Supply Chain Now
Episode 1025

There are going to be some great sales this holiday season, but will there be enough inventory of the things that people actually want? The domestic freight market is still pretty robust because retailers have all that inventory, but is it in the right place?

- Alex Fuller on the logistics challenges he’s watching in advance of this year’s holiday season

Episode Summary

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

This week’s edition of The Buzz featured Alex Fuller, Marketing Director at UPS. Host Scott Luton was joined by Kim Winter, Founder and Group Managing Director of the Logistics Executive Group, and Billy Taylor, Author of The Winning Link.

In this session, created in collaboration with a live Supply Chain Now audience, Scott, Alex, Kim, and Billy discussed:

• The most recent data on the supply chain talent market, including how to retain the best talent and set them up for success

• Early indications of whether the supply chain will be ready to meet demand – and delivery gifts! – this holiday shopping season

• How pending changes in global trade policy may affect duty rates and trade compliance in the coming years

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 (00:00:29):

Hey. Hey. Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, Scott Luton, Kim Winter, and Billy Ray Taylor here with you on Supply Chain Now. Welcome to today’s livestream. Kim, how are you doing?

Kim Winter (00:00:38):

Hey, Scott. I’m very good. Yourself?

Scott Luton (00:00:41):

I’m doing wonderful. Wonderful. Great to have you back with us. And Amanda have Kim and Billy Ray Taylor quite a one two punch here today. Billy, how are you doing?

Billy Taylor (00:00:48):

I’m doing awesome, Scott. How about yourself?

Scott Luton (00:00:51):

I’m doing great. Not to complain, I could use a little bit more American football weather because it’s going to be 84 and a little bit humid here today in Metro Atlanta. But that’s okay, it’s still a gorgeous day, right?

 

Billy Taylor (00:01:02):

Yeah. It is great especially this time of the year.

 

Scott Luton (00:01:05):

No kidding. No kidding. So, Kim and Billy, man, we have got a jampacked show here today. Great to have you both back with us on today’s show. As y’all know, it’s all about The Supply Chain Buzz, where we share some leading stories across global business. We’ve got a ton of topics to get into, and we’ve got a great guest joining us about 12:25 p.m. Eastern Time in Alex Fuller with UPS. Folks, get ready because we want to hear from y’all as well. So, Kim and Billy, are y’all ready to get this thing going? I’ve got a couple of news updates, but you know what, hang on a sec. Before we do that, I’m going to put y’all on the spot. We were talking in the pre-show about the weekend, about food, about this, that, and the other, give me one highlight from your weekend. Kim, let’s start with you.

Kim Winter (00:01:50):

Yeah. Well, it’s leading up to the Rugby Sevens here, so I’ve been taking in quite a bit of rugby on the weekend. The European season is on, so watch the All Blacks play. A lot of T.V. I’ll get out for a couple of mountain bike rides. So, it’s fall now here in the Middle East so we can get out and bike and swim and run. It’s very good.

Scott Luton (00:02:13):

Well, you know what, Kim? Your timing is always impeccable. We’re going to be talking about recreation here in about 20 minutes, especially when our friend, Alex, joins us. Billy, give us one highlight from your weekend.

 

Billy Taylor (00:02:26):

Well, it was a great weekend. My daughter’s 25th birthday. She flew in from Atlanta to Houston, and so the family came over and we celebrated. And had a chance to hang out and go see Jackson State, you know, Deion Sanders team. So, we had a great weekend.

 

Scott Luton (00:02:41):

Sounds like it. Man, you have to share some pictures. From what it sounds like, game day, tailgating, good football, so, Billy, you had me hooked. All right. So, let’s say hello to a few folks really quick. Of course, Clay Phillips, “The Dawg”, “Happy buzz day.” Thank you, Clay. Appreciate what you do, Katherine and Amanda, the whole team back behind the scenes. “Happy Monday. Happy buzz day,” as Katherine says. And Jose is with us via LinkedIn. Great to see you, Jose. Love Supply Chain and Logistics Coffee Talk regularly on Fridays. Jose, you’re doing great work there on the West Coast, but his show is global as well. Jose, great to have you here.

 

Scott Luton (00:03:24):

All right. So, Kim and Billy, we’re going to be talking about a couple different things here before Alex joins us around 12:25. And what I want to do first, I’ve got just a couple of quick news nuggets I want to pass along, some things that we’ve been tracking for really weeks now. The first, Billy and Kim, the various railroad unions continue to vote on the brokered labor agreement, but there’s still a lot of concern around a potential strike.

Scott Luton (00:03:52):

But here’s what you got to look out for, November 21st, that’s the big date in this ongoing story as a couple of really big labor unions will be announcing their members vote on that date. So, we’re going to keep our fingers crossed. We want everyone to win, as always. I’ve spoken to a friend of mine who is a longtime engineer in the railroad industry and have heard some of his concerns direct. So, we’re going to keep our fingers crossed and, hopefully, we get a good agreement for all. Kim, Billy, any quick comments there on what’s going on in the railroad industry? Go ahead, Kim.

Kim Winter (00:04:27):

Yeah. Well, I guess just from my perspective, we don’t really have many railroads here in the Middle East, but some massive investment taking place. Slightly different labor environment, of course. But I suppose we saw pretty heavy impact on the supply chains from the unionized situation on the ports and the terminals. And, of course, you’ve got very strong teamsters union there as well. So, everybody understands that with the way that the economy is going at the moment that you really need to reach agreements, so they’re going to be collaborative and make sure they can keep those supply chains rolling.

Scott Luton (00:05:06):

Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. And supply chains, railroads, Johnny Cash. There’s a Johnny Cash song somewhere around there. So, we’ll see.

Billy Taylor (00:05:17):

You know what’s interesting, Scott, I’ve actually had to negotiate those contracts when I was in North America with Goodyear with the steelworkers. And the disruptions that maybe cause for the extension of this negotiation will be a problem. And so, I think both parties really understand that from what I’ve been reading. And the sense of urgency to come up with an agreement, I think they’re working right now behind the scenes from what I’ve read, I mean, aggressively to get an agreement.

Scott Luton (00:05:43):

Yeah. That’s good to hear. That’s good to hear. And lots of influential organizations like the National Retail Federation, where they’re urging that the right agreement takes place and, as Kim said, keeps things moving. Okay.

 

Scott Luton (00:05:59):

So, moving from railroads to truly movers and shakers, quick comment on a dear friend of the show. So, Sandra McQuillan is going to be officially retiring. I saw a story earlier today in Supply Chain Dive. Now, when she first appeared in our show, probably three years ago, she was chief supply chain officer with Kimberly Clark. It might have been four or five years ago – gosh – and always a dynamo. Sandra brings it time and time again, one of our most popular guests. And then, in her most recent appearances, of course, she’s been serving as the chief supply chain officer for Mondelēz International, which makes all kinds of great things including Oreos, one of their brands that we’ve had a lot of fun talking about. So, Sandra has been doing great work there, moving mountains. You know, we’re talking workforce a moment ago, always with the people in mind. And just a brilliant leader, a brilliant individual. And we’re wishing Sandra all the very best in this next exciting chapter where, hopefully, she can unplug, spend time with family, and do whatever the heck she wants to do. Right, Kim and Billy?

Kim Winter (00:07:04):

Yeah. Well, I guess, again, bringing talented woman to the fore right across the industry is so important. And just as a sideliner, I noticed in my home country of New Zealand that for the first time in history, even though we were the first country in the world to provide women with the vote back in the 1800s, we now have more women in the parliament in New Zealand than we do have men for the first time ever. I’m sure Sandra’s doing a great job. But New Zealand’s always been a country which is being brought into to women’s rights and into diversity.

Scott Luton (00:07:41):

Man, that is outstanding. And, of course, with Sandra and with any women in a senior leadership roles, we’ve heard time and time again, see it to be it. See it to be it. And love the role models for everybody that Sandra and her fellow leaders have been for years now. Billy, any quick comment there?

Billy Taylor (00:08:01):

She would be missed. I’ve had the opportunity to go speak to the entire Mondelēz leadership team. Her examples, not only around women leadership, just pure strong leadership at its best, and so she made an impact. As they say, the person replacing her won’t have big shoes to feel. They’ll have big hearts to feel. She made a huge impact.

Scott Luton (00:08:20):

Love that. So true. So true. All right. So, we’re going to say hello to a few more folks, and then we got two brains to pick here, two big brains between Kim and Billy to learn from here momentarily. Let’s see here. Juan Garza, “Hello from the UAE.” Great to see you here via LinkedIn. Juan, thanks for being here. Tsquared, who holds down the fort for us on YouTube, “Good Monday, folks. Bring on the supply chain management nourishment.” Hey, we definitely got a full truckload of goodness here today. And Jose, he’s going coast to coast. So, typically he hails in California. He’s in New York today doing some big things. Junaid, great to see you here via LinkedIn. Kavita, also via LinkedIn, great to see you. Let us know where you’re tuned in from. We love making those connections. Of course, Gene Pledger, good old GP from Northern Alabama. I look forward catching up with you here very, very soon, Gene.

 

Scott Luton (00:09:18):

Okay. So, Kim and Billy, y’all ready to dive in? There’s a couple things I want to pose to y’all and get you to share with our global ecosystem here. And I want to start, I’ve got a fun picture here. Billy, this is you in action. And, also, this is an illustration of the Billy Taylor rule, by the way. Billy, maybe we’ll touch on that in a minute. So, the Association for Manufacturing Excellence just held their most recent annual conference. What number was that, Billy?

Billy Taylor (00:09:53):

Wow. I can’t remember off the top of my head.

Scott Luton (00:09:56):

Like, 50. I think it’s close to 50, right?

Billy Taylor (00:09:59):

Yeah. And it was back in-person. So, they had been in virtual conferences. It was outstanding. Over 1,200 people there, industry leaders and practitioners, CEOs came out to speak. But you could actually reach out and talk to someone, not reach out and touch. But you can reach out and talk to someone at every level of an organization. So, it was very engaging. I learned a tremendous amount of best practices that are happening now in our new work world, right? What COVID brought was that hybrid type of leadership style where you have to be influential rather than just authoritative. And so, that conference kind of, I think, set the standards to a lot of people. I took enough selfies, I’ll tell you.

 

Kim Winter (00:10:47):

I seen some of those on LinkedIn.

Scott Luton (00:10:50):

Well, now I think you also gave a keynote or led a training or something, right?

Billy Taylor (00:10:55):

I did. I had a fireside chat where they had executives come in and they could just ask any question they’d like around operational excellence, supply chain, and it was very engaging. But it was a two-way conversation. What I really liked about it, again, people could ask off the cuff. It wasn’t scripted. And so, you had access to some of the best practitioners and leaders in the industry. And you’re talking 1,200 people face-to-face, it was outstanding, and the vendors and everyone that was there. I think we’ll put this out here for Supply Chain Now, a lot of those people, I think the Ohio State Buckeyes mascot was in the background, so you saw that. It was just a lot of fun.

Scott Luton (00:11:40):

Let’s bring that shot up again. I couldn’t quite get Brutus in the shot there, but you’re right.

Billy Taylor (00:11:44):

Brutus, yeah.

Scott Luton (00:11:45):

One more thing here – and, Kim, I’d love to get you to comment as one that is at just about every industry event worldwide. I’ll tell you Kim is – Billy, I kind of teased it for a second, the Billy Taylor Rule. You know, we’re talking about people, the people side of the business and workforce a minute ago. It’s one of my favorite Billy Taylor-isms. Tell folks what that rule is.

Billy Taylor (00:12:09):

The Two-Foot Rule, you get within two feet of me, I say hello. I speak. I acknowledge you. As the saying goes, if you make people visible, they’ll make you valuable. As human beings, what we want most in life is to be valued and appreciated. And so, that’s the Billy Taylor Rule. I make it a point to say, “Hey, I value you.”

Kim Winter (00:12:29):

I think what we seen, guys, this year has just been a bumper year for events. After the last couple of years, of course, people wanted to get out. Scott, you’ve seen us and I’ve had teams out all the way from Sydney, every state in Australia virtually, Singapore, India a couple of times here in the Middle East. And then, down recently in Spain for a couple of events down there with the folks from cool logistics resources, cool chain event, Barcelona, Madrid for Fruit Attraction, 80,000 people, 1,700 exhibitors at Fruit Attraction from all — 1,700 exhibitors, several football pitchers. Evidently the biggest fruit event in the world.

Kim Winter (00:13:16):

But people out there, as you say, Billy, you’re right, people want to get out there, they want to be talking again. Yes, we’ve all gone online and everybody’s digitized and everything like that. But the reality is you can’t beat those relationships, refreshing the base of the knowledge.

Scott Luton (00:13:33):

Well said. All right. Thank you for sharing, Billy. And as Tsquared says, “Yes. That is a T-shirt-ism.” That Billy Taylor Rule, I’m telling you. No one’s above not saying hello to somebody. It’s such an important leadership and, and workforce t-shirt-ism. John, great to see you back here – I love his sense of humor – from Maine. I look forward to your contributions here. Timothy, also from UAE, great to see you here via LinkedIn. Michelle, good morning to you. Let us know where you’re tuned in from. Khalil, great to see you. And hey, Josh Goodey, our dear friend from Seattle. Josh, hope this finds you well, and look forward to your contributions here today.

 

Scott Luton (00:14:15):

Okay. So, Kim, given all the great work that your team does, really globally, you know, helping organizations find top talent and a lot more than that – that’s just the tip of the Iceberg – I love the polling that you and your team do, especially when it comes to recruiting, talent management, the voice of the candidate, and all of that. So, I’ve got some graphics teed up. I would love you to share maybe some of your most recent polling. How about that?

Kim Winter (00:14:40):

Sure. Yeah. Absolutely. So, we’re continually plotting the market just to see what employers and employees, of course, are reacting to. And in terms for this shot here, it’s really how do you protect your staff, how do you protect your employees. More about recruiting right now, but it’s a matter of how do you retain, how do you keep them busy so it’s about three or four times the cost to replace somebody as it is to retain them. And this is pretty straightforward. If people were going to be offered a more senior position elsewhere, then that’s going to be a major issue why they might leave. So, if you’re not actually leveraging and utilizing that staff member, if you’re not giving them that opportunity for career progression and diversity in the business, then you’re running a pretty high chance that you’re going to lose them to another organization that’s going to take a bet on them. So, that’s one of the things that comes out of this.

Kim Winter (00:15:42):

And, again, culture is a huge issue. Rather than just remuneration culture, people are looking for a strong culture in business. This one here is interesting when we were running – and thanks for bringing it up – it was looking at what an interviewer or employer, a line manager or HR, business partner is looking for during an interview. And generically speaking, across the board, what we found was the highest issue of prevalence, which was still a bit of a surprise to me, I must admit, was they’re looking for candidate confidence. And you can say, “Well, anybody can be confident going into an interview.” But I think generic, within that, of course, is the fact that you’re talking about that confidence. And so, just a tip here for people going for interviews to say do your homework, do the background activity, understand the business, find out about the client or the employer, and be confident about what you’re going to say. Put your best foot forward.

Scott Luton (00:16:38):

If I can, Kim, really quick before we move to the third graphic, hey, Billy, comment on that. Comment on some of these findings here, especially as it relates to the interview situation.

 

Billy Taylor (00:16:47):

Right. From the interview situation, candidate confidence, actually, for me, I almost would’ve flipped the self-awareness piece of it. Because in today’s time, leaders have to be really self-aware of what the candidate needs themselves. That’s a two-way street because, at least to retention, because today in the job market, it’s not a hiring problem is what I’m seeing. It’s a retention problem. Those retention numbers are tripling. We’re getting the people in the door, but we’re not able to hold them. And those opportunities are plentiful now when you’re talking promotions and things of that nature.

 

Billy Taylor (00:17:26):

I have a son that just went into the market and what he was given as a starting salary, it’s like now they’re even bidding for the new talent. And so, when I say that, that self-awareness – and I do respect the candidate confidence – or, shall I say, how you show up, how the candidate shows up, that’s important. It’s critical.

Scott Luton (00:17:48):

Yeah. Well said. And there’s such a leadership analogy there, too, because I think the best leaders I’ve ever worked for, ever rubbed elbows with are folks that are really self-aware. They’re self-aware with maybe some of how they’re coming across when what they’re doing is working and when what they’re doing is not working. So, oftentimes, they’re very perceptive and they’re reading their audience and don’t have to be told so often. But, Kim, your final thoughts here and then let me know when you’re ready to hit this third graphic.

Kim Winter (00:18:20):

Yeah. I think just coming back to that leadership issue, one of the other polls that we’ve done – I don’t think you have the graphic here – recently and we’re continuing on, on this vein on leadership, Billy, is the amount of EQ and empathy that leaders are needing to show, especially for the newer generations. And, also, which probably isn’t on these slides, is the level and frequency of communication that is required to motivate and to keep people in the loop. Candidates want to hear what’s going on, good, bad, or ugly. They want that regular communication. They don’t want to be waiting until the end of the quarter or the half year before they get that feedback from their leader.

Billy Taylor (00:19:03):

And, Kim, that’s very important because with that constant communication, you create psychological safety for people to engage. And psychological safety is just as important as physical safety. You know, even with raising your kids, if it’s psychologically safe to engage, people will engage and then they will feel value.

Kim Winter (00:19:24):

Yeah. Just getting the feedback, understanding. And if things aren’t going right, what are we going to do about that? Let’s sit down and talk about it now before things get out the gate and we’ve got a problem.

Scott Luton (00:19:35):

Yep. All right. So, one, I want to pick your brain on these two final topics, kind of the work-from-home angle as well as some of the things that candidates want to see. Kim, your final thoughts here?

Kim Winter (00:19:44):

Sure. Yeah. So, just a quick one there on the left about home productivity, I mean, we did this poll about how people felt about the productivity level at various places. So, you know, if they were working from home, then people had flexibility and how did employers and employees feel about that. And it was pretty unilateral that during the last couple years when there was a requirement for many – not everybody in the supply chain or the logistics space can be working from home, we know that there’s a lot of hands-on working with machinery, moving trucks, planes, trains, and automobiles in the supply chain – unilaterally, it was felt that those who had flexibility in that were working from our external environment were more productive than they were when they were in office or on-site. So, that was from the employer and the employee perspective. So, that one was pretty interesting. I don’t know what you think about that, Billy. I mean, you, anecdotally, you’re hearing much in your market.

Billy Taylor (00:20:50):

Spot on. Just from my feedback and interactions, spot on. That’s all I can say in this.

Kim Winter (00:20:58):

And it’s not going to work for everybody, but that’s what the data’s telling us. And we’ll keep on probing in that area as well.

Scott Luton (00:21:05):

Hey, Kim, if I can interject for one quick second. As a manager much earlier in my career, I remember one of the first times that one of our team members had a conflict and really needed to be at home taking care of a family member, and she had the opportunity to tunnel in using email and connect to, you know, whatever she needed at the office. And I said, “Hey, do it.” So, that was good on my end. But my president looked at me like I was an alien from Mars, “What are you doing?” But it’s really fascinating to see how we’ve come from that moment and how leadership really looked at that situation to, you know, 15 years later and where we are now. and, really, to see organizations leveraging the power even though there’s a big value in in-person, of course, but still to give the folks what they can where they can excel, and give them that flexibility in this work-from-home environment. Right, Kim?

Kim Winter (00:22:03):

Yeah, absolutely. And just to finish up on this last one here, this was just a probe around just getting some feedback about what it was the candidates – well, [inaudible] that speaks to the whole issue that this is a supply driven market at the moment. You know, the supply is short, demand is high. So, therefore, the shoot pretty regularly is on the feet of the candidate as opposed to the client or the employer. And not enough employers are getting this, are understanding it. It’s been like this for a long time in the supply chain, but there’s been a peak over the last couple years, and it’s rolling on.

 

Kim Winter (00:22:46):

So, what we are seeing here is a very, very strong dominance of candidates wanting to know more about the organization themselves. They want to know about what the company’s strategy is. They don’t want to be sitting there just reading off their CV and punching out about what they can do for a company and selling themselves. It’s very much how is the organization going to attract them? What’s the strategy? What’s their approach to diversity? What’s the direction of the organization? Where is it going? What’s an opportunity for me moving forward? Where’s my next step quite often? What am I going to be doing next year? Because a lot of people don’t want to be staying too stable in an organization. They want to be moving around?

Scott Luton (00:23:31):

Absolutely. You know, the WIIFM, what’s in it for me? That’s important that organizations and leaders can define and answer that effectively. Kim and Billy, we have gone around the horn and then some on topics already. We’re going to be bringing in our featured guest in just a second. Kim, thank you for bringing the data and all that your team does. Billy, thanks for bringing us a feel of what it was like to be in Dallas at the AME Annual Conference.

 

Scott Luton (00:23:58):

A couple quick comments from the cheap seats or the sky box, whatever you want to call the comments today. Jason is back with us via Huntsville, Alabama. Great to see you again, Jason. And by the way, to the Supply Chain Now production team, I know I can’t read well, but I love how much bigger these comments are so our audience, hopefully, can read them. I feel like I’m sharing a billboard now, Kim and Billy. I love that. Hey, Joe, stay tuned, we’ve got Alex, the featured star of the show joining us in just about two minutes. So, it’s great to have you here from Wisconsin. I bet it’s gorgeous up in Wisconsin this time of year. Jason points out that a lot of supply chain companies don’t pay well for that increased cost of living. Goodness gracious, I can’t imagine what a Thanksgiving dinner’s going to cost us this year here in the states. And Anna – Anna, perhaps – “What was the name of the conference at Ohio State?” So, Anna, that shot was from the Association for Manufacturing Excellence, AME. The annual conference in October that Ohio State’s, I think, business program might have been at. Billy, is that right?

Billy Taylor (00:25:05):

That is correct. The MBOE Master’s Program.

Scott Luton (00:25:08):

Okay. Great question, Anna. And Brutus always gets the attention wherever he goes, right? Okay. So, Kim and Billy, if y’all are good to go – I really have enjoyed our chat. We need a couple more hours – I’m delighted to welcome on our featured guest here today. Two thumbs up, ready to go. All right. We’re going to keep the show moving just like the rail cars and supply chain right this moment. So, with that said, I want to introduce Alex Fuller, Marketing Director with UPS Global Freight Forwarding. Hey. Hey. Alex, how are you doing?

Alex Fuller (00:25:45):

I’m fantastic. I’ve been listening to you guys talk. I’m excited to talk with Kim and Billy. And some great topics so far, so I’m excited to be here.

Scott Luton (00:25:52):

Agreed. Well, welcome. It’s been an eclectic conversation already, and I’m looking forward to what we’re going to be tackling together, Alex. So, before we do though, Kim, Billy, and Alex, I want to start with a little fun warm up question so we can get to know Alex a little bit better. So, Alex, today in certain parts of Australia is known as Recreation Day. It’s the first Monday of November. Now, with that said, I know in the pre-show that you take your recreation very seriously. I want our panel to address one of their favorite ways to enjoy their weekend or their time out of the office to recreate a little bit. So, Alex, how do you do that?

Alex Fuller (00:26:31):

Oh. No, absolutely. So, first off, I want to know about Australia. Which parts of this is this a holiday? Because those are the fun parts of Australia. I want to go to those parts.

Scott Luton (00:26:39):

We’re going to map it out in the next show, Alex.

Alex Fuller (00:26:42):

You know, the parts that’s not a holiday, avoid those places, right? So, I have a small addiction with triathlon. So, I swim, bike, and run a lot. That’s what I did this weekend. I actually had the opportunity to do the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii a couple weeks ago. It helps blow off steam. So, whenever, UPS gets busy and supply chains get crunched, I can go run fast and burn some calories and get that stress off. And so, I’ll tell you last couple years, I’ve got a lot of PRs or personal records for all the steam I had to blow off with how crazy supply chain has been.

Scott Luton (00:27:20):

Man. Okay. So, one quick follow up question, Alex. For folks that may be new, and I’ve never ran a triathlon in my entire life, for folks like me out there that want to give it a try, do you have one tip?

Alex Fuller (00:27:34):

I mean, it’s just fun. So, there’s lots of local small ones that are easy to get started. You don’t need a lot of gear. You just need a bike and some running shoes and some goggles, so look locally.

 

Scott Luton (00:27:44):

Just do it.

 

Alex Fuller (00:27:46):

Just do it. And I’ll warn you, though you might get hooked. So, that’s my only warning.

Scott Luton (00:27:52):

Awesome. Alex, I love the picture that you paint there. Kim, let’s go to you next. So, recreation, what’s one of your favorite things to do?

Kim Winter (00:28:00):

I used to do half marathons in Australia, including the year there was a lot of bull sharks around in Sydney Harbor. And we had about ten guys on rafts around us. I wasn’t last. I was right in the middle of that pack. But, yeah, look, after losing seven kilos in Spain over the last month running around on the undergrounds and all the fantastic train systems between Barcelona, Alicante, Valencia, and Madrid, and Toledo, I’ve stayed in it and I’m doing the swim and the bike. But my rugby years, I don’t run that far now, Alex. So, I’m with you, the swimming and the over the weekend — for me.

Scott Luton (00:28:41):

I love that. And I bet you could still suit up and play a mean game of rugby, Kim, is my hunch. Okay. So, Billy, same question, recreation, what’s one of your go-tos?

Billy Taylor (00:28:52):

Well, in college I was an American footballer, so I love watching American football and going in attendance to the games, I love the reminisce. And I always say, the older I get, the better I was when I’m talking to my kids. But I love going to see sporting events, that’s how I unwind now.

Scott Luton (00:29:10):

Love that. I’m with you. I’m with you. Okay. And every time Billy talks football or any sport, I love your story about what I think you or someone you knew had bad grades. And I think your mom said that, bad grades were NFL, not for long. You were playing with bad grades, right?

Billy Taylor (00:29:32):

Set the standard. She had a leadership standard, and she says, “Never compromise on your standards.”

Scott Luton (00:29:37):

I love that. Okay. A lot of good stuff. Well, we got to get to work, folks. We’ve got our first story here I want to pull up. Alex, I’ll tell you, this topic has created some anxious and some confused folks out there in recent days. And that’s the topic of gasoline, in particular diesel fuel. So, Alex, I think you’re bringing some good news here today on this topic. So, tell us more.

Alex Fuller (00:30:01):

Yeah. And so, this last week, I jumped on my computer and opened my emails, and my inbox was flooded by customer requests. UPS customers saying, “Hey, what’s UPS’s plan for the diesel shortage? What’s going on? We’re running out, what are you guys doing?” And I looked around, I’m like, “I didn’t know this was a problem. What’s going on?” So, a lot of research. Essentially what happened is that there’s a chart that the U.S. Energy Infrastructure Administration – sorry – U.S. Energy Information Administration releases, and it’s how much diesel fuel is kind of in inventory. So, how many days of fuel between refineries and gas stations. And so, that number kind of bounces up and down all the time, usually between, you know, 20 days and 50 days worth of diesel. And it’s at a seasonal low of 25 days.

Alex Fuller (00:30:58):

And so, one news agency picked this up and said, “Hey, we got 25 days left of fuel and we could be out of diesel by Thanksgiving,” kind of creating some angst. And so, that that got passed around and kind of went a little viral, and other folks picked it up and tweeted it out. And so, suddenly, customers were like, “Oh, no.” Like, I remember when Atlanta ran out of gas a couple, you know, last year or whatever.

Scott Luton (00:31:29):

It was not fun.

Alex Fuller (00:31:31):

No. Yeah. I was driving around different gas stations looking. And we were out of baby formula. We’re out of medicines, everything. You know, is diesel next? And the answer is no. Like, there’s absolutely no issue at all. It’s days of inventory, 25 days of inventory. That’s normal. It’s within parameters. We’ve been lower many times before. Really, what it is, if all the refineries stopped production today, just shut down and said, “Hey, we’re done making fuel. We have 25 days worth.” But they’re not shutting down, so they’re going to keep producing. So, really, it might have something to do with an event that’s happening tomorrow. We no longer have to watch political ads – that’s what I’m celebrating. So, it might have something to do with that, but, really, it’s lower than it’s been previously, but really not a big issue and you shouldn’t be worried about it.

Scott Luton (00:32:26):

Alex, man, that is good news on so many different levels. And I’m with you, I’m going to be celebrating after tomorrow because all the nonsense and the vitriol and all that stuff will, hopefully, be done. And one last thing, and then, Bill and Kim, let me get y’all’s take here in just a second. But I think you’re illustrating the power of context, right? Don’t look at that headline and make that judgment. Do your homework. Do some Googling. Get past the first page. And, also, I think the window of time that you look at when you’re analyzing any kind of numbers, you can benefit from historical context as well. So, Alex, good stuff. Billy, you’re nodding your head. Any thoughts around this diesel hysteria?

Billy Taylor (00:33:07):

No. As they say, click bait, that’s what I’m going to call it. We had a lot of views, but we didn’t stop producing. So, just as Alex is, we went to a standstill, maybe there’d been a concern, but we’re still producing. And so, we have that inventory. I’m just saying, if we stopped doing anything. And so, production is still flowing and it was just a scare. It garnered over 316,000 clicks, I think. So, if that was a target, if that’s what winning was – define winning – then they won. But we’re not out of fuel.

Scott Luton (00:33:45):

Come on. We’re better at informing folks than that. Thank you Billy. Kim, your thoughts?

Kim Winter (00:33:52):

Hey, just two quick ones, Scott. So, one, in this part of the world, we just talk about production, like you were talking, Billy. So, this OPEC country here, we only talk about what the price of oil is and how it’s being leveraged or moderated by OPEC. And the second thing I’d say was, the media, when I read the article yesterday, I’m thinking somebody can be saying, “Has this got anything to do, the story got anything to do with the midterm elections?” And we’re trying to beat the drum here and frighten everybody away from one party or the other, depending on who’s put the story out.

Billy Taylor (00:34:30):

That’s right.

Scott Luton (00:34:30):

You know, I think everything ties back. It’s like the midterm elections is kind of like Kevin Bacon, everything ties back to Kevin Bacon in the midterm somehow. But thank you, Kim. Thank you, Billy. And thank you, Alex. All right. So, I want to move right along to this next broader story. And this comes to us from our friends over at USA Today. And there’s a lot of great quotes from friends of the show in this story. So, now that we’re past Halloween, Alex, Billy, and Kim, the real shopping season has begun. And we were talking pre-show, Alex, about how some folks are jumping straight into the December holidays. I think my sister has a lovely Christmas decorations up already – and, Chrissy, hope you’re listening – and that’s okay. Hey, whatever it takes to uplift the mood. But, unfortunately, what maybe is working in the other direction is some supply chain challenges continue to persist kind of in a dogged manner. So, Alex, tell us what’s going on here, what to expect, some of your observations.

Alex Fuller (00:35:36):

Absolutely. So, I’m going to jump off with a controversial statement that Christmas music before Thanksgiving, probably a little too early. I mean, that’s as controversial as you can get. So, we’ll discuss that. So, let’s talk peak. Let’s talk Christmas shopping. So, a lot of factors going into this year, especially because I think it’s going to look a lot different than the last couple years for obvious reasons. So, you still have a lot of disruptions that you got to deal with. You got Ukraine conflict. You got China with zero COVID. I think there was some news about, you know, shipments and iPhones are going to be lower because of China issues. We’re still recovering from Hurricane Ian. You have the Mississippi low. You have railroad strikes still a possibility. You have chassis shortages.

Alex Fuller (00:36:22):

So, basically, there’s still a lot of stuff going on. But on the other hand, there’s loads of inventory. Anyone that’s gone through a supply chain class, this is like the ultimate example of the bull whip effect. So, you have high demand, you order a bunch, and then you run out, and then you order more. And so, now, we are just flushed with inventory, in the U.S. at least. And stores, their warehouses are overcrowded. Our warehouses are full. And so, it’s really a question of, what’s going to happen with peak?

 

Alex Fuller (00:37:02):

So, you know, from the consumer side, if you’re saving up for a T.V. or something, this is the best time to get it. There’s going to be some great sales on stuff. But there’s also a question of do they have enough inventory of things that people actually want. And then, also, the air and ocean markets are down because there is so much already here. But the domestic freight market is still pretty robust, because we have that inventory but is it in the right place? We got to move it all over to different stores, different factories. So, still, the trucking market’s still pretty hot.

 

Alex Fuller (00:37:35):

The last thing that kind of comes to mind is, you know, what is UPS seeing on the small parcel side? Even though holiday shopping has really come forward, and it’s not Black Friday, it’s not black November, it’s like black October this year. But on the parcel side, we’re actually seeing a lot of similarity to pre-pandemic levels. So, we’re actually thinking peak for small parcel. So, home delivery shipments is going to be late December, later than than previous years. So, a lot to kind of unpack there. But when I look at next couple months, that’s what I’m seeing from my view and kind of things I’m thinking about as I get ready for the biggest time of the year.

Scott Luton (00:38:16):

Love that. Billy and Kim, I’m coming to you next, but, hey, friend of the show, Madhav Durbha with Coupa, you’re talking about inventory because it’s coming out of our ears in so many different places. He’s like, “Hey, if you’re in the market for a big screen T.V. it’s your lucky day. You’re going to get lots of deals out there.” The other quick observation I saw is spending. Various generations are all tightening the belt when it comes to holiday spending. So, we’ll see how that plays out. Let’s see here, Kim, let’s start with you this time. Your thoughts on this great read from our friends at USA Today.

Kim Winter (00:38:50):

Yeah. I think, the angle I’d like to take, guys, is just this whole issue of where the labor fits into it, just given the fact that we’re a global recruitment company. And the issue of just coming back from Europe and [inaudible], I’m not too sure how much of that was last season’s [inaudible]. You couldn’t virtually get into many of the big brand stores, right? So, [inaudible] stores, the Zaras, the Nike, the biggest stores, organizations like that, whilst there was a lot of shopping going on, what I really noticed at the store issue was that there was never enough people at the tills where people lined up outside the store virtually trying to buy things and get into the tills.

 

Kim Winter (00:39:45):

So, what we’re seeing is that labor shortage even at that retail side. We’re also seeing that customers, many of them invested very heavily in integration and providing an end to end supply chain service to the BCOs, the Beneficial Cargo Owners, throughout the whole supply chain, whether that’s organic growth or M&A. Right throughout the supply chain, we are seeing some of the huge companies have made some significant profits. The asset heavy air and ocean companies as you [inaudible] are invested heavily. So, their strategy is set and they’re needing to get people that they need, especially around digitization, around eCommerce, road transport is huge, to be able to service those strategy. So, what we’re seeing is still a high demand for their critical labor and skills throughout the supply chain.

Scott Luton (00:40:38):

Agreed, Kim. Agreed. People are still the most critical part of the overall equation. Billy, your thoughts as it relates to these supply chain challenges that persist in the holiday shopping season?

 

Billy Taylor (00:40:50):

So, the challenges are there, right? It’s a power of no. Scott, you often heard me say you can’t manage a secret. And so, there’s two things you know for certain, basically, your labor situation. That’s not going to change. That’s new. And, also, it’s clear what people want, some of the high dollar items. So, what I’m seeing companies do is minimizing the spike or the peak of what people want. So, they’re offering the deals earlier in the cycle of Christmas. So, the T.V.s you talked about, Alex, those things that people are wanting, they’re advertising them before Christmas so people can get them ahead of time so that they don’t have the massive spike all at once.

Billy Taylor (00:41:32):

And so, they’re managing that flow based on the need of the people, what industry information is telling them. And so, what I’m seeing now, companies are kind of getting ahead of the constraints, getting ahead of the bottlenecks. And that’s how they’re going to overcome or maximize profitability and delivery, right time, right place.

Scott Luton (00:41:52):

Well said there, Billy. You know, two final things, and we’re talking about this article from USA Today about some of these challenges that have persisted. You know, over the weekend, Alex, Billy, and Kim, one of my favorite things to do every Saturday morning is have breakfast with my son, Ben. And a lot of times we go to a local place. This time we went to Waffle House. And a sign on the window as you came in basically said, “Be kind to our associates. They work hard, they do good work, please be kind to them.” And when I saw that sign, and then of course here in the States or everywhere, but here in the States for sure, Halloween candy up 13 percent year-over-year, butter – butter – is up 27 percent year-over-year. And I mentioned the cost of that Turkey dinner.

Scott Luton (00:42:43):

I think as leaders – workforce is going to be one of the themes here today – man, make sure you keep that finger on the pulse because your people are probably feeling lots of pressure in general, and now they’re feeling it more in their wallets. And you got to be on the lookout for ways that you can lift up your folks and make sure they’re taken care of during this pressure filled time. And they’re also getting political calls like I just did. I wish I could. I didn’t want to interrupt Billy, right as he was mid midpoint, I had a political call hit my screener there.

 

Scott Luton (00:43:13):

But, anyway, Kim, Billy, Alex, a lot of good stuff there. As we’re coming down the home stretch here with quite an eclectic version of The Supply Chain Buzz, Alex, I want to take just a quick second. You know, everyone knows UPS. There might be two or three folks out there in our global listenership that may be unfamiliar with UPS Global Freight Forwarding, but just in a nutshell, what do y’all do, Alex?

Alex Fuller (00:43:38):

Yeah. So, Global Freight Forwarding, so air freight, ocean freight, customs brokerage, all the services you need to get freight around the world domestically, all that kind of stuff. So, really, what we do great with is when your supply chain has issues or like, “Hey, I got this big problem and I don’t know how to solve it,” that’s when I wake up and get excited because we bring the solutions, we can figure out how to do the hard stuff. So, that’s what makes it fun. And you can ship stuff A to B all day, and that’s great, and it’s on time, awesome. But when you got the complex stuff, in the last two years it’s been tough, it’s been hard. It’s also just been a great time for innovation and excitement here, so been a lot of fun.

Alex Fuller (00:44:25):

And in talking about take care of your folks, and earlier when we were talking about the surveys, those LinkedIn polls that we had, I think that’s really important as we go into this peak period, you’re going to be asking a lot of your team, a lot of demands, and it’s either coming from new folks or it’s coming from overtime. And so, it’s a lot of work to keep people happy and be an advocate for your team to the rest of the company and say, “Hey, we have to pay them fairly. We have to treat them fairly,” all that kind of stuff. And I think that’s really important as supply chain leaders to be an advocate for your folks.

Scott Luton (00:45:01):

Amen. Alex, I couldn’t have said it better. Greg White couldn’t have said that better. So, well done, Alex. And by the way, Greg, congrats to the Kansas City Chiefs last night for winning, I think, in overtime. He ha a little trip on his plate this week. Really quick, Kim and Billy, if y’all can really briefly follow up on, especially, what Alex shared there in the second part about the people. Kim, your thoughts first.

Kim Winter (00:45:28):

Again, we mainly operate right outside the U.S., so we’re Europe, APAC, Middle East, India. And what we’re seeing from our customers to adjust to the way the supply chain is behaving at the moment, notwithstanding the fact that unilaterally and historically the legacy throughout the supply chain has been a shortage of key areas of talent throughout the supply chain. And one of the things we’re seeing a very heavy emphasis on here at the moment, global freight forwarding, a couple of global freight forwarding clients here in the gulf at the moment – actually, Alex, not UPS. And, again, that road freight, across the border, the customs that need to still move a lot of the backlogs to make sure that freight is moving effectively across borders is important. So, people require in those spaces, both from a medium and very senior area in the supply chain.

Kim Winter (00:46:27):

And, also, the emphasis about solutions design. We’re seeing all the way through from solutions engineers, quite junior medium range roles with a lot of our customers, all the way up to very senior strategic solutions because organizations are having to cope with the variations and diversity and demands and push and pull on the supply chains. And, also, the fact of this perennial shortage. So, solutions, digitization, leveraging technology right from the top 20 tier one companies around the world that we would work with from time to time in various countries, solutions designers are really, really big space of interest because it can help you catch up with your legging behind and meeting those customer demands and those constantly changing customer requirements.

Scott Luton (00:47:19):

Right. So, hire the top talent and then take care of them so you can tackle those things that Kim just laid out. Billy, your quick comments on what Alex shared, and especially about taking care of your people.

Billy Taylor (00:47:30):

I was watching Alex’s body language, and he’s like start with your why, what’s that purpose. And he clearly identified the purpose, and I wrote it down. And he said, solutions to supply chain demands globally. He says that’s what he’s passionate about. And he perked up in his chair with a big smile and he’s saying, we’re going to overcome any disruptions. We’re going to be innovative about getting that job done. He was very clear and articulate about that. But what I liked about how he ended when he says take care of your folks, that’s the input. The output of those solutions and those things that they do.

 

Billy Taylor (00:48:09):

And as a leader, what I liked about him and what really came to mind, again, one of my old sayings when my mom says, “You can’t teach what you don’t know, nor can you lead where you won’t go.” And so, his body language says he’s willing to go out there and engage his people. And you think in diversity and inclusion, diversity is what drives change. Diversity is who, inclusion is what. When you get those ideas, because he can’t do it by itself and he clearly knows that. As a leader, you’re smart. I’ll say, I had 12 degrees. I’m smart enough to get two. I hired the other nine. And so, that’s where change happens.

Scott Luton (00:48:56):

I thought we’re about to Kevin Bacon for a second there, the grease of Kevin Bacon. Well, Kim and Billy, I really appreciate both of your thoughts related to what Alex was sharing. And I would just echo Alex. Man, passionate by the truckload. We’re talking pre-show about some of your campus visits. And, man, I bet you have some fascinating conversations with the best and the brightest out there.

 

Scott Luton (00:49:23):

Okay. So, Alex, you brought lots of resources. So, I want to lead off with this one here. So, tomorrow, one of Alex’s colleagues, Paula Roets is going to be joining Greg and I, and she’s going to be focusing on kind of one of the themes we’ve talked about here today, you know, building those trusted relationships with your freight forwarder and how that can pay off. And as Kim and Billy have both talked about, to keep your freight successfully moving wherever it is. So, y’all join us at 12:00 noon Eastern Time tomorrow for that live conversation. And then, I want to ask you about this here. So, the UPS team is hosting a webinar on November 15th at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time, and it is focused on 2023 Trade Policy and Compliance Outlook. So, Alex, break that down a little bit. Why should folks check out this webinar in a week or so?

Alex Fuller (00:50:14):

Yeah. So, very, very excited about this. So, it’s kind of like within trade policy, I know there’s trade policy nerds out there. I go to some of these trade policy conferences and people geek out about, you know, HGS code 334. And it’s like, whoa, way too many lawyers in the room. And that’s fun. And that’s for some people. This webinar is for everyone that’s not that. So, this is, “Hey. You know, I know trade policy is important, but I don’t have every line of the law memorized. What do I need to know for next year? What’s going on that could affect my supply chain?” So, you know, Section 301, duties from China, again, that relates to midterm elections. There was some talk about getting rid of those. That kind of went away. After tomorrow, that might come back into play. And so, that affects a lot of folks, duty rate is dropping significantly. So, things like that that we’re looking at next year, what to keep an eye on so I can plan my budget and my trade compliance group to be ready for that.

Scott Luton (00:51:20):

Love that. Hey, going back to the frontend, I can’t remember how exactly how you put it, but folks should look at their trade compliance teams as wonderful resources. Lean into that. We’ve had a couple shows with members of the UPS team around that. So, don’t think policy nerds. I can’t remember exactly how you put it there, Alex. I know it was all in good fun, tongue firmly planted in cheek. But I love that conversation we had a few months back about lean in, sit down, share with them what you’re trying to get done, and let them help you. Okay.

 

Scott Luton (00:51:50):

And then, of course, one final thing here from the UPS Supply Chain Solutions team is, you can sign up via email to get insights, resources, webinars, like the one that Alex just spoke about, right there, conveniently in your inbox. So, y’all check that out. We’ve got all the links, from tomorrow’s livestream to the webinar on November 15th that we just described, even to registering for the email insights from the UPS Supply Chain Solutions Team.

 

Scott Luton (00:52:24):

So, one final question, Alex, man, Kim and Billy, around the world in – what was that? -it 180 days in 57 minutes. Alex, how can folks connect with you and the UPS Global Freight Forwarding team?

Alex Fuller (00:52:38):

So, me, personally, I’m on LinkedIn, Alex Fuller. If you really want to chat, you can shoot me an email, alexanderfuller@ups.com. And then, just general questions, ups.com/supply chain. Great resources there. That’s what you just highlighted, Scott, there’s a Contact us. So, if you’re tracking a shipment or something, I’m probably not the best resource. That website might be better. If you want to talk solutions, you want to talk, “Hey, I got this big problem. I got an elephant I need to ship around the country,” I mean, we’ve done stuff like that. So, let me know. Let’s talk.

Scott Luton (00:53:14):

I love that. And, Alex, you love to have those conversations, clearly you and the team. So, big fans. Appreciate what you brought here today. And we look forward to having you back with us again soon. Oh, by the way, Alex – Billy and Kim, I don’t think y’all know this yet – you and our dear friend, Anna, are launching a podcast in January. In a quick minute tease that really quick.

Alex Fuller (00:53:37):

Yeah. So, coming Q1, we have the UPS Supply Chain Solutions podcast that we’re going to launch. And it’s targeted at supply chain professionals, what’s the tips and tricks to become better. So, we’ll talk to the folks within and without our company and things like, you know, how do I get our best air freight quotes or best air freight pricing? How do I work with my account manager? How do I work with my local operations? So, a lot of kind of evergreen education content, and hopefully a lot of fun along the way. So, that’s coming Q1, so watch our website for that.

Scott Luton (00:54:13):

Q1, not January, but Q1. And I bet if you sign up for the regular email, that will be one of the resources on there. So, big thanks, Alex Fuller, Marketing Director with UPS Global Freight Forwarding. Alex, Happy Thanksgiving. If we don’t talk to you, we look to have you back again really soon.

Alex Fuller (00:54:32):

Awesome. Thanks for having me.

Scott Luton (00:54:35):

Man. Kim, Billy, if we could just hook up Alex to the power grid, we could get through all the challenges and then some. I love his passion and his love for what he does and what the UPS team does. I love that you pointed that out, Billy. All right. So, there’s two questions really quick, Kim and Billy, I want to wrap with. The first question I love for both of y’all to share, it’s probably going to have to be the Reader’s Digest or the mean version, what’s one of your favorite things you heard here today? And then, secondly, both of y’all are leading so many different initiatives, events, books, the great work that y’all do, let’s make sure folks know how to connect with you. I think we’re going to drop y’all’s LinkedIn profile in the chat. But, Kim, let’s start with you, your favorite thing you heard here today.

Kim Winter (00:55:23):

Yeah. I think it comes back to the passion that Alex got in that industry. I worked in a very similar – well, in the same industry back in New Zealand in the ’80s and the ’90s. And, you know, freight forwarding, especially the part of the supply chain that Alex and his team work in is not for the fainthearted, it is bereft with complication and challenge and diversity of issues every day because everybody wants their freight, they want it yesterday, they want it in whatever condition, and a lot of conditions to go with that. So, you know, kudos to him for being so passionate about what he’s doing in the industry. And UPS is an organization that’s had the whole freight industry has been challenged extremely well right over the last few years. So, that sort of passion is very important to me.

Scott Luton (00:56:17):

That’s right. And, Kim, before you answer the second question, let me just share this. Juan says, “Thanks Scott, Alex, and Billy, and the one and only, Kim Winter.” I love that, Juan.

 

Kim Winter (00:56:29):

Gracias, Juan. Gracias.

 

Scott Luton (00:56:32):

So, how can folks connect with you, Kim, your podcast? I mean, there’s so many things. I don’t know how you get any sleep at night. What’s the easiest way for folks to connect with you?

Kim Winter (00:56:39):

Yeah. It’s easy. So, I’m big on LinkedIn, so Kim Winter on LinkedIn. You get me any time there. That’s the main place to go. And, yeah, also reach out to us at oasisafrica.org.au for our operations that we run down in Africa. So, oasisafrica.org.au. But, yeah, LinkedIn and then Logistics Executive TV. So, you’ll get us on Logistics Executive, the hub of your supply chain as well on LinkedIn everyday.

Scott Luton (00:57:10):

Love that, Kim. Appreciate all that you do and our work together. Billy Ray Taylor, so, Billy, same two questions. First one, what one of your favorite things you heard heard here today?

Billy Taylor (00:57:21):

Well, really, it’s his passion around innovation, and I mean people-centric innovation. When he talks about globally, airplanes, railroads, whatever it takes to get the product to the end user, his passion around that. And he also was able to couple in the people side of excellence, the people side of what makes organizations great, and that’s what I really liked about him. And he shared a level of passion around that. It just wasn’t lip service per se. He described some things they’re doing about it with UPS. So, I think that’s how you secure a bright future for any company and for any leader. And he was very, very passionate about the innovative side of their operations and also how to engage the people.

Scott Luton (00:58:07):

I completely agree. And as I mentioned, I think part of what he does to get out there and talk with new college graduates, I can only imagine those conversations. I bet Alex has got a long line of folks that are lined up ready to talk to him and get his autograph, so we’ll see. Billy, speaking of autographs, the winning link, man, I think you see it right over my left shoulder, a book has just blown up. I think you’re already moving into your second printing soon. And I found it in my local Barnes and Noble here in Atlanta last Friday. So, whether it’s a book, whether it’s your keynote speaking, consulting work, and then some, how can folks connect with you?

Billy Taylor (00:58:49):

Again, like Kim, LinkedIn is the quickest way to get to me. I read all of my own postings. I also respond to all of my own postings. So, that is a quick way to catch me and to get a quick response. And then, the company, LinkedXL, stands for Linked Excellence. We also reach out to people there. I’m always on the road doing some kind of keynote or engaging with different forms of educational institutions, workshops, conferences. And so, I’m really out there and love engaging with people. So, Scott, if anyone reaches out to me, I’ll always return the email.

 

Billy Taylor (00:59:29):

And then, the book, I did get your picture and that made my day of it being on a shelf in Atlanta. And so, that’s the fun part of my friends and colleagues sending me snapshots in their bookstore, that makes my day. It really does. Coming from a humble beginning, when you see that, my son asked me a question at a book signing, “Would you have ever thought that?” And I said, “Son, being honest with you, no. It’s humbling and it’s emotional.” So, thank you.

 

Scott Luton (00:59:59):

We’re going to have to send Kim a copy in Dubai. But the book is written just like Billy speaks, the stories from mom to colleagues, you name it. I mean, it’s just a great, great practical, inspirational read. All right. So, Kim and Billy, two of our favorite folks out there, I’m so glad they could co-host a session with the one and only, Alex Fuller. We’re going to make it easy, so we’ve got Billy’s LinkedIn. You can connect with him one click away there. And we did the same with Kim’s as well. So, y’all click on, you won’t regret, you’ll love the content they share across social.

 

Scott Luton (01:00:40):

Don’t forget the UPS webinar coming up next week, that 2023 Outlook. Come join us tomorrow as we talk about building relationships with your freight forwarder. That’s going to be a very practical session. And, of course, you can sign up with UPS Supply Chain Solutions to get resources like this regularly, including coming soon, Q1 2023, new podcasts with Alex and Anna. Okay. Kim Winter, thank you so much for your time here today. Always a pleasure.

Kim Winter (01:01:07):

Likewise, Scott. And great to see you, Billy. And I really enjoyed talking to Alex as well. Thanks, Scott.

Scott Luton (01:01:13):

You bet. You bet. And Billy Ray Taylor, always a pleasure. We’ll get together soon. And, Kim, I think you owe us a trip over here or we owe you a trip where you are, but we’ll get it nailed down. Billy, always a pleasure spending time with you.

 

Billy Taylor (01:01:26):

Same here, Scott.

 

Scott Luton (01:01:27):

All right, folks. Jam packed episode just like we promised. And Kim and Billy and Alex delivered, and on-time, in-full, ODIF. di. Folks, whatever you do, hey, Scott Luton challenging you, take what we’ve talked about here, put in action. Deeds not words. Put your problems in a headlock and do something about it. And if you can’t, hey, reach out to your team, teach out with third party partners, you name it, but just take action. And on that note, we’ll challenge you to do good, to give forward, and to be the change. And we’ll see you next time right back here on Supply Chain Now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (01:02:04):

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

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Featured Guests

Alex Fuller is part of the UPS Global Freight Forwarding team, with responsibility in North American Air Freight and Global Customs Brokerage. Prior to UPS, he helped manage a small consumer packaged goods company’s supply chain including vendors in China, managing a warehouse, and meeting with big box retailer buyers. He’s done a bit of everything from driving the forklift to coordinating thousands of global shipments. He resides in Atlanta, Georgia, and just complete the 2022 Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. Connect with Alex on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

Billy Taylor

Host, Supply Chain Now and The Winning Link

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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Vicki White

Controller

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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

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Greg White

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

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Jeff Miller

Host

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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