Supply Chain Now Radio Episode 203

Supply Chain Now Radio, Episode 203
Live Interview from SC Logistics Tech Talk  

Prefer to watch the podcast in action rather than just listen?  Watch Scott and Greg as they interview Alan Bolduc for SCNR Episode 203 at the SC Logistics Tech Talk in Charleston, SC.

Alan Bolduc serves as Senior Vice President, Industrial Services with Avison Young. He is a US Navy Viet Nam Veteran with 25+ years in telecommunications industry in a variety of management and senior management positions. Alan also has over 14 years in industrial real estate, beginning in Connecticut and transitioning to South Carolina in 2010. He has served six years with Avison Young leading the industrial practice in South Carolina. Alan is also a Board Member with the Maritime Association of SC, Charleston Metro Chamber and other business-based organizations. Learn more about Avison Young 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 & CEO 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 named a 2019 Pro to Know in Supply Chain by Supply & Demand Executive and a 2019 “Top 15 Supply Chain & Logistics Experts to Follow” by RateLinx. 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 has served on the boards for APICS Atlanta and 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, Scott Luton and Greg White welcome Alan Bolduc to Supply Chain Now Radio at the SC Logistics Tech Talk.

[00:00:05] 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 technology’s the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.


[00:00:29] Hey, good afternoon. Scott Luton here with you, Live on Supply Chain Now Radio. Welcome back to the show. Of course, we’re not broadcasting live today from Atlanta, but rather from South Carolina. Follow Logistics tech talk in Charleston, South Carolina, at the Gilliard Center. We’re continuing our coverage in partnership with the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness. At this event was highlight some of the most innovative companies leaders are driving the Logistics industry forward in the booming state of South Carolina. To our listeners, like all of our series on Supply Chain Now Radio, you can find our replays on a wide variety channels Apple podcasts, SoundCloud, YouTube, wherever else get your podcast from. As always, we’d love to have you subscribe so you don’t miss anything. So I want to join in our welcome in my esteemed co-host joining me once again here today on this episode, Greg White Serial Supply chain, tech entrepreneur and trusted advisor and board member Greg. How are you?


[00:01:21] I am doing great. If I was any better, I would be Beau Groover.


[00:01:27] But as a great friend of the show, he leads our Leadership Matters series. And he is always doing well.


[00:01:33] Yeah, he’s always doing well. And if you’re doing any better, your beau, right?


[00:01:38] Well, we’ve got a great guest here today. You know, we’ve been on a string of diverse interviews. Yeah. Come from different aspects of the Indian Supply chain community. Great event going on. Kinds of backdrop here. But today, let’s welcome in Alan Bolek, senior vise president with Davisson Young. How you doing, Alan? Wonderful. Thank you. You bet. And we really enjoy there was a brief warm up conversation, but we enjoyed it. And as Greg mentioned, you do fit right in. So we want to give our listeners the same opportunity we enjoyed, which is kind of getting a sense of who you are and in your your journey that’s led you to doing what you do now. So let’s start there, Alan.


[00:02:16] Actually, before I start, I just want to give you another Greg White, an opportunity to respond differently to how you’re doing.


[00:02:24] And the reason why I want to do that.


[00:02:25] Because I have a very good friend. And when he’s asked that question, his responses, if I’m doing any better, I’d have to be twins.


[00:02:32] That’s that’s that’s where the Beau Gruver reference comes from.


[00:02:36] That’s what he says. And he’s doing any better idea? 21s. Yeah, right. Yeah. Kindred spirits with our friend. Yeah. Yeah. We need to have those two guys meet. He’s here in town. So anyway, so to get back to your question, so a little background.


[00:02:52] I grew up in Hartford, Connecticut, one of four kids in a fatherless home. A father passed away when I was young.


[00:02:59] And so inner city, if you can call that for a third tier city, small city, but still is still a city. Rough town. To some degree. Anyway, I grew up, had some challenges. You know, it was it was a it was always in trouble, you know, that kind of thing, and managed to get through high school. And it was two weeks after high school standing on a street corner. I’m 17 years old trying to figure out, you know, what am I going to do next? And, you know, a bus went by. And on the side, the bus was a big things, big signs that join the Navy, see the world. And I literally got on the bus and went downtown Hartford, got all my paperwork done and had to have parental signatures. So you were 17? I was 17. So I took it on my mother in the kitchen and I said, I need you to sign this. And she says to me, what? What’s that? And I said, well, that’s I’m joining the Navy. I need you, but I need you to sign this thing. And she looked at me and she says, I knew this day was coming. I didn’t think it’d be this soon and immediately grabbed the favor and signed it as fast as she could.


[00:04:10] And that’s all she wrote. And that’s all she wrote. Literally. Literally. Yeah.


[00:04:15] Gave me a big hug and sent me off my way. So where did the Navy take you? So obviously, bootcamp, you know, you start you start there. I went to Great Lakes in Chicago.


[00:04:25] And when I signed up at that particular time, so Vietnam was still going on and I signed up and they had a special opportunity that they offered three year term, a three year deal.


[00:04:40] And you could choose East Coast or West Coast duty. Wow. And I said, okay, well, I don’t really want to go to Vietnam, so I might take the East Coast duty. And they said, great, you’re in. So I go to go to boot camp. I come out boot camp. They send me orders to a destroyer out of Norfolk, Virginia. Wow. I said, okay, awesome. Great.


[00:04:59] So I do a little a couple of weeks leave, go down to Norfolk. First time ever been down down south. I’m walkin over the brow of the ship onto the deck and they take me on and the guy at the deck and the first thing he says to me, so you know where we’re going.


[00:05:18] Wah wah. We’re going to Vietnam, play him benefit. Strike two. How has that happened? Got his close. Do his. So we’re going through the Panama Canal. Turns out we dug this big. Yeah. Yeah. So 30 days later.


[00:05:32] Wow. We were on Route 2 to Vietnam and through the Panama Canal, which was my first pick. I mean, my first experience on a ship, my first experience was something like the canal on the ocean.


[00:05:45] And, you know, that’s kind of where the connection with me and maritime Elvis kind of came in. So, yeah, that’ll that’ll grow on you as we talk. Miura. Sherkin. And so I spent seven months on that cruise, three months on the gun line in Vietnam and the Gulf of Tonkin and and so on. And then the when we were done and the war was only and technically the war had the treaty been signed while I was there.


[00:06:13] So we hung around to do so what they call plane guarding of the carriers as they were trying to get p.o.w.’s out and other resources. It was finally time for us to leave.


[00:06:23] So we’re transitioning back to Norfolk and they said, well, this ship is an old World War 2 vintage ship. We’re decommissioning it. Upon arrival, you have an opportunity to to do whatever you want to do. And so I put in papers to become a signalman, which is what my father had done when he was in the service. So it was just something that struck me and. Wow. And so and that was I continued my career. So I spent seven years in the Navy on three different ships and a piece of shore duty and would’ve stayed. But circumstances gave me the chance to to to leave now.


[00:07:02] And I went on to my second career, which is what gach in industry. Right. So. No, no, no. And I’m reading the next chapter. Yes. So I had three careers. So so Navy was the first one.


[00:07:15] The second one. I ended up I won’t bore you all the details, but I ended up getting a job in in sales because it offered me flexibility.


[00:07:27] I became a single parent. So it offered me some flexibility and some unlimited opportunities at the same time. And the gentleman convinced me that that was the place to go. So I got into sales and then ended up into computer sales and computer time sharing sales. You see where we’re going here.


[00:07:45] Got into telecommunications sales and progressed for a number of years, selling services, IBM system services and then into telephone equipment and network and ended up at Sprint doing national accounts. So I did a lot of that. And then I got tapped into the dot com world and the DSL technology world back in the in the early 90s and was asked to be a part of a startup company in in the DSL world, an infrastructure of laying fiber in metropolitan areas. So I did that for a couple of years. That company was acquired the same day as MCI was acquired by a company called WorldCom. And so I got absorbed up into that.


[00:08:35] Didn’t really like the WorldCom philosophy. And I was more of an onslaught of people did.


[00:08:39] Yeah, that turns out you were pretty insightful.


[00:08:42] And I’m really an entrepreneurial spirit. I don’t particularly care for the big corporate stuff. So I’m a guy that I had recruited into the business, went out and started another one. So he came and got me and I went to work with him as employee number six. And in the next 18 months, we went from six employees to 600 nationwide service.


[00:09:04] I was an executive operations guy, went public and then and then the world imploded. Right. And so part of my responsibility at that point, along with everything else, was all the real estate holdings that the company had grown to have and manage. And so when I left there and got out of that business, I had to reinvent myself. And I said one day, you know, after a while, I said, you know, the thing I enjoyed the most was the real estate stuff. And that’s how I got into the real estate business.


[00:09:37] And that’s. And so you went from there to Avis and, you know, I went from there.


[00:09:42] I’m going to quit trying to guess at your history. But but I’m. But now I’m in real estate. Yeah. So that’s. Yes. That’s the career. Yeah. Right. That’s a nice career. But I started with a little with a company that didn’t really provide muni resources. An ex client of mine said, hey, who wasn’t a real estate business had come join me. I’ll make you a partner with my other partner. We’ll be a team of three. I’ll teach you the business and I’ll feed you. Teach in you. Right. Because that’s part of the problem with getting into this business. And I did that with them for five years. A little boutique firm in Hartford, Connecticut, called Cent.. Marshall Real Estate and I did that for five years and then the one of the partners was retiring, the other partner was really focusing on corporate. I really like to be entrepreneurial. So we decided to disband the team. And at that point, there was no not enough value for me to stay. So I create my own company as a one man show and went off on my own. I did that for about eight years, roughly two years, three years, three years, four, maybe five years in Connecticut before I transitioned here and and restarted here. Very cool now.


[00:10:57] So I came here to Charleston and had to reinvent myself, even though I was going to still do Industrial real estate because I didn’t know anything about a port or Logistics.


[00:11:09] I mean, because that’s not what we do in Connecticut. I just. There’s nothing there. So I went to the College of Charleston. They had an intermodal professional development course, which was 10 months long. I took that course.


[00:11:24] I did. So I accomplished two things in that course. One, as I learned all the acronyms and the insight into rail shipping, customs, maritime law. I mean, you name it. Yeah. Associated with the business warehousing. But more importantly is all of the people presenting all those segments where people from the current marketplace that were executives in their own fields and experts. And so I created those relationships from there. And then I did that for some time on my own still. But the market was growing, but getting bigger and becoming more and more demanding. And as a one person shop, it gets pretty hard to do all things. And so I had to make a decision either I’m going to grow my own company again and start from scratch and hire people willing to go find an organization and netty that’s existing, that needs what I’ve got to offer and and has the support that I’m looking for. And that’s when I joined Davisson Young.


[00:12:26] That’s scary. How long ago was that? Six years ago.


[00:12:32] And so now you’re deeply involved in real estate? From my Industrial side, from a maritime side, from a warehousing distribution side, is that correct?


[00:12:42] That’s correct. So at Avis and Young, I’ve done a couple of things. One is I focus on maritime and Logistics. I went to Jim Newsome, the CEO of the port.


[00:12:55] I was new here. He was new here. We hear that name a lot, I’m sure. And I said to him, I said, you know, you don’t have any cold storage here. It seems to me like a port would want to have cold storage.


[00:13:05] And he looked at me and he said, that’s where I put my money. That’s that’s what we need. And he said, go talk to Paul McLintock and and and see if there’s something you can do with him. So I went in, I saw Paul and I said, Paul, you know, Jim says, you know, you need cold storage. How can I help you? He says, here’s the deal. If you can find an operator will host him, you bring him, will host them. We’ve got that. We’ve got the product. We need the operator. We don’t know who they are. And so if you can if you can connect those dots for us, you’ll be part of the team and we’ll we’ll work through this. And so I went out and I pounded the pavement and I and I I won’t go through all the elaborate research, but ultimately I brought a number of of opportunities to the port. One stuck. And we built the building and another in expansion mode and understanding. So that was my beginning of working with the port and learning more about the intricacies of doing that. So since then with Avis Anyang, I have. Focused on doing Logistics and maritime and getting really involved. So I got involved with an organization called the Propeller Club, which is an international organization. It’s kind of like rotary for the maritime world for lack of a better Sherkin and worked my way up. And to be a board member of that organization gained some credibility with the marketplace and the maritime. Today, I sit on the board of the Maritime Association of South Carolina and the Board of the Chamber of Commerce here in Charleston. And so I’ve managed to raise my level of credentials and credibility within within the in the market. Davidson Young locally has a managing director who asked me to lead the Industrial practice for Avis and Young for the state of South Carolina.


[00:15:05] So we have an office in Greenville. We recently off opened an office in Savannah. And so I’m assisting three teams covering basically Industrial Warehouse Trucking ET.


[00:15:20] But I spend most of my day on committee work and supporting and supporting the market, which is why I’m here. Yeah, I actually spent several years on the board of the international freight conference and recently came off of of that outstanding.


[00:15:34] Yeah. So you need to sleep at night now I get a little I don’t know, I got other committees and stuff.


[00:15:38] Yeah. So yeah. We’re all busy. You, you but you immerse yourself. I think special people, special leaders like yourself immerse yourself in industry. So it’s not just about the transaction that drives revenue. It’s about relationships. Yeah. Relationship giving back. Yes. Yeah.


[00:15:53] Participation in the relationship with the whole power. Yes, absolutely. I mean, the people that I’ve met, you know, it’s one thing to drop yourself into a room and think you’re gonna get a deal done when you don’t know anybody. It’s another thing when you’re when you’re in the room every day, every day, every day. And you’re providing services, you’re working on committees, you’re involved, you’re communicating and you’re not asking them for anything, you’re just there to support. Yeah. And then all over. Over time, you build that level of relationship with people that you can call because they’re gonna answer the phone when you call. That’s a nice thing. And they they reach out to you. They look out for you. They look look. And they do look to you for your expertise. And we’ve done very, very well. And and since I’ve done all that, I’ve created a team. So just like I needed Avis Young as a group and support. I’ve now created my own Industrial team within Avis and Young in Charleston. Two young ladies that I’m mentoring that I’ve created as partners and I’m bringing them along. And they in Sulzer are immersed now in maritime and getting great recognition.


[00:16:57] And one of them is quite a photographer. Was one of them is by our Friday.


[00:17:00] Yes, yes, yes, yes. Yes.


[00:17:03] So so let’s go live at broader SOGA and we get you weigh in on the industry as a whole. In the end, supply chain and all the things that go into that. Yeah. Who would you think a trend or news or developments in that’s global space. What’s on your radar more than other things right now?


[00:17:22] So on a global perspective, the trade wars tarriffs is really top of mind. And and I’ll I’ll tell you why. Because one of the one of the things that I’m also involved with and our team is focused on is foreign direct investment and bringing new companies here. And for the last several years that we had been hosting and and recruiting industries from Europe and China and elsewhere to set up shop and work. So we’re not all things to all people, but we we want to be their eyes, ears and their feet on the ground here to explain to them what’s going on and why they should be here. And then we get compensated by finding the right site, the right building, whatever it is that they need to set up shop. But we work very, very closely with the local economic development people at the county level, at the alliance level in this particular case see RDA, which is here, and and commerce. So we’ve gotten very close with all those folks so that we are another resource for them. And sometimes they actually call us for, you know, for help to arrive. Can you. Can you handle this?


[00:18:31] So when you go back to December of 2018, when the tariff war is really kind of kicked off, it immediately stopped most of the foreign direct investment coming into the Charleston area and predominantly German.


[00:18:50] So the German faction is they don’t like uncertainty. They don’t care what it is, but they don’t like uncertainty. Right or wrong? Right or wrong? Certain. Yes. Yes.


[00:19:02] So we’ve had to go back to the pipeline and work on domestic projects. And we’ve also had to go out and recruit outside. That area. So we’re doing a little bit in the U.K., we just had one of my business associates was was in the U.K. and actually recruited a manufacturer. They came in, they visited. They’re coming back. Looks like we’ve got an opportunity to get them here. We’ve got one from Dublin. We’ve got one from India that are less impacted by the tariff issues. But our concerns are that there’s this huge pent up demand that’s growing and the sooner it’s released, the better for so many different reasons. But if it doesn’t get done sooner, it just leaves the door open for something else to impact it. That may never let it come. Right. Right. So timing is everything. So that’s the thing that keeps us awake at night is, is that that single piece? And then in it, in addition to that is what happens when the floodgate does open is like, OK, crap. Do we have everything we need? We have enough space. Do we have the right building? We didn’t have the capacity to process all of it. Exactly right. And so that’s the next piece that we’re trying to convince people. We need to develop more product. We need to develop the better product that especially the Germans are going to be interested in, because that’s predominantly whose common cause. They’re mostly the automotive and aerospace guys. They’re mostly 20000, 30000 square foot users. They want to put their foot in the door. You know, not not not they don’t want to be all in, but it’s a huge capital investment. So, you know, they’re not come to build, you know, 20 million dollar buildings. They want to come and get in here and get into business. And we don’t have a lot of product that supports that.


[00:20:54] So now you go first.


[00:20:56] Well, the guy’s a good guy.


[00:21:01] So clearly you can speak to from a number of different angles in this industry, right? Yes. And you can tell how involved the are across the the policymaking to the networking, to the resources, to the Sheer expertise of standing up these facilities also, but also making the business deals happen. Yes. Which is not easy. So how can our listeners, Ali, get in touch with you to tap into some of your expertise or just to follow up on some things you’re talking about? Sure.


[00:21:30] Well, I certainly have a LinkedIn account that’s pretty active and probably has a good sampling of my resumé on there. And so if you get the right spelling and Allenville. Well, do you see on LinkedIn? I’m on Twitter at Alan Bolduc. And that’s kind of the extent of my social media. Smart.


[00:21:54] My partners are much younger than I am, and they’ve got other other avenues. I stay out of that. Obviously, we have an Avis and Young Web site. So Avis and young dot com. And if you do backslash Charleston, you know, you can you can find us and our properties and whatever that we do. Sure. Right.


[00:22:10] Yeah. We’ll make sure we include your hyperlinks to the company’s site and your Linked-In site in there in the show notes. The episode also make it easy for folks to find you. Well, you know, we’re not doing it justice. But in this snippet of time we had I really appreciate your story and your background, but also that you got such a strong entrepreneurial common thread throughout your journey. And I think inspires other folks.


[00:22:35] Well, I think that one of the advantages I have with dealing with my clients is the fact that I know how business decisions are made and I know where there’s risk and where there’s not risk because I’ve been in those seats. I’ve run million to 100 million dollar companies. So I get it. And then I slide just bring that in their best interest. And so I provide them good guidance. It’s not about me. It’s all about them, not about the transaction. It’s about making sure that they’re getting comfortable with what their decision is. Yeah, that comes through loud and clear. Great. Thanks, guys.


[00:23:06] Really appreciate your time. Alan Bolduc Bolduc Senior Vise president with And Young. Thanks again for your time. Carven time out today. Greg, another great show. Yeah, couple more to go to our listeners. Stay tuned as we continue our coverage of the 2019 South Carolina Fall Agist Tech Talk event. Of course, be sure to check us out on all the different podcast channels from Apple podcast, our radio YouTube. Really? revolt’s. Get your podcast Froome. Of course, learn a lot more about past episodes, upcoming events, you name it at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. Well of Greg White and Scott Luton. Have a wonderful afternoon and we will see you next. Tommo Supply Chain Now Radio. Thanks, everybody.

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