Supply Chain Now
Episode 840

Supply chain disruptions will be the norm, business interruption will be the exception and supplier diversity will be table stakes.

-Dr. Randy Bradley

Episode Summary

It’s the ultimate supply chain showdown: human vs. machine. And to judge the fight, Scott called in the big guns: Tecsys Vice President of Industry and Advanced Technology Guy Courtin and University of Tennessee Associate Professor of Information Systems and Supply Chain Management Dr. Randy V. Bradley. Together, they dive into why supply chains are working just as intended – and not at all like we need them to – as well as top trends across distribution, retail and healthcare. If you’re wondering whether you need more data or wish you had a crystal ball to plan the future, don’t miss this must-hear episode.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:00:03):

Welcome to Supply Chain Now, the voice of global supply chain. Supply Chain Now focuses on the best in the business for our worldwide audience, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and today’s critical issues, the challenges, and opportunities. Stay tuned to hear from those making global business happen right here on Supply Chain Now.

Scott Luton (00:00:33):

Hey. Hey. Good morning, Scott Luton with you here on Supply Chain Now. Welcome to today’s livestream. Hello, Guy and Dr. Bradley. How are y’all doing today?

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:00:42):

Doing well, Scott. How about you?

Scott Luton (00:00:43):

We’re doing wonderful. Great to have you both. Guy, how are you doing?

Guy Courtin (00:00:47):

I’m doing all right, man. Good to see you guys.

Scott Luton (00:00:49):

Excellent to see you as well. We’ve got a great show teed up here today, and we’ve got two very special guests here. We’ve got Dr. Randy V. Bradley, the Associate Professor of Information Systems and Supply Chain Management with the prestigious University of Tennessee, and Guy Courtin, Vice-President of Industry and Advanced Technology with Tecsys. Okay. And that doesn’t do both of your pedigrees justice, but I really appreciate y’all’s time here today. And I’m really excited about the topic we’re going to be talking about, right?

Guy Courtin (00:01:19):

Oh, yeah.

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:01:19):

It’s going to be fun.

Guy Courtin (00:01:21):

Scott, I’ll give you a little thumbs up down here.

Scott Luton (00:01:26):

I’ll tell you, you know, you practice and you practice and you practice and you practice, and sometimes you get lucky and get it right. Well, great to have you both here. So, today, as we’ve been preparing and pre-showing and you name it, we’re going to be diving into a supply Chain Super Bowl conversation, that of human versus and machine. And Guy and Dr. Bradley is an epic ongoing matchup as digital transformation continues to take root across industry, in particular, including distribution, retail, and healthcare amongst others. But we’re going to be talking about those three sectors in particular. So, Dr. Bradley and Guy, are y’all ready to dive in here?

Guy Courtin (00:02:01):

Let’s do it.

Scott Luton (00:02:02):

Okay. So, we’re going to start with a fun warm up question to you both in just a second. But, folks, guess what? The comments are back at StreamYard and we’ve got a bunch of folks tuned in, so I’m going to go around the horn and say hello to a few folks. Let’s start with Peter Bolle, all night and all day. Peter, I saw your earlier podcast you dropped earlier today. I look forward to that. Feel free to drop that in the comments, but great to see you here. Nikhil, you’re back with us via LinkedIn. Great to have you. Nikhil, I think you’ve shared before, but let us know where you’re tuned in from. Jose, great to see you from sunny Southern California. Now, Dr. Bradley and Guy, Jose does a great livestream focused on coffee and logistics, and you can’t do logistics without coffee as we all know. So, great to see you here, Jose. Jose Sanchez tuned in from Atlanta via LinkedIn. Great to see you, Jose. Hoang, tuned in via LinkedIn from Chicago. Dr. Bradley and Guy, ever been to Chicago?

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:02:59):

I love it.

Scott Luton (00:03:00):

Oh, it’s awesome.

Guy Courtin (00:03:01):

I lived in Chicago for two years.

Scott Luton (00:03:02):

Really? Man, Guy, you’re becoming like an international man of mystery. All these experiences I’m so jealous of. Jinauid – if I said that right or wrong, let me know – via LinkedIn from Dubai. We got all kinds of really cool things happening in Dubai, for sure. Jason T. Hopkins tuned in from D.C. I bet he, Dr. Bradley, is also from Alabama. He’s a big Crimson Tide fan. I’ll tell you what, y’all can bond, Dr. Bradley and Guy. Jason T. Hopkins is doing some really cool things from teaching the next generation standpoint. So, Jason, great to see you tuned in. Clay “The Diesel” Phillips, Diesel because his engine is always running. He’s tuned in from over Hugo, Texas. How about that? I think he’s on his way somewhere. So, Clay, if you want to divulge that, I’ll let you do that. Davin, great to see you here. Gene Pledger from NA, meaning North Alabama, Dr. Bradley. Great to see you here, Gene. Brent, may know you, Dr. Bradley.

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:04:09):

Brent is The Man.

Scott Luton (00:04:11):

Okay. Hey, Brent, that’s a big title to be put on, but great to have you here. Let us know where you’re tuned in from. Kim Winter is tuned in. Of course, the one only Kim Winter. Kim joined us for an episode of The Buzz a couple weeks ago, Guy, and he winterized the edition. Yes, shameless dad joke there. But Kim is also in Dubai making big things happen across that exciting area of the world. Cory Turner is tuned in. Cory, I appreciate your LinkedIn promo, tuned in from I’m South Carolina. Cory, let us know what part of South Carolina. I’m from Aiken. I grew up in Aiken, South Carolina. Emily is tuned in from Atlanta. Delilah, Osnel, hey, welcome everybody. Glad you’re here. And we look forward to your contributions as we work through this conversation, Supply Chain Super Bowl, throughout the next hour or so.

 

Scott Luton (00:05:00):

So, with all that said, Dr. Bradley and Guy, I want to warm up with both of y’all and let’s talk about kind of our namesake for this episode. And I probably should be referring to the big game so that some NFL’s army of attorneys maybe don’t reach out. So, the big game was last week. What an incredible game. What an incredible of experience from a variety of different levels. Let’s start with this, Dr. Bradley, where did you watch the game? And what was the best thing you ate?

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:05:29):

So, I watched a game from home. I had two sons, 13 and 9, and so we were watching it together. And the best thing I ate – don’t tell my wife – I had ordered her a coconut cake, and while she was in the back, that’s what I was eating.

Scott Luton (00:05:45):

Your secret is safe between us two and 2,000 other folks. Well, my mom makes a great coconut cake. So good that one time my uncle was eating it at Thanksgiving and he said, “Leah, we got to put these on the market and sell them.” And it was so cool. I wish you had done that, she might still. Okay. So, Guy, how about you, where’d you watch it and what was the best thing you ate?

Guy Courtin (00:06:06):

Yeah. So, I watched it at home. So, my girlfriend and I watched it. My son was there watching it too. He was actually doing his homework, too, so he was watching it in his room and then coming watching part of it. The best thing we ate, which is kind of funny or kind of sad, I don’t know how you want to look at it, but we actually allowed ourselves to buy a bag of Doritos, because we’re usually not allowed to eat those. Because bags would last maybe an hour in the house, this one lasted maybe 45 minutes. But we bought a bag of Doritos and I remember how delicious they are. And I also remembered why we’re not allowed to have these in the house all the time because of the bag. And it wasn’t a big bag, thankfully we didn’t buy the Costco size one. We buy [inaudible].

 

Guy Courtin (00:06:46):

I will say a funny story, so my girlfriend started eating Doritos a little bit early before the game started. And at one point I was like, “All right, honey. We got to save some for the kid because he’s going to want some.” And he came out, you know, an hour later and he was looking at the bag and he’s like, “This is kind of thin, dude. What’s going on here?” I was like, “Hey, we saved you some at least, right? At least you got some.”

Scott Luton (00:07:06):

I love it. And speaking of great commercials, Doritos, always has game for at least one of really good commercial. I love that. And it is the simple pleasures in life. Dr. Bradley, we talked about therapeutic sessions at the grocery store kind of in self-isolation sometimes. That’s a good therapeutic practice. But, hey, eating simple pleasures like Doritos.

Scott Luton (00:07:26):

Really quick. So, Brent, “The Man” as Dr. Bradley says, tuned in from Bristol, Virginia via LinkedIn. Clay outed himself. He’s on his way to Vegas. On his way to Vegas, Los Wages as he said it. I love that. Hey, Chris Bleess is with us. Chris and I had a great chat at the Reverse Logistics Association Conference last week in Vegas. So, Chris, we look forward to publishing that soon. He’s dialed in from Dallas, Texas via LinkedIn. Okay.

 

Scott Luton (00:07:56):

So, one more quick follow up question and then we’re going to get into the topic of the day, starting with our opening salvo in just a second. Let’s talk about that epic halftime show. As I mentioned, I’m going to go ahead and out Amanda because she was giving me such a hard time pre-show. My dear wife, Amanda, knew every single word of that halftime show and our kids saw a whole different version. But, Dr. Bradley, what was your favorite part of the halftime?

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:08:18):

Scott, I must admit, I missed the entire halftime show.

Scott Luton (00:08:22):

Wow. Coconut cake was calling.

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:08:25):

It wasn’t the cake. It was the two little guys in the room who decided halftime, we can play a video game. So, I lost out, man.

Scott Luton (00:08:35):

Man, you did. It incredible. Gee, since Dr. Bradley couldn’t feel in some details there, what’d you think?

Guy Courtin (00:08:43):

I thought it was awesome. Honestly, probably my favorite halftime show that I remember. I had an argument – well, argument – had a discussion that the Prince one was much better. But I will admit I’m not a big Prince fan, so that’s kind of lost on me. I thought it was amazing. I love Dr. Dre. I love his art, what he’s done since NWA, all he’s done in terms of business and everything. I think he’s amazing. He’s amazing talent. And seeing him on stage was fantastic. And I was like, man, he sold me Dr. Dre Beats, like that guy is [inaudible].

Scott Luton (00:09:15):

And he doesn’t age, Guy. God doesn’t age.

Guy Courtin (00:09:18):

And he’s so talented. So, I loved the halftime show. I thought it was fantastic. I will make a corny dad joke that, 50 Cent looked like a 1.50. We all deal with that with age. I should be the last one to talk about, you know, putting on a couple pounds. But, no, halftime show was absolutely fantastic. I loved it. Great job by the Super Bowl. Really just awesome. And to your point, when I started thinking, I was like, “Wow. Some of these songs were, like, 20 years old. Oh, boy.”

Scott Luton (00:09:51):

So, I will never be confused for a psychologist. However, there’s something about the human condition when we connect with a song that we knew 15, 20, 25, 30 years ago, it puts you right back there. Distance makes love grow fonder, or whatever that phrase is, it really took us all back. And if there is ever a year we needed that in all these crazy things over the last couple years, that was really cool to see.

 

Scott Luton (00:10:20):

All right. So, I’ve got some great comments I got to get to before we get to the opening salvo. First off, Jake Barr, the one and only, the John Wayne – I think we’ve been calling him – of supply chain. He’s on the beach somewhere. Let us know what beach. And he says, “Guy is worth it.” Hey, how about that? Chris comes in, Dr. Bradley, and says, “Nothing wrong. You got to have video game time.” And, Dr. Bradley, what video game was it that your kids were playing during halftime?

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:10:48):

They were playing a Hot Wheel race track designed game.

Scott Luton (00:10:52):

Okay. All right. I like it. Everybody loves our Hot Wheels, right? Let’s see here, Adam Polka – so, folks, be sure you check out The Great Supply Chain Podcast, that’s good stuff. He says, “Have you read Guy’s rap battle with Ludacris?” And he’s got a link here, folks. Y’all pinch it over to this link and let’s check this out. All right. And make sure you check out The Great Supply Chain Podcast. Adam does great work over there.

Scott Luton (00:11:20):

Okay. So, y’all keep the comments coming. Keep the comments coming. We’re getting into supply chain now. We’re getting into the heavy lifting that we brought the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express here, Dr. Bradley and Guy, to talk about. So, I want to start with level setting, opening salvo. Give us some opening comments. In particular, how do we get to this moment when we think of the Supply Chain Super Bowl: Human versus Machine? And, Dr. Bradley, I want to start with you? How do we get here?

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:11:47):

You know what? Scott, there are a number of reasons. And one of the things that often comes to mind for me is when we are starting to pit technology against humans, I think, we are doomed to fail from the beginning. Because, essentially, what we need to be doing is looking at how we really join them together. We’ve got to view this more from an augmentation standpoint, rather than a replacement or a competition standpoint.

 

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:12:11):

But a lot of this has happened primarily because when you look at what most of us have been doing in the supply chain space and how long we’ve been in the industry, what we have inherited from a supply chain design was not our brainchild. It was a brainchild of predecessors who lived at a totally different time where you didn’t necessarily have this rapid – how do we say it? – this intense or insatiable desire for we want goods fast. We want goods at a total lower cost. And we want goods when we want them, how we want them, and wherever we want them delivered. And so, it is really trying to take yesterday’s design and yesterday’s model and trying to figure out how do we mess that with today’s excitement.

 

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:12:51):

And so, that led to this lack of advanced planning around digitalizing our supply chain infrastructure. There is also this naiveté with respect to risk management. We talked about the risk, we don’t do a good job of managing risk when it really needs to be a core business principle. And then, last but not least, we really don’t share data well. And I know we’ll talk more about data moving forward, but that limited upstream as well as downstream visibility are some of the reasons why we find ourselves where we are.

Scott Luton (00:13:19):

Dr. Bradley, so much there, especially in your last point, we don’t share data well. Instantly come to the U.S. ports. We have massive opportunities to really share data much more effectively amongst all shareholders to make the ports faster and more efficient. Guy, Dr. Bradley – talk about level setting – he really laid it out there. What else would you add in terms of how we got here?

Guy Courtin (00:13:41):

Yeah. And it’s hard for me to follow up with Randy after what he just said, but I’m going to try. I think where we’ve come to, which we can’t forget, is, I do think at times we have looked at technology as a panacea. We’ve always said, “Oh, well. We’ll just invest in more software, invest in more hardware. We’ll look at the technology to help solve it.” And to some degree that’s done a disservice, the technology, because for the most part, as Randy said, technology is complimentary. It’s a tool in our toolbox. How we use those tools really depends upon the human. And I think that’s something that we have kind of forgotten at times. And I don’t know if it’s just because a lot of things are changing, obviously, a lot of strains on the supply chain, a lot of demands on the supply chain, a lot of which Randy just pointed out. But there’s so many different ways that the supply chains are now having to react that it’s almost too easy to sort of fall back and say, “Well, I’ll just invest in some more technology, some more software, some more hardware,” whatever that may be.

Guy Courtin (00:14:42):

And then, unfortunately, when it doesn’t do what we think it is going to do, we sort of turn around and blame that technology, as opposed to saying, “Well, wait a minute, did we truly understand why we were investing in the technology and what it was going to do with our existing businesses, our existing supply chain?” The joke is, “Hey, I’ll give you a bunch of two by fours and hammer and saws.” And you’re like, “Well, where’s my new deck? Come on, build it.” You got to go out and cut the wood, and nail the nails, and put the plan together, and build that deck. I think a lot of times with technology, we’ve sort of gotten to a point where we just expect, “Well, I’ll just put new supply chain software and it will solve the world.” No. It doesn’t work that way.

 

Guy Courtin (00:15:22):

So, I think we we’ve gotten to – and I’m not saying everybody – sometimes that’s a challenge that we, who sit in our space, face on a daily basis because we have to temper expectations and ensure that the people that are investing in technology, the humans, understand that the machines are there to help them. But that the humans have to put in their effort to make everything work.

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:15:46):

So, I love what Guy is saying because it comes back to a couple of different things. This whole thing about pulling out one piece of tech and putting in another piece, I liken it to the rubber band game. I’m going to stretch it as far as I can until it snaps. And then, when it snaps, I’m just going to get a thicker rubber band. And I can at least get that to the same point. And then, I’m going to see how far can that go. And so, it’s the same way with technology, when this one fails me, I go for the new shiny toy, and I put it in. But the reality is, we don’t utilize the resources the way they’re intended to utilize them. We utilize them the way we want them to be designed or to be oriented. And then, we’re disappointed when it doesn’t happen.

 

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:16:23):

And so, really what we have to focus on, why are we investing in any given solution? It’s for capabilities. The challenge I see a lot of times, Scott, is we don’t have a clear understanding of what our actual needs are relative to capabilities. What are the true gaps that we’re going to fill and what are the gaps that just won’t be filled by that solution alone?

Scott Luton (00:16:44):

Excellent. Man, I tell you there’s so much more good stuff to come. You’re just giving us a little taste here. Folks, in a moment, I’m going to share a couple comments and then we’re going to be going sector by sector, in particular, on distribution, retail, and healthcare, talking about what’s working and not working specifically in those areas. So, we’d welcome y’all’s comments as we work through that.

 

Scott Luton (00:17:02):

But in the meantime, Jake says, “Amen. We need to recognize that the strategic structural and operational design of our supply chains are in a constant state of movement. And as such, we’ll always be syncing the human and technology elements.” In other words, it’s not Ron Popeil – rest in peace, Ron Popeil. Set it and forget it. Global supply chain doesn’t work like that. Peter Bolle says, “Jake Barr, I feel the younger generation would salute that comment by saying ‘word’.” I like that, Peter. I like that. Memory says, “If technology is an afterthought, it will be blamed for another inefficiency.” Excellent point. One more thing here from Jose – both of y’all are saying – “First, we need to define expectations and then collaborate to achieve the desired outcome.” Wonderful, Jose, Memory, Peter, and Jake.

Guy Courtin (00:17:54):

Sorry, Scott. I would say — point. I think what’s really interesting about that and I think underlying his comment, is that – I’m going to get on my little soapbox here – there’s no new normal. We always talk about this, “Well, we’re going to strive to get -“it’s almost as if, when we do something with technology and we hit the pause button and everything is static and we’re good. To Jake’s point, everything’s changing. That is the only consistent we have is change.

 

Guy Courtin (00:18:19):

So, if we expect – and I will sort of harp on this. I worked at i2 back in the day, way back when i2 was great, up and coming. We created SAP. And I was like, “Well, we’ll just put in SAP and then everything will be fine.” No knock on SAP. But the mentality was, “Oh, it’s like an end goal.” It’s not a finite goal. It’s an infinite goal. And I think that’s what we have to think about. I think Jake’s point about that is spot on where it’s really about this constant change that we have to adapt to.

 

Guy Courtin (00:18:47):

And our technology, there’s no end state it’s going to get to. As a tool, we have to keep manipulating it and using it. And to Randy’s point, understanding where the gaps are and then dealing with it. And the reality is sometimes there are no knowns and no unknowns. Hey, that’s reality. There’s things that we just can’t solve or can’t optimize for. Control for it, move on, get to the next step.

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:19:10):

So, Guy, we can’t solve it in isolation. But we can do it if we truly collaborate and as well as cooperate. And so, if you think about it, this whole concept of coopetition, where we take these entities that are in the same space competing for the same business or the same talent who are willing to come together for a mind mill, if you will, one, to either address a really precarious situation in the industry, or more importantly, to move industry forward. And I think that’s really what it’s going to take is entity saying, “We can go back to competing, but right now is not the time. Right now is the time to come together so we can move past this.”

Scott Luton (00:19:49):

Yes. Well said. Well said. And I’m not the only person saying that. Yumecia, “Very well said, Mr. Bradley.” I agree with you. And, Yumecia, great to have you here today. And Rebecca says, “That’s all good stuff, Guy. It needs to be artificial intelligence along with human intelligence.” That’s how we get to actual intelligence, right? AI plus HI equals AI again. “Needs to be a balance,” Rebecca says. Great stuff there. Okay.

 

Scott Luton (00:20:13):

So, let’s keep driving. We want to kind of focus in a little bit more here. I want to go through these next three sectors, distribution, and retail, and healthcare. And, Dr. Bradley, I want to start with you, Distribution, if you can speak to a little bit, what’s working in these areas when it comes to the winning playbook? The winning playbook, back to the big game. Clearly, the Rams had the winning playbook. It was a close game. And the Bengals had a great run. But when it comes to distribution, what’s working and not working, Dr. Bradley?

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:20:43):

Wow. Let’s start with the what’s not working. What’s not working right now is we still have tremendous labor shortages, whether you’re talking about in the warehouse, DCs, or even if you go out to the port. We have tremendous shortages right now. And we do recognize that there’s a value and there’s a benefit in union. And I’m all for a union fighting for their members. But going back to my point, there is a time where we have to think about what’s the good for society over what was the purpose of my entity being established. And I think we are well beyond that, where each side is really entrenched in their behavior. And then, what’s happening is the economy, holistically, is being held hostage while others figure out how to work out the issues. It’s almost like two kids in the sandbox having a sand fight, no one else can play in the sandbox. And that’s essentially what we’ve got going on right now. And so, someone has to step in and be that media to say, “What’s good for the economy moving forward?”

 

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:21:38):

The other thing is, I do believe that we are starting to see some emphasis being placed on this very vital sector. Whereas, before ,we have consistently looked at our truck drivers as commodity. We’ve been looking at the supply chain entity holistic as something that we absolutely have to have, which we didn’t have to deal with it. And all of a sudden, we realize it’s critical infrastructure. It’s a key component that not only helps one country, but really the global economy is really dependent on that. So, I think that’s the good thing is that we’re getting attention.

 

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:22:10):

Now, the next thing Scott is, are we going to take advantage of that attention? Are we going to go back to being very tactical and operational in our mindset? Therefore, putting profits and margins at risk to the point to where we then are back in that corner with the hat on wishing we had taken advantage of the strategic opportunities that was in front of us.

Scott Luton (00:22:30):

Yeah. Dr. Bradley, if I can piggyback on one of the points you made back on truck drivers. It’s amazing, we built global supply chain assuming that our drivers would be waiting, sitting in their cabs four or five hours, and being mistreated, largely across industry. We’ve got to change that. But, Guy, going back on a more broader point when it comes to distribution, what’s working and not working?

Guy Courtin (00:22:54):

I think what’s not working, or I think what Randy pointed out, first and foremost, is labor. I think the second part, which is not working – and I look at us here in the United States, specifically – is age infrastructure. I think, we have sort of given lip service through political cycles about infrastructure and investing in it. But the reality is we haven’t kept up with what the world requires upon that infrastructure. You look at the tragedy in Pittsburgh a few weeks ago, that bridge collapsing. You look at the age infrastructure at our ports. You just look at any road you drive on, the age of that infrastructure.

Guy Courtin (00:23:31):

I was in China a while back, and you go there and it’s amazing. You fly into Shanghai, there is a high speed rail that gets you into downtown Shanghai in 15 minutes. I fly to LaGuardia – holy cow – I might as well walk into downtown New York with all the traffic and everything, the tunnels. I live in Boston, the Big Dig, it’s already being fixed. I mean, that was a massive infrastructure deal when it came up, but it’s already sort of falling apart.

 

Guy Courtin (00:24:02):

So, I think that’s part of what’s not working when it comes to distribution in this country, in particular, is our infrastructure. Yes, absolutely, labor. And infrastructure, I think, is going to be a much more longer term need because, like everything we talked about in the pre-show or we’re just talking about this, there’s no sort of end state. I don’t just fix a road and it’s done. Guess what? Unfortunately, weather, temperature, wear and tear is going to take part. You have to start fixing it over again or maintaining it.

 

Guy Courtin (00:24:30):

So, I think for us, from a distribution perspective, infrastructure is something that is not working right now. There are a lot of good lip service being given to it by politicians. I need to see or I would like to see more true efforts being put into it. And I also think, you know, it’s going to be great for our economy as a whole if we started investing more in infrastructure. It’s not just about the jobs about redoing the infrastructure. It’s about all the jobs it enables once it’s up and running. So, I think that’s the part that needs improvement.

 

Guy Courtin (00:25:02):

I think what is good with distribution is, I do believe we’re starting to get a little bit more as consumers. And what I mean by consumers, I mean those of us who aren’t living and breathing supply chain 24/7 are getting a better appreciation of what it means to get that roll of toilet paper to the store shelf. I love my mom to death. She’s incredibly much smarter than I am. She has a PhD but not in supply chain. She, finally, during the pandemic was like, “Oh. I kind of understand supply chain now. I understand logistics a little bit.” Because when she went to the grocery store and there weren’t Lysol wipes or there weren’t toilet paper, she was like, “Oh, okay. I understand what’s going on.”

Scott Luton (00:25:43):

I get it now. I get it now.

Guy Courtin (00:25:45):

“I get it.” So, I think that awareness is a silver lining of what’s good today. And I think that that’s something that my hope is on a strategy, but my hope is that we will continue as a society to be aware of it. And being aware of it will also allow us to be more understanding of it. And I think that’s very important because, again, pre-pandemic, I think people just assume stuff just shows up. Well, yeah, it does. But there are truck drivers. There are workers at the dock. There are workers at rail. There are workers in air. There are workers on ocean bound. There’s a whole infrastructure behind it to get that product to you. Be more aware and sensitive to that and appreciative of what they do.

Scott Luton (00:26:27):

Yes. Yes. I completely agree on that last point, in particular. And, thankfully, I think consumers are becoming more aware of all the incredible people that allow us to enjoy e-commerce forward and reverse when we’re returning stuff.

 

Scott Luton (00:26:42):

Let me share a couple quick comments. Jose says, “Talking about competing, we need to compete with ourselves first and outdo our yesterday.” Completely agree with that. I love that. That’s a great t-shirt -ism. Jason T. Hopkins, “I love this topic. No matter how you invest in shiny new toys, never forget people.” Agreed. Agreed. I think this is Colleen. Colleen said, “I love Randy’s sandbox analogy. One of my favorites.” I agree with you, Colleen. Let’s see here, we’re getting a couple comments from healthcare, but we’ll get there in a second. Greg says, “Office buildings are still empty in downtown Milwaukee. It’s been two years. We need to move forward. COVID will always be here. We need to move forward with it and work safe.” And then, finally, I think the team was so excited they were sharing Jake Barr’s commentary here. He says, “Actually, there are wars within wars at the moment for a shared physical ecosystem that all verticals share. There are technical/machine ways to help bring better balancing visibility. There are dozens of less mature companies that are attempting to gain the system by trying to hedge resources. Bad for everyone.” Okay. Please, Dr. Bradley.

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:27:50):

That point goes back to what Guy and I have been saying, which is, everyone is out for what do I need to do? There is no I in this global supply network. It’s just we. It’s just us. And so, if I want to improve me, I got to help to improve us. And so, as long as I’m trying to maneuver and adjust levers that are going to change my operating environment, it does nothing for the rest of the global supply network. And we have to realize, we are part of a global network. The problem is – we’ve always said this – you want to think globally and act locally. That’s an incomplete statement, because you need to act local and then act like you’re part of a member of a global society or a global community. And there needs to be contributions from everyone. And once we start to do this, then I believe we can move forward. But he’s spot on with this comment.

Scott Luton (00:28:44):

Agreed. Agreed. Okay. Goodness gracious, we got so much to cover so little time. Dr. Bradley and Guy, they’re bringing it today as if this is the halftime show. What an epic conversation. Let’s move from distribution to retail. And when our guests are really bringing it, we can tell, because there’s lots and lots of comments. And, unfortunately, we can’t get to all these comment in the sky boxes, but we’re going to try. So, let’s move from distribution to retail. And this time I want to start with you, Guy. Guy, tell us winning playbook-wise, what’s working and not working in retail.

Guy Courtin (00:29:16):

Yeah. So, I think the positive on retail, which I’ve been very encouraged in the past few years is the reinvention of the store. You know, if I go back two, three, four years ago – and I will freely admit that I felt like I was bashing my head against the wall trying to preach this – the store is not dead, people. The store is redefining itself. And I think we’re seeing that more and more and I think that it’s working.

 

Guy Courtin (00:29:37):

It’s interesting, the grandfather of e-commerce, our good friends at Amazon, they’re opening more and more stores. Interesting, isn’t it? Our digitally native retail brands, like Warby Parker, Casper, Bonobo, Allbirds, they’re opening their own stores. Now, are they all opening the same type? No, of course not. They’re opening the store that’s appropriate for them.

Guy Courtin (00:29:59):

So, I think what’s working in retail in particular are retailers and brands that are thinking (A) for themselves, realizing that it’s a multichannel strategy that stores are a role, different types of stores, how they leverage the store. I’m not saying abandon your e-commerce, of course not. Because at the end of the day, all of us here on this livestream, we just want to interact with the brand on the terms that we want to interact. And the brand that are there to meet us there are going to win our business. So, that’s the positive part.

 

Guy Courtin (00:30:32):

I think sort of the negative part, and this kind of touches into the fulfillment side as well a little bit, but for retail in particular, I think it’s this irrational expectation that everything needs to come to me in two days or two hours. And I’ll blame our good friends, Amazon, for this. They’ve created this. At the end of the day, yes, there are certain things that you absolutely need rapidly, you need quickly. And we’ll get to that in healthcare in a second. But I think for the most part in retail, we need to reassess ourselves and sort of check our expectations. And I think that’s bad on a lot of different levels. One, I think it’s putting a lot of strain on our distribution network to meet irrational goals. I think, two, it’s hurting us from a sustainability perspective. And I think, three, our expectations are kind of skewed now.

 

Guy Courtin (00:31:24):

And I’ll pick on my 14 year old. He had a science project and he needed some material. I’m like, “Okay. Well, what do you need?” “Well, I need this.” Well, when do you need by?” “Tomorrow.” “Dude, you should have told me this two weeks ago.” “Let’s go to Amazon and get it.” “No. Not going to work that way. You’ve got to plan ahead. Dad would’ve gotten you this two weeks ago.” And, now, I go to Amazon and it’s going to be here in ten days. “Well, guess what kid? You’re not going to make it.” His mindset is like, “Well, I’ll just go to Amazon and I’ll click two hour delivery, and it’ll be here tomorrow.”

 

Guy Courtin (00:32:00):

You know, the genie is out the bottle, unfortunately, and I think it’s up to us as an industry. But I also look at retailers, right? It’s up to retailers to reset expectations with their users. Because if you’re buying something you need in a certain timeframe, maybe you should pay a little bit extra for it. But if you want it, you can get it, but you got to pay a little extra. If you don’t need it, then fulfill it on your time schedule. And I’m starting to see a little bit of that change. Unfortunately, I think I might be just a solo buoy sitting on an island with water just lapping at my feet.

Scott Luton (00:32:39):

Such a pretty image.

 

Guy Courtin (00:32:41):

Isn’t it?

 

Scott Luton (00:32:43):

Such a pretty image. Really quick before I come to you, Dr. Bradley. You mentioned the Warby Parker, and I think one of the cool things they’re doing – because, not only all those things you describe, we’re creating tidal wave after tidal wave of returns, and that is not good for anybody – as I understand – I don’t wear glasses – but they have really baked in advanced ways of making sure you’re getting the right eyeglasses, which will help cut down on returns and gives us less to manage on the reverse side. So, a lot of good stuff there, Guy. All right.

 

Scott Luton (00:33:13):

So, Dr. Bradley, when it comes to retail – and you know what? I would argue, even whether you’re in supply chain or not, we all probably are experts as consumers in this one sector of retail because of our experiences – what’s working and not working?

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:33:29):

I agree with Guy. I love the fact that you’re seeing that we are coming back to that having brick and mortar is not a bad thing. It’s just having the right type of brick and mortar in the right locale. Earlier we were talking about Publix, and one of the reasons why I’m so excited about Publix is, Publix is always very purposeful and intentional about where they put a store. And it’s the level of research that goes into, not only the community, but also who are our customers. They’re not like other retail outlets where they say it’s going to be a smash in the pan. It’s not. We are very microscopic. They look at things through a periscope. They know exactly who they’re going after, the store design, the layout, the items they carry. They don’t explain why their prices are higher than the store down the street, because you’re going to get what you pay for.

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:34:19):

And I think in this context that Guy is saying, we’re now starting to see right sizing in retail, rather than just saying go as big as you can, as fast as you can, as often as you like. The other thing that I think we’re also starting to see is you’re starting to see automation that we saw in what some of the tech firms trying to introduce in retail. We’re now seeing our large, big box retailer starting to navigate towards that. And part of that is because of the labor shortage, but also it’s because they’re finally hearing what consumers are saying. We’ve known for a while that when I go into certain stores, I recognize I am going to be an unpaid clerk. I get that. But you know what? There are times when I’m cool with that. But then, there are times when I’m not cool with that.

 

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:35:04):

So, what’s not working is we haven’t quite figured out when do we shift to one degree versus the other. It needs to be a hybrid approach. And retailers, either they haven’t quite figured that out or they don’t have a desire to figure that out.

Scott Luton (00:35:18):

So much good stuff there. You know, in particular about halfway through your response, you talked about how we’ve gotten very wired hot lazered in into what the consumers want. In eras of bygone periods, the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, it seems like stores and retailers could get away with not doing all of their homework. In today’s environment – holy cow – the stakes are much bigger. And if you don’t listen to, figure out, know and execute on exactly what your customer wants, you’re going to end up like some of the stores we’ve seen in the last couple years in the retail apocalypse, as they’ve called it.

 

Scott Luton (00:35:56):

All right. I’m going to share a couple comments here and I’m going to get back because we’re going to tackle healthcare, which is perhaps – well, not perhaps – as we’ve seen, it is one of the most important sectors across global industry.

Scott Luton (00:36:08):

Let’s see here, I’ll start with Jake. Man, Jake is a third featured guest in the comments here. He says, “Thought leaders like yourselves (and us) can actually move to bring together vertical leaders to host sprint sessions to even help the government prioritize the infrastructure projects.” Excellent point. And I would add, we had a comment earlier about an infrastructure bill being passed. It hasn’t been passed, I don’t believe, by both sides of Congress enacted as law. I think they’re still negotiating that amongst all those parties. So, not yet. Chris says, “Working together is such a challenge in the competitive market we live in with the thought that knowledge is power versus working together to solve the issue.” There are some obstacles that’s truly bringing everybody together under that we banner that Dr. Bradley was talking about.

Scott Luton (00:36:55):

Memory says, “If I pay for it, I need it before the end of the day, before I get more alternative options.” I love that. Heidi agrees with you, “Amazon has created this culture of must have it now. Guy, you or a spot on.” Tim, we got to tee it up with old Tim Ingram. Good to see you, Tim. “Just in time, had a lot to do with the next day, two day inventory management theory. “Excellent point. And, finally, the one and only Adam Polka. Adam says, “Stores play an important twofold role for customer experience, show rooming, experiential retail, cost efficient returns, et cetera. And, also, for fast/convenient fulfillment (BOPIS -” Buy Online, Pickup In-Store “- micro fulfillment, Q-commerce, et cetera).” Lot of good stuff there, Adam.

 

Scott Luton (00:37:40);

Okay. Retail, we can do hours upon hours. And, again, I think it’s part of it because retail is so intertwined with supply chain, but also we all know it because we’re all experts and we’re retail consumers everyday. So, it’s always a fascinating area. Okay. We got to keep moving though because I want to get into healthcare. And, Dr. Bradley, I want to lead off with you here, as we think of the winning playbook, what’s working and what’s not working, from a healthcare standpoint, what say you?

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:38:07):

So, Scott, I’m going to say something I’ve been saying for a while, and I know some people take offense when I say this, but it’s okay. It’s reality. The healthcare supply chain is not broken. My whole point is, it’s performing as we designed it to perform. The problem is we are not using it as a design. We designed it to be efficient. But in doing that, we also designed it to be fragile. Maybe that was the unintended consequences of the decisions we made.

 

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:38:39):

You heard the comment about JIT, even in talking with a group of supply chain leaders, the interesting thing is prior to COVID, about 48 percent of them said that their primary approach to inventory management was JIT. But then, when you asked them what was going to be their approach to inventory management post-COVID, nearly 78 percent of them said it was going to be JIC, just in case, hefty safety stock. Essentially meaning that, here we are in an era where an organization that can have 4 percent margin is considered to be extreme. Where in reality, they were operating around 2 percent margin during a time where revenues were going down. So, the margins were being sliced even more. And yet our strategies or our approach to managing supplies and inventory were actually costing the organizations more.

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:39:25)

And then, we say we want to have the strategic recognition. Well, we are not doing any service to those other members of the C-suite by way of the decisions we make. And the sad part to this, Scott, they’re looking at us to be the supply chain expert. And their point is, you’re supposed to know what you’re doing and yet you’re costing us more, and we have no idea what we’re doing. So, maybe we should just go back to doing the way we were doing. We’re going to send you back to the basement next to the morgue. Because, essentially, that’s what you’re going to find.

 

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:39:53):

And so, my whole point here is this, there is an opportunity for supply chain to really be more like what we see in other sectors. I’m not saying they have to be Amazon. I’m not saying they have to be Dale or Walmart. But it doesn’t hurt us to think a little more like the way that they think. And I understand, it’s one thing to not have your favorite tennis shoe. It’s another thing not to have a vital drug. But you know what I say? That’s more fodder for my argument. Because if the supplies that you carry are much more vital, if the implications are much more dire, then we should probably put much more emphasis on being a strategic partner, rather than just being perpetual firefighters.

Scott Luton (00:40:33):

Oh, man. Lots of t-shirt-isms there. Guy, I’m going to come to you in just one second. But since Dr. Bradley mentioned tennis shoes, I’ve got to just recognize we have Michael Caney with Port City Logistics in part of the conversation. Michael, try to get your question. Michael has got a tennis shoe collection. He was on our livestream with us yesterday and he knows more about shoes. He even determined who I was and he talked about me wearing my white New Balance I had on. And he was right. He was right. I’m a dork like that. But, Michael, great to see you. Glad you’re here.

 

Scott Luton (00:41:05):

And Jake says, “‘Word’ – Randy. The unfortunate reality on the healthcare side is at really 80 percent of the supply network design is not designed for agility. New miracles coming without significant redesign.” And one last comment here, Tandreia Bellamy – the one and only Tandreia Bellamy is here – “We designed it to be cheap. That’s why so many of our healthcare products are produced offshore. That does not allow rapid response in crisis.” Tandreia, I hope this finds you well. I look forward to reconnecting with you soon. Okay.

 

Scott Luton (00:41:38):

So, Guy, we’re talking healthcare. There’s so much to tackle. It’s really tough to get this in retail, hot topics. What say you when it comes to what’s working and what’s not working?

Guy Courtin (00:41:48):

Yeah. I’m going to mirror what Randy said about what’s not working to some degree. And I think I might expand this across the board, where, we have run our supply chains in such a lean methodology. And we’ve run our supply chains to some degree being driven by our friends over at the financial department. Our CFOs and such, we’re looking at working capital and saying, “Hey, here’s a great piece of item on my balance sheet I can skip down and I can really cut, cut, cut, cut to make my margins look better, free of cash, et cetera. I don’t want that pesky inventory lying around. Why would I need to build stuff ahead of time? Goodness, I don’t need it. It’s just going to stock up in my warehouse. And then, it’s going to look bad on my balance sheet.” And I think that’s what we’ve seen from one of the companies we work with.

Guy Courtin (00:42:36):

What I do like is that there’s sort of a pivot where people are starting to rethink this, to Randy’s point, this just in case. The fact that, you know what? Your inventory actually relates to really life or death situations. Maybe don’t run it so lean. To Randy’s point, if I don’t get my New Balance 805 in time, it’s okay. I could still wear my old ones – sorry – 908. But if I don’t get that plasma, if I don’t get that drug in time, that has real repercussions.

 

Guy Courtin (00:43:13):

I think we’re seeing the same thing – and not to steer away – look at healthcare, also look at the auto industry, look at everything that has to do with semiconductors. We’ve seen this, right? Car prices going through the roof. Why? Because you ran things so lean with things like semiconductors and others. And I think in the healthcare space in particular, because, again, this is truly life or death. This is talking about us and our welfare and our wellbeing. I think that’s been a challenge. I think the positive side that I have seen is more and more of those folks in the healthcare supply chain are coming around to realizing this.

 

Guy Courtin (00:43:50):

Now, the question I have or the challenge I have to our colleagues in healthcare is, it’s great that today we’re having these conversations. What happens in 10 months, 12 months, 18 months, when things – I hate to use this term – go back to normal? But when things go back and all of a sudden now, Wall Street, our CFOs, the financial side is pressuring us again to say, “Wait. Why are you carrying eight weeks of safety stock? We could do with only four weeks or two weeks or we’ll just JIT it. We’ll just get whatever we need it.”

 

Guy Courtin (00:44:20):

What I fear is that we sort of go back to feeling comfortable and that we start looking at our supply chains again and saying, “Hey, let me cut the fat and make it look good because you know what? I’ve got my quarterly stock report coming up,” or, “I’m going to be on Cramer tomorrow and I want to talk about how great my balance sheet looks.” So, I think that’s what I fear. To Randy’s point, I think we have an opportunity now to really take hold of this conversation and change the way we look specifically at the healthcare supply chain and how we do things. It’s a challenge on all of us to truly take advantage of this moment and not to let us sort of slide back into a comfort zone. And, again, not to pick on them, not to let the accountants and the CFOs in Wall Street dictate to us how we run our inventory.

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:45:05):

And that’s what we’re seeing, right? If we look at what we saw with both waves one and two of COVID, and when we started to hit this low, we saw rates declining, we saw bad rates opening up. And what happened? We thought everything was over with. We were initially focused on PPE, but what we missed, the trimmers. And remember I told you there are aftershocks. The aftershocks said that it’s not just going to be PPE that you can’t get. There are going to be other critical items that are ultimately going to be affected. And so, because we hadn’t made changes in the way we approach and the way we manage now, all of a sudden, that list of ten items is a list of 30, 40, 50 items that now we’re struggling to get on a consistent basis that we actually need.

Scott Luton (00:45:47):

Yes. All right. So, I’m going to move us ahead. We got a lot more, Guy and Dr. Bradley, we want to share with everyone. There’s a lot of folks claiming y’all dropping mics. You got t-shirt-isms. Y’all really making a mark here as expected. So, I want to move forward. I want to talk really quick about what we’re calling the data determinant. Let’s stick with Dr. Bradley here for a second. Talk about how data is key to automation enablement.

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:46:16):

You know, I always like to think about it in terms of this pyramid that we’re working towards, Scott. And, essentially, one of the things that you’re going to have at this base is you’re going to have that digital connectivity. And then, as you get the digital connectivity, you got to move up to this automation. That digital connectivity is necessary to make sure that data can flow more seamlessly. Then, we can start to automate. Then, we can start looking at advanced analytics. And then, we can get into more predictive or, really, more emerging technologies that we bring to the foreground.

 

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:46:44):

But apart from that, what we have to think about is data is that central core to both your digital strategy and your analytic strategy. And, unfortunately, the work we have done with a multitude of organizations, we find that fewer than 25 percent of them have a digital strategy, around 18 percent of them have an analytic strategy, and approximately seven to nine percent of them have a data strategy. Now, think about that. The part that’s key and critical to all of them is the one that exist the least. And so, yet, nearly every one of these organizations have digital and analytics initiatives underway. But yet we haven’t thought about where we’re going, what it’ll look like when we get there, so how will we know when we’ve arrived?

Scott Luton (00:47:27):

All right. So, Guy, man, you bring data to a data conversation. He’s making some big points there. When you think of data being that critical key to automation enablement, what do you say?

Guy Courtin (00:47:40):

I agree. And I’ll go back to a prior life of mine when I worked in the warehouse automation space. We build robots, which we’re very, very cool. But I remember our founder made a great point, he said, “The hardware does the work. But the software, the data, is what creates the work.” And I think what we need to look at when it comes to data – and Randy’s heard me say this a million times, I’m going to say it again – when I hear data is the new oil, I kind of laugh. I’m like, “Well, oil is nothing until I refine it, until I do something with it.” And so, I mold that data into what I want it to do for me.

 

Guy Courtin (00:48:14):

Going back to our Super Bowl analogy, so much data in sports these days. You know, football, of course baseball. But the reality is you look at it and what data do you need to find and what decisions you want to make based on that data, knowing that you can always get more data. But at the end of the day, when you’re in the football field and that play clock’s coming down, you got to make a decision and you got to execute a play. And then, you have to hope your training and everything’s done well. The data could tell you, “Well, there’s 18 percent probability of this and 50 percent.” Well, you know what? At the end of the day, the coach has to make a decision. And I think that’s part of it where, to Randy’s point, that we need to move to a more sophisticated view of how we leverage data as opposed to what I think, again, is a very basic way of looking at it, which is, “Well, we just get more data.” [Inaudible].

Guy Courtin (00:49:06):

So, I’ll give you an example. Way back in the day when I was an analyst, I remember going to a GE conference where they’re talking about IoT enabled airplane engines, IoT enabled locomotives, which were fantastic. And I was sitting next to the CIO of a mid-sized airline and they’re up there and was talking about IoT enabled airplane engines throwing, like, 2,000 points of data per second. And the CIO was like, “That’s great.” And he looked at me and he goes, “What am I going to do with that?” And he was like, “What am I going to do with that? I don’t know where to store it. Let alone, if I can store it in my servers, what do I do with it?” I think this notion of, “Well, let’s just get more data for the sake of it is wrong. I think to Randy’s point, we need to have the right strategy and the right efforts around it, as opposed to just saying, “Well, let’s have a data gathering strategy.”

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:49:58):

To that point from Guy, you know, we work with about 800 different companies here on this whole thing about how do you really corral data that’s coming from multiple sources of multiple streams. Because to Guy’s point, as you use more IoT, other forms of sensors and devices, you’re creating more data streams that you’ve got to figure out how to corral and how to integrate. Here’s the tricky point here, only about 15 percent of that nearly 800 companies say that they are good or excellent when it comes to corralling that, 15 percent.

 

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:50:27):

And so, yet, we’re making decisions, to Guy’s point, with “Let’s produce more. Let’s produce it faster. Let’s produce it at a more granular level.” We can’t handle little data, let alone talking about big data. So, let’s first figure out what we need to make the decision and let’s provide the right context, right level, to the right individual, at the right time. The decisions need to be made in real time. The data doesn’t always have to be real time.

Scott Luton (00:50:53):

Yes. Okay. Really quick, we’ll see if we’re going to have a baseball season. Our world champion, Atlanta Braves, they’re ready to go to defend the title. We’ll see. But as Guy mentioned, in baseball, you got all these shifts. Well, the umpires don’t give managers four hours to figure out where they’re going to shift. They got to have the right data right there in the moment. And those shifts happen right there, whether you’re a big fan of them or not. So, a lot of good stuff. Always good sports analogies. All right.

 

Scott Luton (00:51:17):

So, we got to keep driving here because we got a little more we want to get into. And we’re approaching the top of the hour, bottom of the hour, whatever. I always get that wrong. I think the top of the hour. Let’s go with some big, bold predictions from our panel here. Now, let’s make these Reader’s Digest style or kind of in a nutshell, because I want to get to some of the cool things that Dr. Bradley has been learning from the now generation. So, really quick, Guy, let’s stick with you. Give us one prediction, peer deep into your crystal ball, give us one bold fearless prediction.

Guy Courtin (00:51:47):

I think one bold fearless prediction is, look for sustainability to become much more of a business driver and supply chain across the board, retail, distribution, healthcare, brands, petrochem, what have you. Look for sustainability to be less, not a marketing tagline, but an actual business driver within the industry. And look for Europe to lead with that.

Scott Luton (00:52:12):

I love that. And as Scot Case with NRF, she made a great point a couple weeks ago in Vegas, “Let’s bake those priorities into how we design global supply chain so they can really support our efforts to make big gains there.” So, a lot of good stuff there, Guy. Dr. Bradley, what would you say when it comes to one big bold prediction?

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:52:30):

Supply chain disruptions will be the norm. Business interruption will be the exception. And supplier diversity will be table states.

Scott Luton (00:52:39):

Man, it’s just that simple and succinct. I love that. By the way, JT Hopkins says, “Bring Doc Bradley back.” And so, Guy has got a fan club here. And, clearly, Dr. Bradley’s going to have one as well. So, a lot of good stuff there. All right. I want to stick with you Dr. Bradley for a second, then, Guy, I will get your response based on what he shares. And it’s not good enough to call the folks that are matriculating through UTs and other programs into global supply chain, the next generation, because they’re already making an impact. So, we like to coin that the now generation. So, Dr. Bradley, we’re big believers in that reverse mentoring and all we gain from what the now generation shares. What are some of your favorite moments in terms of observations or what they’ve shared with you?

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:53:25):

One, they’re not coming to you to stay, just know that. I’m just being clear. They’re not going to be like us. Many of us, we’re lifers for the most part. They’re not looking for that. They’re looking for interesting projects that are challenging projects. They’re looking for an experience. And then, once you can no longer provide them an experience or a challenge, they’re on to the next thing. It doesn’t mean you did anything to make them upset. It’s just that they checked the box and they moved onto the next box. They save for experiences. They’re not necessarily saving to build this house on the hill. And so, I think it’s important for us to be mindful of the way they think and how they want to live their lives.

Scott Luton (00:54:08):

Wow. Bruno is weighing in. I’m with you, they’re not yours for life. They’re not sticking with you. Ikemefuna – I believe I said that right – ” Quite insightful statement from Dr. Bradley.” I completely agree. And she says, “Disruptions are really here to stay.” That’s another thing that Dr. Bradley said. Okay. So, Guy, based on what you heard there and I’m sure you’ve got your finger on the pulse, you talk with the members of the now generation all the time. What are some of your favorite observations there?

Guy Courtin (00:54:36):

You know, I think what’s been really interesting, and I’ll take this more from what we lived through in the past two years, which I think is fantastic, is, the now generation, for us old curmudgeons here, they’ve said, “Well, wait a minute. Why can’t we do X, Y, and Z? And why do we need to wait to get this done?” I’ve heard a lot of stories and had a lot of conversations with people during the pandemic, they say, “We’re going to do this.” Okay. Just do it. Why? Because these are unprecedented times. Whether it’s things like work from home, whether it’s things like bringing BOPAC or BOPIS to a retailer, whether it’s new projects that got accelerated, and all of a sudden, funny, all that red tape just disappeared and just get it done.

Guy Courtin (00:55:16):

I think that now generation, what I’m encouraged by, is that this has taught them and showed them, “Wait a minute. Why do I have to wait 10, 15, 24 months for a project?” If you think it’s that important, you just get it done and get it done now. And don’t be afraid to sort of break some eggs that you’re doing it. Ask forgiveness, not permission. And I think for old curmudgeons like me, it’s like, “Okay. Great. Now, I get it. It’s good.” And I think it’s scary at times, because all of a sudden our thought process has been totally turned upside down and challenged. But I think that’s the way it has to be.

 

Guy Courtin (00:55:52):

And one last one, too, and I think we’ve talked about this, but I do think that there’s more and more of a collaborative view of some of these things. Now, I’m not going to say we’re going to move away from unbridled capitalism in competition. That will always be there and that’s what makes us strong as well. But I do believe I’m seeing the now generation a better sense of, “You know what? Everything impacts everything else. I don’t live in a silo. I don’t live just in my town, my state, my country. I live in global community.” So, I think we’re starting to see more of that in now generation. But I think the big one for me is just this unwillingness to accept, “Well, let’s have another meeting about this, and think about it, and then do a subcommittee to weigh it.” No. Just do it.

Scott Luton (00:56:34):

Ain’t nobody got time for that. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Jason says, “People, people, people, I’m with you there.” And this is a great comment, this might be Colleen, “It’s not just the now generation. It’s evidenced by The Great Resignation during the pandemic.” I agree with you. The reason I was asking about the now generation is because Dr. Bradley is regularly dealing with undergraduates and graduates, so that’s all. Everyone’s making a big impact. So, great point there, Colleen. Tandreia says, “Actually, mentees can be with you for life. Employees, not so much. Employees generally are not invested. A strong mentor/mentee relationship can be lifelong.” Well said that. Okay.

 

Scott Luton (00:57:10):

So, as much as I hate to start to wrap up our time here, I’m going to make sure folks know how to connect with Dr. Bradley and Guy in one second. But really quick to our production team, big thanks to Amanda, and Catherine, and Chantel, and Clay, wherever he is flying over now as he heads out to Vegas. We got a neat resource that we want to share from our friends at Tecsys, The Warehouse Automation Education Series. So, let’s drop that link in the comment. It’s free to sign up for and download. I think you might just have to submit some information and then you can get more content from curmudgeons like Guy Courtin. Hey, you used the word so I figure I could use it too. All right. So, y’all check that out. A lot of good stuff there. Okay.

 

Scott Luton (00:57:54):

What a lively and enlightening conversation. Guy, every time you appear it’s always like that. But, man, we double down by having Dr. Bradley join. We got the fan club started. Let’s make sure folks know how to connect with both of y’all after today’s livestream. Dr. Bradley, I want to start with you. When you’re not inspiring minds and doing work out there with corporations and making industry better under the we banner rolling it together, how can folks connect with you?

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:58:23):

Pretty simple. You can find me on LinkedIn, Randy V. Bradley. The same on Twitter. Or you could hit me at randyvbradley.com.

Scott Luton (00:58:30):

Wonderful. It’s just that easy. I got to ask you, what does the V stand for?

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:58:36):

Vidal.

Scott Luton (00:58:36):

Really? Vidal. Like, Gore Vidal?

Dr. Randy Bradley (00:58:39):

Like Vidal Sassoon.

Scott Luton (00:58:40):

Okay. Very nice. We’re going to have to have you back and get the origin story on Dr. Randy Vidal Bradley. Okay. Always a pleasure. All right. Guy, really enjoyed the series we’ve had here. So much good stuff. Man, we’re talking healthcare, retail, distribution, generational observations here today. So much good stuff in an hour. How can folks connect with you and that hard hitting Tecsys team?

Guy Courtin (00:59:05):

Yeah. Absolutely. So, first and foremost, go to our website, tecsys, T-E-C-S-Y-S, .com. For me directly, obviously, you can find me on LinkedIn, just my name, Guy Courtin. Also on Twitter, I’m just@G-C-O-U-R-T-I-N. So, I will tweet about as, you know, Scott, all kinds of random stuff. So, always looking for an audience. But hit us up on any of those sites and we look forward to connecting.

 

Guy Courtin (00:59:32):

And, again, just a shameless plug, if any folks are going to be out, we and I will be at MODEX coming up in Atlanta. So, come by our booth, we’d love to chat and learn more about what you guys are looking at, and how we can help, and what else is going on out there. But looking forward to it. And, hopefully, knock on wood that our event seasons go back to normal and we get to see each other face-to-face. And that’s one of my favorite parts of the job.

Scott Luton (00:59:57):

I’m with you. I am so with you. That’s where we first met face-to-face at MODEX. And it’s been a great collaboration ever since. Make sure y’all check that. By the way, Guy is a wonderful Twitter connection/follow, especially if you love the real game of football, not the American version. He’s a passionate football fan. And I’ve learned a lot just by checking you out on Twitter. I know nothing about the game, Guy, nothing of the game. All right. Folks, make sure you connect with Dr. Randy Bradley and Guy Courtin. Guy with Tecsys, of course, and Dr. Bradley with the University of Tennessee. Delightful guests. Thank you to you both.

Dr. Randy Bradley (01:00:35):

Thank you, Scott.

Guy Courtin (01:00:35):

Thank you, Scott.

Scott Luton (01:00:35):

And until next time. But, folks, hey, I love all the comments in the sky boxes. Y’all hit it out. Gosh. It felt like we had 37 featured guests, right? A lot of complimentary and eureka moments being dropped in the sky boxes. Thanks so much. That makes it all the worthwhile despite how much we love our guests. We had a bunch of them here today. Big thanks to Dr. Bradley. Big thanks to Guy and the Tecsys team. Folks, if you learn anything here today – stealing something from Dr. Bradley – we’re all in this thing together. We’re all this thing together. So, challenging you on behalf of our entire Supply Chain Now team to do good, to give forward, to be the change that’s needed. On that note, we’ll see you next time right back here at Supply Chain Now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (01:01:15):

Thanks for being a part of our Supply Chain Now community. Check out all of our programming at supplychainnow.com, 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.

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Featured Guests

Guy Courtin, Vice President and Industry Principal for Retail is a well-respected thought leader and speaker on the topic of the future of retail; in his current role, he leads omnichannel supply chain technology provider Tecsys’ go-to market strategy. He brings over 20 years of experience in the supply chain industry, having held senior leadership roles at 6 Rivers, Infor, Progress Software, and i2 Technologies. In addition, he has been an industry analyst covering the supply chain and retail spaces for SCM World, Constellation Research and Forrester Research. Guy holds an MBA from the Olin School at Babson College, a Master’s degree from Loyola University Chicago, and a Bachelor’s degree from The College of the Holy Cross. Guy has been featured on numerous industry publications, podcasts and panels speaking on the evolving retail ecosystem, the role of technology, and the interplay between physical and digital customer experiences; he proffers insight into the future of the store, the new goalposts for customer loyalty, and how hybrid retail is forging new shopping paradigms. Connect with Guy on LinkedIn.

Dr. Randy V. Bradley is an Associate Professor of Information Systems and Supply Chain Management in the Haslam College of Business at The University of Tennessee. He is also EVP, Digital Transformation in Life Sciences for Bio Supply Management Alliance (BSMA), and Principal Owner of RV Bradley, LLC. He holds a Ph.D. in Management of Information Technology and Innovation, an M.S. in Management Information Systems, and a B.S. in Computer Engineering, all from Auburn University. Dr. Bradley is a preeminent thought leader and highly sought-after speaker for professional and corporate conferences and events. Dr. Bradley has 20+ years of industry experience as a consultant and healthcare supply chain and IT strategist and researcher. His expertise includes digital business transformation, supply chain digitalization, and the strategic application of business analytics and IT in the supply chain, with an emphasis on the healthcare sector. Connect with Randy on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more.  In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.

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Vicki White

Controller

Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.

From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.

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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.

She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.

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Greg White

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise

When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.

Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.

Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.

With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog.  He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community.  Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include CiscoMicrosoft, Citrix and IBM.  Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane UniversityO’Reilly MediaLinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight.  Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems EngineeringCarrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.

He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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Jeff Miller

Host

Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business.  Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM.  When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.

An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.

A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.

A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning.  He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.

Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.

Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.

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Ben Harris

Host

Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics.  He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.

He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.

A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.

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