Episode 39

With the shift to direct-to-consumer channels, consumer products manufacturers are NOW RETAILERS which requires a very different operating model.

-Noha Tohamy, Gartner

Episode Summary

The expectations around the VALUE supply chains deliver are accelerating despite ongoing volatility, disruption, and gridlock. We are all grappling with the impacts of the pandemic, global conflict, climate change, shifting channel, and product mixes as well as constraints on available talent.

As supply chain leaders, we must be prepared to navigate uncertainty and mitigate risk in an increasingly dynamic global market. Many of these challenges were discussed at the 2022 Gartner Supply Chain Symposium held in Orlando, Florida which is billed as “The World’s Most Important Gathering of CSCOs and Supply Chain Executives.” There were no silver bullets, but there were lots of fresh insights and inspirations. Tune in to TEKTOK for some highlights.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:01):

Welcome to TEKTOK, digital supply chain podcast, where we will help you eliminate the noise and focus on the information and inspiration that you need to transform your business, impact supply chain success and enable you to replace risky inventory with valuable insights. Join your TEKTOK host, Karin Bursa, the 2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year. With more than 25 years of supply chain and technology expertise (and the scars to prove it), Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Join the conversation, share your insights, and learn how to harness technology innovations to drive tangible business results. Buckle up. It’ time for TEKTOK, powered by Supply Chain Now.

Karin Bursa (01:05):

Welcome back supply chain movers and shakers, Karin Bursa here. I am your host for TEKTOK, the digital supply chain podcast. Thank you for tuning in today. It has been a busy, busy week filled with the 2022 Gartner Supply Chain Symposium.

I wanted to share just a few highlights from the event with each of you. As you know, the expectations around the value supply chains deliver are accelerating despite all of the ongoing volatility, disruption, gridlock, and, of course, uncertainty. We are all grappling with the impacts of the pandemic, even today, global conflict, climate change, new ESG initiatives, shifting channel and product mixes, as well as significant constraints, unavailable talent. As supply chain leaders, we’ve got to be prepared to navigate this uncertainty and mitigate risk. It’s increasingly a dynamic global market, and many of these challenges were discussed, as you can imagine, at the 2022 Gartner Supply Chain Symposium, which was held in Orlando, Florida.

Karin Bursa (02:31):

This Gartner Conference is billed as the world’s most important gathering of chief supply chain officers and supply chain executives. Unfortunately, there were no silvers bullets, but there were a number of insights and plenty of inspiration. Let’s start with the fact that the conference was actually oversubscribed. Now, I don’t have the exact numbers, but I believe that Gartner expected between 1800 and 1900 supply chain practitioners. However, estimates are that registration was closer to 2600. Yeah, let me say that again, 2600 supply chain professionals gathered together in Orlando this week. That meant that there were three overflow hotels in addition to the Dolphin and Swan accommodations that Gartner had planned in the Orlando area. It was really exciting to see so many supply chain movers and shakers together in real life. It felt a little like a reunion, a little like a party, and then some really, really good discussions.

Karin Bursa (03:54):

As we caught up with old friends, connected face-to-face with colleagues that we have only seen in virtual formats for the past two years, and we had the opportunity to meet new supply chain team leaders that are making an impact. Over a three-day agenda, there were more than 140 sessions — many of which were featuring the latest research and insight from Gartner. Try as I did, there was no possible way to cover all of these sessions. So, I wanted to share just a few of the highlights with you. If you were at the conference, please chime in with your highlights, your takeaways. And, if you couldn’t attend the Gartner Symposium, let me know what you found valuable in this recap.


Let’s start at the beginning. The opening keynote was delivered by Gartner analyst, Ken Chadwick, and it focused on this theme of Supply Chain’s Offset Strategy, Recalibrating our Approach to the Great Acceleration.

Karin Bursa (05:02):

Although I didn’t love the term “offset strategy,” but I totally get it, and I’ll explain why. While we have survived some of the most volatile and uncertain times in recent history, I think we all recognize our journey is not done. Our goal is not to simply survive. It is to thrive and to build thriving supply chains. Yes, I’m an optimist. I do like Gartner’s positioning because they said that we were on the cusp of the great acceleration. Now, that can mean a lot of things. And I’m going to tell you, Gartner shared some offset strategies for what they believe to be the five challenges supply team leaders should be addressing. So, five challenges supply chain leaders should be addressing. The first was really interesting. It is cognitive overload. This really focused on the burden and the way that we, as supply chain professionals, feel. Cognitive overload was a recurring theme throughout the conference.

Karin Bursa (06:23):

Gartner shared a statistic that said that a staggering 83% of the workforce, the supply chain workforce, feels overwhelmed. That’s right 83% of us are feeling overwhelmed. If any of you, TEKTOK listeners, you movers and shakers out there, are feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone. In fact, if you’re NOT feeling overwhelmed, you’re in the minority at this point. Now, one of the key strategies around cognitive overload that was shared by Ken Chadwick was that we need to shift the burden of decision-making to computers or to technology. Now, let me be clear. Gartner was not advocating replacing humans, but instead augmenting humans with better insights, faster analysis, so that we can inspire confidence and quicker decision-making. So, in fact, Ken Chadwick shared one example, which was from Lenovo, and Lenovo has been able to achieve a 55% reduction in decision cycle time. Impressive, right?

Karin Bursa (07:49):

So, Lenovo is making decisions in less than half the time that they used to. And this has helped to contribute to about a $26 million increase from a profitability perspective or profit growth perspective. That’s right. Lenovo making decisions faster to cycle times or contracting, and they can measure that impact with additional profit growth. Now, rest assured, that got the audience’s attention! So, that was the first challenge that Ken Chadwick put before us this audience of 2600 supply chain professionals.

The second is the evolving customer expectations. Each and every one of you are dealing with this whether you’re doing product rationalization or customization. These are trends that will continue, technology change, technology evolution. It’s no secret that technology has been evolving faster than most companies have been able to harness, deploy and use to their advantage. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck because you will get left behind.

Karin Bursa (09:11):

Number four was supply chain cyber risk, a very, very real challenge for many of us in the industry today, and it is high on the list of CEO concerns as well.

Number five is energy instability. Now, here in North America, we are dealing with energy instability or rising fuel costs. Which impact every business and is requiring the ability to replan a number of supply chain initiatives or to re-evaluate margin contributions for customers or product lines or distribution channels as well.

Ken Chadwick asked everyone to look at delivering at least one win in each of these five categories. If you can do one thing in each of these five categories, you will keep pace and thrive.

Karin Bursa (10:19):

So, again, let me give those to you. Cognitive overload, let’s remove some of that burden or accelerate that decision process. Evolving customer expectations, let’s get closer to our top customers. Let’s understand and get greater visibility on how we can serve them. Let’s look at segmentation strategies, technology change. I know it can be difficult, but you must keep pace. You must be looking to adopt harness, deploy AI-driven capabilities so that you can make decisions faster or evaluate criteria faster. Be sure that we are considering supply chain cyber risk and then looking at strategies around energy instability. Let me know if I’ve overwhelmed you. And, if you’re tuning me out, thinking, Karin, what am I going to do? Those are our big, big rocks to be moved. Stay with me! I want to share some inspiration as we go through this recap.

Karin Bursa (11:22):

So, there was another session that Ken Chadwick on CEO concerns in 2022 and 2023. This is what your CEO is thinking about or what the aggregate survey shows that CEOs are concerned about and the implications and actions for supply chain executives or chief supply chain officers. I picked a few of these. The first is growth. As long as I have been tracking this, growth is always number one on a CEO’s agenda. And it is still in fact a number one priority for the CEO despite expectations that inflation is going to continue for (potentially) as long as three years. So, be sure that when you’re engaging with your CEO or your executive team, you are presenting ways that you and the supply chain team can fuel growth, anticipate growth, serve customers from a growth perspective, or even tap into new markets.

Karin Bursa (12:42):

Number two on the CEO’s priority list was technology related. CEOs see digital strategies as key solutions to boost productivity and manage costs. That should not be a surprise to you, but it was number two on this CEO survey. How do we harness it, how do we use it, how do we boost our corporate digital strategy to increase productivity and manage overall cost. At number three was workforce. This moved up from number five in the prior 2021 survey. Priorities need to be realigned to attract and retain talent. That’s right. No surprise. You’re probably going, tell me something I didn’t know, Karin! Well, they rolled in the need to expand diversity and inclusion efforts as well. So, bringing in the DEI initiatives as a part of attracting, retaining, challenging, giving opportunities to your workforce is number three on the CEO’s list. In the past, this has been around number five.

Karin Bursa (14:12):

Now, another one that made a big move, is environmental sustainability. This moved up to number seven. Prior year, it was at number 17, so that’s 10 positions. This does reflect a change in the buyers in the marketplace. Today’s consumers/buyers that are coming into power and authority and businesses or consumers that have more income to spend and they want products that reinforce a strong environmental message to the marketplace, sustainability message in the marketplace, good governance of how the products are developed, the materials used, and how they make their way to market even the packaging that surrounds the product as it makes its way in either a B2B or a direct-to-consumer. So, CEOs now agree this is a worthy investment, and it will actually fuel future revenue and sales.

Karin Bursa (15:24):

Now, supply chain improvement, just as a broad theme for these CEOs, was number 11.  I’ve got to tell you, this surprised me! On prior years, it has been around number 14. But I was surprised it wasn’t higher for 2022. It didn’t break the top 10 themes. Supply chain improvements landed at number 11. Let me know what you think about that.

Now, with this digital accelerated decision-making, there was one session that caught my attention based on title alone. The title of this session was – let me look at this and get it right for you. The title was the Digital Era and the End of S&OP? Now, it had a question mark at the end. So, the end of S&OP? Maybe I need to say that differently, the digital era and the end of S&OP, with a big question mark. This was delivered by Gartner Analyst, Pia Lund.

Karin Bursa (16:27):

I was on the edge of my seat because you know the topic of sales and operations planning is one that I have a great deal of expertise and passion around. While analyst, Pia Lund got down to brass tactics and told a standing room only audience the technology has evolved faster than our S&OP process and it’s time to make a change. She advocates that S&OP should be sure to align to business objectives instead of rigid time horizons, business objectives, overall goals and objectives, not just that we have a monthly planning cycle or a quarterly planning cycle, or we’re looking at investments on a three-year horizon. Secondly, she advocated that we leverage systems that evaluate hundreds of scenarios versus just a few. That’s right, hundreds of scenarios! This is a great example of taking advantage of technology to cycle through the available data, the business context, and then present up the best or the most likely scenarios to be discussed in your executive S&OP leadership team. I love this!

I’m seeing this take place today. For those of you that are looking at best case, worst case, and most likely scenarios, a three-pronged evaluation, you need better data and faster analysis. You need the ability to kind of boost the confidence and look at a tighter range of outcomes and have the understanding that there were literally hundreds of business scenarios that were evaluated to present those to you.

Then the final theme that she spoke to was that we need to focus on the future versus the past. I really believe this. We’ve got to get out of that firefighting mode. We do need to measure the performance of our plans. At the same time, we need to be getting smarter and smarter and learning what went well and what didn’t go well, right? With machine learning coming into play, you can evaluate what we did and what the impact of that was.

Karin Bursa (18:58):

So, here are a few examples that Pia Lund offered as examples of shifting in the way you are looking at your planning around sales and operations planning.

We need to go from siloed decision-making to broad alignment with our business strategy. Everybody, every one of you should be nodding yes as you’re listening to this. So come back to me, stay with me on this list. We want to move from looking only at a few constraint considerations to many, many constraint considerations. In fact, you may want to include personnel, your talent pool, as part of your constraints that are being modeled today. Move from those one to three scenarios to the ability – I said the ability to look at hundreds of scenarios. She actually said thousands of scenarios. That’s right, thousands of scenarios. Clearly, we need to get well beyond the one, two, threes and strive for, you know, hundreds and potentially looking at thousands of scenarios for our business.

Karin Bursa (20:12):

She also mentioned that we need to stop thinking of our ERP systems, our enterprise resource planning systems, as the single source of data. We need to start tapping into external data sources and extending those so that we’re getting better signals, sensing demand from multiple signals, but also sensing supply and looking at those signals to really augment and improve our overall planning. We’ve got to move from batch planning, nightly, weekly, monthly, quarterly to looking at real time data, get out of manual planning, everything where planners are touching every item, every channel, to looking at automated or autonomous planning so that we can elevate how our planners, our business analysts are engaging. Right? So, lots of great examples there for you to consider as you evolve, not just your supply chain planning process, but your sales and operations planning process.

Karin Bursa (21:26):

Now, some of the best presentations that I attended were case studies. These were delivered by practitioners.

So come back to me, if you’re multitasking! I really want you to hear about these couple of end-user presentations that stood out to me. The first one focused on growth. That’s right, Growth! This presentation was delivered by Diageo; Livia Kandiyoti Konak, who is the head of planning and logistics with Diageo. Livia delivered a really inspirational session focused on leveraging supply chain capabilities to fuel growth. I loved that Livia started with the goal of delighting customers! That’s right, delighting customers, a worthy goal that honestly has resulted in an impressive 20% single year growth rate. Let me say that again. The goal is delighting customers. Well, they must be delighted because the result has been an impressive 20% single year growth. That’s huge!

Karin Bursa (22:47):

If you’re not familiar with Diageo, I bet you’re familiar with many of their brands. Diageo is a global drinks business that ranked number 16 on the Gartner Top 25 Supply Chains for 2022. And it’s got iconic brands like Guinness, Johnny Walker, Gordon’s, and Smirnoff. Another measure of the success to date for Diageo is that it has now ranked first place for supply chain excellence and customer service in the UK. That’s right, first place. That’s a big jump.

Livia is leading a team that is achieving this rapid transformation, and they are in fact delivering what every supply chain professional wants. They are delivering better visibility, optimization, and autonomous planning. Diageo is deploying OMP’s Unison Planning platform. OMP is Diageo’s technology partner in this transformation initiative. So, today Diageo has the agility to anticipate and respond to demand and channel shifts, supply chain constraints to model those, to look at packaging transitions, to look at product and market segmentation all while delivering significant growth, and the Diageo customer is in fact delighted with the improved service levels. It’s also worth noting that Diageo is also committed to both grain and glass sustainability.

Karin Bursa (24:40):

If we go back to that list of what’s on the CEO’s agenda, we’re looking at examples here of growth. We’re looking at examples of sustainability. We’re looking at making better decisions, leveraging technology. And we are looking at automation, the ability to elevate and relieve some of that cognitive overload. So, I thought this particular case study really brought many of those messages to the forefront in a very tangible way for me, in a very, very tangible way.

Another great case study. So, come back to me because I want you to hear this. This is a very different company than Diageo. This was Border States Electric. So, Border States Electric, and it was about navigating the disruptions. They were impressive, very, very practical recommendations.

And so, the presenters were Tony Serati, who is the vice president of procurement with Border States Electric. So, Border States Electric is a leading electrical distributor, about $3 billion in revenue, and they have been working with GainSystems. Bill Benton, the co-founder of GainSystems, presented with him. Tony told us about what Border States Electric has been up to. They’ve been navigating all of these supply chain disruptions, and they are leveraging AI, artificial intelligence, to drive automation.

So, back to those CEO themes I mentioned – automation, better decision-making, and leveraging technology, this is another great example. A little bit about Border States, because it may not be a name you’re familiar with, they are one of the largest electrical distributors in North America. They’ve got a network of about 5000 suppliers, 100 locations, and approximately 300,000 SKUs.

Karin Bursa (26:51):

If you’re with me, supply chain movers or shakers, you are automatically thinking about the planning process in tapping 5000 suppliers, 100 locations and 300,000 SKUs. I did not get their number of customers, but I am sure that’s a big number as well. So, we’ve got to think about product, location, timing, optimization, and Tony shared that some of their lead times, you’re experiencing the same thing, I know, have exponentially extended. Instead of being able to look lead times in terms of days or weeks, they’re looking at weeks or months, and he even gave one example where lead time has extended from roughly four months for some items to nearly four years. That’s right. Imagine that. Now, that was an example or an outlier that he shared, but in the best-case scenario, extended lead times for many, many of the items that they like to provide and need to provide for their customers.

Karin Bursa (28:03):

Border States Electric has been augmenting their SAP ERP system with Gains, and they’re doing this to automate numerous planning processes and gain greater precision. Part of the goal is to free up planners to solver bigger problems, quicker response to disruptions of all types, pandemic and others, frequent price changes, supplier constraints, and a changing mix in customer demand. So, all of those themes go back to that CEO’s agenda, growth, leveraging technology, looking at elevating decision-making or accelerating decision-making and that customer service and how do I elevate what my talent is doing so that they can perform and make a bigger impact.

There were a few specific automation examples, and I want to share those with you. When Border States started, only 50% of their portfolio of 300,000 SKUs were forecasted. Today, that is +95% plus of all SKUs are forecasted with much greater accuracy than they were able to do before.

Karin Bursa (29:28):

They also talked in terms of multi-echelon planning and made this powerful statement. He said, “What took us days to do, now takes us minutes.” That’s right. What took us days, now takes us minutes. So, talk about freeing up your team members. Another example of acceleration was making a network change to better respond to a customer needs. Today, Border States has the agility to easily move stocking locations. They can move volume to specifically serve customers and do it as quickly and reliably as possible. So, Border States is also taking advantage of automated replenishment for a significant portion of its portfolio as well.

So, I think you can see why I was so excited about this. I liked the examples of automation, of acceleration, of the able to do more, right, covering that full product portfolio and elevating how their planning team engages and is now able to spend more time serving customers or working with suppliers versus just crunching numbers. A great case study that I think underscores many of the big themes that Gartner was challenging us with on where we should spend our time.

Karin Bursa (30:59):

Stay with me. I hope you hear the enthusiasm in my voice because it was really a great conference. There were great conversations in between sessions, opportunities to sit down with people you did not know at lunch and ask questions and see what was working in their environments as well. Now, many of these analysts delivered multiple sessions and one of three different sessions delivered by Gartner distinguished vice president, Noha Tohamy, focused on the consumer products supply chain. This was about innovating and adapting amidst this theme of accelerating change.

I thought that this was a really good session. It was packed with good data and relevant examples around top investments for consumer products companies to increase agility and resilience. A couple of those themes were supply chain segmentation. I mentioned this was also cited in the Diageo presentation. That was one of the things that Diageo is implementing is a segmentation strategy so that they can better support their never-out or their always available products for their customers.

Karin Bursa (32:26):

The second theme for Consumer Products is network design and a diversifying supply base. We’re not as focused today on the low-cost provider. We are looking for reliability and many times that means I’m going to have to go to multiple suppliers so that I can mitigate risks in my network and in the marketplace.

Number three is the redesign of products to reduce complexity. And then finally, gaining supply chain visibility. And you know, I say this all the time, visibility is on the top of every supply chain investment initiative. So, dig in and understand what visibility means to your company, to your culture, to your products, to the channels you serve, because I believe firmly there are opportunities to boost visibility across your supply chain operations. This session underscored that there is a dramatic shift in direct-to-consumer channels. I think we all agree with that. The pandemic just accelerated the transition. But what it means is that consumer products manufacturers now have to behave like retailers. They’re going direct-to-consumer. This requires a very different operating model, very different packaging, very different marketing. It’s a big shift. This transition is driving significant investments in areas like real time analytics to capture and analyze the data and execute in shorter, tighter cycles, respond to market opportunities faster.

Karin Bursa (34:20):

So speaking of consumer products and visibility, my friend, Rob Haddock, who is group director of planning and logistics at Coca-Cola, which was number 12 on the Gartner Top 25 Supply Chain list for 2022.  Congratulations to the Coca-Cola team! Now, Rob is a well-known expert in the area of logistics and visibility, he was tapped to speak on a couple of different panels in a few different sessions. He was underscoring the critical nature of navigating these logistics disruptions, and responding to market changes with process improvements and technology in areas like network visibility, shipper collaboration, lane availability or lane sharing, yard visibility, even contactless pick-up and deliver, right, how can we reduce dwell times and improve the overall driver experience. Drivers continue to be a significant constraint, how do we improve their experience and get them able to execute faster or have greater visibility themselves.

Karin Bursa (35:46):

Rob has a great passion for connecting and educating and developing supply chain professionals. And every time I saw him in the hallway, he was surrounded by a group of people who were tapping his expertise or sharing what they’ve been able to achieve.

Now, a name that many of you that listen to TEKTOK regularly may be familiar with is Steve Barber. Steve Barber is with Transplace or now Transplace and Uber Freight, which have come together. Steve was a guest on TEKTOK just a few months ago. Now, Transplace and Uber Freight have more than $17 billion, that’s billion with a B, of freight that’s under management. And Steve talked about how they are transforming the traditional freight procurement process and introducing some new solutions for shippers so that they can really enable seamless procurement of lanes. They can look at things in the spot market or look at low volume planning, not just high volume planning. I think that we’ll hear more from Transplace and Uber Freight as they continue to bring these two businesses together.

Karin Bursa (37:10):

Stay with me. I’m trying to bring you the best of the best of some of the sessions at the Gartner 2022 Supply Chain Symposium, which took place this week and some just really good, really good market analysis, buyer behaviors, et cetera.

Another really hard-working Gartner analyst at this particular event was Amber Salley. Amber delivered three presentations and had dozens of one-on-one sessions with practitioners and solution providers. Amber Salley is the lead analyst on the Gartner Supply Chain Planning Magic Quadrant, which published just a few weeks ago. She delivered a session on the Magic Quadrant for Supply Chain Planning solutions.  I’ve got to tell you, there were hundreds of people just captivated, standing around, again wall-to-wall, standing room only as Amber Salley went through some of the background information on how Gartner selected and evaluated 22 solution providers that qualified for the 2022 Gartner Supply Chain Planning Magic Quadrant. Now, I have been engaged with this particular magic quadrant for more than 25 years, and I still learn something every time. There is deep criteria in what gets evaluated around 15 critical capability. But there are also insights that come from Gartner’s engagement in the industry as well as a customer survey process that takes place. So, I learn something every time.

Karin Bursa (39:02):

And one of the interesting data points that Gartner shared is that they believe that the supply chain planning solutions market is currently valued at about $5.7 billion. That’s right, $5.7 billion. That’s demand, inventory, supply, production, replenishment, sales and operations planning, the analytics around those functions, valued at $5.7 billion. And the Supply Chain Planning marketplace is expected to grow at 13.6% through 2026. That is some healthy growth! And, I believe that that growth in part is inspired because back to the CEO’s agenda, how do we leverage technology, how do we accelerate decision-making, how do we evaluate hundreds of scenarios for our business and deliver for our customers, so continued investment in this area. So, buckle up supply chain movers and shakers, because change is coming!

Karin Bursa (40:12):

Now, as you might imagine, the networking at this event was fantastic. It started on Sunday and continued to the moment I got on the plane and returned to Atlanta late on Wednesday. And, I have a number of follow-up meetings that are planned as a result of the conference as well.

I am energized. I am excited. I am inspired. And I’ve got to tell you that no supply chain industry event would be complete without Supply Chain Now founder and host, Scott Luton, making an appearance. I think it surprised some people who had not met Scott in person before, but Scott is even more fantastic in real life than he is in the virtual world. He is so good at connecting people and engaging people, and that came through yet again in a live round table that he helped to moderate with Mark Holmes, who is with InterSystems. This roundtable was focused on How to Connect Data for Visibility and Actionable Insights.  There we are again, visibility, harnessing data, leveraging technology, making better decisions faster.

Karin Bursa (41:39):

So in this very lively roundtable, which again was standing room only, underscored that future performance, goes beyond responding to supply chain disruptions. We’ve got to have the ability to consider things like inflation, rising costs, the Exodus of tribal knowledge, so this great resignation, right, where so much expertise is leaving our companies. We need to formalize or encapsulate some of that intelligence before it leaves our businesses and we need to harness data and not just our enterprise data, but new data sources. And we’ve got to transform data into actionable insights so that we can do more intelligent decision-making.

Karin Bursa (42:32):

I think you can see how that theme goes back to the CEO’s agenda as well, right? How do I fuel growth? How do I harness technology? How do I attract and retain my talent pool, my workforce? How do I make the investments that are really going to elevate the value proposition and look at these digital strategies? I could probably go on for another hour. But suffice it to say that face-to-face events are back and they are energizing! The exchange of ideas, the fresh inspiration, and some good old-fashion human connection are sure to fuel future innovation.

Karin Bursa (43:19):

If you were at the Gartner Symposium, please chime in with your highlights. Let me know what you connected with. And if you couldn’t be there this year, let me know what you found valuable from this recap. Bottom line supply chain movers and shakers, it is a great time to be in supply chain! That doesn’t mean it’s easy, but it is certainly worthwhile.

Karin Bursa (43:48):

Thank you for joining us on TEKTOK, where our goal is to help you eliminate the noise and focus in on the information and inspiration you need to transform your business and replace risky inventory with valuable insights.

We’ll see you next time on TEKTOK, powered by Supply Chain Now.


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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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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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