Supply Chain Now
Episode 1119

As we go more digital, we increase our cyber risk exposure and that creates problems and unanticipated consequences around the advancement of innovation.

- Constantine Limberakis

Episode Summary

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

This week’s edition of The Buzz featured co-hosts Scott Luton, Greg White, and returning guest Constantine Limberakis. Constantine has over 20 years of international experience, holding strategic roles in analyst advisory, consulting, product marketing, product development, and market research. He has always been passionate about engaging with global business leaders through speaking engagements, podcasts, research, webinars, and industry articles.

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

• What is being done to strengthen the global pharmaceutical supply chain in response to ingredient shortages and international regulatory challenges

• The need for comprehensive cyber risk response programs, given the 600 percent increase in documented cyber-attacks in 2022

• Speculation about the apparel industry’s seeming unwillingness to embrace modern (i.e. post fax machine) technology

 

 

 

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

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

Scott Luton (00:31):

Hey, good morning, Scott Luton, Greg White and special guest host Constantine Limberakis with you here on Supply Chain. Now, welcome to today’s live stream, Greg. How you doing?

Greg White (00:43):

I’m doing quite well.

Scott Luton (00:44):

Wonderful, wonderful. And Dino’s playing tricks on us. Dino, how you doing?

Constantine Limberakis (00:48):

I’m good. All good here in Chicago, <laugh>.

Scott Luton (00:51):

Well, great to have you with us, Greg. We’re pretty excited. Before we welcome everybody, we’re really excited to have Constantine start a, uh, a guest host role here at Supply Chain. Now, Greg, what do you think, if you had to describe to the audience, uh, and <laugh> one aspect of his worldview or, uh, his expertise, his perspective, what do you think their, that, uh, they can expect from, from Constantine here?

Greg White (01:18):

Smarter <laugh>,

Constantine Limberakis (01:24):

You guys are on, man, that’s pretty good. We’re, uh,

Greg White (01:28):

No, I mean, I think, you know, you know, you, you have made a career of researching and understanding the products, the, the practice, right? I mean, you’ve actually worked for analyst groups before. You do a lot of, of publishing research and, and that sort of thing. So I just think, you know, I would have to say more informed at the very least, but probably also Smarter. Scott <laugh>

Scott Luton (01:54):

And, and, and folks you may hear us use one of his nicknames and, and, you know, nicknames are terms of endearment for sure. Uh, so Constantine, aka a Dino,

Greg White (02:04):

Put out a poll, you know, so you don’t get to decide what your nickname is

Constantine Limberakis (02:10):

That already when we talked before, but,

Greg White (02:12):

Or Dino. Yeah.

Scott Luton (02:13):

So I’ll give you a chance in Constantine, respond to what, you know, Greg kind of spoke about, uh, your journey and, and what you bring to the table, your quick response before we, we welcome everybody else.

Constantine Limberakis (02:23):

Oh, yeah. Well, I appreciate that, Greg. I mean, you know, I think it’s true. It’s, it is a journey of how you’re building your opinions and, and trying to understand the trends. And it’s, you know, this combination of, uh, experience with what you’ve learned in school and what you, how do you apply those things together with the changes in technology and, you know, you have a, a, a worldview based on what you’ve seen and, um, be able to try to opine on something based on some educated guess of what you think is going on that perspective

Greg White (02:58):

And constantly evolving. Yes. Right. I mean, I, I think that’s important. That’s one thing that, you know, I admire about people like you who are, are in the industry, have been in the industry for a while, and, you know, we limit our, our confessions of, uh, tenure to no more than two decades. Um, <laugh>,

Scott Luton (03:20):

Why don’t we, we get a kick outta that. Yeah.

Greg White (03:22):

Which is laughable. As I’m doing the math in my head of mine. There are a relatively short list of people who continue to question the status quo, if you will, of, of the practice of the industry. And those are the people who help continue to evolve the practice. We’re gonna talk about some people who are backsliding big time, by the way, on this episode. So you’ll get to see the juxtaposition of people who don’t evolve versus people who do <laugh>.

Scott Luton (03:51):

Yeah, absolutely. Can’t wait for that. We’re gonna talk backsliding. We’re gonna talk about, uh, drug shortages. We’re gonna talk about Dino’s recent, uh, trip down to the Gartner Supply Chain Symposium. Some key takeaways there, and more so you’re in the right place, everybody. We’re gonna say, look, folks to <laugh> to, uh, I, I gotta share this. So Josh Goodie, great to see you. Supply Chain Emperor is a nickname, uh, that Josh suggests, uh, for Constantine. I love that, Josh, and hope you had a great weekend. Um, alright, so folks, uh, just a level set with some of you may, that may be new, uh, today, coming at you at 12 noon Eastern time every Monday. It’s a supply chain buzz where we talk about a variety of news and developments today across global business. And hey, we wanna hear from you as well. So, just like Josh did, throw your comments there in, in the chat, uh, chat bar, the cheap seats as we call them, and we’re gonna share them throughout, uh, in addition to our expertise and analysis of what’s going on.

Scott Luton (04:45):

And hey, if you’re listening to the podcast replay, which we drop on Fridays, typically of Monday’s Buzz, if you’re listening to a podcast replay, hey, come check us out live, uh, one Monday at 12 noon on LinkedIn or YouTube, or any other social media channels of your choosing. We’d love to hear from you. Okay, so let’s do this. We got, we wanna share, you know, we’re all about sharing resources here. Greg and Constantine and Greg, uh, not too long ago, we held the analysis, uh, live show of the US Bank Freight Payment Index for Q1 2023. This is a free resource, it comes out every quarter, mainly focused on, uh, shipping volume and spend. Folks, if you wanna sign up for it, go to freight.us bank.com or check out the link in the chat. Greg, what’s one thing folks can expect from this, uh, quarterly resource

Greg White (05:31):

Surprises, uh, some dramatic surprises and probably some, uh, enlightenment as to where we are in, in the market cycle right now. Yep. Take a look. It’s worth a look, especially this one, but always, every quarter.

Scott Luton (05:45):

That’s right. And we’re gonna make it easy. Thanks to our good friends at US Bank for offering that, uh, free resource. You sign up for it. Hit your inbox every, uh, quarter. And we’ve got the link to do so right there in the chat.

Greg White (05:57):

A bank that’s still in business. <laugh>,

Scott Luton (06:00):

New tagline. Yeah,

Greg White (06:01):

<laugh> and has the power to keep on going.

Scott Luton (06:03):

That is right. Yeah. Energizer. Yeah. Okay. A little note from the weekend, uh, Dino and Greg, before we get to do that though, uh, let’s say hello to a few folks. Of course, we mentioned Josh Goody, who’s always with us here from Seattle. It’s sunny and 72 degrees in Seattle at the moment. Uh, and Josh, we’ve got a new team member Wow. Up in your neck of the woods. We’re gonna have to get y’all connected, don’t we, Greg?

Greg White (06:24):

Yeah, no doubt.

Scott Luton (06:25):

Uh, Dino, you ever been to Seattle?

Constantine Limberakis (06:27):

You know, I have. I spoke, speaking of talking, I spoke at a conference, uh, when I was in Seattle. I literally had flown from London the day before, stopped at home and flew all the way to Seattle. The next day was wow, <laugh>. But I, I saw the needle. That was the key I saw the needle was,

Greg White (06:47):

Did you see the sun? That’s the,

Constantine Limberakis (06:49):

Did not See, that’s what I said.

Scott Luton (06:53):

<laugh>. All right. Well, Josh, great to have you here. Uh, Obi tuned in via LinkedIn. Great to see you here. Let us know where you’re tuned in from our dear friend Jose Montoya, doing really good things, uh, in creating great content, uh, over in, uh, California, Southern California. Jose, great to see you here. Uh, Manuela, great to see you via LinkedIn. Let us know we are tuned in from Geno, Jean Pledger from North Alabama. Great to see you here, Gina. I hope you had a wonderful, wonderful Mother’s Day weekend. Hopefully all of y’all did.

Greg White (07:22):

Jean, Jean, the supply chain machine.

Scott Luton (07:24):

Yeah. Oh man, that’s a, that’s great nickname there. And finally, Jerry, great to have you back with us once again. Uh, hailing from Smyrna, uh, in the metro Atlanta area, uh, via LinkedIn. Jerry, great to see you.

Greg White (07:36):

Or Smyrna, or Smyrna Sm I’ve heard it said all three ways just for the world’s knowledge in Georgia. <laugh>, it’s Smyrna, right?

Scott Luton (07:46):

Oh, man. All right. So Dino and Gray, I wanna share a little highlight I had over the weekend. I’m gonna pop this graphic up here. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So this movie named Air, uh, in a nutshell, it’s all about how Air Jordans came about. And it is got an all-star cast. Uh, it tells a really, if, you know, if you’re a kid of the eighties, uh, certainly like I am, um, you know, air Jordans, you know them well. I don’t think I’ve ever owned a pair cuz they’re really, they were really expensive when they first came out and ever since. But this is such a wonderful story and one tie in. Greg, Greg, you, Dino, I don’t think I’ve seen it yet, but, um, at least the story that the movie tells, and I still gotta dive into the real story, right? Cuz you know, Hollywood, you got Hollywood versions and you got how it really happened, maybe, but

Greg White (08:32):

Artistic license. Yes.

Scott Luton (08:34):

Artistic license, yes. Um, but I loved how, um, I think Dolores Jordan, I w I think was her name, uh, was Michael Jordan’s mother and man, she really, she led the negotiations and, uh, included the tidbit that, uh, Michael Jordan gets, um, uh, gets like a spiff on every pair of Air Jordans ever sold. And just how, uh, um, how impactful and pivotal she was to help build the business version of the Michael Jordan we all know and love. What a great, great story. Greg. Uh, have you ever owned a pair of Air Jordans? Uh, and anything about the legend that they have become? Any, any comments there?

Greg White (09:20):

I have. Um, so I played basketball in high school and we got air, I think, I don’t know all the model numbers, but the second version, if those were air twos,

Scott Luton (09:32):

Okay.

Greg White (09:32):

I think they were. I

Scott Luton (09:33):

Think you’re right.

Greg White (09:34):

Um, we got the air twos. You actually played basketball in those shoes back in the day, right? <laugh>? Right now. Now you wouldn’t dare try to scuff ’em up by actually playing a sport in them. Uh, I remember that because we switched from Converse, which still made leather tennis shoes. Right? I mean, really good tennis shoes back then, or basketball shoes I should say. Yep. Um, we switched from Converse to Nike. Yep. That year. Yeah.

Scott Luton (09:59):

Well, and, and then I’ll get your thoughts next. Michael Jordan, as the story plays out, he was a big Adidas fan, right? And, and, and Nike was still trying to break the way into the basketball market. And they, they had just a handful of superstars that would, that would endorse their shoes. Just a great story. Dino, how about you? You ever had a pair of Air Jordans?

Constantine Limberakis (10:19):

Uh, no. I was more of a guy.

Greg White (10:25):

Constant. That’s what we should call you.

Constantine Limberakis (10:29):

There you go. No, I’ve never, but I obviously had a lot of friends at

Greg White (10:33):

Mr. He <laugh>.

Scott Luton (10:35):

What’s that? Fast times at Ridgemont. He right. Fast time.

Greg White (10:38):

Yep. That’s right. Yep. Very good. Awesome. Made vans, especially the checkerboard ones. Famous for sure. Really.

Scott Luton (10:44):

Hey folks. Uh, if you’re looking for, uh, a great movie, and man, it’s tough to find good movies these days, but y’all check out air, you can get it on, I think Amazon and Hope. Let us know what you think. Um, alright, so let’s get into the first story here today, Greg and Dino. Uh, we’re talking about drug shortages, right? So I wanna start with, um, you know, the White House has been giving this area a lot more attention lately as, uh, we’ve seen, unfortunately, drug shortages, including some common antibiotics, hit a five year high in 2022. Almost 300 total. Uh, drug shortages were reported by the end of the year. As we all know, farmer production has been shifting for decades. There’s a ton of moving pieces, so I’m not, you know, it’s gonna be tough to give the entire industry and all the shifts.

Scott Luton (11:34):

Ju uh, uh, it’s due in two minutes time, but Greg and Dino, I wanna share a couple of important background pieces, and then I’ll get y’all’s take on what we’re seeing, uh, out in the industry and how the White House is putting together super secret, uh, task forces to do something about it. So, uh, what you need to know is APIs or active pharmaceutical ingredients is a critical ingredient in drugs, whether they’re generic or otherwise. Now, as of August, 2019, and it’s tough to get updated information. Uh, there’s so much, uh, there’s a lack of clarity oftentimes, uh, across the international, uh, drug industry. But according to f D A, as of August 20th, 2019, only 28% of the manufacturing facilities making these APIs to, to supply the US market were in the US of the remaining 72%. Uh, in 2019, 13% were in China. China and India have both, uh, in fact grown their pharmaceutical industries tremendously.

Scott Luton (12:31):

Now, of course, on one hand that’s helped keep some prices down, but since regulation and safety inspections aren’t as rigorous as they are here in the states, that’s also introduced more safety issues. One last note here, as, as you see the title up at the top, as article points out since the beginning of 2023, the Biden administration has formed a task force that is debating different approaches to address the shortages. Now, Greg, your thoughts as it relates to what we’re seeing out there, uh, with, with these drug shortages or what the federal government may or may not be able to do about it?

Greg White (13:07):

Well, let’s start by reinforcing the fact that we’re talking almost exclusively when we talk about drug shortages of generics, which means those are at least 25 year old drugs that have come off of their patent. Right? They’re usually widely, um, applicable drugs. Things like omi, Omeprazole, which use used to be nex i m and now is all sorts of generics and private labeled, and now even has been declassified all the way down to an over the otc right. Over the counter drug. So that’s a industry that has a lot of stability in demand because the demand grows by prescription. Mm-hmm. Right? And, and it grows as people convert from branded, you know, once the incentives go off, doctors cease to prescribe the branded mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, product and, and begin to prescribe the generics. Mm. That’s an important thing to address. And the other is 13%, only 13% of the 72% that isn’t produced in the states is produced by China and India.

Greg White (14:13):

Yep. So it doesn’t seem like in this case, and it’s nice to be able to say this, that those two marketplaces are the bottlenecks here. So I wonder what it is the US sources and, and produces a far larger chunk of the product than, than China and India do. So where does the problem really lie? Is one question we have to discover. What can we practically do about it? And where is the rest of that production? I didn’t see it in the article. I missed it if it was in there. Yep. But I didn’t see where the rest of that production occurs. And I think we also have to acknowledge that this is our own fault, <laugh>, because we had branded, patented and generics all produced in the States as well. The place that they were produced wouldn’t call themselves part of the states Puerto Rico, but in a United States territory. And we disincentivize the pharmaceutical manufacturers, so they moved overseas. Yep. So to me, the answer seems fairly simple, which is bring the incentives back. Right. Figure out a way to make those affordable. One other assertion I had to chuckle at was the FDA calling themselves underfunded Mm. To approach this problem <laugh>. So yes,

Constantine Limberakis (15:21):

For sure.

Scott Luton (15:21):

All right. So Dino, what about you? What’s your take? What we’re seeing, well,

Constantine Limberakis (15:25):

I, this, this topic comes close to, to my best because, uh, I have a contact, can’t name names, but someone close to me that, uh, was in the pharmaceutical industry for over five years, uh, as a chemist, organic synthesis chemist. And, uh, he was, when I asked him about this question, he is like, when you’re dealing with the api, he says oftentimes, and you nailed it on the head, Greg is with the, not with the generics, or at least with non-generic, I think is what he said. He said that to keep them down the Synthes, the synthesize the chemistry, right? So they have this api, the component, and then they try to synthesize that through chemistry to figure out an alternative way from the natural ingredient. Right. And he says that the late stage part of it usually is done in the United States because that’s where the IP comes in.

Constantine Limberakis (16:17):

But most of that other work is done overseas in China and India because of cost. That was straight up this point. And what he’s noticing now is that, um, they’re starting to also look at alternative locations. Um, I think there was some tariff that was put in there, article, Harvard Business Review about this India imposed export ban during the pandemic mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so that created a lot of tension. And he told me also that, um, one of the places that they’re starting to look at are places like Eastern Europe. So cause of that cost factor with the arbitrage and an educated labor force mm-hmm. <affirmative>, they’re looking at places like that, which you wouldn’t have thought of in the past, but that might be, uh, an, a good way for, uh, an alternative for the manufacturer where we don’t get this challenge and bringing it home.

Scott Luton (17:09):

Yeah. Ar Ireland, uh, Greg going back, it’s so good stuff there, you know, uh, Ireland, uh, Greg as you were talking about, you know, where are some of all these things manufactured that was surprising list, uh, up near the top, uh, of the, um, of the drugs we get from the European Union? Uh, I think a couple of, as I was diving in deeper and trying to understand, cause man, there’s so much going on here when we talk about the pharmaceutical industry. But a couple of things, uh, I was reading a New York Times article about how, uh, domestic penicillin has really changed dramatically, especially since the eighties when the Chinese government invested heavily in, uh, penicillin fermenters. And it, it, it, it changed the whole market globally for penicillin producers and in their efforts kind of cornered that critical, uh, drug. Right? And then secondly, what I was reading from the World Health Organization, right? W h o there’s a lot of concern in China about how much they use antibiotics in mass and how that is developing a, uh, I forgot the phrase they use, and clearly I did not do organic chemistry, but it’s, it’s creating, uh, resistance in the bodies right. To them. And, and so the, the W H O is really trying to drive awareness and action on how we can address that. So, lots of moving pieces, but Greg, your response to what Dina was sharing, uh, with his insider information?

Greg White (18:31):

Well, uh, let me address a couple things. One, Ireland was large, was more about tax savings and profit shielding than, ah, than anything else, which is anything to do with intellectual property in Ireland. Um, many companies, including tech companies did that used to do this thing. They’ve now retooled it, it was called a double Irish Dutch sandwich, where you’d pass intellectual property between a bunch of companies in Ireland and the Netherlands and Bermuda to shield yourself from taxes in either the UK or the United States. I think anywhere, anywhere we can do this work besides China, because it’s China and because of India, outside of India, because they have some significant challenges with safety there. I mean, the workforce isn’t quite there and the infrastructure isn’t quite there to assure, you know, the type of safety that we require in the states is important. The other thing that is important to acknowledge here is this is a shifty industry.

Greg White (19:28):

Generics. It’s very, I mean, I, I’ve worked with pharmaceutical distributors and manufacturers, and this generic business is very shady. Hmm. So there’s not a lot of transparency. A lot of these companies, you know, don’t want to share. So that’s gonna be a hindrance. Now I think the big companies like Teva, um, which is an enormous company, you know, or enormous generic, I think they will or probably will be forced to provide some transparency, which is, is fair to say is whatever they can provide is likely universal throughout the industry. So that’s gonna be a critical aspect of resolving this. Um, but there, you know, there’s just a lot that’s unknown, frankly, even to the distributors and of course to the medical practitioners about the industry. And that’s gonna be a real struggle. Yeah. You’re almost gonna have to impose penalties for not revealing information in order to, to solve this problem. Mm-hmm.

Scott Luton (20:25):

Mm-hmm. Well, good stuff there, Greg and Dina, we’ll have to get your, uh, your source, uh, to give us more of what’s going on behind the scenes. Cause as to Greg’s point, man, it is, it, it’s, it’s like, uh, you know, peeling an onion, man. You pull one layer, you got another layer, another layer, another layer. Uh, so, um, your last thought here, Dino, on this, this topic of drug shortages, before we move on to another Brighton Cherry topic of supply chain cyber attacks. Your last thought, Dina?

Constantine Limberakis (20:52):

Yeah, I, I think, I think part of the way to solve the problem too is I was just reading something that was posted on the fda and they’re talking about this concept of advanced manufacturing and the, the concept of it being technologies that will improve the quality, address, the shortages, the speed to market, maybe using even AI to help put that together. And we’ll talk a little bit about AI later on. But again, some of these advanced techniques that will help the science get better and help develop things quicker and not rely, uh, because of that cost factor that we talked about before, which is the whole reason why we went to India and China in the first place that could help transform the way we manufacture drugs in this country. So innovation, I guess is the way, how do we change it? Innovation.

Scott Luton (21:38):

Well said. All right. Couple quick comments here. James. Uh, references a 2023 annual threat assessment, uh, about China controlling 40% of our, uh, a p i to produce medical drugs. James, uh, that’s a good piece. And if you got a link, we’d love to see it. It, it kind of depends on, uh, on how you categorize, you know, there’s a lot of bad numbers and bad data that folks are using for different reasons. But shoot us up. Shoot us that link. I’d love to dive into that. Uh, Josh says, Lithuania has a few labs that some big companies use. He didn’t see any reports of Turkey after the last earthquake. Uh, Jerry’s talking about, Hey, is Mexico or South America an option for low cost production?

Greg White (22:15):

I think the last thing we wanna do is introduce more motivation to fool around with drugs in South America or Mexico.

Scott Luton (22:26):

<laugh>. Right? Let’s do this, Greg and Dan and Dino, let’s shift gears over to supply chain cyber attacks. So this isn’t gonna surprise a lot of folks. I wanna pull out one nugget. This is a great read. Check it out. But from drug shortages, right? In cherry topic to a continued massive increase of cybersecurity issues across global supply chain. Great read here from Forbes, uh, and a couple nuggets here. So, according to some reports, documented supply chain cyber tax, were up over 600% in 2022. Of course, that rise has continued moving into 2023. Here we’re almost halfway through the years. Unbelievable. Now, some experts point to a change in approach by many bad actors and hackers as an increase in corporate security, which is good news, has the bad guys targeting software vendors and other system providers more often. And finally, as this article points out, the key part of any cyber risk strategy is to put emphasis and resources into building a comprehensive incident response program, which will help contain, uh, the cyber attacks and minimize damage. Cause it’s not a question when you get attacked, it’s, um, it’s how bad it is, uh, on one thought. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, Greg, Greg, your thoughts here. What, what we’re seeing in this continued environment of, uh, supply chain cyber risk, this

Greg White (23:42):

Is part of the downside of the awareness that has been shed on supply chain since the great toilet paper shortage of 2020, right? So, um, now these hackers know, oh, there might be a weak spot, right? So in 2013, right, they attacked the whatever the H V A C folks, right? Working on target stores. Now they’re, now they go, oh, well they have all these supply chain vendors and technology providers, right? In all honesty, a lot of these fledgling technology providers, they do play pretty fast and loose with cybersecurity. And now fortunately, a lot of companies have built regulatory compliance methodologies that force these companies to be, you know, to get SOC whatever and ISO this and all that other that, you know, so that it is yeah, safer anyway, encrypting files, you know, all of that kind of thing. Encryption points on both ends, et cetera.

Greg White (24:40):

So I think that will come around. But if you’re working with a relatively fledgling startup, there’s a lot of risk there. Mm, mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So part of the benefit though, is those are harder to find. I mean, it’s harder for a hacker to, to find them unless they target a company that is kind of a classic early adopter who may have more exposure there. Mm. But it is, to your point, Scott, it’s not whether you’ve been hacked in many cases, it’s when they’ll activate it. It’s not even whether you will be attacked. Many, many companies have had some sort of something planted in there, and now there’s a social engineering process underway, and then they’ll determine when they’ve got access to enough information and or capital to execute. Yep.

Scott Luton (25:25):

Well said Greg. Uh, Constantine, give us more good news. <laugh>.

Constantine Limberakis (25:29):

Well, good or bad. I guess connecting the dots on that. I think the whole thing about the offshoring and outsourcing of the, the drug development as a classic case in point of how mm-hmm. <affirmative>, what kinda integrity, you know, are, are, are high, uh, import, you know, our most strategic industries are like pharmaceutical, like aerospace and defense, where they can’t have these third parties, uh, that they’re working with, that in some cases might be a secondary, a tertiary supplier, right? And that’s part of the problem here is, is you’re dealing with multiple tiers of these supply chains and increasing complexity. And that’s what adds to this problem. To Greg’s point, I mean, that’s the classic one with the H V A C, but maybe that was a tier one. At what point, if, how, how deep do you go into the supply chain, right? There’s a hack that’s going on that we don’t even know about.

Constantine Limberakis (26:21):

And I think there’s a, a real good statistic here. It was, I think from ibm. Um, the average cost of a data breach in 2022 was 4.35 million. And they say that this year, the figure is expected to grow to 5 million. So just cause of the increased digitization. So as we go more digital, we increase our exposure mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and that creates these problems that unanticipated consequences of advancing innovation, right? And so I think the key here is, is the number of suppliers that you keep adding. And the other thing we’re seeing are the elements of how it vendor risk, supply chain risk, and even the E s G reputation risk. Now, here are you seeing this convergence of this around cyber, right? And we could talk about this on the Gartner, on the Gartner as aspect, but there’s some interesting aspects here of why this is so critical and how figured out

Scott Luton (27:17):

A lot to dive into. And yeah, I can’t wait to get your key takeaways from the Gartner event. Um, but, uh, Greg, excellent point. Uh, you and Dina appreciate the, you know, supply chain, global security, the curve balls keep coming. And, uh, Greg, as I think as you started in to say in your response, you know, technology’s a double double-edged sword, right? The good actors have the technology innovations and the breakthroughs, and unfortunately the bad actors do too

Greg White (27:45):

Well in that awareness, right? We’ve been begging in supply chain for to be recognized. Well, we’ve been recognized and there’s a lot that comes along with it. That’s right. Additional accountability and additional targeting. So we have to really step up and embrace good, better, much better business practice to yes, to protect the companies that we are serving.

Scott Luton (28:07):

Cyber hygiene. We gotta keep making.

Greg White (28:09):

Ooh, I like that

Scott Luton (28:10):

<laugh>. All right. You like that too, Dina? Huh? I

Scott Luton (28:14):

<laugh>, quick little blurb here. I want to, you know, we’re all about providing resources as we help our listeners and their organizations, you know, fight through this environment we’re in and make gains. So, hey, check us out on June 20th, 12 New Eastern Time. Now this is a webinar with our friends at, uh, Opti Logic and ch uh, Robinson. We’re gonna be talking about five reasons. Network design is essential to supply chain resiliency, or if you’d rather, uh, supply chain anti fragility, which is one of our terms we like around here. Now you guys sign up for this session. Uh, the link will be in the chat and we’d welcome y’all to join us for what should be, uh, a great conversation. All right. So Greg and Constantine, before we get into, uh, we got one more fun article on the apparel industry that I can’t wait, I can’t wait to get Greg Greg’s, uh, take on.

Scott Luton (29:04):

But Adino, you just got back from Orlando, Florida, I bet. Sunny and already early warm, uh, Orlando. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you’re down there. Attended the Gartner Supply Chain Symposium we referenced on the front end, uh, out amongst the people, the movers and shakers absorbing it all. And then Greg, as he shared, I I think he shared this in the Green Room prior, uh, on a pre show after the fact, he goes and downloads every single presentation that was available and distills it all down into this pure golden nugget of takeaways that he’s gonna be sharing with us. Greg, did I get that right? Did I get that right?

Greg White (29:40):

I think so. Okay. That, that’s what he’s telling us. <laugh>. And how will we ever know? Because I would never attempt such a thing,

Constantine Limberakis (29:46):

<laugh>,

Scott Luton (29:46):

Right? That is right. So Dino, I’d love to get, I think we’ve got three of your key takeaways from all the goodness down there at Gartner Supply Chain Symposium. Let’s start with number one. All

Constantine Limberakis (29:57):

Right. So, you know, I’ll, I would say just having attended before I jumped into that just really quick Sure. It was, I think they say they reached a record post Covid, just the number of people that were there. So it was absolutely, um, crazy and hearing the amount of people and all the conversations. But I think if I had to boil it down into three nuggets, the first one, so you guys remember the Bullwinkle cartoon,

Scott Luton (30:24):

Rocky and Bullwinkle,

Constantine Limberakis (30:25):

Right? And you had the same character. The SWA fair is everywhere. <laugh>, remember that guy? Oh,

Greg White (30:31):

Yeah.

Constantine Limberakis (30:32):

Was

Greg White (30:32):

That on Rocky and Bull?

Constantine Limberakis (30:34):

Yes, I think so. I’m pretty sure was Love that character. Well, there, so I’m gonna say AI is everywhere. Mm. That was it. Everyone was talking about machine learning, natural language processing, and of course the explosion of what we call generative ai, A k a chat, g p T. There was all these conversations around how we’re doing this. And it’s just something you couldn’t get away from. And from every level, at every level of, from the front end of supply chain, you know, the analytics, the sourcing, the automated sourcing to intelligence behind where you can distribute more easily to the supply chain risks and, and anticipating the disruption. So that was one of the key things that was just pervasive.

Scott Luton (31:20):

I wanna dive in really quick. Yes. Uh, Dino, so the first one is AI is everywhere. Yes. So, Greg, I’d love for you to weigh in. Cause I love when you talk about, and, uh, Dino, I bet you could see it real AI in some presentations and conversations and then like, it’s the thing to say in others. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, in other conversations, Greg, anything you wanna weigh in on the real artificial intelligence that you like talking about?

Greg White (31:45):

Yeah, so it, it’s less and less of somebody faking ai. The most of those companies stop getting funding, thankfully <laugh>. Um, but there’s also a much greater predominance of people using AI platforms and not developing their own science and those sorts of things. But really training like a, an Azure or an a w s or a Google AI platform for a particular problem, which is great. It’s just not very versatile. There are still companies out there and when investing, right? We differentiate dramatically between these companies. Mm-hmm. There are still companies out there with data scientists who are building their own AI generative models and their own generative techniques. And it, it’s a fine line, but there’s a real difference there. They are essentially some companies building their own platform instead of just training someone else’s models. Right. It’s like they’re creating their own kids to teach instead of mm-hmm.

Greg White (32:45):

<affirmative>, instead of training someone else’s kids to do it. <laugh>. That’s a very distinct difference in the industry because that company that has their own really unique methodology, even of using a, a well-established practice like generative ai, like you talked about, Dino, if they have their own platform rather than using someone else’s platform, obviously that has much greater value and there’s a lot more ease in building a moat around that. Hmm. So that will be conflated over the next few years. This notion of whether companies are actually building something or if they’re just training someone else’s model mm-hmm. <affirmative> as this becomes the next go-go thing that everybody piles onto, like they did control towers and visibility in, you know, in logistics, people will at first go O ai, that’s really cool. Invest, invest, invest. Right? Love, buy whatever. Uh, and then they’ll realize that some of that stuff is less robust and less agile Mm. And effective than others. Mm-hmm.

Scott Luton (33:45):

Good stuff there, Greg. Uh, alright. So going back to the supply chain emperor, uh, Constantine, <laugh>, Greg said, Mo, I had to, I had to bring that one back out. Uh, so as, as duly named by our friend, uh, Josh, sorry, Josh, our friend in Seattle. All right. So Constantine, the first one is AI is everywhere.

Constantine Limberakis (34:03):

AI is everywhere. Uh, and the, to connect to the dots to what Greg was talking about of what they were using, whether they were using somebody else’s library or they’re using their own developed ip, I think that’s a really fantastic point. Yeah.

Greg White (34:18):

But

Constantine Limberakis (34:18):

In order for you to make sense out of it and make sure that AI works, it’s all about the data and the data analytics. And then you say it’s all about the data stupid, because that’s what you need. You need that information for these algorithms to make sense. And I think one of the classic challenges that I’ve encountered is you go to every booth and you see all these providers there, you see the large ones. You’ve got the IBMs, you have the coupons, you had the large providers there, and then you’ve got the smaller booths. And it’s the classic challenge of a person in supply chain, whether they’re on the procurement side or the logistics or on the distribution side, or they’re in, they’re involved in sustainability somehow with fleet, whatever that problem is they’re trying to solve, there’s thise scope of solutions that’s out there that you have to make sense.

Constantine Limberakis (35:09):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and I don’t envy the practitioners that say, you got this much budget, you gotta go here and you’ve gotta figure out with what you’ve got. Because in the end, everybody’s footprint in this technologies that they’re using is gonna be a little different. And so how do you tune that to come up with the proper solution? So the takeaway there is that how do you leverage that data effectively, and what’s the means you’re gonna do it? Are you gonna use a best to breed solution to bring that all in? Yeah. Or are we gonna use a platform to do that and try to make sense out of it that way? Or use some combination of both? And I’m sure, Greg, you’ve got some insights here from the investor perspective, but that, that’s always gonna be the challenge and the rate, that pace of that innovation of how you’re gonna use that data and then makes sense out of it. Yeah.

Greg White (35:54):

There’s a couple things that I see. One is, do you need AI for that problem? I think a lot of people are leaping to ai, for instance, people are using AI for forecasting, but mostly what they’re doing is they’re using an AI technique to do best fit forecasting, which was done using statistical techniques up to that point. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> to me, the problem is not selecting the best technique. To me, the problem in forecasting is forecasting the wrong thing. Mm. Because most of what we forecast, for instance, in supply chain is really post casting. It’s looking at what happened before and going, some variation of that will likely happen next, right? So we’re gonna say to people, those 10,000 people that bought this thing last year, maybe you know them and they’re gonna influence you to buy it this year, but that’s not, that hardly ever happens, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I think we have to acknowledge that they’re definitely some advancements that we can make in supply chain that don’t require AI or that AI should be more effectively applied to, rather than some of these things where I think of this whole AI best fit forecasting thing as kind of a gimmick like chat g pt, a party trick, right? Mm-hmm. They’re much more valuable things to apply artificial intelligence to than those tasks. Yep.

Scott Luton (37:11):

If I add to that, uh, Greg, I, I’ll spend time this morning, I’m gonna be in Chicago doing a fireside chat with a supply chain executive and technologist that’s leading thousands and thousands of team members of a well-known retailer to get better and better. And as we were talking about some of the themes and some of their experiences, one of the things he spoke to Gray is exactly what you’re talking about. He’s like, I wanna slow folks down from jumping on to the latest and greatest technologies, and let’s talk about a, what is a quantifiable business challenge we’re trying to solve? And start there and then figure out what the approach is. And so anyway, if you have folks, if you’re in Chicago at Reuters, supply chain s usa, uh, we’ll be up there Thursday and hopefully you can, uh, take in some of the great sessions that we’re part of and, and Dino looking forward to breaking bread with you in person. All right. So I lost count here, uh, as all that part of one. Okay. We’re on, we’re all number two. Okay. Go right ahead.

Constantine Limberakis (38:06):

Now we’re on three, right? We

Scott Luton (38:07):

Now we’re on three <laugh>. Uh, it’s all about the data. So

Greg White (38:11):

Reiterate one and two for us. And when I say us, I mean mostly me. That’s

Constantine Limberakis (38:16):

Ok. We combine the one and it’s technologies you bring together and how is ai? The third is a theme that I know you guys have both talked about digital transformation. I remember talking about this topic when I was back at Hackett, you know, several years ago. And this is something that’s ongoing, right? And the aspect that I wanted to get get at here was that it’s the digital transformation continuing to invest and using it within the context of funding sustainability. So this technology going towards AI and data analytics, really focusing on boosting efficiency and profitability, which has always been there, but then also improving sustainability. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, and it’s the aspect of sustainability, which is really interesting, is it’s not just what we think of traditional sustainability of, um, you know, uh, where we wanna make sure that it’s viable in the environment and viable with in the E S G concept. Cause I by, by the way, did not hear much about the term SG when I was there. Mm-hmm. It’s much more also about viability a better way, but also making sure that you have product and that you are sustainable in the, in the sense of having that and making sure you can sustain your production and doing it within those things. So it’s the other usage of that term. We’re

Greg White (39:32):

Gonna almost have to create another term for that, because sustainability has basically been hijacked by esg. Correct. Whatever business sustainability is. Continuity, right? Maintainability, feasibility, whatever it is what you’re talking about, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah.

Constantine Limberakis (39:48):

Yeah. And, and, and you’re right. And so that is important to become sustainable into the future. So it’s that kind of bilateral usage of the term. But, you know, you look at some of the stats out there about the investment, I think this says the US and the EU according to Forbes, says that they’re currently spending 1.4 trillion on environmental sustainability and climate adaptation. So this is specifically to that part of it. And there’s also 17.5 billion in VC funding for green tech. So I don’t even wanna validate that, but you saw a lot of that there, and that was very interesting when you’re walking through and hearing those, those aspects of what providers are popping up because of those opportunities.

Scott Luton (40:30):

Mm. Uh, Greg, any additional thoughts there as we, as we wrap on that third one?

Greg White (40:35):

Yeah. Well, I think, uh, I think an important notion is that, uh, you know, due to politics and whatever other manipulation by the press and the politicians, there is this notion that E S G is costly to companies. And if we think about what most people think about when they’re discussing E S G, it’s mostly emissions, right? E means environmental, but it, it, but really the e stands for emissions these days. And if you’re reducing emissions, you’re also reducing cost. So I, I will contend until the day that I die that those are not mutually exclusive goals and that it’s okay to, and it makes sense to target both of those things. The efficiencies that Constantine you were talking about, that continue to remain in the forefront. And I think as the impact of the covid restrictions wear off in terms of their impacts on supply chain, we’ll start to backslide back to being a cost-based industry rather than a risk balancing industry, which I’ve advocated for a long time.

Greg White (41:36):

But I think you can accommodate all of those masters. You can assure good quality and reliability and speed and ethics, which is what I call the E S G aspect of it and cost. And again, you don’t have to be a slave to the, or you can have the freedom of the and and attack all of those things at once. Now, attacking all those things at once is very complex, which goes back to 0.2, which is why AI for the vast combinatorial analytics scenarios that we face in supply chain becomes a really valuable, uh, technique in terms of solving that problem. Mm-hmm.

Scott Luton (42:15):

<affirmative>, the freedom of the, and the freedom of the, and versus the tyranny of the or. Uh, and also, uh, as Dino said, number two quote, it’s all about the data. Stupid. Uh, I love that. Right. Um, alright, I gotta get caught up here on a couple comments. We got some, some dear friends that have rejoined us. Uh, first off, hey Jacob, I appreciate you joining us. Uh, hope to see on that webinar coming up soon, ever ready to attend this to unlock our blinding chains in Africa as well. Uh, Jacob, appreciate you being here. And then Mark, mark Gillum, Greg, you remember Mark Gillum? Yep. Uh, the rebate evangelist, uh, created, uh, quite a stir here with, uh, uh, perspective that resonated with lots members, a lot of members of our audience. Now, mark says, is there a risk we lose skills and become too dependent on others by trusting the AI black box? So any quick thoughts there, Greg or Dino? On Mark’s question,

Greg White (43:12):

I think AI is probably the best thing to capture the skills that we’re already losing anyway. Baby boomers are fleeing the workforce 10,000 a day. And as I feel like I repeat too frequently, you know, I know we have a different audience for every show, right? Right. 3.1 million extra baby boomers retired during 2021. And that is largely tribal knowledge, right? That is not documented knowledge. So I think the only saving grace for companies is to capture that knowledge, impart that knowledge into AI mechanisms, and utilize and adapt that knowledge to be used for the undertrained undereducated in this practice. I mean, incoming workforce, right? And use that as valuable information to both inform and augment their performance in the workplace. Hmm.

Scott Luton (44:03):

Dino, anything to add there?

Constantine Limberakis (44:04):

I would just say real quick, I always think we gotta leverage AI in the context of what is it meant to do. It’s meant to take simp tasks that are easily, be easily replicable and changeable and take the stuff that’s unique to the human form that we gotta keep investing in. And that’s where we need to go. And I think this fashion industry conversation we’re gonna bring up is part and parcel why it’s been very difficult to use AI in

Scott Luton (44:30):

Retail. Ah, it’s a great segue. <laugh> man, Constantine, you’re a natural. So with that, and I know we can’t get everybody’s comments. Jerry’s got a great question here. I’d love to get y’all’s take. Uh, there all of y’all in the cheap seats to Jerry, uh, Levy’s question there. Uh, enjoy. Hey, thanks for the feedback. I appreciate that. Great to have you here, uh, via LinkedIn. Yeah. Um, alright, so let’s get into the, the fourth and final topic here today. Look at this picture. So folks, some of y’all may be listening to us. Uh, I’ve got a big old fax machine <laugh> pulled up as we dive into this last topic here. So, uh, it’s all about the apparel industry powered, and y’all gotta check out this read from our forensic at supply chain dive, which I’ll just read that Top apparel suppliers out of Vogue as they resist tech investments.

Scott Luton (45:17):

That’s the, uh, title of this piece. So did you know Greg and Dino, the state of California once boasted some 9,000 apparel factories? Now that number is down to about 2000 according to this article. So to set the tone here, I mentioned the fax machine. This article starts off by talking about a fabric company that requests may, maybe not mandates, but it requests orders are sent in by fax machine. Evidently, uh, the apparel industry has been slow to embrace technology due to a variety of reasons, of course costs, but every industry in every sector has that, right? And there are some industry nuances in apparel such as apparel development, and I’m no expert here, but apparel development evidently has traditionally been a very manual process to come up with, you know, new clothes and whatnot. But my question to both of y’all, Greg and Dino, is this one, can every industry, every sector, uh, offer all sorts of excuses for not embracing technology? Greg, let’s start with you.

Greg White (46:16):

They can just not as artistically and convincingly as the apparel industry. Um, I mean, you know, it it is art. There is art in, in designing clothes, for instance, right? And it is typically done if not on paper, on some other medium wherein, you know, you, you draw it, you mark it up, you scratch it out and you draw something else. <laugh>. But is there an excuse for that? I mean, I mean, I didn’t even know fax machines still existed except at banks, American banks, <laugh>, um, which is about the only place they do still exist. But I’m stunned frankly by this because there are so many mediums remarkable. Has anyone ever heard of a remarkable, it’s a notepad that’s just like writing on paper. You can draw, do art on it, all sorts of things. There are electronic, you know, if you, if you have to do it standing up, there are entire boards where you can draw in similar fashion.

Greg White (47:12):

I mean, if that’s the reason that we’re holding back, I can’t validate that as this as a sound reason, but I have a feeling it’s not just that, it’s just that, I mean, <laugh> we all, sorry, I’m sorry, I’m, I really struggle with this particular aspect of it. We have offloaded the work from hardworking, legitimate businesses to sweatshops in third world shitholes around the world where people are basically driven into slave labor. And of course people who do that kind of business aren’t going to invest in technology because as we talked about earlier, technology opens you up to observation and transparency. So there’s a lot of intent in the industry because of that. Yep. So I think we, you know, we have to acknowledge that, and Constantine, to your earlier point on, you know, on several fronts, we have to balance the cost, the efficiency, and the fairness of business in, in these transactions and discussions and processes. And, um, and I’ll argue till the day is done that even design is part of the supply chain because it’s, it is the butterfly wing flap that starts everything else in motion for the supply chain. Mm-hmm.

Scott Luton (48:34):

Alright, so Dino, I’d love to get your take here on, uh, whether the

Greg White (48:41):

Out loud. I did, didn’t I? <laugh>,

Constantine Limberakis (48:46):

Couple things. You’re keeping it

Scott Luton (48:47):

Real. Go ahead, Dina.

Constantine Limberakis (48:48):

Couple things. One, when I saw the fax machine, I was, I was still shocked. I was like, yeah, I’m like, I don’t, I don’t know, I just can’t comprehend. I was really surprised just doing some research on the fact that there still is manufacturing in the LA area, this concentration and I’m wondering on this, yeah,

Greg White (49:09):

That many thousand is a lot still, isn’t it?

Constantine Limberakis (49:12):

It’s still a lot, right? And you’re wondering, is there a factor there? Is there a whole other question around immigration there? And that kind of, that’s a whole other show, right? And so that’s a dynamic there that I think needs to be considered in terms of what the reticence is to move. But then there was a law that was passed that basically noted that, uh, in California recently that stated that, um, here it was passed in January 22, it said it’s illegal for garment workers to be paid peace rates. So they can’t be paid based on the pieces that they do, but they now have to be paid hourly. So even with all that reporting and compliance going on in California, they’re always cutting the edge with regulations as we know. Mm.

Constantine Limberakis (49:53):

That even there then what is that? Is that preventing, is that increased cost preventing them from investing in the technology cause of that? I, I dunno, we’d have to talk. And I think the third piece that I’d like to bring up is from a manufacturing standpoint, my understanding is part of the reason why it’s so difficult is that there’s a malleability when it comes to the design. So if you’re dealing with like rigid structures like steel and plastic 3D printing, that’s easy to replicate and manufacture and hard code and replicate. But when you’re dealing with the clothing and the layering and it’s that fabric, I, I guess the machines aren’t as sensitive to that. I dunno, maybe there’s an aspect there that makes fashion different, but that’s my understanding of why maybe they have been more reticent to adopt more automation as part of this process because things have to be fixed and stitched differently and differently. So it takes that human, I guess, cognitive ability to understand that it’s wrong. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and at what point can that change? So maybe those are my three takeaways from reading this article.

Scott Luton (50:56):

Hey Greg, before you respond, I gotta share Joey’s comment here. Uh, Joey says, I hate the age myself, but fax machines were a breaking age, uh, technical age development about halfway through my 40 year career. Joey, thanks for sharing. Um, alright. So Greg, I know you wanted to respond maybe to what the three things that Dino just laid out there.

Greg White (51:15):

Well, first of all, Dino, that’s very diplomatic and um, <laugh>, and I appreciate your presumption of noble intent, but how costly is it to replace a fax machine with the phone on your camera and an email, for instance? Mm. I mean, that’s not that much more sophisticated, but it’s not a fax machine, it’s digital, it’s can be made manipulable, all of those sorts of things. I, I can’t help but feel there is something else at play here. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Now all, all of your points around the types of fabrics and that sort of thing are legitimate, but that’s not really what you communicate, for instance, over a fax machine or with spreadsheets. Right. And to your point earlier, spreadsheets are not digital transformation <laugh>. Right? Spreadsheets are digital manual processes is all they are. I, I’d say digital might even be stretching it because there’s not, you know, there’s all all kinds of missing elements to using a spreadsheet. But I am stunned, honestly, I am absolutely baffled. I can’t find a single good reason why these suppliers are holding back unless there is some intent to obfuscate there, or at least remain semi-anonymous. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, right? They’re off the grid. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So.

Scott Luton (52:38):

All right, Greg and Dino, we’ve had a wide ranging episode, the supply chain buzz here today. Gloria Marr, thanks for being with us. Uh, hey, uh, she says another great discussion. Too bad I have to catch a meeting. Have a good day everybody.

Greg White (52:49):

Don’t be late and thanks Laura Mar. That’s

Scott Luton (52:51):

Right. Life at work continues. You know, Greg and Dino, uh, I’d love to get first off, uh, Dean, let’s make sure folks, they’re gonna be able to catch you here. We got some upcoming, uh, shows together, some collaborations and whatnot. Let’s make sure folks know how to connect with you. Um, after today’s show, I’m assuming is LinkedIn a great place? Yeah,

Constantine Limberakis (53:08):

LinkedIn is always great. Fantastic way to reach out to me.

Scott Luton (53:12):

Wonderful, wonderful. Well, I really appreciate all that you brought here today, Greg. What’s your final before, uh, I wanna call something out from our webinar? Great webinar we had, which is now on demand. So Amanda and Catherine, thanks for all you do. If we can have that embarrassing webinar link at the ready, so we can drop that in the chat in just a minute, I would really appreciate it. Greg, great chat here with Dino here today. What’s one of your favorite things? One of the things that, whether he said it or someone in the cheap seat said it, or maybe something you said you wanna spike the football on it folks got to pay attention to and take from this conversation. Your final

Greg White (53:45):

Thought? Uh, just that you said it, Dino, just that you are here <laugh> to say it. I mean, I, I I think I really like how this kind of rounds us out, right? And by the way, you were doing the research right there on the show, weren’t you? That’s when you were kinda looking that way. You were actually doing a little research. I like that.

Constantine Limberakis (54:03):

I’m all, and I say

Greg White (54:05):

You never stop researching. And I think that aspect of this really, I, I think that will help provide additional insights to, to our audience here. Plus I just love how informed you are. It, it’s really rare to have someone who is so ingrained in the practice who already calls the practitioner’s. Practitioners love that and has the kind of knowledge that you can share. Brilliant takeaways here. So sorry to, you know, like drown you in praise, but I really, I really love the third perspective here and I think it gives us a, an additional dimension. I’d be curious to hear what our viewers think, but yeah, I think there’s a lot going on in the industry. We didn’t talk about a lot of great things here, right. But I think when you talk about these topics like we did today, we try to offer here’s why it is the way it is and here’s what needs to change. So even when we’re talking about something that two or three downers like we had today, we’re always trying to explore how to change this. We’re not just reporting news here, right? Right. This is, this is an opinion and an education show and you’re gonna get opinion. And if you watched this before, you know that and you’re gonna get an education And if you keep watching, you always will.

Scott Luton (55:19):

Yeah. So I wanna wrap on a more uplifting, positive moment from our recent webinar with, uh, vers and Greg, you and I both were on this session. And, uh, Dino, you’re gonna have to check out the On Demand and On Demand is, is readily available. We’ve dropped a link, uh, there in chat. Y’all check it out. But at, at near the end of that conversation, Greg, we had Eric Wilk, who is c e o at Worth Industry for the M R o, safety and Metalwork division. Right? Right. Of course, Paul Noble and Jim Bron, uh, was with us as Wealth Embarrassing, but Eric very eloquently put something out there that I was inspired by. And what he was talking about is, your team is under all this pressure and stress as they’re trying to navigate this environment, just like there’s a ton of pressure and stress on, on leadership, right?

Scott Luton (56:01):

And he challenged leaders to, hey, show and communicate to them what that Pathway to Excellence looks like. Cause with that clarity and knowing that there’s a better day right around the corner, it’s gonna help them get through the tougher hours and the tougher days. And that’s really, I took that as a responsibility that we have to act on, right? So, hey, to Greg’s point to what we’ve been talking about this whole time, Hey, take the information, the expertise, the education presented here, but then you gotta do something with it, right? You gotta do something with it. Deeds not words. Communicate and show your team what that path would excellence looks like. It’ll make their days better. And with all of that said, Greg and Dino, Catherine, and Amanda, and all the folks that were in the chat, hey, thanks for being here. Thanks for all that you do. But Scott Luton challenging you to do good, to give forward and to be the change. And we’ll see you next time, right back here at Supply Chain now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (56:56):

Thanks for being a part of our supply chain Now, community. Check out all of our programming@supplychainnow.com and make sure you subscribe to Supply Chain now, anywhere you listen to podcasts. And follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on Supply Chain. Now.

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Featured Guests

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

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Scott W. Luton

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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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Mary Kate Love

VP, Marketing

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

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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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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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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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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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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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Constantine Limberakis

Host

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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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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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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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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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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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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Greg White

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

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

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

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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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