Supply Chain Now
Episode 1179

Lean into the new opportunities out there and don't rest on your laurels believing that what you do cannot be replaced.

-Scott Luton

Episode Summary

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

In this episode of the Buzz, created in collaboration with a live Supply Chain Now audience, featured hosts Scott Luton and Greg White dig into top stories in business and share about:

  • The ongoing labor strike in the automotive sector, and how it is affecting the workers and the automotive industry as a whole
  • Widespread labor issues in the healthcare industry as Kaiser Permanente struggles to reach a deal with labor unions
  • The inevitability of a recession on the horizon, with recent low economic growth and weak consumer spending
  • A decrease in robot orders in Q2 2023 after record-breaking purchases in 2021 and 2022

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

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

Scott Luton (00:31):

Hey, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, Scott Luton and Gregory Ss White with you here on Supply Chain. Now welcome to today’s live stream, Greg. How are we doing today? Just,

Greg White (00:42):

Uh, cashing out here in my private podcast,

Scott Luton (00:46):


Greg White (00:47):

Studio on new couch. No, just, yeah, sorry.

Scott Luton (00:52):

No, <laugh>

Greg White (00:52):

Like this look right. I mean this, this makes us look like those guys that just sit around and

Scott Luton (00:58):


Greg White (01:00):

What is supply chain anyway, right? I wanna be one of those guys.

Scott Luton (01:05):

<laugh>. All right. So today, folks, it is as always the ever reliable, the supply chain Buzz Live show that comes at you every Monday at 12 noon Eastern time, where Greg and I, and a lot of times friends, guests, even family members, as I can tell, we’re gonna be discussing a variety of news developments, really across global business. We want to hear from you. So give us your take in the comments throughout the show. And Greg, if folks are listening to the podcast replay, they should come check us out live on the social media platform of their choosing sometime soon, huh?

Greg White (01:37):

Yes. I don’t know why live, but yes, <laugh> do it on YouTube. The nice thing is you can do, you can see the live version, you can count on it to run. I know we have a lot of friends on LinkedIn watching us through LinkedIn, but YouTube runs and it just works. And then you can always watch the, you know, the recorded version as well, right? We’re really digging into some statistics that are very confusing about how people are consuming podcasts these days, but more and more so you to consume them on YouTube.

Scott Luton (02:07):


Greg White (02:08):

Have Catherine on a show one time to talk through those statistics because every time she tells me about ’em, I’m not less confused.

Scott Luton (02:16):

So folks, we got a lot to get to here today. So welcome everybody. Before we get started, I think we got four stores we’re working through here today and we wanna offer up some resources. So with that said, we dropped over the weekend, Greg, and we really focused it around, you know, we had talked about last week on social, our ongoing commitment to support our veteran community, right? In a variety of different ways, but especially via our pro bono Veteran voices programming, which is in its fifth season. And Greg, as you know, and you may may have seen some of it, we got a lot of feedback on that Friday morning social post. So we use some of that feedback to offer up and answer questions. ’cause one of the questions we got is, how can we do more? Right? How can we do more to better support the veteran community in business or transition or you name it. So that was the main thrust of our, with that said over the weekend, Greg, and how to

Greg White (03:07):

Do more,

Scott Luton (03:07):

Right? Yeah, that’s right. We’ve talked about it here before. Greg. Speaking of how to support veterans, if you remember when we first met, or early when we first met before we, we were knocking out a lot of these shows together. We were at a big logistics event here in Georgia, right? And we wanted to bring in a bunch of veterans so they could make network connections and, and help their transition and stuff. And we did all that. You are early supporter, you wrote that check, you and many of our other friends. And we got over a hundred veterans out to this logistics summit. And better yet better than the networking Greg, if you remember, some of these veterans got jobs offers on the spot. How cool was that Greg?

Greg White (03:48):

Right? Well, I think another company that I was associated with at the time, N P S G, was actually hiring at the show, which was really cool. Yeah, that was great to see. You know, that’s a difficult transition when I say, you know, Scott, I mean you, Scott Luton. Mm. Former Air Force, you know, so it can be a difficult transition because you’re trained in such specific things in the military, you’re trained in such a specific way, but sometimes the free flowing nature of civilian business is, is not a natural for you. Right? Right. And the wide ranging view that you have or have to have of your job, rather than the very focused on this thing view that you have to have in the military can be a difficult transition for folks. So we’ve just spent pretty much every year since that helping veterans to assimilate into the wild wildlife of civilian jobs.

Scott Luton (04:44):

That’s right. So from that personal experience on both sides of the coin, so to speak, we offered some expertise and some ideas, some practical ideas for how folks can better support the veteran industry from a transition standpoint, from a already established standpoint. You know, ’cause you got a lot of veteran-owned businesses, lots of ideas. So check that out. We drop the link in there and let us know what you think. And hey, if y’all come across something really cool that companies are doing for the veteran community, hey share. We’d love to blatantly steal that idea. <laugh>. No, we’d love to take it and celebrate it and amplify. Yeah. Challenge other organizations to do it. Greg, your final word, do

Greg White (05:21):


Scott Luton (05:21):

Do it. That’s right. Do it. Don’t talk about it. Find a way to do it. Alright, one other resource. Hey, join us tomorrow morning, special time, 8:00 AM Eastern time. We’re partnering with our, a great friend of the show. Rah Jose. Well, hey, we better get down to work then. Greg. We got a lot to get through here today. Are you ready to do it?

Greg White (05:39):

Yeah. We acknowledge a few weird things that happened. I mean, Scott, we have to talk about it. Have to, one of the chiefs players at dating the most famous person on the planet, right? It was like, I went to a Taylor Swift event and a football game broke out <laugh> the US got routed. Oh, in the writer cup. Oh, by rest of the world, I mean routed. Yes. Oh, well. So the US government didn’t shut down and the writer’s strike is over, right? So it’s like, I don’t know. So many things were brought to conclusion over this weekend, except for Travis Kelsey’s relationship, which I fear will happen at the worst time.

Scott Luton (06:18):


Greg White (06:19):

Mm-hmm. But yeah, I was thinking about that this morning, Scott. How many things kind of came to conclusion this

Scott Luton (06:23):

Weekend? That’s a great call out. I watched some of that. We’re gonna have to save that. Golf was a tragedy as it unfolded. Talk about finale. We had a finale just about in the first day. Yes. The Ryder Cup this year.

Greg White (06:35):

So they lost by five games at, by the end of game day one, they were down by five games. Six and a half one.

Scott Luton (06:42):

It was ugly.

Greg White (06:43):


Scott Luton (06:44):

Alright. But hey, we’re, we’re gonna celebrate the end of the rider’s strike. That’s a lot of folks that impacted a lot of people especially, you know Sure. A lot of folks talk about the, all the big money that’s tied up there, but there’s a lot of folks that work day to day, you know, paycheck to paycheck. So hopefully we can get past that and hey, from a selfish standpoint, perhaps get more good content out there. Put everybody to the work and, uh, enjoy the stories to come. Alright. So Greg, speaking of strikes, while the Hollywood strike apparently is over with one other big strike continues. So, diving into our first story here today, we’re gonna be talking about the ongoing labor strikes in the automotive sector. Now as reported by our friends over at C N N Business, Greg, heavy duty and Media duty Truck Maker Mack Truck.

Scott Luton (07:27):

Well, the good news there is they’ve averted a labor strike as it seems. Uh, they’ve reached a tentative labor deal with about 3,900 employees that are part of the United Auto Workers u a W Union. All the details have not been released just yet. But of course, this deal with Mack Truck was made as another 25,000 U a w members. Our on strike at Ford, STIs and General Motors Right? Strike at the big three. Greg was expanded last Friday, once again. ’cause it, it was been expanded a couple times, last few weeks as on Friday, two more assembly plants were added. Now side note here, the a w s strike Fund was at $825 million in early September prior to the big three strikes is estimated that it costs that fund about $14 million a week in strike benefits. Small checks that go out to all the affected workers. Right? So by averting a strike with Mack Truck, it averted a, an additional drain on that big fund. So Greg, I am looking forward to getting your thoughts on as we get past one strike and it looks like we get past another more related strike. We still got a big one going on. Yeah.

Greg White (08:36):

This is one of those things that I was thinking about this weekend is, you know, American workers are already arguably maybe inarguably the highest paid automotive workers on the planet, which is why so much of our parts production and all those sorts of things have gone offshore and why we had to adapt our definition of an American car to include a lesser number of parts made or sourced in the United States or North America, right? Mm-hmm. Mexico or Canada or us. So I was talking about this earlier, you know, when times are good, everybody wants a piece. But when, when businesses down, nobody wants to get back. And it’s gonna become quickly an untenable situation, which we’re gonna talk about one of the potential solutions in, in the next story that we discussed. But the inevitability of robotics, ai, you know, things like that. Replacing human beings at a 36%, I think is what the current request is.

Greg White (09:32):

Mm-hmm. Wage increase. Is that right, Scott? Yeah. Alright. I want everybody to just take a quick pause, think about what you make today and think about how likely it’s that your employer could afford to give everyone who works for your company a 36% wage increase. Wow. I mean, it’s not realistic. It’s not sustainable, long lasting, sustainable, right? I mean, these automakers will be forced to use more and more robotics and then, you know, what will these people do for money? Because, I mean, I’ve lived in Detroit, I know what happens to an auto worker when they’re put out work. ’cause no one, no one in any industry if there even is any industry in Detroit, but no one in any industry around the world pays as much as the automotive industry does. Hmm. So those people get a heavy dose of reality whenever they get outta that industry.

Greg White (10:21):

Hmm. I think it’s, uh, an interesting challenge. You know, the imp prudence of our administration and taking a side here is utterly disdainful. I, I don’t know what, what else to say. And I think, you know, irresponsible. So I’m really, really concerned about these auto workers. On the other hand, you know, as we’ve talked about for a few years now, younger generations are staying away from manufacturing jobs and droves. So they’re gonna be automated anyway. Mm. I think this might be a last gasp effort by the remaining baby boomer auto workers to get a big pile of money before they go into retirement. Maybe, I don’t know. Mm. The dynamics of it are, are not complex. They’re very simple. We have reached a threshold where we’re at. The auto companies have to do something besides employees.

Scott Luton (11:10):

Hmm. It’s amazing. I tell you what, we’ve been talking about AI for years now, Greg, of course mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but goodness gracious, it is just, it is blown up to a whole new level and rightly so because with results, with outcomes, with really practical application as we’re seeing out across industry. So Kyle says great points, but hard to sell when these C-Suite and companies are making the highest profits of all time. Greg, any thought there?

Greg White (11:35):

Yeah. We all know that’s because of the flood of capital from the government into the US economy. And people are buying things that they wouldn’t ordinarily buy at prices they wouldn’t ordinarily pay. In fact, we’re gonna talk about the economic state of America and that’s not sustainable either. Right. So now is a little too late to ask for compensation around that. And, you know, I can’t, I can’t really justify the amount that C-suite executives are paid. Yep. I feel like if their compensation is tied effectively to the status of the company, and it’s often tied to the share price of the company, that’s where they make most of their money. So if you’re a UAW member and you wanna really invest in your business, buy stock because that’s what the CEOs do, or include stock in your compensation because that’s what the CEOs do. They get paid for the impact that they have on the business, not for the hours that they put into the work. And they take a risk by doing that. Yep. Right. What the U AAW wants to do is not take a risk and only benefit when times are good and not pay when times are bad. Hmm. So, you know, that’s a common situation. I have little empathy for either side in this <inaudible> <laugh>, nobody wants to talk about the times when GM lost billions and billions and billions of dollars, which wasn’t that long ago. Right. And they didn’t ask the workers or force the workers to take a pay cut like their c e O did.

Scott Luton (13:01):

Hmm. Folks, check out the link. Don’t take me or Greg’s word for it. Check it out. Uh, this latest story from C N N business or where else you get your news from and let us know what you think. Only ongoing year of the workforce is kind of what we heard. I think it was Mike Griswold from Gartner that may have coined that first with us. Right? I think you’re

Greg White (13:19):

Right. Yeah, I think you’re right. But

Scott Luton (13:20):

We’re, we’re gonna steal it because it’s so true. So we’re just, ’cause we can

Scott Luton (13:24):

<laugh>. That’s right. That is right. I wanna shift gears over to an industry maybe that we don’t talk about enough here. Although Greg, we do, we’ve had that ongoing healthcare supply chain leadership series, which has been really popular. So I wanna talk about this when we talk about the year of the workforce as it applies to healthcare. So Kaiser Permanente one of the biggest healthcare providers in the us Well that’s not immune to the ongoing turmoil across the workforce market. Some 75,000, 75,000 Greg healthcare workers across five states plus Washington DC mm-hmm. <affirmative> are set to walk off their jobs this Wednesday. If Kaiser Permanente cannot reach a deal with a handful of representative labor unions, the strike is planned to last just three days. And it would be the biggest single strike in US healthcare history. So, while the automotive industry strikes perhaps get more headlines, the labor issues in the healthcare industry certainly have been widespread.

Scott Luton (14:17):

In fact, I didn’t know this, Greg, since the beginning of 2022, a third of all labor strikes involving more than a thousand workers have been in the healthcare industry. Wow. Kaiser Permanente, in acknowledging the issues, stated that more than 5 million healthcare workers left the industry in 2021 and 2022. And the company also says that up to two thirds of current healthcare staff, while they say they are burnt out, now of course these healthcare industry issues will certainly further complicate the ongoing workforce challenges we have across the global supply chain industry. Greg, especially in these five states plus dc. Greg, your thoughts here on what is set to transpire with Kaiser Permanente?

Greg White (14:59):

You know what their primary complaint is? Which one? There aren’t enough workers. Mm. So don’t you love the irony of 75,000 people going on strike because there aren’t enough workers? And why aren’t there enough workers? Because in 2021 and 2022, more than 5 million healthcare workers feared for their safety. Largely, I mean, and left the workforce never to return. So not unlike the great resignation of that time period, overall, so many people left the workforce that now were left with fewer and less experienced. And inarguably, in my experience, which I’ll talk about in a second, inarguably less capable people in the industry. Mm. My dad spent 24 of 31 days in the hospital recently. And recently the level of care that he was getting was frightening. I mean, it was absolutely frightening. The ineptitude that he was, he’s a diabetic heart patient patient and was supposed to have a very specific diet. And they talk about the people you know in the, in the kitchen who have to make sure that this happened. Seven out of 10 meals were incorrectly prepared for a diabetic Wow.

Scott Luton (16:09):


Greg White (16:10):

So it’s a real problem. I’m not sure that striking is the answer, but if that’s what it takes to get these companies to do it. But the fact is, there aren’t more healthcare workers to take these jobs. We have to wait for people to get out of school. Hmm. Nursing classes are so small that at an individual university, a class may only have five to eight openings for nurses. Right. And the schooling is so long for doctors, obviously seven to 10 years that, you know, it’s not like you can manufacture these people overnight. And we did virtually overnight eliminate, or they eliminate, they opted out 5 million people. So it ain’t coming back soon. No matter what you do in terms of a strike. I’m at a loss. I empathize. Definitely empathize with especially the competent nurses and doctors that are out there who stuck it out through covid, you know, and and fought burnout and probably continue to fight it every day. I, I don’t know how to handle it, but it’s a very, very difficult situation. Right.

Scott Luton (17:08):

So. Right. Um, and just adding a few other notes and observations, I would argue, I don’t have the statistics right in front of me, but with the population dynamics, I would argue that demand of course is not gonna go down anytime soon based on generational dynamics. And then the other thing that, you know, the pandemic and general business environment has caused a lot of these rural systems to go under rural systems. And in some cases, like here in Atlanta, we’ve seen metro providers go under the

Greg White (17:34):

Largest trauma center in Georgia. Correct. Scott went under,

Scott Luton (17:39):

I think you’re right.

Greg White (17:40):

Finally, they let it go under. I mean they’ve been keeping it afloat for decades now, but Grady Hospital just gone just like that.

Scott Luton (17:48):

I know we don’t typically talk about, you know, healthcare central topics, but we see this, at least I see this as so connected to what I’ll call the general welfare of the workforce in supply chain. I think it’s something certainly we should be keeping on our radar. So some of y’all may have been with us last week as we enjoyed a couple of folks from B C G Boston Consulting Group on last week’s Buzz and Constantine sat in for Greg who was on assignment, I think we called it Greg. We talked about some of the new e-commerce, not new, but couple that were on the grow, right. That were competing with Amazon in different ways, including like longer delivery times, like catering to the crowd that don’t care to get something the next day or something. They wanna pay cheap and they can wait. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Well Greg, I completely missed that. My daughter was a current customer for one of these sites. I wanna say maybe, is it Shine?

Greg White (18:37):

There is a company called Shine. Yeah.

Scott Luton (18:39):

I might be getting my wires crossed, but it was right here. Yeah. Shine ss h e i n. And I miss the opportunity, Greg to interview my oldest daughter and get her experience with this Amazon competitor. So you never know what’s right up under our nose, huh?

Greg White (18:54):

Yeah. Well, I mean it’s, it’s always there. I may have done a little bit of shopping on various sites. Yeah. This weekend I’ve gotten quite lazy. I can’t lie <laugh>, I went to a Costco this weekend and it was, I mean the amount of anxiety that I felt at that Costco was unbelievable. It was packed, chopped full of people. Wow. At nine 30 in the morning, which is when they opened the doors. Nice. It was like the rush into a Taylor Swift concert. <laugh>. I just have to mention Taylor Swift every once in a while because Scott is so tired of hearing about her <laugh>, especially on football Sunday.

Scott Luton (19:30):

Alright, Greg, you open that can of worms. Lemme just say my family’s a big fan of Taylor Swift as an artist and I am too. However, as we were talking pre-show, can’t we just watch a football game and focus on the plays and not the uh, relationships?

Greg White (19:44):

You’re not wrong. Start. Yeah. You’re not wrong. I don’t care who your relationship’s with alone either. <laugh>, I don’t like hearing about Brittany Mahomes when we’re watching the Chiefs either, right? <laugh>,

Scott Luton (19:55):

Well, I show up for a football game and it’s like a, an addition of entertainment tonight breaks out. Yeah. That’s not, that’s not what I’m after. But hey, different strokes, different folks. Let’s get back to Greg. Now going back to the ai, which we talked about earlier. Big show Bob Bova says, gentlemen, it’s about value to the enterprise, to the stakeholders who is willing to do what it takes to be the positive change agent. AI is sexy right now because it is a change agent. It cannot replace though the creativity of a valuable employee at any level with constructive strategic value and insight. Gregory,

Greg White (20:30):

I think the Hollywood writers with the specific clause that excludes AI from writing for shows would argue that point, because they’re about to be put out, they could easily be put outta work by ai. And that nothing is more creative than writing quote except for CCBs shows. Nothing’s more creative, creative than writing a television show or a movie. Right. Well

Scott Luton (20:51):

I think if you think of Back to Hollywood, right, there’s lots of examples in supply chain. But looking at Hollywood, you look at Word got out, this has been about a month or two ago that, uh, that the Hollywood studios were looking to use ai, gen AI to create the extras in the scenes. Now, in my view, I’m not never set foot in that industry. I’m respective of all parties. But in my view, that’s eliminating some of the just transactional stuff. And it seems for me, it seems like a natural application for gen AI in that industry. Much like in supply chain, we’re talking about eliminating manual work. You know, that for me, those are very closely related. But Greg, your thoughts,

Greg White (21:31):

What’s like the great John Henry versus the locomotive debate, right? Mm-hmm. I mean, people get really, really afraid when they realize that they’re low value whatever job is at stake. And if they don’t have the confidence to do something that’s more high value, they’re gonna fight hard for that low value job. UAW is a great example of that. I wouldn’t say low value, but easily replaced now with automation and ai and likewise the Hollywood writers. So it doesn’t make it true just because we say it. We know that AI can do creative, insightful, and strategic things, right? But there are still things that humans can do, right? That AI can’t. Right. But we shouldn’t kid ourselves be blind to the fact that AI will do will and in relatively short order will do, do things that that humans would do otherwise. We’ve already had AI in our business replace an entire human being. Right? Right. So good point. What we have to recognize is where we add value to Bob’s first point, right? It is about adding value. If we don’t add value by doing repetitive things with a wrench, machines should be doing it. And we should stop desperately clinging to these jobs that are of so little value for such a high cost.

Scott Luton (22:50):

So perfect opportunity. I wasn’t sure, I’m glad you mentioned exactly that because in my mind, so folks, if you’re any baseball fans out there, especially maybe in a Gen Xer like, uh, me and Greg, you may remember the pitcher of Tim Wakefield. Yeah. Right? Tim Wakefield unfortunately passed away yesterday at the age of 57 Now, but this is where it’s relevant beyond. He is one heck of a player that also served his community tirelessly, endlessly. A great teammate won 200 games in his career. But here’s where it’s relevant because what Greg just touched on there, humans have to be, especially in this era, they’ve got to be open to embracing new skill sets, especially when it comes to survival. And here’s where the Tim Wakefield story comes into play, because he was a home run hitting first baseman. Right? That’s what he got drafted to do.

Scott Luton (23:35):

Play first base hit home runs. But a scout told him when he was in double A in farm system that, hey, I hate to tell you, and I’m paraphrasing, of course I hate to tell you, but your bat and your glove glove ain’t good enough to go any further. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So Tim Wakefield took that critique to heart and said, you know what? I’m gonna learn a new skill. I’m gonna learn how to pitch and better yet, I’m gonna learning how to pitch to knuckle ball. So he put away his bat, put away his glove, leaned in wholeheartedly into learning how to pitch. And less than two seasons later, he was starting in a National League championship series against Tom Gln and the Braves beat Tom Gln twice with complete games. Yeah. And he went on after a couple setbacks like we all have, he went on to win 200 games and have his jersey retired for the Boston Red Sox, where he played the majority of his career.

Scott Luton (24:19):

Now, you know, these kinds of stories resonate with me. ’cause I watched him beat my team. I was really worried he was making appearance in the game seven of nine two N L C s. But the relevant thing here for all of you listeners out there is we owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to embrace our inner Tim Wakefields and not be afraid to lean into something new. That’s where we’re gonna find all sorts of opportunities to do big things in this digital economy, disrupted economy that we’re living in. Greg, your thoughts, and then we’re gonna move forward.

Greg White (24:47):

Well, I know you’re in the air force, but the marine motto, improvised, adapt, overcome. Right? I mean, that’s what we do. That’s what humans do. I mean, we shouldn’t be alive. We don’t have hair on our bodies, or at least not enough to keep us through cold weather. Right? So we create clothes and we build structures, right? So if we had just stuck to our original job, we would’ve been extinct eons ago. Or is it eras ago?

Scott Luton (25:14):


Greg White (25:15):

A long, long time ago. I mean mean I, I really empathize with people who wanna believe some of these things. They’re just simply not true. And I just would implore you not to dangerously delude yourselves to believe that AI can’t do so many, many things. I mean, well said. I, I think it’s important for us to embrace it. I think it’s also important, by the way, for us to identify boundaries for it. Right? But it can do many, many things that humans don’t wanna do, shouldn’t do. Just, let’s just pick automation. Forget about ai, just automation. Right. Or technology generally, whatever you want to call it, can do so many things that humans shouldn’t do. Dangerous. Right? Right. That are dirty, dark, and dull. Right. But now it can also do those, I can’t think of a D word for intelligent things we can do but aren’t the best suited for because we’re not consistent enough. We have emotion to get in our way. All those sorts of things. All of those things that apply to straight logic technologies also apply to AI technologies. And they’re just gonna do it better than straight linear logic technologies do.

Scott Luton (26:23):

So if Greg implores you to do something, hey, do it. Lean into the new opportunities out there and don’t rest on your laurels that you believe what you do cannot be replaced. That’s not a good way to approach life. Bob Bova says, I’m very interested to see what some long-term studies show about the efficacy of AI still really in its infancy. When does it become a rote technology without the ability to be humanly creative? Wow.

Greg White (26:50):

AI’s been around since 1952. It isn’t in anything but its infancy. Mm-hmm. Right. We have finally created the processing power to be able to use it to its full extent. And with generative ai, right. And with Laura, these low risk alternative learning techniques, it learns virtually like a human, it’s moved well beyond rote items. You can’t write a research paper using rote. Right? Right. Just rules. Rules and Right. Rules and, and standards. You can’t do that. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So it’s well past that

Scott Luton (27:23):

Right now though, Greg, I’m gonna act like I did not struggle with all things accounting or economic related in college. Goodness gracious. I’m glad you’re good with math. Third story today, let’s share some economic news. According to Market Watch, the US economy grew at a 2.1% pace in second quarter 2023. Consumer spending though came in a good bit weaker than expected. And of course that’s one of the key factors. Maybe the key factor behind the economy. But on the other hand, business investment like money spent on plants and equipment. Well that was a little bit stronger than expected inventory levels. Greg also showed an increase. Folks getting ready, uh, peak current predictions for third quarter is a 4% increase in the US G D P man. That sounds ambitious. However, trouble may lie ahead as indicated in perspective shared by Chris. I’m gonna say Zach. Yeah, Zach. Zach Zachar, I bet it’s Chris Zachar, chief Investment Officer at the Independent Advisor Alliance. Said quote, we believe that a recession is inevitable. But we have been surprised by the resilience of the consumer. End quote Gregory, put on that Chief economist had of yours. What’s your take?

Greg White (28:34):

Okay. Just to be clear. Not an economist, but equally as accurate in predicting recessions and economic growth. Okay. Which is almost 0% accurate. Uh, look, how long have we been talking about recession? How long have I been talking about recession? And it hasn’t come yet. And I wonder if people, and I would love to get some visceral responses to this, I wonder if people think that the economy growing at a 2.1% clip right now is, or four, if that’s where we think it’s gonna grow for the whole year. If they think that’s a good thing at this point. Especially since it’s mostly driven by increased prices. Right. And I mean, there’s some indicators in here that are encouraging because consumers have been driving inflation since whenever we started getting those three, $4 trillion worth of checks. Hmm. Right. Spending other people’s money. But I think we’re about to run out of other people’s money.

Greg White (29:33):

So that’s why we’re starting to see consumer spending come down. But now business spending is going up and that over the spending for the same period last year, it’s important for us to align that. So we can’t say that peak caused this because peak would’ve caused a similar uplift last year. Yep. Right. What really has caused it is the continually increasing prices. Five, four and a half, 5% inflation. Right. The rule of 72 says divide F, let’s divide five into 72. And that’s how often prices will double. Hmm. Right. So I can’t do math, I’m gonna do math

Scott Luton (30:10):


Greg White (30:12):

Because I, by accounting, but I understand economics as a, whatever you wanna call it, psychological, not definitely not a science. Uh, psych psychological or even economic discipline. Even calling it a discipline is giving it a lot of credit, isn’t it? Hmm. But yeah, I mean, I think we are gonna be challenged and it’s gonna be hard to have a soft landing, but we also know that these things are politically motivated and they’re trying to protect the current administration as they always do. Right. Especially with an election coming up. Although you never know. I mean, there’s some rumblings in the Democratic Party that we may just sacrifice our current president and try and find another candidate to run. And it looks like the Republicans will be epically weak in the upcoming election. So maybe they don’t have to do that. Some of these things when they work together, can be really, really beneficial to us. Just common people, right. If it looks like Republicans can’t win, we don’t have to protect the current, or we’re gonna sacrifice the current president and find a new one because we think you can’t win, then we don’t have to do all these conflagrations. We can just focus on the economy, independent of its political ramifications. More importantly on the ramifications on us, you, you folks out there and me.

Greg White (31:29):

So it’s a very difficult time right now because there’s so many conflicting influences and it has become so clear and apparent that this is as political as it is economic. So that makes it even harder to predict.

Scott Luton (31:43):

Yes. But

Greg White (31:43):

Four, four and a half, 5%, whatever you wanna call it, inflation is not sustainable. Mm-hmm. Right. We have to get down back down to that 2% range.

Scott Luton (31:53):

I’m with you. And to your point you made a second ago, this is an example. We’ve all had the meetings in supply chain and manufacturing organizations where everybody brings their own spreadsheet and the data <laugh>, you know, everybody’s got their own data. This is an example, and I’m gonna point this out in a second because you see different agencies show different trends and different data, and we’re gonna point that out in just a second. Uh, Kyle says, prolonging the inevitable and the lasting impact of inflation is gonna last longer.

Greg White (32:20):

That’s true. That’s true. I mean, if we don’t hit recession, then these prices growing at 5% a year will stick, right? Mm. I mean, I use one indicator. I remember many of you might not. I remember the last, the great reception when I could get a Zaxby’s, probably not. Everybody knows what’s Zaxby’s sells chicken tenders. That’s all they sell <laugh>. Okay. Fries and other sides. But it’s, it’s a whole business built around chicken tenders, which has absolutely blown the doors off, by the way. Mm. But you used to be able to buy a big Zacks snack for 3 99. Now it’s $8. Wow. $8 or 8 49 depending on where, where you’re, where you are. So that to me is

Scott Luton (33:05):

Unsustainable. <laugh>. Yeah,

Greg White (33:07):

Unsustainable. I mean, it’s fast food, right? Right. Even McDonald’s made their one 10th of an ounce hamburger. Smaller, smaller than one 10th, sorry, one 10th of a pound. Right. One 10th of a pound, physically smaller. And the way that you can tell is they didn’t make the buns physically smaller. And now the burger doesn’t go to the edge of the bun. So you know that they’ve made it smaller. It’s tragic.

Scott Luton (33:28):

It is. All right. We’ve been promising this last story, Greg. I think this is a cool picture. And by the way, that is, there’s no sponsorship from dexterity ai. I just, I really like the photograph and the story. So our four story is reported by our friends at supply chain dive. Given all the workforce issues companies, of course they’re gonna find a way and they continue to experiment with ways to automate. Here. FedEx is collaborating with a robotics company named Dexterity ai. The focus is on using AI powered robots to load FedEx ground trailers and load them more efficiently. Might I add the testing process continues and is ongoing, no timeframe was given as to deploying this particular solution. But one other interesting nugget, and y’all check out this read, but I think we dropped a link in the check because as we were just talking about Right, the data showed more investment in business. We’ll check out this nugget from this article. According to the Association for Advancing Automation, robot orders, north America were down in Q 2 20 23 after record breaking purchases in 2021 and 2022. Alright, so Greg, your thoughts here, well,

Greg White (34:34):

I mean, this is what Gene was talking about, right? Is, I mean, think about how we’re using ai. One of the points that they make in this article is about the dexterity of these robots where they can put very slight pressure, tough pressure on it like a human would to get things to fit just perfectly into a small slot so that they can build a flat wall of boxes as they work throughout the trailer. So this is a huge advance. It’s a job nobody, honestly, no human could do. I mean, having worked for a retailer, having seen how trucks are loaded, it’s impossible. Impossible to think about all the things that could impact it. I think of this as kind of like Tetris in reverse. You’re trying to put the blocks in the right way, right? Not take them out or, you know, not Well, yeah.

Greg White (35:21):

It is Tetris, whatever. Anyway, um, I get, I’m, I’m always confused with Tetris and Jenga and all that stuff. Mm-hmm. But when you’re loading a trailer, as we all know, you want the stuff that needs to come off first on the trailer, right? You have to load balance the trailer. So let’s say the first or the very last delivery is a bunch of heavy stuff. You still have to work around that because you can’t have all of the weight over the axles, you know, all kinds of things like that. So AI can undertake all of these difficult challenges, these combinatorial analytics that humans simply can’t do and do it unemotionally and without mistake. So I also believe, by the way, to Bob BOA’s point, I think linear algorithms couldn’t do a lot of this as well and have done a lot of this. But the AI aspect of it, of learning, analyzing like humans do, humans, that’s enough room for this box to fit into.

Greg White (36:17):

Right? And next time I’ll know that although sometimes we as humans forget that AI never forgets, right? So this is a good example of, of the use of this for a job that humans simply have done. They have done for a long time, but simply can’t do effectively enough. Mm-hmm. And probably don’t wanna do, because if anybody’s loaded trailers on a loading dock, guess where the hottest part of any warehouse is a trailer out in the sun on a loading dock. <laugh>, right? Or coldest. Right? The worst weather is in a trailer that’s being loaded.

Scott Luton (36:51):

Excellent point there. I have loaded planes in the Air Force by the way. Wow. But I, which is a whole different thing than this. Talk

Greg White (36:58):

About critical weight distribution and aircraft, right?

Scott Luton (37:02):

Well, I wish I could claim to have the smarts to figure all that stuff out. They said, put it here and put it there and I put it here and put it there.

Greg White (37:09):

Somebody figured it out, didn’t they? Someone

Scott Luton (37:11):

Did. Yeah. Loadmasters, absolutely Loadmasters are critical. And by the way, big shout out to Lloyd Knight, one of the coolest loadmasters. I know. What was I gonna say? Oh, I’ve never loaded a truck for some reason, Greg, what I have done way back as a kid is load hay in a barn. Oh my. Now of course, these are two different things, but folks, if you’ve never lifted the hay bale and never loaded and stacked up hay, man, I think I slept for three days straight. Greg <laugh> after that with my uncle Bill

Greg White (37:36):

Scott, we had a, we had a round top barn and we stacked it all the way to the top. And you can only push a hay bale so far when you know there’s only enough height for the to get through. So you have to get behind it. That’s why barns are round top, by the way, <laugh>. So you have to get behind it and pull it as far as you can. And then if you’re usually the smallest skinniest guy winds up doing that all the while by, by the way, breathing in microscopic hay, you know? Um,

Scott Luton (38:07):

Oh yeah.

Greg White (38:07):

Right. It’s just gross and it’s hot as Hades in there. And then you have to crawl out around. If it is not a job for somebody who does not like tight spaces and then you kick the BA in against the last row, it is absolute utter. And I know what I did to my great uncle that made him make me be that guy other than be skinny. But I really thought he me. I thought he wanted me to die there <laugh>, because it felt like it didn’t, it. I mean,

Scott Luton (38:39):

Oh, it’s tough work

Greg White (38:40):


Scott Luton (38:41):

Tough work. And you know, look, we greatly respect all the folks out there loading trucks today. And, and there’s been with some outstanding leaders that have come up through the ranks. They started part-time basis loading trucks. But to Greg’s point, and definitely wanna spike the football on this, I think inevitably you’ve got workforce dynamics, workforce preferences, and it’s not necessarily opening up bigger and bigger pools to get that kind of work done. So this right pilot and the initiative by FedEx is the future, no doubt, as we look to automate and make more efficient the blocking and tackling that goes on across global supply chain. Well we highly value going back, you know, of course a human element. There’s some outstanding things where humans do it best. But again, this frees up the human element to do more exciting, more valuable things

Greg White (39:27):

Enlists painful, right? And yeah,

Scott Luton (39:31):

That’s a great point. Going back to the healthcare thing, that doing jobs that are less likely to get you hurt, right? Gina points out the food processing plants, pork, chicken, beef, talk about some dangerous situations, you know, slicing up, you know, carving up, harvesting these animal products. Man, lots of people get hurt. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And there’s some automation that we’ve talked about reported on here on the buzz that has, uh, made big gains in that industry. Okay. So Greg, we’re gonna wrap, you know, we were buzzing right along and then we went down a bit of a rabbit hole and we blink and we’re, it’s almost one o’clock. But you know

Greg White (40:03):

What I like about this show, what we can do that I hope, I hope folks are entertained by that, or at least informed, right? Or they’re laughing at us like these idiots cannot sit on top <laugh>, whatever. Right. Whatever, whatever. It’s, I hope it’s valuable to folks out there.

Scott Luton (40:18):

I do too. Okay. So Greg, we covered a lot of ground. We’ve invited folks to check us out in live programming the rest of the week. In fact, the whole month of October is jam packed full. Yep. It’s a cornucopia of supply chain leadership content. Alright, so Greg, yeah, one thing, what’s one thing that folks gotta keep in mind from today’s discussion and then we’re gonna sign off and get going.

Greg White (40:39):

I think adaptation is the most valuable of all human traits. We haven’t found the boundaries of what technology can do yet, don’t live in the past, don’t defend it for personal reasons or for lack of a forward-looking point of view, except that change will occur. It has always occurred. And those that adapt with it thrive and those that don’t get extincted. So yeah, that’s my thing is just we talk a lot about the human traits that technology can’t replace. Mm-hmm The ability to adapt, as you talked about the Tim Wakefield story is great. The ability to adapt at that level is a uniquely human skill. Use it. That’s

Scott Luton (41:18):

Right. That’s such an excellent point. Way to finish, you know, machines don’t say, Hey, you know what that scout says, I can’t hit baseballs at the major league level. So machines don’t say, I’m gonna pick up a knuckle ball. That is a uniquely human advantage. Folks, there’s a great business analogy there. You know, look for the opportunities when one door shuts. There’s all sorts of other opportunities. And especially in this technological environment, if you’re open to it and you lean into the change and disruption, there’s lots and lots of opportunities. And to where, you know, whatever the business version of getting your jersey, what do you think that would be, Greg? What’s the business equivalent of getting your jersey retired by the Red Sox?

Greg White (41:55):

I don’t think there is an equivalent. I mean, <laugh>, right? I mean, even arguably the best leader of I B M got to write a book. And even then people didn’t really appreciate what you did. So <laugh>, um, I don’t think there is an equivalent, but just don’t worry about your jersey getting hung up. Just worry about you getting hung out to dry and make it.

Scott Luton (42:16):

Oh man. Okay, that’s good. We’re gonna have to leave it there folks. And of course, rest in peace to Tim Wakefield. I will forever remember starting with the 92 N L C S 20 Braves and the Pittsburgh Pirates. We tracked him throughout 200 wins, 200 wins in that career. That is remarkable. Folks, hopefully you enjoyed today’s session. Big thanks to Amanda and Catherine behind the scenes helping to make it happen. Big thanks to all of y’all that tuned out and brought your, not only a Turkey sandwich, but brought your point of view and perspective. Love that, Greg. Always a pleasure knocking out these shows with you.

Greg White (42:46):

Likewise. Yeah, thank you. I enjoyed it. And thanks to all you out there, I love keep those comments coming. We may not agree, but we’re always pointing the same direction.

Scott Luton (42:56):

<laugh>, right? Well said. Well said. All right folks, hopefully you enjoyed today’s show. Hopefully you’re gonna take a nugget of something that was discussed here today and put it into action. That’s the name of the game, deeds not words. Lean on those new opportunities. And with all that said, Scott, on behalf of our entire team here at Supply Chain now, Scott Luton challenging. You do good, give forward and be the change. And we’ll see you next time. Right back here at Supply Chain now. Thanks. Bye.

Scott Luton (43:24):


Intro/Outro (43:25):

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Scott W. Luton

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Nick Roemer

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

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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 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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Demo Perez

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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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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.

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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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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 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.

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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.

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Tandreia Bellamy


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 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


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


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


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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