“The other thing I found was there are three rules of good financial management. One is you get the cash two, is you get the cash, and three, is you get the cash, right? So the book value of inventory isn’t the important number. It’s the cash value of the inventory.”
-Dr. Doug Lambert
Why do companies so aggressively manage inventories? Cost! And a big cost component is carrying or holding cost- a percentage of the total inventory value that impacts the bottom line. So what are the subcomponents of carrying cost and how were they developed? Listen as host Chris Barnes interviews Dr. Doug Lambert, and learn more.
Chris Barnes (00:06):
Hey, it’s Chris. The supply chain doctor and host of supply chain is boring. Bringing insight into the history of supply chain management and exposing you to some of the industry’s thought leaders and driving forces. In this episode, we sat down with Dr. Doug Lambert, the Raymond E. Mason chaired professor Ameritas at Fisher college of business and Academy professor at the Ohio state university and former director of the global supply chain forum. In part one of this two-part series, we discussed the original writing and development of the carrying cost concept currently in practice today. It all sounds pretty boring. Let’s see if Dr. Lambert can prove me wrong, Dr. Lambert. Thanks again for investing time with me to hear about your career and learn more about your perspective on supply chain management in general.
Dr. Doug Lambert (00:52):
Okay. Well, initially you, when we talked, you wanted to, uh, talk about inventory carrying costs and how I decided to write the papers on inventory carrying class. I grew up in Canada. I was born in Toronto and I went to, um, the Ivy business school at Western university for undergrad and MBA. And so, uh, that meant that I either had to get all three degrees from the same place, which isn’t good for them or go to a school that wasn’t as good in Canada. And so I looked at three schools in the us Harvard, cause it was kind of head office for the Canadian school, about half the faculty at Harvard degrees. I put in Texas for warm weather. I was even then thinking about a nice warm place and Ohio state. And I picked Ohio state because of Butler lawn, who was, was really one of the giants in this business.
Dr. Doug Lambert (01:45):
He passed away a year or so ago. Um, and, and the other thing I wanted to do was, so I taught for a couple of years with an MBA to see if I was going to like it before I invested in this PhD. And, uh, I picked Ohio state because of bloodline. I worked with him as a research assistant and I had a plan to get a PhD as quickly as I wanted to get a two-year PhD and get back to Canada and where people lose time. And the PhD is not on the coursework because of course work disciplines, people, but you know, you’ve got papers due. You got classes you have to go to where people lose time and is that the dissertation, they might waste a whole year trying to figure out what the dissertation topic is. And so my idea was whatever idea I had Christmas of my first year in the PhD program, I was going to spend the time I had free over Christmas, getting going on a dissertation proposal, starting to write it.
Dr. Doug Lambert (02:43):
And the only idea I had by Christmas was inventory carrying costs and Leilani had another PhD student working with them that fall. And he had two projects. He had one on customer service, which I really wanted to do because I’d done some work like that in Canada, before coming for the PhD. Uh, but the other PhD student didn’t know the difference between a debit and a credit. And I’d taught accounting for a couple of years, uh, to see if I was going to like teaching before I went for the PhD. So guess who got the carrying cost topic? So it was the only topic I had at Christmas. So I talked to Leilani and Robinson and grabbing her who were going to be my dissertation committee and said, would this make a dissertation? And they agreed it would. And so if I was going to stick to plan, this had to be it.
Dr. Doug Lambert (03:30):
And I did complete my PhD actually, uh, a week. I was a week over the two years and graduated in the fall that year. So I was actually two years plus a quarter til I actually walked away with a degree in hand. But the more I got into the topic, working with companies, the more excited I got about right. And because they thought it was useful. And I actually received the doctoral dissertation award from, um, what was then called the national council of physical distribution management for my dissertation. And it was one of them, two in the whole history of the organization. Now, after NC PDM was called CLM and now the council of supply chain management professionals. So in the history of this organization, they published two PhD dissertations as books. And mine was the first one, cause it was useful and business people could, could read it and, um, and actually use what was there.
Dr. Doug Lambert (04:28):
So that’s how I got into the topic. What I ended up finding out about it was in most books for an EOQ for formula or any other use of the carrying costs. People just throw in 25 present. Right? And in fact why Alon was interested in the topic, was he at another PhD student, Jeff, Karen Bauer working on a logistics model, right? A network model for Ross labs, division of Abbott in Columbus, and they needed a carrying cost. And so that’s how I got the topic. So ended up a lot of luck, right? Because I had really no interest in the topic to start with. And then it turned out I want to competitive national award for the dissertation. And they published it as a book, which got me a lot of visibility as a young guy, starting a career. The thing I found out about it was two things.
Dr. Doug Lambert (05:21):
One is the biggest component of the carrying cost is the opportunity cost of money. It’s what would I do with the cash cash? If it wasn’t an inventory, right? And if you’re a cash rich company, you’ve got, you know, a hundred million in treasury bills yeah. Or something. Then if you reduce inventory, you’re likely to just buy more treasury bills with, with the cash generated. So opportunity cost of money in that case is whatever you’re earning. Right? T-bills on the other hand, if you would add a new production in your factory that you’re not adding now because you’re short of working capital, then the rate of return you’re losing by having that inventory is the rate of return. You’d earn on that equipment if you had it. Or if I was a retailer and I had less inventory in my warehouses, I can’t get less inventory in my stores because the stores have to look like they’re stocked.
Dr. Doug Lambert (06:18):
Right? I mean, I think the retailers call it product dominance. When you walk into that store, you have to feel like if these guys don’t have it, nobody’s got it. Right. So you can’t see empty shelves. So it’s gotta be warehouse inventory. But, but if I could reduce my warehouse inventory then, and that allowed me to open a, another new store, then it’s the rate of return. I own it earned on the new stores. So it’s not just an average number. It’s whatever it’s going to be for your company. Then the other thing I found was there are three rules of good financial management. One is you get the cash two, as you get the cash three, as you get the cash, right? So the book value of inventory, isn’t the important number. It’s the cash value of the inventory. And if you’re a retailer and you sell it something and don’t replace it, which would be how you’d get an inventory reduction.
Dr. Doug Lambert (07:11):
You saved the current replacement cost, which is probably close to what you paid for it and what you’re carrying inventory for on your books. And if it’s a raw material in a manufacturing environment or a company in part, and you reduce component party inventories, you buy less this month and you’re going to need to get those inventories down. Then at the end of the month or 60 days from now, whenever you pay the bill, the bill would be less than cash would go up by the bill. You didn’t pay. Right? But where this gets more complicated is that every manufacturer overstates the value of inventory from a cash standpoint, because they full costs. They put all these overhead costs in that have got nothing to do with making a unit of product right now. Again, think about this. If you’re somebody who wants to either increase or decrease inventory, and you’re a manufacturer and you’re not general motors.
Dr. Doug Lambert (08:06):
I mean, if you’re a general motors and you want reduce inventory, you have a fire sale, right? You’ll offer $5,000 discounts, free financing, right? And the, the classic was that summer. It was a number of years ago. Now when Wagner was still running GM, where they made everybody in this great land, the GM employee for the summer, anybody in the U S goodbye, a new GM car for employee costs because they had so many inventory cars in inventory, right? They built these cars, nobody was buying it. And so they sold the cars. They lost something North of a billion dollars that quarter. And then it was a shock to him. The next quarter that sales were up 25% on the new models. Like people who just got up and bought a new car during the summer, we’re going to line up and buy another one because they’d made a model will change.
Dr. Doug Lambert (08:53):
Right? I mean, he does wonder there was no institutional learning in that industry. The sad thing was the board didn’t fire Wagner. It was the government when they bailed them out. Right. Right. So if you’re not general motors and you’re not going to have a fire sale to get an inventory reduction, what do you do? You make less this month, then you’re going to sell. I mean, most likely every month you’ll make what you’re going to sell. Right? You try to do that. Yeah. You might make more, you might make less. But the point is, you’re trying to make what you’re going to sell. And so this month, if we’re trying to get our inventory down by $10 million, we’ll make $10 million less product. Now those product costs are made up with costs like security guards on the factory gate, security guards, you know, the fence you’ve got around the factory, the chain link fence with the barbed wire on the top and the security guards in there have got nothing to do with how much product you make in that factory.
Dr. Doug Lambert (09:48):
They’ve got everything to do with how important yeah. You think it is to protect what was, what is going on in that factory, right? So you tend to see more offenses around factories in South America than you do in the U S but those security guards get paid every month, regardless of what you make in a factory. And yet those costs along with the plant manager’s salary and a whole lot of other fixed costs get spread across units. Like they’re variable, right? If you’re on a standard cross system, you estimate ahead of time, how many units you’re going to sell. And then you spread all these fixed costs across units, treat them like they’re variable costs, but they’re not there period costs. And so if you make less units this month, you’re, you’re going to, you’ve paid the security guards, what they always get paid per month, right?
Dr. Doug Lambert (10:32):
The full amount. But you’ve only got inventoried a portion of that inventory during cost of goods sold because you made fewer units this month. So what happens to the money you paid that isn’t accounted for an inventory or cost of goods sold? It’s a journal entry adjustment. The cost of goods sold you, Jack it up by the overhead that’s under absorbed, right? They call it under absorbed plan overhead. So be fixed costs related to machinery. It would be the plant manager’s salary. It would be the security guards. So then if I’m a high fixed cost operation, maybe only 15, the percent of my product costs are variable, which means if I reduce inventory by 10, for $10 million, I’m only going to free up 5 million. And it’s important to understand that because presumably you’d work harder to get a $10 million reduction than you would a $5 million reduction.
Dr. Doug Lambert (11:25):
Right? Right. And it gets even worse than that because labor might be a variable costs when I’m figuring out how profitable my customers are or how profitable my products are. And the idea there is that I might have a, a thousand people working in my plants, but they’re not a variable cost. There is step fixed costs, except the steps are small. And so if I stopped selling and to Walmart, or if I stopped selling certain SKU shoes, I can let some employees leave for better jobs. My labor force will come down and I may actually save those, those costs. So training them is variable costs in that sense is not a mistake, but in the case of the one-time inventory reduction, it’s a big mistake because the labor costs didn’t save. I mean, I was in Izmir Turkey a dozen years ago and visited a Hugo boss plant.
Dr. Doug Lambert (12:17):
And they had this fleet of vehicles to bring people in, to work in that operation. That was a cutting so hard, high labor content operation, very low turnover. Those because these were good jobs. And the Turkish government said, you can work more than 40 hours a week. If you like, of course, you’re paying them for it, but you can’t work on less than 40 hours. They get paid for it, whether they work it or not. Right. So even in Turkey, labor, wasn’t a variable cost. So if, if we make less product this month, then we send the plant home at noon on Friday. We don’t slate say that labor cost at all. And so now we’re down to variable cost of material, variable packaging costs, electricity to run the machinery. And maybe we save some maintenance costs if we’re not running it Friday afternoon. But the point is inventory from a cash standpoint in every manufacturing company in America is overvalued. And I think people work too hard for inventory reductions for the cash. And they’re actually freeing up
Chris Barnes (13:21):
Inventory is a big part of supply chains as that’s why people tend to focus on it.
Dr. Doug Lambert (13:26):
We don’t run real lean. And then you see empty shelves like we did with the paper gals and COVID right. You know, it would seem to me that that paper towel operation, and I mean, it’s probably not a high labor cost operation. It’s probably high fixed costs to start with. So maybe having a little extra inventory, even though your books look like you’re carrying more money. If you look at the actual cash value of that inventory, that may not be so bad, maybe having a little extra, isn’t a bad idea. So those are the two things, you know, what’s the opportunity cost of money. So again, if you’re a cash rich company, you got all kinds of money in the bank getting a little more cash from an inventory reduction, isn’t going to bring you much income. And so if you’re using 25% as a carrying cost, man, you’re really overstatement. And if you’re applying it to the full cost of the inventory value, well, then you’re really,
Chris Barnes (14:18):
So your objective with, with your, what do you call it a thesis? Or what was it that
Dr. Doug Lambert (14:23):
First of all, understand what inventory, what were the components of inventory carrying cost? And the big part of it is getting the cash value of the inventory, right? And determining the opportunity cost of money. Now, the other things like insurance taxes, obsolescence damage, you know, relocation costs because you, uh, uh, you got inventory in the wrong place, right? So you got bathing suits in Ohio and it’s now the fall. So you ship them to Florida. So you can sell them at full price. That kind of relocation costs. Typically those costs are one, two, three, maybe 4%. And the, the, the big one was when, when capital was in short supply was the opportunity cost of money because you might have a hurdle rate in the company of 15 or 20% on new investments. Well, that’s an after tax hurdle rate, all the trade offs you’re making with inventory are before tax.
Dr. Doug Lambert (15:16):
So you have to take that after tax cost, the capital hurdle rate and divide it by one minus the marginal tax rate. And so if your marginal tax rate was 50%, then that 15% hurdle rate becomes 30 cost them money for inventory or 40. If it’s a 20% cost of capital, you’re looking for in a company. But those were in the days when money was in short supply. Right? And I saw more of that in the seventies and eighties than today, where a lot of these big companies that are sitting on a fair bit of cash, right? So it depends on your situation. You’ve got that you’d pay off. Then it’s the interest on the debt. The debt interest is already before taxes. The interest you get on money in the bank, your T-bills is before tax number. You have to pay tax on that, but the minimum acceptable rate of return on new investment that that is asking you to want to get, if you want to make an investment, that’s an after-tax rate because what they have to do is, is look at cash flows over a period of time and discount them back to a net present value, including the tax implications of depreciation.
Dr. Doug Lambert (16:26):
So, so that’s another mistake. Oftentimes people make is they don’t convert that cost of money, uh, to a before tax cost of money, because everything you’re trading off with it set up in the plant, set ups in the plant, transportation costs. Those are all pre-tax numbers. You don’t get your freight rates quoted to you after taxes.
Chris Barnes (16:48):
Doug, you, you did this in 1975, 76. You started, this is that
Dr. Doug Lambert (16:54):
I actually started it in the fall of 73 as a PhD student. And then up in, in, uh, in 75, that was my PhD dissertation. And we worked with half of that. Well, actually seven come on, um, helping them develop a carrying cost Drackett products division of Bristol-Myers in Cincinnati Ross labs, a division of Abbott in Columbus, a Heinz in Pittsburgh, Ralston, Purina in St. Louis I O and then chemical had one process there.
Chris Barnes (17:29):
It’s interesting. This was over 40 years ago and you’re talking about it like it was yesterday.
Dr. Doug Lambert (17:34):
You know, the interesting thing about it is my mentor always used to say, you know, work on a research project, you can put a presentation together and present to executives, right? Because college professors don’t pay you to present business people will, or if you do presentation in their company, or they invite you for one of their meetings as a keynote, then you get paid well in. And so I was lucky. This was not a topic I’d have picked, right. But if I was going to stick to my plan to graduate in two years, it was the only idea I had at Christmas. And I was going to lose time if I didn’t move forward on it. I wasn’t stupid about it though. I asked my mentor and the two other committee members, if they thought it would make a dissertation topic, they said it would, but, but over the years, as I’ve taught logistic programs for companies, there’s always the session on inventory carrying costs. It’s still something people care about.
Chris Barnes (18:27):
It’s a key part of the apex body of knowledge, which you’re familiar with in all programs. CSEP CLTV. And CPIM, I talk about it in every class. We have examples of how, you know, you look at transportation costs and timing, and we always give the example of cost. I’ll make up the numbers. Doug, it cost a thousand dollars to ship it via air from Asia, or you can put it on a ship and, and, and, you know, coming air, it’ll take a week, put it on a ship. It’ll cost you a hundred dollars spend, it’ll take a month. And most people look at the numbers and they say, okay, we’ll put it on the ship. It’ll be cheaper. What they fail to realize is that carrying cost component. That’s a, that’s a big factor, I guess you’d call that the transport, the transportation.
Dr. Doug Lambert (19:07):
Yeah. Well, and, and I guess if these are things you’re buying that are completed pro products, or they’re, they’re, uh, product components that are going into something you’re making, whatever you’re paying for them is the cash value of them. So it’s harder for companies when they’re looking at the carrying costs of what they’ve manufactured in are selling, because they look at the book value, which isn’t the cash value at all. You know, as we said before, it’s overstated because of all these fixed costs we’ve added on. And that if you have an inventory reduction, you don’t save those fixed costs. They simply show up is, uh, under absorbed plan overhead. And you Jack up cost of goods sold by the, uh, those costs that weren’t covered in inventory or units sold. So, so you don’t free it up in cash, and it’s important to recognize that, but, but you’re right. I mean, and I guess the other thing is you wonder how many times when people go off shore looking at lower labor costs, they’ve really considered all of the costs, right?
Chris Barnes (20:09):
Yeah. That’s a key theme for what we talk about in class, but for any, any AP students listening, we basically, there’s three components. You’ve talked about them and they’re in your paper for all three bodies of knowledge, storage, storage costs, capital costs, and the risk cost. Now you, in your paper, you talk about inventory service costs, which I think is taxes and insurance as well, but that, that’s a part of it
Dr. Doug Lambert (20:29):
In most of the world. Taxes is a non-issue, that’s an American phenomenon where you paid ad valorem property taxes on him. But I can remember there was a time when in California, this is when I was a PhD student, California would charge those taxes based on inventory, on a particular date. And what companies would do is they’d send their inventory on vacation. They put it in trailers and ship it in Nevada, or put it in a ship and send it out in the Pacific. So it wasn’t there during that date. And therefore there, they paid lower taxes, but I think the government finally figured it out and based it on average inventory.
Chris Barnes (21:06):
Well, I think it’s interesting just to have found you, as I said, you didn’t create the concept. I looked at your research and you said it’d been around for 10 years, probably back to the sixties, but what you did is kind of formalized it and created those categories. So that’s pretty impressive.
Dr. Doug Lambert (21:18):
Well, you know, the other thing about the warehousing classes, the distinction between public warehouses, where they charge you for storage and handling and a company owned warehouse, the majority of the costs are going to be fixed. So the only costs you’re interested in are the ones that are going to vary. If you have more inventory in that warehouse or less inventory, I suppose if the warehouse gets crowded, it might create complications for picking and require higher labor costs. But if you’re reducing inventory and you’re spending overtime in the warehouse, then, and you eliminate that warehouse, uh, or that, that overtime, because the warehouse isn’t a product and it’s easier to pick then, uh, then that labor costs would be saved. But the public warehouses make it easy for you because they charge it. And it’s only the storage component that goes into carrying costs. The handling you pay on every unit that moves through the place.
Chris Barnes (22:14):
This concludes the carrying cost discussion with Dr. Doug Lambert. Be sure to check out part two where Lambert covers his perspective on what supply chain management is. And the importance of true partnerships, supply chain is boring as part of the supply chain. Now network, we highlight historical events, companies and people in supply chain management and create a picture of where the industry is headed. Interested in learning more about supply chain, technology, startups, mergers, acquisitions, and how companies evolve. Take a listen to tequila, sunrise crafted by Greg white, or check out this weekend business history with supply chain now’s own Scott Luton to learn more about everyday things you may take for granted and pick up short stories you can use as general conversation starters. The logistics with the purpose series puts a spotlight on neat and interesting organizations who are working toward a greater cause. If you’re interested in logistics, freight and transportation, take a listen to the logistics and beyond series with the adapt and thrive mindset, Sherpa Jayman Alvidrez and check out the newest program. Tech-Talk hosted by industry veteran and Atlanta’s own Korean bursa bursa will discuss all things. Digital supply chain, if interested in sponsoring this show or others on supply chain. Now send a note to email@example.com and remember supply chain is boring.
Douglas M. Lambert, PhD is the Raymond E. Mason Chaired Professor Emeritus at Fisher College of Business and Academy Professor, The Ohio State University. For 28 years, he was also Director of The Global Supply Chain Forum, a team of academics and executives who met regularly since 1992 to pursue the critical issues related to achieving excellence in Supply Chain Management.
Professor Lambert’s professional expertise includes supply chain management, the role of partnerships in achieving a competitive advantage, and measuring and selling the value created in business-to-business relationships. Dr. Lambert is editor of Supply Chain Management: Processes, Partnerships, Performance, 4th edition, and co-author of, Building High-Performance Business Relationships, Fundamentals of Logistics Management, Strategic Logistics Management and Management in Marketing Channels.
He has published more than 100 articles in journals such as Harvard Business Review, Industrial Marketing Management, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, Supply Chain Management Review, Supply Chain Quarterly, Journal of Business Logistics, Journal of Marketing Management, and the Journal of Retailing. He was the co-founder and co-editor of the International Journal of Logistics Management 1989 to 2007.
Dr. Lambert has made more than 200 presentations to professional organizations and has served as a faculty member for more than 500 executive development programs in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, for both academic institutions and major international business organizations. He speaks on such topics as supply chain management; building high-performance business relationships; assessing the profitability of customers, suppliers and products/services; using the supply chain as a competitive weapon; collaborating with key customers and suppliers to co-create value; and, measuring and selling value.
He has worked with major corporations in the USA and overseas to implement supply chain management processes, develop supply chain metrics, structure collaborative relationships with key customers and suppliers, and measure the value co-created. Connect with Dr. Lambert on LinkedIn.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Cisco, Microsoft, 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 University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier 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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.