“This is not about projecting exactly what your sustainable levels are today. It’s more about how you build resiliency, agility and flexibility into your supply chain to deal with the disruptions. How do you use the resources and technology at your disposal and take the weak links out of your supply chain?”
-Cyndi Lago, Supply Chain Consultant
The events of the past year have prompted a rapid shift in consumer behavior, most notably in ecommerce – but what’s the next “new normal” supply chains need to brace for? From dealing with technical debt to making sure your ERP, WMS, TMS and OMS all integrate with one another, it’s less a matter of predicting the future and more a question of engineering flexibility – and resilience – into your logistics processes. And who better to advise than consultant and supply chain technology expert Cyndi Lago? Join us as we chat with Cyndi on the changing world of consumer spending behavior, the importance of strategy when it comes to technology implementation – and a rather fundamental decision she made in the fifth grade.
Greg White (00:03):
It’s time to wake up to tequila, sunrise, Greg white here. And I have spent my career starting leading, deploying, and investing in supply chain tech. So we take a shot at talk founders, execs investors and companies in this hot industry. If you want a taste of how tech startup growth and investment has done, join blinding tequila Sentra.
Greg White (00:30):
Hey, welcome to tequila sunrise. I have a special guest here today, and we are going to talk about the changes in globe global commerce and its effect on supply chain and technology. Look, I’ve seen this transition coming in supply chain for quite some time now, but 2020, well at 2020 did and the seismic societal disruption that we experienced accelerated five and 10 year plans to right now in this episode, my guest Cindy Lago. And I, we’re going to give you some valuable insights to help you along your supply chain and technology journey. By the end of this episode, you’ll not only understand the changes and the ramifications of what is going on in the industry now, but you’ll also walk away with some key strategies to position you, to capitalize on a radically changed future. So without further ado, let’s bring in our guests, Cindy Lago, Cindy, first of all, it has been a practitioner and a leader in retail. She even took her turn in logistics and tech as well. So she can give us a lot of insights from a number of vantage points. So thank you for joining us, Cindy, welcome aboard. You’re ready for a shot.
Cyndi Lago (01:45):
Sure, absolutely. Always not really, but that’s a whole different story. Now we’re going to talk about today and from that perspective, but really focused on how to help them drive those solutions and technology that will enable them to, to be able to deal with the disruption they’re seeing. And my, my efforts are much more focused around that area in and across industries. Um, but obviously my, with my experience, consumer products, um, hospitality, retail, those types of things are immune veteran enrich more my strong suit, but have been here. I’m very excited to be here, very excited to for this new opportunity. And before that, as you’ve alluded to, and I’m not going to bore people with my past history, been working throughout the industry and supply chain pretty much after I got out of college. So looking forward to the conversation day, it’s been exciting.
Cyndi Lago (02:40):
It’s exciting for supply chain to be something everybody really realizes. Now I always joke. And you know, my line, which is if it’s not in your hands, it’s not a happy customer and it hasn’t went through a supply chain. So, you know, all the e-commerce people out there who make great websites can make the customer happy if they don’t receive it. So that’s our job. And, you know, I think that seeing what’s going on in the industry, seeing everything that we’ve seen from a disruption perspective and seeing who can adapt and who can’t and how they’re adapting is really important for people to look at and try to help solve.
Greg White (03:18):
So let’s, let’s talk about that a little bit. So you, as you said, your expertise is predominantly from the retail side of things, but retail and distribution and manufacturing and even sourcing they’re so closely tied these days and this disruption hit every aspect of that. I mean, you can hardly, I can’t think of an industry where you haven’t had some level of disruption, either good or bad, and it hasn’t kind of shuttered out throughout the entire industry. So if you think about that, who is really being the most impacted by this change in commerce, people are doing e-commerce more and more. I mean, the rates of e-commerce are up incredibly, but who is most impacted by that? And the ramifications on supply chain in tech,
Cyndi Lago (04:08):
I said, what I would say is at the end of the day, I mean, I think the consumers are being the most impacted. They were the ones that changed their buying habits. You know, I know people think, well, you know, my, my company has been severely impacted, but it’s really not been just that it’s been the consumers and it’s been, how are they dealing with it? And what are they going to do in the future to better, you know, adapt their buying habits and, and how they’re buying and how are you going to react to that is certainly the next piece of it. But I think, you know, understanding that, and, and I think for consumers out there, I don’t know if they’ve realized, but you know, you’re paying for a lot more shipping than you ever paid for in the past. So, and so I do think that the, the whole model from a company perspective is certainly has a huge impact, but because the consumer’s behavior has been forced to change so much, it’s now forcing the companies, but I think it starts with them.
Greg White (05:02):
Yeah, undoubtedly. So if you think about how this has impacted consumers, uh, I’d like to get later to how sustainable you see that being in the future, but where have you been able to from your perch, right? I mean, you were working at a consulting firm before, have you seen a segment of the population? Is it, is it the change greater in the U S and Europe, Africa, wherever, or, you know, can you figure out where this has impacted people the most?
Cyndi Lago (05:37):
I don’t think you really can’t. I think what you do see is it has impacted countries different. I mean, it’s impacted different parts of the world differently, right. And people have taken different. The reason I don’t think you can is because people have taken different stances, right. The way that they’re dealing with them in Europe is very different than the way we deal with it. So I don’t, I, so from what, what I’ve seen in the market, it’s not like you can take those differences. Now. I think there seems to be greened for me to country that they’re and how they’re doing it. And like, for example, I know that a lot of people, the world looked at Asia and to see how Asia was going to recover as they were moving, you know, the movie forward and what was Asia doing. But, you know, certainly I think it just depends on, you know, those individual countries, what their, what their policies are and what their procedures have been to put in place. And, and I think so I think it’s, it’s impacted everybody to an extent the same way, but then they think there there’s very, there’s differences by country as well.
Greg White (06:40):
You know, I think you nailed it and that it is that there is no real universality of impact because it really has to do not even with the pandemic itself, but the response, right? The response by governments or individuals even as to how they decided to treat or act in the face of this thing. And in some countries, the lockdown was much more strict and in some much less strict. And then of course, in the us, again, I think people think of the U S as a country, but it’s, it’s really a collection of 50 different cultures and it was left to the States here. So that even in the U S the impact was dramatically different state by state.
Cyndi Lago (07:21):
Exactly. And the way that each state dealt with it, I mean, you know, look at the school closings, right? Some people are back in school, some people, you know, they’re not, they don’t even know when they’re going to come back, if they’re even gonna go back this year. Right. So it’s just, you know, it’s a very different culture based off of very different, based off the culture, what is the, what is going on from a governmental perspective? So I think it it’s, it is certainly impacted everybody, but to how it’s impacting. I mean, it’s all different in each end, even in your individual families, you know, you know, you meet people that families have been significantly impacted and, and people who, you know, have had family members that had it, but they’re not, as, you know, haven’t had the issues that other people have had. So it’s, it’s a very, as universal as it is, it’s still very personal. And, you know, all of our thoughts, our prayers are with those people that are being impacted by it. For sure. No doubt
Greg White (08:16):
When you look back on the last year or so, I mean, I guess this is how this is when things have accelerated, right. So when you look back on the last year, when you think about all of the possible changes, and certainly in some cases highlighting of frailties in the supply chain or with technology or with business processes, what do you think, what do you think companies are hoping to achieve? Or what pains do you hope, or do you think they’re hoping to Aleve with the changes that they’re making, be those process changes or technology changes, or in some cases, business model changes, what have you seen that is most prominent that people are trying to alleviate or to achieve and capitalize?
Cyndi Lago (09:01):
Well, I think there’s a few different things, right? I think the first is they’re trying to achieve, uh, transparency and visibility throughout their supply chain. Isn’t it? Yeah. Yeah. So they know where stuff’s at. I mean, you know, I’ve been on calls with clients and you hear them say, you know, I can’t even guarantee my customer shipment date because I don’t know what we have and because their supply chains are connected between, you know, between countries or between subsidiaries or brands, you know, they don’t have that visibility they need, or even between the WMS system and the, you know, the ERP systems, right. So they’re not real time. And so that is, that’s definitely something, you know, that is first and foremost on their minds. I think the next part of it is what is that shift me to how I run my business? How do I operate?
Cyndi Lago (09:48):
And that’s when you start thinking about it, you know, what does that do? I have the right OMS, WMS, TMS systems in place, you know, can I actually achieve technically what I need to do to service my customer? And then you have to go through and then look at, you know, planning, how am I planning? Where’s my suppliers, where’s my, where are my raw materials? Where’s everything coming from, and am I going to a, get it on time or B if I’m not going to get it on time, like, how am I going to adjust or have alternate suppliers? You know? So there’s a lot around, you know, that, that component of, and what does that mean to my forecast and my plan and how do you know? And then it goes back to how do I, how do, how it happens if I’m the sales person in an organization, how am I even guaranteeing inventory to a client or being able to sell them?
Cyndi Lago (10:40):
And then you have the, I think one of the anticipated things or unanticipated things is also then the backup that this has cost to get product back to the UX, right? I mean, that’s all you see right now. And, you know, the, the freight magazines is, and, you know, it was all around that backup that is now happened at the ports that they can get stuff processed. So, you know, I think everybody realized it was going to be a backup, but I think one of the components that, and, and I guess, you know, working from home and having meetings with people, you realize it, but you didn’t realize that when you think about the workforce, but one of the components is, you know, now you have to anticipate how many people may be off the, your absentee rates. So it’s not just all this additional flow of product that was, was not coming in from China.
Cyndi Lago (11:28):
That’s now coming in from China, Asia, but then now it’s like, is, do I have the staff? And if I don’t have that staff, do I have enough backup staff, you know, to really support the process and that needs to be done. And the reality of it is, is that, you know, you’re fighting both from a, I need to get this, I couldn’t get it, and now I have it, but, and it usually you’re fighting for the ports and for throughput all the time anyways, but now you have to complication of the labor issues. Do you even have the labor to process it and how, you know, and how much additional hiring do people need to do to compensate for that difference of, you know, not knowing how much labor is now, it’s getting better. Obviously we have the vaccines and everything, you know, we’re reaching a better level of pharmacy, but I don’t think people were expecting or thinking through like some of those downward trends. And so that we’ll get that those things will improve. I think there’s always going to be a level of, you know, resiliency that you have to put into your supply chain now that you didn’t necessarily think about in the past.
Greg White (12:31):
You mentioned a lot there, transparency. It seems like a lot of it comes right back to that transparency, right? But the strength of your processes, uh, the strength and the interconnectivity of your technology logistics constraints, which I don’t think anybody could have foreseen the logistics constraints that we’ve experienced containers, containers shipping across the ocean empty, right. Ships backed up with 57 day delays or whatever they are now. And on the West coast ports, people are rerouting now ships to Texas ports and, and East coast ports just to get things unloaded from China, all of these technologies. So OMS order management, TMS, transportation management, right? So order management makes sure you get the order, transportation management, make sure you move the order WMS, make sure you store the order and pick and pull and receive and ship the orders appropriately. And so many of those things, as you said, they don’t necessarily talk to one another and that you, you sort of lose sight of the flow of goods through all of those disparate systems through this. Right.
Cyndi Lago (13:41):
And then there’s the expectation on the other side that you need to be able to tell the salesperson or their customer, when are they going to get their product. Right. Right. So, you know, now it’s, it’s not, you know, obviously the FedEx and ups and the USBs of the worlds and DHL and all of them have any Amazon themselves, right. Have made a huge impact on the way, you know, their ability to be able to, to inform the, the end customer. So the customers don’t necessarily get that, have that same issue as the manufacturing or they consumer, you know, the, the good people that are ordering to from B2B. But certainly it is a huge impact on the B2B business, from our perspective, being one to, to guarantee that and think about it, you’ve got, you’re ordering parts from five different places in your manufacturer, and you’re just putting them together.
Cyndi Lago (14:33):
Right. So how, how you’re, you know, every day you don’t work a full day shift or your sheet needs, like, if it was just like, if a machine goes down in the factory, how much time and money you lose, it’s the same type of thing. So it’s, it’s definitely causing that disruption and that level of, you know, how much inventory I really need to carry what are really need to do to deliver to the orders that I have in the system. How do I need to reprioritize based off of what I can get and what I can’t get, do I need to add new suppliers? Does my network, is my network designed correctly? Do I have the right model to be able to, to get to my clients effectively? Do I need to build new warehouses? I mean, you see retailers talking about how many new warehouses they’re building and, or hubs they’re putting in place to be able to handle some of this volume from a consumer perspective. But it’s the same thing with businesses too.
Greg White (15:26):
Yeah. I mean, just that, just that dialogue right there makes it sound utterly impossible. Doesn’t it? I mean, if you think about it, it could be very overwhelming for a company that caught on the back foot who didn’t. And there were companies like this who had the combination of not strong processes, complete lack of transparency or some significant lack of transparency and maybe lack, and certainly in a lot of cases, lack of technology. And by the way, I don’t include spreadsheets in technology. Right. I mean, technology that can solve the problem for you, not just obviate it and say, yeah, you got a problem. So I think a lot of companies have a very, very complex road ahead of them. And I’m curious as you think, you know, your job for the last several years has been to help companies tech up to, you know, to deploy technology, to, and to change processes and to enable their people better, to help them solve this problem.
Greg White (16:24):
And as you said, it wasn’t that long ago when we sat around the dinner table with our family and they didn’t know what supply chain was. And it was really hard to explain. Now you have to say is you either get your toilet paper or you don’t that’s the supply chain. Right. So, right. So if you think about it from that perspective, if you think about, you know, some companies have been caught, so flat-footed some have been actually put out of business, others have been significantly hamstrung others have had to shift their business model and either been able to, or not able to, or in some measure, somewhat able to, when you think about that and in your role as, as deploying technology, as an enabler of people and processes, what do you think is the most important? What do you think is important for companies to think about as they adapt to a new business model and, or adopt technology?
Cyndi Lago (17:19):
Well, I think first of all, they need to make sure they have what their strategies and align on them. Because, you know, in some cases your strategy needs to be different based off of your customers. And so, you know, I think that understanding what is the strategy of the company to deliver the product to their consumer or their in client and based off of that strategy, how do I need to bring in technology to enable that? And where are the pain points that I have in my, my system today and where are my limitations and then prioritize desertion of those limitations and how do I attack them? And, you know, and then you have to understand what the dependencies are because maybe something has to be attacked in for something else, or, you know, some things are quick kids, so you can, can take care of it first, but, you know, it’s, it’s really, you know, it’s really easy to want to throw everything up against the wall to try to figure out how I can fix this.
Cyndi Lago (18:17):
It’s harder to say, how do I fix it and in accordance with my strategy and that’s how it needs to be fixed because long-term, you still are going to have the, you know, your business strategy and what is my business strategy three to five years from now and what do I need to be and who do I want? And I think that is really, you know, what you have to do. And then, you know, you gotta look at what it needs to be enabled to make that happen. What do I have today? What do I not have? What do I need to grow? And what, what’s it going to take to improve what I have in place? And it’s, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s that, it’s that realization of walking it through from a perspective of, you know, those, those baby steps, if you will, right. Of, of how to do it, because, you know, and then you have to think about enjoying to start a Greenfield implementation. Do I need to do a brownfield implementation? Is it totally just, you know, I’m just going to keep the system I have, but I’m going to upgrade it. And there’s implementation sometimes. Cause Brown
Greg White (19:22):
Difference between Greenfield and brownfield, just out of curiosity,
Cyndi Lago (19:26):
Brand new freight everything’s brand new brownfield is more of a combination of not being brand new and being brand new. So maybe it’s brownfield being that it’s new to some people, um, you’re keeping some of the things you do, but you’re not getting all of the things you do, you know, things like that. So, but it’s yeah, but go ahead.
Greg White (19:45):
Well, I was just going to say, I can see that happening and I think we’ve both seen that happening. Well, I speculate you’ll you can confirm or refute, but seeing that happening quite a bit where people are because it’s expensive and it’s risky, they’re not replacing ERP as often as they used to be. And now they’re finding new ways to layer this Greenfield tech on top of a weak spot in their ERP. WMS is a great example. I think forecasting, planning, allocation, replen, replenishment, all of that. Those are great examples. SNOP are often good examples. I don’t know, but you know, there’s lots of ways to, to let an ERP do what it’s really good at which mostly finance and then layer on some of those other technologies. Are you seeing companies do more of that?
Cyndi Lago (20:33):
Oh, absolutely. We’re completely, you know, the, the day of one ERP being able to handle everything to solve all your problems is, is not where we’re at. That’s what I’m saying, that you don’t have a system ERP system that has additional tools, the same toolbox that can’t handle it alone. But what it is saying is that, you know, they’re, they’re realizing that not every, not all swept all, not all one size fits. All right. So, and that’s okay. It’s just, how do you, you know, you have, but you know, in that go back to your strategy, right. Then now you have to also consider your technical debt. What do I have is technical debt? Where, where can I, you know, move things to the cloud? Where can I become more efficient? Where can I work? Can I not touch? So, you know, once you set your strategy and then you need to look at technology where you’re at your processes, where you’re at your pain points and then start making, you know, decisions from an executive perspective of what that, you know, what is my business case? What is my roadmap look like? What is my ongoing technology strategy to enable what I’m trying to achieve? And that’s really, you know, it’s, it’s definitely, um, a lot to consume, but at the same time, you know, you, you need to make the right choices because time is of the essence, right? I mean, it really is. It is
Greg White (21:51):
So undoubtedly you’re right. I mean, I think I was just thinking if that statement was ever more appropriate. I can’t imagine when it would be, you know, I’ve, I’ve said several times, starting early in this seismic societal disruption, if you built your house on sand and you have somehow managed to survive this flood, don’t be foolish enough to continue to do that right. To continue to leave it on spanned. And, and I think that good processes and real technology, not spreadsheets and strategy driven business model changes. I think those are really, really key to creating a solid foundation for your car.
Cyndi Lago (22:31):
Right? Absolutely. I think those are great takeaways from this, but for sure when, if ever
Greg White (22:38):
We talk a lot about, of course we can’t have any conversation where we don’t say AIOt, uh, pivot unprecedented or new normal. So when, if ever, do you think we’ll settle into something that we can call normal? I mean, I, I don’t think we’ll ever go back to where we were, where for instance e-commerce is a much, much bigger portion of retail sales than it was. I think both of us and many people in the know knew that that was coming new. Right,
Cyndi Lago (23:09):
Right. But not to this, not this fast
Greg White (23:11):
And not now, but, but do you think we sustain the level of e-commerce we’re at, for instance, or are there other things that you think that kind of settle out or settle down as we reach some level of market equilibrium market and societal equilibrium?
Cyndi Lago (23:27):
So, I mean, I think that the obvious thing is, is that, that there is a, a shift on spending that has to go back to really become the new normal meaning people are traveling people aren’t still eating out as much. They, so their disposable income is not being spent where it will ultimately be spent once we level out. And so I do think that there is a, a level of behavior that from a re from my buying perspective, that will continue do, I think it’s going to continue to see, you know, you’re gonna just continue to see the increases that you see, probably not, as it’s shifting, you know, they’re going to shift their, their money’s back to travel or vacations, or, you know, whatever that case may be. I mean, there’s going to be so disposable, income’s going to be spent differently. I don’t think it’ll ever reach the same levels as it was spent before, but I think it’s going to be spent differently than it is being spent right now. Right. So that’s a given just because people can’t spend it on what they want to spend it on, you know, like, you know, so I don’t know about you, but I really would like to get on a plane and go somewhere. But, um, you know, so
Greg White (24:39):
I imagine the airports being more crowded,
Cyndi Lago (24:42):
I mean, they’re, they are getting busier, but yeah. Right. But you know, it’s, I mean, the reality of it is, is that people, you know, people are entirely depend up and they are getting busier and the airlines are doing a tremendous job at keeping people safe and healthy and all of that. So not discrediting any of that. Oh, I’m saying, is that the shifted, the spending is going to go back to some level difference than what it is today. So, you know, like, you’re not thinking you can’t build, you know, you just, you can’t also build your house on false hopes that, you know, you’re, you don’t, you know, it’s sorta like, it’s sort of like, you have to build it to a level of normal, but you also have to sell your like retailers when they have the Christmas period. Right. You can’t have the systems and, and, and enable yourself to run at Christmas, picks all the time, when, not when 10 months out of the year, and you’ll never have those lungs. Right. You have to figure out what is the strategy to get me through those peaks, but how do I reach that sustainable normal level?
Greg White (25:40):
Yeah. You have, you have to be, I think I see a lot of temporary peaks, bubbles, whatever you want to call them coming there will undoubtedly be a bubble in travel, you know, in hospitality and those sorts of things. So I think if you have to be adaptable and there was another word that I was thinking of, but you know, you have to be agile. Right.
Cyndi Lago (26:02):
Yeah. Right, right. Right. I mean, I think that’s, those are the takeaways that you need to take away from this. This is not about today to project exactly what your sustainable levels are, but it’s more about how do you build in resiliency, agility, and flexibility into your supply chain to deal with the disruptions. It’s not about how you live to the new levels of normal, because we don’t know what those are yet. And in some cases they may never get back to where they were at, but it is definitely how do you use those resources and technology at your disposal or things that you’re looking to do that will you to build a flexible agile and, um, resilient supply chain, right. Yeah. So, you know, and in some cases where, and I just read this the other day, and I don’t remember where I read it up, but, you know, it’s like, how can you take links out of your supply chain?
Cyndi Lago (27:01):
Can you shorten your supply chain? So how do you, how do you do that? Right? I mean, so it’s, it’s definitely things that you need to think about, but, you know, you have to put that in context of the normalcy is going to continue to change because right behind this and right behind the pandemic and, and still, and still on the top of consumer’s minds in customers’ minds is this whole feeling around being green and being environmentally friendly and being, you know, better for the, you know, the, we still continue to see the consumer being concerned about the environment and can be concerned about being, you know, all the things around that that are important. So you can’t just change for one thing
Greg White (27:49):
And human rights, all of those things have come to the fore. Right. I mentioned earlier, there’s so much transparency, not just in supply chain, but in the world. And I think we’ll have time to sit down and study this for a few months, at least at the beginning, some more, but at the beginning
Cyndi Lago (28:06):
I saw the reduction. Right. I mean, think about the grade, the reduction you’ve seen in emissions. Right. Right. Like how can we sustain that now? Yeah. So that sustainability is, is something that, you know, there, you know, there’s always the reason that you need to think about it as agile, flexible and resilient is because it’s always going to have something coming up to, to challenge you. And yes, it’s not going to be as seismic as you say, hopefully as what we’re experiencing now, but there will always be something that comes up to challenge.
Greg White (28:36):
I think that that’s really well said, you know, new awareness, new capabilities, new freedoms, if you will, we’re going to breed new peaks and bubbles and changes and shifts and, and right. I mean, yeah. I think that’s, that is a, that’s a great observation. So yeah, I think that’s really important. I mean, is there anything else, anything that’s kind of top of mind that you just think needs to be heard or, you know, anything we haven’t talked about here that you think ought to be going forward? Right.
Cyndi Lago (29:17):
Right. Well, I mean, I think there’s the whole workforce, right? We talked about that. We talked a little bit about the labor differences in shortages and you have to think about, but there’s also the whole workforce. The workforce population is changing. And we, as people that have been in the industry for awhile, unfortunately we all have personal anyways. You know, so I do think that, you know, we also have to realize that people are working differently. They’re working from home. They’re not going to all go back to the office. There’s going to be different ways of working in different ways of doing business. And so back to the conversation we just had around, you know, what you need to build into your supply chain, you also need to think about your organization that you did that you’re putting in structure around it, because I don’t think it’s going to stay, you know, it’s also be in changing as well. Yeah.
Greg White (30:07):
Yeah. That’s a really good point. I mean, I think if there was anything, we didn’t think too much about it was workforce. I mean, think about how early in shift. Right. People were like, Oh yeah, we can only have half as many people in the factory now. Right,
Cyndi Lago (30:22):
Greg White (30:24):
And like you say, I think some people, and we talked about this a little bit before the show. Some people, they don’t want to work five days a week. They don’t want to travel. They don’t want to commute. I almost forgot the term. I haven’t done it in, so they don’t want to commute five days a week to the office. They want that flexibility. And then we’ve proven that that flexibility can be if managed right. Can be very productive, even more productive than an office environment, depending on the role. Right. Right. Yeah. And you know, what’s interesting about all of this is I think you and I have worked in environments where it wasn’t really news to us, this, what was news to me at least was that other people didn’t recognize this, that people were so caught up in a very specific paradigm, a very specific viewpoint on the world that they didn’t even think about the possibility that somebody could work from home or work a flexible schedule like that.
Greg White (31:21):
So yeah, that, and that, and now I’m even more astounded when I think about people who are just trying to rush their people back into the office, back into the old way of doing things. And I was talking to a recruiter the other day who said, yeah, yeah. I can’t place people at companies that require you to be in the office anymore. There has to be some level of flexibility. And I think that will be an awakening right. Causing yet another seismic shift in commercial real estate. Right? So there are lots of things to consider, but I think your points, agility and flexibility and resiliency are critical going forward. Right? So if, if there’s anything that folks should take away from this, right? These three, these three things down Cindy said, right, your supply chain and your business at large, and your corporate strategy need to be agile.
Greg White (32:16):
They need to be flexible and they need to have resiliency built in, like you said, taking links out of the supply chain that adds resiliency, fewer potential points of failure. All of those things are really critical because as we experienced these changes going forward, they will create, again, more of these bubbles, more of these changes and shifts that that may or may not go back normal or may go back to some level approaching the previous norm, but they will certainly cause potential disruption in the meantime. Absolutely so, well, I really appreciate that. Thank you for that insight. You’re doing pretty good for someone who just got a new job.
Cyndi Lago (32:55):
I try, I try. I’ve been in the business for a couple of decades now. We’re not first gen, but just that part. Right. Well,
Greg White (33:06):
Big, thanks to you. I appreciate it. I always love talking to you. It’s refreshing, it’s entertaining. And, and I’m really excited for you because you got big things coming in this new gig. Right. And I think while it’s, it’s a similar type role to what you were doing before, it’s a different perspective, a different company. I’m interested to see how that changes your perspective on things and what you can do now, right. With the experience that you have in this new environment. So that’ll be fun. And I’m also certain you’re going to be really busy because how can cause, you know, you have new contact information in that week as well. So how can our community connect with you? How do you prefer?
Cyndi Lago (33:49):
Yeah. So there’s a few different ways connecting these with LinkedIn is always the best.
Greg White (33:54):
Cindy has, has the most unique spelling of Cindy I’ve ever seen C Y N D I right. It’s like your parents were dyslexic or no. Right. Okay. Which is the way most people get named Cindy. Yes. Right. And makes perfect sense. Yes. Your family very logical.
Cyndi Lago (34:16):
Well in fifth grade when I changed it, yes. I made very good sense to me. Yes. I changed it.
Greg White (34:24):
Okay. Wow. In fifth grade,
Cyndi Lago (34:27):
Yes. I decided that we were spelling it differently. Yes.
Greg White (34:31):
And I mean, okay, so this is okay. Let’s we got to come back to this. So you and your parents went down and legally changed your name.
Cyndi Lago (34:38):
Greg White (34:39):
But then bill Cindy is the way you want it spelled. Yes. Dig it in fifth grade. That’s pretty cool. Okay. That explains a lot, Cindy.
Cyndi Lago (34:49):
Yeah. That, that, and I can add that in my first sentence was I can do it myself as yes. Those two things are explained a lot.
Greg White (34:58):
Cindy and I actually did an interview some while back talking about her career and things like that. So maybe we’ll, maybe we’ll splash a little bit of that. And you’re one of my favorite people. You’re one of my top leaders in supply chain of any of any gender. And, and I think, I think what you’re doing is really cool. And I think people should hear more about your story. So maybe.
Cyndi Lago (35:23):
All right. Well,
Greg White (35:25):
Yeah. Thank you. I appreciate you joining me. It’s awesome. If you want to learn more about Cindy and what she’s doing these days, you can of course go to our site, uh, supply chain now.com/tequila. Hyphen sunrise. You can search her out there. We got our whole new bio there and look, of course, go follow her on LinkedIn, probably Instagram. I happened to know that she’s near the ocean now, but I don’t, I don’t know. You don’t post about like beach stuff or anything to you? No. Okay. Darn it. Okay. All right. Well, thank you. Thank you. No, seriously. I’m so glad we did this. I think this is, this is a particularly valuable takeaway because it’s not often that we get to talk about technology and sprinkle in that the human impact. And I think here we have also uncovered the need to remain flexible and agile and resilient.
Greg White (36:20):
As you said, it ain’t over yet folks. So don’t think just because you have changed things, even in your organization, you need to change them foundationally, not just the tech, but you need to make sure that that tech and those processes, that your strategy and all of your interactions are agile, flexible, and resilient because things are going to hit you again. All right. So let me go have a good day. All right. Thanks Cindy. Hey look, whether you are a founder and investor or a practitioner, I can help you with your supply chain technology journey. So connect with me on me on LinkedIn, uh, connect with Cindy, for sure. But if you want connect with me or you can reach email@example.com, K U B E R a dot PC. Uh, and we’ll talk about how I can help you. And remember, this is the rule that I live by be willing to acknowledge reality, but never be bound by it. Thank you,
Greg White (37:23):
Tequila, sunrise, as part of the supply chain, now network the voice of supply chain featuring the people technologies best practices, key issues in the industry. And Hey, listen up to build your supply chain knowledge. Listen to get this supply chain is boring or Chris bonds connection to the who’s, who that got supply chain, where we are point as to where we’re going and take us to the next level or check out this week in business history with supply chain now’s own Scott Luton to learn more about everyday things you may take for granted and pick up quick insights you can use as inspiration and conversation starters. I logistics with purpose series puts a spotlight on inspiring and successful organizations that give first give forward as their business model. If you’re interested in transportation, freight and logistics, have a listen to the logistics and beyond series with the adapt and thrive mindset, Sherpa Jayman Alvidrez and also check out the tech talk hosted by industry bet and Atlanta zone Kerryn bursa supply chain pro to no of 2020, where Korean discusses the people, processes and technology of digital supply chain for sponsorship information on tequila, sunrise, or any supply chain.
Greg White (38:41):
Now show DM me on Twitter or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again for spending your time with me and remember acknowledge reality, but never be bound by it.
Cyndi Lago is a supply chain consultant and has helped large, complex organizations in multiple industries digitally transform supply chain operations in areas including demand planning, order management, master data management, and analytics. In prior roles, Cyndi helped some of the world’s largest consumer-products companies in their efforts to develop innovative solutions that realize business value through technology. Cyndi’s perspectives have appeared in numerous industry publications including Industry Week, Environmental Leader, Supply Chain World, and Apparel Magazine. Connect with Cyndi on LinkedIn.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
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.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.