Supply Chain Now
Episode 964

It's very hard to know what's going on with demand. I think folks are building up inventory just in case and that ties up capital but they also want cash just in case. You still need to be able to approve that AP invoice at the speed of a thousand gazelles if you want any chance of keeping your supplier happy.

- Dan Reeve, Esker

Episode Summary

In 2022, most supply chain leaders are primarily focused on improving working capital as a way to combat inflation.

Inventory positions are increasing as purchases are now cheaper than they will be 6 months from now… at least in theory. This perception and the actions it drives are putting further strain on an already overly taxed supply chain.

In this Supply Chain Now livestream episode, Scott Luton and Greg White were joined by Dan Reeve and Nick Carpenter from Esker and Dr. Morgan Swink from TCU to explore how digital technology can help you improve your company’s working capital – and where on the balance sheet to look for improvements:

• How today’s supply chain challenges are also affecting each company’s suppliers and customers

• The extent to which companies are purposefully managing their cash flow v. allowing external forces to dictate their choices

• What Dr. Swink and his team at TCU learned from recent research into working capital practices and outcomes

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:00:03):

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

Scott Luton (00:00:33):

Hey, good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. Wherever you are. Scott Luton, Greg White with you here on supply chain. Now. Welcome to today’s livestream, Greg, how are we doing?

Greg White (00:00:42):

We’re doing great, Scott, how are we doing you doing how is your half of the we doing

Scott Luton (00:00:48):

Wonderful, just hot, hot, hot, hot, even though, uh, we were outside walking in the garden, picking some more green beans this morning, the humidity was, uh, uh, stifling, as they say it

Greg White (00:00:59):

Builds really fast. I mean, even here it starts off pretty cool, but it builds really fast. So got up this morning with 77 felt like 77. Yes. By two hours later, it was 85. Felt like 93 feels like 93. So, well,

Scott Luton (00:01:18):

Let me throw some numbers at ya. Uh, this summer we’re up to seven green beans grown by next summer. I’ll have a have enough for a full pot. I’m hoping I <laugh>. We’ll see.

Greg White (00:01:29):

So, so maybe your garden’s a little shaded. I don’t know. What is

Scott Luton (00:01:32):

It? Uh, I think it’s all about the gardener, but, uh, anyway, uh,

Greg White (00:01:37):

I know you’re doing your best. Hey, look, these are supply chain problems, Scott.

Scott Luton (00:01:41):

Uh, they, there

Greg White (00:01:42):

Can we have to confess these by the way. I don’t know if you’ve heard, there’s gonna be a huge shortage of beef because of the grain shortages and the price of feed and all of that sort of thing. So we should expect to be seeing that for the next year or two.

Scott Luton (00:01:57):

Okay.

Greg White (00:01:58):

So as if steak wasn’t expensive enough now might be the time to go vegetarian <laugh> or at least chicken.

Scott Luton (00:02:05):

Well, uh, that’s good to know. It is good. I appreciate you dropping that on our global audience here today, but Hey, speaking of information, you can use today, we’re gonna be sharing Greg interesting research focused on what working capital strategies that business leaders are using in this highly disrupted world of global supply chain. All that goes about being said, right? Uh, disruption here, disruption there around every corner. Greg, are you ready for today’s conversation?

Greg White (00:02:32):

Uh, I, I believe that I am, uh, there’s a lot of academic stuff here, but fortunately Dr. Swank has distilled it down for folks like me. <laugh> so yeah. Yeah. I feel ready. I feel ready. <laugh> I didn’t do my homework. Like just like when I was in college, but no, yeah, I’m ready.

Scott Luton (00:02:49):

Well, stay tuned. Dr. Morgan Swink is just one of our great guests here. We’re gonna be bringing on in just a minute. Uh, we’re also joined with our wonderful friends and repeat guests, uh, from Esker. So stay tuned. Hey folks, we got a great panel, but we also wanna hear from you too. So please share your take throughout the next hour or so via the comments, the sky boxes, the cheap seats, all terms of endearment, and we’re gonna share and work as many of those comments into the conversation as we can. So with that said, Greg, let’s say hello to a few folks. Yes, Scott, of course our production team, our world class production team, Katherine, Amanda Clay, Chantel, you name it are here with us. Really appreciate all they do to help make production happen. Glomar is back with us. She was on the webinar yesterday. Uh, good morning from a very warm California, uh, via LinkedIn. Glomar great to have you Mark Preston. We gotta get Mark Preston on a future show, 104 degrees. Greg

Greg White (00:03:40):

May know, so wow

Scott Luton (00:03:42):

Man marks find some shade and stay there, mark, but hope you and your family

Greg White (00:03:47):

Water. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:03:48):

<laugh> Matthew tuned in from LinkedIn. Hey, let us know where you’re tuned in from. We’d love to make, you know, kind of connect the dots on where our listeners are tuned in from Claire, from Ann Arbor, Michigan via LinkedIn ever been to Ann Arbor. Uh, Greg,

Greg White (00:04:02):

Are you kidding? Of course. Yeah. The home of university of Michigan go blue.

Scott Luton (00:04:07):

That is right. That is right. Uh,

Greg White (00:04:09):

I’ve spent many days that I don’t remember in the parking lot outside of the stadium. <laugh>

Scott Luton (00:04:15):

Well, Claire, great to have you as well. Maybe we’ll get to some of Greg’s stories there on a future episode. Hey Dave, great to see you here via LinkedIn, uh, from Texas and, uh, Dave, I hope we can share this news with you, but you’ve got, uh, you’ve got some big keynote coming up between now and end of the year. So safe. Travel’s there and it’s great to meet you earlier today.

Greg White (00:04:33):

Yes. We’ll be selling tickets after the show. <laugh>

Scott Luton (00:04:35):

That’s right. Massive Sergeant Jeremy during I think I’ve got that right. Greetings from, oh

Greg White (00:04:41):

My gosh. He’s even in Kansas,

Scott Luton (00:04:43):

Greg, we gotta connect the dots here, huh?

Greg White (00:04:45):

Heck yeah. Uh, so let’s see if he’s out. Probably not injunction city, but wonder if he ever served injunction city

Scott Luton (00:04:54):

We’ll find out. Uh, and to all of her listeners, Jeremy and Gloria, Mar both are veterans that are, you know, part of their transition journeys, getting into the private sector, looking for roles in global supply chain. Probably you can learn more, make sure you connect with them. And, and if you, if you, hopefully one of the wonderful organizations that put an emphasis on hiring veterans reach out and make that connection. Okay. So Greg, with no further ado, I want to, we got so much to get into today. Looking forward to learning a ton here. I wanna introduce our panel and then we’re gonna bring them into the stream. You ready to

Greg White (00:05:25):

Go? Yeah, let’s do this. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:05:28):

So as Greg already let the cat outta the bag. We do have Dr. Morgan SW uh, rejoining us here today. A repeat guest. He he’s executive director in case

Greg White (00:05:35):

You didn’t read our promotional

Scott Luton (00:05:37):

Materials. Uh that’s right. That’s right. I guess the cat’s already outta the bag, but Dr. SW is the executive director for the center for supply chain innovation at Texas Christian university. He’s joined here today with another repeat guest, Dan Reeve, the us director of sales and business development with ESER and his colleague, Nick carpenter, uh, business development manager with ESER let’s let’s bring ’em on in. Hey Morgan. Good morning. How you doing?

Morgan Swink (00:06:02):

Good morning. Doing great. Good to see

Scott Luton (00:06:04):

You. Great. Great to see you as well. And uh, Dan, how you doing?

Dan Reeve (00:06:07):

All good? Yeah. All good. Thanks.

Scott Luton (00:06:09):

Good to see you again. And Nick in Wisconsin. How you doing Nick?

Nick Carpenter (00:06:13):

Doing well. Good to be here from Madison, Wisconsin. Thanks for having me.

Scott Luton (00:06:17):

That is right. Go all Wisconsin sports teams. We’ll save that for another day. Yeah. So Greg I

Greg White (00:06:22):

On the board, everybody.

Scott Luton (00:06:23):

Yeah. Greg, do you happen to know as we, we wanna start with kind of a fun warmup question, Greg, do you happen to know whose birthday it is today?

Greg White (00:06:31):

I do. Am I supposed to say at this point, or

Scott Luton (00:06:33):

Please go right ahead.

Greg White (00:06:35):

Hulk Hogan,

Scott Luton (00:06:37):

The one and only, yeah,

Greg White (00:06:38):

Of course. Hulk.

Scott Luton (00:06:40):

If we’re talking about wrestling champions, you got Rick flair who probably, you know, most people’s lists would be number one. And then you got Hulk Hogan. I’ll let y’all fight over who was better, but nevertheless, you can’t argue with how larger of a life character that, uh, the holster was. So where I wanna start with, go around the horn here is I wanna, you, your favorite larger than life character, whether it was as, uh, as a kid or someone you love these days. So Morgan, you’re gonna be the lead off hitter today. Your thoughts,

Morgan Swink (00:07:10):

All right, well, I’m gonna stay in the sports realm. And, uh, as a kid, of course, growing up here in the Dallas Fort worth, Metro Orth metroplex, I was a huge Cowboys fans back when the Cowboys still had some integrity, as well as talent, uh, leave that for another conversation. But, uh,

Greg White (00:07:26):

Jerry Jones,

Morgan Swink (00:07:27):

Roger loved him. You know, I mean, he, he was awesome on the field, off the field, wonderful person, you know, great community. He still is, uh, today, but, uh, I love to watch him, uh, watch him play and he’s got a great backstory, you know, came outta the Naval academy and just a really great guy.

Scott Luton (00:07:46):

I’m with you. I am with you.

Greg White (00:07:47):

Huge.

Scott Luton (00:07:47):

Yeah. Roger Sach speaking, a huge, Jeremy says Andre, the giant <laugh>.

Greg White (00:07:52):

There you go. All the, that is actually physically larger than life, not metaphorically.

Scott Luton (00:07:57):

Right? Right. Okay. Nick, you’re who’s larger than life that you’ve always been tracking.

Nick Carpenter (00:08:04):

I was thinking about it. I’m I’m gonna stick in the wrestling arena if you will. Um, I think I love watching the UFC and I think there’s plenty of good show business guys in there that, that we could point to. Okay. I I’ll just say the UFC in general.

Scott Luton (00:08:18):

All right. UFC, are you gonna be a UFC participant? Nick? You look kinda built there. I don’t think so. No, not this year. <laugh> all right. So Dan Reeve, Dan, great to see you back. Uh, I know you’re traveling once again, move and shaker. All right. So Dan, who is your larger than life? Character?

Dan Reeve (00:08:36):

Uh, probably go for, okay, I’ll go captain Dale die. So if you’ve seen platoon, if you’ve seen saving private Ryan, if you’ve seen many, many of his movies, he’s a former vet. Uh, he’s a former Marine, he got two purple hearts. Who’s wooded, the two tours of Vietnam and he trains actors to, to play the role of soldiers and Marines and airmen, et cetera, et cetera. So, uh, I bumped into him in a bar. We had a three hour conversation. He punched me in the leg. When I told him I wasn’t gonna have children. I now have two beautiful children because, uh, we, we sat down. That’s

Greg White (00:09:09):

How it happens.

Dan Reeve (00:09:09):

Basically. We sat down for three hours talking about life and our, our joint military experience and what we like to do in life. And he told me that life’s what you give, not what you get. And I was making a mistake and, um, and he he’s been a, he he’s and he stayed in touch. So what, what a great, what a great guy. And he gave me the kick I needed when I needed it.

Scott Luton (00:09:28):

Love that. Dan, appreciate you sharing that, Greg, I’m coming to you next, but really quick. Uh, welcome into one, uh, greetings from Lima, Peru via LinkedIn. Great to see you, Juan, looking forward to your perspective, our dear friend, Tony Sheroda with reverse logistics associations in the house. I bet he’s on the road as well. And clay who goes by diesel because the motor’s always running, uh, is with us. Well, clay. Great. See ya. Okay, Greg, you’re a clean up hitter today. One larger than life character. You’re a big fan of

Greg White (00:09:55):

I, uh, this is gonna sound weird and it’s also not gonna be very popular with Juan Lu or my family back home in Argentina, Henry Kissinger, who was when I was just a little kid, was a hu. He was the secretary of state of the us and, and has done a lot of things since the only living member of the cabinet from the Richard Nixon days and Gerald Ford days. So, but he was just huge. He was everywhere all at once. He was in China, he negotiated the end of Vietnam. He did the Paris peace accord, you know, the Paris, peace accord for Vietnam and a number of other things. Some of which again, didn’t age well, but still was, uh, you know, always in the limelight. I was like a six year old kid when he became secretary of state and still I knew who he was.

Scott Luton (00:10:44):

Wow, man, you start with whole Hogan. You never know we’re gonna end up with, right. So Greg Morgan, Nick and Dan, thank you for sharing and uh, happy birthday to, uh, the ster. Okay. So where I want to go here today, we’ve got a ton of stuff to get through. Uh, and Morgan, I’m gonna start with you. I wanna dive into the central topic today, you know, the interesting survey data that we’ve worked together to, to gather. And then of course, uh, uh, team here is analyze that over the last couple of months. So, so where are we starting? Uh, here today?

Morgan Swink (00:11:17):

Well, we, uh, at TCU, uh, myself and a few colleagues have been really interested in kind of what’s going on in the working capital world, how companies are strategically applying, working capital to address a lot of the supply chain challenges that, uh, obviously we’ve seen through the last couple of years, but also how to, how that affects partners, uh, customers and suppliers. And so we were just thrilled to get the chance to work with Esther on this project to try to dig a little deeper into what’s been going on in the last couple of years and, and try to understand, you know, where folks are coming from, how much of the change is actually intentional, how much of it is just super reactive, right? To what’s going on. And, and for those that are, do have intentional strategies, what are some of the priorities that they have? So that’s kind of where we’re trying to get to with the survey, just to give a little level setting here, background, a couple of really Greg would probably think these are very academic, uh, and by the way, Greg, there is a quiz at the end here, so,

Greg White (00:12:12):

Oh, great.

Morgan Swink (00:12:14):

But here’s what we’ve got here. That’s

Greg White (00:12:15):

  1. I’ll figure out a way out of it

Morgan Swink (00:12:17):

Very quickly is, uh, so we’re looking at a bunch of industries. These are all manufacturing industries and what I’ve plotted here is the inventory level relative to the same period in 2019. So prior to COVID, so if you’re looking at the first set of lines there of 2020 Q1, that would be the, the percentage difference in days of inventory. So we’re scaling everything by sales, right, relative to the same quarter in 2019. And as you can see, you know, a lot of, uh, industries saw huge upticks in inventory in Q1 Q two of 2020, those top lines, there are leather goods, petroleum and coal furniture, cars, apparel, you know, all the kinds of things that you might expect demand just kind of dropped, uh, right rapidly. And so inventory spiked up, interestingly, on the bottom side, that bottom blue line kind blue Aqua line, the one that goes into negative territory in, uh, Q3 is, uh, anybody wanna guess

Scott Luton (00:13:20):

Any guesses,

Morgan Swink (00:13:21):

High demand, high demand? What

Scott Luton (00:13:23):

Any guesses Greg, Nick, or Dan

Nick Carpenter (00:13:25):

Gotta be a vice of some sort, right?

Morgan Swink (00:13:27):

<laugh> well, it’s actually miscellaneous manufacturing, which is games, toys, uh, sporting goods. If any of you tried to order golf clubs in that time period, like I did, you know, you couldn’t get ’em <laugh> so we had, yeah. Electronics is also down there. So all the kind of things you’ve heard about that everybody started to soak up, you know, during the, the pandemic, they all solve big drops in, in inventory. And I’ll just make one more quick comment and then we’ll move on to cash. Cause I know we gotta get moving here, but that line, that blue line’s a perfect illustration of the, of the bull whip effect, what I would call because they went negative in inventory, lots of demand. And if you plot ’em all out to the end of the year, they’re actually at about 20% above 2019 level in inventory. So they all ordered stuff and then demand kinda leveled out.

Morgan Swink (00:14:18):

And so now they’re sitting on a lot of inventory and those, the other ones like, you know, cars, medical instruments, furniture, they’re all in the plus category. A lot of that’s sitting around right now waiting to be sold. So if that’s what inventory looks like, cash is an even crazier picture. Uh, and I had to cut the top line cuz some of these are so crazy, but, uh, and again, a lot of this was just reactive, uh, to what’s happened some of the big folks who are, who went up into, you know, twice as much cash as they had in 2019 were apparel textiles, building materials, uh, saw a lot of growth in cash. And at the end of the year, the average company that big black line is the median, not the average, the median median manufacturing firm now is sitting on about 30% more cash than they were at the same time in 2019.

Morgan Swink (00:15:06):

So the bottom line is everybody’s been through a lot of volatility and we’re all risk averse and there’s tons of, of cash. And in some cases, lots of inventory that people are still sitting on because they just don’t know what what’s gonna happen next. That’s my interpretation of that. Yep. So given all that volatility, we decided to, uh, as we said, get into a survey to kind of drill down into some of these questions about how people are, are managing working capital. Uh, and the survey really quickly is we got about 140, uh, uh, respondents from all sizes of industries, a good mix there and also, uh, sorry, all sizes of companies and a pretty good mixture across industry. We’ve got about 14 industries represented in the survey. So the first question we asked was, you know, given all that’s going on, what still remains kind of your, your number, one thing that keeps you awake at night.

Morgan Swink (00:15:57):

Uh, and we ask them to, to rank these different possible challenges or concerns top to bottom. So what you see here is the percentage of people who said, you know, overall inflation is the number one thing we’re worried about right now about 25% of people said that. And about 60% of people put that in the top three. So the blue line is the top, you know, made it into the top three. So you can just see the difference. Uh, inflation constraints. Disruptions is still really important in a lot of people’s minds down at the very bottom is, uh, is taxes and regulatory constraints. So that’s, that’s kind of how that shook out.

Scott Luton (00:16:33):

Yep. So let’s pause there and, and we’ll bring the visuals back, but, uh, uh, Dan, I wanna start with you, you know, based on what the first part of the survey data and, and some of the other, uh, data that Morgan shared, what comes to mind for you, Dan

Dan Reeve (00:16:46):

Totally makes sense. Uh, in the last three weeks I’ve met leaders within, um, you know, C level leaders, tool manufacturers, food production companies, printing global printing companies. And they’ve all said pretty much within 16 to 18 months, they said, we think we’re gonna have continued supply chain disruptions and therefore cash is king. And we need to make sure that we were prepared for the adjust in case. So the, the, the points that Morgan mentioned soon, but, uh, bang on, especially folks preparing for what comes next.

Scott Luton (00:17:17):

Right. Okay. What comes next? Are we all sitting on the edge of our chair in, in some ways, uh, kidding. And I’m kidding in, in some, to some degree, Nick, what comes to mind for you?

Nick Carpenter (00:17:28):

Yeah, I think Dan’s Dan’s right. I mean, we, we’re seeing this from the angle of companies paying attention to their procure, to pay cycles, the cash, going out the door, uh, to help fuel the business. And then, you know, they’re order to cash cycles, the cash coming into the business and how they’re engaging with customers. And I think, you know, we’re hearing, you know, the value of a dollar today is gonna be worth less in the future. So it’s important for us to pay attention to our AR processes. I think we’re hearing, you know, folks focusing on their order management because they don’t know if demand’s gonna go off a cliff or drastically increase and they’re gonna be stocking out. So once you throw some supply chain disruptions in there too, I think that’s what we’re seeing a focus on those two main processes.

Dan Reeve (00:18:10):

Yep. If we, if we go back to the procurer pay piece, I think what we’re seeing is folks, you know, we said they want to have more cash available sometimes it’s because the suppliers out there now are expect to be paid up front in cash, or increasingly companies need to bring on more suppliers, have more diversity because it’s harder to get more materials or get goods produced and finished. Well, the problem is if you don’t pay those suppliers quickly on time, cause you don’t have cash flow available to do so you might be at the back of the queue. That’s right. And if you’re at the back of the queue, your customer suffers. So we are seeing increasingly companies have to bring on more suppliers and you’ve gotta do your due diligence and be careful with that. They need to do it quickly, but they can’t bring on bad actors who might expose risk to their brand.

Dan Reeve (00:18:50):

And there’s definitely that, that growth where folks are saying, okay, during the last, the great recession, there’s this trend of, okay, we wanna see companies wall street wanted to see companies who, uh, extend terms yep. Sitting on cash. Well, I think that’s continuing to some extent and at the same time, well, how do you turn into your supplier and say, I’ll go, good news. We’re gonna go from 30 days to 90. Well, you know, the reality is this is where I think companies are happen to engage in things like supply chain finance or, or early payment discounts say, if you do come forward and, and if we do extend you your terms, there’s an alternative we could pay you quicker even three, four times quicker than we do today, you know, in, in return for a small discount. So, yep. I think companies are starting to sort of, you know, the, the supply chain and then the treasury are starting to look into these things

Scott Luton (00:19:38):

Well said, Dan, okay, Greg, now that you we’ve heard from Morgan, the research data and some of his observations and what Nick and Dan are seen out industry, what comes to mind for you, Greg?

Greg White (00:19:47):

I think that if immediate thing that comes to mind is that a lot of what we’ve thought for a long time is really confirmed by this study. And that is, we don’t know where inflation is going again. It went up by eight and a half percent over last year, last month, not zero as has been reported. It went up by eight and a half percent, including eggs, which just to get, this is the one item that I’m tracking personally, which are up 38% over last year. So, um, and I think we, Scott, because we, and probably many of us in this is this panel knew that inflation was going to continue to increase because of the number one concern in this study, which is supply chain disruptions. Right. And we don’t know the cost of those things because transportation was disrupted. Supply was disrupted. Demand has been disrupted as you know, as Morgan, as you said, um, we can’t predict the consumer right now.

Greg White (00:20:46):

And, um, that has left many companies high and dry target Walmart. And Kohl’s notably with patio furniture, which by the way, I’m taking full advantage of <laugh> patio furniture is a bargain right now. Yeah. So I, and I don’t know if that counts as furniture by the way Dr. Swank, or if that falls into the miscellaneous bucket, nonetheless, it’s a huge amount of overstock. But anyway, I think that the fact that supply chain disruptions remain the biggest concern and also I believe, and I think many others do believe the biggest impact on inflation that what Dan and Nick are talking about in terms of finance is going to become more and more important. The pressure to be profitable is reflected in what’s going on in the stock market. And for companies to do that in, in, I dare not say recessionary time, ah, hell recessionary times you have to hoard cash, right? You have to hoard cash. And that’s what companies are gonna gonna try to do because you have to be agile in times when all of this unpredictability exists, but also of course, as demand fades.

Scott Luton (00:21:58):

Well, all right. Lot of good stuff there appreciate everyone weighing in we’re we’ve got two more segments of survey get to as well as some resources out the end. Uh, really quick talking about miscellaneous. Uh, Jeremy says, I didn’t know, all my interests were classified as miscellaneous. My wife’s gonna be thrilled. I love that Jeremy and Mike says, I’m gonna see you, Mike, we’re using factoring companies more than ever over the past 12 to 18 months. That is, uh, great to hear, uh, Anar. Great to see ya. And finally, Juan says in Peru, one of our constraints is political uncertainty.

Greg White (00:22:28):

Yeah, that’s true. Again, I mean, after several years of this of stability there, sad it

Scott Luton (00:22:35):

Is state of affairs. It is, uh, wishing you all you and your family all the best, uh, one. Okay. So Morgan, let’s get back to, uh, kind of the working capital aspect of some of these survey results. Please take it away.

Morgan Swink (00:22:47):

Yeah, sure. So just to comment on the cash real quick, before we move in and we’ll get into this a little bit, but our good question is, well, how are they raising cash? Are they cutting expenses? Are they slow paying suppliers? Which we talked about a little bit is a lot of pros and cons to that. Uh, many cons are they increasing short term debt? You know, we’ll try to talk about that a little bit. This question is just saying point blank. We’ve seen a lot of volatility as it was displayed earlier in working capital levels. You know, how’s this happening? Is this something that’s intentional? Is this something you’re managing directly? Or is it something that’s just kind of happening because of market forces? And you can see in the results here, it’s a, a mix here, but most of it’s unplanned about 25 to 30% of folks can say, yeah, we’ve been, we’ve been intentional about managing cash and, and receivables inventory and, and tables.

Morgan Swink (00:23:34):

But a lot of people are just saying, now this is just stuff that’s happening. It’s just happening to us. So there’s an opportunity there. It looks like, uh, to try to improve. All right. So in terms of those who, who are, you know, know, trying to manage their working capital levels, what were their motivations? What were your key motivations? And we asked them to, to select all of that applied, right? So about 33% indicated that it’s buffering its demand uncertainty and then a comparable number supply insert. So again, to the message that we’ve talked about already is that uncertainty on both sides of, of the house, that’s driving things, interestingly, a good number, almost the same number 33% said to support suppliers. But as I think Greg mentioned, and we’ve seen in some other studies here at TCU, there’s been a pretty strong 20 year trend toward lengthening payables from 30 to 60. And Dan said that’s 60, 90 days. And that’s continuing even through the co even through COVID that has continued. Hopefully there’s some, some spots where that’s not happening so much. And I think the factoring, uh, that was mentioned earlier is, is coming to play to try to help that. But so the rest of them here, uh, are, are just some of the top motivation, which you could see uncertainty is really the, the key thing that’s driving everything.

Scott Luton (00:24:46):

That’s right. Okay. We’ll bring the visuals back in just a minute, couple quick, que uh, Michael Williams. Great to have you here today. First time tuning in via LinkedIn, let us know where you’re viewing from. We’ll love to make connect the dots there. Christoff is, is, uh, shouting Greg’s theme and everyone else is maybe Cass king every time. And then finally, Tony Sheda how disruptive is a sec $761 billion floating in the USA returns to working capital for retailers. Are they planning for 25% returns and refunds? Good questions there, Tony. Okay. So Dan, I’ll come to you next talking about these, some of the working capital findings from the survey that Mor Morgan has walked us through your thoughts, Dan.

Dan Reeve (00:25:26):

Well, I think we talked about the payable side. The receivable side is, is, is a big focus too. I think there’s this big trend in trying to remove friction for the customer one to retain the customer. And, and you need, need that too, if you’re gonna grow your revenues. But also I think removing the friction, allowing the customer to pay online, allowing the customer to view their status. It, it, it all, all part of accelerating that cash collection cycle. And I think where you can give the customer more credit folks are looking for automatic and, and insights. These guys deserve more credit, let them have it. These guys are risky. Now you didn’t realize that, but something changed in their, in their part of the industry. Okay. You might need to tighten that up. But what, what I’m hearing from receivables and finance leaders is we want to, uh, accelerate the process of collecting our revenue, be it through automatic reminders, make it easy for folks to pay through autopay, et cetera.

Dan Reeve (00:26:21):

And the other point, I think your, the gentleman on LinkedIn hinted at this, you know, reverse, uh, logistics, fixing issues. So if somebody short pays you, if you are a manufacturer and somebody short pays you, well, you might not discover that until the, the, you know, that that cash comes in and you quickly need to sort of find out, okay, is it reasonable? Can we investigate it? Do we have to go to a portal and find out the, the information? Have we got the bill of lading that, that in, in the recent times, I think the bill of lading has become this golden document that allows you to see what really happened. Right. Did we, did we deliver, did we damage the goods? Is there a problem of on our end, is there a problem on their end? So I think there’s this, this drive to be able to, uh, get all this information and quickly challenge the deduction.

Dan Reeve (00:27:08):

If it’s not fair and reasonable or okay. It is fair and reasonable, we agree to it and we need to improve our processes. So we, we’re not leaking money. So I think there’s some big focus on, on cash collection. And you’re seeing for the first time, in my opinion, the recent years, both payables and receivables are interested in technology and, and innovation. They’re talking to one another, you know, once upon a time they’re two, two different departments in the same building, you know, and what do you do? Oh, nice to meet you. But now, now they’re talking and they’re collaborating.

Scott Luton (00:27:38):

We’re bringing people together. I love that, Dan. All right. So Nick way in here.

Nick Carpenter (00:27:42):

Yeah. Dan hit on it. I’m, I’m gonna share just a real world story, uh, fortune 100 food manufacturer. And they came to us asking for some of the things that, that Dan had just mentioned. And of course our answer is, is why, right? What are you guys looking to do? And optimize working capital shrink our open AR because some of that uncertainty that folks had reported on that Morgan shared on is kind of linking into some of their shareholders. And they’re seeing their large open AR balance as potentially a risk. You know, are you doing business with customers that are a little bit risky? If so, that, that may impact our, our feelings on, on if we invest in you and for them, there was a benefit. And also bringing in that cash because they’re in a highly commoditized space for them, it was a way to grow through acquisitions, get into new product lines and kind of differentiate themselves in the market. So a lot going on there. But that’s the story that, that kind of came to mind from, from my side,

Scott Luton (00:28:37):

Risky business, not just a wonderful movie from the 1980s, right? Greg, your thoughts,

Greg White (00:28:43):

Not just also a potential philosophy on, uh, business. Mm. Right. Sometimes you just gotta say anyway, I, I think one of the great tools for, for affecting working cap capital is not really available right now because of all of this disruption and mystery in the supply chain, because you can’t cut inventories yet. And except for the obvious mistakes like patio furniture, you can’t cut inventory yet because nobody knows where demand is going. It’s a fatal flaw of how we manage supply chain generally, but it’s not something we’re gonna fix overnight. Being able to forecast the consumer instead of post cast the products where, so, so that takes an very important tool out of the toolkit of so many companies, distributors in particular, but retailers and, and even manufacturers because in distribution, 100% of distribution companies, their largest asset is their inventory. And that’s largely true. Uh, if not the largest then real estate is for, for retailers. And then manufacturers have been also hoarding their own products in stock, uh, because of this demand volatility. So with that being the case and with demand shifting such an incredible risk, you really have to look in another place than you would have looked in the past prior to 2020.

Scott Luton (00:30:07):

Yep. Well said there, Greg. All right. I’m coming back to you in just a second Morgan, as we continue into the third segment, but, uh, Michael Williams, Memphis, Tennessee home of, uh, Charlie Virgos, rondevu barbecue, uh, famous, uh, joint there. So Michael, thanks for being here, Emmanuel tuned in from Nigeria via LinkedIn. Great to see you here today. Uh, hope you can weigh in. And I believe this is, uh, Cali, the past couple years have taught me that a lot of components involved in producing a certain product can be substituted with a component from a different industry. Some understand that some still don’t excellent comment there. Okay. So <laugh> sharing all kinds of supply chain learnings. All right. So Dr. Swink, let’s get back to the survey in particular, the survey that kind of focused on, uh, what improvements that business leaders and organizations are doing.

Morgan Swink (00:30:56):

Yeah. So first we just ask a general question. So if you look at, uh, three processes procure to pay order cash and the order management kind of front end order management process, how much improvement have you actually made? And, uh, this is kinda your typical bell curve or normal distribution. Greg, that will be on the quiz. You know, about half the folks said, one of

Greg White (00:31:18):

The few things that I know

Morgan Swink (00:31:21):

About 30% of the people say we’ve made some real progress, a good 30, 45% say, eh, moderate. And then there’s the, the 30% that say, no, we haven’t really done very much. So interestingly, there’s not much difference across the processes. I, I would’ve expected maybe, you know, a lot more you improvement and procure to pay, but that’s kind of more where I live my life. So then that’s where I expected it to, to see it. But yeah, pretty similar, uh, levels of progress in each. I mean, my big takeaway here is that, uh, there’s a good 35, 40% of people out there who aren’t, aren’t really doing much. So there’s a lot of opportunity,

Scott Luton (00:31:54):

A lot of great times, same old say, all right, Morgan. Yeah.

Morgan Swink (00:31:57):

So what tactics have you used to improve working capital, those of you who, who are making some difference? And there’s a pretty interesting pattern here. I won’t go through all of these bullet points, but the top two are human resources training or are dedicated personnel. So they’re, they’re very internal, uh, human resource focused. And in many ways I, I would say, I don’t know if it’s easy, but it’s, it’s internal it’s you have total control over that, it’s it doesn’t require any external partnerships. So it makes sense that people would kind of attack that first, I guess the next grouping there is systems, right? Inventory system, order management, procure to pay invoice. What’s surprising to me, there is the, the small number, the small percentage that are actually currently using these kinds of systems. I, I thought these were fairly well deployed everywhere, but, but we do have a good number of small companies, you know, 500 and less employees in the sample.

Morgan Swink (00:32:51):

And I’m guessing those are the ones who haven’t made as much progress. Then you got, uh, let, just say one more thing about the, the, that slide, that the bottom four, there are what I think a lot of us are hearing about and talking about a lot, and they’re all the analytics and digital, you know, types of processes cloud, you see cloud based processes, the lowest one there only about 40% of people are currently using those. So again, big opportunity here. Interesting to at least that, that we haven’t seen more progress. A lot of people say, yeah, we’re planning to use that, but, uh, they are the lowest in terms of current adoption.

Scott Luton (00:33:28):

Yep. That is, uh, a lot surprising, um, yeah. Uh, data there. Okay. This next one. Yeah.

Morgan Swink (00:33:33):

So this one’s not so surprising. Uh, the number one motivation or outcomes they’re seeking, uh, in improvement, uh, efforts is cost, cost, and efficiency, and then accuracy and error reduction, number one and two. So those are easy to measure kinds of outcomes and, and driving a lot of the behavior there. Interestingly, I, I, I was surprised that this one staff retention or jobs satisfaction, you know, rose to the kind of number three position here. So that’s good to see that people are thinking about that. The rest of these, you can, you can read through them, uh, just improvements in multiple dimensions. Uh, I was encouraged to see that, uh, you know, a lot of people check many different outcomes here and, uh, even aiding with talent recruitment. I’m I, I didn’t, you know, that was one of the Esher folks suggestions to put that in the survey, it actually gets some attention, looks like at least almost 30% of people say, yep. That’s one of the things we’re trying to do.

Scott Luton (00:34:31):

Interesting. Interesting. Okay. All right. We’re getting through a lot of data, a lot of, uh, aspects of, you know, leadership, business leadership. Dan’ll come back to you, uh, based on kind of the, the improvements segment of the survey and the day that Morgan just walked us through your thoughts.

Dan Reeve (00:34:46):

Yeah. Thank you. Um, that slide was really good. Uh, side benefit. One of the things I’ve heard from supply chain leaders, customer service leaders, I’ll give you layer they’re part of labs. As an example, years ago, they said, Hey, you know that the unexpected benefit with this project, two things. One is now we have time to train our people and they appreciate that. And we can talk about career development. And two we’ve shown the organization as a whole that we can do digital transformation. So suddenly more people are coming forward with ideas and to, to innovate. So I think I’m not surprised about where, um, staff retention came up, because what we’re seeing is folks are realizing a lot of senior leaders are realizing there’s an opportunity to improve processes and, and deploy technology and, and be more efficient. And if you don’t, your folks are not gonna stay.

Dan Reeve (00:35:31):

It’s hard to find people right now where, you know, there’s big labor shortages. It’s very hard to retain people training folks in, in your manufacturing organization. If you’ve got a couple of ERPs or systems of record that you use, you just can’t bring people on and have them stay for three months, you know, so it’s hard to get people. And if you bring them in to do the old work it’s manual, it’s boring and it’s frustrating. You don’t empower them to go and enjoy the work and actually serve the supplier, serve the customer, make a difference through things like supply chain finance or, or taking care of the, the supplier, the customer folks leave. So retaining folks and keeping folks and, and, and making them enjoy their work, not making them, but putting the conditions in. So they enjoy their work. You know, um, it’s a bit like the old adage morale will improve up or the beatings will continue. That was, that was on the wall when I went through basic training and like, right, thanks for that. <laugh> but, you know, basically putting folks are really paying attention to technology, not just for efficiency, but also for retention. And they realize that it has a wider, a wider impact.

Scott Luton (00:36:31):

Yep. Invest in your people, give em tools, you know, help them make their jobs easier and help them find new aspects of more rewarding work, part of their role. So a lot of good stuff there, Dan, Nick,

Nick Carpenter (00:36:43):

Yeah. Was at a customer experience conference, uh, earlier this year. And they talked about if we’re trying to get our employees to improve the customer experience and B that, that shining light with our customers, we’ve gotta remove the administrative burden from their day to day. They can’t play air traffic controller with seven different monitors, looking at the E R P system, the CRM system, their email, maybe, uh, transportation management system. And I think one of the things that jumped out to me from Morgan’s research was how we said, you know, a lot of companies are early in this journey are not maybe using some of this technology. And I think what we see with some large companies that have grown through acquisitions is they’ve got multiple sources of truth working with one packaging company right now. I think they got 47 different E R P systems. They’re trying to centralize on dynamics 365, but that’s a multi-year journey. Right. So how many different pains of glass are they, are they looking through to try and make decisions? So I think that’s one challenge, certainly an area where cloud-based systems can help, but one, one barrier to making change.

Scott Luton (00:37:45):

Yeah. Well said, Nick. All right. So Greg, uh, bet. You’re chopping at the bit pitching. Yeah. Chopping, but thank you, Greg chopping at the bit. What’s your, what’s your thoughts here?

Greg White (00:37:55):

Well, I think it’s interesting. You can tell the timing of, of this research, which is really fresh because, um, and yet the tide is turning rapidly, right? But you can tell people are very sensitive to being able to get and retain personnel just about the time we’re going to see an inversion towards layoffs and, and, and that sort of thing again, as the economy slows, but that doesn’t change the argument. If you think about it, the current generations as they come into the workforce, they expect an app-like experience from their technologies. They don’t want seven screens. They sure as hell don’t want 47 ERPs. Most of ’em don’t even know or care what an E R P is. They just wanna focus on the solution to the business problem that they are charged with. Right. And frankly, they shouldn’t care. So whether you’re trying to bring people in and retain them, right, or you’re going to have to downsize your organization. As many companies already are, you need that automation, you need a more frictionless experience. You need something that is more simple and targeted on the task at hand. So that either people who Des demand that out of their jobs, gen Zs and millennials, right. Of course, or the fewer people that you have can do more work with with fewer hands. So either way you have to dial up the technology in order to get, keep, or, or take it or take the place of human capital.

Scott Luton (00:39:26):

Well said. And, and to that, as Morgan pointed out, there’s a lot of folks kind of doing the same thing, right? Not taking anything away from how hard they’re working, but they’re doing the same thing. They’re not looking for ways to improve, uh, whether they’re employee experience or customer experience or the technologies that they’re leveraging. So it can be a daily decision to make. We’ve

Greg White (00:39:44):

Had a lot of that discussion. Haven’t we, I mean, where we all have grand intentions of automating or, or, or adding technology or, or systemic solutions to our, to our business, but we don’t right. Everybody in a, you know, everybody says, they’re going to, and we’ve had this discussion many, many times, Morgan. They very often don’t follow through on that. And that, you know, what’s stunning about that as somebody who has sold technology in the past and wa and understands the benefit that it can bring of any kind is that the benefit is so apparent. Yeah. And yet I think the pain for too many companies is not sufficient enough, but it’s about to be,

Scott Luton (00:40:25):

Well, that’s why there are companies like Esther that are doing really well. Right. Cause folks are getting it, they’re getting it. They’re leaning in, they’re engaging with the experts. And we’ll touch on that in a second. Hey, to our panel, we’re ahead of schedule what in the world we’re ahead of schedule. Uh, so here’s a little heads up. How is that possible? How is that possible? We’re I’m gonna, we’re gonna share, we’re gonna share a couple of resources with, uh, our audience here in just a second, but be prepared. I wanna get each of your one key takeaway from the whole conversation from the survey. One key takeaway before we wrap up here today. Um,

Greg White (00:41:00):

Okay. So you’re gonna make Morgan take the quiz also.

Scott Luton (00:41:03):

<laugh> that’s right. Turning the tables. Uh,

Greg White (00:41:06):

And by the way, yeah,

Scott Luton (00:41:07):

I like it. <laugh> frictionless. That is one of my favorite new words, uh, along with orchestration that just conjures up some powerful images, I believe. So. Thank you. Uh, Greg and the rest of y’all use a, okay. So let’s share a couple of, uh, resources. We’re just talking about ESER, we’ve been fortunate to have Dan and Nick and the team join us, uh, a couple times before, so let’s make sure folks know how to connect. So Dan and Nick, Dan will start with you, you beyond email, how can folks reach out and, uh, connect with you, compare notes and check out some of the resources that ESER brings to the table.

Dan Reeve (00:41:41):

Yeah. Email or, or contact contact me through eser.com. Yeah. Or you can find that LinkedIn as well. Naturally just Dan, Dan Reve ESER

Scott Luton (00:41:50):

And Dan, it’s not like the NFL hall of fame coats. No, it’s not Dan Reeves. It’s Dan Reeves.

Dan Reeve (00:41:55):

This is important. We need to clarify this cuz especially as I live CLO close to the, uh, you know, the Bronco stadium and been in the news a lot recently for new quarterbacks and they stole a fairly important individual from the Packers organization. I’m a little bit bitter about, as you can tell, I’m married to a packer family and I’m a packer family. So just getting out there.

Scott Luton (00:42:15):

Oh gosh. All right. Sports coming up next here at station nine. Uh, but uh, Nick, how can folks connect with you and, and all the good things you’re up to?

Nick Carpenter (00:42:24):

Yeah, I think, uh, LinkedIn’s a great way. We’ve got some really good content out there as well. I wanna do a special shout out for that transforming the DNA of the customer service team ebook because a lot of the companies we’re working with customer services reporting up through supply chain and they’re that first layer of contact for a lot of supply chain processes. One that’s really hot right now that we’re seeing a ton of companies dealing with is this huge uptick in where’s my order, everyone with the supply chain disruptions, uh, people asking what’s the status in my order. And it’s, it’s now counterintuitive because it’s placing more work on the companies to try and keep up with this volume that they’re not able to focus and, and proactively communicate. So, um, that’s a great resource. Uh, if, if that’s relevant to you,

Dan Reeve (00:43:08):

We’ve talking about if Nick, we are talking about order to cash, I think we’ve seen a lot. Well, we’ve heard from a lot of supply chain leaders in their building material space. And you know, when we had the big freeze in Texas and petrochemical plant around there were saying letters and nightmare, cuz we can’t get the plastic gutters made or we can’t get the, the, um, the rainwater, um, down spouts, et cetera. So there there’s a lot of, I think they’ve been through the ringer this year, the building materials folks, you know, ironically cause huge demand for housing, huge amounts of building. Um, and then what the supply chain leaders who often, as you said, customer service teams report up through supply chain. It seems eight out 10 times nowadays to me it’s obviously been that shift in over the last few years, but they’ve said is, well, okay, if taken an order is three steps out of 30, right?

Dan Reeve (00:43:56):

Credit check, take the order, place the order, make sure we’ve got the right products. Maybe substitute the products if need be. But then there seems to be this huge amount of expectation in terms of just like when you place order on Uber eats Greg and I know you’ve done it, you know, we’ve all, we’ve all done it and you place the order and you, you are like, where’s my order. You track the guy where tracking it turn where’s my food, you know, have I got, I got three minutes, have I got time to get, get, get, get that shower and get dressed and be ready when they turn up. You know? So anyway, I think there’s, there’s that sort of demand. And we see it dramatically over the last two years. I want the customer service expect and I want the customer customer service that I get as a consumer in business.

Dan Reeve (00:44:34):

I want to be able to track my product when we, when, when you, when I place the order with you. Not only do I want you to say, yeah, I got your order. I want constant Feess to say tailored to my business as to when will I get the order, give me an answer. Advanced shipping note, tell me how you’re gonna pay me. Uh, I find a lot of organizations are really trying to custom their communication back to the, the consumer at the moment. Right? And so back to, you know, Hey, you’ve got folks in customer service of three steps outta 30 is, is, is, is, is receiving the order. They’re trying to free up their folks to remove the friction because there’s all these other things they’ve gotta do. Right? And the building material leaders said, man, my folks, the minute the order comes in, they’re scrambling.

Dan Reeve (00:45:12):

Where can I get product from, uh, how can I get ahead of my competition to, to get the material so we can even do the job on site and do right. Supply the builder. So the amount of pressure has gone, gone up. And like, I think that’s part of that order to cash cycle as well as okay. Companies are under pressure to, to improve working capital. Well, you know, if you wanna get paid, you’ve gotta take care of the customer. That means you’ve gotta get a hold of the materials. You’ve gotta pay the suppliers so that you do get the materials, but there’s a big, big rush there. And a lot of pressure on that customer service team, I think,

Nick Carpenter (00:45:44):

And maybe doing business the way that they want to be the business to be done. Meaning I think we’re hearing from a lot of our customers that their largest, most strategic customers want to do business on their portal, on their, a Reba platform on their Coupa platform. And, and that frictionless being easy to do business with on how they prefer may help you downstream, you know, lower your cost to serve, improve your DSO simply just by meeting them kind of where they prefer.

Dan Reeve (00:46:10):

There’s a lot of work there right now. Isn’t there a lot of companies that haven’t, if, if you send out an AR invoice, yeah, you don’t just send out an AR invoice anymore. It has to be tailored to the customer. And it has to be put up into these portals. And what we hear from folks is the, the, the leaders say that’s the new manual, right? That is slowing down our AR collections. Cause it’s a huge amount of work to go interact with those portals.

Scott Luton (00:46:30):

So going back to your earlier comments, you know, David Bowie gone too soon, but man, if global supply chain had a house band, it would be David Bowie and queen singing under pressure. Right. It’s one of my son’s favorite songs of all time, ton of pressure. But the key thing here, going back back to points everyone’s making, but especially Greg, you made it is what are you doing to alleviate that pressure, especially on your team members, right? Given your customers, your suppliers, the same degree of visibility that, um, that we to, to use Dan’s um, uh, analogy we as consumers, uh, expect these days with the Uber eats, um, analogy. So let’s do this though. We got one more thing to share. Dr. Swank, love your good work. You’re doing enjoyed interviewing some of, uh, what we call the now generation outstanding students, ma matriculate. And I can never say that word through the Texas Christian university supply chain program, the highly regarded. How can folks connect with you and your team?

Morgan Swink (00:47:26):

Yeah, well I’m on LinkedIn of course, like everybody. And then you can also reach me at M Dowan, tcu.edu, pretty easy to remember, hopefully, and then check out our website. If you just go to neely.edu, uh, you can, you can check out all kinds of Neely things there. We have six different centers, actually. Uh, supply chain is one of the centers, but, uh, go to our webpage underneath that header. And you can see we’ve got lots of events going on, case competition, business tech camp, you know, seminars, webinars like this that we do. So please, uh, check us out. And if you’re interested in engaging with us, let me know.

Scott Luton (00:48:03):

Wonderful, appreciate all of that and, and loved your perspective here today. Have enjoyed your appearances here at supply chain now. All right. So Greg quick, you know, Nick and Dan were just, um, we were getting bonus content and perspective. I loved it. Feel like I might be leaving with a certification even better, Greg, based on what you heard there at the latter. And we’re gonna touch on the tours, the ask her tours in just a second, but Greg kind of, kind of what’d you hear there, that folks that really should latch onto

Greg White (00:48:31):

Wow. Um,

Scott Luton (00:48:32):

<laugh>, it’s great.

Greg White (00:48:35):

Mean it’s a lot, isn’t it? I mean, I think, look, you have to take, uh, your fate in your own hands at this point. And, and if that is improving your processes or improving your customer relations, your supplier relations or your employee relations, which it’s probably all of those things you need to do that. Scott, I gotta tell you, I was, um, Dan, as you were talking about these portals, of course, we at supply chain now work with gigantic companies all the time who have these portals and I’ll put it tact tactfully for once <laugh>, it is burdensome for the vendor supplier, what service provider, whatever you want to call it. Because with this company you use Coupa with that company, you use X, Y, Z, whatever, right? And, and everybody has a, a little bit different portal. And I think that, that, as you said, that’s the new manual, right?

Greg White (00:49:34):

It’s manual in both ways, both it’s the guidelines for how you engage with a, with a customer, but it’s also very manual. And believe me, we hear it from our controllers and our accounting people all the time. Um, it’s very, um, manually burdensome to get started in these things. And I think that, you know, some of what we’ve talked about here, these enablement tools that you guys provide and are talking about, I think those are hugely helpful. Yep. Because once you’ve gone through that painstaking process to get board as a supplier, then you really want it to pay off for you in terms of pace of play and you know, an ease of use. So I think it’s important to understand that you have to, somebody in the comment said, I think it was Jeremy said, you need to treat your customers the way you treat your employees.

Greg White (00:50:29):

I think you likewise need to do that with your suppliers because we are all completely relying on one another that has been displayed in greater measure than ever. And particularly an issue in supply chain now is there’s nowhere for us to hide. It used to be that nobody knew what supply chain did. Nobody talked to you at cocktail parties, right. You know, they would kinda walk away whenever you said supply chain or get that blank stare in their eyes. But now everyone’s an expert or at least aware and thinks they’re an expert. And so there’s nowhere to hide. We got the exposure that we wanted. And so we have to live up to that expectation. And that expectation for most people is compared to a consumer experience, not a B2B experience and the more consumer, Ooh, there you go. Scott. You’re you’re not the only one who makes up words, the more consumer or amplified that we can make those, those business processes. I think the better and to be able to one know where our stuff is, but for the suppliers where my bucks are, right. That’s gonna be a big question for, you know, uh, as we, as we progress

Scott Luton (00:51:39):

Here, well said, well said really quick, Shelly Phillips, who is a dynamo, uh, y’all have to get connected. Dan. She also lives near the Bronco stadium, so y’all have to get together and, and chit chat football and global supply chain. Okay. Fast and furious finish here today. Um, we’re gonna get everybody here. We’re gonna get their final takeaway in just a second, but Hey, let’s touch on this other resource that call our attention escort tours. I love this notion, uh, but Nick, give us a little more insight into what folks can expect.

Nick Carpenter (00:52:11):

Hey, last time we did, this was 2019 pre pandemic. This is an in person event being hosted in Chicago. So if this is a relevant conversation to you, you’re in the Chicago area or want to be in the Chicago area. This is a great event. It’s a round table type event with supply chain, customer service finance leaders, focused on how order to cash process improvement. Leveraging technology, implementing change management can really help give, uh, a competitive edge. So this is really good stuff. I’m so excited. We’ve got some consultants, we’ve got some leading, uh, fortune 500 manufacturers. That’ll be there. It’s, it’s gonna be a dynamite event. So subtle plug, not so subtle plug for, uh, this event.

Scott Luton (00:52:51):

Hey, check it out. Thursday, October 20th in the wonderful, beautiful city of Chicago, Illinois, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM central time. And, uh, we’re gonna drop to that as well. Tony says I’ve seen that blank stare. Greg mentioned many times when I say reverse logistics. That’s excellent point there. We try to hear at supply chain. Now we try to shed a lot of big old flashlight on the wide world, important world, but, but as Tony calls it the dark side, cause folks don’t know as nearly as much about it, of reverse logistics and returns management. Okay. So we’re gonna go around the horn here, right before we wrap. We’ve got folks, we’ve got contact information. We dropped links in the chat. We, we covered how you can connect with Dan, Nick and, uh, Dr. SW, please do so check out the, uh, the, the event ES tours, as well as those resources at esgar.com/resources, I believe. All right. So Dr. SW, let’s get your, if folks listen to one thing as we wrap up here, they listen just to one thing. What is that? Morgan?

Morgan Swink (00:53:47):

Sure. Yeah. So at TCU, uh, we brand ourselves as kind of end to end supply chain program. So I think I’m really biased. I see everything that way, but the thing that jumped out at me from the conversation, as much as the, the, uh, results of the surveys, you gotta manage this whole thing as an end to end process. And I, in the past, I’ve always thought, well, of course, you know, got your order to cash and procure to pay and everything in, in between, uh, those 30 steps that Dan mentioned, and there’s a lot of input output, and all that has to be transactionally managed end to end. But what I’m seeing more from the discussion today is it’s, it’s actually strategically needs to be managed end to end too. I’d never thought about the fact that AP affects AR I mean indirectly, how well you get stuff from suppliers and then are able to serve customers is they’re gonna affect their willingness, you know, to pay you. So, I mean, maybe that’s obvious to most folks in business, but that idea that, uh, you need a team that’s gonna not just manage the transactional, uh, input output relationships, but think about outcomes. Think about strategies for managing working capital across those three processes or multiple processes. That’s a, I really, I think it’s an important takeaway.

Scott Luton (00:54:56):

Thank you so much, Dr. Swing and big thanks to you and Dave and, and the whole team, JJ, congrats to him on what’s next. Uh, the whole team for doing the excellent job on the survey. As always Nick carpenter, I learned something new. You’re, uh, not a rust fan. What’s the, uh, what was the league? You mentioned UFC. Yeah, that’s right. UFC. Learn something new about you, but what’s one, we’ll talk about we’ll talk, shop out, uh, UFC later, but what is one key takeaway folks gotta remember?

Nick Carpenter (00:55:22):

I I’m gonna echo Morgan’s comment. It’s it’s an end to end process this click for me this year, when we started getting into projects where people were saying, we need you to update taking our order confirmations from our suppliers, because they’re changing all the time. We keep getting updated ship dates, and we need you to update that in our system of truth, our E R P so that we can communicate to customers when they would actually expect to end, uh, a ship expected ship date. So now we’re talking improvements in customer experience from, you know, improving the process with suppliers. So to Morgan’s point, that’s a real world example of an end to end. And the only thing I just wanna leave with is there, this whole thing, maybe think of a, a Gartner article we read once, which was winners are made in the turns, meaning they did a study. If, if you’re improving in times of disruption, your peers aren’t, and you’ll see the benefits, uh, as, as you come out of it. So this is, it’s an opportunity for everyone

Scott Luton (00:56:15):

That is right. Uh, listen to Nick to be a supply chain superstar, a little tip of the hat, to the carpenters there. All right. So Dan Reeve, who moves at the speed of a thousand, Gazelle’s one of our faint phrases. Dan dropped on us. Uh, a while back, he’s made a, a variety of popular appearances here, Dan, one key takeaway and Greg and coming to you next.

Dan Reeve (00:56:37):

Well, I was gonna, uh, mention what Greg mentioned. And, um, so that is <laugh>, I’ll give Greg, it’s very hard to control demand to know what’s going on with demand. So therefore, I think folks are sort of building up inventory just in and, and also, you know, that’s how it ties up capital and folks want cash just in case. So the, the, the plug is, yeah, you still need to be able to approve that AP invoice at the speed of a thousand Gazelle’s if you want any chance of keeping your supplier happy, or maybe earning, earning some early paid discounts. See, I managed to get it in. I, I always managed to get it in one way or the other

Greg White (00:57:13):

That’s genius. How you do that.

Scott Luton (00:57:16):

It is, well, Hey, we’ve only just begun. We’ve got so much, uh, more of a tackle, uh, as part of the conversation, but we’ll have to save it for next time. Greg, the infamous rap here. I love your, um, I love, I tell you, we’ve really heard it from our entire panel here today, but Greg, give us your final thought and then, uh, we’re gonna sign off and get going.

Greg White (00:57:36):

Yeah. This might be news to Nick and Morgan, but you and Dan know this could come from anywhere and here it comes. And that is that we have to understand that supply chain is an ecosystem and that our, our consumers are the earth elements. They make us grow. They make us breathe, right? They keep us warm, all of those things, and we have to enable them first. But as it’s an ecosystem, you have to nurture every aspect of it. And that includes your suppliers. That includes your internal constituencies. And, and of course your consumers, your customers, and you have to understand the Interac interaction between all of those things. Enter enterprise is the commerce, whatever you want to call that, but you have to recognize that you do not stand alone in the supply chain. You are part of a greater hole, right? You’re a tree in the forest. You’re a whatever. You’re the NA some companies are the nasty, um, Ivy poison Ivy that was growing up. One of my trees that I just eliminated, but nonetheless, everyone is dependent on one another for their wellbeing, right? That’s right. So we have to recognize that we have to think of the supply chain as an ecosystem treated as such. And when you do that, Morgan, to your, your realization, when you do that, it is better for everyone, your consumers, your company, and your suppliers, and everyone else you interact with.

Scott Luton (00:58:59):

Well said, well said, Hey, uh, thanks for all the great feedback here, Jeremy, Tony, Tony also shares that Morgan Swink and, uh, Dave are both rock stars at TCU Asan. Uh, Michael, great to have you here today. Hope you’ll join us again from, uh, the beautiful city of Memphis, Tennessee. And thanks for everyone else to join. I know we couldn’t get everybody’s comments here today, but folks, that’s gonna wrap it up. Make sure you reach out to Morgan, Nick, Dan, and Greg, uh, make sure you check out those ESER resources and ESER tours, which is back pay. It’s gonna be a great event October 20th, make sure you connect with Dr. Wan’s team. I’ll tell you outstanding churn out top talent that we, we so desperately need in global business, but especially global supply chain. Greg, always a pleasure to knock this out with you. Big thanks to our production team and everyone that showed up and showed out, uh, for now though, we gotta leave it here. Scott, Ludin challenging all of our teams. Hey, don’t be words, not deeds. Be all about deeds. Not words. Take action on, on what you’ve heard here from this incredible panel, right? Help your people out, you know, make it easy, make life easier, make their jobs easier and more rewarding. Take that action, but whatever you do, Scott and challenge, do good give forward and to be the change that’s needed. And what that said. Let’s see next time, right back here at supply you now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (01:00:16):

Thanks for being a part of our supply chain. Now, community check out all of our programming@supplychainnow.com and make sure you subscribe to supply chain. Now anywhere you listen to podcasts and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on supply chain. Now.

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Featured Guests

Dr. Morgan Swink teaches and leads research in areas of supply chain management, innovation management, project management, and operations strategy. Dr. Swink’s current research projects address digital transformation, innovation management, servitization, visibility, collaborative integration, and financial impacts of supply management policies. He was recently ranked among the top ten innovation management scholars in the world, and among the top 75 most productive operations management scholars. Dr. Swink also heads the Center for Supply Chain Innovation, a collaborative venture that engages business partners, faculty, and students. He has co-authored two supply chain operations text-books, one managerial book on supply chain excellence, and more than 90 articles in a variety of academic and managerial journals.

Dan Reeve is a Sales Director, approaching 22 years with Esker. Dan works to help companies free up front-line troops to be finance and customer service rockstars through the application of machine learning and AI.

Dan was fortunate to serve 10 years as a Combat Engineer in the British Army, then was attached to the Wisconsin Army National Guard. He traveled the world, served alongside Americans and many others, and learned everyone has a good idea, every Army unit thinks they are better, and what can you learn and apply so that you are indeed better prepared and more professional next time.

Dan’s career highlights include getting paid to represent the Royal Engineers in Army shooting competitions, being selected to Army Mountaineering expeditions (climbing Mountains, getting paid, seeing the world, and having a good time with the locals in Nepal, India, Scotland, Wales, France, Spain).  Connect with Dan on LinkedIn.

Nick Carpenter is a Business Development Manager with Esker which means he works with savvy supply chain leaders that are looking to leverage digital technology to operate faster and leaner. Recently, he’s seen business leaders focus on process automation in order to unlock cash that was tied up in the supply chain. Many prioritize improvements in business processes to become a better partner to their customers and supplier alike.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

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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.

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.

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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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