Listener’s Corner

Question 1 – Macy Osmand
Aired: Sept 3/18
Episode 27
Starting in January 2019 I will begin writing my master’s thesis. I am super nervous about picking a good topic and writing a quality thesis. I would like to know either from you or from others in the industry – does your thesis impact future employment (either negatively or positively), do you have any advice on how to approve writing a thesis and are there any topics that may be of interest? I have a few ideas of topics floating around in my head, but you can never have too many ideas

My 2 cents – although different schools have different approaches here.  The topic of a thesis in a Masters Program has very little impact on employment prospects in my opinion.  If you can select a topic, pick something you are genuinely interested and curious about.  My Masters thesis dealt with commuter preferred arrival time in Austin Texas – the topic meant nothing to me but was important to my supervising and sponsoring faculty member!  But it allowed me to learn how to conduct research, write a technical report, and conduct a wide range of quantitative analysis.  Topic schmopic. – Chris Caplice, MITX

I wish I could to Chris’s response, but he was both concise and correct.  The topic doesn’t matter but what does matter is the sponsoring faculty.  They will help make your career more than any thesis you will write…..

Karl Manrodt, Professor of Logistics & SCM, Georgia College

My advice is the same as Chris and Karl’s. As they have pointed out it is important to pick a topic that you have a strong interest in because it makes the thesis process more enjoyable. Since you have to defend your thesis to your sponsoring committee it will also help you do so with ease. When thinking about your topic, I would also recommend building a strong sponsoring committee that may have some knowledge in the topic area to provide constructive feedback and challenge any holes in your research.

No, I don’t believe topics impact employment prospects unless it is a topic that directly impacts the company you are applying to. You gain a great deal of experience as you conduct the research necessary for your thesis, and employers really look more at the experience factor and whether you were able to hang tough for the duration of your program. Companies look at your ability to apply the things you have learned throughout your collegiate years to something that will benefit the company in some way and added value to its customers.

You will find that employers don’t look at any one thing. Employers look at the overall picture of an individual when making hiring decisions like education, applied experience, soft skills, and tactical skills where needed for the position. In recent APQC research over the years, we continue to find that employers look for prospects with the strategic thinking an d problem solving skills, the ability to collaborate across functions, and the ability to communicate effectively. Many of the soft skills you will further  hone as you conduct your thesis research. -Andrea Stroud, Statiscian, APQC

Question 2 – Tracey, New York
Aired: Sept 10/18
Episode 28
I LOVE the woman in supply chain series, it is creating a much needed discussion around diversity. It is nice to know the journey's, the challenges and the advice but I want to know (I would love to hear from the men as well) How do you manage Multi Cultural/Multi-Generational Diversity and what are you doing in your organizations to reduce bias?

To reduce bias a company needs to start tracking how many women apply for a position in addition to how many are hired.  If they aren’t receiving applications from women they are either advertising in the wrong places or using words that appeal to men.

Ellen Voie, Founder of Women in Trucking

Question 3 – Steve, Instagram
Aired: Sept 17/18
Episode 29

With the market saturation of P2P (Procure to Pay) Platforms, is there a reason why LOC's (Letters of credit) still exist?
  1. Banks are pretty solid at inserting themselves into situations in which they otherwise wouldnt need to be involved. That’d be my guess – Eric Johnson, IHSMarkit EP 24 and EP 25

  2. Documentary Letters of Credit still support about 10% of global merchandise trade flows annually, and do so based on a long history of common global practice, widely accepted guidng rules, and proven risk mitigation, financing and settlement options. They can be cumbersome and paper/process intensive, but have proven robust in some of the most challenging markets (and conditions) in the world. Procure-to-Pay (and Order-to-Cash) solutions typically target trade that takes place on Open Account terms, or finance on the basis of invoice discounting which can be a good alternative but may not readily include risk mitigation options that enable doing business in higher-risk markets or with new trading partners. Supply Chain Finance, including Payables Finance, where a bank enables suppliers to access financing on the basis of the standing and borrowing capacity of the buyer that anchors the supply chain, is fast-growing but still nascent in some respects. This need not be an “either/or” question, but can be a question of using the option or technique most suited to the markets, trading relationships or specific characteristics of the transactions involved.Talk to your bank’s trade finance specialists to get the best advice on this.      – Alexander R Malaket, CITP, CTFP, OPUS Advisory Services International Inc.    SEA 1, EP

CONVERSATION FROM INSTAGRAM – See more of the conversation

The challenge for blockchain is shipper’s reliance on using freight forwarders as banks to finance their transactions. Get $$ from customers immediately and run 45+ day terms with your freight forwarder #sadbuttrue someone will always extend credit unfortunately – @the_logic_guy

It can be hard to validate credit worthiness of new vendors in emerging and foreign markets. Blockchain is great in financing environments because stability and worthiness can be derived from transactional history in the blockchain – @supplychainqueen

Question 4 – Ryan Higgins, Email
Aired: Sept 24/18 & Oct 1, 2018
Episode 30 & 31

What are your tips/suggestions for people entering supply chain as a career change? IE. What resources do you recommend, what are the employment options, what are the challenges I could expect or what certification do you recommend having?
  1. Definitely join CSCMP and utilize both the training and networking resources. Supply Chain is a wonderfully open community, but you have to make the effort to get out and meet people in person.  – Brian GlickChain.io – episode coming soon!

  2. Supply Chain management is a hybrid career of part firefighter, and part hostage negotiation..The firefighter role is because in supply chain nothing stands still.  Deliveries are late, product is not to specification, production machines have unforeseen downtime, and demand varies.  Just when you have the perfect plan with contracts signed, capacities smoothed, and contingencies in place; an event comes from left field that sends you urgently plugging gaps. The hostage negotiator role is because of the need to continuously orchestrate stakeholders across different functional silos working to potentially conflicting KPIs to do something that their compensation plan or manager encourages them to not do. The skills required is a cool head and a very strong understanding of logistics and fact based decision making. Regarding a basics of education and certifications I would suggest the top 3 in sequence of importance are: APICS – Association for supply chain management. CSCMP – the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals IBF – Institute of Business Forecasting and Planning Details of their education offerings are on their website. – Shaun Phillips, Dynasys  – Episode Coming soon!

CONVERSATION FROM INSTAGRAM – See more of the conversation

  • renathaflavyaIt would be useful to start as import export specialist or customer service representative to get familiar with paperwork, customs regulations… 😉

  • prashanth.varma10Learn about functional business process like Procure 2 Pay, Order 2 Cash, Record 2 Report. and Financial planning & Analysis (FP&A). Demand forecasting, Inventory optimization.

  • tejubolarinGet a mentor, be convinced that’s the career you want to pursue and put your heart to it, learn, learn and learn as much as you can, starting Is always very dicey, supply Chain is broad and versatile, just start from somewhere and keep the urge to know and learn more alive🙌🏼👍🏼💰 the sky is your beginning!

  • ayan_gangulyIn supply chain no two days are the same, there will be a different curve ball thrown very day and you learn to deal with complex operational bottlenecks and people issues as you go. Equipped with passion willingness to learn, a holistic business knowledge/approach, thinking on your toes and a plan b c d can help you sail , but remember is everything is moving smoothly something is not happening right somewhere🙄🤔🤔🤗

  • rg.girouRead: The goal by Eliyahu Goldratt. Easy to read and the first book that a supply chain manager must read.

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN – See more of the conversation

  • Chris Lee Chief Commercial Officer/Supply Chain & Logistics Leader and Visionary/Turning Data into Dollars –  All the cool kids are doing it !!!

  • Tom Pauls, CCLP Managing Director at SCL Search Consultants Ltd. –  Look at what skills you have that are transferable, and emphasize those skills in  your profile.  The key competencies we typically look for in supply chain are:  problem solving, analytics (Excel), big picture thinking, communication skills, attention to detail

  • John Conte, PLS, CSSBB Operations and Logistics Manager at Holman Parts Distribution, Holman Business Services – I suggest joining an organization such as APICS this will allow you to stay up to date on the current events and will also allow you networking opportunities. Also, working with a local career center such as Rowan University as they have a program designed for professionals looking to enter the supply chain and logistics space. A degree also helps, but having transferable skills is also very valuable, you may already have supply chain skills and do not recognize it!! Employment options range from truck driving and warehousing at an entry level to mid to senior level roles regarding procurement, business intelligence and analytics, etc

  • Piotr Szewczyk E2E Supply Chain Professional. S&OP Champion. Advocate for Cross Functional Collaboration. – Start with a role in Manufacturing, for example in Production / Supply Planning. It will ground you in the basics and give an overall understanding of constraints at the beginning of the Supply Chain. Spend time in Demand Planning, work wth S&OP and IBP in the real world. Visit customers and get to understand their constraints as much as you can ! Get a role in Warehousing and Transportation ideally sitting directly in a warehouse.

  • Dyci Manns Sfregola, CSCP Transforming the Supply Chain – As someone who has done this, I’d recommend researching the different aspects/departments within SC. The Supply Chain involves so many moving pieces and many people choose an expertise, while others want to work at a higher level and cover the entire chain. Network and ask questions to see where you’d like to start to get experience. I encourage APICS as a learning tool even if you don’t sit the exams as well as solidifying soft skills like communication and collaboration (especially virtual and cross-cultural) and organization and prioritization.

Question 5 – Mary, Chicago
Aired: Oct 8/18
Episode 32

How do you remain competitive in todays rapidly changing consumer markets & age of disruption?
  1. Great question Sarah Barnes-Humphrey,CITP, CCI, this was part of our conversation for the new episode on Lets Talk Supply Chain! In my opinion, as organizations, we must do a better job to understand who the actual customer is- who are we truly servicing, is it the retail market, institutions, end consumers? With that true north in mind we can then reinvent our solutions, networks and processes to provide the care and service our end customers deserve and expect. I read in a WSJ article that free two day shipping has become an almost inalienable right, which is extreme but kind of true- without offering that service consumers are always likely to turn to other platforms, brands and services who do. Understanding and catering to the actual customer, reinventing solutions to do so through the supply chain business unit is a competitive advantage for forward thinking companies. – Irina RoscaWomen in SC Part 10 – EP 30

  2. I keep up the industry and innovation trends and figure out what cool experience, I’d love to have…– Sapna Malhotra, – Blockchain Series Part 1 & Part 2

CONVERSATION FROM INSTAGRAM – See more of the conversation

  • logicup_ukI guess postponement is the best strategy!

  • logicup_uk@letstalksupplychain postponing replenishment and shipments in order to better assess what the demand looks like

Question 6 – Nick, California
Aired: Oct 15/18
Episode 33

With the announcement of a potential tariff increase on another $200B of imports from China that would go into effect in September, importers are faced with 4 Options that all have have long-term effects. Is there enough demand for your product that could warrant an additional 10-25% price increase? What is your company doing? 1) Continue the current supply chain, eat the costs 2) Continue the current supply chain, implement price increases to your customers. 3) Redesign the supply chain to source products from other countries 4) Set up domestic manufacturing.

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN – See more of the conversation

Timothy Dooner & Nick Mauro

  • You forgot the most popular answer: E) Do nothing and pray you don’t get audited (TIM)
  • The only way that would work is by intentionally changing the country of origin on your entries, or intentionally changing the HTS codes to something not on the lists.   Both cases are considered fraud and would certainly come with maximum penalties.   It is not possible to not take action and “hope” you can fly under the radar since the increases are HTS and COO related. (NICK)
  • Nick Mauro that’s a really big assumption. You wouldn’t recommend an HTS audit when regs change? What’s the likelihood that 100% of their Chinese imports are classified properly to begin with? You can absolutely do nothing here, and that’s one of the most common ways that nothing gets done when new regs come up. (TIM)
  • I guess I am not following your logic. I can personally say that all 4000 items we import are classified properly through our HTS classification procedures which include application of GRI, binding rulings, intentional design, and careful documentation on HTS reasoning for every product category (reasonable care). Any importer following Customs guidelines is doing HTS audits on a regular basis, not waiting for regulation changes. If your argument is to do nothing, and acknowledge you do not know if you are misclassifying goods, then yes, you can keep quiet and hope you don’t get audited. I personally would not recommend this strategy, as would still most likely be considered Gross Negligence by Customs standards. (NICK)
  • Nick Mauro the logic is that any importer electing E (which isn’t as uncommon as you assume) isn’t specifically ignoring USMCA. The logic is that they don’t remain complain often enough, and don’t perform proper due diligence. Obviously not recommended or a best practice but I’ve seen it in the wild. (TIM)
  • Audrey Ross & Nick Mauro
  • We are currently in a combination of a, b & c.  (Audrey)
  • We are also in combination of A,B (I am not entirely certain of this as I am not customer-facing) and C.  Some items have certain patents by suppliers and cannot be moved, some items can be made by various suppliers and easily moved, and some items are just harder to move because of complexity of process or high tooling costs.    You also have to consider access to raw materials that another country may have (or not), the internal infrastructure of transportation / 2nd and 3rd tier suppliers, government environment (are officials more corrupt and require “payments” to move cargo?), and social and environmental deficiencies that “not-China” countries may find acceptable which we do not.

CONVERSATION FROM INSTAGRAM – See more of the conversation

  • smoloco E) continue current SC and raise prices to customer and hope like hell they don’t notice or all the competition does the same. #fingerscrossed

Question 7 – Martyn, Netherlands
Aired: Oct 22/18
Episode 34

How many of you are still using excel spreadhseets for SC functions and why? (No need to be shy, over 90% of companies still use them)

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN – See more of the conversation

  • HULFT wants to help alleviate this epidemic! Use our platform to automatically grab Excel invoices (or PDF) from a mailbox and then pull out / transform the data, and then put it into whichever other system(s) where its needed.  We are here to help!! – Adam K Erickson, Hulft
  • One of the big challenges is that even if you eliminate transactional spreadsheets in your own business, you can’t always do the same across all of your trading partners. Having a tool to automate the ingestion of these spreadsheets is a great asset. It let’s you move forward without having to drag every other company in your network along with you. Brian Glick, Chain.io

CONVERSATION FROM INSTAGRAM – See more of the conversation

  • m.defaup: Why… Because we are not enough good to describe a better tool to informaticians!

  •  felicity_metcalf: I use spreadsheets for almost everything! I consult for small businesses and often they can’t afford systems to generate all the reporting required. Even if the ERP systems I use can generate the info I need I export to excel so I can manipulate the data, I just find it’s the easiest way 😜

  • thomasthedoubtr: my company does. The bad part is that we use it as a replacement to the software we do have. Then most of our staff is not familiar with excel and how great it is.

  • smoloco: Ugh spreadsheets are so one dimensional and their data are often immediately stale once you smash that send button. Inserted “speed of business”

Question 8 – Brianne, Vancouver
Aired: Oct 29/18
Episode 35

Do you Procurement professionals spend any time with your Sales professionals sharing best practices?

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN – See more of the conversation

  • EVERYONE‼️ should be spending time with your sales team on a regular basis. It’s the best way to make sure the work you’re doing is aligned with market demand. Companies that break down silos are more agile and will win as competition accelerates. Here’s a podcast where I talk about how our sales team helped us redefine our product strategy. https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6456502995759751168 – Brian Glick CEO of Chain.io
  • Hopefully they need for internal data sharing in synchronicity will open up those communication channels and give each department a better understanding of how their roles interrelate – Timothy Dooner Aborn & Co

Emailed in:

  • The procurement team shares its best practices with all new sales team members. We also present various supplier and purchasing topics at bi-annual sales meetings. The intent is to avoid misunderstandings centered around policies and procedures and more importantly to insure faith and confidence. If the sales team is going to be effective they need to have a “warm and fuzzy feeling” about what purchasing does and they need to know that we are all working towards the same goals.   – William Belser CPSM, C.P.M.

Question 9 – Kevin, London
Aired: Nov 5/18
Episode 36

Logistics Technology startups seem to emerge daily. Will these transportation disruptors succeed?

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN (Lets Talk) – See more of the conversation

  • It will…but wld benefit the industry in other ways as well – Kesavaraj Ramanathan

  • Global eCommerce sales are, according to DHL, going to grow with 140% from 2016–2021 and that cross-border trade will grow twice as fast as domestic. Imagine the number of deliveries to highly populated areas when urbanization is going in the same direction. Along with this more and more cities are regulating traffic in the city centers with time slots for heavy vehicles, and even car free cities. This will force a shift in paradigm within the logistic world. The one with the most trucks won’t win anymore, but new services will be needed to meet the demand of customers. And they need to be an environmental sustainable solution. For the logistics industry this drills down to capacity and new inventions. Electric cars and bicycles are concepts that many logistic service providers are looking into but it won’t be enough. – Johan Strom CEO Mulechain

  • The companies that combine new ideas with deep industry understanding will succeed. The ones who are completely outsiders will overlook the inherently complexity of our industry and will fall short. – Brian Glick CEO Chain.io

  • Agree 100% with @BrianGlick, however would add that it’s really only in supply chain that this question still needs to be seriously considered. Supply Chain is a massive industry and so far behind most other businesses on the digital curve that there is a ton of upside for many of them. – Robert Garrison CEO Mercado

  •  Couldn’t be more true. hashtag#DecomissionFaxMachines2020

  • Better – faster – more efficient will always disrupt sectors. There is a barrier to entry with logistics in the sense that technology can only enhance many functions. It also takes an intimate understanding of those functions in order to even utilize the tools that are technology. Full disclosure (I work for this company) but what Aborn & Co is doing by taking 30 years of transportation fundamentals and evolving that knowledge base into modern solutions, digital optimization, data clean up, TMS, etc. is what the industry needs. I think what won’t survive are the old world 3PLs who don’t adapt. There’s a lot of companies out there that have no idea what’s about to hit them. (Kapoow) – Timothy Dooner

  •  Reply from Brian Glick: Amen

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN (Sarah’ s profile) – See more of the conversation

  • Depends highly on what the startup defines as success.  I think what makes startups so threatening to established businesses is the ability to iterate quickly over product, business model and business processes to meet a potential customers needs better than their current supplier.  The level of disruption a startup can make depends very much on how quick their growth is, coupled with the speed of existing businesses ability to notice the disruption threat and develop a response. – Chris Jones, CEO Cargomate

  • Digital platforms are likely to be very important going into the next few decades of development in logistics. Weather it be Blockchain or something that comes next tracking, predicting, sourcing and every part of logistics will be connected thru bug data. I think many of today’s platforms will evolve much like cell phones and personal computers have. I look forward to seeing where next generations take what we build today. – Pat Roche, Divergent Logsitics

Conversation from Twitter – See more of the conversation

  • Ray Sims @rsims

  • Yes, SOME will succeed since the industry is so ripe for digital #disruption. And yes there are too many emerging to ALL survive. The majority will fail, consolidate, or be acquired. I.E. same pattern as e.g. late 1990s for internet startups. Who are the likely winners, and why?

  •  Johan Strom @_Johan_Strom_

  • I think the ones who will succeed is the ones who find a way to utilize the free capacity in the network or bring something new to the table. Sharing loads between service providers for example, thoughts?

  •  Ray Sims

  •  Yes. And generalizing a necessary, but not sufficient, criterion: ‘those that enable improved resource utilization’ The big levers towards that end and the ‘something new’: – increased transparency – decreased execution friction – improved trust Potential analog: Airbnb?

  •  Johan Strom

  •  Or tinder, matching capacity and demand in real time is key

Question 10 – Sanyukta, New Jersey
Aired: Nov 12/18
Episode 37

SC is going through digital transformation. There are many advances in AI and cognitive computing. As a professional who has not studied IT, how can I enter an organization that is working on such change? What courses should I be taking to earn that edge? Basically how do I get my foot in the door

CONVERSATION FROM TWITTER – See more of the conversation

  • If already in #SupplyChain, then add GENERAL #AI knowledge & #BusinessAnalyst skills to be bridge btwn those w/ deep data & #MachineLearning expertise hired from outside, end-users & co. leadership. Know enough tech to be a translator, not an expert, nor coder beyond maybe SQL. @rsims Ray Sims

  • Most companies are blowing smoke when doing Ai on a business network where we are actually doing it in production for some of the largest companies. Ai will deliver sub optimal results without the proper foundation of a multi party network platform. They need to have an understanding of a multi part network platform as this technology will continue to deliver massive results as organizations continue to adopt this strategy. JJ Curtis‏ @TheJJCurtis

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN (Sarah) – See more of the conversation

  • Many emerging tech companies absolutely need subject matter experts who understand the industry to pair with the “geeks”. You’d be amazed how many don’t understand basic things like INCOTERMS or how a bill of lading really works. My advice is to reach out to interesting companies directly and bring them the value you have in industry knowledge.- Brian Glick CEO of Chain.io
  • Great Advice! What about Supply Chain Teams, to really navigate through the new innovation coming to them every day – what skills should they have on the team? – Sarah Barnes-Humphrey
  • This was a big topic during my panel this week at the JOC conference.  The consensus was that they need to develop relationships with their partners so they can detect BS and vaporware, but that they shouldn’t necessarily build advanced tech in house. Brian Glick, Chain.io
  • Where can SCM professionals learn these new skills and gain experience and knowledge with the latest technology? For example, Machine learning and AI as connected to Demand & Supply Planning? George Milic
  • Great Question! Brian Glick any thoughts? I would suggest connecting with some of the top professionals in those fields (machine learning, AI) and asking them. If you already have the supply chain expertise it would be a great conversation on both sides! – Lets Talk Supply Chain
  • It’s not always super easy, but getting out to trade shows is a huge win.  Focus on the ones that have lots of educational content instead of the big networking events like TPM.  Also, keep in mind that a lot of this stuff is very early days, so formal training is going to be spotty at best. – Brian Glick
  • Hi George, there are a number of resources online that you can gain insight from and get a better idea of where to focus, I’d recommend following Eric Johnson & Brian Glick and now for a shameless plug  There’s also podcast like Sarah’s,  and Brian’s brand new show! The experience side is a bit different as with any emerging technology, development is occurring in real time. But there are more companies than ever opening in this space. It’s a great time to get in the door. We need people who understand that the physical and digital worlds of freight run parallel. Data isn’t jus a receipt. Good luck, and if you need any advice, feel free to reach out anytime. – Timothy Dooner, Aborn & Co
  • In my experience it really boils down to data analytics and integrations. Familiarizing yourself with BI tools (which there are courses for) and understanding integration processes around your TMS system is vital. Familiarize yourself with collaboration tools like Confluence and Jira to properly document tasks and communicate in way that can be tracked and itemized. I couldn’t agree with Brian Glick more about having a SME on board as a key component of the team that can communicate with the developer side.  – Chris M
  • f you don’t have the technical experience that is fine, because every company still needs people who can communicate this service is understandable terms. That means you can do anything from content marketing, to sales, to operations. If that’s where your passion is, get in door by marketing the skill sets you may think would work best. Let us know how it goes and fell free to reach out to me if you need any advice. Have a wonderful weekend, Sanyukta Pai – Timothy Dooner

Question 11 – Dennis, Toronto
Aired: Nov 19/18
Episode 38

Where do you see the use of VR/AR technology in the supply chain? One stat says that 70% of warehouses will use VR in the next 5 years

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN – See more of the Conversation here & here

  • Interesting.  Perhaps with the trend toward thrid-party warehousing, having more flexible warehouses becomes increasingly important.  VR could perhaps enable warehouse managers to test configurations prior to physically moving items around, optimizing for space utilization and flow.  Perhaps this could be integrated with demand forecasts and ML algorithms to determine the optimal layout.  Can CAD do that today?  Presumably, not in 3D? –Jay Gottdenker Director of procurement Indiana University
  • Look up the work Hololens is doing in this space – Alan Smithson
  • I see VR being a great tool for training truck drivers, qualifying them to be part of certain projects. We are working with 3PLs that are sending staff in Northern Canada. It is crucial that the staff they send is qualified to avoid the burden of having them sent back and you want to ensure they can react the right way under certain road conditions.  Also, as you mentioned, VR can be used to virtually visit a warehouse the same way e-commence website, including Walmart are now creating virtual stores online. Definitely lots of opportunities – Gwenael Malbec
  • That is an amazing number! Unfortunately I am not aware of companies using the technology right now. Who are the current adopters? – Fabio Frassani Alonso, Government of Nova Scotia

Convo #2

  • Warehousing for sure, but also on the customer experience side. I’m thinking about a customer who wants to purchase a product and would be able to see the products availability, shipping options and geolocation. They could also “touch” the product in a VR/AR environment. – John  Conte, Operations and Lopgistics Manager Holman Parts

  • Love this!! Great idea and it would enhance the experience and bring purchasing and distribution even closer together – Lets Talk

Conversation on Instagram – See more of the Conversation

  • Hi, I think this stat is high, but probably correct.
    I’m interested in helping along those businesses that in 2018 haven’t yet implemented an inventory solution. Will there be an easy solution to go from “no inventory system” to a “VR system”? Or do small and medium companies need to get their inventory sorted now to ride the VR wave? @silverlynxsupply

  • @silverlynxsupply great comment!! I think they will need to get a handle on their inventory before getting the most out of VR  – Lets Talk

Conversation on Twitter – See more of the Conversation

  • Probably not most likely will be robots. And people will be using AR rather than VR

  • Why is that?

  • AR would enable those in the warehouse to see what’s in the boxes and where things should be by combining what you see in reality with computer images. If they were to use VR they would be tripping over themselves as they would not be able to see their surroundings.

  • Agreed. Augmented Reality (AR) is the lever for supply chain. Not Virtual Reality for reason you state. 70% of warehouses w/ AR in some form 5 years out almost feels low, albeit robotics might depress what otherwise would be the adoption rate.

  • 1) Not convinced 5 yrs is possible. @WERC 2018 DC Measures Study, only 72% of facilities are using barcoding/RF scanners. That’s a 40 yr old tech not fully implemented in all facilities. 2) agree AR b4 VR for work whereas 3) VR for training is quite possible. See @yaleamericas

  • Yup, we hear you re: #virtualreality and training. Great article on the subject in @InsideLogistics last month, see page 25:   #VR

Question 12 – Ryan, USA
Aired: Nov 26/18
Episode 39

As I network and complete my SCM education over the next few years, I would like to concurrently gain some field SCM experience on the side to help make my transition into the SCM space less abrupt. Is it possible to gain SCM experience on the side?

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN – See more of the Conversation

  • Link up with SCM industry associations in your area. Perhaps they have student (lower priced) memberships. They may also have meetings or events. Perhaps volunteer for these events. Tyler Garnes

Question 13 – Graham Robins, Vancouver
Aired: Dec 3/18
Episode 40

If your company or brand disappeared tomorrow would anyone care

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN – See more of the Conversation

  • Yes!  We bring unique value to our clients every day and it’s the reason we get up in the morning. – Brian Glick
  • Like Brian is saying, we wake up in the morning to build 3PLs and Freight Brokers brands. Our software is the face of the company to their end customers. – Gwen Malbec
  • I can’t think of many companies that I couldn’t replace within 60-120 minutes of searching on Google if they went out of business… So that must mean that if Google disappeared – I would care! 🙂 And Amazon of course.  The reality is that if we really put ourselves in our customers shoes and ask from their perspective – they may care for a bit but they would replace us pretty quickly. With this in mind, lets create companies and experiences that would make them really miss us!  –Graham Robins
  • At JDA, we estimate that more than 70% of the world’s water is delivered using our supply chain software and nearly 2/3 of the world’s soap for starters, so yes if our company disappeared tomorrow I can’t imagine how many transactions would go unfulfilled to consumers around the globe and the disruption it would cause!! For the nearly 4,000 leading retailers, CPG companies and other brands that rely on JDA to deliver their goods, it would be an apocalyptic event for sure! – Kevin Laquinto, JDA

Question 14 – Lindsay, Indiana
Aired: Dec 10/18
Episode 41

What do you wish people would talk about more in supply chain?

CONVERSATION FROM TWITTER – See more of the conversation

  • Local Spend – @nicoleverkindt

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN (Sarah) – See more of the Conversation

  • The business beyond the ‘supply chain’…! Sarah, to elaborate a bit (Part 1)… No function exists or can add value in a vacuum, so my comment about “The business beyond __________” doesn’t only apply to supply chain.  It applies to putting the activities of any function in the context of, and pursuit of, the overarching business purpose, strategy and objectives. Picking-up on Tony’s ‘connected’ theme, at StrataBridge we help companies develop the ‘organisational eco-system’ – both the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’, both ‘visible’ and ‘invisible’ connections – that enables all functions to go ‘beyond the boxes’ on the org chart, delivering results that, by definition, none can on their own. This is founded on the belief that an organisation is a complex adaptive system – a living, interdependent, dynamic, self-organising (whether we like it or not!) network of interactions – and the principle that if we try to optimise the component parts independently, we sub-optimise the whole. With this in mind, developing the business ‘beyond the boxes’ requires developing the 4 C’s (described in Part 2 in the next comment)…~ Context – context shapes meaning and enables clear distinctions in our choices and actions. In this case including the external conditions we’re operating in and dynamics were contending with, our strategic choices – e.g. where to play, how to win, etc. – and how do we combine these with our unique capabilities and culture to create advantage? How we operate, drive and evolve our ‘supply chain’ is highly ‘context sensitive’. ~ Critical ‘Connections’ – depending on our context, strategy and culture, what are the ‘critical connections’ across functions – decisions, info flows, process touch-points/hand-offs, etc. – that enable us to ‘optimise the whole’? ~ Key ‘Connectors’ – who are the key people, in pivotal connecting roles, that bring our ‘eco-system’ to life – ensuring coherent action, and course-correction when things inevitably change – keeping it alive, fresh and relevant ~ Capabilities – what are the organisational, not just functional, capabilities we must develop to create advantage and fuel growth, defined from the future we’re creating and our context, culture and strategy? A big subject, even for 2 LI comments, but hopefully this provides some more insight into my earlier brief response… – Chris Turner

  • Spot on Chris. Successful organisations manage their organisations using capabilities which extend across the organisation – @Anaplan we talk about Connected Planning – Tony Player

  • I have a different take. We don’t talk about emotions, relationships, and mental health in this industry. We rarely see panels on employee well being. We are enamored with hard numbers and statistics and shy away from the squishy stuff. We’re all human beings trying to make it through the day, and we should talk about that more openly. – Brian Glick

  • Manufacturing. Too often supply chain means transportation and purchasing. Manufacturing itself is a huge part. Z – Anthony Zampello

  • You are right on the money Tony Z! – Mike Sarro II

  • I continue to hear references to the supply chain as that “necessary evil” or “the department of warehouses, trucks and trailers” – insiders know that winning today requires a supply chain mindset change.  I would like to see more conversations pointing to the value of the supply chain as a Strategic Competitive Weapon.  Steve Jobs named Tim Cook as his replacement for many reasons, it is my belief one key reasons for this appointment came through an absolute understanding of just how critical the supply chain is to an organizations ability to thrive and grow.  It is not a coincidence that companies with leading supply chains are also leaders in growth and profitability.  There was a study that showed total cost of goods and net profit comparing Walmart to one of their competitors – the supply chain costs represented a significant differentiation between the two and the end result, Walmart sold their comparable item at $2 lower than their competitor but made more profit dollars.  Examples are easy to identify, however, changing the mindset of an organization to see the supply chain for what it can be and the difference it can make when viewed as a strategic weapon is where the conversations of more organizations should be focused. –Kevin Sterneckert

  • Mainly that supply chains need to be looked at as more than just rate exercises. The only “simple” supply chains are poorly managed ones. The two main areas of weakness we usually see are in cross departmental communication and data capture. This is doubly true within organizations that don’t value their supply chain and only consider superficial elements like rates. Instead, the conversation should be about optimization and what that means now and moving forward. Efficient shippers understand that true savings come through optimization not transactional rate shopping. –Timothy Dooner

  • Saw an interesting presentation yesterday by Johannes Kern where he brought up some fundamental priority differences in the supply chain when dealing with different countries/cultures i.e. in developing markets (China) priorities were cost savings & productivity gains, while in developed markets (Germany) the priorities were planning, decision making, & customer satisfaction. I wish we could hear more about the realities of an international supply chain with a focus on how to align and SIMPLIFY the forces of culture, education, and business objectives. We have a huge gap between the brightest minds in the industry (whether they be CEOs/academics/consultants) and the people who actually do the work (clerks/warehouse operators/production managers). Believe this starts at university or has to be done by companies with in-house training, but the clock is ticking as automation & AI are coming but I don’t see anyone breaking down above barrier to de-mystify SCM. Why not? – Mac Sullivan

  • I’d be thrilled to hear more about the impact – really, the necessity of mastered data as part of the digital supply chain.  We hear a ton about Big Data, IoT, Industry 4.0, etc and the impact they will have on the supply chain – but they all have data at their core.   Without clean, accurate and agreed to data – none of those will have true business impact.    Much like Kevin Sterneckerts’ note – data is seen as a ‘necessary evil’ – but it truly is the fundamental building blocks of business – supporting the supply chain across all ends.     How do we bring boring ol’ data into the forefront of the supply chain conversation? – Doug Kimball

  • Inventory management would be my take. – Elias Maina

  • Advancing women and diversifying the supply chain – Sheri Spinks

  • My take will be “Preparing for Procurement Audit” especially in Public sector institutions – Paul Asante

  • Overcoming supply chain challenges with data management and integration and best continuous development programs that enhance talent within SCM are topics of interest to me….. – Kenedy Muchiri

  • true cost.   Too often  have seen companies from small to large focus solely on the single truck load cost. There is far more to a “good rate” than the dollars for transit.  What if your company makes materials specific for say The Super Bowl, (oops forgot that is a trademarked name, I meant The Big Game), and you have 50 truck loads of materials that need to deliver to New Orleans a week before the game. You book with a trucking company who says they can handle the complete move on time for a crazy low rate, and your boss is a numbers guy so he takes it.  Only 10 of the 50 trucks show on time, 20 more arrive the day after, the other 20 load the day of the game. How good is your LOW rate now? I believe companies need to communicate between sales, manufacture and financial departments to look at the real cost of transportation. Only then can they turn it from a cost center to a profit center. – Pat Roche

 CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN (Lets Talk) – See more of the Conversation

  • Logistics in Disaster Relief. I don’t see ANY coverage of relative to the incredible efforts made by nonprofit organizations to coordinate the massive relief provided in the most difficult circumstances imaginable. Recently DSV Air & Sea reached out to Salvation Army to see how we could assist them in their efforts to help the fire victims of Northern California. – Stacy Roth

Question 15 – Doug, Illinois
Aired: Dec 17/18
Episode 42

How do we bring boring ol’ data to the forefront of the supply chain conversation?

CONVERSATION FROM TWITTER – See more of the conversation

  • Local Spend – @nicoleverkindt

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN (Sarah) – See more of the Conversation

  • In any supply chain, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. It’s DATA that is driving success for Amazon. It is critical for companies that want to leverage emerging technologies like IoT, AI and Blockchain. But DATA ultimately will remain the weakest link in the supply chain until there are new standards to exchange information end-to-end instead of: Phone, Fax, Email and MS Excel documents. – Sandy Vosk

 CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN (Lets Talk) – See more of the Conversation

  • Well posed Sarah Barnes-Humphrey,CITP, CCI. Not only is data critical to supply chain, so to is sharing data across supply chain and between companies. That means supply chain professionals need to be conversant and comfortable with data. In fact, supply chain teams of the future (and the advanced ones already today) are recruiting as much from Departments and Faculties of Mathematics as they are from B-Schools. Here in Canada we will benefit significantly from the work of AI-Powered Supply Chain – SCALE AI. For those interested you might even join this upcoming webinar around data sharing and IP implications in the supply chain innovation ecosystem  – Christian Buhagiar
  • Great share. Make the conversation about seeing challenges or shifts in consumer demand and behavior before they ever occur. Let’s talk about how avoiding stock-outs, over stocking, warehouse inefficiencies and delayed shipments is a science, and it all starts with the right data. – Naomi Garnice
  • Well said Naomi – with the rapid growth of channels, consumer expectations for ‘now’ and desire for personalization – demand is exponentially harder to predict. Thinking further up the chain from product development thru S&OP into execution, making data tangible and accurate is essential. – Doug Kimball
  • We stop thinking of data as boring and start thinking of it as a mirror that should accurately reflect your freight. In fact, the notion that they’re two different things is part of the problem. For most companies, proper data capture and optimization is their next great supply chain savings frontier! And, as luck would have it, I just published an article on strategies shippers can use to save on their supply chains in 2019. The first call out is — DATA 🙂  – timothy Dooner
  • Tough topic, although it should be high on the agenda for all shippers. I think it should be viewed from not only a financial platform but a productivity one as well. Data doesn’t have to be boring if presented in an engaging way so all parties can see how something that may seem small can have a huge impact in the big picture.  Often times the focus is on large sweeping changes when only minor tweaks are needed to produce large results. This is where the data excels. Many think $50 here or there won’t add up to a lot, then they see the report at the end of the year. – Pat Roche
  •  I want to share with you this actual course from SAP, about the digital upraise and how the supply chain can benefit from it (A.I, Algorithm, machine learning…). One critical point that make big difference between old supply chain and advanced one (more intelligent and responsive), is the management of data gathered from clients with real-time analysis and decision making. this results with more consistent forecasts, demand planning, sales & inventory optimization. Data with no analysis is without meaning. –Achraf Aqari

Question 16 – Katherine, England
Aired: Dec 24/18
Episode 43

What are your supply chain teams' holiday traditions?

CONVERSATION FROM TWITTER – See more of the conversation

  • It’s watching A Christmas Story and rereading the POI Christmas story article from @DCVelocity https://www.dcvelocity.com/articles/20091201order_fulfillment_perfection/ … Enjoy! @LetsTalkSChain @bevictoryus #supplychain – Then we sit around and debate whether or not Ralphie received a perfect order… I still think that thing in the stock to tell time is missing… #perfectionintheeyeofthebeholder@pfmgmt – Joe Tillman

  • It’s a family gathering, yet I don’t have a picture of us right now, can I still enter? #supllychain – @niallxcraics  A M R

Question 17 – Anonymous
Aired: Jan 14/19
Episode 46

What can you do today that you were not capable of 12 months ago?

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN – See more of the conversation

  • Successfully negotiate T&C. My goal for 2019 is to be able to manage global sourcing successfully with plants located in different parts of the world – Bertha M Hernandez

  • Successfully manage global sourcing projects from the other part of the world. I learned that global teams could work under big time difference, language barriers and different cultures.- Irina Kuneva

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN (Sarah) – See more of the conversation

  • Inventory control, cashew nuts and sesame seeds quality analysis… – Ola Solomon
  • Successfully working remotely from my team in an agile work environment. I am now able to deliver an engaging and interactive training via Skype without losing half of the crowd to emails or social media – Nyema Robins

Question 18 – Chris Turner
Aired: Jan 21/19
Episode 47

What are the organizational capabilities we must develop to create advantage and fuel growth in our supply chains?

CONVERSATION FROM TWITTER – See more of the conversation

  • Effective Communication. It’s the ever present challenge in all organizations. Whether between departments or divisions, or supply chain professionals and suppliers.Meybest Procurement @meybestprocures

  • Collaboration on forecast, order, fulfillment docs, invoices and settlement across multiple disparate companies and their respective walled gardens of ERP. A network. A Multi-Enterprise Business network, if you will. #MEBN @supplychainbrew  Steve Ontiveros

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN (Sarah) – See more of the conversation

  • Through real-time visibility, automation, and reporting you can create a solid foundation for efficiencies that are realized all the way to the bottom line. These efficiencies can shift capital towards your growth plans. – Guy Serwin

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN (Lets Talk)  – See more of the conversation

  • I would say access to accurate and timely data (forecasts, trends, costs, variance, bias), the ability to quickly make decisions based on these data elements, and flexibility to change according to what the data is telling you. Supply chain can’t be thought of as a thing, its fluid and end to end, always requiring deep learning and adjustment to market, region, period conditions. Great question and I look forward to seeing more responses from this expert community. #alwayslearning #supplychain #growthmindset #alwaysbechanging  – Dave Mendenall
  • Lets Talk Supply Chain aside from using data to forecast, benchmark, enhance visibility, and lower rates through intelligent routing, which Dave covered, all I have to add is that supply chain managers should start thinking more like CFOs. Understand the investment, impact, ROI, and asset that your supply chain is and treat it accordingly. – Timothy Dooner
  • Timothy Dooner Great article. I’ve worked in large and small supply chains and agree that more effort and focus need to be applied to the financial opportunities a great supply chain can bring to an organization. We are constantly looking at how our end to end supply chain can be a competitive advantage. Thanks for sharing and connecting! – Dave Mendenall
  • Transparency – Sam Sharma
  • Sarah, thanks for picking this up as the Lets Talk Supply Chain question of the week. As we enter another new year where ‘growth’ is on everyones agenda – but the external environment of ‘volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity’ feels like it’s working against them – this seems as relevant as ever. Only a few are developing the deep organisational capabilities to take advantage of these conditions, and in particular gearing supply chain capabilities for growth in the face of these increasing pressures. Of course everyone is talking about hashtag#vuca conditions, and have been for a number of years, and everyone claims to be serious about hashtag#growth – annual reports, investor presentations and internal strategy sessions have been peppered with pronouncements of “double digit growth”, “growing faster than the market”, “growing through innovation”, blah, blah, blah, for as long as I can remember. It reminds me of Richard Feynman’s principle that “knowing the name of something is not the same as knowing something”… we need to get past just ‘naming’ these things and develop the deep capabilities to adapt, create advantage and deliver results through them… – Chris Turner

Question 19 – Jean Do
Aired: Jan 28/19
Episode 48

How are you responding to the huge spikes in returns caused by e-commerce?

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN (Lets Talk)  – See more of the conversation

  • Some businesses include return labels with the shipment to make it a bit easier for the customer but this may cause too many returns that don’t meet the stores return policy. So perhaps having a quicker vetting process between customer service and the customer then an easy and efficient way to generate return labels. Maybe just a few clicks of a button and then a quick spot to enter the customers email will help along with instructions!  – Stephen Ruhland

Question 20 -Meghan, Ottawa
Aired: Feb 4/19
Episode 49

What can a great supply chain bring a company financially?

BY EMAIL:

  • New sales marketsIncreased revenue thru better load weights, speed of lane=velocity of capitol. Saving unnecessary interest paid, Better cost of supply, Better security of supply, More fluid inventory control – Pat Roche

CONVERSATION FROM TWITTER – See more of the conversation

  • Proper #financial #forecast, stability, #visibility, #riskmanagement, #growth, company wide alignment- when it comes to #business the #supplychain function is the glue that keeps it running,without a properly managed #supplychain all the stabilizing building blocks do not exist. – Irina Rosca

  • Smooth operations, and leaner total costs. Morai Logistics

CONVERSATION FROM INSTAGRAM – See more of the conversation

  • Assurance of supply –> lower inventory, reduction in expedited freight, improved worker productivity, better inventory mix, fewer markdowns @smoloco

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN (Lets Talk)  – See more of the conversation

  • A great supply chain have so many benefits for the company, it can be a great way to mesure the growing of business. A well balanced supply chain can reduce cost in different aspects: production, logistics, procurement… Controlling costs and eliminating waste will lead to market share development and competitive prices. – Acharaf Aqari
  • I was just speaking with a client of ours who after go live has measured the results by a 10% reduction in inventory spend while improving sales (reduced stockpots) by over 15%. That’s a pretty good measurement of what a high performing supply chain can bring! – Neal Goffman
  • A great supply chain will secure on time delivery and availability. This in turn supports repeat business through a trusted customer experience. Priceless. – Nyema Robins
  • More loyal customers, better segmentation abilities to have a better customer experience, more effective planning and execution that drives costs down for end consumer (ideally…) – while none of those have hard numbers attached – who ultimately drives the financials for a company?  The customer.  Removing obstacles in getting product to customer through a more effective supply chain impacts the bottom line. – Doug Kimball
  • All the customer service and brand benefits are great, but your CFO cares about working capital.  If you’re fighting for budget (which we all are), explain that a great supply chain can reduce the number of days from when you pay your vendor until your customer pays you. – Brian Glick
  • I agree with Doug on this, and from my point of view the key word is reliability. A great SC will make the customers feel safe which will reduce the volatility within the SC. Win-Win – Johan Strom
  • Where do I begin? On the cost side, Many cost drivers in a business are controlled or influenced by supply chain decisions. Strategic supply chain decisions related to supply chain strategy and design will influence capital expenses, overheads and logistics costs including both warehousing/distribution. Tactical supply chain decisions such as vendor selection would influence COGS and directly hit the bottomline. Inventory policies will influence the C2C cycle and working capital requirements. On the revenue side, a well designed supply chain will increase customer loyalty/revenues through the ability to deliver perfect orders. This is just to name a few examples. -Tim A Hatem

  • The ability to manage inventory ensures that the turnover keeps increasing. Thus money comes in faster. Assets get utilised better which actually results in higher return on investment. #scm #finance  – Yogesh V Rao

  • What a silly question. All companies that move “physical goods” are basically “Supply Chain” companies. So the answer is EVERYTHING. – Richard Houlton

  • A great supply chain has control of costs from order to delivery and payment.  Not just control but visibility through every step of the process.  Having visibility means you are in a digital environment.  This decreases cost and time which has an immediate impact on a companies bottom line.  It also allows for robust data analytics so you can continue to analyze better ways to manage your supply chain and implement best practices.   – Jill Clifford

  • Wow…. Sarah, this could be literally, the one million dollars question¡¡¡  Imagination has no limits, and with a strong and well planned supply chain strategy companies can see not only saving in costs, but also, as it implies improvements in time and movement of things/goods, a faster incomes in the cash flow.  – Manuel Vega

Question 21 -Angie Reno
Aired: Feb 11/19
Episode 50

What does the impact of a container delay mean to you, your supply chain and your business?

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN – See more of the conversation

  • Lost of revenue per day $ if you are bringing finished goods, if it is machinery of raw material, the impact can be greater, now you are possibly facing lines of production shut down. – Jenny Chickering

  • Thank you for the mention, Sarah! I cannot tell a lie, this question was inspired by Diane Gillman in the ‘Change Agent’ podcast, Episode 6, starting after the 8:15 minute mark (although Allene’s story in the beginning is awesome).  Diane’s re-start after the age of 50 hinged upon a container arrival.  Good news: Diane’s supply chain is in tact.  🙂 https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/change-agent/id1353825724?mt=2 – Angie Reno

  • This really depends on the type of supply planning cycles in the company. Container delays for new product launches can cripple the success of the product, and depending on the impact, ultimately hurt the brand. For in-line products, container delays should not be as impactful, if the planning cycle is aligned with marketplace demands and the right safety times are set up based on regional demand, seasonality etc. If product is shipping from overseas, companies should not be running JIT manufacturing without calibrating other parts of the supply chain to address potential risks.  – Irina Rosca

  • Exactly, we must quit being on the defensive and rather find ways of getting the containers in on time. – Tamara Naa Smart-Abbey

  • In supply chains that are highly dependent on just in time shipping, a container delay can mean a lot of lost money, damaged relationships with buyers/retailers, and can paint you with a reputation of being unreliable. ..not to mention spoilage on perishables. Demurrage is only the first line up on the invoice of suck that container delays can cause. But, there’s some things you just can’t control and communication between partners is critical. That includes communication with brokers, customs, carriers, and customers to get ahead of any issues. Never be afraid to tell someone something they’re going to find out anyway. – Timothy Dooner

  • With the ULCV’s now in place calling specific ports, unfortunately this may be a more common occurrence due to the terminals not being able to move the larger volumes thru their system. – Ray Hurley

  • Delay in terms of delivery time (ETA) Estimated Time of Arrival, so i will lead us to rupture and then stress etc… definitely penalties but depends on the forms and articles of an agreement. – Abdul Basir Salehee

CONVERSATION FROM INSTAGRAM – See more of the conversation

  • If you are in B2B or B2C business, a small delay in container shipment can easily put an adverse effect on Ur relationship with Ur clients which can further lead to poor business. Delivering the products to ur client is the most important thing. You can have a lot of good points about Ur product but if the delivery is not in time it can easily put a drastic effect. @gurvinder_jit_singh

Question 22 – Steve, Washington
Aired: Feb 18/19
Episode 51

Are economic down turns good or bad times to optimize supply chain processes, networks, nodes, costs and technology? Why/whynot?

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN (Sarah) – See more of the conversation

  • The answer is now. Now is a good time to begin supply chain optimization. Otherwise you’re just leaving time, money, and miles on the table. Fix the leaks before they become floods. – Timothy Dooner

  • Agreed, but where to start if you dont have the capital? – Sarah, LTSC

  • You don’t need fancy technology to make internal process improvements or to make sure that your freight is routed properly (a lot isn’t…). So, simply start by benchmarking your carrier partners and talk to a firm that is freight agnostic and can be honest about your process. Doesn’t cost anything to have a conversation with us at  – Timothy Dooner

  • Now! Now! Now!  Make the investment, drive efficiencies and lower cost.  – Jill Clifford

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN – LTSC – See more of the conversation

  • They’re a great time. Focus on projects with low capital costs and quick ROIs as your leaders will be in cost savings mode. – Brian Glick

  • Great Answer! Sometimes we forget that there are options like that out there perfect for down turns. – Sarah, LTSC

  • Like a hosted integration platform – Brian Glick

CONVERSATION FROM INSTAGRAM – See more of the conversation

  • A great time assuming the company has saved up for the downturn. Great time to implement new software too. @thomasthedoubtr

Question 23 -Sarah, Toronto
Aired: Feb 25/19
Episode 52

If you could ask the CEO of an ocean carrier anything what would you ask them?

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN (Sarah) – See more of the conversation

  • Where do you see the most potential for improving sustainable logistics operations at sea? This is the question I posed at the end of the article I published this week >>  The industry has set some lofty goals regarding decarbonization and sustainability. It would be interesting to hear about some of the concrete measures being taken to reach these goals.  – David Weaver

  • CEO’s are normally concerned with share prices and shareholders perhaps a question about co-operation with competitors. Airlines have realized that competing in certain lanes is pointless so Air Alliances came to life. Can we see a similar process in the Ocean industry with alot less players. Have a good seminar. – Lucky Singh

CONVERSATION FROM LiNKEDIN – Inspire SC & Logistics Exectuives – See more of the conversation

  • Why doesn’t she / he know how much it costs him / her to ship a container from point A to point B? If they do know how much it costs than the follow up question is why do they collectively lose hundreds of millions of dollars every year? – Robert Garrison

  • At what point will carriers cease building ever bigger ships and put more focus on service ? – Steve Cox

  • Why is there a lack of transparency in container allocation management, even from the point of a ship’s christening and first voyage? Do C-Suite (or even Board Level members) realize the antiquated methodologies of space management foster mistrust within the most important component of trade: the customer? (Sorry Sarah … two part. Cheers!) –Angie Reno

CONVERSATION FROM LINKED – Community of SC Professionals – See more of the conversation

  • Rates – Will rates stabilize, or are we going to have another year of violent fluctuations? Who and what causes rate instability? Who and what causes rate stabilization? Relationships – Can the relationship between the BCO and Steamship Line be salvaged? Or does BCO loyalty really matter anymore? Contracts – Will they be honored? Will the steamship lines continue to not support the contracts they’ve signed so rates to float per market levels? How can a carrier get an Importer to trust service and contracts again? How can a BCO respect a carrier if agreements are ignored? – Jeffrey Solomon

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN – Women in Retail – See more of the conversation

  • At what point will carriers cease building ever bigger ships and put more focus on service ? – Lisa Logan

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN – Retail Industry Professionals – See more of the conversation

  • Does a Ocean Carrier had a CEO or a captain? 🤷‍♂️ – Jeroen Van Tuijl

  • What are the responsibilities or duties of the ceo of an Ocean Carrier do? – Window Décor in a bag

  • What would be the most difficult crises he might have to deal with as the “captain” of many captains. – Ipek Seker

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN – Third Party Logistics – See more of the conversation

  • What keeps you up at night? – Brian Glick

  • How far away is block chain and RIM the norm? If given the keys to the castle and given the ability to make a massive industry improvement what would it be? Replenishment and offhire strategies for 2019-20 With the prediction of a 8.2% CAGR over next 6-7 years *that will mimic the e-commerce trend. How are you going to keep your commitments with the increased demand on a already old and failing US infrastructure? – Ian Zaretsky

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN – LTSC – See more of the conversation

  • What are the top 3 challenges that ocean freight providers are facing today?  2. What are the expected future trends in this industry?  3. What are the prospective spaces in this industry which are targeted for advancement by use of analytics in the near future?  – Lakshmi N Reshma Nanduri

  • What do you value the most ? Risk in shipments or the returns in the carrier? – Yogesh V Rao

CONVERSATION FROM INSTAGRAM – See more of the conversation

  • How to manage natural disasters in ocean?. @__shanepark

  • What are your preferred KPIs with regards to the environment and are how are you assessing them? @strangerimp

CONVERSATION FROM TWITTER – See more of the conversation

  • What is the biggest unsolved external challenge affecting your business? What new approaches have you identified to solve or mitigate it? @ebuyerpro

  • where do reduced emissions and improved fuel economy fit into the carrier’s strategy and priorities? I.E. making a positive contribution to reducing climate change impact. @rsims

EMAIL:

  • Sarah, excellent question.  I would ask them how focused they are on a more diverse workforce. – Ellen Voie, Women in Trucking

Question 24 – Peter, New York
Aired: March 4/19
Episode 53

You have a 5 minute audience with a Global Head of Oceanfreight from one of the largest freight forwarders, what is your biggest questions?

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN

  • How are you adopting a digital supply chain model to stay relevant?

  • How do you view Flexport, Amazon and the Uber Freight Model?

  • Are they competition and the future of the industry?

Question 25 -Sofia, Germany
Aired: March 11/19
Episode 54

ASK ANYTHING – If you could only ask one question to a VP of transportation of an enterprise business, what would you want to know?

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN

  • How are you adopting a digital supply chain model to stay relevant?

  • How do you view Flexport, Amazon and the Uber Freight Model?

  • Are they competition and the future of the industry?

Question 26 -Katie, Houston
Aired: March 18/19
Episode 55

What do you want to see included in the conversations around diversity and inclusion? What matters to you?

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN (LTSC), See more of the conversation

  • “Action items.” There are lots of conversations but they never conclude with a plan and accountable parties to make sure diversity and inclusion are actually achieved.  –Dyci Manns Sfegola, CSCP

  • Strategically never put all eggs in one basket to diversify the risk as an action need include or add those business lines which can provide greater benefit to the world – Adnan Peerzada

  • Cross functional ownership – there has to be buy in from all areas and all levels of leadership for this to be more than just lip service. – Kasia Roe

  • Yes!!! Fewer buzzwords, more leader lean in. – Tatjana Versaggi

  • How can companies really plan for diversity and inclusion in their operations and leadership roles. Having a plan with clear milestones along with mindset coaching to work on reducing biases. – Clarecia Christie

  • An empowered gender balanced team equipped with the needed resources to achieve corporate goals. I will advocate for greater roles for women – Paul Asante

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN (Personal), See more of the conversation

  • I would like to see simple, actionable solutions that do not require corporate strategic sign-off. AJ’s point below is spot on. If a dedicated corporate contact does not truly drive change, it will just be talk. We, as industry contacts, can network tho, as we are doing here. Boston Consulting Group sites networking as a Hidden Gem in impacting diverse management ratios. In Supply Chain, we have AWESOME.org, in Energy there is WomensEnergyNetwork.org, etc., etc. – Angie Reno

  • Great question Sarah – what matters to me is having a dedicated contact that seriously values the importance of following up. As an Indigenous entrepreneur I often read/see/meet contacts that talk the talk about inclusion and diversity, yet there needs to be a follow up and circling back to build an effective relationship for both parties. – AJ Bird

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN (Logistics & SC Professionals), See more of the conversation

  • As a member of a religious minority, diversity and inclusiveness mean leaving anything connected to religion behind in the workplace. By not connecting the company to any faith, organizations can avoid alienating team members from any background. I embrace and celebrate differences, I also think it’s our commonalities that bring us closer together in our professional communities. – Naomi Garnice

OUR EXPERTS WEIGH IN BY EMAIL

  • Hi Sarah, My comment to this week’s question about diversity and inclusion would be for us to focus on diversifying our talent, creativity, innovation and overall thought process. In one of Sapna’s interviews on her podcast a guest mentioned such a great point around diversity – we can focus on diversifying based on race and gender as much as we want but if we have a full spectrum of representation based only on gender and race, and everyone thinks alike, there really isn’t any diversity! Thanks, Julie Shum

Question 27 -Curt Yeater
Aired: March 25/19
Episode 56

How do you Prepare for natural disasters in your supply chain? Ie. Polar vortex, hurricanes etc

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN (LTSC), See more of the conversation

  • In a preparation of natural disaster hiting your supply chain, first thing to put in mind is to prepare for worst case scenario. Preparation have to take in consideration few steps to ensure a quick recover: Assessment for all risks that could affect your supply chain directly, and the supply chain of your suppliers and customer. Create a risk management response in short and mid term, in order to overcome all issues with minimum loses. After the disaster, make sure to learn and optimize your plan to be well prepared for next time. – Achraf Aqari
  • Supply chain is like how we live our lives: Is it preparation for any event (blank sailings, polar vortex, weather), no. Why? You can’t possibly prep for anything any everything that could possibly happen! BUT – preparation comes in the form of investing in people & business relationships, which enables the ability to react to the unknown…. Build a team with talent that can master exception management. Seriously: weather happens, manage through it operationally & lead the business stakeholders through the ramifications. Find improvement or lessons learned, and know that weather will happen again. Any event can be navigated through, as leaders, with a good team & collaborative relationships with business partners. It won’t be perfect all of the time – but you, your team, and the business, will get past the “event.” Best of all: your team gets to grow from the experience. Again – it’s just like life… do you want your kids to grow up fearing and prepping for the unknown, or learning how to face the unknown & mature from that moment? – Mary McNelly

  • Let’s talk about how to we secure our supply chain against “blank sailings” which seem to be just as impactful – Jeffrey Solomon

CONVERSATION FROM TWITTER, See more of the conversation

  • @LeahGlobal  Be ready to pivot – Have your roster of alternative partners, suppliers, shippers. Expect the unexpected….and be prepared!

  • @Haqcast I recommend my #entrepreneur clients put as much risk onto the partner as possible, since they themselves are not big and sophisticated enough yet to stomach these risks. If your shipments go out exworks this is less of an issue

  • @TresAudrey Hard to prepare for natural disasters “Act of God” stuff. You can prepare for busy times of year / general uncertainty by leaving lots of time to move your goods OR planning to use expedited services at higher cost.

Question 28 – Jeffrey Solomon
Aired: April 1/19
Episode 57

Question 29 – Layla, Houston
Aired: April 8/19
Episode 58

How do we secure our supply chain against "blank sailings" and how do they impact our business?

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – LTSC – See more of the conversation

  • Hi Sarah – I would encourage them to start working on their designation as soon as possible. It opens up so many resources,new contacts, gained input of experience through others and collaboration. Check out  – Lisa Fenton

  • Supply chain is an interesting profession which calls for one to always come up with ideas on the go to ensure the final consumer of whatever Service/product being sold has the best experience. Young professionals coming into Supply Chain must have Business Acumen and be ready to learn what each unit in the entire chain does and how the chain is as strong as it’s weakest link. Young professionals must be ready and willing to go the extra mile coming into Supply Chain. – Tamara Naa Smart-Abbey

  • I think here, they must learn to look ahead. It’s like a game of chess, only with one hell of a lot more opponents. Be ten steps ahead, predict, prevent, and learn from stuff that goes wrong while continuously looking for improvement – Daria Kremenskaia

  • Be yourself, don’t placate to a bad culture, seek out mentorship programs, invest in at least one advanced learning class and/or certificate per year. LinkedIn learning is an awesome resource. – Angie Reno

  • As someone who did not start their career in supply chain, the advice I give to young professionals coming into supply chain is to be open to a variety of opportunities or paths. It is ok if what you initially think is going to be your trajectory is modified. I would encourage young professionals to get involved in professional associations as soon as possible and take the time to try out a variety of interests in order to determine what they enjoy most. – Timothy A Pajak

  • Realize that people before you have lots of great information to share. Be open to those who offer you advice and be willing to recognize you don’t know it all. Also, be open to opportunities that don’t necessarily “fit” your dream. Because they could be the door to an amazing adventure. – Andrea Roussel

  • Firstly, would agree with Angie Reno that a mentor is important however would try to find that in your first boss if at all possible. Secondly, I would not shy away from learning (self learning or through online academy) 1.) Sequel 2.) Python 3.) PM methodology like Agile 4.) analytics software like Tableau 5.) work on Excel skills like using Macros – these are the skills we are lacking (myself included) but wish I had learned a decade ago – Mac Sullivan

  • 1) Always keep learning and innovating. That’s the essence of supply chain. 2) Focus on the solutions, not the problem. 3) Keep yourself “resilient”. 4) In terms of career growth, don’t think vertical, think lateral. The opportunities are infinite. – Rachel Yabut

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN – Personal Page – See more of the conversation

  • Stay on the management versus the service side of the industry. – Anthony Gordon

  • Being in supply chain is not at glamorous as other industries, but the knowledge you can learn far surpasses others.  – Andrew (AJ) Tjaden

CONVERSATION FROM INSTAGRAM – LTSC – See more of the conversation

  • @thereal_bmj Logistics isn’t the most attractive career. It will not not make you “instafamous”. But it is an industry that can withstand the tests of time. It is an industry nested within so many other industries; making the opportunities endless!

  • @silverlynxsupply
    When you are ready, specialize in a specific industry because then you really start to build your personal worth. If you are passionate about it, learn as much as you can about all aspects of supply chain. Knowing how it all fits together will benefit you enormously. 

  • @preetynaa Sarah, my advice will be, Supply Chain is a very interesting profession. They should be willing to know what each unit in the chain does and how they seamlessly join together to ensure Finished goods get to the final consumer in good shape. They must be ready to always be on the go with ideas and ways to ensure the right good/ Service is available at the right place at the right time. That makes it more challenging and very interesting. Many say, Supply chain is a thankless profession but young professionals coming into Supply chain will enjoy being in this profession. It’s that one profession that will always keep them active every time

CONVERSATION FROM TWITTER – LTSC – See more of the conversation

  • Ulrich Benz‏ @benz_ulrich Replying to @LetsTalkSChain @SupplyChainBlog My take on this question is as usual: Stay curious and challenge tradition. To do that, start looking at personal experience first. You, the customer, are at the heart of every supply chain. Don’t just be happy that your package arrives quickly, but also ask yourself how and why.

EMAIL:

What I hear most is the field is still a mystery to many.  Those who appear to be taking the lead enjoy that ability to tackle complex problems and have a passion for fixing business issues.  Many who took a class or were exposed to an internship in supply chain were pleasingly surprised and forever commitment to the filed of study.  My best advice is take a class and see if it is a good fit. You might be surprised beyond your belief.

Lillian Dukes, Principal email: 

Question 30 – Sarah, Toronto
Aired: April 15/19
Episode 59

What would you like to hear more of or learn more from Women Supply Chain?

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – LTSC – See more of the conversation

  • Would like to know how they juggle their time between family and work. Also, what some of their major challenges have been and how they overcame them– Tamara Nee Smart-Abbey

  • How do they maintain team mates / management trust when dealing with issues that are out of their control? – Audrey Ross

  • Hello, I would like to hear more about what challenges women in supply chain are facing around workforce constraints in the warehouse.  In addition, it would be good to hear about how women in supply chain are taking advantage of innovation to help improve efficiency and productivity.   – Lori Harner

  • I have been hearing a lot about the use of blockchain technology in logistics and supply chains. I would like to know how much women are aware of the technologies and other innovations that are available to make their operations more seamless?– Clarecia Christie

  • Would be interested to hear more about their career making decision process back when they were 20. How many of senior supply chain women actually studied/majored in SCM or related field? How did they make that decision? What interested them? How could we make SCM and logistics more interesting to the next generation of practitioners (men or women)? – Mac Sullivan

  • How can women in Consulting build professional relationships with male clients? – Rachel Yabut

  • Hi Sarah – I would welcome more diverse representation at industry conferences. It was great to see the open communication that took place at SCMAO s Take the Lead:Women in Supply Chain.. there was such an amazing comfort level in the honesty of the discussions both on stage and in the audience. Thank you for creating your platform to enable women to have a voice in Supply Chain! It is always valuable to hear how other women in Supply Chain made it to their senior level positions and hear the challenges they overcame along the way. – Lisa Fenton

CONVERSATION FROM INSTAGRAM – LTSC – See more of the conversation

  • @ck458 – What are the best designations?
  • @preetynaa – What have been some of the challenges these WISC regularly encounter

CONVERSATION FROM TWITTER – LTSC – See more of the conversation

  • @MoraiLogistics – Programs in supply chain and logistics that will give women an edge to climb to C-Level or Management positions! Logistics as a career option are not even introduced to youth in general, nevermind women, let’s put it in the forefront 🙂

  • @MoraiLogistics – How about “What would you tell the young women of today figuring out what they want to do to inspire them towards a career in supply chain?”

Question 31 – Matt, Tennessee
Aired: April 22/19
Episode 60

What do you do to find supply chain talent? Where do you go, how do you look for talent etc...?

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN (LTSC): See more of the conversation here

  • For me, I stay fairly active on LinkedIn and in my networking groups. I also think that “good people refer good people” and with that said, I am a big believer in employee referrals. No matter how big of a mouth piece you have (or your reach) as a Recruiter, no one person can reach as many people by them self as a team of people can. Start with hiring the right people, treat them well and you have a built-in network that will sell its self. Michelle DeVevo

Article on the future of the workforce:

https://www.fastcompany.com/90315240/a-new-generation-of-young-managers-is-reshaping-how-we-work?

7 Creative ways to find supply chain talent

https://www.scmr.com/article/7_creative_ways_to_find_supply_chain_talent

Question 32 – Jess, Malaysia
Aired: May 6/19
Episode 62

How can we create more value in our supply chains?

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – LTSC – See more of the conversation

  • By optimizing the things 🙂 – Yasha Ahmadov

  • I think companies should look to apply new technologies to their supply chain, blockchain technology for example would be a great added value to global supply chain. – Achraf Aqari

  • I’m curious if you have any examples of block chain adding value?- Melissa Watson

  • Melissa Watson you can check this link for an example: https://www.ibm.com/blockchain/industries/supply-chain – Achraf Aqari

  • Building strong relationships with your supply chain partners both upstream and downstream. Understand and communicate your organization’s strengths and challenges, and do your best to learn about the strengths and challenges of your partners within the supply chain – understanding how they measure some of their KPI’s is a great starting point. The more you understand about each other, the quicker you can adapt and create better efficiencies. The beauty of supply chain is that there is always room for improvements. – Kellen Spence

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN (SB Personal Page) – See more Conversation

  • An interesting point of view came out of TPM 2019 when Bjorn Vang Jensen talked about how we can become better leaders within our organization. We logistics and supply chain professionals are natural problem solvers but we have a tendency to fly under the radar, until something goes wrong, that is. By taking the initiative to share our stories within our organization, we can build strong cross functional relationships and provide *visible* value that would otherwise go unnoticed. I would add to that, *education* is also a huge part of providing value. I don’t expect non-Operations folks to speak logistics, or trade compliance, or planning, etc. By providing educational opportunities that illustrate how upstream (or downstream) decisions impact the supply chain, I find the number of “WTF” moments decrease significantly.  – Kasia Roe

  • More value? Understanding the Voice of Customer, VoC. Both internally and externally.  – Ziad Khashram

  • The best way to create more value in the supply chain is to ensure the goals of the supply chain line up with the goals of the business. Also to advocate / educate the business on the opportunities supply chain can bring. When you look at Walmart, Zara, Amazon, H&M they have all used Supply Chain for massive advantage linked at the hip with their business goals. Walmart business goal is lowest price always and their supply chain tech and hub and spoke models are designed to ensure their costs stay low. Amazon business objective is customer obsession and they have used their supply chain prowess to deliver never before possible services. H&M and Zara have fast fashion business strategies and their supply chain is designed for speed. – Robert Garrison

CONVERSATION FROM TWITTER – LTSC – See more of the conversation

  • MEYBEST Procurement‏ @MeybestProcures That was a huge goal of the company I worked for. Our Supply Chain Division was tasked with things like asset management, fleet optimization, process improvements, and inventory management improvements in addition to our regular sourcing events (ideation to close out/re-bid).

Question 33 – Irina Rosca
Aired: May 13/19
Episode 63

Why is supply chain process so important? Why is it so often missing?

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – LTSC – See more of the conversation

  • Supply Chain is the engine of any organization shifting products around the world, whether for retail consumption, manufacturing or supporting daily life (food, fuel, shelter). If a core process (much like core values) does not exist, the objective can be too easily influenced and changed. And, just like people, some core values should remain constant allowing for growth. – Angie Reno

  • 100% Agree – Irina Rosca

  • When we have a good supply chain planning you avoid the hidden expenses… I know it’s complex for the super big companies. But if the SME’s can start doing a good homework and establish accurate rules and policies about their planning, they will grow significantly. – Enrique Sobalvarro

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN (Inspired Supply  Chain & Logistics Executives) – See more Conversation

  • Sarah, I think the supply chain process is so important because it is so pervasive in any business, and oftentimes this is your highest cost. Dealing with transportation, material, production schedules. If this is mishandled it can cost companies large sums in obsolescence or down time. To me, supply chain is the fabric that holds together the different functions of an organization. As to why it’s often missing, this can be many reasons. I feel the main reason is that supply chain isn’t “sexy” and it isn’t obvious. You can look at your sales from quarter to quarter and there’s a plain deviation. But with supply chain, there are a lot of variables that go into measuring success. Supply chain is all give and take. You get better in one area, but you’re a little worse off. It’s about leveraging spend. It’s so overlooked because so many aspects are under the surface, and even the successes can sometimes be hard to attribute directly to supply chain. –Logan Creger

CONVERSATION FROM TWITTER – LTSC – See more of the conversation

  • @LetsTalkSChain Fantastic question and spot on from our PoV. Companies should look for new revenue from the outside-in, starting with their partners! Sharing our blog on this topic here – 3 ways a #DigitalEcosystem drives value on our blog here: https://www.cleo.com/blog/digital-ecosystems

Question 34 – Darrell, California
Aired: May 20/19
Episode 64

Would you rather hire a contractor or employee? Why or why not?

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – LTSC – See more of the conversation

  • That’s always an interesting debate, especially from where you are looking at the debate. Some companies opt for contract work due to the fluctuation of work or look at it to minimize risks.  There are “decisions” should be taken when deciding to contract or to fulltime hire and its usually case-by-case scenarios, here are 2 examples.  1. Is the task ‘finite’? Think about a special co-packing offer, its a non-standard operation, and requires resources that may not be as readily available. Contract work here would possibly be the most cost-effective. (Design, physical co-packing, logistics, etc…)  2. Does the company have the technical skills they require?  If they don’t, do they have work for over 3-6 months or is it a short-term project? Think consultants, hiring a consultant for 30+ hours/week for over 6 months can be very expensive, and might be better to have a fulltime.  (Looking into a strategy shift, a consultant might be better as they bring the biggest value at the start of the journey, and based on the success they can either hire them or help in sourcing a fulltime to continue the journey – for sustainability). –Ziad Khashram

  • Great question, Sarah. I have hired and managed full time employees and freelancers and been a full time employee and freelancer. There’s a level of understanding around your organization, products and purpose that only someone who is at the company, building relationships with their cross functional partners can navigate. A hybrid model can be the perfect approach, but the more complicated your offerings and the deeper your vision, the more helpful a staff of full time experts who actively partner with other teams is. There’s also the cost. Many leaders see this as a savings sans healthcare benefits when they’re actually investing more than they would (in full time team members) outside of the organization with agencies and freelancers for a frequently less targeted result. – Naomi Garnice

  • Hey Sarah, couldn’t resist chiming in. Great question and great content on your part. I read the article…here’s a couple additional thoughts. The shape of the workforce has been shifting for years as the speed of business, automation and technology impact every sector, including supply chain, this certainly isn’t a new trend and as the article points out it’s picking up speed. These influences put exponential pressure on the skill sets required to compete both as the worker and for the company. An example here is the growing demand for data analytics across the supply chain. Many SCM execs can only obtain resources in a contract consulting (gig) basis. Those in this area are paid very well and enjoy a lot of flexibility. A move from permanent to contracting can be a great move however there is a mindset shift necessary too. The critical point in the article from my perspective is the following: The next generation of freelancers will simply know freelancing as an attractive, legitimate, career path. Key phrase “career path”…if it’s not treated as such you’ll soon become dismayed and look to shift back to permanent. Working as a freelancer or consultant is akin to running a business and to be most successful requires the business acumen to do so…especially marketing/sales capability. You can be very good but if you can’t obtain freelance roles or no one knows you it could be a slow go to generate revenue. The long term rewards however are fantastic for the committed and agile. A decision to jump in is a very individual decision based on your specific circumstances. A couple suggestions to consider if your interested in freelancing is to make a long term career decision to do so, build a brand, create content and build your network. It’s never to early to start preparing! – Jeremy Tiffin

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN (Sarah Personal) – See more Conversation

  • I love the idea that more & more companies are thinking outside of the box when it comes to hiring but I think the answer is more position specific. Most positions would be fine to go either way but some roles really need to be committed. – Michelle Devevo

  • Great topic.  We are moving more and more toward outsourced expertise where we need high level talent but have needs less than 40 hours a week.  For example, we have an “inhouse counsel” that is part time as well as highly talented expert on contract manufacturing. Both adding tremendous value and they get to do other great things for other companies accelerating their learning and their long term value to us.  – Rich Carlson

EMAIL:

Hey Sarah, this one resonated with me as we have been having a mix of contractors and full time employees since we started at FreightPath. My answer is that for any key/strategic activities of your company, you want dedicated employees. I find often times contractor are delivering average quality results compared to the standards I have for the company. Now a contractor can be more affordable for punctual jobs and bring skills that will complement your existing team’s skillset. My 2 cents 😉

 Take care and keep rocking at it.

-Gwenael Malbec

Question 35
Aired: May 27/19
Episode 65

“How do you explain supply chain or what you do to your family?

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – LTSC – See more of the conversation

  • I generally say something like, “Turn over that (whatever is nearby- cup, bowl, tray, etc) and tell me where it was made.  Companies like mine help companies like theirs move that efficiently, cost effectively, and compliantly.”  This has been perfected over 13 years. 🙂  Love what we do! – Angela Czajkowski

  • That’s what I say!! ” People like me exist in the background to make sure products get to consumers” or “you inky know about people like me if we’ve had a bad day” lol – Cassie McCombs

  • Elevator pitch…We make minor miracles happen everyday so that your grocery stores and retail shops are full and online orders are on time. – Kimberly Rodriguez

  • I tell them that supply chain is a chain of different entities which transforms raw material into finished products and make sure about the availability of all those products as well, so that we can get all the products everywhere. – Madhav Anand

  • ‘I sell space on ships and airplanes for cargo’. I used to say ‘I’m a tour agent for cargo”. Either response always gets a surprised reaction. – Stacy Roth

  • Me and my dad has deduced it to one word, “Fedex” or in local context we would explain “Logistics is something like TIKI or JNE” (Indonesian 3PLs). Its both cute and a little embarrasing whenever we drive and sees the word “logistics”, he will start pointing at it and call my name. Havent figured out a short answer to explaining supply chain yet! I used to use the textbook definition 😂 – Jessica Vania

  • I tell them that I make it easy for people to do their jobs – Jennifer Torlorn

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN (Sarah Personal) – See more Conversation

  • It’s how your (insert purchase) made its way to you, from a warehouse or store, across oceans, roads and skies. That endless chain of commerce and consumption. – Naomi Garnice

  • Presented about supply chain for the kids the other day (see post for picture) – Jeffrey Solomon

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN – Inspires Supply Chain & Logistics Executives – See more Conversation

  •  Hi Sarah – I jokingly say spreadsheet guru …and so much more.- Lisa Fenton

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN – Logistics & Supply Chain Professinals – See morre Conversation

  • A long time ago I saw a video explaining Supply Chain and I really liked the way they did it. They used bottled water as an example, all the way from getting the plastic bottles and labels to actually distributing it. That example works quite well for me when I try to explain what I do. I do think is quite hard to explain supply chain as people tend to perceive supply chain elements as isolated and not as linked and dependent. For them either you do purchasing or logistics, etc. I always mention that as Supply chain professionals we have a holistic view of every activity of the company. – Luis Alonso Esqueda Payan

INSTAGRAM – See more of the Conversation

  • @lean3.2 – After I give them my 1hr presentation and they stare at me like a deer in head lights. I say “I Buy Shit!!” then they nod. 😂😂😂😂
  • @d_a_i_s_y_09_06 #picoftheday
  • @kamal._.kt hahahaha EXPORT IMPORT, they only understand when I use word *COURIER * 😢
  • @felicity_metcalf I have definitely not nailed this… was checking comments for ideas 😜
  • @_thebat “I’m responsible for getting our products from manufacturing plants to the shelves where you buy them.” (and really soooo much more but I leave it at that) 😂
  • @brittbharrison “I buy stuff and I babysit engineers” is usually my go to

EMAIL:

We move what’s made to the market.

Robert Garrison, Mercado Labs

Question 36
Aired: June 3/19
Episode 66

“IMO 2020 is the first step towards limiting the carbon footprint but how feasible would speed limits be? and do we want resources allocated to managing speed limits?

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – LTSC – See more of the conversation

  • I agree that the end user will ultimately pay the cost associated with carbon footprint reduction – this has been the case with all carbon reduction programs. I’m skeptical on the tactics of speed reduction being deployed, but then again I’m not an expert in the mechanics of marine propulsion systems. I would also be curious to know if there are any players that would be given exemptions or rebates to these costs ie: Amazon. Amazon has done well with their special arrangements with US Post – Could this be a measure to squeeze the little guys who can’t afford the added costs or dont have the industry leverage to be granted special treatment? –Kellen Spence

  • Interesting point because now we add competition into the mix and possible competitive advantage – LTSC
  • Lets Talk Supply Chain I completely agree that environmental protection needs to be a top priority in all business activities going forward, however when there is a global initiative being set I always ask myself “who is going to gain from this?” I can see major players in global business leveraging their positions to minimize the impacts or even benefit from such regulations. I could be completely wrong, but still curious – Just the way my brain perceives this I guess.-Kellen Spence

Question 37
Aired: June 10/19
Episode 67

“If you were the CEO of your company, what would keep you up at night?

EMAIL:

  • Staffing- Recruiting and retaining the absolute best talent in this ever-changing business
  • Prioritizing Innovation- Knowing what to tackle first while creating the best possible customer experience
  • Enthusiasm for the next big idea or project- I’ve got to jot those ideas down while they’re fresh in my mind!

Angela Czajkowski

  1. What external factors could disrupt our organization (fuel prices, trade wars, hurricanes).
  2. How can I keep my employees engaged and happy?
  3. How can I balance my work life and my personal life, (which is pretty unbalanced right now.)

Ellen Voie

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – LTSC – See more of the conversation

  • Great question, I have 2 answers. 1. Helping my employees evolve to stay ahead of the innovation curve because it’s moving rapidly. Skills relevant today won’t be relevant tomorrow. I need my employees to have the right skills that can help our company, but that won’t be replaced with automation and AI over the next 10-20 years 2. Excited about the market increasingly rewarding collaboration. The partnerships that bring value and insight to the table are a differentiator. – Erica Howell

  • 1)Customer care, by means of providing remarkable and quality products and services . 2) Employees Care, by means of training and development, payout to laid better life. 3) Organizational Culture, by assuring friendly environment where people feel that they are not employees but the partner. – Adnan Peerzada
  • As a tech founder and CEO, I am excited about the near future of where the integration and adoption of IoT, blockchain, and AI will become a reality. The vision of real-time invoice and payment reconciliation through smart contracts for all businesses can become a reality if the interests of all parties involved are taken into consideration and irrefutable proof of work (e.g. pickup and delivery) becomes fully-automated. I echo Erica that we must as leaders retrain our employees with new skills that will be relevant in the supply chains of tomorrow. I believe it is the responsibility of tech founders to make commitments to offering training to the employees of the businesses that utilize our technologies to automate their businesses. I for one won’t wake up on top of the mountain looking down at all those I left behind. I want them to climb with us. Let’s do it together! – David Bryan

LINKEDIN – See more of the conversation here

  • The fallout from the tariffs, company supported effective healthcare and a fair minimum wage with shareholders buy-in. –Anthony Gordon
  • These are great and very thought provoking! Can you explain the last one? – Sarah Barnes-Humphrey
  • Shareholders are looking for a return on their investment versus a fair living wage for non-skilled hourly employees.  Raising wage levels would affect profit margins and stock prices.  In these controversial times, how do the two meet?  Sleepless nights for CEO’s trying to find a common ground for this if they have a sense of consciousness. – Anthony Gordon

INSTAGRAM – See more of the conversation here

  • graye_space Are my employees evolving within their positions, am I allowing them to grow to their potential and how can I teach myself how to trust them to bring it to the table.

Question 38
Aired: June 17/19
Episode 68

“What is your definition of supply chain optimization”

EMAIL:

Hi Sarah, Oh, good question. This was supply chain optimization was my exact role at my last corporate job. My definition of supply chain optimization is to be resourceful, cut out non-value add activities and understand everyone’s needs throughout the entire vertical to be able to serve each other efficiently. I say serve each other even to those upstream because all parties need to work collaboratively and with empathy in order to execute with efficiency that affects everyone along the supply chain. It can’t be optimized by purely analyzing the inventory levels, ship and delivery dates. In order to improve significantly the supply needs to be examined holistically including soft skills such as effective communication. Best, Julie Shum

CONVERSATION ON TWITTER – See more of the conversation

  • @SCMATT2 – It’s a myth. The moment something changes in the optimization equation you are no longer optimized. If you re-optimize eveytime something changes you are in a constant state of analysis with no action.
  • @chrisxthornton – Discover the best resources to use in your supply chain. Then strategically use those resources to their optimal capability.

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – LTSC – See more of the conversation

  • Supply chain optimization is making the most efficient use of the resources you have at your disposal. Whether it’s how you use our own assets/infrastructure, or how you utilize your third party partners, creating an optimized supply chain means that all resources are being utilized with the least amount of waste possible. Also, optimization is a continual process and must be evaluated regularly as a best practice. – Kellen Spence

  • You used the magic word in one of your last videos. Collaboration! Working together for a common goal with openness and trust. And it has to be digital. If systems aren’t talking to each other in 2019, come on… Enough with emailing PO’s or shipment information.  – Erik Valiquette
  • Not so making it efficient, but more so easier to track, plan, and execute goods from one place to the next! – Andrew Tjaden

  • I would say integration through collaboration. – Frank loots

Question 39
Aired: June 24/19
Episode 69

What would you say to the next generation to get them excited about supply chain?

EMAIL:

Sarah, at Women In Trucking we’re reaching the next generation through our supply chain activity book, our Girl Scout Transportation Patch and our truck driver doll!  We’re on it!

https://www.womenintrucking.org/wit-doll. (Doll)

https://www.womenintrucking.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=510:women-in-trucking-launches-new-supply-chain-activity-book-for-children&catid=27:pressreleases&Itemid=158

Supply Chain Activity Book

https://www.womenintrucking.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=305:women-in-trucking-advances-its-mission-with-a-girl-scout-transportation-patch&catid=24:ellens-blog&Itemid=127

Girl Scout Transportation patch

Ellen Voie, CAE – CEO of Women in Trucking

CONVERSATION ON INSTAGRAM – See more of the conversation

g5oso  I would tell the it’s the bread and butter of our society and world

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – LTSC – See more of the conversation

  • I generally refer to my work as global trade, I’ve also said international shipping, global procurement, global sourcing. – Audrey Ross

  • Interesting topic! I agree that the term is overused and has become confusing for the new generations, Engineering linked with supply chain, management, IT and so on .. we need to simplify it for them can’t wait for the episode! Thank you – Riyadh Bin Es’haq
  • This is a great topic.   How about breaking this up into segments.  Smaller chunks to consider and discuss.  Are you interested in being a service provider or would you be interested in being a user?   What type of industry is interesting?  What are the specific SC challenges that they would be solving for that industry And then, talk about the mission of the company and how the Supply Chain impacts the success.  For example, when I worked in SC for a cruise line, our passion and focus was clear.  What we were doing was providing a once in lifetime guest experience.  The goods had to be delivered on time because the ship would sail…and the guest would miss out.  – Laura Pullins

  • What other career gives you the chance to play with drones, robots, and data?! – John Tecce
  • Are you interested in endless learning as to where the next huge opportunities and technologies will be? Just for the Stock leads you might one day see the future and buy in..early and cheaply.. – Bill Connor
  • If you like roller coasters this is the career for you – Jeffrey Solomon
  • I would ask the young minds: would you like to connect the dots in our face-paced changing life? Then you should start learning supply chain as it is the only thing that connects everything else in company. Encompasses sales, marketing, production, finance, legal, environment and above all – you are dealing with people all day long – Ivo Borrisov SPN

Question 40
Aired: July 1/19
Episode 70

How do you go about enacting change?

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – LTSC – See more of the conversation

  • Enacting change successfully means bringing everyone along for the ride. Have a group dialogue communicating the change, what’s fueling it, how it will help, and ask for feedback on the new strategy. When business members are involved in change they are more likely to become advocates and supporters. Having data to present behind decisions is a powerful tool so it’s clear that changes aren’t biased or subjective, but based on the numbers. – Naomi Garnice
  • Once a need for  change is discovered, I educate myself on the implications of making said change. Once I have a good grasp on the positive impact the change will have, I educate those in my sphere on the benefits of the change. Some people don’t like change. So if you can motivate them and also educate them on how the change will impact them in a positive way, you might have a good thing going. Over time, you can build the trust of your peers to where they are more receptive to your ideas (if they are good, of course…lol)  – Christopher Thornton Jr

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – SBH – See more of the conversation

  • I personally beleive that the ability to adapt to change is a personality trait that makes changing easy or difficult. I enact change by reminding myself of the desired outcome of the change, or changes, being made. To be successful, the change has to be definable and it must be measurable against the current state with a net positive result at the end. Change just for the sake of changing is as dangerous as never changing/adapting at all. – Kellen Spence
  • I actually wrote a bit about this  in an article addressing the management of a supply chain career. One section was titled “Be the change you want to see”. There need to be dedicated change agents committed to the cause in order for anything to work.  It’s all about action and leading by example. Perhaps the article can still be useful even though it is from 2015… https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/4-tips-managing-your-supply-chain-career-david-weaver/David W Weaver

Question 41
Aired: July 8/19
Episode 71

What tools do you use to manage your procurement spend?

CONVERSATION ON INSTAGRAM – See more of the conversation

CONVERSATION ON TWITTER – See more of the conversation

  • @supplychnqueen – Process over tools. Kraljic is still one of the best process for supplier segmentation. Oldie but goodie.

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – SBH – See more of the conversation

  • Ariba would be one of the obvious one’s I assume?  – Tony Richter

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – LTSC – See more of the conversation

  • Shameless plug, I know, but ThoughtSpot has a large and growing footprint in the procurement space. Happy to share specific examples with you!

    Two (of many) outcomes for procurement: * Savings opportunities down to a specific supplier, raw material, product, etc. with easier and more granular access to data * A more agile procurement organization able to answer questions in seconds vs. days (ex. Trump tweets about tariffs – how can we analyze impact and react accordingly?) ThoughtSpot does this by allowing procurement users with little or no technical background to simply type their question – just like Google – and get a calculated answer! A.I. then provides additional insights (anomalies, correlations, etc.) related to that search and/or other metrics you’re interested in – like Amazon might provide product recommendations based on what you’re viewing. – John Tecce

Question 42
Aired: July 15/19
Episode 72

What qualities are necessary for a great leader?

CONVERSATION ON EMAIL

  • Sarah, the three best lessons I have learned in leadership were well defined by FedEx principles of leadership below.

    1. Leaders are servants. Rather than the traditional org structure placing the leader at the top, the pyramid should be inverted, and the leaders role is to serve all others.
    2. People, Service, Profits (PSP). Take good care of your people, and they will deliver great service to the customers. Profits will follow.
    3. Treat all people with dignity and respect

CONVERSATION ON TWITTER – See more of the conversation

  • Chris‏ @chrisxthornton Replying to @LetsTalkSChain Humility, Accountability, Communication, Integrity, Empathy I think humility is the top one that should be practiced. It is easy for some people in a position of leadership or authority to lord their power over their subordinates. Human value is not based on rank.

  • Johan Ström‏ @_Johan_Strom_ Replying to @LetsTalkSChain From my point a view I would say the ability to create an environment where employees are able to create their own motivation. Pack their backpacks and send them off on an challenging journey

  • Naomi Garnice‏ @NaomiGarnice Naomi Garnice Retweeted Lets Talk Supply Chain The best #leaders lift people up and help them realize what they bring to the table. They’re real, warm, approachable and most importantly, honest. @Jolene_Peixoto comes to mind!

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – LTSC – See more of the conversation

  • One of the best, and most important qualities of a leader is the ability to make a decision, explain it, implement and stick with it. Too many people want to be managers yet when faced with a decision they shy away from the responsibility- as a leader one must own the wins and losses.  – Irina Rosca

  • True, even such slow decision maker playing the role of restraining force which is creating hindrance for organization growth. – Adnan Peerzada

  • Great leaders I’ve encountered bring out the best in you. They highlight your strengths and help you work on your weaknesses. They invest in your professional development and they are not afraid to sing your praises when you do something remarkable. These are my take Sarah.  – Chimma Onuoha

  • Leader, give vision as destination and show path to reach, help and guide follower how to carry on journey. He is there from beginning to end, in good and bad times, till the time he ensure the success. All others could be politician, teacher, professional, money maker, general, blah blah but not leader. – Adnan Peerzada

  • Great leaders serve and support their teams. Great leaders give their teams the ability to pursue their interests related to their role. Great leaders bring resources from other teams together to support objectives. – Ryan Raynor

Question 43
Aired: July 22/19
Episode 73

How will Facebooks new announcement about crypto affect supply chains?

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – See more of the conversation

  • facebook with this move will disrupt the way money transactions will be made. The only problem is how much trust this company has with the public after so many data breaches. – Alexandre Marques

CONVERSATION ON INSTAGRAM – See more of the conversation

  • @strominho10 – I think Facebook’s announcement will make more people outside the blockchain community aware of electronic currencies and IF the world would get one commonly used currency, it will open up the industry for a lot of new services and perhaps even more, new cooperation

Question 44
Aired: July 29/19
Episode 74

What is lacking in supply chain resources?

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – See more of the conversation

  • I believe the biggest thing lacking right now is transparency of information and data between supply chain partners. Too many emails, phone calls, and headaches searching for information that could be readily available if partners were better equipped to share information. Improved technology options are helping this but there is still a lot of improvement to be done. I see blockchain technologies as a great solution to fixing these gaps. – Kellen Spence
  • I’m wondering how much blockchain will actually penetrate supply chain and on what timeline – Dyci Manns Sfregola
  • Dyci Manns Sfregola, CSCP I agree with you – I’m wondering if blockchain is the answer or if a different “connecting” technology will be the answer. Either way, systems need a way to communicate and share information without the current barriers. – Kellen Spence

    • Awesome point – I think the answer might actually be in closer integration though, right now most supply chain technology is built off of private company-specific APIs. Moving to a single development platform for much of the TMS/WMS/ERP/etc. tools we all use would help this massively.Terrence Wang
    • Terrence Wang I appreciate your input; especially coming from the tech side of the logistics industry! – I would love to hear more about emerging technologies for supply chains and the benefits that they are going to bring to the industry. Will FreightPath be at the Futurist 2019 conference in Toronto? – Kellen Spence

      Kellen Spence, CITP, CCS glad you’re excited about the tech side as well! Unfortunately we won’t be at Futurist this year, I’ll make sure to let you know next time we’re out on show! – Terence Wang

  • Talented resources – there will continue to be increasing challenges in attracting and maintaining quality staff throughout the supply chain. – Sandy Vosk
  • People with the adequate skills, senior level SCM leadersHalia Valladares Montemayor
  • What do you mean by that exactly? What are you looking for from them?Sarah Barnes-Humphrey

 

EMAIL

  • Email – Julie Shum – To be brutally honest, knowledge sharing and learning about what the upstream and downstream activities are so that people in various roles know the impact of their actions and how others impact them. Unless its understood how the immediate handoffs occur it will be impossible to achieve an optimized supply chain.

     

Question 45
Aired: August 5/19
Episode 75

supply chain” the only words we can use to describe supply chain?

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN (SBH) See more of the conversation

  • Flow of goods from factory to home or Factory 2 Home – Michael Grier
  • How about demand network? Will the next gen relate tho? I think so, they are schooled in customer focus from the beginning and are perhaps more willing to use short term suppliers – Johan Strom
  • Netchain, following from the concept of Netchain analysis by Lazzarini, Chaddad and Cook (2001). – Stephen R Spulick

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – See more of the conversation

  • Value Chain – Rodney Apple

  • Last Defense against Expense – Carlos Juarez

  • The “Supply Chain” is what we work on, we do is “optimize” business processes. I like to think of us as “Business Optimization Specialists”. – Larry Kofton

  • Or the value grid. – Jarrod H Smith

  • I introduced the phrase ‘supply chain grid’ to JDA when I was there – and it resonated very well.  I see supply chain as limiting in practice, if a link in the chain breaks – the supply process is at risk.  If you visualize and then implement as a grid mindset, connecting all the various nodes  – there’s a lot more power.     However – in my current world – we also use data supply chain or data value chain, as without data – accurate, mastered data – all points in the supply chain aren’t working effectively.  – Doug Kimball
  • Supply chain is perfect. Marketing doesn’t want to change their name to sales and brand promotion and Finance doesn’t want to change their name to analyzing and optimizing numbers. The definition of supply chain is the sequence of processes involved in the production and distribution of a commodity. Marketing promotes and sells, supply chain buys and moves and finance counts and reports. If the name is changed this profession will have to start from square one at a time when it is finally getting it’s due, It’s relatively new in the department naming game, give it some time. – Robert Garrison

     

Question 46
Aired: August 12/19
Episode 76

What Key Supply chain strategies are you focusing on in 2019?

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN  See more of the conversation

  • Automating Bill of Material (BOM) functionalities into a collaborative Plan for Every Part (PFEP) software versus using manual, human-error prone tools – Tony Lancione
 

Question 47
Aired: August 19/19
Episode 77

What are your biggest questions around blockchain in supply chain?

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN  See more of the conversation

  • What have been the biggest wins and challenges with Walmart and blockchain? – Scott Shertzer
  • Scott Shertzer I’m not sure about Walmart, but the consumer’s biggest win opportunity is that blockchain makes sure my favorite ice cream, Double Dunker, gets to market. I wish I was eligible for an academy award. I’d thank Turkey Hill Dairy in my acceptance speech. – Greg White
  • How countries will use blockchain technology based platforms on customs, will it help to reduce counterfeit and increase traceability?- Demostenes Perez
  • How is Blockchain in Supply chain is better than a regular system? And Which company builds blockchain-based supply chain networks? – Tejas Dudhade
  • Are there any disadvantages to Blockchain in the Supply Chain, if so then how are these challenges being addressed? Jacky Stansfield Smith
  • I understand blockchain and I can see long term the advantages it can bring to supply chains once it is further developed however my biggest concern is what happens to the smaller suppliers of parts/products and /or services that can’t afford to invest in blockchain. Are the big players going to stop dealing with them and only select partners with abilities to link with their systems (blockchain)? Effectively every part of the supply chain needs to have blockchain capabilities otherwise the blockchain of a companies supply chain will have missing links. I can’t see an affordable solution to this at the moment for the smaller suppliers 🤷‍♀️ – Kimberley Jayne ESCM
  • I think this is a great opportunity for smaller suppliers to get more business. I don’t think it will be a matter of big investments in the technology but a matter to access the shared ledger provided by retailers who will use the technology to gain transparency in their supply chain – Johan Strom

CONVERSATION ON TWITTER See more of the Conversation

CONVERSATION ON INSTAGRAM See more of the Conversation

  • graye_space – Do we see this being a requirement for manufacturing anytime soon for accountability purposes?

 

  • vikkysw – How can Block chain ease supply chain process
 

Question 48
Aired: August 26/19
Episode 78

What are your biggest questions regarding Intermodal in North America

CONVERSATION ON TWITTER See more of the Conversation

  • Using multiple modes of transportation (I.e rail and truck) to deliver goods. Using multiple modes allows you to use the best feature of each mode instead of being limited to the weakness one mode provides. The goal is to create flexibility and cost efficiency. –Christopher Thornton

What Intermodal questions will be answered at Intermodal EXPO 2019, Long Beach Sept 15-17

  • Why Intermodal? Where and When to Use It
  • The Chassis Conundrum: When Will it be Resolved?
  • IMO 2020: The Impact on North American Import Values
  • The Intermodal Network and Climate Change: How Resilient is Our Infrastructure?
  • What does Hyperloop mean for the future of Intermodal?
  • On-Time Rail Service and PSR: What Does it Mean for Intermodal?
 

Question 49
Aired: September 2/19
Episode 79

What are your biggest challenges with supply chain technology?

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN See more of the Conversation

  • The most fundamental challenge I see with supply chain technology is inconsistent availability of GOOD DATA.  I know there are many parties offering access to data, but few are giving 100% consistent access to 100% high quality data.  The original sources of info are simply not making it easy to acquire.  – Angela Czajkowski
  • The biggest issue that most of our clients mention is the massive amount of new technology platforms that are out there. It’s very hard to understand what differentiates each one and which ones are worth investing in. – Brian Glick
  • Great topic Lets Talk Supply Chain! In the most simple terms technology if applied appropriately to the supply chain will inevitably increase shareholder value. I tend to experience a constant misunderstanding with my clients that technology is going to solve process related problems. It’s counter intuitive to most. You have to start with a foundation of processes that are stable, capable, and adaptable in order to get the maximum ROI from technology adoption within your supply chain. Technology applied to a sub-optimal process is only going to digitize the same sub-optimal results, probably faster and with more user friendly interface. 🙂 This concept that process excellence is at the foundation of any digital adoption project is what has made C5MI so successful in maximizing our clients ROI and led to our exponential growth in clients the last three years. – Alan Witthuhn
  • Alan Witthuhn I often do an exercise with clients where they have to show me how they do their process if they only had clipboards and snail mail. Then, after they understand the flow, we introduce technology to improve the process. – Brian Glick
  • Hi Alan, I like the expression if you automate a bad process than you are only making bad things happen faster. Rob – Robert Garrison
  • User adoption and willingness to change. Lets Talk Supply Chain I would love to elaborate. Let’s use a new supply chain software technology as an example. We are all so used to spreadsheets and manual processes and have become comfortable with that path. So, when a new supply chain technology comes along, there is immediate resistance, consciously and sub-consciously, being that it is change and that scares many. Based on this alone, management and/or anyone pushing this software, usually as a way to collaborate and be more efficient, is pushing water up hill, from the start. And, even if there is majority willingness and user adoption in the beginning, there will always be a sample size of users that never fully buy in, therefore, making the case for efficient collaboration across the board not probable. See below. Knowing this trend, it is important to fully ensure that your team is educated and fully trained on all the bells and whistles, questions get answered and, most importantly, everyone understands the WHY behind the move to a new technology in the first place. Then, on the other end, a broader openness to try new things and a mindset shift. This will minimize the sample size of those unwilling to change or adopt into a new technology and, ultimately, get you closer to the end goal of collaboration and greater efficiency. This idea can translate into many other new technologies. The tides are changing. – Tony Lancione

     

  • Migration from legacy system to adoption of new system, integration issues between systems, people not being trained to use new systems so they revert back to manual procedures, depts, working in silo so each dept has their own mini culture that may or may not use the new technology.  – Annie Hyder

     

  • One can’t see the wood for trees  Too many products that serve no purpose produced by VC funded companies  managed by rookies and hypesters who pass on their imagined knowledge to the engineers  , the result , you have a shiny new bike with no wheels , looks great ,  but goes nowhere – Nick Coverdale

CONVERSATION FROM LINKEDIN (SBH) See more conversation

There’s so much new technology being released that it can get quite daunting. However, determining which technology can provide the greatest ROI should be the goal. Of course, that takes resources and time which most of us do not have. Focusing on a single area of need whether it be visibility or customer service would be best to narrow it down. – Scott Shertzer

I think it may be a risk in trying to keep up with new technology and adapt to it. Think process first and then try to find technology that support your solution, not the other way around – Johan Strom

After clearly defining the need and researching the available solutions the two things that come to mind as challenges are: when to buy (something else better always seems to come along after you’ve made the purchase) and will it be fully supported well past your ROI period. – Jack Bradley

CONVERSATION FROM TWITTER

@chrisxthornton Finding the balance between cost efficiency and a solution that matches company needs the best. It would be convenient to find a “one-stop shop IT solution” but.. different systems have their strengths and weaknesses. It can be tough to determine if systems will accomplish what sales rep say they will. There are things you can do to manage risks though (i.e trial runs) Some (I stress some) write checks that operations/production can’t cash

@drneaffer Sales people tend to have a casual relationship with the truth.

CONVERSATION – INSTAGRAM

graye_spaceGetting them to work across the board.

EMAIL

Hi Sarah, Getting suckered into buying software that’s way too expensive or way beyond the business needs. Eg. not everyone needs SAP to manage their supply chain. – Julie Shum

 

Or using something too archaic or stuck to ‘the old ways’ by still using physical paper trail for everything.

Julie Shum

 

 

Question 50
Aired: September 9/19
Episode 80

What is your biggest supply chain pet peeve?

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – LTSC See more of the Conversation

  • I agree with everyone’s comments. My pet peeve is communication breakdown anywhere in the chain that is then resulting in product not being available on the shelf. Communication and automation are extremely important for efficiencies. – Annie Hyder

  • Hoarding inventory in the parking lot the last three days of the month to hit month end inventory numbers. 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️ – Amanda Prochaska

  • So true, Amanda. At the same time, this situation is always metrics driven in my experience. Analyze what’s driving that behavior, adjust how you measure, and you’ll change how you operate. Glad to take a look if you want. – Greg White

  • Delayed shipment – Priyanka Pande

  • Manual processes that can easily be automated! Ever since I joined a company that provides their customers with online access to all their information, I just cannot stand seeing people waste their time with spreadsheets and countless unnecessary emails!  – Shanan Whittaker

  • Forecasting Items instead of customers. We talk about items like they’re alive and can move, but in truth they simply wait. They wait for customers to select them. The why of forecasting is the breakthrough. – Greg White

  • Sustainability! – Naomi Garnice

  • Lack of visibility. – Diana Restrepo

  • Too much packaging! – Jennifer Erickson

  • Lets Talk Supply Chain Oh where do I start😉 Seriously, a good tip is to break it down into ”What can we do for each other” methodology. Meaning what information can we gain from each other in order to provide a great customer experience. We, Supply Chainers need sales as much as they need us to understand the customer. Supply often knows the data, the statistics. We can give Sales knowledge in buying patterns, Logistical upsales and Sales could provides us with the market knowledge in the meaning of ”what’s going on out there” to give us knowledge to provide better forecasts, better logistical set ups. But it’s sometimes hard to convince Sales to hand over information regarding forecasts, market knowledge etc etc. I am pretty convinced that many Supply Chainers feels like a service organization to sales instead of being what they truly are, the backbone of the company. If I had a penny everytime I’ve heard: But for God’s sake, how hard can it be to hit the OTIF…. well I would probably not be working anymore..😄 Lack of communication. It should be so simple. #collaborationDamien Beasley

  • Lack of understanding and commitment with the S&OP process – Gustavo Adolfo Fernadez Fernandez

  • Upstream delays – Syed Hussain

  • Mfg based inventory & shipping management, FIFO – Shakib Anwer

  • Lack of involvement from sales. Regarding the End-2-End process – Anders Armand

  • How can we get sales involved effectively? – LTSC

  • Lets Talk Supply Chain Oh where do I start😉 Seriously, a good tip is to break it down into ”What can we do for each other” methodology. Meaning what information can we gain from each other in order to provide a great customer experience. We, Supply Chainers need sales as much as they need us to understand the customer. Supply often knows the data, the statistics. We can give Sales knowledge in buying patterns, Logistical upsales and Sales could provides us with the market knowledge in the meaning of ”what’s going on out there” to give us knowledge to provide better forecasts, better logistical set ups. But it’s sometimes hard to convince Sales to hand over information regarding forecasts, market knowledge etc etc. I am pretty convinced that many Supply Chainers feels like a serviceorganisation to sales instead of beeing what they truly are, the backbone of the company. If I had a penny everytime I’ve heard: But for God’s sake, how hard can it be to hit the OTIF…. well I would probably not be working anymore..😄 Anders Armand

CONVERSATION FROM TWITTER

@NaomiGarnice Sustainability, specifically overpacking consumer goods and perishable food items.

CONVERSATION – INSTAGRAM

olskoolmama – Slow operating bonded CFS’s 😡

dianasnetwork – Lack of visibility

 

 

Question 51
Aired: September 16/19
Episode 81

Which global retailers do you think are dominating global e-commerce?

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – LTSC See more of the Conversation

  • Alibaba. Undoubtedly. – Greg White

  • From Logtech 2019, Uniqlo, Casper, Zara, H & M

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – SBH See more of the Conversation

  • Not A global company, Appliances Online in Australia are awesome and definitely ahead of the curve over here. They have invested heavily in technology and they also seem to have the culture right too. I personally ordered a washing machine at 11 pm at night and it was delivered, installed and the old one gone 12 hours later. Most of those 12 hours were not standard business hours. – Melissa Watson

CONVERSATION – INSTAGRAM

alexandrettatransportation – In my opinion Walmart.

 

 

Question 52
Aired: September 23/19
Episode 82

Whats your advice for retailers going global?

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – LTSC See more of the Conversation

  • I will summarize it in one word: Traceability. And above this word comes the another one that is the basis of every business, no matter is their going locally or globally…that is Supply Chain. Without those terms, even if you have a great product that is solving your target market demand, and even you have amazing marketing plan, if there’s no proved strategy to deliver your product on time and accordingly to your market’s expectations…there’s NO business at all. Enrique Sobalvarro
  • Demand is regional, don’t use the same forecasting approach for all shelves assuming that just because it sells in one place it will in another. We have this problem across the US, inventory carrying costs will grow exponentially if retailers do not use regional Point of Sale data and share with local suppliers. Also- build strong local partnerships! That is the real future of global business. Great question 🙂!  – Irina Rosca

    There will be only 1 reason for going global i.e. They had a very good command on domestic market. Before going global there are various factors need to be considered. – Darshit Patel

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – SBH See more of the Conversation

  • Leading sales & ops throughout LATAM, Africa and APAC, I have the pleasure of witnessing this pretty frequently. I’ll use one of the latest as an example. 100% e-commerce company that needed a foundation of solutions that could be flexible, scale and offer 100% cloud capability. As a smaller start-up, this was not an easy task. They then needed a new warehouse (3x larger) that proved invaluable being close to an airport. Particularly for the WMS, great efficiencies were discovered that were unexpected during this near vertical growth….a massive saving on packaging material and therefore costs after slotting functionality was live. Without writing a book here a couple years later the ultimate success was achieved as a significant share of the Company was sold to PE to fund the next round of tremendous growth globally. Think strategic, find great partners that have ‘been there and done it’ who can share the risk with you and enjoy the ride. As I sometimes say, B2B is dead! Not really, but the smart, demanding Consumer is forever changing the global supply chain. David Houser #warehouseoftheI think it is really dependent upon product, AOV, customer service resources (multi- lingual), SLA’s to the consumer and the overall desired consumer experience. I’ve found that it isn’t one size fits all. They need to find an experienced vendor partner/friend in the business, who gives them good advice and is selfless in whether or not it benefits them directly. Otherwise, he/she could take them down a path that isn’t necessarily retailer centric. – Tammy Niemier

    INSTAGRAM STORIES

  • @miquel.serracanta – Consider that there are many cultures and countries and not all are like the ones you know

EMAIL

Hi Sarah.  Focus on new rules allowing easier access to China under their relatively new cross border e-commerce initiative. Cheers. Dan Demers

 

 

 

Question 53
Aired: October 7/19
Episode 84

“Why do you think visibility is such a challenge in supply chain?”

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – LTSC See more of the Conversation

The time lag between issues occurrence, issues discovery and resolution is still a big problem till date in SC. Visibility in Supply chain is how fast and quick to reduce business and supply chain risk, improve lead times and performance. Improve customer service through management of Inventory in motion. Identify quality problem and shortages along supply chain, track different goods or product in transit giving a clear view of the Inventory and activities to improve cost control being pragmatic and proactive makes stakeholders all home and dry. – Funsho Owolabi

Sarah, it’s a great question. I don’t know if it’s so much of a visibility issue as it is a familiarity issue. The impact supply chain departments and the supply chain itself can have in a business is quite visible and impressive. The issue in my mind that supply chain has, at least from a talent attraction perspective, is a marketing problem. An awareness issue that engineering, accounting, law, sales, IT, and marketing itself doesn’t have like supply chain does. When new entrants to the labour pool consider their options Supply Chain doesn’t spring to mind like the areas mentioned above. This is part of the reason why so many in SCM love the work you do to represent the sector and push it into the mainstream more. Keep it up! – Jeremy Tiffin

“Visibility” indeed a challenge and solution to solve a good % of issues in supply chain. DisIntegrated teams and communication gap adds to the lack of visibility. It is so important for supply chain folks to talk to sales, operations, finance, engg teams and engage with each other. Engaging with suppliers and their processes is key too. hashtag#S&OP planning needs to be powerful and meaningful. – Sneha Kumari

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – SBH See more of the Conversation

In my vision all levels of Management team needs to have 2 kinds of visibility. 1) Specific 2) General Specific means all the details that are directly related to their role. And the General means the big picture of your company, what is affecting the other departments and teams, also other external issues to consider. So, when we have synchronized teams, these 2 approaches about visibility are fundamental. – Enrique Sobalvarro

SBH – Absolutely! I would agree with this but why are we having so many challenges with visibility?

Enrique -The Base is in the scope of supply chain management and operational management. I believe that the challenges come from the lack of managerial vision, particularly from the operational controls and, that we as a supply chain guild have not yet tried to ensure that all professionals have a common reach in terms of the concept of visibility.

I would say visibility on international freight (air/ocean) is more difficult due to the different parties involved at each step of the shipment. Depending on the number of intermediaries and systems involved, it becomes a complex task to have all of those systems communicate. Over the road truck freight should be easier to provide visibility, but again it comes down to the system and the information that is fed into that system. Visibility is always a hot topic with customers and any increased visibility is always welcomed. Modern technology has improved this dramatically but there is always room to improve. – Kellen Spence

Hi Sarah, my thesis is because it depends on who, what, why. For example what visibility a CEO needs and why may be much different than what the Director of Logistics needs and why. Context is key. The second and related challenge is the lack of taxonomy in this industry, resulting in varying terms and role definitions for the same thing. A simple example is LCL and LTL visibility which mean exactly the same thing, however they are called different names, and are targeted to people with two completely different titles i.e. Director of International versus Director of Transportation. PS: If you can please come up with a quick solution to both issues quickly please, much appreciated : ) – Robert Garrison

I agree with what Mr. Garrison wrote. Further, It is very difficult to come up with 5-6 KPIs that are high-level enough for the CEO/COO but meaningful/actionable enough for the working level in an organization. If you show data too high-level – viewers want more details and if you show data too granular – viewers think it too detailed. The ability to drill-down from high-level to working-level is key.

TWITTER

We can see black holes in the universe, but I just want to know WHERE’S MY SHIPMENT @supplychnqueen

@RateLinx .  It’s a numbers game. Asset-based, light-asset, and non-asset carriers in the mix, 200 carriers quickly become 20,000 carriers (potentially). Carriers need an incentive to provide visibility. Collaboration and transparency through integrated data are key. #visibility


@lbierhaalder
 It’s difficult for most of the supply chain partners due to the openness within the supply chain. Partners might fear their specific knowledge and expertise will go public…. And using big data means more transparency within the supply chain #supplychain #challenges #visibility

INSTAGRAM

@heatherjanellee  Poor communication between departments!!

 

 

Question 54
Aired: October 14/19
Episode 85

“Which supply chain trends would you like to see more of in 2020"

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I would like to see more collaboration to reduce carbon emissions, more green logistics. – Sedat Birinci

RPA and applications as well as ease/difficulty of implementation!  – Jennifer Baez

Network Platforms for supply chains like network platform for hotels (airbnb) Taxis (uber) Content (LinkedIn). How network platforms will enable AI to automate the supply chain just as it has the taxi industry? – James J Curtis

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – SBH See more of the Conversation

More sustainable supply chain practices, using AI and new technologies that can make products and perishable goods like produce last longer.  –Naomi Garnice

I’d like to see more conscious management of our vast generational transition. Baby Boomers are leaving the workforce at a rapid rate and there aren’t enough people in the forthcoming generations to replace them. How will we capture their knowledge and share it to the next generation? What part must automation play to assure their work continues to get done? – Greg White

Will give three 1. Sustainability (we need it across all that we do and supply chain is key to that) 2. Diversity (let’s start with more women to be specific. It is a good start and then look at other areas like integrating senior candidates, racial harmony, etc) 3. Focus on People (really obvious one … but let’s get real how many companies really put people first and not see them as a number on the PnL?) – Radu Palamariu

Several stories that I’d like to see more about: co-bots (where humans and machines are working more closely together), how companies are successfully diversifying their talent acquisition approaches, more creative AI applications across supply chain, and of course progressive, fearless leadership stories. Those are a few things between my ears right now. – Scott Luton

De-carbonization of #supplychain. #diversity in the sector leadership and how it changing bottom-up through #startup tap into the sector (i.e Carmit Glik Cogoport, Nidhi Gupta Portcast Pte Ltd etc.) Thanks! – Nir Gartzman

In the wine industry, I would love to see more integration of flexitank transport for more than just bulk wine to help reduce transport prices and carbon footprint from bottle weight transporting overseas or by truck. – Bryan Leung CPIM

Sustainable supply chain is what I look forward to! – Sneha Kumari

TWITTER

@CDNAlliance. Smart semi-trucks for 2020! By upgrading semi-trucks, logistics companies can save fuel, increase safety, and optimize routes like never before. #supplychain #logistics #trends

Instagram Stories (SBH):

@tresaudrey – People caring about the end result & focusing on their customers needs

@zkhashram – Talent Development

@miquel.serracanta – More Operational Excellence

Instagram – LTSC

@foodunraveled – Agreggated forcasting

@slhugu – Deman Driven

Stories – Social Aspects

 

 

Question 55
Aired: October 21/19
Episode 86

“What online resources/service/groups are people using to connect, collaborate and engage with their industry peers?" -Michael Cadieux

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ACI is a great way to stay “in the know” for all potential partnerships. LinkedIn as well. – Anthony Bacarella

Linkedin – Darshit Patel

In addition to LinkedIn groups, Twitter is a great outlet for staying connected with my favorite influencers in supply chain. – Naomi Garnice

Naomi Garnice who are you following on Twitter? Top 5. Thanks want to make sure I’m plugged in. – Michael Cadieux

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – SBH See more of the Conversation

Unfortunately I think this area is lacking. There are various platforms and conferences to share information, however as supply chain professionals we fail to take learnings and best practices from one sector and implement them in another. As an example, there are so many processes streamlined in retail and CPG supply chains. I rarely see these same practices applied in different industries, such as life sciences, so we spin our wheels trying to reinvent solutions for things that have already been fixed elsewhere. I would encourage the development of a platform where we can share best practices and how these are applies successfully in supply chains across a multitude of sectors. For the latest on #supplychain knowledge sharing I always go to Lets Talk Supply Chain resources 🙂 –Irina Rosca

Nice post IRINA ROSCA and it is more than platforms. We have build a Supply Chain Industry of Discrimination limiting professionals to their “expertise” industries. Said that, it is normal that solutions in one industry that may help others are not available. – Amintore Confalonieri

Amintore Confalonieri I fully agree! There is industry specific discrimination in the supply chain profession and it doesn’t help businesses or individuals. What we learn in one industry can and should be applied in others, we should not always try to reinvent the wheel on our company’s $. -Irina Rosca

Sarah and Michael – I might be old school here but I turn to LinkedIn for much of what I am looking for. I scroll the posts in the AM for education and interact for networking. Of course there are wonderful people like yourselves that offer podcasts and interactive platforms. 👍🏻👍🏻 –Amanda Prochaska

EMAIL

For me it’s all about LinkedIn. The combinations of profiles, home page/follow, notifications, and forums provides everything I need to stay informed, connected, and engaged with the industry. For industry thought leadership, it’s all about Podcasts, and of course Let’s Talk Supply Chain tops my list. – Rob Garrison

 

 

Question 56
Aired: October 28/19
Episode 87

What is your criteria for selecting vendors?

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👉 Business references 👉Proven technical capacity and skills to meet required needs 👉 Financial status 👉Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)-price,transport, services etc. 👉 Compliance with environment, occupational health and safety 👉 Payment terms 👉 Delivery time or execution plan 👉 Warranties 👉Post-sale services – Anand Chavan

Agree with this list that is pretty spot on adding that depending on your structure size and market you may value vendor flexibility over some of the above😬 – Sandrine Ihamoine

I always focus on how a potential partner wants to understand the trajectory of our business, and how they are able to already align current and future improvement projects with our goals. Finding a partner who truly sees themselves as an integral part of our business’ success, and accepts that responsibility is the most important criteria. – Irina Rosca

1. Must understand my business goals and needs. 2. Must comply with my business rules and regulations. 3. Must be as flexible as the industry my business is playing. 4. Must work at the same pace as we move. 5. Must deliver value to my business and my team. – Demo Perez

Wow, that could be a long list. Understanding their business and going to gemba in their facility. Their transparency about their current issues, how do they see they can add value to my business now and in future. What I recently added to my list is I want to know is their innovation initiatives, sustainability initiatives if any and how they treat their staff – Sneha Kumari

Here I go with my favorite word again: Collaboration! Where both parties see value in the relationship and work together for a common goal – Erik Valiquette

The four R’s.Are their Rates competitive, are they Reliable, are they Responsive and how will they manage the Relationship, All four can be used as selection criteria whilst Reliability, Responsiveness and Relationship management can also form the basis for evaluating their performance once selected. In either scenario, the key is to use both subjective and objective information to support the selection / evaluation criteria. After selection and on-boarding a regular evaluation process should be undertaken as part of a disciplined supplier management program. – Scott Leydin

A recommendation from your trusted network – Jeffrey Solomon

References, references and more references! – Naomi Garnice

 

 

 

Question 57
Aired: November 4/19
Episode 88

what one essential piece of advice would you give a procurement professional who needs to prepare for recession?

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Build really strong relationships with your suppliers and make sure they truly understand your planning and procurement cycles. Ensure that your efforts and aligned, your data is clear and always up to date, and walk them through changes you are noticing in your supply chain so they can prepare accordingly. In a recession, when spent may be slowing down, it is most important to have strong suppliers to weather the storm with.  – Irina Rosca

Katherine McCleery Treat your suppliers right from the very beginning, set proper expectations, the appropriate terms and use a GPO on categories where applicable…shameless plug but true. Lets Talk Supply ChainAnthony Clervi

It’s important to be strategic with your suppliers and work with them as Partners, it will serve you well in the good times and the bad! – Rondi Allan

I always focus on how a potential partner wants to understand the trajectory of our business, and how they are able to already align current and future improvement projects with our goals. Finding a partner who truly sees themselves as an integral part of our business’ success, and accepts that responsibility is the most important criteria. – Irina Rosca

INSTAGRAM

@officialdjc – What about advice geared towards students, like myself, looking to become SCM professionals?

 

Question 58
Aired: November 11/19
Episode 89

What are your biggest challenges with returns?

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Hey Sarah Barnes-Humphrey, CITP Supply Chain Media Expert – your weekly question is very timely as we are quickly approaching eComm peak season. The label in the box, “Stuff the Box”, was a quickly dying solution due to costs of labor and label stock ($.10-$.20 per label),  it was thought to increase returns as it avoided the friction and it was not sustainable/environmentally friendly.  Now as we’ve quickly moved eComm to mobile, the buyers now struggle with access to printers. This has brought back the label in the box. So until paperless returns (returns without a label, using a scannable QR code or other barcode) to have the carrier generate the label becomes more widespread (ie you’re not limited to a carrier facility or retail store) I think the Label in the Box will remain a thing for another year or 2.  As a note, the tech/online solutions create so much value if you can get over the label printing as they can tie into inventory, integrate with OMS/WMS, allow for faster refunds via advanced notification refunds (credits based on carrier pickup scans), open the door for rate/service shop on the return side and provide better visibility to the reasons for the return.  Marc Goodfriend with Narvar can add a lot more here – Jonathan Briggs

This is such a great question! From my experience with holiday sales- e-commerce or retail distribution and sales, the biggest challenge with retruns is the lack of a system that helps companies return the product to sellable stock as soon as possible. Most of the time, during the busy season, companies focus their staff on sales and order fulfillment, not much attention is paid to returns. These pile up and limit the company’s ability to resel the product in a timely manner; sometimes these delays can cause the refund to be late to the customer thus leading to larger issues. Hassle free returns are a great way for brands and companies to set themselves apart from competitors.  – Irina Rosca

Returns and reverse supply chains are getting to be a super-hot topic.  Easy returns is an incentive for customers And there are LOTS of opportunities for most companies to improve efficiency and make it easier for customers.  But the reverse supply chain is also becoming a target for fraud. Crooks send in fake products instead of legit merchandise. (check out this link about Apple‘s recent legal fight.. https://www.securingindustry.com/electronics-and-industrial/student-who-scammed-apple-with-fake-phones-gets-three-years/s105/a10916/#.XbnFfJNKjOQ) So one of the factors that needs to be considered up-front is how you can easily tell whether returned merch is authentic, so that you can make it easy for customers, while foiling crooks. – Daniel Stanton

Linkedin – SBH – See more of the conversation

The cost of the return, especially from overseas.  There is the freight cost, the duties, the VAT. You can sometimes recoup the duty through a drawback program… but it’s not guaranteed.  Plus, you have to remember to get that extra paperwork filed and submitted.  Who on your team is qualified to manage that? –Audrey Ross

Great podcast, Sarah! I enjoyed Rob’s perspective. Looking at the subject of returns in general, we are so spoiled as consumers! We demand convenience, but that convenience is often abused. There are returns with cause such as an item didn’t fit or the item was damaged, etc. But there are returns without cause, ie the buyer simply changed his/her mind. Think about a wine return (comment above). There may be a small return fee to the consumer, but there’s still significant cost to the company when you factor in everything involved in that returned item.  My curiosity is on what can be done to reduce the number of returns without cause? Perhaps there’s a solution where customers are given a discount but are committed to the purchase (no return unless there’s just cause ie the item is damaged, etc.) In the hospitality industry there are options to purchase hotel rooms at a reduced price, but you are committed and will not get your money back if you cancel. As a consumer, there are certain things that I’ll buy that I absolutely know I will not return, so I would definitely take advantage of a discount to commit to the purchase. And if there is a return, the buyer would be charged the discount back & a fee. – Shawna Baker

I work with wine, and with such a fragile item, fluctuating transit route temperatures can affect the product. Its fragility of being contained in glass, along with its weight, equals costly returns to the warehouse/store.  Communication with the consumer and partnered 3PL is critical to make wine drop-offs convenient and predictable to all value streams. And I agree with the commenters below about losing customer face and brand value. – Bryan Leung

In my business, every time my product is returned I feel a sense of losing branding value with it. Overall, costs associated with the transaction hurts anyways. – Sneha Kumari

 

Question 59
Aired: November 18/19
Episode 90

Conference Goers: Panels vs Fireside chats – Why do you enjoy one over the other?

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I’m actually a fan of both Sarah – but I hate BORING sessions! You can really tell the difference between sessions where the presenters invest time up-front in planning and coordination, and the ones where they just show up and start “pitching” a point of view. That’s not to say that presentations need to be scripted. But they should be structured to be relevant and interesting for the audience. – Daniel Stanton

I think Daniel Stanton has this exactly right. There is no right or wrong format for conference sessions, just well planned and executed ones vs poorly planned and executed ones. You have to think about the topic, the strengths of the speaker(s), your knowledge of the topic as the chair and/or moderator, and the program as a whole before deciding what format works. If you’re ruling out one format over another, you’re hamstringing your ability to educate your audience. But we all have conference overload, so for me, it has to start off with the idea that the topic can’t be boring or overdone. – Eric Johnson

What’s REALLY fun is when you can get panelists to DISAGREE and challenge one another.  How boring is it when everyone is saying the same thing?!  Instead of avoiding controversial topics, we need to dig into them and keep it real! That’s what makes conference sessions so much better than canned webinars. – Daniel Stanton

Piling on here – I totally agree that content trumps what format the session is in. I also do not like when panelists use the talk as an opportunity to heavily self-promote or use it as a commercial for their company (yes, I am in marketing and I am saying this!) – that’s the wrong format for that type of content entirely and takes away from the whole session, quite frankly! – Jolene Peixoto

Love fireside chats. It’s so organic and the audience is a fly on the wall to the thoughts of the participants. Panels can be that way too. They often aren’t, but when they’re done right they can have a multi-perspective dynamic that really opens up the insights into the topic – Greg White

Sarah Greg Yes!! The best part of both formats is the higher likelihood of authenticity. A script (or more formal format) doesn’t really allow room for much outside the information that the author wants to share, whereas a fireside chat or panel can deliver some unexpected – and authentic – sharing that’s typically much more impactful for the audience. – Shawna Baker

Shawna I agree with you. Great perspective. The key is to aim for that conversational dynamic and not pitches from every panel member. That droning on kills the enthusiasm in the room. We have to be sure to serve the needs of the audience. – Greg White

I’m definitely a fan of the fireside chat. It’s a great opportunity to ask specific questions and receive direct feedback – the drawback would be only receiving one perspective. I also enjoy panels but I have to say that I enjoy the fireside chats more. – Kellen Spence

Panels with quality and diverse participants! Even better with Sarah moderating!!! – John McCauley

I think a lot depends on the topic and length of the session. When panels are overpopulated and each speaker gets very little time to speak it’s like a tease of what could have been an interesting discussion. When fireside chats are just one person congratulating the other it’s also boring. An engaging Q&A makes it for me! Great Q! – Pamela Hyatt

Linkedin – SBH – See more of the conversation

Here is a wishy-washy answer; it depends. I personally like to host panels, as you can tap into all the knowledge and networks to increase attendance. But, I dislike when each panelist answers the same question. It slows it down and is too repetitive. Fireside chats are also good, but you need a big name to market and great questions to be insightful. #mytwocentsAmanda Prochaska

I enjoy either as long as they are diverse panel, sick of male only panels they should be balanced to gain a more well rounded insight. – Sue Terpilowski

INSTAGRAM – See more of the conversation

orionglobalpartners – I believe they each have their place. Panels are great for different perspectives/arguments on issues or topics and a fireside chat is great for a single point of view from industry veterans or experts. Fireside chats are also great to communicate to your company team. Kind of like your story on Instagram but more intimate.

 

Question 60
Aired: November 25/19
Episode 91

How do we attract more diverse talent into supply chain? – Michael Cadieux

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – LTSC See more of the Conversation

Linkedin – SBH – See more of the conversation

Diversity that comes from simple conversations with folks that are different than you is a place to start. I had a group of trainees from India that were so happy to cook for me when I told them how much I enjoyed Indian cuisine and this sparked talks about holidays family etc- bridges of communication help expand networks which leads to more diverse candidates from referrals … I would love to see apprenticeship, interns, and job sharing as promotional tool for supply chain careers…contacting student groups from various backgrounds & sizes of educational institutions. Also understanding of how analytics, EQ, event planning, customer service,etc could be a transferable skills in the supply chain space. When I changed industries many hiring managers seemed to be looking for an exact match for a job description …instead of celebrating competencies and seeing potential for development  – Bettina Hobson

Exactly Bettina H. We should be celebrating different personalities and perspectives to help push the culture and the business forward, not making it about checked boxes and protocols. How are we ever going to be creative, innovative and have meaningful dialogue? – SBH

Hi Sarah , I work with a large group of mostly white men and I have a completely different vantage point than they do when it comes to discussing metrics and objectives. But I am allowed to give my views (and sometimes uncensored opinion) which pushes the conversation in ways that it might not normally have gone. I agree with you a fresh perspective and meaningful dialogue are critical to learning and growth.- Bettina

When I hire my teams, I always think of diversity at assembling an orchestra.  To play beautiful music, you need people who have different skills, backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, cultures, etc…The more diversity allows for more instruments to be played!  To attract: 1) We need leaders who think that way 2) It starts with universities.  How are we attracting the mix of diverse talent into Supply Chain degrees? 3) Job descriptions kill diversity.  For instance, you need 3-5 years of corn buying experience while the role really needs someone who has the ability to build great relationships and knows the business better than most.  Maybe that is a finance person who has never bought corn before.  – Amanda Prochaska

This is such a beautiful analogy. I can visualize the beautiful, harmonious relationship and team dynamics already! – Annie Hyder

Sarah Barnes-Humphrey, CITP Supply Chain Media Expert I posted this on Twitter but I think it’s worth saying here as well- It starts with educating #HR professionals on looking beyond the #resume. The way we’ve decided to “streamline” the hiring process has only guaranteed that everyone we hire will be the same. #logistics #Supplychaintalent #recruiting –Irina Rosca

Understand why you want diversity.  If you love your mono / yes-person / “everybody thinks like me” culture… diversity is not going to happen.  It’s not about “hire more women!” or “hire people who don’t look / think / act like me!”. They will not apply, as your mono-culture is evident in your branding and job description, or they will leave very quickly. You have to actively want to change, encourage and embrace it.  I would echo Ziad Khashram ‘s comment on being open to new ideas and really shutting down the mentality of “we’ve always done it this way”. Blockbuster always did video rental and then they died. – Audrey Ross

Create an environment that empowers diversity of all kinds and share that in your employer brand marketing. That means an inclusive environment where people with different physical abilities and different backgrounds are embraced. – Naomi Garnice

One way to attract more diverse talent is to be open with new ideas, such as avoiding statements like “we’ve always done this”, and encourage looking for talent outside the same industries. Also, encourage cross-functional teams, where employees are exposed to areas outside the “norm”, this will create an attractive culture, and diverse talent will find their way to the organization.  – Ziad Khashram

Our business is diverse at so many levels, and the office looks like a mini United Nations! I believe this is something relatively easy to achieve if you hire with one simple objective; choose the best person for the job. Everything else should be irrelevant. – Simon Kaye

Make Supply Chain attractive, show its significance and the vision in terms of contribution and career….neutral and interesting descriptions will change the demographics of applicant and remove the ridiculous restrictive language of ‘must have’ as indicated by the other contributors – Tim Dyer

TWITTER – See more of the conversation

@sustain_SCM – It starts with educating #HR professionals on looking beyond the #resume. The way we’ve decided to “streamline” the hiring process has only guaranteed that everyone we hire will be the same. #logistics #Supplychaintalent #recruiting

 

Question 61
Aired: December 2/19
Episode 92

What is the most over utilized buzzword in supply chain lingo today? – Radu Palamariu

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – LTSC See more of the Conversation

Blockchain! Certainly being used a lot but certainly not just hype – Erik Valiquette

I would say “next-day” deliveries – Miguel Urbaez

AI and machine learning. Both are mission-critical to a fast-moving supply chain, but both are constantly used incorrectly by vendors and thought leaders alike. – Naomi Garnice

AI & ML – Baleshwar Thakur

Linkedin – SBH – See more of the conversation

Sarah Barnes-Humphrey, CITP Supply Chain Media Expert will share shortly (was thinking just to wait a bit so we see what comes up first from your part of the world before giving the answer 🙂 – Radu Palamariu

Supply Chain Digitalization!! – Archutha Onkrappa

Digitale Wertschöpfungsketteoptimierung I won hahahah greetings from Germany, non valued added, hands on, just one more I would like to see you guys trying to pronounce that hahahaa kontinuierlicher Verbesserungsprozess .:) – Manuel Drasdo

Visibility….i can’t even say it any more. It’s like a Justin Bieber song on repeat… No offense to Justin… – Daria Kremenskaia

End-to-end visibility- this is a term that everyone throws around when making any #supplychain decision, especially when it concerns #software, but we fail to really map out the end-to-end supply chain to understand what that type of visibility requires. – Irina Rosca

Very true..I missed to mention end-to-end visibility..this is the buzzword started in 2014-15..n continues.. – Priti Ojha

Although it is more than five years old, this article seems to support your thinking, Irina Rosca. https://supplychainbeyond.com/supply-chains-biggest-buzzwords-big-data-end-end-visibility/ #bestpractices and #optimization are two of my favorite most frequently used supply chain buzzwords. – Derek Collins

Shared Value Opportunity…..shocking phrase – Tim Dyer

Daniel Stanton my worst memory is a ‘manager’using this with a supplier for a deal that was clearly not in their favour…a shocking use of jargon to oversell a commitment doomed from the start…closely followed by ‘savings through digitisation and automation’..no names to protect the innocent (edited)

Tim Dyer just trying to pronounce this made my tongue twist – Radu Palamariu

Tim please tell me that part of the “solution” involved “savings realized through market arbitrage”. 😂😂😂  – Daniel Stanton

Value chain! – Dr Hugo Britt

Supply chain transformation!!! – Derek Mizysak

Strategic supplier relationships – Jeff Menconi

“Supply“. Because it should be „Demand“ or „Need“ instead, and thereby focused on the Customer. – Henrik Kofod-Hensen

Resilience!!!!!! – Emiliano Introcaso

Platform.  Visibility (UGH. I don’t care where it is as long as it is ON TIME.) Disruption (is it really a disruption or is it a small change or slight modification? If you are going to use “disruption” I need to feel disrupted.) – Audrey Ross

Lingo. – Anthony Zampello

customer experience, digital transformation, and all the common buzzwords – leading, best-in-class etc aka all the ones I am sure I am guilty of using 😉  – Jolene Peixoto

“Benchmark” gets my vote! – Daniel Stanton

Agile – Gian Carlo Leocata

Digital Transformation &  #agileAmanda Prochaska

#cscmp #dilx customer experience, connected supply chain – Priti Ojha

“Agent of Change” – it usually just means that a whole bunch of people are about to lose their jobs! (More like “Angel of Death” if truth be told.) 😉 – John Skelton

Hi Sarah – Expedite….just get it here yesterday! – Lisa Fenton

Just throw on the time machine surcharge Lisa! 😂 – Daniel Stanton

Wait, can we do that? LOL! Don’t give my team any more ideas.  They literally ask me for “warp speed”… –Audrey Ross

Sarah Barnes-Humphrey, CITP Supply Chain Media Expert – as promised, sharing the ones that came up for us:  1. Blockchain was the winner by far – most people said it is a fad, overused and most people have no idea what it is 2. A combination between digital transformation (way overused!) and AI 🙂 – Radu Palamariu

INSTAGRAM – See more of the conversation

abayernfan – Shipment

thesupplychainguy – Demand

renukamurawala – Digitalization! Oh and blockchain 🤣 because can you really be in the middle of Supply Chain without hearing both now days?

dianasnetwork – Tariffs

 

Question 62
Aired: December 9/19
Episode 93

How can we make a difference in the gender gap?

CONVERSATION ON LINKEDIN – LTSC See more of the Conversation

In the part of the industry where I am working, in the pays there is no gap, as for numbers of females to males working and even trans, that is changing all the time. That gap is slowly closing up. As a dispatcher I get to work with a lot different types of people, and it is awesome. – Rob Morris

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Sarah Barnes-Humphrey, CITP Supply Chain Media Expert I think the first thing is education. Education on personal bias and how we unintentionally let bias impact our decisions. Secondly dispelling the notion that it’s not an effort to hire people solely based on their physical attributes only. Closing the gender gap and also hiring more people of color doesn’t mean just hiring people regardless of their qualifications…I think that message could be socialized a little stronger because often times I think that point gets missed. Just my thoughts.  – Derek Mizysak

Can’t agree more that education is of prime importance. I also think that we haven’t been speaking of this for long now and we need to take actions to close the gap as well. The message of the gap is clear and we know it exists and now it is time to address it. – Sneha Kumari

The boring but yet positive answer is to wait. Natural selection will take care of it when the men in suits who hire men in suits (don’t look at my profile pic) are no longer working. I think we are heading in the right direction but I’m eager to read all the other, more progressive answers to this question. – Johan Strom

Hi Sarah – Find a way to tie KPI’s to sponsorship within a company. – Lisa Fenton

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