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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Oct 5, 2020

From gaining her degree in Business, with a concentration in transportation, Michelle has gone from strength to strength. Her career has seen her achieve leadership roles within large organizations from Kraft to JC Penney, move all around the USA, and now sees her helping to shape the whole future of transport and supply chain, as the Vice President of Transportation for The Home Depot.

She’s also actively engaged within the industry and serves on the boards of a host of different associations, advising the industry and championing female leadership.

Today Michelle tells us all about her impressive career, her love for, and commitment to, the industry and the importance of supporting women in supply chain.


[06.44] How lively conversations with her trucking Father brought Michelle to supply chain, despite wanting to be a teacher in her early years.

“Never underestimate the power of a dinner conversation with your children!

[08.28] How a part-time job at a burger restaurant in her early teens helped Michelle to find her voice, through a focus on customer service and communication with management.

[10.17] The importance of mentorship and how, on reflection, the pressure of being a woman in a male-dominated industry meant Michelle didn’t always use her voice the way she now feels she could, or should, have.

[13.10] How The Home Depots' ethos matches with Michelle’s; and the challenges as well as the positives of working for the company.

“If you enjoy fast-paced, high-energy, challenging, thought-provoking workload, being in supply chain and transportation is a great area to be in.”

[14.50] How COVID has affected supply chain, and the benefits it’s brought along with it, from improved technology to more flexible communication.

[15.50] How an understanding of data is going to be key for the next generation.

[17.30] The benefits of engaging with the industry and taking seats on boards, from networking to giving back.

[20.11] How organisations like AWESOME are changing the game for women in business, and the importance of continuing to champion female voices.

[21.37] An overview of AWESOME.

[23.22] The challenges and benefits of the industry, particularly for women.

“The benefits far outweigh the challenges I’ve experienced.”

[26.51] Why Michelle now serves on the board of the Supply Chain Academy at Indiana University, the same institution where she gained her own degree.

[28.45] Michelle’s passion for working with people and helping them to achieve their own sets of goals and dreams.

“It keeps me energised every day.”

[29.39] Michelle’s advice for up and coming women in supply in chain.

“Just do it! If you don’t allow it to intimidate you, you will be pleasantly surprised at all the wonderful things you too will accomplish.”


Head over to LinkedIn to connect with Michelle and find out more.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

Sep 28, 2020

Parsyl is on a mission to improve the quality of goods we all rely on; from the foods we eat to the medicines we need. They provide insurance products as well as GPS tracking technology, with cell phone monitoring and data analytics through their web platform, to allow companies to take control of their supply chain. And they’re also utilizing that commercial technology to solve major global health challenges, making them a unique player in the supply chain industry.

Today I’m delighted to be joined by Ben Hubbard, co-founder and CEO of Parsyl, to talk all about the company’s amazing offering, including their game-changing software and insurance products, and the future of supply chain. Not to mention their partnerships with a range of organizations, from governments to ministries of health, to innovate and strengthen global health supply chains and improve lives.


[07.29] Ben’s background in economic and global health development, an overview of Parsyl and why Ben founded the company.

[09.29] How Parsyl is helping in the current pandemic with its international partnerships, risk management and insurance solutions.

[11.31] A closer look at what Parsyl does, from technology to data.

“We’re really focused on the data insights – it’s great to understand what happens on a particular shipment, but the deep insight comes from understanding what’s happening across lots of shipments.”

[15.50] The changing face of insurance, including risk, cost and why it’s so important.

“We have the widest, best temperature sensitive insurance coverage at Parsyl.”

[20.16] The global health side of Parsyl and its incredible impact across the world.

[24.46] A few real-life examples of how Parsyl have helped clients, with challenges from insurance to vaccine transportation.

[28.56] Parsyl’s ideal customer, and why it’s so important to help all links in the supply chain to better understand and use the data Parsyl can provide.

“Often data loggers are thrown in the trash, and it's a tragedy. We love data at Parsyl, and we want make sure it gets up to the cloud, analysed and integrated.”

[32.29] The future of supply chain.

“The dividend from being strategic about data collection and use is going to create a real delta between the winners and the losers.”  

[34.39] How Parsyl’s software differentiates them from the competition.

[35.38] From a focus on COVID-19, to rolling out insurance and delving deeper into the seafood industry, what the future holds for Parsyl.


Head over to Parsyl’s website now to find out more and discover how they could help you too.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

Sep 24, 2020

We’re back with Episode 4, which I’m sad to say is the final episode, of our “Lessons Learned from Crisis” mini-series, in partnership with Tealbook. Over the course of these four episodes I’ve really enjoyed talking to some of the leaders from Tealbook; getting to understand their platform, how they work and their amazing ethos. And, of course, I’ve loved being able to dive into some important discussions around the challenges in our industry right now and the lessons we can take from them, to help us to create robust strategies for the future. I hope you’ve enjoyed the series just as much as I have and don’t forget, you can still catch up on any episodes you might’ve missed HERE.

In last week’s episode ‘Diversity Matters,’ we were joined by Tealbook’s COO Ian Woodbury to talk about the importance of diversity, what the COVID crisis has taught Tealbook about resilience and innovation and how, as a company, they continue to evolve to support a rapidly changing industry.

Today in Episode 4, Collaborate To Success, I‘m joined by Tealbook’s VP of Customer Success Kate Hands to talk about the importance of easy communication and collaboration to the future of supply chain, Tealbook’s many and varied benefits and their top 3 tips for surviving a crisis.


[01.07] Kate’s background, why she was drawn to Tealbook and her role within the company.

“After hearing more about the Tealbook offering, it was too compelling not to be able to help other clients with their procurement and supply chain transformation journeys.” 

[02.58] Why empathy is key to surviving a crisis.

“The very nature of a crisis is that it’s unexpected, so it’s so important for companies to be agile and be able to adapt quickly.”

[04.18] How the Tealbook platform has helped its customers pro-actively engage with suppliers, from giving loan relief to small businesses to supporting minority business in light of Black Lives Matter.

[05.37] A typical relationship between Tealbook and their customers.

[08.18] How Tealbook encourages collaboration, from innovating with clients to sharing the creative ways different companies have used their platform.

[09.37] A closer look at Tealbook functionality and client-supplier collaboration.

“Having this data, immediately, at your fingertips: you just can’t put a price on that.”  

[12.28] Why communication and collaboration are so vital in the current climate.

[14.43] Kate’s role in customer success, what that means, and the benefits that come from a customer-centric approach.

[17.09] From cost savings and operational streamlining to supply chain continuity, the many benefits of the Tealbook platform.

[23.30] How data has been neglected and how the COVID crisis has helped to shine a light on just how important good data is.

“The pandemic has kick-started a lot of data-review initiatives, but data has been neglected for far too long.”

[24.03] Tealbook’s top 3 tips for helping clients in crisis.


Head over to Tealbook’s website now to find out more and discover how they could help you too.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

Sep 21, 2020

Hope White is the Founder and CEO of HD White Logistics, Founder of Hope White Consulting and of Logistically Speaking Online. Having previously worked for The Home Depot in various capacities, including inbound/outbound operations, EDI and vendor compliance, inventory control, and transportation, Hope had gained all of the knowledge and experience she needed to build a successful business of her own.

Now, in her various roles as CEO, logistics consultant and trainer, Hope helps companies to improve operations, develop their skill-sets and strategize, and deliver, cost-effective solutions for their supply chains.

Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at Hope’s businesses – how they came about and what problems they’re solving for their respective clients – her strategy for spinning so many plates at once, and why women are the future of the trucking industry.



[09.00] How Hope’s experiences working for The Home Depot, and assisting her husband with his own business, helped her to identify a niche and go on to found HD White Logistics.

[11.20] Exactly what HD White Logistics do – and an exciting announcement!

[12.48] Hope’s second business, Hope White Consulting, which specializes in training for start-ups; and her ‘baby,’ Logistically Speaking Online – a comprehensive e-learning course.

“We give our students an opportunity to learn, from A-Z, everything there is to know about how to establish your company the right way.”

[14.33] UPS, one of HD White Logistics key clients; from the challenges of working with a big-name client, to the advantage of being a small company with the ability to pivot quickly and collaborate.

[18.04] How Hope came to realise the importance of diversity certification and why business now comes to her, as one of the first certified minority woman-owned cross docking facilities in the Georgia Port Authority area.

[22.16] Hope’s industry advocates, including sponsorship from Coca Cola.

[24.32] How Hope’s roles and responsibilities vary across HD White Logistics and Hope White Consulting, and how that consulting itself varies, from established businesses to start-ups.

[26.53] Hope’s ideal customers for HD White Logistics, including coming full circle and partnering with The Home Depot, several years after she left her role with them.

“I have an affinity for retail, and groceries.”

[29.20] How Hope balances her extremely busy life, schedules and sets goals for the future, both on a professional and personal level.

“I balance with the Law of Attraction.”

[32.38] Why women are the answer to trucking’s problems.

“A woman coming in can provide the trucking industry a refreshed view of the future.”

[35.02] Hope’s mentor, a true female success story.

[36.12] The future for HD White Logistics, Hope White Consulting and Logistically Speaking Online.



Head over to HD White Logistics, Hope White Consulting or Logistically Speaking Online now to find out more and discover how they could help you too.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

Sep 17, 2020

We’re back with Episode 3 of our “Lessons Learned from Crisis” mini-series, in partnership with Tealbook.

In last week’s episode ‘Stay Ready,’ we talked to Tealbook’s VP of Strategy Matt Palackdharry to talk about the importance of good data, the value to be found in transparency and collaboration and why, despite only being founded in 2014, IDC recently ranked Tealbook as the #4 procurement platform tool currently in use today.

Today in Episode 3, Diversity Matters, I‘m joined by Tealbook’s COO Ian Woodbury to talk about the importance of diversity, what the COVID crisis has taught Tealbook about resilience and innovation and how, as a company, they continue to evolve to support our rapidly changing industry.


[00.58] Ian’s background, his role at Tealbook and why diversity is close to his heart.

“I saw this incredible opportunity to improve the way businesses are approaching diversity.” 

[03.25] Why diversity in supply chain is so important.

[07.47] Tealbook’s quick and easy Supplier Diversity Self-Certification process.

“I’ve timed it – from start to finish, it will take you 30 minutes.”

[11.16] Tealbook’s Tier 2 Diversity Program and its benefits to both big businesses and small suppliers.

[16.35] Why it’s so important for suppliers to participate in these kinds of programs, and really embrace a new world of diversity.

“A key part of this transformation is for suppliers to see the change, embrace it and get the benefit of it.”

[21.20] Why technology needs to continue to evolve, and businesses need to continue to innovate so, as an industry, we can meet rapidly evolving requirements and achieve our goals.

[24.48] How Tealbook invests in, and leverages, technology to stay ahead of the game and support that innovation.

[26.55] How Tealbook builds trust, reduces cost and lowers risk for companies who want to work with diverse suppliers but are nervous about taking the leap.

[28.51] The biggest lesson Tealbook learned from the COVID-19 crisis, and how it helped them find their niche.

“We will keep innovating to provide the tools to respond to the next unknown unknown – and we all know there’s always a next one.”



Head over to Tealbook’s website now to find out more and discover how they could help you too.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

Sep 14, 2020

After spending 16 years in management at Bimbo, part of the Sara Lee Bakery group, focusing on supply chain and purchasing, as well as sales and operations planning, Miquel combined his knowledge, experience and passion to found Solutions & Decisions in 2009.

Their mission is to make operations more efficient, reducing costs and creating a clear global company vision. Through his three pillars of ‘Change’, ‘Grow’ and ‘Share,’ Miquel aims to simplify the complexity of supply chain, so that clients can see real operational and economic results.

Today, we’re talking about what led Miquel to found Solutions and Decisions, his wealth of experience, how he applies what he’s learned to companies both big and small, and why he’s championing people and talent as the future of supply chain.


[08.22] Miquel’s career history, how he came to found Solutions and Decisions and the amazing story behind the name.

[12.01] Exactly what Solutions and Decisions do for their customers.

“We’re like supply chain doctors!”

[14.30] Miquel explains his three pillars: change, grow and share.

“Supply chain is about the capacity and flexibility to adapt to what’s going on, on the outside.”

[20.20] How Solutions and Decisions approach supply chain, breaking down its complexity to deliver results.

[22.52] What Miquel has learned from working with both SME’s and large organizations, and why companies are more similar than they think.

[27.33] Why communication can be difficult in business, but why it’s critical to get it right.

[29.31] A real-life example of how Solutions and Decisions helped a key customer.

“There was not an alignment between the different departments, because they had conflicting goals – there were no common goals aligned to the business strategy.”

[34.52] An ideal customer’s approach: Solutions and Decisions can work with a business of any size, in any industry, as long as they’re committed to the ‘decisions’ piece, as well as the diagnostic ‘solutions’ one.

[36.53] Why Miquel became a coach.

[40.32] From constant learning to talent development, the future for Miquel and Solutions and Decisions.


Head over to Solutions and Decisions website now to find out more and discover how they could help you too. You can also connect with Miquel over on LinkedIn.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

Sep 10, 2020

We’re back with Episode 2 of our “Lessons Learned from Crises” mini-series, in partnership with Tealbook.

In last week’s episode ‘Bad Data,’ we talked to Tealbook CEO Stephany Lapierre about the impact of poor supplier data, some of the biggest lessons learned from the COVID-19 crisis and exactly how Tealbook can help to revolutionize your data systems.

Today in Episode 2, Stay Ready, I‘m joined by Tealbook’s VP of Strategy Matt Palackdharry to talk about the importance of good data, the value to be found in transparency and collaboration and why, despite only being founded in 2014, IDC recently ranked Tealbook as the #4 procurement platform tool currently in use today.


[01.05] Matt’s background, and how his experiences led him to Tealbook.

“The number 1 reason that these technology platforms were failing was never the software or the integrations themselves – it’s actually the data going in that compromises everything downstream.”     

[04.03] Exactly what good data is, and why it’s so important.

[07.03] The challenges of data, and the potential for success when you get the data right.

“The amount of data that’s being created in the space is increasing tenfold year after year, and we’re still trying to make sense of that data with the same amount of staff.”

[09.02] Tealbook’s Autonomous Data Enrichment – what does it mean, and how does it help.

[12.38] How Tealbook deliver accuracy and transparency in their supply chain data to ensure they are a trusted industry partner.

[15.30] How transparency builds trust and community and facilitates successful industry collaboration.

“We do not promise perfect data: what we promise is that we’ll give you all of the data at your fingertips so you can make informed decisions and that our data, through our mechanisms, will get better over time.”  

[18.30] Why IDC recently ranked Tealbook as the #4 procurement platform tool currently in use today.

[22.33] How COVID-19 highlighted some key industry flaws and the high-profile customers Tealbook were able to help steer through the crisis.

[29.28] The key lessons Tealbook learned from the COVID-19 crisis.

Head over to Tealbook’s website now to find out more and discover how they could help you too.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

Sep 7, 2020

This week’s episode of our Women in Supply Chain series features Jenti Vandertuig.

Born in India, Jenti got her degree at Madras University in Chennai, one of the oldest and most well-respected universities in India, before moving to the USA and pursuing a career in government. After more than 25 years spent transforming public sector procurement through designing and delivering pioneering new solutions, it was time for a change. Now she’s a trailblazer showing the sports and entertainment industry how important supply chain is to their organizations.

Today Jenti will be sharing her fascinating life story with us, from scared but ambitious girl growing up in India, to the woman who decided to take control of her own destiny. She’ll be talking about her successful career in government and what made her switch industries; overcoming challenges, and all about how she found her voice along the way.


[07.54] Jenti’s background growing up in India, and the early experiences that began to shape her as a woman.

“I sum up my life as a struggle for victory of owning my own life, even if it meant starting from nothing.”

[10.41] How an arranged marriage bought Jenti to California at the age of 21, the home of her ‘riches to rags’ story.

[12.57] How a volunteering opportunity, a lucky break and a good mentor launched Jenti’s career in the City of Sunnyvale.

[15.57] How a strong mentor gave Jenti the courage to learn, and to succeed.

“That encouragement truly gave me the passion to excel, to take some chances and go further than what I’d anticipated for myself.”

[19.13] After dipping her toes in the private sector, and the dot com bust, Jenti moved on to bigger and better opportunities as a contractor at the County of Santa Clara.

“When opportunities came my way, I ran with it!”

[21.15] Some of the challenges Jenti faced along the way, and the persistence she found to overcome them.

[26.19] How Jenti found her voice.

[30.28] The importance of communication, how Jenti found herself moving from government to the San Francisco 49ers and the new excitement and passion it has brought her.

“It’s like a brand-new life for me.”

[35.34] The lessons that Jenti has learned along the way.

[38.04] Jenti shares her advice for girls and women looking to follow in her footsteps.

Keep up to date with the amazing Jenti by connecting with her on LinkedIn.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

Sep 3, 2020

Our new mini-series, in partnership with Tealbook, is called “Lessons Learned from Crisis” – it’s a timely look at how individual businesses, and our industry as a whole, need to learn, adapt and use our findings to inform our shared future.

Over the next four episodes, we’ll be taking a closer look at the importance of data, managing risk, technological advancements, what COVID-19 has taught us about weathering the storm – and how Tealbook can support your business, through good times and bad.

Today in Episode 1, Bad Data, I‘m joined by Tealbook CEO Stephany Lapierre to talk about the potentially devastating impact of poor supplier data, some of the biggest lessons learned from the COVID-19 crisis and exactly how Tealbook can help to revolutionize your data systems.


[01.30] Stephanie’s thoughts on many companies’ cynical approach to data management, and how it highlights the need for a simple, effective and comprehensive solution to harnessing, unifying and synchronising data.

“It’s not as hard as you think to have good data!”     

[03.24] How Stephanie’s experiences, and the problems she observed, inspired her to found Tealbook.

[09.45] The importance of data-first digital transformation and how Tealbook enhances visibility, identifies opportunities for supplier consolidation and encourages collaboration to simplify data and create ‘a single source of truth.’

[16.08] Bad data, and why it’s so harmful to business.

“93% of supply chain and procurement executives claim to have negative impact on their business on a regular basis because of misinformation and poor data quality.”

[18.49] How Tealbook allows companies to take charge of their data, keeping it up-to-date, accessible and accurate, eliminating bad data.

[24.08] Tealbook’s amazing community spirit: how they helped over 170 business in the first 3 weeks of the COVID-19 crisis to access key data that enabled them to pivot quickly and effectively, and Tealbook’s mission to help minority businesses in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

“We offered the market the ability to provide a supplier list for any organisation, in the private and public sector, that had a disrupted supply chain.”

[29.10] From operating a strong data strategy to employing supplier data platforms, what Tealbook has learned from the COVID-19 crisis and what the industry can learn for the future.

“Don’t hope technology will solve your data problem!”

Head over to Tealbook’s website now to find out more and discover how they could help you too.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

Aug 31, 2020

Tax – for many of us, it can be a word that strikes fear into the heart of our businesses! Global tax is a complex area of expertise, that often isn’t linked as closely as it should be to operations and decision-making.

Enter Global Tax Focus. Their goal is to help you see the global landscape of an enterprise by focusing on the intersection of operations and tax. They partner with an international team of deep technical business and tax specialists, bringing the latest in global thought leadership, to help you to identify where business and tax efficiencies can be achieved, by focusing on cross-border transactions, business structure, and reducing both tax and operating costs.

Today I’m joined by Jim Dawson of Global Tax Focus to talk more about the implications of tax on many different areas of business, why being pro-active with tax is so beneficial, and why tax and supply chain professionals need to collaborate to ensure their voices are heard.


[9.22] Jim’s background in international tax, and the tax implications on supply chain.

[11.20] How Jim helps owner-managed or family-owned middle market companies to understand and manage their tax implications, now and in the future.

“If you start making decisions to move assets, people and risk around the world, those aren’t decisions to be entered into lightly.”

[16.02] How recent tax changes disrupted the market, and the impact of that on nearshore and offshore investment, income and processes.

[24.15] Jim’s top 5 pieces of advice for the supply chain community on exactly how taxes should feature within their strategies.

“For most companies, taxes represent 20% of the cost reported on an income statement – so it’s very important that, in order to reduce that amount, supply chain professionals work collaboratively with the accounting/tax department.”    

[29.18] The benefits of free trade zones.

[31.58] A real-life example of how Jim is helping a client navigate current challenges and market changes.

[35.55] Jim’s thoughts on the idea that tax advantage is a business solution rather than a supply chain solution.

“Tax should never way the dog’s tail – it should be what’s best for the company from an operation perspective, and then overlay tax on top of it.”

[38.17] An overview of transfer pricing.

[43.09] The future for Global Tax Focus

Head over to Global Tax Focus’ website now to find out more and discover how they could help you too, or connect with Jim Dawson on LinkedIn.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

Aug 27, 2020

I’m so sad to say that this is the final episode in our ‘You Won’t Believe What We’ve Seen’ mini-series, in partnership with SQA services. But over the course of these four episodes we’ve had a blast! We’ve chatted to some inspirational people, learned a lot and heard some amazing stories – we really can't believe what they’ve seen! I hope you’ve enjoyed the series just as much as I have and don’t forget, you can still catch up on any episodes you might’ve missed HERE.

In last week’s episode ‘High Stakes’, we were joined by father and son team Jim and Mike McKay to tackle the ever-changing landscape of technology. We talked about the latest technological advances in the industry and really did a deep dive into the importance of quality, right from the outset, and how it’s achieved through honesty, communication, collaboration and partnership.

And today, last but definitely not least, we’re headed to the multi-billion-dollar world of beauty. Mike McKay is joining us one last time alongside the incredible Ashley Goldberg, Executive Director of Quality and Operational Excellence at Merz North America. We’re taking a closer look at the changing face of the beauty industry, the rise of social media and the impact of influencers, and why quality is more important than ever.


[01.03] Introducing Mike McKay.
[02.19] Introducing Ashley Goldberg.
[03.46] SQA’s key beauty industry partnerships, from Estee Lauder to Colgate-Palmolive.
[04.18] An introduction to Merz.
[05.32] How SQA’s early partnership with Colgate-Palmolive helped the business take off.

“I went from zero sales to several hundred thousand, by employing two or three hundred people in three different cities and shipping over 38,000 tubes of toothpaste!” (MMK)

[11.40] The importance of relationship-building in every stage – from raw materials to manufacturing to supply chain – to ensure quality, particularly in the start-up space.
[15.26] The relationship between Merz and SQA, and the importance of teamwork.

“They’re going to come in as an honest partner… to support it, augment it, and ultimately make sure you have the ability to build a robust supply chain.” (AG)

[19.36] Why it’s essential to ensure quality at source.

“Ensuring that your entire supply chain and all of your partners have the same values and integrity you have for your product is so important, because ultimately your customer is what matters.” (AG)

[23.14] Why cost-cutting strategies aren’t always the best approach, particularly for quality.

“Is the risk really worth it? What’s the cost of customer dissatisfaction?” (MMK)

[26.25] How consumer behavior is driving supply chain optimization.
[29.30] How social media, communication speed and influencer impact can have a very positive, or negative, effect on your brand – making quality even more important.
[31.29] SQA’s ‘Quality Is’ campaign and how it helps customers to ensure quality is an accessible and better understood topic.
[35.08] Why designing quality into the supply chain from the beginning is going to be vital to the future of the beauty industry.

You can connect with Mike on LinkedIn, or head over to SQA’s website now to find out more, meet the team and discover how they could help you too.
You can also connect with Ashley on LinkedIn or find out all about the different facets to Merz on their website.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

Aug 24, 2020

Development of the Omnae Platform began fairly recently, in 2016, with a small team and a big vision. Harnessing over 30 years of deep industry experience, Omnae’s mission was to build a network and service that was bigger than just manufacturing; to create a technology that was both industry and country agnostic, with the goal of connecting every facet of global production.

Omnae’s founders saw the potential – and necessity – for a global supply web, and knew they had the know-how to build it. And it’s safe to say Omnae has gone from strength to strength, proving that their mission, and unique approach, is spot on.

Today I’m joined by CEO Dan Lionello to talk more about the global supply web, the need for improved transparency, resilience and communication in supply chain and how Omnae’s platform has the potential to transform supply chain for everyone.

Aug 20, 2020

We’re back with Episode 3 of our ‘You Won’t Believe What We’ve Seen’ mini-series, in partnership with SQA services, and I’m sure you’re enjoying it just as much as I am.

In last week’s episode ‘Saving Lives’, we were joined by SQA founder and President Mike McKay, as well as the President & CEO of Civica Rx Martin VanTrieste, to talk about supply chain and the importance of quality in the life sciences industry. We explored the dark world of counterfeit drugs and shadow factories, the impact of COVID-19, drug shortages and ultimately the importance of supply chain in saving lives. Don't forget to check it out if you missed it!

Today, we’re taking on the complex world of technology and Mike McKay is joined by his Father, Chairman of SQA, Jim McKay.

They’re going to be exploring some of the latest technological advances in the industry and explaining how quality is so closely linked to honesty, communication, collaboration and partnership. And how, if you don’t have a focus on quality from the beginning, the impact on today’s technology-driven and dependent society is potentially devastating.


[01.03] Introducing Mike McKay.
[02.08] Introducing Jim McKay.

“The more things change, the more they remain the same – and that applies to what we’re doing at SQA.” (JMK)

[03.46] SQA’s key partnerships in the technology industry, from Apple to Google.
[04.41] Finding the right experts and building customized teams to meet customer challenges.
[05.56] How SQA bring their expertise to help their customers save time and money on vital audits and inspections.

“Our product is our people.” (MMK)

[10.20] The origins of Intertek, which lead Jim to partner with Mike and found SQA.
[13.50] Mike’s background, his perspective on working with his Dad and pivoting the Intertek approach to find a new path for SQA.
[16.49] The challenge of the ‘hard sell’ and encouraging customer investment in up-front strategies for quality.
[20.27] Why SQA are constantly striving for quality, and how they work in partnership with their customers to continue to deliver it.

“It’s a relentless task!” (JMK)

[24.54] How a focus on quality from the outset, alongside choosing the right partners, can reduce future defects and recalls.

“We got out to one service supplier where the address didn’t even exist!”

[27.46] The rise of cyber audits and the importance of quality in security and data.
[30.56] The importance of partnerships in an ever changing technological world.


You can connect with Mike and Jim on LinkedIn, or head over to SQA’s website now to find out more, meet the team and discover how they could help you too.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

Aug 17, 2020


Founder and CEO of Tive, Krenar Komoni, has what can only be described as an impressive career, with more than 10 years spent in the wireless industry gaining expertise in chip design and business development. He worked with BitWave Semiconductor, where he developed the world’s first 2G+3G+LTE radio in a single chip, Eta Devices – an MIT-based start-up developing the world’s most efficient cellular base stations – and consulted for Fortune 500 companies launching new wireless products.

But it was a simple conversation with his father in law, who was complaining of the challenges of supply chain, that sparked Krenar’s entrepreneurial spirit, helped him identify a vital niche, and go on to establish Tive. Designed to help companies take the surprises out of their supply chains through true end-to-end visibility, their innovative solutions are taking the market by storm.

Today, we’re talking about the importance of understanding how the modern supply chain works and providing rounded solutions, accuracy and data, sustainability and how Tive are changing the face of supply chain visibility.


[06.37] How Tive was founded, and the story behind the name.
[09.30] What Tive and its product trackers do for manufacturers and logistics suppliers.
[11.15] An overview of the Tive product offering, including multi-use and single-use trackers.

“We are the first in the industry to release the first single-use tracker that doesn’t contain lithium batteries.”

[12.53] The benefit of using trackers at pallet level.
[15.26] How Tive helps to bring visibility to supply chain.

“Visibility has become a must-have, and one way to achieve it is by getting data from the assets that are moving the goods.”

[19.38] The interplay between hardware, software and service in supporting visibility.
[22.11] Tive’s top 3 trackers, what they do and why they’re so special.
[26.25] The future of 5G.
[27.50] From security to perishable goods, some real-life examples of how Tive has supported customers and saved them time and money.

“They were able to use the data, reports and analytics that we provided to reduce the number of shipment rejections by 90%.”

[31.15] Tive’s ideal customer.
[32.27] Krenar’s best advice for other supply chain start-ups and entrepreneurs.

“Every start-up has ups and downs, but the key is to really believe in your goal.”

[35.08] What the future holds for Tive.

Head over to Tive’s website now to find out more and discover how they could help you too.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

Aug 13, 2020

I hope you’re enjoying our fascinating ‘You Won’t Believe What We’ve Seen’ mini-series, in partnership with SQA services.

In last week’s episode ‘Mission Control’ (insert link), we talked to SQA founder and President Mike McKay, and industry professional and advisor to SQA Jeff Luckey, and delved into the incredible world of aircraft and aerospace.

And we have an equally amazing podcast for you today, with episode 2 ‘Saving Lives,’ as we dive into the life sciences. Mike McKay joins us once again, alongside President & CEO of Civica Rx Martin Van Trieste, one of Modern Healthcare’s ‘100 Most Influential People in Healthcare’ and the #2 leader on The Medicine Maker’s ‘Power List of Industry Influencers.’

They’re going to be exploring the dark world of counterfeit drugs and shadow factories, sharing their passions and experiences after many years at the top of their industry, and reinforcing that all-important topic of Quality. You don’t want to miss it!


[00.58] Introducing Mike McKay.
[02.18] Introducing Martin Van Trieste.
[04.28] SQA’s key partnerships in the life sciences industry, from Pfizer to Johnson and Johnson.
[05.01] Martin’s long-standing relationship with SQA, and why he came to rely on their services.

“Over 20 years, I’ve become enamored with their business model. But more importantly, I grew to respect Mike and his team so much – I trust them – and that’s something that takes a long time to build.” (MVT)

[07.15] The importance of working as an extension of a customer’s team, being flexible, efficient and meeting customized needs.
[10.21] How saving time and money through using a team of specialists like SQA, means customers are freed up to work on the important things – saving lives.
[12.02] Why working with SQA is not simple out-sourcing: it’s all about information sharing, communication, honesty and collaboration.

“It’s a very interactive process.” (MVT)

[14.27] Shadow factories, their impact on the industry, and on saving lives.
[16.52] Show factories, and Mike’s eye-opening industry experiences.

“Our auditor walked over to a drum, lifted up the top and saw the laminate still inside – no product had been made there!” (MMK)

[19.12] Supply and demand during COVID-19.
[23.15] SQA’s passion and pride to be doing their part in developing vaccines and saving lives.
[26.06] Why there are drug shortages, ‘Just in Time’ vs ‘Just in Case’ and how/why Martin’s company Civica Rx are moving towards shorter, more robust supply chains.

“Not all industries are the same: you can’t apply every solution to the same problem in a different industry.” (MVT)

[31.45] Why quality is so important, both on a business and a personal level.
[33.41] How SQA’s ‘Quality Is’ campaign helps to keep quality at the top of everybody’s agenda, both internally and with customers too.
[35.53] Why without quality, you don’t have safety – and you can’t save lives.

You can connect with Mike on LinkedIn, or head over to SQA’s website now to find out more, meet the team and discover how they could help you too.

You can also connect with Martin on LinkedIn or find out more about Civica Rx's pioneering work on their website.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

Aug 10, 2020

Back in 2001, Optessa Founder Srinivas (Vasu) Netrakanti identified an important but poorly served niche: to provide high quality planning and scheduling solutions that truly addressed industry needs. And as a management graduate and highly successful serial entrepreneur, he had the knowledge, experience and courage to deliver it.

Vasu partnered with Founder and CEO Ashok Erramilli, who brought his own incredible skills – including an Electrical Engineering Ph.D. from Yale, years of experience as a consultant to engineering and networking corporations, and from his role as Research Manager at Bellcore (now Telcordia) – to the mix.

The ambitious and highly skilled duo built Optessa with the vision of helping complex manufacturers optimize their production plans and schedules, utilizing intelligent solutions. Their Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) software creates complete, optimal, even quality solutions, and their software can model any manufacturing requirement, with speedy deployment.

In today’s episode Ashok discusses current industry challenges in light of COVID-19, the importance of evaluating supply chains by criteria other than simply cost, achieving balance and stability in supply chain and the power of data-driven analytics.


[06.30] The story behind Optessa, and how they continue to deliver and evolve.
[10.50] How Optessa uses data optimization to allow customers to match supply with demand and stay efficient.

“We help manufacturers answer these three basic questions: what do I make, where do I make it and when do I make it?”

[13.15] How COVID-19 has hung a question mark over the industry, the challenge of trying to be prepared for everything, and how the crisis has highlighted a need for more robust supply chains.
[16.20] From risk to stability, flexibility to responsiveness, the need to evaluate supply chains by criteria other than simply cost.
[19.05] How the current crisis highlighted supply chain vulnerabilities companies didn’t even know they had, and the importance of readily available good data, to allow companies to use predictive analytics to be proactive rather than reactive.

“You can have the most efficient supply chain, but when you have a disruption like this one, that could be the end of your business.”

[21.01] The art of trade-offs – how you can use optimization to reconcile contradictory elements and achieve the best balance for your business.

“Given your comfort level, your priorities – it will tell you the best trade-off.”

[23.57] The story behind the name Optessa.
[25.11] What effect the USMCA might have on manufacturing.
[28.02] Customer case study: how Optessa reduced the number of change points from 1200 to 300 for one client, saving them enough money to pay for a whole new software suite, by interpreting, anticipating and so minimizing change.

“In the real world, as soon as you make a plan – things change!”

[33.20] Optessa’s ideal client, and the questions they need to ask themselves before getting in touch.
[36.45] Why if a company has two out of three V’s – volume, variety and value – Optessa can help.
[37.54] What the future holds for Optessa.

Head over to Optessa’s website now to find out more, meet the team and discover how they could help you too.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

Aug 7, 2020

I’m incredibly excited to bring you a brand new 4-part series, in partnership with SQA Services. SQA Services has over 25 years’ experience and is now widely recognized as a flexible global resource and a proven solution provider for today’s complex supply environments. I’ve gotten to know them over the past few months and their industry knowledge, passion – and amazing stories – demanded their own platform.

Inspired by their experiences and anecdotes, I’m proud to introduce the aptly named ‘You Won’t Believe What We’ve Seen’ mini-series. Over the next 4 episodes, we’ll be bringing you stories that showcase the importance of quality in supply chain and the fascinating places it’s taken SQA.

So, grab a coffee and find a quiet spot to enjoy Episode 1, ‘Mission Control.’ Featuring SQA founder and President Mike McKay, and industry professional and advisor to SQA Jeff Luckey, this episode takes us into the incredible world of aircraft and aerospace.


[01.26] Introducing Mike McKay.
[02.46] Introducing Jeff Luckey.

“I know a thing or two, because I’ve seen a thing or two!” (JL)

[04.28] SQA’s key industry partnerships, from Boeing to NASA.
[08.29] Jeff’s relationship with SQA, their introduction to Boeing and the importance of quality.

“Unless quality is actually built in at the beginning… you’re likely to have quality issues at the end of the chain.” (JL)

[12.14] The responsibility, pride and pressure that goes hand in hand with being a part of supply chain for space missions.
[15.34] The sheer scale of Aeronautic production, which really puts the importance of quality into perspective.
[18.53] How Mike’s son, who is a pilot, brings a personal angle to quality and safety.
[21.04] How getting to know customers, as well as inspiring and trusting your staff, combines to build a great team.

“I’m like the owner of a sports team: you hire your head coach and then let them go to work!” (MMK)

[23.44] Jeff’s Boeing projection figures and the future of aircraft.
[28.57] How SQA will adapt and support the automation of the future.

“The only constant is change.” (MMK)

[31.28] SQA’s ‘Quality Is’ campaign.
[35.52] Our expectation for excellence, and how that demands quality.


You can connect with Mike on LinkedIn, or head over to SQA’s website to find out more, meet the team and discover how they could help you too.

Check out our other podcasts HERE

Aug 3, 2020

This week's episode of Women in Supply Chain Series features Martha Lumatete.  Inspired by both her grandmother, who began her own construction supply business, and her father, an accomplished lawyer in Kenya, Martha Lumatete always had her sights set on success. In today’s episode, she discusses her incredible journey so far, from those initial aspirations to the woman she is today.

After graduating law school, she took a role at Pepsi working in data and analysis and became fascinated with the supply chain process – how a product works its way through manufacture and distribution, and the consumer behavior behind it. Driven by her natural curiosity, bravery and thirst for knowledge, Martha worked in a number of different industries and areas, gathering new skills and experiences along the way.

Currently working for Southwest Airlines in software acquisition, Martha brings her own unique blend of integrity, passion and positivity to the table, reminding us that good business is not just about making good deals, it’s all about nurturing great relationships.

In this episode we discuss:

[06.20] Martha’s background and her journey to success
[14.28] Her current role and responsibilities for Southwest Airlines

“They lead with love, but they have a warrior spirit”

[18.58] The importance of building strong partnerships

“If there’s no partnership, you’re going to have a company that is struggling”

[22.25] Martha’s inspiration and the quote she lives by. “Be generous and expert; trustworthy and clear; open-minded and adaptable; persistent and present.”
[25.25] Personal courage and risk-taking, and how that links to the importance of agility in business: continuing to learn, grow, support others and grasp opportunity

“The one thing that’s constant is change”

Resources and links mentioned:

Head over to LinkedIn to connect with Martha and continue to follow her inspirational journey.

Check out our other podcasts HERE

Jul 27, 2020

Like his Father and Grandfather before him, Founder and President of Logistics Titans Wes Streubing has supply chain in his blood. And he’s on a mission to bring that passion, history and industry knowledge together to bring a new and innovative approach to supply chain.

As the largest specialized and asset-based carrier in the US, Logistics Titans aim is to empower their clients with new possibilities through their commitment to seeking out the latest technologies, providing data-driven insights and bringing a customized, holistic approach to every client.

In this episode, Wes discusses the challenges we’re currently facing in supply chain and how the industry needs to continue to be creative and agile in its approach. And innovative industry leaders who continue to learn and grow are a vital part of this, especially in unprecedented times as we continue to face the impact of Covid 19.

But, as Wes looks to the future, he’s sure that Covid 19 is 'a short-term discomfort, not a long-term problem' and that the future for supply chain is bright.

In this episode we discuss:

[00.38] The history behind the Logistics Titans brand
[02.08] Industry complexity and challenges, from accurate forecasting to predictive analysis
[03.27] The importance of data

“We’ve gone from just being people who provide transportation services and warehousing services to being someone who provides meaningful data back to business”

[06.33] Working with partners and Wes’s core philosophy in life and business

“I’ll be in your life as long as I can make it better”

[07.42] Growth and self-awareness in leadership
[10.01] Content consumption, and how Covid 19 has brought supply chain content all the way to the board room
[12.45] How their holistic approach makes Logistics Titans different

“Our mission is to facilitate our client’s agenda”

[15.56] The impact of Covid 19 and the importance of creative strategy and problem solving within supply chain
[21.32] A real life example of how Logistics Titans revolutionized their customers’ existing process
[24.38] The process of working with Logistics Titans
[27.23] How the future of logistics will marry people and technology
[30.32] The future for Logistics Titans

Resources and links mentioned:

To find out more about Logistics Titans, or to book a free call to see how they could help you, visit their website.

Check out our other podcasts HERE

Jul 20, 2020

Ram is the founder of SKUteam, a company that provides globalized supply chain with localized supervision. They help companies working in the apparel, furnishing and fashion accessories industries take control of their supply chain and cut out unnecessary middlemen.

Ram explains that when it comes to production, 70% of processes happen in a factory. But brands have no idea what happens in the factories: they can’t tell if workers are paid fair wages, if working conditions are at the right standard or whether the product is manufactured according to the specific requirements. SKUteam help brands track every section of the supply chain works by offering a whole range of services including accounting and finance, inspections, audits and inventory planning.

With trends such as globalization and events such as Covid-19, brands want to move away from China and manufacture products elsewhere - but they aren’t sure where to go next. SKUteam helps brands find the appropriate factories and sample inventory. They then manage the audits, inspections and factory management. As Ram says, the future of supply chain is about removing human involvement. With SKUteam’s product, brands can be at the forefront of their industry simply by reducing costs and sourcing effectively.

In this episode we discuss:

  • [6.48] What influenced Ram to create SKUteam
  • [11.51] What SKUteam does
  • [17.48] How SKUteam helps customers throughout Covid
  • [31.29] What their ideal client looks like
  • [37.57] The future for SKUteam

Resources and links mentioned:

  • SKUteam
  • Promo: refer Lets Talk supply Chain when you reach out to SKUTEAM!! First two Purchase orders, free!
Jul 13, 2020

Ranna is a supply chain professional who works for Resilinc, a supply chain risk management company that offers data analytics and insights on supplier performance. With their patented technology, Resilinc can produce simulations of potential catastrophes and help customers and suppliers mitigate risk. 

What is supply chain mapping? Ranna explains that supply chain mapping is about knowing who your tier 1, tier 2 and tier 3 suppliers are. Mapping is about knowing the full flow of your supply chain and therefore being able to successfully identify any points of failure. Large scale events such as Covid and have proved the importance of knowing how your entire supply chain works and being proactive rather than reactive.

Ranna has worked in supply chain for 20 years, and says the industry has come very far. Thanks to advances in technology, companies can use data to prepare and handle risk efficiently. With more natural disasters happening every year, this is more relevant than ever. She also explains that the future of supply chain will involve more transparency and an even greater ability to connect directly customers with suppliers. Ranna loves her job as supply chain manager and she highly recommends it to anyone who wants a career that involves building strategic relationships, understanding how cultures work and international travel.

In this episode we discuss:

  • [0.30] Who is Resilinc?
  • [2.55] What is supply chain mapping?
  • [11.28] What Ranna loves about supply chain
  • [16.55] How supply chain has changed in the past 20 years
  • [27.14] Advice to young women interested in supply chain

Resources and links mentioned:

Jul 6, 2020

Melody is a supply chain professional who works for Alloy, a platform that offers in-depth data analytics for consumer good companies. For our Women in Supply chain spotlight for July, sponsored by Alloy,  Melody tells us what her journey in supply chain has been like, what keeps her motivated and her plans for the future. 

Supply chain is constantly changing and advancing - yet many companies are sticking to manual processes. Although they recognise and understand the need for analytics, companies still use spreadsheets and adopting technology at a very slow pace. As Melody says, it’s almost like companies don’t believe the right tools are out there and that manual is more efficient. As someone who works in commercial software, Melody knows there is still a lot of work to do. 

What does success mean to Melody? To her, it means being in control of her destiny and being in a position to help others. She is driven by being surrounded by intellectuals who are eager to solve problems by tinkering and continuously testing. To others who are looking to get into a career in supply chain, Melody says: figure out what gets you motivated in the long haul and make sure to try as many different parts of supply chain as possible: after all, you won’t know what you like unless you try it!

In this episode we discuss:

  • [8.14] How Melody fell into supply chain
  • [14.48] What success means to her
  • [15.43] The conversations she’s having in supply chain tech
  • [25.20] Advice to people looking at supply chain as a career
  • [34.04] A moment when Melody had to take a leap of faith

Resources and links mentioned:

Stay Connected with the Podcast:

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

Stay Connected with the Podcast:

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:

Stay Connected with the Podcast:

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:

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