Supply Chain Now
Episode 727

Consumers wants to know where the parts are coming from that go into the products that are being manufactured at the car plants, for example, but even the ingredients going into food products, they want to know, and they need to know from the manufacturers, what's the provenance of everything that's going into those manufactured?

- Mark Morley, Senior Director of Product Marketing, OpenText

Episode Summary

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

In this episode of The Buzz, presented in cooperation with OpenText, Supply Chain Now hosts Scott Luton and Greg White are joined by Mark Morley, OpenText’s Senior Director of Product Marketing. His expertise is in helping companies manage their supply chains by mastering the information that flows between different organizations and disparate enterprise systems – ideally increasing transparency and keeping ‘data hoarding’ to a minimum.

Mark, Scott, and Greg find inspiration from recent news stories to discuss these timely supply chain topics:

  • The transition from mined gemstones to lab-grown gemstones in order to improve the sustainability of the supply chain
  • Exploring the potential of blockchain to provide granular traceability of components and materials even after they have been put into products and sold
  • How supply chain control towers are being used today to help companies address supply shortages and unpredictability

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:00:03):

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

Scott Luton (00:00:31):

Hey. Hey. Good afternoon, everybody. Scott Luton and Greg White with you right here on Supply Chain Now. Welcome to today’s livestream. Gregory, how are we doing?

Greg White (00:00:41):

I’m doing quite well, thank you, in the lovely City of Kansas City today. City of Kansas City today.

Scott Luton (00:00:47):

So, what time will you be back in #supplychaincity, Atlanta, GA?

Greg White (00:00:55):

So, I’m only bouncing in Atlanta and then going on to the Gulf Coast to watch it rain for a week. But I get back to Atlanta 7:00-ish, 7:30-ish. And then, I’m going to get to eat some Popeye’s at the airport.

Scott Luton (00:01:21):

There is nothing better than that is there?

Greg White (00:01:21):

Because that [inaudible] so –

 

Scott Luton (00:01:21):

All right. Well, safe travels. Enjoy those travels. Of course, you had a big Chiefs win over the Cleveland Browns over the weekend. But we’ll have to save that post-game analysis for another day, huh?

Greg White (00:01:32):

Yeah. The other day when I’ve got my voice back, the loudest fans in football lived up to their title.

Scott Luton (00:01:43):

It was loud. That’s right. And I tuned in fourth quarter for some of that. And you could just about make out the football game was getting played, but there was no hearing of the audibles.

Greg White (00:01:53):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:01:54):

All right. So, today, it’s all about Supply Chain Buzz, where we bring you some of the leading stories, topics, leaders that have to be on your radar across global industry. And, today, we’ve got a special guest joining us in about 15 minutes or so, and a repeat guest at that, as Mark Morley with OpenTexts, Greg, is back by popular demand.

Greg White (00:02:18):

Yes. No longer can we say the biggest company you’ve never heard of, because by now so many people have heard of them. But, basically, the backbone of digital commerce, this company. So, it’s really cool what they’re doing.

 

Scott Luton (00:02:30):

Agreed.

 

Greg White (00:02:30):

And I looked at the diagram of what he’s going to share about, the topic that I’m not going to release too early. It’s very cool. Very cool and very timely, you know, considering everything going on in supply chain and commerce right now.

Scott Luton (00:02:48):

That’s right. Agreed. So, some of the topics we’re going to be talking about with Mark, ethical sourcing, which is one of the issues of our age of this day. And then, secondly, you know, we all hear a ton about supply chain control towers. And I bet there’s some of y’all out there that may not know what those are and how they work. I’m certainly not the expert in control towers. So, he’ll be speaking on those two topics and a lot more starting here about 12:15 or 12:20, so y’all stick with us.

 

Scott Luton (00:03:15):

Okay. So, Greg, we’ve got a slew of folks we got to say hello to in just a minute. But let’s knock out some announcements really quick. And, you know, we’re really careful here at Supply Chain Now to not toot our own horn. A big part of our M.O. and our culture is loving on the guests, loving on the topics, loving on the community, loving on the folks that show up, and certainly those key messages. However, we’ve got to share a little bit of an announcement that we were informed of last week.

Greg White (00:03:47):

Yeah. We got to share it. It would be unfair not to share it.

Scott Luton (00:03:49):

Yes. It would be unfair. And, really, this is attributed to all of y’all out there. We really appreciate y’all being with us through this journey, and listening, and engaging, and sharing your thoughts. So, the news here is, Greg, how many podcasts do you think are out there in the podcast sphere?

Greg White (00:04:10):

Millions. I mean, I know just two years ago it was over 800,000 and approaching a million. So, yeah, it’s got to be over 2 million by now, I would guess. Everybody has a podcast, don’t they?

Scott Luton (00:04:23):

That’s right. And that’s a beautiful thing. That’s a very democratic, beautiful thing. However, to that end, there’s over 2.65 million podcasts out there. Now, what’s cool about this, our friends at Listen Notes – y’all check them out. You can find a lot of new podcasts all across different genres and connect with those folks at listennotes.com – they’re a third-party that tracks all of these podcasts out there, whether there’s five episodes or over 700. And they have deemed, according to their research and their data, that Supply Chain Now is in the top one percent in terms of listenership and popularity out of all podcasts, not just supply chain podcast, out of all podcasts. Now, Greg, as proud as we are about that here at Supply Chain Now, I would say, for the industry, and for the profession, for the craft, for the people, the technologies, for what global supply chain is doing especially during these challenging times, this is a good thing and it’s one of those latest signals that supply chain is resonating with the global populace. Would you agree?

Greg White (00:05:33):

Yeah. I was thinking that exact same thing, Scott. It speaks to supply chain. It’s popularity. Frankly, it’s [inaudible] in commerce today. So, it makes good sense that supply chain is a hot topic. It’s good to be at the top of that list, too, that’s fantastic. So, I think that goes a lot to what you have done for years kind of transitioning from, you know, educational [inaudible] to radio, to podcasts, and in livestreams, and in video, you know, like YouTube and that sort of thing. So, it’s incredible, first of all, how technology has evolved to allow us to do this. And, secondly, how the craft has evolved. And that people actually care about, not just knowing what supply chain is, but knowing more about how to make it better.

Scott Luton (00:06:34):

Well said. Very well said. So, thank you to all of y’all that tune in with this, whether it’s livestreams, whether it’s our daily podcast, or any of our other shows, of course, that have their own feeds, including TECHquila Sunrise. But the community out there is why we do it. And, you know, we wouldn’t trade our community for any folks out there. It’s one of the sharpest savviest folks that bring a ton of creativity, innovation ideas to the table. So, thank you so much.

 

Scott Luton (00:07:03):

Okay. Enough about that. So, one of the things we’re going to be talking about here with Mark Morley is this big event tomorrow, OpenText ConneXions Summit 2021. So, Greg, it’s produced by CEO – sorry – CIO – never get those wrong – produced by CIO. It’s sponsored by OpenText. But, of course we’re collaborating with OpenText team once again for this free virtual event tomorrow. And, Greg, we’re going to be talking about supply chain resilience but in a really meaningful way. You buckled up and ready to go?

Greg White (00:07:39):

I’m ready. Let’s do this. Yeah. I think it’s one of the top things we need to speak more about is agility and resilience in the supply chain, right? We’ve realized that we can’t predict everything. And I think that we leaned on two things for too long, and that is trying to predict everything and trying to reduce costs on everything, at least as a primary focus. So, obviously, cost is a concern. But this agility and resilience is what is demanded by the consumers to make sure that they get the goods they want.

Scott Luton (00:08:09):

Agreed. All right. So, folks, again, it’s free to join us. It kicks off tomorrow morning Eastern Time. Hey, Amanda, let’s drop that link to make it really easy for folks to join us tomorrow. And, folks, you’re not going to miss it. Real conversation, real takes, not lip service. Just how we can break past this disruption that continues to come at us. And really big, a lot more healthy, practical, and successful resilience into your global supply chains.

 

Scott Luton (00:08:40):

Okay. And Keivan is saying, “Resilience one more time.” Yes. We’ve all heard it a million times or maybe 2.65 million times. But it’s one of the biggest questions of the day, for sure. Okay. So, real quick, I’m going to hit these, so next week we’ve got Flow 2021. Greg and I will be opening each of the days and closing each of the days, as well as leading a couple of panels. I’ll get one panel here. I’ll tell you, Doug Stephens, Kara Ashby, Jim Barnes, and Nabil Malouli talking about customer experience and how that’s transforming. It’s [inaudible] this panel. So, Flow 2021 next week, and you can register there on the link via the show notes.

 

Scott Luton (00:09:26):

October 5th, Greg – I think you perhaps traveled with someone from Verusen over the weekend.

 

Greg White (00:09:31):

I may have.

Scott Luton (00:09:34):

We’ve got a big event coming up, the State of the Supply Chain Report, more talk about building resiliency into your supply network. Also, free to join 12:00 noon on October 5th. You can check out the link in the show notes because we want to make it really easy. Join us for that. Okay. One final thought here before we say hello to folks, before we bring on our outstanding guest, is, Jennifer Hudson, Greg, turned 40 years old yesterday.

Greg White (00:10:02):

That’s hard to believe, isn’t it?

Scott Luton (00:10:03):

Man, it is hard to believe. We’ve been watching Jennifer Hudson since she won or came in top two or three on American Idol, whatever it was.

Greg White (00:10:14):

She was really good. Yeah. I remember that. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:10:16):

Right. Amanda, you have to correct me if Ms. Hudson here won or came in top couple.

Greg White (00:10:24):

But you just let people know that she’s 40, so she may correct you if you got it wrong.

Scott Luton (00:10:31):

Maybe so. Maybe so.

Greg White (00:10:33):

She’s ready to throw down on your already, I’m sure.

Scott Luton (00:10:35):

Well, remarkable talent. She’s one of everybody’s favorites, right? So, she’s got a big project that may already be out there. But we’re looking forward to watching where she plays, you know, Aretha Franklin, the one and only. She anointed Jennifer Hudson as the actress that Aretha wanted her to play in any big Hollywood biopic once Aretha Franklin passed. So, she was anointed by the Queen of Soul. So, that movie is going to be released – I think it might already be out. I’m not sure, Greg. But regardless, I love this comment from Jennifer, and I went back and looked at some of her old interviews. You know, there’s all kinds of obstacles and barriers to success, but don’t let your own self-doubt be one of those. And, Greg, I know you can speak to this. I can hear your preaching already. Give me what’s between your ears when you hear this right here.

Greg White (00:11:32):

It’s funny that you say this, because we were talking about this at the game, believe it or not. I was there with Paul Noble, as you said, an entrepreneur himself, the CEO of Verusen, and a couple of investors. And, actually, this was on the way back from the game. We were talking about some other entrepreneurs and we’ve talked a lot about doubt getting into your mind. And I go back to my great uncle who ran a family farm in Western Kansas – and not precisely to this point – but the thing that he said that has always resonated with me is, “Do something if you do it wrong.” And self-doubt keeps you from doing something. And even if you’re wrong, we talk about it’s okay to fail, it’s okay to make mistakes all the time. But, man, you’re the only person who believes in you as much as you do as anyone can. So, you got to believe in yourself.

Scott Luton (00:12:30):

Agreed. Agreed. There’s an episode right there in what you just shared, so we’ll have to circle back one day on that. But as I’m getting corrected here, so Jennifer Hudson finished seventh in American Idol in 2004. So, talk about a talent.

Greg White (00:12:47):

Really? 2004?

Scott Luton (00:12:49):

Yeah. Can you believe that?

Greg White (00:12:51):

It may have been the last time I watched American Idol. I’m not even sure when it started. Is it still on?

Scott Luton (00:12:57):

It is still on in a different network and it’s been, of course, tweaked a bit. So, that was just after –

Greg White (00:13:04):

And that was Simon Cowell, right? Or is that the same?

 

Scott Luton (00:13:07):

No Simon Cowell, who was one of the – you know, talk about your hot takes and keeping it real, Simon Cowell did that for sure.

Greg White (00:13:16):

His favorite world, indulgent. Remember that? “That was indulgent.”

Scott Luton (00:13:21):

All right. So, enough fun, Greg. Enough fun. We got to say hello to some folks. And then, we’ve got a great guest, Mark Morley with OpenText joining us momentarily. So, buckle up for a fast paced conversation here today. We’ll start with Mohib who is tuned in, of course, from Wichita. Hope this finds you well, Mohib. Greg, anything you want to pass along to your best friend, Mohib, in Wichita?

Greg White (00:13:44):

Yeah. He sent me a magnet for the 125th anniversary, and I figured out how to affix it to my backpack so when I’m walking around, everyone can see it. So, Go Shocks.

Scott Luton (00:13:58):

Go Shocks. That’s right. Of course, Amanda is behind the scenes, along with Jada, and then probably Allie and maybe Clay helping to make production happen engaging all of you all. So, big thanks to each of you back there. Keivan, “Good morning, afternoon, night.” Keivan, hope this finds you well. I know you’ve been busy working on your PhD and then some. Greg, if you remember, Keivan is who coined the phrase at least around here, the new abnormal. It’s been a little while since we referenced that.

Greg White (00:14:29):

I remember him saying that. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:14:30):

Right on time. Clay – AKA Diesel Phillips – is with us. Hello, Clay.

Greg White (00:14:36):

Hello, Dawg.

 

Scott Luton (00:14:37):

The Dawg.

 

Greg White (00:14:37):

We got too many nicknames for him. We need one more Clay. We need one more Clay.

Scott Luton (00:14:43):

Raman, great to see you here today. Greetings from Canada. Let us know what part of Canada you are tuned in from. We appreciate you being here with us, Let’s see, Silvia Judy, Greg.

Greg White (00:14:53):

Wow. We haven’t heard from her in a while, have we? Good to have her back.

Scott Luton (00:14:56):

Absolutely. I bet she’s been busy there in Charleston dealing with the wild world of logistics, and ocean shipping, and a lot more.

Greg White (00:15:05):

Yeah. It’s crazy in the ports right now as we continually talk about it. The only thing we talk about more than resilience is the ports.

Scott Luton (00:15:14):

Is the ports. So, on a more serious note, with Peter Bolle, I hope this finds you well. He lost a dear friend, he says, to cancer last Friday. So, we really hate to hear that, Peter. It looks like celebration of life is this coming Saturday in Toronto. Peter, one of our dear friends, really, in a very genuine way, hearts, thoughts, and genuine prayers go out to his family and, of course, his circle of friends, which includes you. So, all the best there. And we look forward to reconnecting with you soon, Peter. All right. So, I don’t know who this LinkedIn user is, Amanda or Clay, if one y’all could let me know. But I appreciate this, it is very rewarding when you put your blood, sweat, tears, hard work, roll up the sleeves, and good work every day-

 

Greg White (00:16:09):

[Inaudible].

 

Scott Luton (00:16:11):

– yes. Right. – to create content, and work with great people, and learn from great people. And then, you know, as if that isn’t enough to see that that is consumed and to get the feedback that we get, it’s one of the best, most rewarding aspects to this whole journey. That was Koray Köse. Koray, great to see you here today and we look forward to reconnecting with you soon. All right. Davin is back with us. Of course, Davin doing big things in the procurement space. Right, Greg?

Greg White (00:16:43):

Yeah. Yeah. So, he just landed – am I getting that right? Did he just land somewhere new relatively recently?

Scott Luton (00:16:53):

Well, let’s ask him. Davin, what are you up to beyond off-roading and rebuilding that Jeep each weekend? Let us know what you’re up to.

Greg White (00:17:00):

[Inaudible] I dig the new pick, right?

Scott Luton (00:17:05):

Yes. Yes. Sheldon is with us as well via LinkedIn. Great to see you, Sheldon. Let’s see here, Andrew Chen. Andrew, great to see you here. So, Greg, if you recall – and I might get this wrong, Andrew, correct me – the National Supply Chain Foundation is what Andrew helped to cofound and they’re doing some really cool things to connect students that are either in supply chain programs or want to learn and network with each other, doing some big things. Andrew, he’s a wise beyond his years. We interviewed him here and we look forward to collaborating with him more in the weeks and months ahead. So, Greg, you got to meet Andrew as well.

Greg White (00:17:50):

Very cool. Yeah. Yeah. I think, we touched base once or twice. Good enough that he’s from Michigan, I’ll take that. Go Blue.

Scott Luton (00:17:57):

That’s right. All right. Great to have you here with us, Andrew. Okay. Well, as much as I wish we could catch up, you know, we had a busy week last week collaborating with Lora Cecere and the Supply Chain Insights Global Summit, Greg. And we will have lots of key takeaways there in the days –

Greg White (00:18:14):

[Inaudible]. Yeah. Incredibly powerful gathering. We learned what extreme networking is.

Scott Luton (00:18:22):

Right. And how not to take a fun run lightly. My friends, if you’re challenged to a fun run, you better bring it that day. Is that right, Greg?

 

Greg White (00:18:34):

[Inaudible].

 

Scott Luton (00:18:35):

Yeah. That’s right. Okay. So, what we want to do here is we want to bring in our special guest. If you haven’t heard, if you’ve been one of the three people not to catch one of Mark’s previous appearances with us, then you’re in for a treat today. So, I want to bring in, with no further ado, Mark Morley, Senior Director of Product Marketing with OpenText. Mark, good afternoon. Good evening your time. How are you doing?

Mark Morley (00:19:06):

Very well. Thank you. Great to be back on your show. It’s great.

 

Greg White (00:19:08):

Yeah. Welcome aboard.

 

Mark Morley (00:19:08):

And by the way, I just want to say congratulations on your top one percent award. Well-deserved. And it’s been great to be part of that journey.

Greg White (00:19:16):

Thank you. Yeah. Thank you. You’ve helped a lot. Seriously, people listen to what you say, Mark, so thank you.

Scott Luton (00:19:25):

You’re right, Greg. And I’m glad you pointed that out because, as you might imagine, Mark, we get a lot of feedback on each guest in different shows. Certainly, more on others than some of the rest. But, always, all your appearances, we love the altitude you keep the conversation at. And, you know, we use this phrase “Been there. Done that.” It’s tough to use that phrase in this time where it’s evolving and there’s not always an opportunity to have been there and done that. But with you, you bring the experience and expertise, you bring it in spades and with a personality. And, Mark, that’s really important these days. You know what I mean?

Mark Morley (00:20:06):

I totally agree. I totally agree.

 

Scott Luton (00:20:06):

So, on that last note, so personality – Greg, we’ve got a couple of easy to answer, hopefully, lightning round questions that we’re going to start with Mark Morley. And, folks, we want to hear from you too. Y’all let us know what your responses are to these questions. So, first up, Greg and Mark – Greg, thanks for helping me know how to pronounce – Roald Dahl. So, Roald Dahl, of course, the former Royal Air Force fighter pilot, intelligence officer, diplomat. But perhaps more what everyone knows about Roald Dahl, famous storyteller and author. So, I want to ask you first, Mark, what is your favorite or your family’s favorite Dahl story or book?

Mark Morley (00:20:54):

I think from my side, it has to be Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But, unfortunately, my parents would have disagree at that time because of the huge dentist bills. [Inaudible].

Greg White (00:21:06):

Everlasting Gobstoppers are hard on the teeth.

Mark Morley (00:21:09):

Exactly.

Scott Luton (00:21:11):

But what a great movie. And, in fact, I’ve got a dentist trip in my future this week. So, Mark, thanks for bringing up what’s going to be a painful experience. But you’re right, not only was the movie and the book great, the movie great. But then, to be able to walk in and buy, you know, Willy Wonka candy, whether the Gobstoppers that ruin your teeth or all kinds of other things – doesn’t Willy Wonka make the Nerds candy, Greg?

Greg White (00:21:38):

I can’t remember. I know that there were a ton of them when the movie first came out, the Gene Wilder version back when we were kids. And I think they may have reinvigorated that. Because I remember they had something, whatever that bar was that you could get the golden ticket in, they sold that when I was a kid. And you might actually get a golden ticket now. You didn’t win the whole factory or anything like that. I think you get a free candy bar.

Scott Luton (00:22:09):

Well, Clay and Amanda both are weighing in. So, Clay, “James and the Giant Peach,” was his. Amanda loved that, Matilda, the BFG – I’m not familiar with that one – The Witches. A lot of good stuff there.

Greg White (00:22:24):

Is that The Big Friendly Giant?

Scott Luton (00:22:26):

I think it is, The Big Friendly Giant. That’s a good one. And Clay, he’s Johnny on the spot with that one. I think the whole Mr. Fox series. And I was doing some reading –

 

Greg White (00:22:36):

Really? I love that.

 

Scott Luton (00:22:37):

One last thought about – yes – is, I think, Gremlins perhaps started with a concept that Roald Dahl had as they talked about gremlins kinking up the aircraft works and whatnot. I’m not sure if that’s what spurred the ’80s movie Gremlins, but we’ll have to get our crackerjack research team on that. Christopher Traylor says –

 

Greg White (00:23:03):

Wonka Bar, of course, that’s what it was. Yes.

 

Scott Luton (00:23:04):

Wonka Bar.

 

Greg White (00:23:08):

That big.

 

Scott Luton (00:23:09):

Yes. I think this might be Koray Kose, “Nerds are a Wonka product.” How about that? Okay. A lot of good stuff there. All right.

 

Scott Luton (00:23:18):

So, Mark, I want to circle back on a different question. The hard hitting questions. Only the hard hitting questions for, the one only, Mark Morley. So, today, is also Positive Thinking Day, Mark. So, when you think about kind of protecting the healthy mindset that we all need to have in these crazy times, what’s a go-to best practice that you have, Mark?

Mark Morley (00:23:40):

I don’t if it’s so much a best practice, but in terms of what I do, I just like to switch off and just focus on my favorite passion outside of work, which is really motor sports, and especially Formula 1 because I spent a year working for the McLaren Formula 1 team back in ’99. And I’m always very passionate about following what they’re doing. And I was right there, actually, they got a one-two yesterday for, I think, the first time in 12 years. So, just being able to follow the motor sport, the technology, what goes on behind the scenes, it’s just a passion of mine.

Scott Luton (00:24:08):

I’d forgotten that, Greg. That’s one of the things y’all have in common is a love for motor sports and automotives, right?

Greg White (00:24:16):

Anything with wheels. Anything with wheels, and particularly McLaren. So, a long time ago – probably before you worked there even, Mark – a fraternity brother of mine who graduated from Wichita State with an aeronautical engineering degree worked for McLaren on aero designs, you know, refining the designs, of course, of some of their models. I don’t know exactly when it was, but it would have been early ’90s, something like that.

Scott Luton (00:24:45):

Very cool. Talk about great content. Lots of movies on McLaren and auto racing and F1 across Netflix and Hulu and everything else right now. We’ve enjoyed a couple of them.

Greg White (00:24:57):

How appropriate to be a McLaren expert in the tech world, which is when everyone makes money in the tech world, they’d go buy a McLaren. They never drive it.

 

Scott Luton (00:25:08):

Is that what happens?

 

Greg White (00:25:09):

It is. I’ve seen Silicon Valley. Haven’t you spent to watch Silicon Valley? You need doors that go like this.

Scott Luton (00:25:17):

So, Peter says, “Loved Ricardo’s race to the first corner. Brilliant race for him and the McLaren team.” Is that a recent race there?

Greg White (00:25:27):

That’s the race he’s talking about.

Mark Morley (00:25:27):

Yeah. [Inaudible] over the weekend.

Scott Luton (00:25:28):

Well, maybe Peter Bolle is also a big fellow Formula 1.

Greg White (00:25:34):

Undoubtedly. Undoubtedly. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:25:35):

Well, maybe Peter will have to tell us about his grandmother and some of the speed racing they did together. Peter, you have to resurrect that story. We love that one. Okay. So, let’s get down to business though, Mark and Greg. Greg, hang on a sec. Let’s pose the same question to you. So, Mark likes to disconnect and kind of sink into automotive racing and F1 and whatnot. What’s your go-to best practice for protecting what’s between your ears?

Greg White (00:26:02):

Well, it’s an abundance mentality. You know, I remind myself there’s abundance in the universe. This is not nothing. It’s a zero sum game. And if you didn’t win this thing, there’s still an opportunity to win the next thing, whatever. And I had a cool little trick that I did with my daughters when they would go to bed in their dark room, they’d be afraid. I can’t remember how this came about. I think me and my oldest kind of put this together. She was kind of afraid and didn’t want to go to sleep. And I said, “Well, let’s think of some good things together.” And she said, “Okay. Birthday cakes.” I said, “Okay.” “Ponies and Grandpa Charlie.” So, whenever they would go to bed and they were scared, I was like, “Think of birthday cakes, and ponies, and Grandpa Charlie.” And it worked every single time.

 

Scott Luton (00:26:50):

I love it.

 

Greg White (00:26:51):

Yeah. It’s funny how those things become very cleansing, right?

Scott Luton (00:26:55):

Yes. I agree. Well, check this out from TSquared – TSquared, thanks for holding down the fort for us in YouTube – he says, “A best practice from A Different World -” I think he’s talking about the sit-com “-relax, relate, and release.” I love that. And, Peter is also referencing, I think it was he and his grandmother were shooting off cross-country in a 63 Spitfire.

Greg White (00:27:15):

Yes. I remember that story.

Scott Luton (00:27:18):

All right. So, we got to get down to business. Mark, I want to talk, first, about ethical sourcing. I know you’ve got a bunch of thoughts, and then we’ll get Greg’s take in it first. But before we do, I want to talk about this story here that came to us from Fortune Magazine. Now, folks, I’m a bit slow. We’ve long established that, right? And I’m going to illustrate some of my ignorance here on this story. But when I think about ethical sourcing, one of the products that immediately comes to my mind is jewelry, gems, diamonds, for sure. So, I didn’t know that lab grown gems are actually a current thing.

 

Scott Luton (00:27:58):

So, this article here by Sophie Mellor over at Fortune Magazine speaks to how lab grown gems is one of the big dynamics that’s fueling Pandora’s – one of the big players there – growth here lately. In May of this year – just a few months back – Pandora announced that it would completely end the use of mined diamonds. And they were one of the first major jurors to do just that. Diamonds made in a lab, according to this article here, they create the same level of quality, at least according to the folks at Fortune. And they come at a lesser cost as well. I want to say a third of the cost is what the article cites. And, of course, they come without the concern of some of the human rights abuses that plague this industry and others. So, Greg, I want to start with you. Well, we learned pre-show, you’re well-aware of this lab grown gem opportunity out there. Tell us more. What’s your take here?

Greg White (00:29:00):

I think anything that forces the diamond industry to become more ethical is powerful and meaningful, and it’s about time. Because aside from the human rights issue, there’s some dirty little secrets in the diamond industry. And one is that diamonds are not rare. And they’re only expensive because a certain organization or family, basically, that owns, essentially, the market on diamonds forces the price higher. So, there is a lot wrong with that industry. And I’ve seen some of these stones, they’re incredibly high quality. They don’t have the inclusions, which are the little frailties leftover coal – leftover coal, right? – bits that age under the proper pressure that creates the little nicks in the diamond itself so they are perfect.

 

Scott Luton (00:29:55):

I’ll go with it.

 

Greg White (00:30:01):

And the process they go through is incredible. The pressurization of whatever it is they use as a core – I assume it’s coal also – is pretty impressive. It simulates – whatever it is – four billion years worth of pressure to actually create the diamond.

Scott Luton (00:30:26):

So, I’m getting an education, a certification in diamonds. I had no idea of a lot of what you just shared there. But, Mark, I want to circle back to you. Your take on lab grown diamonds, do you like how they’re bypassing some of the big challenges out there?

Mark Morley (00:30:42):

Certainly, I actually read the story, I think, about three weeks ago when it first started to hit the news- wise. And I started to get to thinking about, “Well, would people prefer those inclusions in there?” Because it makes the diamonds more unique. Whereas, if you grow lab diamonds, everyone’s going to be identical. And then, how’d you price it? [Inaudible] similar price point for every diamond, effectively, irrespective of the carats. So, I think it’s an interesting area to watch, and also whether it’s going to impact other jewelry items that gets produced in the future.

Scott Luton (00:31:11):

Agreed. And I got to get this comment in really quick, Greg. James says, “Why didn’t Greg wear any bling for this segment?” Greg got a little bling there. And, also, really quick, Christopher Traylor says – going to Greg’s earlier point – “They control the supply which drives the pricing.” So, no shortage of topics here. But, Greg, you’re about to add something to Mark’s comment?

Greg White (00:31:36):

Yeah. And I forgot it now. Sorry guys.

 

Scott Luton (00:31:39):

My bad. My bad.

 

Greg White (00:31:39):

No, no, no. It’s okay. I think it was around – no. I don’t know. I’ve lost it now. Sorry. I’ll come back to it. I’ll raise my hand.

Scott Luton (00:31:49):

Well, we want to do far beyond. And I guess, first off, to be transparent here or to be upfront, there are concerns related to carbon and carbon output from lab grown diamonds. Now, I’m not an expert in that. As we are prepping for this story, I saw some concerns around that. But if there’s a way that we can address the labor issues and the ethical sourcing issues, and then offset that carbon, who knows? Maybe we can get our cake and eat it too.

Greg White (00:32:27):

Well, there is a way to address that. And that’s the same way we encourage people whenever any ill deeds are being done, and that is vote with your wallet. Ultimately, to Mark’s point – sorry. Now, I got it. Ultimately, to Mark’s point, the question will be, will consumers buy lab created diamonds? They buy other gems that are lab created in great mass. Emeralds and rubies and sapphires are very popular in terms of lab grown because they are actually somewhat rare. But that’s going to be the ultimate question is, will we buy lab created diamonds? And that’s the top end, the bottom line, the beginning, and the end.

Scott Luton (00:33:20):

Great point. Great point. So, beyond just jewelry, Mark, when we talk about a big topic, you know, one of the challenges of our time, which is ethical sourcing, what are some of your thoughts in this area?

Mark Morley (00:33:35):

Yes. It’s certainly an interesting area for procurement teams, and so much so that we decided to do a global survey recently. And the results of that are going to be published at the end of this month. But we wanted to try and find out what’s actually driving those responses, you know, where’s the interest coming from. And through some of the comments we’ve seen already in this discussion, you know, it’s definitely consumer driven. Consumers wants to know where are those diamonds coming from? Where are the parts coming from that go into the products that are being manufactured at the car plants, for example. But even the ingredients going into food products, they want to know and they need to know from the manufacturers what’s the provenance of everything that’s going into those products that they manufactured. And the survey that we conducted sort of confirm there is an increasing consumer interest, even before COVID versus after. Which I think is interesting, maybe that’s because people spend a lot more time online buying goods for hours, and et cetera during that COVID period.

Greg White (00:34:31):

Yeah. I think you’re right.

Mark Morley (00:34:33):

But it’s something that’s not going to go away. And I think it’s a wake up call as well for supply chain and procurement teams that you need to listen to the consumer and publish that information about where those goods are coming from.

Scott Luton (00:34:46):

Well said. Greg?

Greg White (00:34:47):

I can’t believe I’m going to say this, Scott. I love the United States Government’s take on this, and that is to presume that there are bad deeds and bad acts being done, unless it is proven that they are not. For instance, you cannot enter and observe a De Beers facility when they are mining diamonds. And for what reason other than some of the, maybe, proprietary technology, would you not be able to. Especially if you were to say, “I specifically want to see how you’re treating your workers.” Which, most anyone can do without revealing proprietary knowledge.

 

Greg White (00:35:34)

So, I just think consumers should assume that unless a company is transparent as Adidas has been, they were contributing to slavery in Xinjiang province, they pulled out, they made an announcement about it. They’ve been de-company-ized or whatever in China because of it. They’ve paid the price. And I think, unless companies show that level of transparency, you should just assume. You don’t necessarily need an affirmation of bad deeds. You can assume bad deeds if they are not, in fact, transparent. And, Mark, I think we’re going to talk about this a little bit later, but you guys have a facility, a tool set, that allows people to understand, not just provenance and sustainability, but also human rights, all of those kinds of issues around products and their supply chain.

Mark Morley (00:36:21):

And I was just going to say, I mean, you raised a great point about, I guess, North American supply chains. But since 2014, when Obama introduced the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative, since then, I would say, many of the North American companies are actually ahead of the rest of the world in terms of that kind of procurement. Because they have to report every year to the SEC and prove where they’re sourcing their materials from. And it’s only, I think, up until now that Germany, this year, are actually implementing a similar process. They’re one of the first EU countries to do so. So, I think it’s interesting that the U.S. took the lead at that time and now has been spread around the world to various other countries.

Scott Luton (00:36:58):

Yeah. Great point. Great point. So much to dive into here. I want to share a couple of comments from our audience. Sheldon says, “It’s consumer behavior that drives firm strategies. Right now, it’s all about sustainability. But what happens when consumer behavior trends back to exclusivity associated with natural diamonds?”

Greg White (00:37:19):

To Mark’s point, I mean, that’s exactly the point. At some point, you know, some people probably never will be able to get away from that exclusivity, but many will. I mean, Pandora is more of, I want to say, custom jewelry, but it’s more – I can’t remember what they call it, but it’s not, like, the top brand in jewelry. So, they play to a certain audience and that is a huge audience, and I think that’s a good thing. If the vast majority of people are out there buying conflict-free minerals and jewels, that’s a huge impact. Because, otherwise, if they wanted, they’d have to go buy natural diamonds.

Scott Luton (00:38:05):

You know, in our household, I got to tell you, it’s a bit of a non-factor. It’s been a while since we bought diamonds here, much to Amanda’s chagrin perhaps. But, Greg, I think great companies, of course, know their consumer market and their base and their target market. And who knows, for those bigger players, if that trend does become a lot more demand on natural diamonds, we’ll have to find a different way to address these really heinous challenges that are out there when it comes to workforce issues. [Inaudible] –

Mark Morley (00:38:45):

[Inaudible] comment around blockchain. Because it’s the here and now use case for blockchain as far as I’m concerned, knowing the provenance where those goods have come from. And one of the use cases I’ve been using relating to conflict minerals is sourcing gold, that goes into gold connectors, that gets fitted to a wire harness, that goes into a car. What happens if there’s a fire on that vehicle and the wire harness is found to be at fault, and it’s a substandard gold that’s fitted to the wire harnesses? You got complete traceability and provenance where the minerals have come from for that particular part of the vehicle.

Scott Luton (00:39:18):

That’s a great point. Excellent point. Mark, one of my favorite things about your appearances – Greg, we’ve talked about – is those examples that kind of brings it to something anyone can relate to, so keep the story. And, Mark, who knows? You and Roald Dahl could probably both tell a lot of great stories.

Greg White (00:39:40):

Marky and Manufacturing.

Scott Luton (00:39:45):

There you go.

Greg White (00:39:41):

We’ll figure it out. Mark Morley and the Manufacturing Facility.

 

Scott Luton (00:39:44):

So, Mark, was referencing this great comment from Mohib where he talks about, “We definitely need blockchain certification to deferential, natural, and lab growth diamonds. There goes the price up and beyond my forever love again.” Let’s see, Dvir – I’m going to go with. And, Dvir, if I got your name wrong, let us know. We’ll have to get it right – he says, “A brilliant movie based on the diamond industry is Blood Diamond. Incredible movie that explores the human and humanitarian costs of the diamond industry.” Excellent point.

Greg White (00:40:17):

And a great South African accent by – oh, my God. I forgot who it is who’s the star. He’s an American actor that does a pretty good South African accent.

Scott Luton (00:40:28):

Let’s see, I think we’ve got it. Leonardo DiCaprio.

 

Greg White (00:40:32):

That’s right.

 

Scott Luton (00:40:33):

Amanda and Clay, quick on the trigger there. I love that. Okay. We’ve got a ton of comments.

Greg White (00:40:39):

As soon as I open my mouth, they knew I was going to make a mistake so they started researching.

Scott Luton (00:40:44):

All right. And, hey – gosh – we never hear this, but we got it right, so thank you for that confirmation. We really appreciate that. Thanks for being a part of our livestream today. Okay. I want to keep moving for the sake of time here. I know, Mark, you’ve got a thousand things cooking. I want to talk about one of the technologies out there that more and more companies are leaning on to help navigate through all of the disruption that’s out there, and that is supply chain control towers. So, I think what we’re going to do, Greg and Mark, is we’re going to kind of walk through from defining what control towers are to a concept of how they operate. Two, Mark has been peeking on some other things we’ve been working on. And Mark has brought a concept for supply chain 2030. That was to incorporate a little bit of virtual reality, and that would be the third item we’ll tackle. But, Mark, just for setting the table, before we get into the definition, how are you seeing control towers leaned on by organizations out in the industry?

Mark Morley (00:41:52):

So, I think today, it directly links even with the topic we just discussed around provenance and knowing the location of goods. And, literally, just in the last week, I’ve had two large automotive manufacturers, c car manufacturers, reach out to us requesting what can you do around supply chain control tasks? Or how can you help? And the reason for that is the chip shortages. You know, manufacturers need to be able to better predict where the chips are in the supply chain so that their production is not interrupted at any state. So, I guess you could fill in the dots after tower of dot, dot, dot. You know, the one that we’ve been looking at is sort of tariff pilot, that ability to aggregate information into one place that people can visualize and leverage depending on their role in the business.

Scott Luton (00:42:37):

So, Greg, your follow-up comment.

Greg White (00:42:40):

Leverage. I love it when he speaks actual English. I love that. No, I mean, that’s really key is, look, if control towers, like many other words in supply chain, they’re at great risk of becoming cliche. And Lora addressed this last week, she called it the tower of stupidity. The exact opposite of what Mark is talking about. But her point there, Lora Cecere in her conference, was that people take inappropriate data, they analyze it in inappropriate and amateurish ways, and they don’t get the result out of a control tower that they should. And we’re in a very unique time. There is an incredible wealth of data there. It’s incredibly broad and complex and unstructured, as we love to talk about. That makes us feel really important when you say unstructured data, doesn’t it, Mark? And it needs to be turned into something useful, and then presented appropriately, and then used correctly as well. So, that’s really where that tower of power concept really hits home, is, assuring that the data is structured, and presented, analyzed, and even produces recommendations that a user can interact with the technology or with other humans. So, there’s a ton of power there. You just have to do it the right way.

Scott Luton (00:44:14):

So, you’re saying that tower of power is hundreds of stories tall, is that right? So, Mark, we want to continue to level setting with kind of a definition, or at least maybe how Gartner defines a control tower. Is that right? We want to go ahead and move there. Do you want me to show the visual? Okay. So, walk us through this, if you would, Mark.

Mark Morley (00:44:36):

Yeah. So, this is a slide I put together for a conference that, actually, we both presented that and revolved two weeks ago, at SAPICS, and that’s South Africa Supply Chain Conference. And that’s Johannesburg Airport control tower on the right. [Inaudible] the presentation. But, essentially, what companies need to do is be able to sense, you know, get the real time information flows, be able to analyze and drive insights, be able to predict what’s likely to happen based on that incoming information, being able to resolve potential problems or shortages in the supply chain, being able to execute. So, being able to continuously learn, sense, and respond, and learn, you know, moving forward what happens in the future if this situation rises again, what historic information we got that we can grow on to plug the gaps and solve those supply chain issues.

Greg White (00:45:28):

I think, you know, it’s funny the predict aspect of it – not to gloss over the rest of it – but the word prescription really leaps out at me. Because, to me, that’s one of the key things that’s critical, Mark, is that we don’t just present the data and say, “Hey, here’s where you stand”. With the wealth of data that you’re talking about here and that companies have these days, technology can actually assist in the decision-making and actually present a potential solution – this solve, right? – present an actual solution to the user who then, with the knowledge they have that is outside of what the data presents, then they can participate in the solving and execution aspect of this. That’s a really solid model. I like that.

Scott Luton (00:46:17):

So, moving from definition, let’s dive a little deeper into kind of how it works. And so, Mark, I think we’ve got another visual teed up here. So, walk us through these various pillars and layers.

Mark Morley (00:46:31):

Yeah. So, we’ve got two definitions. Let’s consider this one as the 2021 definition. And the next slide we’ll talk about 2030 and where things potentially could go. So, at the top, in the control tower itself, you’ve got different users across the business, whether it’s business users, technical users, partner users. Now, before they can get access to information in the enterprise, we need to be able to secure their access to that information. And that’s what we refer to as identity and access management. We’re able to make sure they get access to the right information at the right time based on their role in the business.

 

Mark Morley (00:47:03):

Now, when they do get access, they can get access to, for example, the AI machine learning platform. This is providing you the insights, what’s going to happen next. You’ve got the data harmonization, you know, this aggregation of data within the data lake, all of the information flowing across the supply chain, and being able to draw those insights, being able to orchestrate, define workflow, so who’s got to review information at the right time. Shipment visibility, if there’s anything there about IOT and the value there around sensor-based shipment visibility. But also being able to collaborate with your supply chain, on the right-hand side there, with the trading partners.

Mark Morley (00:47:39):

Now, all of this information being underpinned with data coming from a business network of some description. The kind of data I’m thinking of there are the transactions, the purchase orders, the invoices, you know, where’s my stuff. That’s the kind of information that populates this. And then, externally, you’ve got all the external feeds, weather information, traffic information, you know, what’s happening to my goods as they move through the supply chain. So, being able to aggregate information this way, I certainly believe, provides that tower of power and visibility. And I would say, this is the kind of 2021 view as we’re at this moment in time.

Scott Luton (00:48:19):

Okay. So, Greg, there’s a lot going on there. However, we’re not doing small things in supply chain, right? So, what are some of the things you heard Mark speak to that folks should really be paying attention to?

Greg White (00:48:33):

Yeah. The identity access management, one, hits a security button. You only get access if you have authority. And, two, it saves a lot of us practitioners from the boss getting in and meddling in the data and screwing everything up. Because it’s a role management vehicle, I think, Mark, right? Where you can say, “Hey, the boss can see and look, but can’t touch.” Which is perfect because I know there are a lot of people out there who have experienced this. They go in and mess with the dials and switches and then something goes wrong and they blame you for it. And that’s just one fun example. But, I mean, there are appropriate levels of information. For instance, as you include your suppliers in this, you want them to be able to see only their information, only their data. They don’t see their competitor’s data or other vendors or consumer data. And you can limit them to what is valuable and necessary for them.

 

Greg White (00:49:32):

And then – I don’t know that. I’m going to call that royal blue as a Royals fan – that royal blue B2B application and data integration layer, to me, that is critical to the success of these things. Because below that is ERPs, and TMSs, and all those other technologies and data sources that create this jumble of data that I was talking about before. And I think there’s one particular benefit of it – I was talking about this weekend, believe it or not – and that is, people are going to cease to replace their ERPs. Because an ERP is what it’s really good at, it’s really good at, transaction data, financial things, and managing masses of data. What it’s not good at is some of these specialty capabilities that the supply chain requires. But in the past, in the ’90s, in the early 2000s, we would replace Oracle with SAP or vice versa to try and get some of that capability and spend tens or hundreds of millions of dollars. And instead, what Mark is proposing is, to put a data layer on top of that to collect and assimilate and prepare and present all of that data without having to change and strip out a hundred or $500 million worth of technology. So, that’s critical and that’s going to be really game changing for companies that are saddled with these old ERP systems in particular.

Scott Luton (00:50:59):

So, Mark, feel free to address any of that. I’ve got one more question for you before we move on. Anything you want to add to Greg’s POV there, Mark?

Mark Morley (00:51:09):

No. I completely agree 100 percent.

Scott Luton (00:51:11):

Okay.

 

Greg White (00:51:12):

You’re a mistake, Mark.

 

Scott Luton (00:51:14):

Easiest interview ever. Hey, Mark, a question for you. I know, this is a high level aspect of how control towers work and all the layering and integration and whatnot, speak to implementation for a minute. You know, what have you seen? How easy, how difficult? What are some things you’re seeing when it comes to implementing this?

Mark Morley (00:51:39):

Yeah. I mean the key thing here, we’ve talked about a lot of the technologies just on this one slide that companies would have to embrace. But the most important layer is the one that Greg highlighted, the royal blue layer at the bottom, because if your information moving across the enterprise or the supply chain is not digitized, you can’t take it into AI and machine learning. You can’t drive those insights of what’s gone wrong, what’s likely to happen in the future. So, getting that end to end digital supply chain is job number one for anyone. Because once they have that, they then have the visibility of what’s going on. They can then pull in the other data feeds and get those insights through this kind of control tower concept.

Scott Luton (00:52:14):

All right. So, I’ve got a couple of questions here and comments I want to pose to you. So, the first one starting with Christopher Traylor, and he says, “Does this work with an existing ERP or does it work independently?” Mark, any comments there?

Mark Morley (00:52:28):

Yeah. So, ERP was listed as one of the sources of information feed in the control tower, but it could be any enterprise system. It doesn’t have to be ERP. It could be a transport management system, a warehouse management system, any enterprise system that’s producing data that could be feed into this control tower would benefit different uses. That’s really what we’re talking about here.

Greg White (00:52:50):

If they’ve already got a data layer on top of that ERP, can you read from that too? I assume.

Mark Morley (00:52:56):

Potentially yes, because we have APIs on our network that allows us to go into that data lake or their data lake and pull the data out.

Scott Luton (00:53:04):

All right. I’ve got a couple of comments. I’m going to move to this view so that we can get them in here. Sheldon says, “Sounds really good. I think the only thing left to do is to remove that social side of the strategy (i.e. self-interest, self-promotion, personal incentives). Once we can align the whole organization, we should be able to use control towers for a purpose.” I love that. Mark, any comments?

Mark Morley (00:53:28):

A scenario I haven’t really considered. But, certainly, looking at self-promotion and how people are leveraging information, maybe their own gain across the business, certainly, an interesting aspect which I hadn’t even considered before. But it’s something I’m certainly going to be taking a look at, that’s for sure.

Greg White (00:53:44):

Yeah. It’s funny because when you talk about transparency, I think about data hoarders. People in the past – I know them. I could name them. But I won’t – who have hoarded that data to protect or promote their own self-interest or even their job in this world of transparency, that’s going to be harder and harder to do, and the value will be much easier to extract for the enterprise.

Mark Morley (00:54:08):

But even the data silos that exist between the finance team and the procurement team, for example, just integrating those systems together and sharing it around the business, that’s a challenge that many companies face.

 

Greg White (00:54:19):

Yeah. No doubt.

Scott Luton (00:54:20):

Agreed. Okay. Are you ready to move on to kind of that supply chain 2030 look? Okay. Let’s do that. Here we are. All right. So, Mark, what are we seeing here?

Mark Morley (00:54:31):

Let me do a two minute recap or a one minute recap of this slide. So, we’ve progressed onto 2030. This is actually a topic I looked at way back in ’92 as part of my master’s degree on virtual reality. So, because supply chains have reached the top table, the boardroom, we’ve got a physical environment for conference table, a conference room – you see it on the screen. What I’ve done here is actually overlay 3D graphics that you may be able to do through a Microsoft HoloLens, for example. So, with HoloLens, you can actually combine 3D graphics with a real world environment and be able to leverage information in a different way.

 

Mark Morley (00:55:06):

So, what you’re seeing on the table here is a virtual representation of the supply chain. On the left-hand side, you’ve got the factories, you’ve got the corporate HQ. On the right hand side, you’ve got a 3D representation of the suppliers. The little documents that you see floating in between are documents that are actually floating across our network. So, we have these transactions, the purchase orders, the advanced ship notices, and that basically notifies a company when the parts are coming into the factory. But, also, more importantly, the invoices, you know, when are the suppliers getting paid. So, being able to use HoloLens to be able to touch one of those transactions, like the purchase order and see a virtual representation of that purchase order in front of you.

 

Mark Morley (00:55:46):

But what happens if there’s a tornado that’s going to rip through Texas? How’s that going to impact my supply chain? Which suppliers are likely to get impacted? And can we deal with source and bring in another supplier really quickly? The interesting aspect I like about this is running what if scenarios. So, if I wanted to add in two further suppliers to this scenario that you see on the screen and run a simulation of my supply chain, that’s where things get really interesting. And I think with, you know, all of these discussions around resilience, visibility, provenance, I think this, for me, is sort of the holy grail in terms where I think things could go in the future. And I know, Greg, we’re talking pre-show about you [inaudible] exactly the same thing a few years ago.

Greg White (00:56:26):

Yeah. I think this is a great way to do it. There are movies – which I cannot name – where you can, like, touch the things and move them around. And that changes the operation of whatever it is you’re doing. In their case, I’m sure it was something more like or space like. But just imagine being able to resource one of these 850s, the purchase order to supplier one or to supplier two because supplier three got hit by a tornado, which I think is what some crisis has befallen them. So, it allows you to do this in real time.

 

Greg White (00:57:06):

It’s funny, Mark, we were talking with Kevin Jackson last week about interoperability. So, more than just integration, right? Integration is the data part. But as you said, these silos between different organizations, internally and externally, need to come down. And this is the kind of thing that could create that direct interoperability, where everyone is looking at the entire picture or even just their portion of the picture, and watching as the changes or proposed changes are made, that would be incredibly valuable and cut a tremendous amount of time. And, frankly, it would be a heck of a lot more fun than the way we do it today. So, yeah, I love this vision. This is fantastic. And I hope you got a good grade on this.

Scott Luton (00:57:55):

So, I got to ask a question, I love how you wove in the Johannesburg control tower at the airport in that previous slide. You got to tell us, Mark, what city are we looking across here?

Mark Morley (00:58:09):

I knew you were going to ask that question, because that building on the left there is quite distinguished. But I, honestly, don’t know. It’s an image I picked up somewhere but [inaudible].

Scott Luton (00:58:18):

That’s okay. I love it. I love the visual factor here. Okay. So, what we want to do lastly, and we may go over a couple of minutes if that’s okay. Mark, are you okay to stick with us for a couple more minutes? Okay. If you like what you’re hearing in this conversation, we’ve got a big event tomorrow which – you know, Greg, we’ve talked about this a thousand times – companies like OpenText and, of course, CIO here with a collaboration with Supply Chain Now, creating these learning and networking and exchange opportunities virtually, and then make it free for folks to sign up and participate and engage. There’s a ton of value there, and one of the things we’ve admired organizations doing these last 18 months. But, Greg, speak to that a bit if you would.

Greg White (00:59:04):

Mark Morley will be present, what more do you need to know? Look, we’re talking about a world that it’s not more disruption. It’s not even new disruptions. There aren’t really any new disruptions. By the way, ships have gotten stuck in the Suez Canal before 2020 – or was that this year? I don’t even remember. But, now, those disruptions are in the forefront of our minds. And more importantly, as supply chain practitioners, those disruptions are in the forefront of the C-suite and the consumers’ minds. So, we have to be that much better. We asked for a seat at the table. We asked for more visibility. We asked for more recognition. And we’re getting it. So, now, we have to start to perform at a level that warrants that recognition. And that’s what this is really all about, is, the tools, the techniques, the mindset – that Mark clearly has – that we need to take on to really perform at the level we’re expected to.

 

Greg White (01:00:11):

We used to kind of be able to sit back and laugh when a company did their quarterly report, if they were public. They would always talk about sales and marketing. Now, they talk about supply chain. So, we can’t hide in the shadows anymore. We are not just simply infrastructure. People realized that sales happen or don’t happen because of supply chain. So, this kind of information – that kind of what Mark has just teased us with here – is really powerful in elevating our performance, our knowledge as supply chain pros.

Scott Luton (01:00:41):

I love that. I love that, because there is no hiding. No more hiding. But, Mark, speaking about ConneXions 2021, which kicks off tomorrow, just kind of fill in the dots. What is it? And what was the OpenText team’s why for doing it?

Mark Morley (01:00:58):

So, the main reason for doing it is to raise the awareness of the importance of business integration. You know, throughout this whole discussion today, we’ve been talking about provenance and digital supply chains. But, unless, you have all of those systems and trading partners integrated in the supply chain, you’re not going to get the value that you need. So, we have got a number of large companies involved with the event tomorrow: Lear Corp., the CIO of Lear Corporation, huge in automotive, key suppliers at GM and other companies. Godiva, so going full circle to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. No reason for getting there, but they’ve got a really interesting story around debt section and the importance of ERP integration. And then, Nestle, to sort of round off the day. So, I sort of described it as Business Network 2025. But we’ve already advanced that by five years just in this conversation. So, it’s going to be interesting seeing where we can go. But the rationale was really to emphasize the importance of integration. Because without it, many CIO’s are not going to achieve those digital transformation initiatives that they need to grow their business.

Scott Luton (01:02:07):

It’s candy, cars, all at ConneXions 2021. Let’s see how many more Cs we can fit in there. All right. So, you’ve kind of talked about what it is. Well, you also spoke about some of the companies. We’re on a panel tomorrow, what are you looking most forward to that specific aspect of the discussion, Mark?

Mark Morley (01:02:28):

I think the panel is going to be interesting because we’ve got the lead analyst from IDC, who’s got great depth of knowledge of the space that we serve from an integration perspective. But, also, Simon Ellis is the VP of Supply Chain Research at IDC as well. Then, we’ve got the Head of Engineering here at OpenText who’s a bit of a visionary. But he’s the one that actually says what we can and can’t do with the technology and what we’ve built as a company here at OpenText. And then, myself sort of providing, I guess, a bit more color around the edges in terms of where we think companies are going to go in the future.

 

Mark Morley (01:03:04):

I know there’s a comment earlier about resilience being one of those words, you know, a bit like where are we going next, the new normal. But it is a fact, you know, companies are going to have to increase resilience, whether they like it or not. And that’s certainly a theme of this particular event.

Scott Luton (01:03:20):

Excellent point. And, Greg, while resilience has become a cliche – and we have a lot of fun with that kind of stuff – whether it’s that or blockchain or you name it. There’s no shortage of cliches in the industry. But they’re cliches because of how important they are and how companies are deliberately and meaningfully trying to find a resilient strategy that actually works where it’s not just lip service. So, Greg, speak to that for a second.

Greg White (01:03:47):

We can only consider it a cliche if you’re really just kind of looking at it from the fringe. If you’re really embedded in it, things like digital transformation, resilience, agility, supply chain optimization, all of those things, integration, interoperability, all of those things, are very real to you. So, you know, it seems cliche if you’re a reporter or a fringe observer or something like that. But the truth is every one of those cliches exist because it’s actually getting done, and it actually is having an impact, and it’s actually really important.

 

Greg White (01:04:20):

So, I think it’s funny as you were talking, Mark, I thought, we keep talking about new normal. Man, we’ve nailed them all – I’m just going to go ahead and say it – pivot and unprecedented. Flash back to 2021, right? If you think about it, it’s really the new disruption. If you think about it, normal is going to be disruption. I mean, it always has been in the supply chain practice anyway. Because if it’s going normal, nobody even notices. I think I’ve talked to several folks, I think Andrew Paul Nobles CTO at Ferris had said, “The best supply chains are the ones that don’t make the news.”

Scott Luton (01:05:07):

Right. Excellent point. Let’s see here. Sheldon says, “I love what’s taking place. It’s like using connected strategies and applying them to commercial relationships. Fantastic stuff.” We appreciate that, Sheldon. And, Peter, I think you’re talking about a second registration page. I think there’s a lot of GDPR compliance that is required with any event, and especially the free events, of course. But keep the feedback coming. Feedback is a blessing, as we like to say around here, Mark and Greg. And I think I stole that shamelessly from Phil Ideson over at Art of Procurement. Hope you’re doing well, Phil.

 

Scott Luton (01:05:43):

Okay. Mark, big event teed up. I think this is our second or third event with our friends at OpenText. I have enjoyed them keeping it real, that real factor. Mark, you mentioned that you’re there to kind of offer – in your words – a bit of color commentary. Mark – oh, no – you bring it in dump truck loads, my friend. And that’s what we learned about Mark Morley.

 

Scott Luton (01:06:07):

Okay. So, one final thing – and, folks, thanks for sticking with us here as we’ve gone a few minutes over. Too much to tackle on this Monday, September 13th – Mark, how can folks connect with you and the OpenText team in case they cannot make the event tomorrow?

Mark Morley (01:06:22):

So, if you want to reach out to me directly, via LinkedIn is probably the quickest way or via email, which can be provided in the chat directly afterwards. To be honest, that’s probably the easiest way. And if there are any problems with registrations, please let me know and I’ll accelerate those through and try to help as much as I can.

Scott Luton (01:06:38):

Well, we appreciate that. Appreciate what you, and the OpenText, and, of course, CIO organization is doing. We’re looking forward to a successful event tomorrow and some new conversations that will offer new practical ideas that actually work in today’s ever-changing global business environment. Greg, I’ll give you the last take, the last thought with Mark Morley before we bid him adieu and close it out.

Greg White (01:07:03):

Well, this is a particular area of passion for me, which Mark knows because I’ve talked about this. The last of the big solutions that I built and marketed to the industry was around integrating – let’s just say, integrating – consumer demand all the way up to production. This is what really has me excited, we’re now in an age where that transparency is available, to know whether someone is doing good deeds, to know whether someone is doing their work sustainably, and whether you’re getting product. We talk about provenance, one of my favorite words. But whether you’re getting the product you’re paying for. And that, aside from all of the real time data that Mark was talking about, creates efficiency and resiliency and agility in the supply chain that we really have to have today because of the consumer and enterprise demand. So, I love this topic.

Greg White (01:08:05):

I was thinking about this as we were kind of going through the model, Mark, of how you take the data that you’re presenting, and that you all are pulling together, and how you broadcast that or bring it together – I’m not sure what you’re doing, which I would be doing – but how I could use that data to help solve some of those problems that exist in the supply chain and do so much, much more rapidly. From just data to action and prescription – that word prescription, you know, Mark, stuck in my head.

Scott Luton (01:08:44):

Well, going back to your earlier point, it’s kind of like, let’s see here, George – who produced Star Wars? George?

 

Greg White (01:08:53):

Lucas.

 

Scott Luton (01:08:54):

Lucas. Right. So, you know, George Lucas, from what I have read, he started with a certain point in the whole Star Wars script – you know, storyline because of the technology that existed at the time for special effects and whatnot. So, Greg, to your point, all these things that we’ve been waiting for and waiting to act on for so long, the technology is finally here to actually act on and do it and execute, and create opportunity both for practitioners and, of course, bottom line results for consumers. So, a lot more on that and many of these topics tomorrow. Be sure to join us at ConneXions 2021.

 

Scott Luton (01:09:33):

Okay. So, Mark, I’ll tell you, we fit Mark Morley and George Lucas into the same sentence. That’s a win there for sure. Mark, really love your appearances with us. And we look forward to reconnecting with you tomorrow. We’ve been talking with Mark Morley, Senior Director of Product Marketing with OpenText. Thanks so much, Mark.

 

Mark Morley (01:09:53):

Thanks, guys.

Scott Luton (01:09:56):

Take care. All right. Folks, we told y’all, you are in for a treat when Mark Morley joins us. I think that was probably his fifth or sixth appearance, Greg. But who’s counting? Always Mr. Consistency, maybe a new nickname for Mark. I don’t know. Greg, your take.

Greg White (01:10:14):

I just think that what they’re doing at OpenText is really important to give us all of these things that we, as consumers, are or should be demanding. And I think that the ability to do that without spending hundreds of millions of dollars, meaning having to replace your ERP system, or even if you’re a small company, hundreds of thousands of dollars, I think that is democratizing transparency throughout the supply chain by enabling everyone to do that in a relatively affordable fashion. So, that’s so powerful and really necessary for what we’re trying to accomplish in supply chain.

Scott Luton (01:10:51):

And we love that trend too. Democratization is a wonderful, welcome trend taking place in a meaningful fashion across global business. Lisa Jennings says, “This was terrific. Thank you.” Melissa, we appreciate that instant feedback.

 

Greg White (01:11:03):

Thank you. Feedback is a blessing.

 

Scott Luton (01:11:06):

Keivan says, “Data should become high quality before being leveraged.” Greg, I’m sure you got a comment there.

Greg White (01:11:16):

Yeah. And that’s part of the solution that Mark was presenting was the assembly. I can’t remember the term he used, but, basically, the assembly and cleansing – it’s not necessarily the right word. Sometimes it is. And sometimes it’s not. But, anyway, making data useful is a critical part of that. Tower of power.

Scott Luton (01:11:37):

Agreed. Tower of power. Harmonization, I think, was one of those terms there. Sheldon says, “Great stuff. I love it when we can see a concept through someone else’s eyes.” That almost sounds like a 1980s song that I cannot think of right now, Sheldon. Maybe the one where the guy is holding the boombox over his head, In Your Eyes.

 

Greg White (01:11:56):

Say Anything. Say anything.

 

Scott Luton (01:11:58):

Maybe. Maybe. Is that it?

Greg White (01:11:59):

That’s the movie.

Scott Luton (01:12:01):

Okay. We’ve got to think of the song. I’m sure Amanda – In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel. I knew it was right there. But, Sheldon, I appreciate you being here with us today and all the POV you dropped into the comments here. Let’s see, I want to share – Mohib, thanks for your comments here. He says, “Really a thought provoking session today.” If you get Mohib’s thoughts going – I know at least for me – he has several pay grade levels above me when it comes to technology and supply chain.

Greg White (01:12:34):

Indeed. Let me assure you. All of us, frankly.

Scott Luton (01:12:35):

That’s right. So, great to have you with us here today. And great to have everybody. I know we couldn’t hit everyone’s comments today. But big thanks to, again, Amanda, and Jayda, and Clay, and Allie all behind the scenes helping today’s production take place. Big thanks to, the one only, Mark Morley and the OpenText team. Folks, it is a wonderful thing to see organizations create opportunities to learn, and to network, and to be heard with events like you’re going to be a part of tomorrow. So, join us at ConneXions 2021. And, Greg, your last thought before we sign off here today.

Greg White (01:13:14):

Wow. The last thought that comes immediately to my mind has nothing to do with supply chain – Go Chiefs. I mean, I think the panel that you’re going to see tomorrow is going to be really valuable. As Sheldon said, it’s always good to see it through someone else’s eyes. And you’re going to see a whole slew of new eyes tomorrow.

Scott Luton (01:13:34):

A slew of them. A slew of them. I think that’s S-L-E-W, if we’re spelling that right.

 

Greg White (01:13:38):

It is. Indeed. Kelly Barner could tell us.

 

Scott Luton (01:13:42):

Kelly Barner will definitely tell us. And by the way, folks, tune in for a special livestream this Thursday at 12:00 noon Eastern Time as Kevin L. Jackson and Kelly Barner, it’s The Kelly and Kevin show, and they’re assembling the guests now. But you’re in for a treat this Thursday at 12:00 noon. Okay. So, on behalf of our entire team here, hey, folks, come out and join us tomorrow, first off. Secondly, make sure you connect with Mark Morley. He’s a great person to follow on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn. But most importantly, if you hear anything here today, hey, do good, give forward, be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see you next time right back here at Supply Chain Now.

Intro/Outro (01:14:26):

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

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Featured Guests

Mark Morley Following completion of a Master of Science Degree in Computer Aided Engineering at Cranfield University in 1992, Mark joined the CAD/CAM software company Computervision as a solutions consultant. Following an acquisition by PTC in 1997 Mark took a small career break and went to work for the McLaren Formula One race team as a technology partner manager looking after the marketing activities of the technology sponsors to the team. Mark returned to PTC as an International Marketing Manager in September 1999 with a responsibility of establishing a global network of software demo centres. Following restructuring of PTC in 2003, Mark decided to take an MBA at Warwick Business School with a focus on marketing and a dissertation that looked at establishing a Space Tourism business. Following completion of the MBA, Mark joined GXS, a supply chain integration solution provider as an Industry Marketing Director focused on the Automotive sector in 2006 and then in 2014 OpenText acquired GXS. Today, Mark is Product Marketing Director for Business Network, a provider of cloud based integration solutions.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

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

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Vicki White

Controller

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

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

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Jamin Alvidrez

Founder & CEO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now, Veteran Voices, This Week in Business History

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

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

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Jeff Miller

Host

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Allie Krasinski

Marketing Coordinator

Allie is currently completing a degree in marketing with a certificate in entrepreneurship at the University of Georgia. She got her social media start through an internship with Shred, a personal training app, and she’s been hooked ever since. She works to optimize our following base while assisting the team with content creation, influencer outreach and other marketing endeavors. Allie can’t wait to keep growing alongside Supply Chain Now.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jada Carson

Marketing Coordinator

Jada is a recent graduate of Old Dominion University, having earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications with a media studies concentration and marketing minor. Jada got her start producing content at 16 years old, while attending a radio and broadcasting journalism program in high school, and hasn't looked back!  She is an asset to the Supply Chain Now team as a media specialist, podcast and media producer, and production coordinator.  Outside of Supply Chain Now, Jada is a big Lakers fan, and also a music journalist and enthusiast.

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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