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 Scott Luton, Sophia Rivas Herrera, host of Supply Chain Now in Español, and Enrique Alvarez, host of Logistics with Purpose. In addition to talking about some of the top supply chain and business headlines, they marked the 37th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster, and how that loss inspired many people to take on roles in technology and aerospace.
In this livestream, created in collaboration with a live Supply Chain Now audience, Scott, Sophia, and Enrique discussed:
• Why global supply chains (and consumers) might soon feel the pinch as demand for flowers spikes in the lead up to Valentine’s Day
• The comprehensive supply chain support that will be needed to help Ukraine fully leverage tanks recently committed by Great Britain, Germany, and the United States
• The intersection of retail trends and consumer preferences that has executive teams and supply chain operations taking notice
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, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you are, Scott Luton, Sophia Riva Herrera, and Enrique Alvarez here with you on Supply Chain. Now, welcome to today’s live stream, Sophia, how are you doing?
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:00:42):
I’m doing great. Starting the last Monday of January, finally, don’t you feel like January last so long,
Scott Luton (00:00:50):
<laugh>? You know, I can’t believe, I can’t believe we’re almost into February, 2023, so, uh, but I guess it was a long month for you, Sophia, is that right?
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:00:58):
It, it felt that way, but good start of 2023.
Scott Luton (00:01:02):
That is right. That is right. Enrique, how are you doing?
Enrique Alvarez (00:01:05):
I’m doing great, Scott. It’s always a pleasure to be here with you. And of course, Sophia, very nice to see you again.
Scott Luton (00:01:11):
Well, we’re delighted to have y’all both here. Today’s all, all that supply chain budge. Every Monday at 12 New Eastern Time, we tackled the leading developments and news, really, across global business. Amen. We get to do it. Greg is on assignment, we’ll call it right, his Kenzie Chiefs won last night, so he’s on assignment doing some in-depth reporting. Uh, so we’ve got Sophia and Enrique with us here today, and we can’t be more delighted to walk through the news and, and getting y’all’s take on some of what’s going on out there. So, Enrique and Sophia, are y’all buckled up, ready to go? We’re ready.
Enrique Alvarez (00:01:44):
We’re ready to vote. We’re
Scott Luton (00:01:45):
Ready to go. All right. Y’all always ready? Uh, uh, I believe always ready. Uh, and folks, not only are you gonna hear me and Enrique and Sophia talk about what’s going on in global business, but we wanna hear from you. We see a bunch of folks already in the comments. We will be sharing your perspectives throughout. And, uh, and I wanna start by saying hello to a few folks, Sophia and Enrique. Let’s see who’s, who’s with us already here today. We’ve got, uh, conchen tuned in from India via LinkedIn. Great to see you here today. Uh, Cecil is back with us from Grain Rapids, Michigan, uh, also via LinkedIn, Shelly Phillips. She is a regular here, Sophia, Enrique. And Shelly always brings it from, uh, uh, the beautiful state of Colorado. Have you have either one of y’all been ever been to Colorado?
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:02:31):
Scott Luton (00:02:32):
Enrique Alvarez (00:02:33):
I have. It’s a beautiful state. Beautiful state
Scott Luton (00:02:36):
For sure. It is. Uh, Shelly, great to see you here. And, and Sophia, I like your optimistic answer. Not yet. Not yet. Sounds like, uh, uh, you’re gonna, that’s on your bucket list, maybe. Um, Terry Butler tuned in from, uh, the awesome city of Chicago, also via LinkedIn. Great to see you here. Uh, Josh Goody. Hey, we’re getting the weather report, uh, right on cue from beautiful Seattle, Washington, sunny and 25 degrees Sophia Enrique, 25 degrees.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:03:04):
And that’s Fing height, right?
Scott Luton (00:03:06):
<laugh>, Josh, bu bundle up 25. That is cold. And I, and I wonder how much rain y’all have been getting. Uh, Catherine’s holding down the Fort Force on YouTube. Great to see you, Catherine. Happy buzz day. Indeed. Uh, hey, David, great to see you here, uh, via LinkedIn. Um, all kidding aside, very, um, really hated to hear about, uh, your family members. So prayers and best wishes are with, uh, your family. Uh, David, uh, and finally, I know we couldn’t, everybody, but Adrian, Adrian’s back with us here in Atlanta, ga open to connect. Love that as we all are. Okay, Enrique and Sophia. So before we get into our first, uh, item today, we’re gonna share something we put out over the weekend. Before we do that, uh, I’d like for both of y’all to give me and give our global supply chain now family. What’s one cool thing you did over the weekend? Sophia, you, you were sharing a couple things pre-show, and we’re gonna hear from Enrique too. But Sophia, what was the cool thing you did over the weekend?
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:04:07):
Yeah, so I did, uh, an activity that I haven’t done for 20 years. So in my city, there’s every Sunday they close the streets and you can go on bikes or just walk them. And I did that when I was very little with my family once, but we never came back. And yesterday I went with some friends over there, and I was riding a bike again, and it was so, I mean, I feel like, uh, a whole new experience again. It was, it was nice. I didn’t fall <laugh>, so that was good
Scott Luton (00:04:48):
<laugh>. And it was, and the weather cooperated too. It was a gorgeous day as well, right, Sophia?
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:04:53):
Gorgeous day. And it was kind of nice to finally, uh, experience and leave that those streets that you always go buy car. Mm. But you just suddenly see like, pedestrians only. That was nice.
Scott Luton (00:05:08):
Ah, I love that. Different perspective. Well, love that. And love is something new. You, you hadn’t done in 20 years. Uh, by the way, Jose, great to see you here. Love content. Y’all turn out, uh, so nice to see you, Jose, via LinkedIn, uh, from Las Vegas. Let’s go around. So, Jose, safe travels. Enjoy Las Vegas. Great to see you. Okay, Enrique, that’s gonna be tough to top. So Sophia did something she hadn’t done in 20 years. Really enjoyed it. I can, I just love the picture she painted and she described it. What’s one thing you did this weekend?
Enrique Alvarez (00:05:37):
Not gonna even try to top it. I’m sure that it was a lovely day biking, uh, 25 different scale though, uh, weather. Yeah. Uh, but, um, I, we had some friends over for dinner on Saturday, and we haven’t really seen them in a very long time before the pandemic. So we, we had a blast. And I did want to say something, uh, to Jose Montoya. He’s in Las Vegas or in Nevada. And, um, there’s the manifest, um, correct manifest conference this week. And so I’ll be there. I know if Jose will be there, but if Jose, you are just, let’s see if we can meet.
Scott Luton (00:06:11):
Well now, Enrique, you’re really humble, but you’re one of the, uh, you’re one of the, uh, esteemed speakers at manifest this coming week. So looking forward to hearing all your good things as you wow them.
Enrique Alvarez (00:06:23):
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:06:23):
You, you made it sound that you were just an ee <laugh>. You’re not
Enrique Alvarez (00:06:27):
<laugh> Well, we’ll be speaking too, but it’s a very, very good conference. It’ll go the whole week. So I just, yes,
Scott Luton (00:06:34):
I always, uh, too humble. But love that Enrique, looking forward to hearing your key takeaways from the week coming up. Okay. So, uh, on a different note, kind of switching gears here, I wanna bring this in. So, uh, Enrique and Sophia, uh, once a week we published with that Said, right, it’s a, uh, LinkedIn newsletter put out by the supply chain now team, uh, that we’ve been doing, I don’t know, for probably three or four months now. Um, and we try to make it to be very different content than, than everything else we do podcast streams, webinars, whatever. And this past weekend was the 37th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster. Right? Uh, that iconic moment for, for, um, a lot of folks, at least, uh, maybe in, in my generation and others, you know, exactly where you were when you got the news, you know? And, uh, and it’s just a terrible, terrible loss, um, for, uh, seven astronauts, their families. Um, the space program, uh, you know, was set back for quite some time. Uh, I wanna ask y’all a quick question. Um, do you remember where y’all were? I mean, Enrique, do you remember where you were when you saw the news about the challenge?
Enrique Alvarez (00:07:38):
I, I, I don’t exactly remember where I was. I was in Mexico City at the time, and I remember actually watching it on tv. I could have been either with my mom or my grandmother, cuz they usually dropped us off at my grandmother’s house, um, before school sometimes. But, uh, I do remember the image when the whole thing happened, and then it was just definitely sad.
Scott Luton (00:08:01):
It was awful. Awful,
Enrique Alvarez (00:08:02):
Scott Luton (00:08:03):
Sophia, any thoughts about the, the shuttle program or the, the challenge disaster?
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:08:08):
So that was on 86, right? That’s
Enrique Alvarez (00:08:10):
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:08:11):
So I was still being, uh, planned in my family to appear in the world. Yep. And Albert, I, I do, I do recall it through my family’s, uh, memories of what they were doing. And I think, uh, there was a high expectation from everyone to work, right? Mm-hmm. For that to work. And also a lot of excitement. I think at least my dad had, uh, his hopes up, uh, when he was a kid to be an astronaut, really. And when he saw that it, it was actually happening, he, uh, was very excited about it. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, and I do remember when, when learning about this event, uh, it was very tragic and also it kind of made everyone feel like, okay, what, so it’s not, we are not able to do it. Mm-hmm. But I think that apart from that, uh, we carried on, right?
Scott Luton (00:09:10):
Yes, that’s right.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:09:12):
It wasn’t a, uh, complete loss of effort and, and hard work, but also like a way of, I would say, transcending these astronauts, transcending everyone’s lives.
Scott Luton (00:09:25):
Right? Yeah. Well put very poetic, Sophia. And, uh, I’d love to learn more about your father’s, um, uh, aspirations of be an astronaut. Cause I, I really think, uh, the shuttle program, cause it ran from the, um, late seventies through 2011. So my daughter, my oldest daughter was two years old when the, the shuttle came to an end. So they don’t know a whole bunch about, uh, the shuttle program, but to your point, Sophia and Enrique, I think it did. Um, it inspired the program really inspired all sorts of folks around the globe, right? And I think the silver lining, which you kind of spoke to there, Sophia, with a challenger disaster, you know, these seven brave souls right here, uh, really, um, they, they became, uh, inspirations and, uh, inspired many folks to, uh, serve, whether you’re in the space industry or whether, you know, you’re doing something else, um, you know, from a, especially from like a technology standpoint.
Scott Luton (00:10:22):
So, you know, lives were not lost in vain by any means. Uh, and, and a c a few folks, Larry, great to see is watching it on tv as, as was I, uh, Larry in grade school. Uh, David was watching it at school, you know, uh, Kristen McCauliffe was the school teacher that was going up on the Challenger on that fateful day in 1986. So, um, but lives were not lost in vain. Hopefully we can all find some inspiration, uh, not just with the shuttle, but, um, uh, each of those seven astronauts. So, so tying it all together for, with that said, we’re really focused on snippets of each of those seven astronauts. Maybe some things you didn’t know about their background and whatnot. So, um, check that out. Every, uh, Saturday. Uh, usually Saturday morning, it kind of depends on how busy Enrique and Sophia our Saturday morning is.
Scott Luton (00:11:11):
So, um, anyway, moving right along. So y’all ready to dive into our first story here today, Enrique, Sophia? Yes, absolutely. All right. On a much, much lighter note, we’re gonna be talking about flowers, right? So I wanna start with this story as Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Now, Valentine’s Day, y’all might know this, the number one holiday in the US for spending on flowers tw get this. 28% of all money spent on flowers for all holidays, all year long is spent all on Valentine’s Day. But as reported by Global Press Journal, supply chain issues, like everything else, continue plague the flower industry. Now, this story, I’m gonna probably say this name incorrectly, Enrique and Sophia, y’all help me out here. <laugh>, uh, zec Z um, ZEC contin. Zenin, am I coming close with that, that region in southern Mexico? No, not Okay.
Enrique Alvarez (00:12:07):
<laugh>, please. Sorry, even close, please. So I’ll let Sophia actually take this one, cuz I believe it’s close to where she is.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:12:15):
Scott Luton (00:12:17):
Ah, Xena Canan. Xena Canan
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:12:19):
Is a better, wow, you did it really fast.
Scott Luton (00:12:21):
Well, you gave me a great, uh, you gave me a great Xena Canan. So it’s in southern Mexico, and this is a, uh, a major Flo culture market, right? But critical chemicals for forming, uh, farming flowers rather well, the costs have risen dramatically doubling or even tripling. Now, Mexico imports two-thirds of its, uh, nitrogen fertilizer with a lot of that coming from Russia, which obviously is a much different market right now as opposed to 18 months ago. Now, some say that there’s an opportunity at this moment given all those constraints to move their fertilization methods to a more sustainable locally found option. But of course, price increases are being passed on to to customers here in the us. Some markets and analysts are reporting that flower prices are 25% higher this year than last year. And here’s a did you know, and then I’m gonna get Sophia, and in your case, take here. According to the American Society of Flores, 250 million roses are produced for Valentine’s Day alone. Holy man. That’s, that’s a huge number. Sofia, your thoughts here, uh, on what’s going on?
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:13:30):
Well, I think the, basically, I, I do feel there’s an opportunity for local sourcing of fertilizers. Um, but on the other hand, it’s very important to find one that kind of equates to the effect that the Russian one had, right? Or like that quality level, uh, because at the end, uh, you want that same effect perhaps at a better price and, and better, um, conditions for your health as well, and, and not trying to use more of a new one. Right? And it will, it won’t work that way. Uh, I think another part of why is it so hard, um, I would say to balance cost in this type of supply chain is because at the end, uh, you, the value of a flower, especially from Mexico, I think the, the raw cost of it is very low. So adding value to it in a way of how can we make this product Yeah. Of, of a higher value, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I, it fulfills one day of demand, right? Which would be, uh, uh, Valentine’s Day. Other flowers will, and we’ve talked about this in previous shows, right? But in other parts of the year, but it’s a very seasonal, uh, thing. A product that you sell.
Enrique Alvarez (00:15:03):
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:15:04):
Right. And these places are very rich in the type of ground, very rich in the type of, uh, nutrients that are flower and weather as well. So all the conditions are there, but once you want to, uh, commercialize it or sell it elsewhere, that’s when it breaks, especially in Mexico. So even though you have all these hive production of flowers, they don’t get to where they need to be so fast enough. Mm. Or well enough.
Scott Luton (00:15:35):
Yeah. And, and to your cause to your point, we as consumers, we all want those blemish, freed up those perfect flowers. To your point, Sophia, that’s a great point. Now, Enrique, I’m gonna get your take here, but Nerf first says, looks like I’ll be shopping for flowers at the local plastic shop. It’s Valentine’s Day. Don’t tell my wife though. Nerf said, Nerf. Great to have you here. Be LinkedIn as always. All right. So Enrique, uh, your thoughts here on the story?
Enrique Alvarez (00:15:59):
Well, one of the things that really caught my attention the most, uh, when I read this article was like, there’s has to be a, a shift in the way that consumers perceive all these different products, which Sophia a little bit alluded to it, but I feel like if we want to continue having this, like, incredibly red, huge flowers, I mean, that really cannot be achieved with, uh, organic more, uh, natural ways of manufacturing or planting and producing this type of flour. So for me, it’ll be interesting and we see something similar, Scott, in the, uh, fruit market and vegetables, right? I mean, all those different fruits that are not perfectly rounded or not perfectly colored, they’re being basically just trashed. And, uh, so we’ll see what happens to the flowers. But, uh, but I guess, uh, consumers will have to be, uh, changing their mindsets a bit to, to not expect the, I guess, amazing looking flowers like we can all get, but definitely value the fact that sustainability is important. And that’s definitely more, uh, should be more appealing than maybe just having like a super big roast or having like a super red roast <laugh>. Yeah.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:17:07):
And, and on that note, I think, uh, it’s also a matter of rebranding, right? What is right? Beautiful, right? What is a good flower? Uh, isn’t it? Is it, should it be more the thought of it, right? To a nurse’s point? Does it matter if it’s plastic? Right? <laugh>, I mean, can we do a better job at, okay, these are the things that you can get in a better sourcing and manufacturing way, uh, can we abide to those standards and, and like those standards as
Enrique Alvarez (00:17:43):
Well? And I guess to your point, Sophie, I feel like that’s a very good way of actually adding a little bit more value, because we know that people are willing, up to 10% of the people are willing to pay a green premium or a sustainability premium for products that they know are sourced correctly. And, um, and made with natural, uh, raw materials. So to your point, we probably tackle both kind of, uh, problems at the same time. This farmers down in Mexico could potentially, um, make a bit more margin, right? If they do, uh, start shifting their supply chain towards the more sustainable alternatives.
Scott Luton (00:18:20):
So we’re gonna touch on that. That’s, that’s nice little tease there, Enrique. We’re gonna touch on that in, in the latter half of the show. But I love y’all’s perspective here. Um, a lot of, a lot of great, uh, great take there. And, and as Nerf said, kinda what Sophia was talking, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and as Sophia said, the, it’s the thought that counts. Uh, so Nerf, uh, you, you started quite a discussion here, <laugh>.
Enrique Alvarez (00:18:41):
I, I still think that Nerf has to go with the real flowers. You might get in trouble this, this Valentine’s Day. So you wanna That’s right to point it out.
Scott Luton (00:18:49):
Yeah. Don’t, don’t blame the buzz, uh, crew here. Nerf, if you do get plastic flowers, we’re all recommending you get the real deal, perhaps. Um, okay. Uh, and going back to that, the challenger story, T squared, like many of us in T squared holds down the fort as well on YouTube, the original OG there. Uh, and he remember of challenger story very well, seared into the consciousness of me. Like so many folks, uh, agreed. Uh, T-Square, just a terrible disaster. Um, okay. Oh no, uh, well, I was gonna say a much lighter note, but unfortunately it’s not cause we’re gonna be talking about, uh, the supply chain of war and, and, uh, war fighting. So, uh, as reported here by forces.net, and many others are spending news everywhere here lately, NATO countries have made a big commitment, uh, recently to Ukraine, where they’re gonna be sending modern tanks to help the country repel the ongoing invasion by Russia, which is almost a year, year old now, man, ton of suffering.
Scott Luton (00:19:47):
Uh, so the main tanks being contributed that all of y’all are hearing, uh, the challenger tank from Great Britain, uh, the leopard two from Germany. Now I’ve heard the leopard two, which, which, you know, being a kind of a bit of a military nerd from all of my life, I’ve always heard it referred to as the leopard. However, in some of the interviews, including with military experts, I’ve heard them pronounce it lepar, which is interesting. But regardless, the Challenger tank, the Leper two, and of course here, pictured here, the M one Abrams, uh, tank from the us. But beyond the training on operations and maintenance, that, that these, um, commitments are gonna require new supply chains to especially keep these tanks fueled up, are gonna be needed. The Abrams in particular is perhaps the thirstiest, the biggest gas Gus are between the three tanks, as some analysts say that the tank, the Abrams uses 10 gallons of gas per hour just to essentially idle and 60 gallons an hour when moving in combat and, and, and, and moving positions. And by the way, it can run on a variety of fuels, but as everyone’s heard, the j p eight AK jet fuel is preferred to run the Abrams. So lots of concerns out there in the defense, uh, community in terms of setting up successful fuel supply chains and other logistics that will allow Ukraine to be able to take full advantage of the tanks and, and, and bring them into the battle in a very effective, uh, means. Ricki, I’ll start with you here. Your thoughts on, um, on this topic?
Enrique Alvarez (00:21:20):
Well, I, I heard someone said once, um, like a, like a good general talks a lot about strategy, but an excellent general talks about logistics. And this is a really clear example of what this is all about. They’re sending all these tanks that could make aqui a huge impact in repelling the Russian forces, but at the same time, it’s posing a very challenging situation on the Ukrainian logistics team to figure out how to move them, fuel them, and, uh, put them to Guru. So it just kind of shows, I think it’s a very interesting example of something that’s well-intentioned as that, that may or may not be used efficiently,
Scott Luton (00:21:57):
Right? That’s right. That’s right. And Sophia, I’m coming to you next, but really quick, Josh says, not to mention the mechanics and, and that talent, right? All the spare parts, the ammo, all that stuff that you’re fixing them text, then. That’s right. Sophia, your thoughts here?
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:22:12):
Yeah, I, I think, um, Josh is spot on on his comment is not only about, uh, gas, but also about everything else that’s needed to actually working, right? And, and, and yeah, echoing a bit of, of what Enrique said is it’s kind of when you choose a tool for your company to solve a problem and you get the tool and then, and then you are like, but how do I use it? And, right. Uh, I I feel like it’s the same kind of problem. It’s like, oh, we have this problem, we need to solve it. Now you get the tool and then it’s ah, but it’s not the right thing. Or, oh, we don’t have the talent to work in, or we don’t have the parts, um, or the kind of of fuel or, or it’s in another language, perhaps in, and that’s always a, uh, a barrier and always a, an obstacle that at the end we put to ourselves, because we’re very focused on the now, but not the whole picture. Right?
Scott Luton (00:23:23):
Yes. Well said. And, and to your point, Sophia, I bet in the, uh, late seventies I think is when the M one Abrams tank, uh, came into service, I doubt that, um, working instructions were thought of, there’s gonna be a future need to be written in Russian or Ukrainian <laugh> or that language, right? They’ve gotta reinvent all of that to make sure, sure. These folks, to your point, Sophia, they can, they can take these advanced, um, uh, weapons of war and put ’em into use. Uh, and Rick, I’ll give you the final word here on this, uh, this tank story.
Enrique Alvarez (00:23:56):
Well, it just gives you a better sense of how integrate logistics is for everything we do, right? Yeah. And we take a lot of these things for granted. And, uh, and I think you can see it in any single thing we do. It’s very, very, uh, detail oriented. Everything has some logistics component to it. And of course, now I’m sure that the Ukrainian army and the Ukrainian, um, people using these tanks are going to find a way to do it efficiently and effectively. And again, we hope that this horrible, horrible war ends up
Scott Luton (00:24:29):
Soon. Yes, that’s right. Uh, on a lighter note, uh, it was, it’s been rumored that just taking this shot, the tank used 370 gallons <laugh> of cast, just taking a picture here. But, uh, um, and one of the, one of point, you know, cause the u Ukrainian military has been using the T 72 tank, which of course is the older Russian tank’s been around for a long time. The M one Abrams is, I read that is 20 to 30 tons heavier than the T 72. So lots, and of course, uh, while they know the T 72, like the back of their hand, they gotta learn three new pieces of very complex equipment. So we’ll see how that, it goes into Shelly’s point here, plus the amount of training needed to operate, right? We all touched on that, these very sophisticated tanks. Absolutely. Um, and
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:25:17):
Now all that, sorry, uh, yeah, go ahead. All those gas consumption, it made me kind of thing like, does it, does the term sustainability in war exist?
Scott Luton (00:25:28):
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:25:30):
I don’t know.
Scott Luton (00:25:31):
Actually, I don’t, I I don’t know either. I’ve got a hunch. I think it’s a great question. Uh, I’ve got a hunch that that is one of the first things that gets sacrificed. Yeah, exactly. In war. But, but you know what, as we all know, who wants to be at war, right? War? No, there are no winners, right? There’s no winners. There’s, uh, there’s a ton, tons of suffering. Um, and, and so on, on here. Here’s, here’s the, uh, best part of all this, Enrique and Sophia, in my view. Um, lemme get Jerry’s comment in here before I do that. So Jerry says, the biggest issue on these tanks is speed to markets. It’s gonna be interesting to see which tanks are in use by the Ukrainians first, uh, agreed. Uh, Jerry, and from what I understand, um, it’s gonna probably be the leopard, uh, tank will be the first actually, um, get, get on the scene and get trained up and be able to be put into combat.
Scott Luton (00:26:20):
But we’ll see. It’s a great point there, Jerry. Um, but here’s the, here’s the best news, I think related to anything with Ukraine is, is folks, you’ve got this outstanding initiative that’s being led by Maureen and Enrique and the Vector Global Logistics team. But it’s really built, and it stands, as Enrique will tell you, it stands on the shoulders of a, uh, a global community of folks that want to make a difference. So, of course, I’m talking about this le leveraging logistics for Ukraine initiative, which has been going on in Enrique, I would say about six months. Is that close?
Enrique Alvarez (00:26:51):
Yes. And I can’t believe that it’s been this long, as you mentioned before.
Scott Luton (00:26:55):
Yeah. It’s, it’s sad that it’s had to continue, but, um, real outcomes as, as folks here on the buzz have heard us talk about over 670,000 pounds of humanitarian aid has been shipped and, and, uh, made it into Ukraine and Poland and that region that, for folks that really are in need. And I’m really proud of what y’all have been leading and the global family that’s come together to support this effort and get stuff done. So here’s your opportunity. So next week, there’s a, a once a month meeting that not only helps coordinate these efforts, but they have great speakers that come to these meetings. The, on the last one I attended, they had an American that volunteered. His name is, uh, b um, Bach rot Brad, is that right, Brad?
Enrique Alvarez (00:27:39):
Scott Luton (00:27:40):
So, bk Brad has volunteered to go overseas and help evacuate people, and he’s evacuated hundreds of folks. He was interviewed by N B NBC News and, and really saved those Ukrainian lives, getting them out of harm’s way, getting them into Poland and elsewhere. So he spoke and we could ask him questions at, at the last meeting. So folks join us, if you, you can show up just to soak it all in. You can show up to, uh, kind of figure out where you could play your part, or if you’ve got something to bring to bear resources, you name it. Hey, all of you are welcome, uh, Enrique, I’d give you a quick thought. Uh, what would you, how would you encourage people to, to get involved here?
Enrique Alvarez (00:28:18):
Well, I think it’s everyone’s responsibility. I think we all have a say into this war, and the effects that we’re seeing in this war. I mean, the first comment that you made was about this flower, uh, people down in Mexico being struggling because there’s a war in Ukraine. Mm-hmm. So this world belongs to all of us. So we should all be involved, we should all be outraged by what’s what’s going on. And I would also say that, uh, if you’re out there and you’re listening to this episode, uh, if you have any potential, uh, products that you wanna donate or can donate and you want us to ship them, we’re still offering to ship some of those products for free. We’ve been shipping two containers for free since this started, and we’ll continue doing so. So I feel like now we’re running a little bit low on the companies that are, uh, donating products. So if, if you know anyone or are one of those companies or people, just let us know and join the conversation.
Scott Luton (00:29:13):
Well said. Enrique, Sophia, your thoughts around this leveraging logistics for Ukraine initiative?
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:29:18):
Yeah, I think those, uh, those sessions sometimes, uh, we, we feel like we cannot contribute to them, but some, sometimes just by attending it’s, it, it’s a kind of round table format. So I like it because just by hearing something will come to your mind, perhaps not, you directly can, um, help with something you do, but you’ll, it’ll make you think, oh, I know someone that does this, that might be good for et. Right? So something will trigger a thought in your mind to participate. So don’t feel like you cannot, you don’t have any impact on, on positive impact in, in the Ukraine war. Well said. There’s something, there’s always something you can, uh, do.
Scott Luton (00:30:12):
Enrique Alvarez (00:30:12):
Sophia and the, the efforts getting to the right people, right? Which is the other part, when you’re donating things, you have to make sure that you’re actually getting it to the people that needed it the most. And Scott, maybe at some point we can link the, uh, interview, uh, that was made cuz we showed some videos and pictures, not only of the products that we’ve been helping send, but also of the letter campaign. And we, uh, we send, I think about 2,500 letters. Um, so it’ll be, it just makes it real. Yes. And once I think you make it real, people are incredibly willing to help
Scott Luton (00:30:44):
Out. That’s right. Folks. Uh, the first step is joining this monthly planning session, really a monthly meeting of Kindred Spirits. February 7th, that’s next Tuesday, a week for tomorrow, 11:00 AM Eastern time. We’d love to have you. And as Sophia mentioned, it is a butterfly effect. Something good will come out of it. So, and, and clearly the outcomes, the numbers we’re talking about driven by this global, uh, family of concerned citizens and folks that wanna do good, um, as testimony to that. So, um, okay. Two other quick comments since we’re still on the Ukrainian issue here. Grog says that, uh, Greg, great to see here today, the Abrams tank, from his understanding, is gonna have a difficult issue with parts, probably spare parts. Also heard that the top secret army armor on the sides will be removed. That is a differentiator between the Abrams and other modern battle tanks.
Scott Luton (00:31:31):
Now, Josh and Greg, you may be a veteran too. I don’t know. I know Josh. I think Josh is an army veteran, I believe Josh says, depends on the tech inside. Most times the US or any country sells military vehicles. They don’t include an UpToDate tech package. Has the ground hardened yet in Ukraine? I don’t know. Abrams was meant for sand and rock. Not sure how that beast handles the mud. Excellent point there, Josh. Okay, so let’s, um, and this, I’m not sure who this LinkedIn user is. This, uh, we’ll find out though. Uh, they say, well said Enrique, I think that is where hesitancy originates is my donation, helping the correct people. Excellent point. And we’ve got boots on the ground. We’re talking with the families and the individuals in need coordinate. They, you know, they’re a big part of the process here. But that’s a great point.
Scott Luton (00:32:20):
Um, okay. And that, uh, that’s Brandon. So Brandon, appreciate that, that point there. All right, folks, let’s keep on driving. We’re gonna be talking, we’re gonna, we’re gonna shift major gears here. I love talking retail, uh, retail supply chains, and, you know, we’re all consumers and I think, you know, practitioners and consumers, that’s a very, very interesting, uh, intersection always in, in my mind at least. Uh, let’s see here. We from our friends at Retail Dive, uh, great article here, which speaks to eight trends. Eight that direct to consumer brands are working through that we all need to keep our eye on for 2023. So I’m gonna share a couple of these that were mentioned, rather than go through all of ’em. And then we’re gonna get, uh, Sophia and Enrique’s take here. So, uh, one of them is a much bigger focus on profitability rather than just grow, grow, grow.
Scott Luton (00:33:11):
I didn’t think that was a 2023 trend. I think that’s been around for a long time. But hey, I digress. Uh, the man from consumers on more sustainability in retail continues to increase in, uh, Sophia, we were just talking about that you and Enrique rethinking returns and charging for them. Perhaps y’all me be familiar with all the returns and reverse logistics, uh, interviews we’ve had here with our good friend, Tony Sheroda and rla, and the balancing act of brick and mortar and, uh, e-commerce, right? And digital commerce. Uh, those are just a couple of those that were featured in this article. Sophia, which one of those, or or the other four really caught your eye?
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:33:51):
Mm. Perhaps I’m, I’m gonna touch on, on returns a little bit. Sure. If I were to be the queen of returns or something like that, I would be so strict on policy returns. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like, I feel like this huge customization of you can return it through this channel. You can, uh, return it f for us. Uh, you can keep it for as long as you won. And there’s no restriction on the X days that you have to, um, you have to until returning or, um, those kind of things are have been like shooting in our feet all these time, <laugh>. Like, and, and we know this and we’ve experienced it, and we still have all our returns piled up in many disease around the world. And there is no way, uh, to tackle those and put ’em back to shelf at a faster pace because we are also very concerned on the output of whatever we are selling, right? Mm-hmm. So that’s just one idea. Yeah. Maybe it’s a very, uh, intense idea, but I feel like there should be a play from the consumer to be responsible for their returns, and that also echoes to sustainability. Yep.
Scott Luton (00:35:15):
Yeah. Uh, love your thoughts there. And if Greg White were here, he would vehemently disagree with what I’m gonna say. We’ve talked about this before, but I, as a consumer would be happy to pay some sort of return fee, right? Especially, I mean, if it doesn’t, if a, if a product doesn’t work, I think if we look at it category by category, you know, really break it down. I think there’s some gains to be made. But just this, um, this weekend, Ricky, I’m gonna get you next. Just this weekend I was buying, if y’all bought, uh, lights for your kitchen recently, you know, um, that is a nightmare. It is a nightmare. <laugh>. So there’s, there’s 3000 million different types, and you, you got, um, 1800 serial numbers. And I, I went to, uh, I went to our, my local, um, hardware store. I, I need to get three types of bulbs.
Scott Luton (00:36:06):
I was one for three, uh, Enrique and Sophia <laugh>, terrible good. And baseball, but that’s it. And so I had to take the bulbs that, that were not a good fit back. And I tell you what I did, Sophia, Enrique, I made sure I protected them. I repackaged ’em just like they were, you know, I, I made sure when I was opening them, I didn’t, you know, tear it up. Cause I want, I really want those bulbs to hit the shelf again and get resold. And that’s one of the greatest challenges with returns. We we’re not, they don’t, they aren’t able to be repurchased. But Enrique, enough of my yammering your thoughts here around this, uh, the article, the, uh, eight retail, uh, trends that, uh, retail dive is identified.
Enrique Alvarez (00:36:43):
Well, no, I actually, uh, agree a little bit. The trick there just to, uh, finalize that comment, and I’ll move on to one of the other sectors, uh, segments that caught my attention is, well, how do you do that in such a way that you’re not discouraging clients from buying? Right? And, and who will be the first one to do it? Right? Because that’s the other thing we kind of like raise each other to the bottom of things, <laugh>. And in many, many different things we’re like, oh, we’ll give this for free, and then this other person gives this for free, and then there’s no coming back. So we’re already kind of like very deep down into the whole of this. But I, I agree. It’s a, it’s a big, big problem. You have interviewed multiple people and you have talked with Greg extensively <laugh> about returns, <laugh>. Cause it’s a very interesting topic, and there’s really not like a very, um, customer facing solution out there that, that might be applicable and practical and efficient. But, but we’ll continue talking about that. I wanted to Yes.
Scott Luton (00:37:39):
Shift gears a bit. It’ll only get more important, Enrique,
Enrique Alvarez (00:37:41):
It’ll only get more important. Yes. And, and sustainability is a big part of that too. So I think that maybe if you couple it with sustainability, like Sophia said, maybe you can start kind of creating some awareness in the consumers to, to be like, well, you’re not really paying for this. You’re really paying for all this, uh, sustainability and emissions that you’re causing by having to return, uh, more than what you normally should be returning.
Scott Luton (00:38:08):
Enrique Alvarez (00:38:10):
I, uh, I was very fascinated by the, uh, brick and mortar kind of, uh, balance. Right? How much of that do you wanna do it online? How much do you actually want to have a store? And, and, and the thing that I thought about is we’ve been locked in for almost two years, right?
Scott Luton (00:38:24):
Enrique Alvarez (00:38:24):
<affirmative>, some of the kids that kind of started pandemic when they were 13. Now they’re 15, which is my personal example with my children. And, uh, but some of them were 15, locked in for two years. Now they’re 17. And before this, you, you mentioned that you took your kids to the mall for the first time. So my thing is my, I’m thinking, well, it’s very exciting. Yes. Because at the end of the day, I feel like all this retail chains are, don’t know the answer. And they’ll have to really test. And no one really knows the answer because we’ve been locked in for like two years. So this whole new consumer base is coming to the market, and we don’t know whether they would like to go back to the malls. Would they like to go and buy, would they? So I think that’s gonna be, uh, a very good opportunity for companies and, and a very good opportunity for companies that come in very open-mindedly and create something new. Cause now I think it’s the right time to do it.
Scott Luton (00:39:18):
Yes. Yeah. All right. So you called me out, he called me out. Sophia <laugh>, I’ve gotta, I gotta set some light. I had to, Hey, we did, you know, um, when I lived in the perimeter area of Atlanta, I’d go, I pop in the perimeter mall. That was really, uh, bk before kids. But I, we as a family, we’ve never gotten,
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:39:35):
Oh, okay. Bk,
Enrique Alvarez (00:39:37):
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:39:38):
I’ve got that. I was like,
Enrique Alvarez (00:39:39):
Scott Luton (00:39:41):
Um, but we took the whole family to, um, mall of Georgia over the weekend, and it was the first time as Enrique said, we’ve ever been to the mall as a family. And it, and I kind of wanted to, you know, do some window shopping to get some steps in, you know, uh, but I gotta a and, and it was a good experience, and we’ll, we’ll be back, but I gotta share this with y’all, Enrique and Sophia, I think I, I may have touched on this pre-show. We went to a pet store, and I’m not name ’em <laugh>, uh, as we’re, you know, considering adding another pet folks, they wanted
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:40:09):
Scott Luton (00:40:10):
Yeah, that’s right. <laugh>.
Enrique Alvarez (00:40:12):
Scott Luton (00:40:13):
Um, folks, they wanted $6,000 for a Beagle puppy, $6,000. I was blown away. You can finance and, and they allowed financing, which is, is, is this some interesting world we live in? Um, anyway, but yeah, it was, it was good to get out. And, uh, it’s really interesting. I enjoyed reading through all of these trends. You know, some of ’em were, what’s old is new again, but some of ’em were really made you think about where retail, um, is heading, where we are Yeah. And where we’re heading next. So, good stuff there. Just,
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:40:42):
Yeah. One note on that, um, because I, I read a, a similar, well, a related article, uh, during the weekend. Uh, this is targeted for the Latin America, uh, consumers. But it’s interesting because it says that, um, consumers really in these, on these trips to go into the mall or to a retail store, they really want their trip to be worth it, right? So they really value that they can do a lot of things at the same place. And this is basically because of the shift we had on pre covid. So we really reduced our, uh, well, many people that had this ability to stay at home reduced their commuting time. Hmm. So now commuting time or the hours you spend on traffic is really, uh, valued, right? So they wanna, if they’re going, they wanna be able to shoot twos with one stone, right? Yes. So that’s another thing that could possibly rethink the way in which we build these stores and the type of services that we provide there.
Scott Luton (00:41:55):
That’s such a great point, because I, I, uh, unlike the old days, uh, and I, you know, I worked in retail, you know, where customers were willing to, you know, stand in line and, and you know, that’s <laugh> that’s changed quite a bit, to your point, Sophia. So that’d be an interesting consideration moving forward. Um, okay. I wanna get into a couple of these comments here. Uh, Jerry says, can we charge for returns without offending the customer? Especially if the reason for the return is a mistake of the supplier or retailer? Some great questions there. And Greg, along those same lines says, us consumers have become accustomed, I might say spoiled, Greg, uh, two. Yeah. <laugh>, yes. Poor. Sure. Uh, they’ve been accustomed to no question, no questions asked. Returns, this will be a hard mindset to change. Excellent point, Shelly. Yes, it’s a ton for a puppy.
Scott Luton (00:42:46):
And as Tevin says, time to get a dog from the shelter. Teon. I love you, man. And we gotta get connected, reconnected. But, uh, on a serious note, we, we have, um, both of our current pets are rescues. You know, we, we have, we’ve taken in, um, uh, I think our previous three pets were rescues. So that’s typically where we’re going. This is the first time, much like me being in the mall for the first time forever is my, one of my first times in recent memory in a, a pet store. And my have times have changed. It felt more like you’re, you’re stepping foot on a, on an auto dealership, and there’s actually autos that are available. <laugh> for sale inventory is good <laugh>. So yeah, we’ll be, we’re gonna be looking at the shelter again, S B C A, uh, Tevin. We’ll see. Um, all right, so Ink and Sophia love talking retail one, my favorite topics. Let’s, let’s shift gears though. Now, important to note Enrique and Sophia, I am never confused as an economist, uh, that was not one of my strongest <laugh>, uh, um, micro and macro econom, uh, economics and in college accounting, man, it tortured me, uh, throughout my time. Me too. Okay, Cynthia Sophia. Good.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:43:56):
Alright, like, is it called tea tables?
Scott Luton (00:43:59):
Uh, let’s go with it. We’ll go with <laugh> <laugh>,
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:44:04):
Scott Luton (00:44:06):
<laugh>. But a few economic metrics, uh, wanna touch on here. Uh, the Commerce Department last week reported that a little bit of good news here, inflation’s pace has continued to slow for the third consecutive month. That’s good. Still, prices are still going up, just not, uh, as much mm-hmm. <affirmative> consumer spending has decreased, uh, 0.2% from November to December. And, you know, the Fed, that’s, that’s one of the things they’re after. They’re trying to strike that balance, uh, between controlling inflation but not constricting the economy. Um, some retailers are reporting that consumers, here’s something that goes back to that flower part of the conversation. Consumers are less and less likely to accept and pay for increased prices on some goods. So we might be hitting a, a ceiling in some case there. And by the way, here’s a little, um, this seems intuitive, but it’s a good, good little nugget here. Consumer spending makes up 70% seven zero of the US economy. One last note here. Despite lots of layoffs, sadly, especially across the tech sector, the unemployment rate remains at a long, uh, a long time, like a 50 year low of 3.5%. So a few economic metrics here today on the buzz. Sophia, uh, your thoughts, sir?
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:45:20):
I think that I learned this a bit late when I started working, but it is really important to look at this, uh, economic, uh, background and context also for the way in which you plan either supply or your, um, the products you’re going to sell. Mm-hmm. Because sometimes we overestimate consumer behavior, uh, or demand. We we’re very optimistic and we think that people with a great marketing strategy with, uh, um, with no return policy, uh, no questions asked for returns or et cetera, and we can, uh, keep our numbers up. And I think it’s a good time, uh, to start leveraging this type of analysis and rethinking the way you do things. Um, and understanding is my product one of those that people are not willing to pay more. Yep. If it goes up, yes. If the price goes up, absolutely.
Scott Luton (00:46:28):
We, we only have so much money, <laugh>, we, we could only, uh, uh, it’s, it’s only feasible to pay only so much more, right, Sophia? Otherwise we gotta, uh, we gotta pull back, right?
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:46:38):
Scott Luton (00:46:40):
Um, alright. Right, and Rick, we’ll get your take next. Uh, but Shelly says here, I don’t see how some of those numbers can be, right. Especially unemployment. Shelly, it’s a great call out. Um, and, you know, that doesn’t, as I was, as I was digesting these numbers, especially in light of, you know, just last week we were talking about, um, the, the rolling list of companies that have announced layoffs. I bet as, um, as some of those benefits and some of the severance packages start to, um, to, you know, come to an end and, and are used up, and as those folks truly hit the, um, hit the street looking for their next gig, that we’ll start to see that unemployment rate of 3.5% probably change dramatically. And also, if we do move into, and again, not to be confused by an with an economist, but if we move into a full blown recession and we see more and more, uh, layoffs naturally, of course that number will be adjusted. So I think we’re gonna, um, yeah, it could be, there’s a term for that Enrique, um, where, you know, the numbers here now, but that’s because things are still kind of, uh, filtering, filtering through, right?
Enrique Alvarez (00:47:44):
Yeah, there’s a little lag right in the numbers.
Scott Luton (00:47:47):
Yeah. Thank you, Enrique. Yes. Yes. A lagging indicator maybe, but your thoughts here, general thoughts about where the economy, any, any of those numbers there?
Enrique Alvarez (00:47:55):
Well, in general, we see it through the supply chain very clearly, right? Demand is down and, uh, everyone agrees that demand is down. Now the Fed is doing a good job, or at least what they’re doing, moving the interest rates has helped a lot. And we see it in the article that you shared with us and you’re talking about today. So how effective is that going to be to prevent the full-blown, um, recession then That’s still, we’re still waiting to see that, right? I think that the Fed might actually have to continue raising interest, but again, I’m not a, I’m not an expert either. Uh, this is my own personal opinion based on what I know and what I talk, uh, some of the conversations that I’ve had with other people. But yes, I think, uh, I think the re the good news is that it seems to be working.
Enrique Alvarez (00:48:42):
So maybe interest rate will probably get closer to five, maybe 5.5%. But before we’re thinking they could probably go all the way to six and seven. Sure. So I think there’s, there’s good news in the article now. Um, I also believe to Sophia’s point that we are very bad at projections. Mm. And I think it’s both. Sophia mentioned a lot when it came to the man, and we’re usually very optimistic, but I would argue that we’re equally bad when he comes to like, bad news. I think we’re kind of exaggerate both. And so I don’t know how to factor in, uh, the media in all this. I totally believe that their media has been portraying this recession, uh, very, very, uh, negatively, uh, and maybe missing some of these kind of key indicators that you mentioned. Yep. Like unemployment and things like that. So I don’t, I don’t know where we are. I think the media has a big part to play. Hopefully it won’t become one of those self-fulfilling prophecies. Um, and so yeah, let’s just be aware, right? I just read more. Be aware. Don’t follow. Yeah. Whatever you read on your Instagram, WhatsApp, or any other social media, right? Just,
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:49:54):
Yeah. Especially because the wording is so misleading. Like when you get just, um, snackables, right? I’m gonna use that word,
Enrique Alvarez (00:50:03):
<laugh>, snackable. I like it.
Scott Luton (00:50:05):
Who in the world uses Snackables around here? That’s terrible. <laugh>
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:50:10):
Taught me that. So that’s right. Coin. When you, when you see those like tiny, uh, bits of news, it’s very misleading because it makes you think, you know, it all. Like the other day I read something like they wanted to source the cement and concrete from space. And I was like, what? <laugh> you cannot hear you. So I dig more. And I found it’s not like that, it’s just like a way to get attention. But many friends were telling me like, oh my God, they’re gonna source concrete from, from space, and it’s not true. So to Shelly’s point, again, maybe the, uh, these numbers feel wrong or because of the title of the news or how they frame it. But once you read it and dig out more, you find out, oh, the, the real thing is another story. Yes.
Scott Luton (00:51:04):
Context, absolutely, uh, is important. Doing, doing the work, doing the homework, uh, challenging all assumptions is really important. The, you know, Paul Harvey, the story behind the, or the rest of the story, going and finding that is really important. So I, I agree with y’all. Now, with all of that said, uh, the latest, uh, some of the latest banking projections, and we’ll see how, how far off they are in Rek and Sophia. They’re expecting a little bit of growth in the first quarter, 2023 from an economic standpoint. And then really, uh, uh, at least the, the majority of, not everybody, but a lot of experts tend to believe that the last three quarters of the years where we’re gonna see, uh, uh, some, some not so good numbers. So we’ll see. We’ll see how that plays out. But sky’s not falling. Enrique and Sophia, right? Enrique, go ahead.
Enrique Alvarez (00:51:52):
Well, no, just like a experience share on something that I just heard from, from a friend of mine, which I believe was really brilliant, like what they’re doing in their company as they’re forecasting their demand and just projecting and having the strategic plan for this year, what they did is basically just hit the two columns, 20, 20, 20 21. And they’re basically basing all their projections on 2019. So what they’re, I guess saying is, let’s just forget about this last two years, <laugh>, we were just way too difficult to understand. We will make our plan based on 2019 and all the growth that will have. And, and it looks different, right? Because if you factor in 2020 and 2021, right, there’s no way you can grow, right? Right. Most industries, most companies. So, uh, so I thought it was like a very nice trick that they’re applying right now to make sure that not only their sales force, but their operational team and everyone is limiting, aligning to reality, right? Right. So take, forget about the pandemic. Let’s just plan without those two years in and see how it looks. And I bet that even with, uh, recession, if we do end up getting one, if you expand your horizon and average it out, yes, for the last four years, it will look very
Scott Luton (00:53:04):
Different. Well, you know what? We’ll see, we will see, uh, and of course we will, uh, keep our, uh, finger on the pulse of what’s going on there. Um, for the sake of time here today, Enrique and Sophia, first off Got you. Y’all both are getting high praise from one Leah Luton. That’s right. Hey, mom, love you. Uh, <laugh> in ache in South Carolina. She’s really enjoying our guest today. Thank you that, uh, for that, uh, Leah Luton. Um, so let’s do this. Uh, I as well, I’m really enjoying y’all’s take and the conversation through all these stories, but we’re gonna wrap on, uh, a project both of y’all are working on and leading that supply chain now in ESP Spano, right? So, uh, Spanish only programming on all things supply chain, logistics and leadership, you name it. But, but don’t, don’t, don’t take my word for it. Uh, Sophia, let’s start with you. What can folks expect either, uh, in the rear view mirror with what y’all have done or, or in the weeks and months to come?
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:54:03):
I don’t know if it’s a spoiler, but <laugh>
Enrique Alvarez (00:54:06):
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:54:08):
But I think you can expect, uh, a new look, a very exciting guest coming up. Um, we, I think additionally, all the topics that are going to be shared are not only related to supply chain, which that broadens the way we, which we look at things mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, and you get to, you also get to find that connection to other industries, other roles, other companies, which is kind of nice. Um, what else? I think, uh, more connection to the audience. That’s something that, uh, we are actively seeking and yeah, I, I think things are coming Very good, very exciting. And it’s time to learn Spanish. I, I would just say
Scott Luton (00:55:03):
That’s, that’s right. And I’m gonna Nice, I’m gonna bone up on that, on, on my Spanish speaking ability, Sophia. Uh, I, I certainly appreciate the challenge. Now, Enrique,
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:55:11):
It’s been the third year that Scott has told me that that’s
Enrique Alvarez (00:55:15):
True fun. True. That’s true. And we have great,
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:55:18):
Yeah, we have evidence,
Enrique Alvarez (00:55:20):
Video evidence, oh, this as well.
Scott Luton (00:55:22):
Oh, man. All right. All right. Y’all got me good there. Um, all right, well, here’s an example of a, uh, the most recent episode, uh, Sophia and Enrique. Enrique, let’s shift over to you, uh, talk about this episode maybe and, and talk about what’s, what’s, what’s coming with supply chain now and ESP Peno.
Enrique Alvarez (00:55:39):
Yeah. Lu Sierra, very thoughtful leader in Mexico disrupting the, uh, airline business, uh, in Mexico. He is also part of the conscious capitalism movement. So a very interesting approach to this very, of course. Um, I don’t want to use the word old fashioned, but it’s very traditional industry. Yep. That has been developing quickly. So I think Sophia’s right. I think we’ll be very exciting. I think we actually are getting very good guests now, and I think their experiences are, uh, wide ranging and very interesting. So I’ve been having a blast having the conversations and I also have been learning a lot. So if, if you kind of are interested in similar conversations, please don’t hesitate. Join us. Subscribe.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:56:27):
And if you’re interested in like, kind of knowing what this episode is about, you can go to the supply chain page and read the transcript in English. It might not be 100% the exact words, but I think that’s a way you can also like learn about it. This one’s very interesting. It’s about air freight and air cargo. And right now, especially in Mexico, there is going to be a huge shift in how, uh, com air cargo companies are gonna be impacted by a government policy. So that’s also interesting, new challenges ahead and Yeah.
Scott Luton (00:57:03):
Well said. Well said. Sophia en Enrique.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:57:06):
Oh yeah. They’re captions in YouTube.
Scott Luton (00:57:09):
Yes. So, uh, while the languages are being conducted in Spanish still, uh, for our English speakers out there, the YouTube videos have English closed captions. And again, it, Sophia made a great point. It’s not gonna be perfect translation. You know, we’re, we’re, we’re getting better and better, uh, thanks to the whole team, but y’all check that out. And Enrique, Sophia, great work. I’m really excited about what is to come with this, uh, tremendous, uh, uh, program here. Yeah.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:57:36):
Um, and I think especially for the people that are working in Latin American regions, to have these contexts of these, um, people in the industry and news, that’s also some, a way of growing in that region. You’re leading.
Scott Luton (00:57:53):
Excellent point, excellent point. You know, there’s all, all sorts of growing opportunity, uh, across, uh, Mexico, Latin South America, so it’s excellent. Call out Sophia. Um, okay folks, I hate that we’ve, uh, kind of reached the end of the show here today. Hey, one last comment here, Peter Bole all night and all day. Great to see you. He says, good day. Oh, hi. He’s been listening in the background. Be well and stay safe. Um, thank you Peter, and great to see you here as well. I hope you have a wonderful week coming up. All right. So Enrique, um, one last question for you and Sophia, how can folks connect with you, Enrique?
Enrique Alvarez (00:58:29):
Yeah, you can go to our email@example.com or you can, uh, hook me up by, uh, going to LinkedIn on their Enrique Alvarez, uh, vector Global Logistics.
Scott Luton (00:58:38):
Awesome. And we’ve got the link there for leveraging logistics for Ukraine. You wanna click away, uh, you can sign up for the next meeting. You can just learn more about, uh, what’s going on, getting some of the market intel on the, the need. Uh, check all that there. Uh, vector gl.com or that link. And Sophia, how can folks connect with you?
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:58:58):
Uh, you can shoot me an invite on LinkedIn, like it’s my social media. So <laugh>.
Scott Luton (00:59:03):
Yeah. Wonderful. It’s just that easy, right? Just that easy.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (00:59:07):
It’s very easy. <laugh>
Scott Luton (00:59:08):
Very easy. Well, hey, uh, connect with Sophia, connect with Enrique and their teams. Get involved. Uh, cuz most importantly here as we start to sign off here, it’s about deeds, not words. Right? Take action. We’re, we’ve all had plenty and too much of lip service leadership. So big thanks, Enrique Alvarez, Sophia Rivas, Herrera. Big thanks to all of y’all that tuned in all the comments that, uh, we, we could and could not get to y’all. Keep it coming. Uh, but on behalf of our entire team here at, at Supply chain now, Scott Luton signing off for now, challenging you to do good, to give forward and to be the change. And with that said, we’ll see next time, right back here at Spot You Now. Thanks everybody.
Thanks for being a part of our supply chain now, community. Check out all of our firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
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.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
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 Cisco, Microsoft, 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 University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier 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.
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.
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’.
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.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
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.
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.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
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.
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.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.