Supply Chain Now Episode 375
“Less than 50% of the world’s population has adequate access to health facilities. That’s not right. It shouldn’t happen that way.”
– Jeremy Newhouse is the Vice President and CFO of MATTER
Even when something is done with the best of intentions, it may not help solve the original problem. That is what Jeremy Newhouse, Vice President and CFO of MATTER, observed while working to supply foodbanks with surplus donated food. You may end up with tortillas and strawberries, and how do you make a nutritious meal out of that?
MATTER is an international NGO committed to helping expand access to health in the neediest parts of the world. From food and nutrition to medical supplies, they coordinate large scale projects and smaller scale donations so that their efforts meet recipients’ needs today and teach them how to meet their own needs in the future.
In this conversation, Jeremy shares his unique point of view with Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton about:
· How MATTER has been able to help those in need in Jeremy’s home city of Minneapolis as well as across the world in Africa
· Why the last mile of any effort may be the most challenging, but it is also the most rewarding
· Addressing the reality that the secondary impact of a crisis – in this case the global food insecurity that has risen in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic – can be worse than the primary crisis
Intro – Amanda Luton (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 technologies, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.
Scott Luton (00:30):
Hey, good afternoon, Scott Luton here with you on supply chain. Now, welcome back to today’s show. Great show lined up. As we continue our logistics with purpose series here, PowerBar, dear friends, over at vector global logistics. Now, what, what does a series all about? Well, it’s simple. We spotlight leaders and organizations that are in some way, shape or form. They’re changing the world just like vector. And so stay tuned as we look to not only share inspiring stories, but also we look to increase your supply chain. Leadership are cute. Quick programming note. If you enjoyed today’s episode, be sure to find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from. All right, so I’m going to welcome in the whole gang. We’ve got a slew of talented slew of co-hosts with us here today. Of course, starting off with Greg white, a serial supply chain tech entrepreneur, trusted advisor, Greg, how are you doing?
Scott Luton (01:19):
I’m doing great. Thank you. I’m looking forward to this always exciting agree. This is one of our favorite series for sure. In Ricky Alvarez, managing director with vector global logistics and Rica. How are you doing? I’m doing great. Thank you very much, Scott. Great seeing you both again, and it’s great to have Jeremy today. It’s going to be exciting. We’ve got a home run guests. Absolutely. Look forward to diving into Jeremy’s story. Lisa Rodriguez sell a sales associate with vector global logistics, Lisa. Hey, doing great. Thank you so much. You bet. Great to have you back. I think, uh, last time we connected was own the, which episode was, that was that the, um, um, books for Africa episode may have been, or, um, but anyway, Nicole with hungry, I bet that was the episode, but regardless great to have you back love the work that vector global team does, uh, whether it’s all their work with the nonprofits or really in general, moving the supply chain industry forward.
Scott Luton (02:27):
So great to have you back at least. So, alright. So with no further ado, let’s welcome in the, our esteemed feature guests we have here today, Jeremy new house, senior vice president of operations for matter mat T E R, which is a global nonprofit that’s on a mission to move people forward by eliminating barriers to a healthier life, love that it can mean so much and we’re going to find out exactly what’s behind that mission statement. Good morning, Jeremy. Hey, well, good morning. Thanks for having me on appreciate it. You bet. We’ve been looking forward to this episode and we’re looking forward to learning a lot more about you and matter as we like to do, uh, let’s learn more about Jeremy new house first. So Jeremy, tell us about, you know, where you’re from and you gotta give us a goods on your upbringing a little bit.
Jeremy Newhouse (03:14):
Yeah, I had, I could say I probably had a unique upbringing born in California, but pretty much raised here in Minnesota, right here in Minneapolis where I live today. Uh, but uh, my, my parents were hippies and, uh, they, they had traveled the world and were Montessori teachers and, uh, they, they ended up, uh, homeschooling me and my, my, my four other siblings. So I’ve been homeschooled all the way up to the university level. Um, and, uh, so it was, it was quite a unique, uh, creative blend in our family. My parents being Montessori teachers, my dad being an entrepreneur, uh, home businesses. And so I actually started my first business at home when I was six years old. My brother was seven and we, we, uh, we, we were on the front end of the organics movement, I guess you could say my dad, um, brought in approximately about a hundred tons of organic wheat from Canada and we, we unloaded it and we would distribute it to people to help them make it their own homemade bread, those organics, wow. That is decided to start a business or with my dad’s encouragement. And we ended up making a 50 loaves of bread a week and selling them six and seven.
Scott Luton (04:25):
Well, you know, uh, bringing that forward to the current environment, we’ve seen a resurgence in folks baking their own bread, right?
Jeremy Newhouse (04:33):
Yeah, yeah. It’s happened. We’ve we’ve, I’ve made cause I still do. I now have, I now have a, I guess a nine and a six year old and they’re starting to make their bread and talking to the neighbors and so forth. And so we’ve traded bread recipes we’ve had
Scott Luton (04:48):
in their red week. We’ve given them our breads love it. It’s a great neighborly bridge. I love this school and I love the entrepreneurial lessons that you and your brother, uh, or learned from your father early on in life. I’m sure that that those were critical lessons learned.
Jeremy Newhouse (05:04):
No, he made us keep track of all the ingredient costs the electricity. I mean, he factored in everything. We had a spreadsheet or not spreadsheets back then, just hand written notes on, on what, what the line items were of the cost of goods sold. And then what was the net profit and what we had to pay just suppliers. So that, that, that kind of probably sparked in me of a fascination with business, love that. And then as I got into high school, my dad, um, I kind of self taught myself a little bit of coding and worked on a software program to help my dad with an inventory management system for his small home business. And that just, that that’s kind of discovery and trying new things and, and, uh, things that have a marketplace application I guess is, is really wow.
Scott Luton (05:46):
Love that. Uh, all right. So let’s uh, before we, we get Lisa, bring Lisa back in, she’s got some questions around your professional journey. One quick question. You mentioned you were homeschooled just to
Jeremy Newhouse (05:57):
university where’d you go to college? Yeah, so it’s kind of a disconnect cause I went right from homeschool right into a small Bible school. Uh, and, and then, and then went, uh, had had a shift and really Africa at a part of that living in Africa for awhile and shifted and went and got my MBA. So that’s where it’s a little bit of a story about how that happened, but yeah, that, that was kind of where it went. Well, can you give us a reader’s digest version real quick? Okay. So I, uh, lived in Congo for a year of my undergrad was in divinity. Yeah. Intention of going into social work, a missionary work and living in Congo for a year, working in a school and in a church changed my perspective. The greatest needs were in gun, on underserved communities. And I saw the biggest needs that I, that were confronting me on a daily basis.
Jeremy Newhouse (06:53):
I’d walk to school and teaching the classes and get to know my students in their homes. It was economic needs that was straight out in front that, uh, the economics crisises that they were facing on a daily basis was what was insurmountable. Bye bye, bye bye. By any stretch of common of what they were able to handle. And so, and so that’s, that’s where I guess, uh, I, I thought, uh, that in those that year that I was living there, I came up with the idea of micro finance, uh, right. This is kind of, no, it wasn’t pre-internet so I guess I can’t even give myself that excuse, but there wasn’t a microfinance happening in Congo at the time. So it was, it was kind of my original idea for Congo, but, but, uh, no, I, I, uh, I really thought, Hey, if we could give these individuals in the schools and their parents, they were working for basically a dollar a day.
Jeremy Newhouse (07:46):
And if we could give them a small loan, so they could get a little bit of capital, a little start upstart, a home business, my dad did, I could see tremendous change happening in families. And so I became very passionate about this idea and, uh, and then ended up speaking, getting connected with a microfinance organization a couple of years later when I realized that that actually was a term and actually had been going on quite successfully for decades and decades, uh, just not in Congo. Uh, although I came to Congo six months after I left. So anyways, the director of that MFI, uh, he told me, you know, what, what we really need in nonprofits. This is your heart is what you want to do and help people with economics. Okay. Relief and stability. You need, don’t go get an MBA or a masters of public policy or something like that.
Jeremy Newhouse (08:34):
Go, go get an MBA. Yeah. That’s what you’re going to need to really help people. Thank you for sharing the rest of the story. Fantastic. Alright. So Lisa, let’s bring you back in here. Let’s talk a little more about, uh, Jeremy’s professional journey. Yeah, yeah. I mean, my worldview was shaped from a young age of helping people and that’s really been my heart. So I guess, I guess I have my parents to thank for that. And it went right into college. And then right from the reason why towards grad school, like I mentioned, was I wanted to help nonprofits. I wanted to help people who wanted to, to just see, to see real change in the world. And so that, that, that all those steps involved in that, uh, reflected Mmm we’re we’re where I guess my upbringing and, and some of the decisions made.
Jeremy Newhouse (09:27):
So I had a chance to, uh, go work at a university teaching. Uh, actually it was a university run microloan program. The first in the Midwest, there was a handful of other schools out East that had started one, but we were running them and they were using the MBA students as business school, uh, students to work with local entrepreneurs who needed help with their business plan needed help refining some of their business theory. And then, but they had practical theory, practical experience that they were also able to help the MBA students. So it was a highly successful program it’s still going on today. And several other schools around the country, business schools have adopted that model. Love it. Alright. So one last question there as relates to your journey and leading up to Greg is going to ask more about matter. Was there another, what was the key role before you joined the matter organization?
Jeremy Newhouse (10:18):
Yeah, I mean, I, I guess, uh, I think, I think, um, directing a program, getting it launched off the ground at the university level, that that was a, that was a, it was how to, how to think from a 40,000 foot view and really, really see from soup to nuts, how to actually get something started and finish it and design it. So that, that was, that was, that was very helpful. And what I, what I do today and designing programs and helping projects get off the ground. Yeah. There’s a, there’s others. I mean, I, I lived in Tanzania for a while doing social enterprise, working with community leaders. That was, that was, that was very impacted. Well, figuring out the challenges of how difficult it is, you can map it out on paper and then how it actually works out is something entirely different. That’s true.
Jeremy Newhouse (11:05):
That is so true. So, um, well I know Enrique is a big fan, so tell us what makes matter matter, or really what makes matter. So yeah, sure. Give us an idea of, of your model. So, so we we’ve, we’ve, we’ve uh, had about a pivot about seven years ago, we changed our name to matter. We were, we’ve been around for 20 years, but we were hope for the city and then we pivoted to matter. And I guess we really, I started in recognizing what we wanted to communicate through that name was that it was the message that you matter. So that’s what we established those six, seven years ago, and we did a name change, and it was the idea that irrespective of your G or your religion, your socioeconomic status, you matter, you’re here for a reason, you given eyes and ears, you see your community, you know, what you need to do to help.
Jeremy Newhouse (11:52):
And we want to listen to those ideas. We wanted to hear those ideas and then to help you refine those ideas. And ultimately we want to help you implement those ideas so you can create change in this world. And so how that happens practically at matter is we take on big challenges that we see that are happening in the world. The, we feel like we can have, have a, have a part to play in. And one of the challenges there’s three right now that we’re focused on for our three year strategic plan. One is accessed out. So this has been obviously a long part of matter’s history, even before the name change, but we, um, we’re still a disturbed by the fact that less than 50% of the world’s population have adequate access to health facilities. Oh, that’s not right. It shouldn’t happen that way.
Jeremy Newhouse (12:33):
So we are on a mission to get these hospitals that we engage with proper medical equipment that they need to service. So they can have a proper facility, the people that go and get care. Um, we’re, we’re, we’re another big challenge that we’re running through is that this is the first generation in the U S that is projected to not have a shorter life expectancy than the previous generation. And a lot of that has to do with noncommunicable diseases and the shorter life expectancy oftentimes relates correlates with nutrition and health outcomes. So our, our, our history back as, as hope for the city was a food bank. Now we’ve pivoted to how teach nutrition through healthy food. So we distribute matter boxes. They go into communities that have procured intentional, a food that is, that has recipes, video instruction, how to prepare food, how to shop for food, how to, how to, uh, how to, how to provide nutrition for your family. Yeah.
Greg White (13:29):
A health bank, if you will. Wow. That’s, I mean, that’s, that’s a really valuable service and probably I’m guessing stemmed from some of your experience in Africa, having recognized the Mmm,
Jeremy Newhouse (13:43):
whatever shortages and issues with,
Greg White (13:46):
with certain peoples being able to get healthy
Jeremy Newhouse (13:49):
food and water and things like that. Absolutely. I mean, nutrition as is one of the primary building blocks of, of, of a healthy life. And when that’s missing, uh, you’re just, you’re, you’re, you’re not gonna, you’re not gonna have the right outcomes that you’re looking for, irrespective of whether that’s in Africa or here in, uh, Minneapolis. So that’s one of those building blocks of health that we feel like we have a part to play in. And it’s been, it’s been very, very, uh, it’s been, it’s had to be out of the box thinking we were not, we started as, like you said, a food bank, and we recognize that the food that we were distributing out in the community, the ones that we were getting in surplus and from the overstock and splash was actually not healthy food. And so we had to look in the mirror and say, six, seven years ago, are we doing more harm than good?
Jeremy Newhouse (14:31):
Wow. And we had to come to the conclusion that, wow, I think actually we might actually be contributing to the problem not helping them. And so we had to just stop it. We got rid of our freezers and refrigerators and all that whole program and just redesign it. If we could imagine perfect a distribution platform, what would it look like when we started imagining? Well, it would look like not just random food who looked like procured food, it looked like we actually had this one box that somebody could then take and take a recipe and learn how to prepare food and then have digital content that helps support that. And that’s what we dreamed up. And then through the help of a lot of collaborators and companies, um, that bought into that vision, we’ve started implementing.
Greg White (15:09):
So Jeremy, can you give us an example? I mean, give us an example of what you might have been distributing before and what you shifted to in terms of what you’re, you know, what you’re providing today.
Jeremy Newhouse (15:21):
Yeah, absolutely. So, so I mean, as a food bank, you know, you get, you get everything from can pallets or soda pop to chips, too, uh, things with high, high preservatives, high sodium, high fat content, you just, you just get the random mix of, of whatever. And then, and then you try to distribute this and we’d have food. We’d actually have a picked up the services were, were smaller. Food banks would come and pick up stuff. And it was just the randomness of it all. Well, sometimes you’d have this, uh, there’s this great set of strawberries. Great. And then what does that have to do with, um, you know, tortillas that you got and, and just like, just, just trying to build, you know, just the randomness of it was, was how do you, are we really impacting the health outcomes? How are we helping nutrition? And so that, that’s where we had to say no, no, no, no. Let’s, let’s actually design healthy with what’s procure intentionally low sodium high fiber procure raw, intentional food that actually can be made into a recipe. So somebody can learn how to prepare food, how to shop healthy.
Greg White (16:21):
So you raise the bar from simply feeding to them to then nourishing. And now that kind of age, old tradition, right? Give, give a man, a fish, feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.
Jeremy Newhouse (16:34):
Absolutely. That’s our goal, right? Our goal is to work ourselves out of a job, out of a business in that sense where we don’t, we don’t intend to matter box, to be there for life. For somebody we want to lower the intimidation bar of that. You can prepare healthy food that you can shop for healthy food, that, you know, what that looks like and what it tastes like. And a lot of times, unfortunately, kid that’s where our biggest emphasis is with kids because we’ve discovered that whatever kids like parents ended up doing. So, and we just covered, it’s also very hard to teach kids to so try something healthy. Cause typically the first experience a child has with healthy food, it’s a terrible experience. It’s usually some badly prepared, whatever vegetable. And they’re like, no, I don’t.
Greg White (17:11):
Right. Spinach. It’s usually something like, all right, well Jerry, so we know what your title is, right. Vice president of operations. Right. Tell us what your role really is. What does that mean and what do you do every day
Jeremy Newhouse (17:29):
that matter? Well, yeah, so, so we’re a small nonprofit, so we have a lot and for that to end up wearing a lot of hats. Right. Um, uh, so, so, you know, I guess what I really enjoy doing is working on the projects when I can work on a hospital project that goes from the implement the design all the way to the final implementation and even the delivery of helping them succeed at their delivery of health service, kind of the last mile solutions. That’s, that’s really fun to do to see that whole, to design the plan and then actually see it to fruition. Uh, those, those are, those are enjoyable, rewarding experiences, but, but know, and then you have the non not so enjoyable ones. So you get it, you get it, you got a broad mix of, of, of what you ended up doing. And the variety I think is the, is what is what I love to. So I just, I don’t know how well I do at doing just one thing all the time. So I spend a lot of time in the finances as well. Yeah. And on the, on the board reports into the financial positions of what we’re trying to do,
Jeremy Newhouse (18:27):
that’s great. Just out of curiosity, how, how do you distribute these days?
Greg White (18:33):
Jeremy Newhouse (18:34):
So, so it, it depends on the medium, what we’re trying to do. So, so in the, in the food space and nutrition space, it depends on what that is going to be. So in, in, in, in developing context, it could mean an agriculture project where we’re distributing tractors and implements. It could mean that we’re doing release meals. Well, we’re taking, we have, we have some of the largest release meal, um, NGOs here in Minneapolis that are based here. So we distribute that food to the right project. So the right hospitals that have malnutrition wards, uh, so that’ll be, you know, we’ve worked with vector a lot on supply chains around that we worked with vector years ago, uh, on a, on a famine relief where we ended up shipping, I think it was close to 11 million meals. That’s just Somalia during a famine that they were having.
Jeremy Newhouse (19:19):
And we got the whole Minneapolis community behind it with a lot of other great NGOs and partners, but yeah, they packed all that food. And then we ended up shipping all that food too. [inaudible] for that famine, a relief and then locally could look totally different. It could be, we have, for the matter boxes we have companies I come in, we procure the food intentionally as they actually pay for the food. So they’re covering the companies are covering the costs of the food that they’re going to be packing. They pack it. And then we distributed that through our localized local distributors. We’re putting that food right into the communities of need. Awesome. Wow. That’s fantastic. Well, you mentioned vector, so I gotta ask Enrique, you know, first of all, we’re always thankful that you bring us great organizations like this that are doing such great things for humanity. And you’re a part, of course we find tremendously valuable.
Greg White (20:12):
Jeremy Newhouse (20:12):
Leveraging and facilitating and even moving some of these goods, uh, around, but tell, tell me what you,
Greg White (20:20):
Jeremy Newhouse (20:20):
You know, what kind of draws you to matter? Why do you feel like we ought to hear from Jeremy and his organization?
Greg White (20:27):
Yes, no. Well, first and foremost, thanks to Jeremy and his team. Uh, not only came for being in the episode today, but just for like the, um, I guess dedication and commitment towards helping others that they bring to the industry and the world. And it’s just really refreshing to work with people like him. Uh, you asked me about what we kind of admire about mattered the most, and it’s just, they’re just good people in general. It’s a good team there. I’m laid back honest, uh, committed, hard working. They’re passionate about others and giving back, and they’re not afraid to say things the way they are, which is something that is kind of rare these days. And I kind of admire about their organization. If they can do something, they’ll say it and the cheesy, and we’ll try to work through the different challenges together. Um, as opposed to us trying to, to, uh, selectively give information, right?
Greg White (21:23):
So as, as I said, teamwork goes, uh, we value, uh, our partnership with them. And, um, when it comes to the one part is the logistics. One part is the moving the containers from point a to point B. And the other that we’re really we are very excited about is, uh, they really just inspire us. So they’re just, they’re just pushing us to be better. And at least our worse Eduardo, who unfortunately, wasn’t able to join us today, uh, personal reasons and all the things that he had to do, but it’s just, it’s just fun working with them. And I’ll let Alisa tell a little bit more about that because, uh, because she works more on day to day basis, but it’s really working with good people, helps you see the bigger picture helps you keep your company and myself grounded and just, it keeps me Mmm. Yeah. He keeps me, I’m trying to, to do better every day. Right. So if you work or you wake up, uh, and, and you have a couple of shipments and it deals with helping someone in Africa or trying to save people from starving or nutrition or anything of the things that they do, it’s easier to just get through the day. Yeah. Really good motivation, good point.
Scott Luton (22:45):
Yeah. So clearly matter, or is made up of good people, but what I’m gathering from a pre show conversations, this conversation is good. People with purpose that are on a mission that are taking action to much light, vector’s been doing change the world, right. And impact others as is Jeremy put it, put it plainly work themselves out of business. I love that. And I also love going upstream and identifying root cause rather than put bandaid after bandaid, after bandaid and look, it’s important, band-aids are important, right. It’s how we can kind of give ourselves time to figure out root cause for some of these deep challenges we have, I love the root cause approach Elisa before we, uh, kind of broaden the conversation. Is there anything you’d like to comment on, you know, your involvement with matter and why you admire the organization?
Lisa Rodriguez (23:36):
Yeah. I want to say thank you to you and all that matter, because as in Ricky state is really a motivation to wake up every day and start working with your team. And when we were even you confirmation order is increasing the always products, even with medical supplies or meals, exciting to think that everyone’s who need it, we’ll receive it. So it’s really Mmm. Amazing to work with that company who do that. So I just want to say thank you.
Greg White (24:19):
Hmm. Sounds very rewarding. Work Elisa. Yeah. Gratifying to be a part of it. Huh? It’s a little bit of changing the world every single day. Right. That’s cool. Alright. So with that set and you know, all of us here on, on this interview are all big fans of how supply chain can certainly change the world and make it a better place. And that might sound cheesy, but I believe it, I believe it. And we see it every day. All right. Enrique, at this point, we’re kind of broaden the conversation out. We want to pick Jeremy’s brain on all other things are taking place across global supply chain. So go right ahead. Oh, quick question for you, Jeremy. And again, we’re leaving historical times, right? At multiple levels. We were fighting up in demic. Now we’re fighting systemic racism and there’s so many things in our country and in our communities that we teachers seem to be falling apart.
Greg White (25:15):
I don’t know if it’s one thing or the other. So how, how do you, as someone in charge of keeping operations, running and keeping logistics going with everything that’s going on and including, uh, you having to go to work and sign Paul, and you just mentioned before we started this conversation, the riots sexually [inaudible] the city and the people. So how do you feel about all this and how do you then deal and cope with that so that your team continues to be as efficient as they possibly can, um, fighting all these different challenges at the same time?
Jeremy Newhouse (25:53):
Well, thanks for the question. You know, I want to echo what Scott said. Like supply chain absolutely has an impact in humanity and an impact in making the world a better place. So that’s what we, we really see our vision or our mission is to uphold the arms of our partners are on the front lines. And unfortunately, you know, this last couple of weeks here in Minneapolis, tragedy hits and we’re in shock as a community, injustice was done by the police to innocent people,
Jeremy Newhouse (26:17):
an innocent black man that did not deserve to die. And he did. And that, that has created a disruption, anger and frustration that ended up resulting and deaths and devastation that happened in our community. And so how, how, how do you, how did he impact that? Well, and our response is going to be through the food impact. All right. Now that’s what we’re going to be focusing our efforts on and trying to, unfortunately, three grocery stores got burned down in that community. So there’s access to food. Food insecurity is going to be an ongoing challenge. And we want to figure out our part to play with, with the community leaders and building up yeah. A message that love can conquer hate. And we want to, we want to have an impact there. So that, that does, that’s taking a lot of coordination to make that actually happen easy to say, to make that actually happen. It’s taking, we got to talk to our suppliers from the food companies, to the companies, the local companies that are going to help support the food, pack the food, and then actually ended up distributing the food. So it’s all logistics that was beautiful intentions happen. It just takes nothing but logistics to actually make it happen
Greg White (27:25):
on the international front. Uh, Jeremy, I mean, you’re also aware that you, I know that you guys have been trying to procure some PPE products internationally as well, and you send a, a lot of products covered 19 related. Could you tell us a little more about what you’re doing on that front?
Jeremy Newhouse (27:42):
Yeah, for sure. So, so our, our hospital clinic program is a medical reuse program. So we get things in donation from hospital suppliers and manufacturers. Uh, they, they, they have their own supply chain challenges. So we become an outlet for things when they’re upgrading or changing systems or manufacturers. So when, and last year we, we rescued about a little over a million pounds of medical supplies and equipment that would have gone into landfills. We find that we started, we refurbish it and we ended up getting that to hospitals and communities that need, so that’s the international model that’s been going on, many organizations, good organizations do something similar. Um, to that, what we will we found with COVID was that the supply chains got inverted. So we were normally getting things from hospitals and manufacturers of PPE and equipment. And then we of course find, find the right, the right use for it.
Jeremy Newhouse (28:35):
Yeah. Down the supply chain line. And this what happened was we got calls from the same hospitals, the same manufacturer that donated us, the equipment saying, do you have any of that left? Can you give that back to us? We’re out, we’re support. We’re we’re our supply chains were disrupted. We need to now invert the supply chain and get that stuff back. And so we were able to help about 22 to 25 hospitals, um, nationally here in, in, in our community. And so you mean New York and Iowa and surrounding States around Minnesota, we were able to get them back. We ended up getting around 500,000 masks and gloves back to back to the hospitals that needed them desperately. So that was an interesting yeah. Change of, of, of, of what took place through Kobe and supply chains, Gothenburg.
Greg White (29:20):
So let’s continue along those lines. Uh, and, and when you, when you really look, um, um, broadly across global supply chain, Jeremy, is there anything else, really one, whether it’s a challenge or whether it’s an innovation or a technology, or maybe even from a leadership standpoint, is there anything that really you’ve been
Jeremy Newhouse (29:42):
keeping your finger on the pulse of here lately? Well, well, what happens with supply chain when you have crisis is that supply chains get disrupted. And so not only did it get inverted, but what we’ve seen before and other crisis’s, and we’re starting to see this, uh, just on the front end of this now is that, you know, the classic, uh, inventory bullwhip effect of, of supply chain. So you have increasing on these swings of inventory, it happened in response to a crisis through the customer’s demands, and then it just, um, has, has affects up the supply chain that increase. So, so what, what we typically see is when we saw this after Ebola, for example, uh, six years ago, when he Bulla hit, there was massive ramp up in masks and gloves and PPP. And then, and then, and then, you know, the bullet effect in supply chains, cause all those, those orders to increase, increase, increase all that the supply chain.
Jeremy Newhouse (30:33):
So that kind of crashing down. And then we had, and you know, a warehouse full of masks and gloves probably the week, about three years to get, to distribute all that and to, and to process all that because the hospitals can hold, hold it, you get those classic, uh, bullet effects. And we’re already starting to see with a ramp up of medical equipment and supplies we can see on horizon that has Coleman dies down. There’s going to be this massive flux again, where we’re going to be loaded with supplies and equipment, which is going to create its own logistical challenges for our limited space. Well, we need to do to help. Wow. Yep. Great point there. Of course, we’ve all heard if we’ve heard, uh, anything, how about toilet tissue in the first six months of 2028? We have certainly heard as much about the bullet effect and, you know, I kind of say that tongue in cheek, but one of the great things that we talk about every show, it seems like these days is that the amount of awareness that the challenge is one of the several linings here is the consumers heightened awareness of why global supply chain works and how it works and why certain things take place outside a great silver lining to all these challenges.
Jeremy Newhouse (31:44):
One of the things maybe get you to respond to a bit, Jeremy, um, just earlier this morning, Greg and I had the good fortune of spending some time with, um, Dominic there’s wine. Cool is wrinkles who is with people that deliver, which is affiliated with UNICEF and her friend and colleague Jenny Froome was say pics. And of course they’ve done a lot of work on Africa, much like somewhat you’re referencing. And of course, a lot of work that vector does. And I learned this new phrase that I’ve definitely is, is a real thing in, and those that are in an international programs is no product, no program. And of course, as the lover of all things, supply chain and my lens, I listened through that phrase through, it’s very clear if we can’t deliver what it is we’re delivering, then nothing happens. Right. So how does that, okay, how does that sound to you? And, and is that, is that something y’all kind of rally too?
Jeremy Newhouse (32:39):
Absolutely. I mean, without, without that, you can’t do anything. You can have good feelings about something, but without it, without something to handle, to actually be able to help no product, no delivery, no program is the right, is the right man, the right thinking to have. And I think, I think you even have to broaden that out a little bit more, you know, this crisis was a medical crisis was, and you’re starting to see that and you know, the need for PVP and all that, but, but it also disrupts many other things. So what we saw also, it’s almost like I’ve seen this movie before thing when, when Ebola happened and, and many of these development, fragile economies, when, when there is a medical crisis, actually the secondary effects can be bigger than the primary crisis. So the secondary effect of COVID is disruption of food release and food, food, food security, and food channels.
Jeremy Newhouse (33:23):
And so we’ve never gotten more requests from our Africa partners for food, um, in this last four, three months than we’ve ever had in our history as an organization. So yes, the immediate focus is on the supply of, of, of medical needs, but actually we’ve had more requests for food than medical from our hospital, from our, from our, from our Africa partners. So it’s just like the secondary effects keep on connection. So sometimes you’re bigger and more harmful. And that was the case with Ebola as well. Um, the malnutrition and the suffering from food, food insecurity w was in many cases in many countries worse than the, than the effects of the fall.
Scott Luton (34:01):
Hey, real quick, Greg, I know you’re going to make sure folks can connect with Jeremy and matter momentarily, but Greg, do you ever feel like we’re a B, and as we go from flower to flower or podcast conversation to podcast conversation, it’s the little snippets that stick between our ears and that spills right over into the next conversation. There’s so many common threads. It is right.
Jeremy Newhouse (34:23):
There are so many common threads and it comes from the fact of
Jeremy Newhouse (34:29):
that. We’re trying to solve problems in a very similar using a very similar platform, that being supply chain. Right. Mmm. So, yeah, I mean, I th I was thinking that, exactly that phrase, uh, just before you said it, right. No product, no program, um, and how poignant that particular discussion is, and Jeremy, you added to that perfectly, all the good intentions and all the good efforts and all of the, all of the preparation and, and, uh, initiatives don’t matter unless we deliver. Right. And Mmm. And that’s, you know, that’s, so that’s such an important part, but yeah, you’re right. It’s amazing how often these things tie together.
Scott Luton (35:17):
Jeremy Newhouse (35:17):
Well, so let’s, um, so let’s talk about how people can reach out to you. Obviously they can go to matter.ngo, your website, how else can people reach you or reach the organization? Yeah, I mean, I guess the website, they can reach us on Twitter, on Facebook, on an installment matter, underscore NGO, uh, is the, is the best way to find us on our Twitter or Instagram or Facebook. And of course our website, I guess, if they wanted to engage right now, um, obviously Minneapolis is the epicenter of this crisis that is spreading of injustice that is spreading around the world and, and needs and needs to be addressed. And so our, again, our response is food, um, and what we can do to help help these communities that are hurting at the moment. So if they went to our website, they can just scroll down and see, um, there, there there’s, there’s one in there called COVID response and also for, for helping pack food.
Jeremy Newhouse (36:11):
So they could easily do that. It’s a, it’s a a hundred dollars and they get a box of food of food that they then assemble into these matter packs. And they can either distribute that locally or ship them back to us. And we distributed them here in Minneapolis. So that’s a, that’s an easy way. I think of another one is if they know of a company are, are, are, are an organization that has product either in the medical or food space that we could, I have a conversation with them about donating to some of those words. I’ve always looking to [inaudible] you get more, more engaged with, uh, great companies that could make a big difference. And then I think lastly, Mmm, just the message that you matter, like you have eyes and ears, you, you, you can see what’s needed in your communities and the places that you travel and work, and don’t, don’t, don’t think that’s somebody else’s job.
Jeremy Newhouse (36:59):
That’s the, our mission is to help empower you to go make a change. We want to listen to your ideas and then help you refine those ideas. And ultimately if we can, we want to help you implement that. That’s fantastic. Thank you, Jeremy. I appreciate that. And I bet you’re going to get some outreach, uh, as well. So, um, and you talked about how you’re addressing not just the, uh, immediate crisis in Minneapolis, but also some of your COVID-19 initiatives. And I know in Rica, you and the team. Okay. Uh, Lisa and the team at yeah. A vector have and initiative around COVID. Can you share a little bit of that with us also? Yes, of course. When we, um, we saw the pandemic coming from the very beginning and China, and so we started shipping, uh, so mass from Mexico to China back in November.
Jeremy Newhouse (37:51):
And so we’ve been following this crisis worldwide crisis from China to our friends who need to leave, which we also helped. And when it hit the U S we decided to launch this new task force and, and really tried to mainly do two things, one, um, called the middlemen. Cause we believe that this has become like a, like a mass is the summary of it, but it’s really just inefficient, uh, corrupt, shady industry. And it’s not helping anyone, uh, close deals quickly enough for PP to go to the hands of, uh, line workers and first responders and people that really, really need them. Right. There’s just brokers brokers now. So there’s just, everyone’s trying to broker a, so the main, the first,
Greg White (38:36):
our first thought was we have the context in Asia. We know, uh, agents, we have the sourcing, let’s just try to cut the middleman and try to help people, uh, get this fast. The other thing is just helping, helping, uh, as many of those organizations as we possibly can. So for every, um, shipment or tray that we can dog, we’re donating to different organizations here in Atlanta, one of them loft beyond walls. We had the pleasure of interviewing Terrence Leicester, uh, on one of our episodes. And, um, the one thing that everyone, the one thing that they told us to do when this started was wash your hands and stay home. Well, homeless people don’t have either, right? So, so through his organization and the amazing job that he’s doing with, uh, a campaign called, uh, law of sinks and has been putting all this portable, uh, sinks around the cities. Uh, and so we’re trying to help him raise, uh, money. And then also supplying, we’re trying to supply at least a hundred thousand masks for it, for the homeless. Those are the couple of things that we’ve been doing. Everyone else is doing in our team, different things with other organizations, but those are the main, more corporate ones that we have outstanding. So share a little bit about how folks can, uh, reach out to you, either on these initiatives or
Scott Luton (39:55):
Greg White (39:56):
global as well. Yeah, they can, they can look us up on our, uh, through our webpage, uh, vector vector, gl.com. And, uh, we’re going to be launching a new one in a couple more weeks. So we’re all very excited about that. The, uh, the other way of doing it is just reaching out to me directly on my email. It’s Enrique, R I T E dot [inaudible] at vector gl.com. Uh, or they can just go to our Instagram as well and look us up.
Scott Luton (40:27):
I can also look up Chicos, Instagram. She has way more fans that’s right. So the clue to audience in their Chica is vectors mascot. And what kind of, what kind of dog is that Enrique Chico?
Greg White (40:42):
She’s an Australian lever doodle and she’s basically our dog, but
Scott Luton (40:46):
yeah, lots of personality. Love it. Uh, alright. So, um, so much to cover so little time, what a great, I mean, gosh, hours flung right past Jeremy, thanks so much for what you and the matter team are doing. Uh, I mean,
Scott Luton (41:01):
such critical work noble mission, and, and, you know, y’all were doing that before the pandemic environment, and now the need is, as you put, it is even greater and the challenges are even greater. So really appreciate what you do. Hopefully you hear from some of our listeners and we look forward to bringing you back on the program, um, maybe later in the year to kind of get an update and what you and the matter team, uh, have, have been able to get accomplished Jeremy new house, senior vice president of operations for matter. Thanks so much, Jeremy. Thanks for having us. You bet. All right. Thank you, Jeremy. And of course we couldn’t do this without the vector team, and we love our logistics with purpose series. It’s just not a bit cheesy, but it is the heart and soul of why we love supply chain while global supply chain so important and all the talented people that make things happen in the industry. Um, so one thing in Ricky Alvarez, of course, managing director with vector global logistics and his colleague Elisa Rodriguez, also with vector. Great to see you both once again.
Scott Luton (42:01):
Thank you, Scott. You bet. Thanks Greg. Thanks. See ya. Alright, Greg man, uh, I’m, I’m scared to ask you your one key takeaway because it might be a 42 minute takeaway, but amazingly it’s a very simple one. Um, and I think the discovery that we’ve had here, especially considering, uh, Jeremy’s upbringing and, um, and you know, how, how that has manifested itself in what matter does is that like Enrique and the folks at vector logistics and, and so many of the folks that we interviewed Terrance, of course, yeah. Love beyond walls. It’s not, um, giving forward is not what, it’s not what they do. It’s who they are. Hmm. It is a giving spirit. It is a part of their being, it is a part not only of their core values and worldview. It’s just an unstoppable force within okay. To give Mmm [inaudible]. It is, it’s just who they are.
Scott Luton (43:12):
Yep. So that, that, that comes through loud and clear, you know, in, in talking to Jeremy that’s right. These are people that are driving change and you know, will come with that comes the need to drive even more tougher change, but it’s got to happen. And supply chain is going to lead and own that note. We invite all of our listeners. If you liked this conversation. I mean, it, it makes my week for sure, uh, check out our other, uh, programming and supply chain. I radio.com, check us out on our podcast, wherever you get yours from. Um, you know, we’ve got some tough weeks and months ahead, undoubtedly, from a variety of perspectives. But again, this is what we’re called to do. Uh, so with that said, uh, we look forward to you rejoining us for future programming, rest assured much brighter days for all lie ahead. So on that note, Scott Luton and Greg white signing off, we look forward to y’all joining us again on chain now. Thanks everybody.
Would you rather watch the show in action? Watch as Scott and Greg welcome Elisa Rodriguez Duron, Enrique Alvarez, and Jeremy Newhouse to Supply Chain Now through our YouTube channel.
Jeremy Newhouse is Vice President and CFO of MATTER- an international NGO committed to helping expand access to health in the neediest parts of the world. Jeremy has traveled and worked in 50 countries. He joined MATTER in 2013 following extensive international experience working in Congo and Tanzania in education, microfinance initiatives, and entrepreneurship development. While studying for his MBA at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, Jeremy was a founding member of Microfinance Alliance that promoted microfinance awareness throughout Minneapolis and at the UofM. In his role as board member for Microfinance Alliance, Jeremy spoke at the 2008 Peace Prize Forum along with Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus and other dignitaries. While pursuing his MBA, Jeremy was a broker and field trainer for Edward Jones financial services. Jeremy was recruited to St. Cloud State University where he became the first director of the SCSU Micro Loan Program- assisting SCSU in design and development of the first university run microloan program in the Midwest. Jeremy holds a B.A. in Divinity and Masters in Business Administration. Jeremy currently lives in Minneapolis with his wife Jessica, sons Orion and Oscar, and daughters Selah and Keziah.
Elisa Rodriguez Duron was born in Mexico City. She completed her bachelor’s degree in International Business from the Autonomous University of Aguascalientes and she also has studied abroad in Seville, Spain for six months in the University of Seville. She is adaptable and compatible with others. She knows what’s right in tough situations. She is responsible, honest, and she loves to help others. She likes to exercise and learn new things. It’s easy for her to make new friends. She really loves to travel and know new cultures. She has been working at Vector Global Logistics since 2017 in Sales. For her, Vector is a new beginning and a way to grow professionally and personally by helping others with small actions that cause a great impact in the world.
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: http://vectorgl.com/
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