As a Supply Chain Technology industry advisory and the host of TEKTOK, Karin Bursa is often asked to provide an overview of supply chain basics for executive leadership teams, new hires, and interested investors. Clearly, each of these audiences has very different points of view but they all seek to understand and be more engaged on a variety of supply chain topics.
This TEKTOK crossover episode covers some of the basic building blocks that lay the foundation for significantly more information, complexity, and opportunity. Your colleagues, family and friends will certainly have a better understanding of the important and remarkable work you and your teams do every day!
Welcome 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 no 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 the 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.
Karin Bursa (01:05):
Well, welcome back supply chain movers and shakers. Karin Bursa here. I’m your host for TEKTOK, the digital supply chain podcast. Thanks for tuning in today. You know, in this episode, we’re gonna cover some supply chain basics. These are the basics that every business person or investor should understand, and maybe every one of your family members as well before all of you supply chain experts. Yes, that’s you, you supply chain movers and shakers before you skip forward to the next TEKTOK episode. Let me suggest this. You may wanna share this particular episode with family friends, coworkers that just need that foundation in supply chain. I hope it gives them a better understanding of the remarkable and important work that you and your teams do each and every day. So in my role as a supply chain technology industry advisor, I am often asked to provide an overview of supply chain basics for executive leaders for new hires and for interested investors that’s right, these same questions.
Karin Bursa (02:21):
These same fundamentals, um, are provided for a wide variety of audiences. And clearly each of these audiences has a very different point of view. They’re seeking to learn and understand for very different reasons, but quite honestly, they all boil down to understanding how companies serve customers and do so in an efficient and profitable manner and how this, how supply chain can help to differentiate them in the marketplace. All right, so these building blocks often lay the foundation for significantly more information, significantly more complexity, and a better understanding of market opportunity. So I thought I would share some of them with you here on tech talk. So as many of you and I, I have my little cheat sheet by the way. So if you’re looking at this on video, you see my notes. If you simply look down a couple of times, I just wrote, I wanted to be sure to cover with you today.
Karin Bursa (03:22):
So when COVID 19 shut down the world in March of 2020, that’s right. We are just a little over two full years of the impact of such an extreme disruption on business, on supply chains on personal life. And when my friends and family could no longer get hand sanitizer bottles of water or toilet paper, the supply chain suddenly got personal and they finally began to understand more about why I have invested more than 25 years into helping companies get the right pro to the right place at the right time at the lowest possible cost right products, right place, right time at the lowest possible cost. So supply chains have always been a part of daily life and product based businesses. In fact, many with even argue that service based businesses have supply chains as well, but let’s, uh, let’s keep things very simple here. Remember, this is some supply chain basics, or really some, uh, some fundamental building blocks, uh, that can help you kind of get that, uh, thought process underway.
Karin Bursa (04:39):
Maybe Kate, some folks that are not hip deep in supply chain each and every day. So the first time a human being moved raw materials or a finished product from point a to point B boom, the supply chain and the need to plan began to take shape. So I know many of you are thinking, okay, that’s just logistic, come on, stay with me. Um, we’ll get to all of, uh, some of those nuances in just a moment. So defining a, a fundamental supply chain includes a number of different business functions and functions that you will hear discussed time and time again are planning, right? So planning what needs to be moved or produced sourcing, sourcing, what needs to be, or is important for production or distribution, manufacturing, distribution. And that includes warehousing and transportation right through to consumption of those and returns. Yes, there is a returns element of supply chain as well.
Karin Bursa (05:49):
So the reason we have supply chains is, is driven quite simply by the fact that we can’t instantaneously produce our products and have them at a place or time that the customer wants them. Right. I can’t just say, I need this product and I’m ready for it. Now, even Amazon, which can get you delivery in one day is delivering per products to you that have been produced and stored in advance. And so those are some of the elements we’ll dig into. We have to anticipate customer demand. We have to think about it and plan for it in advance. That means that we need to forecast when and where that customer demand will occur. Are you with me? Okay. Since we are not all knowing psychics, we leverage technology to help predict future needs at a specific time and location and channel more on that in a minute.
Karin Bursa (06:56):
But in essence, we need to understand the time phased needs of our products, and that is what we are going to forecast. And that’s what demand planning is. So not just forecasting, but doing things to shape and build, and in, in some, uh, elements pack, uh, in a way that the consumer or the customer is interested in, um, in purchasing, I know I’m getting ahead of myself, let me stick with these basics. Okay. So as we plan, we talk about things like the horizon of the plan and the planning horizon tip covers a number of different buckets or the ability to zoom in or zoom out on different horizons. And those horizons can cover anything from hours quite honestly, to days, weeks, months, quarters, and even years. So most supply chain technology is going to give you some ability to zoom in, to vary granular levels of your plan or zoom out to more macro levels.
Karin Bursa (08:14):
So why you might ask well, because it takes time to source raw materials. So the stuff that’s needed to produce our products, that’s raw materials, and it takes time to convert those raw materials into our finished product, right? So the finished goods or the inventory that we sell to our customers. So once those finished goods have in fact been manufactured or produced, we need to get them to market AKA the location that the customer wants to take delivery. Okay, so this could be a retail store, or we could ship direct to consumer, you’ll hear D to C direct to consumer direct to your home, or we could sell to other businesses and not as termed business to business. Okay. At every step along this supply chain, which kind of quite honestly is really a network, but a, a along this supply chain, there are different quantities and stopping points.
Karin Bursa (09:24):
These are referred to as nodes. So different places that can be planned or visualized nodes, different elements along that line. So things like quantity discounts, full container pricing, um, packaging, uh, cartoning uh, all of these elements help us to move our products to store and move our products in a sensible way, in a quantity that our customers would like to purchase. Okay. So let me give you a really simplistic example. Um, if you take an egg, right, a, a, a chicken egg, um, it’s easier to ship a dozen eggs than it is to ship a single egg, right? Fragile. We need to protect it. Um, if I’m shipping one egg at a time, it gets very expensive. And my, um, my damage rate may be very high. If I ship them in a carton of a dozen eggs, they are in a packaging that helps to protect them.
Karin Bursa (10:28):
And then often those cartons of eggs, a dozen eggs, maybe in a case. And that case may have say 30 cartons in it. Are you with me? So what I’m doing is actually moving those products to market in a more efficient manner. And part of that planning process helps identify those ideal sizes, um, both for purchase by your customer, but also to store and ship those goods. All right. So that’s pretty simple example, hope it’s not too basic for you, but, but you’re probably starting to appreciate where some of this complexity gets exponentially mind boggling. All right. Okay. So let’s go back and just talk about a few definitions. I’ve in these words already, I’m looking at my cheat sheet here. I’ve got the half a dozen words down here that I wanna be sure to cover with you here today on TEKTOK, the first is really, really fundamental, and that is supply chain management.
Karin Bursa (11:31):
So supply chain management is the domain. If you will. It is the process of managing all of these details. It integrates and synchronizes that word synchronizes very important. All the physical financial and data flows that organizations and their partners need to fulfill demand for products. So I just really said a mouthful, but, um, when we talk about partners in the supply chain, we are talking in essence about customers who buys from us and suppliers who supplies, goods or services to us, right? So when you think about these chains, we typically think about the customers pulling demand and the suppliers responding to our demand, our needs makes sense. And that’s what we think of as kind of a pull based market strategy. Um, so as think about supply chain management, remember our end goal here is to have the right product at the right place at the right time for the lowest possible cost.
Karin Bursa (12:44):
Okay. You’ll hear that time and time again, that phrase, right. Product right time, right place, right. Cost has been used for or decades. And it still works. It’s a complicated, um, set of algorithms and artificial intelligence that helps companies achieve that. But that’s the bottom line. That’s the desired outcome. Okay. If you’re still with me, you’re starting to appreciate why this is so hard, why we need technology and science, why there’s so much conversation about artificial intelligence so that we can get everything where it needs to be in the best, at the best possible cost so that we can create profitability for our business while serving our customer very, very well. So supply chain management is often divided into two significant groups. The first is supply chain planning and the second supply chain execution. So supply chain planning covers all the activities that occur as we anticipate market needs, customer needs, as we source and produce those goods.
Karin Bursa (14:05):
And then as we store or move those to the ideal distribution center, think of that as the activities that occur before I have my finished goods, I’m oversimplifying, but it’s a great way to consider supply chain planning versus supply chain execution. So supply chain execution, the word execution came from the product is manufactured, and now I need to execute or fulfill customer orders. And so supply chain execution typically focuses on warehouse operations, uh, transportation, the, the, the need to move those goods, uh, to the customer or inbound or outbound more on that in just a minute. And then in some cases, distributed order management, determining the best location to ship from what warehouse should I ship this product from on a specific type of transportation to meet the customer as needs? Okay. So most non supply chain people really gravitate to supply chain execution because it is so physical.
Karin Bursa (15:20):
It’s easy to visualize these elements. You see trucks on the interstate, or you can walk a distribution center and see product, or even those of us that are simply consumers can walk through a Costco and see boxes or cartons of goods that are stored above our pick level or the level where we would grab goods and put them in our cart. Warehouse design has many of those elements as well. Right? So that’s why those retailer were, um, referred to as warehouse retailers or warehouse style retailers. Okay. Are you with me? All right. So most non supply chain people can really gravitate or start to understand the supply chain in these terms of supply chain, execution, transportation, the movement of goods, or the storage and distribution of goods from my warehouse or a distribution center. Okay. So we have been flooded with examples of challenges in supply chain execution for the last couple of years.
Karin Bursa (16:27):
So whether we’re looking at port closures, we’re looking at picture of port congestion with ships, um, that are stocked full of goods containers. Those are containers that you see, um, that are waiting to come into port to be unloaded and then moved either onto rail or onto trucks, uh, to move to their final destinations. Um, but those are very, very visual elements of the supply chain that each and every one of us can understand. Okay. So supply chain planning. So supply chain planning includes, and I’ve mentioned this already includes forecasting or demand forecasting. It includes sourcing getting the are raw materials and procuring the raw materials, um, into my business to be converted or produced into finished. Good. So supply chain planning typically includes demand, forecasting, sourcing, production planning, I and distribution planning, and the ever, ever important linchpin, which is inventory planning, how much inventory and where should that inventory be stored.
Karin Bursa (17:46):
So we need to plan every stage of our global network and the conversion and movement of materials right through to finished products. So the definition used by the supply chain council is that supply chain covers the planning, sourcing, make delivery and return of products. So those five areas I’ll give ’em to you again, plan source, make, deliver, and return. So that’s the scope of business process that’s covered. So as you can see, supply chain is everywhere. It’s everywhere because when we’re planning or forecasting, that is what our sales team needs to understand and contribute to so that we can satisfy those customer needs in the future. Are you with me? All right, come back to me for just a moment. So we’re also talking about supply chain network. So you hear this term network and in reality is more accurate than the word chain. So network is, if you think of kind of different connection points across the globe, it’s comprised of many, many components or supply chain nodes locations.
Karin Bursa (19:08):
Those can be my right, but it conveys, or my customers or my manufacturing locations or my distribution centers. Each of those would be a node. Um, it conveys this connected network where we purchase and move goods, product inventory in order to position those for our customers. So most companies, these networks are very global. Um, they incorporate raw material, product components, finished goods, packaging, um, and that they travel rate distances before they ever get to our customers make sense. All right, I’m getting a little beyond the fundamentals here. So let me get back to a few more definitions. So we talked about sourcing or source. So sourcing is the procurement of raw materials or finished goods. Um, and we are doing that to the specifications that are needed and the quantities that are needed for our business. Now, sourcing has a lot of complexity to it.
Karin Bursa (20:23):
And I know we could dive deeper in any one of these areas, but I just want you to think about, um, the ability to purchase raw are finished goods in the appropriate quantities at a fair market price, okay. You with me. All right. So manufacturing manufacturing, this is often called production, and it is the conversion of these raw materials or these components into finished goods. You got it, it’s making and packaging those products for the customer that we serve. Now, it’s possible that the products, your company produces become raw materials for another company that they then convert and manufacturing to another product, but just think of it as what your company would sell. That’s your finished good. And any of the materials needed to produce those goods would be your raw materials or your components. All right. Stay with me. All right. Transportation’s a transportation.
Karin Bursa (21:27):
Yep. Transportation is the movement of physical goods, physical products. So since goods come into our company and go out of our company, they flow in and they flow out and they do that in different quantities and often in different skews or different products, right? So you will hear transportation discussed in terms of inbound, what comes into my company and outbound, what goes out to my customers, you with me, all right. So warehouse and distribution, many, many people think that this is the crux of supply chain, man management. And it’s really, really important, but we’ll come back to that in just a minute. I, if you have not well, so in warehouse, if you have not anticipated demand correctly, if I haven’t done my supply chain planning correctly, anticipating and producing to that demand, it doesn’t matter how efficient my warehouse is because I’ll have the wrong products there.
Karin Bursa (22:34):
So it’s symbiotic, right? So this is where, um, you are packaging and moving those goods in an efficient pick pack and deliver, uh, I’m gonna pick those products off of my shelves or off of my, my storage area. I’m gonna pack them for the customer and I’m gonna ship them. And that shipment is the, the transportation element to get them to the customer when and where the customer desires. So critically important and, um, and has evolved in some really, really interesting ways, um, over the last five to 10 years. Um, so just some exciting things happening, um, in the area of warehouse management and distribution and distributed order management. Um, super interesting. Okay. So the other term you will hear quite often is logistics and logistics, I think is really. And in fact, when I came out of university, this is what we called supply chain.
Karin Bursa (23:36):
We weren’t talking about the forecasting and the production. Those were like separate business roles within a company, huge opportunities for improvement, which is how they involved into supply chain. But many, um, in fact, it used to be instead of the council of supply chain management professionals, it was CLM the council of logistics management, right? So logistics meant, um, the storage and movement of goods, and typically focused in on warehouse and transportation from sources of supply to manufacturing sites, distribution center stores, or other points, other nodes in the supply chain. So logistics, when you hear the term logistics, think of it as the physical movement of goods, right? And this is why, um, organizations like military operations are so good at supply chain because they have to focus on the movement of those goods to support troops and activities in specific regions. Um, so that’s what, when you hear logistics, it is that storage that warehouse the movement of those goods or the transport of those goods.
Karin Bursa (24:49):
So I hope that you are starting to appreciate, appreciate all of the variables to be managed because each and every one of these have a lead time associated with them a, a time required in advance of having or taking possession of the materials or the finished items before we’re ready to produce, um, and move those to our customers. Okay. I’ll use supply chain, movers and shakers stay with me. I know I’m keeping it simple. I know I’m gonna be flooded with some emails, um, uh, a feedback on what I haven’t covered, but I trying to get these basics down for you and trying to do it kind of in a, in a concise chunk. Um, but let’s go back to our goal is getting the right goods and services to the customer at just the right time across our global network. And for most of us having too much in the inventory is just as bad as having too little inventory.
Karin Bursa (25:51):
I know some of you are thinking Karin. That is crazy. Talk. I want as much inventory as possible. No, this again is where your supply chain team is helping you make wise business decisions. They’re helping you to synchron those inventory investments so that you can meet your customer service goals. You’ll hear goals like 95%, 98%. I wanna be able to fulfill 98% of my customer orders inside a specific order window. And the fact that I carry too much in inventory, if I’m over inventoried means I’m reducing my overall corporate profitability. I’m also opening myself up to things like, uh, inventory obsolesce or damaged goods, or, um, needing a larger warehouse, for example, right? So it’s this synchronization, that’s balancing this optimization of investment in inventory with the ability to satisfy customer demands. So when supply chains falter economic activity businesses, each and every household can suffer.
Karin Bursa (27:07):
Think back to the COVID 19 crisis, it exposed the fragility of global supply chains that have been long, long optimized around cost only cost. How do I produce most efficiently move those to market at the lowest possible cost? We were not taking into consideration the resilience and agility needed to respond to dramatic changes in market demand or, um, raw material and production and transportation availability. Okay. So to mitigate lead time, to look at these variables to plan around horizons, we need supply chain planning solutions, digital supply chain solutions, the ability to apply science to looking at and uncovering pattern so that we can plan and source make, move, and deliver and take those returns in the most efficient way possible. So efficiency is important. Now we’re adding the terms of agility or resilience. Agility means I’m flexible. I can, um, I, I can replan on a regular basis.
Karin Bursa (28:28):
I can look at short term demand signals. I can look at product shortages. I can offer product substitutions. All of these things allow me to be much more agile. Resilience also becomes critically important as so the resilience, how do I bounce back? How do I look at things like the current product shortages that are taking place to be able to give my business the insight it needs in order to make the best possible decisions for the current market conditions? Okay. I hope you’re with me. Um, so responding effectively to these disruptions and managing a plethora of decisions around these trade offs of service cost, quantity movements, overall profitability. Um, this is what supply chain professionals do each and every day. And it is so, so very valuable, uh, to our companies, to each and every company that we serve. It’s so valuable to us as consumers as well.
Karin Bursa (29:38):
A and one of the, the few positives that have come out of the COVID 19 pandemic is the simple fact that supply chain has taken center stage. That’s why you’re listening to this instead of your favorite song right now, supply chain management is important work, and it touches everything around you. And, and I feel P to be a part of it. So there you have it, a few supply chain basics, checking my list here. Oh, two things I didn’t cover. One is most supply chain planning is done in terms of volume metric measures. Think of that as quantities, how much to be produced or purchase source. This is your quantity. It may be in units or, um, cartons or containers or tonnage, depending upon the industry you serve. And the majority of companies start here with volume metric planning. Now, a as companies become increasingly sophisticated about digital supply chain planning.
Karin Bursa (30:44):
They also have the ability to not only look at volume metric quantity, but also financial measures and financial tradeoffs. So this is of course, the revenue that you’re gonna produce for your company that will be produced as a result of the sale of goods for your company, the cost to produce those goods. You may think of it as cost of good sold or the cost of manufacturer. Um, and then the overall profit. Okay. So volume, quantity, and financial terms. Now, the more senior you are in a company, the more you’ll be focused on those financial measures, especially if you are executive level, uh, management, right? You’ll hear them say things like the ability to call their revenue number, or to look at margin contribution to the business. That’s the way they’re going to think of all of the hard work that takes place in the supply chain.
Karin Bursa (31:43):
Okay. Um, and often when you are starting out in a company, you are much more focused on the quantity of goods. Um, first in, you know, in their smallest quantities and then in larger and larger and larger quantities and production or distribution or investment across your organization. And somewhere you make that flip that you start talking in terms of both volume and financial measures. And I see this quite often around the sales and operations planning process, or S and O P as it is often called, right? This is where companies are looking at balancing this large, uh, port fol of products and the business drivers, so that they can make really informed decisions over an operational horizon. Okay. So there you have it, there’s just a few supply chain basics, and I suspect that, um, I will be getting a bunch of your phone calls or emails, and I welcome those.
Karin Bursa (32:43):
I welcome those. If you’ve got suggestions on other topics that maybe we should include in a, in a series on basics, I would love to hear those. Um, I’d, um, have to agree that we can get much deeper and much more complex. And we have here on TEKTOK, uh, as we dive into really a variety of topics around digital supply chain, but I’d like to thank you for joining us today on TEKTOK, where our goal is to help you eliminate the noise and focus in on the information and inspiration you need to transform your business and replace whiskey image with valuable insights. We’ll see you next time. I’m tech talk powered by supply chain. Now.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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
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.
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, 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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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!
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.
Principal & CMO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
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.