Supply Chain Now
Episode 1090

Even with the most sophisticated AI and ML, tribal knowledge still has a role to play, but we have lost it or are losing it. It's not only the reduction in manpower that we’re feeling, but also reductions in productivity and less accurate decision-making.

-Mark Holmes, Senior Advisor of Supply Chain, InterSystems

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 Mark Holmes, InterSystems’ Senior Advisor of Supply Chain. His 25+ years of experience in consulting, manufacturing operations, and software development allow him to help manufacturers, retailers, and CPG companies solve their most difficult supply chain issues by breaking down data silos and leveraging modern technologies.

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

• The ongoing challenge of finding a global workforce that can realistically serve as an alternative to China, given their questionable record on human rights

• The complexity of the global energy supply chain, especially with regards to liquefied natural gas (LNG) and Russia’s continued aggression against Ukraine

• Shortages and disruptions impacting the food supply chain and how they are humanizing the upside associated with investments in agility and digital transformation

• Why companies need to become increasingly sophisticated in their approach to inventory management while also guarding the customer experience

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:00:03):

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

Scott Luton (00:00:31):

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

Greg White (00:00:40):

Quite well. Thank you, Scott. I am out here in the field of supply chain.

Scott Luton (00:00:46):

You haven’t been on assignment a good bit here lately. So, it’s good to have you back in the saddle down there in beautiful Coastal South Carolina. And we’ve got a jammed up show here today, Greg. You ready to go?

Greg White (00:00:59):

Yes. I came back for one-and-one-half days to the lovely Atlanta area for two reasons. One, to see my daughter and my granddaughter on her first birthday, which was Saturday, which was fun. I got to see the in-laws and a bunch of my daughter’s friends that I hadn’t seen for a long time. I watched her smash her face into the cake and all that, and smeared all over her dad, which was hilarious. We got it on video. But that’s just internal. We’ll watch it later.

Greg White (00:01:30):

And then, had the greatest wings in the history of Earth, Billy’s Chef at Old Town. So, I had forgotten how much I loved these things. As much as they try hard here in the low country of South Carolina, good wings are not a specialty. Seafood is great. But Old Town, the owner happens to be my next door neighbor, he invented this flavor of wings that is lemon pepper, ranch dressing, and hot sauce all together and it is spectacular. It’s the best flavor of wings ever. And they only use the number one jumbos, which are the big meaty ones, even now.

Scott Luton (00:02:13):

Sold. Sold. So, I look forward to joining you next time you’re here in the Atlanta area for some wings at Old Town.

Greg White (00:02:22):

All right. I’m going to mark that down.

Scott Luton (00:02:24):

Write that down. But, hey, speaking of big things to savor and enjoy, we’ve got a jammed up edition of The Supply Chain Buzz here today, where, Greg, as always, we walk through some of the leading stories and developments across, really, global business. And today, Greg, back by popular demand, we’ve got Mark Holmes with InterSystems joining us around 12:25 p.m. So, Greg, it should be a great show, right?

Greg White (00:02:49):

Well, it better be or we’re going to be in big trouble with the boss.

Scott Luton (00:02:52):

That’s right. That is right. But, folks, we also want to hear from you. We want to get your take on some of these things we’re talking through throughout the hour. Speaking of, let’s go ahead and say hello to a few folks. Josh Goodey is back with us. “Good morning,” he says, “from a very happy Arsenal fan. Three degrees Celsius in an oddly sunny Seattle.” Greg, he’s an Arsenal fan. You’re a Hotspur fan.

Greg White (00:03:21):

So, we can’t talk. Josh and I can’t talk about soccer or football, right? The North London Derby, one of the, I think, appropriately most violent derbies in the Premier League.

Scott Luton (00:03:36):

Okay. Well, we’ll leave soccer alone, football as it is, and —

Greg White (00:03:41):

Unless we’re talking about Ted Lasso, Scott, which is coming out soon. The third season is coming out soon.

Scott Luton (00:03:48):

All right. We’ll get to that.

Greg White (00:03:48):

And West Ham and AFC Richmond are going to have a derby, I can tell, because of the way they ended last season.

Scott Luton (00:03:56):

Love it. Love it. More at 11:00. Okay. Josh also touches on – and we’re going to touch on this later, Josh – Apple phone manufacturing opening more and more plants in India. Jonathan’s back with us, The Pride of Louisiana. Great to see you, Jonathan. Of course, Amanda and Chantel and Katherine and Clay, all behind the scenes making production happen. Appreciate that. Seham is back with us. “Go Charleston, South Carolina,” she says. I wonder if she’s got some roots there, Greg.

Greg White (00:04:27):

I don’t know. But the weather in Charleston is beautiful.

Scott Luton (00:04:31):

Yes, it is.

Greg White (00:04:32):

As is the weather down here. Unlike our poor guest who I won’t tip our hand there or anyone from pretty much north of the Mason-Dixon Line in the U.S., the weather has been crazy.

Scott Luton (00:04:46):

Allen, hey, great to see you. Allen, looking forward to our upcoming webinar with you and the panel. I know we’re not going to hit everybody. Tirso, it’s great to see you as well. “Hello again from the Land of the Eternal Spring in Guatemala,” Tirso says. Greg, that paints a pretty picture.

Greg White (00:05:06):

Yeah. All of those countries along that area in Central America, beautiful. More and more humid the farther you go south, but still beautiful.

Scott Luton (00:05:16):

Agreed. All right. Guy – great to have you here via LinkedIn – “Let’s get the party started.” Well, with that said, let’s get the party started, for sure. But where I want to start with, Greg, a couple resources for folks out there. I want to start with, of course, the Q4 2022 U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index that was released a few weeks back focusing on shipment and spend volumes, lots and lots of learnings from across industry. So, to get your own copy of that, you go to freight.usbank.com. Greg, each quarter comes out chock full of content, right?

Greg White (00:05:56):

Yeah. And as valuable as the content is itself, maybe we can drop the link to the episode in there where we break it down and do so, not only with the folks from U.S. Bank, but also someone who’s using it and the practical purpose for which they’re using this. And this last episode with Enrique Alvarez from Vector Global Logistics was particularly good, not just because I’m an E fan, but we changed the format a little bit, and we started talking more about how folks are using it and what it’s seeing and the decisions that it’s helping them make in their business, which is the whole purpose of the darn thing.

Scott Luton (00:06:38):

That is right. That is right. So, folks, check that out. We’ve got a link to the chat and the comments free to download and let us know what you think. And Amanda dropped the episode, Greg.

Greg White (00:06:48):

Thank you.

Scott Luton (00:06:49):

So, thank you very much for that. Speaking of, Katherine says, “Not to brag, but it’s been beautiful in the Blue Ridge Mountains the past few days.” I bet it has.

Greg White (00:06:57):

You know, I meant to ask her that before we went on the air. So, I’m still making evaluations for where to spend the heat of summer in. It’s either here or Atlanta. Which is, Atlanta is pretty much South Carolina without an ocean next to it. The relief. Or maybe in the mountains somewhere, which would be kind of fun. I’ve not ever done that sort of thing. It’s funny, Scott, when everyone else was working remote, remote was still working for us. We didn’t get to go to the mountains because we had to have, like, gig speed internet to be able to do this.

Scott Luton (00:07:38):

So true.

Greg White (00:07:39):

Now, occasionally we can get out a bit.

Scott Luton (00:07:43):

Agreed. Agreed. And it is fantastic. Hey, speaking of fantastic, I gotten a lot of feedback around With That Said, which is our almost weekly LinkedIn newsletter, this past weekend. Of course, it’s National Women’s History Month. We celebrate that, really, year round, but I like the target, the element that March offers. But we put together a truckload full of resources related to National Women’s History Month in our latest edition of With That Said, which, Greg, we’re approaching 21,000 subscribers. How about that, Greg?

Greg White (00:08:20):

That’s very impressive. That thing hasn’t been out that long. But I did hear you say somewhat weekly. Are you saying that you may have missed a week?

Scott Luton (00:08:30):

Key West may have had something to do with that, I’m not sure.

Greg White (00:08:33):

You know what? Key West is both an inspiration for writing and an excuse for not writing. I mean, one of the greatest writers of all time, Ernest Hemingway, wasted a lot of days in Key West not writing.

Scott Luton (00:08:48):

Greg, you don’t miss a thing as always. But, folks check out With That Said and let us know what you think there as we continue to celebrate National Women’s History Month throughout. And speaking of incredible women throughout history, hey, mom. Leah Luton tuned in from Aiken, South Carolina. Thank you for that. “Hey, Scott and Greg. Those two cuties right there.” Just to be clear, she is referring to her —

Greg White (00:09:10):

To her granddaughters.

Scott Luton (00:09:11):

Right. Gracie and Brantley right here.

Greg White (00:09:15):

She’s not biased at all. Thanks, mom.

Scott Luton (00:09:18):

And then, lastly, we’ve got a big event coming up March 21st. We’re going to be focused on Five Tips For Creating Effective Digital Content. Everybody, folks, is in the content creation business these days, right? So, join me and Greg and our friends, Ursula Ringham with SAP and Brandi Boatner with IBM as we dive into what will be a very intriguing conversation on March 21st at 12:00 noon Eastern Time.

Scott Luton (00:09:44):

Okay. Gregory, a lot to get to today. We’ve got a great guest in Mark Holmes back by demand. You and I both have enjoyed his appearances with us throughout – you name it – podcasts, livestreams, even webinars here at Supply Chain Now. So, get ready for that. Hey, John. “Thanks for clarifying who the cuties are.” Hey, we try. We try to communicate with clarity.

Greg White (00:10:06):

Think he’s saying he knew. I don’t know. I mean, I think we’re pretty cute, Scott.

Scott Luton (00:10:12):

Oh, okay. I’ll let that one go. All right. So, for starters, though, Greg, I want to walk through a couple different headlines and elements that are out there, and then we’re going to hit one of your popular supply chain summaries all before we welcome in Mark Holmes here in about 15 minutes. So, you’re ready to get started?

Greg White (00:10:28):

Yes.

Scott Luton (00:10:29):

Okay. Let’s do it. So, I want to start with this. So, stop me, Greg. If you’ve heard this before —

Greg White (00:10:36):

Stop.

Scott Luton (00:10:38):

Right. Everybody has. Companies continue to look for ways to move production out of China for a variety of reasons, of course, to include economic and political reasons, geopolitical reasons, perhaps. I want to share a couple items from this great read from The Economist. Y’all got to check this out. So, Chinese’s Labor, which was one of the magnets there for decades now, big reason companies invested into the country for decades. Well, from 2013 to 2022, Greg, Chinese manufacturing wages have more than doubled. That alone has caused companies to reduce their footprint. For example, Samsung, everybody’s heard of that. Samsung reduced its Chinese workforce by more than two-thirds since 2013.

Scott Luton (00:11:17):

Now, where are they headed? And we’ve talked about this a lot, Greg, in over the last three or four years, whatever. More and more, you might hear this term, Altasia. I’m not a big fan of it. That’s just the latest. There’s been all kinds of terms over the last couple years. But Altasia, which really refers to this crescent of more than a dozen countries that collectively offer a working age population of 1.4 billion, which is more than China’s current 950 million in terms of folks eligible to work. Many of the countries in this Altasia crescent have signed on to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, RCEP, making trade more frictionless. And a couple things to look for – and Josh mentioned this on the frontend – this is an example of things that come, India, in 2022, they produced about one of every 20 iPhones. Now by 2025, the country should be producing as much as one in every four. Man, how about that? So, Greg, quick commentary here. You know, we can expect more and more of this. We’ve been talking about it for years. Your quick comments here, Greg.

Greg White (00:12:28):

It doesn’t matter. Did you want me to go beyond that?

Scott Luton (00:12:32):

Sure.

Greg White (00:12:32):

It doesn’t matter unless India becomes a place where we can do more production, because the accumulation of literally every country in Southeastern Asia, aside from China and Africa, is not enough to overcome the amount of workforce that is available in China. And so that everybody knows, doubling of the pay rate basically means it went from $8,500 a year for a Chinese worker to about $17,000 a year. Which means that only those countries and sort of the third world are even a candidate to replace this labor, or automation. So, we are stuck with China for a good long while because it’s a long way to having the infrastructure in India to be able to do that. And that’s the only plausible nation on the face of the entire planet to even take up a significant fraction of the labor or to produce a significant fraction of the labor that China does. And their problem with slavery is exponentially greater than the problem with slavery in China. A lot of things overcome there.

Scott Luton (00:13:54):

Excellent comments there. That’s right. And most folks don’t know that China was the globe’s biggest automation market in 2022.

Greg White (00:14:04):

Yeah. Good point.

Scott Luton (00:14:05):

And if I read something really quickly earlier today, coal power – a lot of folks have a lot of different takes on coal power – the Chinese government was approving new, new coal power plants, as many as two per week last year. So, those are some constraints that other markets won’t have when it comes to energy and cheaper energy. So, Greg, excellent commentary. I appreciate that.

Scott Luton (00:14:29):

For the second time, talking of energy, I want to move in a second article really quick. Now, this comes to us from our friends at The Wall Street Journal. So, we’re going to shift from Asia to Europe. Not long after Russian forces invaded Ukraine over a year ago now – it’s tough to believe that – Russia largely cut off its flow of gas exports to Europe triggering quite a crisis that some say is unprecedented. As this WSJ article reports here, the U.S.’s Liquefied Natural Gas industry, LNG, is where much of Europe has turned to as exports of U.S. LNG has more than doubled from 2021 to 2022. But as with much of our world, Greg, as I would argue, the supply chain behind the LNG industry is more than intriguing, more than fascinating.

Scott Luton (00:15:23):

Check out this line from this Wall Street Journal article, “But before an American molecule of gas can be burned by a power plant in Italy, used to cook in Spain or produce fertilizer in Germany, it has to be pumped out of the ground, treated, piped, chilled, loaded onto a ship, sailed, and then converted into gas again.” The U.S. gas industry’s liquification – say that three times fast – capacity stands at about 13 billion cubic feet of gas a day. New facilities being built should raise that to some 23 billion cubic feet, just almost doubling of gas a day by 2030.

Scott Luton (00:16:04):

And one little local note, Greg. I wasn’t aware of this. Elba Island down at the Savannah area – we all know that Port Savannah and all they’ve grown – Elba Island in particular plays a big part in the LNG industry. So, Greg, your quick thoughts there?

Greg White (00:16:18):

Wow. I mean, the issues and opportunities with this are far ranging. Unfortunately, the U.S. natural gas companies and infrastructure have been discouraged from investing because most of the natural gas companies are also other fossil fuels, like oil, and there’s a lot of discouragement in terms of that. Higher prices will help, but those higher prices will also be reflected in the States, because as we ship more of that offshore, that there’s less oil here for us to use in the States. And the refining process is substantial. So, it’s going to be a really interesting shift. And, honestly, I think it’s an interim solution until someone finally destroys the rogue government in Russia and puts more – what do I want to say? – more of a – well, I don’t know – fair minded —

Scott Luton (00:17:26):

Human.

Greg White (00:17:26):

… yeah. Human would be good. That’s good, Scott. — leader in place, then this will continue to be the case. Look, if there’s anything that America’s deterring on this invasion of Ukraine has done is embolden Russia and China to use not only natural resources, but also supply chains as a weapon to cripple the rest of the world. And we’ve seen the impact that it’s had on the States, in Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, elsewhere. And until we show them that we’re not going to allow them to do it and there’s really only one way to do that, unfortunately, they’re going to continue to do it.

Greg White (00:18:13):

And in fact – to your point, Scott, just briefly back to the previous story which is automation versus labor – remember that China controls 95 percent of materials and core products that are required for automation and many, many technologies, like laptops and phones and that sort of thing. So, the world runs through China right now. And China is using Russia as a proxy to see how the rest of the world, and particularly the U.S., will respond to their inevitable and soon occurring invasion and reclaiming of Taiwan. So, we have to do something. Our deterring on this is a big, big problem today and will be a bigger problem 25 years from now.

Scott Luton (00:19:09):

Thank you, Greg. And, Seham, yes, Greg keeps it real, always keeps it real. I share that sentiment with you. And, folks, give us your take. Amanda is dropping the link to these articles there in the chat. Let us know what you think. Really quick, before we move into one of Greg’s popular supply chain commentaries or TikTok edition maybe of his supply chain commentary, I want to share – I think you’re dancing there, Greg – there’s a way you can help though. Putting all of Greg’s analysis and the story and a lot of the bad stuff that’s taking place, there’s a way you can help.

Scott Luton (00:19:47):

So, we’ve been supporting this Leveraging Logistics for Ukraine initiative for, well, about a year now, led by Vector Global Logistics. Over 670,000 pounds of humanitarian aid have made it to folks in need in Ukraine and Poland and elsewhere, but it’s driven by these monthly planning sessions. The next one is tomorrow, March 7th at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time. You don’t have to give. You don’t have to talk. You can just show up and kind of get a sense of what goes on. But we’d welcome you. We’ve dropped the link to joining us in that planning session in the chat, and we hope you do just that.

Scott Luton (00:20:23):

Okay. Greg, before we turn over to you, I’m looking forward to hearing your take on, not just Amazon, but a lot of stuff going on in the warehousing industry, I want to say a quick hello. Jose, great to see you. Love your good work, Supply Chain Logistics Over Coffee. And Gino is back with us. Gino, great to see you here today from Northern Alabama. We’re overdue for a catch up.

Scott Luton (00:20:46):

Okay. Greg, we got a couple minutes here before Mark Holmes joins us, with InterSystems, and looking forward to our chat there. But you, the hits keep on coming. The hit machine, Greg White, your supply chain commentaries that come out every Monday, Wednesday, Friday on LinkedIn have been fueling quite a ton of discussion. I picked one of your last ones from – I think it was last week as you were talking about what is going on related to Amazon, some of the good news and bad news there, and how maybe they’re just like the poster child for what the rest of industry is dealing with. Tell us more.

Greg White (00:21:20):

Yeah. Well, what happened is they closed and have delayed a number of facilities, hundreds of them, frankly, and it’s an indicator of, I think, where warehouse real estate is going. We got really excited when everybody got online and started buying more and more online, and started throwing up facilities everywhere, and converting facilities and that sort of thing. Of course, Amazon has always had a very aggressive process of adding infrastructure to their supply chain since they were failed by the usual suspects in 2014, and again in 2017. They have been trying to build their own logistics network so that they are not dependent on UPS and FedEx and even the postal service.

Greg White (00:22:17):

So, like so many things with Amazon, this is kind a hit piece on Amazon. I think people hate Amazon just because they are Amazon. But in truth, it is indicative of where the space is going. And it kind of dovetails into an article I did the week before where we were talking about Missouri and the Kansas City area in particular, where the slowdown is precipitous in that area. And Kansas City, for instance, was growing facilities even before COVID because it’s in the dead center of the country, and a great place to make sure you have one or two day delivery to a lot of places around the flyover states. So, a lot of this is to be expected.

Greg White (00:23:15):

But I’ll tell you, it is a tale of caution for real estate developers and other companies out there that are continuing to build. Like anything, we’ve seen it. So many of us have seen it before with housing. We’ve even seen it with commercial real estate. Commercial real estate kind of reached a peak office space right before COVID and has yet even remotely approached coming back from where it was. So, I’m a forewarned as forearmed guy, Scott, and I just wanted to kind of get that message out there. But at the same time, I think it’s important to think about the fact that even though Amazon has delayed a ton of facilities, they still are building some in areas where they already had plans to do so to fulfill the need they already knew was coming even pre-COVID. And Amazon has been planning for this for a long, long time, and they have been building rapidly a couple hundred facilities a year for six, eight, ten years now.

Greg White (00:24:14):

So, it’s not that it’s going backwards, but it is such that the growth is condensing. And there are some areas – I would argue that Kansas City is one – where we’re overbuilt and where excessive enthusiasm – I never get that right. That’s the Paul Volker saying or was it Bernekey – anyway, where enthusiasm has outstripped fact as markets have opened up and consumers have gotten to go back to in-person retail, which they’re doing pretty dramatically.

Scott Luton (00:24:58):

Agreed. Well, folks, that’s the Reader’s Digest version. Y’all got to check out Greg’s supply chain commentary in its full version. And comment, we got the link that’ll take you back to where he publishes those on LinkedIn. We’re going to be publishing those elsewhere, coming to a town or city near you soon.

Greg White (00:25:19):

Coming to a blog near you. That’s right. And today, actually, we started talking about inflation. So, the post from today was about inflation. So, if you get a chance, take a look at that too. Remember, consumers, you are the beginning and the end of the supply chain. And the growth of inflation or even the impact or the potential shift to deflation is all in your wallet.

Scott Luton (00:25:43):

That’s right. Well said, Greg. Okay. So, man, we have made a lot of progress just in 26 minutes time. And, hey, one of my favorite parts is yet to come. So, with that said —

Greg White (00:25:58):

That wasn’t your favorite part? I’m just kidding.

Scott Luton (00:26:00):

I get to rub elbows with brilliance in Greg just about every day.

Greg White (00:26:07):

It gets boring doesn’t it.

Scott Luton (00:26:07):

So, today, we get to bring in a great friend and collaborator. Folks, you’re going to enjoy learning from the one and only Mark Holmes, Senior Advisor for Global Supply Chain with InterSystems. Hey. Hey. Mark, how are you doing?

Mark Holmes (00:26:25):

Very good, gentlemen. How are you doing?

Scott Luton (00:26:27):

We are doing wonderful, wonderful. Greg’s raring to go, if you can’t tell already. We’ve had a very productive half-hour thus far. And now we get to add you into the mix. So, Mark, we’re really tickled here, aren’t we, Greg?

Greg White (00:26:40):

Tickled. Yes. Yes. Don’t you feel like you’re talking to your grandfather, Mark?

Mark Holmes (00:26:47):

Yeah. I tell you the best part was the wings sauce that you talked about. It was just outstanding.

Greg White (00:26:56):

It is the greatest flavor of all time. It really is.

Scott Luton (00:26:59):

Well, it’s funny, Greg and Mark – Mark, you picked up on that – because we like to start with a little fun warmup question with our guests here, and it’s going to be related to food. So, Mark and Greg, as if right on cue, today’s a special holiday here. We’re going to have a parade here with the Supply Chain Now family, because on March 6th, this day, back in 1912, National Biscuit Company, which was later known as Nabisco, well, they introduced the Oreo. So, Mark, I want to start with you, and I’m going to ask Greg the same. Mark, what’s your favorite Oreo flavor? Because now you’ve got your pick of a dozen or more flavors. And are you a dunker? Do you eat your Oreos with milk? Mark?

Mark Holmes (00:27:39):

Well, I’m going to be a little bit boring, so I’m traditional. I like the traditional Oreo. And I don’t like dunking.

Scott Luton (00:27:51):

Oh, man. Okay. So, Greg, those might be fighting words.

Greg White (00:27:55):

Whoa. That was a shocker. Okay.

Scott Luton (00:27:58):

So, Greg, your thoughts?

Greg White (00:27:59):

Well, I mean, I guess I have been sheltered my whole life because I thought dunking was the traditional way of doing it. But I, too, am a purist. I only like regular Oreos. No Double Stuf. No thin. Although thin, I can do. Double Stuf is too much stuff. I’m a traditionalist, but I like dunking. I actually have to dunk them. And, actually, it’s funny, Mark, I guess we didn’t talk about this off screen because my next question was going to be, what kind of milk do you dunk them in. One, two, [inaudible] whole milk. But I use two percent milk almost solely for dunking Oreos.

Scott Luton (00:28:44):

Mark, you’re about to add something.

Mark Holmes (00:28:45):

I was just going to say, at least there’s something common there, two percent milk.

Greg White (00:28:48):

Okay. Good. Good. Scott, you got to tell us.

Scott Luton (00:28:51):

I will. I’ll tell you. And I’m going to deny that it was me. So, you got many Oreos, right? You got many Oreos, which are almost delicious as the real thing. And someone —

Greg White (00:29:03):

Are they really many, like little [inaudible]?

Scott Luton (00:29:05):

They are. Yeah. Now, I may or may not have – I’m going to give you a little wiggle room there – poured that into a bowl with two percent cereal and two percent milk.

Mark Holmes (00:29:14):

Oh, my.

Greg White (00:29:19):

Did you eat it like cereal? As soon as you said many, that was my first question was, did you eat it like cereal?

Scott Luton (00:29:23):

Oh, gosh. Yes. All right. So, check this out, Mark and Greg —

Greg White (00:29:29):

Wait. How was it?

Scott Luton (00:29:30):

It was delicious enough to do it maybe once a lifetime. I wouldn’t do it any more than that. Your dietary consultants won’t approve.

Greg White (00:29:39):

Yeah. Right.

Scott Luton (00:29:40):

So, John Perry says, “The thin Oreos are good if you’re insulating a room.” Leah Luton says, “Shoutout to the gluten-free Oreos. They’re fantastic, whether you’re dunking or not” Amanda says, “Oreos are one of the only things she craved when she was pregnant, along with watermelon. I ate more Oreos than I like to admit with a tall glass of milk nearly every night.” How about that? Josh says, “Double Stuf is thick enough to be able to use a fork to dunk the Oreos in milk.” And Allen was like our pre-show conversation —

Greg White (00:30:12):

I like the way Allen thinks.

Scott Luton (00:30:14):

… there’s other flavors.

Greg White (00:30:17):

Yes. [Inaudible] the same. Allen, there is no point. Although, right before we came on air – and I don’t know about you guys – I’d love to get you guys opinions, everyone’s opinion on this – I heard there are mint flavored Oreos, which makes me think of the mint Girl Scout cookie [inaudible].

Scott Luton (00:30:35):

Thin mint. Thin mint.

Greg White (00:30:37):

Thin mint. And makes me think that might be worth a try. That might be worth a try. I don’t know.

Scott Luton (00:30:42):

Well, I tell you what, Mark, you’ll be on assignment after today. And you’ll have to report back on whether it’s the mint Oreos or any other flavor, and we’ll get your analysis. How’s that sound, Mark?

Mark Holmes (00:30:53):

I love it.

Scott Luton (00:30:53):

Okay. All right. Well, hey, we know there’s lots of Oreo lovers in our audience, and thanks for sharing some of y’all’s favorites there. Greg and Mark, we got a lot of work to get to. And I want to start with this first article here, Mark, because it’s all about shortages, shortages. There’s this popular article from our friends at Supply Chain Dive. They went through a variety of different sectors that will be continuing to experience shortages in 2023. And I want you to tell us your favorite part or maybe your most telling part of this article here. Tell us what you read into, not only the article, but what you’re seeing as you’ve got your finger on the pulse of business leaders across industry.

Mark Holmes (00:31:33):

Yeah. Thank you. You know, it talked about four goods facing a tight supply. And if you go into it, it talks about food is one category, lithium and electric vehicle components was the second, pharmaceuticals was the third, and then semiconductors was the fourth. But I just want to hone in a little bit on the food and on pharmaceuticals to kind of get to a point overall.

Mark Holmes (00:32:01):

And it’s interesting because we did something similar about a year ago, all three of us, and we were talking about disruption. A lot of people were saying, You know what? It’s disruption. You know what? I think it’s just going to go away at some point. And look at us now. This whole article is all the way through 2023, and I’m sure well into 2024 and beyond. We’re still going to see disruptions. And when you go through the article, it talks about continued geopolitical, environmental turmoil, localized demand surges that’s going to cause localized stockouts. It goes on. It gives names of companies.

Mark Holmes (00:32:39):

In fact, one happened to me about two weeks ago. It was Chick-fil-A. I’m going to read a quote in here, “Chick-fil-A, for instance, told customers that some items may be unavailable or prepared differently.” I’m a big Chick-fil-A fan. I guess I’m a traditional type of guy. So, the traditional, like the Oreo, I go in, I want the chicken sandwich. The first thing the gentleman says to me is, “Do you really want a pickle on it?” I was like, “What? No pickle?” So, the first thing that hit my mind was they’re trying to limit the supply of pickles. Why? Because of exactly this. There is an issue around supply. And it’s around supply of pickles for them. Which I’m sure even lettuce, that we just talked about, is an issue.

Mark Holmes (00:33:25):

If I go to pharmaceuticals, interesting, it talked about amoxicillin, a big issue with amoxicillin to be able to help children because it’s a big antibiotic, but there’s certain supplies that is causing the shortage. So, it made me think a little bit broader when I was looking and reading into the article. So, one, around pharmaceuticals is, humanizing the supply chain, number one. I think sometimes we get so caught up in how do we look at applications and enterprise systems, how is it that we’re going to be able to optimize down to a particular application. And, to me, it’s really, ultimately, what are we doing for the end customer? Ultimately, what are we trying to do?

Mark Holmes (00:34:12):

And it makes me think about – and it’s going to lead well, I think, into the next article we’re going to talk about – our supply chains. Even after all the lessons that we learned, where are we at? And, really, have our supply chains become more agile and resilient? And I think that’s key. And when you talk about that, about having agility and resiliency in your supply chain, I love going to what I’ve seen in the market, but IBC. Based on a recent survey that they took that they’re saying 52 percent – I think higher based on conversations that I’ve had – much higher, actually – organizations haven’t quite gotten to step in the digital transformation to become agile, to manage disruption. Look, disruption, just like in that article we just talked about, whether it’s food, pharmaceuticals, is here to stay. And if not, even potentially get worse.

Scott Luton (00:35:10):

Yeah. So, let me pause there. And, Greg, Mark just covered a lot of ground there, your thoughts related to the shortages or humanizing supply chains, even, that Mark touched on. Your thoughts, Greg?

Greg White (00:35:22):

Yeah. Well, part of the shortage that we talked about, which was signaled by Chick-fil-A, and I think a few other restaurants, was supposed to be around things like lettuce and tomato. I’m stunned and afraid, frankly, that it could be around the pickle on a Chick-fil-A sandwich. I’m not sure what you call it if it doesn’t have the pickles on it. Is it two or three pickles? [Inaudible], whatever it is. Next, it will be an involuntary reduction by one pickle or something like that. But, you know, we talked about that.

Greg White (00:36:02):

And we’re kind of spoiled, because this time of year when, let’s just say, my parents were kids, you didn’t have tomatoes in the wintertime in North America because you couldn’t grow them. And now we have them flash frozen or nitrogenated and shipped up from South America. And this is a real problem in Europe and in the UK in particular, they have long been lamenting the fact they’re very short on produce. In fact, I had a little bit of a discussion with somebody on LinkedIn, I think, or something, Twitter, whatever, about that. And, of course, in the U.S. we are even less susceptible to these kind of shortages than virtually any country in the world. Why? The largest consumer nation on the planet. The biggest economy on the planet. So, if we’re starting to see it – I’m going to Switzerland this summer, man, I hope that Chick-fil-A is over there just completely without pickles [inaudible] Chick-fil-A over.

Greg White (00:37:03):

I know that we’ll see some of these shortages or are seeing some of these shortages in other nations around the world. And yet, think about what we are talking about. We’re talking about shortages of condiments on our sandwiches. Whereas, in other parts of the world, just getting food is a real trouble. And I think that’s something we should thank our lucky stars for. That’s not the discussion that we are having, but still it is indicative of all of these things. I think that in large part, a lot of what, Mark, you talked about goes right back to labor. It goes back to the fact that we completely shut down the economy and sent every single worker home virtually overnight on the entire planet. It’s been a struggle or it’s been counter motivated by governments getting people back to work. And it’s taken a few years. I think we’re starting to see it.

Greg White (00:37:59):

But I wonder – and I’d like to toss this question out to you guys – whenever you have an experience that’s less than you expect and less than you experienced prior to COVID, like I see so many people doing, do you go immediately to, “It’s probably because they’re short on people.” Am I the one programmed like that? Or are the people that I’ve been around programmed like that? I wonder if that isn’t more universal that we aren’t recognizing that? What do you guys think?

Scott Luton (00:38:30):

Mark?

Mark Holmes (00:38:30):

Yeah. I think, definitely, it’s the first thing that you hear, you know, labor shortages. I myself just got back from Germany and the UK last week, and you’re right, not only shortages in food big there, but shortages in labor. Which also leads to shortages in productivity, if you could say it that way. We’re losing a lot of tribal knowledge because of that. We’re bringing people in that, before, I think we relied and we just considered it normal that the tribal knowledge understood what to do next. Even with the most sophisticated AI and ML, tribal knowledge still has a play. But we have lost it or are losing it. So, it’s not only the reduction in manpower, but also a reduction in productivity and the ability to make the right decisions in a extremely inaccurate way.

Scott Luton (00:39:32):

I hope that’s where we’re going with that because it puts more pressure on equipping your team with the right tools and ability, and empowering their decisions, their ability to make decisions, but also their propensity to make the right decisions and make them faster. And we’re going to touch on that here in just a moment.

Scott Luton (00:39:50):

I want to share a couple comments and we’re going to move to the second article for the sake of time. The first one goes back to our Oreo discussion where Liz says she just bought double stuffed over the weekend, “I want to do a poll around whether they’re less stuffed. I swear they have 25 percent less.” Liz, I think that’s a very valid observation.

Greg White (00:40:10):

Really? I mean, Scott, you bought Double Stufs?

Scott Luton (00:40:12):

I have not bought Double Stufs recently, but I bought some plain, some normal Oreos not too long ago. And I could have sworn the formula has changed a smidge. So, based on that experience, I’d give her observation some legs there.

Greg White (00:40:31):

I think we’re seeing that a lot. I think we’re seeing invisible inflation – I think is what my mother and others call it – where now we’re at the point where the price has stayed the same but the size or quantity has been reduced. I know that for sure on Tillamook Ice Cream. Their half gallons went to just under a half, and now to, I don’t know what it is, but it’s much, much less than a half. And there are other examples of that. My wife said that the fish sandwich at Ted’s – that’s where we went for dinner Friday, Scott – has gotten smaller. And a lot of times the people in the store don’t notice, but our waiter said, “Yeah. Absolutely. It has absolutely gotten smaller.” I don’t know by what fraction, but I think we’re seeing a lot of that. [Inaudible]. That’s it.

Scott Luton (00:41:27):

Yeah. I’m with you. Well, one of the places perhaps – a little segue here, Mark and Greg – that we’re not seeing as much shrinkage is in our inventory levels of cross industry. Now, I want to dive into this article here, again, from our friends at Supply Chain Dive, where they’re talking about a popular athletic retailer. Under Armor needs to lose a few LBs when it comes to their swelling inventory. And I’ve got this graphic teed up right here. So, Mark, I can’t wait to hear your take here. And, of course, we’ll loop in Greg as well. So, Mark, tell us more here.

Mark Holmes (00:42:01):

Yes. Interesting what’s happening with them. But not just Under Armor. It was the article that just caught my eye when I was reviewing it. But it talked about, definitely, inventories went down during COVID. But now they’re starting to become an issue, increasing. And even though efficiencies, it goes on, the article talks about supply chain efficiencies, which is good, positive, but inventory levels are increasing. And then, it talked about further on, it said, well, maybe it’s normalizing the way it was in 2017, 2018, 2019. And it made me think so often, Target just went through the same thing several months ago, too much inventory. We hear so much around just in time. But now we’re hearing, You know what? It’s good to have a lot of inventory for just in case. We’re hearing that.

Mark Holmes (00:42:51):

But does it have to be? That’s my question. Does it have to be? And it goes back to exactly what we just talked about on the disruptions, on the food shortages, the same thing with building inventory, to me, it leads to, unfortunately, companies not yet where they need to be in their digital transformation to be agile and resilient. And maybe they’re just not there. Maybe it’s taking longer than they thought to get there. But, to me, that’s the crux of the issue. It’s just not Under Armor. That was just a good example. It’s Target. It’s so many more. It is an issue. It’s because we’re not advancing as quick as we need to.

Scott Luton (00:43:38):

Yeah. Completely agree. And it could be they’re missing tools, the practices. In some cases, back to Greg’s comments a few minutes ago, the talent. But, Greg, weigh in here on what we’re seeing. Again, we’re not picking on Under Armor. It just happens to be the main thrust of the article. Inventory has been swelling across industry in many ways. Greg.

Greg White (00:43:57):

Yeah. It’s 100 percent because of digital, technological, whatever you want to call it, capabilities. And it’s almost 100 percent to do with the fact that they have not shored up their abilities in terms of forecasting. Because, foundationally, most companies are forecasting the wrong thing. They’re forecasting the items based on history. They’re saying, “Hey, sweatpants sold a lot during COVID, so let’s expect them to sell a lot this year.” What they’re not considering is the change and the influence on the consumer, meaning they could get out of the house and they had to start wearing actual pants. So, that’s going to shift demand on some of those products.

Greg White (00:44:42):

And that, Mark, as you well know, we all know, I think in large part, that in particular is a largely manual process. It’s in the gut and in the mind of the merchandisers and the product managers at these companies. Likewise, with the last catastrophe of – gosh, it was this time last year. Remember, everyone who’s been watching us for a year or more – I did an incredible amount of arbitrage on patio furniture. I got a new house with a lot of patios and got a bunch of patio furniture between 40 and 70 percent off. Because people were thinking that because people were still locked in and because the lead times are so long that they had to continue to bring in all this patio furniture. And it arrived just in time for demand to shift because the influence on the consumer, the largest influence being lockdowns, had been relieved and now consumers were out traveling the world. So, some of us took advantage of that. And I intend to do the same with Under Armor, by the way. I’m kind of [inaudible] their stuff and if it’s going to be on sale.

Greg White (00:45:54):

And I think that this is exacerbated problem that these companies always have. In fact, I know that they always have. I’m not just thinking. I know it. Because so many of these retailers, particularly in fashion or apparel industries, they build markdowns into their plan. They expect to mark something down towards the end of season. And that way, they don’t run out before the end of season. But if something dramatic shifts, they’re caught on the back foot, and that’s exactly what’s happening to companies like Under Armor and Wayfair and others that are grossly overstocked.

Scott Luton (00:46:33):

Well said there, Greg. And, Mark, I want to get into, for the three people out there that may not know, what InterSystems does. But before we do, there is a phrase that you and I have chatted about a lot, maybe you and me and Greg on numerous occasions, data fabric. I think one of the last times you were here, we had a lot of fun around Spider-Man and comics and data fabrics and data webs and whatnot. Before we get into what InterSystems does, I think this is a critical maybe learning opportunity for some of our folks here, can you just define what we’re talking about when it comes to data fabric and then roll right into what InterSystems does out in industry?

Mark Holmes (00:47:14):

Yeah. Sure. So, data fabric, look, the concept has been around for a while on what it is. It’s an architecture. It’s an architecture of being able to build out data that is scalable. It’s more real time. It’s more accurate. It’s something we won’t get into now, but when we get into our next conversation later on. But the concepts of harmonizing and normalizing data, security, the ability in a very efficient and scalable way to grab data and then be able to ingest it. Not create another data warehouse or data lake, but ingest it. And then, what we’ve coined, to your point, and this will be a nice lead into what you just said of more of what we’re doing, is that, our data platform is an underpinning of data fabric. But we’ve taken it one step further to a smart data fabric. Meaning, with embedded analytics, embedded ability of AI and ML, with embedded interoperability that helps you with taking your processes, your business processes, and digitizing them into the platform.

Mark Holmes (00:48:27):

And so, that architecture allows you to very, very efficiently in a scalable way to be able to get to, ultimately, actionable insights. And so, if I were to sum up what we do in a very succinct short way is that, you alluded to it earlier, the connected tissue. I really like that.

Scott Luton (00:48:48):

I love that. I love that phrase.

Mark Holmes (00:48:50):

Yeah. We’re not an application. We’re not an enterprise system. We compliment and we help get that final 20 percent of optimization because we’re that connected tissue bringing that disparate data together, sensing supply chain disruptions in real time, and then turning them into prescriptive insights. And we can do that because of the four embedded technologies that we just alluded to. So, we’re integrating the data, any format. We’re then ingesting the data at rest so that we can then analyze it with embedded analytics and then embedded interoperability, so that all four are working together as one capability to get to better insights, which will help the line of business make those sustaining confident decisions.

Scott Luton (00:49:39):

Yes. Okay. So, Greg, before I get your take on what Mark just walked through there, we talked earlier about the human factor at play across global supply chains. Even in this tech world, we still rely on the human factor. But as we all talked about, we got to empower them to be able to make decisions, better decisions, more timely, and give them tools to do so. And then, one last point, Mark mentioned actionable insights. Well, Greg, as I toss it to you, if insights aren’t actionable, it really cuts down the value of those said insights. Right? Greg, weigh in on hearing what Mark just walked us through.

Greg White (00:50:16):

That’s exactly the thought that went through my mind is, what is the point of an insight if it’s not actionable. I mean, think about what people complain about the most in their work. It’s sitting through meaningless goalless meetings where someone reads a report that they could very easily read on an email or something like that. And there is no action from it. It’s just a notification. As I used to say when I was in the biz, when I was still a practitioner, this is how you hurt the company yesterday. “Thank you very much for that. What am I supposed to do with that?” Actionable insights allow you to do things either to say, “Hey, here’s what went wrong, here’s why it went wrong, here’s what we can do about in the future.” Or better yet, actionable insights are preemptive before anything goes wrong, or predicting that something could go wrong, or responding to a potential delay and allowing you to make provision for alternative modes of attack before it causes a real problem. So, yeah, actionable is all that matters.

Scott Luton (00:51:24):

I love that.

Mark Holmes (00:51:25):

Just to add to what Greg just said, to me, oftentimes we talk about exhilarating time to value. So, with so much disruption, we just went through it, right? We just went through the cross sectors. Think about it, retail, pharmaceutical, the consumer goods. Disruptions are here to stay, for sure, and globally. We have a global supply chain. Supply chain is global. But the point is, how can we accelerate time to value with better decisions? I think we could sum it up to that.

Scott Luton (00:51:58):

Yes. Okay. We’re going to offer a couple resources and make sure folks know how to connect with Mark Holmes. Gosh, me and Greg and Mark, we could talk for the next several hours about this, and I bet with a lot of folks in the comments. I want to share just a couple though. Seham says, “Data should answer ‘So what.'” That’s right. A lot more folks should say so what, and get the why in that response. And then, Josh says, to Greg’s point earlier, “Favorite coffee mug is ‘survived another meeting that could have been an email.’ The second is a unicorn that says, ‘I don’t believe in humans.'” Good stuff there.

Scott Luton (00:52:38):

All right. So, Mark, now that we know what InterSystems does, at least in a nutshell, and, Greg, as we both know on Mark’s earlier appearances, I think his inbox filled up with folks wanting to kind of learn more from him. And I’m sure Mark embraces and encourages that. But you brought a cool resource here that we want to share with folks, kind of a resource library, a resource center. And tell us more about what’s here, this link that we’re going to be dropping in the chat in a moment. Why should folks check that out?

Mark Holmes (00:53:06):

So, it’s very concise. It’s only a couple pages long. It’s a brochure, but it talks about our category of use cases that we focus on. It’s not one or two or three or five particular use cases. It’s a category of use cases, like demand sensing and forecasting, like you talked about, Greg. Ultimately, we have to have better ways to sense demand, but better forecast, whether it’s on the supply side or demand side. But also supply chain orchestration. And when you go to the site, you’ll learn more about what we do, like supply chain orchestration becoming that agile supply chain. It could be something as complicated, if you will, as coming up with an ultimate control tower to help you manage the business. But it also talks about how we optimize fulfillment and, ultimately, being able to get that to that ultimate near perfect on time in full. But as you know, fulfillment can be into manufacturing, it can be into retail, first mile, last mile, in between, or along the entire end-to-end supply chain. So, this very short, concise brochure gives you a little bit of background of what we do in those areas.

Scott Luton (00:54:15):

Wonderful. And we dropped a link to that in the chat. Y’all check that out. Mark, if they’ve got questions – and, Greg, I’m going to get your final key takeaway once Mark depart here on this Monday Mark sixth edition —

Greg White (00:54:28):

Oh, we’re going to talk about him behind his back.

Scott Luton (00:54:29):

We are. We are. That’s one of my favorite parts. Just kidding. Mark, I know 25 minutes or so isn’t nearly enough time to talk about what you and your team are doing out there in the industry. We got a link to that resource. How can folks connect with you after your appearance today?

Mark Holmes (00:54:45):

Yeah. Two ways. Go to either www.intersystems.com. Go into the website. By all means jump into the supply chain section, you’ll be able to get to the article that we just talked about, plus so many more. A lot of our use cases, too, our successful case studies of what we’ve done around a particular business outcome that the ultimate organization was looking for. Or LinkedIn. I’m a big LinkedIn fan. I’m very active on it. I’m very proactive with it. And if you send me a note, love to follow up with you.

Scott Luton (00:55:18):

I’m with you. And we’re going to drop Mark’s LinkedIn profile – one click away – right there in the chat as well. Mark Holmes, really appreciate all that you do. We enjoy your thought leadership and the conversations we’ve had here. So, have a wonderful rest of your week. Mark Holmes with InterSystems. And we’ll see you again really, really soon.

Mark Holmes (00:55:38):

Thank you very much. Fun as usual.

Scott Luton (00:55:41):

You bet. That’s right. Thanks, Mark.

Mark Holmes (00:55:44):

All right. Bye-bye.

Scott Luton (00:55:46):

Man, I tell you, I really enjoy those conversations. We’ve been fortunate to have him here and then we’ve been with him out in the industry at Gartner events and other things. And it’s always just so easy for anyone to understand. Greg, simplifying things, I want to get your take though. He mentioned the connective tissue. And I think one of the things we may not have mentioned that he may have alluded to at the end of his answer is, when it comes to a connective tissue, it’s not just about empowering the people with better information they can act on and make better decisions in a timely manner. But in these days, when you’ve got a thousand different technologies that make up how your team does business, it’s getting those technologies to work better together in the sandbox, so to speak. And maybe we’ll touch on that in Mark’s next appearance. But despite it all, Greg, you’re the guru – I consider you a technologist and a guru – tell us, based on what Mark shared here today, what’s one thing that folks got to leave this conversation with front of mind?

Greg White (00:56:51):

It’s really the barriers have to come down. The barriers, whether they are cultural, process, data, communication, whatever they are, they have to come down internally and externally in your enterprise. And the more availability, the less friction. And the more clarity that you have within your organization and with all of your trading partners, the more effective you’ll be. You know, Mark made a good point, and that is that the geopolitical space and disruptions will continue. Hey, look, they’ve always been here. The difference is no one had ever heard of supply chain, so they didn’t give it before.

Greg White (00:57:36):

I mean, you know, we talk about this all the time. If you ever wanted to end a conversation on an airplane bus or at a cocktail party, all you had to do was say, “I’m in supply chain,” and you could watch people’s eyes glaze over and slowly drift away. But now, people, they know enough. And this is the important thing to recognize is that there is nowhere to hide. There is nowhere to hide. That is what’s really changed in supply chain. There was some plausible deniability before because even the people that we worked with at our respective companies didn’t know what the hell it is we did or what the net impact was. They thought it was get it here now for as cheap as possible. And there is so much more to it.

Greg White (00:58:16):

I really think we need to stop thinking about supply chain as a supply chain and more as a commerce ecosystem. Because commerce is really that business of doing business between businesses. And when you think about the connective tissue that we talked about and all of the other intricacies and dependencies between enterprises and between departments and between people, it really is an ecosystem. If any of you have watched Avatar, admittedly stupid, stupid movie, but the whole notion of this completely interconnected ecosystem is exactly what the supply chain is. And we need to start thinking about that more. And when we start thinking about that, then we’ll recognize that we have to at least have the awareness that Mark was talking about of what’s going on, what could go wrong, and what to do about it.

Scott Luton (00:59:13):

Yes. Well said as always, Greg. Folks, I hate to leave it there, but let me just encourage a couple things. You’ll be better off and be glad you connected with Mark. And we dropped a link to that in the chat here to connect with him. I’ll tell you what, he and his team are bringing a breath of fresh air into how supply chain happens. Because you know what isn’t arguable, Greg? If you look at the last hour, what is inarguable that no one can dispute is that with all the challenges, the friction, and the disruption, and old problems, new problems, whatever, we got to equip our teams with the tools they need to be successful because they want to be successful, 98 percent want to be successful. So, check it out. So, connect with Mark, connect with the InterSystems team. We’ve got a link there and to the resources they brought. Greg, always a pleasure. Really have enjoyed today’s wide ranging episode. Great to do these with you.

Greg White (01:00:13):

Likewise. Thank you. When we have these discussions about all this interconnectivity between people and companies, it’s really the essence of where supply chain is going.

Scott Luton (01:00:26):

Yes. That’s so well said. Completely agree with that. But, folks, don’t get left in the dust. Don’t just talk about things you got to do. Don’t be just talking about things your people need. Man, act, take action. Deeds, not words. If you don’t get help with Mark, get help somewhere else. But deeds, not words. And with that said, on behalf of Greg White, the whole team here at Supply Chain Now, thank you for joining us. We challenge you to do good, to give forward, and to be the change. And with that said, we’ll see you next time right back here at Supply Chain Now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (01:01:00):

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

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Featured Guests

Mark Holmes brings more than 25 years of experience in consulting, manufacturing operations, and software development from such organizations as Dow Chemical, GS1 (Brussels), Aspen Technology, and GSI. He specializes in working with manufacturers and retailers/CPG to solve their most difficult supply chain issues through digital transformation with a modern data fabric architecture. Breaking down data silos and leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to drive actionable insights throughout an organization’s global supply chain, Mark has delivered value to companies like Tyson Foods, Ferrero Roche, TJX Companies, Hard Rock Café, and Albertsons. Mark joined InterSystems in 2021 to broaden InterSystems global market in supply chain. Holmes has been a board member for the Association for Supply Chain Management and is APICS certified in Transportation, Logistics, and Distribution (CTLD) from the same organization. He earned a BS degree in business administration from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, and an MBA from Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. Connect with Mark on LinkedIn.

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

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Kim Reuter

Host

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Vicki White

Controller

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

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Allison Giddens

Host

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

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

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Billy Taylor

Host

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

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

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

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

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Tandreia Bellamy

Host

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

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

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

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

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Marty Parker

Host

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

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

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jake Barr

Host

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

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Marcia Williams

Host

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

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Constantine Limberakis

Host

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal & Host

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

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

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

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

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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