It’s not easy being the new kid in town—but it’s great preparation for a career in supply chain, especially post-2020. Vice President of Global Logistics at Stanley Black & Decker Dennis Flynn knows this all too well, and he has put the adaptive skills he built throughout his itinerant childhood to good use over the past few years, adjusting to new logistics realities and global disruptions. Now, he’s sharing his lessons learned in leadership with Scott. Tune into this Supply Chain Now classic episode to hear them discuss key macroeconomic factors and shifts in consumer behavior impacting global logistics, as well as four golden nuggets of wisdom for aspiring supply chain leaders.
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Scott Luton (00:29):
Hey, good morning, everybody. Scott Luton here with you on supply chain. Now, welcome to today’s show on today’s episode, we’re gonna be diving into the story of a global supply chain leader, doing big things in the industry and bay right here in Georgia. And he’s one heck of a guy, a musical artist, uh, very talent individual, and a friend of the show. So let’s dive right in when welcome in our featured guest here today, Dennis, Flynn vice president of global logistics at Stanley black and Decker, Inc. Hey Dennis, how you doing?
Dennis Flynn (00:58):
I’m good, Scott. Glad we’re getting a chance to do this. What and looking
Scott Luton (01:02):
Forward, am I am too. It’s been works for a while. I’ve gone through your agent a couple of times who knows? We might book an interview and a gig. We’ll see, but, uh, it,
Dennis Flynn (01:13):
Thanks for limo by the way. Appreciate you sending that,
Scott Luton (01:16):
Uh, listeners. He’s only kidding. He’s only kidding. We can’t afford limos. Hey, but kidding aside. Great to have you here. Uh, this has been a long time in the works and uh, it’s so neat to be able to dive into the Dennis Flyn story a little bit more. Um, but before we start picking your brain on all things supply chain, let’s get to know you a little better. And I wanna start with Dennis a question. I don’t think I’ve ever asked you. So I’ve been looking forward to your answer. Where did you grow up and, and give some anecdote about your upbringing?
Dennis Flynn (01:45):
Oh, wow. Um, well I grew up in, in Northern Virginia. My dad was in the army, worked at the Pentagon for years and around my, so I kind of had that whole DC caps. You know, those were my sports teams, the bullets back when they were called the bullets, the wizards now. So very much a, a DC guy still am, uh, around my junior of high school that we moved to Florida. And so I ended up then learning how to surf and lifeguard and do all this other kind of more Floridian stuff. So kind of two different places influenced me growing up. I, I ended up at the university of Florida for undergraduate and, uh, love that. Obviously I’m a sports fan, as you know, cause we’ve talked about baseball before. So a big school like that and being in the OCC, uh, was awesome. You know, seeing all of the athletes we saw come through that place who went on to become hall of Famers, either in football or basketball or baseball.
Scott Luton (02:43):
So, and yeah, really quick, uh, not only, um, plenty of athletes coming through the university of Florida, but of course Tom petty, we’re gonna touch on music in a minute. Tom petty, petty, I think was Gainesville. Right?
Dennis Flynn (02:54):
He was, yeah. Um, he act, I, it was Mike Campbell, the guitarist, I think, went to the university of Florida. I don’t think Tom ever set foot in the classroom. I know we worked at the university. I think he was a landscaper, but right. Yeah. He’s, he’s obviously musically, uh, a huge influence and in Gainesville, he’s, you know, he is the, the native son of Gainesville.
Scott Luton (03:15):
So yes. Well, Hey, I’m gonna go back to DC. That’s where you grew up. I didn’t know your father was an army. That is, uh, really cool. How, um, did y’all move around a lot and if you did, did it, did it, did it help train you how to kind of meet new people and build relationships regularly with regularly?
Dennis Flynn (03:34):
Yeah, I’m laughing. I’m laughing cuz that’s exactly what it did. Um, you know, I was born in Germany and yes, moved around a lot. We lived in Louisiana, we lived in Fort Leavenworth. Um, um, my dad was in Vietnam for a period of time where I lived with my grandparents and yeah. Then on, onto, onto Virginia and what that does, uh, your questions really astute you’re, you’re forced to quickly adapt, you know, you’re the new kid and you have to understand the, the landscape pretty quickly and, you know, determine who, who, what activities you wanna be involved in, who you wanna be friends with. So yeah, there’s, there’s a fair amount of that. Uh, my wife went through that too. She moved a lot. Her, her father was in academia. So we’ve always had that in common, that ability to be the new person and kind of quickly settle in, establish yourself, uh, kind of dip a toe in the water, you know, not, not barge in, but kind of slowly, slowly, uh, make your way into what, you know, what’s gonna be your, your circle, your cl your group of friends.
Scott Luton (04:38):
Hmm. You know, that’s, that is really of valuable trait to have. Cause it’s so challenging. And I remember when I was a kid just not, not having moved around just how tough it was from school year to school year. And then of course I see my three kids doing it now and, and it’s just, it’s tougher. And I, I don’t know if the, uh, the digital world is making it easier or making it tougher. Probably a little bit of both.
Dennis Flynn (05:02):
Yeah. Probably a little bit of both.
Scott Luton (05:03):
Yeah. Okay. I wanna transition. I wanna talk food and music and then before we talk supply chain, so food. So, um, you lived in a bunch of communities. You, you touched on of course, DC. Uh, you touched on, uh, Florida and Gainesville. Um, what is one food dish that is in inseparable from that earlier part of your journey? What’s one thing you wish you could go get a, a plate of now?
Dennis Flynn (05:28):
Hmm. So my mom’s side of the family, uh, from Jacksonville is, uh, Lebanese sincere. And so my grandmother would make all this Lebanese sincere food and Jacksonville had, I don’t know if they still do, but at the time they had a lot of different kind of mom and pop Lebanese and Syrian restaurants and that, you know, Kibby and taboo Andia and Peter bread. Oh man, that stuff still, if I, if I can see, and there’s a place or two in Atlanta that does that, but I, I love that, that kind of, uh, middle Eastern comfort food, I guess I’d call it that, that, that that’s formative food for me. That’s that’s soul food for me.
Scott Luton (06:12):
I love that. I love that. Now you thanks for making me hungry. Uh, we’re gonna move from food. I wanna talk about one of your other passions that I’ve come to appreciate. I’ve never had the opportunity to catch you, uh, live when your gigs, but you’re, you’re a big passionista when it comes to music, you’re you play the guitar. I think you, you also sing and provide some acoustics. Maybe tell us about, uh, your music you love for music and any influences that you have on your music.
Dennis Flynn (06:40):
Yeah. So, and you, and I’ve had this conversation. Yeah. So I play in a band here, uh, locally. The name of the band is my favorite Baldwin. So I’m gonna ask you not to ask any follow up questions on how that name came about, but I’m super fortunate to be friends with some other guys who live here in the Sandy Springs area who are all passionate about music. And, um, you know, we all play different instruments and have a pretty similar taste in music. So the set list is a lot is pretty easy. It’s all cover songs and just kind of whatever people our age are gonna like, you know, so there’s gonna be some eighties, some nineties, some current stuff so that we, we don’t look like we’re too old, but, uh, it’s a ton of fun. So you asked about influences, they’re really kind of all over the board.
Dennis Flynn (07:26):
I’m a huge prince fan. And I think some people know, not everybody knows that he was an, an amazing musician, obviously a great showman, but an amazing guitar player, pianist, you name it. Um, when it comes to guitar, David Gilmore, you know, from P Floyd. And the reason I like him so much is because he doesn’t play fast, kinda like me, but his note selection and his solos is just perfect. And so I, I follow a lot of what he does because I’m, I think that’s, I’m capable of, you know, getting in the same ballpark as him. I listened to a lot of van Halen growing up, but there’s no way I’m gonna be playing, you
Scott Luton (08:09):
Dennis Flynn (08:11):
That’s more, that’s more for me to, yeah. It’s kind of music you listen to and you go, yep. He can play that. And I can’t, Uh, and then a lot of jazz guitar players too, like west Montgomery. I love listening to him. Uh, just smooth. Um, the guy named Mark Whitfield, who’s a, a jazz guitar player. Not a lot of people know about, so those are kind of my, my influences.
Scott Luton (08:32):
I love it.
Dennis Flynn (08:34):
Scott Luton (08:34):
So, you know, one of my favorite parts of being a father is, uh, as I I’ve got three kids, my oldest two daughter, my, my last one, uh, is my son and my daughter. I’m not cool enough of my daughter’s size, maybe for them to embrace my music for the most part. My middle child thinks I’m a little bit cool. So that’s neat to see, but my son, it’s really interesting to see him embrace some of the music, some of my music, right? Like I’m a big queen fan and he’s become a big queen fan. He, he can Bohemian Rapsody and, and, uh, under pressure. We love David Bowie too. He can almost Satan sing those songs word for word. And that is really, is really cool to see. Cause I was, I stumbled to come. Um, I didn’t listen to much radio until I was probably, you know, later in high school. So I didn’t have an appreciation for, you know, the fifties and the sixties and the seventies, all the, you know, uh, the historic musical acts. So he’s gonna have a lot of that appreciation, I think, at a far earlier age.
Dennis Flynn (09:35):
Yeah. It’s funny to say that my son, um, has picked up the guitar and has become really, really good. And I, I didn’t teach him. He just, I, I guess, I guess maybe saw me and said, Hey, that looks fun, but he’s, he’s listening to the doors and Zeppelin and all these classic bands and he’s formed his own band now. And he’s, it’s been a again through, no, I’m not gonna give myself any credit, but to see him play and us now talk about, Hey, what scale do you play on this song? And how did you play what court? That’s been a lot of fun and has been, uh, a great kind of bonding thing for him and I, and, and he has, he has surpassed me in his talent. So
Scott Luton (10:15):
Dennis Flynn (10:15):
That to him. How do you, you know, how do you play whole lot love by his Zeppelin? What can you show
Scott Luton (10:20):
Dennis Flynn (10:21):
That’s awesome. That’s been fun. Yeah.
Scott Luton (10:24):
All right. So I’ll know, Dennis, whenever you’re ready to, um, kick off a new podcast series, it’s gonna be music, the love of music with Dennis. Flyn all right. I can already picture in my mind who knows in the meantime, yes. Right. In the meantime, I’m gonna make, I’m gonna circle my calendar and try to come out and see my favorite ball when in person. So we’ll see. Okay.
Dennis Flynn (10:47):
Scott Luton (10:47):
Hold you to that. So we’re having, we’re having too much fun talking Fu food and mu and music and kinda your upbringing. We gotta get to, uh, our heavy lifting. Right. We gotta talk. We wanna supply chain with Dennis Flyn, but before we talk about your current role, um, at Stanley black and Decker, let’s talk about a role or two that you held before your current role that really shaped your worldview, Dennis.
Dennis Flynn (11:13):
Sure. So I, I think the, the first role that was like that was, um, at Coca-Cola, uh, where I worked and for 16 years and loved every minute of it. And it was a role where I was working in the logistics and supply chain areas around process improvements, six Sigma projects, and, and the process got my six Sigma, my green belt certification. And I think a couple things I learned there, first of all, when you’re in that kind of work and you’re gathering a lot of data, you know, the data gives you the right to ask the, the, the right questions. You know, the data’s not always judging jury in supply chain because that, and that leads to the second thing I learned, which is any action you take in the supply chain is gonna have an impact on some downstream action, right? So if you are select a, a different carrier, it’s gonna have an impact on both the pickup and the delivery.
Dennis Flynn (12:17):
If you’re, if you’re choosing a different way to do warehousing or a different warehousing software, it’s gonna have an impact on those warehouse workers and potentially on, uh, storage and production. Nothing happens in isolation. So as you’re working through projects, really from demand planning and production scheduling all the way to getting it to the shelf, you have to be cognizant, uh, and very cross-functional in all that work so that you understand what the upstream and downstream stakeholders might experience as a result. Um, you’ve probably seen it, I’ve seen it where someone might their area, but then there’s an impact. And so you have to be really, uh, careful there that that’s, that’s, uh, one of the big learnings, uh, one of the formative experiences for me, I think the other formative thing about, Hey, really
Scott Luton (13:09):
Quick, if I can, yeah, yeah. Go ahead again. It’s really quick. So one of the things I’ll take away from what you shared there is how you came to appreci shape, true systems level, thinking from your 16 years there at co Cola, is that right?
Dennis Flynn (13:21):
Yeah, totally. Um, helped to work in a plant, uh, helped to work in a warehouse. Uh, I think those experiences give you, uh, credibility and a lot of, a lot more understanding when you’re making decisions say in the conference room to know what it’s like to, to be in the plant, to be in the warehouse, to manage the fleet. Um, that I think that helps too.
Scott Luton (13:47):
Dennis Flynn (13:47):
Well, the other thing I was gonna say, and it’s not supply chain related is the power of brands. The power of strong brands is a big deal. Um, and, um, I I’ve realized that through the rest of my, and, and been fortunate to work for other companies with really strong brands as well.
Scott Luton (14:03):
Mm. Uh, so one quick follow up question, then we’re gonna get into what you’re doing now. Uh, Stanley black and Decker. Talk about the culture at Coke, 16 years at, at co Cola, I’ve been into headquarters. Um, just a couple of times they hosted one of our events in my very first star, and it was a, a fabulous experience. Um, but what, what was one thing about the culture there at Coke that you really, you really appreciated?
Dennis Flynn (14:31):
Boy? Um, just one thing, huh. I, I, I think it was the, it was the focus on the brand and the, of the brand and not doing anything to compromise that, uh, and that, and, and not just the brand, but also, you know, the customers and their ability to, to portray the brand and, and display it in a way that was becoming of what it is, which really is an icon. Um, you know, here in the Southeast, the beverage decision is a big one, right? People are very passionate about their brands here, uh, for beverages in the Southeast, outside of the Southeast, maybe not so much, but the culture there at, at Coca-Cola, well, one of the many good things about the culture, there was just the focus on how important it was to protect the brand and to make it, um, what people expect, which is something they can depend on. They know they’re gonna get the same flavor the same, every time they open it up, they know when they go to the store, it’s gonna be right there, it’s gonna be stocked. And, um, that, that to me was probably the most important cultural thing I took away.
Scott Luton (15:43):
I love it that, uh, fulfilling that brand promise is one of, one of the things I heard there. And you’re right here in the Southeastern United States, you know, things Aren, um, carbonated beverages are not sodas. They’re Cokes here in Southeast. I grew up, everything was a Coke now doesn’t mean everything is, uh, you know, the same quality as a Coke, but if it was, if it was, uh, a soda type of beverage, it was a Coke. So you’re right. Uh, uh, very important. So Dennis, we could do a whole show probably about your 16 years at co Cola, but I wanna move forward. Cause I wanna move to, um, what you’re doing now as vice president of global logistics at Stanley black and Decker, which is a company that, you know, everybody and your brother and sister is probably familiar with. But if you would talk, talk about your role and nutshell talk about the company.
Dennis Flynn (16:37):
Sure. So my role is, uh, and it’s new to me is the VP of global logistics. So I’m gonna be looking at how our product moves across the world by all modes. And so I’m really now tied very much into the, the, the global macroeconomic picture. Um, and I’m sorry, what was the second part of your question, Scott?
Scott Luton (17:01):
So for the three people that maybe have never used one of your products, you know, across the world, you know, everyone’s very familiar with the company, but just for the two or three people that may not be, what does the company make?
Dennis Flynn (17:13):
So we’re making tools, power tools, hand, uh, outdoor equipment. We’re really growing in the outdoor, uh, equipment, uh, category, um, brands like DeWalt and craftsman are, are really our big brands. A lot of people know our fat max tape measures. So, and we’re available, gosh, everywhere. I mean, anywhere people shop, whether that in stores online, uh, really, really strong brands and, you know, very much like Coca-Cola in terms of brand strength, just obviously in, in a, in a different category, right. But strong focus on brands and exceptionally strong focus on quality and really a great, great company.
Scott Luton (17:56):
Love it, love it. Um, okay, so let’s dive a little bit deeper. Uh, I wanna talk about kinda looking back at last year and then looking ahead this year, the rest of this year. So if you and your team were to look at 2021, what would be a couple of things that y’all really proud of that you were able to do from a, say a supply chain standpoint?
Dennis Flynn (18:15):
Well, I think, you know, 20, 21 was a challenge, right? And that’s not news to anybody. I think keeping the supply chain going, keeping very engaged with our customers around their promotional needs, their new product needs, uh, the different seasonalities that we have and being very, um, in communication with them and transparent with them about, about what was going on on our side. High levels of collaboration with our customers is, is a big one because that, you know, flows all the way back up through our supply chain, into planning and, and sourcing and, and all those critical functions that have to happen. Um, and then, you know, working in a, in a remote world, keeping our teams engaged, you know, I’m, I’m proud of how well, not just me, but really my peers, my managers, our senior leaders did a great job. I think keeping people engaged, understanding that there can be fatigue after your 10th zoom call of the day. So I think there was a really big focus within the company on making sure the people were right. And I appreciated that cuz I, I, I hope anyway that I dispensed it, but I also know I was the recipient of it from my, from my managers and our leadership team. So I, I think those were, those were our big accomplishments last year, for sure.
Scott Luton (19:41):
There’s a bunch of ’em there. Uh, so before I talk about 2022 kind of take, um, uh, picking up one of the points you just made during the latter part of your answer, it’s really, it’s fascinating. Yeah. I think this, these last few years are gonna be studied for a very long time, uh, from business schools, from psychology schools, from you name it. But you know, one of the things I look at as a, as a business leader and entrepreneur is for about three or four years prior to the pandemic and prior to starting up supply chain now, uh, I was part of a, a small recruiting firm, a great powerful recruiting firm, but a small business. And I think of how, um, I interacted and how I, I led, uh, and how I, um, you know, all the things I did in that remote, in that small remote business prior to the pandemic. And man, then I think about everything that we’ve learned the last couple of years as everyone has gone remote. Right. And you’ve really, you’ve, you’ve kind of figured out how to optimize that, right. And how to REL uh, build relationships and, and, you know, take care of your people remotely. And Dennis, I’ll tell you, I’d go back and I’d do about a thousand things different. I don’t know about you, but, um, I I’ve really learned a lot in this last couple years. Huh?
Dennis Flynn (20:58):
Yeah. I, I, I completely agree. I think as you were asking or, or making your comments, one thing that popped in my head is I’ve really learned a D between or, or the, the spectrum of introversion and extroversion and, and in between and how different people contribute regardless of where they are on that, on that, uh, spectrum, but adjusting your approach a little bit more for, for example, you know, when you recognize folks on your team who may be a little introverted, those zoom calls are draining, right. And they need a period of time afterwards, like to, to sit back and think and reflect and process. Um, others are much more comfortable with, with zooms and like to put them out there or the, or the video meetings, whatever your forum, your platform. But yeah, I, I, would’ve gone back to your point. I would’ve gone back and recognized that, that a little bit more around a conference room table or talking to someone in an office or a cube that to me has been some, and I’ve recognized it in myself. Um, the fact that after the second, third, fourth zoom in a row, I gotta have a break or I’m not
Scott Luton (22:11):
Dennis Flynn (22:11):
Necessarily good for the people who are depending on me to be a leader
Scott Luton (22:14):
Present that’s right. Or
Dennis Flynn (22:16):
You’re right. Or my managers who are depending on me to be, you know, pretty sharp in coming into each, each of these sessions with some, some crisp, clear thought. So, yeah. I, I agree with you, Scott. It’s been, um, and as we’re getting back into the office now, cause I, I have started to, to actually go into the office, like a lot of people travel a little bit. Um, I can, I can start to see the, the benefits of having adjusted the approach to different people, depending on where, where I, where I believe they’re most comfortable
Scott Luton (22:48):
Love that. Uh, appreciate your, your introspection there. Um, if I said that, right, introspection is that, is that I’m trying to say intro, no introspective. It was
Dennis Flynn (22:58):
Never awesome. A vocabulary, but I’ll buy it. Yeah.
Scott Luton (23:01):
Okay. So Dennis, um, and we’re gonna revisit what the pandemic taught you in a second more formally, but, um, let’s think about, uh, 20, 22, when it comes to Stanley black and Decker, Inc. What are some of your, uh, you know, prior, uh, in 2022?
Dennis Flynn (23:17):
Well, a lot of them carry over from 2021, right. Um, making sure that we are doing everything we can from a logistic standpoint to get, you know, to have that intersection between service and, and efficiency service being the priority. Uh, I also want to make sure, as we look at the, the carrier landscape, um, capacity rates that we are, um, smart there, that I’m talking with other peers of mine. And I do talk very frequently with peers of mine, who I’ve worked with in the past, who have similar positions at, at companies, you know, names that you, that you’ve heard of. And we are all looking at the macroeconomic environment, wondering how does spending go up or down going forward? Are we headed toward a recession? What is that gonna do the capacity what’s that gonna do to rates? Um, looking at the potential for a work stoppage in Southern California at those ports, what does that mean?
Dennis Flynn (24:19):
And just in general, making sure that as, as spending potentially changes from goods over to services and experiences, what’s that gonna do to the flow of goods? And so I, I that’s, that’s what I’m focused on. And again, as I talk to my peers and friends who do similar roles to other companies, they’re all going through the same thing. What’s gonna happen in a macroeconomic level. It’s going to impact the logistics world all the way from, you know, origin to origin port and the ocean piece. And then the drayage piece from the port into the different manufacturing plants and distribution centers. Each one of those pieces is a little different, you know, COVID like, for example, right now, I think most people know that COVID is in packed, um, at port of Shanghai, right? Well really Shanghai port operations are continuing it’s, it’s the trucking into and out of that’s the issue. And so that’s where you have to focus to your attention now. And then the, you know, the, the, the potential for labor, uh, issues in Southern California. I think everybody’s gotta keep on their horizon. Uh, who’s who’s got any kind of supply chain that extends globally in, into Asia. So those are the, those are kind of the main high level, 20, 22 things I’m looking at. And I know my peers are as well, at least the ones I I speak with.
Scott Luton (25:50):
Hmm. You know, um, I’m, I’m really hoping, uh, there’s lots of different takes on anytime government kind of gets into, uh, the private sector, but I’m really hoping that the flow initiative that, um, the white house recently announced where it really focused on kind of sharing the data and visibility amongst a variety of, of shareholder. I really am hoping that we can make some progress there. Um, and then secondly, macroeconomics still to this day, some 20 plus years after my college experience still conjures up dread in my, the pit of my stomach. I was not a good economic student and my tea in my teeth. Teachers pointed it out time and time again. So, uh, a lot of good stuff there, Dennis. Um, I want to, uh, kind of shift gears. I wanna talk, you know, we just were talking a second ago kind of, because we both had kind of a, a reflect a reflection, uh, on, you know, the pandemic period and pre pandemic and what we both learned. But I wanna an ask you that question again. Cause what has, what else has the pandemic really taught you about leadership?
Dennis Flynn (27:00):
It’s a really good question. Um, I think for me, it’s, it’s taught me that
Dennis Flynn (27:08):
You have to develop, uh, a real comfort with uncertainty. You have to be able to manage in, you know, you hear the, the acronym VUCA, right? Everybody, right. Everybody’s using that. Uh, I think you have to be the, the ability to deal with ambiguity, to make decisions with the information you have, not knowing what, what event might happen tomorrow, be it a weather event or a strike, or, you know, a pandemic, um, and, and go with the, the best data you have at the time and make your decision and move forward. But to the extent you can build some flexibility into it, the, the ability to, to change or redirect a little bit down the line that, that works to your advantage. Um, you know, looking at things right now, yes, rates are going up. And I just saw today that air freight, uh, rates have gone up just this month.
Dennis Flynn (28:06):
Again, you know, is that the case a year from now, you know, who knows, uh, based on some of the macroeconomic things we were talking about earlier. So, uh, as you, as people are going to look in, in my conversations, as people are going to look at rates and, and contracts, you know, that’s something they need to consider. Um, but in back to your question on leadership, it really, the main thing it’s taught me is that you have to be willing to lead, make decisions with a, a lot of uncertainty. And, uh, to the extent you can build in flexibility to adjust those decisions as, as you, as time goes on,
Scott Luton (28:47):
Love that. Um, and you mentioned VUCA for our listeners that may not have heard it, or may not have, uh, taken the time to kind of go see what it stands for. Volatil, uh, volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. And I believe that VUCA originated at the department of defense war college, uh, here in the states, if I’m not mistaken and now has been embraced by the supply chain community for the last couple years, for sure. Um, okay. So moving right along from things that we learned from the pandemic, uh, leadership and beyond let’s broaden the scope a little bit more, you’ve already mentioned some of the things you’re tracking and some of the things you’re talking about with your peers, which is really, um, neat insights there. But if there’s one other thing as, as you’re surveying the global business world, the global supply chain, you name it, what else comes to mind that you may be tracking more than others?
Dennis Flynn (29:41):
Dennis Flynn (29:44):
Well, um, again, uh, consumer behavior consumption, is there gonna be a trend in spending away from goods and more toward experiences and then a, a big one? I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned yet is, uh, people and employees, uh, talent, um, not just capturing or Captur, that’s the wrong word, attracting good talent, but then keeping it, keeping it engaged. I, I think everybody’s heard about the great resignation and while I think it gets a lot of media coverage more at perhaps, uh, the, the district level and as it deserves, I think it also is important at the kind of more the office type role, uh, as well, keeping people engaged there’s employees have choices. Now it is a it’s a candidate’s market, and you have to find ways to them feel valued. They make them feel invested in developed, show them a, a path toward career development in, in the company they’re in. Um, I think most people out there would say, I I’d rather lose an employee off my team to another group internally where they go off and, and do some new, um, things for their career, for the company, then to lose them to another company or to lose them to just leaving and, and maybe exiting the workforce. So the people piece is real. It has to be addressed and it’s, it requires, requires time and attention. And it, if you, if you shortchange that, it’s, it will, it will come back to you
Scott Luton (31:33):
Well said, and folks never make any assumptions that your people are happy and, and content, cause that’s when those assumptions that’s what can lead the turnover. You gotta cons in my experience, Lee constantly keep that at figuring the pulse and, and have regular conversations and feedback and, and gather information is so important. Um,
Dennis Flynn (31:55):
Yeah. And, and I would just say, you know, one of the things I’ve enjoyed where I am is, is, is that, that level of contact and, um, like I’m not the perfect manager, uh, but I do try to make myself available for people to contact me. I know I’ve always got a line anytime to contact, um, my management and that means a lot, you know, that that’s, I don’t wanna abuse it. I don’t wanna use it all the time, but it’s good to know that it’s, that it’s there. Yeah. Also, um, making sure people know that, um, they’re invested in that and you have to walk, you have to, to walk the talk there, provide the opportunities, provide the training, provide the, the cross-functional introductions, the internal networking and, um, you know, actively, uh, campaign on your people’s behalf for the things that they’re interested in doing in their careers, uh, ideally within, you know, within your company, right? Cause you, you want them to stay and be 20, 30 year employees who, who leave a legacy of, of value for the company.
Scott Luton (32:58):
So, um, really appreciate that. And, and one of the things you heard there folks is, is use it. You got that line, use it, you know, when you’re asked for feedback, give it, and don’t be, don’t be scared. Don’t be afraid to, to speak up and share your mind. Uh, uh, I share what you’re thinking. Um, okay. There’s one of the thing I was gonna ask you about based on what you there, but sometimes Dennis, it comes and goes, right. I’ve learned that as I, as I’ve gotten older, my three kids have killed my memory. Um, let’s talk, oh, I know what I was gonna say. Uh, I’m so grateful that industry, uh, to your point about employees and, and the employee experience, right? It’s another, another one of those X’s old, old George Strait wrote that song way too early. Cause you got CX and ex and UX all that, but thankfully leadership really have, uh, seems like to me, at least gotten more serious about what is our employee experience? How can we optimize it? How can we provide, uh, uh, a safer working for our team members, all of the, you know, it’s, so that’s been one of the silver linings, uh, I think during this pandemic, uh, to protect the global workforce, that’s, you know, kept things moving, uh, your quick follow up thoughts before I shift gears.
Dennis Flynn (34:17):
Um, I, I, I really don’t have anything to, to add to what you just said. You’re absolutely right. It, it gets a lot of talk and, you know, you can, you can YouTube any number of management, uh, gurus who will talk about people, but it, it takes time and you know, the old phrase, you have to go slow in order to go fast later,
Scott Luton (34:42):
Dennis Flynn (34:43):
You have to invest that time and it’s time that’s very well spent and it will reap benefits for you if, if you’re able to discipline yourself to, to spend that time. So, you know, not canceling one on ones, not canceling staff meetings, even if it’s just five minutes. Um, those, when you do those things, I’ve noticed, at least in my experience, both in having had it happen to me and in having unfortunately done it once, once or twice people notice, right. And that level of engagement requires that time. And that’s frankly for me, you know, as I’ve gone further in my career, that’s where I, I start to really gain more of my joy in my career or as much joy in my career as, as hitting numbers is also making connections to people and feeling like, uh, you’ve made a difference in their careers. And they subsequently had made a difference in, in the company’s performance.
Scott Luton (35:41):
Love that those are important investment investments, whether it’s five minutes or 50 minutes. Uh, so well said, they’re Dennis. Um, all right. So wanted a couple of the last things we want to ask you about, um, if you would, so imagine this, Dennis, I know you’ve, you’ve keyed a lot of different places. Um, you’re at the Waldorf Astoria finest hotel in New York city. You’re in their largest, uh, event space. You’ve got thousands of, uh, students, uh, and folks looking that wanna break into industry and wanna break into supply to, and they wanna move up, uh, you know, move up the career ladder into senior roles, executive roles like you have, and you’ve got their captive attention. What would be a piece of advice or two that you would share with those folks?
Dennis Flynn (36:33):
Oh boy. Good question. And by the way I’ve been to the Wal story did just had a drink in the bar, but
Scott Luton (36:39):
So I never stayed there. Okay. Very cool. I dunno if it was still there or not.
Dennis Flynn (36:44):
It, uh, what I would say is for, uh, I would say, first of all, it’s important to be good with data. But as I said earlier in following my six Sigma training data allows you to ask the right questions. It’s not judge and jury. So be really good with data, how to get it, how to validate it and how to use it, to drive you toward what appear to be root causes and get you to ask the right questions. The other thing I’d say, uh, specif in supply chain is you have to be really good at cross functional work. Nothing you do happens in our isolation and supply chain. You’re gonna potentially positively or negatively impact somebody, somebody else, and somebody else’s function by what you do. So you have to be strong. Cross-functionally third. I would say, you know, given that a lot of places are pretty lean in terms of staffing and you don’t always have a big team of people to execute.
Dennis Flynn (37:44):
You need to be a good influencer. You know, one of the things, uh, two of my, um, mentors at Coca-Cola were, were very big on was the power of influencing. How do you, how do you get people to cooperate with you and work with you when they don’t have, when they don’t report to you? You know, so if I’m here over logistics, how do I get the people at the distribution center, perhaps? So I need to change a behavior to help me, how do I get them to do that? Um, how do I get someone further upstream perhaps in, uh, the demand planning world or the purchasing world to help me accomplish a, a bigger goal. So to be a, able to paint a picture for your cross-functional partners of why it’s important and why you need their help and what the overall goal is generally tied to a customer is super important because you’re more often than not in supply chain, particularly in efficiency projects, uh, improvement projects, the people you’re working with don’t report to you.
Dennis Flynn (38:48):
So tho those would be the, the three things I think I would, I would, uh, say, and, and maybe if we worth one thing in supply chain, because you’re, you’re often touching base at multiple levels in the company, it’s important to be able to know how to adjust your message and your presentation. Um, an example, maybe a five page deck with a lot of detail works when you’re talking to people who are gonna execute something, but when you’re presenting it, maybe to a steering committee, it’s probably one page and it’s just the highlights. So being able to, to adjust your communication to the audience, I think is a, a big skill, um, in, in, in supply chain, cuz you’re, you’re gonna be in that position where you’re you’re in the DC one day and the next day you’re presenting it to the chief supply chain officers. So you need to be able to adjust how you communicate,
Scott Luton (39:47):
Man. Those are that’s the golden four point list. It really is. Uh, I wanna, I wanna going back to your second one, I think it was about, uh, the cross training and, and be cross-functional. That is, that is a golden piece of advice, you know, if so if you go to school or if you’re getting training or if in your career, if you’ve done one thing really well, the more you can broaden that experience, learn new things and, and bring different, um, uh, value multifaceted value to the, uh, uh, enterprise supply chain organization. You’re gonna have new opportunities. And then we’re going to, to that last one, uh, you know, um, knowing your audience and knowing how much time you have and perhaps most importantly, knowing what’s important to them. Uh, Dennis, there was one time, uh, what brought me to Atlanta. Uh, I was working in the, the staffing and the workforce, uh, side of things.
Scott Luton (40:38):
And we had this big opportunity that, that, um, business development, sales opportunity and Dennis, to your point, uh, it’s not supply chain, but it’s, it’s close enough. Uh, I went in there with 57 slides and I was gonna share every single one of those slides to those decision makers. And we got halfway through, I was an hour in and I had, I still had, you know, 30 slides and my, my boss at the time, good old Mike Love old Mike. He goes, he he’s basically like tugging on me, you know, to get to the important stuff. We didn’t win that business. And as a lesson that stood with me, I still like my slides. But man, to, as Dennis said, you gotta, you gotta tweak and adjust your communication, go deep when, when that’s the right time to go deep, keep it succinct in executive level when you’ve got, you know, two minutes. So Dennis, this is golden advice. I’m so glad, uh, that we asked you that question. Um,
Dennis Flynn (41:33):
Yeah. You know, that’s, that’s what the, that’s what the appendix is for sometimes. Right? And then you stick all that detail back there. And then, and then if you get asked the question, hopefully you have a slide for it in the appendix, but yeah, you, you’ve gotta be to the point with these, the, these senior executives cuz everybody’s asking for their time and you just need to let, let them know what they need to know.
Scott Luton (41:56):
Yeah. Well said, love that. Okay. So we’re gonna have to have you back and we’re gonna, uh, to keep talking, uh, supply chain, keep talking leadership. Cause I wanna wrap on a, more of a lighthearted note here today. Uh, so baseball season is a punish than a Flint. It is a punish, uh, we’re big Atlanta bras fans here. Uh, last year was in my view at least to me, completely unexpected. Uh, you know, when the Jorge is so LA hit the shot that still hadn’t landed yet. I mean to go from he that thing. Yeah. Oh, he sure did. To go from a point where I think it felt like for a full month, the bra waves would win one, lose one, win one, lose one. I think they set a record major league record for, for no streaks at all. If you go from there to the point where they beat one of the best teams in all of baseball, um, and did it with just a team full of contributors that could do different things, kind of going back to your point. Um, it was an amazing season, so we’ll see what’s upon us, but Dennis, give us one fearless prediction for the 2022 baseball season. Thank the good Lord that it’s here.
Dennis Flynn (43:03):
Hmm. Um, I, I think the Braves make the playoffs. I’m not sure they repeat. Um, and I’ll, you know, obviously I’m, I’m a huge, brave fan, but I can’t see my, my hats back there. I have another prediction that doesn’t have anything to do with standings. I predict that the first game, the Dodgers play back in Atlanta, Freddy Freeman gets like a 10 minute standing ovation. Um, I, I, and I’d love, I’d love to be there for that game. I don’t think there’s gonna be a dry eye house, including, including Freddy Freeman’s.
Scott Luton (43:40):
Mm I’m. With you. And you know, it’s been really neat and heartwarming to see, you know, when, when the initial split took place, there were some, there were some really tough interviews and words chosen in those initial, um, interviews. But I read that over the weekend that Freddy Freeman spent three hours talking with, um, the brave GM and Andos and they actually, they mend, you know, they kind of had a fuller understanding and now Freddy invited AA, uh, Andos out to, uh, California when the, when the Braves visit the Dodgers and I’m not gonna get to get the quote exactly. Right, Dennis, but, uh, for Freddy was telling the reporter, yeah, I want AA to come out cause I wanna give him a hug for everything we accomplished together. And I’m like, that’s a Freddy Freeman I’m talking about. So I love
Dennis Flynn (44:29):
Scott Luton (44:30):
Freeman. I’m with you. I’m just glad that we’ve got, um, one more, uh, sport that, that allows us a little bit of departure time from everything else that’s going on in the world. Right. Um, uh, so we’ll see, uh, how all that plays out, but I like your predictions. Thanks so much for spending some time with us today. It’s been well overdue, but you’re are a, you’re a fountain of, of good news here and, and, and stuff that folks need to know.
Dennis Flynn (44:57):
Well, I, yeah, I appreciate you having me on, I I’m, um, I’ve really enjoyed it and you know, I love talking about supply chain. Um, I love talking with my peers and hearing, you know, there’s a level of comfort sometimes and knowing that they’re they’re are up against some of the same struggles and I often get a lot of my best ideas from them. And I, I hope that I spread some good ideas to them. So, um, love being on it, love your podcast and have been a listener will continue to be a listener.
Scott Luton (45:24):
Awesome. Dennis, I love that. So for folks that may want to get a little bit more Dennis Flyn cuz they didn’t get enough today. How can I connect with you?
Dennis Flynn (45:35):
Wow. Um, the best way is just through LinkedIn. Uh, Dennis Flyn D E N N I S uh, F L Y N N and uh, was Stanley black and Decker. I think I’m the only one.
Scott Luton (45:46):
Awesome. So I think you are
Dennis Flynn (45:47):
Too love to connect to you if you’re, if you wanna talk some more supply chain.
Scott Luton (45:52):
Awesome. Love it. Uh, so Dennis, flyn’s been with us vice president global logistics at Stanley, a black and Decker, big friend of the show known Dennis for quite some time and uh, keep doing, keep moving those mountains. So, uh, but thanks for joining us here today, Dennis.
Dennis Flynn (46:06):
Thank you. Thanks Scott.
Scott Luton (46:08):
You bet. All right folks, hopefully you enjoyed this great interview with Dennis Flyn as much as I, I have, uh, be sure to check out supply chain now and subscribe wherever you get your podcast from. So you don’t miss conversations just like this, but whatever you do, whatever you do, folks, Scott Luton on behalf of our supply chain. Now team challenging you to do good to give forward and to be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we see next time, right back here on supply chain now. Thanks everybody all.
Thanks for being a part of our supply chain. Now community check out all of our firstname.lastname@example.org and make sure you subscribe to supply chain. Now anywhere you listen to podcasts and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on supply chain now.
Dennis Flynn is a highly resourceful, omni-channel supply chain executive looking to utilize his skills and leadership in supply chain and operations in ecommerce, B2C and B2B environments. With world-class companies, he has multi-industry supply chain experience, specializing in ecommerce and omni-channel supply chain, inventory management, demand planning, team leadership, people development, SKU rationalization, transportation, warehousing, manufacturing, logistics, contract negotiations, international supply chain management, lean six sigma certification, program and project management, process improvement, stakeholder relations, and metrics and analytics. He excels at utilizing analytical decision-making skills while collaborating cross-functionally to achieve company goals. His proven track record of serving as both a forward-thinking planner and detail-oriented manager have allowed him to ensure peak operations at all times while also building bench strength and future leaders. Connect with Dennis on LinkedIn.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is 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.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.