TECHquila Sunrise
Episode 22

Episode Summary

Whether investing means venture capital, private equity or stocks. Even if it means selecting the right technology to solve your supply chain challenges. This is the episode for you!

Episode Transcript

Greg White (00:02):

Hey, if you think you want to invest in supply chain tech, listen to this week’s episode of tequila, sunrise, I will introduce you to the upsides downsides, the opportunities in the dark sides of supply chain tech listen up. [inaudible] it’s time to wake up to tequila, sunrise, where without the aid of tequila, unfortunately, we open your eyes to how tech founders and venture investing ticks focused on supply chain tech every week at this unholy hour of the day. So if you want to know how tech startup growth and investment has done, join me every single week for another blinding tequila, sunrise, Greg white here from supply chain. Now always happy, never satisfied, willing to acknowledge reality, but refusing to be bound by it. My goal is to inform, enlighten and inspire you in your own supply chain tech journey, subscribe to tequila, sunrise on Spotify, Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, or anywhere else you get your podcasts. So you don’t miss a thing.

Greg White (01:35):

It is finally time to talk about my favorite investment topic, the investment in supply chain technology. Hey look, the market is very, very hot. And at the same time, supply chain is cool. Investors are flooding to this space and some of the companies that are getting funded are getting 20 plus valuations on their annual recurring revenue. I’m working with companies who are turning away, cadres of investors, begging to invest at 24 plus multiples. And some companies are getting even higher. Look, this space has been largely unknown prior to COVID few had even heard of it much less. Did they understand it? So this is my primer for investors, for observers, and for analysts awakening to the supply chain craft supply chain is exceedingly complex. Consider this supply chain literally impacts every stage of a product coming into its existence. It’s movement, storage, sale return, repair recycling, or disposal.

Greg White (02:40):

Supply chain literally touches every single physical object in the world. It is impossible to overstate the complexity of a discipline like that. Additionally, there are a lot of pitfalls, many, many potential unknowns, missteps, counterintuitive conditions, and even dark in this industry. And the reason you’re all here, there is of course, enormous, enormous opportunity. There are so many ways that supply chain can be dramatically or even disruptively improved. It’s an incredible space for investment supply chain. Technology is naturally the key and now is the time when the industry is in the forefront of the minds of not only practitioners, but also consumers, world markets, and even politicians. Look, it’s important to understand that supply chain is a very, very simple discipline. Well, until it’s not outstanding, customer experience is always the goal, but it’s difficult to attribute or is it difficult to define what is the definition of customer experience?

Greg White (03:46):

Is it quality is at times at quantity is a condition. Is it price? Is it something else? Or is it a combination of all of those things? Look COVID and the seismic societal disruption in response to the pandemic have brought supply chain practice to the forefront. The craft must acknowledge a new perspective to adapt and evolve. Supply chain professionals must adopt the perspective that supply chain is first that customer experience exercise. The primary goal is to get goods to the customer while mitigating the impact of anything that creates risk. In regard to customer experience that includes threatening fulfillment or cost or quality or brand equity, sales, profit, shareholder value. There are all sorts of economic risks, lost revenue, operating margins, inefficient operations, inefficient market structures, and business models, excessive production and inventory costs and underground economies, environmental and social governance, and therefore corporate identity impact things like ethical sourcing, sustainability, fair trade, and even human rights.

Greg White (04:58):

All of those impact accompanies esteem and therefore the top and bottom line disruption risk and the preemption mitigation or recovery from disruption brought on by supply chain complexities, far-flung supply networks, security, both cyber and physical, whether infrastructure acts of man and nature, plus more all apply risk to the supply chain when industry leaders and practitioners begin first with this customer experience goal in mind and do a few more things. One acknowledge risk management is paramount in meeting that end appropriate goals, models, actions, and results follow. Typically supply chain has been looked at as a cost mitigation exercise or a cost reduction or minimization exercise rather than primarily as a risk management exercise. And this paradigm shift is opportunistic for the industry. The industry has to broaden the understanding of what constitutes risk. This perspective enables the ability to mitigate risk. Like never before it’s not uncommon.

Greg White (06:08):

Let me give you a for instance, for industry professionals to believe that efficient economics must come at the expense of customer experience, industry leaders have to recognize these and other risks as operating in concert rather than in conflict with one another. Sure. There are trade-offs, but with the right solutions, the right approaches, the right models, the right processes mitigating, one of these risks need not overshadow or sub-optimize the other, let’s talk a little bit about the supply chain condition. And this will give you some perspective on what the framework is that we’re working in. Hopefully open up some insights towards where the opportunities lie in this industry. So supply chain is in a rediscovery period right now it’s in transition and frankly rediscovering itself formerly the predominant goal was physical movement storage and cost minimization. Now with risk management becoming more understood though, as I said before, still difficult to juxtapose versus acceptable cost.

Greg White (07:16):

The marketplace is in transition. We’ve been prone in the past to swings in strategy. The industry executives are just coming into their own in the executive suite. In fact, they’ve really just received their seat at the table. The industry is confused by so many legacy solutions like ERP and they’re good enough solutions. There’s a predominantly manufacturing mindset, which is assumed to apply to retail distribution, all aspects of supply chain in terms of demand dynamics and economics, there’s transportation complexities. And there’s also intentional obfuscation in terms of inefficient market dynamics and other more nefarious issues. There are just so many players, constituencies, varying goals, limited or absent trust and subsequently relatively little transparency and information sharing the industry is rife with outdated stuff, outdated

Speaker 2 (08:18):

Technologies, outdated ideas, outdated

Greg White (08:20):

Principles, and even outdated, best practices, even academics are far behind the times in most cases as to what is optimal or even possible in supply chain. I have had many, many discussions with academics on this topic. And they’ve said that it’s difficult to keep up and stay ahead of evolutions in industry. And that was before COVID and COVID has been a catalyst for recognizing flaws and opportunities in the supply chain and instigating change in some foundational premises in the supply chain. All of these things create opportunity opportunity for new players, opportunity for new processes, opportunity for new investment in current companies. But truly there are many, many people and companies invested in those best practices. I mentioned most of which are based on obsolete thinking or models from a day

Speaker 3 (09:14):

And the rich and readily available data of today.

Greg White (09:17):

It was really not accessible, defending and perpetuating. These obsolete practices has to date and continues to harm current performance, limit innovation, slow improvements. And the presumption that best practices are gospel is rampant. And it makes it very hard to overcome this myopic thought invites disruption, but at the same time, it can stunt adoption. There’s a lot of old approach tactics out there based on outdated supply chain principles and even industry leaders, associations and educators promote outdated principles because it’s the way it’s always been done. For instance, universally throughout supply chain, we are forecasting the wrong thing in supply chain. We forecast items. We talk about the seasonality of the item, the trend of the item, the patterns of the item, what this items attributes are. But that is really because items are merely a holdover from ancient days when we had no data on customers.

Greg White (10:22):

So we used items as a surrogate for customer demand. I don’t really have time to go deep on this topic, but I’m happy to discuss it. If you want to reach out to me, I’m on LinkedIn, Greg white, or at Gregory S wide on Twitter, Instagram suffice it to say, we need to be forecasting the actions and the influences that consumers have that will cause them to act on these items and purchase them. We talked a bit about this manufacturing bias and presumption. You see so many of the philosophies and strategies and best practices in the industry based on manufacturing, examples to the exclusion of understanding or analyzing retail or distribution practices or examples. And the main reason for that is manufacturers make enormous margins and enormous revenues. And therefore they have the money to pay for consultants. And so the projection on the marketplace is that the manufacturing way of supply chain is the way so that’s changed over the years,

Speaker 3 (11:27):

But that is still a relatively

Greg White (11:29):

Prevalent point of view. And you will see it repeated over and over again. The nomenclature in this industry is another issue. It is not universal, it’s highly nuanced and without standard definition. So let me give you an example, depending on the industry purchasing could mean procurement of direct or indirect materials. It could mean replenishment of finished goods, or it could mean merchandising, the actual sourcing selection and design of products or any combination of those three, depending on the organization. Another example is inventory optimization that can mean economically determining the appropriate inventory levels of company keeps to support demand in their warehouse, or it can mean how inventory is stored in a warehouse to optimize picking, or even how to position storage and fulfillment locations to optimize delivery economics, all three of those distinctly different business problems. You know, we talked a little bit about ERP and legacy technology.

Greg White (12:38):

Look, there is a lot of old tech out there built on outdated principles, much of supply chain tech is built with a close enough for rock and roll approach. This is really the case because for ERP solutions, those we talked about earlier built predominantly for manufacturers and with a simple approach bias, which is fine for companies like manufacturers with double digit net margins, but completely inadequate for retailer distribution, which suffer through low single digit or in some cases no or negative net margins without solutions focused on their precise supply chain issues and environment with so many of these legacy technologies that wealth of available data is groundbreaking, but rarely breaking any ground. There’s so much to be said about many of the technologies from 2010 and prior, but look suffice it to say that those legacy apps are the reason. There is so much opportunity for disruption and innovation in this industry.

Greg White (13:41):

We’ve already seen even before now, arise of the newbies. There’s a lot of tech out there built by people who don’t have supply chain subject matter expertise. And they’re coming into the industry with a naive viewpoint and approach and in a way that’s good, but they often oversimplify what is an unbelievably complex problem. And this really limits their ability to take the product from MVP to market, ready, understand this is a deeply accountable and therefore analytical and doubtful industry and ignoring those and other market dynamics has cratered a good number of companies too often. A disruptor has a preconceived notion of what the market quote unquote needs. This perception is really not unlike disruptors in any other industry, but the complexity of supply chain can quickly destroy delicate credibility. The learning curve in this industry is steep and harsh missing. The target is met with brutal rebuke.

Greg White (14:43):

And even in the case, a company gets a shot at multiple iterations to try and create a meaningful solution. They’re frequently relegated to also ran status in the industry. By the time the product hits the market market research and customer discovery is exceedingly difficult because there are so many constituencies in the supply chain. There is significant network effect, which is great in most cases, but in supply chain, it’s more table stakes than a conduit for adoption or pipeline. And the high switching costs and marketplace inertia means many companies keep their tech for seven to 10 years. Additionally, there are some other fascinating and surprising supply chain technology observations. For instance, AI is not universally applicable to every problem in supply chain, nor is it necessary to address certain aspects of the supply chain. Some aspects of supply chain solution are best resolved by deterministic methods, blockchain, a widely applicable solution in the industry, but not without its gaps.

Greg White (15:53):

And one has to acknowledge that it exposes and undermines intentional market inefficiencies to put it kindly and underground economies that maintain intentional obfuscation to support their revenues. IOT is the key to prediction in so many aspects of supply chain and properly applied replaces legacy forecasting for where items the lesson here is that a healthy dose of moderation is key to efficiency, effectiveness, and success for a technology application. New age tech needs to be augmented with linear rule-based or deterministic methods to be the most effective. Hey, look, there is hope. As I said earlier, this is an amazing opportunity, even with all of the complexities, the pitfalls, the dogma and skepticism, the underpinning of outdated technology trumps the entirety of that. In fact, lack of transparency, paper processes, human intervention, and yes. Spreadsheets, yes. Spreadsheets make for an industry ripe for disruption. So what are those areas and how do you make your way?

Greg White (17:02):

How do you find the right investment? How do you position a company to be most successful in supply chain technology? Look, this is what I have seen. Be very, very successful. It’s the combination of a naive approach of the disruptor along with the guidance of experienced, but yet open-minded industry veterans. This produces the right questions as to why the industry does things a certain way. And those rare few veterans who can see beyond the dogma can guide the disruptors past blind spots and pitfalls that extinguished disruptive dreams. Yes, it’s true. Like in most startups pair your bold, brash and beautiful with a geezer that sees the supply chain, what it could be rather than what it has always been. That’s a critical key component for success for anyone bringing solutions to the marketplace. So what does that mean for supply chain tech investors and what should you do?

Greg White (18:03):

One man’s opinion? It means that you have to recognize and continually acknowledge that you are dealing in the industry. That is the infrastructure, delivering the physical assets of every single other industry you’ve ever invested in. When you acknowledge that truth and the complexity that it implies, you will see why you need expert eyes from the supply chain industry on trends and innovations. You need to seek supply chain visionary perspective on the company’s founders, their presumptions and solutions that you are considering that you need active advisory and guidance for your investments. Once you’ve made them, regardless of the startup pedigree or industry expertise or disruptive vision, it’s too easy. Even with incredible supply chain expertise to fall in line with best practice. In fact, especially if your founders have a disruptive vision, you need rational, but open-minded oversight to synthesize your investments, vision, and catalyze their success.

Greg White (19:13):

You need to ready your mind for a slog street, fighting oppression, dirty tricks and unfair advantages because you will be up against not only and historically laggard marketplace that your investments will work with and against the best of the best and the biggest of the big. And they can get to corporate boardrooms to ask why not this three letter solution. So you need to get your investments in the boardrooms to don’t feel obliged to earn your sales. I can assure you that the ERP is don’t. They have a ton to lose. They’re hanging on for dear life and they know it. So what is the opportunity in this marketplace? And is it worth it? I assume if you’re listening to this, you’ve either done your market analysis or you have the resources to do it, but you at least think that it’s worth it. This is currently a 15 plus billion dollar market that employs over 700 million people worldwide 44 million in the U S alone.

Greg White (20:15):

And there are 1.4 million additional supply chain professionals needed immediately. It’s growing at an 11 to 13%, depending on who you believe, compounded annual growth rate and projected to be nearly 40 billion by 2027. And I’m telling you that’s an understatement. So of course it’s worth it. And this market is going through a transformation, never seen in its history. There is a world in need of change. There is market momentum finally, and a light shined on the most obscure. And yet you became witness industry in the world. The opportunity is now, now if you do it right, all right, that is all you need to know about supply chain tech for this week. Don’t forget to get to supply it chain now.com for more supply chain now, series interviews and events. And now we have two live streams per week. The most popular live show in supply chain. Supply chain buzz is every single Monday at noon Eastern time with Scott Luton and me, or maybe even somebody else. Plus our Thursday live stream to be named later where we will bring you whatever the hell we want. Hey, thanks for spending your valuable time with me and remember acknowledge reality, but never be bound by it.

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Watch as Greg introduces you to TECHquila Sunrise through our YouTube channel.

Hosts

Greg White

Principal & Host

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

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

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Vicki White

Controller

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

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

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Jamin Alvidrez

Founder & CEO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now, Veteran Voices, This Week in Business History

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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Jeff Miller

Host

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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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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Allie Krasinski

Marketing Coordinator

Allie is currently completing a degree in marketing with a certificate in entrepreneurship at the University of Georgia. She got her social media start through an internship with Shred, a personal training app, and she’s been hooked ever since. She works to optimize our following base while assisting the team with content creation, influencer outreach and other marketing endeavors. Allie can’t wait to keep growing alongside Supply Chain Now.

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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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Natalie Dutton

Marketing Coordinator

Natalie is currently pursuing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing and a certificate in new media at the University of Georgia. If there’s one thing she’s learned at the Terry College of Business, it’s that the supply chain is a dynamic, unifying force that’s essential to any business. Natalie helps to amplify the voices of the supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting with media management, content creation and communications.

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Page Siplon

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder & CEO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now, Veteran Voices, This Week in Business History

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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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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