Supply Chain Now
Episode 990

We talked a lot about the issues organizations are facing regarding supply chain disruption, finding the right suppliers, the right sources of supply, and that is exactly what the business network can help organizations to achieve, right? It allows you to connect to the world's largest business network, finding the right suppliers and then collaborating with those suppliers.

-Florian Seebauer

Episode Summary

The Buzz is on for September 19th, and this week, the crew is focused on all things cybersecurity and technology. Join Scott, Greg and Kevin L. Jackson as they chat with SAP’s Florian Seebauer about the security and operational challenges stemming from siloization, the limits of rare earth mineral extraction, how technology can help new global supply chains manage increased compliance demands, the impact of vertical integration on automotive logistics and much more.

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 (00:00:30):

Hey. Hey. Good morning everybody, good afternoon, good evening wherever you are in the world. Scott Luton, Greg White, and Kevin L. Jackson here with you on Supply Chain Now. Welcome to today’s livestream. Greg, how are you doing?

Greg White (00:00:41):

I’m doing quite well, Scott Luton. How are you?

Scott Luton (00:00:43):

Wonderful. Wonderful. It’s good to see you on Saturday. But you and I are really jealous because our dear friend, Kevin L. Jackson, was down in New Orleans over the weekend. Kevin.

 

Greg White (00:00:54)

As usual he can’t give us his precise location.

 

Kevin L. Jackson (00:00:54)

Yeah. [Inaudible] my livestream. [Inaudible] my livestream.

Scott Luton (00:01:01):

Come on, man. The Saints broke the Falcon’s hearts last week or so, didn’t they, Greg?

Kevin L. Jackson (00:01:09):

Oh, that’s right. That’s [inaudible] from Atlanta.

Greg White (00:01:12):

Yeah. And if not for a few, let’s say, helpful penalties, they probably would’ve beat the Bucs this weekend as well. But sometimes when Tom Brady is on the field, there are some helpful penalties that occur on the other team.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:01:34):

Helpful penalties, well, I’m not going to say anything. We’re looking up the Commanders and I’m still trying to get that in. I mean, is just not like the Redskins, you know, but the Commanders.

Greg White (00:01:48):

It’s not, but it’s kind of growing on me. I got to tell you, I hated it at first. I thought it was really dumb. But it’s kind of growing on me. I think I’m going to be able to live with it over time. It might. You, as a die hard fan, Kevin, it’ll probably take you years to adapt to it. I just can’t even imagine if they changed their chief’s name, I would think, right? So, I’ve thought of it that way, so I totally get it.

Scott Luton (00:02:17):

So, Greg and Kevin, of course, for folks that may not know, are talking about the new mascot and team name for the Washington football team, so Washington Commanders. So, it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue just yet, but we’ll see. Once they get back in the Super Bowl, maybe it will roll off everyone’s tongues.

Greg White (00:02:36):

If they take command of the game, I think it will be much more natural.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:02:39):

Much more natural.

Scott Luton (00:02:42):

Well, hey, we’re all thankful football is back. But today, we’re not talking as much about football. We’re talking about the Supply Chain Buzz, it’s the Digital Transformer’s edition.

 

Kevin L. Jackson (00:02:53):

Yes, sir.

 

Scott Luton (00:02:53):

And today – a little passion here, a little excitement – we’re going to be sharing some of the leading stories across global business. And we’ve got a special guest joining us about 12:25 p.m. Eastern Time, and that will be Florian Seebauer with SAP. And, also, beyond Florian and Kevin and Greg’s perspective here today, hey, folks, get ready because we want to hear from you dropping your perspective throughout the hour in the cheap seats there, the comments. We’d love to hear from you.

 

Scott Luton (00:03:22):

Okay. So, Greg and Kevin, are you all ready? We’re going to say hello to a few folks and we’re going to dive right in. Are you ready?

Greg White (00:03:28):

Let’s go.

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

Yes, sir. Happy Monday. Let’s do this.

Scott Luton (00:03:31):

That’s right. Katherine – first off, big thanks to Katherine, Chantel, and Amanda, the whole production team helping to make today’s show happen – “Good morning. Happy Buzz day to everybody.” Thank you for that, Katherine. I hope you had a great weekend. Hey, Joey. “Vikings. Let’s go.” And, Joey, I didn’t get a chance to connect with your team up in Chicago at IMTS. We’ll try to make that happen next time. Greg and Kevin, there was only about, I don’t know, 37 million people at the trade show last week. So, Joey, hopefully you and your team had a good successful event. Glorimar, great to see you this morning via LinkedIn. Paul, good morning – from Sierra Leone, Greg and Kevin. Greg, you ever been to Sierra Leone?

Kevin L. Jackson (00:04:15):

Across the ocean, that’s great.

Greg White (00:04:16):

I haven’t. But I know where it is, let’s start there.

Scott Luton (00:04:23):

Kevin, ever been to Sierra –

Kevin L. Jackson (00:04:26):

No. No. But it’s on my list.

Scott Luton (00:04:28):

It’s on your list.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:04:30):

I’ve got a long bucket list.

Scott Luton (00:04:31):

I’m going to add it to mine then. Arnav, great to see you from India via LinkedIn. So, glad to have you here today.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:04:38):

I have been there.

 

Scott Luton (00:04:39):

Have you?

 

Kevin L. Jackson (00:04:41):

Yes. A couple of times actually.

Scott Luton (00:04:44):

And, finally, I’m going to go with Rainee, maybe? Rainee? Maybe it’s Rainee? But regardless, hello to you – from last Vegas via LinkedIn. Great to see you here.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:04:58):

I’ll be in Vegas. I’ll be in Vegas in two weeks. I’m going to Mobile World Congress. It’s in Vegas at the Vegas Convention Center. I’m staying at Resorts World. I’m looking forward to it. That’s going to be a party.

Scott Luton (00:05:14):

Nice. MWC. Greg, one quick question for you before we dive into the first, you know, we’re just talking Vegas, Kevin’s going to be out there again in a couple weeks. Where’s your favorite place to stay in Vegas, Greg?

Greg White (00:05:31):

Is it Bellagio? The one with the big fountains?

Kevin L. Jackson (00:05:35):

Bellagio. Yeah.

Greg White (00:05:37):

Yeah. I love that, the hotel, the casino and, of course, they’ve got a big theater there. It’s right in the middle of the strip, so you’re kind of in the middle of everything. But, Scott, do you pay for that privilege? I mean, the Wynn is another one that amazingly has really reasonable rates and is super posh.

Scott Luton (00:06:03):

Okay. Nice.

Greg White (00:06:04):

But I haven’t stayed there before, so I dare not rate that. But I’ve always wanted to try the Wynn.

Scott Luton (00:06:11):

Well, we need to make a trip back. It’s been a little while since we joined our friend, Tony, out there a couple years back.

Greg White (00:06:17):

I don’t know if I can endure a contact high for that many days.

Scott Luton (00:06:22):

Well, Kevin, we expect a lot –

Greg White (00:06:25):

It’s funny how universal – and I wonder what our audience thinks here – it is, everyone is like, “Three days. Three days is all I can do in Vegas.”

Kevin L. Jackson (00:06:38):

You drive around and the whip comes into you [inaudible].

 

Greg White (00:06:42):

Just walking down street, Kevin.

Scott Luton (00:06:47):

So, Kevin, we expect to get a full report here in a week or two as you’re at MWC.

Greg White (00:06:53):

Yeah. We’d like to know what percentage THC you feel like you walk through on the street as well. [Inaudible].

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

[Inaudible] supply chain survey on THC composition.

Scott Luton (00:07:07):

That’s right. That’s right. Hey, and to all of our friends out in Vegas, of course, we’re all just having a little bit of fun. We all enjoy Vegas and all that it has to offer. It plays a big role in global business, so many trade shows and conversations that it fuels there.

Greg White (00:07:21):

You can insult Vegas, they’re not going to shut you out.

Scott Luton (00:07:24):

But I should say hello – I doubt he’s tuned in – a college buddy of mine, Gordon. Gordon moved out to Vegas not too long ago and got a variety of certifications. He’s in the tourism industry and he loves it. So, Gordon, if you’re listening, hope you’re well and living life, living large in Vegas. Okay.

 

Scott Luton (00:07:47):

So, folks, wait a second, wait a second. Gale is with us today. One of our faves here. Oh, that’s right. Gale was in Vegas last week and she says —

Greg White (00:07:58):

Four days.

Scott Luton (00:08:00):

… “I survived four days. Great to be with you guys, “Gale says. Well, Gale, appreciate what you shared. And I love, Kevin and Greg, Gale kind of commented on a lot of different conversations and people she was with and really celebrated being back in person. And that was a great post on LinkedIn. Amanda and Katherine, I don’t know if y’all can find that, but that’d be wonderful to share. So, Gale, great to have you and looking forward to your perspective. Okay.

 

Scott Luton (00:08:24):

So, we got to dive in. We got three things we want to talk through before our dear friend, Florian, joins us about 12:25 p.m. Eastern Time. I want to start with this, one quick update, Greg and Kevin. So, Greg, last week on The Buzz and a few shows, we were talking about the rail strike. And then, we got some good news that, after about 20 hours of last minute negotiation – is there really any other kind? – they came to a tentative deal. And then, really, the global or, really, the U.S. supply chain community certainly celebrated, certainly North America supply chain community. However, here’s a kicker, this Thursday, that would be the 22nd – is that right? – all 12 labor unions and its members have to vote on that tentative deal and all of them have to agree. Otherwise, if they don’t, if just one union doesn’t agree, then we’re back in where a strike is imminent.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:09:28):

I’m glad they’re voting on Thursday, that gives them that 20 hours before Friday so they can have another session.

Scott Luton (00:09:36):

Right. Renegotiate before the weekend.

Scott Luton (00:09:39):

So, we’ll see how that plays out. So, folks, I doubt we’re going to get an early vote, so look for the news coming out Thursday if all 12 unions give it the thumbs up or the thumbs down. Okay. So, Greg and Kevin, we got so much good stuff to get through here today. Kevin, we’ve got a couple different articles I want to start with you here. I want to start by diving into what is, really, our second story and this piece from pumps and systems, it speaks to how digital supply chain, digital transformation is exposing a wide variety of vulnerabilities. So, Kevin, tell us more.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:10:19):

Yeah. Absolutely. So, manufacturing always has sort of two sides of the house, it has operational technology and has information technology. And information technology has kind of been on the backseat for a long time. But digital transformation is really bringing these two, OT and IT, to parody. And this is really important when you are looking at industrial systems, like pumps and turbines, regulating valves and tanks, because these things are now vulnerable to cyber attacks in both at the plant itself but, more importantly for this audience, in their supply chains. The end users are connecting these operational devices. They’re exposed to these threats because of the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT. These technologies are integrated into existing software and the industrial control systems and SCADA, supervisory systems.

 

Kevin L. Jackson (00:11:34):

So, supply chain attacks where the company’s data is compromised via the hacking of a third party supplier that has legitimate access to the customer’s systems. In this way, the hackers can really insert malicious code into trusted hardware or software at the source, which compromises the data of its users and the users in the onward chain. So, it’s like the solar winds hack of a couple of years ago, which was an attack on the software supply chain. So, think about it.

Scott Luton (00:12:23):

Be on the lookout, BOLO. Hey, Greg, I want to get you to weigh in, but really quick, one of my favorite stories, not because of what happened, but I think a lot of folks can relate to it. If you remember Jack Allen and Cisco, Jack shared the story, which they built into a campaign where this one manufacturer, not at Cisco, but one of this manufacturers, they had a bunch of team members that were in a bowling league. And hackers, as they kind of surveilled that activity via social media, they found out, they put two and two together, and then they hacked the bowling alley’s website which gave certain information to the employees profiles and whatnot. And, ultimately, were able to shut down a production line of that manufacturing facility. Kind of along the lines of what Kevin’s sharing. Your take though, Greg, on these vulnerabilities that Kevin’s speaking to.

Greg White (00:13:20):

Yeah. So, I’d like to get, Kevin, your thoughts on my take here, because I’m going to project a little bit, and I imagine your —

Kevin L. Jackson (00:13:32):

[Inaudible].

Greg White (00:13:33):

I mean, I’m not even a cybersecurity expert, but I have done a lot of business process and digital transformations, and was kind of brought up consultant and operator and worked on the tech side as well. So, you know, the thing that’s interesting to me about this – dare I say, frustrating – is this is a long established problem. And the companies in this article have to have had their heads in the sand, and many more companies do, because these are not new issues. Think about even Target and their breach of their person who swept their parking lots or whatever it was. It’s way past time to acknowledge the danger here and provision for it.

 

Greg White (00:14:23):

And in reading this article, there were a couple things that leapt out at me. And one is, it’s time to eliminate the silos between the business side of the business and the IT side, because what they said without saying it, I believe, is that, sometimes the operations people implement systems without the full vetting and analysis and approval of the IT organization, which creates a lot of these vulnerabilities.

Greg White (00:14:53):

And then, the other was this principle of point of least privilege, only give people access to the process and the data that is absolutely required for their role in the process. And, clearly, one of the discussions in the article was that’s not happening. And, you know, that’s just foundational. You learn that when you learn how to analyze and build business processes.

 

Greg White (00:15:20):

And then, the final thing that they talked sort of around but about a bit, is, there ought to be intrusion alerts. I mean, my home network can tell me when somebody tries to access my network, right? There ought to be performance change alerts, and things like that, that could, if not preempt, at least notify of these intrusions. And if not the intrusion, then the change in the performance of the equipment to avoid real damage. Because in the article – and I think folks ought to read this article, obviously – they did a demonstration of how someone could access the system remotely and completely destroy the equipment.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:16:08):

Yeah. Software physical attack.

Greg White (00:16:10):

Right.

Scott Luton (00:16:11):

So, Kevin, really quick, your quick take on Greg’s take.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:16:17):

It’s all about cyber hygiene. It’s more important than ever right now. If you focus on the basics, making sure you have complex passwords, and you rotate those passwords, and that your IT team gets a say in all of the IT that you do, because they are your experts, leverage them.

Scott Luton (00:16:46):

Excellent. Well, Greg, cyber hygiene, cyber hygiene.

Greg White (00:16:52):

I think that distinction between the business or the operations people and the IT, we need to stop thinking like that. Everyone in a business is a business person. Some of them, their choice of toolset is operations or business process. Some of them, their choice of toolset or designated toolset is technology. But they’re all business people.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:17:14):

[Inaudible].

Scott Luton (00:17:15):

Excellent point. And by the way, I have it hard enough with my kids with normal hygiene, and now we got to worry about cyber hygiene with all three kids. Man, reaping up the complexity. All right. So, Kevin and Greg, really quick, I want to say hello, Josh Goodey, great to have you back as always, from Seattle. “Sunny Seattle,” he says this time.

Greg White (00:17:32):

Sunny Seattle, that’s good to hear. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:17:35):

And Johnathan Kimbrough, great to have you here today via LinkedIn, here in Atlanta, one of the best cities to do business in.

Greg White (00:17:41):

Sunny Atlanta. We can verify that, Scott, right?

Scott Luton (00:17:43):

That’s right. It’s gorgeous here today.

Greg White (00:17:46):

At least, right this moment. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:17:48):

I want to move along to this next article – again, folks, we’ve got a special guest coming in about 12:25, Florian Seebauer with SAP, so stay tuned – Kevin, it’s almost a flip side of what we were talking about a second ago, because a second ago we were kind of talking about some of the threats and risks associated with technology. But here from our friends at Thompson Reuters, we’re talking about new global supply chains – which are better than new Coke, I promise – and how technology can help us break all sorts of barriers while fueling global trade and a whole lot more. So, Kevin, unpack this point of view a little bit for us.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:18:29):

So, globalization and digital transformation are really affecting us all. And one of our favorite topics over the past two years in supply chain, especially, has been toilet paper, right? And because of globalization, we’re getting our toilet paper from everywhere around the world. And the need to track that toilet paper to make sure that Amazon can take the drone and drop it there when you need it right outside the door.

 

Kevin L. Jackson (00:19:07):

So, if we look back, though, global trade volume has actually tripled over the last 20 years. It’s up 272 percent between 2020, valued at over USD 18 trillion in 2020. So, these trade routes barely existed back in 2020, are now some of the biggest trade routes in the market today. And with this globalization and the links between all the countries, now you have to deal with the law and regulations and compliance in all of these countries. So, this is yet another element, a very complex element you have to watch in your supply chain.

 

Kevin L. Jackson (00:20:07):

So, incorporating technology in your global trade activities could reduce some of the risks that you may see in your supply chain, and face it today what business isn’t a global business. If you are on the internet, you are global. So, how can technology help you? You may need to leverage technology to trace and track your products, not just your physical products, but your virtual products as well. You may want to measure the viability of a particular global trade route or global trade partner, leveraging research and comparisons. The internet can help you. Technology can help you with that. You can monitor your business partners and their performance, not just with you, but with others. Leveraging technology and automation and you are operating.

 

Kevin L. Jackson (00:21:22):

So, Greg and I talked about this before, we’re no longer in a supply chain, we’re in a supply web, like you’re in a ecosystem. So, you need to really streamline operations between all the other companies that exist in your ecosystem. Technology can really help there. So, digital transformation, baby.

Scott Luton (00:21:46):

All right. So, Greg, your couple quick response here, your quick take.

Greg White (00:21:50):

Yeah. I think, probably the key here, to me, I mean, this previous article really points this out, is that, securing that network virtually is equally as important as the physical security that one would naturally employ in a global supply ecosystem. And I think you can’t think of it separately. You wouldn’t think of not having armed guards in certain countries or not having trailers behind fences in certain cities, even in probably most cities, frankly, in the U.S. You wouldn’t think of not having locks on trailers and containers and things like that. You have to think of your digital systems, your digital and cyber security systems, as those locks and fences and security. So, I think it’s critical for us – I think TSquared talked about this – to recognize that siloization – I think is what he called it —

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

Siloization.

Greg White (00:23:02):

Siloization. There you go.

Greg White (00:23:07):

… siloization has really put the supply chain business in general in jeopardy. And, Kevin, to your point, everyone is virtually global. I mean, there are cities where your internet signal is blocked. You’re not projecting to everywhere in the world, but you are still exposed to it. Even if you’re blocked from posting in China, let me assure you, there are people in China who are interested in what you’re doing.

Scott Luton (00:23:33):

That’s Right. Hey, we’re about to bring in our special guest. I want to just share a couple quick comments, this graphic, by the way, Greg and Kevin —

 

Greg White (00:23:41):

Is that Post-it notes?

 

Scott Luton (00:23:42):

Well, we must have gotten it from 3M because, clearly, they are communicating that Post-it notes make the whole world go round. But y’all check out that read. Nasrin – great to have you back with us – “Greetings from Iran,” via LinkedIn. So nice to see you. Josh says, “There was also a hack at Rockstar, the video game developer. Just goes to show that everyone needs to update and innovate when it comes to protection.” Excellent point there, Josh.

Greg White (00:24:10):

Right. That is inherently built into their products. Security is, right? So, even with an intention, it can still be vulnerable.

Scott Luton (00:24:19):

Yes. Greg, you referenced TSquared’s point earlier. By the way, TSquared holds down the fort for us at YouTube. TSquared says, “That cybersecurity story more than sobers and truly underscores the dangers of siloization.” So, yes, Greg, we’re coining a new word there. And then, finally —

 

Kevin L. Jackson (00:24:39):

Siloization.

 

Scott Luton (00:24:40):

Siloization.

Greg White (00:24:41):

That’s cool, right? Let me steal that, Tyrone. Sorry, man. Just warning you.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:24:47):

I didn’t see a registered trademark behind it, so let’s go.

Scott Luton (00:24:51):

So, Joey K. says, “I think the challenges often come from the gap in communication between the business, IT, and leadership. Not only that, challenges exist with teams lacking trust in their colleagues who are the experts within their craft. Love the hygiene comparison. So true.”

Kevin L. Jackson (00:25:09):

Thank you.

Scott Luton (00:25:09):

Thank you there, Joey. Okay. Well, we’re going to leave that story there. Y’all can check it out. We’ve dropped link to it in the comments. Thank you, Greg and Kevin for walking us through your thoughts on both of those first two stories here today. But we got a lot more to get to, right? So, y’all stick tune, we’re about to dive in deeper.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:25:26):

But wait, there’s more.

Scott Luton (00:25:27):

But wait, there’s more. We’re going to be diving into the automotive industry quite a bit here today. But before we get there, I want to welcome in our special guest, Florian Seebauer, Senior Director, SAP Business Network and Direct Spend Solutions. Hey, Florian. How are we doing today?

Florian Seebauer (00:25:46):

Hey, guys. I’m doing good. How are you?

Scott Luton (00:25:49):

We’re doing wonderful. It’s so nice to see you.

 

Kevin L. Jackson (00:25:51):

Doing great.

Greg White (00:25:51):

Yeah, it’s really, really good to see you.

Scott Luton (00:25:58):

Oh, gosh. Florian, I love that color blue. That is a gorgeous color blue. But, hey, as gorgeous as that blue is on you here today is a sight of a really tasty cheeseburger. So, folks stick with me here. Before we dive into —

 

Greg White (00:26:16):

[Inaudible] cheeseburger.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:26:16):

It’s lunch time.

Scott Luton (00:26:20):

It is. Dinnertime where Florian is though. But, hey, before we dive into —

Florian Seebauer (00:26:27):

I’m getting hungry already.

Scott Luton (00:26:27):

Before we dive into the work at hand, I want to start with just a fun question to our panel here because yesterday was National Cheeseburger Day. How I missed that yesterday. I bet the world celebrates. It’s one of those global cuisines, certainly known well here in the states. But, Florian, what is one of your go-to places to get a really good cheeseburger?

Florian Seebauer (00:26:52):

You know, I spent over ten years in California and I started loving In-N-Out. But I don’t think you find it anywhere over Europe, right? So, I moved towards Five Guys, which started, I guess, maybe three or four years ago. So, that’s now my new place. And I missed the celebration day, unfortunately. Otherwise, I would have [inaudible].

Greg White (00:27:13):

You know, so did I. I feel like it ought to be marketed better, Florian.

 

Florian Seebauer (00:27:18):

Absolutely.

Scott Luton (00:27:18):

Right. All right. So, Florian dropped, man, quite a double deuce there between In-N-Out and Five Guys, right, Greg and Kevin? Greg, what’s one of your favorite go-tos?

Greg White (00:27:31):

Man, I love hamburgers so much. It really depends on the mood that I’m in. But one of my favorite lately, because we’re on the island, is the Earl of Sandwich makes a burger that is about that thick. And it’s a dive bar. It’s the oldest continuous running bar on Hilton Head. And their burger is gigantic, but, man, it is a fantastic hamburger. And there are even a lot of great burgers on the island everywhere, of course. And, of course, with Florian, if you’re going to buy a chain hamburger, it ought to be an In-N-Out.

 

Scott Luton (00:28:07):

Well, Greg, does it come with the theme song Duke of Earl? Duke, duke, duke, duke of Earl, you know, playing in the background whenever you’re dining in. Hey, y’all don’t make me sing that again, please.

Greg White (00:28:21):

Please don’t.

Scott Luton (00:28:22):

Kevin, you’re a cleanup here today. Where do you go for a great cheeseburger?

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

Well, you know, Florian stole it from me. It’s Five Guys.

Greg White (00:28:35):

Yeah. Well, of course, where you’re from. That’s where they started.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:28:38):

It’s Five Guys. And it’s not just the burgers, it’s the fries too. I mean, it’s the fries that make it all. So, I got to go with that. It’s just so messy.

Greg White (00:28:56):

Even a small fry at Five Guys is enough for two people, at least two people.

Scott Luton (00:29:01):

It’s so worth it, though. It’s so worth it. Greg, Kevin, and Florian, thank you for making everybody hungry. By the way, Gale says, “In-N-Out rules. Thanks, Florian Seebauer.” Glorimar says, “My daughter says that I make better burgers than In-N-Out, and I will take that as a huge success.” Agreed.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:29:22):

We’d have to go check that out. What’s her address?

Greg White (00:29:23):

We’ll take three to go, Glorimar.

Scott Luton (00:29:26):

Hey, four.

Greg White (00:29:27):

Four to go. Yeah. Right.

Scott Luton (00:29:29):

Amanda says, “Me and my favorite birthday boy, Bennett, love a good ole Whopper.” That’s good. A little different, but good, Amanda.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:29:38):

Double Whopper. Yeah. I tried that Impossible Whopper, too, that’s actually pretty good.

Scott Luton (00:29:42):

Yeah. It’s not bad. Not bad.

Florian Seebauer (00:29:43):

Not on the top, but it’s not bad.

Scott Luton (00:29:44):

And, finally, Josh giving us a little Yakima market Intel, “Miners Burgers in Yakima, Washington.” Thank you for that, Josh.

Greg White (00:29:54):

[Inaudible] had better be good, so it’s got to be pretty tasty.

Scott Luton (00:29:59):

And, Sammy, greetings to you as well. Sammy is tuned in from Nairobi, Kenya via LinkedIn. Okay. Y’all keep sharing where you get your favorite burgers from, keep commenting on the supply chain focus conversation we have. We got the next half-hour or so with Florian, and looking forward to diving into. So, we better get to work, folks. Florian, where we want to start is we’re going to be talking, as I mentioned quite a bit, about the automotive industry here today. And we’ll start with this interesting read from our friends at Automotive Logistics, what’s old is new again as many automakers are leveraging vertical integration more and more for several reasons to include risk management. So, Florian, please tell us more.

Florian Seebauer (00:30:47):

Yeah. The article starts with the new normal of supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic war sanctions, weather pattern, shortages in material and components. And supply chain experts at the auto manufacturers go back again to the vertical integration to ensure that the supply is coming timely to the factories. And the article talks about three examples of backward vertical integration. One of them is the example of securing raw material, specifically here, the cobalt and the nickel, the important battery supplies. Because, of course, everyone is moving towards electric vehicles and, therefore, of course, those raw materials are extremely critical.

 

Florian Seebauer (00:31:43):

Another example which the article talks about are the important semiconductors. We saw all over huge delays. And, interestingly, I just got my new company car. Last Friday, I picked it up. Now, guess how long I was waiting for that car?

Greg White (00:32:06):

Nine months.

Florian Seebauer (00:32:09):

Sixteen months.

Florian Seebauer (00:32:11):

That is something. Right now in Germany, people are a little bit special because you customize your car. It’s not something you buy just from the shelf. And I would say, three months, six months were normal before, but 16 is unheard of. And, of course, shortages in semiconductors, that is a big issue there, so it’s real. And that is exactly by more and more OEMs directly engaged now down in the supply chain with their semiconductor manufacturers and really planning already ahead for the next release of semiconductors to have that new advanced capabilities.

 

Florian Seebauer (00:32:52):

And last but not least, the article talks about the automakers getting engaged in the actual manufacturing of the batteries. There are examples of Volvo trucks, of Stellantis, of Volkswagen to get now really deeply involved in producing those batteries which are so essential for the new way of driving. Interestingly, a lot of opportunities, on the other hand, of course, also a lot of challenges considering now that additional complexity for the OEMs to deal with that large number of suppliers running all those sourcing activities, managing the overall check management to ensuring that all of that is nicely orchestrated. Also, a need for increased supply chain visibility here, really, to orchestrate all of those activities.

Scott Luton (00:33:48):

Orchestration, one of our favorite things to talk about here, Florian. Greg, I want to get you to comment first on both the article – and here’s the article, we’ll share that again – that Florian was kind of speaking to from our friends at Automotive Logistics. Your thoughts when it comes to the automotive industry revisiting vertical integration.

Greg White (00:34:08):

Yeah. I mean, this is not an uncommon sort of swing of the pendulum, especially when you’ve lost control of your supply chain in the way that so many manufacturers, not just auto manufacturers, but particularly auto manufacturers have. And when you have such a far flung supply chain, the risk of far flung and third, fourth, and fifth parties in your supply chain is very risky. As we’ve all evidenced, 16 months, I can’t even believe it. And I’m sure it was a German car also, Florian, right?

Florian Seebauer (00:34:40):

That is right. Let’s not name them now, but that German manufacturer. That’s right.

Greg White (00:34:46):

And it’s not anyone’s fault because one of the biggest risks – we bought a German car that will remain unnamed, but I always buy the same German car. So, anybody who knows me knows – and it’s not just raw material, it’s global conflict because the wire harnesses for this particular brand’s cars are made in Ukraine. And there was nobody there to make them for a lot of the time. But I think one of the things we have to think about, too, is that – and I am more and more convinced. Look, this is not a fully scientific survey. I would say, I can’t remember if it’s theory or hypothesis, but it’s somewhere along the scientific method curve – there aren’t enough natural materials, be they rare earth minerals or component minerals, like Florian is talking about, to construct all of the batteries that we need to convert the entire world to EV without stripping the entire crust of the planet off, which, of course, is never going to happen.

Greg White (00:35:55):

But what this does for a lot of these manufacturers is it enables them to take better control and have better visibility to that, so that when the inevitable happens, which is creating synthetics for cobalt, nickel, and some of these rare earth minerals or elements are required, they’ll have a good eye on when it’s time to do that and start to build the scientific capability to do it because it is – and just my opinion – absolute necessity to do that.

Scott Luton (00:36:25):

Okay. Kevin, I’m going to get your take here in just a second. I want to share a couple quick messages first. Katherine shares Village Burger in Dunwoody is a great place to eat.

Greg White (00:36:36):

Been there.

Scott Luton (00:36:36):

She also says, “Casey’s Place in Vero Beach, Florida was her go-to back in 2015.” Russ, great to have you back with us from London via LinkedIn, looking forward to your perspective. And then, finally, before we get Kevin’s take, Josh Goodey says, “Mining Digital posted saying that there were more than 50 deposits of cobalt in the U.S. There were issues in Idaho and Montana due to them having to open minds near where Californians bought their new houses.” Well, folks, we’re talking about EV batteries here in just a second. But, Kevin, before we get there, speak, if you would, to this first article from Automotive Logistics and vertical integration and such.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:37:17):

So, it’s first time. This is not a story about the automotive industry. It’s a story about the IT industry. What is a car? It’s a computer with wheels, all right? So, the 18 months or 16 months shortage was because of the integrated circuitry in the vehicle. Second, you were talking about wiring harnesses. Quick Google search shows that according to the Ukrainian Government, there were 22 automotive companies that invested more than $600 million to build 38 plants in Ukraine to employ 60,000 Ukrainians to produce automotive wire harnesses. So, that is a huge impact on the automotive industry.

 

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

And another point, sort of put an exclamation point on this, the car manufacturing industry in Russia collapsed 97 percent after the start of the war. So, that tells you a lot about the global dependence on supply chain, the fragility of a single point of failure, and why integration is really important. This supply web that we talked about is really important, not just in automotive, but in every initiative.

Scott Luton (00:39:29):

Integration, but also having a conductor that can really provide effective orchestration, circling back to what Florian was sharing on the frontend.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:39:40):

Yeah. That orchestration and visibility.

Scott Luton (00:39:42):

Yes. That’s right.

Florian Seebauer (00:39:42):

Visibility, I think that is really key and really into your supply chain to really get the necessary insights and then react accordingly. Also, the article was talking about that more and more automotive industries move away from single source to multi-source, which, of course, it adds additional costs, additional complexities. But on the other hand, you take out the risk and you can shift then your demand between suppliers, also unheard of when you think back maybe five years ago. We’re talking all about efficiency.

Greg White (00:40:18):

It’s a hedging strategy.

Florian Seebauer (00:40:18):

Absolutely.

Scott Luton (00:40:20):

All right. So much to dive into here, but I want to move to this second article, Florian. We’re just talking a second ago along these lines. So, of course, the demand for electric vehicles has shot up, right? You’ve got some car companies pledging to move to an all EV fleet of offerings. But along these moves, the prices associated with the battery metals that power these vehicles have also skyrocketed. So, Florian, tell us more about this development from our friends at Bloomberg.

Florian Seebauer (00:40:53):

Yeah. No, it’s quite related. But we’re going to talk again about those raw materials which are so essential for the battery, lithium, cobalt, and nickel. And there’s also a trend over the last 10, 15 years that the prices for battery packs really declined. But now, that’s turning because raw material prices skyrocketed. In case, for example, of cobalt, that increased dramatically. Lithium more so, up to 600 times it went up from prices before. And, of course, that creates now huge challenges for the OEMs because, you know, what can they do? Should they take a cut in their margin or push that further to their consumers? And, of course, there is the battle between the combustion engine cars. And I guess, now due to that increase of raw material prices, it’s not anymore as clear that the EV cars will overtake the combustion engine cars due to those spikes. On the other end, of course, also combustion engine drivers might have to deal with exactly those expensive raw materials, the gasoline, the oil is also getting more expensive.

Scott Luton (00:42:13):

No shortage of complexities here. Greg, I want to get you to weigh in on what Florian said there or, you know, back to batteries. I feel like that’s a common theme we’ve been dealing with here lately. Greg, your thoughts.

Greg White (00:42:28):

Well, this article to me is more about the cost, which will unquestionably go up. It already has in the United States as the U.S. Government has mandated that all cars must – and now some state governments, California by 2030, in seven years and three months – be electric. And so, costs will unquestionably go up. And to answer your question, Florian, they will be passed on to the consumer because the consumer will have no choice. So, that’s already starting to happen because of the subsidies that the U.S. Government has provided to consumers. Remarkably, virtually every car manufacturer in America has increased their price by precisely the amount of subsidy that the U.S. Government has provided to the consumer. So, we are trapped from a supply and demand standpoint.

Greg White (00:43:28):

Combustion cars, many of them will cease to be on the road in seven years and three months, because they’ll wear out. And then, you won’t be able to get one, so you’ll have no choice. We’ll have a captive audience. Let’s just face it, businesses, corporations don’t pay taxes. The consumer pays their taxes in terms of uplifted price. And, of course, every opportunity they can where demand is forced, they will take advantage of it. So, the cost of these things going up is inevitable, again, because we need more than the earth can provide. And the research to provide synthetics or other solutions will cost a tremendous amount of money as all early stage research and development does, and it will be passed along to the consumer.

Scott Luton (00:44:20):

Okay. Well, it sounds like with all of those things manifesting themselves, more and more of us maybe getting around via something we call Chevrolegs, Greg.

Greg White (00:44:33):

Yeah. Right. I mean, think about this, you know, think about the growth in e-bikes. We may not even be able to afford an e-bike, lest an EV.

Scott Luton (00:44:43):

Well, hey, love your commentary there. You, and Florian, and Kevin bringing home for us. What’s your thoughts here on what’s going on?

Kevin L. Jackson (00:44:52):

So, in the end, it’s about reducing our energy, right? So, we want to get out of oil, so we go to electric vehicles. And, now, we’re worried about rare earth in the batteries for these electric vehicles. So, what’s the next step? How about maglev, magnetic levitation? I mean, you’ve all heard of magnetic levitation for trains, right? But what about cars? So, China is actually testing putting magnetic levitation rails on the highway so that when you’re driving the car, you can actually get on this maglev and it raises the car just a few centimeters off the ground, and it can reduce the energy that the car uses by as much as 31 percent. And it doesn’t matter if it’s a fossil fuel car or electric car, you’re now reducing the energy that you need to get from point A to point B with much cheaper energy on this maglev. But there is a catch, it uses rare earth elements for the permanent magnets that are part of this maglev system. So, once again, it’s going to be a supply chain issue.

Scott Luton (00:46:34):

It all comes back to supply chains and supply chain management, Kevin. But, you know, we’ve known that for, for years and years. The party and the tents bigger these days, which is good in many ways. But, Kevin, thanks for sharing. We’re going to keep our eye on that maglev, magnetic levitation innovation that’s taking place overseas.

 

Scott Luton (00:46:56):

All right. Folks, with all these complexities and these issues, we need resources to overcome them. I’m about to ask Florian about what his team does and offer up some resources. But before I do, we got some great comments here. I want to share a couple of these. Let’s see here, Russ says, “Big car industry must develop a strong strategy, short, middle long term, including considering buy some key suppliers and practicing localization more than ever before.” Good point there, Russ.

Scott Luton (00:47:31):

Josh says – I think he’s going back to the mining digital and some of the locations he was mentioning earlier, these open minds – “They’ve already had some water pollution issues in some of those places.” Good point there, Josh. Hey, Nanda is back with us, Greg. It’s been a little while. Nanda, great to see you here today. Glorimar says, “EV, gas, hybrid, none of those are the sole solutions. At least in the U.S. we need all the options.” In California where she lives, she says, “We have way too many EVs.” She owns one too, “and I try to charge it at home as much as I can because finding an empty charging station has become very challenging since the gas prices went up.” Hey, look here. This is mom. This is my one and only. Hey, great to see you, mom. Leah Luton says, “Kind of like the Jetsons. I always wanted to levitate.” So, it looks like we got a couple votes.

Greg White (00:48:28):

I like the maglev idea. I wonder if there’s a way to do gravlev where it’s just gravity – you know, it doesn’t require all these gigantic magnets – where we can use the gravity of the earth, inherent magnetic force of the earth. I mean, does that not sound like a fun project?

Scott Luton (00:48:47):

I love it.

Greg White (00:48:47):

Right? Then, we’re Jetsons.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:48:51):

Sign me up, Greg. [Inaudible].

Scott Luton (00:48:53):

All right. And by the way, I love the Jetsons analogy there. All right. So, Florian, you and your team do some great work working with companies around the globe, and for the handful of folks that may not know, tell us especially what the SAP Business Network, what that and your team do at SAP.

Florian Seebauer (00:49:18):

Happy to do so. Now, look, we talked a lot about the issues organization’s are facing regarding supply chain disruption, finding the right suppliers, the right sources of supply, and that is exactly what the Business Network can help organizations to achieve. It allows you to connect to world largest business network by finding the right suppliers and then collaborating with those suppliers. And it doesn’t really matter what type of supplier it is, if it’s a raw material supplier component to bio logistic provider, asset provider, service provider, so you can easily collaborate with them and expand your digitalization out of your four vaults into the supply chain and gain real time transparency, resilience, agility. And, also, it has a big benefit from a sustainability perspective because you can really make sure that the suppliers on the network have signed the necessary certifications that they provide you with the information regarding the carbon footprint and really helps your organization to overcome those challenges. And it’s really across the different industries.

Scott Luton (00:50:36):

Right. You know, all those things once upon a time were nice to haves, but more and more they are becoming must haves. The customer expects it, undoubtedly. Okay. So, let’s talk about some of the resources that you brought with you today, Florian, in particular, I think, we’ve got this white paper here teed up. This SAP white paper is focused on transforming product sourcing – which you were just kind of mentioning – for highly engineered products and all the complexity that come with them. So, why should folks check out this white paper you think?

Florian Seebauer (00:51:11):

You know, I highly recommend it if the readers are related to the discrete industry. What we have done is building a solution with leading automotive OEMs, tier one suppliers. And the solution described in the paper is all about what we have done there, which helps those organizations to bring products clicker to market, collaborate early on with the suppliers to really ensure that the designs are cost efficient, but also that sustainability aspects are considered, and doing that in a really collaborative way with the suppliers. Also, it addresses challenges related to the raw material prices so you can also capture index based pricing, negotiate that, and really ensure that the prices and the purchase orders you send out to your suppliers are based on current indexes you have negotiated. So, it really makes sure that you can really start from a product idea to operational execution seamlessly all in our systems, and with a large customer supplier base, all digital.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:52:22):

You know, that’s critical. You were talking about what siloization, right? With a system like that, is that IT or OT? It’s both.

Florian Seebauer (00:52:40):

You’re spot on. You’re spot on because it brings all that together, collaboration of assets, logistics, supply chain, procurement.

Scott Luton (00:52:49):

Agreed. And it helps practitioners operationalize as they go after the art of the possible and, really, the art of the necessary in 2022 in many ways. All right. Really quick, I want to share some other things. And, Greg, I’d love to get your take on what Florian has shared as well. Kevin loves that siloization word as do I.

 

Scott Luton (00:53:10):

Hey, let’s see here. So, we’ve got that white paper. Y’all check that out. Our production team has shared those links in the comments. Also, we’ve got a blog article that focuses on how effective product sourcing can help reign in the complexity of sourcing highly engineered products. And you can also check out the link that we dropped, where you can learn more about SAP’s sourcing solutions. So, check out and connect with Florian and his team there. All right.

 

Kevin L. Jackson (00:53:38):

[Inaudible].

 

Scott Luton (00:53:40):

Kevin, what was that?

Kevin L. Jackson (00:53:42):

What isn’t highly engineered solution today? You have to highly engineer just about everything.

Scott Luton (00:53:50):

That’s a good point. Good point. Especially in the automotive industry, everything seems to be highly engineered. Of course, you’ve got safety considerations, unlike many other aspects of global manufacturing. Greg, weigh in really quick on what Florian was sharing, including the priorities and the resources, whether you’re in procurement, supply chain, manufacturing, you name it, you really need at your fingertips.

Greg White (00:54:15):

Yeah. Well, I think to both Florian and Kevin’s points, either or both of your product are highly engineered or the supply chain. I mean, it doesn’t matter if you’re just getting an injection molded lid for something. I mean, it’s because you want to do that cheaply, your supply chain becomes highly engineered so that the integrated complexities of either the construct of the product or the mobilization of the product is very highly engineered. So, having the kind of data and transparency and visibility that we’ve been talking about today.

 

Greg White (00:54:53):

And then, of course, Kevin, all of our favorite new word, eliminating the siloization between portions of your business, that all becomes critical to the success of a company. I mean, we have to think in different ways. We have to engage, integrate – you know, technically integrate – in different ways. And we have to move and view the goods. What’s the biggest question everyone’s asking right now? “Where’s my stuff?” And that includes some big corporations who have far flung or very complex dynamics in their supply chain, whether that is the design or the production or the movement of the goods. So, all of these technologies allow you to have that visibility, that transparency.

 

Greg White (00:55:40):

And I think one of the most overlooked aspects of the supply chain, historically, is the responsiveness and recovery capability. Resilience is what we call it today, right? When something goes wrong – and notice I didn’t say if. I said when something goes wrong – the number one rule of supply chain, expect everyone to fail you. So, when you do that and you provision for that, these kind of tools and solutions help you before a catastrophic event takes your supply chain down.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:56:13):

You know, is it resilience or is it flexibility? You need that flexibility, right?

Scott Luton (00:56:23):

Or both and then some, right?

 

Kevin L. Jackson (00:56:25):

Or both.

Greg White (00:56:25):

Yeah. I mean, I think we could have a really long discussion over which is an element of the other. But flexibility is definitely required to have resiliency.

Scott Luton (00:56:35):

That’s right.

Greg White (00:56:36):

[Inaudible] just list the words.

Scott Luton (00:56:40):

Well, we need that flip chart you used to have behind you way back in the day, Greg. We could power this discussion. But, hey, for the sake of time, before Florian departs, I want to make sure folks know how to connect with he and his team there. So, Florian, what’s the easiest way to connect with you?

Florian Seebauer (00:56:59):

Just use LinkedIn, and I guess you have my LinkedIn contacts.

Scott Luton (00:57:03):

We do.

Greg White (00:57:04):

We do?

Scott Luton (00:57:04):

We sure do. It’s just that easy. I’ll tell you, Greg and Kevin, we should have gotten into LinkedIn business long ago. Everyone, it’s the go-to. It’s just like that. It’s no longer to the look me up in the phone book. It’s find me on LinkedIn.

Greg White (00:57:18):

You almost don’t need business cards anymore.

Scott Luton (00:57:20):

Right.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:57:23):

Right. They gave you a QR code on LinkedIn too.

Scott Luton (00:57:25):

Right.

Greg White (00:57:26):

Right. So, it’s not just where you are now. It’s where you’ve been in the past and the provenance, Kevin L. Jackson of your [inaudible].

Scott Luton (00:57:33):

Ah, provenance. Love that word. All right. Well, for now, though, Florian Seebauer, thanks so much for joining us here today. Really enjoyed your perspective on all things supply chain, really global business. And I bet, I hope you get a chance to eat a great cheeseburger soon, because you’re a few hours ahead of us. But Florian Seebauer, Senior Director, SAP Business Network and Direct Spend Solutions. Thank you for your time, Florian.

 

Florian Seebauer (00:57:59):

Thank you for having me. Have a good day, guys.

 

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

Thanks, Florian.

Scott Luton (00:58:03):

That swoosh was on the money. It waits for nobody.

Greg White (00:58:06):

[Inaudible].

Greg White (00:58:09):

We mustn’t delay because our production team is incredibly precise.

Scott Luton (00:58:13):

So right. So right.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:58:15):

We’re ready to swoosh you if you’re ready or not.

Scott Luton (00:58:16):

That’s right. Well, hey, I really enjoyed Florian’s take here today. I think we could have spent a couple more hours talking, whether it’s cheeseburgers or the complexities in the automotive industry or a lot more. Greg, you and Kevin, just talking about defining some of these words and what they really mean, because they can mean different things to different leaders, and practitioners, and teams, and organizations. But really enjoyed the discussion here today.

 

Scott Luton (00:58:44):

All right. So, I want to wrap. We might finish just a minute or two over. Kevin, we need to make sure folks, maybe three people that don’t know you’re doing great work – two people.

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

I’ve got two people. My audience is decreasing [inaudible].

Greg White (00:59:00):

The audience that doesn’t know how to get a of you is definitely decreasing.

Scott Luton (00:59:03):

There’s a great tie in here, though, because, Kevin, you’re doing great work as you lead Digital Transformers with Kevin L. Jackson, a great podcast. Y’all check that out wherever you get your podcast from and subscribe. Because one of the topics that you’re going to be talking about – and, Greg, we’ve chatted about here in one of our recent livestreams – is the longstanding partnership between SAP and IBM. And Kevin, I’m not sure —

Kevin L. Jackson (00:59:26):

Yes. Absolutely.

Scott Luton (00:59:27):

When is that episode? When will that be dropping?

Kevin L. Jackson (00:59:30):

We’d be dropping on Monday.

Greg White (00:59:34):

Wow. That’s very timely.

Scott Luton (00:59:36):

Isn’t it?

 

Kevin L. Jackson (00:59:36):

So, next Monday, the next episode.

Greg White (00:59:37):

Today Monday or next Monday?

Kevin L. Jackson (00:59:39):

Next Monday, the next episode of Digital Transformers on Supply Chain Now, we’ll be talking with Stacy Short from IBM. and she manages the longstanding relationship between IBM and SAP, 50 years long. Talk about working together for the betterment of the world. And get this, SAP was founded by five IBMers. So, they left IBM, founded SAP, and then started that relationship. So, how long has OT and IT been working together? SAP and IBM, so stay tuned.

Scott Luton (01:00:29):

Quite some time. So, hey, y’all can find that episode and all episodes, including all past episodes – Kevin’s been building quite a library – look up Digital Transformers wherever you get your podcasts from and subscribe so you don’t miss that episode or any others.

 

Scott Luton (01:00:42):

One last thing to touch on, Greg, really enjoyed your commentaries – I always enjoy them – but here lately, one of your mantras that you have long held, and you’ve gotten a lot of responses around is, whether consumers like it or not, they’re the beginning and the end of the supply chains. And one of your commentaries touched on that once more last week. But where I’m getting is, I think we published our fourth or fifth edition of With That Said over the weekend. That’s our dedicated LinkedIn newsletter. And, Greg and Kevin, we are right at 15,000 subscribers, just four editions in.

Greg White (01:01:25):

It hasn’t even been a month that that thing has been out. It’s just over a month, right?

Scott Luton (01:01:28):

Right. I think we got link, we’re going to drop to the most recent one. If you’re not subscribing to that, check it out. And if there’s ideas that any of our listeners, subscribers, any of our global family of listeners have when it comes to that newsletter, hey, let us know. We love feedback. It is certainly a blessing and helps come up with great new ideas. Kevin?

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

Who’s that at the header at that article?

Greg White (01:02:00):

You got so much more depth, I don’t know how you’re doing this while we’re on the air.

Kevin L. Jackson (01:02:03):

I’m everywhere. I’m everywhere.

 

Greg White (01:02:05):

Impressive.

Scott Luton (01:02:07):

So, to see what Kevin’s talking about, you’re going to have to check out the most recent edition of With That Said. And, of course, you can also find that at the Supply Chain Now company page on LinkedIn. Okay. Greg, I’m going to give you the final thought here today. Kevin, always a pleasure. We love our Digital Transformers episodes. We’re getting out front. It’s beneficial. We’re going to make it even more official, so you can catch Kevin L. Jackson every third Monday on The Buzz. Every third Monday here at Supply Chain Now. So, look for that in October, November, and December. Kevin, really appreciate your time.

Kevin L. Jackson (01:02:44):

Thank you. Thank you. I enjoy this. It’s just fun.

Scott Luton (01:02:47):

Yeah. It is. It is a blast. We could easily add an extra hour and not miss a beat. But, Greg, we covered a lot of ground here with Florian, and Kevin, and all the comments here in the cheap seats. What’s your final thought? Challenge our audience, and then I’ll sign off.

Greg White (01:03:05):

Yeah I think, the thing that we have to recognize at every level – and this continues to surprise me like the article that we talked about – that supply chain, really any aspect of business and IT, which I include digital security, cybersecurity, and digital transformation, all of those things are inextricably connected. And if you don’t have a plan for that, it’s like planning to fail because you simply cannot keep up with manual processes, and even some of the old processes and certainly not digitally integrated and protected processes inside your organization, but with the other organizations that you do business with globally. And if the last 33 months have not taught you that, where the heck have you been?

 

Kevin L. Jackson (01:04:03):

What planet were you?

 

Greg White (01:04:03):

So, I think, that’s the challenge, is, I would cease to think about it as digital transformation being separate from supply chain or separate from your business. Digital transformation is your business. We’ve been talking about that with Kevin L. Jackson for several years now. And like he’s turned us into digital transformation, not experts, but fans, we’re turning him into a supply chain fan. And I think the more that we see that, the more that the three of us and, really all of our team get together, the more clear that is. And I’m hopeful that companies will start to see that, get more serious about it, spend the money, do it now – pay us per hour, pay us later. But spend the money to improve the integration and safety of your supply chain, both physically and virtually.

Scott Luton (01:04:55):

Yeah. All right. We got to leave it there, don’t plan to fail. Be like Greg and Kevin, do not plan to fail. Take action. Big thanks to Kevin L. Jackson, host of Digital Transformers and so much more. Y’all make sure you connect, follow, and check out his podcast. Be sure to connect with Greg White on LinkedIn, in particular, follow him for those commentaries every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and comment on those things. There’s some fascinating conversations as thousands and thousands of folks read that perspective.

 

Scott Luton (01:05:25):

But whatever you do, folks, whatever you do, on behalf, our entire team here at supply chain house, it’s all about deeds, not words. Take action and act now. No time to [inaudible]. On behalf of our entire team, Scott Luton challenging you —

 

Kevin L. Jackson (01:05:38):

[Inaudible].

 

Scott Luton (01:05:40):

New word, I guess.

 

Kevin L. Jackson (01:05:41):

[Inaudible].

 

Scott Luton (01:05:44):

Oh, gosh. It’s a Monday. It’s a Monday. But whatever you do, folks, whatever you do, hey, act, act, act, do good, give forward, be the change that’s needed. And we’ll see you next time right back here at Supply Chain Now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (01:05:57):

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

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Featured Guests

Florian Seebauer, Drawing on his 20-year experience in strategic sourcing, procurement, and supply chain solution definition and strategy, and his passion for helping organizations improve direct spend, Florian Seebauer is responsible for the go-to-market strategy of SAP Business Network and direct spend solutions. Connect with Florian on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

Kevin L. Jackson

Host, Digital Transformers

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

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

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Vicki White

Controller

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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

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Greg White

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

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Jeff Miller

Host

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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