Supply Chain Now
Episode 1268

What I think is needed are partnerships in localized areas. How do you find new and innovative ways of partnering with different players to make the whole value chain work? I think what I've seen in Africa and in South Africa, is it's much more difficult to do end to end by yourself because you're so dependent on locals in the different areas.

-Jacques de Villiers

Episode Summary

We’re continuing our series on leadership within the booming supply chains of Africa and delving deep into the dynamic and challenging world of the African supply chain ecosystem.

In this episode, hosted by Scott Luton and Mary Kate Love, we’re thrilled to have two exceptional guests with us – Jacques de Villiers, Head of Supply Chain for the Omnia Group, an influential heavyweight in the mining and agriculture sectors, and MJ Schoemaker, President of the Board at SAPICS, where she’s leading from the front to uplift and transform supply chain professionalism through educational initiatives and community engagement.

Listen in as we discuss the hurdles and prospects of supply chain operations, touching upon critical issues like infrastructure, education, and the shifting paradigms from efficiency to reliability in a world where environmental and social considerations are paramount. MJ brings us insights from the upcoming 46th SAPICS conference, focusing on global healthcare, sustainability, and the importance of networking in our era of significant change.

From the fine after-notes of South African wines to the empowering stories of local solutions like WhatsApp-enabled supply networks, we’ll explore how agility, diversity of thought, and mentorship shape future supply chain leaders. Stay tuned for actionable insights and an insider’s look into the continent primed for immense economic growth and supply chain development.

Episode Transcript



[00:00:00] Scott W. Luton: Hey, good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. Wherever you may be Scott Luton and Mary Kate Love with you here on Supply Chain Now, welcome to today’s show. Mary Kate,

[00:00:41] Mary Kate Love: Doing great. Really excited for this conversation today.

[00:00:45] Scott W. Luton: We are too. we had a great, great warmup session. we’re reconnecting with one dear friend we’ve collaborated with before, and she’s brought a friend. So, Hey, we’re all family by now. So today’s episode, we’re continuing our Supply Chain Leadership

Across Africa Series, which has been one aspect of our mission for years now, because as everyone knows, supply chain is truly

a global problem.

Team sport, it’s really been rewarding to spotlight the sheer brilliance in leadership, innovation,

supply chain management across the continent of Africa. We’ve got a great show teed up today along those lines. And one of the topics Mary Kate we’re diving into is just exactly what is

helping to unleash, I love that word, unleash the full potential of Africa’s supply chain should be a great

[00:01:29] Mary Kate Love: Yeah, I love this. And I love thinking about, you know, how supply chain truly

connects all of us, as you were saying, right. It’s truly the way we’re all connected.

[00:01:38] Scott W. Luton: very true. All right, so let’s bring in our two guests here today. Our first guest is the supply chain leader for an organization that is comprised of a group of companies that manufactures and supplies chemicals, specialist services and solutions to the agricultural, uh, Mining and chemical industries for over 70 years.

Now, man, let’s welcome in Jacques de Villiers, head of supply chain at the Omnia group, Jacques, how you doing?

[00:02:04] Jacques de Villiers: Good morning, Scott. Come get in yourself. Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here. Looking forward to the conversation.

[00:02:10] Scott W. Luton: I am too wonderful to meet you. And you, of course, you are joined by one of our wonderful repeat guests. Great friend of the show, long time, successful supply chain practitioner and leader, I’ll tell you, she’s helping individuals and organizations over the Unlock success on a variety of levels across the globe. Let’s welcome in MJ Schoemaker, president of the board, say picks, of course, an

organization doing excellent work, helping folks connect, learn, advance, innovate, and network across Africa and again, Hey, the globe, that’s gonna be the theme here today. MJ, how you doing?

[00:02:42] MJ Schoemaker: I’m great, Scott. How are you

doing? Great to see you again.

[00:02:45] Scott W. Luton: You as well. We had a lot

of fun in person in Cape town, uh,

[00:02:49] MJ Schoemaker: I hope to see you this year.

[00:02:51] Scott W. Luton: I hope so too, but You know what, whether I can make it or not, it’s going to

be the place to be. will have to talk about that a little bit

more in today’s episode. all right. So MJ and shock and

Mary Kate, welcome everybody. I want to start with this Mary Kate.

We love learning

a little bit more.

About our guests on these shows. And that’s where we want to


Right. We’ve got some folks that when they’re not moving mountains and global supply chain, global leadership,

they’re staying busy. so Jacque,

we’ll start with you. You’ve got two children and, we hear you spend a lot of

time in outdoor sports and

especially playing cricket.

Is that right?

[00:03:25] Jacques de Villiers: That’s correct. Yes. So my son’s 15 and my daughter’s 11. So great age

to spend time with them in the outdoors.

[00:03:31] Scott W. Luton: Man, those are great ages. We’re a little bit behind you. so let me ask you a question about cricket. If you had to put cricket in a nutshell share maybe something that our audience should know about cricket that maybe haven’t seen the matches, which are really popular in different parts of the world. What do they got to know about cricket jock?

[00:03:50] Jacques de Villiers: It’s a very complex sport to explain in a couple of minutes. it’s very loosely compared to baseball because it’s got a ball and a wooden bat, but that’s about as far as it goes. it’s obviously played by 11 players, and I think The part that stands out to most people you get test cricket that takes five days to play And oftentimes you don’t even have a win at the end so you can have a drawn game

so obviously it’s a massive sport in india and south africa.

It’s also one of our main sports We’ve obviously got beautiful summer days Love being out in the sun

[00:04:21] Scott W. Luton: It is fascinating to watch, the pitcher and I’m not sure what in baseball, they call it the pitcher. I’m not sure what they call that in cricket. the

[00:04:28] Jacques de Villiers: the

bowler, could be the picture Yes

[00:04:29] Scott W. Luton: Okay. So there are so many things moving as they are delivering that, ball Mary Kate is fascinating



Have you ever watched

[00:04:38] Mary Kate Love: and I’ve, I used to play softball and I love baseball, so it’s always, you know, I know it’s not obviously the same sport, but I’ve always thought it’s something I wanted to learn more about.

[00:04:48] Jacques de Villiers: Sorry, Scott. Just the one thing. Of course, in cricket, they also ball up 260 km an hour. So it’s similar to baseball. And in cricket, you can actually aim at the batsman. And if you eat him, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. So that’s a significant difference. baseball. I

know it happens, but it’s not supposed to happen.

[00:05:05] Mary Kate Love: Now I don’t know if I want to play.

[00:05:07] Scott W. Luton: man. All right. by the way, Jacques and MJ, don’t let Mary Kate downplay her

athleticism. She is a championship winner in softball and

other sports. So we’ll have to have that

conversation later. So MJ, speaking of sports, mountain biking, you were telling us pre show about this really cool, event that you participated in and you raised money for a very noble cause.

Tell us more about that.

[00:05:31] MJ Schoemaker: one of the biggest, actually most scenic cycle races in the world actually is the Cape Town Cycle Tour. So you basically start in the city of Cape Town and you cycle all the way around the peninsula. So you do 109 kilometers with the elevation of 1200. meters yeah, there’s 30, 000 people that take part.

So it’s quite big. the professionals, obviously they start as the sun is rising and they finish in two and a half hours. likes of me will finish maybe in five hours, five and a half hours. And you have the option then to also, register with a charity and then you can raise money for them.

And then you send out a link to everyone and say, please sign up. You don’t pay per kilometer or anything like that. You just want to donate. I’m talking in South African rands sound like a lot, but I think it was still worth it that with all the riders, they were.

180 writers that wrote for this particular course for breast cancer screening, and we raised over 260, 000 rand. it was great. So, but overall, all the charities, there were 40 charities and they raised a couple of million. So that makes it worth it, makes it fun, but you have to train.

[00:06:35] Scott W. Luton: can only imagine. And if it took you five hours apart, take

me about 12 hours. But, one quick follow up I won’t take anything away from that wonderful fundraising for that real noble cause. but I hope after you cross the finish line, you were able to enjoy some delicious South African wine.

[00:06:51] MJ Schoemaker: Oh, definitely. First, I throw water at you and then a Coca Cola, cause that was a sponsor. Uh, and then you just go straight actually to the beer tent. at

that point in time, the beer is better.

[00:07:02] Scott W. Luton: Wonderful. Oh, Mary Kate, that sounds

[00:07:04] Mary Kate Love: Yeah, that does. That’s a, that is a huge feat too. That’s pretty impressive.

[00:07:08] Scott W. Luton: well, again, Jacques and MJ, great to connect with y’all here. Mary Kate and I are looking forward to our conversation. So as we move into our chat about global supply chain, I want to start with setting some context, right? It’s doing some level setting. So Jacques, if you could, beyond what I shared on the front end, tell us a little bit more about what Omnia does and your role there.

[00:07:28] Jacques de Villiers: Thank you, Scott. Yes, Omnia Group, as you’ve mentioned, is a 70 year old integrated fertilizer and explosives company. our roots are in South Africa. So that’s where we started many years ago. And in the last couple of years, we’ve grown into the rest of the world as well. So we various parts of the globe at the moment, what makes Omnia quite special in my mind is that we are a significant player, both in the mining sector in, South Southern Africa, as well as the agriculture

if you go to our website we live for a real purpose that we impact food security, water supply in South Africa,

as well as mineral security, which obviously is a large part of the GDP in this area. I’ve been with the company for many, many years. I always say if Omnia wasn’t around in South Africa and SADC,

I think the region would have been worse off, because we play such a significant role in all of these different areas.

And I think over the last

Three to five years, we’ve really seen our supply

chain has been integral in actually living out that purpose with all the disruptions and, chaos

we’ve seen all across the world. My role in the organization has changed over the last 20 years. for the last five years or so, I’ve been heading up the supply


and in our

company, the supply, adding up supply

chain means I look at everything from planning, procurement, inbound logistics. sea freight, the warehousing port operations, then inbound logistics. I do not look after manufacturing, even though

we do have a significant impact in the planning of what is produced. And then I also do outbound. typically Omnia moves

between three and

4 million tons a year. So it’s a significant volume

of various raw materials And obviously in, chemicals, explosives, And fertilizer, various modes of transport as well.

[00:09:08] Scott W. Luton: Mary Kay, as I was listening

to Jacques describe everything, his role encompasses, I was like, is that all, a massive

part, even without the manufacturing piece. Although, as he mentioned,

planning goes into that goodness gracious. and and also he mentioned, how supply chain is truly integral, not only to their region, but the whole globe.

And when we go through. Years of what we’ve been through in the last two or three years. That really comes to the forefront, whether you’re in supply to you or not. But your thoughts,

[00:09:35] Mary Kate Love: Yeah, I think, you know, back to our original point, supply chain touches everything and connects everything, right? And, bringing up the word disruptions, I think we’re all nodding along that, yes, there has been a lot of disruptions and we think, you know, it will continue that path too. So making sure, you know, our supply chain is extremely agile, um, is more important now than ever.

[00:09:58] Scott W. Luton: Yes. don’t look backwards for how we solve today’s

challenges, right? We’ve got to change how business is done. And we talk about that

a lot. So, MJ, so nice to have you back with us. Thank you for bringing Jacques along as well. I can’t wait dive in a little deeper. We enjoyed, brief interview, as we’d mentioned in Cape town last June.

And one, one of the things you shared, and I think this might’ve been on the promo reel and I loved it and I love the passion that you set it with. It was innovate or die. And that’s kind of what I was talking about a second ago. we’re stuck in, we’ve always done it this way, that’s going to really be limiting the art of the possible and creating other challenges.

But anyway, that aside for a second, tell us a little bit more about what you and SAPICS does.

[00:10:38] MJ Schoemaker: Thanks, Scott. yeah, I remember that innovate or die. I think that’s not going away. I think Mary Kate, you mentioned it. A change is, is here to stay and we have to go with it. So SAPICS, uh, is almost as old as, Omnia.

I’m one of the board members, all the board members are there on a voluntary basis and SAPICS is an MPO, so it’s a non for profit. aim is to elevate, educate and empower supply chain professionals.

So that’s really what we want to do. And we do that in many different ways. So my role as president of the board is to drive the directors to ensure that we make the right decisions. to achieve that and that’s through our education partners. we do have our yearly conference, Scott, you’ve alluded to that.

We have another one coming up, a fantastic event. We love it. arranging other events outside of that. So we do site visits, we do webinars, we do networking pop ups. all the profits that come out of that, goes back into the community. So we make sure that we can take whatever we pull out of the conference.

We look at that and we project and we go, wow, okay. So what are we going to do with that? How are we going to drive the supply chain community forward? How are we going to help them through these disruptive times? how do we make sure that they are well armed to cope with these type of changes and disruption.

part of that is exactly what you say, Scott. It’s about transformation and what does that mean and how do you go about it? And I think the conference is a great environment for that because we bring everyone together and people come up with ideas. Because we always think we know what we know until we realize we don’t know something and you never know what you

don’t know.

So, what’s also important for us is, not just the growth of supply chain professionals, but it’s also across the board. So, supply chain has become so huge and thank goodness it’s, on the map. I think we always said since COVID supply chains, they’re like, do you cope without supply chain?

And it’s taken on a new meaning. So we really are driving also from the youth level. We, start with the students, right up to the executives. You also have a special events for them as well, where we try and bring whatever the executive say back to the youth. because everything they learn in university, graduate and they don’t know what they’re going to do with it because things keep


So it’s really our role just to help them with that.

[00:12:41] Scott W. Luton: Man, MJ, you shared so much that I’d love to dive into so many of those points, but Mary Kate, I’ll go back to where she kind of started with, the safe picks role to elevate, educate, and empower.

I love that. But Mary Kate, what’d you, get out of MJ’s opening

[00:12:56] Mary Kate Love: Yeah. I I know Scott, you and I are both so passionate about this, right? It’s supply chain is an ever evolving and changing industry. And, you know, we’ve said in the past, you can’t be what you don’t see. Right. And so I think APICS and SAPICS does a really great job of bringing in the youth, right, as you say, students to show them, Hey, these are the types of jobs you can have in supply chain.

And this is how it’s always changing. So that is, um, Super exciting. And then, I’ve been to a few of your conferences too. And I just love one word that stands out to to me as a camaraderie, I know I’m going to run into people in the industry that I always see that I love to talk to that share, different tidbits with me.

So I think that camaraderie is super important too.

[00:13:39] Scott W. Luton: Completely agree. Well said Mary Kate. and Jacques, you were nodding your head and through a lot of MJ’s response for, I’ll pose your next question. you know, what resonated most with you? And she also mentioned back to the youth, that is so important as we protect and build a robust pipeline from across all walks of life for folks coming into any industry supply chain or otherwise.


[00:13:59] Jacques de Villiers: hundred percent. Um, I loved what MJ spoke about and I had to agree with most of it. Mary Kate also mentioned something that I truly believe in is you can’t be what you haven’t seen and MJ is doing a lot of that. And I was at the SAPICS conference. And it is great to engage with other people on likewise challenges and also find the solutions.

And I think that’s, What we’re trying to do through the podcast is also put something out there to share experiences that people can learn from, because there’s such a big supply chain community. And oftentimes, other than SAPICS, you don’t get a lot of opportunity to share experiences and also learnings, which can take global supply chain forward, which I love.

[00:14:36] Scott W. Luton: Well said. Blessed are the connectors for sure. And SAPICS plays a great role there. All right. So we’ve got to shift gears here. So Jacques, when it comes to supply chain management and the chemicals, the fertilizer, the explosives industry, as you put it, what are a couple of very unique dynamics that some folks may not even be thinking about?

[00:14:54] Jacques de Villiers:  I think the one thing that people don’t often recognize is we in South Africa and sub saharan Africa, we don’t have significant production capacity or raw materials, which means most of the raw materials you have to import from all across the globe, which means you’ve got particularly long lead times. you have to make decisions often two and three and six months ahead of time. and because most of the pricing is based on commodities, you take that pricing risk and understanding when to buy, how to buy. But also trying to ensure the reliability of supply into the local market. As I said previously, we play a significant role in food security and the GDP of the country. The other thing that obviously plays out in Africa in general is ailing infrastructure. Which brings challenges imports in roads and then moving explosives, fertilizer and chemicals across the continent brings a whole different challenge to ensure the safety of our people, of our assets and of the communities. so those are the things that I really try and manage and that the company tries to manage across

[00:16:00] Scott W. Luton: Yeah. Thank you for sharing that Jacques and MJ. what else do you think based on Jacques response there when we think of the industry they’re in and, those dynamics that Jacques mentioned, what else would you add there, I would certainly think that, you know, the exchange rate has a huge impact on you Jacques and, price of petrol. let’s say the oil based on your fertilizers, and he’s absolutely right about the infrastructure. If you just look at the continent of Africa, so we have the African Continental Free Trade Area.

[00:16:31] MJ Schoemaker: It’s actually the largest trade area since the World Trade Organization was created. So the continent of Africa is huge. and they’re expecting the population to raise from 1. 2 billion to 2 5 billion by 2050.

And we also have to remember the African continent is young. So a lot of the other continents, they have a small amount of young people and more older people, whereas the African continent is the opposite. So if you look at what Jacques said about infrastructure, you know, for us in the supply chain environment, we think this is actually one of the most important things that need to be fixed. and there’s a lot of work going on there. we had a great panel last time, if you remember Scott, from the president’s office and they said they’re doing things and their whole dashboard was an ICU, there’s a lot of pressure on that and, Africa is regarded as the continent of the future. That’s where they’re saying there’s going to be the most growth. there’s a lot of loud voices about the infrastructure they are trying to do things, but they’ve done too little too late, unfortunately.

And in an industry where shark is in, I’m amazed you still have all your hair shark because I would be pulling it out. But you know,

[00:17:37] Jacques de Villiers: It’s


[00:17:38] MJ Schoemaker: know,

[00:17:38] Jacques de Villiers: less than it used to be.

[00:17:42] MJ Schoemaker: we were saying earlier, we need a sense of humor because every day you walk into the office is like, okay, what just happened, you know, and you need to manage it deal with it

[00:17:51] Scott W. Luton: Yes, and sense of humor and global supply chain pros are going to find a way. And, and, on the other side. the positive side, the growth side, the innovative side of the continent of Africa and folks, 54 countries lot of folks out there listening around the world when they hear Africa, they think one solid block, one solid region. 54 countries, all sorts of different communities and customs and laws and, regions. So, exciting things to come, I think. And Mary Kate, before I move into this next question about unleashing the full potential of Africa’s supply chains, you’ve got some data

[00:18:27] Mary Kate Love: You know. so much. Oh, no problem.

[00:18:28] Scott W. Luton: the potential, what we’re

[00:18:29] Mary Kate Love: Yeah, and Iwas in preparing for this conversation. I was looking at some of this research and getting really excited just about some of the stuff you guys were saying, and I’ll just read this so I don’t, butcher it, but from the World Economic Forum, in January 2023, they suggest that Africa could become a global supply chain powerhouse with business and consumer spending across the continent, potentially totaling 6.7 trillion by 2030. So. of

those numbers that’s so large. You can’t even really make sense of it. Right. But it goes along with exactly what you all were just saying. the potential, the opportunity,and honestly bringing up some of these problems to solve every day while it’s hard is also exciting

[00:19:12] Scott W. Luton: Excellent point. And that free trade. Deal that MJ mentioned, you know, get a thing rocking and rolling and getting all the, parties, the uh, bring that thing or bring the execution and the fulfillment of it to fruition. that’s exciting. MJ and Jacques, thank y’all for kind of setting the table here America too.I love that fact. You know me, I love factoids, any factoids, big trivia fan. but this isn’t trivia to MJ and Jacques point. this is a continent of 54 countries of incredible,brilliant people and lots of opportunity. And, and I saw it firsthand when I was in Cape town, eight months ago. So Jacques, we did our homework.

We’re tracking y’all down, seeing what y’all been up to. And you were on a panel a few weeks ago that spoke to this topic, this phrase, unleashing the full potential of Africa supply chains. Now, both of y’all already have kind of addressed the two questions I’m going to pose, but let’s dive a little deeper. So two part question here. What are a couple of important things our listeners got to consider? When it comes to supply chain ecosystem across Africa and beyond what you’ve already shared, infrastructure clearly is something that we, have to address, but what else will help unleash this tremendous potential we’re all referencing.

[00:20:23] Jacques de Villiers: a great question. And we discussed a little bit earlier being in South Africa for many years. I think the potential just grows and grows from my side. You actually alluded to it. Scott is you must understand the different geographies, the different countries, the different cultures that you work across in South Africa and I think many places in the world, but especially in South Africa.

What I think is needed is very much partnerships. Thank you in localized areas. How do you find new and innovative ways of partnering with different players in the whole value chain to make the value chain work? I think what I’ve seen in, Africa and in South Africa, it’s it’s much more difficult to do end to end by yourself because you’re so dependent on locals in the different areas.

There’s so many different infrastructure, politics, economics at play in the different areas. And just to speak about unleashing potential of supply chains in Africa, that conversation was very specifically relating to supply chain finance. And how do you help different players across the globe access to funds, which is a major stumbling block?

And we’ve gone on a journey over the last three to four years of implementing supply chain finance to enable smaller players in the market to use the Omnia balance sheet, to be able to continue trading, to make them successful. And they, by lifting up the whole, continent and the different areas that we play in.

[00:21:48] Scott W. Luton: Yes, shock. If I can give a little simple example, y’all don’t laugh, but I want to illustrate your point on a practical and firsthand basis. MJ, we were

sending a small sponsorship, to say picks last year, I think it was one of your, your, young adult. Conferences y’all had, right folks, just sending a small transaction, globally and getting it through.

I had Wells Fargo was tracing, the transaction. We were looking at it on the other end. It was like, goodness gracious. It can’t be this friction field, but to Jacques point, I can’t even imagine it on grand global supply chain scale, But opportunities persist and to realize the potential here, we’re going to have to build some more bridges, but MJ, same question. Jacques really talked about these localized partnerships, these originalized partnerships, you know, building those bridges across all the different areas. beautiful differences that, you know, make us all unique, make different parts of world unique. You also talk about access to funds. what else would you add to that?

When we think about what’s unique to the supply chain ecosystem across Africa and what’s going to really help unleash that potential.

[00:22:53] MJ Schoemaker: skills and

education. So I think there’s a

huge lack of skills on the African continent. if you look in the global health supply

chain, the pharmacist is also a supply chain person. they’re not skilled for that. you often see, scenarios where people are trying their best, but they’re

actually not, taught well or educated for that job.

So I think that’s one of the things also SAFIC stands for is to really try and help people. Get the right, capabilities. And when you look at how the world has changed and it’s across all the continents, we need people that, are more analytical. the African one, you often have the doers.

So more of the handwork, which you still will need, right? I mean, in South Africa, we have load shedding. So if you want to do robotics, that’s. going to be quite difficult because electricity keeps going out or you have to get your own. people then need to be re skilled and re educated so that they can do something else, that they can broaden their scope.

and I think that’s one of the key areas that, um, The African continent needs to focus on. Yes, we have the cultural difference and cultural differences are good. but when it comes to your role in, in the industry, the broader you think, the more skilled that you are, better you educate yourself.

if people want to contribute towards something on the continent and there’s many charities and stuff out there, why not help someone get a course and be educated? Because then you

enabling them to enable themselves. I actually saw a great example. I actually didn’t know this lady has been doing it for the last five years.

And she realized that we have something called the spousal, stores, so you have the big retailers like you have in the States where we all go in with our trolleys, but you have in the, what we call the townships, you have all these little stores, so little entrepreneurs that have opened up their stores and they sell bread and stuff like that.

And what she found is that they have to

close shops. To go and get stock because it’s very difficult for them to get stock. So she started company where they can order through

WhatsApp and then she delivers to them within 24 hours. So these little entrepreneurs don’t need to close their shop anymore.

They can actually stay in their little

store. It’s a little shack sometimes. But they serve the community and it’s just that something small like that. It’s actually a great idea. It’s huge,

has a huge impact, but it was such a simple, logical thing to

  1. And this woman has been doing it for five years now and she’s right across the whole of South Africa.

I didn’t even know this. And I saw an article and I thought, wow,

focus on the basics.

[00:25:10] Scott W. Luton: yes, Mary Kate, and that’s one of the entrepreneurial spirit across

the continent of Africa and all these different. Places and regions and countries and towns. it is so robust. I’ve picked up on that for years now, through our

conversations, MJ, and then to see it there in person, see a problem, build a business,

build a startup to solve it and grow it.

Mary Kate, but between jock and

MJ, goodness gracious. And then by the way, I love trolley. Did you

catch that Mary Kate? A trolley.

It’s a buggy. least in the Southern

states, it’s a trolley there in

South Africa, Mary Kate, what do y’all call it in

[00:25:43] Mary Kate Love: yeah, we just call it a cart because I remember when I lived in Atlanta, a woman asked me if I wanted to borrow her buggy and I was like, what? And how?


[00:25:52] MJ Schoemaker: children. No,

[00:25:54] Mary Kate Love: Yeah.

[00:25:55] Scott W. Luton: yeah, MJ, you had a great point. We got to celebrate these cultural differences. They truly, they are beautiful things. Mary Kate, between MJ and Jacques, I really loved the the picture they are painting. And in particular, MJ talked about, we need, not just the doers.

We need to the analytical types as well. Right. And

Mary Kate, you’re one of the most. Analytical folks, and we do need more Mary Kate’s in this world, MJ

and Jacques, but your thoughts, Mary Kate

[00:26:20] Mary Kate Love: I love this though, because it’s local solutions to local problems. Um, so even the small detail of using WhatsApp to order, you know, that’s. So genius because it’s something

that people are able to use with reliability, right? And you wouldn’t want someone in this scenario, right? To create a full tech solution

that, you know, is not going to be reliable and it’s not going to be usable by people that are running these small shops.

So I just love the idea that we could find more local solutions for local problems and, you know, how do we empower that? And that’s

through gaining

skills, teaching skills, So. I love that


[00:26:59] Scott W. Luton: agreed. MJ, you also brought up the

healthcare supply chain,

which we’ve spent a ton of time diving into and, had some fascinating interviews and the emphasis on skill building, you know, it’s So

critically important in Africa, here in the

States, everywhere, you know, equipping, these incredible.

What we call the now generation, right? There

may be students right now,


they’re already making an impact equipping them, passing the tribal knowledge of what’s worked well from the past, but also equipping them with how the business and how global supply chain is changing, how

we’re doing business today.

So important. So I got a two part question for MJ and Jacques and Jacques, we’re gonna start with you

again. I like, we love these two partners today. I don’t know why something in the water here. all right. So the next Apex conference in June has embraced this theme supply chain metamorphosis and MJ I’m so glad y’all chose metamorphosis because we’ve transformation has been worn slap out, right?

So I love metamorphosis. It reminds me of butterflies. so Jacques, Where do you think global supply chains have transformed the most in recent years, kind of successfully, and where do you think we really need to make a lot more progress where we, have a bigger gap than we should right now.

Your thoughts, Jacques.

[00:28:11] Jacques de Villiers: I think there’s been a lot of change over the last 5 to 10 years in supply chains, and obviously all of you have seen it firsthand. I think where I’ve seen the biggest change, especially in the regions that we operate in, is the movement away from just in time and agility and efficiency to more reliability understanding how do you ensure the reliable supply off your customers?

We’ve definitely seen such a big, business opportunity, as you said, where the challenges come opportunity, and we’ve actually differentiated our business on the fact that we’ve got a reliable supply chain. We’ve got alternative sources of supply, and we partner with various different, um, players in the market.

And so I think the biggest change has been that efficiency drive to reliability of drive, because without anyone in supply chain knows without product to sell, you don’t have a business. doesn’t matter how efficient you were managing your stock. So I think that’s been a big drive. And then the innovative ways of managing that reliability through different ways, whether it be supply chain finance, with suppliers customers I think where we need to go, and it is obviously a high up on everybody’s agenda, is ESG. the whole carbon drive, carbon neutral. How do we think about it? And how do we not only think and definitely the scope three side of it. Not only what do I do in my factory and with my own trucks, but how do I think end to end, how do I find better ways of supplying our customers reliably, but taking the environment at the global scale into account.

[00:29:41] Scott W. Luton: Excellent point. And, one of the things we’ve talked a lot about Mary Kate for our good MJ is having

that visibility into the


ecosystem, right? Beyond the

first tier

suppliers, but really the whole ecosystem, Mary Kate, your quick comments before I go to

[00:29:53] Mary Kate Love: Yeah. I think everyone’s moving towards that way. Right. How do I not only have visibility in my network, but also


with my network more efficiently? That’s huge. Yep.

[00:30:07] Scott W. Luton: but really more and more every day it’s

Visibility isn’t enough.

We need to have outcomes and solutions. Mary Kate, we were talking about that for the main time yesterday. Uh, plenty of organizations are still trying to obtain the visibility we need in the right visibility. Right. Not taking anything away

from that, but we

need solutions. MJ same two part question that Jacques just was speaking to.

Where do you

think we have made the most progress and transformation

and where do we need to make more


[00:30:36] MJ Schoemaker: global

supply chains have, and I agree, I’m

absolutely in shock of what you’re saying, and I think, what they’ve realized is that

they need to manage risk. in the olden days,

they’d say, you know, yeah, there’s some risk, but

everything’s fine. And I remember the days when I was, one of my key KPIs was the inventory count.

And now you will not have a problem if you have too much inventory, because exactly what you said, instead of just in time, we’re doing just in case, right, because we don’t know what’s going to happen. And you only have the controllables, and you need to focus on them, and not the uncontrollables. So the digital footprint, I think, has transformed, Not because of, that supply chains are doing things differently from a digital perspective.

But what I’ve noticed is that the software providers have made it much easier for the supply chain to implement. So they’ve actually simplified. I remember when I was implementing SAP in those days, it was like years, and now you can implement in three or four months and they’ve really become smart on that.

And I think that’s, that’s great. actually helped the global supply chains because everyone’s saying let’s digitize, digitize, what exactly do you want to digitize? How do you want to digitize? And we’ve been forced to relook our processes. We can’t work the same way we did before. So there’s that coupling of digital with processes and then going back again to skills.

There’s been a complete skill reset. global supply chains have realized, you know, I need to change. Digitization is good, but I got to make sure I got the right processes and I have the right skills in place. Because if you just copy paste what you did before and put it a software, you’re going to keep doing the same of the same, so you’re not going to get anywhere.

you asked about, where we believe we, need to make a lot more progress. And I think that’s across, The whole business and you talked a bit about end to end, shop, but there’s a concept of multidimensional management.

what does that mean?

That means that we all pull on the same rope. We are all responsible for market share. We are all responsible for profitability and we’re all responsible for efficiency. So it’s not just supply chain who’s responsible to get the package there. It’s marketing, it’s sales, it’s finance. It’s right

across the board, quality and compliance.

We always said COVID had that silver lining,

right? And I still see it there is that

supply chain is now in the boardroom where it wasn’t before, or it was, but they didn’t get a voice. And everyone’s realized

that if you don’t have a thread across the whole organization, hold everyone responsible and make sure that the decision that’s made in marketing makes

sense for supply chain, that it makes sense for finance, that there. is some profitability.

That’s what I think has changed the most. And I welcome that because If we all work together,

we can make anything happen.

[00:33:08] Scott W. Luton: Oh man,

MJ, we need to shout

that from the

mountaintops. It is so true. If you lean into that kind of thinking Mary Kate, favorite part or your comments

of what MJ just shared

[00:33:19] Mary Kate Love: Yeah, I’m totally agree

with all this. This is the first time I’ve heard

of what was the phrase multi dimensional you


[00:33:26] MJ Schoemaker: Management.


Multi dimensional. It’s actually very old.

It’s from the seventies. I think

[00:33:31] Scott W. Luton: what’s old

[00:33:31] Mary Kate Love: Yeah,

[00:33:32] Scott W. Luton: that’s how it works, right? warm it

[00:33:34] Mary Kate Love: all these shared responsibilities that we can’t make decisions especially when it

comes to supply chain, right? It’s really now being seen as something that can differentiate your business rather than just

like, Hey, it’s sort of this thing we just have to do and spend money on. And it’s rough because we always run into problems, right? So I think, like you said, being given a seat in a voice in the boardroom to

say, Hey, no, if we’re, a plus in our supply chain, we’re going to make more money. supply chain is now being seen more as just a means to do business.

Right. Yeah.

[00:34:11] Scott W. Luton: I want to give you a chance to kind of respond to this. I love how MJ called it the great skill reset. That’s such a beautiful way of thinking about it because. Look, I got a spreadsheet. I think for every single thing I do in this life, much like supply chain does, right, if we’re going to keep it real and be honest, but again, what we need to do hasn’t necessarily changed, but how we do it is vastly evolving.

And that to me, Jacques, when, when I hear MJ use that phraseology, which I think is really dead on, that’s like a, the gospel truth. So Jacques respond to this great skill reset

that the industry

needs. Maybe.

[00:34:46] Jacques de Villiers: Thanks, Scott and MJ. Great thoughts there. And I was nodding vigorously because I see all of that as well. And I think one of the biggest changes is the fact that businesses have started to see supply chain is business critical, not just the needed evil on the side. And part of that skill set reset or skills reset is not only in supply chain professionals, but also in the boardroom.

That people understand what drives supply chain and profitability and how it goes across the different areas and something we’ve been pushing quite hard internally and I’ve been pushing is, is getting a new ways of work, which is a different way of saying the new skill set, taking the technology, standardizing the visibility, all the words we’ve just used.

How do we take a 70 year old company, Okay. doing things the same. I always joke with excel and brute force. That’s how supply chains used to work. how do we change that to make it more streamlined and to change the way we think about things and bring that efficiency actually into the back office and then it plays out the whole value chain and in the end lands in the bottom line.

And as Mary Gates said, we see our supply chain as a strategic advantage to the business.

In my view, oftentimes more important with a long supply chains, but at least as important as all the other marketing and finance and all the other areas of the business.

[00:36:02] Scott W. Luton: Well said, Well said. And you know, just, little disclaimer out there. 70 years of incredible success and great track record. No one here suggests that we throw all that out. We take the best parts and we transform as we prepare for the next 70 years. So, really important distinction there.

man, MJ and Jacques and Mary Kate. Y’all got a few extra

hours we can, we can hang out and, and grab a Charlie and get some coffee and maybe have

lunch. Let’s shift as we kind of come down the homestretch. There’s so much more I know we could talk about. We’ll have to have y’all back

soon. A lot of our listeners out there, they’re either, maybe they’re in school

finishing their degrees, or maybe

they’re early in the stage of their, career supply chain or otherwise,

you know, both MJ Jacques and

of course, Mary Kate. You’ve earned your way up into senior levels of supply chain leadership,

business leadership, you name it. So I want to get y’all and we’ll

start with MJ here. What’s one piece of advice for

those folks out there listening or watching that

want to do the same thing? What’s one piece of advice

for them at


[00:37:03] MJ Schoemaker: yeah, my advice is strive to build diverse knowledge by understanding all elements of business and operation. So don’t just focus on your area, keep

the big picture in mind, understand how everything connects and what is the impact of your decision across the business.

So you might think it’s a great decision for your area, but what does it mean for the others? If you can keep that in mind, you will, have an end to end, with a good mindset of helping each other.

[00:37:29] Scott W. Luton: Wow. MJ, I love it. And the enterprise level, some folks will call that systems level. Knowing what you’re doing can impact upstream downstream. That is such a, critical opportunity for folks to learn early in their careers rather than mid or late career. Jock, you’re there nodding your head again.

We’ve got lots of, kindred spirits here today. Jock, what’s a piece of advice you’d


The same folks.

[00:37:50] Jacques de Villiers: take MJ’s advice and make a long sentence. Um, I think The biggest part and that I’ve learned from a young age when I started and I always tell the young guys that I speak to you get a job to learn, not to earn when you start. And then I added to that, get broad learning as MJ said. So be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

You can’t settle down. And as soon as you’ve got something, get a wider knowledge, challenge yourself to see why other people are doing things in a different way. I think that’s what we see more and more as we go forward. Change is continuous. So the better you get at learning that and getting a wider view, different perspectives, that will stand you in good stead as you go into any part of business and life.

[00:38:31] Scott W. Luton: Excellent advice. There’s Jacques. All right, Mary Kate, that’s going to be twin jock and MJ. Ask me tough to top your piece of advice to those folks


[00:38:39] Mary Kate Love: Yeah, I think just building on what everyone said, right, is I always think about mentorship and how much that has helped me throughout my career. And I think, you know, sometimes we think our mentor has to be like the CEO or the COO of a company. And that is just not the case. I think finding mentors at all different


of, you know, their career is

super important.

Even, you know, someone that might be at just the next step above you or

in an equal role to you, I think viewing. More people as mentors, is really a way to learn more, especially in an

industry like supply chain, when roles are changing, the market is changing. that is super important. You know,

[00:39:21] Scott W. Luton: Well said, the great

global, skill


MJ, I’m going out, we’re going to have to trademark that. and we’re going to owe you some, maybe some commissions from

using that. MK well set, I

would just add to it. I, we had a great

interview yesterday. We’ll be Publishing soon. One of the leaders of one of the world’s largest and most successful

retailers. And man, they have been transforming left and right. One of her pieces

of advice that I loved because I wish I’d listened

to it earlier in my career, maybe is, we

all value kind of what you were saying,


Those doers, right? Those folks that

have a strong bias for action. We can all appreciate that. We need those folks, but her advice was

folks, you can’t have everything tomorrow,

especially when it comes to your career, take some time to build trust and rapport and credibility

in the room and on your team and have

just a little bit of patience before you try to.

know, become a bull in a China shop. And that was such a great piece of advice that looking back really resonated with my journey. So, MJ Jacques and Mary Kate, what a great conversation here today. We’ve got a couple more pieces. We’ll make sure folks don’t connect with y’all, but MJ, we would be remiss. Another word. I don’t know exactly what it means, but I like using it. MJ,

tell us about the upcoming, say PICS conference been doing it. I mean. for decades now, what number is coming up and what’s one thing that you’re most excited


[00:40:40] MJ Schoemaker: So this is our 46th conference. So number four to six. So we’re doing very well. Chuck, you can, correct me, but I think we’ve moved away from the traditional supply chain theme. So we, we want to get more diversity in the content, going back to that sort of multidimensional mindset and, the metamorphosis really talks to change.

Right. So we all want to become butterflies. I’m not saying anyone’s a larva or a worm at the moment, but to bring some color into supply chain, so we, we will have a lot of valuable insights. We have, we, we went through a very rigorous, process of getting the right speakers. You have an opportunity to network with thought leaders, Jacques, you’re going to be there.

I’m going to be there. Hopefully Mary. Kate and Scott are going to be there all thought leaders in the supply chain world. And especially, I think, you know, the global health healthcare stream is really good because it does talk a lot about education and skills. You’re going to have a sustainability, ESG, uh, shock, as you mentioned, how can we make the world a better place, lower our carbon footprint, and there’s also some finance in there.

So there’s always something I’ve been asking, can we get a supply chain finance, or just what is it? Finance and works with supply chain, please into the conference, because we often forget them and they are a very important part as well as sales and marketing, but finance is the one that, that I think supply chain professionals need to learn more about.

And obviously risk management. And Shaf, you spoke about segmenting your suppliers. How do you manage your risk? Do you need dual suppliers? So it’s all very exciting. And actually the exhibition is almost sold out, at this early stage. So we are really excited. really moving in the right direction. So this

  1. This conference, I think is going to be absolutely amazing. I think the

[00:42:14] Scott W. Luton: That is outstanding And I

can tell you firsthand, I

attended The 45th one And it was outstanding. the conversations, relationships, the camaraderie is still one of your terms earlier, Mary Kate. the sheer innovation and brilliance. think there was dozens of, I can’t remember the number, exact number, but there were dozens of countries represented.

and Jacques, you’re nodding your head. That’s the place to be. You’re going to be there too in June,


[00:42:37] Jacques de Villiers: I am going to be there. Yes, for sure. And hopefully I’ll see you guys face to face then.

[00:42:41] Scott W. Luton: That’d be awesome. Okay. So folks, we’re gonna include a link to that in the show notes. thanks for, uh, uh, sharing what you’re most excited about

there, MJ, about the 46th SAPICs annual conference, which is coming up just a couple months away. So let’s make sure. global audience knows how to connect with Jacques and MJ, these two dynamos here, whether it’s for keynote opportunities or to talk shop or who knows, MJ, let’s start with you, MJ Shoemaker. President of the board at

Sapix, And you brought plenty of t shirt isms here today to supply chain. Now, MJ, how can folks connect with you,

[00:43:18] MJ Schoemaker: best place is LinkedIn. if you just put my name and you’ll find me, there’s not many MJ Schoemakers luckily. so just go through LinkedIn, send me a message, connect, looking forward to hear from, the audience open for almost anything. Any questions, in relation to supply chain, of course, and maybe cycling.

If you want to know about cycling, that’s also okay.

[00:43:38] Scott W. Luton: Awesome. And please connect with MJ, your network. You’ll be better off if you did, even if you don’t want to talk cycling. like me, man, that, wears me out. I got fatigue from, there’s hours and hours of cycling, but kidding aside, incredible calls. And I appreciate what you and your team were doing there.

MJ, Jacques de Villiers, head of supply chain with the Omnia group. Jacques, brilliant conversation here today. I’m so glad Mary Kate and I had a chance to meet you. how can folks connect with you and all the great

things you are

doing at

[00:44:08] Jacques de Villiers: Thanks, Scott, for the opportunity as well. And I think the easiest place is on LinkedIn. Unfortunately, MJ, there’s many Jacques de Villiers. So do Jacques de Villiers Omnia Holdings you will find me. and always excited as we’ve discussed to collaborate, to learn from each other, discuss supply chain with whoever finds it interesting.

[00:44:26] Scott W. Luton: We all certainly do. We’ve got a great audience that loves it. and Jacques, here’s to

the next 70 years at Omnia. I appreciate what y’all do, especially parts of your mission dealing with food security and water supply, those are some noble, components of your mission. So great to have you here, Okay. Mary Kate. You might get the toughest question of the day. I don’t know. Cause Jacques and MJ has brought it here today. I’ve got 22 pages of notes. They topped out far beyond my normal 17. Mary Kate, what was your favorite part of today’s discussion?

[00:45:02] Mary Kate Love: both of those kind of viewpoints when you’re thinking about managing your supply chain that both are equally as important. I loved Thinking about especially kind of the local part today. We talked a little bit about how important that is, too

[00:45:16] Scott W. Luton: what that squares nicely as founder of national supply chain day here in the States. I think of that same theme applies to what you’re trying. You and the whole team here trying to do

[00:45:28] Mary Kate Love: so we’re super excited. So monday april 29th We have a special edition live stream and we’re

going to be talking about things like this right supply chain You Where it’s headed, but also the future

of supply chain careers and supply chain and highlighting and celebrating the people of supply chain really is the main focus.

[00:45:47] Scott W. Luton: That is right. please write that down folks, because the people that make global supply chain happen to move us all for day in and day out, they never get enough recognition. And that’s really where Mary Kate and all of us here are going to put a big spotlight on. So appreciate your leadership, Mary Kate. appreciate MJ, and jocks leadership out there, changing how business is done investing in industry, which is so important to steal that phrase again, elevate. Educate and empower. What a great mission. So, thanks. MJ Jacques and Mary Kate for being here and all the folks that are tuned in. Hey, appreciate y’all being here.

take something that M,J Jacques, or Mary Kate said here today. Put it in the action. Your teams are ready. They’re looking for new ideas, new solutions, far beyond just visibility. And it’s all about deeds, not words. Everybody’s had enough. Lip service leadership. All right. On that note, on behalf of our entire team here at Supply Chain Now, not only remember National Supply Chain Day, April 29th, but more importantly, maybe Scott Luton challenging you to do good,

to give forward and be the change

that’s needed.

And we’ll see you next time, right back here at Supply Chain Now. Thanks everybody.






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Featured Guests

Jacques de Villiers joined Omnia in 2001 as a mechanical engineer in Sasolburg. He was later transferred to Rustenburg to serve as Technical Manager on the phosphoric acid plant. In 2006, he joined the Omnia Group Projects team and acted as Project Manager for the construction of the nitrates complex at Sasolburg. In 2015 he was appointed as General Manager: Supply Chain for Fertilizer. Connect with Jacques on LinkedIn. 

MJ Schoemaker has extensive End 2 End Supply Chain and Business excellence experience through 30 years of international corporate exposure at companies such as Ricoh, Lego, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and Johnson and Johnson. She has held international Global Executive positions across the pillars of PLAN, MAKE, SOURCE, DELIVER including Director of Global Demand Management and Sales & Operations Planning Centre of Excellence as well as being a member of the board. MJ is often a speaker at international conferences on End 2 End Supply Chain and Business Excellence and is the President of the Board at SAPICS (Professional Body for Supply Chain Management). MJ has been interviewed on various radio and television interviews and has written various articles about the state of supply chain. During COVID-19 she was tasked to support the Western Cape as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to ensure efficient delivery of chronic medication in South Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is seen as an expert in the field of supply chain management and has her own consultancy to help businesses grow across the pillars of people, process, and technology. Connect with MJ on LinkedIn.


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Mary Kate Love

VP, Marketing & Host

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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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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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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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Allison Giddens


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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Billy Taylor


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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Tandreia Bellamy


Tandreia Bellamy retired as the Vice President of Industrial Engineering for UPS Supply Chain Solutions which included the Global Logistics, Global Freight Forwarding and UPS Freight business units. She was responsible for operations strategy and planning, asset management, forecasting, and technology tool development to optimize sustainable efficiency while driving world class service.

Tandreia held similar positions at the business unit level for Global Logistics and Global Freight forwarding. As the leader of the Global Logistics engineering function, she directed all industrial engineering activies related to distribution, service parts logistics (post-sales support), and mail innovations (low cost, light weight shipping partnership with the USPS). Between these roles Tandreia helped to establish the Advanced Technology Group which was formed to research and develop cutting edge solutions focused on reducing reliance on manual labor.

Tandreia began her career in 1986 as a part-time hourly manual package handling employee. She spent the great majority of her career in the small package business unit which is responsible for the pick-up, sort, transport and delivery of packages domestically. She held various positions in Industrial Engineering, Marketing, Inside and On-road operations in Central Florida before transferring to Atlanta for a position in Corporate Product Development and Corporate Industrial Engineering. Tandreia later held IE leadership roles in Nebraska, Minnesota and Chicago. In her final role in small package she was an IE VP responsible for all aspects of IE, technology support and quality for the 25 states on the western half of the country.
Tandreia is currently a Director for the University of Central Florida (UCF) Foundation Board and also serves on their Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Previously Tandreia served on the Executive Advisory Board for Virginia Tech’s IE Department and the Association for Supply Chain Management. She served on the Board of Trustees for ChildServ (a Chicago child and family services non-profit) and also served on the Texas A&M and Tuskegee Engineering Advisory Boards. In 2006 she was named Business Advisor of the Year by INROADS, in 2009 she was recognized as a Technology All-Star at the Women of Color in STEM conference and in 2019 she honored as a UCF Distinguished Aluma by the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems.

Tandreia holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management Systems from UCF. Her greatest accomplishment, however, is being the proud mother of two college students, Ruby (24) and Anthony (22).

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Marty Parker


Marty Parker serves as both the CEO & Founder of Adæpt Advising and an award-winning Senior Lecturer (Teaching Professor) in Supply Chain and Operations Management at the University of Georgia. He has 30 years of experience as a COO, CMO, CSO (Chief Strategy Officer), VP of Operations, VP of Marketing and Process Engineer. He founded and leads UGA’s Supply Chain Advisory Board, serves as the Academic Director of UGA’s Leaders Academy, and serves on multiple company advisory boards including the Trucking Profitability Strategies Conference, Zion Solutions Group and Carlton Creative Company.

Marty enjoys helping people and companies be successful. Through UGA, Marty is passionate about his students, helping them network and find internships and jobs. He does this through several hundred one-on-one zoom meetings each year with his students and former students. Through Adæpt Advising, Marty has organized an excellent team of affiliates that he works with to help companies grow and succeed. He does this by helping c-suite executives improve their skills, develop better leaders, engage their workforce, improve processes, and develop strategic plans with detailed action steps and financial targets. Marty believes that excellence in supply chain management comes from the understanding the intersection of leadership, culture, and technology, working across all parts of the organization to meet customer needs, maximize profit and minimize costs.

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

Laura Lopez serves as our Supply Chain Now Marketing Coordinator. She graduated from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente in Mexico with a degree in marketing. Laura loves everything digital because she sees the potential it holds for companies in the marketing industry. Her passion for creativity and thinking outside the box led her to pursue a career in marketing. With experience in fields like accounting, digital marketing, and restaurants, she clearly enjoys taking on challenges. Laura lives the best of both worlds - you'll either catch her hanging out with her friends soaking up the sun in Mexico or flying out to visit her family in California!

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Jake Barr


An acknowledged industry leader, Jake Barr now serves as CEO for BlueWorld Supply Chain Consulting, providing support to a cross section of Fortune 500 companies such as Cargill, Caterpillar, Colgate, Dow/Dupont, Firmenich, 3M, Merck, Bayer/Monsanto, Newell Brands, Kimberly Clark, Nestle, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Sanofi, Estee Lauder and Coty among others. He's also devoted time to engagements in public health sector work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. At P&G, he managed the breakthrough delivery of an E2E (End to End) Planning Transformation effort, creating control towers which now manage the daily business globally. He is recognized as the architect for P&G’s demand driven supply chain strategy – referenced as a “Consumer Driven Supply Chain” transformation. Jake began his career with P&G in Finance in Risk Analysis and then moved into Operations. He has experience in building supply network capability globally through leadership assignments in Asia, Latin America, North America and the Middle East. He currently serves as a Research Associate for MIT; a member of Supply Chain Industry Advisory Council; Member of Gartner’s Supply Chain Think Tank; Consumer Goods “League of Leaders“; and a recipient of the 2015 - 2021 Supply Chain “Pro’s to Know” Award. He has been recognized as a University of Kentucky Fellow.

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Marcia Williams


Marcia Williams, Managing Partner of USM Supply Chain, has 18 years of experience in Supply Chain, with expertise in optimizing Supply Chain-Finance Planning (S&OP/ IBP) at Large Fast-Growing CPGs for greater profitability and improved cash flows. Marcia has helped mid-sized and large companies including Lindt Chocolates, Hershey, and Coty. She holds an MBA from Michigan State University and a degree in Accounting from Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay (South America). Marcia is also a Forbes Council Contributor based out of New York, and author of the book series Supply Chains with Maria in storytelling style. A recent speaker’s engagement is Marcia TEDx Talk: TEDxMSU - How Supply Chain Impacts You: A Transformational Journey.

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Constantine Limberakis


Constantine Limberakis is a thought leader in the area of procurement and supply management. He has over 20 years of international experience, playing strategic roles in a wide spectrum of organizations related to analyst advisory, consulting, product marketing, product development, and market research.Throughout his career, he's been passionate about engaging global business leaders and the broader analyst and technology community with strategic content, speaking engagements, podcasts, research, webinars, and industry articles.Constantine holds a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA in Finance & Marketing / Masters in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.

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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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Greg White

Principal & Host

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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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.

When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!

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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 a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. 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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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

Amanda is a production and marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Amanda currently manages, produces, and develops modern digital content for Supply Chain Now and their clients. Amanda has previously served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah, and founded and managed her own successful digital marketing firm, Magnolia Marketing Group. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now production team, you can find Amanda in the kitchen, reading, listening to podcasts, or enjoying time with family.

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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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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

Creative Manager & Executive Producer

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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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

Mary Kate Love is currently the VP of marketing at Supply Chain Now focused on brand strategy and audience + revenue growth. Mary Kate’s career is a testament to her versatility and innovative spirit: she has experience in start-ups, venture capital, and building innovation initiatives from the ground up: she previously helped lead the build-out of the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific and before that, MxD (Manufacturing times Digital): the Department of Defense’s digital manufacturing innovation center. Mary Kate has a passion for taking complicated ideas and turning them into reality: she was one of the first team members at MxD and the first team member at the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific.

Mary Kate dedicates her extra time to education and mentorship: she was one of the founding Board Members for Women Influence Chicago and led an initiative for a city-wide job shadow day for young women across Chicago tech companies and was previously on the Board of Directors at St. Laurence High School in Chicago, Young Irish Fellowship Board and the UN Committee for Women. Mary Kate is the founder of National Supply Chain Day and enjoys co-hosting podcasts at Supply Chain Now. Mary Kate is from the south side of Chicago, a mom of two baby boys, and an avid 16-inch softball player. She holds a BS in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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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.