Supply Chain Now
Episode 786

This isn't about a single wave or a single event. This is about a change in how we think about uncertainty and risk in the world.

-Joel Beal, Alloy

Episode Summary

Is the worst of the semiconductor shortage over? Could rare earth mineral mining be coming stateside? And what about Omicron, inflation and SMB inventory planning? Uncertainty abounds – and co-hosts Scott and Greg are tackling it all with a little help from Joel Beal, CEO and co-founder of Alloy on the Supply Chain Buzz for December 6. From wearables with industrial applications to a new era of interconnectivity among enterprises, stay on the pulse of global industry with experts who stay a step ahead of new supply chain trends.

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 and Greg White with you here on supply chain. Now welcome to today’s live stream, Gregory. How are we doing?

Greg White (00:00:38):

Doing quite well? How are you doing?

Scott Luton (00:00:40):

I’m doing a wonderful, great weekend. Wonderful weekend. Lots, lots of rests catching up, got the tree, got things decorated, assembled a Christmas village. Nice. Which is a fun tradition. You ever done that? Uh, yeah.

Greg White (00:00:52):

Yeah. My wife has quite the Christmas village and we visited some friends during the week who it’s like the New York city of Christmas village.

Scott Luton (00:01:00):

<laugh> I gotta check. I’m gonna have to come over and, and, uh, compare notes in. We love, we have a small, but growing collection and it’s fascinating. It’s a good tradition. Now you’re on the road again today. Yes. From Kansas city. Is that right?

Greg White (00:01:13):

Kansas city. Yep. Yeah. Uh, went to the chief’s game last night and, uh, it was a pretty calm night. Actually. It was pretty cold. So believe it or not, chiefs fans were relatively quiet really. And yeah, and it wasn’t much of a game. So I mean, there wasn’t, you know, even at ten three, I think nobody was really that worried. There was no sign, no real signs of life from the

Scott Luton (00:01:36):

Broncos. Well, Kansas city continues to, to, um, put wins in the, uh, the winning uh they’re. They’re what leading to the division now, is

Greg White (00:01:46):

That right? Yeah. Yeah. So all of the division leaders are eight and four now in the AFC. How about that? How about that?

Scott Luton (00:01:54):

Yeah. Well, I never slept on the chiefs. I knew they were gonna bounce back and be good. And you never know, maybe, maybe they’re on the path back to super bowl this year. There

Greg White (00:02:02):

Are, are a lot of good teams in the NFL right now. There really are. If you look at, at any of the lists of who’s in and who’s out the list of who’s out consists of the Detroit lions, everyone else is, I mean, virtually everyone else <laugh> it’s has a statistically viable chance of, of making the playoff.

Scott Luton (00:02:21):

We know one last comment. I really, and we’re gonna talk about inventory and hoarding inventory. Uh, later in the hour. I really wish when the Falcons were playing really good football, I wish we had hoarded all that inventory from two or three years ago to use it now. Cause it’s, it’s painful to watch this Falcons team, but, uh, it’s a shame.

Greg White (00:02:40):

You can’t do that. Right. <laugh> when the game is played by robots maybe than you can.

Scott Luton (00:02:45):

Oh, maybe so, maybe so, but Hey folks, uh, today is it’s all about supply chain buzz, right? We’re tracking, uh, some of the leading stories across global business and yeah, we’ve got a big time guest joining us about 12:25 PM as we welcome in Joel BELE, CEO and co-founder of alloy. So buck up, get ready because we want to hear from you too, as we work our way through the stories. Now, Greg, we’re gonna make a quick announcement after we do got a bunch of folks, uh, jumping into the stream with us here today, including Barb Sexton. We’ll go ahead and say hello to Barb. Uh, we’re gonna be talking with members of her team later today. Barb hope this finds you well.

Greg White (00:03:22):

Yeah. And speaking of great football teams, the Arizona Cardinals, they are the real deal <laugh>

Scott Luton (00:03:30):

That

Greg White (00:03:30):

Sure are. I don’t wanna face them in the super

Scott Luton (00:03:32):

Bowl that quarterback Kyle Kyle Murray, Kyle Kyle Murray. Yep. He is, uh, remarkable Barb hope. This finds you well and uh, safe travels. I think you saw that you were traveling this week as always, so all the best you and members of the Omnia partners team. Okay. So Greg, uh, we gotta give a shout out to our, uh, partners for this show as arc. Now, you know, as arc built our marvelous new website@supplychainnow.com as you know, Greg, they’re a leader in UX, right. User experience design, right. And development of websites also though custom software applications, especially for the supply chain industry. So big thanks to Zahi and the topnotch team over at a Azure arc. And you can find out more@aularc.com. Your thoughts,

Greg White (00:04:23):

Greg. Yeah. They may have done a few more sites than ours. Uh, I, I mean, they’ve done hundreds, maybe thousands, I don’t know. But, uh, I think we talked about this last week. They also did vector global logistics. And I think you and I both had the same reaction when we saw that one, which is, wow, that’s cool. Right. Um, and, and yeah, and they work with technology companies. So UX is such an important part. The user experience is such an important part of getting users engaged in a technology. In fact, it’s, as in every bit as important as even the, you know, quant and mathematics and, and, uh, all of the other magic behind the scenes. So that’s right. You gotta use it to create value in all that other magic.

Scott Luton (00:05:08):

Right. <laugh> I’ll think of Michael Scott whenever I hear magic. And I think of a big top hat, top hat upside down with lots of tricks in it. And that’s what, uh, as arc probably has at their offices. But, uh, they do good work to, but

Greg White (00:05:19):

Michael Scott, no, Michael Scott, he was not available.

Scott Luton (00:05:24):

No, not this time. Uh, Jacob out a, a.com also wanna mention, we’ve got a, a great upcoming webinar coming up December 9th, just this week, uh, 12 in Eastern time, join Corrin, bur and I, as we connect with the transplant team, uh, one more time as Chrisy glass, Michelle McBride talk about out many of the learnings. Uh, they have gleaned from their work with over 6,000, uh, partners that make up their ecosystem and growing. So join December 9th, 12 noon. You can check out that link in the show notes. This is gimme a good one in it, Greg. Yeah. Trans

Greg White (00:05:57):

Literally the Uber of transportation.

Scott Luton (00:06:01):

<laugh> right. How about that? Uh, it’s been a big year, big year for them, for sure. Okay. Let’s say hello to a few other folks that have, uh, have joined us here today. And then Greg, we’ve got a full plate today, uh, left. It’s like a big plate of Thanksgiving leftovers, so much Turkey and, and match potatoes and

Greg White (00:06:18):

Cheese. Goodness cheese. You still got Thanksgiving, leftovers people, please throw them out. Do not

Scott Luton (00:06:22):

<laugh> that’s right. Well, see, uh, via LinkedIn. Great to have you here today via Bangladesh. Uh, looking forward to your perspective as we work through a variety of topics from semiconductors to wearables to inflation, and then some Aash tuned in via LinkedIn from India. Great to see you here today. Welcome board. Absolutely. Uh, I bet this is Ja me Jaime tuned in from Peru via LinkedIn. Is that right, Greg? I get

Greg White (00:06:50):

That right. Hi Mike Cardena Del Cario,

Scott Luton (00:06:53):

Not man. That that was Hollywoodish. Uh, Greg, that was nice. That

Greg White (00:06:58):

Was, that was with an AIAN accent. So, sorry.

Scott Luton (00:07:01):

<laugh> well, and, and you know, it’s been a little while since we’ve reminded folks, you you’ve got family roots tracing back to Argentina, right.

Greg White (00:07:08):

Still existing there. Yeah. Yeah. That’s awesome. 150 or so

Scott Luton (00:07:12):

Relatives. I must see that picture. You used to have a image of land there. I should carry

Greg White (00:07:17):

It with me. I right. It would go really nice right here. I’m I’m afraid it would get broken in my bag though. <laugh> wind.

Scott Luton (00:07:24):

Well, let’s, let’s go visit that image. Uh, there we go. At some point in the weeks you have lives

Greg White (00:07:29):

From to deal

Scott Luton (00:07:30):

<laugh>, but uh, Hey, uh, great to have you here today. Looking forward to your perspective, Michael aver is back. Michael. Hope. This finds you well. He’s tuned to en via LinkedIn. Great to see you here. Mike Hill is back. Good afternoon. Good evening. Good morning. All that’s right. Mike <laugh>, uh, folks are tuned in from around the world and they’re telling what time it is other than a time full of end of year pressure, whether you’re consumers buying gifts or whether you’re supply chain folks make it happen. But Mike hope this finds you well,

Greg White (00:07:57):

When you guys say that, I all always think of the Truman show.

Scott Luton (00:08:00):

Yes, <laugh> right. What a great movie. Great movie. Jean pleasure from north Alabama is with us tuned in via LinkedIn. Jean hope. This finds you well today and you had a good, uh, weekend. Hi may is, is, uh, complimenting your Spanish. That’s

Greg White (00:08:16):

Rare when you’re from Argentina for some <laugh> someone compliment your saying.

Scott Luton (00:08:21):

So great work. There is always Greg T squared is back with us. He holds on the Fort force at YouTube. Call it what it is. Nourishment gone bad. He’s talking about those Thanksgiving leftovers. Leftovers. Yeah. <laugh> we need some new nourishment here, please. Supply chain management nourishment too. I’m with you Ts squared, but welcome everybody so glad that you’re here. Hey, we want to hear from you. So, uh, get ready. We’ve got, I think five stories we’re gonna be working through here today. The first couple with Greg and I, then we got Joel be again, uh, joining us about 1225. In the meantime, you can check out, uh, his organization, alloy, alloy dot. Okay. So Greg let’s move right into the news here today. Are you ready? Yes, sir. We got some we’re we’re we’re kicking things off with some good news. We can’t get enough.

Scott Luton (00:09:08):

Good news. Right? So, uh, this in particular from the world of semiconductors, especially in automotive. So according to this story via the ni Asia, the global supply of computer chips for the automotive industry is finally starting to increase. In fact, inventories at the end of September, were up for chip makers across the globe from Japan to Germany, to the us, right. Pro production. And there’s two there’s particular reasons here, production disruptions at chip factories of ease. I mean, you know, Greg, we, we were faced, uh, from fires to, uh, lack of water and, and rain to you. You name it, uh, everything. It was a perfect storm that really hit this all at once. And the contract chip makers at these foundries, as they’re shifting to automotive. Cause as we all know, they shifted from automotive to other things like chips for, uh, smartphones, you name it, uh, when those orders were going down, well, they’ve shifted back and that’s now starting to be felt that shift back now, continental, a company in Germany that is one of the world’s top auto parts suppliers. They said recent earnings call that quote. We do believe the worst of the semiconductor shortage is behind us. Well, that doesn’t mean it’s, it’s, it’s easy. Uh, it’s easy street just yet, but Hey, right. That’s good news. I’ll take it, Greg. Your

Greg White (00:10:30):

Thoughts. Well, the worst was pretty bad, wasn’t it? I mean, I think I shared last week that we’ve been waiting around six months for a car, um, to be delivered. We saw ages ago around the summer, we saw just thousands and thousands of cars sitting idle, waiting for that final chip so that they could actually be started. Um, and we know why it happened to, I think we need to acknowledge that. And that is that chip makers were happy to make, continue making and shipping chips, um, shortly after the pandemic and lockdowns hit, but the automakers would not commit via POS to orders. So we I’m gonna be, I’m gonna be kind and say we did it to ourselves. If we are GM Ford Toyota, Nissan, right. Um, BMW, Audi <laugh>

Scott Luton (00:11:26):

The list goes on and on, right? Yeah,

Greg White (00:11:27):

It does. It does go on and on. And, and, um, you’ll also recall that during the summer we were talking about reshoring chip manufacturing. In fact, just yesterday, governor Abbot from Texas said, Texas will be the hub of semiconductors. Really? Yeah. I doubt it, but he said it, um, I mean, you know, the thing we have to acknowledge also is that China controls Al many of the rare earth materials in semiconductors. So it’s, you’re gonna be hard pressed. Uh, we, we do have some, um, rare earth mineral resources here in, in north America. And there are in many other countries, but not nearly enough to facilitate, uh, the kind of production that we we need nationwide or else we’d be doing it before the crisis.

Scott Luton (00:12:10):

Right. But, and there’s been some talk and some reporting that, uh, rare earth mineral mining may, uh, there may be more investment here in the states to reclaim some of that. As we know, Greg, it’s a, it’s a real dirty business. It’s highly regulated. And we’ll see, you know, if that comes to fruition.

Greg White (00:12:32):

Yeah. That’s I that’s what governor Abbot is thinking, cuz there’s some good stores, relatively good stores in Texas there. Well, I mean stores like you can’t go to buy stores and buy rare mineral <laugh>

Scott Luton (00:12:43):

Right. Not yet. Amazon’s opening a new page as we speak. Maybe <laugh> um, so, but you know, uh, we’ve also seen <laugh> Ford and GMC try to find new ways of redesigning more customized and uh, different ships that may use different, um, you know, uh, different supplies going into ’em to, to kind of create some, um, get around, uh, the bottleneck that has been. So we’ll see how that plays

Greg White (00:13:10):

Out. They change their production methodology too, right. To basically going back to the fifties when people ordered cars and um, you don’t quite get the customization that you got back then, but I mean, they prioritize those cars that were ordered and pre-sold, and essentially, I don’t know if every car is, but I can tell you that every car I have considered buying is, is effectively pre-sold you have to buy it before it comes off the fat.

Scott Luton (00:13:35):

Unbelievable. Unbelievable. Um, and still most experts are still pointing to the second half of 20, 22 before we really have the breakthrough that I think everybody’s looking for. Yeah. So, uh, y’all watch for that. I’m gonna take a couple of quick comments here. We got a bunch of ’em. Uh, Matt is back with us, Matt. Great to see here today. He says just in a new car in the new year. How about that? Right. Uh, Michael’s talking about, uh, Texas as well. Michael says also just got Samsung’s chip plant. Now that probably takes what, two to three years to stand up. One of those, some of the semiconductor manufacturing sites, Greg?

Greg White (00:14:10):

Um, no, I don’t know. It’s hard to tell with all the clean room and all of that. It’s hard. It’s probably a long term process.

Scott Luton (00:14:17):

Yep. Agreed Mohe. Good morning from Wichita, the air cap of the world, sunny with a touch of chilliness. We, Hey Mohe, we gotta see a weather map if you’re gonna pull the weather.

Greg White (00:14:27):

Yeah, that’s an understatement. I mean, and when you live in Atlanta, 30 degrees is cold. Let’s just

Scott Luton (00:14:33):

Cold. Rich is pointing out what you shared. Greg China can ounces for over 95% of the world’s production of rare earth materials. Unbelievable. Uh, Matt says time for some new conventional chips use some artificially made products, uh, more so than the current ones. That’s a great idea, Matt, I’ll leave that to the, um, I imagine you gotta be pretty smart, big giants to figure out out design a civil conductor. So a lot smarter than me. Um, but Hey, still it’s good news folks. We’re seeing, uh, ways of getting around the pressure, just like supply chain folks always find a way, right? Uh, some uniquely challenging, um, uh, elements to this chip journey. The we’ve all been tracking, but we’ll see if the, uh, heightened supply continues. So Greg moving right along again, before we bring in our special guests in about 10 minutes here, Joel, be with alloy.

Scott Luton (00:15:21):

I wanna talk about the hot investment world of wearables cause the pandemic pandemic has dramatically changed the wearables market. Now, Greg, I mean, we can, I’m gonna get your take, but from what I’ve gathered, uh, big part of the reason is, is the big focus on work, FA workforce safety, a company named VRV motion has an exo suit that reduces backs strain by some 30 to 40%. And then you’ve got a, a rolling stone app that this article points out it’s deployed by Kotch trucking to help up truck drivers with wellness programs and, uh, you know, all, all these programs as they come with impact. I imagine it does create some investment opportunities. So what’s your take here?

Greg White (00:16:01):

Yeah, I mean it, I, I think, um, it’s kind of a dual edge sword, right? This, this is the kind of technology that has to be used, right? It will probably be viewed suspiciously. Um, like things like dash cams were by drivers in tracking industry and various other sort of big brother type or, you know, potentially big brother type products are usually, uh, but I think there’s a ton of value here. And what I see generally is technologies really, uh, creating benefit for both the workforce and for their employers. Um, in fact, uh, a couple of the folks that I was with yesterday, uh, worked for a company called Dar motion, fascinating technology, where they can like scan you and tell you where you’ve got range of motion issues. So, wow. Imagine you have one of these wearables, um, and you’ve been assigned to go pick up something that weighs 70 pounds and you’ve got a shoulder problem. You know, the two, the two technologies could communicate to avoid an injury. I think the preemptive nature of this is as important as, um, you know, as the tracking and, and data and that sort of thing to keep people safe. But I, I gotta tell you this, I just wanna tell you, this is just fascinating to me. So it was a three hour, three hour ride from Wichita three hour tour,

Scott Luton (00:17:19):

A three.

Greg White (00:17:20):

So we got to talk about this thing. So what DRI does is they can scan your, your body and, and, and identify where you’ve got immobility, uh, in, in your body. So they’ve had helped athletes become more effective. Josh Allen, um, changed the way that he was throwing the ball and moved his hips more forward rather than leading with his elbow, which is a thing. If you’re a professional quarterback, wow. They identified, uh, a number of players that they predicted would get hurt in, you know, in the first few weeks of the NFL season. And they were 10 for 10. So think about the value of that in a workplace like we’re talking about in a workplace that is every bit is physical though. You don’t take quite the hits, but every bit is physical as a football, basketball or baseball game. I mean, it’s not, not quite is fun. There’s no, there’s no major league for, for tossing boxes. Right. But maybe that should be <laugh> well, so, but then you combine that with the ability to preempt those injuries. And I think that becomes really, really valuable. So agreed.

Scott Luton (00:18:24):

Well, you know, I think that’s one of the several lines we’ve talked about it, uh, quite a bit, uh, from the pandemic is a bigger focus on protecting our workforce. Right. They’ve had to endure so much these last couple years. Uh, so no wonder, Greg, I know as a, um, entrepreneur, an investor, uh, someone that knows that side of the business world, you’re not surprised by the all of a sudden, a, a hot investment opportunity in the wearable market, right?

Greg White (00:18:51):

Yeah, no, it’s, I mean, it’s, you know, it’s been a, a while coming. I mean, if you think about it, if you have an apple watch, it’s the precursor to something that’s maybe a little bit more advanced and maybe more, um, medically compliant because of course what’s going on in your body is you’re owned by you and you don’t owe it to in anyone else, including your employer. So, um, that kind of, that kind of protecting the HIPAA privacy while, while still managing to, um, keep workers safe and to keep, keep, uh, employers, um, notified of those kind of things. It’s super powerful. There’s, you know, there’s a big opportu out there and of course, um, yeah, investment has been piling into frankly, everything to do with supply chain or, or medical. Um, and yeah, it’s been, it’s been a big motion in that direction.

Scott Luton (00:19:42):

I gotta check out one of these exo suits that that’s a step. You it’s taking a couple steps toward my, my childhood goal. I become, I’m gonna transform, uh, Greg. So if we can do that and save on back pain, Hey, sign me up. And clearly they’ve been signing up with investors. I think I saw that, uh, let’s see that company’s name was Verve motion. I think they got a 15 million investment as they’re looking to what’s coming up next. So, uh, it’s great to hear well, and

Greg White (00:20:10):

If you, if you can fit it under your clothes, imagine it makes you stronger, you know, and, uh, nobody knows you’re wearing it. That would be awesome. <laugh> I doubt sign

Scott Luton (00:20:22):

Me up, right. Uh, let’s see here. I’m gonna share this comment here. So Matt says, I was thinking of this some time ago when I got my back hurt, the, the seats in the cars might be more healthy, more ergonomical. Uh, my longest drive, no stop. He says was 10 hours straight. I bet that was painful. Uh, and Matt, uh, you, maybe if you’re driving a truck, let us know. We’d love to, to learn a lot more about that. Matt says wearables, it makes his spaghetti diagram much easier to prepare. Absolutely. Uh, as sort of tracking steps in these facilities, right? Wasted, wasted, motion, wasted, uh, foot traffic, uh, along those lines, Mike aver says, helps managers use their team resources yep. As a efficient as possible.

Greg White (00:21:08):

I mean, imagine, you know, where everyone is, you can avoid collisions, right? You can chart the shortest path. I mean, that that’s being done with robots today, right. It’s harder to do or has been harder to do with humans cuz they’re not monitored as closely. Right. Right.

Scott Luton (00:21:24):

Uh, Scott, I must prime. Yes. Maybe that that’d be my transformer nickname. I don’t know. Um, and so also Greg, along those lines is, you know, it, you can read, lay out facilities, right? When, you know, for years they’ve had, uh, apps in your cell phone that, that, that if folks opted in, it helps track motion. But man, we’re taking that to a whole new level, which is outstanding. Um, let’s see here. Mohe talks about, um, probably insourcing back on the chip side. I think he says insourcing has many sustainable benefits, limited transportation, less wait times at the port to pick up your containers, less carbon emissions, less carbon footprint in your supply chain and a little bit more fresh air left for my grandkids as a beautiful picture that you pay there. Mohe. Yeah,

Greg White (00:22:09):

Indeed.

Scott Luton (00:22:10):

Um, okay. So I’ve got 1222, Greg. I think we’ve, uh, we have walked through these first two stories we’ve got, uh, about halfway through our big plate full of Thanksgiving leftovers. Are we ready to bring in our special guests here today, Greg?

Greg White (00:22:25):

I just wanna be clear. You’re not talking about actual leftovers, right?

Scott Luton (00:22:29):

No. You know, once we get a theme, we stick with it and beat the heck outta, you know what I mean? Yeah.

Greg White (00:22:35):

So, well, I, I thought of a little theme. So once we bring Joel in, I want to, I wanna float a theme by him for his favorite. Uh, his favorite NFL player. Love it.

Scott Luton (00:22:45):

Uh, well, and let’s start just there. So let’s bring into the stream. Welcome in our special guest Joel Beal CEO and co-founder at Allway Hey, Hey Joel. How you doing? Good morning,

Joel Beal (00:22:56):

Scott. Good morning.

Scott Luton (00:22:57):

Greg’s so good to see ya. Likewise ears have been burned a little bit.

Joel Beal (00:23:02):

I feel like I should have showed up with a plate of leftovers, but uh, I didn’t have time to grab that out of the refrigerator and I think we might be low at this. We might have gotten through it.

Scott Luton (00:23:11):

<laugh> well, Hey Joel, you don’t miss a beat and I love that. Uh, and we might be, we may be having a little bit of lay. It could be on my end. Uh, but just to give y’all a heads up there. Um, Greg, you wanted to ask Joel a question about football, right?

Greg White (00:23:25):

Yeah. The, well, the kids may be playing Fortnite. Joel, just in case you need to check. So we were talking, we were talking before the show about your favorite Seahawks player, Marshan Lynch and the good deed that he does, every Thanksgiving giving out turkeys. Right. So I got, I got something for you. How about this? Call it feast mode.

Joel Beal (00:23:48):

<laugh> oh, <laugh>

Scott Luton (00:23:50):

Greg. Nice man. Nice. And, and for those maybe not in the know, uh, Marsha’s uh, standard nickname has been beast mode where Greg, uh, made a little playoff of beast. Mode’s charitable efforts. I think for year that’s been like a, a, a year over year occurrence. Is that right? Joel? Yeah.

Joel Beal (00:24:10):

That’s my understanding. At least I’ve seen a couple videos over the past couple years.

Scott Luton (00:24:14):

Love it. And Greg Joel shared, uh pre-show with us that he hopes that the charitable efforts this year didn’t create a, uh, a shortage somewhere else in the country

Greg White (00:24:25):

Because yeah, because Marshan had an entire truckload of turkeys, right?

Joel Beal (00:24:29):

Yes. The videos I’ve seen Mabel, he doesn’t do it in the same spot. I think I saw Hawaii one year Oakland another year. So he’s that demand shock showing up in your city. <laugh>

Greg White (00:24:41):

That’s that’s great. We’re gonna talk about that. Yes,

Scott Luton (00:24:44):

We sure are. And own that note. Let’s go ahead and transition, but uh, love to see these, uh, sports athletes giving back. That’s such a wonderful tradition that Marshan is doing. Um, so let’s switch gears here. Uh, so Joel, I think we’ve got three stories we’re gonna walk through and, and chat with you about, uh, for starters as reported by CNBC. The I’m Aron variant is another punch to the gut of global supply chain. So, you know, folks here are in particular, they’re watching see China’s response as well as to see the regional impact across the globe, as this thing continues to do. Do what do what, um, um, viruses do, right? Uh, look for ways to expand. So we’re all kind of waiting to see what, um, how this thing plays out. Joel, your take here first. Yeah,

Joel Beal (00:25:30):

I think, um, you know, it’s interesting, we first heard about Aron what a week or two ago, probably all learned how to try to pronounce it, which we were talking about earlier <laugh> and right. You know, to me, it’s, it’s not about Aron per se. It’s a continuing pattern. You know, experts have been saying this about the pandemic from the start, you know, we’re almost two years into this at this point of, you know, they’re gonna be waves, um, and different things are gonna happen. And uh, you know, I think we have no idea at this point, if this wave is gonna be meaningful or not. Although I do think we’re seeing countries responding pretty quickly and shut down borders, limiting travel. I think there’s still open questions about if it’s gonna impact manufacturing other things. Um, but to me it, it spells more of a broader theme that I’m seeing a lot as I talk to people in the industry, uh, for a long time, people have kind of had this attitude.

Joel Beal (00:26:23):

A lot of our customers or people will talk to they’ll say, well, can we just ignore 20? It was an outlier COVID hit <laugh>, you know, there were demand spikes. You know, things went all over the place. You know, when I’m forecasting, let’s just, let’s pretend 2020 never happened. Or if I’m doing comps, I’m not competent against 2020. Well, we’re, we’re almost at the end of 2021. And we’re talking about other waves. We’re talking about other supply chain impacts, you know, that are happening. And so this isn’t about a single wave or a single event. This is about a change in how we think about uncertainty and risk in the world. Um, and this could be, you know, one that up having a big impact, it could be something that’s relatively small. Um, but that to me is, is how people need to be changing. We’re not going back to some world that was more stable. You know, we’re gonna be in a world of uncertainty and you’re gonna have to operate your supply chain against that. I think for, for many years to come. Right. And

Scott Luton (00:27:21):

That’s a great take. It’s not like, um, this is an obstacle course. And when we’re done with it, we go back to, uh, you know, easy street before we entered the obstacle course, things are changing. Things are changing in the short term and the long term, uh, consumers, uh, preferences are changing. So naturally, you know, the, the game has changed, uh, in some many ways, Greg, your take. Yeah. Well,

Greg White (00:27:42):

I think we have to recognize the call. It Amicon call it Delta, call it whatever you want, call it a ship stuck in, in the Sue as canal. These cause impacts on the consumer and the consumer, as you know, I say is the beginning and the end of the supply chain. So whenever we disrupt the consumer’s life with a new variant or lockdowns, or even the, the proposition of lockdowns by China, which has been their policy, right, they’ve, COVID zero policy, right. Um, that’s going to change behaviors. And um, so that’s, you know, that’s something we have to have our eyes on it. I mean, I don’t wanna say Omicron is not material. It is of course material, but it is just another one of those disruptions that Joel has been talking about. And frankly, those disruptions saving the pandemic and the government’s responses to it, um, that have caused a lot of this disruption. Um, those kind of disruptions have been happening all along. It’s just, nobody cared about supply chain before. Right? Joel, you were shouting in the wind before right now. People want to hear it. They, their eyes don’t glaze over at the dinner table. <laugh> and um, and I, I think that’s the other thing we have to recognize. And that’s why companies have to be particularly diligent is because now they’re in the forefront of, of annual reports and excuse making just like sales and, and finance has been for so many years. Right?

Scott Luton (00:29:06):

Yeah. Well said there, Greg

Joel Beal (00:29:08):

Joel. Yeah. Yeah. I think Greg, that jog the thought for me. Um, we were getting together with a number of supply chain executives and they were talking about this world where they’re making, you know, you go to extraordinary efforts on the supply chain side to make sure you have inventory today. I mean, everybody’s doing that. We’re in a, a world of increased demand and, and reduced supply. Uh, and everybody, you know, if you, if you can get inventory, you can sell it. <laugh>, that’s a short answer for most of these, these companies, but it was, you know, bringing supply chain to the forefront. And I think, you know, a lot of people were laughing about how, you know, sales looks great. Cause if I can get ’em inventory, they can sell it, you know, no problem. And they’re not having to discount like they did in the past, but there’s no doubt supply chain used to be, you know, it was in the, the B sections, the C-sections, the C-sections of the newspaper, I guess that’s in, that makes me feel old. Right. Even talking about a physical newspaper, but you know, seeing at the front of the wall street journal or the New York times, I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s pretty amazing. Cause people see, see how their, their lives are impacted when, when these things happen.

Scott Luton (00:30:11):

Yeah. Excellent point there. And Hey, you fit right in. I talk about Weedies and readers digest. So you fit right in talking newspapers here. Uh, all good fun. All right. So, uh, the quick shout out Peter Bole all night and all day is back with us. Peter. I hope you had a great weekend and great to see you here today. Um, we’re talking about, uh, we just wrapped up a section on Aron and some of the things we’re doing there, including, uh, all eyes on China to see how they’re gonna respond, but on a, on a related note, we’re talking inflation, right. Inflation and I I’m so glad we’ve got the two of y’all here because, um, I’m gonna tell you, it took me three tries just to get through accounting two in college. So I’m gonna lean on y’all’s, uh, financial expertise, but painful topic. Uh, inflation interesting perspective from mark lawless via the Institute of business forecasting and planning. So in this article he’s got quote says overall inflation in the us is about two to three times. The average inflation rate experienced over the past 15 years in. And of course there’s other commodities as the article points out this far beyond, uh, that two to three times. Um, so Joel, some folks as we are chatting, pre-show may not know you’ve got a deep background in economics. So what’s your take when it comes to talking inflation? Well,

Joel Beal (00:31:28):

Inflation is just another type of uncertainty. <laugh> to me, there’s it follows this pattern. Now this is something that’s happening beyond just supply chains. Although they’re a big part of this right now. Um, and you know, that, that common in the, of, you know, we’re, we’re three X, what we have been historically, you know, generally in economics, right? You think of two to 3% as being a healthy inflation rate, we expect there’s gonna be some, the key thing is it needs to be predictable, right? That allows everybody to adjust their prices accordingly. There’s always, you know, extra money supply coming in. Um, so you have these spikes, which we haven’t seen since, you know, at this point, the 1970s, um, and they’re, they’re unplanned. And that’s the other thing is, you know, there was a lot of discussion, you know, a month or two ago, this is transitory, right?

Joel Beal (00:32:15):

It’s a one off thing. Don’t worry about it. I think now there’s some polling back from that saying, well, maybe not, this might, might take longer. Um, and it’s hard as a right. You say, look, when you’re, when you’re running a supply chain, especially with longer lead times with, you know, needing to order farther in advance that we’re gonna talk about here more in a moment, you know, you’re com you’re making those commitments with, with price commitments. And if you don’t know what the value that money is gonna be down the line, that’s, that’s difficult. Um, so I, I think it’s, it’s an interesting thing going on right now. The other thing I’ve been reading about is just how businesses pass this on. Right? What do you do? You know, we’ve been in a world where everybody’s been obviously trying to reduce price, and I think you’ve got the big, right.

Joel Beal (00:32:57):

You know, the Amazon’s the Walmarts and been so successful at squeezing their supply chains. I think there’s a recognition now. You probably can’t do that as much anymore. There’s gonna have to be some prices passed on. So what does that look like? What prices do you pass on? How do consumers respond? Right. Incomes have gone up, but prices are going up too. Um, I mean the, the one I found probably the most interesting is, um, what is it, uh, dollar tree, you know, dollar store. I mean, their whole thing is we sell everything for a dollar. They, they bumped all their prices up to about 25, you know? So 25% price increase, you know, it doesn’t even align with their name, but, but at some point you have to make that shift if, um, you know, these costs are coming down the line

Scott Luton (00:33:35):

For you. Excellent point there. And Greg, you know, early on the, um, beginning a Joel response there, once we know what we’re up against and really know it in a tangible manner, then we could really have a much better certain idea of what the path is for whether we’re talking, you know, living with COVID right across the globe, right. Or when it comes to inflation your take, Greg,

Greg White (00:33:57):

I think it’s been really difficult, especially on, on inflation because the government doesn’t know what they’re doing. I mean, the, you know, the fed, uh, has been, they just changed their policy again since, um, Powell was reinstated as fed chairman. And now instead of, instead of ceasing their easing process in June at a slower rate, they’re gonna increase the rate and cease it in my arch, which, you know, we’ve talked about forever Scott, that, that, that was gonna ha you know, the, in which will lead to an increase in interest rates. Joel, check me here. You’re the economist, but correct.

Joel Beal (00:34:31):

Um, interest rates go up inflation down, right.

Greg White (00:34:35):

And, and, um, for so long, they have been inflation deniers. The, a term you used, Joel transitory has frustrated me for Nyon a year now because it was obvious. It wasn’t transitory for a year. If, if you had the resources to get into the economy and do some studying, like I did, I did some incredible deep studying on chicken wings and how chicken wings went from $10 for, for 10 wings to $20 for 10 wings virtually overnight. Why? Because like dollar tree, the V the, my vendor, my next door neighbor and his sports bar, they held onto that low price. Hoping that inflation was transitory finally realizing that it wasn’t, and they couldn’t eat the margin break anymore. So they had to up prices dramatically over a very short time. And I think we we’ll, we’ll continue to see that. I think we’ve seen a lot of the big breaks, and that’s why the numbers have been so big in the last couple months in terms of annualized inflation.

Greg White (00:35:39):

But I have no doubt that, um, now that the fed has confessed, that it’s not transitory, that there will be more relatively large price increases on the horizon because a lot of companies trusted the fed and they thought they could hold out until this transitory inflation abated. And then they would be able to hold their prices and maybe gain a little bit of margin back, but seeing that it’s not gonna happen. Um, I think that, I think you could see some, some spikes in pricing. I know that there are still people holding off on price increases right now, but that’s, I mean, and that’s part of the problem is the Fed’s job is not just to manage the money. It’s also to manage our expectation and frankly, our emotions, right. They, they couldn’t have admitted that inflation was not transitory. And then when they realized it wasn’t, they couldn’t instantly, um, admit that it was transitory because they have to manage our actions and expectations, or else consumers that we’ve been talking about would have reacted even more dramatically than they have over the last couple years.

Scott Luton (00:36:42):

Okay. I’m gonna circle back to Joel and get your comments. Hey, as I, as I told y’all in full transparency, uh, I am not, uh, <laugh> when it comes to economics, microwell macro, I’m not your guy. So I’m glad both of y’all, uh, can talk about for fiscal policy and inform our global listenership really quick. Amadou, appreciate that comment. Great to see you here via LinkedIn, look forward to hearing your take here today. Uh, T square says, Hey, when too many dollars chase too few goods, it screams inflationary measures. Gene says big problem, still purchasing forecasting and project pricing. I can only imagine there gene. I can remember that from my days in metal stamping, where even in a, in a quote unquote normal market, that meant quarterly repricing for gosh, dozens, if not a hundred parts, that was not my favorite aspect of that, that role. Uh, but thanks for that. Gene rich says inflations is in some respect, a macro economic impact and unintended consequence of not vaccinating the rest of the world. Big, big, big point. Uh, they’re rich. Um, okay. So Joel, what’d you hear whether it’s something from Greg, something from the comments or something to add to this, uh, story about inflation? Well, there was

Joel Beal (00:37:56):

A couple things. I mean, one, I think, you know, really important point that Greg makes. I remember when I started learning about inflation and economics and you’re like, okay, they’re telling me some inflation’s okay. There’s kind of a target rate. Um, all of it, it really comes down to the predictability that Greg talked about it’s so businesses can plan for it. And, and that’s, again, to me, is I just kind of reading, I mean, not just supply chain, but the world at large, there’s just more uncertainty out there and uncertainty is risk. Yeah. You can sit there and say, okay, I’m gonna bake in. You know, I, I run a company too, you know, we’re software. Um, but you know, we have to look at our costs and you know, how their are gonna grow and what does that mean for how we need a price to our customers?

Joel Beal (00:38:40):

And then when there’s predictability, you can bake it in. You can make your customers anticipate it, but what does it feel like? And Greg, I think you made a great point. Prices do not just change dynamically usually, right? You you’ll hold off for a while and then, but then when you, you, when you let it go, all of a sudden it’s a 15% or a 20% job, it’s not the 5% and that scares people and you don’t know how they’re gonna respond. So it’s, um, it’s a challenge. Uh, it is, it is nice that people are taking it more serious now. <laugh> um, and, uh, but, but I think that’s the thing to emphasize is inflation’s okay. Um, even if it’s higher than we expect it to be, we just need to make sure that it’s not shifting so much. Cause that’s what really, really makes everything difficult. And forecasting is hard enough as it agreed. You don’t need to add extra factors. <laugh> right.

Scott Luton (00:39:26):

We need more bedrock, uh, in today’s environment for sure. Things, we can lean on things we can, we can, we can build around. We can plan on knowing that, uh, uh, we’ve hit more solid ground. We’ll take bedrock wherever we can get it. Greg, what, how else would you respond to what Joel was saying there?

Greg White (00:39:44):

Well, I mean, I think one of the things we have to acknowledge is that a lot of this disruption is because of government policy and government response to, to the, uh, the pan and I mean, necessary response. Admittedly, some of it, some of it pandering like stimulus checks, um, for people who could have gone back to work about three weeks after they were laid off. But, um, but a lot of it, you know, a lot of it has, we have to recognize that they, these organizations don’t just have economic. Um, they don’t just have economic roles or goals. Right. Right. The government has to remain in power and they have to, to some extent they have to appease the masses in order to do that. And that is a, you know, that’s gonna create a lot of unpredictability, especially as there are so many governments around the world. We’ve talked about this with varying policies where, you know, you have, you have sea fairs who have been vaccinated eight times because you know, the policy in one port is different than the policy in another. So as we have all these, these conflicting, um, responses of politicians, frankly, then we’re gonna continue to have these very highly unpredictable dis disruptions because they’re largely, emotionally based. Mm.

Scott Luton (00:41:02):

Okay. So with that said, if y’all good with it, I wanna, I’m ready to leave inflation where

Greg White (00:41:08):

I can all, I think we’re ready to leave

Scott Luton (00:41:10):

Inflation. Don’t amen. I think we all are. So I wanted to all

Greg White (00:41:14):

These things, I, I wish it worked like that, Scott, right. Scott has to clear no more inflation <laugh>

Scott Luton (00:41:19):

Yeah. More Michael Scott. I declare bankruptcy. That’s a good, great episode. Um, okay. So let’s on a related note, uh, uh, Joel, we’re seeing more hoarding, but not with consumers, but with many retailers that are hoarding inventory to get around some of these pressures. So this, this all comes to us via article in the New York times. What’s going on

Joel Beal (00:41:42):

Here, Joel. Yeah. So, um, and this is something we are seeing across the board. Uh, and again, it speaks to uncertainty when there’s greater uncertainty. If you look at how, how people calculate safety stock, so get a little bit technical here, right? The, the classic safety stock formula looks at what’s forecasted demand and how much variability is there in my forecast accuracy. And what does lead time look like and how much variability is there in a lead time? Every single one of those has gone up. <laugh>, there’s more demand, there’s more unpredictability and demand. There are longer lead times and there’s less predictability in lead times. So everybody is pushing for more product right now, cuz they need to be holding on to more, more buffer. Um, and I think what you’re seeing, at least all the reports I’ve seen the Walmarts, the home depots, they’re able to go get that inventory, right?

Joel Beal (00:42:31):

They have that leverage with their supply. They say, I need it. And you’re gonna, you’re gonna give it to me. And it’s really squeezing out a lot of, of the smaller players and the same dynamic plays out a level back when you’re talking about, you know, these brands trying to, you know, get manufacturing capacity and make sure that they can produce their product, same type of thing is going on. So if you’re a smaller player, know the only way you get ahead of that is you’re gonna say, well, I’m gonna make a commitment and I’m gonna do it further in advance. I need to get that locked in. So at least I can make sure that I’m at the front of the queue. Um, I’m gonna de-risk you know, that vendor, cuz I’m gonna tell them I’m gonna do it. Um, so it’s an interesting dynamic.

Joel Beal (00:43:09):

I mean, that’s how you have to play the game. This article talks about a lot of, you know, very small, you know, more mom and up type businesses. But I mean the numbers they’re throwing out, I think in this example, you know, is carrying an extra $165,000 worth of inventory, which is a lot of money, right? You’re running, you know, a single store, um, because you just had to make that commitment in advance to say, I’m gonna just bet that I’m gonna have enough consumer demands and, and I’m gonna, it’s gonna, it costs you for sure to hold it and hopefully you can sell it. So, um right. Yeah. Um, interesting dynamic and one that obviously has the potential to lead to a lot of pain down the line, if then the demand doesn’t come through and the way people think it’s going

Scott Luton (00:43:49):

To that’s right. A calculated gamble for sure. Greg you’re take, I think

Greg White (00:43:53):

The example, the specific example, the lady with the shoe store bought 50% more inventory than she would ordinarily over 50% more inventory than she would carry. That’s not right over 33% more inventory than she would normally carry this time of year. But um, that’s, I mean that’s substantial, right? And um, it is, it’s a huge gamble, but I think Joel, you alluded to this earlier, this supply chain is not a cost saving exercise. It is a risk balancing exercise and she saw the investment in additional inventory as a lesser risk than potentially not getting the inventory and not being able to sell shoes in spring in Connecticut. Cuz guess when people start running in Connecticut, right. Um, or need new shoes from running in all that snow and salt. Um, so, so you know that, that’s what we have to recognize here also in an inflationary environment, I bet you’re going here, Joel, in an inflationary environment, hoarding inventory is great idea.

Greg White (00:44:51):

In fact, there’s this entire concept of forward buying inventory. I work for a company that back in the late seventies and eighties built a forward buying technology and that’s how they made their way in the marketplace initially. Uh, because interest rates were so high or sorry, inflation rates were so high. Um, so this lady has actually the herself, a greater service than she might know, as long as to Joel’s point, she bought the stuff that’s gonna sell. Right. Um, and I think we have to be really careful about that because so many people in supply chain, they take a broad brush approach and say, I’m just gonna buy more of everything. <laugh> my suggestion is just buy more of everything that sells really well. That’s right.

Scott Luton (00:45:31):

I, that is right. Uh, and folks we’re talking about this article, uh, came to us via New York times. It’s free. One of my favorite things about all these stories, uh, and, and coverage of supply chain is the specific stories, especially on the smaller companies and how they’re navigating this. So this was a, a well written story, check it out. Uh, and you can sign up for an account free as learned over the weekend. So good stuff there. Yeah. As I

Greg White (00:45:54):

Learned today.

Scott Luton (00:45:55):

Yeah. <laugh> just in time just in time. Yeah. Um, alright. So let’s share a couple quick comments here and Joel, we’re gonna make sure folks know how to connect with you and the alloy team that’s been on the move, man. Y’all racking it up award after award and new business and growth. It’s pretty exciting to see. Um, let’s see. I think this is Jacqueline. Jacqueline is with us Jacqueline hope this finds you and the twin engines team. Well you’re right. My blue masks are now 5 99 when it used to be a dollar 99, man. That’s quite a jump. Holy cow. Now Mohe took a little bit of issue with, I think something Greg said, he says, Hey, now stimulus checks kept the economy and the supply chains moving. I’ll give you a quick rope there, Greg for a while. <laugh> okay. Fair enough. Fair enough. And by the way, not,

Greg White (00:46:38):

Not for as long as they were being paid. I mean, that’s why we have such an incredible labor shortage right now. Right? Why would you get a job when you can make $47,000 sitting at home? I mean, it’s just a fact, right?

Scott Luton (00:46:50):

Uh, and really quick aside, most of our listeners know this, but Mohe is zone the faculty w at, uh, Wichita, Wichita, uh, state university in Wichita, Kansas, Greg is an alum. So Hey, bless be the ties at bind. For sure. Peter says, I expected my Christmas tree this year to cost north of $80. That might be Canadian dollars, but happy to say, pay what I did previous years from the same family. That’s been selling trees locally for 23 years. Peter I’m with you. Wow. Um, we we’re doing something similar, uh, here in our neck of the woods. So, uh, it’s great to hear T square says, hoarding smells a lot like shortage, ration, uh, rationing and, and gaming from the bull whip effect.

Greg White (00:47:32):

Well, yeah, and it, and you know, again, to Joel’s point, it could create a bull whip effect if that, if she’s wrong and has bought the wrong product. Right. And he, and he kind of feeds itself agreed.

Scott Luton (00:47:44):

He, he he’s clarifying, he’s talking about a man, a manufactured shortage. Oh. And game is, yeah. It’s a little different, but beast, Tom. Um, and one final comment, uh, Jean says also hard for mom and pops and small businesses absolutely. To get, uh, access to working capital two. It’s a great point. Uh, gene, well,

Greg White (00:48:01):

Joel, you said something earlier I’d and I’d love to get kind of a final thought on this topic, but you said something earlier, these big brands and retailers go and get the inventory that they need. And that’s quite literal. And this article alludes to that, well, addresses it specifically. They have their own ships, they have their own trucks, they have their own planes now, or at least they’ve chartered them for their sole use, which is not something that’s available to smaller retailers. Right. So maybe a quick comment on that. And then anything else you, you know, you, uh, think from this article?

Joel Beal (00:48:35):

Yeah. I mean, they just have so many advantages. You’re absolutely right. They have their own logistics, they can go get the products and, you know, pick ’em up directly from the factories. Um, and they just like the end of the day, it’s, you know, we work mostly with the brands. So we’re working with the, and you know, when you’re sitting there deciding you’re on allocation, which everybody is on right now for some products, right. You know, who do you fill? And in an ideal world, you’d feel where the need was greatest, but there’s a lot of other dynamics at play. You don’t want to upset, um, you know, your, your biggest buyers. And so often you’re willing to do things even when it might be suboptimal at kind of a more global level. So, uh, a tough, uh, it’s been tough sledding for a while, I think for smaller businesses and, and the pandemic hasn’t made that easier. Right. But

Greg White (00:49:24):

Isn’t it great to see them taking on some of these tactics that I know that you, I know, I, and I’m sure you are going for you guys right. To think of that. Yeah.

Joel Beal (00:49:33):

Well, interesting. If you read the article, you know, they start talking about just other advantages that these smaller businesses do have, and they were actually talking a lot about Etsy and, you know, things that are more locally sourced and, you know, unique challenges there that make for some interesting stories. But, um, so it’s not all bad news, but there’s no doubt that, you know, the large players have a lot of advantages that are hard to

Scott Luton (00:49:55):

Compete against excellent point. Uh, Joel, we, we need another hour booked with you. I appreciate your take and your perspective and, uh, how you explain what we’re seeing. So, uh, I think you make it easy for all of us to fall along, including myself. Um, I can be behind the herd sometimes. Um, well, Hey, uh, what I wanna point out, uh, Greg, one of our favorite episodes with the alloy team was, uh, it featured, uh, y’all’s relationship and partnership with vine and Amanda, if we have that link handy, I’d love to drop that in the comments in a few minutes here with Joel, we’re not gonna do it justice in terms of all that they do. Uh, but Joel, in a, in a very small nutshell, tell us what alloy does and, um, you know, between the rewards, the a, uh, rewards, awards, recognition, growth, new business. I mean, y’all have been on the move. So what are you doing? Yeah,

Joel Beal (00:50:46):

So I, I think to put it very, very briefly, we are a so software as a service company, we work, uh, primarily with consumer brands. So vowing being a, a great example. Uh, and we, we are connected planning and execution platform. So we show exactly where your demand is. No matter how you sell a product, we are plugged directly into the retailers, distributors e-commerce platforms. So you are seeing in real time where products are selling and exactly where your inventory is across the supply chain to meet that demand and helping you define those imbalances. So that’s, uh, that’s what we do for a range of, of consumer brands, you know, globally. It’s an exciting area, obviously, lots, some things are moving right now. So, um, yeah, it’s, it’s pretty fun to fun to see all the patterns and all the changes that are going on in the industry today. A lot more data sharing too, which is for us something that’s very exciting, cuz that’s how you can really cut down on that bullet effect.

Scott Luton (00:51:40):

Yep. Agreed, agreed. Uh, right. How can folks connect with you and alloy team?

Joel Beal (00:51:46):

Yeah. So Scott, as you mentioned, or website is alloy.ai. So you can always go to the website. There is a contact, you know, button there. If you wanna reach out, uh, learn a bit more. I’m also happy you can reach out to me directly. I’m just joel@alloy.ai. I’ll put out my email. So if you, you wanna chat, you wanna talk, uh, shoot me a note. Happy, happy to do it. Awesome.

Scott Luton (00:52:06):

And, and Greg, as we were talking appreci, uh, if you wanna talk Seahawks football, Joel, is your guy, is that right Greg? Yeah.

Joel Beal (00:52:14):

I mean, especially if you wanna talk Marsha and Lynn <laugh> yeah. Let’s pick a different here to talk about Seahawk football, but uh, you know, we’ll talk about the glory days.

Scott Luton (00:52:23):

Hey, that is wonderful. Uh, and Joel, I really appreciate your appearance here today. We we’ve enjoy would collaborate with, with your team going back a few years. It’s fascinating to see what you’re doing. You know, one of our favorite analogies, I think I’m gonna get this right. And Greg correct me if I’m I’m wrong. Um, creating this central nervous system for global supply chains. I think that’s, that’s such a brilliant, uh, way of putting it. So, uh, Joel, keep up the great work, uh, uh, happy holidays, Christmas, happy new year to the alloy team. And we hope to reconnect again with you really soon. Thank you.

Joel Beal (00:52:54):

I appreciate it. Thanks Greg. Thanks Scott. Take care.

Scott Luton (00:52:56):

Thanks so much, Joel. Thanks. Good having you. All right, Greg. Uh, we got this comment. I’m gonna share a couple quick comments here, this one row, I think. And I’m, I’m probably mispronouncing that. And uh, let me know if I am, we wanna make sure we get the names right. Uh, says, thanks for the insight and perspective. I adjusted my planning rhythm to look at risks more often, 80, 20, and ABC analysis to focus on the right items and implemented more regular supplier sessions. Love that lots of extra communication. Mm-hmm <affirmative> up to two tier, uh, up to tier two and three suppliers to gain faster awareness of where markets are going on. Our core inputs, tough supply chain season. Love that comment, Greg. No

Greg White (00:53:38):

True. Her words were spoken there. <laugh> tough supply chain.

Scott Luton (00:53:42):

No doubt. Also like how she

Greg White (00:53:44):

Spelled year long season it’s approaching a two year long season. Isn’t it?

Scott Luton (00:53:48):

The endless way? Endless peak? Uh, yeah, endless peak. It seems well, Hey, lot of good stuff. So, so we, we ran the gamut with Joel, right? Uh, even though there’s three issues where interrelated, they were still very broad and very deep, especially as we’re trying to, uh, you know, chat through it in, in, in base 30 minute conversation. But what do you think, Greg, based on what Joel shared here today, what do you leave in this con? What, what’s a key takeaways. You leave this conversation. I

Greg White (00:54:14):

Think the interconnectivity between enterprises that you were just talking about, uh, is really, really important. I mean, um, we’re in a new era when retailers will share their sales with their, with their suppliers. When I was in merchandising, there was no way that was gonna happen. You can guess what happened during the pause <laugh> um, and <laugh>, and um, I think that’s important and that’s a critical step forward because to, as Joel was talking about, to reduce the risk in the supply chain, to be able to understand the variability and lead time. And, um, and in demand, you need to have connectivity with your trading partners because a, a simple, I mean, this was one aspect of mark lawless’ article around inflation that I took some issue with, even though the world has changed in the way that we need to look at demand has changed dramatically.

Greg White (00:55:09):

There are a lot of people out there still, still pitching the same old techniques, you know, whether it’s regression or whether it’s, um, some other type of forecasting, it’s still post casting. It’s still looking at history to try and predict the future. And what we need to be doing is very much more heavily weighing the current state what’s currently happening and much less weighing what’s happened in the past. And, um, and that is done in a lot of cases through that connectivity between enterprises, because things are changing so fast, agreed, and they impact the supply chain as we’ve all seen, even if they happen fast. And for a relatively short time, like getting stuck in the Suez canal, they impact the supply chain for hundreds, thousands of companies for a long time following it’s like, it’s like a breakdown on the 4 0 5 in LA. You know, they might only be broke down for an hour, but they’re gonna cause a four hour backup on, on the, on the freeway, right? Because every it’s it’s the train car effect, the box effect, every car has to slow down and every car that slows down slows down the one behind them and so on. So, um, supply chain works a lot like that and that interoperability, that interconnectivity is really, really critical to, um, to doing that. So it’s good to see that alloy is enabling that for a lot of companies, particularly for the brands that they’re working with.

Scott Luton (00:56:33):

Agreed. Yeah. The, the, the, um, you know, consumer sentiment and preferences and behaviors are changing and shifting, shifting for, uh, in all, in all ways so often, and you got platforms like alloy that, that, that, uh, give you that con basically constant check-in points, right? So you can really monitor what’s going on rather than on a weekly basis or even a daily basis that that’s not good enough these days and in this world we’re living in. So, uh, love to see, uh, all the growth there at all. Uh, a couple quick comments, Hey, we got RO pronounced. I pronounced the right way. <laugh> that never happens. Uh, Peter says SM and regular business reviews are critical to stay the course coupled with clear K R I S, and service, uh, SLAs service level agreements.

Greg White (00:57:22):

Thank you. I don’t

Scott Luton (00:57:23):

Know what is, I’m not sure what Chris is either. So Peter dropped that in

Greg White (00:57:26):

There. Spell out for us, Peter,

Scott Luton (00:57:26):

Literally, Hey, some Monday mornings acronyms come easier than others. That’s how it goes. <laugh> so true. <laugh> Mohe I’m with you RO that, that was, uh, that was one of the comments of the day. So appreciate you sharing that. And Jean, thanks so much, uh, great to have you here today, uh, and appreciate your comment here. Yeah. Uh, we love spending time with all of y’all and learning from all of you, uh, as we navigate these, uh, these crazy crazy times and Peters, uh, KPIs. I think it was just a mistype there. So thank you, Peter. Okay. Folks, be sure to check out, uh, our friends, alloy, alloy.ai, uh, be sure to connect with Greg white by the, um, you may or may not know. So Greg usually, uh, picks some of his favorite developments out in industry and he drops some perspective, some hot POV. You don’t wanna miss typically on LinkedIn anywhere from two to four times a week. Uh, and it really, it, he tells it like it is in a, in a been there done that and then some way some of my favorite social media to consume Greg and how can folks connect with you?

Greg White (00:58:29):

Yeah, yeah, of course you can connect with me on LinkedIn. Um, I’m, I’m at Gregory S. White on Twitter. I’m not on Twitter as much, but it’s also a good way to get hold of, or get links to the articles that I post. Um, yeah. And, and you can email me anywhere. You can find my email. Uh, no, <laugh> Greg supply chain now.com.

Scott Luton (00:58:50):

That’s right. It’s just, <laugh> just that easy, whatever you do listen up when he is, uh, uh, letting us know what we need to be looking for

Greg White (00:58:59):

Reviving that I’ve quit. I’ve quit putting that in my, in my summaries. And I need to get that back in there. Got

Scott Luton (00:59:06):

To, you got to that’s Greg white, uh, that is Greg white. It’s synonymous with who you are. So, uh, check it out, make sure you connect with Greg, uh, and big thanks to, by the way, big, thanks to our team behind the scenes here today, Amanda and clay and Jada. I appreciate all the great production folks. I know we’re rolling into it’s already. Gosh, the 6th of December, the 6th of December. Uh, but whatever, you know, wherever you are, if it’s morning, noon, or night, I’m hoping that you find a chance to unplug, refresh and reenergize here towards the end of the calendar year and, uh, happy holidays, Merry Christmas and happy new year from your friends here at supply chain. Now, Hey, one more challenge though, Greg, one more challenge. Folks, gotta be like, Marshan right. Do good. Give forward and be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see next time, right back here at supply chain now. Thanks everybody. Feast mode.

Intro/Outro (00:59:58):

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

Joel Beal is CEO and co-founder of Alloy. Prior to Alloy, Joel was VP of Product at Addepar, a financial analytics company, and worked at Applied Predictive Technologies, which specializes in business analytics software for retail and consumer goods companies (acquired by Mastercard). He holds an M.A. in economics from Stanford University and a B.A. in economics and mathematics from Columbia University. Connect with Joel on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

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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