Supply Chain Now
Episode 1137

The way it gets presented, it almost sounds like inflation is going down. It's not – it is just accelerating at a slower rate. Where it was in the 10-11% range, now prices are only going up year over year by 4%. In 18 years, the price of everything will double at a 4% inflation rate.

- Greg White

Episode Summary

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

In this week’s edition of The Buzz, regular co-host Greg White was back after a few weeks away, ready to dig into the trends, the issues, and the opportunities of the moment… everything cool that’s happening in supply chain.

In this livestream, created in collaboration with a live Supply Chain Now audience, Scott and Greg discussed:

• How drought conditions across the U.S. and smaller cattle herds may push up the price of your burgers this summer

• The good news and bad news about inflation, with rates generally falling, but a few key items staying high: food, housing, and transportation services

• Whether a new leader might be emerging in the long-running competition between Amazon and Walmart

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

Welcome to Supply Chain. Now the voice of global supply chain supply chain now focuses on the best in the business for our worldwide audience, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and today’s critical issues, the challenges and opportunities. Stay tuned to hear from Those Making Global Business happen right here on supply chain now.

Scott Luton (00:31):

Hey, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you are, Scott Luton, Greg White with you here on Supply Chain. Now welcome to today’s live stream, Gregory, you are back. Blow the horns. Have a parade. It is Greg White back in our midst. How you doing?

Greg White (00:46):

I’m doing quite well, thank you.

Scott Luton (00:48):

<laugh>, you have been missed. Do you feel missed? Well,

Greg White (00:52):

It feels good to be back. Yeah, I guess missed. Yeah, I feel it feels great to be back. Yeah, it’s good to see you. Good, good, good. Or hear everybody? I can’t see everybody.

Scott Luton (01:01):

<laugh>. Well, welcome back. Of course, not taking anything away from Constantine and Mary, Kate and Kevin, who all filled in. Alison, I think as well, had a great episode with Alison. Yeah. But, uh, great to have you back, Gregory.

Greg White (01:14):

Thank you.

Scott Luton (01:15):

We got a lot to get into today. A lot to get into today. Um, and we see we’ve got already Josh and Angela and, uh, Zelle, uh, Ola, wi Toin. We’ll say hello to everybody in just a minute. But great to have you and everyone else here with us day. So Greg, it is the supply chain Buzz, as you know, a live show that comes at our global supply chain fam every Monday at 12 noon Eastern time. Greg, what do we tend to cover here on the buzz?

Greg White (01:42):

Only everything you need to know about supply chain <laugh>, right? The, I mean, the trends, the issues, the opportunities of the moment, right? So once a week you get to hear about everything cool that’s happening in supply chain.

Scott Luton (01:55):

That is right. Uh, and so, which

Greg White (01:58):

Is mostly you, Scott

Scott Luton (01:59):

<laugh>. But hey folks, we wanna hear from you as well. Uh, so we’d love for you to just like many folks are doing right now, throw your comments, your perspective right there in the chat, and we’ll share that throughout the hour as well. And folks, if you’re listening to the podcast replay, which a lot of folks do, hey, consider joining us live on LinkedIn or YouTube or some other social media channel of your choosing. We’d love for you to be part of the live show every Monday at 12 noon Eastern time. Okay? So Greg, uh, let’s go ahead and share a few resources with folks. We’re we’re big on sharing resources, right?

Greg White (02:35):

Unquestionably. And we got tons of them.

Scott Luton (02:37):

We do, we got tons of stuff to help folks out. Look at those vibrant vegetables. I wish I could grow vegetables like that, Greg, can you? Yeah.

Greg White (02:45):

Uh, no. But Vicky can. And, uh, if I, if we could interview the deer around our house, they could all verify that, that she makes, she really grows fantastic tomatoes. I’d say that’s her

Scott Luton (02:58):

Specialty. Love that. Love that. And hello to Vicky, wherever you may be, uh, the, the controller with two green thumbs, it sounds. Yeah. Hey, so with that said, we dropped over the weekend and we focused it on pollinator week, which just concluded yesterday. So here’s a, did you know Greg? And folks, you’ll have to, you’ll have to dive into, uh, this LinkedIn newsletter. We’ll put the link in the chat so y’all can learn more about what, what makes up pollinated wheat. But Greg, did you know that scientists estimate that about 75% of the world’s all the world’s flowering plants, and about 35% of the world’s food crops are dependent on animal pollinators, not just bees. There’s about 3,500 types of bees species that help pollination. Of course, they’re probably the hardest working pollinator, but there’s all sorts of animals that serve as pollinators. Did you know that, Greg?

Greg White (03:47):

I did not know the all sorts of animals part. I knew that bees, of course. And I guess, uh, that was kind of when, when, uh, the, the post went up about this thing. It was like, what else? Pollinates stuff. <laugh>, right? I mean, all kinds of, I mean, sometimes it’s just kinda a passing glance, literally, like somebody runs into a plant and that somehow pollinates it, right?

Scott Luton (04:09):

That’s right. Crazy. You’re absolutely right. So dogs, deers, bats, um, other insects, uh, all of those folks and a lot more serve as pollinators in some capacity. And it really is. Cuz I think most of the world thinks of bees. And of course bees are the, I don’t know, the 80 20 rule seems to come to my mind, but that might not be nowhere near accurate. But, uh, that’s, but anyway, the greater point is we gotta take care. You know, the bees have gone through in recent years, a lot of turmoil. Yeah. That’s hurting their populations, right?

Greg White (04:40):

Yeah. A lot of the chemicals that we use, uh, for killing other bugs or for fertilizer or whatever, appear to be like knocking down the bee population. So I can tell you here, northwest of Atlanta and in Switzerland, okay? And up north, uh, you know, up north in the northern part of Georgia as well, they are actively cultivating, um, colonies of bees. Are they called a colony? It’s a hive, <laugh>, whatever, you know, big old groups of beef

Scott Luton (05:12):

<laugh>, highly scientific term. Yeah. Folks,

Greg White (05:15):

North Georgia term,

Scott Luton (05:16):

Right? Right. Hey, check out with that said, uh, it goes out, uh, just about every weekend. Usually Saturday or, or Sunday morning. And, uh, it, it, uh, it kind of runs a gamut. A wide, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a weekly variety newsletter, I’ll call it. We cover all kinds of things across. With that said, um, speaking of resources, Greg, we got a lot more work to do this week. So this coming Thursday at 12 noon Eastern time, we’ve got John Lander with Omnia Partners coming to us to talk about revolutionizing your purchasing process in the current market. Greg Procurement’s cool again, right?

Greg White (05:54):

As cool as it’s ever gonna be, you know, I mean, I think, I think, uh, we in supply chain, we can’t reach too high, right? We’ve gotten to the big kids table. Now. The C-Suite even listens to us. I don’t know if, you know, I don’t know if we can say cool yet, but we’re way the heck up there. Yeah. I’m, we’re not, gee, we’re not just geeks anymore, right? <laugh>, we’re not those, those goofy cats in only in shirts with their name tag. Although you don’t underestimate the power of a shirt with a name tag on it, right? I like to keep going around. Um, right. But I, yeah, I mean, I think, you know, there’s, I think companies even, uh, consumers are recognizing the importance of supply chain. So nobody doesn’t know what supply chain is these days.

Scott Luton (06:44):

That’s right.

Greg White (06:45):

That is right.

Scott Luton (06:47):

Uh, so folks join us this Thursday as we dive into some expertise and some, uh, uh, insights on, again, revolutionizing your purchasing process in the current market with John Lander from Omnia Partners. Now, along these lines, Greg, one last thing to share with folks along these lines, Hmm. Is, uh, if you don’t wanna miss sessions like that one or lots for webinars, we’ve had, we’ve had some home run webinars here lately, or some of the exclusive tools and resources that, uh, that come about due to some of these live events. If you don’t wanna miss all that stuff and, and a lot more, join the now community and folks, you can do this. It’s real simple. I think you use the link that, uh, that a man and Catherine are dropping in chat and it’s real, it’s very rigorous. Greg, first name, last name, email, <laugh>, first name, last name, email, that’s as rigorous as it takes to join the now community. Greg, can

Greg White (07:41):

You fog a mirror? <laugh>, if so, and you care about supply chain in anyway, sign up.

Scott Luton (07:48):

That’s right. Sign up and, and we’ve got the link there, folks. You can hit that and you can sign up. Uh, joining about 25,000 other folks that stay in the know, because they’re cool like Greg White, or speaking of Greg T Squared, who I think I referenced on Friday, uh, <laugh>. Yeah.

Greg White (08:08):

He, I think we can say that. Yeah.

Scott Luton (08:10):

He, and he holds down Fort Force on YouTube, but he also is commenting here, he says, we’re no longer the stepchild of business. He’s talking supply chain, right, Greg?

Greg White (08:20):

Yeah, no doubt. The whole organization. Yes. And also, uh, you know, a good follow on, the only place I see him is LinkedIn, Tyrone Thorpe. So,

Scott Luton (08:34):

Right. That Tyrone Thorpe.

Greg White (08:36):

And that’s why the T squared get it.

Scott Luton (08:38):

<laugh>. Tyrone, great to have you here as always. Uh, speaking of, uh, so folks, again, we, we’ve got a link there to join the now community so you don’t miss any of our live events, uh, the tools and resources that come outta all those things. Uh, so join it there. Uh, I wanna welcome in. Uh, AV is with us via LinkedIn. I think I said that right. If I didn’t, please let me know. Great to have you, uh, cyan. You think I got that right? Cyan, uh, Greg,

Greg White (09:05):

That’s a tough one. Uh, the last name is actually Easier. Bought a Chatter bot agi.

Scott Luton (09:11):

Okay. Uh, man, I’m, I’m, I’m impressed. Hey, but regardless, welcome Ton via LinkedIn. Great to have you here. I

Greg White (09:19):

Think that, I think that’s about right.

Scott Luton (09:20):

I think so too.

Greg White (09:21):

Check us on it. Yeah. Try to spell it phonetically for us.

Scott Luton (09:25):

<laugh>, we get it right. Josh Goody is back with us and he’s, he’s talking about the bees and the pollers. He says, Hey, we gotta check the soil health and a water pattern for the color of those peppers. Also, <laugh>, I think he was being maybe sarcastic cause those peppers look so good. Also, he feels the pain about deer eating gardens, as you were just referencing. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> a minute ago. Greg, for whatever reason, Josh says they love chives, tulips, and apples fresh off the tree. How about that?

Greg White (09:53):

They do love flowers and the ones they don’t love, it doesn’t stop them from pulling them out of the ground by, you know, trying them right. Pulling them outta the ground and then spitting ’em out on the ground. So even the ones that they don’t take away, you have to replant. That’s

Scott Luton (10:06):

Right. <laugh>. Um, speaking procurement. Leonardo from Procurement Garage. Great to see you here, Leonardo via LinkedIn. Welcome, welcome, welcome and welcome to everyone else that is here with us today for the buzz. We’ve got a lot of stuff to get into here. Uh, alright. So, Greg, are you ready to get to work?

Greg White (10:24):

I believe that I am, yes. All right. I think it’s been long enough that I should be ready to get back to work, don’t you?

Scott Luton (10:30):

<laugh>? I do. Great to have you back. So, yeah, thanks. With that said, um, I want to dive into our first story here today. Remember the old, um, Wendy’s, the, the hamburger franchise, uh, from the eighties? The Where’s the beef ad? Remember that? Oh,

Greg White (10:46):

Yeah. Oh yeah.

Scott Luton (10:47):

It was iconic during the eighties. Yeah, <laugh>. That’s right. Well, let’s talk about where’s the beef? So, according to a story from our friends at supply chain dive, smaller and smaller cattle herds are pushing beef prices higher and higher. Hmm. The smaller herds are primarily due to drought conditions across the country. And of course, consumer beef prices due to these smaller, smaller cattle herds are approaching record level territory that was set during the pandemic. Greg, I’d love to hear your thoughts here.

Greg White (11:19):

I’d love to say it’s time to become a vegetarian, but I’ve tried that and it’s just not working for me. So, <laugh>, I guess it’s time to pay up, isn’t it? I don’t, yeah, I mean, you know, we, we reported a little bit on this some months ago. It may have been a year ago that this was starting to happen. And the same with with farmed crops as well, and that we could expect to see, uh, you know, that we could expect to see the impact on down the road on, um, you know, the center of the plate type items. And, uh, you know, I guess this is the result of, of kind of the en environmental conditions that we’re experiencing in these parts of the world. So, uh, you know, we ride it out until the, until the herds get bigger, um, or we pay more. And, uh, you know, what I I think is really interesting is that it’s not that, that the farmers are profiting so much more, it’s just that, you know, it’s, it’s virtually the same amount of work going into less, fewer, since, I should say, fewer ahead of cattle. Um, so the fixed costs remain the same and drive the price up. And of course, scarcity drives the price up on the market side.

Scott Luton (12:35):

Mm. You know, it’s, it’s really interesting. Um, my brain doesn’t always go to semiconductors when we’re talking beef, but with all the ground being broken in various places across the world, but certainly some of the mega sites that have been announced here in the States and all the water it takes to run those facilities, man, where’s it gonna come from? We’ve, we’ve, we’ve certainly talked about that too. Where’s it all gonna come from? You know?

Greg White (13:02):

Yep. Yeah. I mean, well, you know, the good news is we won’t run out of water. Right? Water does not escape the, it does not escape. The atmosphere gets constantly recycled through the air and through the ground. So we might run out of clean water, but we will not run out of water. What happens is the areas that are arid shift around the planet. So, you know, there was a time allegedly even when the Sahara Desert was lush, really.

Scott Luton (13:30):

Right.

Greg White (13:31):

Allegedly <laugh>

Scott Luton (13:34):

Not

Greg White (13:34):

A geologist. And unlike an unlike economist, I’m not Right. As often as a geologist is.

Scott Luton (13:43):

Oh, that’s great. Cause our next story is all about the, so stay tuned folks. Boy. Um, but geology Yeah, you’re, you’re bringing me flashbacks of my, um, I think geology was a big part of our, my seventh grade science curriculum that I struggled throughout. So, uh, but good stuff there. And I always appreciate you bringing the good news. Hey, speaking of, so you know, Greg, just to recap, uh, y’all check out the story via supply chain dye. We dropped the link in the chat as well. So, Greg, curious as we’re talking beef, what is your favorite cut? Uh, uh, steak cut.

Greg White (14:15):

Uh, well, my, um, my favorite cut is porterhouse. Okay. Okay. I mean, as those are 20 ounces minimum. And now with the thickness that they love to cut ’em for, I dunno to be impressive, 35 ounces. Mm. Right. Approaching, approaching three pounds. I don’t eat ’em very often, so absent that, a, a really great tenderloin. Tenderloin is a great, usually called a filet. Yep. Um, and I love a, uh, a KC strip, which is a New York strip on the bone because you get a lot more flavor when the meat’s on the bone man bone. Sorry for the description for all out there,

Scott Luton (14:55):

<laugh>. That sounds delicious. Farm

Greg White (14:57):

Kid. Yeah.

Scott Luton (14:58):

<laugh> and kinda like you though. So I used to love the New York, New York strip growing up. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that was my favorite growing up. And then, uh, when I married Amanda, her family introduced me to really good seared seared ribeye, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> with a nice crust on the outside, that’s really tough to beat. But to your point, we’ve also been eating smaller portions. So really we’ll go by, uh, the, the whole tenderloin, uh, and then we’ll, we’ll, we’ll portion it out to where it’s like five, six ounces mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and that’s plenty. A nice, a nice five or six ounce steak is kind of what we have, uh, evolved to. Greg.

Greg White (15:32):

The main reason you would want to cut a tenderloin thicker is to get, you know, give you more temperature options. Right. Because if you cut a steak really thin, like they do in Europe, as I’ve experienced painfully over the last month Mm. Um, it’s really hard to cook it medium rare. Right. Right. Which is my, just my opinion, the only way to cook a steak.

Scott Luton (15:54):

Yes. Um, all right, so now that everybody is, is extremely hungry here on this Monday, June, right.

Greg White (16:00):

Or gross out, depending on your right. My culinary choices.

Scott Luton (16:04):

Um, a couple quick comments here. So, T-Square, thank you Clara Pellar. Going back to where’s the beef? That was Clara Pellar, the actor, uh, actress. Oh, she owned that line. And to his point, it’s been applicable ever since 2018. Good point. Good point. Now, gene Pple, uh, gene Pledger, Gino is back with us. Gino, hope this finds you well. He says demand moves around to chicken and pork when one protein gets outta line. That’s a great call out. Uh, Greg, uh, just last month or so, I think we’re both big fans of Costco. Costco and, and some other, um, similar retailers were were giving reporting that was all pulled up to the government level. And one of the things that they, Costco was reporting was to Gino’s point, uh, uh, more and more chickens were being, chickens been bought rather than, uh, beef, which, uh, due to the, the, the higher pricing. So it’s a great call out there. Yeah. At Gino, I think

Greg White (16:57):

It’s important to understand too, that beef, as I was just sort of alluding to, it’s very regional, north America, south America, Australia, Italy, pretty much Italy, <laugh> in Europe. And, and by the way, you can get a good, you can get good meat in Italy. Yep. Um, but not a lot of other places. Pork is very prominent in continental Europe. Yep. Right. Um, so, you know, it’s, it’s a regional dish, you know, vast regions, admittedly. But this isn’t a problem for a lot of places on the planet. That’s right. You know, to Gene’s point, pork is the primary, it’s the primary dish in a lot of, uh, European countries, especially the Germanic ones. Mm. And I ain’t lying that sausage is good. <laugh>.

Scott Luton (17:46):

So Jeff says, Hey, it looks like a good run for lab grown beef, maybe. So Jeff, maybe. So we’ll see. Uh, and Sayad great to see you here as well as Kaisha Welcome, welcome. Great to see you here as well. Look forward to your perspective. Okay, Greg, we gotta keep, uh, keep driving here. So, as I promised, we touched on geology a minute ago, and I, I don’t think either one of us are gonna be confused for geologists. Neither one of us may be confused for economists, nevertheless, in our, in the second story here today. Speaking of spending more at the store, which we’ve been doing for a couple years now, just about everything. Yeah. Well, here’s a little pseudo good news I’m gonna call it. Prices aren’t going up as fast as they have been. So, according to cnbc, the country’s inflation rate in may annualized rate of 4% came in at its lowest annual rate in more than two years. Mm-hmm. But a few line items are running much higher than that 4%, uh, over this time of year ago, food, which comes in at 6.7%, housing or shelter as they call it here, 8% transportation services, 10.2%. Greg, your thoughts here?

Greg White (18:54):

Yeah, the transportation services confused me because, I mean, freight, I don’t know if that’s part of the metric, honestly. Mm-hmm. Freight has been crashing and you’ve been seeing a lot about it in the press and social media and that sort of thing. So that one surprised me. You know, the other, uh, unfortunate truth is that’s just for the us. So again, having been in Europe, inflation is 16.8% Wow. In the uk. So, um, and you know, and I think the other thing we have to acknowledge here is that it sounds like the way that it gets presented, it almost sounds like inflation is going down. It’s not, it’s only accelerating at a slower rate. Right? Right. Whereas it was in the 10, 11% range, um, now it’s only, now prices are only going up y year over year by 4%. So what cost you a buck last year cost you a dollar four this year, by the way, based on the rule of 72. Right. That means in 18 years, the price of everything will double at 4% inflation rate. Mm. So, um, and of course, everything has practically doubled because of the rate that that things have been at since what, 20 early 20, 21. Mm.

Greg White (20:18):

Um, so we’re kind of rolling off some of the early dramatic inflation that we experienced in 2021 back when we were talking about the price of chicken wings going through the roof, which they did, and have managed to stay there. Right, right. And, you know, and another thing I think we have to acknowledge here is that the calculation for, uh, inflation has been, I don’t know how else to say it, but manipulated. Mm. So that it doesn’t look as egregious as it is. And in fact, if you look at inflation relative to the core inflation, um, measures of the previous incredibly cataclysmic inflation event we had in the eighties, um, the rate is much, much higher and had in, even in the states gotten at one point based on the, that old metric to about 16%. Hmm. So, um, and, and I think everyone sort of intuitively knows that because, I mean, you look at things like eggs and chicken wings and other things that have gone up by a significant amount. Um, and you can see that it’s gone up by more than the five or seven or even 9% that, that they were reporting. Yes.

Scott Luton (21:29):

You know, I’ve got a, one of my favorite breakfast bars, uh, as all strolling through the store, and I put my hand on the box to grab it. Uh, si $672. Greg, I, I decided to leave those breakfast bars <laugh> on the shelf. Okay. I might be exaggerating by a dollar or two,

Greg White (21:44):

But it felt like that, didn’t it?

Scott Luton (21:45):

It did. Oh gosh.

Greg White (21:48):

I know, um, Vicky and I, I must, I should be ashamed to admit this, but we were caught in the same ba as you were and we had to dive into someplace, just kind of get outta the weather, cuz there was one microburst after another and it was a Taco Bell, so I ate a chalupa. Does that sound right? Sounds

Scott Luton (22:08):

Good

Greg White (22:09):

To me. Really? Taco shell thing, it was $4 and 59 cents. I mean, it wasn’t that long ago that you could get your entire meal at Taco Bell for $4 and 59 cents. Right. It’s, it’s just insanity. What pr you know how prices have gone up. It

Scott Luton (22:26):

Is. You’re right. Uh, all right, I gotta bring in Josh’s comment here, <laugh>. So on Greg’s point, lies, lies and Sat statistics comes to mind when politicians talk about inflation, right. Metrics. That’s

Greg White (22:39):

Right. Thank you for quoting the great Samuel Clemmens. <laugh>, mark Twain.

Scott Luton (22:44):

<laugh>. Love it. Alright. Right.

Greg White (22:47):

There’s lies. Then. More statistics. <laugh>,

Scott Luton (22:51):

Uh, speaking of, I wanna share one more opportunity to move right along. Uh, so Greg and I are hosting a live stream on July 11th. It ju it feels so strange to be referencing July dates already, but hey, that’s where we are. July 11th. We’re gonna be talking about Navigate successfully navigating retail peak season five key strategies for shippers and key carriers with our friends from Vector and Coyote. So y’all join us for that, Greg. That should be a, a great, uh, session, don’t you think?

Greg White (23:21):

Yeah, of course. I mean, anytime we have anybody from Vector on, that’s always fun just because of the breadth of what they do and their, their, you know, give give forward strategy. Um, and of course Coyote is, you know, big. They’re big. That’s right. So we’re gonna get to get a really broad perspective on, on the marketplace there.

Scott Luton (23:42):

Excellent. Y’all join us there on July 11th. We’ve got a link right there in the chat to do just that. Uh, Josh says, uh, the party pack at Taco Bell used to be 12 bucks, now it’s over 25 bucks. What, what in the world? I

Greg White (23:56):

Cannot believe it. First of all, I hate Taco Bell. Sorry. Anyone who loves it, I hate it. And every time I take a bite of it, I regret it, but, um, and I just can’t see people continuing to return to fast food. Mm. When you could get something good for the roughly the same price. Right. Right. It’s gonna have to turn around. I

Scott Luton (24:19):

Think it will. I think it will.

Greg White (24:21):

I’d say it’s the price of beef, but it has been scientifically proven that their food is not beef. So

Scott Luton (24:27):

<laugh>. Oh boy. All right. So moving right along on that note, uh, this is an interesting, uh, story, uh, that hit my radar here over the weekend, Greg. And this is something we’ve been, we’ve really enjoyed talking about for a couple years now. Uh, this article here from our friends at, uh, Axios talks about, uh, a familiar theme for many of our listeners mm-hmm. The ongoing e-commerce battle mm-hmm. Between Walmart and Amazon. Now, according to this article there, from our friends with Axios, they seem to think Walmart is approaching a tipping point in terms of that battle and might just be gaining the upper hand. I think that’s, uh, I would agree with that. Now, Walmart has made big gains, as is pointed out in the article in automation, really in lots of different areas across enterprise. And that combined with, it’s of course one of his big advantages. Its large physical footprint combined with big surges and bopus popularity. Right. Be, uh, buy online pickup in store. Yeah. Or just maybe, uh, just outside of store sometimes all of those things is what Isri, uh, uh, giving way to the tide shifting faster in Walmart’s favor. Greg, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts here.

Greg White (25:44):

<laugh>. It makes me chuckle a little bit. You know, remember when everyone was afraid of Walmart coming into their community and, you know, whatever, whatever, whatever they hated about Walmart. Um, and now it’s like the world is pulling for Walmart, right? Because they’re the underdog to Amazon. You know, it’s still the largest retailer on the planet. Right? And it’s only in e-commerce where they even, even remotely need to catch up because they are a far bigger retail organization than Amazon. Right. Um, but it is interesting. I mean, if you think about this, what was it? Was it 2019? They bought Jet? Mm. Um, which wasn’t a big, it, it was mostly for the mechanism of Jet because they weren’t that big of an e-commerce retailer then. And they have turned that into something really, really venerable. I don’t know if you do, uh, Walmart, I mean walmart.com or whatever, but I have a, an American Express card where I get a free Walmart plus.

Scott Luton (26:46):

Okay.

Greg White (26:48):

Um, a free Walmart plus membership, which means it’s nothing compared to the 120 or 140 bucks a year you pay for Amazon, uh, prime Yeah. Nowadays. And, um, it somehow feels better the, to, I can’t believe I’m saying this cause, but, but it somehow feels better to shop Walmart because Walmart is an established retailer. When I compare the reasons that Walmart does private label versus the reason Amazon does private label Walmart finds where the value is not represented by the cost of a, you know, jar of pickles or whatever. And then they create a great value jar of pickles, which are substantially the same pickles without all the excess marketing costs. Yeah. And save their customers money. And Amazon poaches their, you know, their most popular and highly profitable items on, on their site and makes them Amazon basically stealing business for their own pri profit, not for the good of their customer.

Greg White (27:51):

And that’s, that’s a philosophical difference that has been well documented. Um, and, and so somehow, um, dealing with the largest retailer on, you know, in the world makes you feel like you’re pulling for the underdog when you do it online. Right. It is nice to be able to pick the stuff up to get it that day if you want. I mean, go get it yourself that day. Yeah. Order it. And then if you’re driving by a store, which you almost can’t throw a rock and not hit a Walmart store in the us, um, you know, you can just drop in and grab the stuff and go, and they are very efficient.

Scott Luton (28:27):

Yep. You know, one, one other thing that this article pointed out, and y’all can check it out, I think we’ve dropped a link there in the chat, y’all check it out for yourselves. Um, the drone battle, right? Drone delivery, um, that’s probably one of the more surprising things. Now we, we, of course we’ve interviewed Walmart executives and we’ve spoken about some of the big gains they’ve made in drone delivery. But I would’ve thought, I would’ve thought that by now Amazon would’ve made up more ground. But we’re talking, if I, if I got these numbers right, Greg, uh, 10,000 deliveries last year for Walmart drone deliveries and like a hundred for Amazon. Right. And the, and, and for what I’ve read in other research, uh, some of the areas that Amazon is, is trying to work out at drone delivery, or maybe two, three households are, are eligible for drone delivery.

Scott Luton (29:15):

So they’re not even be able to take advantage of, of just sheer numbers and experimentation. Your, your thoughts, uh, when it comes to drone delivery and do you see that Greg, you know, out of, out of, out of all the different ways that, um, Walmart and Amazon, you know, they’re doing a lot of things similar, right? Like a driver program we talked about, uh right. And then they’re doing some things unique. What do you think in terms of what Walmart is doing? What’s one thing that you think is a really big differentiator as it seeks to gain more ground? Amazon?

Greg White (29:45):

Uh, well, I can speak from real life experience. One, we interviewed their head of end-to-end delivery. And I think that’s a really, really fascinating program where they can, they can provide the services that the transportation services not only for you if you are a vendor of Walmart to deliver with real efficiency because they’re pooling orders from multiple vendors, but also on the other end because it’s end to end to deliver the goods on your behalf. Um, I think there’s a lot of, uh, there’s a lot of efficiencies there because their, you know, their stores are inherently where the demand is. Yeah. Because they put them, they scientifically place their stores where they were surrounded by their shoppers or potential shoppers. So their delivery efficiencies are substantial there. And this end-to-end delivery opportunity that they have is, is really fantastic. So, you know, I invested in Free Spirits, the, um, non-alcoholic spirits company, right?

Greg White (30:46):

Yeah. So we talked, we actually talked with the folks at Walmart about both bringing the goods in and delivering them not just to on behalf of Walmart, but, uh, free Spirits is in, um, total Wine and Kroger and all that sort of thing, but fulfilling those orders from, from their facilities for all of that sort of thing. So now they’re competing with, you know, not just Amazon, but all the other tiers of, and other types of three pls and, and e-commerce fulfillment organizations. I, it’s a really, really, uh, it’s a really, really good, um, methodology. On the other hand, Scott never underestimate Amazon. And I, I would, I would argue, I, I wouldn’t argue this, I would speculate that if Amazon is only lightly dabbling in drone delivery, they know something that maybe, maybe Walmart or we don’t, that’s a good point, right? Cause they are, uh, ruthlessly efficient when it comes to what’s coming in the future. And, you know, and that sort of thing. I mean, let’s face it, this was a company that started selling a few books online, right? <laugh> and now is one of the largest retailers and one of the largest logistics organizations in the entire planet. Mm. So

Scott Luton (32:10):

That’s a great point.

Greg White (32:11):

Um, it’s really hard to count them out. So my first question if I were investigating this on Walmart’s behalf, would be to say, what do they know that we don’t? Yep. Um, and it’s just possible that Walmart is right, and Amazon or, or, you know, the, this article, I think it’s, it’s premise is that, that Walmart is ahead of Amazon on these things. That’s also possible. Yeah. I mean, Walmart also pretty ruthlessly efficient. <laugh> <laugh>.

Scott Luton (32:39):

Yeah, I would agree with that. Yeah. Um, hey folks, what’s your take? Uh, if you’re vendors to both these organizations or if your customers, I’d love to get your take. Like Natalie’s here, Greg and Natalie, great to have you here, as always. She says, looking forward to reading the article, of course. But as a vendor of both companies, Natalie says, I don’t see this to be true, and I don’t see, where’s my Walmart order on the neighborhood chat. Mm-hmm. Amazon all the time. And she also says, Walmart and Bopus, you know, pick up, uh, buy online, pick up in store. That’s why there’s no comments. And, you know, that’s a good, good chat. But they, um, really, you know, as, as, as folks are getting out, thankfully, right? Thankfully, and they’re able to leverage that, it’s become really popular. Really popular. And so no doubt that’s a big trend that Walmart is writing. Uh, to Natalie’s point, Greg, uh, I I love Natalie’s comment there from the vendor side of things, not Yeah. You know, cause what we’ve been chatting more, a little more about, uh, with the exception of your most recent investment, I’d love to talk more about, but we’ve been talking maybe on more on the consumer side, the customer side. Any, any final thoughts in terms of what suppliers might be seeing from either organization?

Greg White (33:52):

Um, ruthless efficiency, you can expect <laugh> from both, both of them. I think there’s more of a, and I, I’d put this to Natalie too. I think there’s more of a partnership kind of solution oriented stance by Walmart. They used to be ruthless and miserable to work with, just like Amazon, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, and there are other retailers that take that, that position in dealing with their suppliers. Um, but I think that’s probably a difference that, that I expect to see. Certainly you get a lot more engagement. Again, just looking at the Free Spirits example, um, closely collaborating with the category managers and logistics people at Walmart, Amazon, it’s more of a, you know, it’s more of a transactional relationship, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you’re just selling your stuff on Amazon as a vendor and just not, not quite the personal touch there. Yep. Right.

Scott Luton (34:49):

Um, so, uh, I wanna, but so we’re, we’re talk about ruthlessly efficient. We are way ahead of schedule, so we’re gonna give some folks a little bit of their time back. But I’m glad, Greg, now that you’re back with us after your European travels last three or four weeks you mentioned, and it’s public knowledge now. So I think we can talk about it. You mentioned a recent investment you made. Uh, tell us a little bit more, uh, and, and folks, this is gonna be a little shameless plug, but I find this <laugh> intriguing, uh, both the, the, the product itself as well as Greg’s, um, uh, I, I’ll call it, for lack of a better phrase, rationale. Yeah. Uh, for where the market’s going. So tell us more about this.

Greg White (35:26):

So it’s, uh, so I’ll describe the company really quickly, and then why, um, it was both shocking and fascinating to me that there is opportunity here. So it’s called Free Spirits, the Free Spirits Company. And it’s, um, non-alcoholic spirits made for mixing into cocktails. I can tell you that you don’t wanna sit down with a non-alcoholic bourbon and sip it next to your bottle of Eagle rare, because while evaluating the, evaluating the investment, I did that very thing. And I was like, yeah, I’ll take Eagle rare every time, <laugh>. But, um, it is remarkably similar. And, and, um, and this is the dynamic that is changing is that Gen Y millennials and Gen Z are drinking less and less. They’re getting their buzz a little bit different way these days. <laugh>. Um, apparently when you’re on shrooms and I non-alcoholic cocktail, no, I’m just kidding.

Greg White (36:23):

Um, no, but, you know, but a lot of people are trying to moderate their drinking. A lot of people have quit drinking, but still want the social, or even the flavor experience of cocktails. In fact, the c e o, uh, Mylan Martin was in the ad game. He was at one of the biggest advertising agencies in the country, which if you’ve ever seen Mad Men, I mean, you know, you know, it’s lunch with a couple martinis and that kinda thing. And he just kind of tired of that. And yet, um, there, you know, the flavor aspect of it was very enticing to him. And the, um, and the social aspect of it, it’s almost reverse stigmatized, right? Where, you know, some people would look down their nose at people who do drink, people who do drink would look down their nose at somebody having a glass of water while everyone else is having a, you know, having a cocktail.

Greg White (37:14):

Right? So it allows you to both have that experience and, and be inside the cultural norms, uh, of, of anything. Um, and what, what has been found is that like our generation, gen X is also, um, taking a drink off, is what a lot of people call it. So, um, you know, they’ll have a couple Manhattans and then you can have a Free Spirits Manhattan, which I have had. And because, you know, it’s mixed, it, it tastes remarkably similar. And it’s, and it’s another way instead of, you know, having to take a timeout like the, what is that, A Crown Royal commercial, right. And drink a bottle of water, you, of course you should do that as well. Anyway, um, you know, I compulsively drink water <laugh>, but it allows you to kind of continue, continue enjoying without, um, you know, what overdoing it with the buzz mm-hmm.

Greg White (38:10):

And the buzz <laugh>. And, uh, and it’s been fascinating. The market is growing like crazy. Um, um, spirits are very hard to do, but, um, you know, the company’s been really diligent about making it a really, really good experience. So my, uh, a good example, my favorite tequila is clo rapto. They come in those really nice white bottles that look like a lamp. Yep. Um, and, um, the tequila, the free spirits tequila tastes remarkably like that. And in a margarita, you would never even know the difference because it even simulates the bite that you get from an alcoholic, alcoholic beverages. They use spices and active ingredients Hmm. Na natural ingredients too to, uh, to do that. And then the stuff is flooded with B vitamins and things like that to, you know, give you that ki the energy without the crash of a, of a depressant like alcohol is. Hmm. Um, so yeah, I mean, I have to tell you, I did not get it at first. Yeah. And there are a lot of people who don’t get it and I think there will be a lot of people who never get it. Um, but it’s kind, you know, it’s kind of fun to do every once in a while. Love it. Yeah. I mean, you don’t have to quit drinking, right, right. It’s just another way option. Yeah. It’s just another way

Scott Luton (39:31):

Healthy option.

Greg White (39:32):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (39:33):

Um, alright, so folks can learn more. Greg, the name of the company again is

Greg White (39:38):

Free Spirits. The Free Spirits Company. Free Spirits. Yeah. If you’re, I mean, if you wanna follow it on LinkedIn or social media, it’s usually T f SSC or the Free Spirits Company.

Scott Luton (39:49):

Okay. Awesome. We look forward to learning a lot more. I’ve gotta get a couple of bottles of, cuz they, they, from what I saw as you announced it made it public. They had, um, as I ventured over to the, the website, the, the various products that came with recipes, all this stuff hol from holiday drinks to you, you name it. Uh, yeah. So we’re gonna have to do some experimenting.

Greg White (40:09):

I think that’s a great idea. Then. Look, think about this. Anytime it’s cocktail time, right. You and I could just sit here and drink cocktails the whole time.

Scott Luton (40:18):

That’s right. Well, you know, as, as we’ve talked about, uh, maybe not on the show, but behind the scenes, uh, who is that famous, uh, member of the Rat Pack? Dean Martin? Yes. So it’s, I’ve read in a couple different places that it’s been rumored, you know, cuz he would do his routines, whether he was singing or doing standup comedy or whatever Yeah. With a small glass. And what most people assumed was he the burden, bourbon or whiskey or something like that. But it’s long been alleged that in many cases that was apple juice and it was just part of his act. How about that? So,

Greg White (40:52):

Uh, it is also true, and that is true in many cases, not in every case, <laugh>, my, uh, grandmother was a big Dean Martin fan, and she could verify from his breath that he was <laugh> talking to him at some Hinde or something like that. Um, um, but even the great David Lee Roth, when he would chug a bottle of Jack Daniels, uh, about half the time that was tea.

Scott Luton (41:18):

Interesting.

Greg White (41:19):

So

Scott Luton (41:20):

Interesting.

Greg White (41:21):

Um, yeah,

Scott Luton (41:22):

I bet that’s not the only interesting thing about David Lee Roth back in the days. I bet they could write some stories. I bet they have. No,

Greg White (41:28):

They have. Yeah.

Scott Luton (41:29):

<laugh>. All right. So Greg, man, a very efficient buzz today. Really great to have you back. Uh, we’ve got, uh, as we’ve laid, started to lay out, not only do we have, uh, big shows just around the corner, July, Greg July is jam packed. We’ve got a ton of, uh, live webinars and live, live streams that you’re not gonna wanna miss. And Greg, the easiest way for folks, and again, I’m gonna share this little, little, uh, tool here, the easiest way folks, to not miss any of this stuff, even if you can’t make the live event, if you sign up to be part of our Now community, you’ll be able to access on demand very easily, easily. And of course, also get the tools and resources that a lot of those shows offer from, uh, some of our partners there. So check it out. We dropped a link, uh, uh, for easy registration as part of the now community, and definitely wanna share that with all of y’all here, Greg. Uh, it’s easy to miss things, right? Uh, and it’s even easier to take advantage of little tools like this so you don’t miss, uh, things here at Supply Chain now, right?

Greg White (42:33):

Yeah. And I, I think what, um, you know, one of the things I think we ought to share, let’s share it now, Scott, is that one of the things we wanna do with this community is create valuable offerings and engagement opportunities for you. So, um, so this will get you informed so that you’re, you know, when we’re doing a show or when, you know, when we’ve got a sponsor, um, doing a webinar or anything like that, it, it, I assume, doesn’t it get you on the, with that said, yeah.

Greg White (43:02):

Yeah. I mean, and to me that’s worth, it’s worth it, that one thing, <laugh>. Um, but the other thing that that does is a a is as we build that community, we wanna build other offerings. So we’re gonna bring it, we’re gonna start doing some things that are in addition to the shows like research and analysis and, and, and possibly some more in-depth news. We’re gonna do some, um, educational things that we’ll share, some of which ultimately down the road will be only for our subscribers. Mm-hmm. Right? Um, but right now, uh, I mean, it’s a great opportunity to get connected with us and, um, just kind of follow us as we add some of these additional bits of information. Remember, remember, our goal is to, is to elevate the entire practice of supply chain and procurement and all of that. And so everything that we do going forward will be more than just the shows and more than just sharing the stories of people in the industry, but also the topics of the day like we do on this. Um, some of our opinions, which are not very strong, we don’t have very strong opinions at all. We, Scott, oh boy. Knowledge, expertise, that of some of the, you’ve seen many seen the exceptional practitioners through shows, um, and help impart knowledge to you. Or, you know, what, if there is something you’d like to see in terms of a community offering, please, please reach out.

Scott Luton (44:31):

Excellent. I’m glad you mentioned all of that. Uh, we are definitely entering an exciting new chapter where, just like you put it, it’s about lifting the, in the, the craft as we’ve used that word. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you used that word prior. Lifting the whole craft, doing industry, doing supply chain management, doing leadership better and not leaving anyone behind. So folks stay tuned for a lot more to come and, uh, again, the easy step is to join the now community so you don’t miss a thing. Okay. Greg, I got 1245. I’m fighting the urge to dive into seven or eight more things, but I gotta, I wanna touch on one thing before take off.

Greg White (45:10):

I was gonna say, I hope you pick one. Yeah,

Scott Luton (45:12):

Yeah. I’m gonna pick, I’m gonna pick one, actually, I’m gonna pick two. So Greg, uh, I’ve asked you this internally co you know, on our team call on Friday, you shared a little bit about this, but I don’t think you’ve had a chance to share with our, uh, our buzz and our supply chain now, global fam. What is one, uh, your, your pickier, either your favorite, one of your favorite ex uh, experiences as part of traveling and seeing, uh, Europe, uh, over the last month or so, or a tip, a suggestion for folks that may be gearing up for their own trip and maybe they’ve got something in their blind spot that you, uh, can share that would help them make, have a better experience? Your pick, Greg?

Greg White (45:53):

Uh, well, one, um, yeah, boy, uh, one thing is <laugh> embrace the, uh, vast, especially in Switzerland and Germany and France and Italy, embrace the vast, uh, transportation network. I mean, you, you can buy this thing for instance in Switzerland called Swiss Pass. And you, you wave, you know, you wave your pass, you can get onto, um, something as, as light as a bus or you can get on what’s called the Glacier Express, which is about an 800 round trip.

Scott Luton (46:30):

Wow.

Greg White (46:30):

And, and that’s paid for. So I got a 15 day ticket, it was like 400 or 500 bucks. Um, and, and I probably saved $2,000 doing that. Wow. Um, and some of these, they’re called panoramic trains in Switzerland. So the windows go all the way into the roof and you just ride around, literally. Look, you can look at glaciers and lakes and rivers. They take incredibly scenic roots. Um, don’t miss that, particularly in Switzerland and northern Italy and, um, the east side of France, I can only speak to those from this trip because of that. Hmm. Um, so embrace that. The other is be prepared for, um, be prepared for two things. Cigarette smoke, <laugh>, they still smoke in incredibly, I cannot believe it, but they still smoke so incredibly in, in particularly Germanic countries, but all over Europe. Hmm. So be prepared for that.

Greg White (47:33):

That will be one of your most lasting memories. And every city will have dozens of cranes. You gotta remember, a lot of these buildings were built a thousand or 2000 years ago, and there is always something under construction. So, um, you’ll have to take your pictures judiciously. Right. And, and a good editing package to cut those, you know, some of those cranes out will be good, but you cannot overestimate the beauty of the Alps. Mm. And the, um, overwhelming vastness, hugeness of glaciers. So we went to the Matterhorn, uh, which is, uh, near Erma Switzerland and walked into a glacier. And we were millions of years below the top. I mean, that’s the way they said it. <laugh>, right. Cause the, the stuff on the bottom where we were walking ha had obviously been being packed down for millions of years. So, um, and, and, and you know, as they tell you this, fortunately you’re walking out, when they told us this, you’re below about three or 400 feet of ice and snow in some of these glaciers. So we weren’t even on the top peak, the Matterhorn at, um, you know, at that point we were in a glacier at the kind of the next peak down. Um, and it, uh, when they tell you that you’re glad you’re on the way out.

Scott Luton (48:59):

I bet, man. But it’s,

Greg White (49:02):

It is truly amazing. And it is, um, the higher you get. So we got to about 13,000 feet. The higher you get, the more it looks like another planet as you’re kinda seeing the landscape. Um, and you can see the constant shifting of the land up there. Even these giant mountains have huge boulders and small pebbles and everything in between on the way up because they are constantly being, you know, hit by rain and snow and wind and heat and, and all of that sort of thing. And even these giant stones, right. Sticking out of the ground, uh, are eroded and um, and broken apart and, you know, in various places. Man, it’s just fascinating to see. Fascinating.

Scott Luton (49:46):

Wow. Okay. So stay tuned for a lot more from Greg’s journey, but great to have you back. Greg. Really enjoyed the buzz here today. Yeah. Uh, looking forward to good. Get a good buzz. Uh, looking forward to, uh, <laugh>. A very busy, very busy, uh, next five weeks in particular. And I bet August isn’t gonna slow down much. So folks, stay tuned. We great to have y’all to be part of this journey and look forward to sharing a lot more, um, really in inspiring, helpful, uh, thought leadership and our practitioner perspective and expertise in the weeks around the corner. Alright. So big thanks to all of y’all for joining up today. Uh, thanks for all that you submitted and, and shared. Big thanks to Catherine and Amanda for helping to make, uh, production happen day in and day out. Greg, always a pleasure.

Greg White (50:37):

Likewise. Yeah, it’s good to

Scott Luton (50:38):

Be back. It is good to be back. Great to have you back. But folks, hey, take something shared here today. Put it into action, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> deeds, not words. And on behalf of our entire team here at Supply Chain now, Scott Luton challenging you to do good, to give forward and to be the change. And we’ll see you next time, right back here at Supply Chain now. Thanks everybody.

Greg White (50:59):

Thanks

Intro/Outro (50:59):

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.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

You May Also Like

Click to view other episodes in this program

Additional Links & Resources

Learn more about Supply Chain Now

Check out our new Supply Chain Now Media Kit

Subscribe to Supply Chain Now and all other Supply Chain Now programs

Join the NOW Community!

2023 Q1 U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index

WEBINAR- “Decoding Digital Transformation” – Charting a path forward

WEBINAR- The Power of Spend Visibility: A Roadmap for Success

WEBINAR- 5 Ways the Right TMS & ERP Integrations Streamline & Simplify Shipping

WEBINAR- Unbreakable: Unlocking Resilience in the Face of Disruptions

WEBINAR- Better Demand Planning with Supply Chain Visibility

Check Out Our Sponsors

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.

Connect on :

Mary Kate Love

VP, Marketing

Mary Kate Love is currently the VP of marketing at Supply Chain Now focused on brand strategy and audience + revenue growth. Mary Kate’s career is a testament to her versatility and innovative spirit: she has experience in start-ups, venture capital, and building innovation initiatives from the ground up: she previously helped lead the build-out of the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific and before that, MxD (Manufacturing times Digital): the Department of Defense’s digital manufacturing innovation center. Mary Kate has a passion for taking complicated ideas and turning them into reality: she was one of the first team members at MxD and the first team member at the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific.

Mary Kate dedicates her extra time to education and mentorship: she was one of the founding Board Members for Women Influence Chicago and led an initiative for a city-wide job shadow day for young women across Chicago tech companies and was previously on the Board of Directors at St. Laurence High School in Chicago, Young Irish Fellowship Board and the UN Committee for Women. Mary Kate is the founder of National Supply Chain Day and enjoys co-hosting podcasts at Supply Chain Now. Mary Kate is from the south side of Chicago, a mom of two baby boys, and an avid 16-inch softball player. She holds a BS in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Connect on :

Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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).

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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).

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

Amanda is a production and marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Amanda currently manages, produces, and develops modern digital content for Supply Chain Now and their clients. Amanda has previously served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah, and founded and managed her own successful digital marketing firm, Magnolia Marketing Group. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now production team, you can find Amanda in the kitchen, reading, listening to podcasts, or enjoying time with family.

Connect on :

Constantine Limberakis

Host

Constantine Limberakis is a thought leader in the area of procurement and supply management. He has over 20 years of international experience, playing strategic roles in a wide spectrum of organizations related to analyst advisory, consulting, product marketing, product development, and market research.Throughout his career, he's been passionate about engaging global business leaders and the broader analyst and technology community with strategic content, speaking engagements, podcasts, research, webinars, and industry articles.Constantine holds a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA in Finance & Marketing / Masters in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.

Connect on :

Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

Connect on :

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’.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.

When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

Greg White

Principal & CMO, 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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :