be loaded onto trucks when there should be about 9,000.

Greg White (09:01):

Wow.

Kelly Barner (09:01):

And there is no space available to move this stuff to. So according to, um, and production has the link. I don’t know if you guys wanna pop this in the chat ports, race to clear cargo, fearing and overload when China lockdowns lift less than 1% of the warehousing space in Southern California is currently available. So Greg, what I wanna know from you right off the bat, is it time to panic yet?

Greg White (09:30):

Um, gosh, you know, I don’t think so. I don’t know. I don’t know. The panic helps anything is, is point, would it be a natural response to panic? Yes. Especially historically for supply chain professionals historically. Yes. That’s exactly what they would do as panic. But the truth is it’s gonna be what it’s gonna be. Or as our friends in New York, Kelly, like to say it is what it is. So, um, I, I think what we have to recognize is that while, um, the, the backup has become huge in China, we have to recognize that I believe this has little to do with COVID and more to do with penalizing the world’s economies for penalizing Russia, for their aggression in Ukraine. I mean, it’s impossible to believe that China virtually the only nation in the world that has not condemned, uh, Russia in any way is not complicit in what they’re doing.

Greg White (10:29):

And it, and the timing was remarkably similar to a, of this lockdown was remarkably close to, uh, a, a new set of sanctions that were leveled against Russia. Not unlike China’s. Some people will recall China’s energy crisis that occurred about the time the Paris Accords landed some, uh, incredibly damning language about China and, and the resolution of that energy crisis that occurred immediately following the removal of that damning language from the energy Accords. So look, we have to recognize that China is going to believe that they can and that they can manipulate the world’s economies to do what they want with actions like this. So, um, they’ve, they’ve either reached a tipping point from an economic standpoint where they need to clear the ports for their own purposes. Yeah. Or, you know, they see something or they’ve had some communication that, that none of us see.

Greg White (11:32):

So you asked for it. Right. And you knew it was coming. So, um, will that cause issues in the ports? Yes. Do I think that is also intentional on China’s part? Absolutely. Yeah. That’s exactly what they want is these ebbs and flows of product so that it continually jams up one way or the other, the economies of the world that are so subsistent to their, sorry, not subsistence. So subject to their, um, to their supplies. Right. So, yeah. It’s just, it’s just ways in which they keep the pendulum swinging to keep supply chains on the back foot, around the world.

Kelly Barner (12:11):

Yeah. Now Greg, have I shared with you my working girl theory of how to read the news, right. Melanie

Greg White (12:18):

Gr would love hear

Kelly Barner (12:18):

That. Okay. So

Greg White (12:20):

Yeah. Remember the movie, of course. Yeah.

Kelly Barner (12:22):

Anybody who hasn’t seen working, girl, don’t go watch it right now, but add it to your list for this weekend. You need to go see this movie. She’s a secretary and she’s on the ferry going to work in New York. And she reads in the paper, something about tra broadcasting, wanting to sell something or trying to grow their business. And elsewhere, she reads something that gives her an idea that suggests Trask should start investing in radio. Now this is like mind blowing apparently in the eighties, but her idea is so wild. And yet it ends up being so successful that the bad guy, Sigourney Weaver tries to steal the idea from her. So when I read the news, I try to read what’s directly on the page, but then what else is on the page? So I’m prepping for today, Greg and I had a working girl moment.

Kelly Barner (13:11):

I’m reading an article about how China’s inflation is only at 1.3%. I think they were saying, they’re not expected to go above the 3% target inflation rate for the year. And they’re achieving that through playing with inventory, right. And also through price controls. And so I started to think to myself, not that China should advertise on radio, but that if they can control prices and if they can control inventory, why can’t they control when all these container ships leave Shanghai so that they don’t all hit LA at the same time. So I share your skepticism. I think there’s, they’re doing it on purpose. Um, I, you know, if you have that much control over your economy, you know, freight as it comes and goes, but we on this side of the ocean need to be ready to receive. What’s about to be incoming cause consumers want the stuff that’s inside those containers.

Greg White (14:06):

I think we have to further Kelly be ready to, uh, for the inevitable upheaval that it will, it will cause. And as long as, as long as the world’s leaders and I think they’re doing so appropriately continue to stand up to this dictatorial, oppressor Putin in his unjustified and illegal war. Um, then I think we can expect these things to continue to happen both from the Russians who could only sustain, continue to sustain this war by cash infusions from the Chinese, because their economy is collapsing as we speak. Um, but also because the Chinese see an opportunity to make profit and destabilize the world’s economies and governments, and that of course works to their benefit. So they’re gonna continue to do so. Um, you should have heard the conversation halt with, with one of my investment advisors today, when I mentioned that that was what was going on in China, he just went,

Kelly Barner (15:10):

Well, we may be crazy, but we’re not alone, Greg, uh,

Greg White (15:13):

Or wrong or wrong. We may be crazy, but that does not make us wrong. No.

Kelly Barner (15:17):

Right. That’s absolutely true. And we’ve got some comments coming in from the sky boxes that we’ve got some fellow crazies with us. Yeah. Uh, Josh is, is agreeing here economic punishment and supply chain manipulation have been around as long as the silk road. So amen. Not a new idea. Right. And less we forget, there’s always a, a fun longshoreman strike to look forward to this summer.

Greg White (15:42):

Yeah, that’s right. I mean, you know, and, and to both of those points, there are often manipulation. So I was a, I was a purchasing agent for a retailer. And every year, what we tried to predict was which, and how many union carbide plants would, would explode and be offline for production for how much time. So, you know, so that they could Jack the price of antifreeze effectively antifreeze up. And we would try to stock up ahead of that. That’s I mean, that became part of our supply chain strategy was stocking up ahead of that. So look, it, the disruption, even manipulation is not new to the supply chain, but, um, there are, um, there are unquestionably ones that are more disruptive, especially with our incredible dependence on China.

Kelly Barner (16:36):

Agreed. So let’s move on to article number two, right?

Greg White (16:41):

Yeah. Cuz this may actually give us some relief at some point. Right.

Kelly Barner (16:45):

<laugh> so back during the pandemic, I’m sure you remember this. Um, everybody was like, that’s it, we’re now gonna reassure all manufacturing immediately. There’ll be no more overseas sourcing manufacturing component assembly. We’re gonna do it all in Des Moines. Right. Everything’s coming back to the United States that’s right. Everything. Um, regardless of where those materials are and if suppliers actually exist to provide them domestically

Greg White (17:11):

Or we could pay for labor at 10 times the rate that they pay for labor in China. Right.

Kelly Barner (17:17):

Exactly. Exactly. So we’ve got a great example of a real company, temp, Seally, the mattress company, uh, changing their sourcing strategy to mitigate some of this risk. So, uh, the first, I think takeaway from this article now, we all know reassuring is a whole lot harder than it looks, you know, sounds like a great idea, but when you actually try to carry it out very difficult to effectively achieve. Um, so they’re diversifying their sourcing and investing in inventory. So here’s what I think. Interesting Greg, and, and maybe this is where I’ll have you start, you know, big dramatic, they’re expecting a 10 million drag on their revenues in Q2 from all this.

Greg White (18:01):

Right.

Kelly Barner (18:02):

But if you actually go look at what this company’s revenues are, tempere, that’s about a percent, right, right. So they’re talking about the 10% drag, but to what extent is that something that they really need to focus on versus sort of reinforcing this existing narrative that it’s hard to reassure and we’re gonna throw out a number that sounds really big in a consumer market when from a corporate standpoint, 1% is not,

Greg White (18:31):

Are Hispanic. I, I think there, there are a couple of things here and that is one you’re right. They are like so many and let’s face it. This is probably helped by the journalists. In some cases, I’m not saying in this one, but hyperbolic, um, terminology to get reads or get clicks or get watches or whatever. But, you know, I think what’s interesting here is, is the story of, of Tempur-Pedic is they saw this coming and they did something about it in advance. So they’ve actually mitigated some of what the impact could be. So I, I, I am encouraged that there are actually companies thinking like this, that the word safety stock was actually even mentioned in an article by about a manufacturer. Yes. Is, is a huge leap, great leap compared to how manufacturing has typically been done in the past, which is they foisted all of the inventory risk to their distributors and retailers who have to carry safety stock while they keep their inventories lean to keep their profit and margins high.

Greg White (19:41):

Um, so I, I think that they’re, I, I don’t know that this is indicative of this, but there are at least some realizations going on in the marketplace where companies at the manufacturing and brand tier are starting to realize that they need to take on some of that risk. Yeah. Because, and Scott and I talked about this last week, Kelly, and I think we talked about this Friday in the team call there’s nowhere to hide consumers. All of us know it doesn’t have to be Target’s fault if they’re out of mattresses, it could be the distributor’s fault or it could in fact be the manufacturer’s fault. So there is no, there are no dark spaces in supply chain anymore. So you can’t hide from your contribution to the disruption of the supply chain. And I think companies like Tempe are starting to recognize that and counteract and preempt that.

Greg White (20:29):

And I think it’s fair for them to do so by the way, because manufacturers make a huge portion of the gross and net margins in commerce. Whereas a distributor often makes less than zero to 3% net margin and retailers make anywhere from one to 5% net margin that’s margin after taxes. Yeah. Um, Ru manufacturers routinely make double digit net margins 12, 19, 20% routinely. And I’m not saying that’s 10 Sealy. Sure. But they are well above five, usually in the nine to 21% range, somewhere in that range. So they can afford to mitigate this risk. The reason that they don’t want to is because it’s going to hit their stocks. So it’s an opportune time now also Kelly. Yeah, because I don’t know, I don’t follow or own temp Seally stock, but I bet it’s already been hit they’re piling on right now, Kelly, with that terminology, that retail or that, uh, revenue is gonna be hit. Now, when the stocks already pressed down to avoid it being pressed down when the stock starts coming back, which it will is not going anywhere.

Kelly Barner (21:43):

And I would also argue that if, if companies are really serious about whether it’s reassuring or changing how they manage inventory to reduce the likelihood of, of stockouts. I also think that to some extent you have to be willing to go back to the drawing board and design a product that is intended to be, I guess you would say reshored um, yeah, but manufactured locally, right. There was a, another article this weekend. I think it was in the wall street journal about a European sneaker maker whose whole mission is to manufacture these lines of shoes in country locally. And what they found was that they had to change the design mm-hmm <affirmative> they had to alter materials and they had to significantly reduce the number of, I guess you’d say components about shoes. And then even on top of all that, they faced difficulty and disruption and they had to partner to get these other materials made. And they’re selling the shoes for $200 a pair, which most, so it’s a specialty kind of product

Greg White (22:44):

At the end. Right’s a premium brand. Right? Exactly. It’s effectively luxury product.

Kelly Barner (22:48):

Yeah, exactly. Not, not as scalable as something where you’re looking at Tempe, very common brand of mattresses that people are bringing into their homes. It’s not gonna work if it starts to actually impact the cost of the product.

Greg White (23:00):

Yeah. Unquestionably. Yeah. That’s a great observation because you’re right where they are premium luxury brands. There’s a lot more, uh, lot less margin pressure. Um, in terms of relative dollars, if you, if you build it, as you talked about strangely, um, as the economy slows, which it is unquestionably doing in the United States and, and in many, many areas around the world, luxury brand, some of these companies, you wanna talk about a whiplash effect. They will have just built up a supply chain and a supply for products that will have less demand as the economy slows. So that is super risky. This is, you know, as we have this discussion, Kelly, I’m um, very aware that in supply chain we have made our job. We have made our practice by looking backwards and hoping that predicts the future. Yes. But the truth is, you know, as investment people love to say past performance is no indication of future value, right?

Greg White (24:03):

Yes. And I think that that’s wisely something, that’s something that really needs to change. And in some cases I see it changing, I think temper Sealy on from one aspect, from a sourcing aspect, they have changed to trying to look more towards the future and, you know, and predict why things are happening and what’s coming. But at the same time, there are some aspects of the business that will remain laggard. Yes. And therefore, um, you know, subject them to great risks. So it’s not an easy transition. It’s not really anybody’s fault, but it is nonetheless a transition that we need to make both in the procurement and in the, in the supply chain, if you, as you, if you insist on separating them Kelly, <laugh>,

Kelly Barner (24:46):

We’re just cousins.

Greg White (24:48):

I know. We’re just cousins. I get,

Kelly Barner (24:50):

So lemme pause here in a, pull in a few comments from the audience. Yeah. Um, totally agree with this. Kevin, as Greg said, you cannot hide from your contribution to the disruption. Even if you can hide your inventory on somebody else’s balance sheet, you have to own the role that you played and in bringing that about.

Greg White (25:11):

Yeah.

Kelly Barner (25:12):

And hello from Peter Bole. Oh,

Greg White (25:14):

All night, all day, all

Kelly Barner (25:15):

Day. Thank you, Peter. Glad you’re here with us. And then of course I would be remiss. Scott thinks I’m doing a good job. Thank you, Scott. No pressure knowing you’re watching. Um,

Greg White (25:28):

<laugh> yeah, I think you’re doing great Kelly.

Kelly Barner (25:30):

Well, thank you. And, and it was a French shoe company. I’m glad, I didn’t guess because I was gonna guess German so glad I knew it was European. Um, so it was great article in the, in the Saturday wall street journal. If you have access, go back and read that, but eliminating two thirds of a product, I mean, that is a complete, and that’s not even a redesign, that’s a brand new product that you’re inventing, designing from the

Greg White (25:54):

Ground’s point. Excellent point. Excellent point. I, you know, and I think, um, you know, the other thing that, um, that Sealy is doing that I think is, is important is that they are, they have, I have completely lost my train of thought. I’m so sorry that that statement has really got me thinking about other things. But I, I, I think that what’s, um, important is that these companies are innovating, right? Yes. Oh, this is the other thing is secondary sourcing. It doesn’t have to be reassured. You can. And, and this isn’t something that has occurred in retail and in distribution for a long, long time, for instance, in the food industry, you might get some of your oranges from this farm, maybe even 90%, but you keep this farm. Yeah. 10% on the hook, knowing that they can ramp up and you maintain a relationship, which I know is important, Kelly, right?

Greg White (26:50):

You maintain a relationship where when times get tough and these folks over here, can’t fulfill your demand. You can go to somebody else and say, Hey, we need you to ramp up and fill the gap. And they are more than happy to do so. Right. Because you’ve proven to them that they’re a valued provider and they see some upside, not just temporarily, but of course temporarily, but not just temporarily. But if they understand just like many companies are starting to understand if a company’s supply chain becomes unreliable, people are gonna look to move the other direction. So, um, I think that’s something that we need to consider. Also, even if that secondary sourcing is a little bit higher priced, you blend that into the risk of your supply chain, right? Yeah.

Kelly Barner (27:32):

And that’s one that procurement has to own because for so many years, the whole focus was priced. Yes. The rumors are true. All we cared about was the price and stuff that we bought. I’m owning that on, on live video. That’s, that’s what we did. But in order to do that, you had to leverage as much of your volume as you could through ideally a single source in many cases. Yeah. And that gave you no backup, right. Because companies aren’t taking on new customers when things are bad system wide. So, um, absolutely understanding the potential of paying a little bit more to your ability to ward off disruption. It’s a much more complicated calculation, but we should be at the point where we’re expected to be able to make that kind of business case, to pay a little bit more, to keep the operation running.

Greg White (28:20):

Yeah. Yeah. I agree. And, and manufacturers can afford it because those few points of margin that they lose by having a secondary option are much, many fewer points they than they lose by losing a unit of sales. Yes. Right. Because you lose every point of margin if you lose sales. So,

Kelly Barner (28:41):

And it seems like a good question to ask when you’re selecting a manufacturer to partner with yeah. Find out how they’re managing their sourcing. You know, when you send out that RFP and you’re asking questions, don’t just ask all the boiler plate stuff, find out because you’re really dependent on their investment in their supply chain for them to be able to do what you need them to do for you. So asking that question right up front, I think you’re gonna uncover some differentiators that we might have not thought to ask about in the past.

Greg White (29:11):

Agreed. Eliminate those blind spots. That’s great. That’s

Kelly Barner (29:14):

Great. Absolutely

Greg White (29:15):

Strategy.

Kelly Barner (29:16):

So let me move us to the third story. You talked about food earlier, Greg

Greg White (29:20):

Always

Kelly Barner (29:21):

So always, so food with ketchup hopefully was, was part of your plan. Um,

Greg White (29:27):

Always this is

Kelly Barner (29:29):

Ketchup on everything. Um, interesting article in the Pittsburgh post Gazette, um, talking about craft Hines. Now they’re saying in the article that they’re using the metaverse right to optimize their supply chains and their production, they’re really talking about digital twins. So they’ve got sort of a, a mocked out virtual production areas and data sets that they’ve been able to recreate so that they can scenario play and see what will happen with this kind of disruption. Where can we be more efficient there? Of course, the cool way now to say that is that you’re optimizing your supply chain in the metaverse

Greg White (30:09):

Right.

Kelly Barner (30:09):

Partnered with Microsoft to do this, which a little bit of a concern. This is sort of like where you go look at the SFL and their top two highlights are, what was it, a field goal and a fumble

Greg White (30:22):

You goal and a fumble. Yeah.

Kelly Barner (30:23):

So, okay. So maybe the use of metaverse as your field goal, Microsoft might be your fumble. Um, but they basically wanna be able to simulate how things are happening in their warehouses to ensure that they’re operationally ready, any experience with companies pushing into either the metaphor or if they’re cool, um, or simply using digital twins to, to figure out how they should be ready to handle disruption.

Greg White (30:50):

Yeah. As a matter of fact, I have a friend who’s got a company that does exactly that they model your production, mostly it’s, uh, picking and warehousing environments, but they, they model it. Um, and then they can show you what the change of shelving strategies, manpower, um, robotics, all of those things could be on, on your supply chain by doing that. And that’s exactly what they’re doing, uh, at craft Heinz. Uh, and which, by the way, to me is one of the, um, most important products. Hines ketchup is one of the most important products. This is a sad statement on, on my life, Kelly, but I am a ketchup connoisseur. I have actually been blind TA taste tested. And by a buddy of mine who owns a restaurant, he said, no way you can tell the difference between ketchups and I could not only tell him which one was Hines blindfolded. I could tell him the brand of, one of the others, interesting, who, who he taste tested with. Now, that being said, Kelly, I also had a, a bottle of Hines with my, uh, um, fries and my chicken wings last night, which are still grossly expensive. Um,

Kelly Barner (32:11):

You didn’t dip them

Greg White (32:12):

And even Hines what’s that

Kelly Barner (32:13):

Please tell me you didn’t dip the catch chicken wings in the catch.

Greg White (32:16):

Oh gosh, no, no, no, just the fries. Yeah. Steak fries, which are my favorite. Oh, wonders. Um, but, but Hines could probably use the metaverse or digital twins in my opinion, to make sure that their line changes are a lot more effective because I, again, knowing he’s ketchup, like I do, I tasted flavors that I hadn’t tasted before. Interestingly, it was somewhat of a vinegar taste. And in this article, they talk about how the ketchup and vinegar are made in the same factories on the same lines. So, um, and you know, that’s a sub, you know, that’s, I’m sure that’s a condition of shortage of labor and all of these other things that companies, I I’ve actually had that experience with many, many other products. So noticing Kelly, have you

Kelly Barner (33:08):

Taste overlap?

Greg White (33:10):

Yeah.

Kelly Barner (33:11):

No, but I’ll be honest. I don’t have a particularly sensitive pallet, especially when it comes to like

Greg White (33:16):

That was a blessing ketchup

Kelly Barner (33:18):

<laugh> I will say I was impressed with them. And I remember reading this back during the pandemic that they were able to pivot and instead of doing sort of the restaurant packaging of their ketchup, right. They were able to seamlessly pivot to the little packets yeah. That you’d wanna send home with like in a takeout box. I mean, it seems relatively simple, like just put it in the little packet instead of putting it in the bucket or however they send it to restaurants. Right. Pretty sophisticated difference.

Greg White (33:47):

Yeah. No doubt. And, and I think, um, I love that. What I think is fascinating about this is that we’re now calling it the metaverse frankly, if that’s the case, then whoever claims to have invent invented the metaverse didn’t even invent it because digital twins have been around Forny on a decade. And, and if I get this, this is marketing, right. The terminology here is marketing, but if the metaverse can be used for something productive, besides gaming and people who don’t wanna meet people, but do wanna meet virtual people, <laugh> then I’m all for it. So, um, and, and ultimately it is not a duplicate of a real life, but it is, uh, you know, it is, uh, kind of an inside track to an alternate reality that, um, CA can be, as we compelled people to be on the last article can be predictive of how the world, how your factories, how your, uh, your labor and teams will respond to changes, potential changes into the future. And every one of those insights as they talk about in this article, every one of those insights is valuable to go, oh, we wouldn’t have known, we had that problem until we ran the production line.

Kelly Barner (35:00):

That’s right.

Greg White (35:00):

Right. So,

Kelly Barner (35:02):

And actually, I think there’s probably a lot to be learned in the process of modeling, right? Because we talk about some of the issues of, I don’t know if it’s perspective bias or thought bias or whatever it is when we’re modeling things out to be able to use AI and machine learning. Right. There’s there’s biases that end up getting coded into these programs. Mm-hmm <affirmative> you still have to design your operation in the metaverse in order to run these scenarios. And what are you hopefully objectively open to learning from the process of modeling even before you start running scenarios?

Greg White (35:35):

Hmm. That objective openness is really, really critical. Yes. It really is because you can turn and we’ve seen, we see it all the time and in business, you can turn what you believe into the truth, or yeah. The truth into what you believe, if you just believe it hard enough. And I think you’re right, that hopefully this starts to open people’s eyes and minds to, um, to Scott just sent me a text message and he’s having wings and hot and, and cries for lunch <laugh> um, um, so open their, their minds and their ideas and even their perspectives to new ways of doing things. And I think that’s real. That is man, that is, as Scott would say, that’s a t-shirt is Kelly well said.

Kelly Barner (36:22):

Absolutely. And let me pull in a couple of comments here, cause we’ve actually had some really interesting comments come in while we were talking, um, Dr. Rhonda, I love this point single source for anything we need is not helpful in the long haul, diversify your personal and professional life, all the different relationships matter, especially when we are in a pickle. Amen. Hopefully Heinz pickle. Um, but absolutely it’s, it’s diversifying relationships as much as it is diversifying where we get things from, isn’t it?

Greg White (36:53):

Yeah. Yeah. And you know, and early in, uh, the pandemic lockdowns and all of that sort of thing, someone brilliant in, in procurement said, now it’s too late to make friends. You know, that’s much, that’s just a fraction of a much larger discussion, but yeah, if you have mistreated or ignored or, or, you know, otherwise been other than friendly with your trading partners now is not the time when you’re in a pickle is not the time to ask someone for a leg up. Right. So no,

Kelly Barner (37:28):

And also every category is now HR, right? Every single category of spend haven’t thought about that now has an HR component. There, there is no longer, I think janitorial service is the best example that I’ve heard anybody talk about. You know, that used to be a relatively spec and cost based service, but now it determines do people feel safe coming in your facility? Are people actually safe coming in your facility? Right. Right. It’s now a very different kind of game. So some of the things that we’ve learned, hopefully we’re gonna keep those as part of our thought process.

Greg White (38:03):

I, yeah, I agree with that. I think that, I mean, this is not to get too far off topic here, but I think we have been a little bit, uh, wild west ish with safety in the workplace. Right. I mean, think about how many times, I mean, early in our careers, Kelly, people used to think they were a hero. If they came to work sick that’s right. Personally and in companies I’ve run. I, I never felt that way. <laugh> um, and I would, I mean, I would ruthlessly send people home, do not get the entire office sick that does not make us better as a company. Right. Um, but we seem to have largely ignored that and rewarded as, as we’ve heard from, from Mike Griswold, rewarded the arsonist in some case yes. That hero that came in and got the entire office sick. Right. Uh, but I think a lot of that stemmed from the fact that in the past, it was very difficult for many companies to allow someone or to enable someone to work from home. Yeah. Um, so hopefully that’s another thing that’s changed that allows us to be a handle that, that aspect of safety in the workplace as well.

Kelly Barner (39:08):

Yeah. Well, speaking of making people sick, uh, Josh is sharing he’s with me on the limited appropriate use of ketchup. Worst business dinner I’ve ever had was when I watched my boss put ketchup on his medium, well, steak

Greg White (39:23):

Worst in two measures. <laugh> first of all, a medium, well, steak tells you that it wasn’t a good steak and two ketchup. Although I have to say my favorite football player ever, Patrick Mahomes until he actually moved to Kansas city, ate ketchup on his stakes. And he learned that in Texas shame on you Texans.

Kelly Barner (39:41):

Interesting. I would think it would be hot sauce from Texas. No, apparently not. Well, the production

Greg White (39:48):

Team

Kelly Barner (39:49):

Has Josh’s back. Josh. You were too good for that treatment. Don’t don’t you take that happy ending to the story.

Greg White (39:56):

Sorry. <laugh>

Kelly Barner (39:58):

This is an HR issue. You go fill out the form. My boss made me watch him eat a steak with catch up on it. And fortunately Josh took the day. He’s still at the company. The boss left probably terminated by HR for putting ketchup on his stake and exposing employees to that sort of abuse. <laugh>

Greg White (40:15):

That’s right. He was probably fired.

Kelly Barner (40:18):

He probably was fired. Um, alright, Greg, so we got another story and you talked a little bit earlier about the, the Warren Ukraine. I think a lot of people personally feel, feel very strongly. Um, I thought this was a great example of the power of supply chains. Uh, so we’ve got some Ukrainian denial of service attacks, specifically targeting Russia’s vodka, supply chains. Yeah. Um, this is from an InfoSec magazine. Um, it’s, it’s basically the system that you have to log into as a distributor before you can move product out to retail and out to restaurants. Uh, you have to file paperwork before you can move the alcohol. And basically they attacked that system so that the inventory was there and the demand was there, but they weren’t actually allowed to move any of it over, which you just have to love that. Don’t you,

Greg White (41:16):

You do, you do have to love that. I, I have to say, you know, early in the war, I saw bartenders pouring out vodka that they had already paid Russia for pouring out vodka. And I thought, well, that’s not a very good protest or resolution <laugh> this on the other hand. And I love the term activists

Kelly Barner (41:35):

I do

Greg White (41:35):

Too. Right. This, this on the other hand that I love. Right. <laugh> so yeah, you cannot transfer it or get paid for it. That’s right. Until, until the goods are freed in the yeah. In the us system. So genius, absolutely genius.

Kelly Barner (41:51):

But here’s another interesting thing that they talked about. So basically the actual impact of the activist doing this was pretty contained. I think there was one distributor that couldn’t move stuff for a day. You know, people were not running screaming in the streets because they couldn’t move the vodka around. It didn’t have that kind of an impact. But the article acknowledged the propaganda value mm-hmm <affirmative> of being able to do this. So while you, and I would read this story and laugh and absolutely love it, you’d think about the morale boost that men and women fighting in Ukraine, civilians that are still stuck in Ukraine. Right? This is back to this idea that we’re in a combination of nation states, groups, companies, wealthy individuals. This is a completely new kind of conflict, including hackers. The hackers are now getting involved as well.

Greg White (42:44):

I just imagine Kevin L. Jackson probably cringing at everything. You know, the fact that we’re laughing about this because you know, that that’s really his thing. This is still a crime just to be clear. Absolutely. And it’s a crime against the United States, not against Russia, this, this is still a crime, it’s still a danger. And what it also reflects is the continued fragility of supply chains. Not just because of what the companies control themselves, but their reliance on government programs and yes. And, um, regulatory systems to, uh, defend against these things. So it is a very serious issue. It’s a, it’s a shame. And I hope that it, that they take this. I hope that whoever’s out there is listening and they take this in the spirit is in which it’s intended start doing this while the vodka’s still in Russia.

Kelly Barner (43:36):

<laugh>

Greg White (43:37):

Now that’s funny. They’re it? That would be hilarious.

Kelly Barner (43:43):

We hope that they sit back and think about what they’ve done.

Greg White (43:46):

I’m, I’m sure that they

Kelly Barner (43:47):

Will. Yes. But since they did it right, we can enjoy reading the news story from afar. That’s right. Wink, wink. Um, so let’s do this then when I think about, again, going back to my working girl philosophy, so clearly almost any system can be hacked with the right motivation access in time. Right now, how does that make us rethink what we just talked about with craft Heinz in the metaverse modeling out all of their supply chains and warehouses and doing this analysis. I mean, to the point about needing objectivity, I would almost think whether it’s the platform that you’re using to model or whether it’s a consultant or service provider that you’ve brought in, be that objectivity in doing the modeling process, you’ve opened yourself up to multiple points of exposure. Right? Do how careful do companies need to be about modeling things, especially on external platforms, because they could fall victim to this kind of activism.

Greg White (44:49):

Yeah. Unquestionably, and you know, this, this has long been a discussion since technology started to move to the cloud. I recall, um, when we had a, we, when we moved our technology to the cloud in 2011, um, that we had clients who literally said, I will never use a cloud technology because I know that if it’s on my servers, it’s safe. So we created a white hat hacking, not even a team, just one guy. And, uh, his ability to hack into someone’s home network. Their corporate network, um, was much easier than, than using our, um, uh, a chant name, but all the usual suspects, our cloud network providers, um, it was much easier to do that. So I, I think we have to be aware that as much as, you know, we all love to poke, uh, poke in the eye and throw stones at Microsoft and Amazon and who and whomever else, um, that they at least have the wherewithal to be liable for our safety, our virtual safety in the metaverse and, and the cloud and wherever else you wanna, you wanna call it.

Greg White (46:08):

But, um, and I think that’s one of the things you have to consider is you have to be aware of the wherewithal, the discipline, the capabilities, and the state of security yeah. Of anyone that you do business with. So, um, if it’s easily demonstrated and in many cases, it is even with small companies, easily demonstrated, um, you need to ask those questions up front and, you know, and the, the real case is, um, you let’s say you use Microsoft as a platform or Amazon, you create both a target for yourself because that’s who people go after first. But you also put your hands in your, your safety in the hands of people with incredible means both physically yes. And fiscally to be able to create safety in the metaverse or the cloud or whatever. Um, and, and assure that your data remains safe.

Kelly Barner (47:03):

Yeah. Well, and this is something that we actually discuss all the time in, in procurement is this question of the kind of expertise that needs to exist in house, right? And cyber security is something that even with the best tools I would venture to say that even a really good it person working in a company does not have the bandwidth or experience to focus on ensuring that systems and data remains safe. And so if instead, you can go to one of these massive cloud hosting platforms, they have an entire team of people, right? They’re constantly monitoring, not only best practices around closing loopholes and tightening up security, but you know, we look at this story and say, interesting, right? The supply chain becomes a place that you can disrupt through government systems using, uh, a hack attack, but somebody else is gonna read this and say, okay, maybe they notice some nuance around the way this was used. They’re also looking for best practices from hackers so that they can be wording all of that off. I would want to not blindly, but I would wanna put my trust in faith, in the folks who live all the time, learning what’s being done by the bad guys, learning best practices, being done by the good guys and making sure that the platform is there to protect everybody that’s on it.

Greg White (48:23):

Yeah, I agree. And, and as you said, these companies with more wherewithal, they are in the dark web or whatever the heck it’s called. Yes. They are in there infiltrating those organizations and understanding they do understand the trends that are rising. So I was recently at a conference where Homeland security has people who are infiltrating these, these, uh, whatever you wanna call it, networks and syndicates. Yes. To understand, even if they can’t preemptively stop them, they preemptively understand where they’re going, what, where the trends are heading with the different types of attacks and things like that. So they can help companies to defend themselves if, if not prevent the attacks.

Kelly Barner (49:07):

Yeah. Well, let me go and pull in a few comments here. Um, Ryan, along with agreeing with us about misuse of ketchup, um, is also agreeing with you about not coming to work sick. Right. And so things like rewarding, perfect attendance. You are incentivizing people to come to work

Greg White (49:24):

Sick, good point.

Kelly Barner (49:25):

Right. I think it’s a great point. Um, and we also have a couple of comments from, aah, hopefully I’m saying that, right. Um, you know, looking back at what individuals can do through hacking by interrupting these, these Russian vodka manufacturers and, and transporters exposing the conflict between the people in power, but then what groups are built up through capitalism. Um, it’s the situation we’re in today is definitely not as straightforward as it might have been at one time.

Greg White (50:00):

Yeah. And I think we have to understand that, um, particularly the people in power. Yes. Right. I mean the old adage is no one is, is more slave than, than he who he, who has complete power. Right. Because you have to maintain that power. Um, but I, I, I think that’s the other thing we have to recognize is that politics is expeditious. It’s, what’s easy. It’s, what’s popular, it’s, what’s fast. And supply chain is exactly the opposite of that. It’s scientific and brute force meet, you know, absolute UN uh, flawless performance. So, um, you know, it, it’s going to continue to be a, a conflict. And you have to understand that unlike inflation, which is not transitory politics is very transitory and it sort of blows with the women fancy of the people. So that brings us as the people and in some countries like China and the Soviet or Russia did, I almost said something you <laugh> and Russia, that people not only have no control, they have no consequence as, as per the government, right?

Greg White (51:13):

Yes. They don’t care about the people at all. Um, and, but in countries where they do like the United States, which, which is a federal Republic, not a democracy, the myth that we keep perpetrating on our children, which is a federal Republic, um, and other demo democratic type, uh, nations around the world that the constituency matters and that the consti constituency has to, in order for politicians to have a broader, less transitory view, people have to have a broader, less transitory view. And frankly, we’ve proven over the millennia that that is impossible to, to achieve. So, um, we have to acknowledge our part in contributing to some of the dichotomy between the good of the people and the rule of the people. So, um, wow. That was, I didn’t mean to go there

Kelly Barner (52:05):

Deep on a Monday,

Greg White (52:06):

We I’m political science major. What can I say?

Kelly Barner (52:10):

But we have a, but we have love from aah. So thank you for sharing that we always like to bring in love. Okay. So apparently we’re not totally gonna escape. We’ve still got Scott listening in <laugh>.

Greg White (52:24):

Yes. Yeah.

Kelly Barner (52:26):

So happy day after mother’s day to all of our, our mothers out there, um, I’ve actually got some of my mother’s day swag with me. Uh, those are my mother’s day tulips.

Greg White (52:36):

All right. Just

Kelly Barner (52:37):

In touch. Nice for the, for the live stream. Um, I also have a clock. So future episode of this week in business history, I will be covering the history of the Avon company. My grandmother was an Avon lady for oh, mine,

Greg White (52:51):

Too. Awesome. Was she really? Yes,

Kelly Barner (52:54):

That is so cool. You could be a guest. You could come on. We could talk about, talk about what did your grandmother do with skin so soft because it had 1,000,001 uses, right.

Greg White (53:03):

The most valuable bug repellent on the planet. Yes.

Kelly Barner (53:08):

You did have the little cotton ball though. That was about the only thing you couldn’t just like, you had to have the little cotton ball to put it on. Um, but no, it was a, it was a very nice mother’s day. Happy mother’s day, 12 of the mothers that have, that have joined us. Uh, Greg, hopefully you lived up to expectations and Scott, you’re not off the hook on this. Hopefully you guys spoiled, um, Vicky and Amanda and had a terrific mother’s day.

Greg White (53:33):

Uh, I did my part and I also was very proud of my daughters who all did their part. So yes. Yeah.

Kelly Barner (53:40):

Excellent.

Greg White (53:40):

At some point you have to kind of put it on the kids as my dad used to say, she’s not my mother

Kelly Barner (53:47):

<laugh>,

Greg White (53:48):

I mean, right. It’s time for you to start buying gifts kid was what he meant by that.

Kelly Barner (53:52):

That’s true. That’s right. So, and, and now as we start rolling forward, I, I do have to point out, we know in supply chain, timing is strategic, right? There’s a reason mother’s day comes first because father’s day is either reciprocal giving or it’s payback. So you guys are gonna June, how you actually did on mother’s day,

Greg White (54:19):

Go back in June and

Kelly Barner (54:20):

Find out how you actually did on mother’s day. That’s

Greg White (54:23):

Good. Uh, my expectations are very low that’s. They’re good.

Kelly Barner (54:29):

Yeah. <laugh>

Kelly Barner (54:31):

All right. Well, thank you everybody for joining us for today’s live stream. Um, you’ve seen production has put the links to all of those articles into the comments as you’re watching either live or on demand, go back and read those articles and, and let us know. Yeah. What points were interesting to you? Um, or if you wanna try out my, my working girl philosophy, what connections do you see between those articles? Right. Cause just like we connected the craft Hines, metaverse over to our, our Ukrainian activist friends doing their little illegal propaganda that is nonetheless very amusing. Uh, there’s a lot more connections between these stories that might initially meet the eye.

Greg White (55:11):

Well, and we didn’t plan that Kelly. I mean, it’s just the discussion of that helps you understand the interconnectedness of supply chain and the various aspects of the world into which supply chain is connected as well. Right?

Kelly Barner (55:26):

Absolutely. Cause at the end of the day, all of it’s connected, right? It’s all we’re talking about. Cyber security. We’re talking about war, we’re talking about all these different things. Absolutely. All of it’s connected.

Greg White (55:38):

Yeah. And, and that makes it really fun and really difficult to manage because we have to consider things that are not at all within our control. And, but I think the awareness of that is making supply chain professionals that much better than they were. And it’s also making other management members who simply said every concept in supply chain says all of the things being equal. So just get it done. But now they’ve all realized that all of the things are never

Kelly Barner (56:09):

No, not even for a minute.

Greg White (56:11):

Right.

Kelly Barner (56:12):

<laugh> well, Greg, this was tons of fun. Thank you for having me. Thank you. Thank you for going to Orlando, Scott. Um, please do not put ketchup on your chicken wings. We’ll have to come down there and, and make you stop. Um, but for everybody that joined us live is listening later. I’m gonna give Scott’s sign off, do good, give forward and be the change that’s needed. Well, thank you. Thank you so much for being with us. Everybody have a great rest of your Monday.

Intro/Outro (56:41):

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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Kelly Barner

Host, Dial P for Procurement

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

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Vicki 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.

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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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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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