Supply Chain is Boring
Episode 27

Episode Summary

“One thing we have learned from the pandemic is supply chain is everything. I mean, if we had we not had the tools that we have and supply chain management here in this country? I think we would have been looking at a completely different picture.”

-Rebecca Costa

 

In this episode of Supply Chain is Boring, Chris welcomes American sociobiologist, futurist, and author, Rebecca Costa, to the podcast.

Episode Transcript

Chris Barnes (00:06):

Hey, it’s Chris. The supply chain doctor and host of supply 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 Rebecca Costa American sociobiologists futurist and author, to learn more about her perspective on future supply chain management trends. It all sounds pretty boring. Let’s see if Rebecca can prove me wrong. Rebecca, I learned about you through your Ted talk that I, I watched you did it in September 20, 2011 after viewing several more of your keynote presentations on YouTube, which there are plenty, I noticed you will occasionally reference supply chain topics, and you sometimes even say the term supply chain. I look forward to learning more about you and your futuristic perspective on what I call this boring field of supply chain management.

Rebecca Costa (00:54):

One thing we have learned from the pandemic is supply chain is everything. I mean, had we not had, uh, the tools that we have and a supply chain management here in this country? I think we would have been looking at a completely different picture. Once people went to stores and could get no food. I have a friend of mine who often says up an arche is five Ms. Meals away. And I think that might be true. It’s just, uh, you know, civilization is a thin veneer and it, when you get hungry, it starts to break down. So, uh, we learned a lot about supply chain and we also learned a lot about, uh, our inflexibility. You know, we had a lot of protein makers, you know, meat, packing plants and chicken plants and things like that, that suddenly that were servicing industrial clients and suddenly the need was for smaller packaged consumer goods.

Rebecca Costa (01:52):

Making that switch up was just a nightmare. You know, so, so we, we really, I think came face to face with two things. How not boring and important supply chain is in keeping the fibers of civilization moving forward when you have a disaster. But second of all, you know, confronting our individual in flexibility in terms of being able to switch gears, we, we get locked into a certain way of doing things and then we drive toward efficiency. And as you drive toward efficiency, you narrow your options and your options become fewer. And fewer efficiency is the enemy of resiliency.

Chris Barnes (02:31):

You’ve got a lot of opinions. I’d say a lot of thought provoking ideas from what I’ve seen, but before we get to those, can you just, you’re a futurist. I I’ll say that. What is it, what exactly is a futurist? And then how does one become one?

Rebecca Costa (02:43):

I have to tell you that, uh, that label was forced on me and I, uh, I often start out by telling people I don’t, I don’t talk to dead people and I have no a deck of tarot cards. I don’t have a crystal ball. I’m actually an expert predictive analytics, but that sounds so boring that I, you know, my, my father once cautioned me, he said, don’t say that because I notice people move away from you at parties. So you might not say, well, I might not want to use words like analytics, but, but the fact is is that if you have a hundred points of data, you give a pretty good shot at guessing what the hundred and first point is going to be. And when you have billions and billions and billions of points of data and, uh, artificial intelligence that can, can really come that data and look for patterns, it’s not that difficult to know what the next event is highly likely to be to some of us the speed at which the pandemic moved. The, you know, the exponentiation at which it moved was not a surprise at all. And I would say those people like myself that are futurists and really our data walks. We’re not surprised at, at how the contamination moved.

Chris Barnes (03:57):

You talk about the amount of data. I think I heard you say once that is the concept of the dilemma of over choice. You say too many options is the same as is having none.

Rebecca Costa (04:06):

Well, unfortunately we have a less than 3% difference in genomic material from a bonobo monkey. And, and so, you know, you, you take all of this data and you, and you slam us with this data, and then you say, all right, go make sense of it. We’re so far beyond being able to use the cognitive resources we have, which are, you know, almost 98% similar to a banaba monkey. That’s not going to get us to where we need to be in terms of leveraging the information we have. We have more information than we are using. And that’s why artificial intelligence is so important because it compensates for what our brains can never do. Yeah.

Chris Barnes (04:52):

And the extension of that is machine learning. You take talk about artificial intelligence, the next step. Exactly.

Rebecca Costa (04:57):

You know, my machines machines are better. And, and this relationship that we have with machines is changing from a sociological standpoint. Our trust with machines is getting stronger and stronger in our distrust with human beings is getting more significant. You know, you might go outside and your, your, uh, neighbor says, Hey, I think it’s going to rain. You might grab your jacket and you walk inside and you go, Alexa, you know, what’s the weather. And it says, it’s going to rain at four 29. In fact, my smartphone will say rain in six minutes. I mean, that’s how I, I don’t know a neighbor that can tell me it’s going to rain in six minutes. And so with all of these smart devices and, and our reliance on them, we’re becoming more and more trusting of what the digital world has to offer and what computing can offer.

Chris Barnes (05:49):

So let me Brett wrap some of this back around to the topic that the audience listens to or dials in for supply chain. So in some of your sessions, you talk about 3d printing, drone delivery services, a lot of those things. Is there anything specific that you’re, that you you see in the future?

Rebecca Costa (06:05):

Yeah, I believe there are four significant trends, which anybody in supply chain should already be preparing for and should already have reconnaissance on. If you are running a supply chain company, or you have a supply chain job, or you’re getting into a supply chain career, there are four areas which absolutely are going to change the way that we think of supply chain. Most of them are buzzwords, but you need to go much deeper because as we’ve discovered from this recent pandemic, you can’t react to something after it’s already happened. You know, I mean, that’s too late. The term that I’ve invented is pre dapped. You can’t adapt because change is moving too fast. Now you have to predict, and that means doing reconnaissance work and being prepared, having certain things in place that don’t cost a lot of money, but allow you to pivot very, very quickly and successfully.

Rebecca Costa (07:02):

And there are lots of examples of companies that were able to do that. So the four areas really are drones. As drones have gotten bigger and bigger and are able to carry larger supply loads. We’re going to find that drones are very, very significant. And you know, that Amazon has already launched their test drone delivery systems. Mercedes has a new van that has a delivery van that has a runway and numbers of drones on the tops of the Mercedes. And it will select the package, deliver it to the porch and then come back and find where the Mercedes is on the freeway so that the Mercedes never has to leave the freeway. The drones are leaving the delivery van and coming back to the van. So that last mile is going to be serviced by drones. We know this because in France, I happened to be speaking as a keynote speaker at a conference in France, where they dispatched an ambulance and a drone with saving medication for somebody who was having a heart attack.

Rebecca Costa (08:04):

And the drone got there 12 minutes faster than the ambulance was able to get there. And a little pocket opened up in the wife of the husband who was having the heart attack, was able to administer the medication and save his life. So we know that in emergencies, we need drones. We knew that we know that that last mile is a, is very costly to distribution channels. And so we know that drones are going to be very important. Along those lines, robots, robots don’t get viruses. They don’t call in sick. Social robots are going to become particularly important in terms of customer service. It’s going to be a lot nicer to be able to go on Skype and actually see a face that looks like a face with synthetic skin. We know that there are 53 muscles that operate the human face and give empathy cues and understanding nodding, right, blinking, smiling, all of those things.

Rebecca Costa (09:01):

And we know social robots are very effective at doing that and making a person feel understood. The interesting thing about having artificial intelligence, social robots is they never forget what that customer has told them. So five years from now, if you have a customer service problem, I can say, well, how’s your son Dan doing? Did he graduate from college? The last time we talked, he was just entering college. They will not forget any piece of data. So, so that, that is going to be really instrumental in establishing long-term customers. A third area you might look at is smart labels. We are getting to the point now where we have so many regulations and so many requirements that we can’t get them on the label. And so anybody who’s gone to a pharmacy, you get your pill bottle, and then you get this multifold, you know, uh, all the precautions, not to mix certain medicines together when to take it, take it with food or without food, so on and so forth.

Rebecca Costa (10:00):

And so similarly, um, uh, we look at products on the market and these smart labels where you can just tap your phone and you can go all the way to the original source of the ingredients that is going to be really, really key because the consumer wants to buy responsibly. We have a new generation, not people my age, but a digital generation who wants to know what the child labor laws are of that farm from which the coffee beans came and originated and what the, and what kinds of pesticides were being used. And we’re going to go all the way down to the core ingredients and where they were sourced and what the labor laws were and what kinds of chemicals were used and how people were paid. And those kinds of things. We’re really going to get very, very deep. And that’s what the digital consumer is going to be concerned with.

Rebecca Costa (10:56):

And so if you’re not working on smart labels right now, you’re way behind, you really need to get on that. And then the fourth area, of course, is 3d printing. Eventually everything will be customized. There will be no generic drinks. It won’t be Coca-Cola, it’ll be Coca Cola matched to your palette. It’ll be apple juice. That’s a little bit sweeter for you, Chris, and a little less sweet for me. We’re going to get down to the consumer, being able to do, to get shoes that exactly fit their foot suits. That exactly have the kind of fabric that you like and, and, and where AI machines are driving that. And they know what fabrics you’re allergic to. And they know that you can’t use a certain type of detergent to wash that clothing. And so all of this is going to come together and it’s really going to affect supply chain because supply chain to this point has been about efficiency and mass production. How many items can you get off the line, right? And that, that means standardization and the world is moving away from standardization to customization. And so those companies that are don’t have their eyes on that right now, I think, are really going to be hurting as we get further and further into 3d printing and more and more personalization. So those would be two, four areas, there’s others, but those would be four areas that I would have my eyes on. Yeah.

Chris Barnes (12:22):

I’ve got a lot of ideas around just, just those four things that you talked about back to the first one, drone deliveries. I saw a video. I don’t know, Rebecca, if you know about warehouses are typically have a very large footprint. There are probably 30 or 40, 40 feet high, just because of the equipment restrictions, but they’re, they can be as big as a football field or, you know, sometimes four or five football fields. What I saw on his video was their high rises. There’ll be in cities, there’ll be high rises because now drones can actually go fly up to the 10th, the 20th floor and get the product. So I thought that was an interesting concept. That’s just going to change the way things are exactly

Rebecca Costa (12:55):

Right. It’ll cut down on real estate, but, but bear in mind, as we get into 3d printing, we won’t be rare housing standard products anymore. We’ll be warehousing is ingredients. We will be warehousing components and everything will be Dell computer. We’re going to get to know you the consumer and deliver to you the consumer, what you want.

Chris Barnes (13:20):

And the thing is 3d printing has been around for a long time. I mean, but

Rebecca Costa (13:23):

It really hasn’t gone into commercial production. And when we talk about 3d printing, we’re talking about 3d printing, food, clothing, ammunition, cars, car parts, we’re even talking about housing in China. They use a large Vulcan 3d printer to put up 10, 1800 square foot houses in one day. So now what that does to the real estate market and the supply chain that supplies to that real estate market. You know, if you’re supplying, if you’re just a standard lumber store, like, you know, a home Depot or Lowe’s or that kind of thing, you better be thinking about, well, what happens when the, when the construction market makes the move right to using 3d printers, to produce these massive numbers of homes in one day, 10 homes in one day on

Chris Barnes (14:19):

3d printing, do you think they’ll remain as part of the company that’s selling or will they it’ll be like a razor they’ll, they’ll give you the razor. So you’ll come back and keep buying. Then you can buy from them, just download a program. You can print something on your desk. Well,

Rebecca Costa (14:34):

That’s, what’s up for grabs right now, whether it’s a curing model, you know, by the machine. And then you got to buy our pods and we’ll license, certain people to use our pod technology. Uh, it may go that route. Uh, it may go that, you know, we, we license you the machine and update the periodically. We don’t sell it to you. It could go any number of directions. Someone will make a move on it, you know, and then everyone else will be scrambling. So this is why I think that the most important thing a company can do right now is to have a group within their company that is solely. And I mean, doesn’t have other jobs and are expected to do this between midnight and 3:00 AM, but solely are focused on reconnaissance. What’s the next disruption and how are we preparing for it? What do we have in place to make that transition

Chris Barnes (15:27):

On 3d printing? One of the, I guess, the holy grail of supply chain management, and it ties in with your, your concepts around efficiency, the holy grail is a lot size of one because now people, you know, if you have a large manufacturing plant, you want to make as much as you can for, for equipment utilization. But most of the time, people are only ordering in batches of one. And that’s what we’re trying to get to. So, okay.

Rebecca Costa (15:47):

So what, how, how are you going to be profitable making it

Chris Barnes (15:51):

That’s the grill? That’s the holy, that’s the question everybody’s pursuing. Then you won’t have to store as much. You won’t have to make as much. You won’t have to sell it at a lower profit margin.

Rebecca Costa (16:00):

I’m going to try to it wreaks havoc into our mentality. You know, ever since Henry Ford started knocking off cars off that production line, all of our mentality in terms of manufacturing, right, has been masked standard production and a drive toward efficiency. And there isn’t anything more efficient than selling one that’s so low. It’s so inefficient. So the question is, how are, what is your profit model going to look like? How are you going to do that? Because that is where the consumer is going. And we know that they’re going in that direction by, by the way that they’re behaving by their behavior. We know that, you know, they, they Y customize things. I mean, and, and, and so, you know, the people that are making custom shoes and the people that are moving in that direction will be the survivors.

Chris Barnes (16:55):

Yeah, that’s something new I’ve seen. I’m studying is where I’ve been studying. And I’ve seen it. It’s called sensitivity that the AI or the machine learning will begin to adapt and understand what consumers are sensing either in their text messages, their, their social media chats. And they’ll know if Chris wants sweeter or if he wants faster or whatever it’s going to be,

Rebecca Costa (17:13):

And it will make the correction for you. It will make the correction. I customer service window will pop up and say, Chris, we’ve noticed that you’ve been, uh, uh, that your palette has changed. And you, you tend to like things a little sweeter this time. We, we added a little more sweetness, do your drink. If you have any problems with it, if you don’t like it, let us know. And we’ll go back to the previous formulation. Are there other things that are coming down the pike, particularly in the food area, you know, as we get closer and closer to personalized nutrition, I imagine now that you have a Fitbit type of device, right. That’s able to, Hey, you know, Rebecca didn’t get enough zinc today. And so imagine that I have a Keurig like device in my home, and that you can send a digital message and say upper zinc.

Rebecca Costa (18:03):

She didn’t eat enough to get the appropriate zinc or she’s dehydrated. So, so ping her phone and tell her to go to her refrigerator and get one of our energy drinks. I mean, we’re going to get to a point where you will be telling me what I need to eat, and I need to drink, and you will be delivering it to me in a way that my palate wants it. Because the biggest problem right now with getting people to eat and drink, right, is that the things that we should eat and drink don’t taste good. We don’t like them, but if you can figure out what my palate likes and tell me when I’m short on vitamin C or vitamin D or I’m I’m dehydrated, how do you know when you’re dehydrated? You don’t know you go, gee, I haven’t had a drink for a while. That’s not scientific. Or

Chris Barnes (18:53):

If you do know, you don’t know until it’s too late, sometimes

Rebecca Costa (18:56):

That’s, that’s correct. And that leads to heart attacks and lot of, of, uh, a lot of dangerous problems. So we’re getting to the point where the data that we can accumulate from about you physiologically and behaviorally has gotten to be so extensive. That customization is the natural, uh, you know, next step.

Chris Barnes (19:19):

Yeah. And we in supply chain, we call there’s a concept called mass customization. It’s where you’re trying to make it specific for one person, but you’re also trying to take advantage of the economies of scale and making a lot. So there’s that concept there,

Rebecca Costa (19:31):

It works to a point you start to fragment, right? Your, your markets start to fragment into lots of vertical markets, and you say, all right, uh, we have PDL light for kids, mom, and dad. And now we have Pedialyte for adults who have hangovers. Now we’re going to have PDL lot. You know, you’re going to start to like, you know, fragment your market into lots of verticals. And eventually, I suppose you will get to some semi customization. And that might be a prelude that may be the half step you have to take in manufacturing and supply chain. Lastly, I would point out that when we talk about supply chain, everybody knows that we’re, we’re talking about global supply chain. And one of the lessons that we have learned very quickly is some things cannot be subcontracted outside your country, like ventilators. Maybe that’s not such a good idea, so we can cut.

Rebecca Costa (20:29):

We can kind of now begin to see that there are going to be some government regulations that come down the pike and that we, that as a corporation, we need to begin to look at what we make and for what purpose we make it and make some decisions about what happens when we cannot source overseas. You know, what, what is our backup many times with companies? I, uh, you know, if the drive do efficiency is a drive to exclusivity. You, you know, you want to give all your business to one company because your business becomes larger to that company and is more significant. But the fact is, is in a high failure rate environment, you need diversification just as in wall street, you wouldn’t put all your money on one stock. You put your money on stocks and bonds, and maybe you have some real estate.

Rebecca Costa (21:27):

And you hope if one thing goes up, the other goes down, diversification is a hedge against failure. That that’s why in complex, fast changing environments, we diversify in order to protect ourselves. It provides an insurance. It’s the same in nature. That’s the reason we have more than one type of fish or one type of bird and the environment changes. And there’s a radical change. Some of those will have what they need to survive and the others will won’t. It will perish in that same way. It’s important to diversify your sources for in your supply chain. You might think economically, and, uh, that it looks better to narrow the sources that you’re, that you’re getting your, your, uh, ingredients from, or your primary components from, uh, because there’s an economy of scale. But in reality, when the environment changes, you are prone to become extinct. And that is particularly true if you’re over-reliant on global sources. Yeah.

Chris Barnes (22:30):

And supply chains definitely today, or are global entities

Rebecca Costa (22:33):

Agreed, but you said supply chain was boring. Boring. I can talk for hours.

Chris Barnes (22:43):

Well, just let me go back to your third point here, because I think it’s super important, important today. Smart labels. And specifically as you look at where things came from, and I, and I apologize if this wasn’t you or I didn’t see this on one of your sessions, but the banana label was that you, that, did you show something that, where it starts aging, the label goes away?

Rebecca Costa (23:01):

Yeah. So that was me. I happened to again, be at a technology conference in France and a venture capitalist came up to me and he says, I, I ha we haven’t shown this yet, but I needed that. You would appreciate it. And it was a prescription bottle then, uh, it was a funny looking prescription bottle because it was orange. Like most prescription bottles are with the safety cap on it, but it had black spots on it. And then he had a bunch of them and eventually they all turned black and he said, sometimes the labels wear off. And sometimes people don’t read them, but you need to know when your medication has expired, because we don’t want people taking expired medication. And so using an aging banana, as an example, we’ve made these pill bottles and they start to get black spots on them as they get older and older. And when they get completely black, they’re no longer viable as a medication. And I thought that was so brilliant to take these design ideas out of nature, and to be able to incorporate them in, to make things easier and safer.

Chris Barnes (24:07):

Yeah. In the, in the supply chain world, we call that, uh, actually it’s the lean world it’s called a pokey pokey yoke. It’s a Japanese term for mistake proofing. And it’s just something to make it easier or make it where you can’t do something wrong. That’s a neat idea.

Rebecca Costa (24:19):

Yes. And we need that.

Chris Barnes (24:21):

And I liked it and I like saying pokey Oak. So,

Rebecca Costa (24:25):

So on

Chris Barnes (24:25):

That, on the smart labels, that creates issues on supply chains, especially now, because you have to be, well, there’s one thing, conflict minerals, obviously in the U S we can’t sell things that are sourced under, under armed duress or slaves or slave labor, things like that. But then it even gets, goes into something we talk about with supply chains is corporate social responsibility, where people want their products coming from more sustainable sources. And I think SmartLabel,

Rebecca Costa (24:51):

They want clean sources. They want sustainable sources. They want to know that what the labor laws are. They want to know, you know, and that is going to have an every year. It gets more and more important. There’s not going to be any covering it up because once everybody goes to smart labels, people can click on it. And then the next thing will be aggregators because this is what always happens when there’s too much data. The aggregators come along and the aggregators are going to go out of the top milk producers. The most socially responsible is a, B, C, D. And all of a sudden, you find yourself number 25 on that list and you’re toast. So brands are going to get rated by aggregators of data on a smart labels. And that’s, that’s coming. It’s almost like a Yelp for, it’s going to be a Yelp for social responsibility. And there’s not enough smart label information right now, but that’s going to change lickety split.

Chris Barnes (25:52):

Well, this is also, this is similar to blockchain, which we haven’t spoken about yet, but that, that whole traceability, do you have opinions on blockchain?

Rebecca Costa (25:59):

Well, blockchain is here to stay. I didn’t mention blockchain because I think that’s on everybody’s radar right now, as, you know, immutable tr uh, ability to do, uh, tracing back to where the original issues are. But one thing, let me, let me switch gears here for just a moment and just bring up one thing that I think is really, really important. And that is, you know, I was talking about reconnaissance doing reconnaissance about what is coming down the future, because it’s too hard to try to react once the change is upon you. But I also think it’s really important for supply chain folks to step outside of their industry. Sometimes we’re, we’re, you know, we’re in the poultry industry and we’re looking at what other poultry companies are doing, you know, or maybe we’re in the computing on your screen, we’re looking at what other competing, but sometimes you really have to step out and look for like types of industries.

Rebecca Costa (26:55):

And I’ll give you an example. I was working with Dole, fresh foods, the largest producer, agricultural producer of fruits and vegetables in the world. We were looking at how to, you know, make their prop, their process from the field to the grocery store, more efficient so that we have less loss on the, on the grocery store end. And as I was really studying, you know, I went out into the field and Salinas’s, and was really just tracing heads of lettuce and, and, uh, you know, and, and fruit and berries in particular that spoiled so quickly. And I was really watching all of it. And then, you know, I brought all the executives together and I said, we’re going to go on a field trip to an ER. And they said, what? And I sit in an emergency room and they said, why are we going to an emergency room?

Rebecca Costa (27:42):

And I said, because you have the same problem that emergency room has from the moment that you cut a, a, a head of lettuce out of the field, it’s dying. And your job is to get it to the grocery store before it dies in good health. So it can be saved. And so we need to look at what are the tools the ERs use to communicate to the ambulance driver. And then what are the questions they ask on intake and how do they treat that patient? And what are the software tools they’re using? And they said, we don’t, we don’t refer to our products is dying. And I said, but they are their patients. You have billions and billions of patients dying from the moment you pull them out of the field, the moment you pick a Berry it’s dying. And, and, and it was an eye opener, and they began to study what EPRs were doing and what kind of software tools and what kind of communication systems they were using. And, uh, and code words and categorization of products. And it really had a major significance on them. So that’s just one example of step outside your, your own industry and look at your problems differently. You might not think that in your, if you’re in the agricultural business, your products are dying, but they’re dying.

Chris Barnes (29:06):

If I can, Rebecca, to that example, look outside your industry. Something I, I talk about to my students in classes, supply chain classes is, is trying to minimize dwell time. That’s when the processes, isn’t doing something to earn money. The example I give is Southwest airlines. You’re familiar with them. They, they looked at their, their turnaround times at the gates, and rather than comparing it to Delta American airlines, they went to an end, the indie car, uh, uh, pit crew. And they said, what are they doing? What are the types of things that they are doing to make their turnaround times quicker? And that’s kind of where I don’t know if it’s true, but that’s the lower that I’ve always heard about. So I think you’re, you’re spot on.

Rebecca Costa (29:40):

Exactly true. You have to look outside your industry in order to be a pioneer and a leader and whatever problem you’re solving has been solved by another industry.

Chris Barnes (29:52):

No, we haven’t talked about what’s popular these days. At least in the marketing spiel is driverless cars or autonomous vehicles could relate to moving freight around the country, but any, any perspective there,

Rebecca Costa (30:03):

Thank you. No, that’s going to be largely dependent on 5g where trucks and cars can communicate to each other. Right now, you’re still being controlled by central dispatch, largely. And in terms of routing and so forth. But once 5g comes into play, because we just haven’t had the bandwidth. Once 5g comes into play, imagine that you’re in a delivery van and you need to move to the right lane. And your delivery van tells the car to the right of you open up a space. Cause I gotta, I have to make a right turn in the next block. You’re not going to be putting on a signal and you’re not going to be looking for an opening. All cars will be talking to other cars on the road. All trucks will be talking to other trucks and there’ll be no human intermediary. And that’s what 5g will allow to come to fruition. But it’s going to take awhile for that 5g infrastructure to build out. And I did a panel discussion for the New York times. I think it’s on our website on the build-out of 5g and why it’s going to knock the 5g. That’s you see on advertised on TV, but I’m talking about the real 5g that’s needed for machine to machine communication.

Chris Barnes (31:24):

It all requires data. That’s the key thing. And that’s one thing I, I saw in a recent presentation that not necessarily yours, but person said data is the new oil. Whereas, you know, the industrial economy was driven by oil and now the new, the future economy is going to be driven by data. That’s an interesting space, interesting concept, right? And, and

Rebecca Costa (31:42):

Bear in mind, you know, we started out talking about this label. That’s been foisted on me, futurist, which I’ve never been comfortable with, but, but think about it. The more data you have, the better, the more accurate your predictions are about what’s coming. And when it’s coming, we launched those GOs weather satellites just last year that gave us, uh, you know, six times more data. And suddenly six months later, it’s pinging my phone and saying, it’s going to rain in six minutes, that six fold increase in data is making our weather forecasting much more accurate, which means that hurricane paths will be more accurate. The time that we can give people to evacuate entire cities from floods or deadly tornadoes is going to be much more accurate. So the more data you have, the more likely you can predict what the next event is going to be. And you’ll be, you’ll be accurate. You know, I don’t have a crystal ball, but I have a great track record, but only because I study the data and

Chris Barnes (32:49):

Let me, as, as we ramped down, I’ve got one last concept. It’s actually your concept that I’m a big fan of. And I’m a big enough fan that I actually use it in my own presentations. And people think I’m spectacular by the way, is because I use your words, the pre deputation. And I, and I say that because I like the word, but I believe it’s happening, especially in supply chains. Because if you look at supply chains as global entities, their network to network, pretty much. So if Kroger, for example, I don’t know if you have Kroger’s out west Kroger, grocery stores, they’re depending on hunts Del Monte Dole for their, their supplies. So they need to understand what their supply what’s happening to their supply chains as well. So predestination and supply chains is becoming critical, whether it’s, you know, my supplier left, left their dock door late. So they, they have a new predictive ETA, hurricanes coming, whatever it’s going to be. Those things need to be accounted for and, and supply chains through the use of data and neural networks are beginning to make those predictive decisions before anybody even has to go in and solve the problems.

Rebecca Costa (33:45):

Well, think of how much reliant on supply chain we’ve become. It used to be, you know, I remember when big stores like Walmart, you know, or, or Costco used to have a giant warehouse behind the actual retail store where they stock their inventory. But now just think about it, you know, air Walmart’s ideal situation is they’ve scanned it, uh, a can of tomato soup and that can, that they just sold will be replaced by the next morning. So there’s that, that real estate space that used to be there that had contingent inventory and it is completely gone. We’re completely dependent on supply chain running like clockwork.

Chris Barnes (34:32):

Yeah, that’s the key thing is, and again, it goes back to a lot size of one, one can, is all I need for that shelf space. So let’s

Rebecca Costa (34:37):

Get it in that’s right. I need that one can. Now, where is that one? Can, is there a weather event that’s coming? Is there a pandemic underway, you know, is that one can coming from overseas? The actual can, but the ingredients themselves are going to be Delmonte, but the materials to make the can are coming from overseas. So we can actually make the can to put the tomato soup in, you know, you, you really have to get deep, deep, deep into sourcing with your partners, your key partners, and know if they’ve got the diversity in their supply chain to be able to make good. Otherwise you’re left holding the bag.

Chris Barnes (35:19):

Last thing I think I just I’ll attribute this to you as well, but maybe tell me what this means. Insight is the spontaneous organization of chaos. It sounds cool. I just, w what does it mean? Is that your attorney

Rebecca Costa (35:28):

Well, many, many years ago, you know, I’m a great study, a student of neuroscience, and many years ago, they discovered this process in the brain that they labeled insight, where a lot of data that you have in your brain, all of a sudden comes together in a solution. And they said, everybody’s had moments where you’ve been looking at a problem. And all of a sudden, out of nowhere, you say, oh, I know what to do. And everyone else around, you says, how’d you come up with that? And you can’t find a logical process. Well, I did thought about this, and then I did this, and then I did this, and then I did this. It’s not like that. It’s just spontaneous. But the problem is we see that, uh, you know, when in studying what goes on inside the brain, that a lot of parts of the brain sort of shut down almost as though they’re saving up to be able to put unrelated pieces of data together into this elegant solution.

Rebecca Costa (36:25):

And then once you have an insight, you might not have one for years or months or ever again. And so, um, it’s kind of this spontaneous process where a lot of data that doesn’t seem related comes together into a very elegant solution and scientists are really studying how to get people, to be able to have more insights. And we’ve made no headway meditating beforehand. Doesn’t do it. Your diet doesn’t affect it. It’s almost as though our brains just have not evolved to be able to have that capability on an ongoing basis. Yet you give us a couple million more.

Chris Barnes (37:04):

Sure. Thank you for that. Now, if you have a, if you have a minute or two, can you tell us just about your books? I know you’re, you’re a prolific writer as well. You have two books, which I, as a, as a bad host, I haven’t read yet, but what are your books about?

Rebecca Costa (37:16):

I would suggest everybody start with the watchman’s rattle. And the watchman’s rattle really is a book about what happens when there’s mass confusion inside of organizations. And also in spite of societies between an unproven belief and opinion versus a pro a an empirically proven fact, it really traces through a number of societies and organizations of what happens when there’s confusion. And eventually policy is based on an unproven belief. It really sets the organization or the society up for a sudden event to cause them to collapse. That book is a really easy read. And it’s, uh, it really kind of will give you a different perspective of what’s happening in the world of business and also government. The second book is called the on the verge, and that’s more about pre deputation. It’s about, uh, how we can look at nature and see the different strategies in nature that have allowed, uh, less than 0.0, zero, or 1% of the species to survive. I mean, 99.9999% of all species that have walked the earth are no longer here, but there’s a very, very small percentage that, that didn’t it. And they use very, very specific adaptive strategies. And so I talk a little bit about how you can pre daft by learning what these strategies are and making yourself ready for change. The most important thing is to be ready for radical pivots.

Chris Barnes (38:54):

Where would you prefer people to get these books from your website or

Rebecca Costa (38:57):

Somewhere else? The best thing is to go to our website, which is really easy. It’s Rebecca costa.com. It’s very easy to find. So

Chris Barnes (39:05):

My last question has to do with

Rebecca Costa (39:07):

Two last questions. That’s true. My last, last question,

Chris Barnes (39:14):

I’m not allowed to say this because this is a boring topic, but I’m excited people, maybe students I have, it seems to be, I have a percentage of people that listen, that are trying either graduating from college or going to college, or are trying to transition their careers. Do you have any suggestions on anybody at that level? Maybe if they’re going to college, what should they be studying to help them get a better job or get a job if it relates to supply chain? Great, but just in general, any suggestions there,

Rebecca Costa (39:36):

The most important thing is going to be, you know, looking at the trends that I talked about, drones, robotics, robots, don’t call in sick and, you know, and they become cheaper and cheaper. Um, and particularly social robots. I would, uh, aim them toward that smart label technology, um, blockchain technology, 3d printing. I would look, I would look at those areas as areas where, you know, you might specialize, I believe that in terms of supply chain, you want to be a specialist, not a generalist

Chris Barnes (40:13):

On that topic. Where did you go to university?

Rebecca Costa (40:15):

I went to the university of California, Santa Barbara, and

Chris Barnes (40:19):

I, I knew that I just, I just want to make it gotta be one of my favorite universities. I just, the, where it is is it’s a fantastic location. That’s a great

Rebecca Costa (40:25):

Spot. Well, it was. And I, and I was, uh, back in those days, I w I think I was more interested in surfing then I was cool, but, you know, uh, it was, uh, it was a wonderful time. They had a, an amazing, uh, biology and, um, uh, engineering department, and it was kind of a best kept secret. So, uh, it was, it was just absolutely wonderful education that I had there. And what did you study futurism or, or with, and those days I, you know, I’m, I’m older, we didn’t have hybrid degrees. So I studied sociology and biology, uh, because I was interested in becoming a biologist. I was very influenced by the work of a Harvard professor, Edward O. Wilson, the greatest naturalist in the world. He’s been a mentor of mine ever since I was an undergrad there. I had had the good fortune several years later to meet him and to have him graciously endorsed my books, which I was just flabbergasted.

Rebecca Costa (41:31):

It was funny. I took my, my first book to him as a manuscript. And I said, I think I’ve written a book. And of course he’s written hundreds of books. And I took my first manuscript to him. And, and I said, would you mind looking at this? And just making sure I’m not making a fool of myself, because I’d rather do that privately than publicly. And, and he said, it would be my pleasure. And he said, I have one question. What took you so long? You know, and I say, well, we’re not all this prolific rusher. She will. But, uh, he has been, uh, the biggest influence in my life. And for people who were studying, thinking about supply chain, uh, as an area of study, or as an area of their career, I would say it is really, really important to find a mentor, uh, who has, you know, um, uh, carved their way in that profession. Find someone who has that job and allow them to, um, make a bridge for you as you come out of school.

Chris Barnes (42:35):

Yeah. That’s one thing I’m learning through my podcast, part of my career is, is people have mentors. That seems to be a common theme. I hear

Rebecca Costa (42:42):

People. Yeah. Yes, it is. It is. I would be nowhere without a Edward.

Chris Barnes (42:47):

Well, your books and looking at your website, you’ve got some very influential people review making good comments on your books. So that means they’re either good. Or you have a good publicist, perhaps both. But so again, Rebecca, I appreciate anything else. Parting words.

Rebecca Costa (43:00):

No, not at all. Yes. I do have a parting word. Supply chain is not boring,

Chris Barnes (43:09):

Rebecca. I appreciate your time. Thanks for investing in with me today.

Rebecca Costa (43:12):

Thank you. And keep up the good work

Chris Barnes (43:15):

Supply chain is boring as part of the supply chain. Now network the voice of supply chain, interested in sponsoring this show or others to help you get your message out. Send a note to chris@supplychainnow.com. We can also help with world-class supply chain, education and certification workshops for you or your team. Thanks for listening. And remember supply chain is boring.

Featured Guests

Rebecca D. Costa is an American sociobiologist and futurist. She is the preeminent global expert on the subject of “fast adaptation” and recipient of the prestigious Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Award. Her career spans four decades of working with founders, executives and venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. Costa’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, The Guardian, and other leading publications. She presently serves on the Advisory Committee for the Lifeboat Foundation along with futurist Ray Kurzweil and Nobel Laureates Daniel Kahneman, Eric S. Maskin, Richard J. Roberts and Wole Soyinka. Costa was the founder and CEO of one of the largest technology marketing firms in California, where she developed an extensive track record of launching game-changing technologies. Her clients included industry innovators such as Hewlett-Packard, Apple Computer, Oracle, Siebel Systems, General Electric, 3M and others. She has been on the forefront of technological and scientifc innovation, assisting venture capitalists and businesses to identify, fund and launch disruptive new trends. Retiring at the zenith of her career in Silicon Valley, Costa spent six years researching and writing the international bestseller The Watchman’s Rattle: A Radical New Theory of Collapse. Her follow-on book, On the Verge, was introduced in 2017 to critical acclaim, shooting to the top of Amazon’s #1 New Business Releases. The success of The Watchman’s Rattle led to a popular weekly news program called The Costa Report which was syndicated throughout the United States by Genesis Communications Network through 2018.

Owing to global pressures to respond more rapidly and efficiently to the accelerating pace of change, Costa is a popular international speaker. She brings both an evolutionary biologist and technologist’s perspective to the subject of adaptation. Costa is currently represented by the American Program Bureau and the Scott Meredith Literary Agency. A global thinker in the mold of Alvin Tofer, Jared Diamond, Ray Kurzweil and Thomas Friedman, Costa attributes her ability to see the “big picture” to her cross-cultural education and upbringing. Raised in Tokyo, Japan, and Vientiane, Laos, during the Vietnam conflict, Costa brings a unique perspective to the everyday challenges of work and life. Rebecca Costa is an alumnus of the University of California at Santa Barbara and currently resides in Astoria, Oregon.  Connect with Rebecca on LinkedIn.

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Chris Barnes

Host, Supply Chain is Boring

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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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