Supply chain performance can determine if businesses succeed or fail. One of the many factors that dictate these levels of success: effective supplier sourcing. If a supply chain management team has a project or an initiative that they want to undertake to improve their operation or enterprise, it can be hard to find the right partners and providers to go to for support.
Dillon Atchley is the CEO of Aureate Technologies. He has benefitted from experiencing global supply chain from a variety of angles, starting with a position unloading trucks at 3 o’clock in the morning. He has had multiple entrepreneurial experiences and each one has taught him something different about things such as: hard work, data analytics, innovation and
connecting with people. Today, he and his team are trying to help companies pair up with the suppliers best positioned to help them with their supply chain optimization initiatives.
In this interview, Dillon joins host Scott Luton to discuss:
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Scott Luton (00:32):
Hey, good morning, good afternoon, good evening. Scott Luton here with you on Supply Chain. Now welcome to today’s show. We have an awesome show, tee up here. Today we’re speaking with an innovative entrepreneur who is launching the digital marketplace for all things supply chain. Now that sounds really intriguing, right? We’ll stay tuned for an interesting conversation here today. So I wanna welcome in and introduce our featured guest here. Our guest career started off in the logistics and the finance space. Eventually, he landed in the data analytics space working with Fortune 500 and Global 2000 customers. Now, our guests spent a ton of time helping numerous supply chain teams create new data strategies, workflows, and deliverables that drove and continued to drive both top line and bottom line improvements. So all these experiences and a whole bunch more let our guests start new company to meet new emerging market needs, which we’re gonna learn a lot more about here today. So please join me in welcoming Dillon Ashley, CEO for r e a Technologies. Dillon, how you doing?
Dillon Atchley (01:33):
I’m doing great, Scott. Thanks so much for having me on and for the wonderful intro.
Scott Luton (01:37):
You bet. Well, hey, we have a, we’ve had a blast getting to know you and your team a little better, and appreci show conversations, you name it. And, uh, y’all really own the move, so we’re gonna dive more into that. But Dillon, before we do, uh, I wanna get to know you a little better. We’re all about doing our due diligence, doing homework on our guests. And correct me if I’m wrong here, it appears that you got your start unloading trucks at 3:00 AM in the morning. <laugh>. I want you to tell us more about that and how it impacted, you know, your view of not just global supply chain, but global business. Yeah,
Dillon Atchley (02:05):
<laugh>. Yeah, it’s so funny. Um, when I tell people where I started out, like my very first ever jobs and then where I end up, people always raise an eyebrow. They’re always interested in learning more. And what happened was, I was unloading, I was working for a large, large, large national retailer. And, you know, the way my schedule worked out at the time, this is, oh gosh, 11 years ago now, I would go in, you know, wake up at two 30 in the morning, get to work, start unloading trucks at three in the morning, you know, you haven’t had a lick of caffeine, your, your head’s spinning still, and then you’re like, Hey, there’s 3000 boxes that need to move from a truck into a bay, and then you get unpacked and stocked. So it’s, you know, it really gets the blood pumping early on.
Dillon Atchley (02:42):
And, uh, I think one of the main things that my takeaway from that experience was there are so many different ways to skin cats, right? And business and operations and everything. This particular company was definitely not even in the cat skin game. They were more in the, Hey, figure it out as you go, kind of thing. And then, you know, we’ll get like you later if, if you don’t do it right, <laugh>. But, uh, love that very, very humbling experience. And it was really good for, for one, just learning the ins and outs of just, you know, hard physical labor gives you a deep appreciation for that, which is something I think you can take with you all the way through your career. So love that as a start, and then use it as a launchpad.
Scott Luton (03:15):
Man. I love that. And I’m, and I’m, uh, I’m so glad you brought that up. We, we picked that up on the pre-show conversations about how much it really drove your appreciation for all the, the, the, the incredible workforce, right? That doesn’t just keep supply chains moving, but all of global business moving into appreciate that by really being a part of what I’ll call the giba, right? Uh, where you’re, you’re creating the value with, uh, in this case logistics. Um, that is a wonderful observation. And what a great starting point. Now, um, as we keep getting you a little better, Dillon, we’re about to jump into Proma and Ari eight and supplier sourcing a lot more, but there’s another little intriguing story that our team picked up on you, and that is about, uh, one your big accomplishments. I mean, a lot of our listeners love dogs and pets, especially dogs. So tell us about saving this rescue dog that big important initiative you’re part
Dillon Atchley (04:06):
Of. Yeah, it was a really, you know, I, I think it was a story that had the potential to really sway either direction. And I think sometimes in the university, you just need to give a little nudge in the right direction to do some good. And I think that I’m, I’m really a big believer that just small, consistent, positive actions really make ripple effects, right? And what happened was, I actually joined the social media site, Reddit a long time ago, right? And I specifically joined it because I had a pit bull that I had owned, and I had rescued on my own when he was a puppy. And I had him for 13 years. And he was, he was like my shadow, like all my friends, loved him, knew him, et cetera. He was a very, very great dog. And I saw that someone had posted about a dog that they were trying to rescue, and right after they rescued this dog from the pound, right, they get this diagnosis that this dog is, you know, three, four years old, very young, very spritely, very lively, but has hard works.
Dillon Atchley (04:54):
And, you know, as someone who makes the commitment to go out and do a good thing and help an animal or a person in need only to find out that you basically have a, a looming death sentence over the thing that you just rescued is, is utterly heartbreaking, right? Mm-hmm. And so I started talking to this person and I was like, Hey, you know, what happened with the dog? Why does it have heartworms? Like, what do they tell you? Or how do you guys help it? And she’s like, oh, we can’t afford this surgery. My fiance and I are both, you know, and at a point where we can’t afford this 4,000 surgery. And I was like, well, the best way to do this is gonna be a GoFundMe, obviously, right? Mm-hmm. No brainer. And so what we did was we, we kicked up a GoFundMe, and this is a, a really sweet girl who just had no idea what to do, right?
Dillon Atchley (05:34):
She was just kind of beside herself. And I was like, look, what you need to do is start a GoFundMe all kick off, the first initial donation. So I gave, I think I gave about 8% of the total of the first 4,000 they needed. Okay. Which gives it a healthy boost, right? Cause then people see that there’s actually money coming in and they wanna donate too, right? And so, yeah, she was able to actually get the operation done for her dog, whose name was Rory. He was able to get his heart surgery taken care of, remove all the heart worms. He had to go on these intense medications for a while. She was just like crying beside herself, and her fiance and her were posting all these pictures of him post-surgery. Mm-hmm. It was, it was really touching, right? And it’s just nice to know that you can do little things like that of just, you know, a couple dollars, I guess to some people, not a couple dollars. But at the time, to me, it was just a couple dollars. I was like, Hey, it’s great. And you can just make a big wave of positivity in the world and things like that. And, um, happy to hear that dog’s living a healthy life now. So,
Scott Luton (06:24):
Dylan, I love that. Oh, man. All right. There’s so much love there. And, and hey, Rory, if you and your, your folks are listening, you know, hey, more power to you. Uh, Dylan, I love, at the beginning of that story you talked about, hey, it, you know, you believe in a, in a bunch of small nudges in the universe is how you, you make big things happen. Our listeners need to take that to heart and write that down. You know, whether you’re saving rescues in the canine world or whether you’re, you’re tackling big change out in the industry with supply chain, some days are really tough, man, take heart in that small nudges, small continuous progress. And Dylan, I’m so glad we asked you about that. One last thing, uh, many of our listeners may know we’ve got a re rescue hound name named Ruby, who’s a chihuahua and a Corgi mix. So I’m sure, uh, Ruby’s gonna enjoy, enjoy that anecdote from you earlier. So let’s get into more supply chain stuff, right? One of our favorite topics here, so you spent some time up at Proma a few weeks ago in, in terms of when this we’re recording this interview, ProMat, from what we’ve heard, tens of thousands of folks this year. I think folks are ready to get back and, and meet folks in person, exchange ideas and networking, all that stuff. What were a couple of your key takeaways from ProMat 2023?
Dillon Atchley (07:38):
Oh, man. Yeah, I have a bunch. The show. It, it was incredible, to be honest. It was just so lively, and I don’t think I’ve walked that much in years in a single building <laugh>,
Scott Luton (07:48):
Um, oh, got all your steps in, huh?
Dillon Atchley (07:49):
I know, definitely. I got five good takeaways. I think, um, and, you know, we can talk about them more in depth as as we go on, but I think the, the first thing I noticed is that robotics are finally, finally ready for the mainstream, not the Boston robotics videos you see on YouTube, but, you know, there are a number of vendors with very scalable solutions that make it significantly easier to just dip your toe in the water in terms of like robotic warehouse automation. So for example, gather ai, right? A vendor who has autonomous warehouse drones, they can fly around, they can do inventory management, they can reconcile it with the WMS system, for example. And there’s companies like Slip Robotics, they have a robot that rides in trailers and automatically unloads freight within the dock on its own. So, yep, that would’ve made my life a lot easier 11 years ago. I’ll say that much <laugh>. But it’s amazing how much robotic proliferation is just attacking every corner of inefficiency in the warehouse and supply chain, all the jobs that are tough, that are just so repetitive, they’re, they’re making waves and it’s great to see. Great to
Scott Luton (08:49):
See. So that, that’s just your first key takeaway. Robotics and what I heard you say, robotics for the people. So what was number two?
Dillon Atchley (08:56):
This is my experience, you know, being in the analytics and data space, and also walking around prom and seeing all the innovation going on, there is so much transformation going on, and the warehouse is drastically changing both physically and digitally, right? So labor is becoming less and less human to my previous point. And you can just see it, the supply chain digital renaissance, it’s in full swing, right? The, the pendulum is just hidden hard. There’s so many technologies and tools to take advantage of that are enabling more agile supply chains. They’re reducing risk, they’re reducing things like turnover incidents, overstock items, stockouts. And you know, most importantly too, it’s creating a new fabric for sources of very reliable data that can be used to drive operational gains.
Scott Luton (09:39):
Hmm. Supply chain digital Renaissance man, Dylan, that is poetic. Love it. All right, so number three, in terms of your key takeaways from Proma.
Dillon Atchley (09:47):
Yeah, I think, you know, supply chain, logistics, warehouse, fleet, you name it. Anything warehouse, warehouse js or supply chain made, you’ve gotta get comfortable with change. Seeing what’s out there and knowing that there are static operations that are not focusing on this as initiatives, it’s just totally eroding profitability, especially in a high interest world. You don’t wanna be behind the ball on that. And, you know, I think eventually a lack of transformation in certain organizations is gonna start becoming a liability on top and bottom line growth and revenue. It jeopardizes the ability to scale, and then especially in a tight labor market, if you don’t have that and you don’t have that digital transformation mindset going with you, you’re really gonna have a lot of challenges. And I think the key thing here is just you gotta seek internal disruption and you gotta do it for the sake of agility, and you gotta do it to navigate challenging economic headwinds and operational changes that are just gonna be rolling through continuously as the decade rolls
Scott Luton (10:39):
On. Yeah. Good stuff there, Dylan. Hey, static hasn’t been cool back when the days of Rabbit ears tv and it still isn’t cool today when it comes to describing operations, right? We gotta be, uh, gotta be able to lean into change and innovation to stay relevant. Uh, all right, so that’s just the first three. Number four, your key takeaways from ProMat.
Dillon Atchley (10:57):
Yeah, I think, I think it’s time to start talking about AI for real, right? Not like the Hoy toy, like, oh, you have an AI system that’s really just a decision tree. But, you know, and this is, this is my bias coming up too, but I think data and analytics are now heavily democratized, and the landscape has just rapidly evolved thanks to one strong market demand, but also heavy amounts of VC investment. And if organizations are still living their, their lifeblood and their brain and all their nervous systems of the organization on paper and excel, you know, you might as well be burning money at this point. There, there are AI and analytics tools that are being synthesized into operational functions. And just based off what I saw Proma, there are things like realtime data availability, heat maps of where workers are computer vision, analyzing posture to help reduce injury in workman’s comps claims. I mean, it just goes on and on and on. But, you know, these things are, they’re driving efficiency gains, they’re reducing risk, they’re, they’re helping streamline capital expenditure and they’re really protecting margins. And I think that’s what a lot of people need to think about is a holistic financial operations and digital view that kinda synthesizes into one. And I think when people are, are focusing in that mentality with ai, they’re gonna come out with huge wins and huge stories of success.
Scott Luton (12:07):
Hmm. Keeping it real time. I love that, Dylan. What came to my mind? Alright, so finally number five, five key takeaways from Proma. What’s number five? They’re Dylan. Yeah,
Dillon Atchley (12:19):
I, you know, I spent a lot of time talking to execs and a lot of them told me that, they’re like, Hey, you know, we, we always think about transforming the business and, and trying to drive things forward in a way that’s gonna futureproof them, right? And one of the big things that I heard that a lot of the, the C-suite thought leaders that I talked to mention to me was, you’ve gotta transform things with participation that goes all the way down the corporate hierarchy to the ground level workers, right? So I think when you’re forming these transformation committees, you get the C-suite in there, but you get someone who actually walks the warehouse every day who’s not just the management person, but does the daily, the daily grind, right? And can say, here’s why we don’t wanna do this. Um, I think that there’s this one story, the anecdote that’s circulating on LinkedIn about toothpaste and about how, you know, someone kept noticing that there was empty boxes of toothpaste being shipped, and they installed all this stuff after a big evaluation.
Dillon Atchley (13:10):
And what happened was there was a buzzer that would alert someone to come over and, you know, fill the toothpaste tube if it was empty. And what ended up happening was some guy just put a fan on there that just blew the box off the conveyor belt if it was empty and not heavy enough to go through and pass it. So it’s like those very simple things that just, you would never understand if you’re up in the ivory tower, so to speak. That’s why it’s really important to kind of have this representation that transcends the hierarchy chain and sets it up to where you have a very diverse amount of viewpoints, but also something that’s going to enable your transformation and not just be successful from a managerial perspective, but also just from a practicality perspective, right? Where people will adopt it and actually get behind it because they were included in that process. And I think that’s one of the key things that a lot of people in a remote world, especially occasionally, you know, should healthily be reminded of, just to help them succeed in their agendas and their goals and their transformations, right? So all that stuff, I think yields good results.
Scott Luton (14:05):
I love it. And you know, you talked about the value of what I’ll call V O F L, voice of the frontline, right? Those leaders that are willing to go out and get their perspective, get their ideas, get their challenges, and also to your point, know it, they’ve been there and done it. And those are folks that are really valuable as we look to transform ministry, uh, around the world. So, good stuff there, Dylan. All right, so y’all check out those five key takeaways from Proma. I wanna switch gears again. So I want to get into the R eight story here in a second, but I wanna look back again because I, I’m, I’m, my hunch is some of your previous roles you held, you held in industry with a frontline, like we talked about on the front end, loading, unloading trucks, including as you evolved into some of the leadership roles you held. So we, before we get into the r e eight story, you know, what were a couple roles along those lines that really shaped who you are as a leader, who you are as a practitioner and your worldview?
Dillon Atchley (15:00):
Yeah, absolutely. So in the analytics space, my, my foray was at a company called Alri, right? And I was an individual contributor there, managed a lot of our big, large accounts like you alluded to earlier. Um, it just taught me a lot about, you know, how to, how to navigate these large complex organizations and all the, all the passion and the blood and sweat and tears that goes on in these projects. I, I, I left alters, I’ve just shy of three years, and I went to a company called Abel, where I was running a lot of our large, large global enterprise type accounts. You know, we, we did a project with one of the large, large logistics providers, you know, don’t need to name names, but it’s one of two people can probably guess around sequencing when their trucks come to the dock and which order they should be unloading them in, right?
Dillon Atchley (15:41):
And you, you think about this and it’s like, makes a lot of sense, but there’s so much that goes into it. And when you are thinking it holistically about like, what is it like for people on the frontline, like you’re talking about the V F L, what’s it like for the executives, the middle management layers, et cetera. There’s so much that goes into that. And I think, you know, doing that gave me a great foundation of understanding, like, hey, let’s talk about the transformation strategy and those things like that. And then, you know, going from there and helping, helping to, you know, essentially grab a young group of people and help them start thriving in that business was a, was a big piece of it. And, uh, I left, I left there after two years of a couple successful projects to basically go lead a small startup who was doing things like forecasting technologies and, you know, helping to integrate various different data sources, which is a big pain point.
Scott Luton (16:30):
Dylan, was that your first startup experience being a part of a startup?
Dillon Atchley (16:34):
No, no. I, I, well, I was at a company called Abel was my first one really. And this was my, my second foray. What I learned was when you assimilate a group of people and you get ’em in a room and you have objectives of, you know, KPIs and we’ve all been there, right? Everyone’s kind of done that. I think one of the main things is that first you gotta let people know you care about them, you know, genuinely care about them as people way beyond just the KPIs and the roles. But like, what’s their family doing? Where are they living? Why, why do they live there? What do they like about it? And I think one of the big, one of the big questions that I always ask people that have worked for me and that I worked with, when they’re talking to me about something important and they’re passionate about, I’m always like, what does that mean to you?
Dillon Atchley (17:10):
Like, why? And I always felt like that question gets people to really lean in and, and kind of peel back the, not the superficial onion layer, but more of like the, the pleasantry layer. And they, they get to the nitty gritty of it with you. And I think when you’re in those scrappy environments like that and you’re doing things that are, you know, really meaningful to a lot of organizations, but you’re also leading a team doing it, it it gets you in the mindset of, hey, you know, you, you can really go a lot further together than you can’t alone. And, and that, that’s what gave me the confidence to jump out and start, or eight, was a lot of the conversations I was having with my team, conversations I was having with a lot of these enterprises who were trying to focus on these insanely difficult processes that they were trying to rip out out of Excel or rip outta these other tools and consolidate and something that was a lot more scalable and user friendly. Um, and, and yeah, that was, that was my thing was it’s just like, you know, you take your passion and you just channel into something that, that, you know, can succeed with the people around you. And I think that’s, that’s what we’re trying to do here,
Scott Luton (18:04):
Man. I love it. Uh, you’re, you’re very passionate about not just driving change because that, that, that sounds kind of cliche. What I’m hearing a lot from you, Dylan, is how passionate you are about helping others be more successful, helping pave a easier path for others. We all know there’s no shortage of challenges in, in global supply chain, global business. And, and I love that that passion and and your experience been there, done it, of making it easier and helping others, especially the human component of global supply chains, making them more successful. So I’m assuming as we switch over more fully into the r e eight story, that’s a big part of your why is my, my hunch when I’m picking up anything else when it comes to your why for launching. And of course we wanna make sure folks understand, you know, exactly what r e eight does. So, so finish off any o any other aspect of the why and let’s move into what it does.
Dillon Atchley (18:59):
Yeah, yeah. I think, you know, the last three years, I think the world has just changed in ways that just no one could have anticipated, right? We were just living in this very pleasant up and to the right type of environment. You know, capital was cheap, everything was great. And you know, when I walked into the grocery store one day and just saw that like, the shelves were barren, I was like, what is going on here? This is crazy. And then all these other things and all, a lot of the, the prevalence, supply chain strategies of the last, you know, 30, 40, 50, 60 years were great until it wasn’t. And I think one of the big things for me was I was, it was a combination of seeing how brittle and how fragile the supply chain really is, and knowing that there needs to be a better facilitator for that transformation to happen.
Dillon Atchley (19:44):
And also seeing the real impacts of like, Hey, I can’t get baby formula all of a sudden, or, Hey, I can’t get this thing, or Oh my gosh, my car is breaking down, but I can’t afford a new car. Cause all the auto prices have just skyrocketed. Cause there’s no supply, right? It’s saying stuff like that and being like, okay, there’s, it’s not just paying to the board, it’s not just paying to the C-suite, it’s paying to everyday people. The supply chain is the life and blood of our entire economy, right? It’s the circulatory system. And for me, thinking if we could launch this in a way that is novel, that’s helpful, that’s genuinely gonna get people to reflect and be like, okay, we can, we can solve our challenges faster. And, you know, it sounds great on paper to things like the top and bottom line, but when you actually are like, Hey, this thing got fixed and now for example, you know, someone can get this new thing that they really genuinely needed, whether it be healthcare related or auto related, or even just food related. Um, knowing that we can potentially play a small part in that I think is just a huge win. That to me is just the, the bread and butter of
Scott Luton (20:42):
It all. I, oh man, uh, I’m about ready to run through this wall back, Mohamed, me, Dylan, from how you’re, you’re, you’re talking about your why and your purpose and your passion. Cause really, we, man, we’ve been through the ringer these last three years. And, and you know, at the same time though, there’s lots of silver linings that are gonna make us better and stronger as an industry and how we’re acting on those. And hopefully, hopefully, uh, maybe my my mouth, the, the good Lord’s ears, we don’t forget those lessons learned, right? Because if we do those that will be hurt the most are the people of, of global supply chain in many ways. So let’s get into, uh, man, I love your why. You’re gonna be opening for the Rolling Stones, talking about stuff like that, Dylan. Love that man. So let’s talk about, uh, aate and, and let’s just demystify a bit, what does it do at its core?
Dillon Atchley (21:31):
Yeah. You know, essentially when you really break it down to nuts and bolts, orates a B2B supply chain marketplace like you mentioned before, and our, our main emphasis is on the warehouse, right? The lifeblood, the heart and soul of the entire supply chain world. The magic happens, usually it, it happens on the road when stuff’s moving in transit or it happens in the warehouse, right? And, you know, for us, our goal is to help centralize the experience of discovering and engaging with vendors, services, technologies, et cetera, you name it, that are warehouse centric or warehouse adjacent. And I think that the thing that we think about the most with this is we don’t just wanna say, Hey, go on. And there’s this list of people, right? Like we all have seen listicles, they’re great, they’re cool, they’re fun to read. And usually that’s just kind of it, right?
Dillon Atchley (22:17):
So what we try to do is we try to get it set up to where we’re doing two things, right? One, we’re trying to set it up to where buyers or executives or anyone who just has an initiative can come on board and they can create a project in R eight. Now what they’re doing with that project is they’re saying, look, we’re trying to do X, Y, Z, and if they wanna disclose additional details that could be visible to potential vendors or not, that’s up to them, right? But the main thing we’re trying to do is say, look, let’s do this. Use what we call tax to come in and describe your project. So you might say, we need a new wms, we need to do, you know, Excel migration, get away from Excel, we need to get better at forecasting, you name it. All these little tags that we have, help people pair up with the vendors that are out of the box, probably the best fit for what they’re trying to do.
Dillon Atchley (22:59):
So rather than going, Hey, let’s go engage ’em Mackenzie, or let’s go engage in Deloitte and go pay them hundreds of thousands of dollars for a deck in six recommendations, and then a quote for implementation, right? It’s, Hey, go in here, type things in for two minutes, and all of a sudden you got a curated list of all the people you should probably be talking to in this space, right? So we try to make it as seamless, as streamlined as possible. And the value on the opposite side of the fence is you, you’re not having to just blast spam at everybody, right? I think the world would be so much more better if we weren’t all getting spammed and we can just get what we wanted when we needed it in the most simple way possible. And that’s what we’re trying to accomplish, is getting away from all that stuff and getting it set up to where it’s like, Hey, here’s what you need.
Dillon Atchley (23:37):
There you go. It only took two minutes. Right? And then, uh, on the vendor side, obviously they want more revenue, they want more customers, they want customers that are the right, right fit for them. And a lot of them I feel like, are out there trying to spam everybody cuz they’re trying to find those people that have those active initiatives that don’t know that they exist, right? And so, right, I’m, I’m hoping that, you know, fingers crossed here, one of the side effects of Ora is gonna be less spam than everyone’s inbox, at least on the supply chain side. I can’t guarantee that anyone else. But, you know, hopefully it has an effect that ripples down into our emails and makes us all a little bit more sane if we do it
Scott Luton (24:10):
Right. I love it. Uh, having been there and done it when I was in the middle stamping industry, if Alan Ford is listening to this, Alan, uh, led our supply chain and man seeing all the work he put into finding new suppliers as we were trying to win different types of business, that really opened my eyes to just how difficult it is when it comes to finding new vetted suppliers that can do the job and won’t let you down. Right? And then other angle that you mentioned, these companies, you know, whether they’re, you know, small family run or startups or, or whatever, all points in between big behemoths, they’re all looking for new business, new revenue, new, new, new smart business. So I love how, um, that marketplace angle here where really a lot of different folks win on a variety of levels. So before we’re gonna talk more about the launch and how folks can, can jump into the, the r e eight ecosystem in a minute, but I wanna touch on supplier sourcing.
Scott Luton (25:05):
As we both know, Dylan, this is one of those components of supply chain management that has had our much brighter light shown on it in recent years. And for good reason, right? For really good reason. It’s one of those things that’s gonna make us stronger as an industry. Plenty of folks struggle in this area, as I kind of alluded to earlier. I’m glad I, I’m glad I had a good pro on our team. But I’ve working in the trenches with, uh, with Alan as I mentioned. So in your expertise, Dylan, what are three or four ways that supply chain pros can optimize their supplier sourcing approach?
Dillon Atchley (25:35):
Yeah, so I think there’s, there’s a couple different ways, right? The first is you have to kind of have a really good idea of the KPIs that you’re trying to go for, right? I think when you have KPIs that specifically are well defined in this approach, it makes discovering and engaging with the right vendors a hundred times easier, right? Because, you know, you know what their value proposition is. If their value proposition aligns your kpi, it’s gonna be so much easier to have a productive conversation. And, and it goes for the vendor side too, right? Vendors really want to have those productive conversations. They don’t wanna waste people’s time, right? They don’t wanna do that. They don’t wanna go down these rabbit holes just to find out they’re not the right fit when it seemed like from a distance they maybe were. And so I think it’s like that, you know, get your KPIs unlocked of what you’re trying to do. How does it impact the top and bottom line of the business, right? And, and figure that out because those are the things that, one, are gonna make your projects more successful. But two, they’re gonna help the vendors craft a great story alongside you that’s gonna make you both winners. And I think that’s the most important thing is making win-win situations, right? Yep. Not just a one-sided touchdown, but like, you know, both, both sides are really coming out on top for having engaged with each other.
Scott Luton (26:40):
Yeah. D Dylan, you know, if, if these relationships are one-sided, right? And where suppliers are doing business maybe yikes at a loss, that is not gonna be a sustainable relationship. That to your point is, is good for all parties, right? Uh, and I think that’s one more thing we’ve learned in recent years. So these KPIs, how we get smarter about it. One of the things you shared, shared there, what’s number two?
Dillon Atchley (27:03):
Yeah, I think number two, and this is something that a lot of people kind of sleep on a little bit, but we’ve all had calls with vendors, right? And you have the call cause maybe they said something interesting or you saw an ad online and you’re like, oh, let’s talk to them. And then, you know, maybe you get busy and the initiative was kind of important, but it wasn’t critical and other things took, took priority and precedence. You know, those vendors just, they just usually got the wayside, right? And you forget all about ’em. And, uh, I think one of the big thing is too is is having a top-down view from the executive perspective of what your teams are working on, why they’re working on it, and who have you engaged with in the past, right? Basically establishing a portfolio. Because I think that if you as an executive in the supply chain logistics space have a top-down view of who your team’s engaging with, why they’re engaging with them, what initiatives are they trying to do to assist or to drive value with, with those engagements, it’s gonna give you a way better way and opportunity to, you know, not just engage with the best vendors at the right time when you have this initiative.
Dillon Atchley (28:04):
But later on down the road when something resurfaces, again, the vendors dunno, you’re doing that. They don’t know that something shifted and all of a sudden now’s the best time to talk. So it’s good to go back and say, Hey, we talked to these vendors, the, we have a portfolio in this space of three or four of them that we knew could have been good fits, but last year was just not the right time. We can circle back to the now and we can drive immense value with what they’ve offered in the market. And I think that’s something that a lot of companies don’t have, right? You got your cobas, you got your, you know, your systems, your SMS and all that. But doing it from a more of a proactive point of view and a top-down visibility point of view, I think is something that really drives a lot of value for the team, for the execs and, and being able to kind of have this push button we’re like, Hey, we, we know exactly the right vendor for this when the time is right and we didn’t have to go out and pay 50 grand for a recommendation from some firm, right?
Dillon Atchley (28:51):
That that’s a big thing. It’s a big win. Helps a
Scott Luton (28:53):
Lot. No, I agree. And, and you know, one of the many things you mentioned there, and that sounds so simple, maybe sounds naive, but I think the strongest relationships you’re gonna have, both with current suppliers, but also those potential suppliers that you mentioned may have a conversation here and, and years may go by and, and maybe it’s just an email back and forth carving out time for those folks so you could have meaningful discussions and maybe even, uh, tack that blind spot for where you may have pigeonholed, you know, some of these potential suppliers and, and then you sit down and have a eureka moment, oh, they’re doing this and they’re doing this really well, man, and, and by the way, it’s in the same neighborhood, right? We’re not shipping it to Portugal and back to, uh, South Carolina or what have you. Uh, so excellent point there. The approach talking often or at least talking regularly, and then your approach in how to have those conversations and the folks that should be involved. That’s, uh, good stuff there. So what’s number three on this list of, uh, this informal list of, uh, three or four ways that supply chain pros can optimize our supplier sourcing approach?
Dillon Atchley (29:55):
Yeah, I think one thing, and this is, this is kind of underrated, I mean my opinion, but talking to your vendor’s partners is oftentimes a really good strategy and a lot of people overlook it, but when you find a company, for example, and they may, they may offer a certain value prop and they have a partner who sits just upstream of them and seamlessly compliments what they’re doing, they partner for a reason, right? Those solutions are better together. So I feel like when you, when you really take a deep dive and you find out like, who is this company partnering with and why? What is this partner doing that is helping to compliment their value proposition? I think it opens a door for more holistic transformation, right? Not not point solutions because there’s, you know, digital transformation with an umbrella term big endeavor, right? Multimillion dollar endeavors most of the times.
Dillon Atchley (30:43):
It’s tough, it’s hard. It takes time. Everyone who’s gone through it knows that. But I think when you’re like, Hey, we, we, we found something that’s just so, so out the gate hot right now that for that’s gonna work so beautifully for us. What are the other things that are maybe considered point solutions that just will seamlessly work into that? And you know, back, back when I was in the data space, I saw this a lot, you know, I worked at all Trix. It was the, it was one of the best tools in the world for helping to grab data from somewhere, uh, combine those two data sources together and then push it somewhere else, right? It was great. Then alert for that. And the partner that we would always go talk to was Tableau. And Tableau is great for taking that data once it was clean, once it was all organized, and it would just visualize it in these stunning dashboards. And everyone likes Tableau dashboards, right? Um, nowadays it’s more power bi it’s kind of more in vogue. But, but I think that the point of the story is that, you know, you find the vendor who works beautifully with the other one and it’s like a peanut butter jelly sandwich. Just, it just works and everyone’s gonna love it and no one’s gonna question it. You’re just gonna eat your peanut butter and jelly sandwich and be happy like we all were as kids one day, right? Unless you had a peanut allergy, then I guess maybe
Scott Luton (31:48):
Not <laugh>. I love that. But I’m gonna up the Annie a bit. Dylan, I’m gonna up the Annie a bit instead of peanut butter and jelly. How about a delicious grilled cheese sandwich? Cause really the whole world loves a good grilled cheese sandwich, right? I’m sure there’s some and j holdouts, but, uh, kidding aside, I love that idea. It reminds me when you’re talking about, you know, kind of going to your, uh, your vendor suppliers and vendors partners and whatnot, it, it brings my mind to the clustering that we see take place in aviation and automotive and, and they, they create kind of a, uh, a local ecosystem, right? Especially when a in a, in a big plant goes into a certain region. And man, there’s strength, obviously there’s strength in numbers, but that, that’s where it reminds me. Those are, those could be some great doors to open and great discussions to be, had great potential suppliers by really uncovering the entire ecosystem there. Dylan, we’re gonna touch on r e a again here in a second. Cause that’s gotta be on, on the, I I’ll say it, you may not wanna say it, but I’ll say it, it’s gonna be part of a list to optimize, uh, how to optimize your supplier sourcing approach. But anything else before we go to r e a? Anything else you wanna add to this? I’ll call it an independent list of best practices.
Dillon Atchley (32:58):
<laugh>? Yeah. I’d say, uh, throw in a, a tomato soup with your grilled cheese metaphors slam dunk. Okay. Absolute slam dunk. Um, no, I think, I think, yeah, that’s, that’s the key of it, right? And I think the thing too is that a lot of people’s procurement organizations and a lot of people’s supplier relationship management, it tends to happen in a vacuum, right? And I think it makes so much more sense to grab those people and to get them more enmeshed with the broader organization for numerous reasons, right? Because if, if people are having these healthy cross-functional dialogues, I think it makes the supplier and the procurement people’s jobs a lot easier. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> because they get broader perspective as to the, the ins and outs of the niches. It’s like, hey, we’re saving X amount of dollar per unit on whatever. It’s like, that’s awesome and that should be the goal all the time too, right? Quality, price, et cetera. You want those, those key components. But knowing the why and how it intersects with a lot of the functionality of another team member is, is honestly something that I don’t think enough people are taking into consideration and makes a big impact if it’s done correctly.
Scott Luton (33:57):
Hmm. Love it. Dylan. Uh, and, and man, you, you did one up me with that, uh, both the tomato soup and the grilled cheese sandwich, man, all of our listeners now are gonna be hungry, uh, around the globe. Let’s talk about a as we, cause that’s a great solid four, four part list there. And then we’re gonna add really number five because r e eight is now live. It is live. You’ve got lots and lots of companies we were talking to pre-show that are already signed up and taking advantage. So let’s talk about how can folks become part of the r e eight family? You, how can they take advantage of what you’re offering there?
Dillon Atchley (34:32):
Yeah, of course. So I mean, the key thing to know is if you’re an executive or a buyer, you’ll have a project you wanna explore r eight’s free, right? Don’t, don’t worry about that. No cost. You just go to try orate.com and create an account and create a project. And within three minutes or so, give or take, you’re able to have a curated list of vendors for whatever it’s you need, right? Whether it’s robotics or whether it’s, you know, physical things like warehouse flooring or the things that we all take for granted, like rails that keep us safe when we’re on the mezzanines. All that stuff is there and it’s really simple to get going. That’s pretty much all you do. You just go in, sign up, make a project and film, you’re off the races,
Scott Luton (35:09):
Man, as simple is good, simple as words, it may sound isn’t always easy, right? Cause it can be really challenging and complex, um, uh, to make things simple. But man, I love how, I love this resource that y’all built and no wonder y’all had droves of folks take you advantage. What, when did y’all go live?
Dillon Atchley (35:31):
Yeah, so we went live, uh, beginning of April. Okay. So we were, we were pretty much there. We had a lot of folks, folks from Proma who were just bustling to get in, which was great. I bet. Um, that was one of the best parts about it in my opinion. So we had a, we had a good catalyst with that. And yeah, now our main goal is just two things. One, helping make people’s lives simpler and easier on the sourcing, procurement, uh, vendor engagement side and helping vendors come out with really good success stories from customers that they should be working with, right? Not the ones that they shouldn’t be. They’re kinda like, eh, on the fence, but the ones who genuinely have the initiatives that they’re the best fit for. Love it. And it’s like Einstein said, genius is making complex ideas simple. It’s not making simple ideas complex. Yes. So taking that, that simplicity and, and driving it home and just trying to make it to where, you know, there’s no hoops to jump through. You just go on and just get what you need. That’s what we really wanna go for. We took this e-commerce philosophical approach of, you know, less than four clicks to get from A to B. That was our thought process. And I, I’m hoping it serves people well, especially considering how inundated we all are. So that’s my, that’s my, uh, my hypothesis and I’m sticking to
Scott Luton (36:33):
It. Well, and you should, uh, I, I really think, you know, who knows Dylan, we may be third cousins. I think we look at the world very similarly and I love that Einstein quote because you know, I think there’s lots of of folks, uh, uh, across the globe that are really smart and intelligent and they wanna make sure folks know that they’re smart and intelligent. And unfortunately what that does is it really can make things a lot more challenging than what they should do. Make things a lot more complex than they should be. And lesser are those that can do exactly what Einstein said. Hey, let’s keep it simple in some of the hard stuff. Simple, right? And give folks a confidence that yes, anyone can do this and let’s, uh, let’s move forward together. So I think the URL there that we may have missed a try r eight.com, is that right?
Dillon Atchley (37:20):
Scott Luton (37:21):
Yeah. And we’re gonna have that in the show notes of the episode. So you’re one click away, Dylan. Hey, one click away. We’re quick learners there, just like y’all baked that into a lot of your functionality. And that’s t r y for any of you just listening maybe driving or flying or what have you. Uh, t r y a u r e a t e.com. I get that right, Dylan?
Dillon Atchley (37:42):
That’s correct. Yeah.
Scott Luton (37:43):
Okay. Sometimes phonics is not my friend. I think I got that right. So try r eight.com and uh, sign up. It’s free. That’s more good news here today. And sounds like it’s chock full of ideas. Okay, Dylan, you’re a breath of fresh air. Have you been told that before?
Dillon Atchley (38:00):
Uh, I’ve been told that once or twice my 10 month old thing, so I’m probably the best breath of fresh air cuz he’s never heard my jokes. So he thinks they’re funny the first time and the third time.
Scott Luton (38:08):
Well, I can appreciate that as a father of three and then eventually you, you become less cool maybe <laugh>. But, um, I love the bookends here that is as evident in this conversation. You know, your intention, your deliberate passion for helping others, like from a personal standpoint back to Rory and the dog and your appreciation for all the workforce that make, that truly makes things happen even in the digital era that we’re living in. And then, then you have, you’re bookending that with your purpose in business as a founder and an entrepreneur to create, uh, a marketplace that helps professionals and practitioners and businesses, both folks looking for solutions to the problem as well as those folks looking to grow their business. Right? It’s a beautiful thing. So Dylan, thank you. And let’s make sure folks know, folks you already know how to check out r e eight try r eight.com. How can folks connect with Dylan actually? Cause I believe folks are gonna wanna sit down and share a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato bowl of tomato soup with you soon.
Dillon Atchley (39:08):
Yeah, yeah, definitely. Um, so I think the best way to connect with me is just on LinkedIn, right? Um, I I pretty much live on there. Um, so yeah, my LinkedIn, my LinkedIn URL is linkedin.com/n/just my first and last name, D i l l o n a t c h l e y. And then boom, right to my page. Or if you just search d i l o n and r e eight, I’ll probably pop right up.
Scott Luton (39:29):
I bet you will. And we’re gonna make sure, again, that’s one click away too. We’ll have the LinkedIn profile so you can connect with Dylan, actually c e o with r e eight technologies. Dylan a pleasure man, really, uh, uh, congrats on on, uh, this journey. You’re on. Congrats on the successful launch. Congrats on clearly it’s resonating with folks in need around the globe. Congrats on all this growth and success thus far. And I bet you’re like, just wait, we’re just getting started. That’s my hunch how you’re gonna respond. Is that right?
Dillon Atchley (40:00):
Uh, yep. Absolutely. Yeah, we’re gonna, we’re gonna aim for the moon. We’re aim for the stars. New land on the moon. We’ll get lucky. Who knows, <laugh>. We’ll
Scott Luton (40:07):
Figure it out. Love it. Well, Dylan, thank you so much for your time here today. Again, Dylan Ley, c e o with r e eight Technologies, a real pleasure to get to learn more about your venture and all the good work that it’s gonna do now and moving forward for folks across global supply chain. Thank you, Dylan.
Dillon Atchley (40:23):
Thanks Scott. Appreciate
Scott Luton (40:24):
It To our listeners, man, what a, uh, again, forgot their fresh share, uh, with Dylan and the r e eight team, maybe that last, uh, hour or so created some FOMO in your mind, that fear of missing out. Check out. Try r eight.com. You can learn a lot more. But more than anything else, I, I really enjoy Dylan’s, you know, beyond R eight, his key takeaways from ProMat, right? His list of four ways to help optimize your supplier sourcing. Even if you don’t check out the r e eight platform from someone that’s been there and done it, but hey, we can’t do it for you, right? You gotta take this expertise, apply it, deeds, not words. That’s what it’s all about. So if you’ve enjoyed this episode, be sure to find supply chain now, wherever you get your podcast from. Subscribe so you don’t miss stuff like this. And hey, find us on YouTube. It’s easy to watch, listen and engage in those shows there. And on behalf of the entire team here at Supply Chain now, Scott Luton wishing all our listeners nothing but the best challenging you to do good. Give forward and be the chain. Hey, be like Dylan Ashley, and we’ll see you next time, right back here on Supply Chain now. Thanks everybody.
Thanks for being a part of our supply chain now, community. Check out all of our email@example.com and make sure you subscribe to Supply Chain now, anywhere you listen to podcasts. And follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on Supply Chain. Now.
Dillon Atchley’s career started off in the finance space and quickly migrated to B2B SaaS. From there on out he found myself in the data analytics space working with Fortune 500 and Global 2000 customers helping them solve their analytics, data integration, and machine learning & AI challenges. During his time at companies like Alteryx (NYSE: AYX) and Aible, he helped many supply chain teams create new data strategies, workflows, and deliverables that drove top line and bottom line improvements. He would constantly get asked from these large organizations about other vendors they should consider, and how else he could help their supply chain. After hearing these sentiments over and over again he eventually discovered that there is a need in the supply chain world for their own “Amazon” and thus began the idea of starting Aureate. Connect with Dillon on LinkedIn.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
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!
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is 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.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.