Supply Chain Now
Episode 1093

Last year’s third-party logistics spend was estimated to be $250 billion and growing. What makes those third-party logistics providers so special is their agility, which comes with human beings working in the warehouse.

-Michael Pytel is co-founder and CTO at Fulfilld

Episode Summary

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

This week’s Digital Transformers edition of The Buzz included hosts Scott Luton, Greg White, and Kevin L. Jackson, as well as special guest Michael Pytel, co-founder and CTO at Fulfilld. Michael has over 15 years’ experience supporting large enterprise manufacturing and whole distribution organizations. He is passionate about blending the unique strengths of humans and automation – something that came across clearly in this conversation.

In this livestream, created in collaboration with a live Supply Chain Now audience, Michael, Scott, Greg, and Kevin discussed:
• Cash flow management advice for tech founders (and investors) in the growing shadow of Silicon Valley Bank
• Why business processes – and not ‘robots’ – might be to blame if your digital transformation or automation project falls short of expectations
• The amazing agility of third-party logistics providers that is taking fulfillment to the next level – despite the products being shipped

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. Good afternoon. Good evening, Scott Luton, Greg White, and Kevin L. Jackson here with you on Supply Chain Now. Welcome to today’s livestream.

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

Hello.

Scott Luton (00:00:39):

Gregory, how are we doing?

Greg White (00:00:41):

Well, other than being a little bit unshaven, I’m doing pretty well. All things considered, you know, the news about SVB Friday hit me personally and a lot of people that I do business pretty directly, so I didn’t spend a lot of time shaving this weekend. Tthough I did happen to get to an early St. Patrick’s Day parade. So, it’s been a little fun.

Scott Luton (00:01:07):

Excellent. Well, we’re going to talk about what you mentioned on the frontend in about ten minutes here and get some of you and Kevin’s take. Kevin, how are you doing today?

Kevin L. Jackson (00:01:15):

Well, I’m apprehensive, let’s put it that way. You know, I live on East Coast, the Washington D.C. area, and everybody went through Sunday where we lost that hour sleep with the clocks jumping forward. And now I got to jump on a plane tomorrow and fly out to the West Coast to San Francisco. So, my circadian rhythm is going to be, as they say in the military, AFU, baby.

Scott Luton (00:01:48):

Well, I like that. And I also like how you pronounced the city where the Giants and the Niners play, San Francisco, emphasis on that last syllable. Well, Greg and Kevin, great to have you back. Greg, of course, Kevin joins us every second Tuesday of the month for our Digital Transformers version of The Supply Chain Buzz. And as if that’s not great enough to have Kevin with us, we’ve got a special guest joining in about 12:25 today as Michael Pytel with Fulfilld is going to be joining us as well.

Scott Luton (00:02:19):

So, hey, beyond Greg and Kevin and Michael’s POV and expertise, we want to hear yours. So, I see a few folks already in the comments. We’re going to say hello in just a moment. Okay. So, Greg and Kevin, before we get to work, I want to do some programming notes, we’re going to say hello to a few folks, and then we’ve got a lot of stuff to get into today that I think folks can find very informational and, hopefully, inspirational. We’ll see.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:02:44):

Scott. Scott, you know we only have a five pound bag, why you keep bringing ten pounds?

Scott Luton (00:02:51):

It’s in my nature, man. It is in my nature. Everything we can fit in that five pound bag. It’s the opposite of shrinkflation, right, Greg? It’s the opposite.

Greg White (00:03:00):

Yeah, that’s right. You know, on that point, Scott, I discovered that Budweiser long necks are now only 11 ounces.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:03:08):

Oh, they’re cutting back.

Scott Luton (00:03:11):

Man, they really snuck that 12th ounce out of there, huh?

Greg White (00:03:14):

Yeah. The bottle is just slightly smaller.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:03:19):

They’re trying to help you protect your girlish figure there.

Greg White (00:03:24):

Yeah. I just drank 12, so it would [inaudible].

Scott Luton (00:03:29):

There we go.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:03:29):

It made it up.

Greg White (00:03:30):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:03:31):

It’s all about leveling up. So, anyway, let’s share a couple of quick opportunities for folks. So, first off, we’re really excited about this webinar coming up March 21st,. Who’s not creating content these days, right? Well, we’re going to be offering up 5 Tips For Creating Effective Digital Content. Greg and I are bringing in a couple of friends – y’all may know them. I know Kevin does – Ursula Ringham with SAP and, the one and only, Brandi Boatner with IBM. Brandi, who hosts a wonderful radio show, she’s going to talk more about. But, Kevin, Brandi is quite the rock and roll star, huh?

Kevin L. Jackson (00:04:10):

Oh, absolutely. I got an opportunity to hang out with her at the Wimbledon up in New York earlier this year. I guess it was this year. That was fun. Well, maybe it was last year. But that was fun. We had an out on the lawn there by Brooklyn Bridge watching on the big screen the Wimbledon.

Scott Luton (00:04:36):

Well, I saw lots of content from that and it was very entertaining, engaging, educational. Lot of stuff we’re getting after on this March 21st webinar. So, Greg, looking forward to that one. And then, secondly, I want to share with folks, so this was With That Said over the weekend. So, Greg, we need to sit down and talk about this one day, an instant replay NFL, of course, the Kansas City Chiefs, your team, the reigning world champions. But we talked about instant replay and maybe applying instant replay to the global business space and we’re like, “Hey, maybe it should be continuous pre-play?” Kind of a little play on giving folks information they need. Greg, your thoughts whether it’s instant replay or continuous pre-play, or the Chiefs.

Greg White (00:05:26):

Yeah. Well, it’s funny, I love this phrase that I heard once somebody say, Hindsight is 50/50. Which may be more accurate than 20/20. And if you think about the way we talk about pre-play or – what should we say? – premonition, forecasting, and that sort of thing, we use hindsight to try and gauge what the future will be. So, in business it’s a pretty different experience. Now, to football —

Kevin L. Jackson (00:05:59):

Using hindsight to gain foresight. And we found out during the pandemic that don’t work, baby. In supply chain, that don’t work.

Greg White (00:06:10):

That’s right. What is it they say? Past performance is no indication of future value. Now, on the NFL field, I would say, yes, instant. And when I say instant, instant replay could be used to challenge certain calls, like calls where it’s called roughing the passer, when, in fact, by the time the passer hits the ground, he’s no longer the ball carrier and the ball has already been turned over to the defense, Chris Jones and Derek Carr.

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

More AI and instant replay.

Scott Luton (00:06:45):

Yes. That’s right. And as Greg and Kevin are illustrating, we had a lot of fun with this notion of instant replay within business. And, look, we really put it out there to hopefully inspire some conversations and get y’alls take. So, do that. Check that out. We also dropped a link in the chat. We publish With That Said just about every Saturday morning, LinkedIn Newsletter. And come on and join about 20,393 of your best friends as we dive in those conversations.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:07:13):

Ninety-four.

Scott Luton (00:07:15):

Ninety-four. Thanks, Kevin. All right.

Greg White (00:07:18):

We should have a ticker. We need a ticker in the corner.

Scott Luton (00:07:22):

Yes, we do.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:07:22):

Right.

Scott Luton (00:07:24):

Hey, building that has been certainly a passionate project of the whole team here. Because we launched that probably, Greg, what? Four months ago, maybe, or something like that?

Greg White (00:07:33):

Actually, it does seem like that long, but I think it has been. And it has grown so fast, right?

Scott Luton (00:07:38):

That’s right. We’ve gotten a ton of feedback. So, y’all join in and let us know what you’d like to see. But most importantly, join in the conversation. All right. So, Kevin and Greg, we’re going to say hello to a few folks and we’re going to dive into a couple of big stories and segments. Zainabu tuning in via LinkedIn from Kenya. Great to see you here today. John Perry, one of our faves. John, hopefully, you brought that great sense of humor today. One of our favorites here around on The Buzz. Angela tuned in from North Carolina via LinkedIn. Great to see you, Angela. Dmaine Harris from Metro Detroit – I love that – via LinkedIn.

Greg White (00:08:14):

Whereabouts, Dmaine?

Scott Luton (00:08:16):

Yeah. Let us know what part of the reinvigorated City of Detroit that you are haling from. Joseph, “You guys are great. I love last week’s webinar and you drew me back in.” Joseph, man, I appreciate that.

Greg White (00:08:29):

As soon as I was out, they pulled me back in.

Scott Luton (00:08:33):

Well, Joseph, thank you for the feedback. Certainly, we’re very grateful for lots and lots of feedback. Antonio from Detroit as well. Okay.

Greg White (00:08:45):

Yeah, man.

Scott Luton (00:08:46):

Detroit is in the house.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:08:47):

You know, last night I saw this show about Detroit son, Eminem.

Scott Luton (00:08:53):

You saw Eminem’s backstory, huh?

Kevin L. Jackson (00:08:58):

Yeah. That was pretty enlightening.

Scott Luton (00:09:00):

Okay. All right. We’ll have to check that out. Greg is tuned in from Wisconsin, “Zero inches of snow.”

Greg White (00:09:09):

I think that’s supposed to be ten.

Scott Luton (00:09:10):

No. Ten inches of snow. Yeah. Ten inches of snow. My eyes are messing with me. And he says, “Go, Marquette.” Hey, everybody is filling out their brackets right now. I know our team is. We got an internal challenge. But, Greg, great to have you back as always. And, hey, mom. Good morning, Leah Luton, from Aiken, South Carolina.

Greg White (00:09:28):

Hi, mom.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:09:29):

Hey, Leah. Thank you. You got a shoutout. I like that.

Scott Luton (00:09:32):

Yeah. Everybody’s a big fan of Greg and Kevin. So, great to have mom as part of the conversation.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:09:38):

You’re still paying her, right?

Scott Luton (00:09:39):

Yeah. Well, she gets that —

Kevin L. Jackson (00:09:40):

Oh, okay.

Scott Luton (00:09:41):

She’s an ambassador – a paid ambassador. I should put that out there. Right, Greg?

Greg White (00:09:47):

Every Mother’s Day, she gets paid.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:09:48):

That’s nice.

Scott Luton (00:09:50):

All right. Folks, well, you came to the right place today. Supply Chain Buzz takes place every Monday at 12:00 noon Eastern Time. We got a jammed up episode. We’ve got two big things we’re going to dive into with Greg and Kevin, and then we’ve got our special guest, Michael Pytel with Fulfilld joining us about 12:25. So, let’s start with this, let’s get to work here. So, Greg, of course, really kidding aside, some really tough news and developments that have been coming out in the last three or four days. SVB, Silicon Valley Bank, the second biggest bank to ever go under. And then, the third biggest, in Signature, followed that. So, rather than dive into the story – folks can find that across different headlines – I’d rather dial it in with your expertise. As you mentioned on the frontend, I mean, this has been your space for no more than two decades. That’s our standing rule.

Greg White (00:10:42):

Thank you for saying that.

Scott Luton (00:10:42):

But you’ve got a unique purview on this situation because of the different angles and different sectors and positions you’ve been in as a fellow founder, but also as an investor, experience in peace space, and a lot more. So, tell us what would your advice to fellow founders be when it comes to navigating these cash flow pitfalls, I’ll call them?

Greg White (00:11:05):

First of all, I think a little bit of backstory is appropriate here. Because before Friday or Thursday, almost no one had heard of Silicon Valley Bank if you weren’t in the tech space. The 16th biggest bank in the country, still huge, 209 billion in assets under management, 90 percent of which was not insured because of the size of accounts. And the reason that, Scott, we need to talk about this is this is the bank that founders and venture capitalists and private equity firms put their money into, 250,000 insured, but often tens of millions or even billions of dollars in accounts at this bank. And so many, many companies were highly exposed when the bank went under.

Greg White (00:11:51):

It actually was taken over by the FDIC. They walk in, they tell everyone you’re fired, they shut the doors and, literally, chain lock them, in so many cases. And the bank literally goes away. It goes away virtually instantaneously. The FDIC creates another bank into which everyone’s assets are moved. That’s the insured bank. And up to 250,000 of your money is insured.

Greg White (00:12:18):

And we saw a lot of rhetoric over the weekend, especially politicians and bureaucrats. Of course, they have to be heard. They have to feel seen and be seen. And a lot of them said, we’re not going to backstop the bank. Well, of course, we never backstop the bank. We backstop the depositors. So, I think that’s the thing we have to recognize here. Janet Yellen literally did nothing. The FDIC did all this work based on the structure that is in place. And so far, it looks like all deposits will be secured and restored, and I believe have been restored as of today from the reserves that the FDIC has.

Greg White (00:13:01):

But let’s think about what day it is. It is March 13th, two days from March 15th. Most companies pay on a twice monthly schedule. So, on Friday, tens of thousands of companies found out they won’t be able to make payroll on Monday because they have to send it to the bank, or get it scheduled to be paid, all that sort thing. So, that creates quite the crisis. Will we ever get our money back, creates quite the crisis. How could this happen?

Greg White (00:13:35):

I mean, if you’ve been following any of this on the news or through the multiple phone calls that I’ve gotten over the weekend, then you understand the strain that this puts on the market. There’s lots of speculation as to whether other banks will go down. Signature Bank did go down. Other banks got backstopped. First Republic, which is a big competitor – relatively big competitor of SVB, got money from J.P. Morgan. SVB UK got bought for one pound, not one pound of anything, just one great working pound by HSBC. And that’s if SVB in the States sells, that’s what it’ll sell for. But in the meantime, these companies had an incredible liquidity crisis. Tens of millions or even billions of dollars just disappeared overnight. Fortunately, that’s been taken care of.

Greg White (00:14:28):

But one lesson we can learn here from these banks is don’t put yourself in a cash flow crisis. And I say that to founders, to businesses, whether you’re in technology or not, and to banks, because we will see more bank failures. It’s inevitable. This is not a singular effect. There’s already been a bank in India, 116 year old bank, that will probably go out of business on the back of SVB. But don’t put yourself in a liquidity crisis.

Greg White (00:14:59):

And part of the problem is that so many companies in the tech space have been betting on really, really risky things because they got this huge influx of cash and they thought, “Well, we can’t deploy all this to improve the company all at once. So, in the meantime, let’s invest it. Let’s invest it in things like bonds and crypto -” God help you if you’ve done that – and other things that they’ve been trying to make extra money on or they’ve tied up their money in CDs or other things that have been growing interest as interests has gotten so much higher, both the interest that we pay and the interest that we can receive on deposit.

Greg White (00:15:41):

So, focus on what you’re good at. Put your money into what your business is. And recognize that your business is building software, or building widgets, or employing labor, or delivering services, or whatever, moving trucks, that sort of thing. Put your money into something that you know and that you can control to avoid this kind of liquidity crisis. That’s probably the best advice that I can give.

Greg White (00:16:10):

The other is, Scott, we were just talking about hindsight is 50/50, or 20/20, or whatever the hell you want to call it. Hindsight, as we know, is not necessarily a gauge of the future. And for 13 years we’ve been on this great bull run of economy where money was essentially free. Interest rates were almost zero. And as rates started to increase, people didn’t change their understanding of their business model. They were blind to this. And if you go to my commentary, I go into a little bit more detail on that. But, also, recognize when the world is changing. Don’t see everything that doesn’t affirm your current belief as a blip or as a glitch in the matrix or whatever. Recognize that things could be changing and that it could be an accumulation of issues like this.

Greg White (00:17:01):

Silicon Valley Bank or every bank should have seen this coming. And it took an unbelievable amount of hubris gluttony, greed – not just greed and avarice, which by the way is redundant. They didn’t need to say both in the title but [inaudible]. You got me to use that article – and just sloth thinking we can just sit back here and make money because we’ve been doing it for 13 years. Well, the game has changed, and it’s time to recognize that – its way past time to recognize that. I encourage companies to get ahead of that. Look around corners. Look for problems, not away from problems. Look at changes, and recognize that they could be foundational changes to the environment that you’re playing in. It’s like if you start a football game on a sunny day and it suddenly starts snowing. Or in the old Chicago Bears game, it gets so foggy you can’t see a pass thrown or coming at you. You have to change how you play the game when things change that dramatically.

Scott Luton (00:18:02):

Greg, well said and really enjoyed it. Maybe the team can drop the link to your must see POV, your supply chain commentary every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And Kevin, I want to get your thoughts here, but one of the things I heard from Greg is stick to your strengths. Don’t act like T. Rowe Price if you’re T. Rowe Payne or a software founder. Kevin, your thoughts here.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:18:23):

Well, I mean, first thing, I agree with everything that Greg said. But foundational to that, what he said is that business is about using assets, tangible and intangible but assets, things that have value to deliver value to society. You know, business isn’t about trying to leverage something that has no value. And that brings up like the difference between cryptocurrency – which many cryptocurrencies, there are no underlying assets – and crypto securities, where there are actual assets that support the crypto security. And the thing that if you’re running a business, like SVB, they took their customers money and invested in the bond market. But when the bond market was losing and they were losing in the crypto as well, management didn’t change anything. They just sat there. It was a lack of management taking care or doing their job, their fiduciary responsibilities And that’s just wrong. That’s just being a crook. That’s just not doing your job. And I feel for companies that may have a liquidity crisis because of things that are outside of their control. But this wasn’t outside their control. This was —

Greg White (00:20:24):

Right. It’s some conflicted wound, Kevin.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:20:25):

Yeah. Yeah. So, no pity here. Sorry.

Scott Luton (00:20:29):

Greg and Kevin, I appreciate both of y’all’s perspective here. I’m sure we’ll be talking a lot more about this in the shows to come. But for the sake of today’s show, we got about five, six minutes before we bring in our guest, and I want to get closer to what we usually touch on all the time, which is global supply chain. And, Kevin, you brought this article today where we talk about don’t start and stop with just robotics when it comes to really going after all that digital transformation offers. So, tell us more here, Kevin.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:21:02):

Well, robots are a part of digital transformation, right? And when you do deploy robots, you also need to look at your own business processes and you use robotic process automation. But many enterprises have actually encountered roadblocks when they use RPA and they found it was very lacking and they couldn’t achieve all of the benefits of digital transformation. And the reasons for that is because a lot of times RPA kind of falls short when it comes to execution with projects taking, you know, nine, ten months to get deployed. RPAs really don’t address the frontend user interface. And it doesn’t define new workflows. You, as the owner of the business that know the business, supposedly, need to redefine the workflows. And RPA has limited ability to really automate processes end to end. And they can break. So, you have to do your job in monitoring.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:22:14):

I mean, humans are important, even in robotic process automation. And so, when you are trying to govern these robots across BART Farms, it becomes very challenging, especially when the enterprises are using bots from multiple vendors to do different things. So, what that means is that you really have to be intelligent about your automation. And that requires the orchestration of automation technologies like process mapping. And you need to leverage intelligence technology, like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and computer vision. And, finally, you need a solid next-gen IT infrastructure that’s built on top of Cloud with applications that run in containers on composable infrastructures. Now, if you don’t understand that last sentence, you are going to fail in digital transformation. And that’s really what’s happening out there. People, they don’t understand the foundation of digital transformation.

Scott Luton (00:23:43):

All right. So, Greg, I’m going to get you to chime in really quickly here, but one of the things I heard here from Kevin is orchestration. Take advantage of robots and everything that digital transformation offers, but you got to have a Mozart or Lydia Tar involved to maestro it all. Greg, your thoughts here?

Greg White (00:24:01):

Yeah. Well, I think digital transformation isn’t about digital at all, as Kevin has often told us. I mean, this is one thing I’ve learned from the master over the last several years, is, it’s not about digital at all. To his point, it’s about enabling or replacing activities that humans are doing or used to do or shouldn’t do. It’s those dark, dirty, dangerous, and dull jobs. It’s things like that.

Greg White (00:24:32):

But one thing that you said about the implementations, I think a couple things need to change. One, we need to re realize that AI, built AI, actual intelligence, builds artificial intelligence. And for artificial intelligence to become educated, to become intelligence, it has to ingest actual intelligence, which comes from humans and the actions that they’ve done or the outcomes they desire in a process, the things that they know about the data, or the process, or the goals. And so, it’s critical that we make that link between people.

Greg White (00:25:13):

And the other is to recognize that – you know, I say this all the time – real digital transformation, it isn’t a spreadsheet, it isn’t even RPA. I mean, RPA, first of all, it stuns me, Kevin, that it could take nine months to do that. Most RPA could be done with a keystroke recorder and some very simple logic. Did an invoice arrive? Yes. Check this field, that field, the other field, whatever. So, there’s not a lot of —

Kevin L. Jackson (00:25:43):

Simple tasks, that’s what it’s designed for.

Greg White (00:25:44):

There’s not a lot of science in RPA. So, it is ground level digital transformation at best. A lot of what, Kevin, you talked about, it is AI, it is blockchain, it is transformational and scientific, it is doing things as humans would do them with much greater speed, much greater accuracy, and much less human intervention or repetitive motions.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:26:12):

Errors. Much less human errors.

Greg White (00:26:14):

Right. And it really is transformational to the business. RPA is kind of like the spreadsheet of automation, if you want to think of it that way. It’s really, really [inaudible] and it does great stuff, but it’s not the top of the heap. And I think we need to think about what digital transformation, first of all, is for. It is for an outcome. And if you start with that outcome and work your way backwards, sure, you’ll do some RPA, you’ll probably do some AI, you may even do some blockchain, or other things. But the key is to focus on how it enables people to either do a job more effectively, like assisted robots do, or to not do a job that humans are not fit for that requires greater accuracy or danger or repetitive motion that we don’t want humans to have to be involved in.

Scott Luton (00:27:13):

All right. We got to leave it there. Thank you, Greg and Kevin. Always love talking Digital Transformation with Kevin L. Jackson. But, hey, we got a great second half of the show here. We’ve got a very special guest joining us, Greg and Kevin. With no further ado, I want to bring him right on in. Michael Pytel, Chief Technology Officer with Fulfilld. Hey. Hey. Michael, how are you doing?

Michael Pytel (00:27:35):

Hey, everybody. Happy Monday from the high [inaudible] Denver, Colorado.

Greg White (00:27:41):

Is it 70 or snowing, Michael?

Kevin L. Jackson (00:27:43):

Wait a second, it just changed.

Michael Pytel (00:27:47):

I hope snow doesn’t ruin our St. Patty’s Day plans on Friday.

Scott Luton (00:27:53):

Well, I bet you were chomping off a bit through the first half of the show to jump right in. We had a couple of really neat pre-show conversations. But let’s – I was going to say, let’s get to the important stuff. Right before we get into a couple of stories that you brought us, Michael, that we’re going to dive into, let’s celebrate something. So, yesterday was National Girl Scout Day. It coincides with the founding date of the organization that’s helped so many folks become business leaders and helps so many folks on the journey. But we love talking food here at Supply Chain Now. For a lot of us, it is Girl Scout cookie season as well. So, Michael, fun warmup question here, what is your favorite Girl Scout cookie?

Michael Pytel (00:28:38):

That’s amazing. I love when the Girl Scouts run those specials, like if you buy three, you get the fourth free. So, for me, it’s the ones with the coconut. It’s he Samoas, I think they’re called, or Samosas, the ones with the coconut. Fantastic. Yeah. Absolutely.

Scott Luton (00:28:53):

That’s at the bottom of my list. But that’s okay. That’s okay. Different strokes, different folks. Kevin, your favorite Girl Scout cookie?

Kevin L. Jackson (00:29:02):

Nothing but Shortbread, baby.

Scott Luton (00:29:05):

Okay.

Greg White (00:29:06):

That’s a very simple but elegant approach. I like that.

Scott Luton (00:29:09):

Yes. Simple but elegant. I like that, Greg. All right, Greg?

Greg White (00:29:12):

Thin Mints, frozen, 100 percent.

Scott Luton (00:29:16):

Same. Same.

Greg White (00:29:17):

Frozen. Yeah. Put them in the freezer, man. It’s game changing.

Scott Luton (00:29:21):

Greg, I think we’ve talked about this best practice each year for the last four years.

Greg White (00:29:26):

Is that right? Okay.

Scott Luton (00:29:27):

Yes. So, we got to shout from the mountaintops more and help folks out there. But Thin Mints, frozen a little bit, man, they are delightful. And they get today’s blue ribbon.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:29:41):

No, no, no, no.

Greg White (00:29:43):

Oh, man. I didn’t realize there was a prize. So, your Thin Mints frozen as well?

Scott Luton (00:29:47):

Yes.

Greg White (00:29:48):

Okay.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:29:49):

No. No. When we have Armageddon, those shortbreads are going to be right there. I would have eaten my shortbreads and you guys are going to be wondering why yours melted chocolate and Thin Mints.

Greg White (00:30:00):

There’s going to plenty of Samoas left over, Kevin. Because I’ve already told my entire family, if coconut was the last food on earth, I would starve to death.

Scott Luton (00:30:09):

Oh, Michael. Fighting words. Fighting words. All right. Well, thank you —

Greg White (00:30:14):

All those for you, Michael.

Scott Luton (00:30:16):

That’s right. You’ve got all the supply in the world.

Michael Pytel (00:30:18):

That’s great.

Scott Luton (00:30:18):

Okay. Thank you all for playing along. And folks in the chat, y’all let us know. Where have we gone wrong? Katherine says, “I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone say Shortbread is their favorite.”

Greg White (00:30:29):

Well, let’s see hers.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:30:31):

You know, all you guys, don’t eat no Shortbreads. Okay? You don’t want them. They’re nasty. You know —

Scott Luton (00:30:38):

I hear you.

Michael Pytel (00:30:40):

Do you drink [inaudible]? Do you eat those with – do you drink tea with that?

Kevin L. Jackson (00:30:43):

No, no, no. Jack Daniels go well with [inaudible].

Scott Luton (00:30:51):

When you talk about Girl Scout Cookies, you never know where the conversation goes. So, thank y’all for playing along. Kidding side, we got a lot of stuff to get into here with Michael. Michael, great to have you here from beautiful Denver, Colorado. For starters, I want to talk picking back up on this article here from our friends at Wall Street Journal, robotic limitations. Kevin and Greg were kind of alluding to this on the last segment of the conversation. Robotic limitations are holding back some efforts to fully automate fulfillment centers. So, Michael, tell us more here.

Michael Pytel (00:31:29):

As a child of the ’80s when movies were great, Oscars last night, and you see all these robot movies, I love robots. Now, I think the real world is starting to set in, though, in that there’s just a lot of different products to move out there. And until a robot can develop its opposable thumbs like a human being, we’re just going to have a hard time deploying these robots fully in a warehouse to have that dark warehouse. Robots are, in my mind, supportive to human beings. They’re additive. They are going to replace some of our activities, but not all of our activities. So, I think it’s super important. And I think one thing that this article highlights is, these technologies are going to coexist with human beings in the future, not necessarily replace us.

Scott Luton (00:32:09):

Very nicely said, Michael. That falls right in the line, I think, Greg, to what we have chatted about for years now. But, Greg, your thoughts around what Michael just shared as well as this article here from the Wall Street Journal about some of the limitations when it comes to robotic technologies.

Greg White (00:32:26):

Yeah. Well, I’ve seen dark warehouses before, and as it turns out, it still takes a human even just to sweep the floor, so they’re not completely dark. But I think we have to think of things in terms of layers. There are aspects of a business that can be completely dark. I think of one of my favorite, Wine and Spirits warehouse that I went to in Norway once, where one section was completely automated. This was easily ten years ago – yeah, easily ten years ago. For instance, that was entire pallets being shipped. All the pallets were scanned. They were literally in a dark section. I guess they were just trying to make the point by leaving the lights out. They were literally in a dark section and they were robotically selected and placed on a conveyor, and then conveyed down to a truck, robotically placed on the truck.

Greg White (00:33:19):

But you have to juxtapose that with, for instance, vintage wines, which they’re not going to let a robot anywhere near one $1,000 bottle or 500 or 50 bottle. And those were being hand selected and carefully placed in individual sockets that went into what looked like a case of wine box. So, we have to think about, to Michael’s point, where robots are assisted, where robots are the complete solution, and where they aren’t the solution at all. And to think, especially right now – I’m not saying that it can’t ever happen. It would be crazy to say that anything can’t ever happen – today, we can’t even envision where a robot could do certain things, certain of the really delicate or intricate activities. Because even with opposable thumbs, who wants to risk a $1,000 bottle of wine [inaudible] in moving and shipping it? I mean, that’s really the kind of economic weighting you have to consider. So, if we think about it in layers, instead of think about the great robot overtaking, like I, Robot, not the company, but the movie —

Scott Luton (00:34:42):

Isaac Asimov.

Greg White (00:34:44):

… I think that’s more where we’ll land. And by the way, robots don’t go out and apply for jobs. Guess who brings them to the site to employ them? People.

Scott Luton (00:34:55):

Good stuff there, Greg. All right. Kevin, I want you to weigh in. And then, Michael, I’m going to give you the final word on this first article, then we’re going to move to the next one. Kevin.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:35:03):

We’re in a nod to the Oscars. Movies are built on fantasy. So, I love robot movies too, but they are fantasy. And number two, robot is not the right name. They are cobots. They are there to assists humans. And as long as you keep that in mind, you’ll be fine. Don’t go into fantasy. I love movies. But I know I’m looking at a fantasy. So, when you’re in business, understand what you see in a movie is a fantasy and what you’re deploying aren’t robots. They are cobots. Make sure you understand how they are cooperating with the humans in order to make your business better.

Scott Luton (00:35:56):

Kevin, I love that. I love that. Folks, you can check out the article that we’re referencing here. The link is in the chat. And, Michael, before we get your last comment here, I just got to share again this image. These are some serious robots. I’m not sure where the team got this image from, but, man, I’m not sure —

Greg White (00:36:11):

Fantasy.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:36:13):

Yeah. One with an automatic weapon right there. Is that your robot walking around with automatic weapons?

Greg White (00:36:19):

I think those are transformers, aren’t they?

Scott Luton (00:36:21):

Maybe so. Maybe so. All right. Michael, your final word here around robots and limitations, advantages, you name it. Your final word before we move on.

Michael Pytel (00:36:32):

I think a lot of your listeners are coming from that third party logistics community. And what makes third party logistics so special is their agility. For this year and next year, they’re receiving wiring harnesses and distributing that to an automotive plant. The next year, they’re going to be doing toys. And the year after that, they’re going to be doing something else. And so, the changing product size, product mentions for a third party logistics provider, in my mind, isn’t a fit, because that makes them less agile. Now, if it’s Pfizer who knows their product plan for the next five years and knows they’re going to have a consistent product in the same box forever, awesome use case for a cobot, robot to help out there on the manufacturing side. But I think last year, it was estimated spend for third party logistics was 250 billion and growing. And what makes those third party logistics providers so special is their agility, which comes with human beings working in the warehouse.

Scott Luton (00:37:26):

I love that. I love that. And by the way, you may know this guy, Yosh says, “Those robots look like warehousing optimization robots.” Man, that’s some heavy duty optimization. I love that, Yosh.

Greg White (00:37:40):

You can hear them go, “Work faster.”

Scott Luton (00:37:41):

Right. That’s right, Greg. All right. Before we transition, I want to go back. You know, the Girl Scout Cookies were getting lots of attention. Anthony says, “Do-si-Dos all day everyday.” I love that.

Greg White (00:37:52):

Yeah. I forgot about those. Those are like a good version of Nutter Butter.

Scott Luton (00:37:56):

Right. Right.

Greg White (00:37:57):

Dunked in milk. Those are delicious, man. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:38:00):

Kimesha is a fellow Trefoils Shortbread all the way.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:38:05):

All the way Shortbread. Shortbread, baby

Scott Luton (00:38:09):

Thin mint, #TeamThinMint all the way. And I think this is Amanda, she says, “Give me all the Do-si-Dos. And I’m with Michael, I love Samoas.” Okay. All right. A house divided here a Supply Chain Now home.

Greg White (00:38:25):

We know who wins in that case.

Scott Luton (00:38:27):

That’s right. There’s no Thin Mints here. There’s no Thin Mints here. All right. Everybody, thanks for chiming in. We got a lot more to get to. Katherine says, “ThinMintMafia.” All right. So, let’s get to this next story, Michael. Kind of it’s a nice bookend for where we started the conversation with a lot of Greg and Kevin’s thoughts around SVB. So, here, we’re talking about SoftBank. Evidently they’re on the prowl as they’ve been chasing down Berkshire Grey. So, Michael, tell us more about this.

Michael Pytel (00:39:04):

Yeah. I think, SoftBank, great investment investment fund. We always read about them, whether it was WeWork or all the different investments that they’ve made throughout history. And they’re sort of like a leading indicator. They’re willing to make those risky bets. And so, believe it or not – I don’t know if everybody remembers – they purchased Boston Dynamics. Everybody knows the creepy dog that walks around. And then, now, Boston Dynamics has the stretch robot that can reach into trucks and unload. They purchased Boston Dynamics, then sold Boston Dynamics to Hyundai, which I think was a good move. But, anyways, the story here is one of the largest investment funds in the world continues to invest in robots. I think it is a smart play. We will see them as cobots, like Kevin alluded.

Scott Luton (00:39:52):

All right. So, you mentioned a couple of those things that make up my nightmares, Michael. I can’t remember which pizza company started messing around with robotic delivery in the first generation of that robotic deliverer. I was not going to open the door if they were knocking, even if it was the most tastiest pepperoni, thick crust pizza. No, sir. All right. But kidding aside, let’s see here. Kevin, let’s go to you first here. Your thoughts around this development from Bloomberg, SoftBank chasing after Berkshire Grey in wanting to invest more and more in robotics.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:40:26):

Well, I think like Michael said, they are a leading indicator. That’s smart money right there. And you always got to follow that smart money. So, I think warehousing, the effects of nearshoring, the flexibility with respect to those processes, the whole need to be able to deliver a product or service to a marketplace of one that personalization, extreme personalization —

Scott Luton (00:41:08):

Yeah. Massive personalization.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:41:09):

… that we have mass personalization, all of that, really, you need robots that don’t make a mistake. Yes, you need the humans to program them but you need to get rid of all the mistakes that humans do. So, soft bots with artificial intelligence that’s been programmed by real intelligence of humans.

Scott Luton (00:41:40):

Okay. Greg, what’s old is new again. I think we’ve kind of had a very well-rounded conversation today around robotics. Your thoughts around what SoftBank is doing, Greg?

Greg White (00:41:53):

Well, I’m not as huge a fan of SoftBank and they’re investing. I think the last few years have born out the fact that they’re vulnerable as any other investor. And Adam Neumann at WeWork shows what 45 minutes and a gram of cocaine can do for you. Only joking, [inaudible]

Scott Luton (00:42:24):

Asterisks, only joking. Only joking.

Greg White (00:42:28):

But I think Berkshire Grey is a good investment because their stock has been flagging a little bit lately. And I haven’t been a huge fan of SoftBank, which is betting huge amounts of money on unproven companies, and just kind of throwing it at a hundred different investments, knowing that 90 of those will fail, and ten will stagnate, and one will be a unicorn, I think this is a much, much more reasonable and well-established company approach. And they’re going to shift their approach, just like we just talked about with Silicon Valley Bank. They have already shifted their approach. Masayoshi Son has apologized for his hubris over the last couple years a few months ago, and I think that was shortly after he disappeared for 30 days. I’m sure he was given some reeducation by the Chinese Communist Party and he saw the light, strangely.

Greg White (00:43:34):

I think it’s important to recognize that robots, in whatever form they are, they are the future. They frankly have to be the future. Now, the decline of the human population is inevitable. By 2050, the human population will be declining. And we’re also seeing the largest generation in the history of earth retiring at a regular rate of 10,000 per day. But also remember that in 2021, over 3 million extra baby boomers retired and they’re not coming back for the most part. So, we have to realize that the great resignation was a generation that was on its way out of the workforce to begin with. And a lot of what we’ve talked about here, the actual or human intelligence that informs artificial intelligence is or has, is leaving or has left the workforce. And what we need to focus on is capturing that knowledge and expertise, and how those opposable thumbs get used, and whatever else we need to know to make sure that we’re enabling the technology of tomorrow, which will be in large part robotics. We’re enabling that to solve the problems of now and into the future.

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

Yeah. Remember how long it took us to reinvent concrete after the Romans?

Scott Luton (00:45:05):

That’s right. And we’re still chasing down the recipe. We still don’t know their recipe, Kevin.

Greg White (00:45:12):

Yeah. And some countries haven’t even succeeded.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:45:15):

Right. Right.

Scott Luton (00:45:16):

So, Michael, I’m going to give you the final word. My thought here today, if folks have heard anything, it’s not that our panel here today, our conversation, is talking poorly of robotics. It’s more about the approach. Whether it’s robotics or technology or ERP or whatever, for those management teams out there that buy it and throw it over the fence – which is one of the things we talked about on With That Said – that approach is not going to win, and not nearly as often enough as it should win. But, Michael, speak to the approach, you know, it’s like with everything else in life, it’s all about the approach. Your final thought here, and we’re going to learn more about Fulfilld. Michael.

Michael Pytel (00:46:00):

Yeah. I think it’s the acknowledgement that me, as a logistics operator, whether I’m working at Procter and Gamble or I’m working at a 3PL, I need to be aware of and I need to know that it’s going to be a hybrid environment in the future. And technologies that I have today implemented in my supply chain need to be aware of both the human and non-human that are going to be interacting in the warehouse. And if I have technologies today that don’t have the ability to control robot or I have robot technologies that can’t interact with the human being, I have a problem and I need a plan for this hybrid environment in the future.

Scott Luton (00:46:37):

Yeah. Well said.

Greg White (00:46:39):

Regardless of what you say about technology, it’s inevitable. So, it doesn’t really matter what we say here. It doesn’t matter whether we’re for it – or as my great uncle would say, for it or again it.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:46:50):

It’s going to happen.

Greg White (00:46:51):

It’s going to happen. It’s inevitable. It has to happen. It literally has to happen for commerce to continue. So, I think that’s an important thing for us to recognize, not be afraid of it.

Scott Luton (00:47:01):

That’s right. Great point.

Greg White (00:47:03):

To Michael’s point and to yours, well, to all of your points, it is how you deploy it. Its how you use it. And is this where you use it. Identifying the appropriate segment to use the appropriate type of automation or robotics or digital transformation of any kind because it’s not one size fits all.

Scott Luton (00:47:25):

That’s right. Well said, Greg. Well said. A lot of t-shirt-isms in what you just shared there [inaudible]. Riaan says, “Get ready for a big shift on many levels for the human race.” Because it’s coming. As Greg says, it is inevitable. So, Michael, let’s talk about Fulfilld. So, in a small nutshell for the three people out there that don’t know yet, tell us what you and the Fulfilld team are up to.

Michael Pytel (00:47:51):

Yeah. So, we’re a software company and we’re out to create the citizen warehouse worker. If you look at the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, resource turnover in the warehouse is over 40 percent on average. We have some customers that are well over a 100 percent resource turnover per year in the warehouse. We have a shortage of employees in the workforce. And so, we acknowledge that, again, being a software technology company, we need to create that citizen warehouse worker who can walk in, pick up a device, and be effective. And we do that by creating that digital twin in the warehouse and using indoor positioning functionality to navigate that worker throughout their day. That way they’re effective day one or day two, rather than having to job shadow for a couple weeks.

Scott Luton (00:48:33):

I like it. It sounds like a sound and smart approach. We’ve been fortunate to have a couple conversations with you and the team. Greg, I’ll get you to respond to what Michael just described. Because if there’s anything you’ve talked about time and time again – are we up to 4D’s or 5D’s that folks are avoiding?

Greg White (00:48:51):

Just four.

Scott Luton (00:48:51):

Just four. Okay.

Greg White (00:48:53):

Dark, dirty, dangerous, and dull. Look – and this is to the point that Kevin made earlier with RPA – the days of getting away with nine months or one year or three year implementations of technology, hopefully, will be gone soon, but they’re fading fast. And the experience of using technology in the workplace needs to be more like the experience of using the technology outside the workplace. It needs to be more like a regular consumer type solution where you can walk in, do the damn job, walk out, go to another warehouse, and do the same or different damn job with different or same technology. So, this notion of being able to pick something up, intuitively know how to use it in the workplace and get to work is absolutely critical.

Scott Luton (00:49:45):

Yeah. Well said, Greg.

Greg White (00:49:47):

That’s an important foundation of how technology will be deployed in the future. App like is the notion that I think of.

Scott Luton (00:49:55):

Yeah. Kevin?

Kevin L. Jackson (00:49:57):

So, when’s the last time you saw a user guide?

Scott Luton (00:50:02):

One that we read or just one that —

Greg White (00:50:04):

[Inaudible] users guide, Kevin?

Kevin L. Jackson (00:50:07):

Well, that’s where robotics is. That’s where we’re going. In business, the robot is going to show up and you’re going to tell it, go over there and do blah, blah, blah, and it’s going to go over and do it. You’re not going to need a user’s guide. It will be an integral part of business. And just expect it and get ready for it. And understand that it’s something that’s needed for our society to move forward.

Scott Luton (00:50:40):

Yeah. And you got to partner with the pros. So, if you want to learn more about what Michael and Yosh and the team are doing at Fulfilld, check them out, fulfilld.io. Michael, if I’m not mistaken, y’all are going to be at ProMat networking, showcasing, innovating, maybe having an adult beverage or two, I don’t know. And you would invite folks to come check y’all out at ProMat, right?

Michael Pytel (00:51:03):

That’s right. That’s right. At ProMat, we’re proud to be accepted into the startup pavilion. So, we’ll be showcased with nine other startups in the startup pavilion over at ProMaT. We’re there every day working in the booth and come by. We’ll be the guys in the blue vests. You’ll see us there.

Scott Luton (00:51:19):

Okay. Wonderful. Wonderful. And, folks, we’ve got some links there in the chat, including if you want to set up a cup of coffee with Michael, Yosh, and team. Y’all click the link and make it happen.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:51:29):

Are you going to have some shortbread cookies with that coffee?

Scott Luton (00:51:33):

Nice, Kevin. Nice. Right on time.

Greg White (00:51:36):

All the [inaudible] you want, Kevin.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:51:39):

Great.

Scott Luton (00:51:40):

So, Michael, what’s one thing that you’re looking forward to at ProMat?

Michael Pytel (00:51:46):

Again, I’m big into AI and digital twin, and I’m looking forward to just seeing how is AI going to be leveraged in the supply chain this year, next year, and the years after, whether that’s robots, whether that’s software, all the AMRs out there, the assistive robots that are going to be there at the show. Excited to talk to them. Excited to see Boston Dynamics again. I love their stuff. It’s super cool to look at. And excited to just meet a lot of great supply chain people. It’s a great conference. A lot of great thought leaders there.

Scott Luton (00:52:16):

Well, folks, y’all go check them out. Michael, beyond ProMat, for the handful of folks that aren’t going to be able to make ProMat, how can folks connect with you and the Fulfilld team?

Michael Pytel (00:52:25):

Yeah. Well, there’s always the website, fulfilld.io. There’s no E in Fulfilld. And then, over on LinkedIn, just look up Michael Pytel, P-Y-T-E-L. Happy to connect, share knowledge, bounce ideas off each other.

Scott Luton (00:52:37):

Awesome. Well, hey, on behalf of me and Kevin and Greg, and the whole team, thanks for joining us here today. We’ve been chatting with Michael Pytel, Chief Technology Officer with Fulfilld. Michael, we’ll see you again really soon.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:52:49):

Thanks, Michael.

Greg White (00:52:51):

Thanks, Michael.

Michael Pytel (00:52:50):

Thanks, Scott. Thank you, Greg. Thanks, Kevin.

Scott Luton (00:52:53):

All right. So, the big news here, the big news – drum roll, please – yes, Yosh says, for you, Kevin, they will have those Shortbread cookies.

Greg White (00:53:00):

You’ll be flying in from the West Coast in a couple days [inaudible] so Shortbreads are [inaudible].

Scott Luton (00:53:09):

All right. So, we’ve got a couple extra minutes. Michael is very efficient. All y’all have been very efficient with some heavy hitting topics here today. I’m going to pose Kimesha’s question to both of y’all. Greg, let’s start with you. Kimesha says, “What are your thoughts on the integrity of the data and intelligence fed into the AI engines?” We’ve talked about this before. Greg, your thoughts?

Greg White (00:53:36):

That’s important. It’s not currently universal. You introduce a lot of bias by the data that you put in, which is why – and I have to confess, I invested in companies that do this – notions like synthetic data are created to assure the neutrality, lack of bias in the data. For instance, if you train AI to see shoes by showing it only men’s shoes, it’ll only identify men’s shoes as shoes and not women’s shoes. You train it only to see White people as doctors. It won’t see anyone else as a doctor regardless of whether they’re wearing a white coat. So, you have to create a synthetic sort of environment and sort of cleanse that bias out when you’re doing that. And I think that’s something we need to pay more attention to.

Greg White (00:54:38):

I mean, ChatGPT is a great example. It can only report what it reads. I think it’s important for people to recognize that, but ChatGPT cannot innovate it. It cannot tell you anything that it can’t read. And then, it does this sort of internal argument. That’s the pure mechanism and says, “This seems to be more credible than that.” But it can be wrong and is frequently wrong on that. So, yeah, I think what we have to recognize is that we have to be careful with the data to make sure that it is, in fact, as neutral as possible. And we also have to train AI to recognize data and it’s potential biases.

Greg White (00:55:25):

So, how you teach, it’s like anything that you teach. I’ve always said this, AI is not our master and overlord. AI is our child. And if we teach our child a certain way, it will have certain biases. If you teach a child in a very neutral way, it’ll have a more neutral point of view on the world in a more open, I guess, point of view on the world. And I think that’s what we have to think about.

Scott Luton (00:55:52):

Yeah. Kevin, your thoughts to Kimesha’s Mia’s question.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:55:56):

Well, first of all, artificial intelligence is a reflection of human intelligence. So, that’s why it’s important to not transfer the biases that humans have. We don’t want to make the same mistakes that we have as we go forward. I think it’s important to understand that a synthetic environment developed specifically to train artificial intelligence is a crucial step. And just like our own society, that synthetic environment also has ability to change and improve as we move forward so that artificial intelligence can change and improve as we move forward, and hopefully improve ourselves. So, yes, it’s imperfect now, and it will always be imperfect unless we work together to improve it.

Scott Luton (00:57:02):

That’s right. Truly, I know it’s cliche, but what’s old is new again. I mean, the challenges associated with giving AI accurate well-rounded information, you know, feeding into so that you get good stuff on the other side. I mean, heck, 20 years ago, I was working on maintenance data systems for the Air Force. Garbage in is still garbage out. Nothing’s different. It’s just applied to a different part of technology. A different part of business. Different part of the innovative bleeding edge landscape. So, Kimesha, great question and thanks for joining us here today. We’ll talk a lot more about that in the shows that come.

Scott Luton (00:57:45):

Greg and Kevin, always a pleasure. I got to throw this out there. Katherine, you mentioned ChatGPT – I got to say that really slow when I say that, Greg – Katherine says, “First grad term, we had to sign an agreement that we wouldn’t use AI or ChatGPT for the grad school papers.” That’s where we are. That’s where we are with Katherine. Thank you for sharing.

Greg White (00:58:06):

I mean, let’s think about this, ChatGPT becomes really, really prominent. I think it was a Princeton student, created an AI technology that can detect that ChatGPT has written a paper, has written content. It kind of builds on itself. And I think that internal discernment, it can be filled with garbage [inaudible] people. But you can be filled with garbage and whatever is the opposite of garbage, honey, sugar come out. Because I know people who were raised by terrible, terrible people who are, in fact, themselves. Their rebellion was to become a really, really good person. So, it’s not necessarily garbage in, garbage out. But you have to have an internal discernment engine that filters all of that to say this is my source, my source is a terrible person. Therefore, the opposite of this is probably true. Let me investigate, that kind of thing.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:59:12):

Right. And you always have to know that you can get better. No matter where you are, you can always get better.

Greg White (00:59:17):

Endless curiosity.

Scott Luton (00:59:20):

And if we have our options, I’d rather put non-garbage in.

Greg White (00:59:27):

We don’t always do we? I mean, we really don’t.

Scott Luton (00:59:30):

Sometimes we’re limited to the day that we have available. That’s a great point.

Greg White (00:59:34):

All the time we’re limited.

Scott Luton (00:59:35):

Yeah. That’s right. All the time we are, that’s right. Okay. Greg White, Kevin L. Jackson, we got to stop here. Greg, always a pleasure. I love these Buzz conversations. We had two rock and roll guests with us here today, but, Greg, I really enjoyed it.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:59:50):

I think you got 9.8 pounds into that bag.

Scott Luton (00:59:53):

Oh, man. We did. It is gem full. But thank you, Greg. Thank you, Kevin. For all the folks that showed up here today, thanks so much for all the comments. We couldn’t get to all of them.

Kevin L. Jackson (01:00:03):

Thank you. Great audience.

Scott Luton (01:00:05):

Great audience. Great questions. Full conversation. A lot more to come. Big thanks to Michael Pytel and the Fulfilld team for dropping in as well. Y’all make sure you connect with them, whether it’s at ProMat or somewhere else. But whatever you do, hey, don’t just take this goodness from Greg and Kevin and Michael and ruminate on it. Man, act on it. Deeds, not words. And with that said, Scott Luton challenging you to do good, to give forward, and to be the change. We’ll see you next time right back here at Supply Chain Now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (01:00:37):

Thanks for being a part of our Supply Chain Now community. Check out all of our programming at 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

Michael Pytel is co-founder and CTO at Fulfilld. He’s responsible for application architecture and the inclusion of advanced technologies within the Fulfilld WMS platform. Michael spent 15+ years supporting large enterprise manufacturing and whole distribution organizations. His passion has been building and deploying digital twin technologies within these organizations. He is a published author and nationally recognized industry thought leader/speaker. Connect with Michael on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

Kevin L. Jackson

Host, Digital Transformers

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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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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

Katherine Hintz, MBA is a marketing professional 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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Kim Reuter

Host

From humble beginnings working the import docks, representing Fortune 500 giants, Ford, Michelin Tire, and Black & Decker; to Amazon technology patent holder and Nordstrom Change Leader, Kimberly Reuter has designed, implemented, and optimized best-in-class, highly scalable global logistics and retail operations all over the world. Kimberly’s ability to set strategic vision supported by bomb-proof processes, built on decades of hands-on experience, has elevated her to legendary status. Sought after by her peers and executives for her intellectual capital and keen insights, Kimberly is a thought leader in the retail logistics industry.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Allison Giddens

Host

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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Billy Taylor

Host

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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Tandreia Bellamy

Host

Tandreia Bellamy retired as the Vice President of Industrial Engineering for UPS Supply Chain Solutions which included the Global Logistics, Global Freight Forwarding and UPS Freight business units. She was responsible for operations strategy and planning, asset management, forecasting, and technology tool development to optimize sustainable efficiency while driving world class service.

Tandreia held similar positions at the business unit level for Global Logistics and Global Freight forwarding. As the leader of the Global Logistics engineering function, she directed all industrial engineering activies related to distribution, service parts logistics (post-sales support), and mail innovations (low cost, light weight shipping partnership with the USPS). Between these roles Tandreia helped to establish the Advanced Technology Group which was formed to research and develop cutting edge solutions focused on reducing reliance on manual labor.

Tandreia began her career in 1986 as a part-time hourly manual package handling employee. She spent the great majority of her career in the small package business unit which is responsible for the pick-up, sort, transport and delivery of packages domestically. She held various positions in Industrial Engineering, Marketing, Inside and On-road operations in Central Florida before transferring to Atlanta for a position in Corporate Product Development and Corporate Industrial Engineering. Tandreia later held IE leadership roles in Nebraska, Minnesota and Chicago. In her final role in small package she was an IE VP responsible for all aspects of IE, technology support and quality for the 25 states on the western half of the country.
Tandreia is currently a Director for the University of Central Florida (UCF) Foundation Board and also serves on their Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Previously Tandreia served on the Executive Advisory Board for Virginia Tech’s IE Department and the Association for Supply Chain Management. She served on the Board of Trustees for ChildServ (a Chicago child and family services non-profit) and also served on the Texas A&M and Tuskegee Engineering Advisory Boards. In 2006 she was named Business Advisor of the Year by INROADS, in 2009 she was recognized as a Technology All-Star at the Women of Color in STEM conference and in 2019 she honored as a UCF Distinguished Aluma by the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems.

Tandreia holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management Systems from UCF. Her greatest accomplishment, however, is being the proud mother of two college students, Ruby (24) and Anthony (22).

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Marty Parker

Host

Marty Parker serves as both the CEO & Founder of Adæpt Advising and an award-winning Senior Lecturer (Teaching Professor) in Supply Chain and Operations Management at the University of Georgia. He has 30 years of experience as a COO, CMO, CSO (Chief Strategy Officer), VP of Operations, VP of Marketing and Process Engineer. He founded and leads UGA’s Supply Chain Advisory Board, serves as the Academic Director of UGA’s Leaders Academy, and serves on multiple company advisory boards including the Trucking Profitability Strategies Conference, Zion Solutions Group and Carlton Creative Company.

Marty enjoys helping people and companies be successful. Through UGA, Marty is passionate about his students, helping them network and find internships and jobs. He does this through several hundred one-on-one zoom meetings each year with his students and former students. Through Adæpt Advising, Marty has organized an excellent team of affiliates that he works with to help companies grow and succeed. He does this by helping c-suite executives improve their skills, develop better leaders, engage their workforce, improve processes, and develop strategic plans with detailed action steps and financial targets. Marty believes that excellence in supply chain management comes from the understanding the intersection of leadership, culture, and technology, working across all parts of the organization to meet customer needs, maximize profit and minimize costs.

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

Laura Lopez serves as our Supply Chain Now Marketing Coordinator. She graduated from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente in Mexico with a degree in marketing. Laura loves everything digital because she sees the potential it holds for companies in the marketing industry. Her passion for creativity and thinking outside the box led her to pursue a career in marketing. With experience in fields like accounting, digital marketing, and restaurants, she clearly enjoys taking on challenges. Laura lives the best of both worlds - you'll either catch her hanging out with her friends soaking up the sun in Mexico or flying out to visit her family in California!

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Jake Barr

Host

An acknowledged industry leader, Jake Barr now serves as CEO for BlueWorld Supply Chain Consulting, providing support to a cross section of Fortune 500 companies such as Cargill, Caterpillar, Colgate, Dow/Dupont, Firmenich, 3M, Merck, Bayer/Monsanto, Newell Brands, Kimberly Clark, Nestle, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Sanofi, Estee Lauder and Coty among others. He's also devoted time to engagements in public health sector work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. At P&G, he managed the breakthrough delivery of an E2E (End to End) Planning Transformation effort, creating control towers which now manage the daily business globally. He is recognized as the architect for P&G’s demand driven supply chain strategy – referenced as a “Consumer Driven Supply Chain” transformation. Jake began his career with P&G in Finance in Risk Analysis and then moved into Operations. He has experience in building supply network capability globally through leadership assignments in Asia, Latin America, North America and the Middle East. He currently serves as a Research Associate for MIT; a member of Supply Chain Industry Advisory Council; Member of Gartner’s Supply Chain Think Tank; Consumer Goods “League of Leaders“; and a recipient of the 2015 - 2021 Supply Chain “Pro’s to Know” Award. He has been recognized as a University of Kentucky Fellow.

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Marcia Williams

Host

Marcia Williams, Managing Partner of USM Supply Chain, has 18 years of experience in Supply Chain, with expertise in optimizing Supply Chain-Finance Planning (S&OP/ IBP) at Large Fast-Growing CPGs for greater profitability and improved cash flows. Marcia has helped mid-sized and large companies including Lindt Chocolates, Hershey, and Coty. She holds an MBA from Michigan State University and a degree in Accounting from Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay (South America). Marcia is also a Forbes Council Contributor based out of New York, and author of the book series Supply Chains with Maria in storytelling style. A recent speaker’s engagement is Marcia TEDx Talk: TEDxMSU - How Supply Chain Impacts You: A Transformational Journey.

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Luisa Garcia is a passionate Marketer from Lagos de Moreno based in Aguascalientes. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes, Mexico. She specializes in brand development at any stage, believing that a brand is more than just a name or image—it’s an unforgettable experience. Her expertise helps brands achieve their dreams and aspirations, making a lasting impact. Currently working at Vector Global Logistics in the Marketing team and as podcast coordinator of Logistics With Purpose®. Luisa believes that purpose-driven decisions will impact results that make a difference in the world.

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Astrid Aubert was born in Guadalajara, she is 39 years old and has had the opportunity to live in many places. She studied communication and her professional career has been in Trade Marketing for global companies such as Pepsico and Mars. She currently works as Marketing Director Mexico for Vector Global Logistics. She is responsible for internal communications and marketing strategy development for the logistics industry. She is a mother of two girls, married and lives in Monterrey. She defines herself as a creative and innovative person, and enjoys traveling and cooking a lot.

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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.

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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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Greg White

Principal & Host

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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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!

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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 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.

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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.

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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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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

Director, Customer Experience

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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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

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.

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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.

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.

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