Supply Chain Now
Episode 1140

We are all Americans. There's so much in common between people, between races, between religions, and yet we cannot focus on it. We focus on what separates us rather than what unites us.

-Dr. Yossi Sheffi, MIT

Episode Summary

Supply chains have faced several challenges over the last few years, and there is no end in sight. They have overcome the danger of food shortages and PPE scarcity and are now bracing for the impact of driverless vehicles and omnipresent AI. There is never a dull moment when you work in supply chain.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi is the Director of the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics, the Elisha Gray II Professor of Engineering Systems, Professor of MIT Civil and Environmental, and an Engineering Professor at the MIT Institute of Data Science and Society. He is also the author of The Magic Conveyor Belt: Supply Chains, A.I., and the Future of Work, published in March of 2023.

In this episode, Dr. Sheffi speaks with co-hosts Scott Luton and Greg White about:

– Why now is the most exciting time to work in supply chain – despite the challenges

– How the politicization of everything makes it harder than ever to run companies and manage supply chains

– The key takeaways that he hopes readers will find in his book: The Magic Conveyor Belt: Supply Chains, A.I., and the Future of Work

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:00:03):

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

Scott Luton (00:00:29):

Hey, everybody. Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you may be. Scott Lutton, Greg White with you here on Supply Chain. Now, welcome to today’s show, Greg, big show today. You ready to go

Greg White (00:00:39):

Big? I’m not sure if I’m ready. I mean, this is a pretty high powered guest we’ve got today, but I’m gonna do my best to not look stupid. <laugh>.

Scott Luton (00:00:48):

That makes two of us, Greg. Uh, but as you mentioned, excellent show teed up today. Yep. We’re gonna talking with industry leader that’s done big things in global supply chain as a practitioner, as an entrepreneur, popular author, educator, and a whole lot more. So, Greg, with no further ado, I’m gonna welcome in our guest. You ready to go? Yeah.

Greg White (00:01:06):

I think that’s enough Ado.

Scott Luton (00:01:07):

Enough ado. Enough ado. So, hey, uh, our guest serves as the professor of engineering systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he also serves as a director of the M I T Center for Transportation and Logistics. Now, he’s an expert in systems optimization, risk analysis, and supply chain management, uh, which are the subjects he researches and teaches at m i t. Now, Greg, reading off our guests industry accomplishments, awards, and recognitions, including significant work as a practitioner, we could fill up, uh, lots of hours, fill up the whole episode here today. Uh, but amongst his extensive service to global supply chain, our guest is also the author of several popular books, including his latest, the Magic Conveyor Belt, supply Chains, ai, and the Future of Work. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Yossi Sheffy, uh, Yossi. How you doing?

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:01:59):

I’m doing great. Thank you for having me. You

Scott Luton (00:02:01):

Bet. Thanks for carving some time out, Greg. We’ve been, uh, looking forward to this conversation, right?

Greg White (00:02:05):

Yeah. I actually did the research on this, so I know, right? I, I told Dr. Sheffy that I started reading his book. Didn’t get all the way through it, but, uh, yeah, it’s interesting stuff. I think we’re gonna have some violent agreement, uh, today. Well,

Scott Luton (00:02:19):

I look forward to that. I look forward to the violent and the nonviolent agreement regardless. But, uh, hey, uh, Yoi, I wanna start with your background here. So, two points. The first one, as we learned in the pre-show, that work is your hobby. You love what you do. Tell us more, little more about that.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:02:37):

Yeah, I have, uh, you know, I like what I’m doing, so it means that I work all the time. I not, uh, I love to take vacations. I don’t take vacations. I don’t, uh, my hobby is, is my work. I don’t golf. I play, you know, sports that can be played in a short time. So I’ll play a game of tennis and even pickleball lately. But, uh, just honestly, just for the exercise. Mm. Uh, so I, I, I enjoy, I’m competitive in all this, but, uh, by and large, I don’t take, uh, my trips are usually worked trip very short. So, for example, at the end of next month, I’m going to China. It’s two days of flying to China. Two days I’ll be in China, and one and a half day flying back. Wow. That, that’s usually my, my schedule, because there’s too much to do. Mm. So, um, and it’s not as bad as a time because I can work on airplanes. So it’s, uh, <laugh>, it works

Scott Luton (00:03:37):

Too much to do too little time. Greg, uh, sounds like we’ve got someone that, that, uh, jumps outta bed, uh, every morning with the sole focus of moving the industry forward. Huh.

Greg White (00:03:47):

I think if you and I are more honest with ourselves that we would probably have to confess that work is our hobby as well. So I, I can totally relate. I, I, I really enjoy it. I, I do play golf, you’ll see. So I spend a little bit more time recreating <laugh> about four hours a month. Um, but, but I, I really do. When you really enjoy what you’re doing, you know, everybody says you’ll never work a day in your life. And, um, I, I think, you know, being able to contemplate this amazing thing, write a love letter to the supply chain, which is, uh, you know, a recent article that, uh, Dr. Sheffy has done. So take a look at that. Um, I, I think if you really love your work, which you just professed your love, so, uh, yeah. You don’t need other kinds of recreation except for, as you said, for the exercise. Right.

Scott Luton (00:04:37):

That’s right. Well, so one other thing before we dive into your, your, uh, your, uh, life’s love interest, you’ll see, I wanna talk about you shared, uh, pre-show that you had the incredible honor of breaking bread and having dinner with one Mikel Gorbachev about six years ago. Yeah. Uh, that should be a show in and of itself. But what’s one thing that really sticks with you from that, uh, conversation with that legendary figure?

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:05:02):

I’m saying six years, it could have been eight or 10, I don’t remember, but it was in Barcelona. Uh, u p s had the events that they called, call it Longitude. They invite high level people and a lot of ups and, and the customers. And I’m basically the, was the token academic in this? No, I had relationship with UPS for a long time. So, uh, I was in a table with about five of us, the, the CEO of UPS and the several others with, uh, Michael Miguel Gorbachev. And he was, for me, you know, the hero of the last century, really? Mm-hmm. I mean, the guy who Glass No. And all of this, uh, moved the Soviet Union, uh, forward. So I ask him why he did it, why he changed the course of the awful regime of the, of the Communist Party and, and open, uh, open markets.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:05:55):

And, uh, did the improve the relationship with the, with the United States, with Europe, with the West. He did it because he liked the West. He did it because he got red in the face and so angry with me. And he said, I did it because I’m a Russian Patriots. I did it for Russia. That’s for you guys. <laugh>, not for, I don’t care about America. I don’t care about, but we were going on a downward spiral, and I recognize it, and I did it for us. You have to take, he was really getting angry with you was already, and then I didn’t do it for you. I didn’t for Europe. I, I did it for us. Just to me, this was kind of very cool because the guy is, is actual patriot, or we think he did it because he is universal. He said, no, it was a total Russian. Russian Patriots. Mm-hmm.

Scott Luton (00:06:46):

Interesting. I love that. I love the anecdote. And Greg, uh, as someone that has studied the country of Russia for quite some time, what, what does that story signify to you?

Greg White (00:06:55):

Yeah, I would’ve asked him a whole other question, which is, why did you end my future career? Because I was a Soviet specialist in college, and my job was going to be to study and be a diplomat, uh, in, in the Soviet Union. So, well, what had then been the Soviet Union, and the wall literally came down the year that I graduated, um, with my undergrad degree. So I, my master’s program was canceled. So I might have gotten angry right back at m Yos <laugh>,

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:07:22):

But

Greg White (00:07:23):

No, but truthfully, uh, everything you said, I know he doesn’t care about, I mean, it was meaningful to us west of the wall, right? Yeah. And, and all over the world and to hoards of, uh, of ethnic groups com countries that had been, had been absorbed into the, so Soviet Union and had been, their cultures had been largely suppressed, I won’t say lost, cuz they managed to un, you know, behind the scenes, managed to continue to some extent. But it, it, regardless of the good he wanted to do for Russia, it did do a lot of good for a lot of, of other people’s around the world. And it was the right thing for them. They were losing badly. They were hemorrhaging funds. They couldn’t keep up. I mean, president Reagan basically made it his job to bankrupt them, and he very nearly did.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:08:15):

He did.

Greg White (00:08:15):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:08:17):

Okay. So we’re gonna have to kick off a whole series on, uh, Russia geopolitical history or something.

Greg White (00:08:24):

We have, we’ll have to have Gorbachev here for that one,

Scott Luton (00:08:26):

Man. So, well, what an incredible anecdote, uh, Yossi. I’m so glad that you shared that. Uh, incredible. All right. So I wanna shift gears here. We got a lot of good stuff to get to. We gotta get to the, the heart of the matter. I wanna start with some of, some, uh, aspects of your professional journey and Dr. Sheffy. And I wanna start with, um, of all of your various ventures, you know, a lot of folks may not know of the incredible work you’ve done as an entrepreneur, uh, and, and an executive practitioner out there in the industry. Loor, P T C G, log, uh, logistics.com, e chemicals, Sentra, to name a few. Can you share one of those that perhaps had the biggest impact on your journey forward?

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:09:06):

I think it was, uh, I would have to say logical Logic Hop. One of my first one, which basically was a third party logistics. It started when I was doing some consulting work in the very early eighties, right after deregulation of the transportation industry with Rockwell International and working with the director of logistics at the, at Rockwell. And Rockwell is a division of Rockwell that did the parts for trucking. Um, so they were going to do the annual contract or the biannual contract with a, with a trucking company. And they said, well, maybe, maybe we should do it differently. Maybe we should do an auction and market this, see if we can get better prices. So, because now it was, you know, deregulated, nobody did it before. So we, we took, um, two small companies, the Rockwell volume of, of tracking and, uh, the volume of, uh, one of the largest companies in the, in the land, um, a division of this, of this company.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:10:11):

And we did the market test, and the results came about 40% lower with the same carrier that they used before. Wow. It was before this large company. So everybody implement this large company, buried the results. They say, we’re not gonna implement any of this. We’re gonna go with the old, uh, old prices. And I said, what? I mean, we’re saving them probably two, 300 million when, when 200 million used to be real money. So it’s, uh, uh, so my friend explained to me that this company, the, the culture in this company is such that if they will know that a supplier we were, Roku was a supplier to this company, if a supplier came up with this idea, rather than the professionals themselves, they’ll be fired. So they didn’t, they buried it. So I said to said, okay, the so many NUMs skulls in the business, it’s an opportunity for a business.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:11:13):

It’s an op, it’s an opportunity. Uh, so actually we founded Logic Hope as part of Rockwell, and the company started growing. But then there was some, the trucking companies were complaining that, that they thought it was not the case, but the per the Perce, the perception was that we are buying the result in favor of Rockwell customers. So say, we must get out of Rockwell. So we got some venture capital, we got, we bought it from Rockwell, basically, and started independently. And this started growing like wheat. So in uh, three years, we went from $40 million a year to about five or $600 million a year. And this was before the internet. Wow. We had, we were doing things by end <laugh>, right?

Greg White (00:11:55):

You had to actually work for it

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:11:57):

In the spreadsheet. It’s, uh, it was ridiculous. We were growing. So at one point we said, for six months, we’re not gonna take any new customers. And in six months we still doubled because just existing customer care. So this was, it taught me a lot because we were the ones who took the business, took the, um, what companies were doing and bid it to the marketplace and understanding what the trucker is doing, which trucker, uh, to do it. And so I understood the transportation market extremely well. And in fact, I developed a course out out of this at mit. Uh, so this was, I, I learned from every one of the, uh, uh, of my venture. And there were different areas, but this was something that, um, was not directly out of my research. I didn’t do research before on auctions or on, you know, uh, uh, the policies, the government policies of, of deregulation or anything like this. Just took advantage of it. And, uh, so to me, this was something that I, I enjoyed a lot.

Scott Luton (00:13:02):

Okay. Greg, I can’t wait to hear your take. What an incredible story. The Logic Corp story. Uh, your thoughts, Greg.

Greg White (00:13:09):

Well, I think, you know, a lot of companies are born out of a dramatic change in the marketplace. FedEx similarly, right? With deregulation around not just transportation, but, well, a lot around transportation. But anyway, I think when you have the gifts and the skill to take advantage of something like that, that’s when you have such a huge opportunity for disruption, right? And disruption is where you make the most money if you can actually do it. So, yeah, that, that’s a great story. I, I think 40% is, that is a huge dramatic savings. It’s funny cuz these days, yosia, as I’m sure you know, a lot of times you’re clawing for five or 10% somewhere. Right. And

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:13:54):

Because everybody, everybody’s doing it now. Yeah. Everybody is, is, is doing market tests and auctioning. And as an aside, the end of the story that after six years after, you know, after three years, we bought it from Rockwell and three years later we ran it by ourselves. And then honestly, the wheels were coming off the wagon. <laugh>, we were, we, we were growing too fast. We couldn’t control it. There were no good control. So we sold it to Ryder. And, um, Ryder, it’s now over $3 billion part of Ryder.

Greg White (00:14:22):

Wow.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:14:22):

Wow. It’s, uh, and the, the Sea of Ryder said, said to me, uh, years later when I met him, he said, we did the 160 acquisition. This was by far our best acquisition. So everybody enjoy it. We, we made of course, money and, and, but they got platform to build on. And they,

Scott Luton (00:14:42):

Um, man, I’d love to make the rest of the episode just about that story, but for the, for our listeners, we got a lot to get to here today. I wanna level set with this next question. Cause I know most of our, a lot of our listeners at least have, have, has heard of the M I T Center for Transportation Logistics. You’ve been leading that as director since 1991, if I’m not mistaken, in a nutshell. Yoi, can you tell us what the organization does?

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:15:07):

The center is an interdepartmental unit. It’s reports to the School of Engineering, but it’s an interdepartmental unit. We have, uh, faculty and researchers from all over m i t Basically it does four staff for things. It does education. We run and give master degrees, and we have PhDs only graduate education, no undergraduate at m i t Undergrad is only done by the traditional departments. We do, of course, research. So we do research in many, many areas ranging from freight transportation to resilient to sustainability, to humanitarian logistics. We have dozens of projects. We do, um, industry engagement. So we have about 50 companies who are members of what we call the supply chain exchange. They pay some annual fee and they work with our students. They work with our research. They provide data for research. They get first deep, uh, uh, research result. They get first deep at hiring our students. Um, but, and we do a lot of activities with them. And the rule there is, uh, when we have a, you know, round table or conference, the rule there is you cannot be quiet. You cannot just sit there and absorb. You have to contribute. And we throw out some of the lending names <laugh> in this business because, uh, certain manufacturing companies of the companies were too,

Scott Luton (00:16:32):

Too quiet,

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:16:32):

Too secretive. So we said, you cannot just sit there and listen to what everybody else is doing. You have to share. So, uh, they don’t, so this is the, the is called education research in industry, um, interaction. And then we have the International Dimension Eye Open Centers in Colombia, Spain, Luxembourg, Malaysia, and China. And each one of these center is a copy. It starts as a copy of us. We help them recruit faculty. It’s a 10 year agreement with m i t. We have, we help them recruit faculty. We, for the first few years, we are, uh, actually watching the quality of the students. We have a veto on who gets in and who not, even though it’s not m i t, just through the, through the contract, um, we usually partner with the local university. So they, they get the degree from a local university, not from m mit. Uh, but it’s, it’s a, it’s a master and PhD and research very similar to what we do here. But the nature of the research, of course, become different after a while. So, because depending on the interest of the faculty there, depending on what the companies around are interested in, so it becomes, uh, a little different. So we have these four parts. We have the research, education, industry interaction, and the international dimension. That’s basically the four things that we do.

Scott Luton (00:17:53):

Excellent, excellent. Appreciate you level setting there. I want, I wanna ask both of, I’m gonna ask this to you and to Greg with this next one here. Now we have a little standing rule that, um, we don’t go over 20 years of experience. We kind of stop there. So we don’t age ourselves. Right? So that’s an important little backdrop for this question I’m gonna ask. So global supply chain in the 2020s, of course, is challenging. When has it not been right? But, and you’ll see, we’ll start with you. Is it one of the most exciting times to be in this industry, uh, in your career?

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:18:26):

Well, but of course, because, uh, you know, until January, 2020, people used to ask my wife, what’s your husband doing? She said, he’s doing research in supply chain. They look at her like, during the headlight <laugh>, what is this? I mean, in April of that year, she went to whole market, um, whole food market and complained that, uh, they didn’t have some oranges and asked the 17 year old cashier, what, what’s going on with the oranges? And he said, ma’am, you don’t know we have supply chain management problems. <laugh>, right? It became part of the, you know, media, the society, everybody, everybody knows. In fact, uh, let me just digress for one minute. One of the reasons that I started the latest book or originally was that people say, okay, the, the supply chain, we hear about it all the time. Uh, you are in supply chain.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:19:16):

What is it? So the first part of the book really explain what supply chain is, how complex it is. And more than anything, I try to get people to understand that they shouldn’t be off. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that’s a technical term. By the way, <laugh>, uh, they shouldn’t be off. If something is not on the shelf at the supermarket or at Amazon warehouse, they should be amazing, thankful that something actually makes it, if they understand the journey that every product takes in order to get to the supermarket shelf, they will be just amazed how many people are involved, how many organizations are involved, how many tax regime involved, how many the customer authorities, how many people are involved in, in doing this. Once they understand this, they should be amazed that the whole thing actually works. So I, that’s, that’s the first part of the book for following the pandemic. Try to get people, because otherwise I would’ve had to explain to each one of my wife’s friends one-on-one, what supply chain are about. Cause they were diluting her. So <laugh>

Scott Luton (00:20:17):

Well, so, and we’re gonna talk about the book, uh, towards the latter part of today’s episode. And I love that answer there cuz it is a, it’s a modern day miracle in many ways. Uh, Greg, I’d love to get you to weigh in cuz I, uh, I, as I heard Yossi kind of share his example, I heard a lot of what you like to talk about on our shows together. So talk Greg, in your, in your, in your view, being in global supply chain right now.

Greg White (00:20:41):

Well, I think it’s more, um, it’s definitely more exciting than it has been in the past. Um, and it, and I would argue it’s because of the, the awareness to me. You know, we’ve, we talk a lot about this, Scott. There are more and more, more and more globally events and more and more disruptions in the supply chain. That’s BS technical term, Yoki, <laugh>. Um, the truth is, all that’s really changed is people give a about supply chain now. And they know what the impact of it is. It’s awareness because supply chains have run through wars. Supply chains were invented to support wars, frankly. But supply chains run, have run through wars. Ships have been stuck in the Suez Canal before. We’ve never had anything n nearly approaching the great toilet paper shortage of 2020. But that did initiate the awareness among, among the intelligentsia, the consumer, and even politicians. And if you can get their attention without paying them something, that’s something <laugh>.

Greg White (00:21:47):

But the other thing that I think this awareness has ignited is supply chain has long been a laggard industry. And I’m sure Yossi like me, you have struggled to try and, well, you just described it, to try and get companies to press forward even when it’s in their own good in an or, you know, in a measure of three or $400 million worth of benefit. And now you start to see people embracing new technologies and, and, you know, encouraging and enabling their people to do better work and starting to recognize and seek the recognition within their own organization that enables them to improve this thing, right? Mm. We call supply chain.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:22:29):

Mm. Yeah. I, I, I, I couldn’t agree more because it’s, now we see that the, you know, the White House, the, the commerce department, the, the, the State Department, they’re all concerned with supply chains, right? What will happen, what will happen if China attacked Taiwan? What will happen? The food, uh, uh, outta Ukraine, the geopolitics is now a large part of geopolitics is about supply chains, right? It’s not, it’s not so much about cyber attacks and wars. It’s about disruption for, for supply chain. Furthermore, in every companies, the supply chain, chief supply chain officers are now part, you know, of the discussion in the top, in the, in the top table. Because CEOs and boards understand now the impact of this, which there was a dear of understanding, awareness, as you say, are aware of, uh, of this before. And of course, the media follows too.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:23:19):

You know, the New York Times said that until the pandemic, they did not have anybody covering this beat. <laugh> Logistics. And I know it, I know it for sure, because I, during the pandemic, you know, being the head of the center of m I t I was getting calls twice a day, got a call from a large organization, <laugh>, nameless Media organization. And the reporter told me, tell me about supply chain. I said, what do you want to know? He said, I don’t even know what to ask. Until two weeks ago, I was a sports writer, <laugh>. Now the police lightning. So, but this was, this was the, the Wall Street Journal had people covering mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But, uh, this was really an outlier. Most media organization did not have the context, did not understand what it is about. Examples are people talking about, you know, the Boston Globe had a huge article about the shortage of meat, the coming shortage of meat.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:24:12):

The sky’s falling. I called the reporter who I know, who, who she’s, and I said, what are you talking about? Do you even know that the US is one of the largest exporters of meat in the world? That they have more meat than we know what to do with? What are you talking about? Yes. Some, something was closer to distribution for a week or two. You didn’t have the cut that you, that you liked. So what, get rid <laugh>. I mean, but they have no, since they didn’t have any prior knowledge, they have no context. Yes. So, so we got all these scary headlines and many of them,

Scott Luton (00:24:41):

All right. So I’m gonna shift gears here and I’ll gain, uh, some of your insights on really specific aspects of global industry that I, I’m, I’m sure you’re very passionate about. Uh, cuz this is your hobby. This is your passion in life. I wanna start with, uh, Yesi talk about how and why you think supply chains truly worked well during the pandemic. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:25:03):

Okay. Uh, and there’s nothing that drives me more nuts than people saying supply chain were broken, or management didn’t know what it’s doing. Think about from one day to the next in, uh, March, 2020, all restaurants were closed, all universities were closed, all industrial parks were closed. This is half the food in the United States goes in bulk and it goes on, uh, in 50 50 pound sex. It doesn’t go in the small packages that have all the nutrition in them, which the supermarkets need. So the machinery to mix it was not even there. People adjusted, nobody went hungry. I mean, it was there. So people are became, you know, as we know, people in the media, if it bleeds, it leads. So fear leads to more clicks. So people were having all these crazy headlines that were just not true. Mm-hmm. I gave you the example before about the, you know, uh, shortage of meat.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:26:08):

There was shortage of eggs, shortage of this. Come on. There was one shortage that was real. And this is PPEs. And PPEs were absolutely the government fault. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> not supply chain. A lot of folk don’t realize that. The President Clinton read a book about pandemics and started a strategic pile of personal protective equipment and ventilators. Uh, president Bush built it even more. Of course, he had, you know, 9 1 1 and all, uh, um, all of this. So he, he built, uh, nine 11. He, he built it even higher. President Obama let it wither away. Mm. Use it sometimes and did not replenish. And President Bush probably didn’t even know it’s there. So it’s, uh, we got into a point that was critical on this, uh, PPEs. And it’s, it’s a crime shame because PPEs are very, very cheap. So inventory carrying costs are nothing. I mean, that’s, uh, we should have had it and I hope they’re rebuilding it. I don’t know what’s going on right now, but, uh, I hope that missed, they’re rebuilding it

Greg White (00:27:19):

Missed a

Scott Luton (00:27:20):

Big opportunity. Yes. Uh, Greg, your quick comment there.

Greg White (00:27:23):

Yeah. I think, um, I think supply chains performed incredibly well because of the seismic societal disruption of complete lockdown of virtually every country on the planet all at once. Right? I mean, it’s not just, it’s not just the means of production or the method of production prior to the, you know, all of the lockdowns due to the pandemic, which were necessary admittedly. But, but it was also the fact that we stopped the entire labor force of the entire planet all at once, and then didn’t immediately restart them. And then when we did, it was sort of trickling back. And the truth is, for all of the automation and technology that exists in the world, virtually every industry depends significantly, or in majority fashion on labor, right? Every company’s mo uh, greatest expenditure. Virtually every country’s greatest expenditure is on labor, especially if they produce anything.

Greg White (00:28:21):

So, um, that’s why we had so much of this disruption. And Scott, you, I know you recall that shortly after that we not probably, we didn’t get the highbrow publications like Yossi did, but we got a lot of phone calls as well. And I recall both of us sitting down, you know, as we were thinking about what to say to these reporters. And, and you know, what we realized was, for instance, the great toilet paper shortage of 2020, that wasn’t a supply problem. That was a demand problem. People bought enough toilet paper for the next six months, right. And they, they drained the shelves, or you know, whatever period of time. I still hear stories about people who still have covid toilet paper.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:29:04):

Lemme tell you, do you know how it started? It started in Taiwan when the, uh, pandemic started reaching Taiwan. People thought that the same material that’s used for the mask is also used for toilet paper. So they say people are gonna build masks, are not gonna do toilet paper. So they started buying toilet paper, like there’s no tomorrow. The government went on TV and said, no, it’s not the case. It’s not the case. Doesn’t matter. And from there, it like wildfire, the rest of the world.

Greg White (00:29:31):

Yeah. Um, yeah. Well, and it started here in a lot of cases, it seems like at Costco, cuz they have huge shopping carts and massive of toilet paper. And you just always saw these pictures and videos of people stuffing their carts full of three or four of those gigantic things of toilet paper. And Yeah. You know, it was a run, like, it was like a run on the bank. It was a run on the can.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:29:56):

And by the way, the media of course exasperated it.

Greg White (00:29:59):

Yes, of course.

Scott Luton (00:30:00):

Well, and that’s a great segue, uh, if I can to this next topic. Cause we talk, we spent a lot of time talking about this, um, and interviewing companies that are really, are, are applying artificial intelligence and some really cool ways these days. Right? Uh, you can’t have a conversation these days without saying ai. So, and we, and, and Yossi I wanna also pull out what you’ve been, you know, some of the things you said earlier. Cause you know, folks make a bunch of money hyping fear, right? So along those lines, uh, artificial intelligence, job killer or job creator, Yossi,

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:30:35):

The answer is yes. I mean, it, uh, it, it actually, uh, look, f first of all, let me, let me say the, for the, the whole extent of the impact of AI is not known yet. The, especially generative ai, ai, ai, ai, you know, we’ve been dealing with ai, AI was embedded in many, uh, product before. Nobody paid attention to it. Now, with generative ai, it looks much smarter. It can, uh, it now threatening white collar jobs. Mm. So people are starting to pay more attention. And there’s anxie anxiety going on. Now, some people say that, uh, there was a study by Oxford University about 10 years ago saying by that, by five years ago, 40, 37% of the job in the United States will disappear. Of course, that’s ridiculous. We’re now at 3.5% unemployment and that there are more jobs than ever before. And some, so some people say, still say that it’ll kill on the jobs. Some people say it’s a, it’ll bring to a new age of, uh, you know, plenty and everybody will be happy.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:31:44):

It’s very hard. No, it’s, it’s, uh, Neil Bo the the famous visit say it’s very hard to predict, especially the future <laugh>. So <laugh>. So it’s of course, we’re time, we’re trying to say something about the future. So in the book, I said, look, every forecasting method that I know of looks at the past in order to predict the future. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I started looking at the various industrial evolution, and it’s clear said people, people before me, you know, said it a lot more jobs created than disappeared. So, and most of the jobs are not just disappearing. They’re, they change, they’re just done differently. And sometimes it’s hard to see the jobs that will be created because new industries may be created. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So give you one example. So when Ford in, um, in the early and 20th century moved from making cars one at a time to making them on the production line, the number of employees of Ford went from about several thousand to 150,000 at the height of the Model T.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:32:49):

So people think, my God, hey, employment really went up, even though the whole process was, was mechanized. But this is nothing compared to the real impact. The real impact was that cars became less expensive. People started buying car, people started traveling, people develop highway hotels, motels, restaurants, a whole new industry developed with millions of jobs. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, but this was not what Henry Ford was trying to do. It was trying to make car more efficiently. That’s all. But there was a side, you know, a related impact of this. This happens in many, many cases that you have impact that people did not even realize that, that, you know, that you can have. So there will be some jobs will disappear. We don’t have any elevator operators. We don’t, we don’t have any more, uh, telephone exchange, you know, women who plug stuff. And there jobs that disappeared, even though I should take, I should say it takes a lo much longer than people realized.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:33:48):

It took nine decades. Nine decades, 90 years from the time that at and t invented the automatic telephone exchange until the jobs disappeared. Hmm. Uh, so it takes a long time. It doesn’t happen overnight. For many, many reason, the, the society and business processes are sticky. They, it’s not just happen because of union, because of regulation, because of, uh, you know, public acceptance. Uh, lots of, uh, lots of reasons. When I say public acceptance, uh, here give you an example. Today’s, uh, today, you know, modern jetliner 7 7 87 8 3 50 can go basically from gate to gate without a pilot. Not too many of your listeners will go in a metal tube that fly 35, uh, thousand feet over the Atlantic without a pilot in the front <laugh>. Uh, it’s just, no. By the same token, not too many people will be too happy to see a huge truck going with, uh, going behind them on the freeway at 180 miles an hour without a driver. Uh, it’s, it’s a, there’s a whole question of societal acceptance for many of these technology. Yeah. Uh, you know, when, when cars came out in Chicago, when the first cars came out, there was a person with a flag going ahead of the car to warn people that an automobile is coming.

Scott Luton (00:35:11):

Are you pulling our leg? Go see. Are you pulling our leg with that?

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:35:14):

I’m not putting, that’s still a law

Scott Luton (00:35:16):

In Wichita, Kansas. I

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:35:17):

Can tell you that. <laugh>.

Scott Luton (00:35:21):

So I love, I’m sorry, go ahead. No.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:35:24):

Anyway, so I, I mean, it doesn’t happen fast and jobs are gonna change. The people are working with, with technology and that, as long as we are talking about, let me finish, finish. There are two types of main new jobs. One of them is monitoring system, and the other one is when you’re in the loop. So when you, you go to a automobile, ai, I went to a, you know, a Mercedes automobile plant, and you see people working with, uh, iPad like devices and running, running robot and the, OR, or people who work in, uh, in Amazon warehouses. So they’re in the flow of the work. So the, the, um, the robot brings the, the whole aisle to the, to the person, the person picks up, does something, it goes back, another one comes in. So they’re kind of in the flow of work, but they work with, with technology.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:36:17):

Another type of job is monitoring and intervening when there’s a problem. So, and we do it every time. We just don’t think about it. It’ll be a lot more in the future. So when you talk to any customer service representative, you talk to a chat bot. So it starts by, so say you don’t need to press any number, just talk. Tell me what the problem is on the other side. There’s an AI listening to you mm-hmm. And try to make sense of what you’re saying and gives you, gives you response. Yeah. But then the point may come in many cases to, to the, to an issue that the AI doesn’t know how to deal with. Or you get too f frustrated and start saying Agent, agent, agent <laugh> mm-hmm. <affirmative>, somebody will come on the line. Yes. But it’s exactly in a different division of work. The simple jobs are done by machines and the more demanding job are done by humans. The job that are not standard, the job, that requires some thinking, some understanding what, uh, uh, what the issue. So there are many, many ways of people to work, uh, uh, to work with ai, with technology in general.

Scott Luton (00:37:22):

Yep. All right. A lot there. I love the examples too, in particular, uh, Greg, I know you’re chomping at in a bit. What, what, what was your favorite part of Yi’s response? Sarah, what’s your take on, uh, where we’re going with AI or generative ai

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:37:36):

And what’s the one that you hated? <laugh>? Uh,

Greg White (00:37:39):

I didn’t, I actually didn’t hate any points. But a as you were talking about that, I was thinking, okay, this is another one of those examples of agreement. Right? I think my take is slightly different, but it’s still to the same point. And that is it’s time for us to stop apologizing for taking jobs away with technology, because we’re statistically at full employment companies can’t hire people. Even before Covid, we had a 5% unemployment rate in supply chain just in the United States. And now there are more supply chain jobs than there have ever been in the history of time. So, uh, one, I think we need to stop apologizing and try and, and, and, uh, you know, for technology taking these jobs because no one else is taking them. The reason that we have automated robots in warehouses is because nobody wants those jobs. The reasons that we will ha we will ultimately have at some point, we will ha have, uh, fully automated over the road trucks is because nobody wants those jobs.

Greg White (00:38:39):

And, and, um, and they’re, you know, and they’re manufacturing. We’ve talked, talked about the problems with filling manufacturing jobs, right? The dark, dirty, dangerous and dull jobs are gonna get done by supply chain, or sorry, sorry, by robot ai. That’s not to say, by the way, if you’ve seen this really amazing commercial, I saw it on Bloomberg a lot while I was in Switzerland. Um, a guy is playing chess with a robot, um, that is run by ai, and the robot is conversational like a human being. I think a AI could replace a lot of rolls, a lot more rolls than we care to admit, frankly. But as Yossi, you have said so, uh, eloquently, the world isn’t ready for it. I know. I’m not ready for it. The first time I saw that commercial, I didn’t think it was nearly as cool as the fifth time I saw that <laugh>.

Greg White (00:39:29):

Uh, but, but, uh, you know, we have to acknowledge that there are jobs where humans are better and where data is better. I mean, forget ai, let’s just talk about data, because AI sure requires incredible amounts of data to make its decisions, or to make recommendations, or to take actions. Human beings can iterate instantaneously, right? We have critical thinking capability. We can, we’re as often wrong as right. But we can at least not get stuck when a rapid, you know, life or death or high stakes situation needs to be made immediately with inadequate data. We can do that. So that’s where we really excel, and that’s where humans really add their value, is when even AI gets stuck. Right. Somebody with ex with that kind of skill or knowledge or of accumulation of, of data, um, you know, human data can, can still get the decision made.

Greg White (00:40:31):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, um, I, I, I mean, I think there are a lot of those dynamics, and I think, I believe that the incoming generations, they expect computers to do computer things, and their definition of computer things or technology things is a lot different than the people who have worked or do work at Ford today or pick a company. Right? Um, w we don’t have to protect these jobs because as Yossi, you said again, very el eloquently, we will, we will, uh, elevate the jobs that humans do over time. And as AI gets more powerful, humans will be elevated to another thing that, that technology can’t undertake. Mm.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:41:15):

One of the thing, one of the things that is most, um, that’s, that understand the anxiety, because one of the things that is clear here is the following, as I said, in every industrial revolution, there are many, many jobs and many different jobs in different industries that were created. But the, as we talk in every time we know the jobs that are gonna be lost, you go to a supermarket and you see all the automated, uh, you know, checkout country, you say, okay, they’re gonna have less, less people working there. Right. Uh, so some jobs will be lost. What we cannot see, or the new industries that we created because they have not been created yet. All the new jobs that will be involved with, because they have not been created yet. I mean, right. Who was thinking about the, you know, all the jobs about the, you know, how to, to, uh, optimize ads in, in Google mm-hmm. <affirmative>. I mean, it’s not, years ago, a lot of things just didn’t exist.

Scott Luton (00:42:12):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you see, let’s keep going down that line of thought, because one of the next questions I want to ask you is, is, uh, I’m not, I can’t remember who you quoted about how tough it is to predict and look at the future. I can’t remember who you, who you quoted there years for. There we go. Speaking of the future though, and yes, we’ll start with you here, what do you see as few, uh, as, as a few key critical future trends in world supply chains and even global economies?

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:42:39):

You’re asking me or you asking Greg? I’m

Scott Luton (00:42:41):

Asking you. You, uh, Dr. Sheffy, uh,

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:42:43):

You get to go first. <laugh>.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:42:46):

Okay. Uh, some of the, uh, worries that are starting to be apparent are, first of all the, the geopolitical angle. It’s not clear what’s, what’s gonna happen. It’s not gonna, after last weekend, it’s not gonna happen in clear what will happen with Russia. Right? I mean, who would’ve, who would’ve done with Russia will get to the verge of disintegration. I mean, that’s, uh, China got close to it during, uh, Chinaman Square. Uh, we, we tend to forget it, but, uh, regimes like this tend to sometimes implode as happened to the Soviet Union. So, but this will have tremendous impact, uh, the issue of, um, China, not, uh, how do we stay in China and leave China at the same time? Mm-hmm. So, uh, there are various, uh, answers to this. First of all, companies cannot leave China completely. Not that they spend billions of dollars and decades about building a whole supply chain and tiers and tears and tears.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:43:47):

There are suppliers from the mine to the, to whole department manufacture. They cannot just live there because there’s no, no other place on earth that can replace it at this point. So it take time. Also, China is a huge market. So, and becoming more, more nationalistic, which means you wanna sell in China, I have to make in China mm-hmm. <affirmative>, so people will have to stay to, uh, to stay in China. So what they’re trying to do, at the same time, they’re trying to a classify decision makers or, uh, politician in the West by moving the last stage of provi of manufacturing the assembly, or, you know, painting it, moving it to Vietnam. So now they can put a label made in Vietnam, even though most of the supply chain is still in China. <laugh>, uh, that’s one thing they do. But, but some companies, I, I, I am more serious about it and started to regionalize to say, we do will manufacture in China, you know, for China will manufacture what elsewhere, what what goes on elsewhere.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:44:42):

Of course, this create inefficiencies because you lose scale in manufacturing, you lose, uh, some abilities. But companies are trading this off against the, the fear of another, uh, geopolitical disruption. Another thing that, again, I’m always reading against the media because the media’s talking about the end of jail, of just in time trying to explain that, or, or end of China, end of just in time. Give me a break, <laugh>, I mean, it’s, uh, and, and, and you see this article in the New York Times in Ireland, other newspaper about all the greedy, you know, manufacturers who do just in time in order to save the, save the cost of inventory. Don’t realizing that saving cost is the result of just in time, not the reason for just in time. You do just in time. It actually brings both, uh, low cost, but mostly higher quality. That was the reason for the Toyota manufacturing system.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:45:41):

And the higher quality, of course, you have less rework, let’s say, uh, uh, you know, um, calling back, uh, vehicle to focus or recalled, let’s recall, let’s say, you know, crappy cars that, uh, gives you bad, uh, uh, better reputations. The cost is down. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So the, the, the reduction cause is the result of just in time, not the reason for just in time. So just in time will continue, continue in various forms, uh, maybe more geographically concentrated, even though it’ll, it’ll take time. So this is some, I think a lot of the thing in the future are not gonna be as different as we think they are right now. Hmm. Uh, especially not in the next three to five years. Long term, long term. There is, um, you know, a trend even though nobody knows what happening in the long term. But there is a trend possibly to get more out of China. Cause it takes years and years and years. So maybe in the long term, but, uh, it also depend if the eu, if the, if Europe and the United States will integrate more and create one bigger market. Uh, it depends on a lot of other, um, things that have been in the background.

Scott Luton (00:47:02):

Yep. Thank you. U c I really appreciate that, Greg, get you to weigh in on, on what we heard there from Dr. Sheffy.

Greg White (00:47:10):

Well, um, I was struck, I and I, I’ve been struck through this whole discussion. Sorry, this isn’t on the topic of the question, <laugh>, but I, I deal with academics all the time in, uh, you know, in, in regard to supply chain and yossi, the level of cognizance that you have of what’s going on today and the way things need to change in terms of, of how to manage or think about or adopt and adapt in supply chain, um, is exceptional. Oh, thank you. You know, I, I work with a number of schools and I’ve worked with a couple where they’ve said we’re always gonna be 10, 20 years behind because of the rigorous publishing, yada, yada, yada educational rigor that has to go through for things like publications. Um, and I think they’ve accepted that much like some of those corporations you’ve mentioned, but not named, and we won’t <laugh> that have accepted that supply chain is a cost saving exercise rather than a risk balancing exercise.

Greg White (00:48:18):

And I think it’s important to recognize that it is really a risk balancing exercise with cost just being one of those of those things. But anyway, I think it’s, it’s important to recognize how exceptional it is to have this much awareness, um, and focus on where things are in the supply chain and where they need to go. And, um, and aware of those foundational things that need to change to get us there, because we are where we are, because we’ve pretty much always done what we’ve always done, right? I mean, we still use forecasting techniques from the late 1890s and early 19 hundreds. And then we use AI to pick which one of these post casting, that’s what I like to call it, yossi post casting techniques, will make the, make the history look much as much like the future as we can. And to your point, it’s really hard to predict, especially the future. Um, so there, and there are lots of those examples where we do things kind of the old fashioned way because we’ve had to. But we live in a world now where there is virtually unlimited data available and technologies that can process this data to have us think about and solve problems in a new way. And to have that recognition is, I don’t know, it’s just, it just struck me

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:49:36):

What we can, we, we can do it. Absolutely. But as long as we also recognize the limitation of the technology, for example, if we do forecasting with machine learning, which most people apply machine learning to forecasting, it is still based on the past. The data is based on the past. If there’s some fundamental change like covid or rush against in, in, into your career, right. And, and patterns change, then it doesn’t work. Yeah. Right? So that’s why you have people, you have to p people have the context and be able to recognize that it doesn’t work and start working started actually, uh, taking it off and doing the work themselves. Mm-hmm.

Greg White (00:50:13):

Yep.

Scott Luton (00:50:14):

All right. As much as a hate for the sake of time, I gotta move us forward. And before we start, before we talk about your book and make sure folks know I connect with the U O c, I wanna ask you this question. Uh, there was so much I wanted to dive, but Greg, Greg and I both wanna dive in with you here today. It’s, uh, too much to talk about too little time. But what is one topic you’ll see challenge our audience with this question? What’s one topic today that global supply chain leaders aren’t giving enough attention to?

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:50:43):

Oh, let me count the ways. No, no, it, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s not fair because this question would’ve been much more relevant in 2019. Today, supply chain is much more in the, you know, something that people talk about, something that companies are worried about. So it is something that is, uh, the companies are paying a lot more attention to. And not too many things are not, not even, not even discussed. The one challenge this in business that I not sure how to solve is nothing to do with the technology, is the politicization of everything. So if you are now running a company and, uh, you know, there’s a group of young gen Zs who come to you and want you to take a stand on, you name it, you know, immigration, healthcare, you know, transgender, what have you, and you, you know, that whatever stand you take, you’ll alienate half the population.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:51:46):

So <laugh>, you know, it, it’s not like, uh, we are in one mind about everything. So it’s, it’s, to me, it’s a problem. And we saw all these cases, of course, whether it’s a target or bad light or all these cases, uh, companies thought they’re doing the right thing and had, you know, problems. I don’t know how to solve it. That’s, uh, that’s something that I see people are grappling with thinking about it. But because we used to have a situation when the golden rule for companies were don’t get involved in politics now because of very active workforce, it gets harder. Mm. So, um,

Scott Luton (00:52:30):

You see that’s, that is a, uh, a, a trillion dollar, uh, challenge call out there. Cause there’s, there, there’s no, the, the path forward is so ambiguous. But where I, and then Greg, I’d love, love to get your, your thoughts here as we, um, start to wind down. But, you know, doing the right thing, which you mentioned Yossi, um, being kind, and I hate to, I hate to sound pollyannish, but in the most challenging complex situations we find ourselves in, I think there’s some, there is are some easy and just, um, timeless truths and values that you can revert to and lean on to help you, you know, guide your organization and your team through. Yo, you’re gonna add something.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:53:17):

Let me tell you something.

Scott Luton (00:53:18):

Okay.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:53:19):

I live in one of the most progressive states in the union in a university which is even Uber progressive. Of course only universities are uber progressive. And I wrote an article both in the faculty newsletter and at the Boston Globe or the Open, the Boston Globe saying, we are part of the problem, not of the solution, because we think that everybody who does agree with us is an idiot, uneducated and anymore. And the thing is, and they, my colleague gi uh, January 6th, I said, okay, January 6th, enroll a few hundred people. 74 million people voted for Trump. So what are you talking about? They remember millions of people. And I said, if we will, talking to them, but not about politics. Talk to them about families. Talk to them about hobbies, talk to them. We find out that we agree on 90% of things in the world.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:54:09):

Mm-hmm. We agree on the shared humanities. We agree that you love our children. We agree, and, and we don’t, we put everything in politics. You belong to this tribe. I belong to that tribe. So I, so actually we, we come to the point today that people just afraid of each other and hate each other. Yeah. You know, people, uh, Democrats, many, well, it’s not many, I should say. We, we all hear from the extremes think that if Republican will win, it’s the end of democracy, the end of the world, the end of the United States. By the way, Republican think exactly the same thing about Right. <laugh>, democratic <laugh>. So that’s, that’s the thing I’m saying. We are all Americans. We all have to, you know, there’s so much in common between people, between races, between religions, and we kind of, we cannot focus on this. We focus on what’s separates us rather than what unites us. And that’s,

Scott Luton (00:55:00):

You’ll see,

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:55:01):

That’s my message for the day, <laugh>.

Scott Luton (00:55:02):

I love it. Blessed be the ties that bin Greg, jump in. What, what your, your thought here around these, uh, these issues and practices and, and the fear monering that separates us all?

Greg White (00:55:14):

Well, you know, information is unlimited, as we were talking about before. And so much of it is, is also uneducated or unknowledgeable. It’s mostly based on opinion. And, and, um, it’s easy for fringe opinions to even stupid ones, smart or stupid ones. But it seems like stupid ones in great measure to be heard very easily. And it’s to the point that Yossi was talking about before, it’s because it creates clicks, conflict creates clicks, and traditional media is dying. It is unquestionable that traditional media is dying. Yes. When you look at the Nielsen numbers on, on network news or even cable news, they are all dying and to, to prolong their lives. They have to sell advertising and to have to, and to sell advertising, they have to get their numbers up and to get their numbers up, they have to foment conflict in order to get people to watch.

Greg White (00:56:11):

So, um, it’s largely a function of, of today’s media. I, I, I think, um, I think we, not companies, but I think we as the consumer need to look at companies the way the way companies, um, really are. And that is that their constituency is not first and foremost, regardless of what they say, it is not their consumer. It is their shareholder. And they will and frankly should do what’s best for their shareholder. And very often, very often that is to the pleasure of 100% or a big portion of at least their target customer base, if not the entire population. Sure. And if we allow companies, which are not human, they are full of humans, but they are not human. The reason that corporations is ex corporations exist is specifically to shield humans from companies and companies from humans. Mm. Right. So, um, and in, in Europe and, and you know, the way that they refer to a company is not in the singular, but in the plural of it.

Greg White (00:57:19):

Um, but if you think of a company as its own entity, it has no politics. It has no position. Right? It has no stance. Its stance is solely to do what is in the best interest of its shareholders, which by, by succeeding and surviving is also in the best interest of its consumers. Now, there are extremes, the robber Baron days and, and, you know, e even good was done by the Carnegies and by the Rockefellers and others who were robber barons and, you know, the rock roll shields and others in Europe, <laugh>. But even good has been done by them. And, um, and I think we have to recognize that companies ha can have a sense of awareness, but that sense of awareness always, always pivots around economics. Mm-hmm. What is best for the economics of the company. And I think just the awareness that doing bad things, dumping stuff in rivers now can be seen because of social media prevents them from doing things.

Greg White (00:58:20):

Right. It’s, it’s a very, it’s, um, enlightened self-interest I think is the best that we can hope for from corporations. And when we take a more realistic stance, like that will be a lot more satisfied and we won’t have this situation. The other thing is get the hell off social media <laugh>. So, right. I mean, 99% of it is just garbage, garbage. So, so when, when you get out there and you meet with people, which I did for an entire month in Europe, right? When you get out there and you meet with people, you have as, as so many people say, but Yossi you said, said just now you have so much more in common of course, than you have indifference with them. Look,

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (00:59:02):

I I, I go to China a lot and the United States, no, China is all, you know, monsters. Right? So many friends in China, we know the families, I know the kids and we’re good friends. We talk all the time. Yep. And I, and I, it’s, it’s, you know, so what if they’re Chinese? Mm-hmm. I mean, they’re not,

Scott Luton (00:59:22):

I I appreciate this last, uh, segment of our conversation. I, I appreciate all this, this conversation cause we’re approaching this so holistically, right? Uh, not just all about supply chain management, but, but these last few issues, big issues, these big chasms between, uh, societies and countries and factions. I mean, these are the issues of our time. Cause it’s to, to what what y’all both are saying. It’s not getting better. And one of the biggest reasons it’s not getting better is people making money creating more bigger chasms and bigger divides. But we’ll save the rest of that for another time. I want to, uh, briefly talk about, uh, Yossi, uh, this popular book, your latest book, uh, that you’ve released, the Magic Conveyor Belt, supply Chains, ai, and the Future of Work. Uh, of course w we’re not gonna be able to do it justice in a little bit of time. We’ve got left here today. But what is one key takeaway that you hope your readers will learn from it?

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (01:00:19):

First of all, uh, depending on which part or some reasons we just learn about what supply chain is. Uh, but, uh, from the second part of the book, mostly that people should, first of all, chill, should not, should not be anxious. It’s nothing happens overnight. All of these processes takes time and there’s time to adjust and adjust. They should, I’m talking to co large corporation, actually start to invest in people not starting. Many of them have been, uh, uh, uh, investing for a long time, whether it’s a formal education, whether it’s, uh, training, uh, getting them to upgrade their, their capability. But there’s a whole set of, um, gig workers and people who work in bodegas and small nano stores, nano, uh, businesses that don’t have the capacity to upgrade themselves. But the, today, one of the things I’m saying in the book is there is no, this is not an excuse because there’s so much available online, basically free that one can learn.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (01:01:25):

One has to have the desire to learn and upgrade themselves just to make sure they’re not left. Mm-hmm. I’m talking in my interviews actually to people in your profession. In many TV stations, people say, oh my God, I’m, uh, some, so a reporter and woman, woman reporter told me, you know, you see I’m on a ledge. I’m standing on the ledge. I’m, I’m so petrified, I’m, I’m, maybe I’ll jump. I don’t jump. It’s over. So what am I gonna do? I said, okay. He said, I, she said, I’m not gonna be a computer scientist. I don’t understand computer. I don’t know how to do computer. I can stand in front of the camera and be very good. I said, okay. But now what now you have to do is to learn adjacent areas. It’s not enough to do it. What you have to learn is how to do the, you know, uh, project management and how to do the, uh, uh, you know, producing you, you, you’re living in an environment that you can learn in the environment. And by the way, using whether it’s G B T or other tools, you don’t have to be a computer scientist. Right. You know, to drive a car, you don’t have to be a mechanic. You don’t have to understand how the car work. You have to understand how to run it. The, the tools are becoming easy to use and you start using them more and more. Get comfortable with it. Mm. So upgrade yourself. That’s,

Scott Luton (01:02:39):

I love that the

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (01:02:40):

Day. Mm-hmm.

Scott Luton (01:02:40):

<affirmative>. So two, two thoughts, Greg. Get your, I’m gonna get your quick comment, but you gotta learn and upgrade yourself as a piece of advice that Yossi is sharing. And then secondly, chill to the next episode is what you heard Yossi say right there. Everyone, we can all take that to heart. Greg, your quick comment on, uh, those key lessons from the magic conveyor belt.

Greg White (01:03:00):

Yeah. I think the most encouraging is that change doesn’t occur overnight. And, and it is gradual and it isn’t inevitable. Right. You can infl in impact the future. It just, because again, somebody said it on Twitter does not make it true. And it also doesn’t, especially doesn’t make it true tomorrow. Right? Right. All of these things that we’ve talked about, the good, the bad and the ugly, they’ll all occur over time. And, and, and it might be 90 years right? Or it might be nine years, but it, it will be enough time to adapt. And the world has survived, humans have survived, technology has evolved for centuries. Eons, literally eons and, and some of those changes, I mean, think about the Renaissance coming after the Dark Ages, right? Um, and, and some of those changes have been equally as impactful as we are experiencing today. Um, you know, I think about John Henry, the great myth of John Henry and the Steam engine, right? Um, and everyone thought they were gonna lose their jobs and all of that sort of thing, but that was, uh, but you know, there, there is time to adapt.

Scott Luton (01:04:13):

Mm,

Greg White (01:04:14):

There is. And, and, um, none of this is catastrophic. Mm. Believe me, if it’s catastrophic, you’ll be dead before, you know, it’s catastrophic.

Scott Luton (01:04:22):

<laugh>. Well, well said Greg. Uh, and Yoi, I really appreciate those key takeaways from your books. So folks, go out and check out the magic conveyor belt, supply chains, AI and the Future of Work. And, uh, Dr. Scheffe, where can folks find that book?

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (01:04:38):

Let You Ask. I thought you’ll never ask this <laugh> available on online and Amazon. You can have either the ebook, the, the, the soft cover, the hard cover. You can also forget it on Google and Apple and

Scott Luton (01:04:52):

Everywhere.

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (01:04:54):

No, it’s usually not in bookstores because we don’t sell it through, uh, uh, through distributors, but it’s

Scott Luton (01:04:59):

Oh, okay.

Greg White (01:05:00):

Are there still

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (01:05:01):

Bookstores? Go to go to Amazon.

Scott Luton (01:05:02):

Yeah, Amazon. All right. <laugh>. Yeah. Well, congrats on this latest Yeah. Project. Uh, I know that it’s, it’s one of many initiatives you’re leading or you’re a part of, but congrats on this latest book, the Magic Conveyor Belt, supply Chains, AI and the Future of Work. And, and also Dr. Scheffe. How can folks connect with you if they wanna invite you in, you know, compare notes with you, have your keynote to the organization, whatever it is, be a part of, uh, uh, your organization. Sure. Some of those industry supporters. How can folks connect with you? The

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (01:05:32):

Best way is to get me on email. It’s my last name, Sheffy, S h e f, ffi, at mit.edu. Chefy mit.edu. That’s the easiest ways of, of getting in touch with me.

Scott Luton (01:05:43):

Wonderful. It’s just that easy. Greg, I really have enjoyed this wide ranging, uh, genuine frank conversation with Dr. Sheffy here today. Before we sign off, you’re, what was one of your favorite things, and I’ve got my 17 pages of notes here, but what’s one of your favorite things that Yosi dropped on us here today?

Greg White (01:06:06):

I think it is just that, um, there’s time to adapt and you should expect to adapt, but, um, in truth, you know, we’re going through an incredible generational shift right now. Those people who are in largely a tribal knowledge, um, type of business using their hands for, for physical labor, that shift is, is changing for the new generation, gen X, Y, and z to who much prefer to have at least technology as an augmentation of their job. And were brought up expecting technology to do technology things and, and having a continually evolving understanding of what that is. I think that times are set up right for a generation in this case or a couple of generations to adapt, uh, in, uh, uh, uh, and, and really be, uh, encouraging of all of this technological change because they were born to accept it. Mm-hmm.

Scott Luton (01:07:09):

Well said. Uh, Greg, uh, well, big thanks. Big thanks to, uh, Dr. Yoi Sheffy, director of the MIT Center for Transportation Logistics, also author of the Magic Conveyor Belt Supply Chains, AI and the Future of Work. Uh, Yoi, thanks so much for spending some time with us here today. Yeah,

Dr. Yossi Sheffi (01:07:27):

Thank you for, for having me. I enjoyed it.

Scott Luton (01:07:30):

I did as well. We’re gonna have to have you back. Uh, there’s, we had so much more to get to, uh, but thanks so much for spending some time here with us and, uh, Greg, always a pleasure, man. What a great conversation. We knew it was gonna be folks. We told you it was gonna be a big conversation with a big guest. Uh, but Greg, I think it surpassed, uh, the high bar we set, didn’t it?

Greg White (01:07:48):

Yeah. Uh, I mean, yeah, I went totally different directions and I’m glad. So, I mean, have fun. I love it.

Scott Luton (01:07:55):

I do too. I do too.

Greg White (01:07:56):

Supply chain is not boring. That’s right. Regardless of what you’ve heard and now you’ve experienced it firsthand.

Scott Luton (01:08:00):

That is so true. But hey folks, uh, hopefully you’ve enjoyed this episode as much as Greg and I have. I’ll tell ya, Dr. Sheffy, uh, he’s a great follow across social. Make sure you go check out his book and hey, check out what they’re doing. They’re doing some really cool things at the M I T Center for Transportation and Logistics. But hey, whatever you do, take something that Youi or Greg or, or something, the conversation delivered here today and put it into action, right? Small, small little nudges is how we move mountains across industry. So it’s all about action, deeds, not words. With that said, on behalf of our entire team here at Supply Chain now, Scott Luton challenging you to do good, to give forward and to be the change. Hey, be like Dr. Sheff, it will be a better place. And we’ll see you next time. Right back here at Supply Chain now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (01:08:48):

Thanks for being a part of our supply chain now, community. Check out all of our programming@supplychainnow.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.

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Featured Guests

Dr. Yossi Sheffi is the Elisha Gray II professor of Engineering Systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he serves as Director of the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics (CTL). He is an expert in systems optimization, risk analysis and supply chain management, which are the subjects he researches and teaches at MIT, both at the MIT School of Engineering and at the Sloan School of Management. From 2007 to 2011 he served as Head of MIT’s Engineering Systems Division. In these years he set up the administrative structure, launched a successful PhD program, hired and promoted several faculty members and set the long term strategy of the division. Dr. Sheffi has been recognized in numerous ways in academic and industry forums, including the 1997 Distinguished Service Award given by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. He is the author of several books including his latest “The Magic Conveyor Belt: Supply Chains, A.I., and the Future of Work.” Connect with Yossi on LinkedIn.

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

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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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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.

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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).

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Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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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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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.

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics.  He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.

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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.

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Host of Dial P for Procurement

Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.

An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.

A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.

A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning.  He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.

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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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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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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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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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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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Constantine Limberakis

Host

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Greg White

Principal & CMO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise

When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.

Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.

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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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