Dial P for Procurement
Episode 50

I’ve lived in New England all my life. I’m used to cold weather; I actually like it. But the cooler temperatures serve as an ominous reminder… winter is coming. And it is the most vulnerable members of society, people on fixed incomes, that will be most affected by surging energy prices if we have a cold winter.

- Kelly Barner, Dial P for Procurement

Episode Summary

Energy costs are surging, partially because of a lack of supply and partially about the constraints placed on the movement of existing supplies. The Northeastern United States is in a particularly precarious position because of the supply chain modes used to transport the fuel needed to heat people’s homes.

As with all Dial P topics, energy is complicated – and the sources of fuel that we think of as separate actually quite interconnected.

In this episode of Dial P, host Kelly Barner reviews a few energy-related questions which sound simple enough but get very complicated when you put them together:
• What determines the cost and prices of diesel fuel, home heating oil, natural gas, and electricity?
• How available are these different sources of energy?
• When is product availability an issue and when is the ability to move them from point A to point B the real problem?

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outrp (00:01):

Welcome to Dial P for procurement, A show focused on today’s biggest spin supplier and contract management related business opportunities. Dial P investigates the nuanced and constantly evolving boundary of the procurement supply chain divide with a broadcast of engaged executives, providers, and thought leaders. Give us an hour and we’ll provide you with a new perspective on supply chain value. And now it’s time to dial P for procurement.

Kelly Barner (00:31):

We are currently about one month from the start of winter. According to the National Weather Service, Boston’s high temperature of 76 degrees on November 12th matched the city’s record for the day set in 1906. And since every Zoom meeting in Microsoft team’s call starts with a perfunctory discussion of the weather. I know that most of the US was unseasonably warm a week ago, but now temperatures have dropped. Boston is expected to have highs in the forties all week. Tonight is probably going to be our first hard frost of the year. I’ve lived in New England all my life. I’m used to cold weather and truthfully I even like it, but it does serve as an ominous reminder. Winter is coming. In this case, the trouble comes from the cost and availability of the different fuel sources used to heat people’s homes. And the Northeast US is in a particularly precarious position because of the supply chain modes used to transport fuel.

Kelly Barner (01:40):

Here in this episode of Dial P, I’ll review a few questions, which sound simple enough, but get very complicated when you put them together. What determines the cost and prices of diesel fuel, home heating, oil, natural gas, and electricity? How available are they these different sources of energy? And when is product availability an issue? And when is the ability to move the product from point A to point B, the real problem? But before we go any further, let me introduce myself. I’m Kelly Barner. I’m the co-founder and managing director of Buyers Meeting Point, a partner at Art of Procurement and your host for Dial P here on supply chain. Now, I’m constantly scanning the news for complex topics to discuss things that are interesting but may escape people’s notice. Dial P releases a new podcast episode or interview every Thursday. So be on the lookout for future episodes and don’t forget to check out past episodes as well.

Kelly Barner (02:50):

Before we get back to today’s topic, I have a quick favor to ask. I believe you’re going to find value in the time we’re about to spend together. If you do, please find a way to engage with this content. Give us a review on iTunes, offer up some stars, maybe share this post on LinkedIn or retweet on Twitter. Maybe you just need to send the audio to a colleague. I’m incredibly grateful for everyone’s interest and attention to what we’re building here at Dial P, and I genuinely mean it when I say I wanna hear from you. Now, the stories we cover on Dial P don’t usually have the personal connection that this one does for me. And while home heating costs and fuel supplies are just starting to make national headlines, there were signs this summer that trouble was ahead starting with anticipated price spikes.

Kelly Barner (03:48):

So what determines the cost and price of diesel fuel, home heating, oil, natural gas, and electricity? Let’s start with oil. About 36% of the homes in New England are heated with oil. The Energy Information Administration says that the typical family will spend about 23% more to heat their home this year than it did last year. And anticipation of that over the summer, oil delivery companies started reaching out to customers about the option to prepay and lock in more favorable oil prices. These companies know that people on fixed incomes are going to be the most affected by high prices. Their budgets just don’t have the flexibility to accommodate it without making very real tradeoffs. Now, this usually means that elderly people and low income families are the ones that are impacted. So these companies put together plans and allowed people to spread out their payments over a greater number of months based on their households estimated consumption, rather than paying in the actual month by what was used and what it cost at the time.

Kelly Barner (05:04):

That is great, and I’m glad that everyone is thinking ahead and I hope everyone takes advantage of the option that makes the most sense for them. But I am genuinely worried some of the most vulnerable people in our society are going to be the most harmed by all of this. And that’s in addition to inflated food costs and paying more at the pump, and it doesn’t just impact home heating oil. Natural gas prices are going up to 47% of US homes rely on natural gas for heat. And the energy Information administration anticipates that this year there will be a 28% year over year increase in cost. Since Russia is a major gas supplier on the global stage, this increase may go to help fund their war on Ukraine. And because supplies are closely tied to this, the whole situation has been made worse by the nor stream pipeline’s, ongoing maintenance and reduced output.

Kelly Barner (06:09):

Talk about bringing a global problem right close to home. So we’ve talked about oil and we’ve talked about natural gas. What about electricity? Electricity costs are the most interesting of all, and I’m partial because there’s some procurement in there ever. Source energy is the top electric utility in New England. Now, they don’t produce electricity, they just distribute it, and so therefore, they are somewhat at the mercy of wholesale energy suppliers. On December 6th, just a couple of weeks from now, there will be a four hour live auction during which suppliers can post their rates, and Eversource will have to make decisions about which contracts to sign based on anticipated demand. The result of that four hour auction will set the electric rates, Consumers will pay between February and August of 2023. There are already concerns about a shortage of supply and shortage of supply. Means rates are likely to go up.

Kelly Barner (07:21):

These rate increases become a direct pass through to consumers. So here’s an example. New Hampshire, they are already paying double in the current rate period then they did in the last just six months or so ago. Now, if Eversource can’t meet demand through these contracts, they have proposed switching to a daily buy. And so each day they would purchase the electricity for the next day. Now, certainly this would make rates far more volatile because they would be changing potentially every single day as opposed to every six months. And if you’ve ever negotiated anything, you know that a shortage of time completely destroys your leverage. It also increases the challenge for any consumers trying to live on a budget. Now, I didn’t know there was such a thing as a utility attorney, but utility attorney Jessica Chiarra has said that recent auction results indicate a complete breakdown in the competitive market.

Kelly Barner (08:31):

And I don’t think you have to have spent any time working in procurement to know that that’s bad for everyone. When the competition goes away and the leverage goes away, costs go up, service goes down, and no one is better off. So by now, I probably have you worried about the cost of oil, the cost of natural gas, the cost of electricity, but what if you can’t get the fuel you need even at an outrageously high price? So let’s go back and again, start with oil. The east coast of the US is the one region in the country that is dependent on foreign exports of oil. That means that, again, because of Russia’s war on Ukraine, we are now competing with everyone else in the world that’s scrambling to replace their Russian sources. Most of that oil will come from Canada, but some of it comes from Europe as well.

Kelly Barner (09:35):

Now, the interesting thing, and we’ll we’ll talk about some choices as we go through this. Diesel fuel and home heating oil are basically the same product. The major difference is that diesel fuel includes a road tax. So if we’re talking about home heating oil shortages, you know, that means that diesel shortages are possible as well, and that could prevent food and other necessary supplies from reaching stores and therefore consumers. Now, oil stockpiles are currently low. Overall, New England reserves are currently at one third of the normal levels they would be at this time of year. New Hampshire, their oil stores are at 60% of the historical average, and the supply problem isn’t just related to oil. Natural gas is also low. Now, unlike oil where supplies are the issue, the case with natural gas is the pipeline capacity is a problem. For instance, there is plenty of shale gas in Pennsylvania, but not that many ways to get it to New England.

Kelly Barner (10:46):

And this has been a problem for a long time. The existing pipelines into New England are simply not big enough for the volume that needs to move through them, especially during those peak times in the winter when they are the most important and the most people depend upon them. On peak demand days, which are brought about by those cold snaps that you get in New England, natural gas serves as a critical pressure reliever for the entire system. Now because of those inland pipeline constraints, 35% of the natural gas actually comes to us in liquified form in tankers referred to as lng, liquified natural gas. LNG tankers come to the Boston area from Trinidad and Nigeria among other places. And again, there are complexities there from a supply chain standpoint. Now that’s oil and that’s gas. But again, electricity is incredibly interesting. It’s very different from the other sources of energy.

Kelly Barner (11:54):

The most important reason that it’s so different is that electricity is a secondary energy source. It has to come from another source and be converted. So 61% of the US’ electricity comes from fossil fuels, oil and gas, 20% currently comes from renewables, things like solar, wind, hydro, and then 19% comes from nuclear sources. We’ve already talked about the fact that oil and gas supplies are low, albeit for different reasons. And what this ends up creating is a very complicated set of choices. Half of the electricity in New England comes from natural gas. So if we have a cold winter heating, people’s homes may take precedence over supplies of electricity For other things. There has already been a lot of talk of brownouts. These are forced periods without electricity because the utilities recognize they don’t have the supply to meet demand. This sounds awful, but they actually do it to prevent blackouts, which are worse because everyone’s, everything is turned off.

Kelly Barner (13:17):

Now, I don’t mean to start a fight, but I feel like this is the elephant in the room here. We’re having all of these energy issues, and that’s without pushing to add electric vehicles, adding that additional demand for a secondary energy source. Currently with the system that we have, it is not going to make any of this any simpler, any cheaper, or any more available. There’s just some maturity in the energy space that needs to take place before the whole system is really ready to bear that. There are a few other odd twists in this situation that I think are worth mentioning. We know there’s a national oil reserve, and the Biden administration has released 180 million barrels of oil from that reserve. It currently sits at a 40 year low, and they’ve been predominantly drawing it down to make up for reduced output from OPEC and to try to keep those gas prices low so that people can afford to get to work in the store.

Kelly Barner (14:28):

Now, even if they were to release an awful lot more, those barrels of oil don’t go directly into people’s cars or directly into their home furnace. It has to be refined, and that’s another capacity issue. Refineries are already running flat out, and so even if more were released, there isn’t enough refinery capacity to turn them into something that consumers want to buy. Now, we haven’t talked about coal. Most of the coal fired power plants in the US that would’ve been a source of electricity in the past have been closed for one of two common reasons. The first one is probably, as you would expect, environmental pressures. And the second one is because natural gas has been so cheap and available until now that truthfully coal fired electricity couldn’t compete. Now gas prices are going up, supplies are constrained, and coal isn’t even there as a fallback option.

Kelly Barner (15:32):

So you no longer get that choice of, well, it’s not ideal, but it’s better than a brown out or a blackout, nor in most cases is nuclear power. And interestingly, nuclear has the highest capacity factor, meaning that nuclear power plants can produce maximum power for more than 92% of the time during the year. In fact, scr, France is scrambling to bring nuclear plants back online to help meet Western Europe’s energy demands this winter. Germany in particular is counting on France’s ability to do this. And finally, we have some quirks in the supply chain. This would not be a good Dial P episode on supply chain. Now, if we didn’t talk about some weird stuff in the supply chain, we actually have to go back in time for this. Over a hundred years, the Merchant Marines Active 1920, which is still on the books and still fully active.

Kelly Barner (16:33):

That’s becoming a problem. And the current CEO of Eversource Energy is actually calling on the Biden administration to waive one part of it, The Jones Act, that’s the name that’s been given to section 27 of the Merchant Marines Act. And it states that all goods shipped between US ports must travel in US flagged vessels that are built, operated, and owned by US citizens or permanent US residents. Now here’s the problem. There currently are no l and g tankers that meet this requirement. So New England is forced to get its liquified natural gas from abroad. Even if there were another port in the United States that could put the supply into a tanker and sail that tanker to Boston, there is not a ship in existence that can legally make that trip and pull into the Port of Boston. So my key takeaways from today’s episode are that like it or not, we aren’t yet in a position to rely upon renewable energy for anything near what the US needs, either residential or commercially.

Kelly Barner (17:55):

I think we have to be very careful when we find ourselves thinking of electricity as its own energy source. It’s usually just reformatted oil and gas. So all of those big complex batteries are great, but the stuff that you put in them is not just coming out of the air. Most of it’s coming from fossil fuels. And finally, please join me in hoping and praying for a mild winter. I hate to think of what we may read in the papers if it gets really cold for an extended period of time. Now, that’s my point of view on this. But what do you think? Do we need to do a better job of understanding what drives the costs and prices of the energy we rely upon? If you were the one that had to decide between heating homes and ensuring a steady supply of electricity or heating homes and moving food to supermarkets, which would you choose? And finally, that supply chain consideration. Supply chains are not just trucks and planes and ocean freight, right? Do we need to reconsider pipelines, tanker capacity and regulations that constrain how energy can be moved from production locations to consumers? It’s not simple. If it were, it wouldn’t be worth us covering it. But again, that’s my point of view. And so until next time, I’m Kelly Barner on behalf of Dial P for procurement and the entire team at Supply Chain. Now stay warm everybody, and have a great rest of your day.

Intro/Outrp (19:46):

Thank you for joining us for this episode of Dial P for procurement, and for being an active part of the supply chain Now community. Please check out all of our shows and events@supplychainnow.com. Make sure you follow Dial P four procurement on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to catch all the latest programming details. We’ll see you soon for the next episode of Dial P four, Procurement.

Hosts

Kelly Barner

Host, Dial P for Procurement

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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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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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Vicki White

Controller

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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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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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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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Greg White

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.

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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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Karin Bursa

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.

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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 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.

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Jeff Miller

Host

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.

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Amanda Luton

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.

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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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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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

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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

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.

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Ben Harris

Host

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.

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Page Siplon

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).

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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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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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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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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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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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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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Alex Bramley

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.

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