Supply Chain Now Episode 338

“One of the things that we love to be able to do through this program is to give the volunteers ownership. We give them some basic instructions on what they need to do, but this is their event.”

– Mickey Horner, Director of Expansion and Supply Chain at Rise Against Hunger


There are 820 million people in the world that are currently facing hunger, and about 10% of the world’s population is “food insecure,” meaning that they do not know where their next meal is coming from. Rise Against Hunger is a global hunger relief organization with a supply chain team that manages the procurement of raw materials all the way through the shipment to their international partners.

In this interview, part of the ‘Logistics with Purpose’ series, Mickey explains to Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton how Rise Against Hunger is continuing their important mission in unprecedented times:

· Finding sources of revenue and engaging with volunteers without being able to come together at large food packaging events

· Substituting the type and packaging of food being provided to minimize the amount of human contact

· How leading supply chain practices, such as centralized warehousing and cross-docking, are being used to increase the efficiency of food distribution around the world.

[00:00:05] It’s time for Supply chain now broadcasting live from the Supply chain capital of the country. Atlanta, Georgia, heard around the world, Supply chain now spotlights the best in all things supply chain the people, the technology’s best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.


[00:00:28] Good morning, Scott Luton here with you on Supply chain now. Welcome back to the show. On today’s episode, we’re continuing our Logistics with Purpose series here, which is powered by our great friends over at Vector Global Logistics. So on this series, we spotlight leaders and organizations that are all own a noble mission and in some way, shape or form, they’re all changing the world. So stay tuned as we look to increase your Supply chain leadership IQ. Quick programing note before we get started the year. If you enjoy today’s conversation, be sure to find this and subscribe wherever you get your podcast from. All right. So welcome in our fearless slate of co-hosts on today’s show. We’ve got the whole gang here this morning.


[00:01:14] For starters, Enrique Alvarez, managing director at Vector Global Logistics Enrique. Good morning.


[00:01:20] Good morning, Scott. Always a pleasure to be here with you.


[00:01:22] Absolutely. Especially on the heels of you kicking the game winning goal in the World Cup. As we talk. You came all this more than Monica.


[00:01:32] Monica, I’m a mispronounce your last name. I haven’t. I have a knack for that. Is it Raiche?


[00:01:38] It’s rash, actually, Rush, my apologies, Monaca Rush, business development associate at Vector Global Logistics as well.


[00:01:45] Good morning, armonica new company. Thanks, Scott. Thanks for that mission to be here.


[00:01:51] Absolutely. And really appreciate what you and Enrique, the whole vector team is doing. We’ll talk about it. Towards the latter half of this episode. But Greg and I really admire all the companies that are finding a way to get in the fight and really move the needle as we tackle these challenging times. I really appreciate your conference and Tom out joining us this morning. And we also have Greg White Serial Supply chain Tech entreprenuer trusted advisor and Atlanta Tennis, Atlanta City Tennis Champion. Good morning, Greg.


[00:02:22] Hey, how are you doing, Scott?


[00:02:24] Doing fantastic. Got the full, full gang here this morning, huh?


[00:02:27] I’m pretty excited about this.


[00:02:29] Look, I really don’t think it’s any secret that we really admire what Enrique and the team at Victor are doing. You know, the company that is built around serving humankind and business as a secondary.


[00:02:43] And I can’t wait to hear from yet another one of the companies that they’re working with, you know, who are who are doing likewise. I love this series. It’s a great annunciation good that people are doing in the world, and especially now. I think it’s good to hear.


[00:03:01] Agreed. Well, we only good news right now. Everyone. Well, was any good news. But in particular, during this challenging, you know, landscape that is THE WORLD TODAY. It’s always great to get more an extra dose of good news, which is what today’s episode is gonna be about. So with that said, I want to welcome in our featured guests here today on Supply chain. Now it’s Mickey Horner, director of Expansion and Supply chain with an incredible organization called Rise Against Hunger. Good morning, Mickey.


[00:03:31] Morning sky. Thanks for having me on. Looking forward to chatting today.


[00:03:36] Absolutely. Really.


[00:03:37] As we’ve as we talked about in the pre-show, while I am making Adam, don’t go with way back, we do have experience working with the team over at Rouse against Hunger and really was impressed in those couple of experiences. Love the noble mission that you and the team are own and really excited to share the story with our audience here. So with no further ado makey before we talk about rising Gates hunger. Let’s get to know you a little bit better. So tell us where you from and give us a nugget or two about your upbringing.


[00:04:11] Yeah. So. Grew up in in rural North Carolina.


[00:04:17] For those of you who out there have some familiarity with with North Carolina, I grew up right outside of Burlington. Kind of in between kind of in between Greensboro and Raleigh.


[00:04:29] And you’re very family oriented rural community upbringing.


[00:04:38] It’s kind of interesting to the way that.


[00:04:43] You know, that did everything happened in my in my in my upbringing to kind of bring me to this point where I am right now in terms of, you know, working through a supply chain network to be able to help others. So parents had a very positive impact of, you know, there was always something bigger than just us and and and really going out there and trying to make a difference.


[00:05:07] I love that. Always, always something bigger than just us. That that’s such an important perspective and that it’s been a big part of this Logistics with Purpose series featuring leaders like you and organizations like you that are thinking much bigger.


[00:05:24] So you still reside in North Carolina? Is that right, Mickey?


[00:05:28] I do right now. Yes. The travels have taken me a little, taking me across the country since I’ve been here with rise against hunger, been stationed up in a couple of places. But our national headquarters are in Raleigh, North Carolina, and actually work out of the north side of Greensborough right now.


[00:05:46] Well, hey, if you would indulge me, I believe in our pre-show conversation. You’d mentioned that working remote is not new on your end. I think you’ve been doing it for over 10 years. And now the rest of the world is trying to figure out how to do that and how to do it effectively and successfully.


[00:06:04] If you had to if you had to pick one thing, one best practice, one, you know, one behavior that you’ve really embraced, this allowed you to really work successfully from home.


[00:06:16] What would that be? What would you share with our audience?


[00:06:20] The one thing that I would share is just always remember that you, whenever you come to work, wherever that may be, you do we come to work to accomplish something, right? It’s not just it’s not just about putting in your 8 hours or 10 hours or 12 hours or whatever you’re doing. It’s really about accomplishing something. And I remember this was the first job that I’d ever had where I’d worked remotely. And I remember back in 2008 when I first started this position, I’m like, wow. I’m like, I’m kind of at a loss of exactly how to operate. And I think people get caught up again, OK?


[00:07:02] Now I’m working from home. I need to be sitting in front of a desk every second that I’m at home. And I remember having this struggle when I when I first started it on my couch. My yard needs to be mode. And, you know, it’s like one o’clock in the afternoon. But I shouldn’t be outside mowing my yard at 1 o’clock in the afternoon.


[00:07:21] But then you start to think back and you’re like, wait a second. I got up at 5:30 this morning. I grabbed a cup of coffee and I was sitting in front of my computer at that point. Right. And then sometimes you’re like, OK, well, I’ve got this to do. So I’m going to sit down and answer emails tonight, you know, between six and eight o’clock.


[00:07:40] And so really to to focus more on what are you doing and what are you trying to accomplish as opposed to I’m in a different facility now and I need to be sitting in front of my computer so that people believe that I’m working. If you’re accomplishing the work, people will say it. And, you know, I’ve manage folks remotely for years. And, you know, we’re very much performance based.


[00:08:01] Right. You know, I don’t want folks working 50 or 60 hours a week to accomplish what they need to do. But if that’s what they need to do to accomplish the job, they’ll do it. And I’m strongly encouraging them. If you can do it in 20 hours, please do it in 20 hours and show the rest of us how you came up. So we’ve always been a very much a performance space organization. And it just works for us. So I think we were I think we were way ahead of the curve as far as that goes for us as an organization when we saw a lot of people who had to go to work remotely.


[00:08:39] Outstanding can be something where we’re all are figuring out in our own way. So I appreciate you weighing in. So, my honor, bring Monica back into the conversation. Monica, you’ve got. You’re a bit curious about Mickey’s professional journey, right?


[00:08:53] Correct. Thanks, Scott. So, Mickey, I wanted to ask you a little about your professional journey. How do you shape your world view?


[00:09:03] So it’s kind of interesting.


[00:09:09] I did not take a direct line, as most of us haven’t, you know, to kind of get to where I am. So again, you know, growing up, the way that idea in a very rural part of North Carolina, one of the things that I learned really early on was kind of hard work. We’ll get you where you need to go. Right. And my dad grew up helping to manage a farm. And, you know, I kind of got that that that sense of work ethic from him. So from an educational standpoint, you know, my background was, you know, I was the first person in my in my family to ever graduate high school. And so initially, I went to work with a way to work with a textile chemical company because my dad did construction for a while and I worked with him in the summers. And I learned enough to know that that was not what I wanted to do long term for a living. But, you know, so. So I kind of had the opportunity to grow up through, you know, a very small kind of family owned organization and kind of get my feet underneath me and try to figure out what it was I wanted to do during my time there. I actually.


[00:10:30] You realize that kind of my experience had outstripped my education and I took my first college class when I was twenty eight years old faithful. So something that, you know, I would not encourage my kids to do. And I’ve really pushed him. I’m like, get your education down before before you really jump out there into the workforce. But, you know, for me, it was the right job. And, you know, so through that experience ended up getting my undergraduate at the University of North Carolina here in Greensborough, and then a couple of years later went to wait for this university to get my my MBA from Wake Forest home with the name and Dick and Drive. Yeah, the demon deacons. So what that really taught me was, you know, one of the things that was really interesting, I had a stint with a nonprofit organization when I was doing my graduate work at Wake Forest. You know, I’m in a room with 55 or 60 other people who are, you know, taking an MBA class because, you know, they’re really trying to figure out how they can kind of climb that ladder and and, you know, it give it a day, increase shareholder profit.


[00:11:43] Right. Because of my time of working with the nonprofit organization. I’m like, well, why can’t I use this for something for good? And so it just really turned out that, you know, that experience at Wake Forest and being with all those people who are really driven, you know, from a business standpoint, going into the corporate and professional world, it just really helped me to realize that I wanted to be able to utilize that education that I received there to to to be able to do something besides increase shareholder profit. You know, we’re increasing social profit here. Right. How do we give back? How do we continue to. You know, how do we give back and how do we continue to help those who are less fortunate than us?


[00:12:33] Mm hmm. Wow. Monica, great question. And Mickey, really appreciate you walking us through that. There are so many different parts of your answer. We could take a deep dove into and probably talk about for a couple hours. But so, Greg, I wanna bring you in here. Greg, I know we’re always curious about the organizations behind our guests.


[00:12:54] So please. Yeah. So I think we got a pretty good picture of what brought you to this point, Mickey.


[00:13:01] And I think it would be really interesting for our listeners to understand exactly what it is that rise against hunger does and, you know, the types of people and organizations that you benefit with.


[00:13:15] Ok. Perfect. So before I get started, I do want to mention that, you know, there are eight hundred and twenty million people in the world that are actually facing hunger.


[00:13:26] And about 10 percent of the world’s population is what we would call food insecure. You know, they may not know where that next meal is coming from. So what we do here is rise against hunger is we’re a global hunger relief organization. And primarily my responsibility is to help drive the supply chain from the procurement of raw materials through all the way through the shipment to some of our international partners.


[00:13:54] And what I work with is I work with a program where we set up a mobile assembly line to work with volunteers and we go into their site, set up the assembly line, and we give them a very minor food amount of training to be able to to package high protein, rice based, vitamin fortified meals that we then ship in the areas of chronic hunger all around the globe. So we do it in a manner where it’s very high energy, it’s very fine. And, you know, it’s an interesting concept because we’ve had lots of people who’ve approached us and they’re like, oh, my gosh, you could be so much more efficient and you could cut your costs.


[00:14:39] You could cut your fixed costs. But just. Creating a warehouse and packaging these in the warehouse. Now, Mike, you’re absolutely right. We can’t. Well, we can’t do when we do that as we can’t reach 400000 volunteers a year who may be coming to us because they’re very interested in what we’re doing from the standpoint of trying to solve the world’s hunger problem. Or, you know, they could be coming to us for a different reason. You know, we have corporate groups that work with us or like we just need an activity, you know, a hands on activity that our folks would like to be involved in. But it gives us the opportunity to have them in the room for a couple of hours to be able to share with them. Hey, here’s a very easy, fun way that you can have a positive impact on the world. And for those two hours, maybe we turn that into, you know, somebody who becomes the next, you know, global hunger, the next person who is actually creating this massive global hunger relief organization. We don’t know. Right. But it’s it’s twofold for us. So it’s one, how do we package these meals for those who have the most need? And then conversely, how do we reach as many volunteers as we possibly can to educate them and give them a little bit more knowledge about hunger than maybe they had before they stepped in the room with us?


[00:16:03] So, Mickey, tell us a little bit about engaging those volunteers.


[00:16:06] So what what is the mechanism, if not a distribution center? What is the mechanism that you use to bring them together, you know, to have them help you and learn more about this?


[00:16:20] Yeah. So like from the standpoint of pulling together one of our events, you know, normally, you know, Scott had said that you guys have have actually participated in an event before. So as a general rule, you’ll have someone who, you know, comes up and says, hey, I heard about your organization. Sounds like a great thing. We would love to work with you guys. And so what we do is we actually just bring everything that you need basically to setup the assembly line at your side. So, you know, we’re bringing all the raw materials, we’re bringing all the equipment that are needed.


[00:16:57] And, you know, in our warehouses before they’re coming out, that’s where we’re doing all the staging. We’re doing all the cleaning and sanitation of the equipment before we come out. And then once you we train folks up and they package the meals for us. We take those back to our warehouse until we have, you know, a full container to be able to send out. So it’s a very simple assembly line process you’re putting for, you know, very important ingredients into a bag. In the end, you know, we’re weighing it to a very specific way because from a shipping standpoint, we need to have an idea of, you know, how much each one of those containers is weighing. Whenever we’re shipping it out the door. And additionally, you know, they’ll seal them up and they they box them up. And then from there it will be loaded onto a truck and take it back to our warehouse. But do we have enough meals to be able to ship out an entire container?


[00:17:54] And OK, I’m sorry. Go ahead, Greg. I mean, that could be happening happening at somebodies office building or.


[00:18:05] Oh, my goodness. We’ve done it in so many places. The only requirement the only requirement is that it has to be indoors just because of food, health and safety.


[00:18:15] We want to make sure that we’re doing it indoors and we’re doing it in, you know, the cleanest, the cleanest area possible. Just a little bit too much going on if you’re trying to package outdoors. But yeah, we’ve done it in people’s offices. We’ve done it, you know, on university campuses. Yeah. If you name it, we’ve probably done it. Some of the most interesting events I’ve ever done is, you know, we do events in Manhattan, in New York City.


[00:18:45] And, you know, you driving a box truck into Manhattan and using a freight elevator to get to the third or fourth floor to set everything up, some some different logistical challenges for voting on those particular of the ads. I really admire the folks that work in our New York office because they have some inherent challenges that other folks just don’t have.


[00:19:10] The beauty of that, the beauty of of what we experience a couple of years ago. The rise against hunger event that we participated in, the beauty of what you were just sharing there clearly can do. Getting stuff done. GSD is a big part of Rod as it gets hunger’s culture and DNA. Right.


[00:19:31] Yeah, absolutely. And you know, one of the things that we love to be able to do through this program is we want to give the volunteers ownership. Right. So when they’re there, you know, we give them some basic instructions on what they need to do. But this is their Avaya. Right. And so we’re really trying to connect with them, you know, not only to give them some information about hunger. What we’re doing to try to alleviate hunger. But for them really to build a partnership for us. It’s going to go. You know, it’s gonna give forward for years because it’s great that you came together and you package twenty thousand forty thousand sixty thousand meals, right.


[00:20:17] But at the end of the day, you know, our goal is that we want to make those areas that we’re working in. The ultimate goal is that, you know, they don’t need our meals anymore. Right. We’re all really excited about today that we don’t have to package meals anymore because there’s nobody on this planet who’s going hungry, needing it any longer. And I think you need it to really be a part of that is something special.


[00:20:43] Absolutely. Passive vision. We can all rally around. So before we bring Enrique back into the conversation and kind of take the conversation in a different direction, Mickey, obviously right now, challenging times for imagine not many events are being held. How can our listeners support rise against hunger and other ways until we we break through here?


[00:21:06] Yeah. So we’re getting super creative in revenue generation.


[00:21:13] So we’ve again, given the nature of what we do and because we do have large groups of people that come together, package meals. It makes it challenging for us now to be able to accomplish securing those securing those meals and then being packaged right now. So one of the things that we’re doing is we are actually working with our host who had meal packaging events that were scheduled during this time. And you’re asking them to reschedule at a point in time in the fall.


[00:21:43] And then also, you know, asking them, could they go ahead and donate part of their money that they were looking to to utilize to host the event. Now, right at a time when there are our revenue has taken a big hit because that’s a large part of where our revenue comes from as an organization. We have all kinds of creative things that are going on.


[00:22:10] We have a talent show that we’re putting together on line that we’re reaching out to some of our folks that have donated with us before, just as like a one day fund raiser of, hey, you do something super cool, post it up and we’ll have we’ll have a talent show and kind of like a you ATTELL An old school telethon to where we can raise money with a little bit of entertainment. We’re investigating doing some 5K 10K races where we’re looking for sponsorships and those are going really well.


[00:22:44] And the other thing that we’re doing, too, is we’re actually working you know, we’re working with our vendors as well, because, you know, just because we’re not packaging meals doesn’t mean that people that are receiving our meals have decided they don’t need it.


[00:22:58] Right. Right. It’s important. Yeah. So we’re really trying to figure out, okay, what can we use as a stopgap for those folks? And so some of the items that we’d had an idea that we’d had in stock that we’re not going to be utilizing over the next couple of months while we don’t have a. You know, we’re trying to find out, can those organizations, you know, can you use a container of rice as opposed to the full blown meals? Right. So can we ship you a container arrived along with vitamins and will that help, you know, to kind of get us through this time? Not. Well, we’re not doing that.


[00:23:30] That’s a really important point that I hope all of us probably should should wrap our heads around.


[00:23:36] You know, in these challenging times where there’s so much stress and an incredible setbacks, lives are being lost. You know, it’s still the folks that are in need that need does not go away. So I’m hoping that, you know, some members of our audience can can find creative ways to try to plug in and support a lot of things that the Rise Against Hunger Team continues to do so. Mickey, thanks for sharing that. Enrique, let’s bring you back into the conversation here. I know that you’ve got a couple of bigger picture questions opposed to Mickey.


[00:24:11] Yes. No, I’m thinking once again. Mickey, thank you very, very much for dissipating. Before I ask you my question, I was going to say that one of the main reasons why we infector loft to work with you and your team is just for everything that you have shared with us. So thank you very much for sharing. And you really are doing a lot more than packaging food, as you mentioned. You’re inspiring a lot of people, not only volunteers that go there and try to help you in your cause, but then also companies like mine, to be honest. So I think the example that you guys are sending to other companies around the world is it’s a big part of what you do. And I hope you guys feel very proud about it because it’s a really, really cool thing to to witness and be part of that.


[00:24:56] I appreciate it and we appreciate your partnership.


[00:25:00] Now, in terms of the bigger picture that the second was talking about. Just look at the global end to end supply chain and what you guys do in the world and probably even beyond rights against hunger. Why were the two three topics or issues or or things that you’re now tracking me more intensely? Given everything that’s going on in the world.


[00:25:27] So I want to preface this to say that, you know, there haven’t been a whole lot of changes for us right now based on the current situation that we’re facing with, you know, the I want to talk a little bit more about kind of what our vision is and some of the things that we’ve been trying to do from a creative standpoint of, you know, how do we have more impact, how do we engage more volunteers, how do we provide more meals for our partners?


[00:25:55] Because, again, this situation really is so new for us to view. We have kind of gone into a mode of, OK, we’re kind of static right now. We’re trying to figure out how do we how do we continue to provide what we need to provide for our beneficiaries, but not a whole lot going on in the past four to five weeks in terms of, oh, know, we’re not not as focused on what our you know, we’re not as focused on what we want to accomplish right now and how that’s going to change us as an organization overall. But I want to go back and talk a little bit about when, you know, when I first came to rise against hunger, we had three locations. There was one in Virginia. There were two in North Carolina. And we were opening our fourth in North Carolina and then our fifth up in Virginia back in 2008. And it was really interesting, man. We were like twelve people as an organization trying to figure out how do we engage people in and try to change a world. Right. So one of the things that really drew me here is, you know, not only what we were doing is an organization from the standpoint of, you know, we’re we’re feeding people, we’re giving a child a meal that otherwise wouldn’t have it. But, you know, considering what I’d learned in my education at Wake Forest and the whole business aspect of it, I really loved the fact that you could look at a business model when I’m like this can be replicated in a lot of different places. And that way we engage more volunteers, we package more meals, we have more impact on the world. So. The easiest way for us when we open a new location, you know, 10 years ago was you go into an area that we’ve got some exposure.


[00:27:45] I think I mentioned earlier that, you know, I helped work on the expansion in Atlanta when we first opened that location in 2010.


[00:27:53] We grew very organically. So I’m working in Charlotte. You get a phone call from somebody, you know, who’s in Marietta, Georgia, and they’re like, hey, I heard about this program from my buddy and in Charlotte, we’d love for you to come down and do an event for us. So initially there there wasn’t really any kind of strategic plan for growth. It was kind of all. Now we’ve got exposure here. We’re getting a lot of calls. Let’s go open a location.


[00:28:21] So, so so we would move into a place and, you know, we would find a warehouse.


[00:28:26] We would you know, we would lease a warehouse for anywhere from three to five years with an initial lease. We would hire a program manager. And it was their responsibility to not only help grow that program, but to do all the operational aspects of the business as well. Right. Ordering inventory, maintaining their inventory and pulling together everything that you need to go out and do an individual meal packaging and going in facilitating that at the end.


[00:28:58] So being able to speak in front of people cleaning and sanitizing the equipment, shipping containers out.


[00:29:05] And so, again, that is a very special person that has, you know, enough capability to be able to handle all of those those different types of skills. So as we continue to grow, we started thinking about how do we grow in a manner that one puts us at last risk. Right. Because, you know, you go in and you sign a three to five year lease. Right. You’re invested. Right. You’ve got to figure out how to make it work. So we actually worked on a project about three and a half to four years ago where we really took a look at our entire logistical network from where our suppliers located. What are, you know, what are a dedicated transportation routes to be able to move those raw materials to our locations? And what kind of alternative methods could we potentially use to 1 help us to build a model that would allow us to grow, but not only grow, but grow with a reduced amount of risk. And so we worked on a project in California where we set up a centralized distribution warehouse model.


[00:30:09] So we had two locations in California at the time, one in Orange County and one in the East Bay, just south of Oakland. And we set it up to where we said, OK, we’re going to utilize the Orange County location because we had a bigger warehouse there. And we’re going to basically do all the operational aspects of the business there. Right.


[00:30:35] So that’s where we’re going to manage the inventory. That’s where we’re going to order and ship all of the inventory. And that’s where all of the equipments can be cleaned and sanitized stage for the events. And then we’re just going to ship it out to.


[00:30:48] Now, what we’re calling up in the Bay Area is a satellite location so that when they get it, all they have to do is basically facilitate exceptional the arts and be able to engage the community. So really separating out those tasks and becoming very specialized and beginning to hire people who are very adept at imagery management, transportation acquisition and warehouse management. Right. And separating out the other side, which is the community engagement part, which is how do I engage an audience, how to grow a program up here and taking some of those other tasks off of them. So initially when we put that in place, honestly, the very first thing we were trying to do is say, will this work? Can we actually get the pallets up to the location that we need to have it at prior to know prior to the event happening. So from an operational standpoint, we figured out it could work.


[00:31:48] And then what we did from there is we actually went full bore in California to where we leased a new warehouse in Sacramento. We took the two locations that we had that basically covered Southern California, Northern California and Broken Mountain individual location. And so in the south, you have Orange County, San Diego and Los Angeles. And then in the north, you had Silicon Valley, what we call the San Francisco Bay Area and up in Sacramento as well. And you know, what that allowed us to do is to have a much, much smaller footprint in what we’re calling the satellite locations to where, you know, maybe we’ve got a fifteen hundred square foot warehouse.


[00:32:30] Maybe we don’t have a warehouse at all. Maybe we work with the 3-B retail partner. Allow us to be able to just ship product DNA, basically cross-talk it thoroughly. Right.


[00:32:41] And so so a quick if I have it, Mickey. So some of our listeners may not be familiar with cross docking. In a very small nutshell. Can you can you share with our listeners that maybe in school or maybe they’re early in their careers? What does that mean?


[00:32:56] Yeah. So essentially cross docking is it’s just short term storage. You know, we’re we’re utilizing a third party warehouse in a manner that they normally wouldn’t be used to. Right. So when we contract with them, you know, we just let them know, look, we’re gonna be turning inventory. It’s not gonna be very high amounts of inventory. Right. Because we’re not shipping in two hundred pallets at a time. But that cross dock is essentially we ship something and that needs to be packaged sometime in the next seven days. And then in the next week, you have another shipment that comes down with what they need for their next seven days and any meals that they pack as you’re picked up and go back to the centralized warehouse where they aggregate everything and be able to be able to get the containers ready to be shipped out from there.


[00:33:50] So you’re constantly, it sounds like, okay of welcome your thoughts or to Mickey, it sounds like your team is constantly evaluating options, trying to maintain as much flexibility and and as much, you know, trying to be as nimble of an of an operation as possible, right?


[00:34:05] Yeah, absolutely. And again, you know, it’s been a huge challenge for us because, you know, we’re a very small, relatively small organization in terms of, you know, what kind of resources that we have to be able to put on.


[00:34:20] So it wouldn’t, you know, go ahead. No. Just to ask you a quick question regarding what like how many locations you guys have now and how big is the team?


[00:34:31] So.


[00:34:33] We’re about one hundred and thirty to one hundred and thirty two employees across the entire organization. We have 28 locations now across the country. And again, each one of those locations has anywhere from one person to four people who are working at that site to help facilitate of the UPS.


[00:34:57] So what you said is basically in 2008, you were five locations and 12 people. Right.


[00:35:03] Right now it’s 20 locations. Hundred and thirty.


[00:35:06] It sounds like you guys have not only figured out the formula, but you’re doing amazingly well.


[00:35:12] Well, there are inherent challenges. They come with going from each way we are, but it’s pretty rapid growth that we don’t yet. That a great job for everyone. Let’s do it.


[00:35:24] Yeah, absolutely. You know, it’s it’s been an incredible Rod. And to be able to see the changes that we’ve gone through to go from, you know, a very, very small organization to I think the first year that I was here, we packaged it as an organization, about five million meals.


[00:35:39] We have four locations that package, five million meals. Now Atlanta being one of them. So I think last year we package about seventy seven million meals globally. So it’s become a really big enterprise for us. And trying to figure out how do we you know, how do we utilize, you know, not only the technology and the knowledge that’s out there from a supply chain standpoint to to really help us leverage, you know, what we’re trying to do in terms of serving our beneficiaries because of the core. I mean, honestly. Well, we’re Logistics organization. Right. I mean, absolutely. That’s what we are.


[00:36:22] No, I’m right. Let’s look at what it is. You’re right, Greg. I think Greg or Scott a couple of episodes ago said something about hunger being a Logistics, probably more than mom. Who was the dog.


[00:36:35] That would have been Greg and Greg. Really quickly. You to weigh in on that? Yeah.


[00:36:40] So I’m a big fan of a CEO of a company called Gooder Gooder.


[00:36:47] And what she said G.O., DDR, G.O.. Oh, d.r, sorry. What she said is that hunger is a Logistics problem. It’s not that there isn’t enough food. It’s just hard to get to the people who need it.


[00:37:00] Exactly. That would be a good introduction for four Megi. I think we to see them talking about the same problem they’re trying to resolve.


[00:37:10] Well. And interestingly enough, you know, you come in contact with an awful lot of people in doing meal packaging events and you know, when you’re engaging four hundred thousand volunteers a year.


[00:37:22] But one of my one of my coworkers was doing a meal packaging event in eastern North Carolina. And it was actually at a an elementary school. Right. And so you’ve got, you know, third and fourth graders who are working together to to package meals for those less fortunate.


[00:37:42] Right. And so he explained to the UN like we always do. We open Anivia. You know, here’s what we’re gonna do here. The instructions and here’s why we’re doing it right. And so the events going on in this little third grader walks up to my co-work and he says, so what you guys do is you just put the food to the places where he will have it.


[00:38:07] I guess that’s what we do. It’s really that simple. And I love that that point of view. So let’s recap before we start to kind of move it to a close here. Oh, no. Cop puts you on the spot. So with this backdrop of the global pandemic.


[00:38:27] Right. So many different things are going on. What’s what’s one development that is front and center for you and your team right now?


[00:38:37] In terms of the global supply chain, Liegghio supply chain and the things that we’re doing to approach the problem more well is that we’re launching our just in general how I see the problem.


[00:38:50] Yeah, before we. Before we talk about it. So what are some of the initiatives that your team is involved in? What’s it? And when you look at global supply chain right now, maybe habbits reacting to and how it’s jumping indentified or or if there’s a particular development globally.


[00:39:06] What sticks out to you?


[00:39:08] To me, and in the last month, I mean, we started working on this one when it first hit China and we sent teams aboard from Mexico and some other places into China. And the one thing that really sticks right now in the last three weeks and the last week in particular is just the lack of trust in the market, like the deal making process for sourcing TB out of China. Is just very corrupted. It is very inefficient. And for me, it’s really just that lack of trust as so many people from all over the world are trying to jump into this as an opportunity as opposed to use really figuring out how best to put the equipment in the hands that needed the most. Like doctors and nurses and hospitals and those FedEx guy that comes to the office and delivers a packages. Those guys are risking literally their lives to help out and to keep the economy working, at least at a certain level. And I feel like that’s just the one thing that sticks out. Like there’s many, many people out there trying to to help.


[00:40:17] There’s many people that are trying to do good, but there’s also a lot of opportunistic.


[00:40:24] Personalities trying to trying to just make some money, and that’s that’s the one thing that I’m seeing right now.


[00:40:31] Ok. All right. You thought Scott won’t answer.


[00:40:36] Yesterday we talked with Crear, but a Tarji teaser. Sorry. Sorry. I’m. Brutalise that name, and that’s one of the things that she talks about, that’s the million the one hundred million mask challenge, right. One of the things she talked about is there has to be this trust among intermediaries to make this kind of thing happen.


[00:41:00] Then the other thing, Scott, you’ll have to tell me who it was. Oh, it was Rick de Fiesta, right? It is possible to take to capitalize on opportunity without being opportunistic.


[00:41:13] And I think that’s a really good theme in this day and age. Right.


[00:41:19] And I think we need to see more of that.


[00:41:21] And I really appreciate and by the way, Enrique, we’ve been we’ve relayed what you are doing to both of those folks to help people navigate these treacherous waters, to try and do good, you know, in a in a very, very difficult situation.


[00:41:37] So thanks for what you’re doing to shepherd people through this process, which clearly is very difficult.


[00:41:43] Absolutely. And just to go back preop, a feature with the American Hospital Association, no worries. We all like I get my kids names wrong sometimes. So.


[00:41:54] And there’s a great effort just to as they as they’re looking to really jump on the mask problem.


[00:42:01] One hundred million masks dot com, if you want it for one of our listeners want to get in a fight. And and and help their effort there. OK.


[00:42:10] So, Mickey, before we pivot back to Enrique and Monica and find out the latest of one of their big initiatives, let’s make sure that our listeners know how to connect with you and also know how to connect with Rise against hunger. So please share.


[00:42:27] Yeah, absolutely. So if you’re looking for me, you can find me on LinkedIn. But I’d much prefer that you go out and take a look at Rise Against Hunger and you can find us online at W W W, Dot Rise Against Hunger, dot R.G.. And you can also visit our our social media pages where we have a couple of different promotions going on where we’re really trying to raise some funds during this time and and really be able to help our beneficiaries as well. And you can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


[00:43:04] Outstanding Brize Against Hunger, dot org. To our listeners, hopefully you can go out and check out the site, check out the great work they’re doing, the work that still needs to be done even in these these challenging times. Mickey, really appreciate what you’re doing, all your leadership there. So we’ve been talking with Mickey Horner, director of Expansion and Supply chain with Rise Against Hunger. Mickey, please stay safe and take care.


[00:43:27] All right. Thanks so much for having me on. Scott, appreciate it.


[00:43:30] You bet. All right. So we want to pivot back over to Enrique and Monica Rush, both with Vector Global Logistics.


[00:43:37] So Enrique and Monica, tell us about your involvement, a variety of different initiatives that are that are helping you jump right in the fight against the global pandemic. Give us an update on one of those projects.


[00:43:52] Yeah, sure. Thanks, Scott. So as I was doing before, one of the main things that we were trying to resolve here help a little bit is just bring trust back into deal making profits and just bring transparency. Right. So we have partnered with really good people to try to make that happen. I would like to thank sports and health care solutions, doctors business and broke a group in China, our business partners in China. We came up with this process to make sure that we can only met suppliers, send someone, make sure that the what they are saying their manufacturing is real. It has all of the FDA certifications and all the approvals to be imported into the country safely and make sure that you’re talking to real people during the process. The other so that’s something that’s going on we’re really trying to source. So if anyone needs some of these products, feel free to contact me or Monica or our team through what they tweet. We put a quick banner that drops down. Speak candidly more about this than the efforts that we’re doing to just bring a little bit more transparency into the whole process when it comes to other partnerships, the one that I’m more, I guess, excited about, there’s two and one is without parents. Lester Keith. He leads an organization by the name of Long Love Beyond the Walls. And you’ve probably have seen it here in a lineup he’s been putting sings to homeless people in metro Atlanta. There’s been a lot of really good things coming out of him and his team. And the idea there is used to help and really raise money, but bring 100000 masks to help the homeless. We’re hopefully going to launch that campaign soon this week or next. And then the other one is use how to distribute this mass to end users and not.


[00:45:42] It’s to try. Hungry. And again, if you guys are looking for a good option for delivering food, I would encourage you to go to try. Hungry dot com. They’re good business partners. They are here at King Plow as well. And what they’re doing to re create their business is doing this literary services. And so we’re and we had two meetings already. So it’s not official yet, but I’m hoping not through what they do now and what we are doing. We can pull probably partner together to use their service distributing food to bring some of the peopIe equipment that’s needed as well.


[00:46:25] Outstanding. And one last question for you, Monica. You know, being a part of the vector team, that that is doing so many good things in the world and certainly the world of Logistics and Supply chain, how rewarding is that?


[00:46:43] Well, personally, I really believe that we can change the world. Little by little with our daily actions. So it’s an honor for me to be able to have a little bit to impact the world with such a great organization. And it’s extremely rewarding to know that we’re doing good every day and looking with guys like you and fight against hunger and like being at the spot ’cause right now it’s it’s really great. Thank you, guys.


[00:47:14] You bet. Well, we admire what whatever one illness. Call Enrique Mickey Monaca, admire what you’re doing. Admire that leadership. Right. This is this is not lip service leadership. This is action oriented. You’re taking steps daily, as Monica just said, to tell us all.


[00:47:33] If I if I may say something quickly here, I would just like to recognize how much you and Greg are doing as well, because your leadership on service to the not only Supply chain community, but like to everyone that’s listening to your podcast, which is every day, more people. It’s it’s amazing. So I know that you thank everyone. But but it is really amazing what you guys do. And it is really because of you that people are sharing this very inspirational stories. And what you guys are doing is amazing. So we’re also pretty, pretty thankful to be partnering with you and just to have met you. So thanks for what you guys do as well.


[00:48:12] Appreciate that, Enrique. Lots of gratitude all the way around. That’s. It’s good to maintain some positive vibes, right, Greg?


[00:48:19] Yeah, we’re just happy to be a conduit of all of this good news. And helping it come to people and. Better, better their careers and better their lives.


[00:48:30] That’s right. Logistics with purpose. So to our audience. Thanks so much for joining in on this episode. I want to thank the few folks here.


[00:48:38] Again, we were talking with our featured guest, Mickey Horner with Ross Against Hunger. You can check them out at Rise Against Hunger dot org. Enrique, how can how can our listeners get in touch with Victor?


[00:48:53] Well, you guys can reach out to me directly with the they did not Alvarez Connector G.L. dot com. Or you can just go to our Web page at Vector DL dot com as well. Get more information about us and get our contact info. I would let money go. So give her a, you know, address because she is very experienced, is working with a lot of money, a lot of really good inspiring on for profits. And so I need help. You can also reach out to her directly.


[00:49:21] So if you want to share your contact info so we can’t well you can find me in my email, which is money cat that Ross. It’s spelled i o e f g h at that tdl dot com are also ailing in as many karesh. That.


[00:49:42] Perfect. All right. Well, thanks to each of you again. Beyond Mickey, we had Ricky Alvarez and Monica Rusch, both with Vector Global Logistics and my colleague Greg White with Supply chain now. Greg, final key takeaway here.


[00:49:57] What is it?


[00:49:59] You know, an an organization’s culture comes straight from the top. And I think Enrique is a good and noble example of that. And you can see it in or hear it in in how Monica feels about about their charge and about their initiatives and about the good that they’re doing in the world. And Mickey as well.


[00:50:25] You know, I just am so happy that there are companies out there that are led to have service as their primary goal.


[00:50:34] That’s right. Yep. Great final word there. OK. To our audience, thanks so much for joining here again. Be sure to check out one variety of industry thought leadership at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com fanous and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from, including one opportunity we’ve got.


[00:50:51] Coming up, our next webinar on global visibility, which is certainly what visibility’s been in demand for years. But it organizations looking to double down and really figure out the gaps and in terms of their global supply chain visibility. Looking forward to our webinar with E.M.T. About reuters’ events coming up real soon. Who could join us for that? On behalf of the entire team here, Scott Luton Greg White, wish you a successful week ahead. Stay safe. Don’t panic. Please follow the expert advice and precautions that have been distributed by your local health care providers and know this that brighter days lie ahead. And on that note, UPS next time looks at London and Windsor.

Prefer to watch the podcast rather than just listen?  Watch Scott and Greg as they welcome Mickey Horner to Supply Chain Now on our YouTube channel.

Mickey Horner has held several positions with Rise Against Hunger over the past 12 years. Currently, he is responsible for developing the strategic vision for expansion of the volunteer meal packaging program within the United States, and overseeing the supply chain of the organization on a global level. He has extensive experience in developing and implementing various supply chain models throughout the US. Mickey has over 25 years of management experience, including more than 15 years with non-profits.

Mickey earned his B.S. in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and his Masters of Business Administration from Wake Forest University. He also holds a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Duke University.

Enrique Alvarez serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as: Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials and Private banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.

He has a MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean and also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people and spending time with his wife and two kids Emma and Enrique. Learn more about Vector Global Logistics here:

Monica Aurora Roesch Davila has a Bachelor’s degree in Management and International Business from Universidad Panamericana in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
She has work experience in purchasing, logistics, and sales for automotive companies, and is currently working at Vector handling some non-profit accounts and helping them achieve their goals. She also develops new accounts and plans with them the better routes and strategies for them to have efficient and cost-effective operations.

Monica believes that everything we do matters and that we can make a difference and impact the world in a positive way with our daily actions, so she tries to do her best every day.

Greg White serves as Principle & Host at Supply Chain Now. 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 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. 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 Supply Chain Now here:


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