Generally, we see that you should get at least a 5X return on your total supply chain transformation investment. And, then determine how you calibrate that with goals that can be measured and monetized.

-Bill Benton, Co-Founder, GAINS

Episode Summary

GAINSystems Co-Founder Bill Benton is setting big targets—and helping customers hit them. As companies clamor for more digital transformation — yet struggle for years to see any ROI — Bill’s team is taking a discovery-based approach to help customers speed time-to-value across three, six and twelve month targets. Lucky for us, he’s also sitting down with Karin on this latest episode of TEKTOK to detail the GAINSystems approach and provide an in-depth look at how to derive tangible value, faster, from digital transformation efforts. Tune in for a can’t-miss conversation on best practices for everything from overall approach, tailoring targets across different business units, dealing with data and more.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:01):

Welcome TEKTOK digital supply chain podcast, where we will help you eliminate the noise and focus on the information and inspiration that you need to transform your business impact supply chain success and enable you to replace risky inventory with valuable insights. Join your TEKTOK, host Karin Bursa, the 2020 supply chain pro to no of the year with more than 25 years of supply chain and technology expertise and the scars to prove it. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Buckle up is time for TEKTOK powered by supply chain now.

Karin Bursa (01:14):

Well, welcome back supply chain movers and shakers. Karin Bursa here, your host for TEKTOK, the digital supply chain podcast. You know, as supply chain leaders, we need to be nimble and we need to leverage the available resources and capacity to provide superior service, increase efficiencies, and balance a multitude of variables across our network. And don’t forget, we’re making every attempt to mitigate risk.

One of the core benefits in the area of digital supply chain technology is the ability to help you replace risky inventory with valuable information. And one of the hottest topics right now is digital transformation. In October of 2020 a McKinsey report came out just six months after the onslaught of the COVID epidemic. McKinsey found that in that six month window of time, digital supply chain transformations had taken a quantum leap forward. The McKinsey analysis showed a level of transformation that historically would’ve taken over four years to achieve.

Karin Bursa (02:31):

That should ignite a sense of urgency around supply chain transformation opportunities. It’s not just about reducing cost. It’s about increasing agility, increasing resilience, and expanding visibility across our global networks.

So, as transformation becomes more and more about being competitive, I’m looking forward to what our guest has to say on the topic of Supply Chain Transformation. We are going to dive a bit deeper and discuss how we should look at time to value as a component of our transformation initiatives. Bill Benton is an expert in this field. You and the team at GAINSystems have helped hundreds of companies overcome a variety of supply chain challenges, increase visibility, accelerate inventory turns and automate to plan with more precision and less effort. It’s great to have you here with us today on TEKTOK!

Bill Benton (03:42):

Well, thanks, Karin. It’s great to be here. It’s always nice to see you and, I appreciate the opportunity to share some perspective today.

Karin Bursa (03:49):

Bill, tell a little bit about GAINS and your mission to help companies Move Forward Faster before we dive into our topic.

Bill Benton (03:59):

Our mission in a phrase would be to democratize world class planning. GAINS has been focused on time to value in a pragmatic phased approach for years. We have helped driving innovations with proven advanced methods that work for the largest and most complex organizations in the world like Honda Motors or Rockwell Automation. And, we’ve packaged our planning software to bring those innovations and efficiency to mid-tier companies that have great room for improvement in a digitization process. We’ve help them get out of spreadsheets and into cohesive planning platform that leverages machine learning, automation, AI prediction, et cetera. And, GAINS has done that in a way that’s scalable and repeatable. Happy to chat more about what process, time to value, which really starts before anybody decides to implement a solution like GAINS, for example.

Karin Bursa (05:14):

Hold on to that idea, Bill! Can you give me one or two customer examples of how the impact is measured in transformation? I want to start us off with the end in mind. Give our TEKTOK listeners a feel for the type of supply chain transformations that have been achieved with GAINS.

Bill Benton (05:40):

Let me start with a growing, mid-size manufacturer named Stuller. They’re one of the largest jewelry manufacturers in North America. At the outset of the pandemic Stuller had, as many people can relate, very significant disruptions in their global supply chain. They have a broad supply network with approximately 50 countries spanning from India to South America, to Southern Louisiana. And they had to pivot very quickly in order to sustain what turned out to be heightened demand, during period. Initially, thinking they would see a dip in demand, the increase was surprising. So there were a few aspects of that first, Stuller made a decision that to collaborate effectively with suppliers and have supplier planning portal, they needed cloud-based system that could implement quickly. GAINS was able to have Stuller up and running within eight weeks of initiating the project.

Bill Benton (06:46):

We were able to leverage integration and map ERP data flows and even data that was coming from Excel. We repurpose those to feed into a GAINS single canonical data model for planning. And, prioritized our efforts to help Stuller get some quick wins of upfront. And then in their case, we had a three stage implementation process with that first stage happening rapidly.

Karin Bursa (07:27):

That’s a great example. I’m already hearing in the conversation, that your team mapped out the transformation initiative to get some quick wins out of the gate. I also expect that in that time of so many disruptions, there had to be an opportunity for Stuller to rebalance their network or consider alternate suppliers – correct? Very interesting example there.

Now, when you hear the word transformation, when a customer comes to you and says, “We’re in the midst of a supply chain transformation.” What things come to mind? How do you help coach them through that process to put a plan in place?

Bill Benton (08:26):

Well, a lot of it goes back to the Pareto principle. We help them find those quick wins up front. We focus on time to value helping them calculate a ROI but also because some projects can stall or even fail because of inertia. Right? So to the extent that there can be tangible wins that create success milestones – it’s positive for team morale and continued investment. Every company and project team is different.  People learn new skills or their roles evolve. So, you need to take your corporate culture into consideration as well as the availability of data, integration, complexity, training requirements, to find that sweet spot of the of items that are high impact and high feasibility.

Karin Bursa (09:38):

Is there always a common starting point or is it different based on each business?

Bill Benton (09:51):

You know, there’s no one size fits all formula, frankly.

Bill Benton (09:57):

Some people might think you have to start with sales, forecasting and inventory polices. Then you do supply planning. Then you blend it together, S&OP and then maybe layer in some multi enterprise inventory optimization or network design. Right? When I was a student learning the foundations of supply chain and planning, that’s how you think of things, right? There is a sequential flow. However, at Rockwell Automation, we started with inventory optimization because they had simultaneously a need to reduce inventory surplus in some areas and invest in other areas where they needed more resilience – especially where there are only a small number of interdependent suppliers that might have a significant time to recover in the event of an unexpected event. And so, Rockwell Automation started with inventory optimization and then move to supply planning, and then into S&OP.

Bill Benton (10:56):

We’ve started with supply planning and other customers have started with demand planning, collaborative planning, etc. At GAINS we have something we refer to as the Proven Path to Performance, or P3 methodology, which is really a discovery and data driven approach for onboarding. We take time to discover where both pragmatically and empirically the opportunities are and let that guide us. And interestingly, that can often be quite different from the customer’s original set of presumptions. That analysis is in our DNA to work from a data and an empirical perspective forward.

Karin Bursa (11:55):

I imagine in the discovery process, you’re able to uncover some hidden gems in helping your customers start their transformation journeys. Bill, tell us a little bit about time to value. I’ve been in this industry a long time. You’ve been in the industry a long time. We’ve certainly all heard the stories about implementations of supply chain technology that have lasted for three years or four years. And I’ve gotta tell you, that’s concerning to me when I hear these long-time horizons. My first thought is by the time you finish, it’s time to start all over again, because you need to take into consideration the fact that your network is not fixed. Supply chain networks are living and breathing – flexing and contracting. There are a multitude of different variables to be optimized at any point in time.

Bill, when you and the GAINS team are accelerating time to value, are there are multiple stage gates or intervals where benefits occur? How does that work?

Bill Benton (13:24):

Yeah, we think of it as a multi-phase, telescoping, horizon approach. So, there should be something tangible within the first quarter. What can we help to show both internally and potentially to the ecosystem within the first three months? If you start with that premise, and then you fit to that, as opposed to saying, here’s all the functions we want to address. Now let’s try to do a left to right scale on the timeline. We feel you come up with a very different set of priorities. So, if you start with a fixed date and look to what’s feasible within that range. We believe that first phase should be quite short within a quarter, it could be something like “we want to reduce our lead time forecast variants by half.” So, if they have been predicting a long procurement lead time, cutting that by 60% could be a very tangible win, right?

Bill Benton (14:34):

The other element with time to value is prioritizing an initial win, but also working parallel tracks that are all mutually reinforcing. Generally, we see a three phased approach, three, six, and 12 month milestones with a continuous improvement cycle of maturation. Bill Gates says, you chronically overestimate what you could do in a year and underestimate what you could do in the decade. Right? To sustain decades of improvements, you’d need to have tangible wins in the short run. I don’t want to focus too much about GAINS specifically, but generally speaking, having a solution and a strategy for implementing it, that leads to those early tangible wins we think is crucial.

Karin Bursa (15:34):

One of the big challenges with lengthy projects is that they delay the return on investment and you run the risk of getting distracted by another shiny object, or you lose the momentum and focus. With these shorter, project phases (I think you said maybe three, six and 12 month horizons) you are able to build that knowledge base within the customer which is important for that transfer of knowledge. How do you help them measure the incremental improvements and keep the momentum going?

Bill Benton (16:39):

Well, I think the answer is in probably three distinct sort of perspectives. Bringing them into a dialogue early and finding out what they’re comfortable with. That might mean using the Preto principle as well, rather than trying to do a full integration, maybe manually updating key parameters for the top 10% of changes is a viable approach. So what can we do? That’s viable for it and operations and leverages a lot of, so being a pragmatist there, the second perspective would be operationally, right?

Bill Benton (17:43):

You’re going to have the zealots that want to improve things. The show me, which are I’m open to it, but I’d love to see somebody else try it. And then the skeptics. I’m overgeneralizing for the purpose of emphasis here, but you’re looking for tangible examples. Don’t ask me if the algorithm’s better. Let me show you some specific cases of improvement that the zealots can show to the show me who can then share with the skeptics. And so it’s a lot easier to promote process and culture change with really tangible, understandable, uh, positive examples. Um, and then lastly executives, right? So how does it move the needle for high level business objectives, whether that’s fill rates, customer service, working capital goals, inventory turns, usually there’s going to be some goals.

Bill Benton (18:51):

And if you can show something tangible, even if it’s with a subset, say we’re gonna carve out 10% of our vendors or this one production manufacturing facility. And, where they can extrapolate that quick win to say, all right. So now we know if we were to roll this out, here’s what it looks like. And here’s how it would support our strategic objectives. So, I think those are the three different perspectives. And, having this quick time to value can build momentum in all three areas, but also being pragmatic about it.

Karin Bursa (19:26):

Ten years ago, we would talk in terms of people, process and technology. Today, it’s people, process, technology and data. The availability of data has changed exponentially. It’s not uncommon to hear, “I’m drowning in data and starving for insights.” How do you help GAINS customers to harness data and to interpret it in ways that can be meaningful from a supply chain planning process? For example, if you want to improve short term demand sensing or work more collaboratively with your suppliers, you might incorporate different demand signals or available market data for things like new housings starts or some other type of meaningful syndicated data. What does that look like as a part of this transformation process?

Bill Benton (20:42):

I think there’s a sort of three prong approach. Traditionally, let’s say here’s some solutions analytics we want to put in place. Now let’s do a mapping exercise and say, here’s all the data we need to utilize these functions. As opposed to saying, here’s the data we have, what functions can we leverage in light of that right now that that should evolve to. How do we prioritize data gaps between what we have and what we’d like, based on the broader set of analytics or so solutions that we want to bring to bear? Forgive me for being a bit of a broken record, but go back to the time to value.

Bill Benton (21:38):

One prong is saying, here’s the data we have. What can we do? The second prong is given the additional things we’d like to do, how do we prioritize those data gaps based on the greatest return on effort of acquiring that data. And, the third prong is, and from a GAINSystem’s perspective, we think of it as two parts of what we could bring to reduce the amount of effort to decide what data is needed and to acquire it.

So the first part is how can you self-parameterize? So a lot of solutions require, okay, here’s some data, how do you cleanse it? How do you detect anomalies? How do you fill gaps? We provide tools to do those things. And then how many levers you have to pull just to get an analytics set up and running, right? The other that’s where the self-parameterization comes in. Can you get plausible output without having to set, dozens of switches or hire third parties to do so?

Karin Bursa (22:58):

Bill, when you talk about self-parameterization, does that mean these “dials” are systematically set or that a GAINS expert is coaching the client’s team, the customer’s team through specific set up steps? What does that look like from a pragmatic perspective?

Bill Benton (23:21):

Well, it means allowing, but not requiring, set up to get reasonable results. The GAINS solution has built in intelligence to recommend a default approach for everything, whether that’s stocking policy, where, and at what level, for example, in the bill of distribution or bill of materials (BOM) of stock, what should the service level be? What’s the type of demand data for this new product? Is it seasonal or not? For example? So these are all things where the solution should have a baseline automatic recommendation, but also a glass box approach where you can see what that is, why and fine tune that. So to answer your question, it’s both, you start with an automated self-parameterized, configuration and then do continuous rounds of fine tuning and training for greater precision over time.

Bill Benton (24:25):

The other half of this third prong is bringing data to the table, right? For example, within GAINS, we do what we call continuous network flow optimization. So, as you change suppliers, as you add customers, lose customers, add products, how do you optimally flow? Additionally, things like freight rates change a lot. And, if you need to hire a consultant to do a periodic process where they collect all these data around freight rates, tariffs, capacities, etc., the shelf life on that, model is going to be quite short and some of the data has already aged by the time you’re getting the results. So we’re bringing “new data” like freight rates and visibility to container movements into the plan without the customer having to provide those information and to do that on a continuous basis, as opposed to a periodic basis.

Karin Bursa (25:19):

That’s very powerful. Especially around supporting opportunities for automation, right? Supply chain solutions have an opportunity to impact business decision-making with automation or accelerating certain business processes. And I think that this has become increasingly important, especially in today’s market where talent is a real challenge. Supply chain planning talent is a new constraint to be managed. And, we need to be looking for those opportunities to automate where we can.

Talk to me about automation. I like this idea of self-parameterization and that’s clearly accelerating the initial setup in deployment, but then that ongoing feed of important data about movement of inventory, right? You mentioned containers or inbound notification, and I assume outbound would work very much in a similar fashion, but there’s lots of opportunities to automate. Are you seeing that as a part of the transformations that your team is working on?

Bill Benton (26:32):

The answer is yes. And the speed and degree of automation is going to vary significantly by each individual organization. So for example, on the fast ends, one of our customers named Graybar, they are a very large North American distributor. Within 12 weeks Graybar had 98% of all of their purchase and transfer lines automated. They took a highly selective approach to manual intervention. In other cases, it might have taken a client two years to get to that point. And, when you’re bringing machine learning into it, this concept of sort of X-AI, which is called explicable AI, users are trusting the black box and automation more and more. We are excited to bring automation to the table straight away but recognize it will get adopted differently (or at a different rate) by some customers.

Bill Benton (27:40):

For example, a client might be comfortable automating purchase lines that have less than $5 value.  Nobody’s going to lose their job over that. But we can see that ultimately, this is a nice little microcosm to prove automation works and then move up to purchase order line items of $500 or $5,000 or $50,000. Manufacturing work order automation, when we’re looking at, doing automation, even when we’re up at 90 plus percent of capacity utilization. Where people usually want to micromanage those things and rough cut scheduling because there’s scarce componentry or scarce capacity. So, so an incremental approach that’s paced for the organization, but always greater than zero.

Karin Bursa (28:30):

Bill, getting back to time to value. You mentioned eight weeks to deploy in one example. And just 12 weeks seeing some pretty significant automation. What is unique about GAINS and the way either the solution is designed or you’re implementing or onboarding customers? Help us understand those aspects. So some of our listener may not be familiar with GAINS.

Bill Benton (29:08):

So we we’ve talked a lot about an approach right. Which is phased and feasible. So, GAINS is a supply chain platform that uses a single canonical data model. So these are not discreet sequential modules. And this wasn’t built through acquisition of distinct products designed by different R&D organizations that interface with one another. We believe there’s significant interdependence across everything from, network design and network flow all the way through sales and operations execution. For example, how do we allocate scarce componentry, scarce finish goods, to specific orders we have right now? And how do we do profitable to promise? So between the strategic end of how do I design product flows and locations in my network through to how do I allocate this particular order.

Bill Benton (30:11):

On an order-by-order event-driven basis, GAINS has a single canonical data model and algorithmic set to handle that. It includes, demand forecasting, traditional, there’s still a lot to be said about, history being a prologue, but there’s also the need to blend that with demand sensing and demand shaping. And you mentioned some things around data, we bring to the table. For example, with demand sensing, GAINS is connected with the federal reserve economic database. So we can look at things like housing starts or interest rates or oil price features, and determine through machine learning, which can scour hundreds or thousands of different types of predictive features as they’re called and determine which ones are run. And you don’t have to feed us that data, right. That’s already, that’s part of the build in part, and that’s a big part of time to value.

Bill Benton (31:08):

Progressing from demand, forecasting, sensing, and shaping and collaborative demand, planning into comprehensive inventory optimization, which, which we believe needs to be multi-echelon, whether that’s within a bill of material within a bill of distribution or within both. And that’s quite crucial because then here’s an example of interdependence based on whether where your stocking is going to determine what your critical planning period for inventory deployment. If you don’t stock a raw material that has a four month lead time using a demand model, that’s really helpful over a 28 day period, isn’t really going to help you make optimum raw material decisions over four month horizon. So how can you fine tune the demand planning based on your lead time horizons for planning where you’re looking at cumulative lead times in light of say inventory stocking strategy. That’s another area where we think doing this all sequentially and periodically really breaks down, particularly in times of high volatility, like we’re seeing right now where, steady state conditions, this might work in a spreadsheet outside of that.

Bill Benton (32:19):

And then how does that feed into supply planning so that as events change, whether it’s a late container, or west coast port congestion, lead times doubling due to scarcity. Or, customers shifting demand rapidly because of pent up demand, post pandemic, for example, these are all real life examples we’ve seen. How can you synchronize that supply plan on an event driven basis with those other elements? And then lastly bringing it into sort of a cohesive S&OP where you could do scenario planning of understanding in times of scarcity, you’re ability to serve a new customer.  And they’re recurring demand in these product lines, what’s the impact on my profitability, what do I have to air freight in versus ocean freight in to make that happen and to meet their requirements? Conversely, how can we optimize around different inventory targets and what does that mean, to our overall fill rate and how can we achieve this, uh, optimally?

Bill Benton (33:27):

This advantage of single data model with scenario planning, execution, working backwards all the way through design and doing that in a single model where all the data, is consistent and interactive and interdependent is really a lot of what’s what GAINS is about. Since we built the solution organically being able to do it at a fraction of the time and the cost of the, uh, of the most expensive vendors out there. So that’s our thought of bringing world class solutions in a democratized way to the, to the broader market and the larger organizations, to the extent that, you know, they buy into that vision.

Karin Bursa (34:09):

You mentioned some pretty sophisticated capabilities. One that I want to talk about for just a minute is multi echelon inventory optimization (MEIO). Lots of folks say they do inventory optimization. Tell us what GAINS delivers around multi echelon inventory optimization? We’re moving beyond finished goods, right? Beyond finished goods across the network.

Bill Benton (34:48):

There are a number of factors within MEIO such as resilience elements, there’s postponement objectives. There’s the ability to increase your breadth and variety of finished goods that are more personalized by having really robust, semi-finished good inventory strategies. At a high level, you could think of multi echelon as starting with the latest point in a distribution chain. That’s closest to the point of demand or point of consumption and rolling up through one or two levels of distribution, which goes to a manufacturing plant, which might go through 10 levels of bill of material all the way to the purchase component or raw materials. Your stocking decisions at the raw material level cascade all the way down to your fill rate capabilities, your service capabilities, and your inventory requirements down at the lowest level, near the point of sale.

Bill Benton (35:51):

This is an insoluble problem, right? The common complexity of do I stock here, here, here, here, and what are the impacts? And if I stock the raw material, does it shorten my lead time here, but I’ve got a lot of stock in these materials that have a cost and storage requirements. Understanding how these tradeoffs work comes from MEIO. GAINS was a pioneer using different types of AI methods, as many as two decades ago. We can run hundreds of times as many scenarios as we used to be able to do, but using things like genetic algorithms to get to a near optimum solution of what’s the best tradeoff for resilience of stocking long lead time, procured items, short lead time, semi-finished good. Do we want to stock the finished goods or leverage postponement to box and label to order?

Bill Benton (36:41):

How do we maintain flexibility? And then how far do we disperse, uh, or deploy inventory through the network, right. Can we pull it as needed for high cost, low frequency products, or should we deploy it to, to the consumption point? So we’re not occurring a lot of expedite or extra transport. We can batch things and move things in full containers and then, and then ship in, in boxes, you know, the interesting part of these flows change over time. Most people might set these policies once a year because it’s very difficult to even get an approximation, GAINS looks at them continuously based on multi echelon inventory optimization. Here’s the top 5% of materials that where you should either stop, start stocking, stop stocking these, or significantly change their target fill rates in order to get to more optimum set of tradeoffs between expediting inventory and service.

Karin Bursa (37:45):

So, obviously that’s a, that’s a big part of driving some ROI. One of the major factors that get measured in any of these transformation initiatives is the investment in inventory or inventory turns or lead time, as you mention, as well as an element of driving better service. So the ability to bring all of that business strategy together and then continuously optimize that process has a high value proposition.

Bill Benton (38:13):

But imagine Karin, if you just change your network design, that’s going to have a profound impact on all of your assumptions and inventory optimization, which should also recognize, let’s say new demand, sensing data. Whereas most inventory optimization methods are just looking at history. And presuming it passes prologue and, and demand averages apply well, that doesn’t work very well say for new products or when there’s significant shifts in demand from one type of, of product line to another, say, due to different types of material costs with commodity price changes, et cetera. So, that’s another reason where we think looking at these in isolation, a they have short shelf lives, those models do, and the results do. And then secondly, they’re not near optimum because there’s a lot of oversimplifications driving.

Karin Bursa (39:14):

I think that those are really important points. Let’s recalibrate for just a minute. Let’s talk about time to value in these transformation initiatives. Bill, can you give us a benchmark? What should we expect? I mentioned the McKinsey study published in 2020, so six months after the world was rocked with a COVID shutdown. That study found that digital transformations and specifically in areas of supply chain had really accelerated and happened in a very compressed period of time. We’ve proven it can be done. The focus was there, and transformations can in fact happen quickly. What should we be thinking about as supply team leaders helping to get our companies to that next plateau or that next level of transformation? What horizon should we consider?

Bill Benton (40:21):

That’s part of this phased approach where you want to have quick wins over first quarter, more profound wins over six month period, and then longer term. And, what that is really varies. You know, we have a customer who had 40% of their customer deliveries, what they considered out of route shipments. So they’re having to ship and incur the extra cost of transport by fulfilling orders from something other than the most approximate ship location.

Bill Benton (41:02):

They had a lot more LTL shipments rather than full truck, much more mileage. So there are also sustainability issue to this, right? If businesses are concerned about minimizing their ESG footprint one approach is servicing demand from the nearest location whenever it’s feasible. Their goal was an inventory reduction. Their goal was reduced out of route shipping, which dramatically reduced final landed cost of delivering those orders to those customers. So they were able to understand the impact and make an inform business decision. Today, they are achieving a high fill rate at a very high premium.  We’ve also seen similar inbound with air freight versus ocean freight, or LTL versus full truck. So to the extent that you can plan better, you can reduce the amount of inbound or outbound expediting. We have also seen 20% to 40% inventory reductions where we have helped customers solve the expedite problem with a lot of buffer inventory. There’s no extra credit for having more (inventory) than you need for a hundred percent service level.  If you had held X units of a certain item over the last year, that would’ve been enough to fill a hundred percent of your orders in any given lead time period. If you have two X that extra X adds substantial cost but not additional value.

Bill Benton (42:30):

What GAINS is trying to emphasize is that it’s really more about an inventory balance issue, not an inventory reduction issue.  Generally, we see that you should get at least a five X return on your total supply chain transformation investment. That’s the target. And, and then how do you measure that? Make sure that goals can be monetized. If we increase our perfect order fill rate — meaning shipping the amount requested, on time, from the ideal source, what does that mean? How can we describe that to our CFO in a way that she, or he would understand? That’s another important part of the approach that we like looking at is what’s that what’s the ROI attainment. That’s both a time function and a magnitude function.

Karin Bursa (43:27):

Again, lots of good things to consider, Bill. Right now, every company is grappling with exponentially higher distribution costs given the constraints in every area, whether it’s from a container shortage or  port capacity or tucking availability. Many supply shortages are driven by production capacity, available personnel to work and distribution. A number of factors are coming into play there. Bill, you’ve given us a lot to think about. Any final words of advice on this topic of time to value? I love the metric that you provided of a five X expectation ROI. Any other things our listeners should consider as they look at their own transformation initiatives or plans for the future and calculating time to value?

Bill Benton (44:23):

The old adage “don’t let perfection impede progress.” What can we do now that is meaningful? Find quick wins that you can use as examples to build momentum. If people are coming with proposals where it’s going to take years to get to a meaningful and tangible set of benefits, maybe that’s good. But in parallel to that, you should be also thinking about how can you generate some quick wins along the way. Make sure that the solutions are geared towards reaching those specific goals and the provider has a track record of delivering.

Karin Bursa (45:11):

Great insights. Thank you for joining us today, Bill Benton, with GAINSystems. We appreciate you sharing some of your expertise with us on this important topic of digital transformation or supply chain transformation and time to value. Thanks again for we’re being with us today on TEKTOK.

Bill Benton (45:33):

Pleasure. Thanks for the opportunity to chat.

Karin Bursa (45:36):

Thank you to our audience for joining us today on TEKTOK where our goal is to help you eliminate the noise and focus in on the information and inspiration that you need to transform your businesses and replace risky inventory with valuable insights. We’ll see you next time here on TEKTOK powered by Supply Chain Now.

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Bill Benton As Co-Founder of GAINS since 2012, Bill balances a steadfast commitment to healthy business growth and world-class product innovation that drives value for customers. He is dedicated to offering career fulfillment for the GAINS team and instilling a passion for social-responsibility to make a sustainable global impact (check out GAINS social & environmental initiatives). Bill is focused on GAINS continuous improvement methodology, sustaining renowned customer service, and relentlessly pursuing supply chain innovation for both the roughly 500 organizations that have already become GAINS practitioners and future partners. Recognized as an industry visionary, Bill is known for rolling up his sleeves and applying his expertise to creatively solve complex supply chain challenges utilizing machine learning, artificial intelligence, and advanced optimization. Bill enjoys fostering teams to help customers transform and optimize their supply chain operations to move forward faster. As a lifelong learner, Bill frequently engages with customers, industry leaders and world changers. Connect with Bill on LinkedIn.


Karin Bursa


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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

Katherine Hintz, MBA is a marketing professional who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.

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Kim Reuter


From humble beginnings working the import docks, representing Fortune 500 giants, Ford, Michelin Tire, and Black & Decker; to Amazon technology patent holder and Nordstrom Change Leader, Kimberly Reuter has designed, implemented, and optimized best-in-class, highly scalable global logistics and retail operations all over the world. Kimberly’s ability to set strategic vision supported by bomb-proof processes, built on decades of hands-on experience, has elevated her to legendary status. Sought after by her peers and executives for her intellectual capital and keen insights, Kimberly is a thought leader in the retail logistics industry.

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Vicki White


Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.

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Allison Giddens


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

She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.

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Billy Taylor


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

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

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

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

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Tandreia Bellamy


Tandreia Bellamy retired as the Vice President of Industrial Engineering for UPS Supply Chain Solutions which included the Global Logistics, Global Freight Forwarding and UPS Freight business units. She was responsible for operations strategy and planning, asset management, forecasting, and technology tool development to optimize sustainable efficiency while driving world class service.

Tandreia held similar positions at the business unit level for Global Logistics and Global Freight forwarding. As the leader of the Global Logistics engineering function, she directed all industrial engineering activies related to distribution, service parts logistics (post-sales support), and mail innovations (low cost, light weight shipping partnership with the USPS). Between these roles Tandreia helped to establish the Advanced Technology Group which was formed to research and develop cutting edge solutions focused on reducing reliance on manual labor.

Tandreia began her career in 1986 as a part-time hourly manual package handling employee. She spent the great majority of her career in the small package business unit which is responsible for the pick-up, sort, transport and delivery of packages domestically. She held various positions in Industrial Engineering, Marketing, Inside and On-road operations in Central Florida before transferring to Atlanta for a position in Corporate Product Development and Corporate Industrial Engineering. Tandreia later held IE leadership roles in Nebraska, Minnesota and Chicago. In her final role in small package she was an IE VP responsible for all aspects of IE, technology support and quality for the 25 states on the western half of the country.
Tandreia is currently a Director for the University of Central Florida (UCF) Foundation Board and also serves on their Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Previously Tandreia served on the Executive Advisory Board for Virginia Tech’s IE Department and the Association for Supply Chain Management. She served on the Board of Trustees for ChildServ (a Chicago child and family services non-profit) and also served on the Texas A&M and Tuskegee Engineering Advisory Boards. In 2006 she was named Business Advisor of the Year by INROADS, in 2009 she was recognized as a Technology All-Star at the Women of Color in STEM conference and in 2019 she honored as a UCF Distinguished Aluma by the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems.

Tandreia holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management Systems from UCF. Her greatest accomplishment, however, is being the proud mother of two college students, Ruby (24) and Anthony (22).

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Marty Parker


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

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

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jake Barr


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

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Marcia Williams


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

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Constantine Limberakis


Constantine Limberakis is a thought leader in the area of procurement and supply management. He has over 20 years of international experience, playing strategic roles in a wide spectrum of organizations related to analyst advisory, consulting, product marketing, product development, and market research.Throughout his career, he's been passionate about engaging global business leaders and the broader analyst and technology community with strategic content, speaking engagements, podcasts, research, webinars, and industry articles.Constantine holds a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA in Finance & Marketing / Masters in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.

From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.

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Greg White

Principal & Host

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.

Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.

When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog.  He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community.  Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include CiscoMicrosoft, Citrix and IBM.  Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane UniversityO’Reilly MediaLinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight.  Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems EngineeringCarrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.

He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

Amanda is a production and marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Amanda currently manages, produces, and develops modern digital content for Supply Chain Now and their clients. Amanda has previously served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah, and founded and managed her own successful digital marketing firm, Magnolia Marketing Group. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now production team, you can find Amanda in the kitchen, reading, listening to podcasts, or enjoying time with family.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.

Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.

Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.

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Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

Mary Kate Love is currently the VP of marketing at Supply Chain Now focused on brand strategy and audience + revenue growth. Mary Kate’s career is a testament to her versatility and innovative spirit: she has experience in start-ups, venture capital, and building innovation initiatives from the ground up: she previously helped lead the build-out of the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific and before that, MxD (Manufacturing times Digital): the Department of Defense’s digital manufacturing innovation center. Mary Kate has a passion for taking complicated ideas and turning them into reality: she was one of the first team members at MxD and the first team member at the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific.

Mary Kate dedicates her extra time to education and mentorship: she was one of the founding Board Members for Women Influence Chicago and led an initiative for a city-wide job shadow day for young women across Chicago tech companies and was previously on the Board of Directors at St. Laurence High School in Chicago, Young Irish Fellowship Board and the UN Committee for Women. Mary Kate is the founder of National Supply Chain Day and enjoys co-hosting podcasts at Supply Chain Now. Mary Kate is from the south side of Chicago, a mom of two baby boys, and an avid 16-inch softball player. She holds a BS in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more.  In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys.  She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.

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