Supply Chain Now
Episode 1220

A digital project for the sake of a digital project, is doomed to fail. But being rooted in a good plan to do the best for our customers is what gives us the largest chance of success.

-Hans Moerman, CFO of Digital Technology, DP World

Episode Summary

In the rapidly evolving landscape of global logistics, the paradigm shift towards digital transformation has emerged as a cornerstone for innovation, efficiency, and sustainability. The integration of cutting-edge technology within supply chain management isn’t just a strategic choice but a fundamental necessity to navigate the complexities of modern trade.

The pivotal role of digital transformation in revolutionizing the global supply chain is discussed in a compelling new episode of Supply Chain Now, as Hans Moerman, CFO of Digital Technology at DP World, joins hosts Scott Luton and Greg White.

Listen in and learn more about:

  • The role of technology in revolutionizing supply chain management, and the significance of leveraging technology to enhance operational efficiency and transparency throughout the supply chain
  • The importance of using data effectively, democratizing it across stakeholders, and setting clear goals for technological integration
  • A practical approach to data and technology, emphasizing the need for clear communication, risk-taking, and learning from failures in the pursuit of digital transformation
  • The significance of embracing digital transformation, not just for operational efficiency but also for fostering a culture of continual learning and innovation within the supply chain industry.

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, everybody. Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you maybe. Scott Luton and Greg White with you here on Supply Chain Now. Welcome to today’s show. Gregory, how you doing today?

Greg White (00:44):

I’m doing well, Scott. How are you?

Scott Luton (00:45):

Wonderful, wonderful. We’ve had a — we’re rounding the, kind of, home stretch. We’ve had a big year of creating some incredible interviews, and we’re wrapping it this year in 2023 on a series of big shows, including with our guests here today, huh?

Greg White (01:00):

Yes, no doubt. I am loving this topic. You know how I feel about it. So, I’ll let you say it, but you know how I feel.

Scott Luton (01:09):

I appreciate that, Greg. I really appreciate it. Always the polite gentlemen, one Greg S. White. Hey, looking forward to our conversation today. We’re talking with a business leader that is with a worldwide organization that’s always on the move, helping trade flow across the globe. In particular, we’re going to be discussing digital transformation extensively, including best practices for advancing transformation across your supply chain organization.

 

Scott Luton (01:36):

So, Greg, now that we’ve shed a little more light, I know you’re strapped in and ready to go. Big topic here today, right?

Greg White (01:42):

Yes. I mean — you know, as we said, if you want to be able to hang in the future of supply chain, you better get your digital together.

Scott Luton (01:52):

Love it. I love it. Editing and dubbing on the go. All right. Folks, as we promise a big guest here today. Let me introduce him, our guest serves as the CFO at DP World Digital, a global leader in logistics and smart trade solutions. Now, in this role, he’s responsible for driving the strategy for digital freight and trade solutions, delivering the internal digital transformation and commercialization of DP World’s systems.

 

Scott Luton (02:18):

Now, prior to this role, our guest served in leadership roles at Amazon Web Services and Lazada Logistics. In particular, leveraging his background and private equity, our guest today has developed quite the reputation for bringing a keen strategic financial perspective to his role and to just about every conversation. So, with that said, let’s welcome in Hans Moerman, the Chief Financial Officer at DP World Digital.

 

Scott Luton (02:44):

Hans, how you doing?

Hans Moerman (02:45):

I’m doing great, Scott. Thanks for having me on the show.

Scott Luton (02:49):

You bet. Greg, we’ve been looking forward to this one, haven’t we?

Greg White (02:52):

Well, it’s not many companies we get to talk to that have their own golf tour. So, yes. WE have been looking forward to. So, we’d love to talk about that, Hans. Let’s forget about supply chain.

 

Scott Luton (03:04):

That’s right.

Hans Moerman (03:05):

Bring out your iron seven and let’s see how it goes.

Scott Luton (03:10):

Well, Hans, you would much rather watch Greg hit a seven iron than you’d like to watch me hit a seven iron. So, we’ll just leave it at that and we’ll keep on track here today.

Greg White (03:19):

All right. Back to supply chain.

Scott Luton (03:20):

It’s back to supply chain. But you know what, before we get there, Greg, we love diving in deep with our guests and at least understanding a little bit more about them on the front end. And Hans that’s what we want to start with you. So, now you grew up in and Netherlands and have lived in Asia for the last — I think 10 years. So, what has been — but you still travel a good bit. So, what has been one of your favorite cities to visit and to dine in here lately, Hans?

Hans Moerman (03:46):

Yes, I’ve moved to Asia about 10 years back, and I’ve always been in a very fortunate position to be able to travel a lot and visit a very diverse ranges of cities in that time. Few places that I absolutely love are in Asia, Japan, Tokyo, awesome, awesome place, great food. But for now, the one that I’ll highlight in terms of food is Delhi. I was just there a week ago and I absolutely, absolutely love the Indian food. The curries, the breads and the snacks on the roadside are absolutely awesome. I love it.

Scott Luton (04:25):

Oh gosh, Greg, I’m starving now. Thanks, Hans. Greg, your thoughts on that delicious food Hans just shared with us.

Greg White (04:32):

Yes. I mean, now we know why he’s such an exercise fanatic is if he eats like that, he’s going to have to work it off, especially in India that will put the LBs on you.

Scott Luton (04:44):

Well, it’s funny you bring that up, Greg, because one of the thing we’ve learned about Hans beyond the fact that he’s a rabid sports fan when it comes to the Dutch national football team, the house Orange, as I learned in pre-show. But he’s a very active participant, especially in endurance sports. So. he can burn off those LBs.

 

Scott Luton (05:03):

So, Hans, as we start to kind of segue over to the world of supply chain leadership, what is — tell us your favorite endurance sport and then tell us one of your favorite lessons learned from those activities that you might think applies to global supply chain leadership.

Hans Moerman (05:17):

Yes, I really rolled into endurance sports by accident. So, it was one day with a close friend of mine. Though we just decided to sign up for an Ironman, and we both did some cycling and running before, but definitely no swimming. But yes, we thought, if so many people can do it, why not us?

Greg White (05:40):

How hard can it be?

Hans Moerman (05:41):

And before doing any amount of training, we thought, OK, within six months we’ll sign up for this big event. In that six months, I then first jumped in the bull and I had to practice to swim a couple of kilometers. When I first did it, like, everybody was faster than I was. Young children, elderly folks, lean people, everybody was faster than I was. But I put in the works, and this is to me, what I find amazing about endurance sport, you can basically tell your body to do anything, right? As long as you’re persistent, putting in the effort, making the miles in the pool, on the track or on the bike, and you can go from somebody that couldn’t swim a hundred meters to somebody that can swim a kilometer, plus two kilometers, plus four kilometers.

 

Hans Moerman (06:34):

And to me, this applies to the business as well, especially in supply chain. It’s a cascade of all kind of small activities, small handovers that all need to go right in order to deliver the right outcomes for our customers. And we really want to build that muscle memory by doing it over and over again, analyzing the results, using that to improve our processes. And then in the end, we find out that something that seemed crazy before is actually an achievable goal and it becomes the new normal and you can set your new goal higher and higher. And this is what excites me about endurance sports and it’s what excites me about business as well.

Scott Luton (07:22):

Hans, beautiful picture you just painted on. Greg, I loved some of the words he used there, cascade, muscle memory. That paints a perfect picture in my mind. But Greg, your thoughts on either endurance sports or how he applied it to global supply chain?

Greg White (07:37):

I think it’s both really. You know, I think about my daughter who was a competitive swimmer in high school and then a full ride scholarship in college. Who, the first — I remember, the very first practice she went to. She couldn’t swim all the way across the pool without standing up. So, it is true. I mean, you can start from very meager beginnings and continue to build that skill. And I think that is so incredibly well tied to supply chain because so many supply chains are so fragile now and they need to just, as Hans has done, work on those fragilities, just continue to work those muscles to build a strength platform where you essentially work out those fragilities and create that strength that allows you to just continue to grow and grow and grow.

 

Greg White (08:27):

What is the — what is it — the trip of a thousand miles starts with the first step. It is true, whatever that is, whatever that statement — I’m not very Confusion. But that is so true and it’s one of those things that honestly, I’m a terrible — I’m a pretty terrible athlete, but I just keep working at it. Just one more step is all — is what I say. And I just say it over and over and over again to get myself to keep going. And I think if companies adopt just that strategy, just one more step, then it’s slow, but it’s consistent and it’s sustainable as well.

Scott Luton (09:04):

Well said, Greg. The power of incrementalism, I’ll call it. Good stuff there, Hans and Greg.

 

Scott Luton (09:10):

  1. So, Hans, for context, we’re going to get into digital transformation A.I. and lot more here on — through the rest of the interview. But for context first, for the three people out there that may not know, tell us briefly what DP World does and tell us about your role as well.

Hans Moerman (09:23):

Yes. So, DP World is — I’m with a company now for a year and it’s like one of these really large companies that before you might not have really have heard of, right? So, if I just mentioned some stats, right? We have a hundred thousand plus employees and we’re active in 75 countries on all the continents. We run ports and terminals in everywhere, right, Australia, Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia.

 

Hans Moerman (09:56):

And we — in addition, we run a number of logistics business. We run freight forwarding, we do contracts, contract logistics, we operate warehouses. And more recently, we — we’ve also started venturing into digital businesses as we — as the deeper road leaderships really believes that the future of supply chain is digital. We’re setting up digital, really, as a business to grow as a substantial pillar within DP World. And my role as a CFO is one to lead all the finance in that set of process. I provide inputs to the strategy for the digital transformation of all of DP World, and I run strategy and operations to make these new digital businesses successful.

Scott Luton (10:52):

Well said, Hans. Man, you got several full plates there. Greg, the future is now, for sure. Your thoughts on what DP World does as well as Hans and his role.

Greg White (11:01):

Well, it’s massive. I mean, it is. I think that Hans put it very well, it’s the biggest company you’ve never heard of, right? I mean, unless you do follow golf, they are in such a place in the supply chain that of course when you see them you go, oh yes, I’ve heard of them. But until you see a release or a, you know, vehicle or a news article or something like that, it’s one of those companies that is enormous inside. And yet, at least in our part of the world, especially, relatively unknown, and it’s sort of a metaphor for the entirety of supply chain. All those people doing all that stuff to make everything happen that no one even knows about. And I think much like the conditioning and the supply chain growth thing, this sort of ubiquitous anonymity, if you can call it that is — it was a great metaphor for the entirety of supply chain and they do really move the world.

Scott Luton (11:58):

Yes. I’m not even going to try to say the ubiquitous anonymity.

Greg White (12:04):

See, you did.

Scott Luton (12:04):

Barely. Hans —

Greg White (12:05):

As long as it’s not digitalization —

 

Scott Luton (12:08):

That’s right.

 

Greg White (12:09):

— you can say it.

Scott Luton (12:10):

Oh, Greg and Hans. And Hans, kidding aside, man, you’re hundred thousand team members worldwide, to Greg’s point, man, keeping trade flowing around the world. I really appreciate that because there’s not enough recognition, to Greg’s point, about that.

 

Scott Luton (12:23):

Let’s shift gears. Let’s talk digital transformation, right? Because really, Greg and Hans, we’ve all been in digital transformation mode for years, and it’s been really further accelerated by a number of factors, including of course the pandemic. So, Hans, let’s start with you here. In your view, how can technology be further utilized to digitize supply chains even more effectively?

Hans Moerman (12:46):

Yes. So, I think my key takeaway on digitization is that standalone, it doesn’t mean anything. So, we don’t do it for the sake of digitization. Ultimately it should help our customers. So, what does it do for us? What are ultimately our customers want? They want a service that is predictable, that allows them to be agile, that is cost effective to them, but they get the bang for the buck. And especially now that operates at an efficient footprint, right? We also want to make sure that the business that we do is sustainable.

 

Hans Moerman (13:32):

So, to me digitization is one of the key tools to achieve those objectives by — and I’m sure we’ll talk about that more later on. But better leveraging all the information that’s available within the company and external to use tools and technology to their full extent, to make sure that our workforce is fully engaged on this mission. And ultimately, how do we measure our success? It’s measured by our customers, right? Our customers — if we make our customers successful by offering them better prices, by offering them a better service, reliability, visibility, flexibility, and by doing what’s best for our environment is how our success ultimately will be measured.

Scott Luton (14:20):

Well said, Hans. Love all the abilities there you touched on. And to your point, we are going to get you to share some examples of some of the things you shared and talk more about the challenges in just a moment. But Greg, I want to get you to respond there to what you heard in terms of how Hans, kind of, painted more of an overarching view of digital transformation right now.

Greg White (14:39):

Yes, I think we need more CFO perspectives on this kind of topics, which is the what is the so what of these kinds of initiatives, right? What does it do for the — for your company? What does it do for your client companies? What does it do for your trading partners? Why is it worth taking on?

 

Greg White (14:54):

And I think as artistic as we like to be in supply chain, some of the — what should I say? Rigor and discipline of financial analysis is really, really necessary here to understand and help you prioritize, not only digitalization in general, but what is the most important method or segment of digitalization that will help your company and your trading partners the most right now so that you can focus on and prioritize those things that have the biggest impact in the industry, to your company, to your trading partners. As Hans said also to the sustainability of the planet. All of these good things that we want to have happen.

Scott Luton (15:35):

Agreed. And to your earlier point on the beginning of your response, my favorite love language is the language of finance, I believe Hans. It’s great.

Greg White (15:42):

I barely understand it, but I sure appreciate it.

Scott Luton (15:45):

That’s right. I’m still trying to become more and more fluent. So, Hans, we appreciate any lessons learned here. But a quick follow-up question, based on some of those things you shared earlier. Give us some examples of some of the ways that DP World is leveraging technology in a real, practical outcomes driven manner, Hans.

Hans Moerman (16:01):

Sure. If we — so, if we look at the number of our businesses, let’s start with the ports and terminals, right? So, you would imagine a port as a giant operation and with a background in math or engineering, you would see it as a giant optimizing problem, right? And we have our systems, a system that we refer to as our terminal operating system that helps optimize these ports and terminals. We use some artificial intelligence and some other algorithms to optimally plan for the capacity of our yards, to optimally plan for how we load and unload our vessels. We use a system we refer to as rostering for optimal manpower planning. So, there’s this whole set of systems that we have to drive efficiencies in our business, and ultimately these efficiencies mean that we can continue to operate competitively.

 

Hans Moerman (17:05):

We also have a number of innovations that you can actually see, right, that are not just software but that are visible. We have an innovation called Ox Bay [phonetic], which is a revolutionary way to stack the containers in the ports. And we’re doing that with a company called SMS Group. We believe that, ultimately, this new way of driving the business is also going to drive efficiencies and is going to improve safety, for instance, in our ports.

 

Hans Moerman (17:34):

In our other businesses, we’re developing platforms where we provide customers more visibility into all the options that are available to them end-to-end to bring their products from — as we would like to put it, from our customer’s factory floor to their customer’s door. And it again is a huge puzzle to find what is the best route from A to B. Our systems help us do that and we have platforms that enable third parties also to offer on this — to offer these services to our customers as well.

Scott Luton (18:14):

Hans, outstanding. Greg, by my account port optimization in terms of getting in and out, stacking safety, communications and visibility, even the routing. And if I’m just keeping a score at home, how they’re leveraging technology to not only drive internal gains but gains across their portfolio of customers. And, I would argue, the industry gains as well because there’s all sorts of other folks using some of that same infrastructure. But, Greg, your thoughts there on what Hans shared?

Greg White (18:41):

My first thought is around ports. I mean, if you compare what Hans is describing to U.S. ports which are often not quite as efficient, but depends, right? But it’s often not quite as efficient, and there’s so much opportunity for improvement there. I think the use of real technology and the use of automation and mechanization to create efficiencies and to close some of those, sometimes, dangerous gaps in the operation of port facilities, I think that’s really very important.

 

Greg White (19:14):

But bigger than that is this notion of connecting an entire ecosystem of logistics, right? The ports with the vessels, with the trucks, with the containers, with the drivers, with whatever, right? And this sort of ability to create the visibility to the entirety of the transport of any goods. And I think that is really, really important and necessary. And just aside from all the tactical aspects that accomplish all of those things, just this notion of creating this ecosystem where everything is connected and where everything is visible and where everything is traceable is very important, particularly with the things we’re trying to accomplish around my favorite word, right, provenance of good, right? Sustainability, and of course, human rights and that sort of thing.

 

Greg White (20:04):

As well as just the accountability of the supply chain to assure that your stuff gets from where you bought it from or are bringing it from to where you want it to be, which of course is ultimately the end customer. So, that is such a critical improvement and viewpoint in how to tackle the supply chain. It’s important for advancing that one more step. Although I would argue this is way more than one more step, but it — advancing that one more step so that we are doing a better and better job of doing what supply chain’s one single job is, which is to deliver.

Scott Luton (20:41):

That’s right. From factory floor to customer door. If I heard what — Han’s correctly earlier. And also, Greg and Hans, I really love how you mentioned safety of the workforce as one of the short lists of answers of how some of the gains we’re driving. I really appreciate that.

 

Scott Luton (20:58):

So, Hans, let’s go a little bit broader, right? So, a lot of what you just shared there and what Greg and I were talking about were some of the gains internally and within your customers and industry with what DP World’s driving. When you look at the current environment and where we’re going, what are some other top challenges? Top challenges that you see being solved by digitizing global supply chain?

Greg White (21:20):

Well done, Scott. Well done.

Hans Moerman (21:23):

So, I’ll tell — I’ll have two challenges for you here.

 

Scott Luton (21:26):

OK.

 

Hans Moerman (21:27):

First of all, if I look at the global supply chain overall, a big one is just — it’s opaqueness. It’s really hard for anybody, especially for one of our customers, to know even what — where is my stuff, right? This is not an easy question to answer in a supply chain that involves dozens of companies, more so of handovers. and nothing is standardized in this world. There is no uniform way to look at things like a bill of lading. And this creates a problem, right?

 

Hans Moerman (22:07):

We’ve started by providing them some — providing our customers some elementary insights in terms of where is — where are my goods? We’ve called this product cargos flow, and it basically tells you where are my containers at? In my view, this is a starting point. We can do way more with the data that we have and with data that we might have in the future from better use of say, IOT devices in our supply chain.

 

Hans Moerman (22:38):

And one question that might follow from that, now I know where my stuff is, now what do I do with that information, right? So, it allows us to become from just a company that moves from A to B, from factory forward customer door, to a company that also — that consults, right? That helps our customers fix issues if cargo somewhere is delayed. What do I do in these exceptional cases? So, I’ll take that as the first one, right? The —

Scott Luton (23:13):

Hey, Hans —

 

Hans Moerman (23:11):

— vagueness of the markets.

 

Scott Luton (23:13):

Hans, if I can.

 

Hans Moerman (23:15):

Yes.

 

Scott Luton (23:15):

I got to get Greg to comment on just first challenge and then we’ll move to your second challenge.

 

Hans Moerman (23:19):

Yes.

 

Scott Luton (23:19):

But Greg, one of the things Hans, kind of, shared there, something we’ve talked time and time again. We need — we got to have visibility, but we also have to have solutions. I think that’s how you eloquently put it a while back. Greg, comment on that first challenge as Hans unpack it.

Greg White (23:33):

Not only do we have this visibility, but what do we do with it when we get it, right? And you have to have a clear-cut goal for what you’re trying to accomplish. I think a lot of people — and Hans, you addressed this earlier, digitization is not a solution, it’s a tool set, right? Much like visibility is not a solution, it’s a tool set. It’s a data gathering and presentation methodology that allows you then to make decisions, either automated decisions or iterative decisions, human decisions or A.I. decisions or any other type of decision, right?

 

Greg White (24:05):

So, turning that visibility into something that you can do something with means you have to know what you want to do with it. So, as we talk about this, and Hans has already addressed this to some extent, and that is always have that goal in mind. What is the outcome that you desire? And then employ that as you design things like visibility, as you design things like these enterprise operations and data gathering and information sharing methodologies so that you know what you’re trying to accomplish with it. That will help you determine, as Hans is talking about, what do you do with this visibility once you got it.

Scott Luton (24:44):

Right? Love that, Greg. And Hans, I’m coming back to you. We talk a lot, we have for years, about silo busting. But we’re going to add a little to that —

 

Greg White (24:54):

That’s the way you say that.

 

Scott Luton (24:55):

Yes. Opaqueness busting. I love that word, Hans. It just — conjures up, I think —

 

Greg White (25:01):

You totally get it.

 

Scott Luton (25:01):

on so many different levels.

Greg White (25:01):

In that moment, don’t it?

Scott Luton (25:03):

Yes.

 

Greg White (25:03):

Yes.

 

Scott Luton (25:04):

All right. So, Hans, you’ve set a high bar with the first challenge. So, I hope you’ve got as good stuff on the second challenge. What’s next?

Hans Moerman (25:11):

So, the second challenge, I think it’s a fairly obvious one. We need people to build all these solutions. Getting access to a highly qualified workforce in a world where this skillset is increasingly in demand everywhere is something that is very high on our priority list.

Scott Luton (25:36):

And so true. The challenges related to attracting, developing, and retaining workforce across global supply chain, you know, here in the states in particular, Greg, we’ve spoke at length about that, right? So, Greg, comment there on that second challenge, and then we’re going to move into more about the human element here in a second.

Greg White (25:57):

Yes, I mean, finding — hell, finding workforce is hard, right? I mean, we had an enormous — what do I want to say? Jobs — what do I want to say? Staffing gap going into the pandemic and then 10,000 — well, more than 10,000, 3.1 million extra baby boomers retired during that period, leaving every industry with a huge labor gap and supply chain being one of them. And I think that really makes the case for this notion of digitization is because we will never fill that. This is just my opinion. We’ll never fill that.

 

Greg White (26:39):

We won’t have more truck drivers, we’ll have fewer. So, automation is incredibly important there. Even the job of a truck driver, let’s say, is going to change. People don’t want to do over the road anymore. It’s impossible to fill those jobs. We’ve seen it over the last four years. Automation is going to be important there, and it’s going to be important in some of these other jobs where people perceive them as dark, dirty, dull, and dangerous, and are staying away in droves from manufacturing jobs and warehouse jobs and fulfillment jobs and things like that.

 

Greg White (27:08):

So, we have to face the fact. And we, at least in the States, I don’t know if this is true elsewhere around the world, and it is less so depending on the economy that we’re talking about because there’s plenty of labor available depending on certain economies, right? But more and more people want these jobs and they want to work for companies that have at least automation or technology assistance, if not automation and technology doing the jobs that they don’t want to do. So, we have to shift the narrative from protecting jobs that, frankly, should have been automated decades and decades ago, but we had to protect certain socioeconomic classes who couldn’t do anything else. They’re all retiring now, at least in the States.

 

Greg White (27:49):

And so, there’s no reason to have that sort of false economy of protecting all these jobs and instead embrace that generations gen X, Y, and Z, who want automation involved. Who, in some cases, demand automation to do automation things so that they can do human things. The most important of which is the job that humans can do in terms of assessing critical decisions with inaccurate or insufficient data for very, very critical and high stakes decision-making immediately. That’s what humans do well, and so much of the rest of it can be done by technology.

 

Scott Luton (28:34):

And in order to both embrace the generations that want that kind of work environment, and frankly to fill this labor gap, we’re going to have to really, really embrace this digitization. That’s why when we opened this segment, I think we pound that so strongly whenever we talk about digital transformation, it’s not an option anymore. It’s table stakes.

Scott Luton (28:58):

Yes, resistance is futile. So — all right —

Greg White (29:02):

It sounds so ominous when you say it that way.

Hans Moerman (29:04):

My little board reference there.

Scott Luton (29:06):

Yes. Signs, yes. All right. So, let’s talk about some of the flip side. And, Greg, good stuff there. But humans in industry, humans in our organizations, they’re — they play that critical role, right? They’re driving and leading digital transformation — Hans, just like you and your team, right, across the business world. And of course, to do that efficiently, effectively, powerfully, successfully, we’ve got to train. We’ve got to set up these training programs so that we all know what we’re doing, we’re aligned, and then we know how to do it, and then some.

 

Scott Luton (29:36):

So, talk to us, Hans, if you would, about how you see those critical training programs helping to alleviate some of those challenges you’ve already laid out there, that global supply chains face and are using digital transformation and digitization to win the day.

Hans Moerman (29:51):

Yes, I think first of all, gone are these days that you’d have — your education just in school and university and then join a job and never have to worry about it again, right? These days, you — especially with the base at which the world changes, you have to continue to train and educate yourself to remain on top. And we, as an employer, have an equally, if not more important role to play, than the original schools and universities, right, that to get you your initial degree.

 

Hans Moerman (30:26):

In deeper world, we have a number of initiatives. So, we have an internal academy where you can get certifications, where you can get certain technical trainings and upskilling. And I think this is really — this should really be table stakes for any kind of company that’s serious about a digital transformation. I think ultimately there are many blockers to a successful digital transformation. But the biggest blocker would be if you’re unable to get your workforce along. So, absolutely, absolutely critical to have the right training programs on — right from the start in order to make this mission a success.

Scott Luton (31:07):

Agreed. Well said. So, Greg, I love what Hans just said there. This training — this investment and training should be table stakes, right, for organizations that are pushing the team and their workforce to drive much different results. And to, kind of, tie it back to a point you were making earlier, Greg, we’ve talked time and time again about the folks that are willing to learn new things, raise their hand, volunteer, invest in themselves, they’re going to be perfectly poised, maybe not perfectly, but they’re going to be really in a much better place to take advantage of this era we’re in now and moving into. Greg, your quick comments there,

Greg White (31:44):

Yes, this whole notion of lifelong learning that Hans just spoke about is really necessary. And fortunately, we have some very curious generations, sort of, overtaking the workforce now, right? And they are used to the pace at which things change. So, I think that bodes very well for the future, and it will be less about training people to be lifelong learners and more about directing that learning at what’s necessary to improve the business, right?

 

Greg White (32:13):

And I think this is a situation too where we have generations that are more interested and more focused on this — you know, the purpose of the company or the organization that they work for. What are we trying to accomplish? What are our goals? What are our core values, right? What are the outcomes that we desire? And then they can then focus their abilities on that. And they’re learning. I mean, it may not fall as much to the company as just — I should say, as anything more than providing a framework and then say, go learn these things and let people learn those things in their own way and then apply that to the job.

 

Greg White (32:56):

So, I think just facilitating that lifelong learning is a really important thing to do. And I think truthfully, the way that these new younger generations, ours and the younger generations learn is really built for the way that the world is changing. And it should be relatively — I don’t want to say easy, but uncomplicated for companies to facilitate that growth.

Scott Luton (33:20):

Yes. If it can’t be easy, I’ll take uncomplicated. That’d be my second choice, Greg. Good stuff.

 

Scott Luton (33:26):

All right. So, let’s talk — we can’t have any global business, global supply chain, global leadership conversation without mentioning —

Greg White (33:33):

Any conversation.

Scott Luton (33:34):

Any conversation, maybe, artificial intelligence. So, Hans really dialing in on that for a second, right? How do you see A.I. helping to foster some of that industry innovation and those gains you were talking earlier in, say, global logistics.

Hans Moerman (33:51):

Yes, so well these days you can hardly mention A.I. anymore without mentioning Generative AI, right? The large language models. I believe there is — there’s a role for that to be played in logistics. In — but there — we’re still in a really early stage. So, we have to see how that plays out.

 

Hans Moerman (34:16):

A few areas where we’re already using it actively is in terms of optimization. A.I.s are especially, especially powerful in finding solutions to problems that are not directly obvious to the human, to you and I. And with computing power we have available these days. We are able to optimize in our terminals in ways that we wouldn’t be able doing it in traditional methods and we see it in our ports. But to be quite frank, in terms of A.I., even our company has just started.

 

Hans Moerman (34:53):

So, I think we’re just at the start of this revolution. It’s really hype now. I would imagine in — that people will overestimate the impact it’s going to have in the really short term, but severely underestimate what impact it’s going to have in the long term.

Scott Luton (35:14):

Yes. Well said Hans. Greg —

Greg White (35:15):

That is very well said.

Scott Luton (35:17):

Yes. And Greg, for probably the — I don’t know, 5,000th time this year alone, our thoughts on A.I., Greg?

Greg White (35:26):

Buckle up people, I’m going to say it one more time. ChatGPT and all of these large learning models are a party trick, right? As Hans said, in a much more diplomatic style, we are overestimating the impact that those things can have. They’re having great impact. They’re helping with a lot of things. They’re helping people do a lot of things. They are not the secret sauce and they are not the highest level of A.I. that we can approach.

 

Greg White (35:52):

They’re large — what’s largely in play today are large language models and large visual models, right? Finding pictures that represent a thing, right, or a word or a phrase or something like that. A feeling, right? These large graph models that allow us to then — which is also a generative type model. These large graph models which allows to consider the millions, or in some cases, billions of inputs that impact the supply chain and ecosystem, a planet, whatever. That’s where the magic is.

 

Greg White (36:23):

And to Han’s point, we’re underestimating the possibility of those because we’re watching these party tricks happen every day and going, wow, we can’t even imagine what a large graph model can do. But those things are under analysis and development, let me assure you. And the abilities of those things are frankly for — probably, 99% of the planet unfathomable. But they will become a big portion of the change, the solution, the adaptation, the development, the improvement, the sustainability of the supply chain because they are so unbelievably powerful.

Scott Luton (37:01):

Yes, I completely agree. Well said, Greg, as always. And Hans, I also agree with you. We’re overestimating the immediate impact and underestimating the long-term —

Greg White (37:12):

That is dead on.

 

Scott Luton (37:13):

— revolution, yes.

 

Greg White (37:14):

Yes. There’s your T-shirt-ism, Scott.

Scott Luton (37:16):

That’s right. We love those. And so, Hans, thank you for delivering there as always.

 

Scott Luton (37:21):

All right. So, Hans, let’s get back to implementation. All right. Implementation is nothing new, it’s been critical for a long time, whether we’re implementing technology or other different changes in businesses, right? Well, the — I would — might — would argue, there might be a greater emphasis on getting implementation these days. So, when it comes to Hans implementing cutting edge technology in business, what’s — what are some elements of your approach there?

Hans Moerman (37:47):

I think my first and biggest one is we shouldn’t be too afraid to make mistakes. If we’re going to implement any cutting-edge technology, anything that’s going to be a significant change from the way we were doing things, we can do it all for the right reasons, but there’s still a decent amount of chance that it’s not going to work right? And we shouldn’t be afraid of that. We should cheer at our failure and happily move on to the next one. And it’s an important mindset shift in, I think, in industry that has been pretty traditional, and in an industry where margins are usually not that large.

 

Hans Moerman (38:32):

And so, a failure when seen through the lens of now I need to move so many containers at my tiny profit margin to make back the money that we invested in this initiative, might seem like a big error. But the bigger error is not doing it.

 

Hans Moerman (38:48):

Again, I’ll go back to the long term and the short term. See, in the short term you can — in the short term, there’s not really a risk of not implementing technology, right? And anything that a system can do today, I can do manually as well. In the long term, the problem is it just won’t be as good. And my long-term risk, and that’s an existential risk to my company, is irrelevance. And that’s why even though these projects have high risk of failure, we still have to do that. And the — yes, the leadership needs to be on the forefront and tell that message.

 

Hans Moerman (39:37):

And there we go — come straight into number two. We’re going to take a risk. We, as leadership, are committed to it and we need to make sure that we take our workforce along and comes back to training them. It comes back to crystal clear communication. Why is this required? And it comes back to a message of value for our customer, right? Why is it that we should be doing this? Is this good for the environment? Is this going to help us — help our customers better? Is this going to reduce our costs and make us more competitive? Why do we really believe that this should be done?

 

Hans Moerman (40:19):

A digital project for the sake of a digital project, I will say here is doomed to fail. But if it’s rooted in really good plan to do the best for our customers is what gives us the largest chance of success.

Scott Luton (40:37):

All right. So, Hans, that was a golden three and a half minutes by my count there and I wanted — I’d love to take a deep dive on a lot of things you shared. But, Greg, pick out one of the most important things Hans just shared there. You’ve been a part of thousands of implementations over the years, including today, implementing those cutting-edge technologies. What’s one of your favorite parts of what Hans shared?

Greg White (40:56):

Well, I think I would augment what Hans said about not being afraid to fail. I would argue that 99% of the time, the reason that companies fail in any aspect of an implementation is because they failed to understand the weaknesses in their current business practices or processes or data gathering and storage methodologies. It’s almost never, literally, almost never the technology.

 

Scott Luton (41:22):

So, what technology does is — you know, and we learned this in consulting school, as the water recedes, the rocks are exposed. So, what technology does is creates all this efficiency and you have all this slack in your supply chain or in your business process or in your inventories or in your cashflow or in your capital. And when you create efficiencies, you reduce all of that slack. And that slack then exposes the weaknesses or the failures the or in adequacies in your business process, your organizational structure or your processes.

 

Greg White (41:55):

So, that creates pain that people attribute to the implementation of a technology, and it’s almost never the technology. I would say that one of the most important things that leaders can do is prepare their people for that and say, look, this technology is going to expose where we are weak. Think about where you know we are weak and let’s talk about that now. Think about those things where you’re covering it with something you’re doing offline, or in a spreadsheet, or manually or at — in front of the television at night. Those are the kinds of things that we need to inform the people who are helping us implement this technology about. To understand what those accommodations we’re making to our bad practice process organization and get those on the table, that’s what I would suggest.

Scott Luton (42:44):

Good stuff, Greg. Hans, I want to circle back around to one of the things that you touched on is we’ve got a couple more questions with you here today. I want to talk about adoption. You mentioned the workforce, training them, communicating to them, answering that critical question of why, right? So, when it comes to adoption, what’s one lesson learned from your implementation experience that really fuels adoption? Because if they don’t want to adopt it, man, we’ve got bigger problems in some cases, right?

Hans Moerman (43:10):

Yes, I think one big lesson that we learned in DP World was exactly this, right? So, we started the project from HQ and then said, OK. We believe that this is absolutely key for the company. And we didn’t do enough to make sure that all our 75 countries, with all these businesses in these countries were completely on board.

 

Hans Moerman (43:36):

And I think the question that Greg raised was something that really, really struck me just now is just, yes, think about what’s not going well in your business, right? Which might be hidden a little bit up until now. And be careful, that’s going to get exposed at one point in time. So, how do you want to solve it, right? Do you want to do this proactively or do you want to wait until this is very visible to everybody?

 

Hans Moerman (44:03):

I think we asked that question later only when the project was well underway. And once we started involving these — all these countries properly, now we see that the adoption phase going along. And so, I think that’s a learning — it — and with all these learnings, I think if you talk about it, it seems terribly obvious to everybody. But I suppose as an organization, it’s a learning process that you have to go through. It was a good one for us and we’re in a better place now.

Scott Luton (44:38):

Great to hear, Hans. Great to hear. We’ve got just one more question. And, Greg and Hans, we’ve kind of talked about this from a variety of different ways throughout the hour here today, and in many cases kind of implied, right? But I want to just ask you outright, Hans — and I’ll get Greg’s comments here as well. So, when it comes to fostering and fueling next generation supply chains, the role of data, your thoughts there, Hans?

Hans Moerman (45:05):

Yes. So, data, it’s often used as a very mystical word, right? So, like a — like this — a resource on itself and it’s like oil or gold. I think of it in terms of a more — in a much more practical way. See, everywhere where we expose and make data useful, especially where two sets of data have their cross-section is where there are new business opportunities. And all of a sudden you have an insight based on the data that allows you to make an offer to your customer that earlier you hadn’t thought of or provide a business proposition that you earlier weren’t able to do.

 

Hans Moerman (45:50):

As an example of how we’re working on this is remember earlier that we said knowing where your container is a pretty hard question. And then we started to think, well actually in DP World, we should know perfectly where people’s stuff is, right? Like, it could be either on our train or in our ports or on our truck. Like, we have all these businesses that together create an end-to-end journey for our customer.

 

Hans Moerman (46:19):

And this cargo might actually be good as a collateral and in a way that a bank would never be able to offer because the bank doesn’t have a visibility. We could offer financing, trade financing to our customers. And as a result, we have financed a number of customers because we had the comfort of seeing their journey with us. And these had been customers that have heard no, no, no, no, no from every bank they spoke to and we enabled that business for them.

 

Hans Moerman (46:53):

So, the — that data gives you new business opportunities. What’s absolutely critical in terms of the data for the future is that it’s standardized and is widely available because you cannot rely on a single team to come up with the best solutions for everyone. So, it’s really about how is — what is the best way to democratize this, to democratize this data? How do we make it available to a large group of relevant stakeholders? Who then in turn can build solutions for the customers?

Scott Luton (47:33):

Well said, Hans.

 

Scott Luton (47:34):

All right. So, Greg, he mentioned another word. I can rarely ever say democratize unless I’ve got like 17 cups of coffee. But Greg, weigh in on —

Greg White (47:42):

Three words are not your specialty, are they?

Scott Luton (47:43):

Must not be. Weigh in on getting beyond the mystical aspect and narrative data, that word Hans started his response on.

Greg White (47:53):

Can I get an amen there? I mean —

Scott Luton (47:55):

Amen.

Greg White (47:56):

— it is if there is some dark magic that makes data appear or makes data become organized or whatever, and I think people mystified is exactly the way people feel about it. They’re just absolutely flummoxed as to what to do with data. And the truth is, the way that you determine what you’ll do with that data is to go back to something Hans has been talking about this whole time, and we’ve reinforced, and that is know what your goal is, know what your desired outcome is. And then work that data, select that data, collect that data, right, in a way that allows you to meet that goal.

 

Greg White (48:35):

And start with one simple goal. Let’s just start with one simple goal. We want to know where everything is. I mean, that is complex enough in and of itself. So, once you know where everything is, you have this opportunity of finance that Hans just talked about. So, if you simplify down to the goal, the ultimate outcome that you desire, and then work everything, your data, your business processes, the implementation methodology, all of these things that we’ve talked about here. Then you are constantly pointing everything you do at that north star of this is the outcome or this is the result that we desired.

Scott Luton (49:12):

Greg, gosh, that was a great response. It’s almost like one of your patented key takeaways, which I’m going to ask you about in just a second. Really good stuff there, Greg and Hans. This is one —

Greg White (49:22):

Just wait for that.

Scott Luton (49:24):

I wish we had a couple more hours here today, Hans. I really have enjoyed your perspective, appreciate what you and your entire army of professionals are doing, again, to keep trade flowing around the world. 75 countries that you and the team are involved in helping make things happen. So, Hans, let’s ask you this. Let’s make sure our audience can connect with you. I bet they’re going to be inviting you in. Maybe they compare notes, talk shop. Who knows? Speak to the teams. How can folks connect with you, Hans?

Hans Moerman (49:49):

I’d be happy to connect with all the listeners on LinkedIn.

Scott Luton (49:54):

It’s just that easy. Of course, we’ll include that kind — those kinds of things in the episode notes. You’re one click away from connecting with Hans and the team over at DP World and DP World Digital. So big thanks, Hans Moerman. Really a big fan of what you’ve shared here today. You bring in that love language of finance beyond, you know, supply chain finance, supply chain digital transformation, and beyond that. I mean, I really appreciate it.

 

Scott Luton (50:21):

And then that last note you arrived on is getting beyond, kind of, what Greg was talking about and picked up on getting beyond the mystical interpretation of what data is. Getting beyond the — getting flummoxed, like Greg put out there. Because in that data and in this digital transformation, huge massive opportunities are being created for businesses and for team members. So, Hans, thanks for coming to here today and sharing some of that with our global audience here at Supply Chain Now.

Greg White (50:49):

Thanks for having me.

Scott Luton (50:51):

But don’t go anywhere just yet, Hans. We’re getting —

 

Greg White (50:55):

Oh boy.

 

Scott Luton (50:56):

— it’s copyrighted. It’s trademarks. It’s golden stuff. It’s as good as what Hans has brought. Well, I’ve really enjoyed to hear the end of each of our sessions, getting Greg’s favorite key takeaway from the truckload of brilliance that Hans has brought. Greg.

Greg White (51:12):

Yes, I would argue it’s an entire containership of — I mean, look, if there’s one theme that really jumps out at me is that finance is your friend. If you’re in supply chain, the rigor, the accountability, right? The measurement that is required to really be an excellent in supply chain is enabled, enforced, and embraced by people in the finance world. And as we just saw just a couple minutes ago, it’s a great opportunity to create more opportunities than just moving goods out of your supply chain.

 

Scott Luton (51:46):

So, first, embrace that. Engage with your finance people and embrace the rigor that they require because all of that rigor forces you to analyze your supply chain to the point we made earlier. The weaknesses in your supply chain that cost you money, cost you efficiency, cost you relationship capital with your clients, and potentially with your entire brand. Because as I’ve said, it’s a very simple thing that supply chain does. We simply deliver. We just happen to deliver all your products, all your promises and all of your brand equity.

 

Greg White (52:19):

So, when you think about it from that global, that high level that’s incredibly strategic and perspective, then understanding why that rigor is necessary is simple. And to an earlier question. How do you get people to embrace and adopt this change? It’s very simple. I’ve done 1,500 technology implementations, probably more than that. That’s just when I quit counting. I mean, the one thing is to embrace the self-interest of the people who will use or benefit from the technology in their jobs. Let’s — I mean, I think we need to take this view of people. They really only want their job to be easy and to be able to do a good job at it. 90% of the people in your company just want to do a good job and they want it to be less difficult than it is today.

 

Greg White (53:08):

So, if you embrace that self-interest, you’ll do a couple of things. You’ll increase that adoption, but you’ll also uncover those rocks that will inevitably be uncovered when the water recedes. And you also do what Hans and his team needed to do in their project and everyone needs to do in their project. You win the hearts and minds of the people who make those technology implementations successful.

 

Greg White (53:31):

What’s done in the ivory tower or in the boardroom is delivered on the desktop, and you have to embrace and engage those people. And you — and the best way I’ve ever seen anyone do it is to acknowledge their self-interest and how that self-interest is aligned with the interest of the company and employ that and use that as motivation to get them to adopt these technologies and to adapt the implementation to enable that.

Scott Luton (53:55):

Well said, Greg. Very well said. And all of that helps drive value for the customer and value for the industry. And I really appreciate what Hans and Greg have been speaking to here today. So, with that, big thanks to Hans Moerman, CFO at DP World Digital. You can — as Hans invited, you connect with him on LinkedIn. Also, you can learn more about DP World at dpworld.com. It’s a big thanks to Hans. Big thanks to you, Greg. Always a pleasure to have these really meaningful conversations here on supply chain now. Thanks for being here.

Greg White (54:26):

My pleasure. As always, Hans, thanks for joining us.

Hans Moerman (54:29):

Yes, thank you both. Scott, Greg for having me. I enjoyed the conversation.

Scott Luton (54:33):

And Hans is back to preparing for your next Ironman triathlon, assuming beyond changing —

Greg White (54:39):

It’s probably dinner now. It’s 6:00 where he is, almost 6:30

Scott Luton (54:43):

Maybe so.

Hans Moerman (54:44):

You’ll see me on the track tonight.

Scott Luton (54:48):

Well, to our audience, hey, thanks for tuning in. I really hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I have. So, the challenges, as you know, as we like to end with every single time as you got to take at least one thing that Hans has shared here today, put it into action, right? Your team will appreciate it. It’s all about deeds, not words. And with that said, on behalf of our entire team here at Supply Chain Now, Scott Luton challenging you to do good, to give forward and to be the change. And with that said, we’ll see you next time, right back here at Supply Chain Now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (55:18):

Thanks for being a part of our Supply Chain Now community. Check out all of our programming at supplychainnow.com and make sure you subscribe to Supply Chain Now anywhere you listen to podcasts. And follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on Supply Chain Now.

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Featured Guests

Hans Moerman is the CFO at DP World Digital, a global leader in logistics and smart trade solutions. In this role Hans is responsible for driving the strategy for digital freight and trade solutions, delivering the internal digital transformation and commercialization of DP World’s systems. Prior to joining DP World, he led the enterprise sales strategy for Asia Pacific at Amazon Web Services and held the CFO position at Lazada Logistics. With a background in private equity, Hans brings a strategic financial perspective to his role. Hans holds a bachelor’s degree in Physics from Leiden University and a Masters in Quantitative Finance from Erasmus University Rotterdam.  Connect with Hans on LinkedIn.

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

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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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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.

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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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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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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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

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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

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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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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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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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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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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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Constantine Limberakis

Host

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Greg White

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

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

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

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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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