Supply Chain Now
Episode 1249

The old adage, 'location, location, location' is not as relevant anymore in retail.

-Mike Griswold

Episode Summary

In the latest episode of Supply Chain Now, host Scott Luton and guest Mike Griswold from Gartner discuss a variety of topics including the impact of the pandemic on smaller suppliers, the transformation of Macy’s, the use of AI in supply chain optimization, and the importance of networking and continuous learning in supply chain careers.

Listen in as Scott and Mike emphasize the importance of understanding customer needs, investing in smaller suppliers, and improving visibility in the supply chain. Mike also highlights the need for supply chain professionals to have a clear career path and to be open to lateral moves to gain necessary skills and experiences.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

Welcome to Supply Chain. Now the voice of global supply chain supply chain now focuses on the best in the business for our worldwide audience, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and today’s critical issues, the challenges and opportunities. Stay tuned to hear from Those Making Global Business happen right here on supply chain now.

Scott Luton (00:32):

Hey, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you may be, Scott Luton and the always special guest, Mike Griswold here with you on Supply Chain. Now, welcome to today’s show, Mike. How you doing?

Mike Griswold (00:43):

I’m doing well, Scott. It feels like we were just together yesterday. So I was looking at my calendar and I said, oh my gosh, I get to spend time with Scott today, so I’m excited. Thanks for having me. Always enjoyed this time.

Scott Luton (00:53):

Well, we do too. We’re always excited. It’s always a great episode. We get a lot of feedback from your expertise and your perspective. You drop here today, and as you point out, we really enjoy the conversation as well. So folks backed by popular Demand, our longstanding audience knows this of our new folks. This may be the first one. Y’all have caught one of our longest running and most popular series supply chain today and tomorrow with Mike Griswold with Gartner. So Mike, of course, served as Vice president Analyst with Gartner. And on today’s episode, we’re going to be exploring several interesting news stories and getting Mike to weigh in with his patented, patented expert take. So before we get to those four stories and some things to look forward to event-wise, here’s a fun warmup question for you, Mike. So we’re recording today’s episode on national Oreo day. I’m a big fan. I’ve got to keep them out of the house, right? They’re like, girl Scout thin mints. I can’t be in the house. The sleeves will disappear. So are you a big Oreo fan, and if so, do you dunk? No. Dunk. What’s your favorite variety? Your take?

Mike Griswold (01:52):

Yeah. So similar to you, Scott. My wife and I both try to keep ’em out of the house. We have varying degrees of success. I think for me it’s probably the lemon Oreos, and I would put myself probably in the note dunk kind of category because for me it is just a logistical thing, right? When I want an Oreo, I want to go get an Oreo. I don’t want to have to then go get a glass of milk. It’s one more thing to clean up. So as people probably do, I’m a pretty practical person. So to me it’s let’s just get to the Oreo and I never understood the people that twist and then just lick the frosting off. Then you’re left with two biscuits, almost like communion wafers. It’s like, no, it needs to stay together.

Scott Luton (02:38):

I want to go to the church that has those as communion wafers. Lemme just say that out there. Yes. Yeah, my kids do that, especially my oldest two daughters. So, alright, good stuff there. So congrats to the whole team that brings Oreos to everyone around the globe and all the different varieties, like Mike mentioned, the lemon ones, you got carrot cake ones, you’ve got red velvet, you got all kinds these days. So a lot of good stuff there. Okay, Mike, we got a lot to get into here today. We’ve got four stories. We’re going to be walking through getting your take on each one of them. We also have a couple of big events coming up. We’re going to get you to weigh in and let’s jump right in. So I want to start with this interesting story from our friends over at Supply chain Dive.


So this focuses on the health of smaller suppliers in global supply chain. So most folks would claim that will never be back to normal, but some things have stabilized. However, a firm called Rapid Ratings has been analyzing the finances of suppliers of all sizes and have found that smaller companies, well they’re getting squeezed and in some cases are in worse shape than they were prior to the pandemic. Now, rapid ratings reports that since 2019, privately held middle market companies, which are critical to global supply chains everywhere. Well, they filed for bankruptcies as much as four times more often than larger companies. Also, a key measure for profitability ebitda, well, it’s declined over 20% from 2019 to 2022 for these same middle market companies, while it’s risen some 20% at large public companies. So Mike, I’d love to get you to weigh in here. What do you think is at play?

Mike Griswold (04:09):

Yeah, I think this is probably not necessarily surprising When you think about what we went through during the pandemic, there was a lot of pressure on all nodes of the supply chain upstream and downstream. We saw incredible pressure, particularly on smaller suppliers that maybe were providing key components within a broader bill of materials. So I think this is something that I think most people probably could have seen coming. It doesn’t make it any easier, obviously, for those smaller companies. But when I think about this, and I thought you recapped the article very well, three things came to mind as I think about organizations that now have to deal with this right now, have to deal with the fact that you’ve got some smaller suppliers. I think the first, and it was alluded to in the article was companies need to think about how do I invest in some of these smaller companies that are a key part of my ecosystem?


Does it mean you have to go out and acquire them? But I think it does mean you need to have a sense of their viability and the role that you play in that viability. And we see that in some of our top 25 companies where they’re actively investing in smaller companies upstream and downstream. I think the second thing, which I think if Greg was here, he would tell you we still have some work to do, is just the general concept of visibility, right? Part of the challenge that these smaller companies have is they have to carry more inventory. They have to be more, be prepared to be more flexible for some of their larger customers that they’re supporting. And it makes that very difficult if we’re not providing them better visibility, say to our better visibility to things like our inventory position, changes to configuration, all of those types of things help those smaller companies be as efficient as they can be, and also not have to spend money on things like safety stock because they’re unsure around what some of their bigger customers are going to be asking for.


And I think lastly, it’s this idea of just being sensitive to what they need. Is it they need some more visibility? Is it that they might need an influx of capital? Is it that they might need you as a larger supplier to maybe pay them a little bit more quickly? There’s always that balance between I want to keep my money as long as I can before I pay you. There’s always that balance between the longer I have it and you don’t, right? There’s a direct impact on how that particular partner can perform. Especially we saw during covid cash reserves and a lot of companies started to decline. A lot of companies were in a much more just in time type of mindset. So the longer that I hang onto my money before I give it to you so that you can replenish your stocks and your stockpile and use it to drive your business becomes problematic. So I really think it’s those three things, visibility, being sensitive to their needs and being willing to invest.

Scott Luton (07:21):

Yes, Mike, I love that. And along these lines, and not to suggest that Boeing and Spirit aero systems were included in this study, but I think it’s interesting to see the headlines now where Boeing is looking to possibly require spirit error systems to maybe fix some of the challenges this had for a couple of years now, Mike?

Mike Griswold (07:41):

Yeah, for sure. I think one of the things this also does is, and if people have looked at any of our procurement research at Gartner, they’ll see that we talk a lot about supplier segmentation. And this to me is a newer element now within someone’s supplier segmentation strategy, which is around what is the financial status of the suppliers that I’m partnering with? What are some of those needs that they might have outside of purely transactional types of discussions we might have with them. So to me, it provides a great opportunity for companies to revisit how they segment their suppliers and are they really looking at some of these new emerging areas that can make those relationships stronger?

Scott Luton (08:28):

Well said. And I want to also spike the football on your last point in particular about the importance of being sensitive to the needs of your suppliers. If you can show some of that empathy and you can really sit down and lean into those conversations and give these folks, give these suppliers, these companies what they need, it’s amazing what ideas, what innovations, what savings may come out of really positive, mutually beneficial, more modern relationships across the ecosystem. So a lot of good stuff there,

Mike Griswold (08:56):

Mike. I agree, Scott, you said a perfect word there, which is ecosystem. A lot of the people, if they look at some more recent research, we start talking more about interacting within an ecosystem. I won’t mention the company by name, but someone told me a story that there was this particular company that their definition of a win-win negotiation is when they win twice. So that mindset is not helpful. That needs to change. It needs to be much more collaborative. To your point, it needs to be much more empathetic and it really does need to be mutually beneficial for both sides of those discussions.

Scott Luton (09:30):

Well said. Appreciate that. Good stuff. That’s just the first story. We’ve got three more to go folks. Y’all can see why this is one of our more popular series. I want to get into, one of my favorite things to talk with you about and many others is the retail world. I really enjoyed the retail world because I not only get to kind of speak to it as a supply chain practitioner, but equally as much as a consumer. And it’s so interesting to kind of look at retail stories through that lens. So Macy’s, lots of big changes in store for Macy’s. Now, as most folks know, the company’s being led by its new CEO Tony Spring who started in early February. The latest news is Macy’s is going to close about 150 of its namesake stores. These 150 stores that will be shut down represent 25% of Macy’s square footage, but less than 10% of its sales according to Mr.


Spring. And it plans to open new locations of its Bloomingdale’s and Blue Mercury stores. Now, the Macy’s stores that will remain open, some 350 of them, the company’s looking for ways to improve customer experience. Stop me if you’ve heard that before. For example, they’re looking at offering more support and service in fitting rooms and shoe departments to name others. Now, when it comes to the results of this transformation effort, spring was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying you can’t plant seeds in a garden and expect to pick the fruit right away. So it’s certainly going to take some time, but one of the questions is, I think real pertinent relevant question is how much time does Macy’s have to get its house in order in this ever evolving retail environment? So Mike, I’d love to get your thoughts here. Yeah,

Mike Griswold (11:05):

This was an interesting story. I mean, I think, Scott, whenever you and I can talk retail, obviously that’s my background for quite some time. I think it’s fascinating. I think there’s a lot to unpack in that story. I think part of the challenge that was highlighted with the gardening analogy is that element of time. And I think one thing that we’ve seen happen in retail that certainly was evident during Covid, but I think was starting to happen even sooner, was the fact that retailers have to figure out how to be faster and more responsive to the needs of their customer, however they want to define that customer. And I think we only have to look to things like the online and the e-commerce channel and how slowly it took many retailers to figure out that the internet in and of itself was here to stay buying and transacting online was here to stay, and the fact that people were quite comfortable not going to stores and still getting their goods and services that was here to stay.


So when I think about that particular article, I think about Macy’s in particular, but I think more broadly for retail, again, there were three things that kind of came to mind. First is, and I think Macy’s has gotten much better at this, is understanding who your customer is and where do they want to engage with you. I think for Macy’s, the stat that you cited around kind of the disparity between the number of stores and the square footage was interesting because I think that the old adage, location, location, location is not as relevant anymore in retail. And I think about in the article, they referenced mall locations. We saw certainly during Covid Mall, traffic was almost at a halt. It hasn’t picked up. You don’t have to go very far in the news to see malls having financial trouble stores within malls having financial trouble.


So understanding how your customer wants to transact with you. And I think what Macy’s is still trying to figure out is you can’t be everything to everyone or then you end up being nothing to everybody. That to me, I think, and I know I am not BC’s core demographic, so I understand that, but it’s still unclear to me exactly who are they targeting. I think it’s clearer if I go to my second point around identifying parts of your business that work, Bloomingdale’s, bloom, mercury, I think both of those have done a really good job of resonating with the customers that they want to attract. And I think that’s critical is finding out what have you put in the market that resonates and who does it resonate with, and how do you invest more in that, in less areas that maybe are still unclear to the customer, which is probably most important and maybe even unclear to the company in terms of what do you want that brand to be?


But if I tie it all together, my third point is really being crystal clear on what role does the supply chain play in supporting those particular brands or a particular experience that you want your customers to have. If I think about our supply chain segmentation research, right? Supply chains can think about speed, cost and service. It’s hard. It’s nearly impossible to do all three of those effectively and affordably. So what it comes down to is finding for a particular node in your supply chain and a particular set of customers, what supply chain do you need to support that, right? So if I’m thinking about e-commerce, maybe you need a fast supply chain. If I’m thinking about a high service, maybe Bloomingdale’s, right? That’s where you want a quality supply chain and a quality experience. And I think while retail is getting better, I think at this idea of supply chain segmentation, I think we’re still lagging most industries in understanding how to apply that.

Scott Luton (15:02):

Yeah. Oh man, that was a college degree. What you just shared there, Mike, and I want to pick up on your last point there, because let’s determine what we want to do, what is successful, and then build the organization backwards from there. To your point, that supply chain segmentation is really, really important. And back on the mall thing, I think as a consumer and as a practitioner, one of my favorite things to keep my finger on the pulse of is our malls. So Mike, I was up in Minneapolis last week. I had dinner at Mall of America on a, let’s see, a Thursday night, Thursday night. I think that’s a pretty popular time. It’s not Friday night and Saturday night, but still it’s Thursday night. And Mike, that’s got to be the big, I think it’s still the biggest mall in the country. And I got to tell you, I was shocked at just how little foot traffic we’re talking like at 7:00 PM six 30, 7:00 PM local time. So malls, I think everywhere coast to coast, maybe around the globe are figuring out how to reinvent themselves and become more relevant as well,

Mike Griswold (15:59):

Right? They have to, I mean, there’s only so many pretzels and orange you can drink at your local mall. So we did see, and Macy’s may have been one of those, we did see during Covid where people looking to malls as e-commerce fulfillment centers as micro fulfillment centers because the real estate and those types of things, the prices were looking to be much more formable. Oftentimes the mall itself is in a good location from a logistics perspective. So I think it’s partly the challenge though you have, I think Scott is the people that run the malls in general are not supply chain people. They’re real estate people. So they’re focused on, I need to bring in anchors. I need to bring in retail outlets. They just don’t have the background to think about could I bring something in here that a customer probably never even enters, but it’s an efficient operation for a retailer. It takes up, I can sell space in my mall. It’s just not customer facing. And I think that’s a mindset shift for malls and for the people that run them. And I think that’s still part of the challenge is they have a particular mindset. They have a particular, to your point, a particular vision. When someone says mall, this is what they think of lots of customer facing opportunities. And I just think some of that now is going to be gone and I don’t know that it’s coming back.

Scott Luton (17:22):

Yeah, good stuff there, Mike. Now I’ll point out contrary to what we’re talking about. When Amanda and I went to Cape Town, South Africa, I think they call it the Victoria Wharf Shopping Center, which is a big mall, the amount of activity there and people there the most I can recall in my recent memory in terms of mall robust activity. So who knows, maybe we need to steal some of their best practices to reinvent malls here in the states. I don’t know. We’ll see. And good luck. We’re going to keep our finger on the pulse of what they’re doing there. I think it’s interesting to see what Tony Spring is doing. And one more thing about Mr. Spring. He’s evidently Mike, a very avid reader, and one of his favorite books is called Grinding It Out the Making of McDonald’s, which is by Ray Crock and Robert Anderson.


We’ll see what he applies from that. Read that story to the Macy’s story. Okay, Mike, last time you’re with us, man, we got a certification from you on all things artificial intelligence. I really found your perspective to be fascinating. I want to talk about that once again with this article from Gartner. So, hey, we got to talk about ai. I think it’s federal regulation like we established last time. Every supply chain conversation must mention artificial intelligence at least once. This is an intriguing read from Gartner. It came out a couple of weeks ago. So according to a recent survey of over 800 supply chain practitioners, Gartner reports that the top supply chain organizations are using AI to optimize processes at more than twice the rate of its lower performing peers. Some would use maybe the term laggards there. The top five processes impacted, improved according to the survey were reported to be demand forecasting, order management and fulfillment, supply planning, logistics and distribution. And finally, what we talked about a good bit last time, SOP sales and operations planning, and IBP integrated business planning. So Mike, your thoughts here probably doesn’t surprise anybody but your thoughts.

Mike Griswold (19:13):

Yeah, again, I’ll raise my hand and say I’m not super objective, but one of the things I think we do well in our research at Gartner is try to highlight the things that more mature companies are doing and contrast that to things that maybe lesser mature companies or lower performing companies haven’t maybe gotten around to yet. And I think in some ways it’s not surprising that list that you just highlighted, because when I look at the more mature companies, and let’s maybe start with on the maturity side, the more mature companies have already been doing things like SNOP, demand and supply planning, understanding demand forecasting. They’ve been doing them for a while and doing them pretty well, which is going to make them high performing. I think there’s definitely a correlation to an organization’s maturity around these core capabilities and their ability to be high performing.


I think the other thing that underpins all of this, and I know we’ve had this discussion on a couple of different occasions. In order to get good and in order to be able to apply things like machine learning and ai, you need a really, really solid data foundation to do that. And the data needs to really be at a level that supports demand planning and forecasting and a level that supports supply planning. And if you have the data that enables that, it’s not a huge leap to be able to apply the science around machine learning and AI to make things like demand forecasting, to be able to optimize and automate that whole decision process. If you think about it, what drives machine learning and AI is good data, and then being able to apply the science on top of that. And if you contrast that with say, less mature companies, lower performing companies, there just hasn’t been an emphasis on getting that data house in order in order to take advantage of things like machine learning and ai.


And I think the last thing I would say is there’s an element of this in our final story around Schneider Electric, but there’s also an element of commitment and investment in people around being able to take advantage of machine learning and AI in those particular areas. If you think about demand planning, right, people involved in that, you think about SNOP, I’ll pick on those two people definitely involved in that process. And what we’re able to do with machine learning and AI on a foundation of good data is really be able to help those people make better decisions faster. And that really, I think, drives that difference between low performing and higher performing companies, is the fact that they invested in the data and they’re investing in people to gather those skills. Because while machine learning and ai, we have this vision of hands-off autopilot in things like SNOP and demand forecasting, you will never get out of the business of having people there to validate and augment what is coming out of those applications. That to me is the big difference between the high performers and the low performers.

Scott Luton (22:22):

Love that analysis. And I’ll go back to one of the first points you made. You pointed out that these top performing organizations have already developed a profound sense of maturity and discipline to these core processes that make organizations perform, that make supply chains perform so naturally they’re going to use innovative technology in a disciplined way led with outcomes and results, not just buying the latest thrown over the fence and y’all figured it out, but in a measured, disciplined way to take it to the next level. The picture you painted there makes a ton of sense, and I love how you always do. I love how you bring it back to people. You bring it back, especially to enabling and empowering people to make better, successful, confident, timely decisions. Because decision making, it’s still a thing, Mike, it’s still a thing.

Mike Griswold (23:09):

It is. I mean, if you think about particularly, I know we’ve talked collectively on this show numerous times about SNOP. That is a people collaborative process. At least that’s what it’s designed to be, right? Particularly the collaborative piece. And what machine learning and AI help you do is they help you start to apply some business rules around your process that can help streamline that. So for example, if the forecast in your S and OB process, let’s say is 10% higher, normal business rules can be applied that say, if we all agree that then there’s a corresponding supply decision we need to make and we can automate that, but it still needs people sitting together either physically or virtually talking about things like our assumptions. Because the assumptions are not going to be driven by machine learning and ai. They’re driven by people’s experiences and knowledge and subject matter expertise. And if you talk to people that do SNOP really well, they will tell you that the ability to align and agree on the assumptions and have the assumptions actually turn out to be true farther down the street, that’s the secret sauce in their SNOP process is managing those assumptions.

Scott Luton (24:32):

Well said. Okay, so you mentioned you kind of let the cat out of the bag with this fourth story, which I find to be really fascinating here. I love this. Now this comes from our friends over at three bbl, CSR wireless new one for me, but this article focuses on perspective by Avila, Mel Gza. I think I got that right. If I got it wrong, please reach out to me, Avila, but I love your perspective here. He’s a supply chain practitioner and he shares insights and perspective on his supply chain career journey. Now, Avila says, as someone who started their career as a design engineer and later transitioned into supply chain at Schneider Electric, I’ve experienced firsthand the transformative power of embracing change along the way I’ve experienced living in a new country and discover the immense potential of supply chain to drive sustainability initiatives and create a better future for all. Love that. And I love your story, Avila, and your perspective you’re sharing here. So Mike, I’m struck by a couple things here and we should make sure we point out. I think Schneider Electric, correct me if I’m wrong, I think they came in at Gartner’s supply chain top 25 for 2023, right?

Mike Griswold (25:41):

Correct. Number one, yes.

Scott Luton (25:42):

Okay. I want to make sure I get my facts right. Yes. So this story here from Avila, two things, two timeless truths perhaps. First off, we need folks from all walks of life with a wide variety of skill sets and worldview to join global supply chain. That diversity is a beautiful and very powerful thing. And then secondly, that supply chain profession, as Avila kind of alluded to, unique ability, very unique ability to impact the world in ways that so many other careers just can’t do. So Mike, your thoughts and any maybe career advice for our listeners here.

Mike Griswold (26:13):

It was a great story. I think for me personally, having been part of our top 25 program for quite some time and being able to interact and read and have conversations with Schneider, this is a really good story that I don’t want people to take away as kind of a one-off happening. These types of things are pretty common within the culture of Schneider. This idea of job rotations, this idea of encouraging passion around particular topics, we’re seeing definitely a surge in interest from an associate perspective around ESG, environmental social governance and being able to find those opportunities in your career journey that allow you to mix both the job and the things that you’re passionate about. I think from an advice perspective, there is a tendency for certain, I’ll call them generations that want to kind of land at a particular spot or level or role in an organization, frankly, in a window of time that just is not realistic, right?


Someone coming out of college maybe with a little bit of experience should not expect to be the chief sustainability officer for an organization, right? Part of my job here, I think is to shed a little bit of reality, right? Not that you couldn’t be, but that’s not going to be your first job with an organization usually. So part of, I think the career journey is, and we talk about this a lot here at Gartner, is identifying the role and or roles that you want and then mapping out what are the roles that can build you towards that end role that you want. But it’s also a combination of experiences and behaviors and what experiences can you gather along that journey that put you in a position to get roles that will get you to that ultimate role. So if you ultimately want to be a chief sustainability officer, what are the two or three roles that you need to have before that?


What are the capabilities and experiences and behaviors you need to be successful in those roles? And think about, we talk about careers at Gardiner all the time as journeys. What’s your journey going to look like? And I say that knowing that there are some demographics in the workforce that a journey of a year is way too long for them, and that’s unfortunate, frankly, to be perfectly blunt, that’s unfortunate because it’s not going to work that way. And that doesn’t mean that you can’t go different places to get different experiences as part of that journey. I think that is becoming a much more recognized and frankly accepted path to these roles. So I’m not here telling people that you need to work in one company for 40 years. Frankly, I think those days are over, and I think that’s okay. But I think if you think about where do you want to go, we’ll use Chief Sustainability Officer as an example.


And you think about the different roles that you need to demonstrate experience and competency and to land that role. That’s how you want to think about your journey. And you should think about it from the standpoint of at any employer, what types of things I gather that move me towards that target. And then if I need to move to another organization because there’s another element to this journey that I need to acquire, that’s okay. And I think we just have to be, we as hiring folks, I think have to be okay that because I can remember, and I’ll date myself, I can remember looking at resumes where if someone had five previous jobs that was a red flag. It’s like they’re not stable, they’re not committed, they can’t stay in one place, whatever it might be. And the exact opposite now, I think happens. If you look at a resume and someone has only been one place, I think you start asking a whole bunch of other questions. So now having said that, if you were to show me a resume and you’re changing stuff every year, but I think as organizations, we’re becoming more comfortable that the younger demographics that are looking for jobs are going to be bouncing around a bit more than maybe we did. And that’s okay. But you have to have that end goal in mind, map out some intermediate steps with an eye towards competencies and experiences, and how do I gather those?

Scott Luton (30:58):

Love that. I might just add opportunities to those competencies and experiences where you’re going to have the opportunity to make that impact that you’ve mentioned.

Mike Griswold (31:06):

Mike Scott, real quick, you triggered this thought I just landed in my head. I want to make sure I impart this. Sure. I think the other thing people have to be comfortable with, again, I think if I date myself, my career ladder in my own mind had to be kind of vertically aligned, meaning every role had to be bigger than the previous role, or I wouldn’t even consider it. I think to your point around opportunities and the point around gathering skills and experiences, sometimes those are laterally and you have to move somewhat laterally. Maybe from a title perspective, it could be a completely different role that’s going to give you valuable experiences. But lateral moves can be oftentimes even more important than just thinking about, okay, I’m a manager. I have to be a director, I have to be a senior director, have to be a vice president. No, you will have to think at times laterally, and that’s okay.

Scott Luton (32:07):

Completely agree. I think that collection of experiences that can be gathered oftentimes by volunteering b lateral moves, by volunteer work outside the organization, I think that’s an important part of the equation. I appreciate that you agreed. Made sure to impart that with our audience. And going back to the article, really appreciate Avela for sharing this. I think there’s a lot of great nuggets in here between what you wrote about and of course what Mike is adding. This is really good stuff, and kudos to Schneider Electric for enabling a lot of the experiences Avila is talking about. No wonder that they’re taking their supply chain performance to new heights. Right. Okay. Nice little segue here because we’re talking about career advice and whatnot, and I would argue one of the important things that makes for successful careers is networking and constantly learning. And some of the places you can do that are at great events, such as, Mike, see what I did there, such as the Gartner Supply Chain Symposium coming up in May. And I love this tagline, Mike, and I know you’ve been to plenty of these tagline here, the world’s most important gathering of chief supply chain officers and supply chain executives. Mike, what are you looking forward to when you go out to these, when you speak at these, the feedback y’all get, why should folks check it out? Well,

Mike Griswold (33:24):

First and foremost, that’s why you’re the host, is your ability to seamlessly move us into these types of things. And I really appreciate to plug for the conference. I think there’s a couple of elements that I think we’re most proud of around our events. The first is the fact that across those three days, we provide everything from advice and strategic thinking to people like chief supply chain officers, but we also do our best to really give people some things they can take away with them and start working on whenever they get back to the office. So it’s that mix of here’s some things you need to be thinking about, as well as here’s some things that you can actually practically start to tackle when you get back home. But probably the biggest positive feedback we get is the fact that there are so many like-minded people, like-Minded meeting supply chain focused together for three days in one venue. The networking feedback that we get, networking opportunities that people have, that’s some of the best feedback we get. Yes, they like our content, but they really like the ability to talk to each other. And I think we do our best to facilitate that both formally with things like our round tables that we have and also informally with a lot of time for formal and informal networking events.

Scott Luton (34:43):

Yes, I’ve attended several of these symposiums, the Gartner Supply Chain symposiums, and y’all do an excellent job there. I’ve really enjoyed the conversations, both the informal and the formal facilitated ones. And of course the speakers and the sessions are top notch. So folks check this out. May 6th through the eighth, coming up right around the corner, down in beautiful Orlando, Florida, the Gartner Supply Chain Symposium and Expo will drop a link in the show notes. So y’all are one click away from checking out. I’ll be there. So if you’re there, let’s plan on connecting, breaking bread, grabbing a cup of coffee, you name it, Mike. Equally as exciting little initiative we’ve got on our end, I’m not sure why supply chain did not have its day. So thankfully, Mary Kate Love who joined the team not too long ago here, but she’s been a practitioner for a long time, founded National Supply Chain Day, and Mike that comes up. It’s right around the corner. April 29th. April 29th. And folks, if you’re interested in joining this celebration, especially of the people that make up this industry, make things happen that take care of the rest of us in so many different ways, hey, send a note to NSCD if I got my acronym right, national Supply Chain Day, NSCD, at supply chain, and Mary Kate will let you know how to get involved.

Mike Griswold (36:00):

I’m just glad we didn’t pick February 29th to be National Supply Chain Day, because then we’d only have it once every four years.

Scott Luton (36:06):

Man, Mike, I’m glad we didn’t pick that too. Alright, so of course we’re recording this in early March. We got March Madness coming. I can’t wait until you come back and we can analyze that. Yes, lot of your listeners out there that have followed these conversations with Mike, you know that he is a avid basketball fan and coach, volunteer coach, and we enjoy his perspective there. But Mike, you really, man, you brought that truckload of brilliance once again, really have enjoyed your perspective. If folks want to connect with you, if they want to have you come out and give a keynote or you name it, how can folks connect with you? Mike,

Mike Griswold (36:41):

LinkedIn. But email Frank, believe it or not, for I’m old school, email is probably the easiest way. Mike don And if we time it right Scott, we can bring in March Madness and some Masters talk, man, depending on when we get together in April.

Scott Luton (36:56):

Yes, timing is everything the

Mike Griswold (36:58):

Best of both worlds.

Scott Luton (36:59):

Yes, absolutely. And watch out folks. Don’t bet a buck on the golf course with one Mike Griswold. He’s pretty good. Pretty good, Mike, always a pleasure. Really enjoyed your perspective today. Thanks for taking time out as always. Once a month with this on this long running series supply chain today and tomorrow with Mike Griswold from Gartner. Of course, many of y’all know he is Vice President Analyst with Gartner. Always a pleasure, Mike Scott,

Mike Griswold (37:24):

Thanks for having me. Looking forward to next month.

Scott Luton (37:26):

You bet. Alright folks, connect with Mike. Make sure you follow him on LinkedIn and social media. Connect with Gartner ton of resources there. But most importantly, take something that Mike shared here today. I’ll tell you, he’s got this patented takes expertise, perspectives, POV, that you can’t miss. Take one thing he suggested, put it into Action Deeds, not words. That’s the name of the game. And really on behalf of our entire team here at Supply Chain now, Scott Luton challenging you. You know what we do every day, do good, give forward, be the change that’s needed. And with that said, we’ll see you next time, right back here at Supply Chain now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (38:03):

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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Featured Guests

Mike Griswold serves as Vice President Analyst with Gartner’s Consumer Value Chain team, focusing on the retail supply chain. He is responsible for assisting supply leaders in understanding and implementing demand-driven supply chain principles that improve the performance of their supply chain. Mr. Griswold joined Gartner through the company’s acquisition of AMR. Previous roles include helping line-of-business users align corporate strategy with their supply chain process and technology initiatives. One recent study published by a team of Gartner analysts, including Mike Griswold is Retail Supply Chain Outlook 2019: Elevating the Consumer’s Shopping Experience. Mr. Griswold holds a BS in Business Management from Canisius College and an MBA from the Whittemore School of Business & Economics at the University of New Hampshire. Learn more about Gartner here:


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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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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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


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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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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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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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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Allison Giddens


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


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


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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Marty Parker


Marty Parker serves as both the CEO & Founder of Adæpt Advising and an award-winning Senior Lecturer (Teaching Professor) in Supply Chain and Operations Management at the University of Georgia. He has 30 years of experience as a COO, CMO, CSO (Chief Strategy Officer), VP of Operations, VP of Marketing and Process Engineer. He founded and leads UGA’s Supply Chain Advisory Board, serves as the Academic Director of UGA’s Leaders Academy, and serves on multiple company advisory boards including the Trucking Profitability Strategies Conference, Zion Solutions Group and Carlton Creative Company.

Marty enjoys helping people and companies be successful. Through UGA, Marty is passionate about his students, helping them network and find internships and jobs. He does this through several hundred one-on-one zoom meetings each year with his students and former students. Through Adæpt Advising, Marty has organized an excellent team of affiliates that he works with to help companies grow and succeed. He does this by helping c-suite executives improve their skills, develop better leaders, engage their workforce, improve processes, and develop strategic plans with detailed action steps and financial targets. Marty believes that excellence in supply chain management comes from the understanding the intersection of leadership, culture, and technology, working across all parts of the organization to meet customer needs, maximize profit and minimize costs.

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

Laura Lopez serves as our Supply Chain Now Marketing Coordinator. She graduated from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente in Mexico with a degree in marketing. Laura loves everything digital because she sees the potential it holds for companies in the marketing industry. Her passion for creativity and thinking outside the box led her to pursue a career in marketing. With experience in fields like accounting, digital marketing, and restaurants, she clearly enjoys taking on challenges. Laura lives the best of both worlds - you'll either catch her hanging out with her friends soaking up the sun in Mexico or flying out to visit her family in California!

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Jake Barr


An acknowledged industry leader, Jake Barr now serves as CEO for BlueWorld Supply Chain Consulting, providing support to a cross section of Fortune 500 companies such as Cargill, Caterpillar, Colgate, Dow/Dupont, Firmenich, 3M, Merck, Bayer/Monsanto, Newell Brands, Kimberly Clark, Nestle, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Sanofi, Estee Lauder and Coty among others. He's also devoted time to engagements in public health sector work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. At P&G, he managed the breakthrough delivery of an E2E (End to End) Planning Transformation effort, creating control towers which now manage the daily business globally. He is recognized as the architect for P&G’s demand driven supply chain strategy – referenced as a “Consumer Driven Supply Chain” transformation. Jake began his career with P&G in Finance in Risk Analysis and then moved into Operations. He has experience in building supply network capability globally through leadership assignments in Asia, Latin America, North America and the Middle East. He currently serves as a Research Associate for MIT; a member of Supply Chain Industry Advisory Council; Member of Gartner’s Supply Chain Think Tank; Consumer Goods “League of Leaders“; and a recipient of the 2015 - 2021 Supply Chain “Pro’s to Know” Award. He has been recognized as a University of Kentucky Fellow.

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Marcia Williams


Marcia Williams, Managing Partner of USM Supply Chain, has 18 years of experience in Supply Chain, with expertise in optimizing Supply Chain-Finance Planning (S&OP/ IBP) at Large Fast-Growing CPGs for greater profitability and improved cash flows. Marcia has helped mid-sized and large companies including Lindt Chocolates, Hershey, and Coty. She holds an MBA from Michigan State University and a degree in Accounting from Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay (South America). Marcia is also a Forbes Council Contributor based out of New York, and author of the book series Supply Chains with Maria in storytelling style. A recent speaker’s engagement is Marcia TEDx Talk: TEDxMSU - How Supply Chain Impacts You: A Transformational Journey.

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Luisa Garcia is a passionate Marketer from Lagos de Moreno based in Aguascalientes. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes, Mexico. She specializes in brand development at any stage, believing that a brand is more than just a name or image—it’s an unforgettable experience. Her expertise helps brands achieve their dreams and aspirations, making a lasting impact. Currently working at Vector Global Logistics in the Marketing team and as podcast coordinator of Logistics With Purpose®. Luisa believes that purpose-driven decisions will impact results that make a difference in the world.

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Astrid Aubert was born in Guadalajara, she is 39 years old and has had the opportunity to live in many places. She studied communication and her professional career has been in Trade Marketing for global companies such as Pepsico and Mars. She currently works as Marketing Director Mexico for Vector Global Logistics. She is responsible for internal communications and marketing strategy development for the logistics industry. She is a mother of two girls, married and lives in Monterrey. She defines herself as a creative and innovative person, and enjoys traveling and cooking a lot.

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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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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 & Host

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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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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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

Director, Customer Experience

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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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

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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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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