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Let's Talk Supply Chain

Let's Talk Supply Chain is not your average supply chain podcast. We feature not just the top of the industry, but also diverse voices from within the community, new innovations and the disrupters making waves in the industry. Don’t listen to the same ol' same ol', be sparked by new ideas and fresh perspectives only on Let's Talk Supply Chain.
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Now displaying: June, 2020
Jun 29, 2020

Robert and Lee are the founders of Mercado, a platform that aims to bring together every section of the supply chain from sourcing, to legal, to sales and much more. Supply chain still needs to be properly disrupted, and Mercado believes a marketplace is the key forward. 

Why is supply chain not disrupted yet? Rob explains that the complexity of supply chain is daunting and the combination of various processes makes it difficult to innovate as a whole. Many companies that claim to resolve an issue using tech only solve one specific piece of the puzzle. With Mercado, Rob and Lee want to fix the problem by transferring the entire “puzzle” online.

Rob believes that the best place to fix an issue is at the beginning: the purchase order. The first mile is what needs digitizing first - and it’s often the most inefficient part of the process. Imagine if every time you ordered a burger at McDonald’s the workers had to go back and forth between you and the kitchen to get your order right? This is what is currently happening in the supply chain world. In 5 to 10 years, Rob hopes we’ll look back on this period like we currently look back on taxis (thanks Uber). 

In this episode we discuss:

  • [19.25] Where they got the idea of Mercado
  • [26.05] The journey to launch
  • [37.23] Why supply chain is not yet disrupted
  • [43.20] Why digitizing the first mile changes everything
  • [51.50] The future for Mercado

Resources and links mentioned:

  • Mercado
  • EP 58 - Shining light in the dark corners of supply chain

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Jun 22, 2020

Rob is Head of Ethics at Airbnb and author of the book “Intentional Integrity”. His role as head of an ethics team is to implement a code of conduct that encourages integrity, is aligned with brand values and help employees navigate the complex world of ethical dilemmas.

Rob explains that a company with integrity must start with the leadership: the CEO needs to say upfront what the brand does and doesn’t do. The leader must also create their own code of ethics and involve employees in the process: what do they think is important? How can we make our values as clear as possible? What are the main ethical dilemmas? A company that takes ethics seriously is more likely to attract ethical business and therefore have ethical stakeholders.

Ethics is at the core of how Airbnb operates. Every team has their own Ethics advisor; this is someone on the team that takes part in a one-day ethics training every year and is the person employees can turn to in order to answer complex ethical questions. Airbnb also publishes ethics videos every month on how to work with integrity. Through their own code of conduct, Airbnb has addressed several issues such as not accepting gifts over $200 and not allowing romantic relationships within the workplace. As Rob says, there is nothing like a crisis to highlight the importance of integrity; companies with ethics at its core are more likely to stand out and even thrive through a crisis.

In this episode we discuss:

  • [2.50] Why Ethics Matters
  • [10.12] How to involve integrity into a company
  • [16.25] Real life example of an ethical dilemma
  • [29.16] How to lead through a crisis
  • [33.28] What's Next on the journey to integrity

Resources and links mentioned:

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Jun 15, 2020

Jason is the CEO of MacGregor Partners, a supply chain solutions provider that uses IT and software to help companies work faster, smarter and more efficiently. What does their process look like? They ask a lot of questions, build a bespoke solution and then train every stakeholder that’s part of the operation. They live and breathe digital and are revolutionizing the relationship between drivers, paper and staff.

According to Jason, the top three challenges in supply chain are data, systems and analytics. As a supply chain solutions company, MacGregor Partners knows how hard it actually is to implement data correctly, and how to build systems that don’t end up siloed. For this reason, they focus on Warehouse Management System (WMS) combined with analytics and visibility. MacGregor Partners’ typical clients are companies that are interested in technology and are looking for ways to implement software to optimize their distribution center.

At MacGregor Partners, Jason and his team are “dethinkers”: they don’t overthink data and focus on the journey. Their design process is very hands-on, with the team only moving onto the next functional area once the previous one has been completed and confirmed by the customer - this allows them to be much more agile and adaptable to unexpected shocks, such as Covid-19. In the future, MacGregor Partners will be focused on delivering better products, more experiments and an even more cost-efficient methodology. 

In this episode we discuss:

  • [0.35] MacGregor Partners, where it all began
  • [12.15] The nitty-gritty of what they do
  • [17.55] Top 3 challenges in supply chain
  • [23.15] How does the customer benefit?
  • [33.25] The future of the company

Resources and links mentioned:

Jun 8, 2020

Today Sarah chats with Scott and Greg from Supply Chain Now about the last in their super trend series: Start up Mentality. The Covid crisis has brought a pivotal moment on Earth for everyone, and therefore an opportunity to accelerate important trends.

As Greg says, necessity is the mother of innovation; with the crisis, supply chain is on everyone’s mind and companies are now serious about changing. As Scott declares, now is the time to seize the moment. Organizations are now more willing to challenge norms and be disruptive. As Scott and Greg explain, companies need to embrace the startup spirit: taking action, being disruptive (instead of disrupted) and giving authority to the people on the front line. The old way of working is slowly dying out, and those that resist change will die out with it. 

Greg believes that what’s most important is being humble enough to learn something new every day and being patient. Scott says that it’s important to remember that passion is not enough, that what entrepreneurs really need is obsession. In order to make a company work, you need to be willing to risk it all. Finally, Sarah reiterates that in order for effective collaboration to take place, large companies need to bring down barriers and make it easy for startups to work with them. And of course, at the end of the day, the most important is understanding what it is that a customer wants from you. 

In this episode we discuss:

  • [4.01] How to stay innovative
  • [13.10] Embracing the startup spirit
  • [21.40] How to really rebrand
  • [38.37] The importance of failing
  • [54.52] Main takeaways

Resources and links mentioned:

Jun 1, 2020

Diane has worked in supply chain for 25 years. Her career has taken her from Ireland, to Australia, China and finally California. She started her work in travel management and eventually fell in love with designing business systems, logistics and leveraging technology to improve supply chain.

Thanks to her upbringing, Diane isn’t someone who shies away from making her voice heard and being a leader. Early on in her career she worked hard to create a culture where the team provided regular feedback which in turn helped her become a better leader. Her objective has always been to find someone to replace her position once she moves on, so the team can thrive without her.

To Diane, success is her client’s success. This is what gives her a sense of fulfillment and encourages her to keep working. Her advice to other leaders is to hire people who have initiative, who are ambitious and inherently curious. She also places a lot of emphasis on being able to admit mistakes, and knowing that one cannot grow without first making mistakes. Finally, on diversity, Diane believes in picking the right candidate rather than scoring “diversity points”. Instead, she focuses on fostering open communication with other women.

In this episode we discuss:

  • [0.52] Diane’s goes global
  • [4.40] How she adapted to working in different countries
  • [6.44] Finding your voice
  • [18.42] The importance of feedback
  • [24.07] Advice for other leaders

Resources and links mentioned:

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