No crystal ball, but most industry analyst firms provide a portfolio of services offering expert guidance and tools to enable faster and higher quality decisions around mission-critical business priorities.

-Karin Bursa

Episode Summary

Are you looking for a Supply Chain Crystal Ball? Industry Analysts play a unique role in helping companies prioritize supply chain initiatives, set and benchmark performance goals, understand unique industry vertical opportunities and identify a short list of potential solution and service providers. To be well informed and effective, the Industry Analysts must engage with solution and service providers to understand their software solutions, unique value propositions including product differentiators, complimentary services, customer success track record, and partner ecosystems.

Billed as “The World’s Most Important Gathering of CSCOs and Supply Chain Executives,” the Gartner Supply Chain Symposium attracts a wide range of practitioners, technology providers, consultants, analysts and academia. No crystal ball and no silver bullets here, but listen to this TEKTOK episode as Karin shares lots of insights and fresh inspiration!

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:01):

Welcome to TEKTOK Digital Supply Chain Podcast, where we will help you eliminate the noise and focus on the information and inspiration that you need to transform your business impact supply chain success and enable you to replace risky inventory with valuable insights. Join your TEKTOK host, Karin Bursa, the 2020 Supply Chain Pro to know of the year with more than 25 years of supply chain and technology expertise and the scars to prove it. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Join the conversation, share your insights, and learn how to harness technology innovations to drive tangible business results. Buckle up, it’s time for TEKTOK, powered by Supply Chain Now.

Karin Bursa (01:03):

Welcome back, supply chain movers and shakers, to the TEKTOK Digital Supply Tune Podcast. I am your host, Karin Bursa, and I’m here to help you replace risky inventory with valuable insights. If you are a fan of the show, please subscribe to TEKTOK, that’s T-E-K-T-O-K and leave us a review. And don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Karin Bursa (01:29):

Today, I want to talk about industry analysts. Industry analysts play a unique role in helping companies prioritize supply chain initiatives, right? And here on TEKTOK, we’re all about the digital supply chain podcast, right? So we use that word digital for a reason, because it involves technology. So industry analysts play a very important role in helping companies to prioritize these digital supply chain initiatives, or to set and benchmark performance goals or understand unique industry vertical opportunities and help you identify a short list of potential solutions and service providers.

Karin Bursa (02:21):

That’s right. Helping you to identify who you should talk to, who you should consider. Now, to be well informed and effective, industry analysts have to engage with solution and service providers. They’ve got to spend time, considerable time, with a wide variety of solution providers, because the goal is for them to understand the software, to get a feel for the unique value proposition, a particular solution provider offers. And those unique value propositions could come in the form of product differentiators, complimentary services that are offered, partner ecosystems that are available, and some joint innovation opportunities as well.

Karin Bursa (03:16):

So, when asked, the industry analyst will also help technology and services companies to prioritize their innovation investments, right, where they’re spending money and research and development to drive new product capabilities. These industry analyst firms will also occasionally give recommendations about partner opportunities or acquisition candidates or growth into different geographic marketplaces or vertical industries. So you can see, it’s a wide variety of topics.

Karin Bursa (04:00):

Now, for more than 25 years, I’ve worked closely with a wide range of industry analysts. And many of the analysts who I admire greatly have become dear friends over the years. The firms I’ve worked with, just off the top of my head, Gartner, IDS, Supply Chain Insights, RSR Research, Chain Link Research, TEC, Nucleus, and many, many others, just to name a few.

Karin Bursa (04:35):

Now, they’re all a bit different, but they are all considered industry analysts. Now, the ability to engage with industry analysts, to do that usually requires a subscription. So, you are paying them for their services or access to their research and reports that they publish on a regular basis. Now, these do come with a hefty price tag, but you are paying for some pretty substantial research from many of these firms.

Karin Bursa (05:05):

The fact is that is true whether you are a practitioner, whether you’re an end user business, or you are a solution or services provider, the fees are substantial. So most companies will pick one to maybe three analyst firms that they work with, depending upon their size or the scope of solutions or services that they provide, or the size of the practitioner business, the end user business that is being managed. So, as you think about industry analyst, let’s talk a little bit about their portfolio of services.

Karin Bursa (05:50):

So, most industry analyst firms provide a pretty wide portfolio of service offerings. The objective is to give you some expert guidance and some tools that are going to enable faster ranking or faster understanding of your priorities and higher quality decisions, usually around some pretty mission critical business priorities. Now, if you are willing to listen and you come armed with some great questions, these industry analyst relationships can have a real positive influence and help accelerate your strategic initiatives, your priorities for your business, and just give you some real valuable perspective as a sounding board with a very knowledgeable consultant in the industry or advisor in the industry.

Karin Bursa (06:49):

Advisor is a better word than consultant there. For solution providers, strong industry analyst relationships can really make or break your business, and it’s a two-way relationship. You as a solution provider need to be in a relationship where you are informing them and educating them on your capabilities and client success. But at the same time, you can use that relationship to ask for feedback on differentiators, on priorities in the marketplace, on investments that are being made in your business.

Karin Bursa (07:30):

So, it can be very valuable, but it does require quite a lot of time and effort to engage and establish a mutually respected relationship between your business and the industry analyst firms that you’re working with. Now, with more than 4.7 billion, yes, billion with a B, more than 4.7 billion in revenue, Gartner is by far the gorilla among industry analyst firms. Gartner works with businesses in more than a hundred countries and has achieved organic growth, as well as growth through some pretty significant acquisitions, significant in the market around supply chain.

Karin Bursa (08:19):

And two that come to mind are AMR Research, which was a real strategic acquisition for Gartner, as well as SCM world which was another complimentary supply chain focused acquisition that Gartner has done and rolled into their portfolio of services. At Gartner, analysts come from a variety of backgrounds, including end user practitioner roles. So many of them have been in your shoes. And there’s real value in that because they understand how difficult it can be to really wade through some of the messaging that’s out there to really get to the tangible points that are going to be meaningful for your business. So some of the analysts come from these practitioner backgrounds as well as some will come from solution providers or services companies at Gartner. So usually there’s some real depth of expertise that the analyst you’re working with has earned over a significant portion of their careers before they became industry analysts, or they became industry advisors.

Karin Bursa (09:36):

Now, this mix of experience is really valuable because it brings a wide perspective to the Gartner Research team, and you get a good cross section of deep practical experience across a variety of specific markets. Now, the goal is to help you to help clients with strategy development, with priorities, with positioning, understanding some actionable advice that you can really put into practice to improve your business performance. The research materials are delivered in a variety of formats. So, they can be traditional reports that look a little like white papers, or they can be in e-book formats which tend to be more graphical. They can be in presentations. Of course, they can be in the form of one-on-one engagements that can happen either on a conference call or on a virtual call with them. And for Gartner, they’re also delivered in a conference format or in a trade show format, which is the Gartner Supply Chain Symposium. More about that in just a minute.

Karin Bursa (10:58):

Now, you may be really familiar with Gartner’s trademark report format, which is referred to as the Magic Quadrant. So this is a two by two grid that plots industry leading solutions in a variety of areas. And the X and Y axis are – the two-by-two grid are first, the company’s completeness of vision. So how visionary or how is the company’s vision aligned with what Gartner believes the direction that the industry is going? So, you may have a really interesting vision, but if it doesn’t line up well with Gartner’s vision of where the market is going, you are not going to get credit for a really strong completeness of vision. So, just be sure that you understand kind of that perspective in how they are ranking vision against what they see, what Gartner sees as the vision or the direction that the industry is moving in.

Karin Bursa (12:06):

Now, also, the altitude of the two by two is something referred to as ability to execute. And this is important to practitioners. This should be very important to practitioners because this underscores success, customer success in using the technology or services that are being ranked in these magic quadrants. So, that’s really what the kind of the two-by-two format is. Now, of course, everybody wants to be in the leader’s quadrant, which is the upper right-hand quadrant. But I got to tell you, just getting on a Gartner Magic Quadrant is a significant achievement, especially for smaller or emerging technology providers.

Karin Bursa (12:53):

Now, if you’re not familiar with the Gartner Magic Quadrants or if you’re just nodding and you’re so familiar with them that you’re treating me out, come back to me, you might be more familiar or even more interested in Gartner’s annual list of top 25 supply chains. This is a newer report format. It’s usually published initially, kind of in a hierarchy or in a period in a pyramid graphic. But they will rank every year who they considered to be the top 25 supply chains. And they’ve even developed a few derivatives of this. So, there’ll be a European top 25 or there’ll be some specific industries that they will rank with a top list, a top 15 list. But it is very interesting, and it does include some peer ranking as well. So, the bottom line is love them or hate them, we all want to know the Gartner point of view. We want to take a look at it and internalize it and really understand how it might influence the priorities we have for our businesses.

Karin Bursa (14:05):

Now, I mentioned just a moment ago, the Gartner Supply Chain Symposium. Now, this event, it’s actually two events. One in North America and one that occurs in Europe. But this conference, so the content of the conference is essentially the same and delivered twice so that it’s more geographically appealing from a travel perspective. The conferences will have a variety of practitioner presentations or sponsor presentations as well. So, those will be a little bit different in North America than they might be in Europe. But this particular event, so it’s called the Gartner Supply Chain Symposium. And it is built as the world’s most important gathering of chief supply chain officers and supply chain executives. The Gartner Supply Chain Symposium does in fact attract a wide range of practitioners, of technology providers, of consultants, analysts, and academia as well.

Karin Bursa (15:09):

In 2022, the Supply Chain Symposiums were held in Orlando, Florida and in London in the United Kingdom. So, both events were sold out. That’s right, sold out. In-person, live event, sold out. The European event, which was held at the O2, which is just outside of London, actually just wrapped up today, or excuse me, the day I’m recording this particular podcast. And so, it’s hot off the press. So since the majority of the Gartner delivered content, so it’s based on the Gartner research initiatives that have been underway. So, the bulk of that research that gets presented around supply chain is the same. It may be delivered by different analysts, but the research itself is consistent for North America as well as the European marketplace.

Karin Bursa (16:06):

So, I thought this would be a great opportunity to reshare a TEKTOK episode that recaps what you missed at the Gartner Supply Chain Symposium 2022. Unfortunately, there were no silver bullets, but the exchange of ideas, the fresh inspiration and a lot of good old fashioned human connection around a common desire to drive performance and innovation in the supply chain was electrifying. It, in itself, was just really motivating and creating kind of a renewed excitement around all things supply chain.

Karin Bursa (16:52):

So, I got to tell you, it is a great time to be in supply chain. Take a listen. Thank you for tuning in today. You know, it has been a busy, busy week. It’s been filled with the 2022 Gartner Supply Chain Symposium, and I wanted to share just a few highlights from the event with each of you. As you know, the expectations around the value supply chain deliver are accelerating. And this is despite all of our ongoing volatility, disruption, gridlock, and of course uncertainty. We are all grappling with the impacts of the pandemic. Even today, global conflict, climate change, new ESG initiatives, shifting channel and product mixes, as well as significant constraints on available talent. As supply chain leaders, we’ve got to be prepared to navigate this uncertainty and mitigate risk. It’s increasingly a dynamic global market. And many of these challenges were discussed, as you can imagine, at the 2022 Gartner Supply Chain Symposium, which was held in Orlando, Florida. It is billed – this particular event is billed as the world’s most important gathering of chief supply chain officers and supply chain executives.

Karin Bursa (18:26):

Now, unfortunately, there were no silver bullets, but there was a lot of insight and inspiration. So let’s start with the fact that the conference was actually over-subscribed. Now, I don’t have the exact numbers, but I believe that Gartner expected between 1800 and 1900 attendees. However, estimates are that registration was closer to 2,600. Yeah, let me say that again, 2,600 supply chain professionals gathered together in Orlando this week. That meant that there were three overflow hotels in addition to the dolphin and swan accommodations that Gartner had planned in the Orlando area. It was really exciting to see so many supply chain movers and shakers together in real life. It felt a little like a reunion, a little like a party, and then some really, really good discussions. So, as we caught up with old friends, we connected face to face with colleagues that we have only seen in virtual formats for the past two years, and we had the opportunity to meet new supply team leaders that are making an impact.

Karin Bursa (19:50):

And over a three-day agenda, there were more than 140 sessions, many of which were featuring the latest research and insight from Gartner. Try as I did, there was no possible way to cover all of these sessions. So, I wanted to share just a few of the highlights with you. If you were at the conference, please chime in with your highlights, your takeaways. And if you weren’t able to be at the Gartner Symposium, let me know what you found valuable in this recap.

Karin Bursa (20:25):

So, let’s start at the beginning. The opening keynote was delivered by Gartner Analyst, Ken Chadwick. And it focused on this theme of supply chain’s offset strategy, recalibrating our approach to the great acceleration. I got to tell you that I didn’t love the term offset or offset strategy, but I totally get it. And I’ll explain why. While we have survived some of the most volatile and uncertain times in recent history, I think we all recognize our journey is not done.

Karin Bursa (21:00):

Our goal is not to simply survive, it is to thrive and to build thriving supply chains. So, I’m an optimist. I do like Gartner’s positioning because they said that we were on the cusp of the great acceleration. Now, that can mean a lot of things. And I’m going to tell you, Gartner shared some offset strategies for what they believed to be the five challenges supply chain leaders should be addressing. So, five challenges supply chain leaders should be addressing. The first was really interesting, It is cognitive overload. And this really focused on the burden and the way that we supply chain professionals feel. It was a recurring theme throughout the conference, this cognitive overload. And Gartner shared a statistic that said that there was a staggering 83 percent of the workforce. The supply chain workforce feels overwhelmed. That’s right, 83 percent.

Karin Bursa (22:17):

So, if any of you, TEKTOK listeners, you movers and shakers out there, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone. In fact, if you’re not feeling overwhelmed, you’re in the minority at this point, based on this particular statistic that was shared by Gartner. Now, one of the key strategies around cognitive overload that was shared by Ken Chadwick was that we need to shift the burden of decision making, and we need to shift that to computers or to technology. Now, let me be clear, Gartner was not advocating replacing humans, but instead augmenting humans with better insights, faster analysis so that we can inspire confidence and quicker decision making.

Karin Bursa (23:10):

So, in fact, Ken Chadwick shared one example, which was from Lenovo. And Lenovo has been able to achieve a 55 percent reduction in decision cycle time, right? So, they’re making decisions in less than half the time that they used to. And this has helped to contribute to about a $26 million increase from a profitability perspective or profit growth perspective. That’s right. Lenovo making decisions faster. The cycle times are contracting, and they can measure that impact with additional profit growth. Now, rest assured I got the audience’s attention. So, that was the first challenge that Ken Chadwick put before us, this audience of 2,600 supply chain professionals.

Karin Bursa (24:09):

The second is the evolving customer expectations. I know each and every one of you are dealing with this, whether you’re doing product rationalization, you are doing customization, these are trends that will continue. Technology change, technology evolution. It’s no secret that technology has been evolving faster than most companies have been able to harness, deploy, and use to their advantage. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck because you will get left behind. Number four was supply chain cyber risk. Yeah, supply chain cyber risk. A very, very real challenge for many of us in the industry today. And it is high on the list of CEO concerns as well.

Karin Bursa (25:05):

And then, finally number five is energy instability. Now, here in North America, we are dealing with energy instability or rising fuel costs. So, it does become important because it is requiring the ability to replan a number of supply chain initiatives or to reevaluate margin contributions for customers or product lines or distribution channels as well. So what Ken Chadwick asked everyone to do was look at delivering at least one win in each of these five categories. If you can do one thing in each of these five categories, you will keep pace and thrive.

Karin Bursa (26:12):

So again, let me give those to you, cognitive overload, let’s remove some of that burden or accelerate that decision process. Evolving customer expectations, let’s get closer to our top customers, let’s understand and get greater visibility on how we can serve them. Let’s look at segmentation strategies, technology changed. I know it can be difficult, but you must keep pace. You must be looking to adopt harness, deploy AI driven capabilities so that you can make decisions faster or evaluate criteria faster. Be sure that we are considering supply chain cyber risk, and then looking at strategies around energy instability.

Karin Bursa (26:12):

So, at this point, I have either like overwhelmed you and you’re tuning me out thinking, Karin, what am I going to do? Those are our big, big rocks to be moved. But stay with me, I want to share some inspiration as we go through this recap. So, there was another session that Ken Chadwick shared. And I do want to just share a few of the big highlights from there. It was CEO concerns in 2022 and 2023. So, this is what your CEO is thinking about or what the aggregate survey shows that CEOs are concerned about and the implications and actions for supply chain executives or chief supply chain officers.

Karin Bursa (27:30):

And I just picked a few of these. The first is growth. So, growth, as long as I have been tracking this, growth is always number one on a CEO’s agenda. And it is still, in fact, number one priority for the CEO, despite expectations that inflation is going to continue for potentially as long as three years. So be sure that when you’re engaging with your CEO or you’re engaging with your executive team, you are presenting ways that you and the supply chain team can fuel growth, anticipate growth, serve customers from a growth perspective, or even tap into new markets. The next was number two was technology related. So CEOs do see digital strategies as key solutions to boost productivity and manage costs. That should not be a surprise to you, but it was number two, on this CEO survey, technology related, how do we harness it?

Karin Bursa (28:41):

How do we use it? How do we boost our corporate digital strategy to increase productivity and manage overall cost? Now, I’m going to skip a couple at – number three was workforce. Now this moved up from number five in the prior survey. So, this was in at number three, so workforce talent. Priorities need to be realigned to attract and retain talent. That’s right. No surprise, you’re probably going tell me something I didn’t know, Karin. While they rolled in, the need to expand diversity and inclusion an efforts as well. So, bringing in the DEI initiatives as a part of attracting, retaining, challenging, giving opportunities to your workforce is, is number three on the CEO’s list. In past, it’s been around number five.

Bursa (29:54):

Now, another one that I found interesting made a big move is environmental sustainability. This moved up to number seven, prior year was at number 17. So, that’s ten positions. This does reflect a change in the buyers in the marketplace. This is a buyer that is coming into power and authority and businesses or consumers that have more income to spend, and they want products that reinforce a strong environmental message to the marketplace, sustainability message in the marketplace, good governance of how the products developed, the materials used, and how they make their way to market. Even the packaging that surrounds the product as it makes its way in either a B2B or a direct to consumer. So, CEOs, now agree, this is a worthy investment, and it will actually fuel future revenue and sales.

Karin Bursa (30:58):

Now, supply chain improvements, just as a broad theme for these CEOs was number 11. Now, I got to tell you, this surprised me. Now prior years, it has been around number 14 but I was surprised it wasn’t higher. I was surprised it didn’t break the top 10 themes, but supply chain improvements landed at number 11. Let me know what you think about that. Now, with this digital accelerated decision making, there was one session that caught my attention based on title alone. The title of the session was – let me look at this and get it right for you. The title was The Digital Era and the End of S&OP. I’m sorry, The Digital Era and the End of S&OP. Now, I had a question mark at the end. So, the end of S&OP? Maybe I need to say that differently, The Digital Era and the End of S&OP, with a big question mark.

Karin Bursa (31:57):

Now, this was delivered by Gartner Analyst Pia Lund. And as you can imagine, I was on the edge of my seat because, you know, the topic of sales and operations planning is one that I have a great deal of expertise and passion around. While Pia got down to brass tactics and told a standing room only audience, the technology has evolved faster than our S&OP process and it’s time to make a change. So, she advocates that S&OP should be sure to align to business objectives instead of rigid time horizons, business objectives, overall goals and objectives, not just that we have a monthly planning cycle or a quarterly planning cycle, or we’re looking at investments on a three-year horizon.

Karin Bursa (32:53):

Secondly, you advocated that we leverage systems that evaluate hundreds of scenarios versus just a few. That’s right, hundreds. So, this is a great example of taking advantage of technology to cycle through the available data, the business context, and then present up the best or the most likely scenarios to be discussed in your executive S&OP leadership team. I love this. I’m seeing this take place today. And for those of you that are looking at just simply a best case, worst case, and most likely kind of three-pronged evaluation, you need better data. You need the ability to kind of boost the confidence and look at a tighter range of outcomes and have the understanding that there were literally hundreds of business scenarios that were evaluated to present those to you.

Karin Bursa (33:59):

Then the fi final theme that she spoke to was that we need to focus on the future versus the past. I really believe this. We’ve got to get out of that firefighting mode. We do need to measure the performance of our plans. But at the same time, we need to be getting smarter and smarter and learning what went well and what didn’t go well, right? Machine learning coming into play to figure out what we did and what the impact of that was.

Karin Bursa (34:31):

So, here are a few examples that Pia Lund offered as examples of shifting in the way you are looking at your planning around sales and operations planning. So, if we need to go from siloed decision making to broad alignment with our business strategy, everybody, every one of you should be nodding yes as you’re listening to this. So come back to me, stay with me on this list. We want to move from looking only at a few constraint considerations to many, many constraint considerations. In fact, you may want to include personnel, your talent pool as part of your constraints that are being modeled today. Move from that one, two, three scenarios to the ability, I said the ability to look at hundreds of scenarios. She actually said thousands of scenarios. That’s right, thousands of scenarios. So, we need to get well beyond the one, two, threes, and strive for, you know, hundreds and potentially looking at thousands of scenarios for our business.

Karin Bursa (35:45):

She also mentioned that we need to stop thinking of our ERP systems, our enterprise systems as the single source of data. We need to start tapping into external data sources and extending those so that we’re getting better signals, sensing demand from multiple signals, but also sensing supply and looking at those signals to really augment and improve our overall planning. We’ve got to move from batch planning, right? Monthly, quarterly, weekly to looking at real time data, get out of manual planning, everything where planners are touching every item, every channel to looking at automated or autonomous planning so that we can elevate how our planners, our business analysts are engaging, right? So, lots of great examples there for you to consider as you evolve not just your supply chain planning process, but your sales and operations planning process.

Karin Bursa (36:51):

Now, some of the best presentations that I attended were case studies. This were delivered by practitioners. So come back to me if you’re multitasking, I really want you to hear about these couple of end user presentations. There are a few that stood out to me. And the first one, the first one focused on growth. Yeah, growth. So, during the pandemic, it was focused on growth. And this one was delivered by Diageo. So, Livia Kandiyoti Konak, who is the head of planning and logistics at Diageo, delivered a really inspirational session and it was focused on leveraging supply chain capabilities to fuel growth.

 

Karin Bursa (37:45):

Now, I loved that Livia started with the goal of delighting customers. That’s right, delighting customers, a worthy goal that honestly has resulted in an impressive 20 percent single-year growth rate. Let me say that again. The goal is delighting customers. Well, they must be delighted because the result has been an impressive 20 percent single-year growth. That’s huge. So, if you’re not familiar with Diageo, I bet you’re familiar with many of their brands. Diageo is a global drinks business. It ranked number 16 on the Gartner Top 25 Companies, Top 25 Supply Chains for 2022. And it’s got iconic brands like Guinnes, Johnny Walker, Gordons, and Smirnoff.

Karin Bursa (38:44):

Now, another measure of the success to date for Diageo is that it has now ranked first place for supply chain excellence and customer service in the U.K. That’s right, first place. That’s a big jump. Now, Livia is leading a team that is achieving this rapid transformation, and they are in fact delivering what every supply chain professional wants. They are delivering better visibility, optimization, and autonomous planning. And they’re doing much of this with the rollout of OMP’s unison planning. So that’s their partner, their technology partner in this transformation initiative. So today, Diageo has the agility to anticipate and respond to demand and channel shifts, supply chain constraints, to model those, to look at packaging transitions, to look at product and market segmentation, all while delivering significant growth.

Karin Bursa (39:56):

And the Diageo customer is in fact delighted with the improved service levels. And Diageo is also committed to both grain and glass sustainability. So, if we go back to that list of what’s on the CEO’s agenda, we’re looking at examples here of growth. We’re looking at examples of sustainability. We’re looking at making better decisions, leveraging technology. And we are looking at automation, the ability to elevate and relieve some of that cognitive overload. So, I thought this particular case study really brought many of those messages to the forefront in a very tangible way. For me, in a very, very tangible way.

Karin Bursa (40:49):

All right. So, another great case study – so come back to me because I want you to hear this. This is a very different company than Diageo. This was Border States Electric. So, Border States Electric, and it was about navigating the disruptions. They were impressive, very, very practical recommendations. And so, the presenters were Tony Serati, who is the Vice President of Procurement with Border States Electric. So, Border States Electric is a leading electrical distributor, about three billion in revenue, and they have been working with GAINSystems. And so, Bill Benton who is the co-founder of GAINSystems, presented with him.

Karin Bursa (41:36):

But in reality, Tony told the story and told us about what Border States Electric has been up to. And so, they’ve been navigating all of these supply chain disruptions and they are leveraging AI, artificial intelligence to drive automation. So back to those CEO themes and automation and better decision making and leveraging technology, another great example. A little bit about Border States because it may not be a name, you’re familiar with. They are one of the largest electrical distributors in North America. They’ve got a network of about 5,000 suppliers, 100 locations, and approximately 300,000 skews.

Karin Bursa (42:23):

So, if you’re with me, you supply chain movers or shakers are automatically thinking about the planning process in tapping 5,000 suppliers, a hundred locations, and 300,000 skews. I did not get their number of customers, but I am sure that’s a big number as well. So, we’ve got to think about product, location, timing, optimization. And Tony did share that some of their lead times, you’re experiencing the same thing I know, have exponentially extended, right? So, instead of being able to look at days or weeks, they’re looking at weeks or months. And he even gave one example where lead time has extended from roughly four months for some items to nearly four years. That’s right. Imagine that. Now, that was an example or an outlier that he shared. But in the best-case scenario, extended lead time for many, many of the items that they like to provide and need to provide for their customers.

Karin Bursa (43:35):

So, Border States Electric has been augmenting their SAP ERP system with GAINS. And they’re doing this really to automate numerous planning processes. And the goal is to free up that planner time while also simultaneously delivering greater precision, quicker response to disruptions of all types, pandemic and others, frequent price changes, supplier constraints, and a changing mix in customer demand. So, all of those themes go back to that CEO’s agenda, growth, leveraging technology, looking at elevating decision making or accelerating decision making and that customer service and how do I elevate what my talent is doing so that they can perform and make a bigger impact.

Karin Bursa (44:32):

So, there were a few specific automation examples and I want to share those with you. When Border States started, they said that only 50 percent of their portfolio of 300,000 skews were forecasted. Today, that is 95 plus percent of all skews are forecasted and forecasted with much greater accuracy than they were able to do before. They also talk in terms of multi echelon planning and made this powerful statement.

Karin Bursa (45:08):

So, Tony Serati made this powerful statement. I actually wrote it down in my notes. He said, “You know what took us days to do now takes us minutes”. That’s right, what took us days now takes us minutes. So, talk about freeing up your team members to great underscore, including he gave an example of making a network change to better respond to a customer need, right? That they have the agility that they can move their stocking locations, they can move volume in order to specifically serve customers and do it as quickly and reliably as possible. So, Border States is also taking advantage of automated replenishment for a significant portion of its portfolio as well.

Karin Bursa (45:57):

So, I think you can see why I was so excited about this. I liked the examples of automation, of acceleration to be able to do more, right, covering that full product portfolio, and elevating how they’re planning team engages and is now able to spend more time serving customers or working with suppliers versus just crunching numbers. So, a great case study that I think underscores many of the big themes that Gartner was challenging us with on where we should spend our time.

Karin Bursa (46:31):

Okay. Now, stay with me. I know I’m going on, but you can – I hope you hear the enthusiasm in my voice because it was really a great conference. There were great conversations in between sessions, opportunities to sit down with people you did not know at lunch and ask questions and see what was working in their environments as well. Now, many of these analysts delivered multiple sessions. In one of the three different sessions delivered by Gartner, distinguished Vice President Noha Tohamy, focused on the consumer products supply chain. This was about innovating and adapting amidst this theme of accelerating change.

Karin Bursa (47:15):

So, I thought that this was a really good session. It was packed with good data and relevant examples around top investments for consumer products companies to increase agility and resilience. So, a couple of those themes were supply chain, supply chain segmentation. I mentioned this was also cited in the Diageo presentation. That was one of the things that Diageo is implementing is a segmentation strategy so that they can better support, their never out or their always available products for their customers. The second is network design and a diversifying supply base, right? We’re not as focused today on the low cost provider. We are looking for reliability. And many times, that means I’m going to have to go to multiple suppliers so that I can mitigate risks in my network and in the marketplace.

Karin Bursa (48:23):

Number three is the redesign of products to reduce complexity. And then finally gaining supply chain visibility. And you know, I say this all the time, visibility is on the top of every supply chain investment initiative. So, dig in and understand what visibility means to your company, to your culture, to your products, to the channels you serve. Because I believe firmly there are opportunities to boost visibility across your supply chain operations.

Karin Bursa (48:55):

This session underscored that there is a dramatic shift in direct consumer channels. I think we all agree with that. The pandemic just accelerated that, but what it means is that consumer products manufacturers now have to behave like retailers. They’re going direct to consumer. So, this requires a very different operating model, very different packaging, very different marketing. It’s a big shift. This transition is driving significant investments and things like real-time analytics so that you can capture and analyze the data and execute in shorter, tighter cycles, respond to market opportunities faster. So, just a few thoughts there, if any of you are in the consumer product sector.

Karin Bursa (49:51):

So, speaking of consumer products and visibility, my friend Rob Haddock, who is Group Director of Planning and Logistics at Coca-Cola. So, Coca-Cola, number 12 on the Gartner Top 25 list for 2022. So, congratulations to the Coca-Cola team. Now. Rob is such an expert in this area of logistics and visibility that he was talked to speak on a couple of different panels in a few different sessions. But he was underscoring the critical nature of navigating these disruptions, these logistics disruptions and responding to market changes with process improvements and technology in areas like network visibility, shipper collaboration, lane availability or lane sharing, yard visibility, even contactless pick up and deliver, right? How can we reduce dwell times and improve the overall driver experience? So, drivers are a significant constraint. How do we improve their experience and get them able to execute faster or have greater visibility themselves?

Karin Bursa (51:18):

So, Rob has a great passion for connecting and educating and developing supply chain professionals. And every time I saw him in the hallway, he’s just surrounded by a group of people who were tapping into him either telling jokes or asking for examples of how they’ve been able to achieve what they have. Now, a name that many of you would that listen to TEKTOK regularly, may be familiar with is Steve Barber. Steve Barber is with Transplace or now Transplace and Uber Freight, which have come together. Steve was a guest on TEKTOK just a few months ago.

Karin Bursa (51:55):

Now, Transplace and Uber have more – excuse me, Transplace and Uber Freight have more than 17 billion, that’s billion with a B, of freight that’s under management. And Steve talked about how they are transforming the traditional freight procurement process and introducing some new solutions for shippers so that they can really enable seamless procurement of lanes. They can look at things in the spot market or look at low volume planning, not just high volume planning. So interesting things there. I think that we’ll hear more from Transplace and Uber Freight as they continue to bring these two businesses together.

Karin Bursa (52:42):

All right, stay with me. I know we’re going here. So, another – so, I’m trying to bring you kind of the best of the best of some of the sessions at the Gartner 2022 Supply Chain Symposium, which took place this week. And some just really good, really good market analysis, buyer behaviors, et cetera. So, another really hardworking Gartner analyst at this particular event was Amber Sally. Amber delivered three presentations. She had dozens of one-on-one sessions with practitioners and solution providers. And she is the lead analyst on the Gartner Supply Chain Planning Magic Quadrant, which published just a few weeks ago.

Karin Bursa (53:28):

So, she did a session on the magic quadrant for supply chain planning solutions. And I got to tell you, there were hundreds of people just captivated, standing around, again wall to wall, standing room only. As Amber Sally went through some of the background information on how Gartner selected and evaluated 22 solution providers that qualified for the 2022 Gartner Supply Chain Planning Magic Quadrant. Now, I have been engaged with this particular magic quadrant for more than 25 years, and I still learn something every time. There’s still, you know, there is deep criteria in what gets evaluated from a critical capabilities perspective. But there’s also some insights that come from the Gartner engagement in the industry, as well as a customer survey process that takes place. So, I learn something every time.

Karin Bursa (54:34):

And one of the interesting data points that Gartner shared is that they believe that the supply chain planning solutions market is currently valued at about $5.7 billion. That’s right, $5.7 billion. That’s for planning. That’s demand inventory, supply, production, sales and operations planning, the analytics around those valued at $5.7 billion. And that, that marketplace is expected to grow at 13.6 percent through 2026. That is some healthy growth. And I believe that that growth in part is inspired because back to the CEO’s agenda, how do we leverage technology, how do we accelerate decision making, how do we evaluate hundreds of scenarios for our business and deliver for our customers? So continued investment in this area. So buckle up, supply chain movers and shakers, because change is coming.

Karin Bursa (55:44):

Now, as you might imagine, the networking at this event was fantastic. It started on Sunday, and it continued to the moment I got on the plane and returned to Atlanta late on Wednesday. And honestly, I have a number of follow up meetings that are planned as a result of the conference as well. So, I am energized, I’m excited, I’m inspired. And I’ve got to tell you that no supply chain industry event would be complete without Supply Chain Now Founder and Host, Scott Luton, making an appearance. So, Scott was there as well. And you should know, I want you to know, because I think it surprised some people who had not met Scott before in person. But Scott is more fantastic in real life than he is in the virtual world. He is so good at connecting people and engaging people. And that came through yet again in a live roundtable that he helped to moderate with Mark Holmes, who is with InterSystems.

Karin Bursa (56:55):

Now, this roundtable was focused on how to connect data for visibility and actionable insight. So, there we are again, visibility, harnessing data, leveraging technology, making better decisions faster. So, in this very lively roundtable, which again, standing room only, went – well, let me see. It really underscored that future performance goes beyond responding simply to supply chain disruptions. We’ve got to have the ability to consider things like inflation, rising costs, the exodus of tribal knowledge. So, this great resignation, right, where so much expertise is leaving our companies. We need to formalize or encapsulate some of that intelligence before it leaves our businesses. And we need to harness data, and not just our enterprise data, but new data sources and we’ve got to transform data into actionable insights so that we can do more intelligent decision making.

Karin Bursa (58:04):

So, I think you can see how that theme goes back to the CEO’s agenda as well, right? How do I fuel growth? How do I harness technology? How do I attract and retain my talent pool, my workforce? How do I make the investments that are really going to elevate the value proposition and look at these digital strategies? Woo, I got to tell you, I could probably go on for another hour. But suffice it to say that face-to-face events are back and they are energizing the exchange of ideas, the fresh inspiration, and some good old fashioned human connection are sure to fuel future innovation.

Karin Bursa (58:51):

So, if you were at the Gartner Symposium, please chime in with your highlights. Let me know what you connected with and if you weren’t able to be there this year, let me know what you found valuable from this particular recap. Bottom line is supply chain movers and shakers it is a great time to be in supply chain. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, but it is certainly, certainly worthwhile.

Karin Bursa (59:20):

So, thank you for joining us on TEKTOK, where our goal is to help you eliminate the noise and focus in on the information and inspiration you need to transform your business and replace risky inventory with valuable insights. We’ll see you next time on TEKTOK powered by Supply Chain Now.

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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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