Supply Chain Now Radio Episode 164

Supply Chain Now Radio, Episode 164
“Micah Mallace with the South Carolina Ports Authority”
Live from the 2019 SCAC AIAG Supply Chain & Quality Conference
In Charleston, South Carolina

Prefer to watch the podcast in action rather than just listen?  Watch Scott, Greg, and Beau as they interview Micah Mallace for SCNR Episode 164 in Charleston, South Carolina at the AIAG SCAC Supply Chain & Quality Conference.

Micah Mallace is the Director of Regional Sales at the South Carolina Ports Authority. He is responsible for long term growth strategy and sustaining double market growth at the Port. This involves development of the marketing approach and guiding companies through supply chain optimization studies, site location processes, transportation vendor selection, and incentive negotiations. The Port of Charleston has been the fastest growing port in the US since 2009 and Micah has been fortunate to be involved. Micah graduated from the College of Charleston with a Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management degree and MBA in Finance. Learn more about the South Carolina Ports Authority here:

Beau Groover is Founder and President of The Effective Syndicate. He has been working with manufacturing and operations-focused organizations for over 20 years, primarily focused on developing bullet-proof processes and teams that are built to win.  Beau has helped organizations save millions of dollars while also improving those companies’ customer experiences and building high-performing teams that continue to drive the business forward.  He has developed his approach and strategy over years of working with some of the biggest companies in multiple levels within the organizations, including The Coca-Cola Company, Nordson Corporation, and Westrock (formerly RockTenn). Just prior to launching The Effective Syndicate in 2015, Beau served as the Director of Lean Supply Chain at Serta Simmons Bedding, LLC. Connect with Beau Groover on LinkedIn and learn more about The Effective Syndicate here:

Greg White serves as Principle & Host at Supply Chain Now Radio. Greg is a founder, CEO, board director and advisor in B2B technology with multiple successful exits. He recently joined Trefoil Advisory as a Partner to further their vision of stronger companies by delivering practical solutions to the highest-stakes challenges. Prior to Trefoil, Greg served as CEO at Curo, a field service management solution most notably used by Amazon to direct their fulfillment center deployment workforce. Greg is most known for founding Blue Ridge Solutions and served as President & CEO for the Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader of cloud-native supply chain applications that balance inventory with customer demand. Greg has also held leadership roles with Servigistics, and E3 Corporation, where he pioneered their cloud supply chain offering in 1998. In addition to his work at Supply Chain Now Radio and Trefoil, rapidly-growing companies leverage Greg as an independent board director and advisor for his experience building disruptive B2B technology and supply chain companies widely recognized as industry leaders. He’s an insightful visionary who helps companies rapidly align vision, team, market, messaging, product, and intellectual property to accelerate value creation. Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams to create breakthroughs that gain market exposure and momentum, and increase company esteem and valuation. Learn more about Trefoil Advisory:

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 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. Connect with Scott Luton on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter at @ScottWLuton.

In the first interview from the SCAC AIAG Supply Chain & Quality Conference in Charleston, South Carolina, Scott, Greg, and Beau Groover of The Effective Syndicate welcomed Micah Mallace from the South Carolina Ports Authority to Supply Chain Now Radio.

[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] All right. Good morning. Scott Luton here with you live on Supply Chain Now Radio. Welcome back to the show. We’re coming to you today from the AIAG SCAC Supply chain Quality Conference in Charleston, South Carolina. AIG is the Automotive Industry Action Group. SCA is a South Carolina Automotive Council. This conference is dedicated to the world of automotive, as you might imagine. We’ll be meeting with many of the leading industry thought leaders that are participating. Big thanks to our conference broadcast sponsor the Effective syndicate for making our coverage possible. The EFFECTIVE SYNDICATE helps companies win by optimizing process and developing winning cultures. You can learn more at the Effective syndicate Quick programming note like all of our series on Supply Chain Now Radio, you can find our replays on a variety of channels Apple podcasts, SoundCloud, Spotify and wherever or wherever else you find your podcast. As always, we’d like to have you subscribe so you don’t miss anything. Let’s welcome me and my co-host here today. Greg White. Serial Co-hosts Supply Chain Now Radio. Serial Supply chain. Tech entrepreneur and trusted advisor Greg. How you doing?


[00:01:37] I’m doing great. And by the way, I just love cereal.


[00:01:41] Good to know because in a lot of the governor. A lot of cereal, apparently. Yes.


[00:01:45] And you also heard their beau groover are there co-host today. Founder and president of the Effective syndicate and co-host of our well-received Leadership Matters podcast series here on Supply Chain Now Radio. Done just right. Good morning. You love cereal, too? I do love cereal, which I’ll stay with zero real quick. Frosted Flakes. Boring. What? No Fruit Loops? No. Okay. No way. Really? Pebbles here. All right. We’re covering a hard hitting, hard hitting topic. We got to introduce our guests really quick, because I want now I want to know what cereal. Well, what do you like? So let’s well, look, we’ll ask him that. So first off, let’s welcome into the show Mike Malice, director of regional sales with the South Carolina Ports Authority. Mike. How you doing? I’m doing great. All right. You got to answer the question.


[00:02:29] I guess my answer to the question. Oh, there’s so many to choose from. I’ll go with the grape nuts because you’re not expecting it. Wow. I was called those grape rocks. I did not know you were my great grandfather. That’s great. I was very blessed. Let’s be the times.


[00:02:46] Ok. So, Mike, we love our ports here. You know, we’ve been podcasting for a long time. And one of the common themes is, is what goes on the ports. They are such a huge economic driver, both locally in the state, regionally, even nationally. So looking forward to our time with you here today, because that the Charleston ports and several airports have been growing much like the Georgia ports and down in Savannah, right? Yes, sir. Absolutely. So that’s good to see. Good. So it’s certainly good to see for the regional economy as well. All right. So for starters, though, before we talk about the port, tell us about yourself and what’s what brought you to your your position now.


[00:03:27] So I’m a bit of an anomaly in the U.S. Supply chain I’m sorry, in the U.S. port industry in that I’m not gray haired. And and towards the end of my career, the standard, I guess, way to get into the port industry is to work for a shipping line for 30 years and then kind of get your retirement gig at a port. And I think that under our leadership on our CEO’s leadership, Jim Newsome, we’ve been much more focused on growth. As you’ve seen in some of some of our recent numbers, as you mentioned, Savannah the same. But effectively, I got in towards the beginning of my career. And so my career was in residential supply, residential property management, which was a wonderful recession era job.


[00:04:13] That was maybe something I hope to never do again. And when I meet again, a reception area. Absolutely. Absolutely. A good point. I hope to never need that one again. Good to needed on the front end. When I when the beast hasn’t grown and you don’t have a big house and all the rest pay for. But nonetheless, and I actually went back up. I got my MBA and met Jim, our CEO at a at a function I knew he was going to be at. And I asked him to be my mentor over the next couple months while I was finishing out my MBA. And I was shocked when he said yes. I didn’t know how to respond because I was planning you all thinking. I know exactly right. Here’s why you should be. I had a lot of I had a lot of reasons why I should consider it, but not a lot of answers. So when he said yes and I. But.


[00:04:59] Him and the top folks of the port for the next few months for a job and they gave me one and I got my MBA in finance, and Jim effectively said, you know, you’re not scared ass, so we’re gonna put you into sales. And so there I’ve kind of been for the last seven years. That’s outstanding.


[00:05:17] Really is interesting story there. So tell us more about it. A lot of folks will make assumptions about what goes on in ports, but tell us about what the Southland Ports Authority does.


[00:05:29] So some would say ours is a very simple job in the Supply chain. We effectively pick up and put things down. We pick containers up off of vessels, put them down on trucks and vice versa.


[00:05:40] You would hear some of our leadership say that, and that’s true.


[00:05:45] I think if you get down to the nitty gritty, the end of the day, we play an outsized, visible role in an unfettered access from global markets or to global markets for domestic companies. So whether that’s Wal-Mart’s sourcing their business and wanting to get it to our doorsteps before Christmas or whether that’s BMW trying to get their finished vehicles out to the Chinese market, for example, I think ports in general are a small player, but a very visible player in that chain and in your role.


[00:06:20] What are you doing to help make all that happen?


[00:06:22] Yes. So my role, I look after our set half of our sales group, specifically geographically placed in the Northeast, Midwest and West Coast. And I’m kind of primarily responsible with the long term double market growth that we’re expected to deliver a lot. That’s a big plate, big full plate and double market stuff. So can you tell me what you mean by double market? Absolutely. So the U.S. port industry tends to grow almost perfectly in line with GDP. Okay. It has done about 3 to 4 percent over the last several years. We have doubled and in some years tripled that.


[00:07:03] And the expectation is that we continue to. So if the port industry does 4 percent growth, our very simple metric for success is that we did 8 do we do 8 percent growth? The only caveat to that is if we go into a recession and the U.S. port industry does negative 2 percent growth, you still have to go. We still have to go out. So it’s an interesting but very tangible and very easy metric to to to kind of measure ourselves against now. Mm hmm.


[00:07:29] So small tasks. No small task at all. So let’s switch gears a little bit here and talk about the. The event we’re all here for the AIAG SCAC had to get those acronyms. And one more time for Beau Supply chain Inequality Conference. So what brings you to this event?


[00:07:47] So I would say I’m a bit of maybe an admitted geek, supply chain geek, if you will, which is why I love podcasts like this.


[00:07:55] I enjoy the educational aspect of conferences. Of course, I’m a salesperson. I’m supposed to be meeting and greeting. But what is interesting to me and Supply chain is that every day it changes and every day you are solving for a different riddle.


[00:08:10] And these conferences you hear about or at least I learn about things that I had not considered before, and that hopefully allows us to more effectively market our our wares.


[00:08:20] Love that. And, you know, even in this, what we have found are we do a lot of entry events and treasure events and and try to take a lot of what’s going on there and then broadcast it out. The folks might not be there around the world, even in this digital age. I think these in-person events are still so important because you’re able sit down, look, and people, you know, mano a mano look in their eyes, exchanges stories, compare notes, and that’s still there. There’s so much you still can do, obviously, in the digital age. But that interpersonal quality of really engaging, connecting and taking ideas back is still so important that events like this.


[00:08:56] So we see that have absolutely a hundred percent believe that I’m a millennial, but I’m not, you know, so, so advanced on social media. I guess I was a lot of ways that could go wrong. Yes, you were. You were go in there.


[00:09:08] But what we at least in our business, what we see and maybe to make it tangible as an example, I was on the phone with a company on the way here. They’re looking at making a in the in the range of one hundred million dollar investments, hopefully in South Carolina, hopefully that our that our port will will benefit from do business with. And at the end of the conversation, the guy who I’ve now known for a couple of years and had been working with on this particular deal for now some time, he said, I think we’re probably going to put it in South Carolina because I really trust you. And, you know, there’s a lot of financing.


[00:09:46] You should be governor. And the politics may not be my thing. I trust act.


[00:09:52] Let’s talk about Supply Chain Now Radio. I mean, that kind of ego. Get it? I love that, but I’m sorry. Go ahead.


[00:09:59] No. So you just you just can’t do it over Twitter, you can’t do it. Yeah. Over Facebook. I mean it. It really does still matter that you can sit down across from someone and they can trust that what you are telling them is gonna happen is gonna happen anyway. And if and when, I should say it doesn’t. That you’re still gonna be sitting across from them, helping them make sure that it gets back to where it should be.


[00:10:18] Well put. Wow. Well, that’s a really mature perspective. I mean, I mean, I don’t mean I’m not qualifying that in any way. It’s just it’s interesting to hear people talk like that. So, yeah, I don’t I don’t get them all mature very often.


[00:10:33] So, I mean, I’m going to make sure that my wife listens this now. Yeah. So I’m your boss and your boss because you were doing a 100 million dollar deal on the phone on the way your way here.


[00:10:41] Well, I’ve heard mature and millennial now. So you are a rare bird. I. So. So from your position and your experience, what are one or two of the industry trends that you’re watching or aware of or worried about what’s on your radar that you’re kind of looking at?


[00:10:58] So I think that you would expect that I would say tariffs. And that’s absolutely that’s absolutely the case. It’s something that is impacting. Well, I’m sorry. It’s something that we thought was going to have a bigger impact on our business this year and has not had the impact that we anticipated. But we certainly think that an impact is in the offing.


[00:11:16] But what what is interesting to me is I wonder if we are at an inflection point in global sourcing and actually where we’re putting out a paper.


[00:11:26] I just sent the rough draft off last night about this, but everyone is talking about tariffs and the impacts that they’re having on sourcing today.


[00:11:36] And yet what we have seen is for the last five to 10 years, we have seen companies moving their sourcing to Southeast Asia and Vietnam, to southeast to South Asia, India and Bangladesh, and now even to to eastern Africa, primarily Ethiopia. We have seen this trend ongoing now for several years. And what’s what’s interesting is the companies that were considering it or had not yet looked into it, but it was on their to do list. They are now kind of getting a kick in the butt because of tariffs to look at. And so the tariffs are kind of the big you know, the big thing, the big tweet hanging out there, if you will. What we see is we think this may be an inflection point where it kicks companies to say, I’ve been I’ve been analyzing this and now I’m really going to do something about it. And that’s and that’s predicated on on labor rates in China. That’s that has nothing to do with tariffs now. It’s tariffs or maybe accelerating the trend, I’d say. So it’s something that we’re really watching.


[00:12:33] So we’re we’re talking here with Mike Malice, director, original cells with the South Carolina Ports Authority. And I know Greg Greg likes breaking out certain tools here on the podcast. Greg, let me say it aren’t so.


[00:12:46] Yeah. So I would love and it sounds like you could have some really great insights, but I would love to see what you are looking into your crystal ball. Any bold predictions?


[00:12:59] Interesting. Even so, I just read a paper that said people that make effectively economists and talking heads make bold predictions are always wrong. So I’ll just caveat it by saying I’m probably going to be wrong. Yeah, that will make you a sportscaster. There you go. And then I can make a lot more money than yesterday. And the big face and whatnot. No. So I think that maybe this is not such a bold prediction. But in times of uncertainty like we are in today.


[00:13:27] And that’s that’s predicated on e-commerce and the then the complexity of delivering to doorsteps which companies are still trying to figure out. And then now adding changing sourcing models, tariffs and all the rest. It’s just a time of tremendous complexity and supply chain. And in those times, I think that I guess my prediction would be you will see the share of of warehousing, of controlled distribution moved to three peoples and away from company owned or company controlled distribution. So as opposed to having a million square foot just, you know, pick it, pick a company target. DC I wonder if maybe we’re going to see instead a mask warehouse and distribution or or use in or something like that when that deal instead. Yeah.


[00:14:18] So you self identified earlier as a millennial. And what also what I found really interesting as you describe what you do and what goes on supply chain is just how exciting is to be in the industry. And I don’t think we can tout that enough. I really don’t. Then we were talking with Jim with AIG in the last show about some of his awareness and enrichment efforts about educating the masses so we can build the pipeline. Going back to what you said earlier, that every different hour, every different day, you’re solving different challenges. That seems to be one thing that really has pulled you to the industry. What else would you feel if you had to round out a top three list or top five list? What else? That working in Supply chain. Do you think that folks don’t appreciate or what are the things that in Supply chain you’re doing you really love about your role?


[00:15:08] Absolutely. I absolutely love what I do. I love the international aspect of Supply chain. To me, what I find most interesting is if you pick up The Wall Street Journal or The Economist or whatever, and you and you read what is being you know, you read very intellectual people saying what is going to happen or what is now happening. If you work in Supply chain, you may have already been seeing that trend or you may be responding to it that day. And I find that fascinating. I mean, I think the challenge with the Supply chain industry is a lot of times the entry level position. You may be booking trucks all day long and dealing with truck drivers and dealing with the challenges of a warehouse, not having freight when they’re supposed to and just just a lot of headaches. Right. And I think if you if you get just beyond that first entry level job, which you very quickly fall into, is it is more of a macro global impact on what you do day to day. And I find that fascinating.


[00:16:09] I agree. I think all careers follow that path. Right. I mean, I remember my first job was in a pizza place and the stress was going to get the pizzas into and out of the oven fast enough. And then as your career progresses, it’s all right. Now, how do I get the dough into the freezer and how do I get enough tomato sauce to make the right? So how do I get enough to go to pay for that? I think I stay open. Right. Yeah. But I think you’ve got to be wired for that high energy, fast changing, fast paced thing. And if you’re if you like that, which I don’t think a lot of enough young people realize it’s an awesome career because I didn’t I don’t care what A.I. does. I don’t care what autonomous vehicles they’re still gonna be. Stuff


[00:16:47] Getting from point A to point B for the rest of our lives. It’s just going to happen that constant changes energizing to an eye for some of us. I think particularly your generation has that need for constant, you know, constant interaction. And I think I think that that’s you know, if there was anything I would add to kind of this statement or your question, it’s what is it people don’t understand about Supply chain that should interest them about it. And I think it is the international aspect of it, the importance of it. Right. The impact of it and and the constant activity of it. I think people have thought of it as trucks driving across the country and putting boxes in warehouses. But it’s it’s much, much more than that.


[00:17:32] Yeah. And there’s nothing we need folks to do a lot of those things. Right. We still need as much automation is taking place, is still such a people important industry world, really. And, you know, as we’ve as we’ve talked about a thousand times on previous episodes, even with all the automation for folks are willing to learn and really lean into their roles and raise your hand and volunteer and take all new bold initiatives, it can create so much more opportunity. All right. So on that note, I want to make sure, Micah, if folks heard anything, they want to fall out with you and miss out on a porch story about how can folks connect with you so you can check our Web site, which is w w w dot s CSP, a dot com or feel free to look me up on LinkedIn.


[00:18:20] Micah Malice, right, spelling my C H. You got it. M.A. L L A C.


[00:18:28] Fantastic. Really enjoyed your perspective. You know, when we sit down with folks, it’s there when you sit down with folks that love what they do. It is so evident and you bring a lot of passion to the table. I wish we had. We need to bring you back for a part to maybe a fuller episode. But thanks for taking time out of your busy day to join us here today. Mike Dallas, director, original selves with the South Carolina Ports Authority. Thanks again. Thank you so much. You bet. All right. So we’re in a wrap up on a couple upcoming events. We always invite our listeners to come out and check us in person. We love being at events like this and really capturing perspective like Mike, just share, especially now that it’s too hot to really good 2.0 to do a show. And thank you for locking us into how we produce these episodes. Oh, good. All right. So come check us out in person. If you the next the next of it, we’re going to be out after we spend a couple days. Here is the Georgia Manufacturing Summit, October 9th, right, in Atlanta.


[00:19:22] Yes. 1000 attendees. Right. Of the 10000 manufacturers that are in Georgia. Yeah, a great show.


[00:19:30] Full day, October night. He’s got Keith Jay Small, CEO, GM has got keynotes from Keith and from PMG. And interestingly enough, Greg’s going to be broadcasting live of some foreign trade ministers. Bo is leading a panel session on continuous improvement. I’ll be leading a panel session on trends of track and supply chain big day makes us all sound really important. Doesn’t well that. But we also really enjoy I mean, I think we’ve embraced this aspect of helping to. Facilitate information sharing and and best practice sharing and thought leadership. It’s a role that that we take seriously. Yeah. So October 9th, you can learn more at Georgia manufacturing alliance dot com. And as we as we’ve we’ve had a couple times here, we can’t tell him enough. Jason DMA is freed up 50 seats for our veterans. This is an outstanding opportunity for our veterans to get out, make connections, gather market intelligence. Yeah, there’ll be folks that are hiring there. Regardless, you’ll leave. There were a lot more information than when you were robbed. For any veteran listening, you can go to Georgia manufacturing alliance dot com register and use a Code USA vet to get a free seat as long as they last. So great. Good to Jason for a fellow veteran for four. Continue to take care of the veteran community. Okay. And then on September 20th, we should tackle this. And first. I’m operating in an bizarro world. Maybe, but September 20th. But you’ve got a bit coming up. Effective syndicate in Atlanta. Tell us about what’s going on there.


[00:20:59] I do. We’re excited about it. We’re doing a CEO roundtable. It’s by primarily invitation only. But if you’re interested, please reach out. But I’ve got an Emory professor with me. Name Robert Keith engine. And together, he’s been teaching and professing around strategic planning and strategic implementation for years. And so we’re gonna tag team it. He’s gonna be talking about the elements of a good strategy and I’ll be talking about the elements of good execution. So we believe if you get those two things working in tandem, good things will happen, no doubt.


[00:21:30] Good things definitely will happen. And if you’re interested in that session, if you’re a senior leader of an organization that is a pretty small, intimate roundtable type event, but you can shoot us and connect at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com and we’ll get you more information there. In fact, that holds true with anything you heard. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, she just know we’ll try to serve as a resource for you. And then one final event to touch on. Greg, list in detail is what’s going on in Austin, Texas in November.


[00:21:59] Yes, on November 7th and 8th, where at the E F T global Logistics C I O summit. So we’re going to keep it weird, Austin and keep Austin weird. Sorry. I always get that in the Portland one confused kind to the same thing. Three hundred executives and service providers and and technologists all converging in Austin for great food. Music. And information sharing on supply chain. So it’s it’s gonna be a really interesting show. I’m looking forward to it. We’ve met with Nick is still young and and ICF knock me down from EMT. Had a great conversation with them the other day. We’re gonna have another one with them here pretty shortly. And their view and analysis on the marketplace is very impressive. What they know is impressive and what they get people to share at this shows is very much worthwhile.


[00:22:58] They’ve got their finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the global supply chain. Did they do events globally? Yeah. And this is our second partner event with them. And we’ve we’ve enjoyed as much as they have, I believe, because it gets back to you. We’re helping disseminate that thought leadership and market intel. OK. That’s November 7th tonight. You can learn more about those events on the events tab at Supply Chain Now Radio know in 2020, we’re going to at the Reverse Logistics Association conference next. Beau in Vegas and of course, Moto X 2020 is me back in Atlanta. We’re broadcasting live all four days as well as Mode X is hosting our 2020 Lena Supply chain Awards, which we’re excited about. Mike, you’ll be at Mode X, all right. If not yet, we’re gonna get you. We’re gonna get to recruit. Yes. I guess I need to sign up. Well, you know what? On that note, it’s free. Thirty five thousand. This one, the largest supply chain trade shows North America. Thirty five thousand people. Moto X show dot com is where you can go. And we’re excited about our partnership we have there. Yeah. Okay. Great conversation. I appreciate Mike Malice. Bo Gruber. The Effective syndicate Greg White. Supply Chain Now Radio to our listeners to be sure to check out other upcoming events, replays of our interviews, other resources at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. You can find us an Apple podcast, SoundCloud, Spotify, YouTube release, whatever else you find your podcasts. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss anything on behalf of the entire Supply Chain Now Radio team. Scott Luton wishing you a wonderful week ahead and we will see you next time on Supply Chain Now Radio thinks about.


Upcoming Events & Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Help with Hurricane Dorian Relief:
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Georgia Manufacturing Summit on October 9th:
SCNR to Broadcast Live at SC Logistics 2019 Fall Tech Talk:
eft Logistics CIO Forum in Austin, TX:
Reverse Logistics Association Conference & Expo:
SCNR to Broadcast Live at MODEX 2020:
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