Supply Chain Now
Episode 768

So for me, I don't see education as just having degrees and all that. I think education goes beyond having degrees. There's so much to learn, and there's learning by experience. There's travel experience. [...] I think the main thing is being able to bring solutions to the problems that we face. And if people have the experience to do it, why not? Why wouldn't we take them?

-Ramatu Abdulkadir

Episode Summary

Fresh off the third African conference on operations and supply chain management in Kigali, Rwanda, the Supply Chain Maestro is back to catch us up on the latest in medical supply chain research – and much more. Co-hosts Scott Luton and Jenny Froome sit down with PhD student and supply chain expert Ramatu Abdulkadir to discuss top supply chain challenges facing the African continent, including food logistics, the rising cost of transportation, and electoral logistics, as well as changing attitudes toward professional experience in the field. As we look to overcome vaccine hesitancy and misinformation, the question remains: given all the challenges, does supply chain management still present an attractive career option? Hear what Scott, Jenny and Ramatu think when you tune in to this thoughtful discussion.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

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

Scott Luton (00:32):

Hey, good morning, everybody. Scott Luton and special guest host, Jenny Froome with you right here on supply chain. Now, welcome to today’s show Jenny, how you doing, how you doing, doing a wonderful, we’ve got two of our favorite people here with us today, and we’re going to, we’re going to introduce formally introduce one of our favorite repeat guests in a minute, Jenny, but I’m pretty stoked about today’s conversation. How about you? Yeah, me too. I love talking to the special guest I do too. So on today’s episode, we’re continuing our supply chain leadership across Africa series in conjunction, of course, with Jenny Froome and our friends at St. Pics. Jenny, as you may recall, serves as COO of the pigs organization, doing wonderful work from a professional development and networking standpoint, a really I’d call it not just best practice dissemination, but you know, insights market Intel.

Scott Luton (01:21):

How can we get through these challenging times? Not just from a supply chain standpoint, Jenny, but a global business standpoint, right? Community, community. That is right and team because together everyone achieves more, right? Jenny say, we’re learning from a couple of our past conversations, so you can learn more about say pics at [inaudible] dot org. So with that said, I want to formally welcome in our wonderful guests here today. We’ve enjoyed a variety of, of past discussions. Get ready to be inspired and informed. Uh, want to welcome back Ramatu Abdulkadir, AKA the supply chain Maestro. Ramatu how are you doing?

Ramatu Abdulkadir (02:04):

I’m doing great. And Jenny, it’s nice to catch up with you too. Once again, I’m excited to be on this show.

Scott Luton (02:11):

Well, you know, we ha we had to track your agent down. Uh, she was dodging us because your schedule is so crazy, but we finally nailed down the date and it’s great to have you back, you know, uh, Jenny and her motto, it’s been, we blink and months go past. So the last time you were with us, Vermont too was episode 6 73, which we released on the 5th of July, 2021. So it’s a few months back. Tell us what have you been up to since Vermont to,

Ramatu Abdulkadir (02:39):

Yeah. Thank you, Scott. Well, it’s been crazy for the past few months. Have continued with my research. If you recall, my last time on the last show, I told you about my research and some of the findings from my research, but immediately after that, we started planning for the Ted African conference and operations and supply chain management in Kigali Rwanda. And that was my first in-person conference of tacos. And it was so exciting. Um, also I was very anxious because I went for any conference testing and I just wasn’t sure what it was going to be like, like get tested before you leave us. You get to get tested, I think had like five to six tests just going through that process. But, um, it was a constraint that I met a lot of researchers from all over the world and people from everywhere in Africa doing so many exciting research. And, um, so it was really what it’s going through, all those tests to meet those people. And also the opportunities of collaboration on research, um, especially on the African continent to try and see how we can fix some of the problems there’ll be. Yeah. So that was it’s. It was really great having that term conference last two weeks and

Scott Luton (04:12):

Really quick, that was the Ted ex conference focused on operations. And what was the other topic?

Ramatu Abdulkadir (04:19):

So African Africa and management in Kigali, Rwanda,

Scott Luton (04:28):

I’m thinking like a Ted talks. Sorry, I got you a third. Okay. I got I’m I’m with you now. I’m a bit slow sometimes remote too. Um, and you were talking about how, um, you really appreciated the opportunity to basically compare notes and compare research with a lot of other, um, um, uh, leaders about some of the challenges inherent to Africa. What, what is one what’s one challenge in particular and maybe even non-covered related, because I think the whole world has got plenty of challenges, but what is one challenge in particular, you really enjoyed your conversations around at this conference?

Ramatu Abdulkadir (05:03):

Yeah, so I think aside from some of the researches that we’re focused on, so we’ll have some researches focused on the aerospace industry in Tanzania. We had some also were focused on the agric and food logistics, supply chain. I’m looking at countries, African country, Tanzania, and how they were managing them. And also the huge and rising cost of transportation. There was also some research on electoral logistics, which was very interesting because we are approaching elections in Nigeria very soon. In 2023, we have an I elections and there was a research on that which really caught the attention of people also found it very exciting. I think I will have to give it to the supply chain because right now with the rising cost of food and I’m just increasing level of poverty. So I’m having research on every supply chain is I think is free collect. This teacher we’ll find ourselves. So that was, I was really interested in news. Researchers are focused on supply chain.

Scott Luton (06:18):

So Jenny bringing UNH here, that’s, um, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Uh, it, and those are some very weighty challenges. What, what does that bring your mind to? What, what, what, what thoughts come to your mind as far as Vermont to kind of walk through some of that?

Jenny Froome (06:34):

Yeah, so much own immediately. I go to the, to the food security aspect and at the Oregon conference in, in August this year we had Yacko mass, who’s been on the, on, on the show talk, just talking about, you know, how do we know where our food comes from and, you know, what’s in our food. And I think that that is one of those big, big, big questions that we all have. And then there’s also the food wastage that goes on, not just on the continent, but in the world. Um, and it, and it is it’s, it’s horrific. And so any research that can go into, into that, the other thing, remaster that you mentioned about the electoral, um, supply chain, I can remember when I first started working with St. VIX, we had the independent electoral commission become members of say pics, and I can remember thinking why on earth would they want to be members of a supply chain organization? And then you stop and you think about the logistics and the supply chain around the whole elections, um, and the whole process. And it really is. It’s quite a, it’s quite a feat that I think a lot of people do take for granted,

Scott Luton (07:49):

Well said, well said, Jenny, Ramazzini, you’ll respond to that for a second. And then Jenny, we’re going to dive a little bit deeper into where, where we’re mottoes and it’s been that Vermonters have been spending our time, any, any thoughts there from to,

Ramatu Abdulkadir (08:02):

Yeah, I think that’s, um, very correct in terms of, um, food wastage is, and this is all closely connected to the transport logistics systems. And, um, I think there was a lots of discussions around use of technology, um, to improve the supply chains, which is really good also, um, looking at town class, um, there was a lot of discussions around sustainability and how to ensure that we minimize the risk stages in the supply chain right now. So I think that, um, just having people, um, really focusing and researching those emails to try and come up with some innovative solutions and we’re really helped, um, Africa right now towards our economic recovery.

Scott Luton (08:51):

Outstanding. Um, well the, well, you know, if they’ve got Ramazzini involved, Jenny, they got the best and the brightest. Uh, and, and I know we can make some progress on some of these big challenges. All right. So Jenny, uh, where are we going next with our dear friend of mine?

Jenny Froome (09:10):

Yeah, I was just, I was going to ask something that, that really, I find quite thought provoking is this discussion and knowing how passionate on the continent people are about education, um, and, and qualifications, and getting as many not letters after your name, just for the sake of letters, but learning, learning, learning. I was, I was quite intrigued by the discussions going around that several large organizations now and their recruitment plans are going to stop asking for degrees. They’re going to ask them be more interested in attitudes now for me as somebody, who’s definitely the letters after my name and QBE, which is qualified by experience. And that’s it. Um, it’s it it’s music to my ears, but I just wonder how you feel, um, about that. And whether you think that will sort of take the edge off, uh, people wanting to get degrees.

Ramatu Abdulkadir (10:12):

I, for me personally, I don’t think that will affect anything. I’m looking at the short term because I think it’s a great thing that this companies are doing experience is very important and knowing, or being able to solve problems for me, I think that’s the most important thing, but we also have to look at how our education systems have been designed. So it’s wanting to say, I wouldn’t be asking for certificates or degrees. So it’s another thing to look at the entire system when you’re looking at it from the perspective of an employer, definitely how’s employing all that we can for people that can do the job. I don’t care about the number of certificates you have. It doesn’t make any difference as long as you cannot deliver any funding to the customer or to the end user of my products or services. So that’s, it’s very important.

Ramatu Abdulkadir (11:10):

And depending on where you stand on that also we cannot take vacation. So for me, I don’t see education as just having degrees and all that. I think educational pools, you aren’t having degrees. There’s so much to learn and learning by experience. Like you talked about this travel experience. People just absorb this knowledge for me beyond, um, getting the certificates. So that ticket is just one, but I think the main thing is being able to bring solutions to the problems that we face. And if people that have experienced out to do it, why not? Why wouldn’t we take them? Of course, as a CEO or any CEO, any industry, you would want somebody that can do the job if it comes with degrees or degrees and all that. So for me, I’m a pragmatist when it comes to cigarettes, get things gone, whatever it takes to get things done, then

Scott Luton (12:09):

Both of y’all make great points there. And I think one of the, just my observation, whether it’s remotely accurate or not, I think that, um, in this era where selling certifications, selling degrees, you know, the, the, the industry boom, related to that. Yeah. I think somehow we’ve, we’ve trained students that, Hey, you focus on getting that degree or that certification and jobs and opportunity are gonna come with it. And, and, and some of that’s true, right? Some of that is true. There’s value there. However, I would argue as well when we’re talking about folks that can get the job done. I think remote too is how you put it. You know, those students that really apply themselves to the industry engage where it’s more about the overall journey, educational journey and, and, and where they see their wherewithal impacting, uh, current industry. And then you that in conjunction with a degree, with a certain certification, whatever it is.

Scott Luton (13:08):

I think those are the folks that are probably most valuable to the hiring managers out there, because it’s not just the fact that they were able to pass this test or that test, you know, get through that, uh, the educational, you know, check the boxes there, but it’s, it’s how they change who they are. And, and really bring, are able to bring more value to the table because they’ve got the, the textbook training, but then they’ve applied it to what they’re seeing and experiencing industry. So all of that makes sense, but we’ve seen a lot of that out in industry and, and, you know, Jenny and Vermont too, but all of us have been involved in networking groups, you know, for, for, for a long time. And I think we’ve all probably rubbed elbows with folks that just laser focused on just that additional LinkedIn accomplishment thinking that positive Pandora’s box was going to open up. And it just, it doesn’t quite work like that. Right.

Ramatu Abdulkadir (14:00):

It doesn’t work like that. And I think, um, also, um, what can we do in pockets? So the projects I’ve worked on, we’ve seen this problems where people have certificates cannot really add any value to the job. And, um, that’s why we try to walk in some universities. Then it could run as deep and trying to bring them experience now, real life experience to learn. And so that’s why I say it has to do with me. Our education is designed. They are designed to produce people that own certificates, which is wrong, really. You should produce graduates that have hands on experience of the industry that can go up there to solve problems, innovate, and think of new ways of doing things. So, so it’s, it’s, it’s the forecast and design, there’s a disconnect in our educational system. And I think we need to look at that. What is the problem I will just out to get certificates or do we want to get people out there that can do things and solve problems?

Jenny Froome (15:10):

Yeah. I was just going to say, we just did our students, our young professional student conference couple of weeks ago. And that whole idea came through really loud and clear was that one of the roles, I think that professional associations like St pics can actually fill is that work ready is connecting. The dots is making the working people deal with the students and actually help to prepare them for what it is that’s coming up. And we had one young man who had been a member of safety who actually got a job interview purely because not purely, obviously his CV looked good too, but the edge was given because he was a member of a professional association. And so, you know, that for me is great to see employers recognizing the value of network community, et cetera, and what that can bring.

Scott Luton (16:04):

I love that Jenny, what a great point, but both, and I love going back to your point, Vermont too, about holistically evaluating our educational programs and sports programs. It’s it’s how, how are we educating that vital pipeline of talent at all levels? Right. So I think that’s gonna be a big lesson learned and with action items, getting through the COVID time, as I know, Jenny kind of moving next with Vermont too. I think one thing you’ve got some questions around that, right.

Jenny Froome (16:33):

Well, I was just really interested, first of all, to hear you talk Gramar too about after COVID, um, because you know, here in South Africa, we’re still very much in, in the middle of it, not the middle, but kind of on the cusp of, and everybody’s now hypothesizing about fourth wave, et cetera, et cetera. But how have things been in Nigeria? I get such sort of mixed messages. And from your perspective, I know you touched on a while ago just about sort of being able to be involved in the initial vaccine rollout. Um, how have things sort of evolved in, in the year and a half? Actually, I think since, since that happened.

Ramatu Abdulkadir (17:16):

So the vaccine rollout has been pretty successful depending on how you look at their vaccines in the hospital have been the I’m fully vaccinated. So I’ve seen, seen how it walks and all that. I think the biggest problem we have on our hands now is vaccine hesitancy now. So you have the vaccines and people are interested in taking the box. So that’s something that also needs to be solved, but I think that, um, it’s not only peculiar for COVID, we’ve had that problem with other bucks and it all boils down to education, also trusts in the system. So when people don’t trust the system, they are not like me to go out there and get faxes. So it might be easier for those of all that healthcare, public healthcare professionals. We have more information to, to be able to make informed decision, unfortunately, that is not true for everybody else. So now we have to struggle with getting everybody out there to get vaccinated. So vaccine hesitancy is still a big deal. Um, there are people that feel, they run the vaccines and all that. So we need to continue to walk out in terms of sensitization. And I’m also showing people that I safe to get this vaccines so that they can go out there and get them

Scott Luton (18:45):

Trust. Trust is, um, as we all know, is that universal accelerant to any, almost anything, right? When you’ve got trust involved in a relationship or a product or a partnership, or you name it, we can move faster and have greater impact. And it sounds like, uh, Romanita we do have more, more, a heavy lifting to do in that regard. Um, okay, Jenny, we were talking pre-show about how the supply chains. I thought you had a great question, uh, how supply chains for other diseases have coped with all, you know, everything that’s going, that’s being pointed and directed towards, you know, the battle against COVID-19 where not to in any comments or observations there.

Ramatu Abdulkadir (19:28):

So, um, the supply chains for other, just like everyone else, um, people are running out of drugs and so many L supplies, of course, you know, the challenges of the pots in countries, um, contain us shortages of containers and, um, just moving products from manufacturers down here, especially that we do not have a lot of manufacturers who have to ship a lot of our products from China. So that problem here, because, um, and also the rising cost of shipment, it’s a problem put up really fast. And we’re trying to look at, it’s not even comparable, so we can’t compete frequently in terms of costs. So that is a problem for four people. So you need to get that sense. And, um, those medicines are not available or they are just too extensive for people to be able to, to get them. So that is impacting on access and affordability. And that is a huge program because what it means is that we’re going to be having problems with some other diseases. So they order the diabetes, hypertension, and even before COVID new and now they can get you even more expensive. And so as healthcare professionals, we have to be able to engage people and even policy makers to see how this medicines come to meat available for the people that really need them.

Jenny Froome (21:06):

I think it’s also, you know what I mean, measles measles is going to be all these vaccines that we’ve sort of taken for granted again, that suddenly people hadn’t had a choice. A lot of people in, in some countries made the decision not to, but in certain countries you can’t even have a choice because they’re just not available. And so therefore these, these sorts of things are going to come out again, then resurface. And I know that also birth control has been, uh, all the, all the contraceptives have all also been, um, supply has been disrupted drastically in, in various countries as well. Um, not just well because of COVID, but also because of infrastructure challenges as well.

Scott Luton (21:52):

So I want to shift gears to some good news from ought to good news. Cause, cause as you lay out there, I bet a lot of folks hadn’t even thought about and I’m guilty as charged having thought about the supply chains behind, um, uh, you know, other diseases, conditions, you know, the products and medicines, everything that, that addresses, um, the, the slew of things that impact us all. So that’s, that’s a great call out there. Um, but on a much brighter, uh, note, positive note, uh Romanita you know, last time we were chatting with you back in June, you talked about, um, you know, this opportunity and your career here to focus on research, right? And, and, and, and to, you know, deliberately and intentionally be that student of supply chain. Once again, despite everything you already know and being the expert that you are in your own. Right. So what has been, what has it been like for you to be, to have this opportunity to really spend your time studying global supply chains?

Ramatu Abdulkadir (22:52):

It’s been an exciting period for funny. I believe that, um, the research I’m working on, it’s going to really help the health care supply chains in Nigeria and even globally what we’ve done and how we’ve done these, to be able to fix it up on problems. So aside from the challenges of rising costs, because of transportation costs and difficulty in getting raw materials and all that. So because I’m working on performance management in my supply chain and trying to look at areas that we can maximize and reduce waste stages. So it’s very important that the resources that we have resources are always, they’re not available all the time. So we have to deploy them to the most critical areas of healthcare. If we have shortages in some areas. So let’s see, we have, let’s say hypertension, and, you know, every time we’re willing on new medicines and it just keeps coming out, they just keep pulling out moments from the manufacturers.

Ramatu Abdulkadir (23:58):

Now it’s important to really taste the medicines that we need to get, because we don’t have money to buy everything, but we can try to get things up very important to save lives. Those essential medicines that we can focus on. Janie talked about family medicine medicines have been even, they’ve been very difficult to get them to my kids and also the cost of getting them as expensive. But these are all areas that government and policy makers can focus attention now and try to get those mixes out for people to use and measuring the performance is important because we have huge wastage is in the system. And I believe if we can reduce those vestiges, we’ll be able to have more products available for people. Jenny also talked about infrastructure, very important. So Rachel Knutson’s transport networks ensuring that medicines get to the last mile in the best condition that they should be is also very important or else we’ll have medicines lost apple, Tennessee or something. So all these are up that if we can concentrate on them and as researchers, we can sensitize people about how to walk with the resources that you have areas you need to focus on in terms of your improvement plans, to be able to improve your overall network.

Scott Luton (25:26):

Okay. It just reminded me that that was a big thrust to what we talked about last time, continuous improvement, right? Uh, what rather than fighting in the, the moment to put out the fire or solve this problem or in a blocking and tackling that they get so much of our attention, Hey, how can we elevate and optimize overall performance? You know, what, what metrics are we not looking at that we should be looking at? What’s the, one of the big lessons or one of the big things we talked about last time, Vermont too. All right. So Jenny, when you hear that and you hear what we’re motto, just, just, uh, kind of rattled off there. What are some of your thoughts that come to your mind?

Jenny Froome (26:05):

I think I continued to go whenever I talk supply chain to other people, I’m continually reminded of a, kind of a really big COVID silver lining in that everybody’s starting to understand more about what it is that happens within the supply chain and, you know, we’ve all become using terminology that we never thought we would. I mean, you know, I never used to use the word efficacy in my whole life and that you start talking about vaccines and how they must be stored and what temperature and all of a sudden ordinary people are experts. And I think that, that it has huge, huge value. And we’ve, we’ve got to capitalize on, on that and the research that you’re doing remarks, he is going to, it’s going to change that exponentially because now we’ve got stuff backed up by facts. And I think that’s always the most important thing is that it’s very easy to, to quote. And I think the vaccine hesitancy has got something around that with all the misinformation that’s happening and people dealing with emotion, um, and talking with emotion and not based on facts. And I think that, you know, that’s where researchers are so underestimated in a way, because what you do gives us the facts on which we can base off conversations

Scott Luton (27:33):

Well said. And I would argue that the supply chain, the fact supply chain has been disrupted as well. The shelves that had plenty of facts or they’ve been empty at times, but it makes such a great point because inherently there’s a ton of emotional emotion and how we feel and how we’re perceiving, you know, this crazy time we’re getting through, but the facts and the science and, you know, the concrete information that we can lean on to make decisions is so important to your thoughts.

Ramatu Abdulkadir (28:07):

Yeah. I think that’s really important at the beginning of COVID much later on when the box came out, I was really surprised when some people started calling me and these are not people that we talk with frequently in what do I think about the vaccines? And for me, I was working then in this light and what normally on the foot ankle, and these were people that were very concerned and they wanted to know my opinion in terms of taking the facts based on all the misinformation out there. And I think this is that supply chain professionals can feel in terms of being, putting out the right information and courage, encouraging people, and also research in it’s very important misinformation out there and doing what’s right. What is the truth and what is not based on evidence and critical information. That is also information is one of the rules that we complete by disseminating the right information out to people, because that is our traditional, but I think it’s critical now we have to tell people, what is it right then? So I’ve had people tell me, okay, so each of the boxes should I take, is it more, you know, it’s such a huge challenge for professionals right now, and everybody needs to be, cannot credibility in terms of figuring out a way forward. So I think it’s very important that we put ourselves even more out there where we can read retail research going through all those information sits in Vermont and eating the right information, the public

Scott Luton (29:57):

Excellent point. And going back to kind of one of your earlier comments, I think I agree with your supply chain, practitioners and professionals are already kind of, their mindset is, Hey, let’s start, let’s get all the data on the table. Let’s get the facts on the table and figure out what we’re dealing with first. And then from there, we put our action plan or countermeasures together. That’s just part of who we are as practitioners. And I think to your point, Remont too, that’s been one of them, one of the most challenging aspects, all this, because at Tom’s, there hasn’t been that aligned central set of facts and truths to rally around. And I know that, um, Jenny, you and I have talked about that before, so anyway, great comment there, Vermont too. All right. So Jenny, you and I both kind of moving right along or motto, you’ve talked about your, your family and your daughters.

Scott Luton (30:49):

I wanna, I want to kind of move to, uh, on more of a personal note. I think you have three daughters and, and w uh, Jeannie and I can relate, uh, as, uh, mothers and fathers as well. And I think, you know, observing well, I’ll call observing some days, other days in terms of how they react. Other days it’s been coping and, and, uh, putting up maybe tolerating, you know, some of their responses to, you know, this, that and the other. Uh, and, and, you know, I’m kind of, as I say, all that, um, you know, maintaining that sense of humor has been, uh, has been really important here, but how have your daughters or Matu handled the pandemic and all that it has brought?

Ramatu Abdulkadir (31:30):

I don’t think that they handled anything it’s confusing even for adults. So for kids, of course, there’s that fear of the unknown, like so never experiences. We ha I have also never experienced a pandemic in my lifetime, so I could imagine what the kids were going through. So it was a difficult period for, for the kids. And we had to step in as parents to see how we can make it more varied, because that’s all we can to make it more beautiful. And now, of course, there’s lots of, um, lessons. So many lessons have been lost in between, and students are still trying to cope with the times that schools have been locked down, even though there’s been, um, e-learning and all that. It’s a steep for, for kids, you know, and, um, as a parent, you also have to be there, um, going through the lessons side by side with them.

Ramatu Abdulkadir (32:34):

So it’s been very difficult for, for this generation of young people. And I wrote that, um, it has really impacted the way they even think also and see life, because now you have to go to school with Tuffy slacks and, um, sanitize us supplies that we never had to fight for. And you have to keep on educating them also on the importance of hand-washing. And I’m mingling with people like four times just daily and, you know, for children that just don’t understand that it’s difficult. Like I can’t play with my friends that, so I think those are the, those category of people have been hit harder than everybody else, but as parents, we can watch them to eat and read, um,

Scott Luton (33:27):

Your thoughts.

Jenny Froome (33:28):

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we we’ve had our 22 year old son, he came home for Christmas and he was still here until day before yesterday because he’s supposed to be studying in Spain. And, you know, the, there’s a reason why 22 year olds, aren’t still supposed to be living at home with their parents. And it’s been, it’s been a very special time, but it’s also been a very frustrating time. And it’s been fascinating watching how that they’ve become so immensely responsible way beyond their years. I think in, in understanding the do’s and don’ts, and, and also going back to that whole understanding of the efficacy of the vaccines and which ones and all of this research that they themselves have done. So as not to rely on, on the perils of social media. And I think that, I think that to a degree, there are lots of very, very responsible young people out there. Who’ve been put through a very difficult time. And as you say, as parents we can do is, is support and try to be as strong as we can be.

Scott Luton (34:39):

You know, I would add just where I see this one, the silver linings, you know, we thought, you know, on one hand we really thought we had a resilient, strong, vibrant supply chains. And then we really, we see how fragile, uh, many aspects of that in reality, as, as a pandemic has tested it and tested it, test it once again, on the flip side, now that I think as a parent, you think about how small your kids are, the learning perhaps, or free, you can use that same fragile description. But then I think what I’ve seen is despite all the challenges that you both point out and, and new challenges you got, they got the challenges of just being a kid, right, fitting in and social pressure and all that stuff that are timeless. And then they’ve got these unique challenges that none of us had to deal with.

Scott Luton (35:29):

But the silver lining from what I see is that these kids are more resilient than I ever thought pre pandemic. And it’s amazing how little micro studies and leadership it might be. It might sound cheesy, but I’m telling you, I’ve got a whole new found respect for how these kids have navigated and persevered and just dealt with, you know, even those times too, when we couldn’t make it better for them. And we couldn’t lessen the burden and we, we, we lose sleep at night, the kids fight through it and they just they’re they’re they’re troopers. And, um, so yeah, but too, I think as parents, none of that makes it any easier. Right. Because there are kids we don’t want them to, to, uh, have a bad day. Right? Yeah.

Ramatu Abdulkadir (36:15):

Um, I think that, um, you’re very right. The kids are even more resilient, just like Jenny said, they’ve had to grow up faster really because I’m taking on a lot of responsibility because of the COVID and all that in terms of their lessons and even thinking about their careers now, because things are different. So, um, some of the things that were more times before suddenly aren’t important anymore, um, even career choice, it’s, it’s, it’s different for people. You have to think about what you want to do. And, um, like I said, for us, as parents is just continuing to support, we can’t be too important because we’ve never been through this leap experience before. So for, for the child, the way that you preach the situation is different from how we preach it. And so we’re likely to see more kids coming up with different things. I’ve seen people that have just changed careers or a real life, just because of all that. So we’ll continue to play our roles as parents and that every,

Scott Luton (37:25):

And it will. It’s going to, especially with these folks on this panel here between Jenny and Monterey, Hey, one quick question, then Jenny, and then we’ll move into one of the final questions that we want to pose, but really quick, are we encouraging only everything we’ve seen, especially the last two years, are we encouraging our kids to, to join the supply chain ranks in their careers? Or are we cautioning them more after the last couple of years from off to what’s your answer? In a nutshell,

Ramatu Abdulkadir (37:54):

I, I don’t, I don’t encourage them to drink supply chain. I have someone in my house that is claiming to be, is what has never been to supply chains. And that’s the era. She thinks she, the supply chain, you know, that’s how you get to Dawn’s too. I think by just being out there and talking about it, you know, kids have a way of the sense of, it’s not like I sit them down and say, well, you have to be some people know, but now they all want to be supplied in the senior supply chain now like, wow, mommy, you, I want to be a supply chain now, too. So it does what they want to do. Of course I’ll support them to do that.

Scott Luton (38:39):

Yeah. That’s a beautiful answer. Intellect. I like Ozara, I think Zara has got something in common with our middle child. Gracie, you got to fake it till you make it sometimes, right? Yeah. All right. So Jenny, any of your thoughts there? And then of course we can move right into some of these final questions we want to ask a robot to today.

Jenny Froome (38:58):

Yeah. It’s a, it’s really interesting because yes. You know, there was a, there was an article written that’s apparently, uh, people are now avoiding supply chain management as a career because the responsibilities of being shown as being too onerous. Um, and certainly in the, in our student conference, somebody was asked, uh, is, is supply chain management to stressful job. And, uh, as kind of, you know, what he laughed and snickered, but he knows at the end of the day, there are what, what, what job isn’t stressful sometimes, you know? But, but yeah, there are moments I imagine then somebody went on to talk about how they were juggling, uh, port spaces for a ship and what it was containing and how quickly it was going to go off. And I’m sitting there thinking, yes, that’s a really good example of a stressful job, you know, makes event management that like a doddle really.

Jenny Froome (39:52):

But so, but just talking about our children and it’s a really interesting one because, you know, you’ve got, you’ve got I’ve, we’ve got four boys. So as the mother of boys, I ask the question always is, are we in danger these days of singling women out too much in the various awards and accolades and things that are going on and are we at risk of not disempowering, but somehow damaging the confidence of some of our young men coming up through the workforce and as the mother of mother of daughters, um, and a very strong woman in business, I’m interested to hear what your comments are about that.

Ramatu Abdulkadir (40:38):

Yeah, that’s a very good and um, I think it’s good to highlight women in supply chain in order to inspire, to join and reach for this task. I also think it depends on where your area, I mean, where you’re based. So for us in Africa, if you look at lightens, you find that women are just not there. Like it’s empty, nobody’s there. So maybe in Europe or America, maybe with your friends, you have more female representation. But if you look out here not much of that is happening. So I’m choosing small women in other tables it’s on us. I think it’s very important that we it’s more preventing women from being represented or being at the table. And some of these burials have to do with the past. We showed the time minutes, such as guilt, childhood education, culture, socioeconomic issues, poverty, and the policies also that do not even such as we cannot childcare.

Ramatu Abdulkadir (41:54):

So what can women on childcare leave sexual or reproductive health, maternal health, and just so many problems out there that are stumbling blocks for women in this industry. I think that’s why there’s always this need to shoot GS in order to have more women to come on board, have more diversity, inclusivity and equity and all that. I think you’re also right, because I think everybody is important and it’s just, it’s not just, it’s not a binary thing. There’s so many other groups out there that in excluded people, we have physically challenged people that also need to be on board. So we have to be able to keep all of that, um, on the horizon to be able to look at all that and see who are the people that are being left out in the supply chains. Do we need to get more of those people?

Ramatu Abdulkadir (42:51):

And I’m happy that a lot of supply chains are checking a box in their supply chains, tattooing. I think it’s important. It’s important for suppliers. You need to have more presentation and diversity in your suppliers, just like we have at the customer end. So as long as our customers are not monolithic, they are diapers. Then I think that people that walk into supply chain should be put on the percent of our end users. So it’s really important. So we have to put up, we’ll have to always check up polls and make sure that people are not meaningless, but it’s important to, to, because traditionally the policies and the rules and everything do not fit for women for now, that’s the way I see it.

Jenny Froome (43:43):

Great answer everything and more. And it’s, and it forms the basis of about a three albums.

Scott Luton (43:50):

Yes. Very comprehensive answer as well, because it’s really what it requires because it’s, it’s such a, um, um, there’s so much complexity right? Into truly ensuring opportunity and advancement for all. I mean, it’s such a, um, talk about some research that we’re gonna have to double down on. I want to get you all to respond to one other thing, and then we’ll, we’ll wrap, make sure folks know how to connect with you both. So we did an interview that we haven’t, uh, we’ll have released by the time this, this releases, but we sat down with three attendees of a recent women in manufacturing summit here in the states. And w we, we get, we sat down and got their key takeaways from the, and one of my favorite parts of the conversation that came up, uh, one of our participants said, you, you don’t need, I want to shout this loud for folks in the back for anyone listening, you don’t need permission to do what you want to do.

Scott Luton (44:45):

You don’t need approval. You don’t need a permission note signed by your parents or anyone else to do what you want to do with your career. And, you know, I think when I think of, uh, the last question to her motto and remarked to some of your, your response there, I think that all of us, uh, across gender lines across all the different demographics, I think there is some head trash that says, I need someone’s permission to go after what I want to do in this life. And I think when we have that epiphany, at some point in our careers, that we can do whatever we want to do, right? At least, you know, we may not have the right resources. We may not have wealth as defined in a lot different ways, but we’re able to pursue it without getting anyone’s permission. I think that is a really important message that our listeners, but also the folks in the next generation that are matriculating through high schools, or even as far back as elementary schools, they need to know that. And they need to know it as early in their journeys as possible. Jenny, I’d love for you to respond to that and romance it. Then I’ll come get kind of get your response as well.

Jenny Froome (45:53):

Yeah. What I would say is, is where that’s possible because there are still places where people and going back to Marty’s point, women do need permission to do certain things. And I think that there’s a difference between having self-belief and knowing that you can achieve anything. And I go back to that advice in the last interview, that remarks you would give to her, her daughters, which is to believe in yourself and don’t let anybody else tell you otherwise. And I think that there’s, that self-belief, that can actually then help you handle if you are in a place where you can’t necessarily just be that free spirit. And I think that that I’ve learnt it very, very late. I’m still learning how to believe in myself. And I think that it’s something that, again, as a, as a, as a parent, um, to be able to instill that in your children is a, is a phenomenal gift.

Ramatu Abdulkadir (46:52):

Um, for me, I see some of this platforms, like this are very important for children. Am I showing you a way to be watching it? And that’s very important because the message that they’re going to get from such discussions, kind of things have prepared them for their future. Um, there are things that we can see, it will change and come out or feeds. And also I believe other women and people that generally disadvantage or thinking you need permission to be able to do anything. All you need to have certificates. No, you don’t, you don’t need to have all that. You just need to be able to have fun that you can add to that people get that you should be able to forge ahead. And it’s also important to know that. So for me, one of the things I get asked questions when people ask me, so how are you able to do all these, your suit and all that?

Ramatu Abdulkadir (47:52):

And, um, I don’t wait for, for it to be perfect. You know, if you asked me to come on, it started inviting me. You know, I have to do some research and read around and all that, but I also don’t show up. So it’s important for us to show up and, um, be open to observing that experience. So I try to, to do that, even for this PhD, I’ve seen that with some of my colleagues and they think, okay, PhDs are very difficult. They are not, I’m not saying it’s not difficult, but I try to conform in what has I do? So I don’t let difficult walk me down. I try to catch it. This is an experience. So what are the other things I need to be doing apart from literature review on data collection, or there’s some guidelines or something I need to be doing networking, very important, meeting people that different experiences it needs to. I believe everybody, I’ve talked to that attitude being open to learning and just letting go of whatever is holding you up.

Scott Luton (49:03):

Love that. All right. So what I heard in your, both of your responses is that we want individuals to embrace that mentality. However, as leaders, we’ve got to find those obstacles and invest in a successful, effective, effective approaches to obliterating those obstacles, uh, across the industry that unfortunately still still remain. So, um, well said Jenny and Vermont too, I’ve really enjoyed our conversation today. I always want to full tone a few more hours, right. But nonetheless, uh, so what I want to do here, as we start to wrap first off, Jenny, I’ll put you on the spot here out of all that we’ve walked through here today with the one only Vermont to Abdul Kadir, what was your favorite thing that she has shared here today? Jenny,

Jenny Froome (49:52):

It was just so much so, so, so much, and there always is so much, but I think that, you know, for me, it’s not what you said, it’s kind of what you demonstration that that’s your love and your pride for your daughters. Um, I think that shines through every time you mentioned one of their names. So for me, that’s the thing is that you can, I think I’m always reminded of it. Remark to me when I meet you is that you can be an incredibly successful individual in your chosen field, but you can still be gracious, warm, and loving. And it doesn’t mean that you have to be a fierce, you know, you can do your job effectively by still being the essence of you. So thank you for reminding me of that.

Scott Luton (50:34):

Love that and the passion for industry and the passion for moving the industry forward in the current challenges and beyond, I think that’s what sticks out to me. So, Hey Komatsu, how can our listeners connect with you? And some of these cool things you’re doing?

Ramatu Abdulkadir (50:51):

Um, Scott, that’s very odd time. Like I do that. I enjoy meeting people and just sharing ideas and all that song on LinkedIn. I’m on Facebook, I’m on Twitter. I try to be everywhere, but I’m more active on some social media sites, but if you can hit me up on any of them, we’re sure to continue this discussion.

Scott Luton (51:12):

Love that. Thank you so much Romano too. And Jenny, same question you and the safe team continue to do some big things, helping folks across Africa and really beyond frankly, I really enjoyed that young professional, uh, event that you all hosted. How can folks connect with you?

Jenny Froome (51:28):

Yeah, same as we’re marshy very active on LinkedIn and Twitter predominantly and um, and really anything that’s got tweaked look out for it. Cause I’ll retweet it unless it’s about

Scott Luton (51:44):

Baseball@whichpointicomeglazeglazingwellandsaypicks.org. Right. And that’s just, uh, I was about to say that, cause if you spell poorly, like I do you need a S a

Scott Luton (51:54):

That’s, right. Yeah. Well, Hey, you know, that sense of humor is so important. I circle back to, I really enjoy, you know, you got to enjoy what you do, but then there’s times where you’ve got to really lean in and find a way to get a giggle or laugh. And I want to wrap on this before we say a bit, I do the both of y’all. So, you know, blockbuster and Netflix had a strong competition way back in the day, right? Blockbuster of course, was the dominant, uh, video rental player. At the time, it was really committed to VHS tapes and, and that physical medium. And of course, Netflix was the upstart and Netflix disrupted everything. And now it’s been reported. They’re worth about $230 billion, Netflix, Netflix, but Jenny or motto for Tom there, they were fierce competitors and Reed Hastings who co-founded Netflix was being interviewed back in the early two thousands of how blockbuster was coming after Netflix.

Scott Luton (52:46):

And he said something like they’re throwing everything at us, but the kitchen sink. Right. And he was on the analyst call. So it was public. Uh, so the very next day Reed Hastings shows up at his office. And the folks at blockbuster had sent him a kitchen sink sitting there at his office, you know, and if two fierce rivals can have that degree of, of kind of enjoying the journey and joined the competition, you have a little bit of fun. Hey, all the rest of us can. So, so maintain that sense of humor. But Hey, most importantly, be like Matu and Jenny and the world’s going to be a better place and own that note. I want to challenge you. Hey, on behalf of our entire team here at supply chain, now Scotland signing off for now. Do good. Give forward. Be the change that’s needed to be just like [inaudible] and Jenny. And we’ll see you next time. Right back here on supply chain now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (53:41):

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

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Featured Guests

Ramatu Abdulkadir is a seasoned Public Servant and a recognized expert in Public Health Supply Chain Management systems. As the Executive Secretary/CEO of the Health Supplies Management Agency (KADHSMA), Ramatu led the transformation of Kaduna State Health Supply Chain systems serving over 10 Million People of the State. In addition, Ramatu coordinated and supervised the upgrading of the first government-owned and operated Pharma-grade warehouse valued at around NGN 250 Million. At KADHSMA, Ramatu successfully delivered; Supply Chain Operations excellence, Equitable Access to Health Products and Supplies; Audit-ready transparent Procurement, Sustainable Last-mile distribution, and end-to-end Supply Chain Visibility. In addition, by applying her extensive experience in Strategic leadership, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Ramatu successfully managed a Health Products Procurement portfolio valued at over 5 billion Naira between 2016 to 2020. She facilitated and coordinated the Kaduna State Government’s strategic investments in developing human resource capacity in Logistics and Supply Chain Management. Consequently, 17 civil servants obtained MSc degrees in Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management from the United Kingdom. As a significant contributor to product and system value chain challenges in low- and middle-income countries, Ramatu has actively contributed to the discourse on Logistics and Supply Chain Management as Keynote Speaker; Policy analyst; Development Strategist, Circular Economy Champion; Subject Matter Expert; and Researcher locally and internationally. Ramatu obtained a bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria and an MSc. degree in Pharmacology from Usmanu Danfodio University in Sokoto. She is an accredited preceptor, supervisor, and a Fellow with the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists in Public Health. She is a Member of the Nigerian Health Research Ethics Committee. She has written and published scientific articles in several peer-reviewed research journals and is now conducting her PhD. research work in Logistic and Supply Chain Management at Liverpool John Moores University in the United Kingdom, focusing on the Integration of Public Health Supply Chains for better performance. She is a University of Oxford alumni in Strategic Leadership and an International Public Health Leader from the University of Washington, USA. She is also a certified Academic trainer in Logistics and Supply Chain Management from the Kuehne Logistic University, Hamburg, Germany. Connect with Ramatu on LinkedIn.

Jenny Froome is the Acting Chief Operating Officer at SAPICS – which is the Professional Body for Supply Chain Management in South Africa but working with countries around the world to have Supply Chain Management recognised as a profession. She started her professional career in the UK as a secretary and then moved to event management. Little did she know that as an event manager she was actually practicing supply chain management every day! In 1997 they managed their first ever SAPICS annual conference in South Africa and the rest, as they say, is history! Now managing the SAPICS annual conference – the leading event in Africa for supply chain professionals – as an online event until we get control of Covid-19. We long for the opportunity to get back to face to face events. In the meantime we keep our community connected. She is on a mission to shine the spotlight on supply chains in Africa and the wealth of supply chain talent that is available on the continent.

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

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

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Vicki White

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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

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Greg White

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

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Jamin Alvidrez

Founder & CEO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now, Veteran Voices, This Week in Business History

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

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

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Jeff Miller

Host

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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

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Allie Krasinski

Marketing Coordinator

Allie is currently completing a degree in marketing with a certificate in entrepreneurship at the University of Georgia. She got her social media start through an internship with Shred, a personal training app, and she’s been hooked ever since. She works to optimize our following base while assisting the team with content creation, influencer outreach and other marketing endeavors. Allie can’t wait to keep growing alongside Supply Chain Now.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jada Carson

Marketing Coordinator

Jada is a recent graduate of Old Dominion University, having earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications with a media studies concentration and marketing minor. Jada got her start producing content at 16 years old, while attending a radio and broadcasting journalism program in high school, and hasn't looked back!  She is an asset to the Supply Chain Now team as a media specialist, podcast and media producer, and production coordinator.  Outside of Supply Chain Now, Jada is a big Lakers fan, and also a music journalist and enthusiast.

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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