As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” And yet, despite the certainty and timelessness of the death care industry, it is a market more primed for disruption than most.
Scott Ginsburg is the CEO and Co-Founder of Titan Casket and Joshua Siegel is their COO and Co-Founder. They felt that the process of purchasing a casket was not only broken, but it also provided a subpar experience to people at one of the most challenging moments in their lives. They founded Titan Casket in 2016 because they believed they could do better.
In this interview, Scott and Joshua join co-hosts Scott Luton and Enrique Alvarez to discuss:
• The opportunity created by Federal legislation passed in the 1980s that was intended to protect consumer rights in the severely over-concentrated casket industry
• How Titan Casket is embracing familiar consumer brand activities to revolutionize an industry that is not accustomed to traditional marketing practices
• The unique shipping and logistical requirements associated with delivering a product that must always be on time and in perfect condition
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Scott Luton (00:32):
Hey, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, Scott Luton and Enrique Alvarez here with you on Supply Chain. Now welcome to today’s episode, Enrique. How you doing? Hey
Enrique Alvarez (00:41):
Scott, how are you doing? It’s great. It’s, I’m very excited about this, uh, the guest that we have today.
Scott Luton (00:46):
We have an excellent story. And by the way, welcome back from all your world travels. It’s great to have you here. Um, and we do have a great episode. We’ve got quite a unique episode today. Cause for the first time, and really my entire career, not just here at Supply Chain now, but ever, I’m gonna be talking, we’re gonna be talking supply chain and business with a company that makes caskets. So stay tuned for insights that I bet are new to you as well. Uh, but Enrique, this is not just any casket company. These two entrepreneurs are disrupting how a longstanding industry does business. So you buckled up and ready to go.
Enrique Alvarez (01:23):
I’m ready. I’m excited about the topic, I’m excited about the guest, and I’m sure that we’re all gonna learn a lot of things from listening to their experience.
Scott Luton (01:31):
I agree. You’re always ready, always, ever ready. Uh, but, so with all that said, I wanna welcome in our guests here today, Scott Ginsburg, c e o, and founder of Titan Casket. And Josh Siegel, c o and co-founder. So Scott, nice. It nice. Thanks for us, Josh. Uh, Scott, how you doing?
Scott Ginsberg (01:51):
Great, thanks. Nice to, nice to be here.
Scott Luton (01:53):
Great, great to see you here today. Looking forward to, uh, talking a little bit of Patriots and a lot of business here today. And Josh, great to see you as well. You too. So, um, we’re gonna get to know you a little better, uh, as we were talking to pre-show, uh, um, Scott, you’re over there in Boston on East Coast. And Josh, you’re out there just outside of Seattle and West coast. Coast to coast. As Josh said, pre-show, we got I 90 coverage. Is that right, NOK?
Enrique Alvarez (02:22):
That’s absolutely right. Yeah. Pretty diverse kind of, uh, geographically speaking, uh, audience today.
Scott Luton (02:30):
That’s right. Everybody’s getting interstate lessons and there’s gonna be a quiz after today’s show. But, uh, let’s start with this. So Scott, let’s start with you, uh, as we get to know you both a little better. Where did you grow up, Scott?
Scott Ginsberg (02:41):
I grew up in Marblehead, Massachusetts.
Scott Luton (02:44):
Okay. Marble Head, Massachusetts. What’s, what is, uh, one thing that Marble Head is known for?
Scott Ginsberg (02:53):
The ocean wears right smack in the ocean.
Scott Luton (02:56):
Scott Ginsberg (02:57):
We have great clam chowder.
Scott Luton (02:59):
Okay. Well, all right. So there’s a fierce clam chowder debate, I believe. So when you, when you say clam chowder, what does what you grew up with look like or taste like?
Scott Ginsberg (03:11):
White potatoes clams thick.
Scott Luton (03:16):
So not the red stuff, is that right?
Scott Ginsberg (03:17):
Not the red stuff. No, no. True clam chowder.
Scott Luton (03:21):
<laugh>. Okay. Um, all right. So one more thing cuz we could talk about, uh, seafood all day long and I’d be starving. We’d all be starving. Before we left, um, I mentioned the Patriots, so you’re a big time Patriots fan, and we are talking about all those Lombardi trophies all run. You’ve had it pretty good. This in the last, uh, I don’t know, two decades, huh?
Scott Ginsberg (03:42):
Uh, we can’t complain. I’m a huge Tom Brady fan. Um, but yes, we’re very fortunate here in New England,
Scott Luton (03:49):
You know, um, I remember growing up, uh, Enrique, uh, Scott and Josh when Joe Montana won. I think he won four Super Bowls. And I’m like, man, who’s ever gonna be able to beat that? And then comes long. Tom Brady, I don’t know how many rings he’s got. Maybe one for every finger, but we’re very jealous down here in Atlanta, Scott, of the Patriot success.
Scott Ginsberg (04:12):
And it’s understandable. I mean, uh, we’re lucky here. And by default I’m a Buccaneers fan now also,
Scott Luton (04:19):
Uh, as as I would be two, as I would be two when the, uh, s traded Dominique Wilkins, which should never happened, uh, to the Spurs I, the Spurs or Clippers. Uh, I was pulling for him wherever you went. He was a, a hawks icon. So. Good stuff. All right. So Josh, uh, let’s get to know you a little better. Where did you grow up?
Joshua Siegel (04:41):
I grew up in a small town outside Hartford, Connecticut called South Windsor, um, which was all farms when moved there when I was three, and then turned into suburbs over the next couple decades.
Scott Luton (04:52):
Yeah, south Windsor. So when you think about your upbringing there in South Windsor, what is one thing that’s inseparable from your childhood? We’ll call it
Joshua Siegel (05:03):
South Windsor. Um, well, it’s right. I mean, you were talking sports. It’s, it’s halfway between Boston and New York. And so you get nice small town, but you also get the best of both cities there, including, uh, fandom and the ability to, to get there. It’s right on I 84, speaking of interstates, which is I think the most pass through state interstate in the country. So, um, yeah, a lot of good things living there.
Scott Luton (05:29):
Well, Enrique, we, we said that folks are gonna get a lesson, uh, in, in interstate here today. Have you ever been sin Enrique? Uh, based on what Scott and Josh has already shared, kind in that, uh, the up the upper Northeast, have you ever been up there? When or when is the last time maybe Enrique, could you travel the world?
Enrique Alvarez (05:46):
I, I been there, but not recently. I don’t think I actually went there last year either, but, uh, okay. Both New York, Boston, that area is beautiful. Probably. It is a little too cold for me, uh, this time of the year, but, but definitely. Beautiful.
Scott Luton (06:00):
Well, uh, Josh, one more question. Cause you, uh, from South Windsor to now you’re outside, you know, just outside of Seattle, I believe. Um, when did you, when did you move out west?
Joshua Siegel (06:11):
I moved out here in, in 2011. Um, my wife and our third co-founder, actually Liz and I were living abroad for a while, and then I, I moved out to Seattle when I started working for Amazon.
Scott Luton (06:22):
And, you know, we asked, we were talking with, uh, Clem Chatter with Scott, and we love talking food around here. What is one, you know, in the Seattle area, I’ve got some guesses, but what’s one of your favorite food finds since you’ve been there?
Joshua Siegel (06:37):
Uh, it’s all seafood out here, just like in the Northeast. So dungeon is crab comes in all, all forms out here. And so, uh, we try to order it in whatever form is available on the menu
Scott Luton (06:49):
All day, every day. Love that. Uh, Josh, well, uh, welcome to you both Scott and Josh. Great to have you here. Uh, we got a great story. We’re gonna dive into Enrique, though. Where are we going next? What our two guests here?
Enrique Alvarez (07:02):
Well, before we deep dive into, uh, Titan Casket, I would like to talk a little bit more about what you both did professionally speaking your career. Is there anything that you would like to share with us, uh, before, uh, Titan Casket? And, uh, let’s start with you Josh. Um, I heard, and you mentioned it, that, uh, you work for Amazon and logistics, is that correct?
Joshua Siegel (07:23):
That’s right. Um, yeah, I, I often say that I’ve been trying to figure out heavy bulk e-commerce for a dozen years now, between my time at Amazon and here at, at Titan. Um, so I, I, when I joined, I, I ran their TV business for a few years, so selling TVs, very large, expensive items online that honestly most people like to see in person before they purchase. So it took on some, some very hard challenges there and, and trying to get people to buy things online. And then later I moved into the operations as Amazon started delivering its own packages. And again, with heavy, bulky, trying to figure out what is the right experience to deliver through l LTL and furniture, mattresses, TVs, and uh, and later caskets.
Enrique Alvarez (08:08):
Yeah. Which I’m guessing all this experiences led to the business model that you now have and you guys run so successfully. And Scott, turning to you, um, you were already selling caskets, right?
Scott Ginsberg (08:21):
Yes, uh, I, uh, was a casket manufacturer, sold and produced caskets, really along the Eastern seaboard.
Enrique Alvarez (08:31):
How did you get into, uh, that business? If, if you don’t mind sharing a little bit more of details then
Scott Ginsberg (08:38):
<laugh>. Well, that’s even for a longer story than here. <laugh>. Um,
Scott Luton (08:42):
It’s gonna be a 17 part series, Scott, huh?
Scott Ginsberg (08:45):
<laugh>? Yeah. It re yeah, it be for a long, uh, uh, to take here, but long, long, the short of it, I found a niche that there was no one making caskets here in the northeast and saw an opportunity and decided to be the only metal manufacturer really, on the East Coast.
Scott Luton (09:05):
Hmm. Well, so that begs the question then, as we’re about to be talking a lot more about by your company. Uh, when did the two of y’all meet, Josh? Why, why don’t you describe where the two of y’all met?
Joshua Siegel (09:19):
So I, I was at Amazon and, and when you’re at Amazon, you often get phone calls from people who find you on LinkedIn looking for help and getting set up as a seller or a vendor. And, you know, nine outta 10 times, you, you can’t take all these phone calls. But I was driving across I 91 day on my way to work and the phone rings and on the other end it was Scott, I, I picked it up, you know, you rarely pick up unknown numbers. And he said, Hey, I’m, uh, I went to a Columbia Business School like, like you did, and I found you in the alumni network and I’m trying to be a vendor on Amazon and I sell caskets. And once he mentioned network, uh, I said, okay, let’s, let’s keep talking. And he started to describe the structure of the industry and the opportunity here and all things we can get into. Um, but not very much later, he, he flew out to Seattle and we had lunch together and really got to know each other and start to, to sketch out. But now several years later is Titan.
Scott Luton (10:14):
Scott, anything you’d add to that?
Scott Ginsberg (10:17):
No, I mean, uh, it’s, it, it’s true. I flew out there, we had, uh, lunch, got a napkin, uh, drew what? Both got food thoughts are,
Scott Luton (10:29):
What was that? You both got food poisoning.
Scott Ginsberg (10:31):
Yeah, Josh, we got poisoning that day.
Scott Luton (10:34):
Scott Ginsberg (10:35):
Scott Luton (10:37):
Uh, we’re not laughing at you. Uh, but that, it just, it was meant to be, I guess it was meant to be. Um, and, and, uh, but Scott, I think part of what I’m hearing here with, with, um, how y’all first met is as, as entre as anyone, not just as entrepreneurs, but certainly as entrepreneurs, you gotta create your own luck, you know, and you gotta use whatever, uh, common threads you could use to initiate conversations and to build opportunities. Would you agree, Scott?
Scott Ginsberg (11:04):
Oh, absolutely. Yeah. I was soul searching, thinking, you know what, I could do what I, cuz I was selling currently on Amazon and, uh, reaching out to people that have different skill sets than I have. And you just have to really, you know, no pun intended, think outside the box a little bit.
Scott Luton (11:24):
Yeah. Pick up the phone, make it happen. Pick up the phone. Yeah, exactly. Pick up the carrier pigeon, the email, whatever, however you can connect with folks. Um, one last question before we, we shift over to learn a lot more about Titan Casket is, uh, Josh, I think anyone probably anytime. And how many years did you spend at Amazon?
Joshua Siegel (11:43):
I was there eight, eight and a half years.
Scott Luton (11:45):
Okay. Eight and a half years. So, um, do you, uh, you’re gonna be, uh, answering questions from your kids, your grandkids, you know, about those eight and a half years at Amazon. So when’s the book come out? <laugh>?
Joshua Siegel (11:58):
I think there’s been plenty of books written about Amazon now, <laugh>, um,
Scott Luton (12:01):
<laugh> Saturated Market.
Joshua Siegel (12:03):
Totally. It, it was an amazing year, eight years to be there. I think when I left I was in the, you know, one, the top 1% of joiners in terms of tenure just because the company grew so fast in those years. Um, and you really saw the company go from when I got there, there, there was a real vibe that, um, it could go away at any time and the fight was on. So even though it was already a big company at that point, it did feel, uh, very entrepreneurial and scrappy. And then, you know, when I left, I think it still kept those same values. So you could see how to scale a, a company based on a set of leadership principles. Same ones we talk about here today tight, even though we’re, you know, very few people. And, um, and to, uh, but also had, had dealt with bureaucracy and becoming such a cultural cornerstone and one of the biggest employers in the us So it was a, it was wild time to be there.
Scott Luton (12:53):
Wow, Tom. Alright, Enrique, I wanna give you a chance to comment cause I know that a lot of what they both have shared in, in just the last couple of, uh, segments probably speak volumes, uh, to you. Your quick thoughts there about whether creating your own luck or, or having the great opportunity of working at a an iconic company like Amazon.
Enrique Alvarez (13:12):
Well, and I think both of those things, right at the beginning it was very, it’s, it’s great to hear how, uh, it went from a phone call to yes, I would book my trip to Seattle and meet you in person. And I think that’s the step that most people kind of don’t do, right? You always have great ideas, you always have great passion, you always want to do things, but hey, taking a plane, that’s, that’s the next step. And, and, and it apparently worked out great for you too. And so I’m very excited to hear the rest of the story.
Scott Luton (13:40):
We are too. We are too. Well said. Um, okay, so to our listeners out there, as we segue here, I bet when you first heard me mention the word casket, you’re like, what in the world? Well, I gotta tell you, we get, um, our door gets pounded by folks that are looking to appear, looking to have a conversation, you name it. And when, when I, uh, came across Tightened Casket and, and Josh and Scott here, I’m like, man, you know, I know nothing about that entire industry that touches us all. We gotta have a conversation. So, uh, as we’re about to talk more, I want to mention a couple things. Uh, first off, Scott and Josh, congrats on the successful round of funding, funding you had in 2022. Um, clearly are on the move. Uh, and we’re gonna talk more about how you’re disrupting the industry.
Scott Luton (14:26):
And I think a great prefacing, especially for our listeners out there, as I looked at some, um, some of the press around the successful, around the fundraising that he had, I was struck by this quote I saw in one of the press releases, it was by Andrew Ovid, and he said, quote, death care is one of the most taboo and least modernized markets in quote. And I’m like, man, that is so true. That is so true. So with that as a backdrop, I wanna dive into, uh, learning more about this fast growing business that you both, uh, are, are leading. Um, and cause again, our I bet as a business and an industry that our listeners know very little about. So Scott, let’s start with you. How did you set out to disrupt this longstanding, uh, sector in or industry?
Scott Ginsberg (15:17):
Well, when you look at this industry as a whole, this industry itself hasn’t really changed In over a hundred years. You’ve done the same thing. You’ve done, uh, time and time again. Someone passes, you go to that same funeral home, you don’t shop, you walk into that same selection room, you see those same six or eight caskets that haven’t changed over 20 yard years. And when you think about it, it’s really a broken experience. You’re under pressure and it had to be a better way. And that was really one of the, the genesis of that had to be a better way to do this. And, uh, because with the, um, touch upon this yet, but the funeral rule, which is passed in the 1980s, gives you the consumer the right to purchase a casket and have it sent to the funeral home of your choice. That really was the lynchpin of this business because of that one rule we get. I got to launch Titan Casket in 2016.
Scott Luton (16:17):
So Scott, just for, um, to make sure our listeners are aware, what you’re talking about there, I believe is a federal legislation that passed in the eighties where that that creates those consumer rights to choose whatever casket that they would love, would like for their family members. And the funeral homes need to honor that, um, that those choices. Is that right?
Scott Ginsberg (16:40):
Scott Luton (16:42):
Um, alright, so I’m gonna circle back and, and, and so we can really, uh, maybe in a nutshell, y’all talk about what Titan Casket does, but Josh, as we stick with this, um, disruption and the opportune that was there that Scott was just talking about, would you add anything else? I mean, why, what what, what made you say, Hey, yeah, I wanna fly this guy out here and I wanna then talk with him and I’m gonna eventually leave Amazon to, to grow this company. What, what, what spoke to you?
Joshua Siegel (17:10):
Two things here. The first is the, there are two large cascade manufacturers that control 85% of the market and they only sell to funeral homes. And so when Scott described the funeral rule and the ability to, to sell direct to consumer and through his network of manufacturers outside of those big two, that immediately was to me the story that Warby Parker was telling about sunglasses where they went up against Exotica who only sold to their own retail stores. And so I saw not only an interesting business opportunity here in another category that would naturally move online, um, but also a real way to help people. You know, we, if you look at our reviews and you think about the families working with every day, we’re we’re working with families going through one of the most meaningful weeks of their lives, we can help educate them. We can help them save a ton of money. And so it was, I I thought a real interesting business opportunity, um, and a meaningful way to, to, uh, spend my time.
Scott Luton (18:06):
Hmm. Well said. Uh, Enrique, I wanna check in with you here as we’re talking about the opportunity and, and some of their why really they’re speaking to, and of course the, the, um, disruption opportunity that, that existed. Your thoughts, Enrique, before we get into level, set a little bit more about what, uh, Titan Casket does?
Enrique Alvarez (18:22):
No, I would love to hear a little bit more about like, the type of caskets they sell and a little bit more of the details. Cuz I guess it’s, it’s clear that there was an opportunity there, of course, an industry that not a lot of people kinda looked into. And when they do, as God put it, it’s already under pressure. You’re clearly not thinking, uh, straight or you’re not really trying to set money at that point sometimes. So, uh, on top of the opportunity that the market presented for you guys, what other things have you actually improved in the product itself or the experience itself that I, that makes you so unique and so successful?
Joshua Siegel (18:59):
I can, I can answer. So I think the experience, um, you know, one other trend you see in every category, um, including, including events. If you think about how people plan weddings now you, you start that from your, your kitchen table surrounded by loved ones, not with a salesperson. So just the ability to be, um, to, to envision what you would like to, how you like to say goodbye and take control of that, I think is how we’ve changed the experience. Um, and second, because we’re an online retailer and we don’t have a limited, we don’t have limited shelf space. So you walk into a, a funeral home, you may have eight or 10 caskets there, um, you know, we’re able to offer over a thousand models on our site. And so the ability to not only plan at home and meet the vision of what you, you have and see that selection as well as save a ton of money because you’re, you’re, um, you, you are educated about the processes are all things that we’ve changed about the experience.
Scott Ginsberg (20:02):
Scott Luton (20:02):
Also, yeah, go ahead, Scott. Plus
Scott Ginsberg (20:04):
Also that you have the ability to, to customize it. So if you, you know, you have a unique way that you wanna honor your loved one. So with us online, you could create a different color, a different interior, whatever that that theme is that you’re looking for can do from the, the comfort of your living room.
Scott Luton (20:23):
Man. Um, be, before we go in, I’m gonna ask you, uh, um, a neat tie in here in a minute. And Enrique is gonna ask you more about the operational side of your business here in a moment. But, um, before we go any further, as as, um, as I’m sure you get folks stopping an elevator or, or at a restaurant or whatever, hey, what is Titan Casket in a nutshell? What else would you add, uh, beyond what you’ve shared, uh, to folks? I may ask that question. Scott, would you add add anything else, sir?
Scott Ginsberg (20:51):
Yeah, I think, uh, if someone asks, we hear it titan how our clients, uh, not take an emotional loss and turn it into a financial loss.
Scott Luton (21:01):
Hmm. And Josh, uh, and we’ve all referenced kind of that, um, you that that that moment and journey that, uh, death care to use Andrew’s term from the, the, the press release, we’re all at a very unique mental state, uh, right. The whole family is, and I like what Scott just shared there, you know, let’s not allow kind of where the, where our minds are at that moment to create bigger problems down the road because of maybe not being aware of, of the choices that we have out there. Is that right, Josh?
Joshua Siegel (21:36):
That’s right. I, I think so much of our mission is just normalizing conversations around funerals it people, you know, you go through your lives, you don’t want to talk about this, it’s uncomfortable, right? It’s, it’s, but we know how beneficial it is when families sit down and are educated about the process before they come into it or, or call a company like us where we can, we could talk them through what to expect. Um, they, it’s just massively better outcomes. And so I think what we’re we need to be willing to do as a company is, um, uh, is is act like a regular consumer brand and, and do things like we had a Black Friday promotion, right? And, and even though that may seem a little odd coming from a kaki company, it raises, it gets pressed, it raises awareness around the funeral rule. And so we, we just are so confident that when consumers and families engage with funeral planning ahead of a time of need, um, it’s so beneficial.
Scott Luton (22:33):
Reed, I love how You’all are thinking and you’re approaching, and, um, maybe next time we’ll have you, I’d love to go through some case studies where, uh, just empowering the consumers that y’all are, are in your customers you’re dealing with and giving them the choice, um, you know, uh, beyond maybe more choices, but the savings and, and just, um, you know, the freedom to get kind of outside the system. All those are a ton of value there. Um, okay, so Enrique, how cool, um, I’m gonna ask ’em, you can’t steal my question cause I’m, I’m, I wanna be cool with my kids. Go for it. But <laugh>, when you think about what they were just talking about, Enrique, I wanna get your comment there. Um, cause I gotta tell you this is, um, it makes so much sense now I’m sitting here talking with him, but like, you know, uh, for the rest of my life, I never stop. Think about it. Your quick thoughts, uh, on that, on, on disrupting the casket industry, Enrique.
Enrique Alvarez (23:28):
Yeah. So I’ll give you my 2 cents, but then also quick question back to both Josh and Scott cuz I feel like with all this new way of approaching this very sad and, uh, process, I mean, is it, are you seeing a little more engagement by people? For example, me, when I die, if I had this option now, I could probably go online before I die and say, pick my Barcelona colors or whatever. Is there some kind of, uh, people that are probably planning a bit more, seeing death a little bit more naturally? I mean, at the end of the day, it’s part of life and we’re all gonna go through it. So I think that opening up the discussion and the conversation, the way that you guys are doing it seems, seems natural, seems right. It shouldn’t be a taboo. So, but do you see a little bit more engagement by the ultimate user of the caskets?
Scott Ginsberg (24:17):
Sure. We have, uh, yep. Uh, uh, people call us all the time, ask us, uh, that, you know, we have a loved one. And, um, we’re thinking about down the road maybe a few years from now, we are looking for something unique and different. And because things like that, we also have what’s called a pre-planning option also on our site. So you can go to our site and, and pre-plan, Hmm. If you’re looking for a casket down the road at years down the road, you can also do something like that. But that is what we’re doing. It’s really bringing up a lot more conversations that the average person wouldn’t be thinking about ordinarily, because I think what we’re doing now is really putting a spotlight on, on this.
Scott Luton (25:01):
Enrique, I’m glad you asked that question, Scott. Thank you for that response, because if our audience is anything, there’s a lot of planners <laugh> amongst our global audience, right? Um, all right, you
Enrique Alvarez (25:11):
Gotta, Scott, you gotta start ordering your, uh, Braves Braves logo.
Scott Luton (25:16):
<laugh>. You nailed being
Enrique Alvarez (25:16):
A huge Braves fan. That would be very fitting
Scott Luton (25:21):
<laugh>, you know, I know <laugh>, uh, we’ll have to see if they, they’ll they’ll, uh, stock that one. But, um, um, okay, so let’s talk about, I saw one of your, uh, y’all been getting a lot of press in recent years and, and, uh, congrats giving y’all’s growth and, and especially the innovative, uh, approach behind it. So what is this? I know it’s not Tom Brady Scott, but what is this? I I’ve read about Taylor Swift in a certain music video. Scott, tell us more.
Scott Ginsberg (25:49):
Sure. Um, we sell caskets to movie studios and production companies all the time, and they’ll ask us for sometimes to custom make them, and we’ll sometimes know what the casket is going to be used for, but sometimes we also don’t know. And so this one particular production company, uh, purchase a casket, and it was back in July of last year and didn’t think much of it, but one of our employees, uh, gave me a call and says, Scott, I think that’s our casket. And the Taylor Swift video, and she’s a huge Taylor Swift fan. So I took a look at it and I go, yeah, that is, but let’s just double check. And made a phone call at the production company, and they verified it. And I had a, you know, take a pause for a second. I called Josh Liz immediately. And, um, and we just couldn’t believe that one of the most popular people on the planet Earth is using our casket actually is in our casket and one of the most recognizable, uh, songs, videos on the planet. And it’s just, uh, it’s just unbelievable.
Scott Luton (27:02):
Uh, hey, I’m with you. And, uh, I can’t wait to tell my kids. Uh, Josh, I bet you and, and, uh, Liz, I think it was, I bet that was quite a moment y’all celebrated, huh?
Joshua Siegel (27:13):
Yeah, I mean, the, the crazy thing about it is that it was the day after we were presenting in front of the Federal Trade Commission about funeral, the funeral rule. Cause there for the first time in a generation looking at updating it. And so what happened after we noticed this was online is, is one of her, uh, followers on Twitter and, and Instagram who identifies products in her music videos, identified that that was a Titan casket went viral. All of a sudden we are flooded with comments and, and people, you know, engaging with us online. Then that followed with a week and a half of press. And so what was great about this was not just the attention it brought to the company and not, obviously as an entrepreneur, it’s a thrill to see someone so famous in your product. Um, but it brought so much attention to the funeral world, which is our whole mission. And so the timing of this was, um, you know, thrilling as a, a business owner, but also just, um, you know, we have a team here who works so hard every day with, with families, and, you know, it’s, it’s a hard job what we’re asking our team to do. And, um, so it was really just an uplifting, uplifting thing to happen.
Scott Luton (28:16):
I love it. So, um, musicians out there, rock and roll stars, uh, from Rolling Stones to the Backstreet Boys, they’re still thinging out, I don’t know, but hey, <laugh>, check out and tighten the casket if you wanna be the cool kids in your music videos. Um, Enrique, now a as we were talking about, um, uh, Scott and Josh both were kind of asking about our, our global audience here at Supply Chain. Now, of course, I’ll self-identify and big supply chain narrative as we’re talking about o often supply chain management. And I think with your next question to Scott and Josh, we wanna kind of gain some insights from the operational side of the business. Is that right, Ricky?
Enrique Alvarez (28:51):
Absolutely. And of course, as you mentioned, like everyone in this program, at least in show, is interested in the supply chain operations side of things. And so I used turned back to you guys, Josh and Scott, and, uh, from the supply chain of Tightened caskets, can you share a few things if you need details that you’ve probably have learned in the last years of, uh, operating such a successful business?
Joshua Siegel (29:17):
I can start. So, so the one
Scott Luton (29:19):
Unique thing about
Joshua Siegel (29:21):
Enrique Alvarez (29:21):
One unique thing you wanted, you wanted that question, didn’t you, Josh? Like, yeah, I, this is, this one’s for me, <laugh>. Well,
Joshua Siegel (29:28):
Again, this could be a whole another hour and a half podcast about it.
Scott Ginsberg (29:31):
<laugh>. Yeah. This pretty easy. Yeah, definitely. But I think what’s most important though, to, to talk about just a little bit, and I’ll let Josh grab it, uh, from the operational aspect, our third founder who is not here right now is, is huge in this area. This is, uh, uh, she’s in, her name is Liz Siegel, and also is Josh’s, uh, wife. Just wanna mention that.
Scott Luton (29:59):
So how far the list
Scott Ginsberg (30:00):
A path left to
Scott Luton (30:01):
Josh? Yeah. So Josh <laugh>, um, yeah, so now walk carefully, right, Josh
Joshua Siegel (30:08):
And marry someone who’s very operationally oriented, is, is the lesson. Um,
Scott Luton (30:12):
Joshua Siegel (30:13):
We, we sell one of the, I think the only products that is both, you know, heavy, bulky ships through those networks and has to be there on time, or it, it’s a complete disaster, right? The furniture can show up a day late, A fridge can show up a few days late. Like maybe if you’re, you’re shipping, you know, wood for a contracting job that starts, you have, it has to be there on time. But that’s the unique thing about our business that we have not found great solutions for from third parties. And so we’ve had to build, um, nearly every part of our process ourselves in terms of how we track shipments, how we work with carriers, how we pull end in cores when shipments are off track, how we, um, communicate with customers. So, right, if you order a a book today from Amazon, you know exactly where that is at all time. You know where the truck is. And these are things that are missing, um, in the LTL space. And so I, I think, um, my main lesson, which I already knew after being at Amazon for eight years trying to fix these, is that the, the whole heavy, bulky part of the supply chain, um, you know, is a generation behind where small parcel is.
Scott Luton (31:24):
Anything else wanna add there? Well, go
Scott Ginsberg (31:25):
Ahead. Yeah, I mean, it’s, oh, I mean, go ahead. It’s Josh’s point. It is challenging, like shipping a refrigerator, a refrigerator, you know, across the country. I mean, even though we do it, but even the challenges, make sure it gets there. One piece, which is also another challenge. So, uh, it isn’t easy, but again, we have a, a really great team of people behind the scenes following everything, every step of the way, communicating with the client every step of the way. And the person who’s taking that charge is, is, uh, Liz.
Scott Luton (32:02):
Hmm. Well, we’re gonna have to set up, uh, Enrique, uh, an interview with, uh, with Liz, uh, behind the green curtain to use that wizard of Oz <laugh>. Um, um, absolutely analogy, Enrique, what, based on what they’re talking about from the operational side, and look, you know, supply chain management of any sort is not for the faint of heart, right? And, um, it makes these, makes a team, Scott, Josh, Liz, and the rest of the team even more bold, right? Cause not only they’re disrupting the industry, but they’re, they’re embracing a, a challenging logistics, uh, uh, feat, right? En Ricky. What else? Uh, when as they’re talking about the operational side, what else comes to your mind?
Enrique Alvarez (32:41):
Well, it comes, um, it’s, it’s interesting how many, um, examples I can get from different industries, right? It sounds like you guys are in the casket industry, but at the same time, it’s more like a technology company in the sense that everything’s kind of sold online. You customize it and then you have to ship it and it has to be there at the very exact time when it’s needed, which makes perfect sense. So, uh, no, it, it seems, it seems very interesting from men all this different angles. Um,
Joshua Siegel (33:12):
So it’s fun. It’s funny when you mentioned Andrew, our investor, one thing we told him when we were finalizing the investment is there’s a 5% chance he’s investing in a heavy, bulky SaaS company. Cuz we, we do have to build so much software in-house to, um, to manage the business we’re trying to scale on the operational side.
Scott Ginsberg (33:30):
Yeah. And to that point too, I mean, if someone asks us do we sell caskets? Absolutely. Uh, where just as much in the shipping business as the business.
Scott Luton (33:40):
I believe that. Uh, alright, so the billion dollar question here, en Ricky, I think mentioned Barcelona. Is that your major league <laugh>, or is that your, uh, big soccer team? Is that your, uh, your big fan of Enrique?
Enrique Alvarez (33:52):
Scott Luton (33:54):
All right. So, uh, Scott and Josh, you’ve got soccer clubs that, uh, uh, for casket options,
Scott Ginsberg (34:03):
We could make ’em
Scott Luton (34:04):
Bar parcel, Barcelona, funeral casket, <laugh>. That’s it. Okay.
Enrique Alvarez (34:09):
That’s, well that’s the beauty. Well that’s the beauty, uh, about what you guys do, right? It’s customizable to the point that, maybe not now, but down the road you can get to those lens. Uh, and I’m sure that’s not even a super creative, uh, casket. I’m sure there’s more creative people out there. Do you have any, I guess, random requests that you can share with us? Something funny like that, that someone maybe wanted or,
Scott Ginsberg (34:34):
I have a unique one a little bit. Uh, someone recently, uh, he worked, uh, he was a coach on a, uh, high school team. He died in middle of the season and the team’s colors were orange. And as you could imagine, how many orange caskets do we really make? Not a lot <laugh>. So, uh, we made an orange casket and, uh, I was a little nervous just because there are various shades of orange,
Scott Luton (35:04):
Scott Ginsberg (35:05):
And, um, so I made it the color of like a sun-kissed orange, and they received it and they were happy. And that’s probably, uh, one of the more unique ones.
Scott Luton (35:17):
Oh man, I love that. Uh, love that. Um, and then you’re right, there are lots of shades of orange as a Clemson van. You’ve got Clemson Orange, you got Tennessee Orange, you’ve got Texas’s. I think they burnt orange. So, uh, but, but how cool is that? You know, give folks options and where they can really make a statement, um, you know, as part of their funeral as well. Um, alright, so one final question around, uh, global supply chain. Uh, and Josh, I’m gonna start with you here. You know, a as you survey, um, what’s going on out in the global industry, what’s one topic that, uh, maybe, uh, it’s got your attention more than others right now?
Joshua Siegel (35:59):
And so for me, I, you know, I’m was at Amazon a long time. I’m always thinking about the customer experience. Um, to me, I, what I would love to see is what are innovations that are happening, um, post order from a customer perspective. I think a lot of what’s been designed in the heavy, bulky space, um, helps, helps the shipper, helps the, the, the shipper meaning us or, or the l a company track a package. Um, but there hasn’t been a lot of investment into what is the, what’s the perfect experience for a customer who orders, when you’re talking heavy bulk, it’s usually a high price item. Not always as, as as important to be there in time as a casket, but still something that somebody spent a lot of time thinking about. What is the perfect experience for that customer post order to take all the stress out of it and to, to enhance it? And, and I think company, a company that can figure that out will be either the preferred shipper or a preferred software layer that, that every company like ours will, would want to use. Um, and so that’s where, that’s where I’m constantly scanning. I’m hoping we don’t have to, to build it ourselves, just cause we got a lot going on.
Scott Luton (37:06):
Yeah, no kidding. And, and you’re right. Customer experience, good old cx, one of the many Xs out there, uh, cx, ux, tx, you name it. Um, uh, thankfully, uh, it’s got the attention of a lot of business leaders out there, and I bet those eight and a half years at Amazon and that perspective experience you have, um, that you, that you bring to the table, I bet it’s been really valuable for Titan Casket. Um, Scott, same question. And Enrique, by the way, I’m gonna give you a heads up. I’m, I’m gonna ask you the same question too, uh, given what you do day in day out, you and your team. But Scott, what’s one thing as you look at global business, what’s one topic that’s got your attention?
Scott Ginsberg (37:45):
Well, I mean, just touching upon what Josh has mentioned that is on the forefront of my brain constantly. That’s, if we could just figure that out, that would enhance our business and it just knock it outta the park for us, that’s right now is, I think for us, the key, the key is shipping, getting it from here to there in perfect condition and be able to track it and give that consumer the best experience
Scott Luton (38:08):
Possible. Yeah, love that. And, and, and the family by extension. Right. Um, so Enrique, uh, again, a unique, a unique episode like we knew <laugh> on the front end. Uh, what’s one thing, um, maybe it’s related to what Scott and Josh is talking, maybe it’s not, but one, as you survey global supply chain, uh, and as we’re getting ready, we’re already in the new year, what’s one, one topic trend news item that’s got your attention lately? Yeah,
Enrique Alvarez (38:35):
I think for this year, at least for me, there’s still one that, uh, Josh and Scott already touched upon, which is visibility. I think visibility is going to be very, very important, especially at the international realm. And, uh, Josh mentioned, well, if you could know where the casket is at all times, which is something that you can do now with, uh, GPS tracking capabilities that are getting less expensive every day. Uh, so that could be one, uh, definitely needed and, uh, definitely good for the overall experience in the consumers. And the other ones use sustainability. I think there’s a lot of sustainability coming, I think the US a live bit behind, uh, compared to other countries. And that’s something that I think, uh, I would like to see and I’m going to continue kind of looking forward to.
Scott Luton (39:22):
Yeah, great. We got a lot of work to do in that regard, right?
Enrique Alvarez (39:26):
Scott Luton (39:27):
Absolutely. Um, so, uh, and, and speaking of visibility, uh, uh, what I like to say is, you know, for years business leaders have, have sought for and asked for, and asked for investments to, to gain that visibility. Well, and, and by large measure, it’s here now and it’s, it’s, it’s what are you gonna do with it? Right? That’s where the board boardroom and consumers and, and, uh, the rest of the business is, is expecting, uh, uh, the gains we made. So, um, okay, I wanna shift gears here as we start to wind. Uh, today’s episode down really have enjoyed, uh, the story Scott and Josh has brought to the table here. And, and, and how Titan casket is, is really changing industry for the better, and especially for the consumer. I love stories like that. So as fellow entrepreneurs, we got, we got a whole panel here of entrepreneurs. Um, Scott, I’m gonna start with you here. What is one of your biggest mentors or role models?
Scott Ginsberg (40:22):
I, I kind have two. One would be my high school teacher. Um, really great guy. His name is, uh, Tim Riley. And he would say to me, you know, the top of one mountain, uh, is the bottom of the next. So keep on climbing, give up. And, uh, the next I would say Elon Musk.
Scott Luton (40:49):
So, which, uh, of Elon Musk’s businesses out there, do you, do you, uh, is is Tesla, is SpaceX, is what’s, what do you find the most fascinating aspect of what he’s had his hands in?
Scott Ginsberg (41:00):
I mean, for me, I love Tesla. And for, uh, also someone wake up one day and say, you know, I wanna have a hobby and shoot rocket, that’s up <laugh>. I mean, so who does that? I mean, so, I mean, I think he’s just a visionary. He’s a one in a generation kind of individual and, uh, it’s amazing guy.
Scott Luton (41:25):
Yeah. Um, speaking of space, it’s really cool to see, uh, what’s been going on the last couple years, especially even NASA’s getting back into launching that massive rocket. And of course the James Webb Telescope. Um, hopefully we’re moving into another golden air for space exploration. We’ll see. Um, Josh, same question. Uh, it’s gonna be two, two to top there, two, two, uh, um, it’s a challenging top maybe there, but Josh biggest mentors role models. What’s one that comes to mind?
Joshua Siegel (41:53):
Yeah, I, so I’ll, uh, I mean, it’s kinda a maybe boring example cause I mentioned I was at Amazon, but I’ll I’ll say Bezos and, and largely because he’s representative of so many of the great leaders I worked with at Amazon who were my day-today mentors. Um, but I remember I, I was in a room with him a few times and I remember once, it was the night before a big product launch, and he was already at that point, the richest person on the planet, and he came into the room, he was enthusiastic and he was line editing the product page for the product launch the next day. And so the, the impression that made on me of, of the person who’s, you know, the richest person on the planet, spending their time, being that in the details, um, has never left me. And I think that is a lesson, you know, now as an entrepreneur, I think one lesson we learned again and again is you have to do, no one’s gonna do it for you. Right? You anything in our business that we try to add, we have to do it ourselves first, figure out how to make it work here, and then you could scale it through others. But anytime we’ve said, okay, we want to do this thing, and so let’s hire a person or an agency, it just hasn’t gone well. Cause you don’t know how to do it yourself. Hmm. And so that’s why I, I think about that, that experience a lot. And, uh, remind, remind myself of it.
Scott Luton (43:05):
That’s a good one, man. Uh, Enrique, I bet that, uh, uh, that’s got some kindred spirits with you, huh? Definitely. No, that, that resonates with me and I’m sure it resonates with you, Scott. Yeah. You, you know, we, um, I think Greg White, uh, of course me and Ricky and Greg, uh, we, we host a lot of shows around here. Uh, a lot of times, uh, Greg will use this phrase that chief executive officer and also the chief bottle washer, right? Cuz you, you can’t be too high mind to do anything, right? And they, and they’re, and Josh, to your point, uh, not only on one on one hand, there’s a sense of humility right? In that example, but really a great entrepreneurial lesson there, uh, also with your point is you gotta be able to figure out and know how to disrupt it and, and, and how to make it happen.
Scott Luton (43:50):
How to execute before you hand it off in many cases. So I love that it’s where you find that competitive advantage and, and, um, and, and how you can disrupt and, and build an organization, what the secret sauce is. So good stuff there. Um, okay, now we get to one piece of advice. Now, Scott, I’m gonna circle back around to you. You’ve already shared a little bit, uh, from Tim Riley, I think was your high school teacher. I love that the mountain top one mountain is the bomb of the next, any other piece of advice you might can offer our listeners?
Scott Ginsberg (44:20):
Yeah, don’t be afraid. You know, don’t be afraid to pick that phone up. Don’t be afraid to ask because you’re gonna get lots and lots and nos, but that, that old adage is the inch is gonna be no if you don’t try.
Scott Luton (44:35):
Wow. Yep. And if you’re not getting lots of nos, you’re not asking for enough money, <laugh> or you’re not asking the big enough question. Good stuff there. I love that. And then, and clearly you’re living that, alright? You’re, uh, you’re practicing what you preach. Josh, one piece of device.
Joshua Siegel (44:51):
I, I think, um, one thing I’ve learned, you know, from Scott, but also in Titan versus when I worked at larger corporations, is how important relationships and, and trust is. I think, you know, even among the founding team, we worked together for years before we actually founded Titan. I’m obviously married to our other founders, <laugh>, so there’s stress there, <laugh>. Um, but then if you, if you look at the, the moments that have happened, um, the, the way we’ve built the business, it’s so much of the momentum. You, you have through relationships where you, you have those relationships, you are trying lots of different things like Scott said. And so we look like, I won’t get into all the detail, but you look at what happened with the Taylor Swift press, it didn’t just happen, right? It, it, it happened because we had done 15 other things with which five worked and those came together at that moment. And so, um, you know, there’s 15 specific things, nevermind the years of investing in the business, so, right. Um, you know, relation trust. And then I would, I would double down on what Scott said,
Scott Luton (45:54):
Man, Josh and Scott quite the one to punch Enrique. Before I make sure folks know how to connect with, uh, both of these, these entrepreneurs and Titan casket. Anything you want to add when it comes to, uh, uh, advice for our listeners, especially those entrepreneurs out there?
Enrique Alvarez (46:10):
Well, I think the advisor they gave us pretty much, um, it’s a big part of what it takes to become an entrepreneur, right? I mean, don’t be afraid, never keep asking for things and just work hard. Do it yourself. I think they covered it,
Scott Luton (46:25):
I think. So it’s just that simple, right? The last hour
Enrique Alvarez (46:28):
Sounds, sounds simple, right? Other people would do it, but it sounds simpler Yeah. Than what it really is.
Scott Luton (46:34):
Well, you know, Scott mentioned it too. Uh, he, he, um, I think he said, don’t be scared, you know, but be bold, right? If she’s an opportunity, it doesn’t matter if, if folks have been doing it one way for a hundred years, it usually means that it is ripe for a big, um, improvement and disruption. And clearly that’s what Titan Casket’s doing. And again, the, the, the good news here, a big part of, at least from where I sit, is giving families a lot more options. Right? Um, a lot more options. That’s always a good thing. So with that said, um, let’s make sure, um, folks wanna connect with you, Scott and Josh and Titan Casket. Scott’s start with you. How can folks connect with you?
Scott Ginsberg (47:14):
Go to tighten casket.com. Um, and or you could email us. Uh, I’m Scott a Titan Casket, and Josh is Josh a Titan casket, and we’d love to hear and help and feel free to reach out.
Scott Luton (47:29):
I love that, Scott. Thank you very much. Josh. We add anything there? Or he he’s got it.
Joshua Siegel (47:34):
I would say call us. Si or you know, we got the big number on the website, we’re not afraid Yeah. Um, of people calling us. And so, uh, you know, we’re here. Even if you don’t have a need in the short term, you know, we’re here as a resource. We’re a service as much as we are a product company. And so, so, um, we’re always interested in, uh, like I said, relationships
Scott Luton (47:55):
Outstanding. Just right up the road on I 90, uh, grab a bowl of clam chowder with, uh, Scott or some, uh, Dungeons Crab. Is that right? Josh <laugh> o over in Seattle, if you’re West Coast, um, or big thanks. Uh, Scott Ginsburg, c e o and founder, uh, with Titan Casket and his colleague and partner, Josh Siegel, coo and co-founder with Titan Casket. Hey, big shout out to Liz about to get her story down the road a little bit, but thank you, uh, Scott for joining us.
Scott Ginsberg (48:25):
Thank you Scott and Justin Enrique for having us.
Scott Luton (48:29):
You bet. And Josh, great to see you. Thanks for your time.
Joshua Siegel (48:32):
Yeah, thanks so much. It was great to meet you both.
Scott Luton (48:34):
Alrighty. Alright, uh, man, what a story, Enrique, I tell you, I’m so glad, uh, I knew this was gonna be a unique story and, uh, and certainly I had all of this in my blind spot. But let me ask you before we make sure folks, when I connect with you, what was one of your favorite parts of the last hour that we spent here with Jo, uh, Scott and Josh?
Enrique Alvarez (48:56):
Well, there were many, many things that I wrote down and some things that I definitely need to, uh, learn about what they did and how they did it. But, uh, I think just the, the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit that they both have and the, the way they have come together to form this amazing team, I think they compliment each other for the very little that we had a chance to talk with them. And, uh, keep climbing. Don’t be afraid to ask. Uh, relationships are very important. I think. Uh, I think, uh, they have a great team. I speaks Lisa. Lisa sounds very, uh, a great, uh, team member as well. So, um, no, this was, this was a really good interview. Thanks for thanks for coming and thanks for having me as well, Scott.
Scott Luton (49:41):
You bet. And Enrique, how many pages? You’re, you’ve got that legendary notebook, you probably have 37,000 of ’em now. <laugh>, how many pages <laugh> did, did they fill of, of the one you’ve got right here?
Enrique Alvarez (49:53):
A couple of pages for sure. And, uh, no, all great stuff. It’s, uh, it’s such an interesting industry that no one really talks about or thinks about, right? So it’s kind of what makes me excited about talking to entrepreneurs like them because they come into an industry that basically no one else considered. That’s right. Uh, or very few people consider and then they’re actually trying to take advantage of the opportunity. So, very interesting. Congratulations again.
Scott Luton (50:20):
So folks, check out Titan Casket. Make sure you, uh, reach out. Uh, you heard ’em, uh, Scott and Josh, they welcome your phone calls, your, your emails, you name it. Uh, you’ve got options now and let’s not, let’s all work together to not make death care, uh, taboo. Um, alright, Enrique, before we wrap up here, of course your show’s Logistics with Purpose, which has just been a dynamo. Uh, just like there’s a lot of purpose in this conversation today. You’ve, you’ll find that by the truckload with that podcast. You can find that anywhere. Listeners, any of y’all may have listened some of those supply chain now in ESP Spaniel, we’re reinvigorating that with, uh, Sophia, um, uh, Rivas Herrera. So stay tuned for that as we re relaunch that here in 2023. But one quick question, Ricky, before we go is, um, leveraging logistics for Ukraine, right? Initiative’s been going on for, uh, eight months or so now. Um, how can folks plug into that and, and help families in need?
Enrique Alvarez (51:15):
Well, I think the easier way to contact me is through LinkedIn as well. I mean, you just search and Rez or Vector Global Logistics, that’s probably the easier way of doing it. The other way, it could be through our firstname.lastname@example.org and you’ll find all the information not only about the Ukraine, but some also some of the other, uh, initiatives that we have.
Scott Luton (51:35):
Wonderful. Well, always a pleasure knocking out these conversations with you. Enrique Avaris, thank you for your time.
Enrique Alvarez (51:41):
Thank you Scott.
Scott Luton (51:43):
All right, folks, to our listeners, thank you for joining us. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this episode as much as we have. I’ll tell ya, I’ve learned a ton of what was in my blind spot. Um, hey, be sure to find Supply Chain now. Wherever you get your podcast from, financial on YouTube, that’s an easy way to connect, uh, and to even comment, engage, and in our webinars, our live stream, our podcasts, you name it. On behalf of the entire team here at Supply Chain now, Scott Luton challenging all our listeners do good to give forward and to be the change. And with that said, we next time, right back here. I supply chain now. Thanks everybody.
Thanks for being a part of our supply chain now, community. Check out all of our email@example.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.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Vice President, Production
Amanda is a production and marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Amanda currently manages, produces, and develops modern digital content for Supply Chain Now and their clients. Amanda has previously served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah, and founded and managed her own successful digital marketing firm, Magnolia Marketing Group. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now production team, you can find Amanda in the kitchen, reading, listening to podcasts, or enjoying time with family.
Constantine Limberakis is a thought leader in the area of procurement and supply management. He has over 20 years of international experience, playing strategic roles in a wide spectrum of organizations related to analyst advisory, consulting, product marketing, product development, and market research. Throughout his career, he's been passionate about engaging global business leaders and the broader analyst and technology community with strategic content, speaking engagements, podcasts, research, webinars, and industry articles.Constantine holds a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA in Finance & Marketing / Masters in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Director of Sales
Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.
With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.
When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Principal & CMO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.