“At the end of the day, it’s all about building that community around you continually to engage and, you know, be there for them through their struggles, understand what their needs are. And hopefully you’re the one that they to actually solve those issues and problems.”

– John Buglino Director of Marketing at Optessa


Despite the expansion of technology, a significant portion of work is still done manually, often using spreadsheets. Not only is that slow and inefficient, it opens the door to unacceptably high levels of risk – even under the best working conditions. The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn stark comparisons between the firms that were able to pivot (and pivot back) and those that fell victim to their lack of investment in technology.

John Buglino is the Director of Marketing at Optessa, an advanced planning and scheduling software provider that assists manufacturers optimize their planning, scheduling, and sequencing.

In this conversation, John speaks about the moment companies realize there ‘has to be a better way’ with Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Scott Luton and Greg White about:

  • Why companies need centralized technology with ‘core values’ that can be managed and manipulated but maintained if they hope to make informed decisions quickly.
  • The importance of community and industry credibility to any company’s ability to connect with their target market and establish a brand identity.
  • The acceleration of Industry 4.0 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and how the ‘dark factory’ has the potential to revolutionize the capabilities of technology and the efficiency that industry can achieve.

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 (00:28):

Hey, good afternoon, Scott Luton and Greg white here with your own supply chain. Now welcome to today’s show on today’s show. We’re talking with a business leader from an organization that is on a mission to be the best at solving complex problems, especially for many factors. So stay tuned for what should be a very informative discussion that will raise your supply chain. Acute Greg white. How are you doing today? I’m doing well, Scott, how are you? I’m doing fantastic. I think this is going to continue, uh, quite a street we’ve been on. Huh? Yeah, I’m really looking forward to this. I feel like my supply chain IQ is already been increased from previous episodes today, but yeah, I’m looking forward to talking to John. Oh, sorry. That’s okay. Cause we’re almost there only a quick programming note before we get to introducing our feature guests that we’re looking forward to.

Scott Luton (01:21):

So on that quick programming note, before we get started, Hey, if you enjoy today’s episode, we invite you to check out the rest of our podcast programming. We publish new episodes at least Monday through Friday, as our aim is to cover the global end to end supply chain. Find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from. Alright, Greg white with no further ado. Let’s bring in our featured guest, mr. John [inaudible] director of marketing with op Tessa. John, how are you doing? I’m doing well, Scott and Greg. How’s everything with you guys. We’re doing well. Good to talk to you again. Absolutely. But you know, this show has been in the works, John, you and your team have been, gosh, y’all have, I don’t think you’re, you’ve been sleeping in that. Y’all really, despite some challenging sets of circumstances that most companies are enduring. I’ve really have grown and you’ve got a lot of projects and developments taking place. We’re gonna dive more into that momentarily, but great to finally get you back into the studio here at supply chain. Now thank you for having me and it’s great. It’s great to be here. All right. So Greg, you and I really were enjoying some of the, uh, athletic stories. John was sharing. Just appreciate it. We’ll see if we can dive into that.

Scott Luton (02:35):

But John, for starters, tell us if you would, let’s get our audience to have the opportunity to get to know you as much as Greg and I have enjoyed. So tell us where you’re from and you know, you got to give up the goods, give us a story or two from your upbringing. All right. Yeah. So, um, I was actually born in Staten Island, New York and still have family there. But, um, my parents moved when I was 11 months old and I’ve been

John Buglino (03:00):

Living in New Jersey, central, New Jersey, um, the County, uh, ever since our beautiful family, two boys and wife of 10 years, uh, they keep me in check and keep me in line and active. And I would say, you know, over the course of the 10 years, my wife has just continues to be boggled by the fact that I just cannot stand whipped cream at, in any form. Um, going to weddings was particularly problematic because you know, they bring up the strawberry shortcake and everyone’s like, Oh, have this cake. And I’m like, no, I’m good. No, thanks.

Scott Luton (03:33):

You don’t like whipped cream? No,

John Buglino (03:36):

No, I do not. Not at all. I think it’s just a texture thing. And I think when I was younger, I think I expected to be something different and I’ve just completely let down and ever since I won’t touch it, my boys love it. My wife loves it and just not me. Wow. Yeah. So that’s always, always a fun, always a fun thing, you know, we’d go to barbecues and things like that and Nope. No thank you. I’ll pass. Oh, no, please. No, I will. I will run very far in the other direction.

Scott Luton (04:10):

So you mentioned, uh, your family and when you think about your upbringing clearly born in New York and, and spend a lot of your formative years in New Jersey, what have you been able to share with your two children that you’ve really, obviously it’s not whipped cream, but what have you really enjoyed during your upbringing that you’re now able to share with your two kids?

John Buglino (04:30):

I’m very active. I was always active with my, my father when he was either building something or doing something outside. I was, I was constantly on his heels, you know, over his shoulder, probably more in the way than helping, you know, but I thought I was helping. And you know, I’m starting to see that with my two boys, every time I go outside and do any kind of yard work or project around the house, you know, the right of my brother, my heels, and I’m explaining things to them. And, you know, while they’re in the way at times, you know, it’s good because I want them to learn. I want them to see and I want them to gain those experiences. And I think that’s a lot of what I do even in my professional life has just grow through experience. And, you know, if you have to learn by watching countless videos until you get a ride, or if you have to pay someone to at least show you at first, but then you, you do it, you’re your own the next time around. I think it’s very important to get that experience and get in there to really learn about things. And it helps you grow. And then, you know, later on in life, it’ll be, Oh yeah, I remember how to do that. And that one day, and I remember my dad taught me this so constant life lessons and just continuing to just experience things and new things every day.

Scott Luton (05:40):

That’s really good learn by getting in the way I like that actually. Yeah. I mean, that’s pretty much how we’ve all done it, I think. Right. And it wasn’t until we were adults or parents that we realized we were really in the way. And if you didn’t realize that until you were an adult, your parents did a great job of convincing

Greg White (05:58):

You, you were actually helping. I love that. So one of the quick question, cause Greg, we’re going to dive into John’s professional journey, but if you could John foreshadowing a bit from your schooling, why, why do you think you’re in a manufacturing supply chain technology, you know, greater in supply chain now based on something you love to do as, as a, as a kid or a student or what have you. Yeah, I think, yeah,

John Buglino (06:25):

It’s again, going back to just learning through experience. And I think there’s just, I’ve always gravitated towards marketing branding and just showcasing companies, you know, and make sure that their value is, is properly portrayed, you know, to the greater audience and communities and just getting the word out there and, you know, even, you know, studying at Seton hall and just gravitating towards those courses and just understanding like consumer behavior, buying behaviors, trends, analysis, analyzing data, things that are happening around you at all times. And I think, you know, supply chain, you know, there’s constantly things, you know, take the pandemic out of it. You know, there was, there’s always a lot going on and all this pandemic has done is accelerated a number of things around supply chain. And I think it’s just a great time to be a part of it. I think there’s a lot of resources available. There’s a lot of content going around and I think this is an excellent time to learn and like depth and time to experience. And also, you know, this is, again something that, you know, we’re not all accustomed to, but we’ll, we’re gonna learn or make some States, but at the end of the day, you know, this too shall pass and we’ll all be better for it.

Greg White (07:34):

No doubt. Yeah. I mean, we’re, we’re learning by getting in the way. Right, right now. Absolutely strangely, um, well, that’s, that’s cool. And I really appreciate that learning spirit, first of all, you’re teaching. Right. And, and recognizing how you learn and how to continue to learn. So that’s, that’s really important and you’re right, man, this is such an incredible space right now as if it wasn’t before, but now people actually know what we do, John, so I know secrets out, Greg. Right. I know we’re going to actually have to perform because we can’t just say we do that magic that nobody really understands anymore. Exactly. So let’s talk a little bit about your professional journey right after you stopped helping I’m doing air quotes, John, after you stopped helping your dad tell us a little bit about kind of where you came from, how your career progressed till you got to, you know, to your current role,

John Buglino (08:25):

Right out of college, right out of Seton hall, you know, landed a job, doing focus, group marketing. And it was basically just brands coming to us and having questions answered about, you know, what color do they want the next ice pop to be? And what’s the next flavor combination and things like that. And it turned out to be a little bit more of a internship, you know, temporary kind of, kind of piece there and, you know, kind of just get some experience learned a little bit and made some friends and, you know, made some connections. Um, my first real corporate job was with a New York community bank and I was their marketing assistant. And, you know, that was like my first real like, Oh, corporate America here I am. You know, and I, I just want to do a good job and I want to just run through every wall that they give me.

John Buglino (09:07):

I’m not going to climb over. I’m just going to run through them. And it’s such a great job. And, you know, I, I again learned and, you know, had some great, great mentors and individuals. I still speak to, to this day, you know, coach me and help me nurture my, my professional appearances and, and help me and guide me along the way. I would say my first real marketing experience where I really dove into lead generation demand generation and branding is when an HR technology provider based locally in New Jersey. And when I started with the company, you know, we were the underdog in the space and the goal of the company was to become number one in space. Wow. And I was with that company for almost four years. And in that time, you know, we went from the underdog to top three to now, today they are the number one provider of applicant tracking software in the HR space.

John Buglino (10:00):

And I’m telling you right now, there’s no one that’s even close to them. And I learned, I can’t even tell you the amount of lessons I learned with that company and the individuals that I work with there and the team I built and the team I lost and the team that I still talk to today, you know, those relationships are just sticking with me and I just can’t take, thank any of them enough for, for what’s going on. The biggest and most humbling part of that journey was, you know, it always felt like I had to be the smartest person in the room and you always had to be on your game and you always had to be worried about everyone else, but yourself. But when I surrounded myself with people that were smarter than me, I realized that we were stronger and I was able to just leverage and get more out of the team around me than me just doing it as an individual contributor early in my career.

John Buglino (10:53):

I found that when I was, you know, running through those walls, like I mentioned, you know, I found myself in empty rooms and by myself at the other side of it, and there was no one around me had no one to celebrate success with. I had no one that I could talk to. There was just, I just felt I was on the top, you know, as lonely at the top, you know? So when I’ve learned that the build the team and build a core around me, you know, it protected me. It also made me grow, made me a better manager, made me a better person professionally. And you know, I still carry those lessons. Um, when I left that company, I, I, you know, worked for another individual, a company, and we were working on a hermetic packages and in that industrial space, and again, I can’t even tell you the life lessons I learned there and the people I met and their business acumen was unmatched and anything I’ve ever seen. And now what of Tessa, it’s the same thing. I’m taking all those lessons that I’ve learned from, you know, that young marketing assistant, running through the walls, to that marketing manager, collaborating with teams of 10, 12 people to now back to building what accompany that again, the sky’s the limit, you know, we’re, we’re looking, we’re reaching high and we’re hitting goals and we’re getting more active and we’re doing things that others are not doing. And, you know, that’s something that I’m proud of and that’s sometime we continue to do.

Greg White (12:19):

That’s a really great recognition, right? You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room. I’ve found it often that person who’s completely comfortable with being the dumbest person in the room. And somehow you look at them and go, they’re not dumb. They’re questioning whatever it is. We’re discussing somehow that I fail to describe that properly. And I think people take that spirit. They take that clearly this person is trying to help solve problems with us, not for us. And, uh, it becomes a great collaborative environment. That’s, that’s a really mature discovery. And I think that’s a really good lesson for everyone out there. Tell us a little bit about Tessa. So tell us what the company does. And then I’d like to understand what is it you do all day?

John Buglino (13:07):

I do so much. I do so much

Greg White (13:11):

As far as, as far as anyone knows you do so much. Yeah, no, no, no. That’s great. Now let tell us a little bit about Tessa and then your job is never what your job description is. So I’m always fascinated to know what else you do. And I’m Tessa.

John Buglino (13:24):

We are an advanced planning, scheduling software provider, and our best clients are accomplished manufacturers that are struggling with optimization, whether that’s planning, scheduling, sequencing, you know, we’re, we’re just using our software to make their lives easier, gain efficiencies, save money, and just improve their day to day to new Heights. You know, there’s just more and more that our customers are able to do and things that they never even thought they could do before implementing are implementing our software. And a lot of what I’ve been doing on a day to day, don’t let my wife tell you, all I do is plan social media all day, but a lot of it is the branding, the building, the brand, building a community around you, making sure that you’re continually providing value, and it’s not all about selling. You know, you can sell to you’re blue in the face.

John Buglino (14:19):

I’m telling you right now, you’re just going to be again, you’re going to be alone. You have to continue to provide value to your community as you’re building it. And they will find you. Everyone knows you have a website or you have some method of contacting the company to learn more or a demo and things like that. But at the end of the day, it’s all about building that community around you continually to engage and, you know, be there for them through their struggles, understand what their needs are. And hopefully you’re the one that they to actually solve those issues and problems. Fortunate enough to do that for very large global auto OEMs compost manufacturers around the world have seen these, this value. And we’re building that community around it to provide more value and to tell more about our story, to hopefully land more customers and increase our use of software.

Greg White (15:16):

I have to ask this question, because something you said earlier made me think about this and that is that they’re doing more than they ever thought they could. So what is that aha moment that, Oh my gosh, I didn’t even know I could do this. Or what is that aha moment? Or when someone, you know, here’s, I love asking this question. If I am, if I am in my office, probably home office right now. Right. But if I’m in my office and I’ve got some sort of pain on my mind or a problem or a nagging, I know I’ve got a problem, but I don’t know what the solution is. What is that? That if I call up Tessa, I’m going to have that aha moment. Oh my gosh. I didn’t know I could attack it that way. I didn’t know. That could be the solution. I didn’t know. This is, you know, this is what they could do for me.

John Buglino (16:06):

It’s exactly what you said. Like everyone that’s sitting there and they’re in their office, wherever that may be, you know, work from anywhere here. It’s when you have that moment, when you go, there has to be a better way. That’s where we come in and there is a better way, you know, I can sit here and, and, you know, I can tell you, you know, we have patented algorithms that are helping our software and power behind the scenes, but there are so many little things that our software can do to improve. Your day to day example would be eliminate spreadsheets. You know, you have individuals that are sitting there with manual manipulation of spreadsheets to accomplish schedules, whether that’s workforce or over time, or just scheduling that one line in an assembly line, doing that manually is painstakingly manual. And there’s so much room for error.

John Buglino (16:53):

And if those errors do come up, now you have to redo all that work. You know, when you have to redo all these different, these different pieces and you could lose days, even weeks, what, you know, errors that we have seen with our customers and, you know, we have those moments and yes, there is, you know, and you know, there’s always that apprehension with software. It’s like, Oh, here we go. We got to buy more. And it’s more than an investment, but we’ve actually have been able to show value to our potential clients before we even signed a deal. So in the proof of concepts that we do complete, we’re able to show that value. Even before we get a full look at the data or the plan or the schedule or what the current situation is on that, in that manufacturing facility. And we help them have those aha moments and we help them realize that there is a better way.

Greg White (17:43):

That is great. I have to say, quote, the great Jerry Maguire. You had me at spreadsheets. I mean,

John Buglino (17:50):

I think, I mean, you know, we’ve talked a lot about that, John, I’m sure you have too, that in this time, right? So many companies have manual processes or spreadsheet driven processes. And if they survive this seismic societal disruption, right? This incredible disruption of business, I hope they apply the lesson that they could not manage it with a spreadsheet very quickly after this into solutions that are more systemic, as you said, they’re more sustainable and accountable because the data isn’t in a spreadsheet or a cell of a spreadsheet, or being manipulated by formula in a spreadsheet, it exists somewhere as a core value that can be pulled out and managed and manipulated, but maintained. And it’s in its pristine state. So that’s really good. That’s a really good perspective. All right, Scott, I know you’ve got a question,

Scott Luton (18:42):

You know, once you go beyond spreadsheets, you lose me, Greg. So I defer to you and John, the technology gurus of the conversation. Hey, John, I really admire what you were saying earlier about building that community, building your relationships, even in this, you know, work from home digital era we’re in now, I was chatting just earlier today with another marketing leader, another marketing powerhouse for a different technology organization. And he was speaking the same language. And he also went on to say how counterintuitively that you can really build relationships during this time, unlike what they had predicted say at the end of 2019. So if you could just expand a little bit more on this, on this clearly building a sense of community is so important to what you’re leading there and what Optus is doing. Could you expound just more on that force?

John Buglino (19:39):

And it goes beyond all these zoom meetings and all these other meetings that people are having and, and, you know, they have this meeting fatigue and things like that that are happening, you know, while people are, you know, kind of tethered to their desk or their mobile device to, to grab the information. I think there’s an unbelievable time right now to provide value and build that community. Because if you are consistently every day working to provide content news insights interviews, and just give people small bite sized takeaways or conversation starters and things that are happening in industry, they’re going to keep coming back for more. And it’s going to help you build that credibility and get individuals to talk about your brand when you’re not around to gravitate to your website, to your blog, to your social channels, to see what did I miss? What did I miss?

John Buglino (20:36):

What do I need to know? How do I start my day? How do I end my day? And I think that’s a lot of what’s coming out here and there’s no shortage of content out there, you know? So you do have to apply a couple of, to make sure, you know, you’re not just drowning in recaps and updates from your, your favorite channels, but I think you’ve hired the right filters. And I think if you just continue to funnel that to your community, they’re going to come to you and they’re going to rely on you. And there’s going to be conversations that happen on a daily basis that are not on meetings or not on the phone. They’re going to be through social channels, direct messages and things like that. And it’s, it’s completely different way to communicate. It’s, it’s changing the way I market.

John Buglino (21:22):

It’s changing the way I go about my day. Going back February of this year to now, I can tell you I’ve done five different things, at least five things differently in February than I do today. And where I gather my news, how I communicate with my team, how I communicate with my community and the initiatives that we’re working on and things that are coming out very, very soon, these all in response to what’s been going on over the last 30, 60, 90 days. And we’re going to be better for it at the end of the day.

Scott Luton (21:50):

Alright. But one constant has not changed since February is no cool whip, right?

John Buglino (21:55):

I believe it.

Scott Luton (21:57):

So, John, um, correct me if I’m wrong because I’m pulling on some, some conversations we had way back when we first met. And if I’m not mistaken, op Tessa has grown largely organically without a huge investment in sales and marketing because of word of mouth within the industry. Is that, is that correct? That’s correct. Yep. So how exciting it is, it’s gotta be, especially as you know, your, you and your role as director of marketing, leading these efforts of, of taking this, this history of making things happen, you know, solving these complex problems, you know, finding that better way and getting that out. I bet you’ve got no shortage of content and we’ve seen that, you know, whether it’s, uh, you know, you appearing on our, our friend, Sarah Barnes, Humphrey let’s talk supply chain, you have been a part of the procurement Foundry stuff. It’s great to see companies really invest and double down on the relationships, the community, and then of course getting their best foot forward. And, and, and the story forward, right?

John Buglino (22:59):

It’s been incredible to work alongside you guys. And, and those others, you know, Sarah and Mike have been instrumental in my growth since starting up Tessa. And it’s been unbelievable. The last, you know, I started in, in February. So thinking about that, I started three weeks before it was like, okay, everyone go home. You know? And then it was just like, okay, work from anywhere. This is, this is very strange, but you know, at the same time we’ve been plugging away and we’ve been just constantly just trying to improve. And what, when I started with Tessa, the biggest piece that our CEO or my CEO is sugar and Mellie told me was time to get out of stealth mode. You’re here to get us out of stealth mode. We are too big and have too, too much of a valuable software to not have more people know about us. Word of mouth is great, but you can always kind of lightening striking the same spot over and over again. And we’ve been fortunate to land the customers that we have landed, but it’s time to get out of stealth mode and tell more of our story and grow our customer base through the branding and marketing efforts that my team and I are executing upon

Greg White (24:10):

Greg, that reminds me as good as the chiefs defense was in the run up to the super bowl. Chiefs went out on the offensive, right? Cause all that talent they had there and scored a ton of points. And there’s some kind of analogy here to what Optus is doing. Right. You know what I find it fascinating about? Well, first of all, Scott, let me say thank you again for mentioning chiefs and yes, this weekend on father’s day, that’s what I spent my afternoon doing, watching the super bowl for the 25th time. That is not an exaggeration, but you know what I find fascinating John, about what you’re saying is your company grew by word of mouth and social media. And the community building that you’re doing is the new age word of mouth. It’s just now you don’t have to be in the room with those people to spread word of mouth. So it’s interesting, the parallel there and interesting how you’ve taken that power of the word of mouth of up tests already and turned it in and given it a broader audience, a broader community to spread the word. Yeah, absolutely. That’s a good point, Greg. Alright. So out of all the developments, even just since February and before that, what’s one of the things John, that you and the team and part of that you’re most proud of. We have,

John Buglino (25:27):

I’ve been in constant communication with our customers and like always even before, you know, what’s been going on. And I think what we’re really proud of is the level of service we’re providing our customers. And, you know, I know a lot of you that are listening and part of this community know, you always have to go above and beyond for your customers. And, and that looks like 24 by seven service weekends, Wong nights, you know, working with customers around the world, you know, it’s those having those 3:00 AM conversations with their team to kind of figure out like, what’s, what’s going on. How do, how do we fix this? How do we get better? And we’re really partnering with our, our customers to pivot their manufacturing, to better on the stand they’re tier one, tier two tier supplier to better understand their inventory levels, what they can produce when they can produce it.

John Buglino (26:23):

And one of the biggest take away, some are meaning I had, one of my internal team members was we are helping companies not move one or two days worth of production plans. They’re moving weeks and months of plans and they’re doing it in a fraction of the time. So going back to those, I couldn’t even imagine the scale of which I was told of the production that’s being moved and the timeliness of it and how efficient we’ve made it. And we’d just been helping these customers prepare for when they want to go back online and prepare for when they can actually put the lights back on in their, their manufacturing facility safely. And it’s just been unbelievable the here and the, and also has been nice that the team has been recognized. You know, our clients from around the world have been reaching out to our team to give kudos, congratulations, and just constant email communication, going back and forth about all the great things that we’re doing.

John Buglino (27:24):

And it’s just been great to see. And I think the team really did, and it really is rising to the occasion as we speak right now, they’re, they’re on calls every day with the customers and it’s not even, you know, there’s no issues with the software. It’s literally just trying to have them better understand what they can be doing to stay operational upset. You know, some of them it stay afloat and some of them it’s okay, here’s what we’re going to plan. When we go back online three weeks, let us see what that looks like. What do we need? So we’re, we’re helping them lay that foundation by providing that unmatched customer support. And I just said hats off to my team. That’s just doing a day in, day out. And you know, like I said, all hours of the day and it’s, it’s, it’s something that I hope more companies are doing and I know we’re going to continue to do it.

Greg White (28:11):

No, Greg would, I like there, uh, amongst what John just shared is that out of all the things, all the big developments that have been taking place where Optimus Optus has had his name out or their thought leadership out or, or awareness from you, name it just since John’s been on board, his favorite part is where it’s impacting the client and what they’ve heard back from their customers. It echoes a sentiment we had earlier, uh, earlier today where a startup company working in manufacturing, as they look to tell their story, they’re leading with their customer and their business transformation, all about the customer. So many folks get that wrong. Right. Right. First of all, having that point of view in, in a company anywhere in any role is really exceptional. But I mean, John, your job is to get people in the door. Once they’re in the door, they’re not really your problem anymore, but that you engage with them.

Greg White (29:06):

Right? And you care that you deliver on the promise that you make with your marketing, that speaks volumes to you, your work ethic, and of course your company’s culture. So that’s really cool to see. I know you’re passionate about it and it is a strange time right now in the automotive industry. I mean, I’m interested in kind of what you’ve seen at least what you’ve seen, that you can share with us in terms of the disruption in the auto industry. And I know you were only three weeks into it when the whole thing kind of came down, but what kind of stands out at you as what’s changed in the marketplace, or maybe even, what do you, what surprised you about either the past conditions or the current conditions? You know, what are you thinking about? Biggest thing, you know, you hear about

John Buglino (29:56):

The scale of the operations with these manufacturers, you know, looking at auto and, and, and I really, what has surprised me is coming into this industry and seeing how quickly they were able to pivot when, when Nicole came and the world needed no longer needed cars, but needed other supplies, PPE, ventilators, things like that. It may have seen, like it took forever, you know, from an outsider point of view, but from the inside, it was daily that you saw these changes being made and the foundational work being done in these facilities and the training and the collaboration was just unbelievable to get that, you know, to the finish line. And now we have to get them back to what they were producing before. You know, I know we’re not out of the woods with the current situation, but now it’s, how do we safely get these plants back and operational, how do we get the workforce back?

John Buglino (30:56):

How do we get the lines running again and running the way they were 90 days ago? And I think the versatility of that industry, I know we’ll take a little bit of time for it to correct itself, you know, from a bottom line standpoint. But I mean, again, I just commend the entire, the entire crews of all these customers and manufacturers of how they were able to quickly pivot amidst these, these insurmountable odds and deliver on what was needed during these times. And not just always surprises me. And it has surprised me. And, you know, that’s just one example and I think too many people take for granted all it’ll happen, you know, give a time it’ll happen, but then there’s people that actually are making happen. And I just, it’s unbelievable to be a part of and to hear about and be a part of it are two totally separate things.

Greg White (31:51):

All right. Well, I’m going to ask you kind of a dichotomous question and that is, if you have to look back in retrospect or look into your crystal ball into the future, what really has your attention right now? I mean, whether it’s even in your industry or whether it has to do with supply chain or even marketing, what has got your attention? What are you fixated on to has your brainpower focused towards it

John Buglino (32:14):

Right now? And my conversation with my, all the leaders that have Tessa, you know, we’re very much focused on industry four Oh and or factory of the future, or however you want to call it and how we are going to play in that part of the acceleration of industry for all and what we can do to help organizations go to the dark factory. And it’s not that it’s a dark factory because happening, it’s a dark factor because the machines and everything is operating with a third of the workforce in there managing what’s going on there. Right. And I think a lot of what’s happening now is we are working to really showcase that Tessa is a building block as a part of a company’s industry for all plan, you know, right. You have to have a plan. You have to understand that initially four O is coming.

John Buglino (33:05):

You know, I think this pandemic is accelerating that a little bit. I think there’s a lot more that’s being done around it. And I think it’s also laying, you know, going back to, you know, spreadsheets, you know, the apprehension of going forward with software that has to go out the door, you know, there has to be, and there is a better way to do these things. And, you know, it’s people just need to continue to educate themselves on the value that softwares providers can can give. And I think looking at it from a capital investment standpoint and what people are doing, what their current tech stack is, you know, you have to find those integrations, you have to find those providers. And I’m not saying it’s up to us to, you know, it’s, you know, I know there’s all those in the space. Don’t get me wrong, but we’re doing the work and helping, and we are not looking to replace systems.

John Buglino (33:56):

We’re looking to, you know, the age old we’re bolting on, we’re going to bolt onto the systems, we’re going to improve it. And we’re going to show you the efficiencies you can gain. We can prove it out to you. We can, we will spend the time to prove it out. So I think industry for old building, being that building block for organizations and allowing us to be added onto the tech stack to improve efficiencies and save money and time and workforce and all things considered, I think is something that is on my radar is something that we’re continually looking to provide value on and content on. And it’s something that I think is coming sooner than later. Um, even given the state of what’s going on now,

Greg White (34:39):

No, I come from the planning and the forecasting space, but for retail, right. Retail and distribution and consumer goods manufacturing. So I get exactly what you’re talking about. I mean, what, it’s a little surprising to me, um, companies that are still working with spreadsheets, but even bragging about working with spreadsheets not long after this, um, not long after this pandemic started a major German car manufacturer was bragging about this amazing new solution they had with spreadsheets. And I just thought, okay, I hope that if they survive this, they’re smart enough to mature from that at some point. And, uh, I think you’re right. You know, I wonder I’m wondering out loud and maybe you have an answer to this, or at least a thought on it. John is, I wonder if this hasn’t even changed the perspective or the,

John Buglino (35:38):

Or the shape

Scott Luton (35:38):

Of what industry 4.0

John Buglino (35:41):

In the future. I hope it does. I hope it does change a little bit. And like I said, I hope it gets accelerated and I really feel, you know, I love that, that, that example and, you know, I had the same kind of, you know, grin on my face when I saw that first time, I was just like, Oh man, there’s a better way. You know, going back to it, like there was a better way, but you know, sometimes you got fall flat on your face and, you know, gotta take a lot of lumps before you, you learn to do better. And, you know, like I said, there’s, there’s a lot of apprehension when it comes to new software or, or changing, or, you know, getting out of your own way of, you know, a new way of doing things. And, you know, if more people are open to it and just give people the chance to actually showcase and show the value, I think it’d be untapped potential, you know, what, what can be done.

John Buglino (36:33):

And, you know, like I said, I just, I really just hope that it shines a light, that there is something better coming and that it’s not something scary and it’s going to be a way to improve. And you know, we’re going to improve one area and it’s just gonna open up time for us to improve in all the areas. You know, you’re just going to shift your time to do something that you haven’t been able to do before. And it’s going to lead to continual improvement and just optimization and efficiencies gained. And it’s going to be having, sitting there going, I can’t believe we did that for so long that way, and I would never want it, you know, did we ever survive without, how did we ever do that? Exactly. Have those moments of like, man, I cannot believe we did that. You know? And I’m hope we’re, I hope we’re there sooner than later, to be honest with you.

Scott Luton (37:19):

Wow. So three undeniable truths, I believe, I think number one, folks will continue to clean to their spreadsheets. Number two, we are moving and you’re, you were both, we’re talking to it. We’re going to continue to move in faster. And the pace at meeting the customer’s demands, the sheer, the mans themselves, the speed at which we have to not just react, but get out in front of things, all that speeding up. And number three is that spreadsheet macros can only do so much, uh, there’s a time to switch over to better, better ways. And that’s certainly what it seems like you and the op Tessa team are offering and have offered for years, the industry. So I love that. We’re gonna have to have you come to come back on and, and give us an update on all the, all the big community you’re building and, and what else in store for not just your team, but of course, the industries that you serve, let’s make sure Greg that folks know how to get in touch, not just with John [inaudible], but also the up Tessa team. So John, uh, how can folks connect?

John Buglino (38:29):

We relaunched our website of tesla.com. So I invite you in the community to go on and check us. Uh, we’re very active, uh, myself included on, on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, uh, we have a nice presence there. And again, we’re, we’re building that community and providing that value and same thing of tests that can be found on all major social networks, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and I really would invite the community to give us a follow, give us a like, engage with us. We’re very active on there. Um, yes, it’s a question we’ll respond to you in a timely manner and yeah. Looking forward to engage in the community. And absolutely we’ll love to come back on and give a progress update of all the things I’m doing and all things that are happening. And, you know, as we, uh, look to eliminate those spreadsheets and move forward to better ways, including you, Scott,

Scott Luton (39:21):

I’m clinging to my spreadsheets that I am guilty as charged Greg. I’ll tell you this, there so much here that, that you and I could dissect for the days of come. But one thing is, is also an arguable and that is the passion that John brings to the table. It is, it is overflowing. I mean, it’s easy to pick up on within the first few seconds of, of this interview.

John Buglino (39:44):

Well that, and you know, the diverse expertise that he brings to the auto industry and the way that he has created this parallel between their current word of mouth market marketing, or former word of mouth marketing and how they’re marketing word of mouth worldwide now, and really creating a greater presence for Tessa. It’s, it’s really impressive. And, you know, and again, John, it’s, it’s, um, a Testament to you and the way that you work, that you, the marketing cat are so engaged, uh, and so caring for the, for the customers. Uh, I think that that bodes well for this company for a long, long time.

Scott Luton (40:26):

All right, well, John [inaudible] director of marketing with op Tessa, this has been a long time coming. Great to have you on the show. Finally, really have enjoyed this conversation, appreciate where you kind of just your overall approach and disposition of how you’re tackling this and how you, how you tackle industry. And, um, I wish you and the op test team all the best and we’ll have you back on real soon.

John Buglino (40:50):

That’s great. I really do appreciate the time Scott and Greg, this was a lot of fun and yeah, looking forward to the next time and I really do appreciate it. Get those lines rolling, John. Alright.

Scott Luton (41:05):

I’ve been talking with John Rubino again with the op Tessa team, and you can learn more at op Tessa. Oh, P T E S S a.com. You can also find it in the show notes of today’s episode. All right. So Greg, before I close this out, you know, not to ask you the same question twice, but I’m going to come close to ask you the same question twice. What was your, what was your favorite takeaway from today’s conversation with John McGlynn? You know, the fact that

Greg White (41:34):

You’re taking a company that was relatively successful, right. Obviously really successful. If you look, if you look at their roster of customers, they haven’t gotten them all since February, since John got here. If you think about a company that was relatively successful in how he’s transformed the identity and the market reach of a company in a really, really tight market. I mean, most people on the planet can probably name the entirety of their at least OEM customer base, right? So it’s a tough, tough market, and it’s really tight. And to be able to make waves and make headway in that marketplace, when, as, as you alluded to Scott, Pete, some people are clinging to those spreadsheets and to help them into this new normal, to help them not only survive this current situation, but to thrive in the future. I think it’s, it’s really as much a great cause.

Greg White (42:29):

It is as it is a great solution and company. Yup, absolutely. And, and, you know, to add to that, uh, I love no. I mean, you heard a lot of leadership and, and, and frankly vision from John, but the have company leadership say, Hey, as John, put it quote time to get out of stealth mode and go on the offensive. I mean, think about the timing that they were making that decision. And, and, and, um, they weren’t, I mean, from what I could hear, they weren’t reacting in terms of timing. They weren’t reacting. They were proactively saying, Hey, we’ve got all these success. These years of success. Let’s get out there and get to know more people and let more people know us. So I love those kinds of stories because it’s not about sitting on your, you know, your laurels. It’s not sitting on what just what’s working.

Greg White (43:17):

It’s about going bigger and hitting a bigger home run. So I’ve enjoyed this show, always a pleasure, Greg, Greg white, as we were talking with John McClendon, what’s up test today. And I think on that note, we’re going to close it out. Do we have to always a pleasure and folks hope you enjoy this conversation as much as Greg and I both have, uh, as we chatted it for the last hour with John [inaudible], again, director of marketing with [inaudible] dot com on behalf of Greg white. Now we invite you to check out all of our offerings at supply chain. Now radio.com, whether they’re podcasts or webinars or some of our upcoming events, you name it. However we can, we can deliver thought leadership to you. Of course, find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from on behalf of our entire team here again, Scott Luton, Greg white, wishing all of our listeners, nothing but the best. Hey, do good. Give forward. Be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see you next time.

Would you rather watch the show in action?  Watch as Scott and Greg welcome John Buglino to Supply Chain Now through our YouTube channel.

John Buglino brings his experience in lead generation, marketing automation, and social media marketing to Optessa. Started out his career with New York Community Bancorp as a marketing assistant and later worked for iCIMS and the Hermetic Solutions Group in versatile roles driving new business and elevating the brand within their respective industries. John holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing and advertising from Seton Hall University.


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: www.trefoiladvisory.com


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. Follow Scott Luton on Twitter at @ScottWLuton and learn more about Supply Chain Now here: https://supplychainnowradio.com/


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