Supply Chain Now Radio Episode 153

Supply Chain Now Radio, Episode 153
“Global Community Builder: A Conversation with Jenny Froome of SAPICS”
The Full Access Series on Supply Chain Now Radio
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Jenny Froome is the Chief Operating Officer of SAPICS – the Professional Body for Supply Chain Management.  English by birth, Jenny has lived and worked all over the world settling in South Africa via Kenya in 1995.  With a background in event management and incentive travel Jenny and her husband Clive started an events company, Upavon Management, and the SAPICS annual conference in 1996 was its first event and Jenny’s first formal introduction to the world of supply chain.  Supply Chain Management is a profession which, fortunately she stumbled into 20 or so years ago and she is passionate about the work she can help SAPICS to do to enable people appreciate the vitality of this profession.  After all, it really does make the world go round! Learn more about SAPICS:

Scott W. Luton is the founder of Supply Chain Now Radio. He has worked extensively in the end-to-end Supply Chain industry for more than 15 years, appearing in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Dice and Quality Progress Magazine. Scott currently serves as a board member with APICS Atlanta and was recently named a 2019 Pro to Know in Supply Chain by Supply & Demand Executive. He founded the 2019 Atlanta Supply Chain Awards and also served on the 2018 Georgia Logistics Summit Executive Committee. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and holds the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) credential. A Veteran of the United States Air Force, Scott volunteers on the Business Pillar for VETLANTA and serves on the advisory board for the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance. He also serves as an advisor with TalentStream, a leading recruiting & staffing firm based in the Southeast. Follow Scott Luton on Twitter at @ScottWLuton and learn more about SCNR here:

In this episode of our Full Access Series, Scott Luton interviews Jenny Froome of SAPICS.

[00:00:00] It’s time for Supply Chain Now Radio Broadcasting live from the Supply chain capital of the country. Atlanta, Georgia Supply Chain Now Radio spotlights the best in all things supply chain the people, the technologies, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.


[00:00:29] Good morning, Scott Luton here with you, on Supply Chain Now Radio. Welcome to the show.


[00:00:37] We’re coming to you today from Vector Global Logistics, a company that is providing world class Logistics services all while deeply investing into the communities that they serve based right here in Atlanta. But with international reach, this company is certainly on the move. You can learn more at Vector Jill dot com on today’s Supply Chain Now Radio episode. We’re continuing our Full Access series where we’re spotlighting exceptional female leaders across industry. On a quick programming note. Like all of our series on Supply Chain Now Radio, you can find our replays on a wide variety of channels Apple, podcasts, SoundCloud, Spotify and wherever else. You find your podcasts as always. We’d love to have you subscribe, so don’t miss anything.


[00:01:19] Supply Chain Now Radio is also brought to you by a variety of sponsors, including the effective syndicate talentstream, Georgia manufacturing alliance and several other living organizations. So you can be sure to check out the show notes to learn more about our very valuable sponsors. Okay, so our listeners are in for a treat this morning. Welcome in our featured guest today. Jenny Froome, chief operating officer of SAPICS the body professionalizing supply chain management in Africa. Jenny. How you doing?


[00:01:47] I’m doing really good. Thanks, Scott.


[00:01:49] We are two and I really have enjoyed our warm up conversations going back a few weeks and really I think our Blitzer is in for a treat. Hearing from you today.


[00:02:00] I hope so. Thank you.


[00:02:02] Let’s learn a little bit more about you, Jenny. So give us your kind, your backstory, your professional background leading up to your current role with picks.


[00:02:11] Not desperately exciting, but I’m very proudly a trained secretary, and that’s how I started my my professional career. And then I was lucky enough to get into the world of event management, where I worked in London for a number of years and then came over to South Africa via Kenya, where we were fortunate enough.


[00:02:34] We found my husband and I founded our own company and one of our very first clients was safe picks. And and that’s where we sort of started our relationship with safe picks as their event managers and our relationship continued to grow.


[00:02:51] And ultimately I’ve ended up as CEO of Safe Picks, which is a role I’m very, very proud of in an organization I’m exceptionally proud of. Absolutely.


[00:03:02] So how long were y’all in London? Roughly Jenny.


[00:03:06] Oh, I worked in London for about 10 years and then spent four years in Kenya as a lady of leisure, which was quite nice. And then when we moved to South Africa, we needed to work and work. We have done ever since. For the last twenty two years, I didn’t think we’d stop at all. So, yes, it’s been a long journey, but it’s been a good Jenny.


[00:03:33] All the work that’s involved. Is that testimony to your work ethic or is that testimony to just how much is going on in the world of Supply chain management?


[00:03:42] It’s both. It’s both, I think. I think my staff get very irritated with me when I go on holiday and they don’t get a break. They say I’m supposed to be on holiday, leave them alone.


[00:03:54] I think that I think that that supply chain management is just it’s constants in the work that needs to be done is constant, say this sort of very little let up.


[00:04:05] Well, let’s talk about say picks, because your your outstanding mission, you are spreading the gospel of supply chain manager best practices and how it’s done across Africa. So tell us more about, say, picks and what the organization does.


[00:04:22] So we we’re very much community builders. And that’s what we we. That’s what our core value is, is making sure that the community of Supply chain professionals actually have a home to come to if they want to know anything about anything to do with supply chain management. And we all know how diverse it is. And we all know how many different industries are affected by it. And actually, there’s nobody who’s not affected by Supply chain management. They just don’t know who they are. And I think that’s sort of one of our missions is it’s very easy to promote your company and say fix is great and all the rest of it.


[00:05:05] But fundamentally, you have to start with what actually is supply chain management. I don’t know about many people, but I know it can often be a bit of a conversation killer when people say, well, what do you do? And then it’s like, well, we’re in supply chain management. And then there’s this deathly silence. And you then have to then have to do the whole field to fork thing and seed to show and what seed to store. And people do start to get it eventually.


[00:05:33] Particularly here in South Africa, I know that a lot of people think that supply chain management is procurement and it’s that cases of explaining that there is a lot more to the whole end to end supply chain. So it’s a it we constantly educating, I think is what we do and constantly community building.


[00:05:56] And we do that through a lot of events and our membership and just really nurturing our nurturing our membership base, which is is not easy, but we’ve got a great a great diverse membership base who are collectively very active in the profession and who deserve to have this profession recognised in the same way that I think chartered accountants recognised and other professionals.


[00:06:27] We need to get supply chain management up.


[00:06:29] The great point and I love that phrase use a couple times act being community builders. I think that’s an outstanding way to look at in the end supply chain managers and professionals because that’s already in our blood. Right. Working upstream and downstream to make the mission happen. To get the right product at the right price built the right way in the right place. Yeah. All that good stuff for we can switch gears and dive into your back story a little bit more. We’ll talk about community builders beyond training and best practice sharing kind of the body knowledge proliferation. They all do it. Does that also include that the networking in the and the socializing of Supply chain? But how important is that to be able to make those connections across the Supply chain magic community?


[00:07:14] In my opinion, it’s hugely important.


[00:07:16] And obviously there are so many networks in inverted commas with with the whole digital footprint that we’ve all got now with LinkedIn and the fantastic communities that they enable us to have access to. I think there’s still nothing that can beat face to face networking. And certainly, you know, I’m prepared to travel thousands of miles. I know. Not get my carbon footprint, but I’m prepared to travel a long way to make it to the ACM Apex annual conference or other such events in order just to kind of touch base and and and reconnect with people who I believe I can learn a lot from.


[00:07:58] Absolutely. And that AC in 2019 is coming up. It’s just around the corner. Always a great supply chain and business of it. Are you gonna be there this year?


[00:08:07] Jenny I am. It’s when it’s a. But I’m looking I’m looking forward to you know, a lot of people make the effort to come all the way down to Cape Town for our annual event. So I think I think it needs to be reciprocated.


[00:08:25] I’m with you. Let’s change gears a little bit. I want to get to know Jenny Froome the individual a bit more. So now where did you grow up? Jenny.


[00:08:30] I grew up around the world pretty much. And I lived in I think it’s eight different countries. My father was was a banker, worked for an international bank. And so when I was 2 weeks old, I was taken over to Ghana and we lived there for a while. And I’ve lived in America, British Virgin Islands, Japan, Australia and Kenya. So it’s it’s quite a quite a interesting and very privileged experience, I think, growing up. The downside was, was this at the age of eleven, I had been to eleven different schools and my parents decided it was time to go to boarding school. I say from blue. Yes, exactly. So from glorious sunny Australia where I was to a mixed school.


[00:09:23] I was sent to an all girls boarding school in very, very grey England.


[00:09:30] And it was it was a very big adjustment for me. I also had a very broad Australian accent at the time as well, which didn’t go down very well.


[00:09:38] You mentioned God. How long did you live in Ghana?


[00:09:40] Oh, we went. My dad was in Ghana for 12 years. I was only there for two, I think. I think I was I think those three or four when we when we left.


[00:09:54] Let’s talk about some of your favourite. I mean, you have such a unique background in eight countries. Imagine maybe before you even hit boarding school how it was, what it sounds like to me. But regardless, you’ve got such a unique international background. A lot of folks don’t have that you experience during those formative years. What were some of your favorite memories or hobbies?


[00:10:12] I think favorite memory obviously always has to go back to time with family because holidays was, say, precious. Being all together as a as a family didn’t really matter what country we were in, what was important, even even if it meant arguments on the tennis court on a Saturday morning, it was still nice being being with the family and amino various various memories of the the different countries. Cherry blossom time in Japan trying to stay away kits at Christmas to decorate the tree because the jetlag was say shockingly bad.


[00:10:45] And no, those sorts of these sorts of childhood memories switched gears from childhood memories to maybe childhood or early role models. We all benefit from them and in one way, shape or form. We were talking on a podcast yesterday with a talent acquisition leader within Supply chain and she was talking about a high school teacher of hers that really encouraged her to double down on the business path from from learning and career. And that really a mentor for her. That role model for her really changed how things ended up. And now she is a very successful entrepreneur. But let’s talk about Jenny Froome early role models. Anyone? Come on.


[00:11:28] Aside from wanting desperately to be to be Chris effort.


[00:11:31] I kind of didn’t get there, but I was I was extremely lucky when I left school to work with an incredible gentleman who was an ex.


[00:11:43] Well, God, but he had worked in the city and he was my first proper boss. And it wasn’t so much his his professional knowledge as to how he treats people. And I think that that’s something it’s a lesson that we all need to learn, is that it doesn’t matter what job somebody does, everyone has a part to play in.


[00:12:06] And I guess all the success of our day, how our day works and how our life evolves. And he never he never put anybody down. He treated people with such enormous respect. And I learned I learnt a great deal from him. And I’ll always be grateful to him for the life lessons I learned from him.


[00:12:26] I think there’s such a great need for civility. What levels of respect these days, whether it’s in Supply chain or just in the adult world, it’s there.


[00:12:37] Absolutely. And there’s a lot of things I think that people aren’t being. There’s a lot of things people don’t know. And I was quite surprised to see that. I think it’s one of the Scandinavian countries where they’re teaching empathy really now at school as a as a natural subject.


[00:12:53] And I like a parent. I read an article about it last week. And I think that that’s kind of that’s quite an eye opener because so it’s like leadership. I mean, talking to one of one of, I guess. The great lady Supply chain Supply chain professions, I’ve had the privilege of working with Karen Alba, who said to me that she’s doing teaching people leadership because she realized it’s one of the things that we all assume everybody knows how to do this. And yet we actually the majority stay at. That’s it. And in fact, some of our leaders don’t even know how to do it. So if there’s somebody out there who can teach people how to do better than how great is that?


[00:13:34] We’re kindred spirit. I believe we can all use a lot more hands on leadership education these days. You know, I look at some of the systemic challenges we have, not just in the Supply chain world, but the business world related. You know, we’ll talk more about the gender gap in a minute. But there’s lots of other aspects that it’s really when it comes down to it. It’s a failure or breakdown the leadership. All too often, I think a lot of leaders embrace kind of the current state, the status quo so that they can, you know, just get the product out, unfortunately. And so we appreciate your perspective. You just shared there. And hey, if we can get more leadership, especially practical non lip service leadership and empathy, empathy training in our schools. Hey, I got both hands in the air. Speaking of education and school. Tell us more about your formal education, not just related to the supply chain, but kind of where did or did you gather your training from as you grew up in the school of life?


[00:14:36] I had a great thing the other day, which I really, really like, and I’m going to adopt it, which is I didn’t have a three letter acronym after my name. I don’t have any AP, an MBA, I don’t have AP HD, but I did have QBE, which is qualified by experience.


[00:14:58] And I I like the facts and I’m very proud to be able to use that.


[00:15:02] I like that to be qualified by experience. I might steal that one from a Jenny.


[00:15:07] Yeah, I really do.


[00:15:09] So my my training has been my my only real formal training was a secretarial qualification which for the first time in my adult life, I found something that I was very, very good at.


[00:15:23] And I’ve sort of just gone from that really and and stumbled into various different opportunities that have led me to the next opportunity. And it’s it’s been a it’s been a very privilege, professional career.


[00:15:39] But I think a lot of it has also come about by hard work and learning on the job and am. And I’m a great proponents for young people for who on whom I think it’s so much pressure is being put to get that qualification, to get that degree that your life is not as if you don’t. You know, there are opportunities. It’s up to you to to take hold of these opportunities and and grab them and turn them into what what you can agree that I think I’m not taking anything away from all the certification and the learning opportunity and accreditations.


[00:16:17] However, I think at times it seems like we things can be overprescribed. And I’m. I’m all for practical education. Right. If you it. Yeah. You do what you need to do and then get busy doing. All right. Again, I must circle back this QB that. I’m a put in the pump business. All right. So let’s talk more about your early career day. So so Jenny, what was your first job?


[00:16:43] My first job was in the extremely difficult well, tough recruitment personnel recruitment. I was a temporary staff controller. And I I decided very early on that they give that job to the people who don’t know what they’re letting themselves in for. I think the people who do that job have nerves of steel because Monday morning comes around and so many people need a temporary member of staff.


[00:17:14] This, that and the other. It’s a it’s a it’s a difficult job. And I but I learned so much. I learnt about different industries. I learnt about different talents. SAT silent about different qualifications. And and different people are right for different roles. Not everybody can do the same job says. As an early 20th young 20 year olds, I. I really did learn an awful lot. And it was London in London. So I had a lot of fun.


[00:17:43] So I bet. I bet.


[00:17:46] What part of London is in the West End? Actually, it was yeah. It was in West End. It was it was it was great. It was that they were good days. It was fun.


[00:17:55] And what was one thing you look finally back, whether weather is an activity or whether it was a certain aspect of that job or whether it was, you know, some of the things you did in West End. What do you miss?


[00:18:05] Host Well, I think what I’m most proud of is the fact that I was able and I seriously hope that my old boss is listening. I was able to go out until 4:00 in the morning and then still be able to do a full day’s work.


[00:18:19] But that’s not to say that you’re illustrating how Supply chain makes it happens. I can appreciate that. And I think a lot of bosses aren’t listening because I think that you bet you work hard and you play hard. Neural supply chain, let’s kind of stick with your your earlier career and let’s talk about one of your early promotions. So think about that. Share that with us and how you accomplish that. Jenny.


[00:18:42] I was very fortunate to get a job in event management.


[00:18:46] I sort of worked my way up the ladder there, starting officer as a salesperson and then ending up in the world of operations in event management, which I think is probably one of the one of the things that helps me understand supply chain professionals raise on debt trap because it if you don’t get the planning right, then the event doesn’t work properly and the outcome can be disastrous. And it was it’s it it is a career that I’m very passionate about. And I think the whole service side of of the service industry is is something that I think is it’s a hugely valuable career full for anybody to enter into. So I was lucky to have good training and good on the job experience for many years. So much so that was able to then start my own business with my husband.


[00:19:44] When we first came South Africa, so that early promotion and experience, one of the doors that opened up for you was the world of being entrepreneur, right? Yep. Yep, absolutely. And so you and your husband have clearly been been busy building. It sounds like an event management organization which led to then leadership roles. We’ll say picks, is that right?


[00:20:09] That’s that’s the the career path that it took.


[00:20:11] Ken, it’s and it’s also, thanks to say picks, because when we first arrived in South Africa, say Picks was our very first client and we managed the conference for a number of years before getting involved intrinsically in the world of supply chain management from a safe perspective. So we were managing a conference, which we did very well and we do very well. But we didn’t really know understand the content or the value of the content because we weren’t interested in it, which sensed it had. But, you know, our interest was making sure that the that the events, you know, the presentation started on time, finished on time, and that everybody was happy and having a great experience. And then all of a sudden we we were asked to take on the administration of the entire organization. And that’s when we started to understand the value of that of of the subject matter. And that’s when the interest in supply chain management as a profession for me personally really started to manifest itself. And I’ve not looked back. I don’t think it continues to be a passion. I’m very lucky to have a team of people who are equally passionate working with me. And we all know, you know, you come from a volunteer background. We all know how immensely valuable the passion that that is brought to the table by the volunteers who put themselves forward to give back to the Supply chain profession. It’s contagious.


[00:21:48] Great point. I want to pose a question to you here. You’ve been serving the AP, the Say Picks organization since 1996, and I apologize in advance if I continue to swap out mistakenly say picks what a picks it is. That volunteer background. I’m not outright OK, please do so. So you would say picks serving since 1996 and of course, now as CEO of the organization. What do you think the biggest change you’ve seen in the world of supply chain management since you began your tenure with sceptics?


[00:22:20] Lots of things, I think. I think speed is probably the one thing that really does hit home. It’s how fast everything has to happen. This technology has obviously made things much faster, but people’s expectations are much faster.


[00:22:38] People are far less tolerant, far less patient, and service delivery becomes that much more critical.


[00:22:46] And I think that’s something I’ve definitely seen and I’ve been doing this in South Africa since before I am dating myself. Matt, since before email, you know, I’ve been lurking when post you know, it was we waited for a letter and and it would take two to three days and people would say.


[00:23:05] We didn’t have cell phones, so you could sit on a train or drive your car and no one could reach you, but. But I think that, you know, Supply chain management is definitely visibly in effect. It’s bypassing the people working in it or having to work at such a high stress levels, high paced. I’m sure it’s true of every industry, but for me, it’s particularly apparent in the supply chain profession from a diversity point of view and. And in South Africa, diversity does does often mean race, but it’s also gender diversity, much more importantly now. And as somebody raised the race thing to me when I first did my first say pics conference, there were two women in the conference out of 400 people. There were only two women, I would say. We now, 20 years on, we now have a 50 50 split. And that for me is Karen. Year on year. And something that I think from a South African perspective we should be extremely proud of is the cultural diversity that is is so visible and so something that we should be extremely proud of.


[00:24:25] Absolutely. If I can go back for a minute. Did not take anything away from that diversity. When we’re talking earlier about some of the issues, some of the system issues that supply chain leaders. We need to draw more action on certainly diversity inclusively. It would definitely be at the top of that list. If I can go back to something that that you were talking about. You mentioned you used to be able to ride in a car or sit on a train and not be bothered with with all the stresses of work. And this obviously has changed dramatically. You know, I think of my kids. I’ve got three kids. My oldest is 10. And one of my biggest concerns is social media and how these days pressure from school can follow these students home. Right. And and we all know when we’re growing up, home was your safety zone. Right. Relating that to the professional world. If you look any average manufacturer or distributor or transportation company, if you’re making it happen, supply chain, there’s a ton of stress and pressure and problem solving and firefighting. It just is inherent. And for that now there is work which is 24/7 access and those e-mails and the text messages. And if something’s going to happen at 1:00 a.m., folks are reaching out. How does that how do you think your modern day supply chain professionals can maintain a healthy balance?


[00:25:45] I’m probably not the right person to answer that question.


[00:25:49] Well, just give your take rather than a psychological answer. What do you see professionals doing to kind of maintain a healthy balance?


[00:25:57] I’ve got very few people with whom I work. Q I believe healthy life balance. I have colleagues who, because we’re spread around the world or not, who will email.


[00:26:11] We have e-mail conversations at 3:00 in the morning. That’s not healthy. It’s no night, but it happens. You know, it was kind of it has to happen. As you get older, you become a little less concerned about what people think. You probably become a bit grumpy. I know I do. But it’s almost like they’ll just have to wait because I need to have time. And I think I think that’s something that we all need to learn. We need to create a much more rigid boundaries because it is too easy. It’s becoming too easy for. I also think that leadership has a responsibility as well not to interfere in the employee’s lives just because they’re prepared to work 24/7. I think there has to be a respect and they have to be rules set down that everybody understands these.


[00:27:04] These are certainly issues and trends that not just the supply chain world is having to manage, but the business world because of some of the changes that you have shed some light on. But when you think of the world of supply chain management, what trends or issues or challenges are hitting your radar more than others?


[00:27:21] I mean, obviously, everybody’s talking block chain. That’s the thing I think that springs to mind immediately. Technology control towers, the smarter, faster, sexier dashboards that your latest software can produce that can give you all your data. Data analytics, you know, it’s it’s all that. It’s let technology, all those buzzwords that continue to evolve.


[00:27:48] And it’s almost as though you need to take a breath and you need to understand what these things are. Because the number of times you hear people talking about block chain, I a I say blocked in I fourth industrial revolution and they all just roll off everyone’s. It’s in one sentence. Well, do you actually know what you’re talking about? Or is it just you don’t fully understand? So it’s kind of taking the time out to understand each and every thing is. But in the world of Supply chain, these things mean different things to different people. And that’s what’s so fascinating about this profession.


[00:28:25] I agree with you. And I think because those some of those acronyms and some of those technologies you mentioned are so there in every blog you read there, in every magazine they’re in, almost every conversation I think is required by federal law. If you talk supply chain, you mentioned chain three times, but I like your suggestion where because it’s so prevalent, you know, lean in, learn I mean, embrace it. A lot of these things are not they’re not flavors of the month than they’re revolutionizing our industry.


[00:28:54] And I think what you were saying about the whole community building thing, I think that that’s also true from a knowledge sharing perspective, because most certainly I’m I’m not sad.


[00:29:06] I’m not a I’m not an academic. I don’t. I would never even pretend to be one. I learned from listening and I learned from some doing. And I think I’m I I enjoy going to these sessions and hearing people talk about an in the agricultural supply chains, how they using block chain effectively in the wool industry, those sort of practical examples that actually I could spend three days reading articles about block chain and not really understand it. But it takes one person who’s seen it in action, explaining it in practical terms that that is ten times more valuable to me.


[00:29:48] Art, so we’ve already touched on a couple of times the topic of diversity and supply chain. I wanted to circle back on that because it is such a you know, it’s a top of the list priority in so many ways and it touches every aspect. I mean, when I think of you mentioned recruiting and talent acquisition earlier, you want to think about the war for talent that is very real, although that’s another cliche term. It’s very real. You know, if we don’t get much more effective and successful and more practical with our diversity efforts across industry, acquiring talent is going to be even more challenging. We’ve got to look for a diversity set of ideas and perspectives and experiences. Why do you think diversity is important and what suggestions would you have for organizations that are really meaningfully trying to get better at that within their teams?


[00:30:38] The human race is diverse, so we’re not so good at the same thing. We don’t to like the same thing. And an I am I’m a huge believer in identifying people’s strengths and and and building on those and different backgrounds, different different cultural beliefs, different genders. It makes for a mix of strong individuals who are different or who are good at different things. And I think that a true a truly good boss can identify those those talents. And I was somewhere in these things saying, you’ve got the bus, put the right people on the bus. But it’s more important to get the right people in the right seats in the bus. And, you know, all this business speak. But that’s actually an image I like. But because I think that, you know, from from a diversity perspective, we’ve all got things to bring.


[00:31:37] And I was at a conference this week and we were talking we had some they were doing the whole Jenny. Jenny, Jenny Ed.


[00:31:45] And we had a young man who is being quite derogatory about not needing all the gray haired people around anymore.


[00:31:55] And and I’m told that apparently old gray haired people are now called wizards FISA. And General, I like the idea of. I like to think of myself as a wizard, but I think it’s all that, you know, we every single person has got something to add.


[00:32:12] And an experience is obviously something. But I will say youth vision, talents, that it’s everyone’s got something to bring to the profession. It’s just how we capitalize on it. That’s the that’s the tricky part.


[00:32:28] And I go back to what you’re sharing at the beginning of the interview about a greater respect for for others. I mean, when I heard you say that I was thinking of all different walks of life, different generations, different backgrounds, you know, kind of I think this notion of common or mutual, there’s a phrase and maybe, Malcolm, the research team can shoot that there’s a methodology out there that encourages folks to have positive assumptions, mutual positive assumptions. Thanks, Malcolm. And Malcolm leads our research team here at Supply Chain Now Radio. And that is such a powerful notion that ties right into that lead with respect. Speak more toward that. Towards that Jenny.


[00:33:11] I I truly and this was this is one of the things I brought up because the thing the lady who is facilitating the session talked about was that and I’m gonna get the Gen Z or the role.


[00:33:23] I know Gen Z, I think let’s call them the youngsters and that they turn up for a meeting late and that’s okay. And I’m thinking.


[00:33:32] But actually, no, it’s not okay. Because if I’ve asked for somebody to be there at a certain time, then it’s only polite that they turn up at that time unless it’s obviously a good excuse. And I think that, you know, there’s a there’s a grave danger that we we can give in too much to the need.


[00:33:50] I know now I’m sounding like a gray haired old person, but it’s that understanding and I know respect needs to be earned. But I also think that respect needs to be shown. And call me old fashioned. But I think that as human beings, we just need to respect each other.


[00:34:05] Whether it’s on your cell phone while you’re walking, checking that you’re not bumping into people, which happens more and more and more. Or if you a snap or with a child and somebody is not watching what they’re doing, because in pushing that trolley and taking the child out and say at least you take time and say sorry afterwards. And I and I think that in the business world where we’re starting to lose that just a little bit because everyone’s moving at such a fast pace that sometimes the nuances of respect get forgotten about.


[00:34:37] When you think of just advice or some of the best private practices you’ve seen organizations put in place to improve diversity in a real practical way. Not the way you and I both have seen the the the grand the most grand vision statements and all the best lip service in the world. But from a from an action standpoint, what do you see companies doing to really improve diversity?


[00:35:00] I think it’s training. I do think that there is that there is a good psychology is still not great because it’s still in that situation where there are budget cuts. What gets Costner’s me either marketing or training. And I think that I do think that training is available to more people from different backgrounds, different genders than was previously the case.


[00:35:25] I think the depends what industry you’re in. But I do think in an odd profession, I think that the days of the old boys club are not are not really as prevalent as as they were. And I think people are working hard to dispel that. And I think that people who worked hard to create equal opportunity. It obviously comes down to pay and salaries still need to be. You know, there’s still that thing. I think that salaries should be relate to the job, not to the individual, because, you know, a man is going to do a job and the woman’s going to do the job. It’s the same job. So why should the salary be different? That’s a topic for a whole other day. My my son is. We always have conversations about tennis and the difference between the five sets and the three set justifies the different. So that’s it. That’s also another topic. I think he and I will have discussion on for a long time.


[00:36:26] Well, you know what? What you’re illustrating there is things don’t get better unless we do lean and engage and have the discussions, even if at times they’re uncomfortable, they’re awkward or there’s no evident solution. You know, we can agree to disagree and respect the difference of opinions and continue to work on identifying a solution that works for everybody, that ultimately provides opportunity for all.


[00:36:48] And that’s what I think we’re all after.


[00:36:50] I’m. I’m living in a country that I wasn’t brought up in. That has got such a history of diversity challenges and something that we’re addressing every single day. And not for one moment do I take for granted the privileged upbringing that I had from a from a gender based upbringing, from being able to vote, upbringing, from being able to have my own bank account. So, so many things that I think, say many of us take for granted that other communities may be or any just discovering or not even discovering. So we have to keep these conversations going. And like you say, sometimes they are really uncomfortable. And, you know, I’m I’m definitely one of these people who shies away from controversial discussion. But at the same time, I do understand how important it is to have to have these discussions. And I think that organizations like, say, picks are going some way to creating platforms for. For them. We’re scratching the surface is a lot more what that we need to do. But at least we’re trying.


[00:38:00] That’s where I see organizations like say, Picks and some of the other industry associations out there. That’s one of their most valuable offerings is they provide the forums and the framework the have the tough conversations. I mean, certainly the learning opportunities and all that stuff, which is really important as well. But if we’re gonna get people in rooms and engaging in these in these topics that make the industry better.


[00:38:22] So appreciate what they pick says there. So let’s talk specifically about the gender gap, because, you know, if you look at any study, not only are you already alluded to the pay gap, which which is unfortunate and this is proven, but the gender gap in general, whether whether it relates to seniority, you know, if you look at, you know, when folks enter the supply chain industry so much closer to 50 50 and then you look at the C suite, and despite some of the very public gains that have been made with women being promoted to sea level offices in the last month or so, which is outstanding, still, there’s a there’s a large disparity, you know, in the C suite. Anyway, what are your thoughts on on how we can better not just recruit? And I don’t understand really. If you look at the breakdown, at least in the US Jenny of the male female breakdown and the more than 500 supply chain management programs, it’s strikingly close and surprisingly to many close to 50/50, which is a great thing. So that would lead me to believe it’s not so much a recruiting issue and or an interest issue. It’s it’s how can we advance and promote and provide these opportunities for everyone coming in the industry? What what’s your take on the gender gap?


[00:39:36] I think it’s exciting to see the changes that are taking place. I think it’s exciting to see women stopping apologizing for being. A professional being good at what they do. And I think that it’s exciting to see that the equal opportunities this are emerging. I’ve I’ve been very lucky.


[00:40:00] And it’s something I shall be very, very grateful to the then apex. Now, I assume for four for a lot.


[00:40:10] Is that I’ve been introduced to some incredible women who have been involved in Supply chain management since before women were in Supply chain management and who have really taken the taken the knocks for a lot of us and paved the way. You know, real true trailblazers. And I would love to get their take on how they feel in seeing all the stuff older. The path that they’ve led for for women like me to be able to then help the next generation to come through.


[00:40:46] And I’m excited in South Africa set me to see the number of women who are in government, the number of women who are in senior positions in businesses here. We’ve still got a long, long way to go. But when you think of the short, relatively short timeframe in which it has happened, it’s it’s it it is thrilling.


[00:41:08] But like I say, there is still a long way to go for true gender equality. But I think steps being taken in the right direction. Let’s hope we can keep keep the movement going.


[00:41:20] I agree with you. While we all know that it’s important, celebrate the wins, especially in such a long journey. That’s very challenging. And it’s been neat to see some of the strides that have been made. And I think the biggest win, at least from where I sit. Jenny, I’m curious if you see if you agree with me is it seems like a big generalization morning here, but it seems like in terms of consciousness and awareness of the challenge that is diversity and the gender gap in particular, it seems like it’s moving up the ranks and folks are willing to accept it and understand how important it is to do something about it. Would you agree with that? Paul?


[00:41:55] I think definitely. I mean, I you know, for me, the fact that we in our conference program have now for the last five years had a conversation around women in supply chain management, but not just about women in Supply chain management.


[00:42:11] It’s more about what how how we’re working together to to close that that gap and how men and women can work together and how important it is that that that we don’t we don’t ostracize each other in this journey towards gender equality because no one can do it on their own.


[00:42:35] I like how you put that. We can’t ostracize that. That just adds to the problem and adds to the folks. Dig it in. And you know what? As a poor Gallagher, who has got a great non-profit here in the Atlanta area called Show Me 50 dot org, we really, really proud and have learned so much from partnering with Elba. Everyone wins when we get this right. It’s not taking away from one side to give to the other or if there’s even sides, that’s probably too simple minded of a way of looking at it. But everyone can win by figuring out practical ways where we can provide opportunities for all. So I’m with you there. We can’t we can’t ostracize others. We need to engage, respect, respect the opinions involved and take action. All right. Let’s move on to the easier stuff Jenny, and just like I thought this would be, I really have enjoyed here and your perspective and kind of your backstory story and appreciate you being so open and kind of and sharing so important. So, you know, you are you in particular are really active in the industry. And I know you collaborate a good bit with a lot of movers and shakers when it comes to associations and organizations in the Supply chain world, notably ACM, which which we alluded to earlier, and a group called IBF include another organization. So tell us more about some of these strategic alliances that say picks deploys.


[00:43:56] They’re invaluable to us being part of a global community.


[00:44:00] We need to to walk the talk and have these alliances with other organizations, because again, you know, one of our single most important messages is that we strongly, firmly believe that no one entity can do it on their own. There’s a supply chain management is so enormous a profession and it’s so important to it. Company, country economies and ultimately global economies that the better we can all work together, the more effective we will all be. And that by understanding and working with like minded organizations, don’t recreate the wheel. Use what other people you have the expertise have created, and use that to the best of your ability. And I think that’s specifically relevant in the world of education, where it seems every day somebody is writing a new course or developing new material or yes, we need to keep things up to date. But at the same time, people need to look around and see what else is available before investing more money on creating education material that already exists because that money could so be used to to to better end. And I think that there are a number of really credible organizations doing amazing stuff. The two you’ve mentioned are very close to us and the demand driven institute is certainly one that where we work very closely with. And and, you know, as a talking about your role models and people we’ve respected hugely, Carol.


[00:45:42] Attack is one of those those women in the supply chain management who I think is a role model and an inspiration for every every woman in the profession or actually everybody in the profession. And that that organization, it works very well with their partners. But then we also work with organizations like Fabrics in France, but also the the the not for profit organizations like people that deliver who are very active in the public health supply chain space and the Africa Resource Center, who are working very hard on the the the private public sector collaboration in supply chain management, which I think is something again, say Picks is very passionate about seeing sips. The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply is is something that I think is is very critical to our success because it plugs a gap in what we don’t offer. And, you know, going back to my earlier comment about people thinking Supply chain management is procurement. It is, but it’s part of it. And so, you know, you’ve used the people who are experts in that particular field and life becomes a bit more simple. But also, you’re providing your members with an insight into global practices, global best practices. And I think that that’s a role that we take very seriously.


[00:47:11] Agreed. Lots of nuggets you just shared there. These strategic alliances and relationships across the Indian Supply chain world perhaps never been more important, especially as the we live in such a global business era that is never going back. And so it’s so neat to hear you. You speak about the collaboration and some of the important reasons why they exist and how folks benefit. So naturally, some of the ways that folks plug in to say picks and benefit from, say, picks offerings is coming up to towards events. And and no wonder you work around the clock. You all have a lot of offerings, a lot of events. So tell us more about some of the things coming up on the Spitz calendar.


[00:47:53] We we are obviously extremely proud of our annual conference, which is in its 40 second year, I think, and happens in June every year. And and we’ve worked very closely with with Apex ACM over the years and also our other partners to provide really world class content here in Africa. And, you know, people not having to travel all the way to America, not having to pay dollars, which in round earning capacity is quite an important issue. If you look at the exchange rate today, you’ll understand why. Gulp. But this. So. So that’s something we’re very proud of and something that’s very, very near and dear to my heart is the student young professional conference, which we’ve got coming up in a couple of weeks.


[00:48:42] And and that’s something that I love doing because it gives us an opportunity to expose to young professionals and students who are not yet in the supply chain working environment, just that the diversity of industry that they can working by by guessing these supply chain skills and the degrees that they’re doing or in the study that they’re doing things, things that I don’t think people think about on a day to day basis, like in the humanitarian Logistics profession, for instance, and cash management to fills 80 MS. You know, all these sorts of things. And how how do you get drugs to last mile pace patients in far flung places where there’s no infrastructure? And these are these are all things. It’s not just about being in the traditional roles in supply chain management that people would would associate it. They really are so many diverse industries that that these youngsters can can experience.


[00:49:48] And I think that by exposing them to that, because you don’t know what you don’t know, and I think a lot of people expect universities to to to have to do too much that at the end. And they’ve often got limited resources. We’ve got limited resources so that by collaborating and and giving them this annual event tastefully, we are helping a little bit in relieving the load of overstretched universities and preparing these young people for their day, their careers. And it’s and it’s every year. I think this is it is what reminds me why I love doing what I do.


[00:50:26] And clearly, you have a lot of passion for what you do. And that’s what I admire folks that, you know, get out of bed, punch a clock at eight and five and unplug you. I mean, you all are. You operate with a high degree of passion, serving not just your the communities that you’re building, but the industry that you’re leading and and improving as well as that the broader the broader business community. You know, those of us that love the Supply chain community, sometimes we can get lost up in the, you know, all things supply chain. But, you know, it’s certainly more important of that in this global business community. They want we all live in and operate in and contribute to. And they are clearly contributing in a very big way. So it’s been outstanding to be able connect, reconnect with you. Jenny Froome with speaks.


[00:51:12] Thank you so much. I really am terribly grateful to you for the opportunity. I haven’t bored you too much and I don’t think I will feel much.


[00:51:22] No, I’ve really enjoyed this. And what I want to make sure we do is how can our audience learn more about, say, pics and connect with you all in case they’re interested in any of your programming?


[00:51:33] We’d love ice, even if it’s just from a global connection perspective, just to learn more about what everybody else is doing. That’s definitely what we’re interested in. So our web site is very easy. It’s W W W dot St. Nick stole all my email address is equally easy.


[00:51:50] It’s Jenny at say pics dot dot today or we’ve got the most fantastic young lady who deals with our social media and you’ll see that it’s safe.


[00:52:01] X is really quite active on LinkedIn, so please connect to this.


[00:52:06] Something Tennant and Clamp will definitely ensure that interesting information is posted.


[00:52:12] We’re not just selling filing an outstanding and appreciate all of your time. And what a great, great way to kind of wrap up by offering an opportunity for folks to learn more and connect with folks that are that are really improving. The Supply chain community. So thanks so much. Jenny Froome, chief operating officer. Say pics. Thank you, Scott, very much. You bet. So we’re gonna stay right here for a minute and wrap up on a few final announcements.


[00:52:39] We’re also always big proponents of inviting our audience to come out and check out Supply Chain Now Radio in person. And we’ve got a variety of opportunities for that to happen in the months ahead as the trade shows seizing cranks up in earnest, starting with. We’re gonna be broadcasting live at the 2019 Automotive Industry Action Group in South Carolina, Automotive Council Supply chain Equality Conference, all about the world of automotive. Our broadcast there on September 12th and the 13th and beautiful North Charleston, South Carolina is sponsored by our friends at the Effective Syndicate. And then in October, we’re really back here in Atlanta where we’re proud partners of the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance. We’ll be broadcasting live at the Georgia Manufacturing Summit, where they’re expecting over a thousand people to come out and hear from keynotes from P and G and. We’re leading a panel session. They are broadcasting lab October night at the Cobb Galleria in our audience can learn more at Georgia Manufacturing Alliance dot com. And then we be in Austin in November at the EMT 2019 Logistics CIO forum in Austin, Texas. Looking forward to that. November 7th through the. Broadcasting Love talking about freight tech, Logistics Tech, Supply chain Tech, you name it, with some of the leaders in the industry. They’re in Austin and then the calendar is gonna flip.


[00:53:58] And in February we’re gonna be at the reverse Logistics Association Conference and Expo in Vegas in February 20 20. And then one last note, Murdoch’s 2020 is me back in Atlanta in March. And not only gonna be broadcasting live there all four days when the largest supply chain trade shows in North America, but they are also hosting Moto X is hosting our 2020 Atlanta Supply chain Awards. You can learn more about Moto X, which is free to attend, by the way, at Moto X show dot com Modi X show dot com. Once again, big thanks to our guests here today. Hope you’ve enjoyed conversation and Jenny Froome perspective as much as I have. Jenny Froome, chief operating officer at Say Pix. Thanks again for joining us. Jenny to our audience. Be sure to check out other upcoming events, replays of our interviews, other resources at Supply Chain Now Radio. Com. You can find us on Apple podcasts, soundcloud. All a leading sites for podcasts can be can be found. Be sure to subscribe. Still missing thing on behalf of the entire Supply Chain Now Radio team. This is Scott Luton wishing you a wonderful week ahead and we will see you next time on Supply Chain Now Radio.

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