Supply Chain Now
Episode 882

The thing that I have really been taught to kind of start doing is talk, even when I don't feel like it. Answer questions, even when I feel uncomfortable. And through that, you can start getting more comfortable, more confident in sharing your answers, and then you can find your voice that way.

-Megan Formwalt

Episode Summary

Why call them the “next” generation of supply chain when they’re already making moves and shaping global industry? In this episode, Scott and special co-host Brian Fugate, Chair of the Department of Supply Chain Management at the University of Arkansas, introduce the world to three emerging supply chain leaders, undergraduate students Angel De La Cruz Calleros, Megan Formwalt and Spencer Ligon. Tune in as they share their journeys to a top-notch supply chain education, how they’re launching their careers, top global issues they’re tracking and more.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:00:03):

Welcome to supply chain. Now the voice of global supply chain supply chain now focuses on the best in the business for our worldwide audience, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and today’s critical issues. The challenges and entities Stay tuned to hear from those making global business happen right here on supply chain now,

Scott Luton (00:00:29):

Hey, good morning, everybody. Scott Luton here with you on supply chain. Now, welcome to today’s show on today’s show. We’re gonna be diving into the perspective of the now generation, a trio of bright students that are already making their mark into business world even before they graduate, which is just around the corner. So stay tuned for an intriguing conversation, but I’m joined before our home run panel, uh, joins us here today. I’m joined by my special, very special co-host uh, Dr. Brian Fugate supply chain professor, or in Harris and DOD chair department, all for the top ranked university of Arkansas Walton college of business, the supply chain management department, Brian, how you doing?

Brian Fugate (00:01:10):

Doing great. Thanks, Scott. I’m excited to be on here and, and I’m, you know, you’ve given me a role of co-host and so I’m learning from the best. And, and so it’s a, it’s a lot of fun. Thank you.

Scott Luton (00:01:21):

You’ve bet. Well, Hey, it was such a pleasure to reconnect with you or really to meet you for the first time, a few months back. I feel like it’s, beening the works for a while because we’ve been admirers of, of you and the program and the team for quite some time. And now not only do we get a chance to rub elbows with you, but the best parts we get to, uh, hear from your students and what’s on their mind, right?

Brian Fugate (00:01:42):

No, no kidding. This is what excited me the most is to be able to show the world some of our students. And, uh, they’re just phenomenal. They inspire me, uh, every week. And, and I know they’re gonna do the same here, so thanks for this opportunity.

Scott Luton (00:01:56):

You bet. Well, the whole supply chain now team is excited to do it and looking forward to it. So with no further ado, I wanna, uh, very briefly introduce our special guest here today, as we bring them in, uh, up first we have angel de Cruz. Piros a senior at university of Arkansas who has already been in industry for over six years and has created several big wins next up, uh, Megan Fort a junior who is also get this president of the Arkansas chapter of women impacting supply chain excellence, man. And finally, we have Spencer ligan, a senior who is also, uh, an executive, uh, he’s president of the Arkansas supply chain association, one of the student clubs there on campus. So let’s bring in our guests. Hey, Hey angel, Spencer, Megan, are we doing

Angel De La Cruz Calleros (00:02:47):

Doing great. Thank you.

Spencer Ligon (00:02:49):

Yeah, I’m doing great.

Scott Luton (00:02:51):

It is so good to see you bet, Megan, it’s so good to see all three of y’all your ears have been burning. Brian has told us a lot about what you’ve been up to. Uh, as we mentioned, you’re already making a big impact. Uh, we like to call that the now generation. It’s not the next generation. So now in, in a generation, based on what you’re doing and Brian, we’re tickled to have all three here, but Hey, I’ll get, uh, Brian, I’ll let you also welcome in our esteemed panel here.

Brian Fugate (00:03:17):

Yeah. So thanks. Thanks guys for being here. Uh, all three of you, you know, have made an impact here already. And when I ask the faculty who should we have on this, uh, your names came up and, and it it’s because of the impact you’ve had, and we know you’re gonna make an impact, uh, when you go out. And so thank you,

Scott Luton (00:03:38):

Undoubtedly, undoubtedly, man, that’s gotta make y’all’s day to hear, uh, that from, uh, Dr. Fugate. So, um, so I wanna get to know each of y’all a little better. We wanna maximize our time here. Hopefully, maybe next time we can do this in person. You never know. Uh, but here today, let’s, let’s start with you Angel. So tell us, where did you grow up and tell us why supply chain?

Angel De La Cruz Calleros (00:04:00):

Yeah, so actually grew up down the road over in Springdale, Arkansas. Um, and so all I heard all my life was Razorbacks, Razorbacks, Razorbacks, right. <laugh> and so I definitely, you know, grew up really big on sports too, you know, uh, love sports, uh, especially football and basketball. Um,

Scott Luton (00:04:16):

Okay.

Angel De La Cruz Calleros (00:04:17):

Yeah. And so, as you mentioned earlier, I’ve been working over for over at Walmart for man since about 2015. So it’s been a long time that I’ve been over there for now. Um, and, uh, thankfully because of the skills and all the education that I got here at the university, I had the incredible opportunity of serving as a, uh, global procurement in, uh, intern over at the Walmart home office this summer. And so I would say upon a successful completion of the internship, I was offered a time role upon graduation, which I proud, accepted. And, um, yeah. And the reason why I decided to choose supply chain, just to give you a little bit of a background originally, I thought I wanted to be an accountant. Um, my mentor is actually an accountant. His name is Castro

Scott Luton (00:04:58):

And he’s you wanna be an accountant angel really? <laugh> I think you’re the first person first I’ve met through a thousand episode. Of course, I’m kidding. I’m loving on our CBA friends. I’m just picking, but all right. So angel, you said initially you thought you were wanted to be an accountant, right?

Angel De La Cruz Calleros (00:05:13):

Yeah. So originally I thought I wanted to be an accountant and I even got connected with my mentor, Harold Castro. Who’s one of the directors over at Walmart right now. And so I originally thought that that was my thing, but I quickly realized, you know, that just kind of wasn’t spiking my interest, uh, took a supply chain course over at Northwest Arkansas community college and really realized that, you know, kind of spiked my interest a little bit. And what really got me kind of going a little bit was, uh, the whole toilet paper shortage. So whenever I was, whenever the pandemic started, I was actually working over at the store and consumers all, always, you know, customers would always come up to me and ask me, Hey, what the heck is my toilet paper? What’s the toilet paper. How would you always say, I dunno. Yeah.

Angel De La Cruz Calleros (00:05:50):

<laugh>. And so in order for me to kind of answer their questions a little bit, um, I started doing my own research and started listening to the podcast, started, you know, reading articles to figure out what the heck was going on with the toilet paper. And that’s what really got me kind of, kind of lit my, my light bulb. So to speak a little bit and got me a little more curious about supply chain, and I really realized how important it is to have an efficient supply chain. And I knew a career in the supply chain field would be impactful.

Scott Luton (00:06:17):

Love it, man. Okay. So Brian, bringing you back in this, uh, that to whole toilet paper issue is like the gift unfortunately keeps on giving, but Brian, if it, if it turns the light bulb on with bright people like angel and anyone else, that’s a great win, Brian huh?

Brian Fugate (00:06:34):

Toilet ball paper, or toilet paper or whatever else we’re happy with. Um, if it turns people onto supply chain. So definitely a gift

Scott Luton (00:06:42):

That is right. That is right. Yeah. So a lot of times, um, as, as we interview practitioners, I’ve been there, uh, for a while, you know, they kind of get, have gotten tired of getting that question from their family members. However, this is the first time I’ve really looked at that so much differently because it, it puts people on the supply chain. We need all the, the bright and the best young talent coming into supply chain, all, all kinds of talent. So angel, thank you so much for sharing. Uh, I wanna move over to Megan, Megan Formwalt. Uh, so same question for you, where’d you grow up and, and why supply chain?

Megan Formwalt (00:07:17):

Yeah. So I’m originally from Ken, the city, Kansas. I feel like I have to clarify that cuz we’ve got some beef with the Missouri side. Um, but I chose Arkansas because I knew it had a great business program and it wasn’t that far away from home. It’s only about three and a half hours south of where I’m from, which was perfect for me. Um, but the reason why I chose supply chain is I am actually in economics and supply chain double me major. And I came into school just econ. Honestly, hadn’t even heard the phrase supply chain in my entire life, but when I really started to realize that supply chain was the path for me is when I kind of took a look at both the majors and, you know, econ, I fell in love with it was great. Um, it does a phenomenal job of identifying in efficiencies and problems in different markets, which was great, but it never actually solves problems. Um, and supply chain is really where you take that information and you actually get to see the change take place. So for me, I wanted to be a little bit more action centered. I didn’t just wanna see problems. I wanted to solve them. And that was the reason why I chose supply chain.

Scott Luton (00:08:20):

Wow. All said, so, uh, a couple follow up points there. Uh, I spent two years with air force in Wichita, Kansas, and really came to love the state of Kansas passed through Kansas city. A couple of times both versions. I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna stir the, the pot with the, the, the rivalry there, but love the Midwest. Uh, and then secondly, Brian, uh, you know, that combination of supply chain Prowe and in, uh, economics, that’s gonna be quite, quite a, uh, a force in nature, huh?

Brian Fugate (00:08:48):

Yeah, no doubt. So right. The, the economics gives you the basics. If you don’t understand these basics of supply and demand and how things are affecting supply and demand at, at that level, at the market level, it’s gonna be hard to make those decisions on a day to day basis. Additionally, I’ll add giving everything that’s happened recently, politically and, and the government influence on supply chain and all that’s going on there. An economics perspective is gonna help Megan kind of manage those waters really, you know, the rest of her career. So I think it’s a great combination,

Scott Luton (00:09:24):

Well said, well said, all right. So we got quite so far a dangerous duo between angel and Megan, and then we’re gonna get over to Spencer ligan, uh, kind of our cleanup hitter today, at least thus far. So Spencer, same question for you. Where’d you grow up and why supply chain?

Spencer Ligon (00:09:42):

Yeah, so I grew up in lit rock Arkansas. So similar to angel, we, we had the Razorbacks come to town a couple times. So I just grew around that and wanted to come here to U of a, um, pretty much how I got in into supply chain was an interest in international business. So that’s what I came into college with. I just love the aspect of working abroad or working with teams abroad. So it goes a, it goes well with my minor in Mandarin. And from that I took a supply chain class and I found it was a, it was really practic way to, to kind of go the path I want. So I took it and it was just a perfect fit for me. I, I love the, all the aspects and especially focusing on how the world is connected. So I’m loving it so far.

Scott Luton (00:10:31):

Wonderful, wonderful man. Uh, y’all are getting our Mo our, our juice is going, uh, I love the passion, all three of y’all already bring to the table and what you see, probably even, even, even better what y’all see in terms of opportunity and, and what you want to do, uh, across global supply chain. Uh, Brian, what’d you hear there from Spencer?

Brian Fugate (00:10:52):

Yeah. So, so Spencer, um, has, has come in and, and brought in a perspective, uh, an international perspective. And so because of his Mandarin, uh, I know in one class, at least one said that they were talking about global supply chains in Asia and all of that. And so they turned to Spencer and Spencer kind of knows more than just the language. And so he was able to bring that side in and he does a, he does a really a job with, with that as well as, as leading, you know, some of our clubs.

Scott Luton (00:11:24):

Okay. Love to hear that good stuff there. Angel, Spencer and Megan. Uh, so I wanna really quick, uh, we’re gonna continue to gain the, uh, point of view from our students, but Brian, uh, Dr. Fett who leads a supply chain management depart there at the number one ranked university of Arkansas. Right. Let’s talk about you a little bit. Uh, some folks may not know about your, um, your incredible journey thus far prior to what you do, uh, at the university of Arkansas. So where’d you grow up and give us maybe a little bit about your background.

Brian Fugate (00:11:55):

Yeah, so I grew up, I grew up on a pig farm, uh, 7,000 head pig farm. And, and so I, I can honestly say I come, come to the Razorbacks very honestly. Uh, and, and I’m truly, you know, I like the, the, the pigs, right? So, um, so we, as a kid, we, we had a 400 head ho operation that went to 7,000, uh, all the way through my high school. And so I saw those things happen. I didn’t know it was called supply chain or operations. We were making decisions, but that excited me the ability to run and see things flow, run operations back and forth, uh, which led me to, to do it being an industrial engineer, uh, at, at the university of Tennessee, went into, uh, worked at several different places in supplier development at Delta airlines. I worked at in the auto industry implementing lean and just in time and, you know, all those things that, that we’re all talking about right now. Right,

Scott Luton (00:12:55):

Right.

Brian Fugate (00:12:56):

And then ended up working in worldwide logistics and supplier development at John Deere and loved that. Um, my wife asked me, you know, Hey, if, if you could do anything you wanted to do, if you, if you inherited millions of dollars, what would you do? And I said, I wanted to go learn. I wanted to research and consult. And so I went back and got my PhD, uh, in supply chain management and fell in love with teaching as well. And so went to several different places and, and ended up at the university of Arkansas about five, six years ago.

Scott Luton (00:13:33):

I loved that. Never looked look back. And of course, uh, you’re widely recognized by folks across industry, uh, for, you know, the, the program that you and your peers have created there and how you engage these incredibly bright people, uh, as we’re witnessing here today. So I really appreciate what you, you do. Uh, it, it, you know, building that pipeline of bright talent, uh, that’s, that’s how we’re, we’re gonna change how we do things and, and take care of everybody. So thank you so much. Uh, Dr. Fett, um, alright, so I wanna get back, uh, angel, uh, I’m gonna start with you here with this next question. It’s about, you know, there’s so much to track these days, uh, even if it’s even for do focus just on global supply chain, they’re not global business, there’s so much going on. So I, I wanna figure out what’s one thing that each of y’all may be tracking more than others, just wide open, uh, whether it’s, you know, disruption, challenges, leadership, innovation, you name it. What’s one thing, uh, angel you’re tracking more than others right now.

Angel De La Cruz Calleros (00:14:35):

Uh, I think what’s peaking my interest right now in is the role that technology is gonna have on the supply chain in the future. Uh, you hear all about the autonomous drive here, driving, uh, trucks. And, uh, I even heard a podcast the other day about somebody going a tour in like a automate, like automated warehouse. And so I’m currently working over at distribution center for Walmart. And so after I listened to that podcast, I really started pay attention about these little things, right. Um, the little day to day task that I’m doing, I’m not just kind of focusing on my own silo, so to speak and kind of discovering how my department has an impact on the overall process. And so just kind of looking for those kind of opportunity for automation and finding out that if there is automation, obviously there’s less room for human error and more, more room for, uh, efficiency. And so that’s, what’s been kind of geeking my interest a little bit, just how, how technology’s gonna impact the supply chain overall

Scott Luton (00:15:26):

Love that. And I, if I’m not mistaken, I believe you’re monitoring in the E R P. Uh, so you’ve got a lot of expertise growing expertise there. One quick follow up, do you see, uh, obviously technology really immerse itself across all aspects of business these days and, and maybe, uh, even more so the last 18, 24 months, do you see where, uh, technology when effectively applied though, it can create opportunities for the human workforce to advance and, and, and do more fulfilling work?

Angel De La Cruz Calleros (00:15:55):

Yeah, definitely. Uh, I talk about it with my coworkers all the time. Uh, I talk about them about the opportunities for automation inside of the distribution center, and they definitely agree, you know, a lot of our day to day tasks can just become more streamlined and more efficient. Um, and you know, maybe like a 12 hour Workday might be put down to like an eight hour Workday. So we’re able to try ourselves a little more. Right, man. And so they, and you, uh, it leads to like less stress on the body as well. You’re not having to do as much physical work, you know, and just kind of more supervising and stuff. And so there’s definitely a big, huge need. And, uh, I’m definitely excited to be a part of that change,

Scott Luton (00:16:28):

Love that we gotta take care of, of the workforce. Right. And if we can make it easier and give them more fulfilling work, uh, that’s a big part of the equation. So thank you so much there, uh, angel, uh, Megan, same question for you, uh, whether it’s technology or something else, what are you tracking? What’s one thing maybe you’re tracking more than others across global supply chain.

Megan Formwalt (00:16:47):

Yeah. So the part of supply chain that really kind of peaks my interest is the supply relationship side. And I think COVID has completely changed how we see companies dealing with their suppliers. And I found that so interesting to be looking into, I think like pre pandemic. I think some companies were starting to move more into long term relationships with suppliers and kind of build building those relationships. But we still saw a lot of companies having a very transactional approach with their suppliers where it’s like, what can I get for the lowest cost? And that was kind of the end of that discussion. But during COVID we saw that that’s not possible. You saw the weaknesses that companies had when they didn’t have those strong relationships with suppliers and they didn’t have that upstream visibility. So something that I think is so interesting, just hearing from all of our industry professionals in the area is one of the biggest takeaways they have from the pandemic is we need to rethink how we deal with our suppliers. We need to find more diverse suppliers. We need to have better relationships and we have to be more open with them. So I think going to continue to see that trend into the future, um, especially as we even see stuff overseas with some political issues as well, it’s just gonna get more and more important

Scott Luton (00:17:56):

Well said. And, and frankly, amen. Uh, Brian, I’m gonna bring you back in here. Uh, Dr. Fuge, I know that you’ve done a lot of work in your background, that supplier development, which is so critical on the relay and we’re seeing from what at least we’ve seen and, and talking to folks and, and out in, out in the field, um, much more forward looking approaches to, uh, building those stronger and different relationship with suppliers. But Brian, let’s say you.

Brian Fugate (00:18:25):

Yeah. So that’s, this is a, a really interesting topic. And, and Megan, I think that’s, that’s really insightful. It’s what we’re, you know, the, the, the thought leaders like Scott and, and others in the industry are, are trying to grapple with right now. Um, 20 years ago when I came in to academia, uh, that’s what I wanted to study was, was the, a supplier relationship. And at the time it was fascinating to talk about collaboration and trust and, and all of these kinds of things, cuz it was different from what had been be before it was new. But what you found over the next 20 years is it rarely, rarely, rarely happened. It was talked a lot about, um, and studies will show is like less than 1% that were truly truly collaborative. Um, and, but what we’re seeing now is exactly what you’re saying. Uh, Scott is, is that they’re really pushing and you’re starting to say see it because they’re now dependent on each other. They have to do that or else they’re not, not gonna survive. And so, um, it, it really that that’s great to hear, uh, you know, one of our students kind of thinking that way. So thanks Megan.

Scott Luton (00:19:40):

I agree with you. Um, and, and you know, we hear a lot about, uh, the customer experience and rightfully so we hearing more thankfully about the employee experience, love that development user inch, you name it, but you know what both Brian and Megan are talking about is we should be perhaps measuring that supplier experience, right? Because mm-hmm, <affirmative>, we’ve gotta protect and invest in those relationships because, you know, Hey, more and more suppliers are trying to focus on smart business and where the relationship is even, uh, maybe evenly, uh, geared is not the right word, but it just works for everybody. So thank you for your comments there. Uh, Dr. Fett, um, all right. So Spencer, um, let’s same question. What’s one thing across global supply chain global business that you’re attracted more than others.

Spencer Ligon (00:20:26):

Well, it’s actually similar to Megan’s on the diversifying suppliers, but I’ve been researching a lot about out just the changes of global production global sourcing. Um, in the, especially in the last couple years where it’s pre it’s shifted from focusing on like China centric of getting all of your goods, that’s where all the global supply chains pretty much start in and now it’s shifting to other Asian countries or you get into the topics of like nearshoring reshoring, uh, or manufacturing jobs coming back, or they just going to additional low cost countries. Um, so I can kind of focus on that, um, get, get updates on where a country, what, what are companies moving to? Uh, I find it really fascinating and constantly evolving,

Scott Luton (00:21:19):

Agreed, um, such a great point. It, it it’s has really been fascinating to see some of the, uh, some of the decisions that do didn’t change. Uh, some of our, uh, some of industries sourcing, um, uh, countries where they get certain things from, and then some of the big changes that have, uh, been made. Uh, I think Turkey, uh, Turkey has set recent records on the apparel productivity, apparel, manufacturing market. And it’s just, it it’s in many ways, the world’s being kind of reset a bit, which is opening doors of opportunities for many folks, entrepreneurs mm-hmm <affirmative>, uh, members of the local workforce. You name it. Uh, so, uh, good stuff there, Spencer, and by the way, I gotta ask Spencer Mandarin, how difficult I, I had a hard time, took Spanish as a second language in high school and in college and I, I struggled with English. So naturally I’m a struggle with any other, uh, language, but how difficult was it learn, uh, Mandarin as a second language?

Spencer Ligon (00:22:14):

Well, I w I wouldn’t say I already have it as a second language. I’m definitely not fluent, but I enjoy learning it. Uh, and personally, I actually find it easier than Spanish, only that Spanish and English are or SIM I have lots of SIM. And so it just gets jumbled up in my mind a bit, but Chinese is as like opposite as you can get, so I can really differentiate the two.

Scott Luton (00:22:39):

All right. So, so maybe I can get some lessons from you, uh, down the road a bit. Um, all right. So, um, so Brian, you know, we, we covered a lot there from technology you to supplier relationships, uh, to diversifying, or you sourcing and procurement, you name it, some of the shifts that have happened, and some of those that haven’t happened, um, Dr. Fett, what, what else stood out to you from what, uh, uh, Spencer just shared?

Brian Fugate (00:23:04):

Yeah, so, so Spencer, um, uh, it, it, this is, this is all coming together kind of across the three students. And what you’ll see is, is we’re in retail world, right. Historically. Um, but what you heard them talk about was very global impact things, both Spencer and Megan, and trying to understand how that’s coming in right. All the way here to Northwest Arkansas. And I know Megan’s going to, you know, she’s going to McDonald’s right. Uh, this summer and, and Spencer going off to Whirlpool, but, but okay. Um, but, but they’re thinking globally, right? And, and then of course you hear an angel talk about technology in, in a, in a really important way. And so, um, I, you know, a lot of fascinating fun opportunities for these guys

Scott Luton (00:23:56):

Agreed. And I was, I was starting to laugh cuz I thought you were about to make a play on how Megan talked about how, you know, she’s only three, three hours or so from Kansas city, the Kansas city, and maybe she was gonna make a weekend run there, but you’re talking about her neck. Uh, I think interning at McDonald’s maybe starting as a team member. Megan, tell us that’s

Brian Fugate (00:24:15):

Yeah, that’s right. So, so let me, let me correct that one. Uh, she’s not going to eat at McDonald’s uh, here, so good point, Scott. Good catch.

Scott Luton (00:24:25):

So what are you gonna be doing for McDonald’s Megan

Megan Formwalt (00:24:29):

Chain with McDonald’s on the procurement side this summer? So I’m not a hundred percent sure if it’ll be the international, the domestic side, but hopefully I’ll find out in about a month or so.

Scott Luton (00:24:40):

That is so, uh, that’s outstanding. Right?

Brian Fugate (00:24:43):

So, so, so Megan, uh, just to expand on this. So, um, I don’t know the, the full story, but what I’ve heard from Dr. Stephanie Thomas is you came in and this was where you wanted to work. This was your passion and, and, and why, why McDonald’s.

Megan Formwalt (00:25:01):

Yeah, so actually my sophomore year, when I was looking for an internship, um, one, there wasn’t a lot of opportunities in general for sophomores to COVID made it even harder. Um, so my options were very limited. Um, so when I was looking, I came across the McDonald’s internship and it just immediately stuck out to me, but I couldn’t apply for it because I wasn’t a junior standing. Um, so I ended up going with a different company. Um, and that whole summer, like I was even telling the people I was working with in the, this is where I wanna intern next year, they would ask me what I wanted to do. I’m like, I wanna go to McDonald’s their program sounds fantastic. It seemed at the time hard to find a lot of good procurement internships here. It was more transportation focused. Um, so yeah, that’s the one I wanted and I knew that wasn’t probably the best mindset going in. My odds were very, very low and I didn’t know anyone there at McDonald’s, but, um, I made it through it. Uh, I had a lot of people supporting me through the process. I didn’t quite have the confidence at the time to like, know I would succeed, but I had a lot of great faculty and peers surrounding me and lifting me up and, and thankfully it all worked out and, and I was able to get the job

Scott Luton (00:26:11):

Awesome. I don’t believe that for a second. I, I see no shortage of confidence in all three of y’all and that that’s one of the coolest things, uh, cause it, it, it relies what, you know, it belies on what you wanna do and it belies your, your passion that you have. So Megan, congrats. That is outstanding. Um, and we gotta, Hey, gotta put you on you with Dow P for procurement. They’re making procurement cool again, uh, it already is, but, uh, check out, uh, Kelly, Barnard Dow, P Spencer. And I wanna talk about just really quick Whirlpool and then angel, what you’re already doing and have been doing at Walmart. Spencer, what’s coming up with you in Wil PR wool, rural pool.

Spencer Ligon (00:26:50):

I struggle with the same thing. <laugh> uh, so I accepted a full-time job in there, global supply chain leadership development program. So it’s a three and a half year rotational. It starts with a, a year in the, in, uh, manufacturing, and then it goes to supply chain and then procurement. So I thought, I thought it was a great opportunity. Uh, I wanted to get more well-rounded in supply chain, kind of get a taste of everything. And then after that, I can spearhead exactly what I wanna do

Scott Luton (00:27:21):

Love it. Uh, I love that. And, and, and especially the manufacturing angle that that’s where I’ve gotten the bulk of my, my time as a practitioner in the manufacturing, uh, industry and supporting it. And, you know, uh, my granddad retired from Kimberly Clark, uh, as a machine operator. I never had the chance because I, I growing up, I don’t know about y’all, but in high school and college manufacturing was not, it was in a big blind spot for me, so I didn’t even stop and kind of ask him what he did day in and day out. And that’s a huge missed opportunity. And one plant tour changed all that. So Spencer really looked forward to seeing what you’re gonna be doing at Whirlpool. I say that a little bit slower and congrats on that as well. All right. So angel, uh, so we’ve got Megan doing big things at McDonald’s Spencer doing thi big things at Whirlpool, both of them coming up soon, but angel you’ve been at Walmart. I think I heard you say since 2015 and, you know, yeah. I think I saw in your background, uh, when it comes to global procurement, you identified a hundred thousand dollars say savings opportunity. Tell us about that.

Angel De La Cruz Calleros (00:28:27):

Yeah. So, uh, this summer I was given the task of finding like high spend, uh, I guess materials or just stuff that basically there’s like cutters and those types of materials that distribution centers use. Right. And so I was given the task of like doing like a really big spend analysis over all of these materials and finding items that were, you know, high spend items and trying to find the value behind them and trying to find, you know, potential savings, uh, through valuable substitutes through these products. And so honestly, I think the number off the top of my head, I think like the total amount that I did, like the spend analysis for was like about $8 million. And so it was tons and tons and tons of like, you know, busy work and going real deep into it, figuring out what exactly it is. And, uh, one of the biggest skills that I’ve learned through my internship was how to manipulate data.

Angel De La Cruz Calleros (00:29:18):

Uh, my manager was really big on it too. It’s not just numbers. It’s not just, you know, making a graph and calling it a day. It’s about telling a story through the numbers, right? Telling a story through the data and, uh, figuring out how we can create value through this information that we get from the data. And so, yeah, I’ve been working over at Walmart since about 2015, started off as a cart pusher, uh, moved into asset protection. Then I went into the, uh, grocery pickup world and was there for a while. Um, and I really love it. I love how they, like, they’re really they’re team oriented, uh, really big on promoting from within, and you even hear it from the CEO MCN about how he started off at the base level and then just moved us all the way up. And so I honestly, I aspire to do do the same and, uh,

Scott Luton (00:30:01):

Uh, no doubts and I, I, I gotta share, I, I, I love that as well. Those companies that promote within we there’s so much talent, whether you, you, you call it the frontline or, or what, wherever there’s so much talent. Um, and you know, we just, we just interviewed the other day, uh, Dr. Fett, uh, ke uh, actually Kelly bar and I interviewed Ramona hood who was now president CEO of FedEx, custom critical. Now Ramona, uh, angel Ramona started, I believe as a, as a 19 year old, uh, I think part-time administrative assistant and she was promoted within because she brought plenty to the table, plenty of value. They saw that they, they recognized it. And she, she became the first black CEO in the history of FedEx, the company at any of their divisions. And lemme tell you, she is a dynamo. Uh, if you ever get a chance to meet her and, and pick her brain, she is incredible. So angel, I got no doubts. In fact, angel, Spencer, and Megan, big things are coming up. Uh, soon. Brian, I’m gonna give you the last word as we kind of were taking up. We’re, we’re breaking out kind of our crystal ball and kind of projecting with the path ahead a little bit, Brian, what’d you hear here?

Brian Fugate (00:31:10):

Yeah. So, so man, I, I, I want to capture this video and show it to our students. Angel, what you just said was about telling the, telling a story with the data is, is, is huge for, for, for our students. We’ve, you know, we teach in our program and at all levels how to download, manipulate, clean, et cetera, data, how to analyze it, run statistics on it. Um, but that’s the next step that we need to be doing and we’re doing it some, but we need to do it better. Um, and, and to, to hear you say that, you know, warms my heart, uh, as a, as a teacher, you know, and, and so thank you for that. You know, I really appreciate that. What, what you’ll see with the three of these is, you know, angel started, what, what was your very first ti job

Angel De La Cruz Calleros (00:32:01):

Heart

Brian Fugate (00:32:02):

Push? If I can ask what

Angel De La Cruz Calleros (00:32:04):

I was a cart, push her over at the store.

Brian Fugate (00:32:07):

Yeah. So I thought, I heard you say that, right. And so you started along that path, Spencer started a very different path going off to a different location, you know, outside of Northwest Arkansas to, to, to Whirlpool and then Megan, right. She’s McDonald’s and then who knows what, where she’s gonna end up and just the diversity of, of career pass and, and backgrounds, uh, and where that’s all headed. Um, you know, it, it, you’re in this Scott, if, if you’re in this world enough, you, you can be really, really optimistic about the future of supply chain, but business and our world. So, yeah. Um, you know, it, it, it’s, it’s really rewarding to hear

Scott Luton (00:32:50):

Well said, and that, that I share that summit with you there, you know, if we go look and there’s lots and lots of good news, and the best absolutely is yet to come, you know, it’s been really cool to see supply the supply chain industry, global industry evolve and, and get better and, and, you know, take its licks too, you know, but we’re gonna be better off and much stronger from learning from one of these last couple years. And certainly with folks like this coming into the industry, uh, with the passion for changing things and making it better for all parties. Uh, I agree with you, Brian. I wish I wish we could bottle that, man. We didn’t have a product. We could sell fly out the shelves more than toilet paper a couple years ago. Huh. Um, right. So

Brian Fugate (00:33:32):

We do,

Scott Luton (00:33:33):

<laugh>,

Brian Fugate (00:33:36):

We’re trying to figure out we just don’t have enough of it. So that’s a good point enough numbers,

Scott Luton (00:33:42):

Great point. Uh, right. So the talent factory isn’t alive and well, all right. So let’s, let’s shift gears a bit. Uh, I wanna talk about we’re talking, we we’ve, we’ve referenced numerous times these last couple years, right? Um, lots of silver linings, but still lots of, of it goes about tons of challenge, right? Uh, for all kinds of folks around the world, but I wanna get to a Eureka moment that each of y’all had and Dr. You’re not gonna get outta answering this question. I’m pose to all four of y’all. So I gonna, uh, let’s go back to, uh, Megan, let’s go with you first here. So when you look back in the last couple years, what’s a key, Eureka moment that you’ve had.

Megan Formwalt (00:34:22):

Yeah. So one thing I’ve been trying to really figure out as I start to go into the real world, so to speak is like, what, what is my passion? What do I really wanna do? And how do I wanna make an impact? Um, and for me, going into supply chain, I always knew there was a gender gap between men and women in supply chain, but I couldn’t really tell you why. Um, and through the last couple years here, it’s really been obvious that it’s a confidence issue. And most women really just don’t have that confidence going into a field like supply chain that has been traditionally male dominated that they have a voice and that they have a spot at the table. Um, and so I, I struggled with that myself, but through the past two years through organizations like women impacting supply chain excellence, I’ve been able to find my voice and I’ve been surrounded with people that have really up uplifted me and have helped me realize that I’m good enough to be here.

Megan Formwalt (00:35:15):

Um, and so what I’m trying to do is take what I’ve learned and keep pushing that on. So I now currently serve as the president of wise. And one thing that we’re, we’re really passionate about is growing that confidence in our, in our younger grade levels, in our seniors, juniors, sophomore, freshmen. So that starting early and earlier, women are finding that they have the ability to be the same, if not better than their male counterparts in the, and the other cool thing that we’ve been able to do is we partnered with JB hunt and women in trucking. And we are able to start reaching out to the girl Scouts of America. And we just did a, um, introduction to supply chain for our girl Scouts and just finding ways like that, um, to kind of show that supply chain is here and it’s not just for men. And that has been definitely the biggest like aha moment for me is that there is a way we can start changing the future.

Scott Luton (00:36:03):

Megan man, that is so awesome. One quick follow up. Uh, if you had one tip, one piece of advice to any of our listeners, regardless where they are in their journey, uh, that, that maybe you’ve benefited from that develop your confidence. What’s one quick tip, you’d offer them.

Megan Formwalt (00:36:21):

So this is like a small thing, but just talk even when you don’t feel comfortable. Um, I think one big thing for women is in a classroom when you’re surrounded by if you’re surrounded by women, girls have no problem talking, they have no problem sharing the answer, but when you’re put into a room with even like one or more, more than one male, suddenly girls don’t wanna talk. So the thing that I have really been taught to kind of start doing is talk, even when I don’t feel like it answer questions, even when I feel uncomfortable. And through that, you can start getting more comfortable, more confident in sharing your answers, and then you can find your voice that way,

Scott Luton (00:36:57):

Megan man, million dollar piece of advice, uh, really appreciate you sharing and, and thanks for your transparency with your journey, uh, that alone is gonna help a bunch of people. So, uh, and I love man talking supply chain with girl Scouts, um, with, with the, the, maybe the next now journey. I don’t know what we call ’em, but, uh, that is so cool to, to help develop and, and make their light bulbs pop like angel said earlier. Okay. Let’s see. We’re talking Eureka moments. Uh, we started with Megan, uh, Spencer let’s come to you next.

Spencer Ligon (00:37:28):

Sure. So it was actually a couple years ago. Uh, pretty much around the time I was getting really into supply chain and, uh, the trade war hit. So this was pre COVID and this was the first big event that was like, I was like, okay, this is, this is what I’m gonna be having to deal with for my career. Like, it’s interesting. Let let’s, let’s try and figure this out. Um, you know, cuz there was those, those products like soybeans, lumber, steel, all that, you know, there’s starting to get some shortages there or more prices, price increases. So I feel like that was a really big Eureka moment where just trying to understand that. And then all of a sudden COVID hit and it was an explosion of completely like massive disruptions. So I, I thought that was a great precursor to just kind of get into it, start to it. And it set me up well for Stu um, continue to study like all the changes,

Scott Luton (00:38:30):

Love that. Uh, and well it’s also painful cause the hits kept, uh, kept coming for a global supply chain and, and unfortunately not to make light, they, they continue to come with what we’re seeing, uh, take place, uh, across Europe now. So, um, but Spencer, I also love what, how you started the, I believe the front end of your answer. You know, I, what I picked up on is, uh, is how utilized to sit down and kind of figured out and, and, and with other folks, right? Uh, whether you’re negotiating, whether you’re problem solving, whether you’re trying to get past many of the obstacles that, um, you know, new and old, that inhibit supply chain teams and organizations from making it happen each and every day, that communication, that willingness to work with all kinds of parties. Just figure out the path ahead. It’s so critical, not just supply chain, uh, which our government might, uh, take a page out of global supply chain. Maybe figure some things out, but nevertheless, um, thank you for that Spencer, uh, angel Eureka moments these last couple years, what’s one comes to mind.

Angel De La Cruz Calleros (00:39:33):

Yeah, I think for me it would definitely be how impactful supply chain is in our day to day lives. Um, and I really just kind of focus in on that during my internship this summer. Uh, just noticing that it’s not just solely on, you know, brick and mortar stores, it’s also in the eCommerce world with, you know, products that you order online used to take maybe like one or two days to get delivered to your house. Now they take one or two months to get delivered. Right. Um, and even it’s not just, you know, like the retailers, like I mentioned, it’s also like, you know, manufacturers, if cars aren’t making enough vehicles, prices on them goes up. Um, and even hospitals, they also have some type of supply chain as well. Right. Uh, they gotta source their materials from somewhere. They gotta source their equipment from somewhere, their medication from somewhere. And they’re humor are the patients that come in and without it, they’re not able to run pro uh, efficiently. So that’s what was kind of my aha moment how like big supply chain is, and it’s not just solely on like the retail world. It’s not just solely on getting a product from point a to point B. It’s just everywhere. And it’s really hard to avoid

Scott Luton (00:40:34):

Angel excellent Senti, that ripple effect, uh, you know, arguably the ripple effect can be, felt the most in supply chain. You know, I know Dr. Fett, you’ve got automotive experience, man. I got a little bit of automotive experience and whatever it takes, avoid those lines, shutdowns, those penalty fees, you know, it’s amazing, uh, the tolerances and the engineering, you know, one’s a little small change and it’s a massive ripple effect upstream or downstream, but, but beyond all that, uh, Dr. Fett, when you, when it comes to Eureka moments, I bet you’ve had no shortage, especially Rob elbows with these folks, uh, and folks like ’em every day, uh, what comes to mind for you.

Brian Fugate (00:41:16):

Yeah. So just, uh, just a quick comment on this ripple effect. Right. And what you’re talking about is the bull whip effect is what, what each of these students have participated in, uh, a beer dis distribution game, no beer, but <laugh>, um, right. And I know you’ve played that and, and we taught that for, I mean, 30 way before I was in the industry. Right. Um, this goes way back to like the seventies, that whole simulation about the ripple effects, little wiggles at the consumer end or at the manufacturer creates massive wiggles upstream. Right. And then we saw it right in front of us happening every, every week, right. Every month. And, and so that gets at, you know, kind of the Eureka moment, obviously, you know, just COVID that, that didn’t go away quickly. Um, and, and the next thing, the next uncertainty. So, um, and then the impact on how the impact on society angel said it, right.

Brian Fugate (00:42:20):

You know, how supply chains impact our lives is, is what I realized, um, in a, in a unique way, maybe. So for 20 years being in this career, we’ve been preaching supply chain and how impactful it is and you’re spending, and you’ve heard the story, right. And you’ve done this, you have to explain to people what supply chain management is, you know, what do you do for a living what’s that, uh, you know, is that really a job and, and those kinds of things, and, and, and teaching students trying to open their eyes to it, and then boom, all of a sudden, everybody, he knows not necessarily in a great way, but they know the importance of it. They know the expansive nature, the integrated nature. So that’s always hard to explain too, that it’s not just being as Dr. David Dover, Kowski says, you know, a, a liquor kicker sticker, right.

Brian Fugate (00:43:12):

Uh, box liquor, kicker sticker. So it’s not just trucking, right. It’s how everything globally impacts. And, and so then where it hits you, impacting students and, and what’s going on in the world is, is how it impacts every everybody’s lives. So both things like ESG, things like what Megan is talking about, the S part of ESG, you know, impacting diversity, impacting, uh, it impacts lives. And so what are we doing? What are we doing taking on that responsibility? What are we doing to impact that environmental and then, and then policy, right? So that, that has come to light. Now you, we go into classrooms and we’re trying to influence at the university of Arkansas across the discipline. And, and others are too, we’re working with other universities on, on both our research, but how we teach, making sure that students understand that connection between supply chain and, and regulations and policies, because our whole career it’s been training them to be managers and to about the business case, which is we still do, but we also have to add on this bigger societal impact. So I’ll stop there. I could talk forever, but, uh, love, love the answers here. Um, and, and I also say, so Megan, you, I think you guys like mapped a girl scout cookie, right. All the way from source to customer. You actually, it wasn’t just a, a, you know, you just made it up. Right. You actually did it, which was really cool. So I don’t know if you wanna talk about that for just a little bit.

Megan Formwalt (00:44:50):

Yeah. It’s sure we had it come up with a lot of different activities for the girl Scouts to do. So we basically took, we had the entire girl scout, cookie supply chain all the way down to like when the girl scout is a part of the supply chain too, they’re delivering it to consumers. We mapped it all out and we made three different ones. One for high school girls obviously can take it on a higher level than let’s say you’re five and six or year olds. So we really, you know, brought that down to a lower level, but it was really fun to see and watch the girls realize like, Hey, I’m actually a part of this. I might not know it yet, but I’m a part of a supply chain. And just getting to see that sort of, um, impact for making on them was really exciting. And they got girl scout supply chain back too, which was awesome.

Scott Luton (00:45:34):

Oh, that that’s really cool. Now, you know, for the thin mint value stream, we gotta add a node and that’s my house here. Uh <laugh> cause we love those thin mints. Uh, but kidding aside. Yes. I love, you know, you know, mapping that out and really helping, uh, even the, the, you know, the girl scout, the children, um, elementary students, middle school students, maybe, maybe even high schoolers, you to see the big picture, um, what a great win there and to get a badge, uh, important in their journey. So thank you for sharing Megan. Uh, all right. So let’s see here. I wanna talk for a second, you know, so Gartner came out, uh, and, uh, you know, per the sign behind angel and behind Spencer. And we’ve seen that the, the sign behind Spencer on sports center and game day college game day for years, it seems like now, but Gardner came out and ranked university of Arkansas, the number one supply chain school in the country. Uh, it’s gotta be what a prestigious, uh, rec, uh, accolade that will would be. Um, so I wanna start with angel and then we’ll go back, uh, across Spencer and Megan, what makes the university of Arkansas in particular, the supply chain management program so special?

Angel De La Cruz Calleros (00:46:48):

I think what makes us so special is that they actually give us real world professionals that have been working in the field for years, uh, to kind of like ex explain all of the concepts to us and lecture us about the concepts and apply it in the real world. So it’s not just busy work that they’re giving us. It’s not just, you know, just content. That’s not gonna be important to us. Um, they actually come in and they’ve been working in there for years, they’re leaders inside of the fields. Currently, even some of them vice presidents, presidents of managing large corporations and telling us about how it impacts their lives and giving us situations that we could apply in the future as well. Um, and our professors also invite other guest speakers into our classrooms to kind of lecture us and are also great leaders inside the supply chain world, uh, to teach us about the concepts we’re learning in class and teach us about the importance of it.

Angel De La Cruz Calleros (00:47:33):

Um, another big thing that makes the university of Arkansas so special is, uh, the supporting cast that we have, uh, there’s tons and tons and tons of opportunities for us to improve ourselves, uh, academically and professionally. Uh, you know, there’s a career center that provides us, uh, the opportunity to Nick pick our resumes and make it the best possible we can. And even our LinkedIn profile pages, uh, because I mean, that’s the way that we market ourselves, that’s our brand. And so it’ll tell us how to improve on that and make that look professional and make it look more appealing to gain more traction a little bit.

Scott Luton (00:48:04):

Wow, man, he shared that was, uh, I, I couldn’t keep up, uh, my, my notes with you there, uh, angel, that’s a lot of good stuff about the university of Arkansas and what, you know, kind of the approach and the benefits, uh, Spencer and Megan, that’s gonna be tough to beat, but, uh, I, uh, Megan, start with you. What, what else would you add to that list? What makes the place so special?

Megan Formwalt (00:48:26):

I’m gonna try not to repeat anything he said, but he covered a lot, but I think, you know, to add on what just said, our faculty, most of them have all worked in industry, which I think is just such an advantage that we have. And on top of that, not only do they have that experience, but everyone in this area, like faculty, industry professionals, they want to give back. And I think that’s, what’s so unique about that area is it seems like everyone here just has a passion to help the next generation become better than they were. So you’ll see, like our faculty, our industry professionals, and even your peers will do everything in their power to help you succeed. Like you don’t have to look to find an internship. Someone will connect you with someone. You don’t have to look to join an organization. Like someone will be there to invite you. You don’t have to do anything on your own, cuz you’re surrounded by all these people that if you just send them an email or say hi, they’re already offering you everything that they can to help you to succeed and reach your goals.

Scott Luton (00:49:21):

Okay. Um, excellent. Megan, uh, Spencer, man, they may have wiped out all of your, uh, answers here, but what would, what would you add?

Spencer Ligon (00:49:29):

Well, I I’d say something a little, but just the plethora of options that you have to get into the supply chain industry, whether it’s, you know, the big fortune 500 companies coming in to campus, you know, looking for supply chain or it’s like the supply chain leadership class I took last semester where we would have the executives come in to chat, talk about their life story and then give pretty much advice on the supply chain industry and how to get into the field, how to be successful. Uh, it, it was just a great, I guess, lots of talking points and opportunities where, you know, it, you have that drive to get into the industry. It’s not gonna be hard to find something that, um, wants you and that you fit perfectly in.

Scott Luton (00:50:21):

All right. Um, so, uh, Dr. Fugett, they painted quite the picture of what goes on at the university of Arkansas and what makes it so special and that, that successful engaging talent factory, uh, that it it’s really become, it’s helping a change industry. That’s gotta make, that’s gotta be like music to your ears to hear, uh, angel, Spencer and Megan talk about you and your team.

Brian Fugate (00:50:46):

Yeah. Yes, no doubt. I think, uh, I’m gonna try to hire them on, in, into development here. Um, you know, they, they really couldn’t have said it better. They, the, you know, it obviously starts with the people. Um, it starts with the people here at the university and, and they’re exactly right. We hire strategically to make sure that our faculty have worked, that are continu, that are the type of, of researchers who stay active in the industry with industry and connect our students to industry in real time. And so that’s, that’s crucial for us. Um, and then they also hit on this, you know, the obvious, uh, regional, uh, advantage that we have with sure, all the major, major companies, the, you know, 1800 suppliers located here. Um, if we we’re one of the largest programs in the country in terms of undergraduate students, and yet we can’t even come close to satisfying the demand just here in Northwest Arkansas.

Brian Fugate (00:51:55):

Um, our students aren’t, they don’t want a job if they don’t have, if they don’t get a job and that, and that’s true. Uh, and, and so we have a, you know, a, a huge advantage of being so closely connected with industry. And we have faculty who, who work on that and we have amazing talent coming in. Um, you know, we’re a, it’s, it’s exciting, you know, we don’t have to do much for the angels and the Spencers and the Megans, you know, they come in here and, and they push us, right. Uh, they get, they have a passion for this space and they push us. Megan’s pushed wise. Uh, she’s a, Anta working with Dr. Stephanie, Thomas Spencer with a SCA. Um, and so they’ve done a great job. I think maybe at the core of all of that is what we’re trying to do that’s differently.

Brian Fugate (00:52:42):

And what we’re continuing to push ourselves on is separating the, the, the traditional educational experience where you came into classroom. You are prepared for this potential future. What we’re trying to do is reduce that gap, that time gap, and they come into the classroom. And then in that classroom, that week, they get put on a project in industry with industry, they apply, they learn, they fill, they learn, they fail, they learn, they fail, right. And they learn. And, and so they’re that much more prepared to hit the ground running. And they hit the ground running like Megan, right, as a sophomore, junior, uh, a senior in internships and those kinds of things. And so that’s what I believe, you know, is, is at the core of, of what we’re trying to do. And, and, and how we’re just, we’re just holding out our hand and saying students here’s a bunch of opportunities take advantage of it. And they do mm-hmm <affirmative> so that’s what we clearly

Scott Luton (00:53:46):

Clearly. All right. So on your, you know, speaking of what you love, uh, before we make sure we go around the horn and, and let our listeners know how they can connect with this incredible panel, uh, Dr. Fett, what, give me one thing that make that, that, uh, speaks to how much you love to inspire, uh, to inform, to engage, but to teach,

Brian Fugate (00:54:11):

Uh, one thing. Um, so the, the first thing that comes to mind is, is if you teach, if you teach students will, and you do a good job, which right. Um, hopefully we do, uh, student will come back five years later and 10 years later. And, and describe the impact you, you had, right? You just, you didn’t create it, but you created an opportunity, like I said, for them to have an impact. And, and they actually listen to you <laugh> I know that, you know, often you’ll get up there and you don’t, you’re not sure they really paying attention <laugh> um, and, and then years later, they’ll say, you know, you said this one thing, uh, that, that I now get, and it impacted me. And, and that makes all the difference, you know, just to be a part of that.

Scott Luton (00:55:02):

Right. Well, I gotta tell you, uh, in those accounting classes and the economics classes, at least, and angel and Megan were talking about, I was not listening in my college career, and I apologize to those professors down the road. It wasn’t clicking with me, uh, that no one trusts me with math around here, but Hey, um, I really it’s all that kidding aside, uh, Dr. Fett, I love that. I can just imagine, I can see that. In fact, I can see it in the future of angel, Spencer, Megan here. Um, you know, mm-hmm, <affirmative>, you, you take during your college experiences, right? You learn kind of what Megan was saying. You kind of stand on the shoulders of so many, and then you, you go big at the industry and then you find a way to, to give back and help others do the same things and kind of paint it forward. So I love how you put that. Uh, Brian, oh, I hate the close the conversation. I feel like there’s so much more here. I know we’re just scratching surface. I’m about to have y’all back as you go and do big things, uh, throughout the rest of the year, but let’s go around the horn, make sure folks are listeners. Uh, hopefully you’ve enjoyed as much as I have can connect with each of our guests here. And I wanna start with Spencer, Spencer, how can folks connect with you?

Spencer Ligon (00:56:11):

Yeah, easiest would be to connect with me on LinkedIn, send me a message. Um, I’m on there a couple times, uh, you know, making updates and, and just seeing what’s happening in the supply chain industry. So that’s easiest for me.

Scott Luton (00:56:26):

All right. And again, uh, folks on our episode page, you’ll see, uh, their bios and some of social links. Here’s one click away from connecting with our panel. Thank you, Spencer. Megan, same question.

Megan Formwalt (00:56:38):

Yeah. Same as Spencer. LinkedIn works best for me as well. Feel free to connect with me and send me a message.

Scott Luton (00:56:43):

Wonderful and angel.

Angel De La Cruz Calleros (00:56:47):

Yeah. Uh, best way to connect with me. Same thing on LinkedIn. And if you guys really wanna gimme a follow on Instagram, you can too. Uh, it is Chocho the rapper. C H a N C H O T H E R a P P E R. But no, I’m not a rapper. I just like chance the rapper and him is Chocho. So

Scott Luton (00:57:05):

I thought you were holding down on us angel, man. I, I was gonna ask you for, uh, thank you for clarifi. Yeah, yeah. I thought you were holding out. Wait. Um, I really appreciate, uh, all three of y’all and, uh, spending some time with us here today, but, uh, before we sign off and thank our guests, um, Brian home run, we’re gonna wrap with you in just a second and, and I’ll, I’ll, I’ll thank our guests and, and we’ll, uh, start to close, but your last comment to our panel before we, uh, we thank them and they go on about their very busy day.

Brian Fugate (00:57:39):

Yeah. So, so thank you again, uh, for what, for the impact that you’ve made, uh, Spencer, Megan, and angel, uh, you really have made an impact on, on not just the, the faculty here, um, but other students. I hear it. Uh, thank you for inspiring those. And, and we’re just excited to see what you’re gonna do. Uh, then lastly, stay in touch. Uh, I know Megan, we got you, um, for a little while longer, but, but there, rest of you stay in touch and, and, and follow Scott, uh, as you go out, you I’m continue to learn well, you’ll, you’ll, you continue, you’ll want, continue to learn. Right. Um, and, and he’s on top of it and, and supply chain now. And so, you know, pay attention to those things and, and they’ll impact your day to day. So you thank you all.

Scott Luton (00:58:28):

Thank you, Dr. Fett. I really appreciate that. And again, it’s such a pleasure to connect with all of y’all. I wanna say a big thanks to, uh, angel de Cruz, CAS, uh, Megan, Fort and Spencer ligan, all the very best y’all. Hopefully we can, we can put our finger back on the pulse of what you’re doing, but thanks for spending time with us here today.

Spencer Ligon (00:58:49):

Thank

Angel De La Cruz Calleros (00:58:49):

You. Thank you. It’s been an honor. Thank you.

Scott Luton (00:58:52):

You

Brian Fugate (00:58:52):

Bet. Awesome.

Scott Luton (00:58:57):

Wow. Uh, Brian home run stuff and, and I was being serious. I’ve been known to bust a beat from time to time. Uh, but, but I’ll, I’ll bring you back on. We talk when we mix me music, uh, adult beverages and supply chain is one heck of an hour. So what we’ll have to, you have to be our guest at one of our, our later live streams there, but kidding aside, holy cow angel and Megan and Spencer, we didn’t cover enough ground in an hour. We could spend six hours and we’d still be, uh, learning from what they’ve, you know, what they’re passionate about, what they wanna do and what they already know.

Brian Fugate (00:59:35):

That’s right. That’s right. And, and so, first of all, I’m not gonna let you get by with, with blowing that, that off. I’m gonna hold you to wrapping. So we’re gonna come back sometime and I’m gonna hear you rap. Let’s do it. You can hear by my accent. I can’t rap. So, uh, but, but no doubt, no doubt. Um, and I I’d be remissed to say that, you know, these are three of, are many, many, many, many, many students, and, and, and you gotta, who are all awesome. I mean, they really are. And so you gotta glimpse into what we get every day. Um, it’s, it’s, you know, it’s why we come into the classroom and, and, and I’ve said it many times during that session, but it, they inspire you. So, and that’s what I hear you saying. And, and its exciting

Scott Luton (01:00:23):

Completely, completely. Um, you know, we, we say this from time to time, but we could just about, if we could have wired them up to the electrical grid, the three of them they’d power, they’d power cities. We’d be, we’d be more sustainable. And some of our municipalities, um, the passion, the, um, the intentional, maybe, um, my makeup words here mm-hmm <affirmative>, but how focused they are on what they see in industry, what they want to do, um, how deliberate they’ve been and just their journeys. I know, um, you know, when I was a senior or a junior in college, I didn’t put nearly the plan that each of those three folks have put in their journey to this point and organizations, whoever they go to work with, um, work for, and whoever works for them, they’re gonna benefit from, from these, these dynamos. So thank you so much for bringing them here today, uh, from the university of Arkansas and, uh, speaking, which as we wrap here, how can folks connect with you, Dr. Good. And, uh, the university of Arkansas.

Brian Fugate (01:01:27):

Yeah. So the, you know, you, I know you’re gonna provide a link, but go to our website, the university of Arkansas Walton college supply chain management department to see all the, all the opportunities, um, and, and how to connect with us, you know, we’ve got undergraduate programs, masters programs, online, face to face, you know, all those different options, uh, for those wanting to connect in as well as industry, uh, partnership, uh, uh, supply chain management research center, where we partner with industries. And so we would love for you to reach out, uh, the easiest way for me directly is LinkedIn. Um, so you’ll, you’ll, that’s, that’s the best way to connect with me.

Scott Luton (01:02:07):

Wonderful. Uh, well, Hey, I had a blast today. Thank you so much. Uh, Dr. Brian Fett for making this possible for bringing, uh, angel, Megan and Spencer to us here today, they’ve got such bright futures. They’re they’re, they’re in a bright present. It’s not just a future. It’s a bright present based on what they’re doing. So big, thanks to you and the university of Arkansas team, uh, to our listeners. Hey, hopefully you enjoyed this conversation as much as we have. This has been a home run a discussion here today. Be sure to check out, be sure to connect with Dr. Fett on LinkedIn. Of course our panel. Be sure to check out the university of Arkansas, whatever you do though. Hey, be like our panel. Be like Brian here. Hey, do good. Get forward and be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see you next time. Right back here on supply chain now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (01:02:58):

Thanks for being a part of our supply chain. Now community check out all of our programming@supplychainnow.com and make sure you subscribe to supply chain. Now anywhere you listen to podcasts and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on supply chain. Now.

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Featured Guests

Brian Fugate, Ph.D. the Chair of the Department of Supply Chain Management and Oren Harris Endowed Chair in Transportation at the University of Arkansas Sam M. Walton College of Business, MIT Fulbright Senior Research Scholar, former Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Supply Chain Management, and co-author of The Blockchain Toolkit: A Supply Chain Manager’s Guide to Understanding and Implementing Blockchain and Operations and Supply Chain Management: Enhancing Competitiveness and Customer Value. Prior to his Ph.D., Dr. Fugate worked in worldwide logistics, supplier development, and industrial engineering in the airline, consumer packaged goods, and automotive industries. Dr. Fugate has received multiple awards for his research, including being listed in the Top 25 for Supply Chain Research Leadership for Publications, and for innovations in teaching and learning, including AACSB’s Innovations That Inspire Award. Connect with Brian on LinkedIn.

Angel De La Cruz Calleros is a first-generation college student from Springdale, AR, who became interested in supply chain during the toilet paper shortage. He is currently majoring in supply chain with a minor in ERP and learning about technology’s future role in supply chain. He has been working at Walmart for six years and has experience in Online pickup and Distribution Center. He interned under Walmart global procurement and identified $100k+ in potential savings through spend analysis. Upon a successful internship, he accepted a full-time role as an analyst for Walmart Global Procurement. Angel also served as a LIFE mentor at Northwest Arkansas Community College to encourage students to pursue post-secondary education. He was also the Keynote Speaker at Walmart’s Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration and gave a DACA Awareness presentation. Connect with Angel on LinkedIn.

Spencer Ligon was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas before attending the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He is currently studying Supply Chain Management with a minor in Mandarin Chinese and is a member of the Walton Honors College. He is also the President of Arkansas Supply Chain Association (ASCA), which is a supply chain student organizations at the University of Arkansas. Spencer has had three internships, with the first two at J.B Hunt Transport both working in the intermodal department, and his third was with Whirlpool Corporation in the supply chain leadership development program. He has recently accepted a full-time role at Whirlpool after graduation in their 3.5-year rotational program for supply chain, with the first rotation being in manufacturing. Connect with Spencer on LinkedIn.

Megan Formwalt is a junior at the University of Arkansas double majoring in supply chain management and economics with a minor in business analytics. She currently serves as the president of the Arkansas chapter of Women Impacting Supply Chain Excellence (WISE). Last summer she worked as a supply chain management intern for the Happy Egg Co. in Rogers, AR and this summer she will be interning in supply chain with McDonald’s in Chicago, IL. Connect with Megan on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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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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