Supply Chain Now
Episode 916

The average composite score for the Top 25 companies rose by 11% over last year. We had companies with a 9% increase in their composite score fall out of the Top 25. Part of our mission is to help supply chains get better and raise the bar, and that has certainly happened.

Mike Griswold, Vice President of Research, Gartner

Episode Summary

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

This week, Kelly Barner Host of Dial P for Procurement, and Greg White welcomed special guest Mike Griswold, Vice President of Research at Gartner. He spoke about the unique characteristics that emerged among this year’s Top 25 and ‘Masters’ Supply Chains.

Mike, Greg, and Kelly talked about:

• The incredibly tough competition among companies aspiring to the Top 25 and why investments in sustainability played an outsized role

• Why clothing retailers are struggling with a mismatch between the inventory they have on hand and the merchandise their customers are clamoring for

• The slow (but dramatic) march forward in Elon Musk’s efforts to take Twitter private

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,

Kelly Barner (00:00:30):

Hello everyone. Happy Monday. Welcome to the buzz here on supply chain. Now I am Kelly Barner in for Scott Luton today, and I am joined by Greg White. How you doing Greg?

Greg White (00:00:42):

I’m doing good. Thank you for being the adult supervision today. I really appreciate it.

Kelly Barner (00:00:47):

It’s actually a lot of pressure, right? Like,

Greg White (00:00:50):

Which is why I let you do it.

Kelly Barner (00:00:52):

<laugh> well, I’m thinking I need to be the adult and manage the situation and also facilitate you. So it’s, this is not a, an entry level challenge that’s for sure.

Greg White (00:01:04):

Well, you’re not gonna have any problems with me, uh, having anything to say. I, I think we’ve established that pretty well, but, and

Kelly Barner (00:01:11):

That’s good. That’s what we like,

Greg White (00:01:12):

But somebody has to be the traffic cop and make sure we’re talking about the right things and that someone doesn’t get too far off topic.

Kelly Barner (00:01:20):

Well, and we actually, this is an extra special episode of the buzz today. We have a special guest here with us who would not normally be in on a Monday, right? He is back in the green room and as we were waiting for the broadcast to go live, Greg he’s handing out truth serum. Yeah. <laugh> so I think this is gonna be a very interesting conversation. Yeah. Um, so it’s, it’s actually Mike Griswold from Gartner that we have here with us today. He’s gonna take us through some of the, the recently announced Gartner global supply chain top 25. So we always like to hear the results of that ranking. Um, but before we say hello to a few people, and before we bring in Mike with his truth serum, uh, we have a couple of events coming up and I think, uh, thankfully we’ve got Chantelle, Amanda and Catherine working production today, and they’ve got some links they’re gonna share with everybody June 14th, there is a supply chain now webinar coming up with Garvis and friends. Can AI be the unexpected ally for demand planners? Uh, which interestingly may come up in one of the news stories that we’re gonna talk about in the second half of this hour,

Greg White (00:02:38):

Right?

Kelly Barner (00:02:39):

So that’s one event that we have coming up and the other is actually an art of procurement event that I would like to invite everybody to join category za procurement needs a summer festival color dust optional. Uh, we have category Palooza coming up. It’s a virtual celebration of category insights, August 11th from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM Eastern. It is free. So there’s no reason not to sign up.

Greg White (00:03:05):

So, so if you’re not very good at the procurement game, what does that mean? Category insights? I’m curious to learn more about that.

Kelly Barner (00:03:14):

So there are the things that apply across everything that procurement does got, and then there are categories specific things like for instance, a lot of people might not know this one of the most. Well, let me pick a good word. Dramatic categories to source is actually uniforms because not only is it a lot of times considered an HR category from the standpoint of being part of benefits, getting into garment sizes and shapes and cuts and who wears what and how much does it cost and are they rented garments that are laundered by the company or do people own them and take them home and care for them? It is like all the fireworks you could ever want from any category of spend.

Greg White (00:04:00):

Okay. That’s a good one because I mean, like I said, not a procurement specialist, but I’ve always wondered when a company makes you wear a uniform, why is it that you might have to pay for that? So mm-hmm, <affirmative>, I think it’ll be interesting to understand the different philosophies that companies have around that. So, absolutely. But I get it already. There’s I mean, that’s gonna have a huge variation of cost depending on how you tackle that problem. Right.

Kelly Barner (00:04:25):

And if you decide to lead change right now, you’re really waiting into dramatic waters. <laugh>

Greg White (00:04:31):

Well, and we were talking before, I mean, you could argue even uniforms have a fashion component to them. And we were talking before we came on the air about fashion and that’s gonna be one of our stories today as well.

Kelly Barner (00:04:42):

That is going to be so let’s pause very quickly and say, hello, I’m already watching all of these comments roll in here. So let’s say hello to a few people that have dialed in. Let me see. Where do I wanna start? Okay. A lot. Yeah. Hello Ryan. I know we have, this is a good sign for Monday. We’ve already got a lot of conversations going on.

Greg White (00:05:04):

They must know that we invited Mike <laugh>. It’s not us

Kelly Barner (00:05:08):

Suggesting they’re not here to see us, Greg.

Greg White (00:05:11):

Yeah, possibly. Maybe

Kelly Barner (00:05:13):

You see the truth. Serum’s working. <laugh> this is evidence it’s already taken effect.

Greg White (00:05:18):

They may be here to see you cuz you’re you’re not always on the buzz.

Kelly Barner (00:05:22):

True. That is interesting. So we’ve also got Lue with us. Love good emoji use extra points for that. Yes. Uh, we have, let’s see, we’ve got some actually people are doing a very good job. Getting the flags in here today. Thank you for putting this extra effort. Look, we’ve got another flag here.

Greg White (00:05:40):

Oh

Kelly Barner (00:05:40):

Yeah. McFallon hello. Greetings from Southern Africa. So glad to have you with us. We have a LinkedIn user from Belgium, so no emoji, but we have a very global audience with us here today. Yeah. And let me say hi to one more person. Hello, to Alejandro from Mexico. So I think this bodes, well, we’re gonna have a lot of different perspectives coming into today’s conversation.

Greg White (00:06:09):

You know, it’ll be interesting considering the topics we’re gonna talk about what the impact is from some of these countries as a lot of the news and whatnot that we talk about is somewhat regional or even just north America or national even. Right.

Kelly Barner (00:06:24):

That’s absolutely true.

Greg White (00:06:25):

I’d love to get some perspectives from around the globe on some of this stuff.

Kelly Barner (00:06:28):

Yes. So everybody stay in those comments. Uh, Greg, are we ready to bring in our special guest?

Greg White (00:06:34):

Always. Yeah. Let’s uh, without further ado or how do you say that in the, in Boston

Kelly Barner (00:06:41):

You say I am wicked excited to announce that it is now time to swoosh in our good friend, Mike Griswold from Mike. Hello, Mike,

Greg White (00:06:52):

Make it excited.

Mike Griswold (00:06:53):

Mike morning. Wicked. Yes. I haven’t heard that in years. Yes <laugh> yes. Although I

Kelly Barner (00:06:59):

Hang around with me more often.

Mike Griswold (00:07:00):

I don’t know how wicked excited the Celtics fans are after they got rubbed yesterday, but, um, yeah. Yes. And I, I high. Yes. Well, yeah. Uh, and I think, I think, I think it will still go seven. Uh, I think the warriors will, will prevail, but the Celtics are too good to, to not win, you know, three, a seven. Um, and I, I really like the, the intro around uniforms because the best thing about working from home is the uniform right. Or lack thereof.

Greg White (00:07:30):

Right. You and I perfect. Uh, did, did the, uh, we’re wearing the, uh, pandemic uniform, a teacher. Yes. Right. Yes.

Mike Griswold (00:07:37):

Yes.

Kelly Barner (00:07:39):

And you’re both wearing

Greg White (00:07:39):

It so well as usual.

Kelly Barner (00:07:43):

So Mike, you were originally supposed to be with supply chain now last week. Yes. I am a firm believer that there’s no such thing as a coincidence that everything happens for a reason because now, as it turns out, you are here with us live on June 6th, 2022, which is the 78th anniversary of Dday. Um, and we know that you’re a big military historian.

Mike Griswold (00:08:10):

Yes. If I could get away with it, I would take, I would take June 6th off every day, every year as, as kind of a, a personal day. Um, yeah, to me, it’s, it is probably it, at least in my list. It’s the, the number one event in the 20th century closely followed by landing on the moon. Um, if June 6th doesn’t happen, chances are a whole lot of other things don’t happen. And you know, I don’t wanna say that we’re not talking who knows what would’ve happened, but I think, I think the complexion of the world, yes, would’ve looked a lot different or looked differently than the way it looks today.

Kelly Barner (00:08:47):

Absolutely. Unfortunately, and one of the things that I know will happen every June 6th, I know this is a very small thing, but for me it’s become sort of part of the tradition of the day is that they always run a classic, uh, Charles Schultz, Snoopy, you know, being part of storming the beaches on Dday. And I knew that that would be part of my newspaper experience this morning. You can count on Snoopy to always be there where we need ’em to be. Uh, but you know, seeing him come up through those hedgehogs embedded in the water, on the beaches, that is it’s tradition, right. It’s it’s now part of the day. Um, and so it’s, it’s always nice that we do continue to remember. And Scott actually shared some of his thoughts, remembering, even though he’s not with us here today.

Greg White (00:09:38):

Yeah. I mean, if you, if you ever want to get a pretty realistic perspective of what that was like, watch the opening sequence of saving private Ryan.

Kelly Barner (00:09:47):

Absolutely.

Greg White (00:09:48):

It’s very real. And, uh, it makes you keenly aware of what that sacrifice was.

Mike Griswold (00:09:55):

Yeah. I’ve, I’ve been fortunate enough to have to be to Omaha beach twice the American cemetery twice. Um, it, it puts everything into perspective, not only kind of the sacrifice of the 9,000, um, us soldiers that are buried there, but just the physical layout of the beach Omaha beach in, in particular, if you get a chance to go up the beach to Utah beach, to point to Hawk, um, where the Rangers scale to cliff to, to take out guns up top, it looks like the surface of the moon, the way it was bombarded before the Rangers, um, scaled the cliff. Uh, I, I encourage anyone that has a chance, you know, if you’re in France, if you’re in Europe, um, spend a day there and it, and it will put, it will put that whole day in, in perspective. Mm-hmm

Greg White (00:10:45):

<affirmative> yeah, well said.

Kelly Barner (00:10:47):

And I think too, part of the, you know, you talk about the landscape, Mike, um, I know in some of these sessions, I’ve mentioned, we have a great museum, about 15 minutes from where I live the American heritage museum. They have a Higgins boat inside the museum, and of course you can’t go in it, but it’s inside the building and you are, it’s basically sitting on the ground. So you have sort of a sense of where the eye line of the soldiers in those Higgins boats would’ve been, as they were pulling up to the beaches and as those landing doors opened for them to come running out, it really, it’s very striking to see the craft itself.

Mike Griswold (00:11:28):

Yeah. Two places here in the state, if people have an interest in this, as we’re talking about it, um, the Dday museum in new Orleans, which is where the Higgins boats were actually manufactured, uh, is a fantastic museum. There there’s a significant amount of information on Dday itself, but about half the museum is dedicated to all the Dday in the Pacific, which is another area that is probably not as well understood as it needs to be in terms of what happened in the Pacific, because there were multiple D days in 92, 93, and even early 94 and island hopping towards Japan that happened before Omaha beach. And then if you’re really interested in something, uh, kind of fascinating, there is a, there is a Dday Memorial in Bedford, Virginia. It’s not the easiest place to get to, but the reason it’s in Bedford is Bedford had the highest concentration of soldiers lost per capita. Oh, they had, they had, they had a national guard unit that was in the very first wave on Omaha. They, they lost something like 19 of 21 kids. I mean these wow. They were kids. I think the oldest was 21. There were three brothers. Um, if there’s a book called the Bedford boys, I highly encourage people to read that it’s about this, this town. Uh, and, and how this town over the course of three days kept getting telegram after telegram, after telegram, uh, of the people that were lost in that opening, uh, opening wave.

Kelly Barner (00:13:02):

Hmm. So we are glad that you were here with us to remember today, Mike, this June 6th and, and all others, uh, you’re sort of the perfect guest to be joining and I on the buzz today on two fronts. Exactly. Right. The other front, of course, being that we are eager to hear your thoughts about this year’s, uh, supply chain top 25. I actually think we have a, a link that we’re gonna share with folks if they wanna go not right now, but later <laugh>, if they wanna go and, and read some more. Sure. Um, but Mike, maybe give us a, a quick rundown of the overall how things turned out this year.

Mike Griswold (00:13:42):

Sure. So first and foremost, I don’t know how many people are on our, our session today. Um, but if they were on the reveal, we did a couple of 1200, um, people on our webinar reveal, which was a, a good number for us. We we’ve been doing the reveal, uh, via the webinar for now three years. Uh, and, and I continue to be very grateful for the people that carve out time for that. So this was year 18, uh, of doing the list. It is probably one of, I may not be the, the largest, but it’s one of the, the best known pieces of research that we have coming out of the supply chain. You know, certainly our magic quadrants and hype cycles are, are certainly very well recognized, but the top 25 is, is one of the, probably the more anticipated ones. Um, it, it, it, um, certainly, you know, the, the purpose behind this was really, you know, several, we wanted to, you know, raise awareness around the supply chain and the role of the supply chain.

Mike Griswold (00:14:44):

I would suggest the pandemic helped us with that. Right. Certainly accelerated the role of the supply chain. Right. You know, we, we really wanted to, to serve as a platform for people to learn from each other. And, and as part of that, you know, just raise the bar around how supply chains operate. And, and that definitely happened. And, and I’ll talk a little bit about kind of how that manifested itself in the supply chain, but we really want it to be an opportunity for people to, to cross pollinate ideas, which is why, when we write the report, we really try to, you know, inject what are these companies doing, right. What, what can you learn from someone like Cisco, even though you may not be a high tech company. So, uh, we’re, we’re really proud of, of the research. And, uh, it certainly generates a lot of phone calls, as you might imagine in emails.

Mike Griswold (00:15:41):

Right. Um, you know, not everybody can be number one. Um, yeah. You know, Cisco number one again, third year in a row, um, you know, a really, really well run supply chain, uh, good numbers from the, from the financials that we have as part of the methodology, but 50% of the methodology is what does the supply chain community think of you? You know, that that 50% is equally divided between the analyst community, the Gartner analysts have a vote, and then the peer community could be many of people that are joining us today, have an opportunity to weigh in on who do they think have the best supply chains in the world. And, you know, it’s important for companies to, to the D to the degree that they can, you know, that they share what they’re doing. This is how we’re making our supply chain successful.

Mike Griswold (00:16:32):

And here are things that you can do to make your ch your supply chain successful. So if you look at companies like Schneider, electric, Lenovo, you know, Dell, you know, they talk a lot about their supply chain and they’re not shy about the things they’ve accomplished, and they’re not shy about sharing. Here’s what you can do with your supply chain that we’ve done with ours. So we see it as a great way to, to share information this year, though, to your, to your question, Kelly, this year, um, I’ve been involved on and off for the 16 years. I’ve been with Gartner, whether as an author, as a presenter, and now kind of the, the program owner of the top 25 this year was the hardest to get into the top 25 of any year that, that I’ve seen. So we, we have a methodology. We create, uh, a composite score for every company.

Mike Griswold (00:17:29):

We sort them from high to low this year when I compare the average composite score for the top 25 companies. And I compare it to last year, the composite scores rose 11% wow. In any given year, right? If I look back across historically, you might see a two or 3% increase in the composite score year over year, this year was 11. We had companies that had a 9% increase in their composite score fall out of the top 25. Wow. So just think about that. All of their numbers went up, they just didn’t go up enough to stay in the top 25, the number 25 spot the composite score required to stay in number 25, went up 13%. So part of our mission to get people’s supply chains to get better and to raise the bar has certainly happened. Uh, and we saw significant increases in, in the financials, whether that’s return on physical assets, we saw companies get much better than that.

Mike Griswold (00:18:40):

I know you are gonna talk about inventory a little bit later. You know, we saw inventory turns another one of our measures go up. Um, so it was, it was just a lot harder to get into the top 25 this year, which makes, I think this year’s list even just a little bit more special in terms of how hard it was to get in. Last thing is we had three new companies. We had, um, Siemens, we had AstraZeneca, and then we had, which I know raise some eyebrows, uh, and will generate, continue to generate phone calls, uh, and emails. Uh, we had Microsoft land at number 10. Uh, a lot of folks I think, are not familiar with some of the supply chain stories that Microsoft has. Right. We think of hello, Xbox. Yeah. Think of them as Xbox. I think of them as office.

Mike Griswold (00:19:31):

Right. But, um, they’re doing a lot of really sophisticated things on the demand side. You know, in the global note, we talk about their ability to navigate not only a pandemic, but a chip shortage and navigate it fairly well. Um, so it, it’s interesting, you know, every year we do get some new entrance, you know, ha Microsoft landing in, and then where they landed. Right. I think is a Testament to not only how we’re thinking about what does a supply chain look and feel like it’s start, it’s starting to look different differently, but also just getting some, some new new faces in there. Mm-hmm <affirmative>

Kelly Barner (00:20:17):

So, Mike, let me hold you there for a second. Sure. Greg, I’m curious to get your thoughts around, you know, Mike certainly talked about how hard it was to get into the top 25 this year and the improvements that were necessary to rank any thoughts about what the fact that some companies were in fact capable of hitting those improvements and performing at that level, what that does for sort of supply chain as a whole, that the bar is that high.

Greg White (00:20:44):

Yeah. I, I think it, I think it goes to the recognition, not only of the consumer, but also of these gigantic companies that supply chain matters. I mean, Microsoft didn’t, they didn’t squeak their toe in the door. They came crash through the door, like a, like an episode of Seinfeld and, and landed it at number 10. So, um, you know, this, you have to make incredible improvements. I, if a 9% increase in your score, didn’t even allow you to stay in the top 25. Imagine what kind of improvements companies like Mike, like Microsoft and AstraZeneca must have made to, to get into the top 25 and to get deep into the top 25. So I, I continue to go back to this and that is this recognition of supply chain and procurement that, that, um, that the pandemic has rot, right? I mean, I, I still Marvel at the fact that when I say supply chain people, oh, their eyes get big and they nod their head instead of slowly turning towards the bar and walking away.

Greg White (00:21:51):

Um, by the way, I’m just happy to be anywhere where there are people in a bar these days. So still, still reveling in that. Um, but I, I do, I think that’s, you know, that goes to that esteem level and that recognition level that we have always sought, and that’s a double edged sword, right? Because even these companies that improved so much, the competition caught ’em and passed them in some cases. So now the bar, as Mike has said is even higher. So even if you are really improving your supply chain, you may not be doing it enough to stay at top of your game because this sudden recognition, this sudden investment, the sudden rec recognition by the world, that supply chain is the business is, you know, is raising that awareness and, and raising the competition for excellence towards excellence.

Kelly Barner (00:22:48):

And there’s a lot of different categories of improvement, right? Mike. So what did you observe from say an ESG perspective in, in this year’s top 25?

Mike Griswold (00:22:59):

We intro, that’s a great question. Kelly. We introduced, uh, at the time we called it CSR in, uh, corporate social responsibility. We introduced that into the methodology in 2016, uh, a couple of years ago, we, and, and at the time it was heavily focused on the environment. So things around the UN global compact Dow Jones, sustainability index, carbon disclosure program, you know, things around carbon, water and forests, couple of years ago, we, again, listening to the community, you know, we were hearing more and more that’s important, but there’s also kinda social and governance elements that are becoming more important. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. So we, uh, a couple of years ago, we, we renamed that ESG environmental, social, and governance. We added, um, two new elements to the methodology, uh, looking at the, uh, a list that ecosphere produces around ethical companies, Bloomberg produces a gender equality index.

Mike Griswold (00:24:02):

Um, so, so we’ve really been trying to, to round out that, um, that part of the methodology, we it’s based on a 10 point on, on the accumulation of up to 10 points, right? So if you, if you’ve signed the UN global compact as an example, that’s a point if you submit information to CDP, that’s a point if they give you, uh, a grade of a minus or, or higher in carbon and water, each of those are two points. So you can accumulate up to 10 points. This year, we had 19 of our 30 companies. So our top 25 and our five masters, 19 of 30 companies scored 10 outta 10. That was up almost 40% compared to the previous year. Wow. And, and I know you guys are sitting down, it is up 217% from 2016, the team wow. The, the, the, uh, the emphasis that companies are placing on ESG is, is, is fantastic.

Mike Griswold (00:25:08):

It’s growing, it’s growing in importance. You know, we, we increase the weighting of ESG, right? Um, to 20% of the methodology based on a lot of feedback that we get from the community saying, Hey, this is an important element, right. And it continues to be important. And we’re gonna look at in 2023, how do we continue to, to broaden the partners that we have within ESG? Uh, it’s also, we identified for folks that have either were on the webinar or had a chance to read the note we identified for macro trends. One of which is, um, making progress against a broader sustainability agenda. That’s kind of the fancy Gartner language for one of those trends, basically what it means. It, it, it boils down to a couple of things. One, people are tracking what you say around your sustainability targets and you need to deliver, or you’re going to be held accountable.

Mike Griswold (00:26:07):

And secondly, people are broadening this sustainability topic to include D E and I, which I think is fantastic. Um, but we’ve got data that suggests, you know, where a company stands around ESG influences, who wants to come work for you, where you have data that suggests that the consumers are now starting to put your, your brand, um, position on ESG into their decision tree. You know, I, I, you know, there’s a lot of data out there that says people will, will buy, will lean towards more sustainable companies. I’m not convinced that that voting has happened with the wallet yet completely, but there’s definitely an increase in sentiment, which is important for people to understand. So that ESG component, um, is also, if you look at how the math works, you know, if you were an eight in ESG and all of a sudden, you’re now a 10, that that’s a big add to your composite score, which is another way for people to start to climb, you know, up the list. Um, but ESG it’s, it’s a huge we’re we’re I have on my team just to put it in perspective. I have, uh, I need to do this with my fingers. I have Sarah, Laura Lindsay, uh, and Michelle and Kevin. I have five people on my team who cover sustainability. Wow. That’s how hot a topic it is for us at Gartner.

Kelly Barner (00:27:36):

Now, out of curiosity, I, excuse me, we used to, you say CSR, as you said, we’ve moved to ESG. So we love our TLAs. Our three letter acronyms is ESG, just the trendier way of saying CSR, or would you say that ESG is actually a different type of program?

Mike Griswold (00:27:59):

Yeah, it’s, it’s a great question, Kelly. I, I think it, what, um, at least the way that, that I thought about it in this transition in the top 25 is rightly or wrongly CSR. If you look at under the covers, CSR was almost exclusively focused on environmental things. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> not that that’s wrong. That that was just the focus. So it was, you know, carbon, it was, um, greenhouse gases. It was those types of things. I think what we recognized when we made the change to the methodology, and I think what the, the general market is now recognizing is ESG is, is helping us to expand the things that we should be looking at into areas. In, in addition to the environment, how we treat people, are we, you know, diverse, um, you know, how, how are we as an organization thinking about broadening the perspectives that we have within our own organization. We have some companies, as an example, who are, who are linking kind of senior level compensation to a D E and I agenda. So to me, it, yes, I agree completely. It is a TLA, but I think when, when you look at how companies are defining ESG within their organization, they’re, they definitely have the spirit, which is, it is the environment, but there’s also social. And how do we, as an organization structure these activities that I think makes ESG kind of that next iteration of CSR, at least in my perspective.

Kelly Barner (00:29:44):

Sure. Greg, any perspective from, from your point of view, either about what it means to include that type of, of value set or priorities to the metrics that they’re using at the framework, or, you know, we talked a little bit as well about consumers are starting to move in that direction, but are they completely voting with their wallets in order to maybe reward the companies that, that do that? What’s your perspective on that?

Greg White (00:30:11):

Well, let me address that last point. First, Kelly, no, they clearly are not doing that because something like 73% of consumers say that they will do business with companies with whom they have common values or ethics, and only about 14%, at least this is maybe a year old statistic, but only about 14% are actually doing that. But as Mike said, the awareness and the sentiment is there and that sentiment will grow. I think part of the reason that consumers don’t do it is because it’s not easy. It’s not easy to understand who is ethical, right? Who is using and not using slave labor who is using and not using conflict minerals, right. Who is, who is a good actor and who’s a bad actor. Um, but that transparency is coming more and more to the, to the supply chain. What I do think is that ESG everything that it represents, internal equity, global equity, meaning human rights and those sorts of things, D E and I initiatives within your company, um, you know, sustainability, uh, good cor good corporate governance and, and all of the other aspects of let’s just call it fair play generally, you know, that you both know that I feel like supply chain has for too long, been a cost saving exercise.

Greg White (00:31:32):

And instead it should be a risk balancing exercise, right. And just my opinion, therefore, things that contribute to risk in your supply chain, the speed, the ethics, the reliability, and the cost of, of your supply chain, the fiscal aspects of your supply chain. So that maybe that’s a that’s ALA for letter acronym <laugh>. Um, but, but ethics are a critical part of it because those are all those create risks in your marketplace, unless you’re de beers who gets away literally with murder over and over again. Um, if you, if you use, if you have bad actors or you are a bad actor in the industry that has the potential to, uh, tank your brand esteem, as it’s discovered, and as we know, supply chain is one of the greatest contributors to all of those kind of things or participants, I should say, I’m not say certain it’s contributor, but things like sustainability and human rights and fair trade and, and even impacted by things like political unrest.

Greg White (00:32:41):

And I impacting those things as well. So I think it is, in my opinion, one of the four cornerstones of supply chain, it just has not been specifically recognized as such some companies still Kelly. They do use ESG as a kind of a flag waving opportunity, but again, I don’t really care why you do good mm-hmm <affirmative> as long as you do good. And eventually, as people see that it has a fiscal impact on their business and that they can be more profitable with ESG as a core part of their supply chain. They’ll do it.

Kelly Barner (00:33:19):

Absolutely. Now, Mike, you had mentioned early on that you have received and are continuing to receive tons of emails and, and voicemails we’ve shared the link to the research, uh, which people are going to wait about 28 minutes before going to checkout <laugh>. But if the

Greg White (00:33:39):

Teacher says

Mike Griswold (00:33:40):

That’s right,

Kelly Barner (00:33:41):

Do not take your focus off this last stream. We are not done, but like, if people would like to get in touch with you and ask questions or share their thoughts about the 25 companies that ended up on your list, what is the best way for people to get in touch with you?

Mike Griswold (00:33:56):

Sure. LinkedIn is fine. Uh, email me directly, Mike Duckers well@gardner.com is fine too. I’m still relatively old school around email, so that that’s fine too. We’d love to hear people’s thoughts on the list, thoughts on the methodology. You know, we we’ll, we’re gonna take a hard look at, uh, the 20, 23 methodology as we move into the summer. Um, so happy to get feedback around that. I have one, one ask in particular, you know, I, I think right now, certainly I’ll be the first to tell you the methodology’s not perfect. And, and there are certainly things that people can, can provide feedback on. The gap that I have right now is, is innovation. You know, I, I don’t have, you know, a, a well defined metric or, or indicator of innovation in the methodology. And, and I would like to try to solve that for 2023. You know, Greg, you alluded to this as did you, Kelly supply chains are being asked to be more innovative and they’re being asked to support innovation. Uh, and we don’t, we don’t have a good measure of that, um, in the methodology, but all feedback is welcome.

Kelly Barner (00:35:08):

Excellent. Well, thank you, Mike. We are so thrilled that you were able to be with us here today. Make sure to carve some time out for yourself this afternoon to watch a little history channel. Yes. Maybe a little saving private Ryan, um, to, to remember this day, but thanks so much for being with, with us to talk about the top 25.

Mike Griswold (00:35:26):

Hey, thanks for fitting me in. I really appreciate it.

Greg White (00:35:28):

Thanks Mike. Yep.

Mike Griswold (00:35:29):

Take care.

Kelly Barner (00:35:33):

Weren’t we so good to fit Mike in

Greg White (00:35:35):

Fit Mike in <laugh> that’s that is an incredibly humble dude.

Kelly Barner (00:35:40):

You will take Mike anytime,

Greg White (00:35:41):

Let sit, Mike, this all

Kelly Barner (00:35:43):

<laugh> and the people that are watching are absolutely as enthusiastic about this as we are, um, Dr. Ronza bump Penza Zimerman we totally agree. The progress made year over year. And, and the fact that Mike is not content with the framework as it is he’s yeah. He issued that challenge trying to find a way, not just to capture innovation, but I think the challenge is the measurement that goes with it. Even the difference between CSR and ESG. This is my non garner explanation. I would say CSR was very huggy, fuzzy, and sort of feel good. Whereas ESG is very metric driven because a lot of it has come from regulation. Um, so not easy what these guys are trying to achieve with this ranking.

Greg White (00:36:38):

I think he, uh, it’s to be expected from Mike. I mean, I’ve known Mike for a long time and he was a practitioner, right? He didn’t come outta school with an MBA and say, I’m gonna analyze technology in the supply chain realm. Right. He did it first. So he knows what’s practical. I can assure you as a, uh, supply chain technology solutions provider. He’s tough to impress. He really is because he can ask really tough questions about, you know, can you solve this? And he is constantly trying to push the initiative forward to particular, um, um, analysts at Gartner, he and Tom inright, both practitioners have that ability to kind of challenge you as either a practitioner or a solutions provider to, uh, be real, right. Mm-hmm, <affirmative>, there’s no fluff when talking to these guys. And I think that that really, really comes through his ability to both use his experience, which is substantial, but also to be open to innovation and, and you can see the pain that it causes him as we were talking about. Um, we were talking about how retail, um, has, has, or hasn’t come forward before the show. Um, he really, he really has a unique ability to use that experience and forget that experience and realize that innovation could Trump that experience, uh, going forward.

Kelly Barner (00:38:06):

Absolutely. And real quick, before we pivot here recommendation from our good friend, Peter Bole, if you’re looking away to remember D-Day band of brothers, both the movie, and there’s also a 10 part series, um, and the Pacific, another recommendation. So make a note of those. If you have a chance to fit those into your afternoon, please make some space and do that. Um, but Greg, we have other stuff we need to talk about. And our friend clay Phillips has created a, a new greeting for us happy place. I love that <laugh> it’s officially time

Greg White (00:38:43):

To, I totally swipe that clay. Thank you.

Kelly Barner (00:38:46):

<laugh> well, you saw it here. First clay officially gets credit, but we are gonna do a little bit of buzz. And we’ve talked about this a bit. We actually have a few different news stories we’re going to try to hit. And one of those in particular pulls together a lot of the different things that we’ve talked about today. It’s an article from the wall street journal Macy’s gap, and other clothing stores are stuck with the wrong items. So inventory management remains a challenge. All of these retailers have talked about the fact that inventory levels are up in the thirties over where they were last year. Um, and I believe in particular old Navy talked about the fact that 20%, you know, if 33% is up year over year, 20%, they wish they didn’t even have it. Right? So these companies are starting to run into tough situations in addition to facing inflation and addition to trying to figure out how they’re going to grow and anticipate consumer demand, not an easy situation, Greg,

Greg White (00:39:55):

It’s amazing. I’m gonna say it. I have to say it. The more things change. Yes. The more they stay the same. I cannot believe in this era that we are hearing about some of the major retailers Macy’s gap Kohl’s and even Walmart having these kind of problems that are historic. I mean, by historic, I mean, going back to the beginning of, of department stores back in the 18 hundreds, when Macy’s was founded, they’ve always had these problems because, and we talked with Mike about this, uh, in the green room because they still treat merchandising as separate from supply chain and as art, more than science and, and frankly art thrown in the face of science, even when science can help, I’ve been on both sides of that. I have been an offender as a merchant <laugh> with, uh, short life cycle products, not always fashion, but short life cycle products.

Greg White (00:40:56):

Um, and I’ve been on the supply chain side trying to help even with the credibility of having been one of the, those merchants. Um, and the fact is you are kind of locked into this perspective of I more than any machine, more than any science, more than any, um, math mathematics. I, me one person know exactly what the millions and millions of potential customers that my product line has. I know better than anyone possibly could. And that is the fatal flaw. So, you know, and secondarily, by the way, the way that we predict what will happen, um, in supply chain on the whole, but particularly when it comes to short life cycle goods is to look at last year and go, this year will be 10% better than last year or 20% less or whatever. And that’s not forecasting. That’s what I call post casting.

Greg White (00:41:55):

Right? You have to consider, what’s gonna make things change as you read through this article, which I would encourage people to do. I don’t know if, uh, if we dropped the link, but if we could, as you think about this, you realize that they are looking back at 2020 and 2021 and going some variation of that will happen. Mm-hmm <affirmative> at which seems impossible to fathom EAs, even as a common consumer, that a company could not see that the world has changed and how you predict what people are going to do, needs to change as well. So they’ve done it to themselves yet. Again, it’s disappointing, um, not uncommon and only for re retailers are really called out here, but I’m sure there are others and some that are even worse offenders than these, but it really goes to the point, Kelly, that we need to change how we predict and what we predict in supply chain.

Kelly Barner (00:42:52):

Well, here’s what I find interesting. And, and maybe you can help me sort of reconcile this. So what we’re saying is that this is a foundational long running challenge. Yeah. That has existed. And yet, if we think about what Mike just told us, supply chains have never been so amazing and powerful, right? And yet we’re still running up against some of these foundational challenges. There is clearly something that is not being addressed, even though Gartner’s minds are blown by the improvement year, over year, that needed to be seen. And even with the expansion into things like ESG above and beyond, you know, inventory turns and more traditional measures of, of supply chain performance, how do we hold those two thoughts in our heads at the same time?

Greg White (00:43:42):

Because in a lot of cases, we’re coming from a place where performance was so atrocious in the past that it can only improve by leaps and bounds. Right? Small companies grow by small dollars, but large percentages, right. And it’s, it’s, it’s remarkably similar with supply chains in, in certain areas. And, and, you know, again, uh, I don’t know who might be listening. That’s not that familiar with supply chain, but supply chain is a really broad term. Yeah. And the way that you manage, for instance, fast moving consumer goods or perishable products is a whole lot different than how you handle, uh, short life cycle, short season and fashion products. So there are all kinds of variations that exist in a company I’m gonna use Walmart as an example, who spent 11 billion on supply chain over the last two years, 11 billion and their inventory is up 33% over last year.

Greg White (00:44:40):

And as you said, and, and as Catherine, before the show said, <laugh>, I go to my Walmart and they’ve got everything I don’t want and nothing I do. Um, that’s paraphrasing. She wasn’t quite that dramatic about it, but it sure sounded good, didn’t it <laugh>. Um, but anyway, but I think lots of consumers can relate to that. It feels like they don’t have anything that you want, and they’ve got all this junk. And, um, and a lot of that junk is, you know, it’s yoga pants and sweats, and t-shirts, I wore this t-shirt to honor the, the, whatever you wanna call it, MIS forecasting, I think is what the term they use in the article MIS forecasting of some of these retailers. But that’s the reason is because so many supply chains have been so bad in the past and they can go up by big percentages.

Greg White (00:45:33):

The other is that some have really, really made, uh, a significant initiative, not necessarily to spend money, but to really, really improve mm-hmm <affirmative>. And also particularly as regards the top 25 with, with Gartner, they raised the waiting of ESG and some supply chains are very, they’re very, uh, ESG F uh, friendly mm-hmm <affirmative>. And as you saw, what did he say? 10 or 19 of 30 had a 10 out of 10 score and waiting on that. Um, I could see that causing some supply chains to falter and some to grow pretty dramatically in terms of, of improvement.

Kelly Barner (00:46:17):

And given the tie into this specific article, I would be completely not doing my job if I didn’t shamelessly plug one of my most recent episodes of dial P for procurement right here in supply chain. Now, because on top of the complexity of the supply chain and garments, getting stuck, leaving Thailand and things, not getting unloaded off of container ships and fickle consumer demand, old Navy managed to look at this complicated situation and double it and make it more complicated by changing the way they manage women’s clothing sizes. So on top of all this, they said, we are going to change the way we manage size. We’re gonna go from, I think it was zero to 30 and extra small to four XL. They’re no longer gonna be separated into different departments in the store, which meant they needed new mannequins. They had to work with a research firm to figure out what the distribution of sizes should be.

Kelly Barner (00:47:19):

Some of the garments had to be redesigned because as you scale things, pockets need to move or belt loops need to move, or, you know, darts and seams need to move. And then after all that, it’s because the clothes are hanging together. You can’t really have the price be different, even if the cost is very different to make a four XL garment, right. From what it is to make an Xs garment. And so they created that situation for themselves and also misallocated the sizes. So they already had an inventory problem. Now they have an extra expensive inventory problem because they have the garments at the outer ends of that size range that weren’t sold. And then poor Catherine goes to the store. And not only can she not get yogurt from her Walmart, she can’t get the size that she wants from old Navy.

Greg White (00:48:14):

Yeah. I’m, I’m gonna guess that Catherine is not a four XL. I’m thinking she’s gonna be closer to the zero end. Right. Um, and, and you’re right. That, that is very common that, um, they build these allocation models for largely chain-wide because since so much human and very little technology is involved in this process, it’s too hard to get down to. Yes. What is the mix in the store? Are there more tall people, short people, thin people, fat people around this store, right. Um, which is how it should really be done. They could alter the mix, um, of, of sizes and styles and colors in various stores. But as that process is so manual Kelly, it makes it incredibly difficult to do that.

Kelly Barner (00:49:02):

Yes. And we’ve actually got an interesting couple of comments I wanna pull in here. Great thought from T squared. Thank you for being back with us today. Supply chain can no longer be viewed as a stepchild in the strategic decision making process. Amen. It’s finally time to probably

Greg White (00:49:19):

Still is in

Kelly Barner (00:49:20):

Some status.

Greg White (00:49:22):

<laugh> sorry. Say that again, Kelly. I’m

Kelly Barner (00:49:23):

Sorry. We, we finally deserve firstborn status.

Greg White (00:49:28):

<laugh> that’s right. Well, it probably still is being treated that way in some cases, but to the peril of companies, and again, to this article, Kelly, they talked about how companies that can’t, um, for instance, they just talked about two channels. If you can’t run the store, right. The store channel and the eCommerce channel that is at your own peril as a company. And I didn’t say apparel own per, uh, and, and that is a difficulty for some companies and some companies who really should have been that good, like Sears have completely disappeared. The company who literally invented mail order. Yes. Right. Couldn’t make it in the electronic mail order age. Um, so I think, I think that, you know, that’s one aspect of it, but you’re right. It, um, it can no longer be, which is not to say that it’s not being, but again, <laugh>

Kelly Barner (00:50:24):

Should

Greg White (00:50:24):

Not persist at your own peril.

Kelly Barner (00:50:26):

And we also have a, a good comment from Mohe finding the balance between just in time inventory and just in case inventory could be the key difference in cost savings, customer service levels, and profitability.

Greg White (00:50:40):

So that, that’s a really good point. Sorry, I just have to address this because it is MI it, it is a mythical perception that everyone uses just in time inventory in the supply chain, retailers and distributors do not use just in time inventory. They have always used just in case inventory, meaning they have safety stocks in case the forecast is wrong or a delivery is late or, or whatever, right. It’s only manufacturers who have foisted all this extra inventory into retail and distribution who use just in case. And, and when the problem with the product availability is at the manufacturing or the brand level, it impacts the entire supply chain because if craft don’t have it, nobody don’t get it. <laugh> so, um, I, I think that it’s important to understand that because, um, you know, retailers and, and distributors of long born the burden of extra inventory that manufacturers don’t.

Kelly Barner (00:51:41):

Yeah. Now, as we move on to our, our next story that we’re gonna discuss, I had also shared recently that business is my favorite sport <laugh>. So if I have to pick a traditional sport, I love NASCAR, uh, equally aggressive and dangerous, and sometimes loud is business. And so I have been following all of the developments of our friend, Elon Musk, attempting to take Twitter private, right. And we quietly passed a very interesting milestone on Friday. A lot of the different publications had a very quick story acknowledging that we had passed the milestone. And that was that the 30 day review period where the FTC or DOJ could stop the acquisition for the sake of antitrust. That window has now closed. Yeah. And it was unlikely, you know, Tesla doesn’t play in the media space and, um, you know, SpaceX as, as well. So there wasn’t a lot of concern riding on the antitrust reason for stopping the acquisition mm-hmm <affirmative>, but I am fascinated watching this, this deal go forward.

Kelly Barner (00:52:51):

And I suspect Greg, I’ll be interested to get your thoughts on this. I suspect that there’s sort of two processes being run in parallel. There’s the process that’s marching its way slowly forward towards approval. We’ve got shareholder approval coming up soon. And then there’s sort of the public PR war where we hear the deal is paused. We hear that there’s upset about how many real or fake accounts there are on Twitter, but financing is still being aligned. And so we, we sort of have this perception publicly based on statements that is it going to happen, but quietly behind the scenes we’re plugging forward. Uh, do you have any gut on whether this deal is going to go through? Is there going to be a, a surprise between now and say October, November, when it could be finalized?

Greg White (00:53:41):

Well, a, a shareholder would be a complete idiot not to approve this at this point, because the company’s, uh, market cap is only 30 billion and they’re being offered 50 almost 50% more than that. Yeah. Right. They’re being do offered a dollar 50 for a dollar’s worth of, of, of stock. So they’d be insane not to take it. Um, the, I think the, the question in the balance is, regardless of all the noise that’s made around this, about what Elon Musk should or shouldn’t own. And I mean, by the way, I’m barely on Twitter for any of you who follow me. I post a few articles a week on there. Um, and maybe make a go chief’s comment every once in a while, um, or rip to certain, uh, important, uh, actors who may pass away. Um, good fellas. Um, but, uh, I think that, I think that what we’ll see, we could see is Elon Musk change his mind.

Greg White (00:54:43):

I mean, now he is paying 44 mil billion dollars for 30 billion company. And, you know, he may change his offer. He’s hint at, at that in the past. Um, and, um, he’d certainly be justified in doing so that would kind of restart the whole process. But, uh, you know, I’ve, I’ve been through this process. It doesn’t go to the FTC for potential approval until the deal is effectively done. So this deal is effectively done. In fact, I’ve talked to accountants about this, about when you book the deal, is it when the offer is accepted and the paperwork is signed, or is it when the FTC approves the deal and the money changes hands. And that’s literally at this point, all that has to happen is for the money to change hands. I’m not even sure now that the FTC has missed or that in window of, of denial has expired. I’m not even sure what, what options Elon Musk has for the rest of us who aren’t billionaires. We don’t, we can’t just hire a a hundred million dollars worth of attorneys to do this, but the presumption is that this deal is done. So just from a purely fiscal and at least, uh, surface level legal standpoint,

Kelly Barner (00:56:07):

And this will shock you, Greg. I also am not a billionaire. So for me,

Greg White (00:56:12):

This is, well, your office sure looks nicer than mine.

Kelly Barner (00:56:15):

<laugh> we just, we’ll just, we, we put on the heirs of being billion. There you go. Right. But, but don’t have the actual money to throw around this situation strikes me when one of my kids makes a mistake. I will say to the other two, this is a free lesson for you, cuz you didn’t have to make the mistake to learn the lesson. Right. And I’m certainly not saying this is a mistake, but I think this story with all of the attention and coverage that it’s garnering is an opportunity for all of us, not billionaires to watch how the process works and learn from it. And, and to your point, there’s, you know, where are we really in the process? And then there’s looking at it from the other perspective, can it be stopped at this point? I think that’s a, a different way of looking at it, but I, I find this fascinating. I think this is Mike teased when he joined us in the, the green room, uh, know the Boston Celtics are not raging their way through this, this round that they’re playing in. But, uh, this has sort of all the drama and the nail biters and the excitement, uh, that I think any sporting event does. So I’m personally enjoying watching it. Uh, we’re all in the cheap seats on this one, as Scott would say.

Greg White (00:57:31):

Yeah. Yeah. I, I think look compared to Elon Musk seat, everyone is in the cheap seats. <laugh> right. <laugh>, it’s like the luxury box encompasses the entire field and the rest of us are standing outside at the tailgate watching this happen. Um, and, and probably most of us know about as much about it from that, you know, as if we were from that standpoint. So, um, it is fascinating to watch. Uh, I can’t argue, I think Peter said something about how there, it could be argued. There’s some stock price manipulation going on here. Um,

Kelly Barner (00:58:06):

We’ll pull that up

Greg White (00:58:07):

And, and yeah. And, um, I, I can’t argue that that could be the case. I know that the S E C routinely, um, and, uh, routinely, um, points out to what are called influencers, which usually they mean movie stars and people like that, not to make those kind of comments because they can have a big impact on the price of the stock, but fortunately, or unfortunately there’s nothing illegal about, about that. Um, and the truth is he may be uncovering some truths in a company, uh, that, I mean, it, it is very rare for a $44 billion yes. Offer to be on the table and a $30 billion market cap to be existent in way. It, it, the price should be hovering right around that 44 billion level. So if I was a gambling man, which I’m not, I might throw a few bucks at, at Twitter stock, but anything could happen, you know? Yeah. The, the, the, the, you know, whatever, the, the, anything I’m just gonna say with anything could happen, sorry, I’m, I’m completely overwhelmed by this frankly, Kelly. Yeah. To your point, the entertainment value of this is really the fun in it. The rest of it is beyond all of us. It frankly, is beyond all of us.

Kelly Barner (00:59:30):

And I’ll, uh, I’ll read this, this comment from Peter into the, into the conversation. Elon Musk has ERO billions in stock portfolios, thanks to his insane Twitter tweets. I have nothing good to say about the man, but what I will say is that you have to have some amount of respect for a person that can come out with a very short statement and 80% of the world erupts in response to it. So yeah. Love the man. Hate the man. Agree with his choices, disagree with his choices. Speaking of influencer, Greg, right? I mean, if you can get that kind of a rise out of people, to some extent you just sort of have to say, well done,

Greg White (01:00:15):

You know, he operates on a different plane than the rest of us do. He is hyper super whatever’s above super genius. That’s what he is. I mean, clearly from, and, and clearly just my opinion on the spectrum somewhere approaching Asperger’s I would say mm-hmm <affirmative>. Um, but, and I think that’s, that’s part of his genius, and this is something that we have to accept in geniuses. I mean, lots of geniuses are rough around the edges. Let’s just put it that way, which is not to say everyone who’s rough around the edges is a genius, by the way.

Kelly Barner (01:00:50):

<laugh> and Elon Musk said it himself. When he was hosting Saturday night live, I make rocket ships and electric cars for a living. Did you expect me to be a normal guy?

Greg White (01:01:02):

<laugh>

Kelly Barner (01:01:03):

Right. His own words, his perspective. We, we, especially in this case, we need our geniuses to be whether it’s rough around the edges or a little bit wacky. Um, I totally agree with you. That is where the entertainment value comes from.

Greg White (01:01:18):

Yeah, no doubt. Yeah. It’s fun. It’s fun to watch at the very least. Right.

Kelly Barner (01:01:22):

And we will continue watching.

Greg White (01:01:25):

Um, now you got me watching it again. I, I tuned out now. Watch it again.

Kelly Barner (01:01:29):

<laugh> cause you can’t binge watch it. It, this is old school TV. It only rolls out in the speed that it’s rolling out in. You can’t just dedicate a Saturday and watch the entire thing and know how it ends. We’re all waiting.

Greg White (01:01:42):

Right. Kind of like the last season of Peaky blinders. That’s what we’re all waiting for.

Kelly Barner (01:01:47):

That is what we’re all waiting for. But on that note, Greg, we have used up our hour. Uh, we had a great time

Greg White (01:01:56):

Wisely. I think don’t

Kelly Barner (01:01:57):

You, you know what? I think we made very good use of our time. I’m glad we all took those shots of truth serum before coming out of the green room. I think it made for an interesting conversation. Uh, thank you everybody who made comments, who joined us from the sky boxes, we will say. Um, but as we sign off, I will do this in Scott’s honor. Although he cannot be here with us as you go out into your day, do good. Give forward, be the change that’s needed. Thank you all so much for joining us for today’s buzz on supply chain. Now I’m Kelly Barner here with my co-host and co-conspirator Greg white. Have a great rest of your day, everybody. Thanks for joining us.

Intro/Outro (01:02:41):

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

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Featured Guests

Mike Griswold serves as Vice President Analyst with Gartner’s Consumer Value Chain team, focusing on the retail supply chain. He is responsible for assisting supply leaders in understanding and implementing demand-driven supply chain principles that improve the performance of their supply chain. Mr. Griswold joined Gartner through the company’s acquisition of AMR. Previous roles include helping line-of-business users align corporate strategy with their supply chain process and technology initiatives. One recent study published by a team of Gartner analysts, including Mike Griswold is Retail Supply Chain Outlook 2019: Elevating the Consumer’s Shopping Experience. Mr. Griswold holds a BS in Business Management from Canisius College and an MBA from the Whittemore School of Business & Economics at the University of New Hampshire. Learn more about Gartner here: www.gartner.com

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Kelly Barner

Host, Dial P for Procurement

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.

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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Vicki White

Controller

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

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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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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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

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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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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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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 reading.

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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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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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

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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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