Supply Chain Now
Episode 781

The way we think about food is completely changing. And the supply chains are part of the challenge here, combined with the climate and the costs. How do we deal with these challenges and how do people respond to those?

-Constantine Limberakis

Episode Summary

Welcome to the Buzz for November 30 – where the only thing hotter than the topics are the expert takes. This episode joins together Scott, Greg and Kelly to form a virtual powerhouse of hosts. Joined by Constantine Limberakis, the team takes stock of recent retail and industrial trends while looking ahead to the supply chain challenges of 2022. Tune in as they ponder …

How did retailers fare this Black Friday season?

Is U.S. manufacturing – including auto production – bouncing back, or is it an inflation-induced mirage?

Will the shift to 3PLs reverse course as companies struggle against volatility?

What can food – and a rather tragic wine shortage – teach us about the future of supply chain challenges?

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:00:03):

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

Scott Luton (00:00:30):

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

Greg White (00:00:45):

I’m doing well. It’s good to be back from the holidays.

Kelly Barner (00:00:47)

We’re good.

Scott Luton (00:00:48):

It is good to be back. And, you know, so much food, so much family, so many stories, and just a little bit of wine, maybe, right, Greg and Kelly?

Greg White (00:01:01):

Well, only a little bit and we’re going to talk about why that is.

Scott Luton (00:01:04):

That’s right. We sure are.

Kelly Barner (00:01:04):

That’s right.

Scott Luton (00:01:05):

On that note, by the way, today is our Supply Chain Buzz, where we share some of the leading stories across global business. So, stay tuned for a lot of POV and insights that you don’t want to miss. And as Greg and Kelly both alluded to, we have a delightful repeat guest as Constantine Limberakis from Riskmethods will be joining us. Buckle up, get ready, because we want to hear from you too.

Scott Luton (00:01:30):

All right. Greg, I got to tell you, when I glanced at your coat – which I liked by the way – I keep thinking it’s a members only jacket, but it’s not. You’re always cool, but you are about to ratchet up a little bit.

Greg White (00:01:44):

Well, you know, I think members only is due to come back in another couple decades.

Kelly Barner (00:01:49):

I was going to ask, are you the last member?

Greg White (00:01:54):

I hope not. I hope not. But this is kind of new so the color stands up quite a bit. But I actually won this in a charity golf tournament.

Scott Luton (00:02:06):

I love it. So, you won?

Greg White (00:02:09):

Not the tournament.

Scott Luton (00:02:11):

The jacket. Okay. But I understand you’ve been hitting the ball quite a distance here lately. We’ll tackle that on a golf review livestream, perhaps, in the coming days.

Greg White (00:02:22):

The supply chain of golf. There is no shortage of golf balls, thankfully for me.

Scott Luton (00:02:29):

Folks, we have so much to get through here today. Kelly and Greg, are you all ready get started and then we’re going to, of course, say hello to a few folks. Are you ready?

Greg White (00:02:36):

Yeah. Let’s do this.

Kelly Barner (00:02:36):

All right.

Scott Luton (00:02:37):

All right. So, let me see if I can share my visual here. So, folks, today’s show is produced in sponsorship with Azul Arc, who built, Greg and Kelly, our stunning new website, supplychainnow.com. And they’re a leader in user experience design, UX, and, Greg, the development of websites and custom software applications within the supply chain industry. So, big thanks to Zahir and the top notch team over at Azul Arc. You can learn more at azularc, that’s A-R-C, .com. Greg, great team over there, right?

Greg White (00:03:12):

Yeah, they are. You know, I think we’ve talked about this a little bit before that I’ve actually done a little bit of work with them and seen some of the work that they do, not just on websites, but also on tech. And in this day and age, where we’re transitioning to people who just expect technology to do the work, it’s really important that you have a lot of HETI technology science behind the scenes, but you don’t burden the user with that. And they do a great job of that.

Scott Luton (00:03:41):

Yeah. Stay in your lane, do what you know, and bring in the pros. So, a lot of great talent over there at Azul Arc. And one other thing, Kelly and Greg, I want to make sure folks are aware of, and that is our upcoming webinar on December 9th with Transplace. Now, folks, Greg and Kelly, and any of our listeners, you may know that the deal is now official, Transplace is a big part of the Uber family. Right, Greg?

Greg White (00:04:05):

That’s correct. Yeah. Big news there. I don’t know if we even knew that that was in the works at the time that we scheduled this. But that will be a really, really interesting portion of the discussion.

Scott Luton (00:04:20):

Agreed. Agreed. All about accelerating innovation through collaboration. And, gosh, if recent years haven’t taught us, we’ve got to find new ways to successfully collaborate and innovate together across upstream and downstream your supply chain. So, join Michelle McBride, Karin Bursa, and I on December 9th at 12:00 noon. It’s free to register. You can check that out in the show notes.

Scott Luton (00:04:44):

Okay. So, Kelly, bringing you right back in here for a second. When it comes to collaboration and real innovation, not just lip service about brainstorming and writing ideas on whiteboards, any thoughts or observations you’ve seen here lately?

Kelly Barner (00:05:03):

Yes. For me, it’s always about, not necessarily discovering the newest thing, but it’s about taking two ideas and putting them together. For anybody that’s been around long enough to see Working Girl, that’s sort of like my original business inspiration movie, Trask And Radio. And Transplace and Uber is right along those lines. You don’t necessarily have to invent a new thing in order to be innovative. But you can take two seemingly disconnected ideas and have a unique insight to bring them together. So, that’ll be an interesting story to watch.

Scott Luton (00:05:33):

Beautifully said. Beautifully said. Okay. Let’s say hello to a few folks and then we’re going to dive into some of the headlines before we bring on our big featured guest here today, Constantine Limberakis. Let’s see here. Keivan is back with us. Hope this finds you well, Keivan, via LinkedIn. Great to see you here today. Greg, you remember Keivan is the one that coined long before anyone else did, the new abnormal.

Greg White (00:05:58):

Abnormal. Yes. Thanks. Thank you for that, Keivan.

Scott Luton (00:06:01):

That’s right. Diesel is with us here. Big thanks to Amanda and Diesel and the gang behind the scenes helping to make production happen. Poulan, Greg, for you and Clay, your Bulldogs which played Bama in the SEC championship game Saturday.

Greg White (00:06:18):

Yeah. That’s right. Unfortunately, I’m not going to get to be there. But I’m looking forward to it because now we have two Dogs in the family. My youngest is transferring to Georgia in the spring.

Scott Luton (00:06:30):

That is right. Okay. Really quick, bold prediction. I’m going to put you on the spot, Greg.

Greg White (00:06:37):

17-13, UGA.

Scott Luton (00:06:40):

Okay. All right.

Greg White (00:06:40):

I mean, Dogs have a good defense. I think they have a little bit of a mental hurdle to get over with Alabama. But Bama is not the Bama they’ve been in the past as evidenced by the fact that Auburn had to, literally, give them the game to lose it last weekend.

Scott Luton (00:06:58):

Hey, stay tuned for the highlights at 11:00, folks. Greg, I love that. All right. So, you heard it there first, 17-13, UGA. Okay. Peter Bolle, all night and all day, is with us. Peter, I really enjoyed some of your Thanksgiving perspective. “Good Monday morning. Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving,” he says. Now, putting you on the spot, Kelly. You shared on our Supply Chain Chow channel – which, folks, if you love food and you like taking departures from supply chain and all the headaches there from time to time, check out Supply Chain Chow on Facebook – Kelly, you made a mean Turkey kind of day after Thanksgiving soup, right?

Kelly Barner (00:07:35):

I did. I don’t cook for Thanksgiving. You’re welcome, everyone. I cook after Thanksgiving. I’m just more likely to eat the leftovers if they’re part of something else versus trying to assemble all of those things. But as Tricia, part of Supply Chain Now team, and I, we have bonded around our love for peas. The recipe doesn’t call for it, but I put extra peas in the soup. It makes it awesome.

Scott Luton (00:07:58):

I love it. Okay. I’m going to zoom through a couple of these other shoutouts really quick and then we’re going to get to the news of the day, and maybe even talk more peas. Kelly, I’m glad to hear you’re a fellow peas fan.

Kelly Barner (00:08:11):

Great time. Peas forever.

Scott Luton (00:08:13):

Right.

Greg White (00:08:16):

That’s a new t-shirt.

Scott Luton (00:08:17):

Greg, Kelly is owning it. I thought when she first said, if Greg’s the last member, I thought that was –

Greg White (00:08:25):

Give peas a chance.

Kelly Barner (00:08:26):

It was like Shallow Hal, right? Wasn’t that the line from that movie? What are you, the last member?

Scott Luton (00:08:32):

You’re owning it today. Okay. Let’s see here. Hello, Helen. Great to see you here via LinkedIn. She says, “Great to hear there are no issues with the golf ball supply chain.”

Kelly Barner (00:08:35):

Hi, Helen.

Greg White (00:08:41):

A fellow golfer, that’s good to see.

Scott Luton (00:08:44):

Mohib, of course, from Wichita, Kansas, The Air Capital oftThe World, says, “Just curious, did anyone have fried turkey for Thanksgiving?” I did not.

Greg White (00:08:53):

No. But I wonder if A.A. did. I’m curious. I saw several recipes – who did I see?

Scott Luton (00:09:02):

We usually have it.

Greg White (00:09:02):

This is sort of nondescript, but hilarious PGA golfer, Harry Biggs, I think, or Harry Higgs, something like that, said has fried a turkey 26 years in a row and has only messed it up once.

Kelly Barner (00:09:17):

That’s a long time because that’s a newer trend.

Scott Luton (00:09:19):

That is. Yeah, definitely. And dangerous. If you don’t do it the right way, it’s very dangerous.

Greg White (00:09:23):

We should’ve done this show before Thanksgiving, but never fry a frozen turkey.

Scott Luton (00:09:28):

That is right. That is right. But great to have you here, Mohib as well. Michael Avera is back. I think it’s two for two for the last couple of livestreams. Great to see you. Of course, Amanda is at the helm in the production side. Great to see you here, Amanda. Josh is tuned in, “Grateful to be here all.” Hey, the month of gratitude is still with us, so great to see here, Josh.

Greg White (00:09:46):

Yeah. Just barely.

Scott Luton (00:09:48):

Just barely. Big show, Bob Bova is here. His prediction is 27 to 14, UGA over Alabama. How about that?

Greg White (00:09:57):

I hope he’s right. That will be a lot better for everyone’s health.

Scott Luton (00:10:03):

Yes. Except my in-laws who are big time Bama fans. I got to give a big shoutout to Fred and Val. But their son, my brother-in-law, Brams Ramsey, is a big UGA fan. So, it is certainly a house divided to some extent this weekend. It’s still a sport, right? Geoff LeRoy, great to see you here via LinkedIn from Hilton Head. Hope this finds you well. Davin is with us here today. Great to see you. Great to see you. And one last comment here back on deep fried turkey – it always gets our attention – Geoff says, “It’s awesome. Deep fried turkey takes only three minutes per pound to cook versus 20 minutes per pound -” I guess in the oven “- and it always guarantees a moist turkey.” How about that?

Greg White (00:10:48):

That is true. I’ve had it. I’ve never cooked it, but I’ve had it and it is spectacular.

Scott Luton (00:10:53):

It is wonderful. Absolutely. Okay. So, we have got to jump into the news of the day. Are y’all ready?

Greg White (00:11:01):

I just have one more comment. I just want to know if Geoffrey LeRoy had fried turkey at Hilton Head. Because if that’s the case, I’m just a wee bit jealous.

Scott Luton (00:11:14):

We all have to get together and fry turkey in Hilton Head. Who knows, Greg? We’ll see what happens. Hey, let’s dive into the news of the day though. We’ve got so much to get to over the next 15, 20 minutes or so before we welcome in, the one and only, Constantine Limberakis with Riskmethods. So, it is the season, Greg and Kelly, for commerce and lots of it. So, Cyber Monday is today, of course. But Black Friday was a couple of days ago. And here’s a few observations on what Black Friday 2021 ended up being here via CNBC. So, foot traffic in retail stores was down about 28.3 percent from two years ago. But the good news, Greg and Kelly, traffic was up almost 50 percent from just last year.

Scott Luton (00:12:05):

Now, what kind of surprised me a little bit, although folks have been kind of sprinkling – you know, spreading out their purchasing, perhaps – e-commerce volume hit $8.9 billion on Black Friday this year, down just a bit from last year’s record of $9 billion. So, Greg, I want to start with you, you published up some really cool perspective, always insightful perspective, on LinkedIn earlier on Black Friday. What’s your take here?

Greg White (00:12:34):

So, I think if you read through this article and other articles like it, I think the data is very confusing. While Black Friday shopping was down 20 percent from 2019 in stores, it was also down online. And a lot of assertions made in several of these articles that people are spreading out their shopping because a lot of companies – and we talked about this back in October – Costco, and Target, and Walmart, and others started with their Black Friday adverts in October. I haven’t really seen any data around that though that says that that shopping was up. I see a lot of people saying, we know it was up, but not a lot of data around it. So, I wonder how much it was really up.

Greg White (00:13:24):

I think overall that holiday shopping is going to be down. NRF is still predicting something, like, between $853 and 900 million in uplift in sales. I’m not sure that we’re going to get that. I think if I was NRF, I would want to be optimistic about that, the National Retail Federation. I don’t see any numbers that indicate that it’s going to be substantially higher. I think that’s about anywhere from 8-1/2 to around 11 percent higher. I don’t think that I see indicators that that is a given.

Scott Luton (00:14:11):

Good stuff there. Kelly?

Kelly Barner (00:14:13):

Well, Greg, you mentioned Target. And this was one of the more interesting details that I thought came out of this story. Not only did Target made the decision not to open on Thanksgiving this year, which you might be able to say, “Well, short on labor. They’re trying to make sure they’re fully staffed for Friday and so you can’t give everybody the day off.” But they took the added step of announcing that this move is forever. Now, I’m assuming it’s forever in air quotes. Like, business, what’s actually forever? But to take that additional step to announce that, I didn’t totally get the move. What is the benefit to them? Unless they’re trying to cover for the fact that there’s some other short-term reason. I never see the sense in trying to project into the future really long-term and say, “We’re never, again, going to open on Friday.” I would love to know the thoughts behind the decision to make that pronouncement.

Scott Luton (00:15:06):

Excellent point.

Greg White (00:15:07):

That’s a pretty typical kind of move by Target, is to be sort of bold in those regards. And whatever the topic of the day is – I mean, this clearly was, and I think people are dead on – I’ve never liked the fact that retail stores open on Thanksgiving. And I get that people want the convenience of that. But with e-commerce today, there’s really no reason to open the doors on Thanksgiving and force that many more people to work on a holiday. Though the pay is quite good, usually double-time-and-a-half for hourly folks.

Greg White (00:15:45):

But this is a common move. If you go back in time, I know this because back in the day, I competed against Target. I have serviced them with technology. And my father worked for Target after he left K-Mart, if anyone remembers those guys. And this is a really common theme for them to kind of leap on whatever the theme of the day is and announced their altruism around those kinds of topics.

Kelly Barner (00:16:16):

Do you think it was a play to attract talent? Like, are they trying to sort of get into this story and get the word out? They’re like, “Oh. That must be a good place to work because I’m never, ever going to have to work on Thanksgiving.” Is that a play that ties into the Black Friday thing? Or do you think it’s just kind of the way they operate in making these bold decisions?

Greg White (00:16:32):

I think it’s brought for the broader equity brand identity. But maybe it does work for that. I mean, I think it would. By the way, I’m not poo-pooing their culture. It is a great company to work for. Target is a great company to work for. And that is probably what allows them to be so bold with some of these altruistic endeavors.

Scott Luton (00:16:56):

Excellent point. All right. I’ve got to keep moving. Geoff LeRoy says, “Hey, come visit Hilton Head.” He’s going to provide all the food. I love that, Geoff.

Greg White (00:17:02):

Soon enough.

Scott Luton (00:17:03):

Gene Pledger, Gene Pledger is tuned in from Northern Alabama. Great to see here today. Mike Avera is speaking to what we’re just talking about, Black Friday, “With everyone encouraging folks to order early due to supply chain issues might have contributed to it being down,” he says. And Mike goes on to say, “It will be interesting to see what the entire quarter does as opposed to a snapshot of a few weeks.” Great point there.

Scott Luton (00:17:27):

Okay. We have been talking about early Black Friday returns. Of course, today is Cyber Monday, we’ll keep an eye, I think, on the pulse and see how that plays out here today.

Greg White (00:17:38):

So, Scott, I’m curious if you or Kelly have any personal experience around this. Did you partake in any of this early shopping or online or – God forbid – actual Black Friday shopping?

Scott Luton (00:17:51):

Not in the stores. We’ve been using sites like Spouse-ly. Because I want to get outside of the big A, which does not need my dollars. That certainly has helped power early season shopping. But Spouse-ly is a site dedicated to helping veteran entrepreneurs and military spouse entrepreneurs, first responder entrepreneurs. It’s kind of like an Etsy for that community. And if you help support small businesses that are led by those individuals by visiting, you can check out spouse-ly.com. But that’s where I did some of my early shopping. Kelly?

Kelly Barner (00:18:32):

I actually did some, also e-commerce. I’m not going to stores. It’s not worth it. But Apple had some great Black Friday stuff that started, I think, maybe even Thursday and ran all the way through the weekend. And some of it is still happening today. So, if those tech gadgets are on your list, they’re doing like Apple gift cards back with certain purchases. So, that was definitely the kind of thing that had me checking my list.

Scott Luton (00:18:54):

Love it. And, Greg?

Greg White (00:18:56):

So, I actually found myself consciously avoiding Amazon, not for principle reasons necessarily, just that I found what I was looking for at other places. And, you know, one other stat of note is that, while Saturday was Shop Small Saturday, big box stores and the top retailers had a 22 percent higher increase this year over last year than small business does. So, get out there and shop with your local stores. I’m actually delaying one really important purpose until tomorrow, at least I’m going to try and make it tomorrow, at a local shop instead of buying it online.

Scott Luton (00:19:41):

Wonderful. Diversify those dollars but spend them either way, folks. That’s right. All right. We’re going to switch over to one of our favorite topics to talk about here, manufacturing. We love the manufacturing sector. So, Kelly and Greg, in this report from Reuters, the Federal Reserve said last week that manufacturing activity here in the U.S. really surpassed expectations in October. In fact, manufacturing output increased 1.2 percent last month, which ended up, Greg and Kelly, being the highest activity on the books since March 2019, since March 2019.

Scott Luton (00:20:16):

But here’s some more good news, the automotive industry, right? We’ve talked a lot about how it’s been hampered by the lack of computer chips. Well, they are finding a way. Automotive industry also increased production after two down months in October. Important to note for perspective – I think everyone here and probably everyone listening knows this, but I want to reiterate it – the manufacturing industry is one of the most critical sectors as it relates to the economy. In fact, here in the States, it accounts for about 12 percent of the U.S. economy. Okay. I’m going to flip the script here this time and, Kelly, I’m going to start with you, so talk about this good news here.

Kelly Barner (00:20:55):

Oh. See, I was going to mention inflation. That’s not good news.

Scott Luton (00:20:59):

Hang on. Greg, we’ll start with you.

Greg White (00:21:02):

It is real news, that’s for sure.

Kelly Barner (00:21:03):

Well, it is real news. And the connection that I thought they made very well in this particular story that, you know, studying the manufacturing capacity as sort of an indicator about inflation. I mean, no surprise. We’re not surprised to hear that inflation is record highs. And they’re seeing that match up in terms of available capacity in manufacturing. So, not good news, but interesting.

Scott Luton (00:21:28):

Yes. Greg? 

Greg White (00:21:29):

I think that exact point, when you measure manufacturing output based on dollars, you see that the number of orders is actually down, but the price of the orders is significantly up. As, by the way, it was in the last story in retail, the number of orders were down in retail as well, but the value of an order was about 11.3 percent higher. So, I think this is where we’re seeing a lot of this. I mean, we are at a 30 year high in terms of inflation here in Atlanta. Kelly, we’re luckier than you are. We had 8 percent inflation rate as opposed to the national average of 6.2 percent in October. So, lucky us. And companies are fully taking advantage of arbitraging inflation to add to their margins and produce more at a higher cost. But I have to flip it back to you, Kelly. Where in the hell are they getting the stuff to build this? I mean, you being on the procurement end, I don’t know where the goods could be coming from to build some of this stuff.

Kelly Barner (00:22:44):

Well, and I think we’re talking about manufacturing generally here, although they did segment out the industrial stuff in that actual piece. I think part of it is when we talk about manufacturing and you actually start to break it down, how produced is the segment of manufacturing that you’re looking at being able to get a hold of the materials and products that they need to keep the operation rolling. So, we’re not necessarily talking about bringing in completely raw materials. We may be talking about three, four steps down the chain where it still technically counts as made in the U.S., although some of the parts or components or assemblies are coming from overseas. I think that probably makes it a little bit easier to get your hands on some of that stuff.

Kelly Barner (00:23:26):

So, you know, they did break it out in the article. Like you mentioned, Scott, automotive is way up and that’s offsetting some of the other areas that are level or maybe even down a little bit. I think if we were to slice and dice it a little bit more, we would find some really interesting things around type of manufacturer around being able to get products.

Scott Luton (00:23:45):

Agreed. Agreed. And, you know, for the first time ever during Thanksgiving, I have rubbed elbows with a few folks that have placed orders for cars are waiting for five or six months now. I guess including Greg.

Greg White (00:23:59):

My oldest daughter has been waiting since June for a car. And the date keeps moving back that it will come off the production line. It was supposed to be the 26th, last I saw. But interesting, I’ve been kind of following that, obviously.

Scott Luton (00:24:18):

But I like both of y’all’s take their. Hey, kick those headlines hard. Get to the real story. So, excellent points there around inflation. I want to keep moving here. We’ve got a great guest we’re going to bring in here in about five minutes.

Scott Luton (00:24:30):

Hello, Tom Raftery. Hope this finds you and your podcast well. Always looking dapper. Great to see you, Tom. And Mark Preston, a dear friend, AME Board Member, also a Georgia Tech Alum says, “Crazy year. Halloween items just arrived at Michael’s in Peachtree City, 70 percent off.” Now is the time, folks.

Greg White (00:24:52):

Hold on. I got to make a call to my wife.

Scott Luton (00:24:54):

“Shortage of cranberry sauce and found out my neighbor has five cans. I am personally ready for college basketball.” Great to see you, Mark. Looking forward to reconnecting with you soon. And I’m going to point this out – and, Greg and Kelly, maybe we can allude to this maybe later. We get this question all the time – Max, great to have you here today. He says, “I’m kind of new in everything supply chain related. Any courses or certificates anyone can recommend? Cheers from Mexico.” Great to have you here via LinkedIn, Max. Hey, folks in the skyboxes, we would love to get you all to weigh in on your advice to Max as he’s trying to break into in advance in supply chain industry.

Scott Luton (00:25:33):

Okay. We got to keep moving because, Kelly, we have got a really cool story here for our third story. And I love what American Eagle is doing here to really increase its supply chain wherewithal. So, tell us more about this, Kelly.

Kelly Barner (00:25:49):

Yeah. This is interesting to me. So, they just recently bought this Quiet Logistics. Now, I think most people here are probably familiar with the idea of a 3PL, third party logistics, provider. Quiet Logistics considers themselves 3PF, so it’s predominantly digital third-party fulfillment. And until now they have positioned themselves as being highly digitally enabled fulfillment for companies on the early end of things that don’t already have a lot of infrastructure and need help with this. So, American Eagle as a clothing retailer, they own several stores that are probably in most malls, if your mall remains open. And they most recently bought this company, but this is a second purchase. They also bought a shipping consolidator some number of months ago.

Kelly Barner (00:26:34):

So, it’s interesting to me because this is a little bit like, you know, vertical integration, where for so long things were moving towards third parties. And, now, some of these companies are starting to pull things in-house. I see this as actually being very similar to – who is it? – Walmart, Home Depot, Target – actually, I think was on that list – chartering their own ships to get containers over here in time for the holiday season versus going through sort of third-party ocean freight. You know, when things are uncertain and you want to bring stuff in-house, I think the question will be whether this works longer term, how long they retain ownership of this if they allow Quiet Logistics to still have other customers.

Kelly Barner (00:27:18):

Right now, it seems like a genius move, but it makes me reflect back to when Delta Airlines bought The Trainer Refinery. And it looked like, “Oh, they’re hedging their bets against oil costs.” And it didn’t actually end up working out all that well for them. So, you know, maybe this is a temporary move and they’re doing it just to secure their supply chain now, and then they’ll sell it off down the road, or they’ll let it continue to serve other people. But I thought this was an interesting move because they are publicly traded, they’re S&P 400. But it’s not like you see American Eagle and you think, “Oh, yeah. You know, they need to be the new Amazon.” So, interesting move on their part, I thought.

Scott Luton (00:27:55):

So, Greg, I’d like to get your take on American Eagle’s purchase.

Kelly Barner (00:28:02):

Is it a secret?

Scott Luton (00:28:03):

 It’s quiet. It’s Quiet Logistics. Come on. All right. So, Greg?

Greg White (00:28:10):

Yeah. So, this is the company that spawned Locus Robotics and spun it out. So, a lot of people are probably familiar, if you’ve used robotics with Locus Robotics, fairly well-known fulfillment robotics enterprise. So, they’re now separate companies. And what they bought was the 3PL or 3PF version or entity that remained. But in the article – Kelly, I’m sure you saw this – they allude to an investment that the company has made in yet another robotics technology. So, I’m curious what that is. I have not had a chance to go hit Crunchbase and see who they might’ve invested in.

Kelly Barner (00:28:51):

And they’re going to have all of these new logistics purchases report up to the same person. So, they’re truly building a capability center internally around this versus just sort of letting these plug into their organization where they need to.

Greg White (00:29:03):

Scott, both of you said this, it kind of hearkens back to the day when companies had their own trucks. Although, now, they’re extending it and, you know, have their own warehouse operations. Now, they’re doing it for fulfillment as well as for store replenishment and that sort of thing. So, I think we’re going to see some more of this. It’s kind of a pendulum swing thing. It happens every 20, 30, 40 whatever years in the industry until companies understand what the cost of that is and what their real wherewithal and skillset is.

Greg White (00:29:40):

Frankly, I think companies, specifically like American Eagle, who are so good at merchandising, who are so focused on product, who are really merchant driven, not logistics driven, I think they should stay with 3PL. But the current state of things has people clamoring for stability. Stability will be the word of 2022. We will either find it or we will continue to seek it. But that’s what companies are after, is stability. You saw it trying to create stability and demand among consumers. And, now, they’re trying to create stability in the supply chain by taking more and more control of it.

Kelly Barner (00:30:18):

And if they can find it, it will be worth paying for.

Greg White (00:30:21):

Sorry. Say that again, Kelly.

Kelly Barner (00:30:23):

If they can find that stability, it’ll be worth paying for.

Greg White (00:30:26):

Yeah. That’s right.

Scott Luton (00:30:29):

Great point. So, whenever we talk about stability or resilience, we always think about the antonym, fragility. Or if you’re watching your holiday movies already, Fragile. Fragile. One of our favorites around here. Okay. So, fascinating move that American Eagle is making. We’ll keep our finger on the pulse. I love that. I love that thinking. They’re not just thinking outside the box, they’re buying the box. So, it will be cool to see how this plays out.

Greg White (00:30:54):

Many. That’s a good point.

Scott Luton (00:30:58):

Okay. Really quick, I want to recognize, Mike says, “A lot of organizations, especially flush with cash, are vertically integrating full circle strategies from 30 to 40 years ago are coming back.” Excellent point. What’s old is new again.

Scott Luton (00:31:11):

Okay. It has been a heavy hitting fast moving first half of the Supply Chain Buzz here today on Supply Chain Now. I want to welcome in, Kelly and Greg, a delightful repeat guest we really enjoyed talking to a week or two ago. I want to welcome in Constantine Limberakis, Senior Director of Product and Solutions Marketing with Riskmethods. Hey, Constantine. How are we doing?

Constantine Limberakis (00:31:36):

Hey, guys. How are you? How are you guys doing today?

Greg White (00:31:38):

Welcome aboard.

Scott Luton (00:31:39):

We’re doing wonderful. You know, Kelly and I had a blast with you a couple of weeks back. And all three of us here, including Greg and Amanda and Clay, had a wonderful time talking kind of post-Thanksgiving observations earlier this morning.

Constantine Limberakis (00:31:53):

Yes. Well, I will ditto the point about the peas. I love peas. Peas are awesome.

Kelly Barner (00:32:01):

I have always liked you, Constantine. And that just reinforces everything I’ve always thought.

Constantine Limberakis (00:32:05):

You know, it’s always good to put that into a Minestrone or something. But I will also tell you, I did not buy my peas at Target because it was closed on Thanksgiving. I really liked that. I think that’s a smart move. My view on that is, I think, that’s the tonality of what’s gone on with places like Chick-fil-A. There’s this kind of movement towards, “We’re going to make a decision. This is what we think is right, whether it’s an economic factor or social factor.” Those are some of the things I think that might be the reasons why they’re doing it, to your point, Greg. They got a brand and people want to trust the brands that they’re going to.

Scott Luton (00:32:40):

Actually, I’m glad you brought that up, that second point as you came online here. Because when you first said peas, I’m like, “Gosh. We went through 30 minutes of conversation and his favorite part was around peas.”

Greg White (00:32:52):

Part of it was peas.

Scott Luton (00:32:54):

Kidding aside. Kidding side. Great point about Target. We’re seeing a lot of companies being much more intentional about their culture and how they can leverage it, frankly, out in the market with consumers and potential employees alike. So, I want to get one comment in here. Azuka, great to see you back here. And we’re hoping to have you back on the livestream. Greg, Kelly, and Constantine, she knocked it out of the park when Azuka joined me and Kelly, and Jenny Froome not too long ago. Maybe, Greg, you may have been with us as well. She says, “I think that the strategies of the past are now more than relevant for future survival.” Okay. Quite a t-shirt-ism there. Thanks for sharing. And stick around, we’d love to get your take, Azuka, and Michael, and Tom, and Josh, you name it, in what we’re going to talk about here with Constantine, including wine. And by the way, Tom says, “Peas -”

Greg White (00:33:50):

For the win.

Scott Luton (00:33:51):

For the win. New acronym for me. Okay. I feel a little bit cooler now. Thank you, Tom and Greg.

Greg White (00:33:57):

You’ll find this astounding, Scott. I don’t feel particularly one way or another about peas. When they’re present, I enjoy them. I don’t hate or love them. One of the few things on the planet that I have no –

Scott Luton (00:34:12):

Don’t put them in chicken salad. Don’t put them in potato salad. I like them by themselves. Heated up right out of the Le Sueur can.

Kelly Barner (00:34:22):

What about risotto? Peas in risotto?

Greg White (00:34:22):

Oh, yeah. Most definitely.

Constantine Limberakis (00:34:24):

That goes.

Kelly Barner (00:34:25):

They’d be missing if they weren’t there. Greg, do you want to retract that statement about being ambivalent on peas?

Greg White (00:34:30):

I still don’t feel that strongly. But definitely in that dish.

Kelly Barner (00:34:32):

We’ll get you there. It’s a work in progress.

Greg White (00:34:34):

Yeah. Thank you. You’re always [inaudible].

Scott Luton (00:34:36):

That’s right. ABC.

Kelly Barner (00:34:39):

I’m working for the pea commission.

Scott Luton (00:34:41):

So, if you don’t like peas, hey, you can always –

Kelly Barner (00:34:45):

We love you also.

Scott Luton (00:34:45):

That’s right. Everything goes a little bit better with some wine. And, Constantine, that’s what we’re going to start with you here today. I want to dive into a very critical global supply chain, that is the wine supply chain. Now, CNBC is reporting, Constantine, that wines, in particular, supply chain may be disrupted. So, tell us more about this, Constantine.

Constantine Limberakis (00:35:13):

Yeah. So, Scott, I came across this article over kind of this Thanksgiving mood, thinking about wine. And Beaujolais nouveau is this wine that comes out of a particular region in France. It’s this wine, it has a season. It comes out in November. And I was just reading this article and I thought, you know, it’s interesting take because wine is this, like, regional thing, right? So, you can’t manufacture and say, “Oh, I want to re-shore wine and put it somewhere else.” That’s like, “Wine comes up from a region. That’s where I know it’s from, whether I’m drinking my Cabernet from California or from Chile or Beaujolais from France, because that’s where it comes from.”

Constantine Limberakis (00:35:55):

And I thought, well, this is interesting. So, for the people that are these, you know, files that have their certain tastes, they got to get it, they got to go to the store. Well, what happened in the article is very interesting, is that, you see all these dynamics of how one product that you think is kind of a luxury thing is going to be completely disrupted because the climate had a huge impact on the crop this year. And if you go through the article, you can read that the distribution cost went up. They had labor shortages in trying to get it distributed here. There were some disruptions that happen where trucks weren’t getting the wine to the right place. The cost of freight was like three times the cost. And they’re saying that in order for them to sell the wine, they had to eat the cost because they had already promised a certain price. And then, getting that then to the store was a big delay.

Constantine Limberakis (00:36:41):

And so, I think, some of the challenges here is because of climate, what’s changing in these flavors, what’s happening with this distribution, if things keep changing even in places like California, where they’re concerned about the fires having a huge impact, too, in ten years, will people be drinking things differently? Will have different tastes? And that becomes something that may not be critical or essential, but the way we think about food is completely changing. And these supply chains are part of the challenge here, combined with the climate and the costs, how do we deal with these challenges and how do people respond to those? Because people might be looking for the Beaujolais in the shelf and they might have to go to something else and replace it. And they’ll say, “Well, where do I go to get that? What am I willing to pay to get something because it’s not at the place I’m typically going to?”

Scott Luton (00:37:34):

Right. So, we’re talking about wine supply chain, in particular wine supply chain for Beaujolais –

Greg White (00:37:42):

Nouveau.

Kelly Barner (00:37:42):

Nouveau.

Scott Luton (00:37:43):

Nouveau. Thank you very much. Sometimes things just stick right there between. But we’re talking about wine supply chain. And I want to bring in a couple of quick comments before Greg and Kelly responds to what Constantine says. I would just add in, Constantine said how folks are responding. But I bet Constantine has an opinion about how folks are proactively preparing. But we’ll circle back to that maybe, perhaps, later.

Scott Luton (00:38:07):

Let’s see here. Tom says, “I’m Irish, so wine is meh. Now, if there’s an issue with beer, that’d be a whole another story.” Max agrees with him. He says, “As a Mexican, I strongly agree. Beer is much better than wine.”

Greg White (00:38:25):

Especially in Mexico. I mean, I love Mexican beer. Outstanding.

Scott Luton (00:38:29):

Agreed. It’s the best. All right. So, Greg, since you’re responding and making us all want a beer now, let’s start with you. Talk to what Constantine shared about this article, about this one particular wine may be threatened. What’s your take here?

Greg White (00:38:46):

Well, I think, there were three specific tragedies in the supply chain here. A truck turned over, even with the shortage. A truck turned over and, therefore, Arkansas, Western Tennessee, and West Virginia did not get any Beaujolais nouveau from this particular importer. So, I wonder what they drank. Moonshine?

Scott Luton (00:39:19):

Yes. That would make – 

Greg White (00:39:20):

[Inaudible] in that part of the country. But I think we can expect to see this with a lot of things. We talked about this just in the last week or two that we can expect some serious shortages among fruits and vegetables. Just another fruit that creates wine, it just happens to be a very, very tasty fruit. And I experienced firsthand – I think, though, no words were exchanged as we talked about pre-show – but my father always brings a couple of bottles of Beaujolais nouveau or Beaujolais as he likes to call it. But this year he didn’t show up with those, and I’m curious if that had anything to do with availability, so I’ll have to ask him after the show.

Scott Luton (00:40:05):

What did he bring?

Greg White (00:40:07):

I think he brought a broad a Bordeaux and a Cabernet.

Scott Luton (00:40:12):

Nice. Nice. So, regardless, it may not have been the Beaujolais or the Beaujolais, as he says. But he brought the lubricant as we established pre-show. Kelly Barner, your take on the wine supply chain.

Kelly Barner (00:40:28):

Obviously, a huge tragedy. I mean, maybe not moment of silence tragedy, but like really, really close, especially if you live in one of those areas where the truck tipped over and you’re not going to get it. Actually, one of the things that occurred to me in reading this story is that, it’s been very exciting for all of us as supply chains have hit the front page of papers and been above the fold on everything, whether it’s hard copy or digital. I do think there’s a nuance missing to some of what’s being reported that we have an ability to filter through, but that the casual reader might not. And in some cases I actually end up feeling bad for consumers. There were massive turkey panics in advance of Thanksgiving. And I will admit, I had to go buy butter at 6:00 p.m. the evening before Thanksgiving. The container of turkeys still in the store was massive.

Kelly Barner (00:41:21):

And so, I at least appreciated in this story, they were very specific about the region where there weren’t going to be turkey. But I think in the excitement of keeping supply chains above the fold, and everybody, “Oh, the supply chain crisis,” and they get to run the graphic and it’s so exciting and morbid. I don’t know, I mean, from the sounds of this, it wasn’t great for maybe producers or distributors. I’m not sure where, actually, that hit got taken, but we know it wasn’t retailers. And so, in this case, unless you live in this three-state region where the truck tipped over, you got it and you paid the same amount for it.

Kelly Barner (00:41:56):

And so, I think if we approach these things with too broad of a brush, people are going to (A) start to doubt the news because they’re going to be like, “I don’t know there were cases. They have, like, a big stack. I can choose from three different kinds if I want.” And so, it’s really digging in to understand just because I’m paying the exact same amount for it, it doesn’t mean that somewhere in the supply chain somebody didn’t take a hit that might actually affect their ability to produce in the future or their ability to be profitable and keep people employed. But unless you come to a story like this, with the perspective that the four of us and everybody that’s in the skyboxes has, I think it has a tendency to fuel a panic that causes people to, maybe, make decisions based on emotional reasons when they don’t need to be done.

Kelly Barner (00:42:39):

So, I thought they did a good job, but I would also be willing to bet that we read this story a little bit differently than a casual reader might read it. And either fuel a panic or cause people to buy something they weren’t even necessarily going to buy because there’s this perception of scarcity. So, I do think we always have to keep in the back of our minds the coverage and the perspective in the news around supply chains when it’s not meant for people that are managing supply chains. Maybe the takeaways end up being a little bit different if we can be more thoughtful about it.

Scott Luton (00:43:10):

Context. Context. Nonstick. And the right lens. Okay. So, Greg and Kelly laid a lot out there, Constantine, anything you want to respond to or pick up on before we talk about some of the things that’s going on at Riskmethods?

Constantine Limberakis (00:43:23):

Absolutely. I think the bigger context here is, not only the distribution of it, but also the context of the change itself that it caused a shortage of the product, which is the climate. And that was a really interesting aspect. And another follow up article they talked about California, and they’re talking about how all these fires are changing the climate. And that you might also see a change in there, where there might be some challenges of even having these types of products into the future. So, all these dynamics, I think, it kind of goes back to us in kind of what we’re foundational at, is, understanding the risks. Where are these things coming from? What’s the basis of it?

Constantine Limberakis (00:44:02):

You know, there’s five different types of risks that we saw here. There’s this climate change, you saw distribution risk, you see labor shortage risks, you see the cost of freight. So, all those things kind of what brought it together for me to think, “Well, how would I know about all these things and how would I be able to better understand how to manage that if that’s something I’m depending on as a core product to what I’m selling as a retailer, as a distributor?” that kind of thing.

Constantine Limberakis (00:44:25):

And it’s not just the wine. You might see that with, you know, trying to get it the other way. Trying to get the bourbon out to Europe where there’s challenges there. I heard something the other day about there might be some challenges in the costs in finding a replaceable product. And then, that has all the after effects of the jobs and production and everything else. So, I just thought it was an interesting thing we could all relate to, but knowing what are all the points that come out of that.

Scott Luton (00:44:52):

Excellent. I want to share just one quick comment here from Rosie. And, Rosie, great to see here today. I really have enjoyed your great work and perspective. She says, “Climate changes have wrecked similar havoc on commercial fishing.” Excellent point there. Really quick point then I’m going to go to you, Greg, one of the issue this brings to my mind is truth, accuracy, preventing imposters – and there’s a phrase or a word I’m – counterfeiting, counterfeiting. We’ve alluded to how wine, especially French wine and other wines, have to be from a certain part of the world. Well, if we don’t ensure that global visibility into our supply chains and take other measures that prevent counterfeit products coming into and being sold misrepresented, which happens all the time, especially in other industries like apparel and others, that’s going to be a big deal, especially one moving forward as more and more bad actors are looking to take advantage and make a buck, maybe not even a quick buck. Greg, your thoughts?

Greg White (00:45:52):

Well, I think, one of the things we have to acknowledge is there is a lot of hyperbole and reporting. And, now, that we’re at the top, as Kelly so eloquently said, above the fold, we’re going to see a lot of hyperbole. We got to remember, as part of the digital media, that traditional media is dying and they have to get reads and they have to get visibility in order to sell advertising. So, we’re going to continue to see that. We just need to expect it. And like Kelly said, discern through it and through entities like Supply Chain Now and others present what is real or is based on either hyperbole or lack of knowledge instead of actual knowledge, and kind of help people wade through that.

Greg White (00:46:35):

At the same time, you mentioned bourbon, and somehow I feel like Tom Raftery and I are of one mind here. And that is, when this starts to impact whiskey, that’s when I will really, really, really be concerned.

Kelly Barner (00:46:49):

You will bring the hyperbole.

Greg White (00:46:51):

What’s that?

Kelly Barner (00:46:52):

You will bring the hyperbole.

Greg White (00:46:54):

Yeah. That’s right. I said really three times there. But I think the other thing that’s really fascinating here is, now, we are talking about not just raw materials. We’re talking about natural goods. We’re talking about plants here. Something that we can have absolutely no impact over. We can’t make grapes grow any faster than we already do. We can’t make stuff grow when the conditions aren’t right, like a fire in California. It takes time to do that. We’ve experienced that over the years. But, now, we’re experiencing it on a global scale. And I think that is going to create a reckoning in people’s minds as we run out of things like whiskey – God forbid – tomatoes, and those things that are top of mind. And I’m not saying that we will, but the threat is definitely there that, at least for this season, because of weather, as we’ve talked about, and constant frost in France really impacted the Beaujolais nouveau crop. Though, as one final bit of good news, right at the end of the article, they do say that it was a spectacular vintage that that would have made it through was really, really good.

Kelly Barner (00:48:12):

Which, ironically, between what everybody knows about supply chain shortages, and the fact that it’s a once a year luxury, and the fact that it’s better quality, they could have actually gotten away with passing some of those costs along to the consumer so that the distributor or producer didn’t get hurt.

Scott Luton (00:48:28):

Excellent point. Okay. And let’s put one final piece of good news, maybe real news. Hey, here in the States, we got plenty of choices, right? As I’ve heard an old Buddhist proverb, “Enough is a bounty.” I think I’ve got that close to being right. So, if we’ve got just a few less choices, hey, embrace it. We’re going to get through. But I think one of the big common themes of The Buzz here today, as Greg and Kelly and Constantine have all spoken to, is, you got to kick those headlines hard and get to the real story.

Scott Luton (00:49:02):

Okay. And as Josh says, “Once whiskey is disrupted, the end is nigh.” Tom says, “Buy Californian wine now and put it away. It’ll be worth a fortune when climate change means California can no longer produce wine.” Tom, good point, good point. Rosie, hey, we appreciate that. We appreciate our work together and great to have you here on The Buzz.

Scott Luton (00:49:26):

Okay. Constantine, we have talked a lot since your last point. So, Riskmethods, what are y’all up to? What’s the latest news there? What’s going on?

Constantine Limberakis (00:49:37):

Well, we’re really excited. I think I’m going to call December and the month coming up the Month of Webinars. We’ve got a lot of stuff that we’re rolling out. I’m excited to be a part of a few of them. One of them I call The Ten Essential Steps for Improving Supply Chain Resilience. But we’ve got topics that are all over the map. We’re going to talk about ESG, Environmental, Social, and Governance, working with one of our partners, JAGGAER, on that topic. I’m doing the webinars. I sat with this guy, Brian Stanton, who wrote a book called Supply Chain Risk Management for Dummies. So, there’s a lot of good – Daniel Stanton. I’m sorry.

Scott Luton (00:50:18):

Daniel, Mr. Supply Chain.

Constantine Limberakis (00:50:20):

Mr. Supply Chain. So, we’re going to be doing one together. And then, like I said, there’s a lot of topics that we’re just excited to share at the end of the year. And I hope you guys could join us for a few of them.

Scott Luton (00:50:27):

Definitely. And so, riskmethods.net, folks. Y’all bookmark that one. I’m sure you can sign up and engage with the team there, riskmethods.net. And we’ll circle back. Kelly, it’s webinar a weary time, but this is critical information as we’ve seen in our own webinars, Greg. One of our last webinars with our friends at UPS talking about supply chain squeeze, we had folks from Crocs and Sunjoy. And when you’re offering up perspective of how to successfully navigate through these ever-present challenging sets of circumstances, folks turn out in droves, webinar weariness or not. So, Kelly your take. And I’ll get Greg’s. And then, we’re going to make sure folks know how to connect with Constantine.

Kelly Barner (00:51:20):

Well, my take, especially around the webinars, is that given what I mentioned about the news, there’s not necessarily news, “Oh, this is just for consumption by supply chain professionals.” And so, in my mind, the more time we can spend getting sage advice from folks like Constantine, we have Bill DiMartino on with us on Dial P, obviously, Daniel Stanton, people that are actually steeped in it and then have a little bit of seriousness about the way they approach it, they have firsthand knowledge, I actually think that’s good for calibration as much as it is for information. So, I would say, if you have the opportunity, things are starting to slow down a little bit, December, there’s less meetings and things going on, put one or two of those in your calendar. Because I think it’s going to have a good way of bringing everything back down to reality. It’s going to get hotter before it gets cooler around supply chain news. So, keeping a level head may actually do more to affect our individual job performance, then even staying top of all the latest stories. So, I would say, find one of those and attend it.

Scott Luton (00:52:18):

Nice. As Chris Barnes always likes to say, “Always Be Learning, ABL.” Greg, Kelly just shared a mouthful there, what else would you add?

Greg White (00:52:26):

I think it’s time for us, as a practice, as a craft, to recognize that this is not a cost saving exercise. This is a risk balancing exercise. And I say this all the time, cost being just one of those risks. But things like ESG and, truly, brand equity being the driving factors of supply chain. And I think companies and professionals are starting to really realize that. I mean, the companies that are manifesting as the top of the market are those who have great supply chains. And I think that that’s something that practitioners and those who casually observe or interact with supply chain professionals are recognizing, which is why I don’t know that there is a weariness with webinars. Because we’re seeing record attendance of these webinars, I think what we’re seeing is people from adjacent departments of the company getting interested in going, “What is this supply chain thing about?” I have one request, Constantine, if you can do this, can you give us just one teaser of the ten things you need to do?

Scott Luton (00:53:42):

That’s a good question. Well, hey, [inaudible].

Constantine Limberakis (00:53:45):

I don’t know.

Greg White (00:53:50):

Okay. So, you got wait.

Constantine Limberakis (00:53:48):

You got to wait. You got to wait.

Greg White (00:53:50):

That being the case, when, again, is this webinar?

Constantine Limberakis (00:53:54):

December 14th, 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. So, it’s just that cost before everyone’s going to just shut down. It’s a good day.

Scott Luton (00:54:04):

It is a good day.

Greg White (00:54:06):

It’s my father’s birthday, I’ll try to get him to watch as a gift.

Scott Luton (00:54:10):

Ten Essential Steps for Improving Supply Chain Resilience in 2022, Riskmethods, Daniel Stanton, Mr. Supply Chain. And going back and bringing the full circle, we were asked by Max, I believe earlier, a book is not a certification or degree, but Supply Chain for Dummies is a nice well-rounded publication that will help give you that context that Greg, and Kelly, and Constantine we’re all talking about. And it’ll help you connect the dots and then perhaps help you identify which direction to move. What a great resource to have, so check it out wherever you get your books from.

Scott Luton (00:54:44):

Okay. So, riskmethods.net. But, Constantine, how else can folks connect with the one only Constantine Limberakis?

Constantine Limberakis (00:54:54):

Well, you could always just reach out to me, email, snail mail, constantine.limberakis@riskmethods.net. Twitter handle, @climberakis. And then, on LinkedIn. I’m always happy to have a conversation, talk, share ideas. So, thank you for allowing me to do that, Scott.

Scott Luton (00:55:11):

You bet. And by the way, in the corrections department, as our team likes to ensure, the quote that I butchered a minute ago, “Enough is a feast,” not a bounty. “Enough is a feast.” Thanks so much. I love that perspective and that quote.

Scott Luton (00:55:28):

Folks, connect with Constantine Limberakis. We’ve really enjoyed a couple appearances here. Y’all check out the December 9th webinar here at Supply Chain Now with our friends at Transplace and Karin Bursa, who hosts TEKTOK, a digital supply chain podcast. And then, you can check out December 14th with the Riskmethods team.

Scott Luton (00:55:50):

Okay. Final question for you, Greg, and you, Kelly. Greg, you’ve been taking a bit of a sabbatical. You’ve had a busy here year end with TECHquila Sunrise, but we’ve got a ton of concepts filtering their way through the skunkworks lab. But how can folks connect with you? And what are you up to these days?

Greg White (00:56:09):

Yeah. Always on LinkedIn or greg@supplychainnow, if you want to reach out to me. And through the end of the year, I guess I’m going to be waiting on a vehicle to be delivered. No, you know, just kind of exploring some way to tackle risk in the supply chain, how to get in front of it. And it’s encouraging to see what Constantine and his company is enabling in terms of doing that. Because what we’ve found is waiting until the disruption happens is a recipe for disaster. We have to identify the likelihood that a risk will happen and get in front of that. And the companies that are doing that – and there are companies that are doing that – are far more successful. And I see a huge opportunity for companies to start to get in front of these disruptions and crises that impact or could impact supply chain. And to recognize things that they have never really considered before, like government intervention and things like that, that really should be considered. So, I’ve got eyes on that and contemplating how to improve the global supply chain’s ability to tackle those kinds of issues. So, Constantine, we may be talking pretty soon.

Scott Luton (00:57:28):

Awesome. Hey, I love that. We love being the connector here at Supply Chain Now as always. Really quick before I go to Kelly, Alaka, great to have you here via LinkedIn from Nigeria. Great to have you be part of the conversation. Keivan says, “Supply chain resilience, 100 percent.”

Scott Luton (00:57:44):

Folks, I want to challenge y’all to a little something. If y’all remember when super became the word of the day, once you started kind of listing for that, you hear it a thousand times a day. Well, now, which I first noticed it with Jeff Francoeur, one of our braised broadcasters, who uses the phrase 100 percent all the time. Start listing for that. You’ll hear it a thousand times a day as well. But, Keivan, great to have you here as always. Hey, Max, check out the book. And if you drop us a note, I’ll send you a copy. Hit us up at amanda@supplychainnow.com.

Scott Luton (00:58:17):

Kellylynn, great point. So, Kellylynn, Greg and Kelly, you might remember, Ward Richmond and I interviewed, the one and only truly, Kellylynn MacLaughlin. I think I’ve got that right. And if I didn’t, Kellylynn, please don’t break my leg. But she says, “How about take especially good care of your drivers. Give them a reason to work hard for you.” And Kellylynn knows because she’s been driving, I think, for 11 years, if I’m not mistaken. So, great to have you here, Kellylynn.

Kelly Barner (00:58:47):

 Okay. Kelly Barner, let’s talk about Dial P and Buyers Meeting Point. How can folks connect with you? 

Kelly Barner (00:58:54):

Yeah. Absolutely. We’re getting ready to wrap up a full year of Dial P, which is so exciting. I can’t believe how fast that went by, but we’ve had a great year. There’s still plenty going on at Buyers Meeting Point over the next few weeks. We don’t really even start to think about shutting down until about a week before Christmas. But I will say, please do connect with me on LinkedIn. Actually, I have some very exciting news coming, like very, very exciting news coming and it’s a secret, so follow me on LinkedIn if you want to find out what it is. And no, my secret is not one of Constantine’s ten things. I’m not hiding that from Constantine.

Greg White (00:59:28):

You knew where I was going next.

Kelly Barner (00:59:30):

Yes. But connect with me on LinkedIn. That news might even break this week. So, if we’re not already connected, connect with me because I will be sharing some very good news very shortly.

Scott Luton (00:59:41):

I love it. I love it. Okay. Well, we love good news around here. And we also love real authentic conversations, where folks, hopefully, walk away informed but also entertained. Big thanks to Constantine Limberakis and Riskmethods for joining us here today. Be sure to connect with him, but also check out riskmethods.net. You’re not going to want to miss that December 14th session with our friend Daniel Stanton. Big thanks to Greg White, as always, and Kelly Barner, the one and only. Congrats on your first full season, our first full season of Dial P for Procurement.

Scott Luton (01:00:16):

Folks, as Kellylynn said earlier, take care of your drivers. And kind of an extension on that, just be mindful, the experiences we have – and I think the four of us had a wonderful Thanksgiving – just around the corner in your own neighborhood, you got folks working hard, fighting through, seeing unforeseen challenges. And keeping that perspective here year end, I think, is really important. So, on that note, folks, challenging you, like we challenge our team every day, do good, give forward, be the change that is needed. And we’ll see you next time right back here at Supply Chain Now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (01:00:49):

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

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Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

Kelly Barner

Host, Dial P for Procurement

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

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

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Vicki White

Controller

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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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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