Supply Chain Now
Episode 903

Episode Summary

This crossover episode of TEKTOK on Supply Chain Now will help you Frame Your Business Case for Digital Supply Chain Investments. The reality is that estimating potential ROI from deploying a new Digital Supply Chain Solution can be difficult. The number one reason why ROI is difficult to predict might surprise you. Listen in to understand the best Key Performance Indicators as well as proven ranges of improvements from hundreds of successful supply chain transformations.

Insights from this episode of TEKTOK will help you put together a business case that creates a connected, transparent, and highly automated supply chain independent of a solution provider that might introduce bias into your business case. Keep in mind supply chain transformation will likely require your team to embrace a plan to progress your “maturity” in process, technology and data. Enjoy the challenges. It is worth the work. The outcomes will be worth the effort.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:01):

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. It’s time for TEKTOK, powered by Supply Chain Now.

Karin Bursa (01:14):

Welcome back supply chain movers and shakers! Karin Bursa here. I’m your host for TEKTOK, the digital supply chain podcast. I want to thank you for joining today’s session as we dive into a really important topic – framing your business case for digital supply chain investments. Framing your business case for digital supply chain investments means, how do you justify making an investment in new technology in order to drive better decision making, better inventory investments, better service for your customers?

The reality is that estimating the potential return on investment from deploying a new digital supply solution can be really difficult, but why it’s difficult might surprise you. One of the biggest factors to consider is if you currently know and confidently track your supply chain key performance indicators. Let me say that again. Are you able to confidently track your current supply chain performance indicators?

Karin Bursa (02:34):

Be honest, give yourself a grade. Give yourself an A, you’re doing an excellent job. Give yourself a B if you get it right most of the time, or a C if your confident about your metrics about half the time, 50-50. You need to know where you are today in order to predict where you’re going to be tomorrow with a new solution. That’s one important step you can take today to help build your business case. Track those key performance indicators (KPIs) and then identify the indicators that show the greatest opportunity for improvement.

I’m going to help you focus in on a couple of areas today. If you are with me, say YES!  Let’s dive into this topic of building your business case for digital supply chain investments, and this is going to help you to transform your business, literally change the way you make decisions each and every day.

Karin Bursa (03:39):

As you may know, I’ve got more than 25 years in this industry – in truth, I stopped counting at 25 years. So, let’s just say, more than 25 years of experience in this industry! During that time, I have helped over a thousand companies assess the impact of their supply chain transformations. It’s exciting! Probably the best part of my job, best part of my career! Now, in my current role as a supply chain technology industry advisor, in my current role, I am often asked to provide an overview of supply chain capabilities for executive leadership teams, new hires, and interested investors in supply chain technology companies, as well as in product companies. I also work with research and development teams to help prioritize investments for the new technology that’s being introduced. So, it’s a lot of fun and I’m glad I have the opportunity to share some of that with you.

Karin Bursa (04:49):

So, clearly, each of these audiences have very different points of view, but they all seek to understand supply chain performance and to move the needle to improve overall business performance, and there’s a variety of ways that that can happen. So, one of these important topics around leveraging supply chain technology is helping you, a practitioner, who is in the supply chain day in and day out, to frame your business case to make an investment so that you can improve overall performance of your company. Alright, let’s talk about that.

Framing a business case for a new supply chain technology investment requires a couple of things from your team. First, you’re going to look at your business and identify specific opportunity areas where supply chain and operational performance improvements are going to be most visible. That doesn’t mean that your results will be limited to those areas, but you want to understand where they’re going to be most visible across the business, because part of your job is getting the rest of the organization on board and excited about making these changes.

Karin Bursa (06:17):

Secondly, you’re going to determine how long it will take before the business starts to feel the results of those improvements or to realize the benefits of those investments. In the technology space, we often talk about this in terms of time to value. How much time and effort will it take before your business starts to realize the improvements? Now, your day-to-day might change pretty quickly, but it may take you months to burn off excess inventory. Are you with me? Because we’ve got to get those inventories in alignment with a better predictor of true market demand. So, that’s the second area. What’s the time to value? How long will it take? And then, the third is understanding the actual cost, the cost of the investment in people, how much of my team’s time needs to be dedicated to deploying a new solution, process improvements, right?

Karin Bursa (07:31):

I can make it better, simpler, faster, more efficient, and technology as a tool that’s going to help me get better precision, greater insights, harness data more effectively, and provide better and more frequent planning. Are you with me? We want to know where we’re going to have the most visible impact. And, we want to determine the time to value. Finally, we want to understand some of the cost factors, opportunity cost, personnel cost, process improvements, and actual technology investments. So, improvement of operational key performance indicators, I’m going to refer to those as KPIs (key performance indicators), that make possible these results in the business case that you’re going to put together, technology, people, process. There’ll be some other areas like confidence, time to decision-making, et cetera. We’ll get to those in just a few minutes. So, the focus of our discussion today is going to be on supply chain transformation. I’m talking about projects that are going to transform the way you do business.

Karin Bursa (08:47):

Not small incremental changes, big transformational changes. Big changes that are going to add percentage points to your overall profitability. Are you with me?

I’ve worked with more than a thousand companies over the last 25 years, and I have seen these results time and time again. I have also leveraged the research from a number of research groups, including AMR Research, Gartner, Supply Chain Insights, and numerous university programs. And these research programs have been conducted with companies of all sizes, small, mid-sized, large, global, multinationals. So, the typical key performance indicator improvement areas and ranges that I’m going to share with you have been consistent despite the size of the company. That’s right. The same ranges are available to a small and mid-sized company as they are to a large multinational company. So, supply chain leaders, I want you to use these insights as you put together your specific business case.

Karin Bursa (10:01):

I want you to take your situation in mind and think about high-impact areas and focus on key performance indicators and tangible benefits available to your business.

One of the most impactful pieces of research that I have seen in more than 20 years was originally done by a company called AMR Research. AMR was acquired by Gartner, and Gartner has continued to invest in this research called the Hierarchy of Supply Chain Metrics. AMR/Gartner did benchmarking efforts to look at all of the key performance indicator criteria, and to rank them and identify which supply chain metrics made the biggest impact on business performance. The research classified supply chain metrics into three broad categories. The broad categories were referred to as ASSESSING, DIAGNOSING, and CORRECTING.

Karin Bursa (11:13):

I think you can get a theme right there, assessing, understanding where you are, diagnosing, pulling some levers in your business, and then correcting performance, very tactical items. At the very top of the hierarchy in this assess metrics criteria were demand forecast accuracy, perfect orders, and supply chain costs. You’re probably sitting back right now listening to me, and thinking to yourself, “Karin, of course, that’s a no brainer, I could have told you that!” Could you? I want you to think for just a minute about demand forecast accuracy. I want you to think about how confident you are in your forecast accuracy numbers that you’re using today. I’m going to come back to that theme in just a minute. The very top of the hierarchy is demand forecast, perfect orders, and supply chain costs. So, future demand, demand forecast, perfect orders, service level to my customers, and overall costs – makes sense, right?

Karin Bursa (12:22):

The middle of the hierarchy or the middle of the pyramid, and it really is a pyramid, is the group that AMR/Gartner referred to as diagnosed metrics. This is really what you think of in terms of your cash-to-cash cycle. You would think about your days receivable outstanding or days payable outstanding, right? So, this is your accounts payable, your accounts receivable, and your inventory, your total financial investment in inventory. And then, finally, the base of the hierarchy is this level of looking at correct, and those correct metrics.  That correct layer of the hierarchy includes things like supplier performance, production schedule adherence or variation, plant utilization, order cycle time. These are important measures, but they are more tactical levers. AMR/Gartner found that working at that base level didn’t give you the overall amplification across your supply chain.

Karin Bursa (13:32):

However, working at the top of the hierarchy at that forecast accuracy, perfect order metrics and overall supply chain cost metrics gave you the greatest leverage. If you focus at that top on those three categories, the benefits are going to ripple through the rest of your supply chain and overall business performance.

I encourage you to check out that research which is now delivered by Gartner. Again, it is called the Hierarchy of Supply Chain Metrics. Part of why I really appreciate this research is that it helps you to focus in on where you can have the greatest impact. It also does not require you to be perfect in any of these areas, but it shows progressive improvement, especially in those top three areas, forecast accuracy, perfect order, and overall supply chain costs are going to allow you to have a tremendous and very positive impact on your business.

Karin Bursa (14:36):

So, you’re really going to get an appreciation for how much I agree with this Hierarchy of Supply Chain Metrics, as I help you make your business case for investment in digital supply chain solutions. The very first area, or very first key performance metric I want you to look at is, in fact, forecast accuracy. Now, remember, forecast accuracy is a prediction of what your market will buy in the future. Now, this includes business opportunity. It should not be constrained. That constraint is going to come through in other areas, like your willingness to invest in inventory, your ability to produce or procure or store product. Those are the constraints that will begin tightening up what that number looks like, but your forecast should be unconstrained. The forecast is the potential to sell into the marketplace, what the market will buy around a category of product.

Karin Bursa (15:45):

Now, you may find it interesting to learn that many companies have no idea what their forecast accuracy is. None. Zippo. I’ll say that again, many companies have no idea what their forecast accuracy is today. Therefore, they cannot appreciate what an improvement in forecast accuracy will do for their business. Since they don’t know where they are today, they have no appreciation for getting incrementally better at that performance. So, if you don’t have a grasp on forecast accuracy, I want you to get focused in that area and get that effort underway today. I am seeing significant improvements (an important part of your business case) are anywhere from a 10 to a 25% increase in forecast accuracy. Ladies and gentlemen, that is huge! A 10 to 25% improvement in forecast accuracy means I’m that much more correct in what I predict my business will sell to the market and this is the foundation for the reset of your supply chain planning.

Karin Bursa (16:59):

If you’re building a business case, you need to mark where you are today, understand where you’re going to get to tomorrow, and you need to be able to look at forecast accuracy at a couple of different granularity levels. I’ll get to that in just a moment.

The most common measure of forecast accuracy is referred to as MAPE, M-A-P-E, mean absolute percent error. The bottom line is your forecast will always be wrong. Let me say that to you again, your forecast will always be wrong. However, with your investment in a digital supply chain planning solution, it’s going to be less wrong or more accurate. I’m an optimist. I’m going to phrase it as more accurate. The most common measure is MAPE, mean absolute percent error. The other thing I’m going to underscore for you is it’s just as bad to over forecast as it is to under forecast, thus the word “absolute” percent error.

Karin Bursa (18:12):

Okay. So, MAPE is the most common. There’s also a derivative of MAPE that is referred to as weighted MAPE. Weighted MAPE. And therefore, it’s weighted based on the importance of certain products or product families to your business.

You should measure your forecast accuracy at a couple of different granularity levels. So, the most granular level is the SKU level, the item level, then the family level, and then an aggregate level, which may be your category, or it may be an overall accuracy for your business. You’re also going to look at that accuracy measure, that MAPE measure, against different planning horizons. You will always be more accurate the closer you are to the point of demand. So, 30 days out, one month out, you should be more accurate in what you expect to sell than you are three months, six months, nine months out. Are you with me?

Karin Bursa (19:21):

Less mature companies or more immature companies focus on those very short-time horizons, one month, two months, maybe 90 days, and they’ll stick to a higher level of aggregation, family level aggregate of overall category.

More mature planning teams will look at their forecast accuracy at several levels and multiple time intervals. So, they will look at SKU level, the most granular. They’ll look at product family level, and then they’ll look at aggregate level. They will also measure those across time horizons, 30 days, one month, two months, and then quarter and annual. So, remember that this annual forecast is what I’m using to procure product or raw materials, to look at production capacity or distribution capacity, to negotiate my relationships with my transportation carriers. I need that longer range prediction for my business and I need it to be as accurate as possible. In a year horizon, I may not rely as closely on my item level, my SKU level forecast, as I do on my family or aggregate forecast, but I need those to roll up and aggregate down to various levels of granularity.

Karin Bursa (20:57):

A digital supply chain planning solution is going to do that for you, but I’m telling you that wherever you are today, you need to create a baseline so that you can create that business case for why you need to make the investment, why this needs to be a business priority in your digital transformation initiative. Are you with me? Gosh, I hope I haven’t lost you already. But when you think about forecast accuracy, you are going to see double-digit improvements, and in today’s technology, it is so exciting, because there are a number of different planning algorithms, artificial intelligence, machine learning that are all combined together to look across your portfolio and give you precision with less effort. So, this is a great area to focus in on. The next area of key performance indicator (KPI) that I want you to consider is perfect order or service level.

Karin Bursa (22:03):

Now, more commonly, this may be stated in your business as service level. What is my service level? But when you talk about service level, you need to talk about it in terms of your customer’s desired receipt date, not your projected shipping date. Did the customer receive the goods when they wanted them? That’s the best measure of “on time.” And perfect order actually gives you a few more criteria such as: Was the order complete, in full, when the customer wanted it? And was it in good condition? Was it perfect? Could it be used immediately? That’s an ultimate measure of service. So, we’ve talked about forecast accuracy as my prediction of future need. The KPI you are going to use that to align everything else your business does around procuring raw material, and producing product, and distributing product. Service, how well am I doing serving my customers today?

Karin Bursa (23:14):

By the way, service level is an easy one, for the organization to get behind, because everybody wants to provide great service for the customer. So, the third KPI at the top of Hierarchy of Supply Chain Metrics is supply chain costs. I’m going to focus you in on the biggest area of cost which is inventory investments. So, this is working capital in your business and is invested heavily for your business. Now, your business may talk about inventory turns. Higher turns are better – higher turns means you are turning the value of your inventory more quickly, or simply overall inventory investment.

When you have a higher forecast accuracy, it allows you to drive down your inventory investment. Because when you’re forecasting what you expect to sell, and doing that more accurately, you are not going to overproduce or overhold inventory. So you’ll be able to lower inventory investments numbers which also decreases your working capital investments and inventory carrying costs. You will reduce excess inventory, as well as obsolete inventory, and unsalable inventory.

Karin Bursa (24:25):

Now, I will caution you that every supply chain investment hangs its hat on inventory. The reason is because it’s so tangible. It’s so easy, I can walk through a warehouse or a manufacturing facility and I can see the inventory. I can see the work in process. I can see the raw materials. I can see the finished goods. But what I will tell you is that a transformation initiative is going to do some pretty exciting things to your inventory. Now, it may take you a month, two months, a quarter, maybe two quarters to realign the inventory that’s held throughout your network, but it will be tangible. In fact, what I see quite often around inventory is double-digit percentage reductions. That’s right. Inventory reductions in double-digits, anywhere from 10% to as much as 35 to 40% inventory reduction. I know that’s mind-blowing, 10 to 40% inventory reduction. That completely changes the profitability profile for your business.

Karin Bursa (25:48):

Talk about high impact! Focusing in this area of inventory is something that’s really exciting. So, I want you to work with your accounting team to understand not just total inventory and inventory carrying costs, but to understand what you’re holding in obsolete inventory. Inventory that can’t be sold at full value anymore or that may need to be written down. You will quickly identify lots of opportunity for your business case.

Let’s review those three areas that will have the biggest impact. But wait, there’s more! You will also see a tangible improvement in transportation spend. You’re going to see this in both inbound transportation as product raw material, sourced items are coming into your business, as well as outbound as your products are shipped out to customers. this is really exciting, because savings and alignment here in the area of transportation are going to go straight to the bottom line. The product is already produced, right? A big part of the cost basis is getting it in the hands of the customer when they want it in full, and the date and time they want it.

Karin Bursa (27:02):

Now, you may be thinking, “Karin, come on, our transportation cost have skyrocketed due to constraints and everything from drivers to containers.” I want you to know, I hear you, but I want you to think of ways that you can curtail some of those cost increase. As you look at your supply chain planning technology, it’s going to give you better visibility of the inbound needs and the outbound moves. And with that information, you’ll be in a position to negotiate better rates and higher service levels with your transportation partners, even in the current environment we’re in today, which feels a bit like the Wild Wild West of transportation costs. It’s time for you to take back control when and where you can. This needs to be part of your business case, transportation spend. Make sense? Alright. I hope I haven’t lost you. Come back to me if I have. Come on, guys, I need you with me. So, those are real, tangible metric areas there. These are very valuable to your business and places that you should consider as levers in building your business case or framing your business case for an investment in digital supply chain transformation.

Karin Bursa (28:34):

Now, one that’s harder to put a quantifiable number on is your ability to make high-quality decisions faster, and to do that with greater confidence. As a supply chain leader, you are making hundreds of decisions each and every day. I know that you will feel differently about making fact-based decisions that are founded on analyzing multiple scenarios that have been evaluated for your business. Not just one, not just two, not just three scenarios, but 50 scenarios! Imagine the confidence you’ll have knowing that you’ve got the insights from 50+ test cases that your supply chain planning technology platform has run for you to serve up the three most likely scenarios for your business. Man, that gives me tremendous confidence in making a decision. So, making a decision with better information, deeper analysis, and making it faster. There’s significant value in that. I had one executive tell me just a few days ago that he can “do in minutes, minutes, mind you, what it used to take days to understand.” Minutes and more confidence than what it used to take days with a lower level of confidence, tremendous value there! And as an executive leader for the business, that’s going to change how quickly you are ready to make a decision, how quickly your team can engage, be proactive, and start resolving conflicts in your network.

Karin Bursa (30:36):

So, I want you to look at capturing time to insights. How long does it take today to evaluate multiple scenarios, decision quality, and then the overall confidence around making decisions and the plans that are put in place.

One of the most remarkable and candid conversations I had with a global chief supply chain officer was one where he told me, “Look, Karin, we didn’t know what we didn’t know. We were working under false assumptions about our business. Today, we have a comprehensive and fact-based supply chain plan that now empowers us to do remarkable things in a very short period of time. And as a business leader, my confidence increased exponentially. And that gave us the ability to work more effectively with our suppliers and our customers. It has transformed our business.” Wow! That’s what we all want, to transform our business and make better decisions every day.

Another high value metric is the ability to increase sales. That’s right. Top line revenue. When we have the right inventory at the right place at the right time for a reasonable cost, we’re going to capture more sales. Now, you may see this initially through things like a reduction in back orders. You no longer have to push out customer orders. You can fulfill those orders sooner. So, if my back orders go way down, that means I’m capturing more top line revenue today.

Karin Bursa (32:46):

Remember, your team is going to make better decisions every day, which means that you will see a reduction in expediting costs. That’s right because we expedite when we have to do things in a hurry. If I have a better plan in place, and my plan is well aligned, my forecast is well-tuned to my market, I’m going to significantly reduce those expediting costs. And those expediting costs just gobble up your profit margin. So, if you can reduce those expediting costs, then your margin, your overall margin contribution is going to improve.

I mentioned transportation costs a few minutes ago. Once you have your arms around your overall transportation costs, you’re going to see these expediting costs come down as well. You’ll see better order timing and reduced receiving effort as well. What do I mean by that, order timing and receiving effort? That means that you shipping and receiving area is going to run much more efficiently. With your digital supply chain planning system, planning your orders in a more effective way, aligning them with actual market demand, you may actually reduce the number of orders that are coming into the dock.

Karin Bursa (34:09):

In fact, a 5-billion-dollar distributor shared with me last month a story that is the perfect way to visualize this impact. He shared that he got a call from the shipping and receiving manager. The shipping receiving manager started out the conversation with something like, “Hey, I’m just checking with you to make sure everything is okay, because we haven’t had an expedited order in over three weeks. And the number of orders that are coming in today are significantly fewer. They’re bigger orders, but there are less orders. So, our overall volume of product coming in and out the line items has improved or increased, but the number of orders had gone way down.” They were seeing the impact of improved efficiency through better order process, through better planning process. Pretty exciting!

Karin Bursa (35:13):

Can you imagine getting that call? “Hey, just calling to check to see if everything is okay, because we are running really efficiently right now, and it’s a little scary, I’d like to figure out what’s happening.” Well, what’s happening is they deployed a digital planning solution that has transformed their business, and that’s one area—by the way, one area that was not in their business case, but one area that was very, very favorably impacted in their deployment. Alright. So, let me give you some ranges again, as you think about framing your business case for an investment in digital supply chain technology. Of course, the attorneys want me to tell you that your individual results may vary and will depend on both your company performance, the digital planning solution you select and deploy. Understood? Alright. No guarantees here, but let me give you some broad ranges to consider as you put your business case framework together. Still interested?

Karin Bursa (36:22):

Let’s start at the top. In forecast accuracy, you’re going to see some pretty remarkable improvements. You’ll see improvements on the low end of about 10%, but you may go as high as a 25, 30% improvement. That’s huge! A 25 to 30% improvement in forecast accuracy, or again, think of that differently – you are reducing the error rate by 25 to 30%, but that bottom level, 10%, most of you could justify your investment on a 10% improvement of forecast accuracy alone. If you use that forecast to determine your inventory, your production, your sourcing, and your distribution needs. That’s a strong business case.

Second area, on time and full, perfect order service level. When you think of these areas, and talk about service level broadly, you may see a range with a bottom level of a 5% improvement in service level up to about a 20% improvement in service level.

Karin Bursa (37:40):

That’s right, 5 to 20% improvement in service level. That’s huge! That’s on time, in full, in good condition for my customers. And then, this will blow your mind! You are going to give them better service while investing less in inventory. It’s not intuitive. Many of you are holding excess inventory, specifically so you can provide great service for your customers, but here’s the thing, in the area of inventory reduction, with a digital supply chain planning solution, with a transformation initiative, and when I talk about transformation initiative, I mean, I’m not just looking at one part of my business, warehouse operations or manufacturing planning, I am talking about looking at planning end-to-end, from demand forecast through inventory policies, supply, production distribution, comprehensive transformation. If you are looking at an initiative that’s broad-based like this, you are going to see inventory positions or the opportunity to impact your inventory investments by anywhere from 15 to 35%. You heard me right, reducing inventory by 15% to as much as 35%.

Karin Bursa (39:15):

And I got to tell you, I’m really comfortable with that 35% number, because I have seen companies reduce their overall inventory investments by more than that, by as much as 40, 42%. So, inventory reductions from a low end of 10%, we’re talking double-digits up until these higher ranges, 30, 35%. That’s huge! That’s a game-changer for your business! That is a digital transformation! You are replacing risky inventory with valuable information. So, when you hear that on TEKTOK, this is what I’m talking about — the ability to replace risky inventory with valuable information, with better indicators of market need. Now, some other areas where you are going to see improvements in your business, I mentioned as well, how quickly can you make decisions? The speed of decision-making, the quality of the decision, how well did we do, and the confidence of the executive team making those decisions. Huge, huge difference!

Karin Bursa (40:29):

You are also going to see improvements in areas around planner productivity. I was working with a manufacturer that recently implemented a new cloud-based planning platform, and their planner productivity was improved by 60%. That’s right 6-0, 60%. What used to take them days to do now takes them minutes to do, and is more precise, more accurate, and more robust than what they had in the past. Huge productivity improvements! This is important to you as we look at talent constraints in the marketplace. We need our planners to be able to focus in on where they can have the greatest impact and allow those systems to automatically take care of the routine calculations and capabilities. Make sense? Come back to me if you are multi-tasking. We’re honing in for the big finish here, so I want to encourage you to put together your business case framework that creates a connected, transparent, and a highly automated supply chain planning environment.

Karin Bursa (41:49):

You’ll need to rely on technology that’s going to allow you to do this. This is going to require your team to embrace a plan that actually progresses your maturity. You become better planners for your business, and that means your process may change and improve, the technology you’re using will improve, and be more effective and quicker, more precise, and the data that’s being ingested to feed the system will improve, be more comprehensive for your business. I want you to enjoy these challenges. It is worth the work. You will see the benefits. So, a final thought around a business case, when you are thinking of your business case for digital supply chain transformation, be sure that it is supporting the CEO’s agenda, right? The CEO needs to be a part of this decision. Now, your CEO, like so many others, is probably focused on three big things.

Karin Bursa (43:01):

That’s right. Three big things on the CEO’s agenda, business growth, optimizing costs or optimizing investments, are we making wise investments in our company, in our inventory? And then, greater agility, how do we respond faster in the marketplace? Either mitigating risk or harnessing new opportunities. So, your CEO is probably looking at those three things. How do I grow the business? How do I optimize the current talent team investments? And how do I build a business that’s more agile?

Alright, supply chain movers and shakers, that’s where you come in. This is what you do. You help optimize costs. You help gain agility and resilience in the marketplace. And you can help grow the business. You can grow both the top line and revenue as well as the bottom line and overall profitability. It’s exciting!

It’s a great time to be in supply chain.

Karin Bursa (44:06):

I want you to be bold. I want you to embrace technology. I want you to validate the automation. I want you to leverage the artificial intelligence that is available to you. And I want you to stay focused on the business outcomes, on the big picture, and tying those in to the CEO’s agenda.

If you have built a business case for your company, I want to hear from you. I want to know what has worked for you, where you achieved the greatest alignment, where you overachieved, or where you failed to achieve your plan. I’m very curious to hear your results and your experience. And I hope that today’s episode on framing your business case for digital supply chain investments has just given you a few things to consider and perhaps a little fresh inspiration.

Thank you for joining me today on TEKTOK, where our goal is to help you eliminate the noise, and focus on the information and inspiration you need to transform your business, and replace risky inventory with valuable insights. We’ll see you next time on TEKTOK, powered by Supply Chain Now.

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

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

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

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

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Kim Reuter


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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Allison Giddens


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

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

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

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

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Tandreia Bellamy


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

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

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

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

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Marty Parker


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

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

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jake Barr


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

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Marcia Williams


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

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera


Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey University, class 2019. Upon graduation she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management (GCLOG) and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Former Data Analyst within the airport industry in Latin America at Pacific Airport Group, performing benchmarking reports and predictive analysis of future market behavior.

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

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

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Karin Bursa


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

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Vin Vashishta


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

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal & Host

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Constantine Limberakis


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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

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

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

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

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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Vicki White


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

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