For a long time, all the team at Prologis had to worry about was the classic real estate value driver of location… location… location. Then they started to notice a shift in their customers’ business model that was having an impact on their investment in real estate. Fortunately, their CEO is forward-thinking, and they were able to adjust and start addressing some of the pain-points faced by their large eCommerce customers, including labor and automation.
In this episode of the Supply Chain Real Estate series, William O’Donnell, Managing Partner with Prologis Ventures, and his colleague Todd Lewis, Vice President, talk about the types of investment they make and how they assess the specific needs of each client.
In this episode of the Supply Chain Real Estate Series, guest host Ward Richmond, Executive Vice President at Colliers International, joins Scott Luton to discuss:
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Scott Luton (00:31):
Hey. Hey. Scott Luton and Ward Richmond here with you on Supply Chain Now. Welcome to today’s livestream. Ward, how are we doing?
Ward Richmond (00:39):
We’re doing great. How are you, Scott? Good to be back in the studio. What’s happening?
Scott Luton (00:44):
I know. Hey, big week. Big week. Today, of course the Atlanta Braves kickoff their march, hopefully, to the world series. We’ll see. What do you think?
Ward Richmond (00:52):
Very cool. I’m just, like, rooting for whoever you’re rooting for. I’m just, like, Dallas Cowboys is really the only sports that I pay attention to. And I couldn’t be happier with how we’ve started out the year. So, go, Cowboys.
Scott Luton (01:08):
Well, hey, we’ve got to get you connected with Jada, who’s a member of our production team behind the scenes, a big Cowboys fan. And y’all can swap glory tales about Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and the big years of days gone by.
Ward Richmond (01:25):
They’re the big years of the present moment as well, Scott. Here in Dallas, we’re fired up.
Scott Luton (01:33):
Having a good time. Okay. Wait. On that note, big thanks to Jada and Clay and Amanda, all behind the scenes, including Allie, that’s helping us with today’s production. And today, by the way, Ward, we’re continuing our Supply Chain Real Estate series right here on Supply Chain Now, powered by our friends at Prologis. And I’ll tell you, I’ve gotten about 117 handwritten letters delivered to us here in Georgia about how much folks have enjoyed this series. How about you, Ward?
Ward Richmond (02:00):
Yes. I’ve received closer to a thousand handwritten letters, Scott. It’s just amazing. And I had to hire somebody just to go through all the mail. It’s outrageous.
Scott Luton (02:11):
So, what you’re saying is our Supply Chain Real Estate series has been creating jobs, Ward. That’s something big.
Ward Richmond (02:17):
It’s creating jobs out there. The labor market’s tight, as we know. But in all seriousness, it’s been great. And I’ve learned more than I could’ve ever expected from our partners, Prologis, and the wonderful guests that we’ve had. And I couldn’t be more excited. Today, we’ve talked to a lot of the real estate execs at Prologis, who I really deal with on the day-to-day talking about real estate stuff. And I’m very excited about our guest today, which is a little outside of the real estate spectrum, and excited to get into this.
Scott Luton (02:53):
We are too. I love what Prologis is doing with their ventures group. And that’s going to be really the focus of today’s show. That and, really, tomorrow’s supply chain, perhaps tomorrow’s supply chain today. So, we’re going to hear some of the things that they are seeing and, really, investing in that’s fueling innovation and growth across industry. So, stay tuned for that.
Scott Luton (03:15):
We got to give a quick shoutout. Peter Bolle is back with us. Peter Bolle, all night and all day, is tuned in. He says, “Here for some Supply Chain Now goodness. Happy Friday afternoon all. And Happy Thanksgiving weekend to the Canadian viewers.” I got to tell you, Ward, that wasn’t on my radar.
Ward Richmond (03:33):
Oh, yeah. It is Canadian Thanksgiving. And I should know that because we do a lot of business in Canada. And Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends and clients.
Scott Luton (03:43):
Definitely. Absolutely. And Peter, by the way, I got to put you on the spot. Let us know how the golf game is going. He’s been getting out enjoying some of the weather up in his neck of the woods here lately. Okay.
Scott Luton (03:54):
Well, we’ve got to save as much time as possible for today’s conversation. So, I want to welcome in our two featured guests here today, Will O’Donnell, Managing Partner with Prologis Ventures, and his colleague, Todd Lewis, Vice-President with Prologis Ventures. Hey. Hey. Will and Todd, how are we doing?
William O’Donnell (04:11):
Good. How are you guys today?
Todd Lewis (04:13):
Fantastic. Great to see you both.
Ward Richmond (04:13):
Good to see you guys.
Scott Luton (04:16):
So, did y’all just know that not only are y’all probably creating jobs across global supply chain, you’re creating jobs right here with Ward’s team because we’re getting all y’all’s fan mail.
William O’Donnell (04:28):
Yeah. I heard that. I mean, there’s a couple of things, one, I’m curious why everyone’s sending handwritten notes. There’s this thing called the internet, the email [inaudible]. And I also feel a little bit misled in the situation since I did not realize Ward was a Cowboys fan. I grew up in Philadelphia.
Ward Richmond (04:48):
Oh, gosh. You let him on the show, Scott. You let him on the show.
William O’Donnell (04:48):
Yeah. And [inaudible] I’m a diehard Eagles fan. And there’s a long history between the two. But I promised to let bygones be bygones and we’ll have a good conversation today. But it’s just something we should have probably discussed in the [inaudible].
Ward Richmond (05:07):
We need to go to a game together, but it will need to be in Dallas because, you know, I just –
William O’Donnell (05:14):
I get it. I understand why that’s a reasonable request.
Scott Luton (05:19):
We have real time negotiations playing out right here on Supply Chain Now. And, by the way, Fly, Eagles fly. I think that’s the team motto there or something. Will and Todd, great to have you here today. We enjoyed pre-show talking a little bit of sports, a little bit of food. We talked about exchanging some dad stories. It looks like one of our hobbies for all of us is finding new and creative ways of, not exactly embarrassing our daughters, but having a little bit of fun. Right?
Ward Richmond (05:48):
Scott Luton (05:49):
All right. So, on that note, no one’s sharing stories now. I can’t even talk about some of my car lines story. I’ll save that for another show. But really quick, we want to start by, you know, having our audience get to know y’all both a little bit better. So, Will, I’ll start with you. Tell us a little about yourself.
William O’Donnell (06:08):
Yes. So, as I mentioned earlier, I’m a Philadelphia native. But went to Duke University, played golf for college. Lived in Boston for a little bit, but have actually been in the Bay Area since 1999. I’ve been with AMB, and now Prologis, since 2003, and served a pretty wide variety of roles. I participated in a lot of our international expansion, helped open up India, China, South Korea, and Singapore, and Mexico. I did some capital raising. Helped work on the merger between AMB and Prologis. Afterwards, took over and did workouts on six private equity funds, that were Legacy Prologis Vehicles. And most recently, in the last five years, I’ve really focused on Innovation and Prologis Ventures. So, obviously, getting a little bit more what we’re doing there. But it’s been a very exciting journey. I think when we look back in 2003, even before where industrial estate was, versus now where, one, as Prologis as a company, but, two, just the shift in mentality and the importance that supply chain is now playing across the board. I’ve never been more excited to be part of a company, part of a journey, and really what lies ahead in the future. So, Todd, I’ll turn it over to you and then we’ll jump into the good stuff.
Scott Luton (07:32):
Well, hang on. First off, Will, you’re at the intersection. It’s like a perfect storm of hot, hot aspects of global business. And it’s got to be pretty exciting. I want to share a couple of quick comments. And then, Todd, I’m going to come to you next and we’re going to talk about growing up in Jackson, Michigan, perhaps. So, Peter says that he saved you, Ward, as you wished your clients a Happy Thanksgiving in Canada. So, good job, Peter.
Ward Richmond (07:59):
That’s right. Peter did.
Scott Luton (08:01):
So, Peter says, he’s been killing it. Let’s see here, “Holing out for an Eagle on a par 4 from 124 yards out.” Nice. Nice. We got some fellow Eagles fans, Michael Avera.
Ward Richmond (08:11):
[Inaudible] Eagles fans, actually.
William O’Donnell (08:13):
Yeah. You’re going to see the snowballs come out soon [inaudible].
Scott Luton (08:18):
Faisal, great to see you here via LinkedIn. Faisal, let us know where you’re tuned in from. Allison – who we’ve got to show this afternoon – “Growing up, I was told I could be anything I wanted to be except a Dallas Cowboys fan.”
William O’Donnell (08:31):
These are good people.
Scott Luton (08:33):
All right. So, we’ve got a few other comments we’ll circle back to in a minute. Y’all keep them coming. That’s some of the best stuff. Todd, though, we had an extra minute or two with you pre-show, you grew up in Jackson, Michigan, big time hockey player, all-star. And, of course, biscuits and gravy was one of your favorite meals upbringing. Tell us more about you.
Todd Lewis (08:56):
You know what? That’s it. Biscuits and gravy [inaudible]. Bottom of the mitt. I grew up on a farm. But, no, it was great growing up in Michigan, you know, two months out of the year. It’s a fantastic place [inaudible]. And then, the other ten months you’re kind of like, “Ah. Get me back to the two.” But, you know, it was all for not because I ended up going to school in California, down in San Diego. As a Midwesterner, you know, go into city and go to school, it was fantastic. I met my wife down there.
Todd Lewis (09:23):
And, you know, I think by way of professional background, I’ve been with Prologis Ventures now for a year, almost on the dot. And prior to joining Prologis, I was over at UPS for eight years. And I love the company. I still bleed brown. You know, we joke about it all the time because I’m a former customer of Prologis.
Todd Lewis (09:45):
A quick great story how I ended up joining Prologis. I have known Will and the team since, really, the Ventures group was started. And at UPS, I wore many different hats, but I was always working within the entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem. And in the latter part of my career at UPS, I was leading their UPS Ventures, which we’ve kind of rebranded and stood up as a more innovative model for UPS to adopt new innovation. So, we have tons of synergies between what Will’s team was looking at, what we were looking at UPS, and so we got together all the time.
Todd Lewis (10:19):
And my fame story is I went in to visit Will and team. So, if you know where Prologis headquarters is, it’s in San Francisco, it’s in Pier 1. It’s absolutely breathtaking. It’s fantastic. And I’m parked in the parking lot directly across the street. And I get out of my truck and I feel like I got shot. And I’m like, “Oh, my God. I’m in so much pain.” And I’m rolling around in the ground in the parking lot. I’m in the parking area across the street from this beautiful site. And I’m like, “I don’t know what to do.” So, of course, I call Will. And I’m like, “Will, you got to take me to the hospital.” And he’s like, “What’s going on?” So, anyways, I get hold of these guys. And Earnest Sweat, at the time former Prologis Ventures guy, comes out, drives me to the hospital. I’m in shambles. I was out with the kidney stone. I never had one of my life. Worse than giving birth. The wife sees that she’s getting [inaudible].
William O’Donnell (11:14):
[Inaudible] so much trouble now [inaudible].
Todd Lewis (11:19):
But, anyways, that’s when I knew Prologis was going to be a great fit for me because they saw me at my worst and they still wanted me to join the team. So, I’ve done that. That was it.
Scott Luton (11:28):
You know, I’m not exactly sure where to take the conversation there, because I have so many questions I have around that story, Todd. But it reminds me of one of my favorite sayings during some of these toughest times here in recent months is, “This too shall pass. It may pass like a kidney stone. This too shall pass.”
Scott Luton (11:45):
All right. So, I got a couple other hellos we’ll say. Laimi – if I got that wrong, I apologize. Let me know. We love to get people’s names right – watching from Namibia via LinkedIn. Great to see you here. Ramzi also watching from Lagos via LinkedIn. Great to see here, Ramzi. Eric from Ghana, great to see you here, also via LinkedIn. Quite the international audience here. K. Rod is with us.
Ward Richmond (12:11):
Oh, hey, K. Rod.
Scott Luton (12:12):
How about that? “No trucker hat today,” Ward.
Ward Richmond (12:14):
Scott, do you know K. Rod has moved to Virginia? She’s left though.
Scott Luton (12:17):
Ward Richmond (12:18):
She left Dallas. She got a promotion. And she’s managing five different offices for Colliers now in the Northeast. So, what’s up K. Rod?
Scott Luton (12:26):
Awesome. Congrats on your promotion. And, of course, Nurf is with us. He’s back with us. Here come the comments. I think he’s referring to the Cowboys and the Eagles comments there earlier today. Nurf helps us keep a nice sense of humor throughout these global supply chain conversations.
Scott Luton (12:42):
Okay. So, Will and Todd, let’s get to some of the heavy lifting. Is that right, Ward? We’re going to learn more about their firm, right?
Ward Richmond (12:49):
That’s right. So, let’s start out with Will. Will, I’d love to hear just, like, when Prologis decided to start Prologis Ventures. And thenm dig into the investment strategy and how you guys are bringing value to Prologis as a whole.
William O’Donnell (13:10):
Yeah. So, we launched Prologis Ventures in March 2016. And, really, the conversation was around the fact that real estate has been able to sit in a very privileged position for a number of years where we didn’t really have to worry about disruption. So, the old adage is, what’s real estate is location, location, location. So, you buy a building in a great location and you can sit back and collect rent, and it’s golden. What we started noticing was a couple of things, is that, the underlying business model of our customers was changing and it was having a direct impact on the real estate itself. So, we were the beneficiary of e-commerce. So, there’s a massive tailwind, but that doesn’t mean that that business isn’t going to evolve and shift and have implications. Someone who was – I don’t know – on suburban retail would have a very different opinion on e-commerce and the impact on their real estate. We also, at that time, was when you started seeing the models like an Airbnb emerged or WeWork. Now, for whatever happened, WeWork, it’s still did changed how tenants thought about tenancy.
Scott Luton (14:19):
Right. And by the way, there are some really intriguing documentaries on the WeWork story, Netflix and beyond. But to your point though, still, you can’t deny the model, you can’t deny the impact they’ve had.
William O’Donnell (14:33):
Yeah. But, also, we were at the forefront of realizing, “You know what? Disruption can occur in our industry.” And it’s not like a software where overnight someone’s going to come out with something better and you can be obliterated. But it could be a very long slow draw if we stick our head in the sand and look up ten years from now. And neither has the CEO, is incredibly innovative, incredibly forward-thinking. And I think it’s a lot why we, as a company, are in the position we are because we’re always pushing forward. But the concern here is, we don’t want to be the Luddites. And driving the horse carriage with, like, 15 years from now when EVs are a thing.
William O’Donnell (15:12):
So, there’s an aspect that second data analytics, that real estate has really been an industry that’s brought through intuition and relationships. And that will continue and are important. But if we can figure out how to leverage data to get predictive, rather than looking regressive on data, but how do we predict what’s going to come? How do we leverage our platform and scale to drive value and get insights and new ways? And that was another big aspect when we started five years ago on, like, how do we really think differently?
William O’Donnell (15:42):
There is no playbook for what we were doing in the real estate industry, but there are other industries that are taking components of it. So, let’s look outside our walls and see how do we learn from the financial industry, how do we learn from insurance, how do we learn from our customers, how do we look at what is happening in enterprise software. And take those learnings and apply them to ourselves.
William O’Donnell (16:04):
The other aspect – this was, probably, a year in that we really started focusing on too – was real estate is actually a very odd business when you think about it. No other industry do you spend three months negotiating a contract and then try to ignore that customer for the next seven years. Right? Like, every other industry it’s, “I have a captive customer. How do I bring that customer value in new ways? How do I increase the lifetime value of it? How do I find solutions?” And we, as a company, recognize that we’re actually sitting in a very privileged position that we have almost a billion square feet now. We have relationships with the top players in supply chain logistics, but 80 percent of our customers are actually small, medium businesses. So, if we think about customer centricity in a very different manner, which is actually more consistent how will the rest of the world thinks of it, which is part of the adjacent learnings. But with our customers, how do we leverage our scale and size, figure out new opportunities? So, where are we seeing consistent pain points across our customers, and transportation, and labor, and sustainability? And how do we, as an entity, go out and find solutions for them?
William O’Donnell (17:13):
So, that really gets into one of the major roles of the Prologis Ventures team is, one, can we find disruptive technologies that we, as a company, can use. So, things that help our core business, how we interact, how we drive capital deployment decisions, how we manage our buildings, how we build our buildings. But where we spend a bulk of our time is really on the warehouse operations. So, what goes inside the four walls, sustainability and energy – and we can talk more about some of the things we’re doing there – and then, finally, generally supply chain and logistics. So, for every dollar in rent our customer spend, they spend six on labor. They spend ten on transportation.
William O’Donnell (17:53):
And when you look at transportation example, the inefficiencies occurs. If you ever drive around an industrial park, you’ll just see tractor trailers lined up. And why is that occurring? Is it because there isn’t visibility? Do you need better communications? Is there ways that we, as an owner, can help facilitate and create more seamless transactions between the people inside the warehouse and the trucks? And if we can solve that problem or adding value in new ways. So, a lot of our thesis that are based on how do we go find disruptive technology that can solve those major pain points.
Scott Luton (18:27):
A whole different game. A whole different ball game here what you’re describing, Will. So many questions, so little time. We’ve got some great comments here, but I’m going to wait. Todd, Will kind of painted a very helpful picture there. But, you know, Ward and I are curious, what else would you add to that, Todd?
Ward Richmond (18:45):
Hey, one more question for you, Todd, as you dig into that, what does the team size look like at Prologis Ventures as well?
Todd Lewis (18:52):
Yeah. So, we’re a lean crew, roughly six of us in total. But we have such a broad reach within the company because we leverage just some brilliant minds at Prologis. You know, Prologis in its own right, we only have 1,900 people. And I came from UPS with 450,000 people. So, it’s a different world entirely. But there are absolutely brilliant people at this company, and our team leans into each of those when it comes to subject matter expertise, when we want to go find technology, especially when we think about our customers.
Todd Lewis (19:26):
So then, now, I’m going to pivot into your question around what would I add? Will had touched on it briefly on how customer-centric we are. It’s such a fine point of our thesis when we do go look at investments. We build our strategies predicated on our customer’s largest needs and pain points. And so, in many cases, we’ll work with our customers to define what that means. And that’s such a unique way to invest capital. It’s not this shiny penny approach where you go and you’re out in the world and you’re like, “Oh, that looks really interesting. Let’s go make an investment.” It’s the opposite of that. It’s this extremely tactical way to say, “You tell us what are your biggest concerns of the next five, ten years.” Because by all means, Prologis is the Switzerland of real estate.
Todd Lewis (20:13):
And, again, this is new to me, in that joining a company where we support some of the largest companies on the planet in e-commerce all equally. It gives us a privileged perspective on where the future is headed for what the modern warehouse of the future looks like, what technologies will blend with traditional labor, and new state automation.
Todd Lewis (20:35):
And so, as a very tactical example, one of the things we have done is actually build this automation thesis, you know, using the criteria of our customers to understand what are their largest pain points and how can we leverage technology or bring technology to those partners to help better enable their business. So that the real estate they’re in today is as meaningful and as powerful as it needs to be ten years from now. And I think that’s one of the super exciting things that our team gets to do is have that type of dialogue.
Scott Luton (21:08):
I love that.
William O’Donnell (21:09):
And just to add on a quick point on what Todd was saying, even beyond when we’re talking customers on the automation example. We had customers in different sectors actually share the metrics that they would use to measure success. So, we then can see across five different sectors. Here’s a big customer in each. Here’s what they would look at to adopt automation. And then, when you’re going to talk to a company, it’s, here’s exactly what you need to hit to get adoption with these five customers. So, it really changes the mentality then on higher investing because it’s very clearly defined what the opportunity is. And allows us to be very thoughtful about where we put our capital and the partners that we bring in.
Scott Luton (21:51):
So, one thought comes to my mind, Ward, is, innovation centers became all the rage here in the last decade or so. We’ve got dozens, if not hundreds, of them across Atlanta. But most of them tend to be internal, internally staffed, internal run operations. What I love about this, what I’m hearing here, is, Prologis is going to customers, give me your problems. And then, rather than, you know, only have internal talent try to come up with solutions, they’re making investments with some of the best and brightest outside the four walls as it were. So, this is pretty exciting to hear about.
Scott Luton (22:26):
All right. Ward, I’ll give you a chance to respond. I’m going to share a couple of comments, including some folks that want to speak to Todd about his story earlier. Hey, sense of humor is important around here. But, Ward, what was something you hear?
Ward Richmond (22:39):
I mean, I think that’s all amazing. And there’s so much that you’re talking about doing here, like talking to all the customers about all this. I’m curious, I have friends that are in the VC business and, especially before COVID, it was mind blowing to me. And they live in San Francisco, of course, because that’s just kind of the hub of all of that. But just the flights to New York and everywhere, meeting with all of these entrepreneurs that have these ideas. So, I mean, there are six of you that are really meeting with all of these entrepreneurs out there with these ideas. How many meetings are you taking a week with these folks and how does that qualification process work?
William O’Donnell (23:22):
Yeah. It’s busy, I guess that’s the short answer. I think one of the things that we did very early on is really established a comprehensive network across the different VCs, different technology companies, and even our customers. Because VC is an interesting business. Whereas, in real estate, when I was buying real estate, I would never call up three or four other real estate firms and be like, “Hey, here’s a really great building. Why don’t we all partner and go in and make this a better building together?” It’s, “No, no, no. We’re buying this and we’ll compete for it.”
William O’Donnell (23:55):
VC is the opposite, where, literally, every time you’re looking at a company, you’re like, “Okay. I want my piece, but here’s three or four people that I can bring in who will offer value to this company in unique ways.” So, within that construct, I recognized, here’s where Prologis excels. Here’s what we can bring to the table. Here’s our unique perspective. And because of that, we’re viewed as a really good partner to be brought in the deal. So, I don’t know, my schedule is always in meetings all day long. But it’s exciting.
Scott Luton (24:33):
As we were coming on earlier today, Will, you are closing a big deal minutes before the show, so I bet you do [inaudible].
Ward Richmond (24:39):
Are you traveling again or are you doing a lot –
William O’Donnell (24:41):
Starting to. I would say that one of the benefits of COVID, I think a lot of times now, you realize like I don’t actually need to fly to Chicago to see the PowerPoint. Like, it is really, really valuable to meet people in person and spend time and that can never be replicated. But if you’re going to look at 500 companies a year, let’s spend time on the 30 to 50 that we really want to do versus having to go see PowerPoints for each of them. So, I think we’ve gotten even more efficient of time now and people are understanding of it. It’s like the company themselves, if we aren’t going to be a great fit, it’s not worth their time to host us for a couple hours in a dinner. So, I think it’s made us much more efficient. But I do miss and we’re starting to get back into it, sitting down with someone and actually hearing the story and seeing how they interact, and that human connection is super important. We got away from it for obvious reasons for the last year, but it’s coming back and people are really appreciated again, which is cool. Like, you go out to work dinners now and people are like, “Wow. This is great.” Versus before it was like, “God, this is the fifth one this week.”
Scott Luton (25:50):
They’re all like, “Man, I love it. Hugs.” And everybody’s like, “Well, let’s slow down the hugs.”
William O’Donnell (25:54):
Scott Luton (25:58):
I want to share this from Michael, it says, “It is powerful when you take solutions to your clients based on their operational data. That lets them know you were invested in their success.” Excellent point there. I want to welcome Mervyn. Mervyn, great to have you back via Dublin and via LinkedIn. Great to see you here today. All right.
Scott Luton (26:14):
So, I got to circle back, Todd, I really enjoyed the frontend of this conversation. So, Allison says, “Worse than giving birth. Rest in peace, Todd Lewis.” And then, Nurf says, “Rest in peace.”
Todd Lewis (26:30):
I said, I heard. I heard. It was all hearsay.
Scott Luton (26:35):
Gosh. Hey, you got to have a sense of humor these days. I think we’ve all heard about how – well, you know what? I’m not going to go down that path because [inaudible] moving forward.
William O’Donnell (26:45):
Yeah. Let’s change the subject. I’m not getting into it.
Scott Luton (26:47):
Right. Well, hey, so what I want to do next – and I appreciate y’all sharing more about what the organization does, what the approach is, what the value is. Just in talking with y’all, holy cow – Todd, you were talking about kind of some things you’d done to transform how UPS did it earlier. Man, your math abilities must be several pay grades above mine. You know, I have a hard enough time with public math. Y’all heard that phrase public math? We don’t do math in public around these parts. But let’s talk about, to give some more context to some of the business models that you’re investing in. And, you know, some of the ways they’re solving problems and driving innovation. And, Will, I want to start with you, and then we’re going to circle back and get Todd’s commentary as well. So, Will, what do some of those investments look like?
William O’Donnell (27:39):
Yeah. I would say, we’re very thesis-driven. So, we talked a little bit about areas of focus. I’ll give an example of a couple areas that we spend time. One is labor. So, if you go ask our customers right now, their biggest pain points, it’s labor, labor, labor. So, within that, there’s four key components of it, recruitment, retention, training, and safety. And each of them, we have the potential to offer solutions in them. So, we’ve invested in a company called WorkStep, which is a database of warehouse workers that people can actively use to recruit talent. On that, they’ve actually built a retention platform that allows people to get actual insights into what’s keeping employees at a company or reasons why they’re leaving, but really getting to the root cause.
William O’Donnell (28:28):
And the common thing, for example, in warehouses, where someone took a job because they got $0.15 or $0.25 more from a warehouse across the street. When you actually look at the data, it matters your warehouse who walks around and says, “Hey, Ward. Hey, Scott. Hey, Todd. How are you doing today?” versus someone who just sits in the office. There’s a clear difference in retention. So, the fact that, okay, the pay is impact, but there are other aspects that actually influence retention and understanding that.
William O’Donnell (28:54):
Another example of a company we invested in is Kinetic, which does wearable devices for workers. So, if I’m doing an unsafe movement, I’m bending over improperly, they’ll give me a haptic ping. And so, I understand like, “Okay. I’m putting my body at risk and putting myself in an unsafe environment.” It trains workers to be able to better use and avoid workplace injuries. We’ve made an investment in a company called Strivr that does virtual training for warehouse workers. So, these are different ways we’re thinking about it.
William O’Donnell (29:26):
On top of it, we, as a company, incubate businesses too. So, I’ll talk a little bit later about something we’re doing with EV that’s really exciting. But on worker training, we actually launched two years ago, maybe a little bit longer, something we call Community Workforce Initiative. And every time we build a building, we actually self-impose a tax and we take that money and reinvest in the local communities for worker training. So, we’ve worked with a number of local organizations, NGOs, nonprofits that can help provide training resources for the workforce in areas that we are participants. Our goal is by 2025 to have trained 25,000 workers.
Scott Luton (30:09):
Wow. Okay. So, a lot of the common themes, those examples there, safety, and training, investing in the workforce, as you put it, labor is top of mind it seems like for everybody right now. And not just here in the States. So, Todd, what else would you add? Those are some pretty powerful examples. In particular, I like how you also look to invest beyond those businesses. You look to invest in the communities they’re plugged into. That’s got a great do good, give forward vibe to it. Todd, what else would you add about some of the investments you are making and some of the problems and innovation that they’re addressing?
Todd Lewis (30:44):
Sure. Well, before I jump too far, a fun story, Kinetic was the first startup that I was ever able to get a commercial agreement when I was at UPS. So, prior to even joining Prologis, prior to knowing that Prologis had invested in Kinetic, we had been working with Haytham and that team to help bring kind of this digital safety approach to our operations at UPS. Which I thought was fascinating, like it came full circle because then I joined the Prologis team and had a chance to go have drinks with Haytham. And it was just a great story.
Todd Lewis (31:20):
But, anyways, it kind of taught me the power of how these small, innovative companies, the impact it can have on thought leadership at these Fortune 50 companies. So, it was kind of the starting point for me to really, really take off and start a plan. I would say from Prologis Ventures, the other area, a couple of other companies that we’ve invested in, they’re just absolutely fantastic. Outrider is one that stands out to me as one that is extremely transformative.
Todd Lewis (31:51):
Will gave an example earlier, you’ll drive by a facility and you’ll see just lines of trucks just waiting to get in. And part of this is, when you try to think of what the yard looks like, what’s the yard of the future mean, and what technologies will enable our customers to understand where their assets are in those parking lots and in that yard. Well, Outrider, they’re an automation company, that’s brought automation or an autonomous vehicle to moving trailers around within your yard. And being able to actually act as the jockey in backing trailers up and making sure that the doors are loaded with the right trailers. And that you can actually autonomously move and position your goods within the yard.
Todd Lewis (32:36):
And I’ll go to your initial question which is around the business case around that. Well, when you think about labor and you also think about what’s happening inside the four walls, so you have these challenges of distributing labor to unload these trailers as fast as possible. But you also have a challenge of making sure you have to have labor outside that’s making sure that those trailers are in the right spot at the right time and it’s the right goods. So, it just can’t be any trailer that you’re just pulling up to an open dock. And Outrider is a fantastic example of how the world is starting to see or how it can capture and lean into automation to empower more streamlined efficiencies inside the four walls. So, that’s an interesting company. They’re outstanding. They’re going to do great things.
Todd Lewis (33:25):
Another great company along the same lines is Baton. And Baton has tackled this use case where if you think about long haul trucking and you look at it from an efficiency standpoint, just purely efficiency, the frontend and the backend of that trip are highly inefficient. So, the last three miles and the first three miles are extremely inefficient from the driver’s perspective. And these drivers are gold, and I mean that through and through.
Scott Luton (33:57):
Right. The salt of the earth.
Todd Lewis (33:58):
Yeah. Absolutely. And their time is so valuable because they are now mandated for how many hours of service they can have in a given day and in a given week. And so, every minute lost in dwell time or however they’re losing those minutes is precious to the customers that are reliant on that cargo. So, Baton operates these drop lots that will allow drivers to operate on a point to point. So, they completely trim those tails and they’ll allow you to drop trailers and hook trailers in the same lot instantly. And then, they can digitally coordinate when the door is ready, you know, when it’s open for delivery. They’ll coordinate with a local service to get those trailers to and from the dock door.
Todd Lewis (34:52):
And, again, it’s a game changer in the sense of when you think of the broad swath of where transportation is headed and how we’re starting to see efficiencies take place or where the opportunities lie, Baton is fantastic and they’re tackling that use case. It also collides with all things autonomous vehicles, which I’m a huge fan of, and a lot of investment in [inaudible] while I was at UPS.
Scott Luton (35:13):
I love it. I love it, Todd. You know, going back to the trucker for a second, Ward, you and I had a pretty eye opening interview with –
Ward Richmond (35:20):
I was thinking about that.
Scott Luton (35:22):
– a current truck driver, Kellylynn, and her last name escapes me for a second.
Ward Richmond (35:27):
Scott Luton (35:28):
Yes. Thank you.
Ward Richmond (35:28):
Kellylynn McLaughlin, she’s at Schneider. She’s a truck driver there. So, our last podcast Scott and I did, she was our guest.
William O’Donnell (35:36):
Scott Luton (35:36):
And she actually said, Will and Todd, a rhetorical question, you know, because of all the feedback she gets, some of the pressures not to drive, and not to drive for a living, she came out and said, “When did truck driving make drivers second class citizens because of how they’re treated?” So, you got to love our truck drivers. Amanda Clay, or Jada, if we could drop that episode in the comments, that’d be great. Kellylynn, to your point, Todd, she’s gold and just salt to the earth.
William O’Donnell (36:07):
Schneider is a partner of ours in one of our portfolio companies called Platform Science. I mean, it’s amazing how forward thinking that company is. But, really, the core is the driver and making sure that they have a good experience. I mean, as we’ve seen the last couple years, they’re so crucial in the underpinnings of our supply chain. And the fact that it’s viewed as second class is actually detrimental to all of us because without them, I can’t get anything delivered at home. Like, can you see what’s happening at the ports right now? The truck drivers are an essential part of it.
Scott Luton (36:44):
Agreed. Will, great point. All right. So, Ward, any comment based on what Will and Todd has shared on some of these great investments and some of the meaningful innovation? Innovation has become one of those cliche. I think a lot of times, a lot of folks think of ideation. But what I’m hearing with Will and Todd, this is action, bottom line driving industry change. And in some cases we’re just getting started. What Todd was talking about earlier, the impact is going to be only get greater in the months ahead. But, Ward, I know we want to talk about trends, but any comments on your end before you ask –
Ward Richmond (37:22):
No. I think that you’re just hitting the nail on the head. And we didn’t really talk about it earlier, what I do with Colliers is represent tenants. So, I think in the heart of my job is to understand what the tenants want as well, which is what I think Prologis is really good at doing. And we’re very aligned from that angle. And that’s the number one thing – or I guess the top two things are labor and transportation. It’s having the right labor and it’s moving freight as fast and efficiently as possible. So, that’s what you guys are talking about here. So, what’s on the horizon? And, also, on our last Prologis episode that we did, Stephen Hussain was on, who talks very highly of the Prologis [inaudible].
William O’Donnell (38:18):
[Inaudible] that I referenced earlier.
Ward Richmond (38:18):
Yes. So, I know that you guys, like, work closely with him. And we’re developing and building in Dallas right now with another one of my clients, it’s with a 3PL client. And we’re trying to really look into the green initiatives. We’re trying to be as forward thinking as possible. But the next topic I’d like to discuss – I’ll let you start, Will – is what’s on the horizon? There’s no doubt green initiatives are on the horizon. And you guys are doing that. I think in your base buildings and a lot of cases, and Steven’s really educated me on that, but I’d love to dig into that. And then, also, just like what else you’re seeing on the horizon outside of what we’ve already discussed.
William O’Donnell (39:01):
Yeah. And I’ll do a very brief segue just to talk on Scott’s comment on innovation earlier and then bring it back to exactly what you suggested. I think innovation has become a buzzword. The way we’ve always thought about it is, innovation occurs when constraints are removed and white space opens up. And if you think about why machine learning is valuable, suddenly you can process data and make decisions faster than everywhere before.
William O’Donnell (39:29):
So, Uber had two constraints. One, that trust to get into a car, and they figured out how to do that. And second, how do you suddenly process where all these vehicles are. And by removing those constraints, suddenly a way to disrupt taxis opened up. So, if you think of all our businesses, there are some constraints, there are laws of physics that you can’t fix. But most constraints in life are self-imposed or technology can help address over time.
William O’Donnell (39:57):
So, a lot of this stuff can be continual improvement on how do we just optimize. And we, as a company, have done a ton of things around Kaizens and looking Kaizens and looking at our leasing processes. Our capital deployment and creating efficiencies there. And then, a portion of the time is spending a lot of more transformational ideas. So, an area that we’re really excited around, and you were alluding to, was sustainability. And within that, we are the third largest operator of rooftop solar in the world. And less than 2 percent of our roofs are actually covered by solar right now. So, there is a massive opportunity as you get moved to a more decentralized electric grid. So, centralized electric grid is what we traditionally have with PowerPoints. Solar, which is on a bunch of rooftops, is a decentralized network. Within that, you get battery storage.
William O’Donnell (40:53):
Where we are really excited also is electric vehicles. So, we have Amazon, for example, has publicly announced, they’ve ordered a hundred thousand Rivian trucks. Todd, when he was at UPS, led an investment in a company called Arrive. And I can’t remember what the order was, but it was a massive order. Across our customer base, everyone is really focusing on how to get to a carbon neutral supply chain. And these vehicles are going to be coming off the line in the next couple of years, and none of the infrastructure exists today to actually charge these vehicles. I think 200 billion was spent last year by trucks on molecules or traditional diesel fuel. That is going to going to be completely up in the air as these fleets transition, what infrastructure, and now it’s going to be electrons instead of molecules, how’s that actually could be provided. So, when we take a step back and look and say, “All right. With a billion square feet where these vehicles likely will be charged as a component, the fact that we have a billion square feet of roofs that we can put solar on to actually produce the energy, there is a massive opportunity for us to really be at the forefront in helping our customers shift to this transition.”
William O’Donnell (42:18):
So, we’ve recently hired an individual, Henry Collins, who was at Shell for 18 years, to come in and lead our Global EV Infrastructure Mobility Practice. And this is going to be creating turnkey solutions for our customers with the right ecosystem of partners, whether it’s hardware, software providers, utilities, and then the manufacturers themselves to be able to accelerate this adoption. And for us, when you look at the business opportunity, it’s massive. But even the societal benefits that we can help bring by pushing forward a change that companies are really excited about and are putting a lot of effort behind. But we can be a great partner to facilitate that happening faster, more streamlined in a more effective way.
William O’Donnell (43:06):
And I mean, we talked earlier about our kids, right? If I can actually contribute and make the world a better place for my two daughters, that’s something I actually get excited [inaudible] energized, right?
Scott Luton (43:15):
Yeah. No doubt. Name of the game. All right. So, Ward, you’re asking about what’s next. What’s next? Will painted quite a picture. Todd, what would you add?
Todd Lewis (43:27):
Well, dealer’s choice, gentlemen. I can talk vehicles or I can talk warehouse automation.
William O’Donnell (43:35):
Do warehouse automation.
Scott Luton (43:36):
What are you most excited about?
Todd Lewis (43:36):
Let’s go warehouse operations. When you think of the combination of, you know, workflow automation and traditional labor, because they are are tied together at this point. So, there’s two types of automation. There’s the structured version of automation, which a big belt system, so your UPS’s and Amazon’s of the world. When you look inside, when you peek under the hood of some of their largest facilities, miles of belts that move millions of packages.
Ward Richmond (44:09):
Todd Lewis (44:12):
You got it. [Inaudible].
Scott Luton (44:15):
Wait a second, Todd. Hang on a sec. We just got world-class sound effects there provided by Ward Richmond. How did that go, Ward?
Ward Richmond (44:22):
William O’Donnell (44:23):
Was that in Police Academy? Remember that dude in Police Academy back in the day? The sound effects. It’s like Ward –
Scott Luton (44:31):
[Inaudible]. A second career for Ward at the improv. You can catch into Saturday night, folks. All right. So, Todd, I just have a good time [inaudible]. Perfect humor. All right. So, Todd, you’re painting a picture of these massive fulfillment distribution centers, all these miles and millions of miles of conveyor belts. So, pick it back up from there.
Todd Lewis (44:49):
So, it’s a highly structured world. And the more structured automation is extremely efficient. It’s designed to move those million packages a day. And the opposite of structured automation would be this more flexible approach, where you think of autonomous forklift company. So, we have an investment in a company named Gideon Brothers, and they’re out of Croatia. It was one of the most brilliant companies on the planet when it comes to machine learning and robotics. And what they’re solving for is the ability to load and unload trailers with autonomous forklifts.
Todd Lewis (45:27):
So, at UPS alone, that was a multi-billion dollar problem. And if you think across our customer base, when we look at the problem sets that they face over the next five to ten years, well, every single one of our buildings has dock doors. And they all have trailers that need to be loaded and unloaded. And so, this is a synonymous use case across all of our partners. And that was one key category that we wanted to invest in.
Todd Lewis (45:53):
And so, when I think of what’s next, I think of a world where the future state of warehouse operations is this combination of highly flexible automation and a traditional workforce. And that traditional workforce, they’re not being displaced per se. They’re being up-skilled to where now you’re in a control tower and you’re managing and coordinating maybe 10, 12, 20 different types of robotic automation or system automations to create a more efficient facility. Something that can now produce maybe 20 to 30 times, you know, the efficiency and the power of what that same footprint could do before. And I think that’s an incredibly attractive target for many of our small to medium business partners that are looking to get the most out of their operations and the most out of their people.
Todd Lewis (46:45):
Forklift automation is one category. A category might be, you know, put away in storage. A fantastic example that we’ve also invested in would be a company named Locus Robotics. And Locus does kind of the pick the goods type fulfillment movement. So, they’re helping traditional labor manage a massive footprint of fulfillment orders. So, there’s a bunch of different categories that are starting to emerge and the ability to stitch those companies together so that they can work operated and orchestrated by a single person, I think that’s an exciting future because it’s led by you and I. You know, I’m not PhD roboticists, yet if I could walk into a facility and pull out a tablet and just drag and drop what I want to happen, and click go, and have automation assist me in my task, I think that’s a wildly attractive outcome for our customers in their futures.
Scott Luton (47:51):
Sign me up, Todd. Sign me up. It’s creating a whole new art of the possible, and I agree with you. And you know what? For all the incredible people that make up the global workforce is creating new opportunities for them, new opportunities, more compensation, more fulfilling careers, new skills learned, and then some.
William O’Donnell (48:12):
And, also, Scott, on that, it creates a safer environment. So, like in a traditional pick and pack environment, someone used to have to walk 9 to 12 miles a day. With something like Locus, that individual can stay in a smaller and the robot comes to them. And so, you’re having less wear and tear on the body and you’re making the person more efficient.
William O’Donnell (48:32):
The other area that we’re really excited about is, really, the future of commerce. And that would be, as a company, Prologis has been very, very active by an urban infill real estate for last mile distribution. The business model behind that is rapidly evolving. So, how do you think about new distribution delivery methods, whether it’s drones, whether it’s automated vehicles, inventory management, and placement. So, if I’m going to get same day or next day delivery, they have to predict that I’m going to buy something and put it in a location close to me.
William O’Donnell (49:05):
And then, think about the flow through, through the entire supply chain, how do I have that inventory in the right place at the right time in a systematic way? And we’re all seeing – not a little – a lot of the pressures on supply chain right now with the trucks waiting outside Port of LA, the delays, you walk into target or retail or the grocery store and they don’t have as much on the shelves right now. That is a really, really interesting area that we’re digging in, is, how do you enable the flow of commerce? How do you enable e-commerce? But, really, the inventory management, the visibility, and the connectivity between all these different players.
Scott Luton (49:45):
I love it. And so does Peter Bolle. He says, “Use a Scottism -” I didn’t know that was such a thing “- great stuff here.” It is great stuff. And Peter is also getting out. He’s departing early, hitting the link. So, Peter, hit him good. All right.
Scott Luton (50:00)
And by the way, Will, you had a call out there and our world-class research team, that was Michael Winslow was the sound guy from Police Academy. The pride of Spokane, Washington, Michael Winslow.
William O’Donnell (50:16):
That guy was awesome.
Scott Luton (50:16):
All right. So, y’all got us excited. You got us excited about the future commerce, the future supply chain. Again, I love Prologis’s approach at innovating in a way that it’s, “Customers, tell us what you’re struggling with.” And then, going out there, outside the four walls, to make it happen with some of the best in industry. It’s a very unique model. And, Ward, I tell you, I wish I could do some of this. Ward, based on what some of what Will and Todd has shared here today, what’s some of your final thoughts?
Ward Richmond (50:52):
Oh, I’m just so thankful to have you guys with us here today. And I hope to stay in touch and let’s keep moving forward and making life better for all of our customers, and the supply chain. And then, hopefully, improving the sustainability for the future for our kids out there, because it’s a real thing. And all of these warehouses getting built are going to have to do something because it can’t just keep continuing the way that things have been getting done in the past. It’s just not feasible. So, I’m really thankful to have guys like you here in this world doing what you’re doing, because it’s absolutely necessary. So, many thanks.
Scott Luton (51:39):
I echo what Ward just said there, especially the important stuff about challenging and changing the status quo, because that’s not what’s going to get us to tackle some of these really important goals. By the way, Jennifer, one of y’all’s colleagues with Prologis – thanks for all of your facilitation, Jennifer. Coming up on October 27th, we got thought leadership events that’s going to be streamed globally. Folks, y’all can join there if you click on that link in the comments in the sky box. Thanks so much, Jennifer.
William O’Donnell (52:05):
Quickly, that would be a cool event. [Inaudible] going to be interviewing the CEO of UPS. We have the woman who actually we’re partnering with on the workforce training and initiative. We’re going to have a panel on sustainability. And then, I’m going to be on a panel with transportation. So, really exciting event. It’s going to be really about changing, innovation, and thought leadership.
Scott Luton (52:28):
Love it. Will, is that The Carol Tomé is going to be there?
William O’Donnell (52:33):
It is The Carol Tomé.
Scott Luton (52:34):
Man, one of the best interviews. Talk about moving the industry forward.
William O’Donnell (52:40):
She’s a force. I’m really looking forward to this one, so this will be good.
Scott Luton (52:45):
A dynamo. Okay. So, Will and Todd, we don’t have enough time. We need to bolt on a few more hours. I love by the way, clearly, y’all are enjoying what you’re doing, and there’s a great camaraderie between you. We’ll have to get all six of y’all in a room at some point soon. But in the meantime, beyond checking out that October 27th event, again, folks, the link is in the comments. We’ll add it to the show notes of the podcast replay. Will, how can folks connect with you?
William O’Donnell (53:13):
Yeah. You had asked me this question earlier, and you said people would sometimes struggle with it. I was confused, people are like, “You could fax me or something.” So, LinkedIn is obviously an easy way. Prologis Ventures has a website. Just there’s this thing called Google, type in Prologis Ventures and we’ll pop up. And then, my email address is wodonnell – without the apostrophe in the email – @prologis.com. And with this stuff, we actually love to chat with people, love to hear ideas. And we’re always curious to learn more. So, Todd?
Scott Luton (53:43):
Todd, how can folks track you down?
Todd Lewis (53:45):
Well, carrier pigeon and LinkedIn, both are phenomenal methods. But no, feel free, please tag me on LinkedIn. I love to connect and chat all things supply chain. And then, equally, head on out to our Prologis Ventures website, and there’s a nice way to connect with us there. But it’s been fantastic. Scott and Ward, thank you for having us on.
Ward Richmond (54:08):
William O’Donnell (54:08):
On the website, you can see the full list of the investments we’ve made and there’s little briefings behind all of it. So, good resource.
Scott Luton (54:17):
Wonderful. Well, big thanks to you both. I appreciate all three of y’all letting me hang out without any facial hair. It’s nice to be included in these cool conversations. Hey, Will O’Donnell and Todd Lewis with Prologis Ventures, homerun stuff. We’ll have to get an update on how the end of the year goes with you both. We really appreciate Prologis’s commitment to, not only address the current state, but building a much brighter future for commerce, supply chain, and a whole lot more. Big thanks, Will and Todd. Thanks so much.
William O’Donnell (54:45):
Thank you guys for having us [inaudible].
Ward Richmond (54:46):
William O’Donnell (00:54:47):
It was awesome. A lot of fun. And we’ll get together for that Dallas game – oh, Eagles game [inaudible].
Scott Luton (54:56):
Y’all have a great weekend.
Ward Richmond (54:56):
Scott Luton (54:57):
Man, that is quite the dynamic duo. And, man, you see Todd? Well, both of them had tons of passion. But, man, when Todd started talking about innovation and so much things, his eyes just lit up. I love that. All right. So, Ward, what was some of your favorite parts of the last hour or so?
Ward Richmond (55:15):
Well, I mean the passion that’s there is just so evident in both of those guys. And Prologis is lucky to have them both. And I loved hearing about everything that’s going on. I mean, a lot of it’s way above my pay grade. I love talking about, like, learning about all of this stuff that’s going on out there that I’ve never even heard about. And I know that labor is a problem and transportation is a problem, but then when I hear about these solutions that are getting done behind the scenes out there, it’s really fascinating.
Scott Luton (55:50):
Agreed. Agreed. I appreciate your good work in facilitating these conversations. I think of this season, as it were of the Supply Chain Real Estate series, I think this is Season 3. This was the third installment. And we’ve gotten a lot of great feedback on these conversations with various members of the Prologis team. But, hey, let’s make sure folks know how to connect with Ward Richmond.
Ward Richmond (56:14):
Yes, sir. LinkedIn is a great way to connect with me, so you can always just search Ward Richmond on LinkedIn. So, hit me up there, I love to connect. And I’m almost at 10,000 followers. I just realized I’m just like a couple hundred away, so let me get there before the end of the year. And then, I have also got my blog, supplychainrealestate.com. And, of course, I’m with Colliers International, so you can go find me there as well. So, thanks, Scott, for organizing all of this with your great company and letting me be a part of it. As always, it’s just such a pleasure, my man.
Scott Luton (56:55):
Well, I appreciate the passion you bring to the table. Hey, folks, all the comments, thanks for tuning in. Again, we love a good sense of humor around here. And that was certainly one of my favorite parts between you, and Todd, and Will. It’s stressful some of these days are, and laughter is perhaps the best medicine. But what a great story, one of innovation and business and opportunities for all, including the founders of some of these companies, the teams of some of these companies, but also the global workforce.
Scott Luton (57:26):
So, on behalf of Ward Richmond, on behalf of our entire team, Amanda and Clay and Allie and Jada, all behind the scenes, this is Scott Luton signing off for now. Hey, folks, do a good, give forward, 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.
Ward Richmond (00:57:41):
Thanks for being a part of our Supply Chain Now community. Check out all of our programming at 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.
William O’Donnell leads Prologis Ventures, the venture capital, innovation and corporate development arm of Prologis. With over 22 years of experience in both real estate and technology, he heads efforts to invest in cutting-edge technology for supply-chain logistics and real estate. Will joined legacy AMB in 2003 and established a successful track record of building and acquiring investment platforms and companies globally. He has led some of the company’s more complicated transactions, including the restructuring of six of Prologis’ private equity funds representing more than $4.5 billion in assets; privatization of G. Acción; establishment of two strategic capital vehicles; and AMB Property Corporation’s investments and ventures in India, China, Mexico, Singapore and Korea. Will brings private equity fund management expertise including capital raising, joint venture negotiation, asset management, workouts, and debt structuring, as well as acquisition and development experience throughout Asia, Europe and North America. Connect with Will on LinkedIn.
Todd Lewis joined Prologis in October 2020 and is Vice President of Prologis Ventures. He has over 8 years of experience working with entrepreneurs and the greater innovation ecosystem. During this time Todd worked across a broad spectrum of technologies supporting the Supply Chain Logistics space, including autonomous vehicles, robotic automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, aerial drones, as well as SaaS related growth technologies focused on driving digital efficiencies and ecommerce growth. Prior to joining Prologis, he created a new division at UPS focused solely on the venture capital ecosystem and was tasked with rethinking and relaunching their 23 year-old early stage venture arm, UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund, into a modern, robust, capability-driven investment arm, now known as UPS Ventures. Todd has a background in financial management and worked as a financial consultant in the higher education space prior to joining UPS. He received his Bachelor’s from San Diego State University, his Master of Business Administration from National University, and finalized an executive learning program from Berkeley Haas, School of Business on Venture Capital. He is married and has two daughters, who enjoy traveling and playing at the beach. Connect with Todd on LinkedIn.
Ward Richmond is an Executive Vice President and shareholder at Colliers International (NASDAQ: CIGI). His team within Colliers specializes in working with C-level executives and operational specialists to develop and execute corporate real estate strategies on a local and global basis in an effort to maximize operational efficiencies and value. Ward’s primary focus is representing dominant logistics companies in the acquisition and disposition of “supply chain real estate”: distribution centers, truck terminals, last mile hubs, manufacturing facilities and industrial land. With over 12 years of experience, Ward has developed an unparalleled understanding of Supply Chain Real Estate strategy via negotiating 500+ transactions, globally, in 50+ cities while generating millions in value for his customers. Ward enjoys reading, writing and speaking about eCommerce and the logistics industry. He’s been featured on podcasts like the GaryVee Audio Experience and interviewed by multiple publications including The Wall Street Journal. Ward has also been a featured speaker at multiple real estate and logistics conferences around the globe. Ward currently serves on the steering committee for the Colliers International Logistics & Transportation Solutions Group and is an active member of IWLA, IAMC, and the semi-legendary, Texas Warehouse Association. Be sure to check out Ward’s blog at: www.SupplyChainRealEstate.com and learn more about Colliers International here: https://www2.colliers.com/en
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.