Supply Chain Now
Episode 1153

Supply chains usually thrive in environments where there's infrastructure, market access, an entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, technology-driven ideas and transformation. And if we look at Africa where it is right now, there's a lot of parallels.

-Thobekile Nxumalo

Episode Summary

With 54 different countries, different cultures, and great diversity, the continent of Africa certainly faces its own unique set of challenges on the global supply chain stage. But with its young population and abundant natural resources, there is also great potential for growth, and supply chain can serve as a catalyst in harnessing these opportunities.

In this third and final episode of our three-part series, Supply Chain Now host Scott Luton wraps up coverage from the 2023 SAPICS Annual Conference in Cape Town, South Africa. In speaking with three more supply chain leaders, Ken Titmuss, Dr. Andrew Brown, and Thobekile Nxumalo, they cover topics from the great supply chain opportunities in Africa, mass customization, improving access to quality medicines, workforce education development, leveraging technology, and so much more.

Featured Guests:

Ken Titmuss- SAPICS & Kent Outsourcing Services

Dr. Andrew Brown- MTaPS

Thobekile Nxumalo- IQbusiness

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 everybody. Scott Luton with Supply Chain. Now back here at Safe Fix annual conference 2023 in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa. Joining me for this segment, we have Ken Titmuss. Ken, how you doing?

Ken Titmuss (00:45):

I’m doing fine, Scott. Yes. Glad to have you in Cape Town. Well,

Scott Luton (00:48):

You know, and that’s the right way of putting it, because you’ve been here for almost 40 years and you haven’t missed a conference. 35 conferences, 35, 5

Ken Titmuss (00:56):

Conferences. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:57):

All right. So I’m not sure that there’s a wealth of information. We’re not gonna get to all of it here today, but I wanna start with, um, you know, beyond all those things, uh, I told you about our two decade rule. We’ve got supply chain now, we’re gonna break that, unfortunately, because Ken, you bring 50 years of operations and supply chain management to the table. That is remarkable. You’ve, you’ve been there and seen it all. I bet. Um, so this might be an unfair question, but I’m gonna ask you anyway, if you could pick one moment out of that incredible journey that was one of your favorite, most gratifying moments, what would that be?

Ken Titmuss (01:33):

I think back in the late eighties, I was working for a company in Cape Town here. And, um, I was a sales manager. And, um, we had a chap come in called Be Robinson, who was a manufacturing consultant, and he talked, he, he spoke to us about MRP two. Okay. And, um, we spent the weekend with him on a course, MLP two. And at the end of the weekend, I put my hand up and said, Hey, I want to be the project leader <laugh>. So that changed my life, uh, I think and, and got me involved because I said to Benno, I, I know nothing. What do I do? He says, the first thing you do, he you join Apex, which I did. Oh, wow. Okay. I said, what’s the second thing I do? He said, go to the conference. And that was number 11, and we’re now on 45. And I’ve been to everyone <laugh>. And then he said, uh, then he said, get certified, apex certified and get involved. Mm. And I certainly, we had a good implementation because of the manufacturing consultant I had, and the software we had, uh, got involved. Um, I became, um, involved in the chapter. We had chapters in Cape Town in those days, and I became the, the, um, the, the president or the chairman of the Cape Town chapter, finally got onto the council and the board of directors. And I’ve been president twice for Saex, so.

Scott Luton (02:51):

Wow. Yeah, so, so a ton of growth for you, Kim. Yeah, absolutely. But also a ton of service industry, and I appreciate that you’ve had a big impact. Uh, Jenny Froom, who I’ve collaborated with for years. Yes. You are on her short list of supply chain icons, so, just so you know.

Ken Titmuss (03:05):

Yeah. She calls me the Wizard <laugh>.

Scott Luton (03:07):

Yes, that’s right. I was gonna let you say that. Um, I, I thought I I’d remember that, that, that, uh, nickname. So let’s shift gears here. So, um, part of what you just mentioned, you, you’re a, well, uh, well known, highly regarded professional educator and industry. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. I want to ask, what is, you know, for all that work you’ve done, you know, giving back, helping others succeed, helping them learn, grow in advance, what is your why there? Well,

Ken Titmuss (03:33):

I started my own business way back in the nineties, and, um, my strategy was not to grow. And I’ve been very successful. It’s still only me, <laugh>, but I’ve collaborated with other people and I’ve tried to develop other people. And I, I like the sort of byline that Suffix has come up with, um, recently, which is elevate, educate, and empower. And I think that’s what I’ve been doing over the last, um, 35 years with saex, is trying to elevate people, get them to understand what they should be learning in the, in the education, and then empowering them. At one stage I was the Apex. Um, apex has got a very good instructor development program, and I was the instructor development program instructor for Africa <laugh>. Wow. And at one point we had more Apex instructors in South Africa here than any other country in, in the world, apart from America. Uh, and so I’ve spent a lot of time developing other people to go out and do what I would doing. And people say, aren’t you crazy? Or <laugh>, you’re giving away your business. But I think the more people that are out there doing this, the, the, the more business is going to be. So that’s been my strategy is to, as, as sup says, elevate people educate and, and then empower them to go out and do what I do. Yeah.

Scott Luton (04:54):

Industry’s better off Yeah. By taking that approach. Right. Um, all right. So I want to, speaking of you as a practitioner, you also as an educator, um, what is one supply chain principle or best practice that you wish more leaders out there, uh, practitioners, organizations, what you wish they embraced More

Ken Titmuss (05:14):

Education. Education. Education. <laugh>. You know, I go into companies and I speak to the supply chain manager, and he’s got no qualifications. Uh, and top management really don’t understand what’s happening in supply chain. You know, they’ve worked their way up through the ranks and, uh, got to this particular level. I’m thinking they know everything. You know, they, what we did 30 years ago work, so should work today. So I’d like to see a lot more education. I’d like to see top management going out and, and getting educated in supply chain. We should be seeing these people at our conference here. We tend to get sort of middle management coming in, but top management, uh, very little. So I would say top management, getting themselves educated Right. And then educating their employees. Yeah. And, and it’s out there. I mean, the education’s there, but very, very few people are actually doing it. And it’s quite kind of tragic, really. Yeah. So I would say that’s the main thing I would like to see happening in industry education.

Scott Luton (06:18):

So business leaders write those checks, right. Get your people educated so they can digest, change better, um, succeed, uh, more effectively and, and drive change. Yeah. Cause we, to your point, we can’t continue to try to do things like we did them 30 years ago. Right. No,

Ken Titmuss (06:34):

It’s totally changed.

Scott Luton (06:35):

Um, all right. So let’s keep moving forward. So you’ve called again, I think I mentioned on the front end, Cape Town has been home for you for about 40 years. Yeah. Right. Um, and you’ve looked, worked globally across the industry, but what is, as you think about here in Cape Town, South Africa, really across the African continent, right? I think 46 countries make up Africa

Ken Titmuss (06:59):

A bit more than that.

Scott Luton (06:59):

But has, is it, is it more than that?

Ken Titmuss (07:01):

It’s about 50 odd, yeah. It’s about the same number of states that you’ve

Scott Luton (07:03):

Got in America. Okay. All right. Well, very, so, very close. And, and the, the important thing there is, is it’s, it’s folks from different walks of life, different preferences, different customs, right? Just like the U us You got 50 states, you got different governments, you got different people. You know, it’s, uh, one of the key themes that’s come out of our, uh, podcast series with Jenny Froom, you know, where we focused on, uh, supply chain leadership across Africa, is you can’t look at Africa in a singular fashion. No. You gotta really look at it town by town, region by region, country by country, right? Yeah. So when you think of that, all of that, that’s quite a backdrop when you think of all of that, Ken. Yeah. What is one thing that you wish more folks, what’s maybe two part question. One of your favorite aspects of this unique e uh, supply chain ecosystem across Africa, and then maybe what’s one thing that you wish more folks knew about? Yeah,

Ken Titmuss (07:58):

I think what I like about Africa is the di diversity and the diversity of the people and the cultures. And we’ve got some great people in Africa. I’ve been involved in some implementations through a number of African countries, and we’ve got some great people out there. We’ve got, we’ve got a great continent. Um, I, I reckon Africa should be the next usa, the United States of a Africa. Okay. We’ve got that potential. Unfortunately, we’re not getting the investment coming in from the rest of the world, and we’re not getting that education out there either. And so we have huge potential. We’ve got the land, we’ve got the youngest population of any continent on earth. We’ve got minerals for Africa. And unfortunately, those minerals are disappearing and being beneficiated by other, uh, continents and other countries. So we have huge potential here. Um, and I, I saw that when I first arrived, and that’s why I stayed. I just saw a lot of potential. And, um, yeah, we’ve just gotta get our leaderships to come together.

Scott Luton (09:06):

So, so, um, you’re seeing some of it realized, but there’s so much more opportunities. Right. Huge,

Ken Titmuss (09:12):

Huge opportunities.

Scott Luton (09:13):

Yeah. Yeah. Um, well, I, I, I’m with you. The innovation, the brilliance, uh, the opportunity all here across, uh, across Africa, it’s, it’s been, uh, really rewarding to be in a position and to help share some of that, uh, out across the globe. So let’s bring it back home to the conference. Your 35th say, picks conference. That is something, Ken, you gotta write a book on all those experiences. Um, yeah. So what is, so, so far, so I know we’re early on in the 2023 conference, um, but what’s one of your favorite moments so far, inspiring moments? You name, it’s been in one of your favorites. Well,

Ken Titmuss (09:48):

I think the first session that we had this morning on, um, artificial intelligence and machine learning. This, this is something that’s going to, uh, improve our supply chains. Uh, I’m involved in some software, and we’re putting a lot of this in. Um, uh, our software leader there sees, it says the supply chain should be like an aircraft. You know, 1990 odd percent of the time the computers are running the aircraft. <laugh>, the pilots only put their hands on the controls when there’s a problem. Or they want to go around a storm, and we should, uh, we should be running our supply chains like that. And, and I think, uh, we are getting to that point where we can start applying our minds to the problems we have, rather than deciding, well, what shall I make today? Or what shall I buy tomorrow? You know? And the computers can organize that. Let’s, let’s spend our time trying to improve the supply chain and, uh, fixing the events that are happening. Yeah. Particularly in our vu, VUCA world, of course, you know

Scott Luton (10:44):

Mm-hmm. Are VUCA or all that. So that’s one of my favorite acronyms that came out of, uh, I think the US military. It did.

Ken Titmuss (10:50):


Scott Luton (10:50):

Right. Um, so help me. Vague.

Ken Titmuss (10:54):

No, volatile.

Scott Luton (10:55):

Volatile. So, vuca, V U C A is an acronym that Ken referring to, volatile,

Ken Titmuss (11:00):

Uncertain, complex and ambiguous,

Scott Luton (11:04):

Volatile, uncertain, complex, and Ambiguous, ambiguous, ambiguous hookah. So if you hadn’t heard an acronym, you can use it like me every day and try to remember what it stands for, though, unlike me. Um, all right. So, Ken, um, I, I knew we were just gonna be scraping the surface of all that you do and, and, um, have seen and a witness and what you’re trying to share and, and educate and help others. So I appreciate the, the, the few minutes of time, but also really appreciate the optimism and all that you see here. If, to your point, if we can get folks that come together Yeah. Right. That, that’s what’s old is new again still. Right. Um, so if folks wanna tap into all the cool things you’re doing, whether in industry as a practitioner or as an educator, or as a volunteer leader within, you know, the saex community, how can folks connect with you, Ken?

Ken Titmuss (11:50):

Well, probably email’s the best. And that’s k titmus dot z a. So it’s K t I t m u dot z a

Scott Luton (12:01):

Or they can come to conference and I’m sure they’re gonna catch you. Is that right? Yeah,

Ken Titmuss (12:06):

Absolutely. <laugh>.

Scott Luton (12:07):


Scott Luton (12:08):

Ken Titmus. So, uh, such a pleasure. I know this, I was looking forward to this cause I’d heard so much about you. It’s a pleasure to sit down and see it, uh, and talk with you firsthand. So thanks so much for joining us here today. Thanks,

Ken Titmuss (12:18):

Scott. All right. Really enjoyed

Scott Luton (12:20):

It. All right, folks. Hopefully you enjoyed this conversation with Ken as much as I had. This has been a long time in the making, but folks, uh, as we’ve shared with these other segments, Ken shared so much. I’ll, I’ll start with how he challenged leaders to focus on educating education, write those checks and get your team educated so they can, they can, uh, prosper through these VUCA times that he also referred to. Hey, hey. Good afternoon everybody. Scott Luton with Supply Chain now here at Safe Picks annual conference 2023 in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa, and I’m joined by the one and only as I’m learning Dr. Andrew Brown. Andrew, how you doing,

Andrew Brown (13:05):

Scott? Doing great.

Scott Luton (13:06):

It is so good to see you. I, we’ve already, I feel like, uh, we’re second cousins after just, you know, 10 minutes of pre-show conversation.

Andrew Brown (13:13):

Absolutely. Maybe brothers even

Scott Luton (13:15):

<laugh>, maybe. So you keep it live, you keep it real. And I think we’re gonna learn a lot from you from a, uh, as a leader and practitioner. But I wanna start with this, uh, a bit of your, your background. Mm-hmm. So you’ve built quite reputation as a results driven global leader, business leader, which really, you know, I’m all about outcomes and action, right? Don’t gimme lip, lip service. So we, I’m sure we’re kindred spirits there. You’ve spent a big portion of your career in the healthcare industry, right? Correct. So, can you give me one role when you think back of your journey, right? And it might not be the fairest question, but, but for the sake of, of of time here today, pick one role that really shaped your worldview.

Andrew Brown (13:54):

Thank you so much, Scott. And it’s actually easy to find one role. Um, one year out of university had the opportunity to be seconded by the Australian government to work for the Solomon Islands government, uh, in the Solomon Islands in the Pacific for two years. And the focus of that position was to develop supply chain training that was suitable for the cultural context. That was 30 years ago. They’re still using a hybrid version, right. Of that curriculum. And the first students are put through that are now running the country. Wow. And so, this is not only inspirational, but drives me to continue working in this space.

Scott Luton (14:26):

Wow. The Solomon man, that that’s gotta be, uh, to look back at, at how you wrote the, uh, the front end of that and how it’s still being utilized by the powers that be today. That’s gotta be really gratifying and rewarding,

Andrew Brown (14:39):

Very rewarding, inspiring, and in a world where lots of things don’t go right in development. Yes. That’s something I lean back on when I feel that things aren’t going so well. Mm.

Scott Luton (14:49):

And I bet you strike me as someone that as much as they appreciate that you recognize, we still gotta drive more change today, we can’t keep

Andrew Brown (14:57):

Right. Absolutely. A lot to do. One, a third of the world’s population still don’t have access to medicines. Oh,

Scott Luton (15:02):

Man. Okay. So let, let’s, that’s a great, uh, pivot. I hate using that word these days. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it used to be one of my favorite words back before the pandemic, and now it’s such a cliche. Right. But let’s segue a bit. Um, so you serve today as senior principal technical advisor with the U S A I D funded MTAP S program. I get all that. Right?

Andrew Brown (15:21):

You got all that right? Okay. It’s a big mouthful. We have a big job to do, <laugh>.

Scott Luton (15:24):

It is a big, really big, uh, noble mission, big job to do. And we’re gonna dive into that more. So that stands for the Medicines Technologies and Pharmaceutical Services programs. So tell us, what does that mean? What is, what’s the mission there?

Andrew Brown (15:38):

Okay. Well, actually I’d like to pull a trick out for you. Okay. And ask you, how can you tell if that medicine is of quality? How can you tell if that’s counterfeit, substandard, or medicine of quality?

Scott Luton (15:50):

I do not know.

Andrew Brown (15:52):

Then the next question is, how do you know how to use that medicine? For what ailment and for what purpose?

Scott Luton (15:56):

If you want to use it after you don’t know it on, on the front end of what it is. Right. I mean, okay.

Andrew Brown (16:02):

So, so this, the U S A I D funded mt taps program is a global program that’s looking at how to strengthen pharmaceutical systems to improve the availability and use of quality medicines. Mm. The US government’s focusing that program on low and middle income countries where the burden of disease and the burden of inequity is the greatest. So we work in 15, 17 countries across Africa, Asia, and a little bit in South America. Yeah. And we’re focusing on pharmaceutical systems. What does that mean for that medicine to be of quality? Um, governments need to have regulatory systems, right? Those regulatory systems determine the standards and the quality of medicines. What medicines can come into the country, what can go out of the country, what medicine can be used by whom. This involves legislation involves governments in improving capacity. And for that to big countries, you’re doing that in are Mozambique.

Andrew Brown (16:56):

Uh, and also in n Nepal, for example, another area is improving procurement systems, uh, in the Philippines. And also in Jordan. We’ve been working closely to improve transparency as well as the speed and automation of those systems to improve the use of available funds. And lastly, and probably most importantly, we have a program that’s focusing on improving or reducing antimicrobial resistance. What’s that? We all have had an antibiotic from time to time. Right. Uh, for treating an infection, uh, globally, this secret pandemic, uh, is resulting in medicines not being, uh, antibiotics not being able to be effective. And what our program’s doing is working with governments through the health system to help them understand about the use. So pharmaceutical systems goes from regulation through supply chain to get to the product from where it’s manufactured to the facility. Yeah. And then works with, uh, local health practitioners to ensure they understand how to diagnose patients and use that medicine properly to improve health outcomes. Mm. If we’re just focusing on the product from A to B Yep. In health, we’re doing half the job. Yeah. We need to improve health outcomes. And with one third of the world’s population not having access to quality medicines, this project is of great importance.

Scott Luton (18:12):

Huge, uh, critical importance. So I, I like that what you just painted there, uh, from regulatory to supply chain to, to healthcare practitioners, you know, kind of the rules to the execution and distribution, and then some, um, to, uh, educating, uh, the practitioners in how we use the medicines. Um, so we’re gonna talk about one of your favorite wins thus far, but, but out of those three or four things that make up the mission that you just explained, the critical mission, what’s one of your favorite aspects of the program and, and, and where, you know, where you’re most involved, perhaps? Yeah.

Andrew Brown (18:49):

So programs come and go. Funding streams come and go. And one of the things that I really like about what we’ve achieved is working with local governments and local systems from where they are, and moving them on into the next increments of maturity so that those governments, those local organizations are now taking, are more empowered to continue with their development after we’ve finished. Mm. Uh, so a good example, uh, would be, again, coming back to the Jordan example, where the Jordan government wanted some expert advice on how to make their procurement systems more transparent and faster. And so now the, the time to purchase medications has reduced and the amount of money they’re using for the volume of what they’re getting still quality has also improved as, as one example. So it’s, for me, the biggest example is around getting alongside those government institutions and helping them to take control of maturing those systems for the benefit of their people. Yeah.

Scott Luton (19:43):

I love that. Making them, uh, better, helping them progress. Right. Uh, the steps, uh, come to mind, right as you go from, uh, the, the earliest parts of, of, uh, trying to figure out what are we trying to do to moving, to, you know, getting the root cause and solutioning and building the right system, and then through opti optimizing that system so no one’s left behind. And they feel empowered and educated that they’re doing the right thing with the decisions they make in, in the communities where the medicines are going. Right?

Andrew Brown (20:12):

Absolutely. And one of the other key factors is we’re at a supply chain conference, right? So people often think about medicines, just show me the medicine and I’ll get it where it’s going. So one of the other key folk I, for this particular project, which again I really like, is that we are opening up the understanding in government that medicine’s availability is not, not just about supply chain, it’s about coming back. How do you know that quality is there? It’s about that regulation and that whole system. Yes. And so that’s also been exciting to see people wake up to that. Yep.

Scott Luton (20:41):

If I can circle back to one other thing, you mentioned, um, antibiotics. Um, because there’s, there’s been certain, as we’ve worked our way through the pandemic and then the post pandemic, you know, the use and sometimes the overuse of, of antibiotics is, is Sure. Continues to be a challenge. It sounds like part of y’all’s education is working with those practitioners to make sure that, that we’re using those the right ways and at the right times. Is that right?

Andrew Brown (21:05):

Yeah. So it’s actually a, a multi-stakeholder approach. Um, so at a national level, it’s a national whole of government approach, which interestingly involves the, um, ministry of Health, but also the Ministry of Agriculture, because antibiotics are in the food of animals, right. And needs to be looked after. And also, um, the Ministry of Public Health. And the reason there is, is that microbes can grow in certain sort of environments in communities where they’re not controlled. So there’s that whole of government approach, but then there is the health facilities, they need to be clear on their processes and how to use, how to regulate antibiotics. Not everyone should be using them, prescribing them, et cetera. And then you’re right down to the practitioners themselves. But then there’s more to that. One of the key things we’re looking at, but wait, there’s more. But there is more journalists. So in, uh, three or four countries, we’ve conducted, um, seminars for journalists who not only understand, um, antimicrobial resistance principles, uh, but mentor them in doing radio programs, um, mentor them in doing articles for newspapers to really try to educate the public. Uh, and it’s really this whole of stakeholder approach, antimicrobial resistance that’s gonna make a, make a difference. And you’re right, the pandemic was a, a key aspect of that. Cuz people go fever ill antibiotic, right? But we have to go, no, antibiotics do not kill off viruses. And so education,

Scott Luton (22:25):

I’m so glad I asked that question. And, and, and your last part of your response there, context, right? Everyone needs context, including the folks, especially folks maybe that, uh, puts out the articles and shows that, that, um, educate, you know, the, the, the global, uh, global consumer base. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, let’s, you shared a few wins mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, and outcomes from the program, uh, a few minutes ago. If you think of all the work you’ve done right, uh, with this USA ID funded MTAP program, what’s your favorite win, your favorite outcome that you’re, you’ve seen in your time?

Andrew Brown (23:03):

So probably my, my favorite one is, um, exploding the myth that capacity strengthening is training. Mm. So often if you talk to people about how do we, we improve a pharmacy system or a supply chain system in the country, and they immediately go, we need more training. We need to get more skills in there. But building complex systems, building the different components is much more than just training. And we’ve been able to open that idea to help people understand that, uh, pharmaceutical systems and the training required to build those systems is important, but there are other elements in order to, to strengthen systems, other standard operating procedures in place. Is the right equipment present, and do they have the right number of people? And how are those people being supervised and looked after, for example. Yep. So it’s this whole of system thinking, which I’m really excited we’ve been able to, to open that, and that pharmaceutical systems are more than just supply chain. Mm. So

Scott Luton (23:56):

You’ve, you’ve made a lot of gains in, in creating that awareness around, uh, battling maybe those, those assumptions, those myths when it comes to, uh, creating the systems and the workforces. Right. Required, uh, especially in the healthcare space where the table, you know, what we’re fighting for is life and death. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, um, so let’s keep going down the path of, of workforce education and development mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Cause it’s clearly is a key passion for you. Yeah. Uh, by the way, uh, Andrew, uh, your ears have been burning. Cause Jenny Froom has really, I learned a lot about you before we even met Jenny. Jenny Froom is one of your biggest fans, by the way.

Andrew Brown (24:33):

Well, I’m sure I know she’s <laugh>. I know she is. Don’t actually how to frame that, because, um, I was about to, she has a, a time where she spent as a young girl in Australia, and, uh, as I came over, I said, what is it that you’d really like me to bring for you? And she said, Vegemite. And so I brought her a half kilo of Vegemite just to make sure. But, um,

Scott Luton (24:53):

I love that. All right. So let’s talk more again, workforce education development. You, you’ve touched on this in a couple different ways in your responses thus far. But, um, if you think further, what are a couple of the most important elements maybe you haven’t mentioned mm-hmm. <affirmative> when it comes to building, uh, and developing a robust, vibrant, scalable, um, uh, proficient supply chain workforce. What comes to your mind there? Yeah,

Andrew Brown (25:19):

I just add sustainability in there as well, and you’ve got All right. Adjectives, <laugh>. Um, apart from the, the training aspect we’ve already spoken about in general, um, the, the broader aspect is that both private and public sectors are lacking the resources they need to run supply chains across all product groups, right.

Andrew Brown (25:39):

Health supply chains particularly. But we tend to look at the needs of those environments separately. But if we take a step up, we need to be taking a whole of labor market approach when it comes to workforce related issues. What do I mean? Well, again, in a market driven environment, we’re talking about the workforce, we’re talking about supply. What are the education institutions, professional associations, what are they doing in terms of supply of appropriate credentialed individuals suitable for the local context? And the other side are the private sector organizations and governments asking for the right people with the right competencies to do the work. And what does that look like, and how can that be catalyzed? And we’ve been involved with our project, with work with people that deliver, looking at their professionalization framework, uh, looking at using a competency based model to help bring the supply and the demand actors together. Yeah. And to think about what’s required in a country context to really catalyze Why is that important? Because supply chain personnel are not only important in health, but in other supply chains. And one of the limiting factors for economic growth in a number of countries in the Africa, uh, various regions in Africa, is the lack of human resources to build the supply chains. Mm-hmm. So it’s that bigger thinking. Yeah.

Scott Luton (26:55):

Um, you mentioned people that deliver mm-hmm. <affirmative> and what an incredible organization. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, we’ve spent a little bit of time with, uh, uh, Kofi and Dominique earlier mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and they shared you, you mentioned that professionalization, uh, Dominique in particular shared, uh, how she was just back from Rwanda mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and where six countries had gotten together and agreed to, uh, that professionalization framework that PTD was, uh, deploying. Yeah. That was a big win.

Andrew Brown (27:21):

Yeah. I mean, it’s fantastic. Um, I’ve been involved as a, a technical expert inputting into that and other documents that people that deliver, uh, since 2013, really. So this is my 10th year anniversary of Wow. Focusing on this space. So to see that development, uh, is, uh, fantastic because these labor market changes of which the professionalization framework discusses, involves not only Ministry of Health, but Ministry of Labor, ministry of public service, professional associations, and a whole bunch of systems change, which is gonna take time. Yes. And extremely excited about what happened last week.

Scott Luton (27:56):

And it can’t be one party driven. Nope. It’s, it’s gotta, you gotta bring everybody, all the stakeholders into the dialogue and the conversation, and then figure out how to commit to taking the action that’s needed to get the outcomes we’re after. Um, and all that sounds simple, but man, there’s so much work as you know, that goes into that mean

Andrew Brown (28:13):

From a development perspective, a lot of the development projects, which we are part of, have 3, 5, 1 year life cycles, depending on the funding cycle of US Government Global Fund or others. These types of human resources system changes in country contexts take 10, 15, 20 years. Wow. So it’s a concerted effort over time to have that sort of system space change.

Scott Luton (28:37):

Um, alright. So let’s, let’s shift gears as we start to come down to home stretch here. Um, this is, I think your second Saex conference. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I believe. Um, so, and then we’re early, but what has one been one of your favorite in the last couple days? One of your favorite, most inspiring moments for Saex 2023?

Andrew Brown (28:57):

Yeah, I mean, great question. I’m just sorry that it’s just one, even though it’s like a day in, a little bit in. So my, my big one is, hang on a minute, supply chain and what’s required in supply chain, it’s not just health, it’s not just coal and minerals supply chain. And what’s required is across all of these sectors. And so what I’ve been inspired by is to take the time to learn from what other sectors of the supply chain community are doing to improve their supply chains and to improve their work workforce. So that, for me, is a big takeaway after, uh, probably a bit over 24 hours here,

Scott Luton (29:32):

<laugh>. Well, you know, it’s such a, it’s such a big one, uh, that, that cross sector knowledge exchange that can take place if folks and, and leaders of these different sectors really don’t do what the traditional thing is, well, that might work over there, but we’re special, we’re unique, and we, that that kind of thinking

Andrew Brown (29:49):

We are special. Yeah. Scott, tell, talk about

Scott Luton (29:52):

That kind of thinking really is can be so limiting and, and in this era that we’re in this digital era where, you know, we’re applying so much technology, but, but of course, powered by the human factor. And we gotta really come to the table and bring sectors together and figure out what’s working and how we can solve problems using old and new ways from our own sector, but many others. Right?

Andrew Brown (30:16):

Absolutely. Absolutely. Breaking down the silos is a real thing. We talk about it. Yes. But it take a concerted effort to do it. So yes. This is a new thing on my to-do list.

Scott Luton (30:24):

A deliberate concerted effort. You’re absolutely right. Silo busted. Um, okay. Dr. Andrew Brown, we have had a pleasure learning from you and talking with you here today. I really appreciate, uh, what you’re doing to really make things better for industry and, and so many individuals and families. Um, how can folks connect with you, maybe su maybe even get involved in supporting the good work you’re

Andrew Brown (30:45):

Doing? Fantastic. So, um, our project has a website, um, mtap Okay. Um, and that’s a front page there. Um, this project is conducted under our ngo, non-government organization called Management Sciences for Health on the website, our explanation of what we do, uh, but also we have the opportunity if, uh, uh, people wanna contribute to the larger mission, that that option’s open. And we would, uh, welcome any discussion. Thanks,

Scott Luton (31:13):

Scott. Outstanding. That’s N taps m t a I get that right. Perfect. Okay. And they can also connect you with you on LinkedIn. I bet. Yeah.

Andrew Brown (31:22):

I’m on LinkedIn.

Scott Luton (31:22):

Wonderful. Thank you Dr. Andrew Brown. Really appreciate your time here today,

Scott Luton (31:26):

Scott, it’s been a pleasure.

Scott Luton (31:37):

Hey, everybody. Scott Luton with Supply Chain. Now, here once again at the Safe Picks annual conference, 2023 in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa. And joining me today in this home run segment here we have Toba, Cale Molo. Did I get that right? Tubbs?

Tobz Nxumalo (31:54):

Listen, I’m, my heart is smiling. <laugh>. Okay.

Scott Luton (31:58):

Wonderful. Well done that. Well, that, that makes, that makes my day really, uh, you know, we, we, we chatted pre-show for a second about how important it’s, as we come from all walks of life Absolutely. To get names, uh, and, and get the, get the little things right.

Tobz Nxumalo (32:12):

It’s really important. Absolutely. And I appreciate that. Well done.

Scott Luton (32:15):

All right. So let’s get into some supply, some supply chain talk. How’s that sound?

Tobz Nxumalo (32:19):

Oh, that’s why I’m here, <laugh>.

Scott Luton (32:22):

All right. So Tubbs, you’ve been described as a quote, well, seasoned supply chain professional with a passion for supply chain people and Africa’s potential as an emerging continent full of opportunity. Quote. I love that. Uh, so many parts about that, and I can tell you for the little bit I’ve known, uh, Tubbs here it is a hundred percent, 200% true. So what excites you the most about what’s taking place across Africa?

Tobz Nxumalo (32:50):

So, so Scott, if I, if I think about that question for a second, I think overall my excitement comes from just knowing the potential that Africa has to be a key player, um, in the global landscape. Yes. Right. And, um, if I think of it within the supply chain context, supply chains usually thrive in environments where there’s, there’s infrastructure where there’s market access, where there’s, um, an entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, um, technology driven, um, ideas. Yes. And, um, you know, transformation. And if we look at Africa where it is right now, there’s a lot of parallels. We look at the, uh, you know, young growing population, um, that is also very ready to, to take our country forward. That requires those skills Yes. To take our country forward. We look at, um, the, the, the, the natural resources that we are just rich, um, and, and fully, uh, have available to, to extract, to process and, and export, uh, commodities.

Tobz Nxumalo (33:54):

So it really shows that we’ve got a very rich environment to tap into various opportunities, uh, where supply chain can really serve as a catalyst in, in harnessing that. Um, there’s so much, uh, if I look at also just, uh, some of the, uh, regional integration that’s taking place through Africa, free trade, um, agreements. Yeah. Right. That’s, that’s all about harmonizing trade policies, uh, creating a single, uh, marketplace, uh, breaking down some of those trade barriers. Like I said, those are some of the key, uh, uh, factors that allow for supply chains to thrive. Uh, which I think really contributes to, to my overall excitement in terms of just some of the major, uh, changes or transformations taking place in the overall continent, and how supply chain is aiding that to actually take place. So a number of them, quite exciting. I think it would require a separate interview, <laugh> Right, right. To cover them all. But I think all I’m saying is that the opportunities are there. Uh, we are seeing that shift. We are seeing a lot of, uh, startups, um, that are, you know, meeting local needs. We’re seeing a lot of urbanization, uh, that’s also taking place, requiring the infrastructure, uh, to be able to engage, to digitally engage in this new economy, et cetera. So,

Scott Luton (35:12):

Wow. What

Tobz Nxumalo (35:12):

Is there not a lot <laugh>, right? So an exciting and exciting, um, um, era to be in.

Scott Luton (35:18):

It is, uh, and, and, you know, touched on one of those many things are coming together. Yeah. Um, is the, the ideas and innovation, the sheer brilliance Absolutely.

Tobz Nxumalo (35:27):

Of the people. Absolutely. Right.

Scott Luton (35:29):

Absolutely. So, um, of course I’ve been collaborating with Jenny Fru for a couple years now on, uh, supply chain leadership across Africa series. Yep. Yeah. Trying to amplify some of that Yes. Thought leadership innovation. Yes. But you know what, it’s coming. Yep. The world’s gonna sit with they don’t know now. Yep. You know, they’re <laugh>, it’s coming. Yeah. And that’s an exciting thing. No,

Tobz Nxumalo (35:48):

Absolutely. Absolutely.

Scott Luton (35:49):

Um, and I love, of course, the regional free trade progress that’s been made to break down those barriers. Absolutely. That can hold us back. Yep. You know, whether it’s in trade or, or, you know, think about some of the other silo bus Yep. That’s gotta take place. Yeah. Like more from a, a business and enterprise standpoint. Of course. Lots of parallel, right?

Tobz Nxumalo (36:05):

Of course. Of course.

Scott Luton (36:07):

Okay. So, uh, let’s, let’s keep going on. Yeah. Uh, and you know, we’re gonna have to, um, have you come back for a six hour follow up interview. <laugh>, uh, you’ve held a variety of leadership roles in both the private and public sector mm-hmm. <affirmative>, right from supply chain to solution design to project management, which has had a resurgence in, I think, relevancy and, and criticality, uh, in recent years due to all the change or all digesting and faster. So I want to ask you, in particular though, about the power of design thinking, right. Design thinking. So how do you see design thinking as a powerful tool for unlocking real supply chain innovation?

Tobz Nxumalo (36:47):

Um, so Scott, we, I actually ran, um, a workshop, um, on, on this topic, um, yesterday. Uh, it was an afternoon session and, um, you know, obviously just co-facilitated with a design thinking practitioner. Yeah. And, um, if, if you look at, if we look at supply chain as a whole, problem solving is the bedrock of what we do on a daily basis. That’s what we signed

Scott Luton (37:12):

That for.

Tobz Nxumalo (37:12):

Right? Absolutely. Absolutely. On a daily basis, we are expected to resolve issues, address challenges, et cetera. Yep. But within that problem solving, we’re seeing a massive shift to being a bit more customer-centric, because now we’re in a period where the customer is a lot more empowered, uh, given the information that’s available right. At their disposal. Um, you know, the ability to have a lot of options that you can tap into. I mean, I know that if I purchased something on, um, an online platform, I wanted as in yesterday. Right. Right. So we all do with that. Absolutely. Yeah. So with, with that said, with that shift towards, you know, satisfying the customer design thinking offers a, uh, a, a solution based approach, um, to solving customer problems. So it brings in that human element. So if you think about innovation, why are we innovating? We’re innovating because we want to give our customers a personalized experience.

Tobz Nxumalo (38:18):

We want to give them products and services that are tailored right to their needs and their requirements, because that’s in essence what’s gonna make, make businesses thrive and, you know, achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. Yes. It’s no longer about where we’ve traditionally just focused inwardly on improving our processes, making sure, which obviously it’s, it’s quite important, making sure that you are using resources in a way that is effectively and efficiently, uh, you know, uh, possible in terms of meeting the need in the market. But now it’s all about what does the customer truly want? What do they really value? And that’s serving as the trigger in terms of how those supply chains are designed and engineered in meeting that, uh, need. So if you shift away from that traditional approach of problem solving, which is very much, uh, uh, um, you know, logic based, data driven, right? The data is now shifting to empathizing with the customer, which is what design thinking.

Scott Luton (39:18):

Isn’t empathy a beautiful thing?

Tobz Nxumalo (39:20):

Absolutely. Because through empathy, you are better equipped to understand how is your customer really using your product? Um, how do they, what experience do they get from your service? And how do you further harness that to make sure that you are constantly providing that unique experience? So, um, sure. <laugh>, I could, I could go on. No, no. But, um, if you look at the process of, of design thinking, and you pro like I said, um, you know, uh, compare that to traditional approaches, um, it looks at empathizing with the clients Yes. Defining what the problem is, what’s, what’s the gap, um, and then ideating. So let’s look at the different options that can actually solve some of those gaps. Um, it’s prototype some solutions that, or products,

Scott Luton (40:05):


Tobz Nxumalo (40:06):

It’s experiment. Yeah. And see what, what, what, what will help us achieve that sweet spot and then being able to test that. So following through in that iterative process till you finally find, like I said, the sweet spot in, in serving the customer. Yes. So I think as supply chain professionals who are using innovation as a catalyst, um, towards this huge shift, um, around creating an unforgettable experience for our customers, um, being able to, um, you know, uh, provide seamless, um, um, um, um, services, um, use data driven insights to understand consumer behavior and then better be equipped to provide services and products that are aligned to that. It’s, it’s, it’s an absolute marriage.

Scott Luton (40:52):

I love it. And, and I wanna go back, you shared so much there that we could tee up a new episode for various aspects of your response for, I wanna go back to something you shared the, that mass customization. Cause that’s what, what we have to meet these days, right? And here, get this example as, as we were flying here from Amsterdam, long flight, I think 11 hours, right. And, uh, I, you know, when I, when I first started flying 20, 30 years ago, if you remembered, everybody had to watch the same movie, right? There was maybe two or three screens per cabin, and that’s what you’re watching. You didn’t have to Absolutely. You could try to go to sleep, didn’t have to wear here. But that’s what

Tobz Nxumalo (41:30):

You’re watching. I’m limited options,

Scott Luton (41:31):

<laugh>. And now as I, as I pinch myself for a moment and kind of had kind of, uh, you know, you stop yourself and don’t take for granted what you’re observing in the moment. Yeah. I looked around and of course, everyone’s got their own screen. Yeah. They’re all watching different stuff. Some for some folks are on their laptops, you know, using the wifi. That of course for them, of course, what each passenger wants, what each passenger’s, what their problem do they value individual Yes. What they value. Yeah. And that’s, that’s part of what you’re, you’re sharing, it’s mass customization we’re all charged with, uh, figuring out and unlocking, right? Yes, yes,

Tobz Nxumalo (42:05):

Yes. And what better way to do that through the design thinking process. Yes. Which I think look, um, like I said, there are traditional approaches to problem solving that have been very effective Right. In the supply chain space. So the two can coexist. I think there’s quite a lot of strengths that we can leverage from, from both

Scott Luton (42:24):

Approaches. Agreed. Um, alright, so moving right along. Um, so you’ve really enjoyed, and I think quarter your mo as a leader, um, is making the human dynamic a central part of the process end quote. Right? I love that. Yeah. Yeah. Because, you know, in this technology centric era we’re in what’s powering that is the human factor, right? So it might be technology centric, but at the same time it’s human-centric. Absolutely. Right. It can coexist. Absolutely. So what are a couple suggestions that you would have for supply chain leaders that are looking to better engage and empower their people?

Tobz Nxumalo (43:01):

I, so, um, you know, Scott, I obviously bring in my experience, um, to your point of having worked with different teams, individuals. Sure. Um, and what has been some key success factors? I think communication is key and, and transparency. Yep. So I think within a team, it’s, it’s always very important to leader, for leadership, to, to foster a environment where there’s open dialogue, where there’s collaboration. Why are we doing certain things? Tobs, how does your work impact the broader objectives? Um, I think that is very key because it provides a sense of purpose and, and direction. Yes. Right. And it also fosters a, um, an environment for trust. Um, another thing I think is also quite key is, you know, being empowered as an employee. Are you as a leader, providing your team with the skills and the resources that they need to be great and absolutely great in what they do. Yes. So I think that’s very key. And you’ve already touched on in terms of just the whole shift, uh, you know, towards technology being a digital economy, digital transformation, et cetera. I mean, uh, there’s so many, so much jargon around this, um, being, being able to be equipped with those skills to, to navigate this exciting era. Right. Um, and also that, that level of autonomy Yes. The sense of accountability, you know, feeling that your, your manager or your leader trusts you to do the work Yes.

Scott Luton (44:42):

And make

Tobz Nxumalo (44:43):

Decisions. I think that’s very absolutely right. Make decisions. Um, I think it’s, it’s, it’s quite important to always acknowledge that your, your employees do need that kind of freedom, um, to be able to share their ideas, share their insights. Yeah. And absolutely feel that they are allowed to do that. And not only, only be successful, but also allowed to fail, because from failures, as

Scott Luton (45:07):

We have critical earnings.

Tobz Nxumalo (45:09):

Absolutely. Right. And sometimes we also even refer to them as setbacks. How do you then, um, bounce back from that? So I think it’s very important to create those, those are very key factors, um, in terms of, you know, making the human, uh, dynamics central to whatever it is that leadership is trying to achieve. Um, and, and lastly, I think just also an element of sense of humor. <laugh>, I think we are far too serious.

Scott Luton (45:36):

<laugh>, Hey,

Tobz Nxumalo (45:37):

I, and cynical sometimes, you know, we need to have leaders that have a bit more <laugh>, a lighter side to them. I think, um, there’s, there’s too many problems that we obviously navigate as professionals in the business world. It’s a very tough industry to, to navigate, especially supply chain. So having that ability where we can, um, you know, just be able to just, um, laugh at ourselves sometimes. Yes. Um, create that environment where we are able to joke and, you know, throw in some lighthearted comments. Um, it really just also just contributes to the greater morale, um, of the team being able to have fun while obviously achieving some critical objectives that, you know, are tied Yes. To the bigger picture and vision of, of any organization, um, that you work for. So I think those are some of the key aspects. And lastly, what I wanna also just highlight is what I’m also personally, also still trying to, to really, uh, uh, work on, is to actively listen and provide feedback.

Tobz Nxumalo (46:34):

Mm. Right. So how often do we as, as, as, as leaders, really engage, but also listen, yes. Um, and, and listen to the frustrations. Um, understand what are some of the triggers, what is bothering, um, our team members, our colleagues, et cetera. And being able to provide constructive feedback that also leaves them empowered in terms of, uh, progressing. So I think those are some nuggets. <laugh>, what are, like I said, I’m also still learning some of the elements, but I think just from personal experience, what I’m also currently going through, as you know, I also work to, uh, um, you know, becoming a, a, a future leader and, um, having worked with, um, diverse, uh, teams. I think those are just some of the nuggets I’ve also been able to extract from my experience.

Scott Luton (47:21):

I love it. Been there, done that proven best practice for sure. You shared a checklist there. I wanna revisit just a couple. Yeah. Um, you ever, so I’ve got a, uh, a wonderful, uh, colleague that when, when my brain, as I start to gather a problem from our team or whatever, and my brain al automatically shifts to problem solving mode, do you ever have to call time out? Don’t solve it yet. Don’t solution. Yeah. Yeah. Let’s get to what the real problem is. Absolutely. Does that resonate with you too? Yeah.

Tobz Nxumalo (47:49):

No, no, no. For sure. For

Scott Luton (47:50):

Sure. Um, and so I love that comment about the active listening. Absolutely. And you don’t have to respond right away. Exactly. The other thing, you shared so much goodness in terms of how to engage and empower the people mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but the, what you also touched on there is, um, is leveraging technology and technique Yeah. To make it easier on a workforce that has so much pressure on them right now.

Tobz Nxumalo (48:12):

So much pressure. Well said.

Scott Luton (48:14):

And as you were talking about how make them, enable them to make decisions, right. Because that’s what Yeah. We as humans want. Exactly.

Tobz Nxumalo (48:22):

Right. Exactly.

Scott Luton (48:23):

And then my favorite part is maintaining that sense of humor. Absolutely. Because when you hear laughter Yeah. It usually means good things. No,

Tobz Nxumalo (48:30):


Scott Luton (48:30):

Right? Absolutely. Um, and it doesn’t mean you, you don’t have to turn in your professionalism card. No, for sure. You know, for sure. <laugh>, everyone wants to laugh everyone. Absolutely. You can use that as a sense of, of dealing with the pressure that comes with Absolutely. Being in supply chain. Right?

Tobz Nxumalo (48:43):

Absolutely. Absolutely. Well said.

Scott Luton (48:45):

Wonderful. <laugh>. Well, no, you said it. I’m just regurgitating. Um, love, love your perspective. Yeah. Um, okay. So we’re still here, you know, almost at the end of, I guess day two at the saex Annual Conference. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, I bet you’ve had plenty, I bet you have, have, have enjoyed many conversations. I bet you’ve also, uh, uh, been the catalyst for many great conversations. Yeah, right. Based on the workshop you were a part of. Yeah. Yeah. What has been one of your favorite, most inspiring moments so far at, say picks 2023?

Tobz Nxumalo (49:20):

So, so Scott, um, you know, I currently work for IQ business and SAP PIX kind of has been that launchpad for us to, uh, you know, be in these relevant spaces, which I think SAP Pix, uh, has, has done exceptionally well in terms of the entire supply chain community. So the reason why I bring that in is being an exhibitor obviously comes with a lot of responsibility. You don’t really have the luxury of being able to attend most of the presentations. Sure. But I did have an opportunity to present, um, uh, or rather attend the executive summit that started on Friday. And if I could just maybe already share what that, how that has inspired me as a professional is that we obviously had various speakers from different parts of the world just come and share quite a lot of perspective, um, around various topics.

Tobz Nxumalo (50:16):

Sustainability, having a skilled workforce around supply chain, um, you know, um, you know, various issues that are obviously putting so much pressure on us as professional, uh, supply chain professionals, risk management, um, your, your business strategy and its alignment to your supply chain operating model, you know, key strategic decisions around that. And I think if I had to kind of articulate, um, what has inspired me from those conversations is the, the collective enthusiasm and commitment of supply chain professionals in using supply chain as a mechanism, uh, uh, towards contributing towards this economic transformation. Or even just developing the economy and making an impact, um, um, on people’s lives. And I think that’s, that’s been very inspiring. The reason why I say that it’s, I came into this industry, I’ve think I’ve got now over 10 years, and when I first started supply chain, really logistics wasn’t really appreciated as a professional. Right. And I’m saying 10 years later, finally people understand what we do,

Scott Luton (51:34):

<laugh>, <laugh>.

Tobz Nxumalo (51:36):

So I think with, with those conversations, with seeing how supply chain is really becoming a strategic imperative, and just the topics surrounding that for me has, uh, been very inspiring. And like I said to you, um, with, with our organization currently being an exhibitor Yep. You obviously have to be, uh,

Scott Luton (51:57):

Two places at one time.

Tobz Nxumalo (51:58):

Right, exactly. You have to be wearing quite a number of hats. So I haven’t really had the luxury of also just experiencing, um, but obviously there are some presentations that I’ve earmarked, um, yes. Um, uh, tomorrow. But, um, I think so far just that, like I said, that that collective enthusiasm and commitment as to take action. To take action. Yes. Um, and to do better. Yes. And to try new things and to make this work. I think that’s been extremely, extremely inspiring.

Scott Luton (52:25):

That is inspiring, uh, for sure. Inspires me. I’m ready to run through this wall. Back behind me here. <laugh>, uh, tubs. Alright. So, um, you mentioned IQ business. Yep. Right? Yeah. And of course, uh, you’re exhibiting, you’re also involved in the workshops. Um, let’s make sure folks know how to connect with you and the team there in case they wanna, uh, talk shop. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> work with you, be inspired by you. Who knows. Yeah, absolutely. So how can folks connect with

Tobz Nxumalo (52:50):

You? So, um, folks can connect with me on LinkedIn. I am available on LinkedIn. Um, that’s the only social media platform,

Scott Luton (52:58):

<laugh>. That’s probably a good way to live life.

Tobz Nxumalo (53:01):

How’s that for somebody who’s talking innovation? Right. <laugh>. Uh, but yes, people can connect with me on, on LinkedIn. Um, I’m also available, we have our booth, um, downstairs just cross opposite, uh, and the boss strategic positioning. Okay. <laugh>. Uh, so they can find us there. Um, and I also have my email address, um, at Team Romano. It’s, so it’s team romano iq Okay. Um, so happy for that to also just be shared with, with, um, the viewers or the listeners. Um, so yeah, that’s basically easy. It’s just that easy that it’s just that easy to get in touch

Scott Luton (53:34):

With me. Wonderful. Wonderful. Well, Tubbs on my load, thank you so much for your time here today. I’ve really enjoyed the truckload of, uh, perspective and insights from doing it. Yeah. Uh, from being that practitioner, being that leader, uh, I lo really in particular love your take on, uh, design thinking. Yep. And how to empower and engage the workforce’s goal there. Absolutely. So thanks so much, Tubbs, for being here today. Thank

Tobz Nxumalo (54:00):

You so much, Scott. Thank you for giving me the opportunity. You be, really appreciate it, <laugh>. You

Scott Luton (54:04):

Bet. Well, if you can’t tell, we’ve had a great time here today, enjoying the perspective. I tell you, Tubbs brings a ton to the table. So hopefully, but, but the critical thing, as we’ve been encouraging each of these segments, take something that Tubbs brought here today and put it into action, right? Deeds, not words. That’s how we drive change and industry, right? That commitment to action that Tubbs talked about, that was one of her inspiring moments. Um, but whatever you do, hey, check out supply chain now, wherever, wherever you get your podcast from. And most importantly, on behalf of our entire team here at Supply Chain now, Scott Lutton challenged you to do good, to give forward and to be the change. And we’ll see you next time, right back here at Supply Chain now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (54:45):

Thanks for being a part of our supply chain now, community. Check out all of our 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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Ken Titmuss runs his own business, Kent Outsourcing Services, since 1997 consulting with well over 200 companies and providing their employees with supply chain education courses as well as consulting in Manufacturing, Operations and Supply Chain Management. Ken has been involved with SAPICS for 35 years from running the Cape Town Chapter, to being on the Board of Directors and holding the position of SAPICS President twice. Ken is an endorsed instructor for the APICS CPIM, CSCP, and the APICS Instructor Development Programs. He is also an endorsed instructor for the Demand Driven Institute’s DDPP, DDOP and DDLP courses as well as a certified trainer for The Fresh Connection business simulation software from Inchainge. He also presents courses from the ISCEA and VCARE. Kent Outsourcing Services, also trading as Demand Driven Africa, is an Affiliate of the Demand Driven Institute (DDI) and a channel partner of Demand Driven Technologies and their IntuiFlow Demand Driven software suite. Over the last 35 years, Ken has presented many papers and workshops at South African and overseas Supply Chain conferences. He is currently spending the majority of his time promoting and presenting DDI DDMRP courses as well as implementing the DDMRP methodology at his clients. Connect with Ken on LinkedIn.

Dr. Andrew N. Brown is the Senior Principal Technical Advisor, Governance and Capacity Development within MTaPS. Andrew has more than 30 years of experience in health systems with a specialized focus on pharmaceutical systems and human resources development in LMICs. He has extensive in country experience in Africa, Asia and the Pacific having worked with a range of international and national stakeholders. His experience includes clinical pharmacy, business and academia. Before coming to MSH Andrew had the roles of Senior Director of Health Workforce Development at IntraHealth, Workforce Development Specialist with GHSC-PSM, Executive Director of the International Association of Public Health Logisticians (IAPHL) and Executive Manager of The People that Deliver Initiative. Andrew has worked alongside many MSH colleagues in his previous roles and is looking forward to engaging directly within MSH in his new role. Andrew has two daughters, lives in Australia and loves walking in nature (he just watches out for snakes). Connect with Andrew on LinkedIn.

Thobekile Nxumalo, With over a decade of experience in supply chain and logistics, Thobekile is a skilled professional who delivers excellence at every turn. Driven by a desire to establish meaningful relationships and deliver customer value, Thobekile always goes above and beyond to create a positive experience for everyone she works with. Throughout her career, Thobekile has held various roles in both the private and public sectors, leading a diverse range of supply chain projects and facilitating key activities within business development, continuous improvement and strategy development. With a keen eye for solutions development, she has honed her skills and is currently finalizing her master’s research focused on supply chain strategy. With her extensive experience coupled with her dedication to delivering exceptional results, Thobekile is poised to make a significant impact in the field and is excited to bring her extensive expertise to the management consulting space. Connect with Thobekile on LinkedIn.


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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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., 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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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

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.

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Vicki White


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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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

Katherine Hintz, MBA is a marketing professional who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.

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Kim Reuter

Host, The Freight Insider

From humble beginnings working the import docks, representing Fortune 500 giants, Ford, Michelin Tire, and Black & Decker; to Amazon technology patent holder and Nordstrom Change Leader, Kimberly Reuter has designed, implemented, and optimized best-in-class, highly scalable global logistics and retail operations all over the world. Kimberly’s ability to set strategic vision supported by bomb-proof processes, built on decades of hands-on experience, has elevated her to legendary status. Sought after by her peers and executives for her intellectual capital and keen insights, Kimberly is a thought leader in the retail logistics industry.

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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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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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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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Mary Kate Love

VP, Marketing

Mary Kate Love is currently the VP of marketing at Supply Chain Now focused on brand strategy and audience + revenue growth. Mary Kate’s career is a testament to her versatility and innovative spirit: she has experience in start-ups, venture capital, and building innovation initiatives from the ground up: she previously helped lead the build-out of the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific and before that, MxD (Manufacturing times Digital): the Department of Defense’s digital manufacturing innovation center. Mary Kate has a passion for taking complicated ideas and turning them into reality: she was one of the first team members at MxD and the first team member at the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific.

Mary Kate dedicates her extra time to education and mentorship: she was one of the founding Board Members for Women Influence Chicago and led an initiative for a city-wide job shadow day for young women across Chicago tech companies and was previously on the Board of Directors at St. Laurence High School in Chicago, Young Irish Fellowship Board and the UN Committee for Women. Mary Kate is the founder of National Supply Chain Day and enjoys co-hosting podcasts at Supply Chain Now. Mary Kate is from the south side of Chicago, a mom of two baby boys, and an avid 16-inch softball player. She holds a BS in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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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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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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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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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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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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Tandreia Bellamy

Host, Supply Chain Now

Tandreia Bellamy retired as the Vice President of Industrial Engineering for UPS Supply Chain Solutions which included the Global Logistics, Global Freight Forwarding and UPS Freight business units. She was responsible for operations strategy and planning, asset management, forecasting, and technology tool development to optimize sustainable efficiency while driving world class service.

Tandreia held similar positions at the business unit level for Global Logistics and Global Freight forwarding. As the leader of the Global Logistics engineering function, she directed all industrial engineering activies related to distribution, service parts logistics (post-sales support), and mail innovations (low cost, light weight shipping partnership with the USPS). Between these roles Tandreia helped to establish the Advanced Technology Group which was formed to research and develop cutting edge solutions focused on reducing reliance on manual labor.

Tandreia began her career in 1986 as a part-time hourly manual package handling employee. She spent the great majority of her career in the small package business unit which is responsible for the pick-up, sort, transport and delivery of packages domestically. She held various positions in Industrial Engineering, Marketing, Inside and On-road operations in Central Florida before transferring to Atlanta for a position in Corporate Product Development and Corporate Industrial Engineering. Tandreia later held IE leadership roles in Nebraska, Minnesota and Chicago. In her final role in small package she was an IE VP responsible for all aspects of IE, technology support and quality for the 25 states on the western half of the country.
Tandreia is currently a Director for the University of Central Florida (UCF) Foundation Board and also serves on their Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Previously Tandreia served on the Executive Advisory Board for Virginia Tech’s IE Department and the Association for Supply Chain Management. She served on the Board of Trustees for ChildServ (a Chicago child and family services non-profit) and also served on the Texas A&M and Tuskegee Engineering Advisory Boards. In 2006 she was named Business Advisor of the Year by INROADS, in 2009 she was recognized as a Technology All-Star at the Women of Color in STEM conference and in 2019 she honored as a UCF Distinguished Aluma by the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems.

Tandreia holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management Systems from UCF. Her greatest accomplishment, however, is being the proud mother of two college students, Ruby (24) and Anthony (22).

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Mary Kate Soliva

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.

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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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Greg White

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.

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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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Tyler Ward

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!

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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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Constantine Limberakis


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.

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Amanda Luton

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.

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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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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.

Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.

Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.

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