Supply Chain Now
Episode 966

Digital Twins have moved from a nice to have, to a must-have mandate.

-Karin Bursa

Episode Summary

Digital Twins have moved from a nice to have, to a must-have mandate. The pandemic exposed weaknesses in our global supply chains – gaps or more accurately fragility in our supply chains at a time when we need significant agility and greater resiliency. As Supply Chain Movers & Shakers, you are working hard to help your companies gain greater visibility, better flexibility, and more responsive agility as you are leading your businesses through a gauntlet of shortages, constraints, disruptions, and geopolitical events. This crossover episode of the TEKTOK Digital Supply Chain Podcast will help you understand how a DIGITAL TWIN can help.

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 is time for TEKTOK powered by Supply Chain Now.

Karin Bursa (01:14):

Well, welcome back supply team movers and shakers Karin be here and I am your host for TEKTOK the digital supply team podcast. I need to start today’s episode with a great big gigantic. Thank you. Thank you for helping TEKTOK. Get recognized on two different podcast lists. This is very exciting for me. TEKTOK was named number 16 on the feed spot 2022 list of best supply chain management podcasts and supply chain. Now, which of course brings you TEKTOK was once again, named number one on the feed spot 2022 list. So congratulations to the entire supply chain now team, and thank you for all you do to share insights and help build our industry. And thanks once again to all of you each and every one of you. Supply chain, movers and shakers for helping tech talk, get recognized by feed spot as well as by the JB F top industry podcast list for 2022.

Karin Bursa (02:26):

I really appreciate it. Now, if you wouldn’t mind do me another favor and please share this episode with at least three people in your network and be sure to subscribe to TEKTOK wherever you get your podcast. That’s T E K T O K digital supply chain podcast. I’d also welcome your connection on LinkedIn. All right, let’s dive into today’s digital supply chain topic. We’re gonna be talking about digital twins, you know, growing up. Did you ever wish you had a twin? I know I always wanted a twin one that was smarter than me and could do all the tasks that I didn’t wanna do. I figured that this would free me up and give me more time to do whatever it was I loved doing at the time. And having someone else take care of some of those tedious tasks and chores, you know, like most eight year olds, my vision was not fully rooted in reality.

Karin Bursa (03:31):

I recognized that and although I do have an older brother, there were no twins, digital or physical to be found. So I muddled through on my own, but you know what, today you have an option and that option is a digital twin for your supply chain. So digital twins have moved from a nice to have to a must have mandate for your business. You know, if there’s one thing the pandemic did, is it exposed weaknesses in our global supply chains gaps for some of us more accurately, the fragility in our supply chains. And that happened at a time when we actually need significant agility and greater resilience. So as supply chain, movers and shakers, I know that you are working hard to help your companies gain greater visibility, better flexibility, and become more responsive, more agile as you’re leading your businesses through what probably feels like a gauntlet of shortages constraints, disruptions, geopolitical events, you name it.

Karin Bursa (04:52):

We’ve got a little bit of everything. And before we dive into the digital twin, let’s remember that our ultimate goal of our supply chain strategy is to contribute to your company’s goals, moving the business forward, serving customers and creating a competitive advantage. Now this involves more than just optimizing your supply chain plan, you know, at TEKTOK, digital supply chain podcast. Have you ever thought about what exactly do we mean by digital supply chain? Well, the digital supply chain incorporates of course, information technology. That’s your software and services, the advanced analytics, your business process modeling, and the data required to improve visibility and efficiency across all activities teams and training partners. Those trading partners are your customers and your suppliers. All of that, that is required to ultimately create value for your business and satisfy customer needs. So digitalization has taken giant leaps forward in the last five years, giant leaps in the last five years, that puts us before COVID or the impact of COVID 19 solution providers were developing cloud based solutions that incorporate machine learning, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, sensors for realtime data.

Karin Bursa (06:36):

Oh yeah. And digital twins that leveraged advanced analytics and the ability to ingest large. And I do mean large data streams. And today supply team leaders must understand and prioritize technology that can help accelerate digital transformation. That’s why you often hear me say at TEKTOK, our goal is to help you replace risky inventory inventory that we’re holding just in case it’s needed with valuable insights, right? Replacing inventory with data and intelligence, these digital initiatives should be prioritized so that you can create tangible value for your business. One area to consider is leveraging supply chain solutions that incorporate a digital twin that’s right. A digital twin. So what exactly am I talking about when I say digital twin? Well, it is in fact, a digital representation of your physical supply chain. The digital twin is designed to help you accelerate, planning, evaluate multiple scenarios for your business and improve decision making.

Karin Bursa (08:06):

And another outcome will be the ability to boost confidence in the supply chain response of your organization. The bottom line is that supply chain planning is all about decision making. And the digital twin is the next evolution of supply chain planning. The digital twin provides a logical and sometimes even a geographic 3d visualization of your supply chain network. So not only does it show you where your nodes are, but it should alert you to pressure points. It should give you visual indicators of where constraints or issues or a failure to meet. Your business plan are currently happening or predicted to happen in the future. It should also help you model your business so that you can evaluate multiple scenarios and that’s gonna help you mitigate risk and harness new opportunities. Now, for any of you that are listening, that are supporting supply chain technology today, I want you to hear me very clearly because the digital twin is much more than a data model.

Karin Bursa (09:30):

It’s much more than a static logical model of your global network. Although having a clear understanding and access to a, a clear and accurate data model and a robust logical model, these are really important stepping stones, but they are just that stepping stones to creating a digital twin. So a digital twin is gonna be a robust virtual model of your global network and it is going to span multiple planning, horizons. That’s right. I said, multiple planning, horizons, anybody out there going, wait, wait, Karin, what do you mean? What the heck is that? Okay, so stay with me now, when we talk about planning, we often talk about planning across three broad horizons. The first is a strategic horizon. And when we talk strategic, we are typically looking at 24 plus months. Some companies will stretch that planning horizon out as far as 10 years. And that allows them to do things like incorporating new manufacturing facilities, new distribution centers, penetration into new markets.

Karin Bursa (10:55):

So they’re making these large capital investments and they’re modeling the capabilities, the anticipated sales and the ability to respond and satisfy customer needs in a strategic horizon. Again, beyond a 24 month horizon for most businesses, then you look at tactical horizons. So tactical horizons is where most supply chain planning focuses. And this is anywhere from about three months to about 24 months. And that is our ability to forecast and respond, produce, procure, distribute goods inside that tactical window of time. So now you may be thinking why, why stop at three months? I’m giving you that three month benchmark. As most companies have a fixed lead time for their business. That’s about 12 weeks. So I’m just arbitrarily giving you that as three weeks to or three months to 24 months in that tactical horizon. If you are able to respond faster, if you don’t have a frozen time fence, that is 12 weeks long, maybe yours is eight weeks long.

Karin Bursa (12:16):

Then your tactical horizon would be that kind of eight weeks to 24 months. So inside your frozen horizon, your ability to produce procure goods for market that is considered your operational planning horizon. That is what we’re doing day in and day out. We’re fulfilling customer orders, but we’re typically not producing or procuring inside that window. Right? So strategic typically 24 months or more tactical, somewhere between three months and 24 months and then operational hours, or even minutes up to days or weeks, that’s my operational period of time. Now the reality is these things are all connected. What happens today impacts what happens three weeks from now, what happens three weeks from now may impact what happens four months from now, right? So you can see how all of these plans need to be rooted in the same model of my business and need to validate various attributes and capabilities along the way.

Karin Bursa (13:34):

Thus the need for multi horizon planning. Now, historically these planning horizons were actually planned in different systems, different products or different solutions. You’ve probably heard the terms of supply chain planning, demand, inventory, production planning, and then you’ve heard supply chain execution, which has meant warehouse management order pick pack, and ship and transportation. In essence, executing the plan that was put in place in supply chain planning. Now for a decade or more, we have been talking about the convergence of supply chain planning and supply chain execution. So bringing together, if you will, both the tactical and operational horizons, what supply chain digital twins are enabling us to do is to not only bring the tactical and the operational horizons together, but to bring the strategic horizons together as well. It’s exciting. I gotta tell you I’m geeking out just a little bit, but it is very exciting to see all of this coming together in a single plan or a single model for your business, that we can look at different granularity and different periods of time to run our business.

Karin Bursa (14:59):

So let your digital twin model and test your network so that we can proactively expose any inefficiencies, any choke points that we need to address digital twins will create a digital version of your global supply team network. And they’re gonna include things like manufacturing, facilities, distribution centers, key transportation lanes, and even assets, transportation assets, whether they are trailers or trucks or ships or air cargo, or even drivers, which continue to be a constraint in many markets. They’re also going to include things like your inventory policies or key customers and locations. And even of course, some of those critical suppliers that are helping you to either procure raw material or critical componentry or finished goods in your network. So building and maintaining a digital twin is not just a simple network modeling exercise. It needs to be part of your living and breathing supply chain. It is a living an active part or an active representation of your capabilities, and it must be connected to both your planning and the actual execution of your business.

Karin Bursa (16:34):

It’s got to stay current to your capabilities as well as the current market conditions. So this current market condition monitoring, you are seeing a number of solutions in the marketplace that talk about supply chain visibility, and that visibility is really monitoring the movement of goods, right? And that is typically happening inside lead time for many companies, again, bringing all of these elements together, across all of the planning horizons. So it requires some cross-functional collaboration. Um, and it’s gonna include your supply chain team, your production team, your warehouse teams, your distribution teams, your finance, um, your, uh, information technology, your it teams, your data science teams, bringing all of this cross functional team together to help you model the capabilities in your network. Okay. If you are multitasking, come back to me for just a minute. I wanna review with you why the big, why we need to invest in creating a digital twin.

Karin Bursa (17:48):

So experience shows that digital twins actually boost the agility of a business and improve the quality of overall decision making. And the results are tangible. That’s right, measurable, tangible. You’re gonna see in a number of different areas. And the first I’m gonna start with the top line revenue impact. You are going to see an increase in revenue potentially by as much as two or 3% for your top line, better service at a lower cost is also gonna boost your overall profitability. Having a digital twin is gonna help you improve your on time in full fulfillment rates, and you will see a faster time to market that’s right. We’re gonna replace risky inventory with valuable insights. Speaking of replacing risky inventory, you are gonna see some inventory reductions as well. When you implement a digital twin, you will see increased inventory visibility. And that is across all inventory form and function form finished goods, work and process raw material and function. Things like presentation, stock fill stock, right? So we are gonna increase our visibility across all inventories form and function. We may see inventory reductions by as much as 10%. That’s right. Double digit reductions in inventory. Talk about tangible. So with lower cost and those lower costs are not just measured in inventory dollars, but they’re also measured in areas like reduced expediting cost, improved visibility on our response to disruptions and the ability to quickly and actively replant business alternatives.

Karin Bursa (20:01):

Now, part of that replanning is in fact, the ability to stimulate and optimize network-wide capabilities. So I’ve got this model, this digital twin, and now I have the opportunity to apply prescriptive, predictive, and other advanced analytics that are going to allow me to drive decisions that range again, from strategic to tactical, to operational. So your future needs, right, our future needs are what that is our forecast. That is our market forecast or our customer forecast, along with our ability to procure either material or finished products to produce. If we are a manufacturer and to store and distribute those goods. Now that can all be simulated in a digital twin, and we’re gonna do that so that we can gain insights. We can test alternatives, we can evaluate alternative scenarios for our business, and we can respond to disruptions. This becomes the basis of your supply chain plan.

Karin Bursa (21:21):

Now another way we are gonna manage the impact or we’re gonna measure the impact of our digital twin is with confidence. That’s right. Confidence. Don’t underestimate the value that great decision making confidence is gonna bring to your business. So just think that instead of conducting three, what if scenarios that you may have done in an spreadsheet that today you are able to evaluate 300 scenarios in a fraction of the time, then you take a closer look at the top three scenarios. These become candidates that meet your business goals and give your team the insights that they need to make a decision. How confident would you feel about taking the next right step? I mean, I know I would be much more confident. I say, sign me up. I am ready. 300 or more scenarios versus three scenarios and actual digital model of my network versus something in Excel.

Karin Bursa (22:35):

I mean, you are helping me see blind spots that I can’t see on my own. That’s what your digital twin is gonna do. So how do you get started? Right? Since we can’t just wave a magic wand and produce, a digital twin, most digital twins are designed or modeled piece by piece tested, validated, and then scaled until we get to a full and robust digital twin of our entire end to end enterprise network. You know, some visionary businesses are also including key customers and critical suppliers to create a multier enterprise digital twin. So where do we start? Let’s start with an area of our supply chain. And I suggest that you look at a problematic area of your supply chain. I suggest that look at something, that’s got a fair amount of uncertainty around it, or we’re challenged by constraints, or you feel like your people are just Ling through this process.

Karin Bursa (23:50):

This is gonna give your team focus. And the impact that they make is gonna be recognized across your business. And when that happens, it’s gonna inspire more investment from key stakeholders. And this is going to accelerate the next steps in driving your end to end supply chain digital twin. Now, according to Gartner, Gartner tells us there are seven building blocks for the ultimate digital supply chain twin. So the ultimate digital supply chain twin, we’re gonna put these seven items in the show notes. So if you don’t have a pen or paper with you right this minute, just check the show notes. So according to Gartner, the seven building blocks are as follows. Number one is that I have to have a way to visualize my supply chain. So supply chain visualization, what does it look like? Where are my nodes? What are my, uh, transportation lanes to be considered?

Karin Bursa (24:54):

Number two targets and policies and rules and constraints. That’s a lot. I just said a mouthful targets, policy rules, constraints, number three, time, phased pegging relationships. So if a happens pegged to this timeframe, then B happens here, C et cetera, et cetera, so that we really have a comprehensive view of our business. Number four probability distributions. So that ability to model multiple scenarios for the business and to look at a distribution of outcomes, number five, correlations and configurations, again, if a happens then B, C or D happen, if B happens, maybe X, Y, or Z happens and number six entities. So this is the ability to model things like production facilities, distribution centers, key transportation lanes. We’ll have some attributes around those and some parameters. So, you know, daily capacity, for example, might be something that is included in each and every one of those entities and number seven real time transactions that’s right, real time, or as near real time, as you’re prepared for now, this could come through O T devices, the internet of things, our ability to look at sensors in the marketplace and get those signals quickly so that we can respond faster.

Karin Bursa (26:32):

So this could be something like a replenishment signal on a tank that we’ve sold a certain quantity through a certain channel. And therefore we need to trigger replenishment order that we’re out of raw material at a location that we’re out of packaging that needs to be replaced. It could also be things like events and yes, of course, events can be commercially driven events like promotional activities, but events can also be things like weather events or disruptions, right? It gives us the ability to get very granular and start localizing our ability to either serve demand or that might influence demand in a particular area, right? You with me, right? Ice storm comes, I can’t have trucks on the road. It’s gonna take me longer to deliver heat wave occurs. Oh, people are gonna want more product. I’m gonna see a spike in demand, right? So those things are gonna happen differently in different geographies, but those are realtime events that can be incorporated to help us refine our plans inside some of those operational time horizons.

Karin Bursa (28:02):

Right? So back to multi horizon planning, this is why that operational, uh, insight is so very valuable. Your digital twin is gonna become the very heart and brain of your dig digital supply chain initiative. And it’s gonna include things like advanced analytics. So when we say advanced analytics, I’m not just talking about pretty pictures. In fact, I’m talking about four different types of analytics, four different types of insights. The first you are probably most familiar with, and that is just descriptive analytics. So descriptive analytics, tell me what is, or what has happened. So they almost look at like what’s happening today and backwards. So they may incorporate some of the things that you’ve done in your reporting in the past, but also what your current business intelligence initiatives might be bringing to the table. The second type of analytics are gonna be diagnostic. So why did it happen?

Karin Bursa (29:19):

What were the root causes, right? Because I wanna scratch beneath the surface and make sure that we are modifying and changing things that will prevent bad things from happening in the future, or do more of the good things that our team has delivered. Those are your diagnostic analytics. The third type is gonna be predictive. So this is where it gets really interesting because I am predicting what is gonna happen in the future and doing that increasingly with greater and greater precision. So not just, what’s gonna happen top line for the enterprise, but what’s gonna happen in a particular market or for a particular product family or a product family within a market or within a channel. And then finally prescriptive and prescriptive is gonna give me suggestions and actionable insights on what I should do next. So given what we know, the best information we have, and our current plan here is a prescription.

Karin Bursa (30:29):

Here are recommendations of the next logical things to do. These advanced analytics are gonna provide new insights that are gonna help you make better decisions. So gonna increase your competitive advantage and drive greater agility. If you leverage them, you are likely to see shorter lead times increased forecast accuracy. You’re gonna accelerate your inventory turns and you are gonna get even more productivity out of your available manufacturing capacity. And remember, our overall objective is to drive decision making that supports the ultimate goal of our supply chain strategy, which is to do what it’s to contribute to the company’s business goals, to serve our customers and to create a competitive advantage. So with a digital twin, you are gonna empower your business to make better decisions faster each and every day. So thank you so much for joining us today and remember that we need your help to spread the word. So please share this TEKTOK episode with three connections, and don’t forget to subscribe to TEKTOK. That’s TEK TOK, wherever you get your podcast. Our goal with TEKTOK digital supply chain podcast is to help you eliminate the noise and focus in on the information and inspiration that you need to transform your business and replace risky inventory with valuable insights. We’ll see you next time on tech talk powered by supply chain. Now.

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

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

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Vicki White

Controller

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Allison Giddens

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.

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Greg White

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

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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Jeff Miller

Host

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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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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Billy Taylor

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.

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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

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.

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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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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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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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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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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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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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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