In this original TEKTOK classic, Supply Chain Now host Scott Luton sits down with TEKTOK host Karin Bursa for the first episode of TEKTOK. You’ll quickly see that for Karin, “All Roads Lead to Supply Chain,” starting as early as age 13 when she helped implement her first enterprise software system. Years later, you’ll see how she became the 2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year. Buckle up, join the conversation, share your insights, and learn how to harness supply chain technology to drive tangible business results.
Welcome to TEKTOK digital supply chain podcast, where we will help you eliminate the noise and focus on the information and inspiration that you need to transform your business impact supply chain success and enable you to replace risky inventory with valuable insights. Join your TEKTOK host Karin Bursa, the 2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year. With more than 25 years of supply chain and technology expertise and the scars to prove it, Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Join the conversation, share your insights and learn how to harness technology innovations to drive tangible business results. Buckle up is time for TEKTOK powered by Supply Chain Now.
Scott Luton (01:26):
Good morning, Scott Luton with Supply Chain Now. Welcome to today’s very special show. On this episode, we’re really excited to be kicking off a brand new series. It’s TEKTOK that’s right. TEKTOK, the TEKTOK digital supply chain podcast powered by the team here at Supply Chain Now. And we’re going to be introducing the leader of the TEKTOK podcast here momentarily. So, stick around. It’s being led by the one and only Karin Bursa. You’re going to want to know a lot more of her story, what TEKTOK’s going to be about and, and you know how the podcast is gonna be working hard, just like we do to raise your supply chain IQ. So stick around, Hey, before we introduce Karin and dive into that conversation, quick programming note. If you enjoyed this conversation, you can, uh, find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from, including the new TEKTOK podcast series T E K T O K is what you searched for and make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss a single thing.
Scott Luton (02:26):
Okay. Welcome in Karin Bursa. We’re so excited to have you here as our featured guests in this first episode, how are you doing? Hey, I’m doing great. I am so excited to be here and to work with you in the Supply Chain Now team, I think we’re going to have a lot of fun. I know we will. And, and you, and I know each other well, we’ve, we’ve rubbed elbows for quite some time. I’ve learned, I’ve already learned a ton from you, and I’m so excited that we can have our audience, uh, and, and, and the growing community also pick your brain, learn from your expertise and your experience. So this is really a joy to be a part of it.
Karin Bursa (03:04):
Well, I’ve been a Scott Luton fan for years. As you know, we, we met volunteering in the industry. So, I think both of our hearts were in serving others at that time and still there now. And, it has been so exciting to watch as you’ve established and laid the ground work for Supply Chain Now. It’s a real honor to join the team and to add another, asset into your portfolio.
Scott Luton (03:30):
Well, uh, this, this is big news, big launch, and we’re really excited about it. So, um, let’s start if we could, there’s some big kind of big picture objectives that are, that will make up a TEKTOK programming, if you could share those with our audience a bit first.
Karin Bursa (03:45):
Absolutely. So I would say one of the things that’s going to be really unique about TEKTOK is that we’re going to be focused on the digital supply chain. What I mean by digital supply chain is, how do we bring the technology that’s driving decision-making to impact improvements in that actual physical supply chain. We’re merging those disciplines together and we’ll spend time talking about why it’s important, what’s working, what industries are seeing great results. And we’ll invite a few friends from the industry, a few CSCOs and CEOs to come and share their perspectives as well on just the importance of both technology and physical changes to really revolutionize what we’re doing on a global basis.
Scott Luton (04:31):
Love it. You’ve got me already. So I am subscribed or bought in. Let’s go ahead and knock out five episodes today. How about that?
Karin Bursa (04:39):
Excellent. That’s all right. Let’s flip the script and hear from our audience too.
Scott Luton (04:45):
Absolutely. Uh, and that’s that, as we all know, is such a huge rewarding part of this journey, hearing from the audience to hearing their expertise, their questions, their experiences. So I know that will be a big part of, of TEKTOK. Okay. So now that we’ve got some of the main themes established, right. Really relevant, main themes in terms of what folks can expect, let’s learn a little bit more, let’s peel a layer of the onion back and learn a little bit more about how the series kind of originated Karin. Yeah,
Karin Bursa (05:15):
Absolutely. It’s been around this theme of educating and inspiring action around digital supply chain and what it comes down to is, how do we harness those capabilities and technology to drive tangible business results? How do we bridge that gap? And, I think one of the compelling areas that come to mind is, hearing much more about digital transformation and what it means? And where has that transformation occurred and what are some of those results? And if we think about it in the simplest of terms, it is the opportunity to replace risky inventory investments with valuable information and still provide great customer service. So, I think that when practitioners, whether they’re in the physical supply chain role or in digital roles or roles that bring both those together, they can really appreciate how important it is to bring these elements together and to leverage technology where technology can add value and insights and automation. Um, so I’m really excited, just about the topics in general and to get feedback from our audience on particular areas they’d like to learn more about, or maybe share some of their insights and what’s been success
Scott Luton (06:35):
Well, you know, uh, there’s going to be no shortage of feedback. Our audience always brings it. It always delivers, uh, it’s slightly old a us post office adage, you know, when rain and snow, the mail’s coming it’s, it’s that reliable. So, uh, I’ll look forward to, um, this new series and how to play in the audience. So, you know, what our team is really excited about, or at least what, what I’m really excited about is, you know, to, to be able to, uh, bring in a very, uh, experienced and expert, but different point of view, and to offer that programming, especially in a niche like, digital supply chain, like supply chain tech, because despite of course we always hug on the people of supply chain, right, because they’re still so critical. And, you know, in the technology empowers us people when, when, when applied, uh, um, successfully.
Scott Luton (07:30):
But gosh, there’s so much going on in this world of supply chain technology, freight tech, as it’s called logistics tech, you name it, and this program will be able to really tap into not only your expertise, but a lot of your guests and audience expertise in this niche. And if I might add, I’m very partial, but I’m partial for a big reason, Karin and I have collaborated on a variety of events in the supply chain industry going back 10 or 12 years panel events, keynotes. Uh, I remember when last in person events we did together is where you led an S&OP workshop of sorts.
Karin Bursa (08:09):
It’s a lot of fun. We had a great time that day, and a very interactive crowd!
Scott Luton (08:11):
A great time, and we’ve got a lot of great feedback. So to be able to offer that digitally to current audience and, and, and future audience, that’s more dialed in on this topic. I know that this is going to be a great and successful new series. So those are some of the things I’m excited about. And, um, you know, I can’t wait for more audience. It will be all right. So let’s shift gears a little bit Korean, because one of the main thrusts of this new episode is that we want to get our audience, uh, to some degree comfortable with grant and, and, and understanding more about your background and your story, and that’s what we’ll do here. So, w you know, we talked about our kind of our joint history. Uh, you mentioned industry association, we had a lot of fun on those board meetings.
Scott Luton (08:58):
I don’t know if you remember way back in the day. Um, so, you know, I’ve talked about some of the keynotes and other joint events, and how, you know, I’m known for note taking and, you know, having carpal tunnel at times with my, with my note taking hand, but always gathering a ton from the experiences, the other thing that your career, you never brag on yourself. So I should, because not only have all of those events and the content and what you’ve done professionally, uh, you know, it’s, it’s turned a lot of heads. And in fact, just one of those accolades, in recent months, you were named the 2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year. So, uh, I’d love to borrow, borrow that trophy, uh, at some point in time. So I can, I can feel like I’m, somebody’s Karin. Would you loan me that?
Karin Bursa (09:51):
It’s such an honor. I mean, it really is an honor when you consider all of the great brains and practitioners that are in the marketplace. You know, it’s kudos to the teams that I’ve worked with and, the opportunities that I’ve had. Um, so I’m really honored by that. And, I hope to do it proud and to share some of that knowledge and expertise with our audience.
Scott Luton (10:14):
Undoubtedly. So with all of that, we’re teeing all that up, let’s dive into your personal background, your professional journey. Let’s start there, share more about, you know, what’s gotten you here.
Karin Bursa (10:27):
Yeah, it’s kinda funny. When I was thinking about this and I thought about my career choices and different jobs I’ve had, I realized that my technology and supply chain background actually reached back pretty far. One of my first jobs (that was not babysitting), you’ll appreciate this. I was 13 years old and, I had a neighbor who owned two home improvement and lumber yards. He asked me to come to work after school and on Saturdays and the money was good. And what I found is that I got roped into my first enterprise application deployment at age 13. We were replacing this old behemoth punch card system. The machine was like six feet wide. I mean, it looked like you could jump in it and drive away!
Scott Luton (11:17):
Powered by vacuum tubes. Was it?
Karin Bursa (11:19):
Crazy, Scott? It was hysterical, but it taught me a lot about business and opened the doors to some early technology adoption and interest on my part. You know, my contributions were not very glamorous. I spent a lot of time organizing customer account numbers and item masters and accounts payable and receivables, and general ledger information. But all of that is critically important as a foundation for supply chain today. So it’s just kind of interesting that at age 13, I did my first enterprise wide application rollout for, for an integrated accounting system at the time. So fun to look back on.
Scott Luton (12:02):
It’s fascinating. Um, and the other thing that really makes me think of is, especially in global supply chains are so transactional driven these days to kind of have a foundation in that. And at 13 years old, I mean, what an advantage.
Karin Bursa (12:21):
I had no idea where that was going to take me, but, at 16, I went to work for, for Sears. And, uh, you know, some of our audience are probably thinking Sears? You can’t even go to a Sears today. But, at the time they were the number one retailer in the world. And I got a job as a commission sales person at age 16, selling personal computers, electronics, camera equipment and vacuum cleaners. So, some high ticket items for Sears, but I mentioned that because it introduced me to cycle counts, physical inventory accounts, and some pretty sophisticated inventory tracking measures. And I’m saying that kind of tongue in cheek, because we had a clipboard where we kept track of all the high value items and just how many we had in stock every day, every shift and when we expected to receive more, et cetera. You get the idea. We were scratching them off and adding them on a regular basis. So we had to do that every day because we didn’t want to disappoint the customer. Right. I didn’t want to write an order, ring them up and not have the product available. So very early again, age 16, I’m bringing together these concepts of inventory availability and customer satisfaction. And so it’s interesting just to see how the career experience kind of chained together over time and worked into, um, what eventually became a career.
Scott Luton (13:44):
It’s fascinating. It really is when I think, especially when I think about what I was doing at age 13 and 16, I mean, to have this type of foundation, one of the strongest foundations, perhaps that I’ve come across in recent interviews, um, and not just business experience, but some of the supply chain management concepts that you alluded to technology and otherwise. Um, all right, so now let’s talk about college, right? Let’s, let’s talk about, you know, where’d you go to school and what did you major in Karin?
Karin Bursa (14:14):
So, um, we’re here in the Atlanta area. And I went to Auburn University, which is not in Atlanta for those of you that are not in the South, but it’s not far away. I fell in love with the South. So I grew up in South Florida, which is really the Northern most state in the South to be quite honest with you, beautiful, but very different than living in the heart of Southern hospitality, which I fell in love with. At Auburn, I studied business finance, supply chain wasn’t even taught at that point in time, but we did manufacturing and operations research and, a number of other things that involved looking at business valuations and making decisions on inventory positions, et cetera. And I loved it. At the time, I thought I was going to work in the area of mergers and acquisitions, to help grow more thriving businesses over time. So I was really excited about understanding business operations and how it ran and how they made money and, you know, just how to make it work.
Scott Luton (15:19):
Love it. Did you say supply chain finance or business finance,
Karin Bursa (15:23):
A business finance. Supply chain wasn’t even a term we used back in those days. Now I’m dating myself! We studied logistics, and we talked about manufacturing and distribution activities, but they were very siloed at that point in time. And supply chain, the term of supply chain or value chain is really where those operations all came together.
Scott Luton (15:47):
Hmm. Yeah. You know, it’s interesting that that notion of the value chain, that was what I’d heard before. I’d heard supply chain. And certainly before we really began embracing this notion of the end to end supply chain and really what, what entails there, that’s still, you know, still a really interesting, um, conversation to have, especially with, with schools and with hiring managers. I met with a manufacturer not too long ago, and she’s really looking for supply chain talent. And as she sent a supply chain analyst or a supply chain, um, can’t remember the other title, but she sent it to local schools. She kept getting specifically in only transportation and logistics talent, which of course core backbone of supply chain. But, um, it’s amazing how the world, that word has evolved so much. Um, so going back to your story, uh, because it’s pretty impressive what you did right out of college. So tell us more.
Karin Bursa (16:47):
Yeah. So out of college, I went to work for what today is Accenture, Andersen Consulting at the time. And, it was fascinating because it was the opportunity for me to bring together some of that practical business, knowledge and technology. One of the first projects that I worked on was with the Accenture advanced technology center. We were actually writing a manufacturing and shop floor control systems, and I got to be a part of that effort. And it was fascinating! I got to see the manufacturing operations of a number of different businesses and think about things that we automat very easily with digital supply chain technology today. And that’s optimizing production sequencing and moves throughout a manufacturing center. Um, so it’s fascinating and we could spend an hour talking just about that project, but it was very leading edge at the time and really opened my eyes to more opportunities and how to apply what I knew about finance and business management to actually improving, um, supply chain manufacturing and distribution operations
Scott Luton (17:58):
Beyond that project. I would imagine having the ability at, especially right out of school to see so many different business models through the different consulting engagements and different conversations you were part of, I bet that was really helpful at an early age.
Karin Bursa (18:13):
It was, it was fascinating. Um, and one of the most interesting clients that I worked with was in a situation not unlike what we’re in today. Never waste a crisis or an opportunity to transform your business. And this particular client was a global manufacturer and they were emerging from Chapter 11. So emerging from bankruptcy, um, large global operation and, obviously operating in a more profitable manner, and deciding which parts of their business to invest in or divest, uh, was a big part of that initiative. It was just a great opportunity to come in and contribute and do some analysis on their business and understanding. One of the projects that I loved working on with them, was around creating an executive dashboard that tracked key performance indicators (KPIs) across their different divisions and Scott get a load of this…
Karin Bursa (19:16):
Some of the questions we were striving to answer were things like how much product do we need? Where should that product be located? Who are my priority customers? What’s my overall revenue generation from a particular channel or customer? What’s the margin contribution? They sound pretty familiar don’t they? Business questions every company wants to know, but at the time it was revolutionary. And in working with them to pull together what was a custom, uh, executive information dashboard at the time was just fascinating. And, it gave me the opportunity to jump in to some of the manufacturing operations, because I had the expertise there and spend time at a variety of different plants and really study what was going on. And, Scot they taught me a few things as well along the way. I’ve got to tell you for sure.
Scott Luton (20:11):
Well, so let’s dive into that. You know, one of our favorite things to ask here at Supply Chain Now is about Eureka moments, right? Cause we all have them and, you know, I can think just when I say that phrase, it’s like my mind races back to a couple of things where I’m a little bit slow, sometimes Karin and it dawns on me that I’m doing something wrong or, or thinking about something wrong I’ve made the wrong assumptions, whatever. So share, especially with that foundation you’ve laid of that early career. What are some, some Eureka moments you had as part of your journey?
Karin Bursa (20:44):
Yeah, so that, that project in particular was real eyeopener for me. So again, we’ve said at this point that most businesses didn’t think in terms of a comprehensive supply chain performance yet. So they were still fairly siloed with manufacturing under one executive and distribution under another, transportation may have been under another and then typically forecasting and promotional activities were in sales and marketing. And so they were run somewhat disconnected across the business. So, let me share a Eureka scenario. I took the division forecast to a particular plant and met with the top plant manager. This guy was amazing! His numbers were great. His team loved him. He was seen as highly reliable and focused on satisfying customer demands — all the right stuff. So I was really excited to meet him and I’d already met with about a half a dozen other plant managers at the time.
Karin Bursa (21:46):
I sat down with him to go over the demand forecast. Let’s look at that. Um, and help me understand what you do with it, right? Why does your plant run so well? It [plant location] was not having some of the challenges. And so I met with him and, a gentleman that he referred to fondly as his “production expediter.” I bet a few of our listeners have a production expediter even today. So this was the man who could get it done. I mean, he was the one out there moving things around changing peg boards to make sure our product got produced as needed. He was a genius but his process was very manual. What was interesting is the plant manager and expediter looked at the division demand forecast, and it was pretty detailed at the time items, customers, relative time periods, specific SKUs that were needed. Well, that plant manager, sat back, crossed his arms and he looked at his expediter and then picked up the forecast report, he balled it up and threw it in the trash.
Karin Bursa (22:55):
And I sat there for about 10 seconds thinking, okay, what’s next? He said, that the forecast is really just a guideline. It’s just a suggestion of what should be produced. We know how to run our manufacturing operation and we can do it efficiently and effectively. And, we want to ship any product any day. Again his heart was in the right place but his vision was limited. And I said, okay. So tell me how you make that happen. Tell me how you use that information that you’ve now balled up. We’re not even triangulating it against the production plan that we’re putting in place. And that opened the door to the opportunity to kind of jump in, roll up my sleeves and do some interesting things like activity based costing (ABC) and production line productivity improvements. But one of the huge aha moments I had is that this particular plant manager prided himself on his low manufacturing waste rates which means they are producing high quality product. Right?
Karin Bursa (23:52):
When quality is high, there’s not a lot of scrap that’s happening. And so I asked about that and what that meant. And then I asked about a new warehouse that they were building at the plant, co-located on the plant property. And he said, well, we want to ship any product any day. So we need plenty of inventory. Okay. And then I pulled up all their obsolescence numbers. They’re damaged goods. They’re, unsalable inventory, their write offs and write downs. And I noticed they were pretty high or certainly higher than benchmarks that were available in the market. And it occurred to me Scott that the plant manager’s vision of waste at the time only had to do with the production process waste created during the manufacturing process not waste that happened from WIP or finished goods. And so again, it was that silo mentality kind of thinking about just what am I measured on (manufacturing process) and how do I make sure those metrics look good for my team versus what’s good for the business overall (total supply chain and inventory). So we had some pretty good aha moments right out of the gate and some opportunities to really change, um, and rely more on some shared metrics across the business.
Scott Luton (25:11):
That reminds me of some of the companies I’ve rubbed elbows with or worked with in my career where they have this, this phrase is islands of excellence. And in some cases, some companies are really good about creating a culture where those high performing plants would share what they’re doing with other, other facilities, whether they were similar facilities or maybe completely different, but still they’d be sharing some of those best practices. And then other companies, other cultures, it was the environment and the culture really created so much internal competition that there was no enterprise wide breakthrough because it was all in, they kept it to themselves within the four walls. And, and it, it’s such an interesting, uh, uh, industrial psychology study when, when, as I think back through those experiences. But, but it sounds like how, how were they able, um, uh, what changes did you see culturally to where they were this with this one company where they used the high performing plant and let, let it benefit other aspects of the enterprise.
Karin Bursa (26:21):
And they, you know, to their credit, they had plant manager meetings and would talk about some of these insights, but they didn’t realize what they didn’t know. So, they didn’t know what they didn’t know. They were very skilled, but that skill was typically encapsulated within their four walls and how they ran their plant. Um, and so it was first or one of the few opportunities at that time where they had stepped back and evaluated performance at a detailed level and at a best practice level across several of the, um, production facilities throughout North America. And it was enlightening to show them some of the facts, the metrics, um, that were quantifiable, it just drained the emotion out of decision making. And I think that that’s so important even today. If we can look objectively at a set of measures and take some of that emotion out, some of that bias out, it allows us to make better decisions. Um, but that doesn’t mean that individual intuition and tribal knowledge is not important. However, we want to make sure that we’re all working off of a common set of data and analytics that’s trusted by the business.
Scott Luton (27:39):
Yes. And not relying on what could be emotional attachment to two processes or how we do things for the sake of that’s, how we’ve done things. Right.
Karin Bursa (27:51):
Absolutely. Absolutely. And even when we talk about supply chain today, we still talk about bias. The introduction of human bias, right? Um, whether it’s from a sales team that doesn’t trust the supply chain team to have enough inventory so, they pad their numbers a little bit. That’s bias. Or whether it’s a manufacturing operation that wants to have a little bit of extra on hand as well. Those “extra” buffers that occur with good intentions, still degrade, overall profitability for businesses that are trying to be fast and flexible in the way they respond to new market opportunities and serve customers.
Scott Luton (28:30):
It feels like we’re scratching the surface. I bet you could write a book on some of those experiences. I want to transition a bit because cumulatively and I know you only shared a couple of, of your business experiences with us, you know, what have you learned about talents, skillsets, passion? What did you learn about yourself about Karin Bursa through this journey?
Karin Bursa (28:52):
The first thing I learned, I was fascinated by manufacturing by seeing the conversion of raw materials into finished goods. And I was also in awe of the pride that the manufacturers, that the folks on the floor, took in the work that they did. It’s inspirational. If our audience has not had the opportunity to actually visit a manufacturing or production site, we need to encourage that to happen because it changes the way you view supply chain activities.
Scott Luton (29:28):
So if I could interject for just a second, because when I was tapped on the shoulder at some random dinner meeting at an industry association, and they said, Hey, do you want to volunteer to put together plant tours? I don’t think I had on too many, even though my grandfather retired as a machine operator from Kimberly Clark, for me, I hadn’t made that connection, that experience facilitating and going on tours changed my entire life. And that’s not even dramatic, but to your point of seeing it and seeing the innovation, seeing the problem, solving, seeing the pride it’s, it’s addictive, frankly, it’s addictive. So if you’re listening and you hadn’t been on a plant tour, especially a manufacturing tour, go to you find an association in your neck of the woods. You can go to chambers these days, put on plant tours, find one and get out and go to the GMA because it can be life changing is
Karin Bursa (30:24):
Yes, I totally agree. And that was one of the things that just got me excited about what was happening in the industry and the opportunities. The other thing I learned about myself Scott, was that I was really good at translating business needs into technology requirements and bridging that gap if you will, or helping in that communication process to define what we needed to do and what good looked like and how we could serve the business well with technology applications. Um, and so I got excited about that and it all came together as digital supply chain. And here we are, I’m looking back at, you know, nearly 25 years of doing just that. I’ve been translating business requirements into strategic goals and objectives for industry leading technology in the area of supply chain management. So it’s been a lot of fun and there’s still a lot more opportunity on the horizon.
Scott Luton (31:25):
We talked about how that plays into the new TEKTOK podcast. Do you feel that, um, I’ll ask the expert here because I am not a technologist by any means. Um, do you feel that what you’ve been working on for most of your career for many organizations was a kind of a nice to have, and then this new information age hits and especially 2020 hits and now it’s table stakes. Is there an element of that you think
Karin Bursa (31:53):
I absolutely firmly believe supply chain has taken center stage in all of its forms and factions, whether we’re talking about demand planning and forecasting, or we’re talking about that last mile delivery, it is all, you know, highlighted today. COVID has put supply chain front and center and those companies that have been able to respond quickly and retool or prioritize certain products or introduce new products, to respond to the new needs for PPE in the marketplace, um, are really seen today as leaders and innovators. And it is excitin! It’s a lot of fun! I really think this is the best time ever to be in supply chain. And that’s part of why I’m so excited about the TEKTOK podcast as well.
Scott Luton (32:43):
We are too, and I’ve got to add one more thing, but because this week, I was reading an article about a really large, um, foods manufacturer and the CEO joined the company a year or two ago. And when he joined, he said that supply chain would be at the heart of the company’s turnaround to your point, uh, Karin. And one of the big things they’ve done speaking to some of your earlier experiences is create this. I think they’re calling it very creatively or not creatively an operation center, but it was going to bring in all these functions up under this integrated, uh, management, um, approach from, you know, distribution to procurement, to R and D to marketing you name it all under this, this new program. And they’re, they’re expecting this to save beyond all the other good stuff it does for the company. I’m sure $2 billion over the next five.
Karin Bursa (33:37):
I was going to say, billions, billions in savings. And breaking down these silos and really accelerating decision making and the flow of goods is what we’re going to talk about on TEKTOK. We’ll talk about things like accelerating the flow of information, right? Seeing demand and supply signals sooner. And you’re going to hear me time and time again, come back to the theme of replacing inventory with information. We can be quicker and more responsive to market changes when we’re able to produce and distribute because we’ve got that increased visibility or how machine learning and artificial intelligence help to refine our forecast or to tune our inventory policies, um, requirements for the business or to optimize our distribution routes. So tons and tons of opportunity. And for many companies, many of those global brands we know and love, you are talking about opportunities that equate to billions in savings. And I think that’s a great example of a business that’s looking comprehensively about ways to take their human capital, that expertise and tribal knowledge along with the technology to really solve problems and accelerate the flow of goods and the response to changes or disruptions.
Scott Luton (34:51):
You’re preaching at the First Baptist church of supply chain. It feels like, and I’m a, uh, I’d volunteer to be a deacon in your church at Karin. And I really like what you’re, you’re saying there’s so many kindred spirits here. And, and as Kara Smith Brown has said, it is supply chain’s moment, I think is her phrase. You’re already kind of foreshadowing some of the things that folks can expect to hear and engage in and learn more about with TEKTOK, but expand a little bit more. What else, if you were describing some of the things that come future episodes, what else would that involve? Yeah.
Karin Bursa (35:27):
So we’re going to talk about some fundamentals, right? Just so we’re all on the same page. We’ll talk about what the heck is this digital supply chain and what does it mean and why do I even care? And we’ll talk about some topics like planning and forecasting and multi-echelon inventory optimization, sales and operations planning, which you know, is near and dear to my heart as a topic that I think adds tremendous value to businesses of all sizes. Um, we’ll talk about things like what the heck is a digital twin and do I need one? What’s that digital twin going to do for me? If a twin is good, do I need triplets and not just a twin, but, well, we’ll dive into that a little further as well, and talk about areas of automation, new opportunities around the internet of things (IoT) or robotics and how that is accelerating the flow and collection of data, the signals that are used and not just what’s happening on the production floor, but what’s happening out in the marketplace as well.
Karin Bursa (36:27):
So lots and lots of ideas, but Scott, I’ve got to tell you, I want to know what are our audience wants to hear, because I want to make sure that we put some priority around those topics. And I’m hoping that they’re going to be sharing some of their insights as well, because I know they’re not shy and they won’t hold back. One thing I love about the Supply Chain Now audience is that they’re looking to help each other and bring new ideas to the table and share what’s working. And we want to do that with TEKTOK as well.
Scott Luton (36:58):
I’m with you. I’m completely with you. It has been, um, you know, there’s been no shortage of surprises as, as we’ve continued to grow and reach more folks and, and, and cover more aspects of, of this fascinating industry that has global supply chain. Uh, but I gotta tell you seeing the level of engagement and, um, and how they lean in to the shows or live streams or how they, you know, they share some of the things that they’re experiencing or some of the things that we should be covering, frankly, it is, it’s a secret sauce and some, and perhaps one of the best parts of this journey. So I’m looking forward to TEKTOK, you know, benefiting from that same level of engagement. All right. So to your last point, you made, you want to hear, you want to put your finger on the pulse of what folks want to hear about and where they want to engage in terms of different subject matter. So how can folks listening to this conversation, reach out and connect with you and TEKTOK?
Karin Bursa (37:58):
Absolutely. Scott, first of all, let me congratulate you on your global audience. I’ve seen some of the numbers recently and they are impressive! And I’ve listened to live streams where you’re bringing in folks around the world on a regular basis. So congratulations! Obviously the Supply Chain Now community is seeing a lot of value and the content and information, um, that your team has been sharing. Getting in touch with me? Number one, I want to drive them to Supply Chain Now and subscribe to TEKTOK. Look at the other information, share your ideas with us there, and be sure to connect with me on LinkedIn. Um, and let me give you the first name as the spelling is a little unusual. It’s pronounced KaRin and is spelled K A R I N. Last name is easy. It’s Bursa B U R S A. So, look for me on LinkedIn Karin Bursa, and I’d love to connect with you there or connect with you on Supply Chain Now and, respond to your feedback. And I’d also asked that our audience share the TEKTOK podcast with their friends and coworkers in the industry as well.
Scott Luton (39:20):
Wonderful. And, you know, as always, we’re gonna make it as easy as possible for our audience to connect. We’ll be featuring Karin’s LinkedIn profile in the show notes. So it’s one click. That’s what we try. That’s what we’re all after, right? One click. That is right. And I want to echo Karin’s sentiment. We’d love to hear from you about what you want to cover, you know, early on in, in our earliest days where we, you know, we love Atlanta and love the business city that is Metro Atlanta and the diversity of POV and industry that’s here, but we’re way too focused on what’s here. And we really made very deliberate strides to cover global stories and, and global leaders, global companies, uh, practitioners, and, and issues around the world. So let us know what we’re not covering enough via TEKTOK or Supply Chain Now. Your feedback is really valuable to us.
Scott Luton (40:12):
Um, all right. So again, I’m partial, but this is going to be a home run series. No doubt. It’s going to be working hard Karin. We’re working hard. The team here is, and we’re working hard to continue to elevate your supply chain IQ, mr. and mrs. audience. Um, especially during this time challenging time to sounds close. So cliche, but it’s cliche for a reason. Now these are very unique historical times. We’re all trying to navigate through together. I love the phrase Karin. I think it is same boat, different storms, or I might have it backwards, but, you know, we’re, we’re all fighting through some very common challenges and then we all have some different, unique challenges business and otherwise. So, um, but this year, our team prides you, uh, prides ourselves on bringing the best. And that’s what one of the chief reasons I’m so excited. It’s because Karin Bursa is one of the best. And to have TEKTOK here as part of the Supply Chain Now family programming, we feel like we have, upheld that standard and that commitment we have here. So Karin, thank you so much. We’re so excited,
Karin Bursa (41:19):
Thank you Scott. It’s going to be fun. We’re going to answer questions. And, we’re all going to get smarter in the process. And, I’m hoping that we inspire the next generation of supply chain leaders.
Scott Luton (41:34):
We’ll put as always, Karin. So we’ve been chatting with Karin Bursa here on the first episode of TEKTOK. Again, you can find that wherever you get your podcasts from T E K T O K, I got that right, Karin? I need to practice that about 17 more times for the next one, but really excited about it. Check it out, subscribe, let Karin and the whole Supply Chain Now team, know what you want to hear about. We’re going to be launching out of the gate with some rock solid episodes. That’s going to help us all. So on that note. You can check out a wide variety of thought leadership digital content at Supply Chain Now. We’ll be there to help. And you can find TEKTOK wherever get your podcasts from. We want to challenge our audience the same way we challenge ourselves and our team. Hey, do good. Give forward, be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see you next time here on TEKTOK on Supply Chain Now.
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.
Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
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.