From delivering vaccines to propelling new healthcare innovations onto the global scene, DHL Supply Chain President of Life Sciences and Healthcare Jim Saponaro has had a big year—and so has his company. Scott and Greg were lucky enough to grab some time with him to discuss the company’s unprecedented growth, the importance of scale along the cold chain, unique challenges moving forward and more.
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Scott Luton (00:29):
Hey, good morning, Scott Luton and Greg White with you here on supply chain. Now, welcome to today’s. Big, big, big show, Greg, how you doing?
Greg White (00:38):
I’m doing good. I’m really looking forward to this. There’s some new,
Scott Luton (00:42):
There’s some big news, big time leadership, big time company, and they’re making big time moves and investments. When it comes to the fast growth world of cold storage, we’ll be talking with a big global supply chain leader in that regard. Now, Greg, uh, the cold storage industry in general is a fascinating one, right?
Greg White (01:01):
It is. I mean, is it, if it wasn’t big enough just with food and beverage and all of that before, um, which I’m really familiar with from my past, but something happened a couple years ago that really, really got folks, uh, moving forward in, in terms of cold storage, right? I think there was a vaccine or something like that that,
Scott Luton (01:23):
Well, it certainly led to, uh, uh, quite a mission across the world led by the supply chain industry to, to push all of us firmly into the post pandemic environment. We’re excited about that. The noble mission we’ve been calling it around here. So today as Greg and I are chatting about, we’re gonna be, we’re gonna be talking specifically, uh, with a leader from a company that has really doubled down, uh, owned a cold storage space. So with no further due Greg white, let’s welcome in our featured guest, Jim Saponaro, president of life sciences and healthcare at DHL supply chain north America. Hey, Hey Jim, how you doing? Hey
Greg White (02:08):
Jim Saponaro (02:08):
How are you’all?
Scott Luton (02:10):
We’re doing wonderful after a, you know, after all of our technologists came out and helped us out to make this connection, I think we’re doing a lot better and we’re a lot closer to the big story. The big news y’all are making at DHL.
Jim Saponaro (02:23):
Scott Luton (02:25):
So on that note, before we get to that, Jim, a little birdie told us, uh, that you grew up in one of our favorite cities of Cleveland. So tell us about what it was like growing up in Cleveland and, and, uh, give us some aspects of your upbringing.
Jim Saponaro (02:41):
Yeah, no, Cleveland was a blast. I lived, uh, in the Northeast part of, uh, Cleveland and men are right on the lake can, uh, grew up, uh, like most kids, I wish they would today fishing and building forts and taking wood from the new builds and building forts, which we thought was okay at the time. But it was a lot of fun.
Scott Luton (03:02):
We all built forts and I don’t know about y’all we would, we’d build forts and we’d have dirt bomb wars, right. With third dirt bomb, each other had a blast. We
Greg White (03:12):
Survived those you’re right.
Jim Saponaro (03:16):
We had forts with rooms and you couldn’t catch me crawling through something like that today, but we did back then.
Scott Luton (03:22):
I’m with you, I’m with you. It’s amazing. We didn’t get bit by snakes, but, um, what, uh, what else, what else was uniquely? Uh, I think you, you told us pre-show, uh, Greg, I think, uh, Jim told us that he is, uh, as Cleveland, as it gets, I think was the phrase he used. What else was unique about growing up in Cleveland?
Jim Saponaro (03:41):
I think, you know, I think being on the lake was a lot of fun, right? We, we went to, we had a swimming pool right on the lake and we went to the beach and we swam there. So that was really a lot of fun. It’s a huge sports town obviously. And, uh, you know, I’m a die hard and, uh, live and die and, uh, support all the teams and, um, still waiting for some, some big football wins. But, uh, so it’s been a, it’s been a while and, uh, you know, always anxious for the next season and optimistic. So I’m big Browns fan.
Scott Luton (04:12):
Well, you know, as well as,
Jim Saponaro (04:13):
As well as,
Greg White (04:16):
You guys had a great start Browns did this season. I really think it was most that were your issues. So
Jim Saponaro (04:24):
Greg White (04:24):
I hope I have a good friend who a fan and, uh, we watched the first game together. So, uh, yeah, we started having you guys go down in that very game and it just did not help the season.
Scott Luton (04:38):
We, you know, uh, Jim, we, we can’t have, we can’t talk football and without referencing those legendary teams in the eighties that Bernie Kos, uh, Kevin Mack, Michael Dean Perry, cause I’m we big Clemson, uh, fans around here. Uh, Reggie, is it, was it Reggie Langer horn, Langer hands maybe.
Jim Saponaro (04:56):
Yeah. Langhorn. Yep.
Scott Luton (04:58):
And then the tight end. I can’t remember his name, but he is now hall of Famer and he’s in, I think NFL of leadership. Um, Ozzie knew of course. Yeah,
Greg White (05:06):
Scott Luton (05:07):
All right. So now that we’ve established, we’ve established Jim’s Cleveland credentials, Greg, I guess we’ve gotta get into kind of the story of the day. Right.
Greg White (05:17):
I suppose we have to talk a little business here. So yeah, I mean, Jim OB, you know, obviously you’re in charge of life science and healthcare at DHL. And, um, I’d love for you to tell us a little bit about how you, you all, uh, approach the market in your, in your business.
Jim Saponaro (05:35):
Absolutely. So I just took over, uh, January one, uh, the president’s role, but I’ve been with DHL for 11 years and I headed up operations for the same life science and healthcare sector for DHL supply chain. So I’ve been part of this growth and, and having a lot of fun, uh, watching it grow and, and, and now taking the helm during this, uh, crazy pandemic labor shortage, you know, supply chain crisis time has been a, it’s been a lot of fun. It’s a challenge. It’s been a lot of fun. Um, DHL life science and healthcare sector is the largest three PL in an, in the space by far, we’ve got 35 side, uh, with over serving over 50 global customers. And, um, with a variety of services, uh, obviously the core is warehousing, but secondary packaging, um, reverse logistics, postponement. Um, and we also have transportation offerings manage trans inbound to manufacturing. And at the end, end of the day, it’s a, we have, we offer end to end services for our, for our clients.
Greg White (06:47):
You know, I, um, DHL’s an enormous organization. I don’t think people, at least people in the states recognize just how big it is. But, uh, I was doing business in Singapore with, uh, someone in your organization. And I mentioned a prominent us carrier and said, so how do you, how do you see them in terms of competition? And they said, oh, we don’t see them as competition. We’re much bigger than they’re. And we’re in many, many more countries. And I, I mean that, they said it so matter of factly, right. It was not a at all. It was just so matter of fact, I had to dig into you guys and just see just how big you are. So can you share a little bit about that scale?
Jim Saponaro (07:28):
Yeah, sure. So we are the largest logistics company in the world serving 222 countries. And we’re the largest next day, uh, service company in the world when it comes to express and transportation. I think folks think about when DHL came in here 15, 20 years ago, and that express business didn’t work in the us, but globally we’re by far the biggest, I think the big secret that we’re talking about today, uh, Greg and Scott is DHL supply chain, DHL supply chain services, uh, uh, almost 500 sites now in north America, 500 sites, almost 150 million square feet we service. And then, you know, the life science, uh, and healthcare sector is just one of many, right. We’ve got automotive technology, chem, energy, um, uh, retail, consumer, and e-commerce. So, and if you go to Gardner and look at the top 15 players in any of those, that’s our portfolio for every one of those sectors. So we’ve, we, we’re a pretty well kept secret, but folks don’t think of us understanding that we’ve got 40,000, uh, employees with DHL supply chain right here, um, in the us and north America and in Canada.
Greg White (08:42):
Wow. Yeah. And I can tell you that having worked in countries around the world, DHL is the name that comes first to mind. I mean, that, that, honestly, as a, as a young person in logistics early in my days, that was really shocking to me, but it’s a, it’s a big deal and, and it’s the biggest Outside of the states. Right. Um, so I’m curious
Jim Saponaro (09:05):
Greg White (09:07):
Yeah. Sorry, Greg. Yeah. You’re uh, the far east Africa everywhere. Yeah, really. Um, you know, I’m curious about the investment you’ve made, obviously, you know, we were joking, we talked about the vaccine and, and everything that went along with that. And, and we’ve seen a huge investment in, um, in, uh, frozen and refrigerated and, and, uh, all of that in terms of supporting life sciences and the healthcare industry and vaccine in particular. Uh, so tell us, you guys just made a big investment. So tell us a little bit about that.
Jim Saponaro (09:42):
Yeah. Uh, you know, as, as we mentioned, and we put a press release out there that we just invested 400 million euros, uh, into the life science and healthcare space in north America, we grew our footprint over to 27% and, um, they’re all pharmaceutical and medical device temp controlled and licensed facilities. Uh, that’s gonna result in, uh, six new buildings and add an, uh, that, uh, again, results in another 3 million square feet that we’re adding to, to our footprint. So we’re, we’re pretty excited about that.
Scott Luton (10:22):
Wow. I think two of the, two of the, uh, six new sites are gonna be in the Atlanta area. Uh, Jim, if I read that, right?
Jim Saponaro (10:29):
Yeah, absolutely. Yep. Atlanta Memphis, the, our Northeast campus is exploding. Um, and, and that’s another big thing that’s in important to know about, uh, DHLs and life science and healthcare supply chain is we really separate ourselves and, and Greg, to your point, matter of faculty from, from the rest of the competition, because we have campuses and campuses are huge today. I mean, they’ve been really important in the past with, with, but today with labor shortages and all the challenges that folks have to have a campus and be able to labor share during the, during the pandemic, uh, our Zimmer bowel side, our Denly site, they weren’t able to do elective surgeries, right. We were able to place all those people in sites that were going through the roof, where you like bear and, and J and J healthcare. All, all these companies are really, really busy.
Jim Saponaro (11:24):
And so, uh, you know, that, that means a lot to our clients, right? You, you know, not any other competitor can most to that. And if they do, if it’s like one building where, you know, you can go to the Northeast and we’ve got like 50 billion buildings in a 50 mile radio, it’s pretty powerful. And so scale does matter. And, and a lot of times bigger is better, but I’ve never worked in a nicer group of people. So we’re just, we’re just like you all, you know, at the end of the day. And I think that that makes a difference. Right.
Scott Luton (11:54):
Agreed. Except Jim, Greg’s not real nice. He’s not a nice guy. So
Greg White (12:00):
Jim Saponaro (12:01):
You know, looking guy, I’ll give him,
Greg White (12:05):
Jim Saponaro (12:06):
He’s a, so you,
Greg White (12:12):
Him and I don’t see nearly as well as most DHL do, I’m sure.
Scott Luton (12:21):
Uh, exciting times, uh, and congrats on the relatively new, uh, leadership role. I think I heard you say you started in early January of this year. Um, so from what I understand about cold storage, uh, you’ve got overseas markets that where, uh, market share is growing. And I think us pharmaceutical companies are really having to embrace cold storage to protect their products as they, as they take advantage of those, uh, in, in a good way of those business opportunities. In fact, um, as you look at, uh, the overall gold, uh, cold storage market, uh, I think in, in supply chain dive where you are quoted in a recent story related to your press release, I pharma cold chain source book says that global cold chain spending is, is expected to grow some 24% between 20, 20 and 2024 expecting about 20, 24 to reach $21.3 billion. Holy cow. Exactly. Um, yeah. So with those big, big numbers, and I love how you said that scale matters it’s scale certainly matters. Um, yeah. When it comes to the cold storage industry, um, I, I wanna ask you what might surprise some of our listeners, but feel free to comment on some of those big numbers before you even share some of the things that might surprise our folks.
Jim Saponaro (13:36):
Yeah. So the, you know, it’s no surprise that there’s that growth, right? I mean, that little thing called the pandemic. Um, O obviously those are coal chain products. And, uh, we participated as a global company in a major way, uh, in the us, our managed transportation for Pfizer delivered many, many doses of the Pfizer vaccine that we’re pretty excited about. You know, when they talk about coal change storage, we’re, we’re different in that we’re, we’re not a storage, right? We’re a life science and healthcare company, right. We’re fully licensed and we’ve got compliance and regulatory and standards that are, are, are industry leading, right? So you go into any of our buildings, you’ll see the same things, the same processes. And that means a lot to a customer that allows us to move our people around without missing a beat. But when it comes to cold chain, to your point, um, we’ve invested 80,000 in our, uh, 80,000 square feet in one of our Northeast facility. These cause we saw this coming because even before the pandemic, you’ve got individualized medicines that you guys probably heard of that are coming out, right. That may only have 60,000 patients in the us. Um, you’ve got biosimilars that are huge. Right. Of course, oncology has always been a big player in cold chain. And so we participate in all those patients. We’ve done vaccines for years for companies like GSK. And, um, we, uh, we, we think one, we’re one of the leaders. Right. But, uh, um, there’s, there’s no out it’s gonna continue to grow.
Scott Luton (15:13):
Uh, that’s fascinating. I think I used cold storage instead of cold chain earlier. So my apologies don’t wanna confuse anyone, cold chain, cold chain. Um, so Jim, yep. Out of all of that, um, what might operating in the cold chain industry, what might surprise some of the folks, uh, any unique aspects about that?
Jim Saponaro (15:35):
I think I, I think just in, in life sciences overall, uh, in a life science and healthcare company for DHL, um, safety comes first. I think that’s really important. I think people, um, are coming out and working in sites and they want to know that they’re gonna be taken care of and quality and compliance are the other minimum requirements. Right. And then after that, um, it’s, we have a culture of respect and results. And I think that makes a huge difference with our employees and working in that environment. There’s, uh, standard operating procedures, not to bore you, but you know, we make sure they’ve got gloves and they, and they’ve got good, the DHL coats and we take care of ’em and, uh, we celebrate their success. But, you know, I wanted to talk for a second about innovation and our accelerated digitalization agenda. But before I get there at the end of the day, with all the stuff going on with technology, it’s still a people business, right?
Jim Saponaro (16:30):
They’re the secret sauce, but I would tell you that we’re, we’re leading the way with technology with, with our accelerated published, accelerated digitalization agenda. And again, I’ll come back, Greg and Scott to the fact that size doesn’t matter. So we can work with these tiny little companies that have these really neat inventions, but have no scale to manufacture and have, and we’ve become this big testing round, right? We, we, you know, 500 sites, you got a lot of buildings you can test. I’ll give you a great example. Locus bot a bear was a small company out of Boston. Seven years ago. We started with them at Zimer BioMAT. We now deploy over 1600 locus spots and we needed 15,000 people for the end of season, right. Seasonality in our businesses, not just not life sciences per se, but we were able to use only hire 12,000 people cause of our, our use of technology. And then we’ve helped these players mature these technologies like autonomous, uh, uh, vehicles, right? Autonomous operated vehicles
Scott Luton (17:38):
Really quick. Greg, I want, I want to get your commentary on what you just heard Jim say. Uh, and also wanna back up to one of your favorite words that we talk about here, provenance, cause that he, he dressed out on the front end of his answer, but, uh, sticking with the last part there. I love how, um, how his view on people. Cause it, it, it where kindred spirits there, people make global supply chain happen. And I love his last point there about how all this massive investment in technology has created, not just a bunch of jobs, but a bunch of jobs working with robotics and automation, which should give all of those workers some great experience that they can leverage up in the market. But Greg, speak to that a bit.
Greg White (18:20):
Yeah. Well, I, I think there’s a couple things that, uh, in addition to that, that stood out to me one. Yes, obviously, uh, because people are not breaking down the doors to get, has some of these supply chain roles. I think robotics and autonomous and automation are inevitable and we’ve talked a lot about that on various shows, but, um, that we, that they were able to in a time when, when labor was exceedingly short provide capability for companies that otherwise would have run short, that’s incredible. The other thing that jumps out at me that I think is particularly interesting is the ability for someone who is an innovation company, whose focus is, you know, building the next medicine or building the next device or, or, you know, their job is life saving for them to be able to focus solely on that. And then to have a backbone, like what DHL offers to say, okay, we’re ready to try and bring this to market.
Greg White (19:16):
We’re ready to, you know, to scale this. As, as Jim said out to the world, look, that is the direction. As you know, that is what I think the future of supply chain ought to be is companies are good at making or merchandise or selling stuff they’re lousy for the most part at logistics, and to have an organization that is so focused to take someone, take a company and allow them to do what they are really, really best at, and then deploy at scale with such rapidity and with such a complete offering compliant. And, um, you know, actually as, as Jim, you said an actual healthcare company, right? That’s incredible. And think about the pace that that adds and the, the sureity that, that adds to the healthcare supply chain. When we can go, ah, Eureka, we found the cure for the common cold, if only, um, right, and now we can, now we can get it out to the market. And all we gotta do is make a phone call and Jim and his team make it happen. So love that. Obviously we’re simplifying it. Jim,
Jim Saponaro (20:23):
I need folks love working with technology. You know, they love it. You know, we do, uh, vision pick with the smart glasses. They enjoy that so much. And at first everybody was a little skeptical. They love, they fight for it. They fight for those jobs where they get to use technology. And it’s kind of cool and it does expand their, their expertise. We now have technicians that only work with the autonomous, uh, operated vehicles and we have videos and the pride that these guys have that they, they used to run the forklift truck. Now they’re working with this technology and it, and they’re just kind of beaming about it and it’s creating new roles. And, um, it’s neat to see
Scott Luton (21:06):
Greg White (21:07):
Jim, do we give names? Did we give these autonomous devices? Oh
Jim Saponaro (21:11):
Really? Yeah. Yeah. I had, I had a, I had a locus spot in the early days named after me. I won’t tell you what they call it,
Scott Luton (21:17):
But well, uh, I bet we, I bet you’ll have a lot of fun with those names. Uh, you we’ll have to interview the bot that named Rick flair maybe in a later episode. Uh, but, but also maybe, uh, out of those hundreds, if not thousands of bots you are using, who knows maybe the Browns, the Cleveland Browns could borrow a few and improve make enhancements to their offensive or defensive lines. Jim,
Jim Saponaro (21:41):
We’re not gonna need ’em Scott we’re we’re ready. I think Greg, Greg, Greg hit it on the head. They’ve got some injuries they’re gonna heal up to make some nice off season acquisitions. They’ve got a good front office gonna make some great draft picks that are gonna make a contribution. And, uh, we’re gonna go for it all next year.
Scott Luton (21:59):
Greg, I don’t know if you heard that, but I think Jim’s got a second career as maybe a, a PR person for a sports team or something. I love that Rosie picture. He just paint.
Greg White (22:09):
Um, well I feel like I feel like a, you know, a advocate for the Browns chiefs fan. So we shared a coach, the great Marty shotten Heimer. We have had much the same history decades between, between champions. Um, we opened the Right. I mean, there, there is a lot of empathy between Browns and chiefs fans and, um, we’re pulling for ’em right up until they play us
Jim Saponaro (22:37):
That’s right. But we I’m not, or any of that Greg, two years, we would’ve, I’m not gonna, that would just be, you know, let’s, we’re, we’re getting along. Great. So let’s just leave it at that.
Greg White (22:53):
You, you know, with my, you know, with my friends that I’ve already heard a lot about that
Jim Saponaro (22:59):
You might have. Yeah. Yeah. I I’m letting it go personally. I’m
Greg White (23:03):
Good. Thanks. We’re
Scott Luton (23:06):
There’s a phrase that says, let go or be dragged. So it’s good to let that stuff go there. Jim and Greg, right. Um, so a minute ago, Greg mentioned the word Eureka, right? It is Eureka moments, uh, as clearly with all the innovation going on VHL, the team sounds like you’re having, uh, Eureka moments very regularly, uh, with rapidity, I think as a, as a phrase, uh, a word that Greg used on have to look that up. Um, anyway, so Jim Eureka moments these last couple years, man, they’d be tough, right? The industry, uh, thankfully global supply chain is really despite, you know, wart and all it’s, it’s been amazing to see it, keep moving, keep moving, keep
Jim Saponaro (23:47):
Moving forward. I think what we’ve seen, uh, when it comes to kinda aha moments, if you will, uh, Scott and Greg is the fact that at DHL supply chain in all of our sectors, but in our life science and healthcare sector, you know, those companies, pharma medical device, and so on, they’ve been some of the last ones to outsource, right? They’ve held on that. And they’re, I think Greg made a point earlier. They’re figuring out that that’s not their core competency. We love eating sleep and drinking. Right. And we’ve got scale and we’re committed to people and talent. And so we’re seeing more folks for, uh, become what we call first time outsources. Right? So that’s, that’s one, that’s a big deal. I also think that what we’ve gone through with the pandemic has, has spokes looking in the United States and north America at their manufacturing space and saying, we shouldn’t be storing any product here.
Jim Saponaro (24:40):
Right. We’ve gotta increase our manufacturing capabilities. And that’s great for us. And we stand ready to serve all the industries with that. And then finally, I would say that when people look to automation like, uh, automated storage and retrieval units, you like, like a company like auto store that we use a lot. Um, they’re not always looking for a return on investment, like they used to because they know if that, if that big, huge, uh, building, if you will, inside building full of robots can take up to 16 to 30 people away. That’s a big deal because they know probably the labor shortage is here to stay. So it was always like, oh, it’s too expensive. You know, we can’t pay for that. And the other thing that’s happening is customers are not treating like a commodity as they never should have in the first place. Right. So we’re seeing more tenure agreements than we ever have. And that’s part of it is cause when you invest in that kind of technology, which expensive, you, you need to stay with that player. But you know, in our case, we’ve got many 30 and 40 year clients. And, and I think that says a lot with big names that, you know, you’d be proud to put on the screen.
Scott Luton (25:51):
Mm, okay. So Greg, I wanna get your take on, on a lot of what Jim just wrapped there as we head down the home stretch, uh, talking with Jim SAP Panero with DHL supply chain, north America, Greg, what’d you hear there?
Greg White (26:04):
Oh, uh, I mean, I think those are, those are four Eureka moments in, um, all of them I think really impactful and some we’ve seen reflected, not all, but, but all of those, I think, speak to how supply chain has changed and frankly, why it has changed to Jim’s point, these incoming generations. They don’t want to do the, the, what is it. We call it the three DS, dark, dirty and dangerous that people perceive a lot of supply chain jobs as being, and we already had a 2 million person shortage of supply chain talent even before the pandemic started. And it’s only gotten worse as volumes have grown as, uh, you know, as Jim, as you said, that as companies have leaned more and more on, on third parties to, to run their logistics operations or frankly, even if they run ’em internally. Um, so recognizing that and recognizing that the world has changed prop probably for good from, uh, a labor standpoint, which he also exemplified by saying, you know, they’re, they’re engaging people to work with technology, which is what gen Z and millennials wanna do. They wanna work with technology. We don’t have to apologize for technology taking anyone’s job anymore because the jobs that tech technology is taking no one, literally in many cases once.
Scott Luton (27:28):
Yeah. So Jim, I’ll give you a chance to respond to that and I’m gonna share one other, uh, aspect of, of, uh, one your Eureka moments.
Jim Saponaro (27:37):
No, I, I, I, I, I think your comments are spot on, right? Uh, folks want to be a part of change. They want to be a part of growth and then want to be a part of a, of a company that cares for, ’em not just have a, you know, what D D D job or blue collar job. We don’t think about that. I mean, you know, warehousing and distribution is one of the last BAS that you can start in a forklift truck or picking product, and we’re on that building. We still have people that do that. That’s pretty amazing. We’ll put ’em through college by the way, but we have people in major leadership roles that work their way up from the floor, you know, including our CEO, which is pretty darn cool. And, and, and so when you talk to people about a career, I think it makes a big difference. And then, you know, we kind of, we don’t take the front to three field, but we’ve really become an extension of the man factors, right. We’re, we’re really part of their supply chain in a big way. And we’re, and we’re, we’re busting through, into their planning, you know, into their manufacturing to say, if you let us, you know, be a part of that, then, you know, we can streamline the cost of supply chain and, and really help you. They’re starting to take us up on that.
Scott Luton (28:46):
I love that. Uh, and then one other thing you touched on was it was these long standing partnerships, right? I think you mentioned 30 and 40 years. And I, I think, you know, I bet there’s been some rough days in those 30 or 40 days, but you know what that’s, that’s where the partnership begins, right? When, when, when they bring their problems and you work through it. Right. So, uh, you know, if anything’s taught us, what’s that phrase, you said, you said, Greg, um, you can’t make friends in the middle of a, how do you say it, Greg? Well,
Greg White (29:14):
I think, I think we, we co-opted that from somebody early in the pandemic, it’s too late to make friends now. Right? If you’ve treated your vendors, your suppliers, your business partners, horribly, and, and once crisis hits, it’s too late to make friends. And, um, truthfully those relationships are, as you said, Scott, they’re strengthened through adversity, right? That’s, I’ve seen it over and over, over again.
Scott Luton (29:39):
Jim Saponaro (29:41):
Differently, Greg, I always tell my people that a crisis is, is an opportunity to get closer to your customer. Right. And you know, you come in there out in hand, if it’s on your side or, you know, you’re there to help ’em if it’s on their side, but there’s no finger pointing, it’s, it’s get joined at the shoulders and let’s get this thing figured out. Once we get through that crisis, then let’s do the lessons learned and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Right. And, uh, you know, cuz one thing we say in life science and healthcare at DHL is zero defects, right? We’re not interested in KPIs that say 99.8 or whatever they are. We’re interested in zero defects, a hundred percent in the that’s our goal every day. And that starts at the, at, at, you know, at the picker all the way up to me. So I’m, I’m not doing as well as that, but I’m, I’m fine.
Scott Luton (30:31):
Well, so Greg tell you it’s
Greg White (30:33):
A lot saving industry. I mean you have to be precise, right? Yeah.
Jim Saponaro (30:37):
Scott Luton (30:37):
Agreed. Yep. So Jim strikes me as a great individual to work for. So, uh, I’d love to maybe down the road we hear from your team members and I bet there’s some great stories in a book or two to be published in those long, you know, decades, long relationships. We’ll save that for another time too. Um, Jim, I really appreciate you taking time out and spending some, uh, uh, some time with us here at supply chain. Now on this big news, uh, related to coal chain, how can folks connect with you and uh, DHL supply chain in north America to learn more?
Jim Saponaro (31:10):
Yeah. Great. Thanks for asking that question. Scott we’re we’re in the podcast business too. We’ve got DHL, all business, no boundaries. And so if you go to dhl.com/all business, no boundaries, you can check us out and, and, and you can get a lot of information if you just go to dhl.com. So we’re, uh, it’s just
Scott Luton (31:30):
That easy from center. I think
Greg White (31:33):
You should interview us next, Jim turn great.
Jim Saponaro (31:36):
I love to. Yeah. Yeah.
Scott Luton (31:39):
Well, Hey, it is such a pleasure. We love the Cleveland talk of the, the Cleveland Browns talk. Uh, I love the, um, I love your view, no finger important and standing shoulder to shoulder and making things happen. And I’ll tell you if, if the last two years taught us anything, we know that we, we we’ve gotta have partners like that. Right. And then, uh, we learn from, you know, we learn from, uh, what takes place. Uh, so we’ll be stronger go around. So Jim, thank you so much for your time here today.
Jim Saponaro (32:09):
Sure. Enjoy talking to you, Scott, and to you, Greg, it’s been a pleasure and hopefully we can, uh, break bread one of these days.
Scott Luton (32:17):
Greg White (32:17):
Do it. That
Scott Luton (32:17):
Sounds good, mark. Appreciate it. We’re writing that down. We’re writing that down, Jim. We’re gonna hold you to it. Okay.
Greg White (32:24):
Thanks Jim. All right. Awesome.
Scott Luton (32:25):
All right. We
Jim Saponaro (32:26):
Chat guys. See you,
Scott Luton (32:27):
You bet. Jim SAP Panero, president of life sciences and healthcare at DHL supply chain north America. Big thanks. Uh, Jim for joining us, Greg man. Uh, I think Jim really meant that I think he, he is willing to break bread with me and you and talk football and supply chain, other things, huh?
Greg White (32:48):
Yeah. You meet somebody from the Midwest. Cleveland is a very blue collar city, kinda like Kansas city is, and that’s standing shoulder to shoulder and leaning in. That’s a very real thing. And it it’s often it’s it’s by necessity. I mean, you know, the Midwest and, and a lot of those, um, land grant, state communities went through some tough times and I think it just becomes a part of who you are. And it’s interesting too, uh, that, that it’s a part of, of the DHL culture, uh, as well. I mean, I had the opportunity to work with DHL, uh, with a company in, with their division, one of their divisions, uh, and a retailer in Singapore and around Southeast Asia. And, um, you know, a lot of what they’re talking about, they have been doing for years, making technology, not, not just physical technology and not just inside the four walls of the warehouse or transportation technology, but also the planning technology that Jim talked about.
Greg White (33:47):
We were in conjunction with them offering planning technology to some of the biggest grocery retailers in Singapore and Hong Kong and, and the rest of Southeast Asia. So it’s, uh, impressive how far ahead of the curve they’ve been and how relevant they have remained and how much more they can continue to invest. I mean, you just, at the scale that we know them, not just maybe even some people just from this conversation, you realize that they are way, way ahead of the curve for, uh, compared to many their competitors and to, and to many of the companies that they service. So it’s, it’s an impressive organization as you’d expect from the German post office. Could anyone be more precise than the German post office?
Scott Luton (34:35):
Well, we must, what I’m gathering,
Scott Luton (34:39):
What I’m gathering is it, it, their culture must be few by deeds, not words. Right. Uh, and you’ve got firsthand experience working with them. That’s wonderful. Um, okay. So we’re gonna keep our finger on the pulse of, uh, cold chain, this massive cold chain investment, uh, that’s gonna, uh, fuel, uh, their growth and fuel the ability to serve globally and amongst the head, but big, thanks to Jim and the team over at deed else, supply chain, north America. All right. So Greg, always a pleasure to have these conversations with you. We look forward to the next batch. We’ll have Jim back on soon, maybe we’ll break bread and talk more football. And amongst other things, listeners hopefully enjoyed this episode as much as Greg and I did. Right? A little bit of football, a little bit of supply chain, a little bit of noble mission, little bit of, uh, cold you name it. Um, folks find us Cleveland, lots of Cleveland. That’s right. Uh, make sure you find more, uh, supply chain now, wherever you get your podcast, more conversations, just like this check out DHL’s podcast. That sounds like a good one. I think it was front and center was the name of it. But most importantly, most importantly folks, Hey, take a page outta Jim’s book and challenging you to do good and give forward and to be the changes needed. And with that said, we see next time, right back here on supply chain now. Thanks everybody.
Thanks for being a part of our supply chain. Now community check out all of our firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Jim Saponaro is the President, Life Sciences & Healthcare DHL Supply Chain North America. Saponaro joined DHL Supply Chain in 2011 and over the last decade, his leadership responsibilities have grown alongside the LSHC sector’s growth. His initial focus on operational performance in North America’s Life Sciences operations has enabled the business to strengthen customer relationships and drive further growth. He is an accomplished Senior Operations and Business Development Executive with a proven record of managing multi-million dollar domestic and international businesses for Fortune 500 and privately held companies. His expertise is in general management, sales, marketing, supply chain economics, logistics, startup/turnaround initiatives, and partnership management. Connect with Jim on LinkedIn.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Data Analytics and Metrics Intern
Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.