Supply Chain Now
Episode 1049

Organizations are starting to realize that there are some larger problems around environmental and social topics that they can't solve on their own. They're going to need help; they're going to need partners. Oftentimes those partners are people that 99% of the time they may actually compete with. That leads us to the idea that Chief Supply Chain Officers are going to evolve into Chief Ecosystem Officers.

- Mike Griswold, Vice President of Research, Gartner

Episode Summary

Mike Griswold is the Vice President of Research at Gartner, specializing in retail with a particular focus on forecasting and replenishment. He is responsible for Gartner’s annual Top 25 Supply Chain ranking and joins Supply Chain Now on a monthly basis to discuss the latest in retail supply chains from an analyst’s perspective.

2022 brought its fair share of challenges to global business. As we step closer to the end of the year, the ‘Big Guy’ himself – Santa – is now checking his list (and checking it twice) to see which supply chains were naughty and which were nice.

In this episode, Mike takes a broad look back over the year with co-hosts Scott Luton and Jenny Froome:

• Which supply chains he believes are moving in the right direction, despite constant headwinds

• His take on supply chain management and innovation in Africa

• How machine learning and AI allow companies to do the best they can with the talent they have in house

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (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 (00:33):

Hey, hey. Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, Scott Luton and Jenny Froome here with you on Supply Chain. Now welcome to today’s live stream, Jenny. How you doing?

Jenny Froome (00:41):

I’m doing well sitting here in the dark power power cut in South Africa. But other than that, I’m doing very well. So sorry for the poor lighting.

Scott Luton (00:50):

No, no, no. Well, I think this is an opportunity to share some information that might be in Folks Blind Spot. Right, Jenny, on the last couple shows, you know, we do, uh, a series on supply chain now called Supply Chain Leadership across Africa. And on the last show, you and I were hosting Power Load shedding, claimed at least one, if not two of our guests. And you’re experiencing this same load shedding right now. So you’re dependent upon battery power there in South Africa, is that right?

Jenny Froome (01:16):

Yeah, we’re going through a bit of a crisis at the moment. Um, we’re having up to nine hours a day with no electricity, so it’s, it’s done in blocks. So we’ve just started our four and a half hour block here up in Joburg. And we also just had a huge electrical storm. So for a moment there, it felt like it was the end of the world, but we’re alright, we’re here and we’re ready to go.

Scott Luton (01:35):

Well, we should all be grateful, uh, for what we have and what we experience or don’t experience. And Jenny, we were on an interview earlier today with the great Nicci Scott, and it’s like you just keep making it happen. Regardless, whatever, uh, <laugh> challenges are thrown at you, you just keep on moving forward. So love that. Yeah. And great to have you here. Cause you know, Greg White, he’s on assignment somewhere. He’s, uh, building research or, uh, he’s doing something big, right? Secret mission.

Jenny Froome (01:59):

Secret mission.

Scott Luton (02:02):

All right. But folks, you’re in for a treat here. Not only is Jenny fr joining me as a guest co-host, we got one of our most popular and longest running series, it’s supply chain today and tomorrow with Mike Griswold with Gartner. So today, Jenny, it is an Ask Mike anything episode. So folks get your questions. I see Gino’s one of the first folks in, get your questions, bring them. Because I don’t think, Mike, Jenny, I don’t, Jenny, I don’t think Mike has seen a question that scares him yet, huh?

Jenny Froome (02:29):

Mm-hmm. No, I’ve, I always watch these ones and I always come away having learned something. And you’re right. He never shies away from answering anything

Scott Luton (02:37):

Ever, ever, ever. So great to have him. He’ll be joining us in just a minute. Hey, before he does, we definitely wanna share just a couple, uh, quick things with you. So one resource here, this is our, with that said LinkedIn newsletter. This is the image from the last one. Jenny, this always strikes me. I’m a big Norman Rockwell fan. This is like modern pseudo Norman Rockwell. That’s this beautiful image here of all these different folks from around the world. So we use that as kind of a vehicle to celebrate many of our listeners and subscribers and folks that are part of, at least the, with that said audience, and had a blast. Jenny, you and I have commented on, on some of these, uh, every, every now and again. What’s your thoughts on this newsletter here?

Jenny Froome (03:17):

Oh, I, I think it’s great. And you always manage to bring such interesting and topical articles, and it’s a definite must read.

Scott Luton (03:26):

Well, we try. I I was kind, shame on me. I was fishing for a compliment there, Jenny. I shouldn’t do that. So <laugh>. But hey, I

Jenny Froome (03:33):

Think it’s rubbish. I don’t bother to do that. What was I gonna say?

Scott Luton (03:37):

Hey, we have a blast doing it. And I really like this one. Our team took a minute to kind of dive into, uh, the subscribers and lift them up cause they’re doing some really cool things. Uh, so y’all check that out. You can venture over to our supply chain Now Company page and subscribe to that or, or check out any of the recent, uh, versions. And then also on, on a more serious note, one of the most rewarding initiatives we’ve been a part of this year is, uh, led by our friends at Beter Global Logistics. And they have been pushing this leveraging logistics for Ukraine Initiative going on probably six months now. And Jenny, we gotta get updated figures. But already over 500,000 pounds of vetted humanitarian relief has been shipped via this effort to families in need and folks in need in Ukraine and Poland and elsewhere. The next planning session is December 13th, 11:00 AM Eastern Time. Folks, you can join. You don’t have to give, there’s no expectation you can join and just, and kind of be a fly on wall and absorb all the, the market intel and, and, um, intelligence and information that’s shared. And if you’re in position to, to share, give of any level, that’d be wonderful too. But, uh, Jenny, these efforts, I mean, this is why it’s such, such a special time to be in the world global supply chain,

Jenny Froome (04:47):

Right? Absolutely. And well done to Vector Logistics for the initiative and to you guys for supporting this. I was talking to a colleague today who has a, a colleague in Ukraine who’s trying to keep his company going and has to come off calls because they have to go down into bomb shelter. And I’m sitting here complaining about no electricity, and you just, you know, you have to really put things into perspective,

Scott Luton (05:10):

Man. So well said, Jenny. Uh, so folks, if you’re so inclined, our team has dropped a link to the planning session. Again, just gotta sign up and then you could just be a fly on the wall if you’d like, or you can finally jump in and, and participate. So that next session, Tuesday, December 13th at 11:00 AM Eastern Time. Okay, let’s say hello to a couple quick folks, and then we’re gonna bring in the one and only Mike Griswald. Jenny, I’m looking forward to this Gene. Pleasure. As I mentioned, Gino, uh, is with us. Gino, I’ve just revisited your email. Gino’s getting ready to share some of his expertise with our global supply chain now family. So we’ll be reconnecting soon. And Jenny, did you know Gene Pledger is a rock and roll drummer in his spare time?

Jenny Froome (05:51):

Fantastic. Yes. And lots of letters after his name as well, so must be jolly,

Scott Luton (05:58):

Jolly clever. He is. Tom Rry is with us as all, uh, as Hey Tom as well. And of course Tom, we all love that. I, I’m, I’m about to say hat, it’s not, hat doesn’t do it justice. What would you call a, a derby? Is that, that’s not Derby? What kind of hat is that, Jenny?

Jenny Froome (06:12):

Oh, now you’ve got me on the spot. I don’t know. It’s, uh, I don’t know. I dunno. It’ll come to me when the show’s finished, I’m

Scott Luton (06:18):

Sure. Well, it’s iconic. And Tom, hope you’re doing well, and great to see you here as well. Welcome everybody. Y’all keep the comments coming. Keep the, your questions from Mike Griswald coming. We’ve, we’ve already had the team has, our team has been pulsed, so we’ve got, uh, a little list we’re gonna start with, but we’d ha be happy to supplement that list with what y’all may be on your mind. And hey, really quick, Tom says, it is an a Cuba fedora. How about that?

Jenny Froome (06:44):

It’s Australian. It’s, it’s the, a Cuba an Australian brand, not that we’re advertising. Yes,

Scott Luton (06:49):

AHHA. Look here,

Jenny Froome (06:50):

Edit it. Before you told

Scott Luton (06:51):

Me Tom has owned the money, I love it. Learn something new every day. But, uh, welcome Tom rafting. Okay, so with no further ado, Jenny, you ready to get down to work?

Jenny Froome (07:00):


Scott Luton (07:00):

Ready. I am too. So with no further ado, I’ll welcome in our friend, the one and only Mike Griswold, vice President Analyst with Gartner. Hey, hey, Mike. How you doing?

Mike Griswold (07:11):

Hey. And do well. Thanks. Hi, everyone. Jenny, good to see you. Hope everyone is doing Hey, Mike. Well, wherever they might be,

Scott Luton (07:16):

It is, uh, a delight to have you back. And, and really it’s, it’s, it’s really cool to have you back and have Jenny who all I’m pulling her comments from our cheap seats all the time in these sessions. It’s so neat to have my friend Jenny here on this episode. As I said, Greg White is on assignment somewhere, right? Mike?

Mike Griswold (07:32):

Yeah. Assignment. We use that loosely around here once a month, right? So yeah, he’s on assignment, everyone.

Scott Luton (07:38):

Oh, I love it. Okay, so let’s have a little more fun before we pose some hard-hitting questions to Mike Griswold. I wanna pose a fun, warm question to both of y’all. So y’all know I love history and business history while tomorrow December 9th is the 10th anniversary of Michelle Norris becoming the first African American female regular co-host of NPRs National Public Radios All Things Considered program. It is, it’s like comfort food. I’ve always thought comfort food of listening. And I’ll tell you that in conjunction with, um, Paul Harvey’s, the rest of the story, which I heard a lot as a kid. Those are two of the, the shortlist reasons that I’m doing what I’m doing now. Cause those two folks, Michelle and Paul, really inspired me. So using that as a backdrop, and Mike, let’s start with you. What was a radio or television show that may have inspired you in your journey?

Mike Griswold (08:28):

So I think when, when we were thinking about the, the top 25 and how did we want to kind of share that in the reveal, and how did we wanna bring that out to organizations, one of the things we’re thinking about is I watched probably more than I should, uh, a fair amount of espn. And there’s a couple of shows around the horn, pardon the interruption, where you’ve got people in a very conversational type of environment just bouncing things off, uh, b bouncing things off each other, either agreeing or disagreeing and just really having a dialogue. And we thought, wouldn’t that be great to do that around our supply chain Top 25? So when we were doing the Reveal live in, in Phoenix, uh, whether it was a m r or early days of, uh, the Gartner acquisition, you know, we had analysts come up on stage and talk about the companies as we were revealing them in what we felt was a very conversational, just like, you know, if you were at a bar discussing your favorite sports team. So that format where you give people an opportunity to, to share an idea and have a point and a counterpoint and, and just have an unscripted discussion, that really, I think was, was one of the things that’s helped us, you know, have the success we’ve had around the top 25.

Scott Luton (09:47):

I love it. And have fun while you do it. I mean, yes, what, you know, that creates more interest for folks that are consuming and watching the, the conversations take place. So Mike, I never stopped to think about what could have been some of y’all’s inspiration there. And it makes total sense. Uh, so Jenny, that’s gonna be tough to beat. Uh, so <laugh>,

Jenny Froome (10:06):

It’s gonna be very tough to beat. It’s a very clever answer as well. So my, my rather flippant answer, the first part of it is that I always wanted to be able to swim with Flipper. And I used to dream, dream of swimming with Flipper,

Scott Luton (10:19):

A wonderful dolphin. Yeah. Yeah.

Jenny Froome (10:22):

And then my, my less flippant is in, in memory of Kirsty Alley and Cheers, which is one of the funniest shows in my opinion, ever on television pop from Golden Girls. But that inspired me because the central characters are reformed, or a recovering alcoholic who bought a bar and for me aged, I don’t know, in my early teens that was like, why would you put that temptation in front of yourself like that? And what self-control? So it’s always been a, Sam Malone has always been a, a, a character of strong self-control for me. Oh, except when it came to Women

Scott Luton (10:57):

<laugh> <laugh>. We’ll save that for another show, right? Yeah. Mike, were you a big Cheers fan?

Mike Griswold (11:01):

I was a huge Cheers fan. I I’m glad you brought that up, Jenny. One, when we lived in Massachusetts, you know, we, we made the, the obligatory tour over to the, to the Cheers bar. The, the characters on that show. I mean, I, I think in many ways Cheers, probably paved the way for Seinfeld from the standpoint that you, you can have this eclectic group of characters that hang out in a particular place, a bar, you know, Jerry’s living room, and they have these unique conversations. You know, I, I would equate Cliff Clavin with Kramer, right? Just the, the idiosyncrasies that they had, the, the things that would come out of their mouths. I mean, it was amazing. I don’t know that that Seinfeld had Norm, but Norm in and of itself was an incredible character. And it was just, uh, one of those timeless shows I think

Scott Luton (11:51):

Agreed. You know, norm, now that I think about it, norm and Kramer both kind of had very memorable entrances, right? The whole bar round around <laugh>. So

Mike Griswold (12:01):

They Norm, yes.

Scott Luton (12:04):

Alright. And by the way, I can’t let the one mention that you, you dropped there, Jenny, a moment ago. The Golden Girls. And I am a, am a huge fan that yeah, that was one of the best, funniest, best written shows of its time. Yeah. And, uh, man, the story. Okay, so let’s see here. Tom says, as a kid, he loved watching Tomorrow’s world. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, which was a program showcasing some of the greatest latest inventions. Jenny, Mike, does that ring a bell for y’all?

Jenny Froome (12:32):

I, yeah. More as well, not for me. It’s an English show, right? I always used to find it really boring whenever that was on <laugh>. I always used to write, cause you know, I like to watch Golden Girls and I didn’t like scientific things.

Scott Luton (12:44):

So <laugh>, we’re gonna have to look that up. Uh, appreciate you sharing Timem. Okay. But

Jenny Froome (12:47):

It was very clever and it was ahead of its time as well. I,

Scott Luton (12:50):

Okay, well, so let’s shift gears cause we’ve got the next, uh, I don’t know, 40 minutes or so to ask Mike Griswold anything. Now, Jenny, you’ve got some great questions that, that I’m gonna, uh, get you to share in just a second. But I wanna start, you know, I mentioned on the front end, this is one of our longest running series here, and we’ve had all kinds of, of conversations. We’ve gotten a lot of feedback from our listening audience. So Mike, out of all those shows, probably going back, uh, I don’t know, two and a half, three years now, maybe, what is one of your favorite shows you’ve been a part of?

Mike Griswold (13:22):

I think as, as I was looking at that question, Scott, I was really kinda racking my brain because I, I just have so much fun doing this all the time, right? Every month that they’re always fun. But probably the one we did, it was either earlier this year, maybe the end of last year, where we, the show was all about movies and movie lines and how they related to the supply chain. And I, I like that cuz it was fun, right? We got lots of of audience interaction around the movies. And one of the things that I think helps people is to give them kind of images or, or things that really can relate to the problem we’re talking about. So Jaws, we’re gonna need a bigger boat, right? That’s an s n o P problem, right? Those types of things. You know, I love doing that. And, and we had talked at one point, I think someone had made this suggestion that maybe we should do this to music, right? And songs and song lyrics and how do song lyrics tie to supply chain. So I really, really enjoyed that one. And, and certainly if, if people are interested, we’d love to do a sequel to that particular episode. But that, that was my favorite. Love

Scott Luton (14:33):

It. And we’re gonna book January, that’s gonna be the music one, and then we’ll do the sequel to the, uh, movie supply chain movies, part two, because we all had been operating at Ludicrous Speed, which is a little tip of the hat to, uh, tip of Tom’s hat to Space ball, space Boss. Okay. So Jenny, were you part of that episode with where we talked about No, no,

Jenny Froome (14:53):

I haven’t We, Mr. Definitely. Yeah, that sounds fantastic.

Scott Luton (14:56):

Okay, so here’s, here’s your challenge. Here’s, here’s the one. Ask Jenny, anything before you leave here today. You gotta come up with your cheesy movie analogy to, to whatever we’re talking about. You can pick whatever. How’s that sound? Sounds great. And hey, to our audience, as we, as we mentioned on the front end, this, uh, load shedding that Jenny’s dealing with, if Jenny happens to disappear, our team will be fighting to get it right back in the stream, but we’re gonna keep on driving, so great to have Jenny and Mike with us. Okay, so we’ve knocked off the first, we’ve, we’ve really uncovered Mike’s love for, uh, movies and supply chain and the intersection. Jenny, where are we going next with Mike?

Jenny Froome (15:32):

Well, I think Mike just created a really good segue into the question I was going to, to ask because there’s, of, of all the supply chains ever, father Christmas or Santa, his supply chain has got to be one of the most efficient and one of the most hard to keep resilient and all the rest of it. So Mike, I’m quite sure you’re not gonna be able to share what the ones are that are going to be on his naughty list, but can you share with us some of the ones that are going to be on his well done good list post 2022?

Mike Griswold (16:05):

Yeah, I, I think it’s interesting and I tend to go back to our supply chain top 25 population when, when I think about supply chains that are definitely going in the right direction, have, have been going in the right direction. And as I looked at that list, and I thought about the question, there’s three companies that I would use to maybe answer that question, Jane. The first is j and j. So Johnson and Johnson, I think they did a lot of really good work during Covid and getting us a vaccine and getting it to market. And I think they continue to do some really cool things with their supply chain around other types of medicines and things like that. And I do think as we go into kind of this winter season, which for some people could last into March and April, right? Depending on where you live, right?

Mike Griswold (16:50):

That cold and flu season and just getting antibiotics to places and people that need it, giving people choices around, you know, do you wanna get a vaccine or not? I, I think they’ve enabled their supply chain for people to be able to make who want to make those choices to be able to, to get, you know, the things that they need. The second one I would call out is Microsoft. You know, they were a new entrant in our top 25 last year, and I think a lot of people were like, what’s Microsoft doing in here? And do they even have a supply chain? And if you think about the diversity of their business between the devices and all the stuff they do in the cloud and for the cloud and the ability to support that in a sustainable way. I think oftentimes when we think about things in the cloud, we think about data centers and, you know, to, to the, what you’re experiencing now, Jenny, the strain, the infrastructure that data centers can put from electrical perspective, but some of the things that Microsoft is doing to alleviate some of that drain on the infrastructure, they’re just a really interesting company to watch.

Mike Griswold (17:52):

And they have an incredible passion for the environment and the things that they do from an e sg perspective, I think are setting them up really well. And the third, Mike,

Scott Luton (18:01):

Can I comment really quick? Oh, please. Uh, also as in the last few weeks, Microsoft has rolled out, its, uh, I think it’s called a supply chain center. I’m probably getting the name of it wrong, but they’ve conducted it and developed it in partnership with several of their, their customers, including, uh, Hz. And it really helps connect all the different platforms and, and tools and, and, and help ’em communicate with each other, but while ma making better gains and of course offering that long sought after visibility that we’ve all been after for years now. So interesting. Um, I I’m glad that Microsoft’s on your list, uh, as a recent entrant on top 25

Mike Griswold (18:35):

Too. Yeah, yeah. The, the third one that I have, we can have a little bit of fun with cuz it is the holiday season, but in, in, in all seriousness, it’s diagio. So they’ve got a rarely a very interesting supply chain if you think about just the spirit’s business, right? They’ve got stuff that, you know, doesn’t really make it to market for 25 or 30 years potentially, right? If you’re talking about a, a good whiskey, they’ve got stuff that comes to market much sooner. But if you think about their supply chain in general, and not that I’m a frequent visitor to my local liquor store, <laugh>, but when I’m there, very rarely is any of the Diagio products or are any of the products outta stock. Very rarely would I ever have to make a trade-off decision between this spirit and that spirit. And to do that, especially during the holidays, is certainly challenging, right?

Mike Griswold (19:24):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative> when, when the volume picks up dramatically, but even just over the course of the year and of course of the holidays, you know, they do a really good job, uh, of working with, you know, their supply base and then obviously getting out to the distributors and the other resellers of their spirits. They’re another one that’s been in our supply chain, top 25 for a while, you know, has, has gone up some years, dropped a little bit of other years, but has a really, really good supply chain and I think again, is positioned very well for 2023.

Scott Luton (19:52):

All right, so Johnson Johnson, Microsoft, and Diagio, and look at Jenny and Mike <laugh>, Tony on the money. 57 varieties of visibility with very good Microsoft look. Very good, Tony. Nice. Uh, and Helene, great to have you, uh, back with us. I, I wanna say you’re dialed in from France, I believed via a LinkedIn, but correct me if I’m wrong, Jenny, that’s quite a list. Uh, j and j, Microsoft, the Aggio. What was, uh, one of your favorite observations Mike just shared there?

Jenny Froome (20:17):

Well, that he doesn’t visit his liquor store very often, <laugh>, but, but apart from that, um, you know, it’s, it’s great to know, you know, all three of those organizations have got a very strong presence in South Africa and take supply chain education seriously. So it’s really, really cool and great answer. Thank you very much.

Scott Luton (20:35):

So Jenny, that that was such a great question you posed and boy, wouldn’t it be an interesting hour if Mike could speak to the naughty list, but we’ll save that for next year. Maybe Jenny, what’s, what what’s your next question for Mike?

Jenny Froome (20:47):

So Africa, and here we sit and I think we’re, you know, an example of, of what’s not great failing infrastructure or not. And in some countries it’s not even failing, it’s just not there. And yet there have been phenomenal in innovations in the supply chain space and there are spectacular supply chain practitioners who are really working so, so hard to make sure that things, that things keep going. What’s Gartner’s sort of take on supply chain management in

Mike Griswold (21:19):

Africa? I think there’s a couple of things, Jenny, kind of in no particular order. I think the requirement for visibility in general, whether that’s through things like control towers or other visibility mechanisms, I think because of the size, just the size of the continent has required people to figure out and invest in visibility types of capabilities so they can know where stuff is. Whether it’s physical assets like trucks and trailers, whether it’s assets around products, whether it’s just visibility to inventory, uh, and orders and those types of things. I, I think entering into that continent and entering into those countries, visibility has been a top priority, I think. Not only cuz of the size of the continent, but also just the different levels of infrastructure and maturity of infrastructure. I think that is the other big aha moment for I think organizations either standing up or growing supply chains in that continent is the fact that, you know, you can go into one country that is, is highly automated and has a very high reliability around the infrastructure, and you can go right next door and it can be the exact opposite.

Mike Griswold (22:40):

So building a supply chain that is able to go from, if I think about this from a maturity perspective, right? Going from, you know, dealing with people of high maturity to, in the very same day in the next set of transactions, dealing with people that, that have less maturity, right? Whether it’s infrastructure or even exposure to, to basic technology like w m s systems and t m s systems and all those types of things. It takes a special type of supply chain to deal on those extremes. And I think people are getting better from a supply chain management perspective of, okay, if you have to deal in the extremes, what are those common denominator things you need to be really good at? Things like sales and operations planning, right? Being able to match demand and supply and planning and execution across multiple maturity levels. Things like a set of metrics, you know, we have our hierarchy of metrics, but a set of metrics that allows you to, to flex around how are you gonna measure performance. So those are some of the things that I think people are still frankly sorting through and dealing with as they think about how do we stand up a supply chain, you know, in Africa.

Scott Luton (23:52):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, Jenny, your response there? Yeah.

Jenny Froome (23:54):

Uh, I just, I love the fact that Mike immediately talked about the, the difference in the countries and the Africa is really not one country. That’s part the challenge is that a lot of people don’t recognize that. Um, and it’s something we have to keep on educating people about. So Thanks Mike.

Scott Luton (24:11):

Yeah, well said Jenny and Mike. And you know, Jenny, uh, out of all our, uh, interviews together, certainly if we think we’ve got challenging final mile, uh, issues around the world as trying to get the vaccine out, and, and I, and, and I recall, I cannot remember which guests on the supply chain leadership Africa series said it, but there’s some rivers that had no bridges that they’ve had to find a way of, uh, making things happen. So, uh, thank you, Mike, your response there, and Jenny, for all the great work you’re doing, finishing that thought, no pun intended, but, you know, it takes bridge builders and, and, and not talking that final mile, but really talking about the proliferation of supply chain, know-how and networking and information, and Jenny, you and and Safe fix are doing such a great job there. Uh, but Mike, what were you gonna say? Yeah,

Mike Griswold (24:56):

I, I, I think the challenge too, I mean, Jenny hit it spot on, right? You know, that while it’s one continent is certainly a collection of hundreds of countries, all in different parts, different stages, you know, in their evolution, right? Particularly if we think about it from a supply chain and the things, you know, Jenny, what you’re dealing with now, just the general concept of sustainable power, right? That many, even some countries in within Africa can take for granted. Not everyone can do that. And I think about, you mentioned the bridges, and I immediately went to water, and I think about some of the conversations I’ve had with Pepsi and Coca-Cola as an example around the things that they’re doing to introduce sustainable water sources in some of the African countries where they’re working because it wasn’t there. And some of the infrastructure things like water and power that we take for granted often are the very first step in standing up a supply chain in some of these organizations.

Mike Griswold (25:50):

And the other thing you mentioned, the last mile, I I can vividly remember briefings from Pepsi around the supply chain, top 25, where they were delivering Pepsi on bicycles. Mm. And other, you know, to get to a mom and pop type of store using things like bicycles to, to get product from point A to point B. And the last thing is, and, and what I worry about, and Jenny may be a, a good way to bring you back in to get your thoughts on this, I worry about the temptation to potentially take sustainability shortcuts in some of those developing countries in Africa because we are in such a hurry to stand up a supply chain that we may not necessarily think about the sustainability ramifications of that. And I’m hoping we do. Cause, you know, we’ve talked a lot about E S G and sustainability in our times together, you know, not, not only within the context of the top 25, but as a very emerging discussion topic for chief supply chain officers. And that’s one of my concerns as we continue to drive supply chains in Africa, is, is will we keep our eye on the sustainability ball or not? That, that’s one of my concerns.

Scott Luton (27:01):

Jenny, your concerns mm-hmm. <affirmative>, Jenny, your thoughts?

Jenny Froome (27:03):

Well, and will we hold com companies accountable for the, for the greenwashing, right? And for the, for the storytelling. I think it’s, you know, on a continent where it’s so rich in natural resources, there are always going to be challenges in that. And I think it’s, how do we keep people honest basically is, is what the answer is. And we do that going back to your very first point by visibility, right? Um, and transparency and communication. Great

Scott Luton (27:29):

Point, man. We’ll have to just lean into an entire, uh, one of the future Mike Griswold sessions, all dedicated to supply chain topics across Africa’s fascinating conversation. And so on a much lighter note. Going back to, uh, an earlier question. Tom says, Diagio, which is one of those on the good list, <laugh>, uh, Tom says, Diagio owns Guinness, so they get a thumbs up. Nice. <laugh>. Okay, so I was just getting a call here, Mike, just getting a call from, uh, Sam in Seattle, uh, for this next question. And it’s all about economics. So depending on who you talk to, my barber says we’re already in a recession. My, uh, uncle says, we’re heading for one soon, my aunt says, uh, yeah, what your barber says. But regardless, any recent examples of supply chain innovation during these uncertain economic times?

Mike Griswold (28:17):

I think I, I don’t know, Scott, that I, well, first of all, I would say, I would say we are in one. So I will cast my vote to say we are in one. What I tend to see is not necessarily any new, necessarily new innovation. I’m seeing a lot of efforts put towards existing innovation, particularly in the areas of machine learning and artificial intelligence, and how can we use those technologies with the data we have in a couple of ways. One, continuing to refine the demand signal, right? So how do we take all of the data that we’ve accumulated as an organization, all of the insights we’ve gathered around our customers, however we define a customer, and how can we apply some of this more advanced science to really understand what do our customers really want, when do they want it? And then how do we wrap a supply chain around that so that we can give it to them, you know, reliably and try to do that in a way that is not, you know, continuing to be more and more costly, both for us as someone trying to provide good and services, but also just for the products themselves.

Mike Griswold (29:25):

So the use of of machine learning and ai, I think is, is continuing to grow. And I think people are seeing it as, you know, one tool to try to do a better job on the demand side, help on the supply side and deal with, with kind of what we’re dealing with economically. The other element to that though, I think is, we’ve talked about this a lot as well, is the people side of this. So where are we seeing, you know, through this recession, through organizations having to really look at their cost infrastructure. Where does machine learning and AI help us do better jobs with the people that we have, right? How do we arm them with more insights? How do we have them help us educate the machine learning and AI tools so they can help make better decisions? So, I don’t know, Scott, that it’s necessarily new innovation. I think it’s the continued evolution of innovation that we already have. And I see I’m seeing a lot of effort in that science around machine learning and ai.

Scott Luton (30:24):

Yep. Good stuff there, Jenny. Your thoughts?

Jenny Froome (30:26):

Yeah, just absolutely. And it, and it’s, I was reading a really art interesting article by Sean Cooley about how do we educate our children to cope in a world full of AI and technology, and how do we teach them now on how to do that? And I think that that’s something that, that is really needs to be highlighted in this, in this world of technology.

Scott Luton (30:46):

So true. Jenny. Good stuff there. Hey, really quick, you know, this has been a tough environment for, uh, startups and, and getting funding mm-hmm. <affirmative> and, and, uh, I can’t remember the numbers, so I’m not gonna try, but deals getting done is taking, taking a hit in the last, uh, six, eight months, but there’s still some bright spots out there. Mike and Jenny, last time I was with Enrique Avarez, who’s part of a vector Global logistics we talked about on the front end, that’s doing great work in Ukraine and elsewhere. Enrique took me over to a, an office across the way, and I met Kim Newton, who has started a logistics tech startup. Wow. Good for him. Love it. Yeah. And, and we’re talking, uh, Mike and Jenny. So I, I’ve never, you know, I don’t meet too many famous folks I saw, um, when, when Cam stood up, if you think you’re think football players are big, I would hate to be the person trying to sack Cam Newton when he was quarterbacking teams.

Scott Luton (31:38):

Yes. You know, Carolina and New England and other teams. So anyway, down to earth, approachable. He’s got a clear vision and mission for where he is taking this company. So, uh, anyway, if Cam’s listening, shout out to, to you and appreciate, uh, entrepreneurs that are still pushing their chips in during these challenging times. Okay, man, we’ve covered a lot of ground already. We want to go, let’s see here. Let’s go to this question. All right, so Mike, this is gonna be, uh, this is maybe the question I’m, I’m most interested in getting you and Jenny’s thoughts around, uh, who to thk is Ask Mike anything. And I’m trying to lump Jenny in there too. <laugh>

Jenny Froome (32:13):

<laugh>, I know it’s a bit scary.

Scott Luton (32:15):


Mike Griswold (32:17):

Poor, poor Jenny, guilt by association <laugh>. That’s not what she signed up for Scott, I don’t think.

Scott Luton (32:23):

All right. So let’s get some good news. You know, we love good news around here, Mike. So what is one of global supply chain’s greatest challenges you believe will make a lot of progress addressing in 2023?

Mike Griswold (32:35):

Yeah, when, when we, when I saw your email, this, this is the one that I, I, I gave and I gave, I gave most thought. And, and I wanna bring us back to one of the macro trends that we saw in our 2022 supply chain top 25 research. And that was this idea that chief supply chain officers are going to evolve into chief ecosystem officers. With the premise being that organizations are now starting to realize that there are some larger problems that they typically around, you know, environmental and social topics that they can’t really solve on their own. They’re going to need help, they’re gonna need partners. And oftentimes those partners are people that 99% of the time they may actually compete with. And I think we’ve seen that continuation, we’ve seen that happen over the course of 2022. And I expect that idea of cooperation, cooperation.

Mike Griswold (33:28):

I, I expect to see that to continue through 2023. The reason for that, you mentioned, you know, the recession kind of regardless of where, whether you think we’re in it or not, you know, certainly there are economic headwinds that are gonna take us into 2023 and working together and partnering together and, and realizing that there are other people going through similar things as your organization is. And how do you band together to solve, you know, whether it’s, you know, ocean plastics or whether it’s more renewable energy. I’m just excited about, you know, the fact that we kinda covered this trend. We’re seeing more and more organizations embrace it, and we’re seeing just more and more organizations work together to solve problems and being able to set aside kind of the fact that we compete head to head for a customer, but we’re gonna work together for a broader planet topic. That’s, that’s really encouraging and, and I’m seeing more and more of it. I’m seeing the continued elevation of the chief supply chain officer, even within his or her own organization, the fact that more and more people now realize and know a, what a supply chain is, and b, the value that it can bring an organization and broader society. So all of those things have me really excited about this idea of managing across an ecosystem, and I think we’ll see more of that in 2023.

Scott Luton (34:52):

Love that, Mike. That’s certainly lots of good news. Jenny, your, uh, your thought there.

Jenny Froome (34:56):

So my last set, hashtag team together, everyone achieves more, had to get it in there, but, but it is so true. Collaboration is the only way. Some of the problems are so huge that the only way we’re gonna be able to do it is by doing it together. And one of the things I hope we’re gonna see is the actual development of individuals who manage the supply chains. And that’s not just textbooks, it’s actually skills in industries that don’t realize that they have supply chains. So things like pharmacy, uh, public health, et cetera, where we’re teaching the right people, the right skills is going to empower them. And I think those discussions are being had more and more and they’re filtering into action now. So I think we’re seeing quite a lot of that going on, and I hope that trend

Mike Griswold (35:41):

Continues. Yeah, Jenny, it’s, it’s a great point and we just finished a, a really large piece of research where we examined what’s going on with frontline workers. So warehouse people, factory people, and what can we do for them that we’ve already been doing, say for office workers around flexibility, right? Hybrid, you know, in-person. What can we start to do for those frontline workers that can give them some of those same work-life balance experiences? And I think we’re gonna hear and see more of that as we move into 2023, not just because of, of our research, but I think people are recognizing that we need to provide those flexible options for those frontline workers. We need to be able to provide job flexibility. It might look a little bit different than it does for someone in a traditional office role, but we need to find ways to, to, to engage, create better work-life balance for those, for those workers. And I think we’ll see some of that in 20, more of that in 2023.

Scott Luton (36:41):

Yeah, well said there. Hey Jenny, why don’t we swoosh you out. I think you’ve gotta make a power a uh, switch. Let’s go ahead and swoosh you out and we’ll be welcome you in start in just a second. So Jenny, we’ll see just a minute. All right. And we’ll welcome Jenny back in just a minute. All right, so Mike, uh, I wanna go back to healthcare for a second. That’s one of the things Jenny also mentioned, shame on me, but I just stumbled across Gartner’s healthcare supply chain.

Mike Griswold (37:11):


Scott Luton (37:12):

And that really has inspired us. We’re gonna be doing a lot more healthcare, uh, supply chain content and celebrating leadership and innovation and bottom line outcomes. Outcomes of course being big in, in healthcare. And I wanna say, should have had it handy. I think Cleveland Clinic came in at number one, if I’m not mistaken, Mike, or at least near the top. I think they were number one. But that’s, it’s fascinating what supply chain leaders are doing in healthcare, right?

Mike Griswold (37:36):

Um, it is, when you think about the, even what we saw during covid, right? Vaccines, some that had to be kept at an incredibly low temperature, had a relatively fixed life cycle, right? You weren’t gonna be giving people expired vaccines when we didn’t really know what kind of traction were we gonna get with the vaccine, right? Keeping this apolitical, right? We, you, you just didn’t know, right? The va. So how much are you gonna make available, right? Given that, you know, it doesn’t la last or live forever, you’ve got very passionate points of view on both sides of getting a vaccine versus not getting a vaccine. So managing all of that, you know, from a, from a demand and supply perspective in incredibly difficult. And, and I can remember early in the pandemic talking with the j and js and the Pfizers of the world having to come up with, you know, just brand new delivery mechanisms, right?

Mike Griswold (38:25):

Packaging and transportation, all very different than what they had experienced, you know, pre covid. So, and then I think we, we do in some ways I think need to give, I’ll loosely call it kind of the governments some, some credit, which I’m rare to do <laugh>. Um, which is around just recognizing that, that this idea of the bureaucratic way that we had made some of these drug approval decisions, it needed to be faster, needed to be faster. It still needed to maintain the level of safety that we all come to expect, but it needed to be faster. And I think that’s one thing that, that we can take away as a positive is, is I think we did learn how to get life-saving medicine into the people that needed it, you know, more quickly than maybe we were able to do in the past.

Scott Luton (39:12):

Yeah. You know, I think not taking anything away from the healthcare industry and having, uh, done some work with different hospitals, especially rural hospitals that have their own unique challenges. Yeah. And we’ve seen, unfortunately, so many of those facilities close, at least here in Georgia in the last few years. But, uh, hopefully there’s, there’s good disruption coming that will help free up and allow, uh, leaders to do more creative, innovative, uh, and new things that challenge what I’ll call healthcare industry norms. Right? Right. Uh, so we’ll see. We’re gonna keep our finger on the pulse, and if you’re a healthcare supply chain leader and you’ve got a story to tell, reach out to our team here and we’ll see if we can’t find an interview for you. All right. So we’re gonna talk, we’re gonna give Gagen a chance to rejoin. I hope she does.

Scott Luton (39:51):

I’m gonna hit a couple quick comments here, Greg, speaking of, of fellow entrepreneurs. Uh, Greg is in the produce industry doing some cool things and he’s echoing your comments here. AI is amazing. It will be a game changer in farming. Greg would love to know, I agree with you. Uh, would love to, if you have any particular application in mind, would love to have you, uh, share. Uh, T-Square who holds the four down force on YouTube says economic time such as these serve as a necessary reality for business and their strategic planning to show if the plan is steeped in reality, especially in the matter of HR headcount, purchasing and inventory management. Okay, good stuff there from T squared and great to have you back. And then I’m gonna share these final two and then we’re gonna switch Jenny back in. Tony says, uh, like managing across boundaries from Mike and Jenny team skills, uh, <laugh>.

Scott Luton (40:44):

I think that’s a compliment between the two, how y’all work together and how you’re tackling like our conversation here today. Tony also says, I spoke to Wendy Phillips earlier this year. She does healthcare research. One great opportunity is Redistributive Manufacturing. Thank you for sharing, Tony. We’re gonna look into that. And big thanks to what, uh, the work Wendy is doing. Okay, let’s swoosh in my one and only co-host, uh, Jeanie Farrun back into the conversation. All right, so exciting. So lemme go back and Jenny, welcome back. Great to have you. I’m glad all that worked. I appreciate what you’re doing to manage these curve balls. I think Tony, come back to Tony’s comment, managing across boundaries or perhaps borders, which is what both of y’all were talking about earlier. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So Tony, I think that is such a great analysis or um, a comment and it’s so universal. Cause if it’s not geographic borders or boundaries, it’s interpersonal borders or boundaries, it’s functional. I mean, there’s so many different ways you can that we have that challenge. So good stuff there. Jenny and Mike, let’s talk for a second while we still have a couple more minutes with Mike. Mike, any methodology changes for the top 25 next

Mike Griswold (41:53):

Year? Yes. Uh, and I’m in the process of wrapping up a blog that I’ll put out to highlight this. There, there, there’s a couple around the E S G side. So we have a couple of years ago introduced, um, science-based targets into the methodology and what companies were able to, to accumulate points based on either the setting of targets or the commitment to set targets within the one bucket that we call commitment for 2023. We’re separating that so they can still get a point if they’ve committed to set targets. But companies that have actually set science-based targets and have made them available to science-based We’re gonna give some points in the transparency section for actually having set targets. The other thing we’re doing on the E S G front is we’ve got some technology and some resources, uh, within our research part of Gartner that allows us to go out to the company list that’s part of the top 25 methodology and mine websites for companies that have actually published sustainability reports, published environmental health reports, those types of things.

Mike Griswold (42:56):

So we’re also gonna recognize that within the transparency section. So if companies have published a sustainability report within the last two years, they’ll be eligible. So for some points there. So we’re continuing to evolve the E S G component, uh, of the methodology. And then we’re doing some things within the return on physical assets portion of the methodology. So right now, one of our three financial measures is return on physical assets. What we’ve been measuring is just the absolute performance. So a three year weighted average of of what has Europa been. We’re now gonna add to that. How has your ropa changed over time? So we feel that return on physical assets for our methodology is better than return on assets cuz it gets us closer to the assets, the supply chain can influencer control. But we also feel that, you know, good supply chains have, uh, return on physical assets that improves over time. So we’re gonna do a three year weighted average of the change in ropa and add that to within the ROPA calculation. So those are the big things we’re doing for 2023. 2024 just to tease people will be the 20th anniversary of the top 25, believe it or not. Okay. And we’ve got some more things we’re thinking about for 2024 that might be a little bit bigger, but 2023 I, I think between the ROPA change and the E S G additions, I think we’re gonna see some interesting things within the top 10.

Scott Luton (44:24):

So two comments and genuine welcome yours. One, I love how it’s living and breathing. I think that should be table stakes for initiatives like this or bodies of knowledge out there. Cause the industry’s changing is living and breathing and it, it’s really important to, um, to match that. I think. Secondly, Jenny, I don’t know about you, but return on physical assets. Ropa, the acronym there that’s giving me a new way of, uh, introducing metrics to my three kids. Cause I’m not sure if we’re getting a good return on their bedrooms. And so they’re their physical assets. Yes. Yes. So we’re gonna apply a new metric there. There you you go. <laugh>, Jenny. There you go. Jenny’s a couple comments I’m gonna reference here in a minute. But, um, your thoughts there as you heard kind of some of the methodology changes for the top 25 next year. Well

Jenny Froome (45:05):

I just, I love the fact that it’s 20 gonna be 20 years old in two years time. I think that’s amazing. Yeah. And, and to revisit those first top 25 and see how they’ve progressed or not. And really just to understand. So I’m gonna do some research after this. Thank you very much.

Mike Griswold (45:23):

<laugh>. Yeah, Jenny. It’s, it’s interesting we, cuz we’ve been kicking around. So it is the 20th. What are we gonna do? That is one of the things we’re gonna, we’re gonna build into, you know, one of our symposium presentations is just to look back mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So if we think about the very first list, right? Who was on it? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, where are we today? How many people have been around for all 20 years, right? Somewhere in the list. Certainly the supply chain of 20 years ago doesn’t look anything like our supply chains today. And you would expect some churn in that list in terms of people that maybe were there in the early times. You know, maybe not there now, but I also think it’s a testament if we do have some companies that have been able to evolve and continually iterate on their supply chain and have managed to be in there all 20 years. I mean, that, that’s huge. Amazing. Our, our masters are kind of a surrogate for that. You have to have a top five composite score seven in the last 10 years. So we’re looking at kind of a 10-year window for our masters. But to go back with inception, it’ll be interesting to take a look at

Scott Luton (46:25):

That. Awesome.

Jenny Froome (46:26):

And the people that will be interesting too.

Scott Luton (46:28):

That’s excellent. Call out Jenny. That’s my favorite part at least. Uh, the people that make it up. Make it happen. Hey Mike, we got a great series this week in business history. As you reflect on those years pass, we’ll have to set up a couple interviews and, uh, drop it in that channel. We’ll see speaking. There’s a couple great comments here. Uh, <laugh>, my mom, Leah Luton of a in South Carolina. Hey mom. Great returns on your kids. That’s, that’s such, I’m getting called out by my

Jenny Froome (46:57):

Mom. He’s such a grandma.

Scott Luton (46:58):

<laugh>. I love that. Wallace. Hope this finds you well. And I’m gonna check out, Wallace says he’s sent to our LinkedIn page, her supply chain now his project on the Apex, A S C M and his reinstatement of them with United Nations Global Compact. He says it was dated a few years ago, but it’s a great story even if I do say so myself, Wallace, we’re gonna check that out. And, uh, thank you for sending that to me. And then finally, Greg says that we were, we were asking him for kind of, you know, AI applications, some of his favorites and, and kind of farming. Greg says you’re gonna have machines picking right produce at the right time and it can pick 24 hours a day. There’s prototypes out there that can laser weed a field and plot each plant in a field. Say that eight times fast. <laugh>, um, Greg, fascinating and I appreciate you sharing. Uh, and, um, man, the power of real artificial intelligence, not, not, uh, stuffed that folks label and, and go out there and sell, but that really is changing how we do things is, is amazing.

Jenny Froome (47:58):

I’ll, I’d like to introduce Greg to Yakka. Ma do you remember we had Yako on the, on the show? Yes. Um, last year I think doing, using AI in the cattle in the business and, and wool

Scott Luton (48:12):


Jenny Froome (48:12):

Yes. Which is over here in South Africa.

Scott Luton (48:15):

We’re gonna have to revisit that for sure. Uh, and, and make that connection. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So while we still have Mike, Jenny, you uh, reminded me you’ve got a special anniversary coming up, but before we talk about that, Mike, we’re gonna protect your time as well. What’s coming up next at Gartner and how can folks connect with you?

Mike Griswold (48:31):

So the, the usual mechanisms, email, LinkedIn work, fine. Um, it’s, we are kind of in our slower season now. We, we’ve, we’re wrapping up people can see probably by end of this month we’ll have published our agenda for our two symposium. So people can start taking a look at that. Orlando and Barcelona, may and June. And we’ll be spending, you know, most of January, February and March, building the content. But we wanna get the sessions out there to people so they can start to see what, you know, what peaks their interest in and get people registered. You know, we, we expect another really big turnout in Orlando. We’re in a different venue in Barcelona. We sold out London, I think I mentioned before for our event this year in September. But we’ve got plenty of space for people in May in Orlando. Plenty of peop space for people in Barcelona in June. So would ask people just to, when that’s available, take a look at the agenda and, and consider joining us in in May or June.

Scott Luton (49:24):

Outstanding. You know, I was with, uh, Gartner, Vince in June and October in Orlando, uh, one being the supply chain symposium and first class conversations and the learning and the networking you’ve got available, uh, is outstanding. So y’all check that out. Mike, really appreciate your time. Thank you so much for joining us. Jenny Home Run once again, wasn’t

Jenny Froome (49:45):

It? Absolutely brilliant. Yeah. Really interesting. Thank you so much.

Scott Luton (49:49):

So Mike, we’re gonna see you back soon. Happy holidays. Merry Christmas. Happy New Year to you and your family. And we’re looking forward to the music version of, uh, supply chain today and tomorrow. Excellent. With Mike Rwd in January. Thank you so much, Mike

Mike Griswold (50:03):

Griswold. Thanks everyone. Merry Christmas. Happy holidays. You too.

Jenny Froome (50:06):

Yes, same back.

Scott Luton (50:09):

All right, Jenny. Hello. Speaking of anniversaries, you know, you and I interviewed the great Nicki Scott this morning. C e o mm-hmm. <affirmative>, the Commercial Transport Academy, doing some really interesting things. You know, Mike, it’s interesting, I, I meant to bring this up earlier when Mike was talking about the need for, like, he didn’t say motor bikes, but like bicycles and stuff, stuff. Yeah. And that’s one of the things Nikki is focused on is helping folks earn these, you know, motorbike positions that which is are, are in great demand. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. But Jenny, tell us about your special anniversary coming up in early summer, I guess, uh, in June I’ll call. Yeah,

Jenny Froome (50:43):

In June. Yeah. Yeah. I’m not sure whether to be proud of it or horrified by it, but, um, but SAP has an annual conference, which is considered to be one of the leading events for supply chain management in Africa. And I’ve been managing, this will be my 25th annual conference, which is kind of scary, but also I’m very proud of that too. <laugh>. And as I said earlier, it certainly makes me feel very old.

Scott Luton (51:09):

Well, you know what? All the work you’ve done, and that’s just one piece of everything else you do. There’s a book to be written that cover those 25 events. And maybe when you get a chance to catch your breath and reflect back, this is gonna be a very special, uh, June for you. And, and who knows? We hope to see you there in person and finally make one of these pic’s annual conferences, which are, we’ve heard so much, we’ve got so many Raven fans. Just

Jenny Froome (51:32):

Imagine all those secrets. I could share <laugh>, all those stories I could

Scott Luton (51:36):

Tell <laugh> and what’s it

Jenny Froome (51:37):

Worth? Her

Scott Luton (51:38):

<laugh>. That’s right. All right. We’ll see if Amanda and, and me and maybe you, uh oh, we get all Greg White off assignment and have him join us too. But thank you so much, Jenny, for being here today. How can folks connect with you and sap,

Jenny Froome (51:50):

Uh, LinkedIn, Jenny Froom as in F R O O M E and there it’s, it’s right there. Um, and SAP is, uh, SAPs SAP ICS org. G,

Scott Luton (51:59):

Love that. It’s just that easy to reach out. Uh, if, if Jenny’s not part of your network, your network is subpar, at least in my opinion. <laugh>, thank you. So, hey, really quick, Tony <laugh>. So Greg mentioned some of the AI applications. Tony’s like, Hey, Greg, I need the details for my garden. I love that. See here, uh, Tom is congratulating Jenny on those 25 years.

Jenny Froome (52:19):


Scott Luton (52:19):

Thank you. I agree. And, and Kim, we’re the one, only Kim Winter from Dubai. Great to see you, Kim and Tony. I lot, lots of congrats coming in for the great work you do there. And we’re all big fans of Jenny Freeman. As I shared earlier. I think I’m still, uh, at least co-chair of the Atlanta Club of the Jenny Free Fan club. So, uh, Jenny, always a pleasure. Keep doing the good stuff. Appreciate your time here today, and we’re gonna do it again soon. Y’all stay tuned for our release of the episode with, uh, Nicki Scott. But, uh, thank you, Jenny.

Jenny Froome (52:48):

Yeah, thank, thank you all and thanks for putting up with the technical glitches. Um, and thanks for the great engagement. The, the cheap seats have got real class,

Scott Luton (52:57):

Man. I, I’m gonna steal that line from you. The cheap seats have such real class and, and she says it so much more, uh, compelling than I do. But folks, uh, big thanks to Jenny. Big thanks to folks behind the scenes, Amanda, Chantel, uh, Katherine Clay, you name all the folks help make production happen. Thanks to everybody that did show up in the cheap seats, including the one, Leah Luton from Aiken, South Carolina. Thanks for burning me there. Or is my, my middle child, Gracie would say burn, burn. Uh, but they may not, they may not say that anymore cuz, you know, two week fads. But regardless, thanks mom. Uh, to our listeners, hey, thanks for being with us. Thanks for all the comments. Thanks for doing what you do, especially if you’re out there in global supply chain, moving us all forward and still these challenging times, just like we moved from one challenge to the next. The hits keep on coming. But, uh, on behalf our entire team, thank you for what you do. Happy holidays, Merry Christmas, and to all of our listeners, Scott Luton, challenging all of you to do good, to give forward and to be the change. Be like Jenny from and we’ll all be better off. And we’ll see you next time, right back here at SAP Pacha now. Thanks everybody.

Scott Luton (54:00):


Intro/Outro (54:01):

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Featured Guests

Mike Griswold serves as Vice President Analyst with Gartner’s Consumer Value Chain team, focusing on the retail supply chain. He is responsible for assisting supply leaders in understanding and implementing demand-driven supply chain principles that improve the performance of their supply chain. Mr. Griswold joined Gartner through the company’s acquisition of AMR. Previous roles include helping line-of-business users align corporate strategy with their supply chain process and technology initiatives. One recent study published by a team of Gartner analysts, including Mike Griswold is Retail Supply Chain Outlook 2019: Elevating the Consumer’s Shopping Experience. Mr. Griswold holds a BS in Business Management from Canisius College and an MBA from the Whittemore School of Business & Economics at the University of New Hampshire. Learn more about Gartner here:

Jenny Froome is passionate about how supply chain management affects our lives on every level.  Her original and now current profession is event management – the epitome of a well-honed supply chain.  After many years working as COO of SAPICS – the professional body of supply chain management in South Africa she realized the importance of shining the light on the supply chains of Africa.  Managing events such as the SAPICS annual conference, the People that Deliver Global Indaba, and the Africa Supply Chain Excellence Awards have truly allowed Jenny to combine her skills, knowledge, and community.  Jenny’s lived all over the world and has settled in South Africa with her husband and many 4 legged friends while her sons are scattered around the world. Connect with Jenny on LinkedIn. 



Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Billy Taylor


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

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

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

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

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Kim Reuter


From humble beginnings working the import docks, representing Fortune 500 giants, Ford, Michelin Tire, and Black & Decker; to Amazon technology patent holder and Nordstrom Change Leader, Kimberly Reuter has designed, implemented, and optimized best-in-class, highly scalable global logistics and retail operations all over the world. Kimberly’s ability to set strategic vision supported by bomb-proof processes, built on decades of hands-on experience, has elevated her to legendary status. Sought after by her peers and executives for her intellectual capital and keen insights, Kimberly is a thought leader in the retail logistics industry.

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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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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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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., 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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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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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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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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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Allison Giddens


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

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

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

Katherine Hintz, MBA is a marketing professional 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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Tandreia Bellamy


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

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

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

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

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Marty Parker


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

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

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jake Barr


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

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Marcia Williams


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

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Luisa Garcia is a passionate Marketer from Lagos de Moreno based in Aguascalientes. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes, Mexico. She specializes in brand development at any stage, believing that a brand is more than just a name or image—it’s an unforgettable experience. Her expertise helps brands achieve their dreams and aspirations, making a lasting impact. Currently working at Vector Global Logistics in the Marketing team and as podcast coordinator of Logistics With Purpose®. Luisa believes that purpose-driven decisions will impact results that make a difference in the world.

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Astrid Aubert was born in Guadalajara, she is 39 years old and has had the opportunity to live in many places. She studied communication and her professional career has been in Trade Marketing for global companies such as Pepsico and Mars. She currently works as Marketing Director Mexico for Vector Global Logistics. She is responsible for internal communications and marketing strategy development for the logistics industry. She is a mother of two girls, married and lives in Monterrey. She defines herself as a creative and innovative person, and enjoys traveling and cooking a lot.

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Sofia Rivas Herrera


Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey University, class 2019. Upon graduation she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management (GCLOG) 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. Former Data Analyst within the airport industry in Latin America at Pacific Airport Group, performing benchmarking reports and predictive analysis of future market behavior.

Currently working as Sr. Staffing Analyst within the S&OP team in Mexico at the biggest ecommerce company in Latin America: Mercado Libre. Responsible for workforce forecasting and planning through the analysis of demand, productivity, capacity, cost & time constraints. Sofia self identifies as Supply Chain Ambassador, sharing her passion for the field in her daily life. She has been recognized as upcoming thought leader in the field and invited to participate in several podcasts (Freight Path Podcast, Supply Chain Revolution Podcast, Let’s Talk Supply Chain, Industrificados) to discuss topics such as digital transformation, automation and future skillsets for supply chain professionals.

She is a frequent featured guest at Supply Chain Now and appointed co-host for their new series Supply Chain Now en Español. Global Ambassador for ISCEAs Sustainable Supply Chain Professional Certification (CSSCP) and keynote speaker at World Supply Chain Forum 2021 by ISCEA Indonesia.

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Karin Bursa


Karin Bursa is the 2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year and the Host of the TEKTOK Digital Supply Chain Podcast powered by Supply Chain Now. With more than 25 years of supply chain and technology expertise (and the scars to prove it), Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and share their success stories. Today, she helps B2B technology companies introduce new products, capture customer success and grow global revenue, market share and profitability. In addition to her recognition as the 2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year, Karin has also been recognized as a 2019 and 2018 Supply Chain Pro to Know, 2009 Technology Marketing Executive of the Year and a 2008 Women in Technology Finalist. 

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Vin Vashishta


Vin Vashishta is the author of ‘From Data To Profit’ (Wiley 2023). It’s the playbook for monetizing data and AI. Vin is the Founder of V-Squared and built the business from client 1 to one of the world’s oldest data and AI consulting firms. His background combines nearly 30 years in strategy, leadership, software engineering, and applied machine learning.

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal & Host

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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Constantine Limberakis


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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

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

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

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

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys.  She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.

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Vicki White


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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