Supply Chain Now Episode 464

“We, as a community of supply chain professionals, need to position ourselves in such places where we are the ones making the final call. If you need to trust the government for final mile delivery, and there’s no one in the government with supply chain experience, how will they know what is important?”

Sofia Rivas Herrera, Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey


There are many routes people take to start a career in supply chain. Sofia Rivas Herrera’s journey started in a class on inventory management at a school that didn’t offer the supply chain courses she wanted to take. So, she made the most of her exchange semester, registering for a full course load of supply chain studies.

Unlike professionals with 30-40 years of operational supply chain experience, Sofia sees the consumer as being at the heart of everything supply chains should be designed to deliver – a unique and important perspective that she shares with her current colleagues in the travel industry.

In this conversation, Sofia shares her passion for supply chain with Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton:

· Why skills in data literacy are an absolute must, and analytical coding and programming skills are even better

· The creative approaches she has seen airlines and airports take to continue generating revenue despite the sudden drop in passenger travel

· The important role that the travel industry may play in the distribution of the COVID vaccine, and the investments in cold storage and cold chain logistics that are being made in anticipation of that demand

Intro (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, Greg white with you here on supply chain. Now. Welcome to today’s show Greg. Good afternoon. How are you doing? I’m doing great. I’m excited about this one. This is our worldwide reviewer. So hopefully she’s going to give us her thoughts on, on how we’ve been doing as well as her thoughts on what she’s up to. I agreed. We both been looking forward to this on this episode, we’re featuring an extremely sharp young professional that is incredibly passionate about supply chain. We’ve really enjoyed her participation in our live streams and a lot of our social media, uh, back and forth, uh, community. Uh, so stay tuned as we’re working hard to raise your supply chain IQ some more. Come on that in just a moment. Hey, quick programming before we get started here. If you enjoyed this episode, Greg, where should folks go to, to learn more supply chain now radio still, still.

Scott Luton (01:21):

Okay. We haven’t even had that discussion yet. Have we? We have it. You’re letting the cat out of the bag now. I’m kidding. I think we’ve talked about it before we are in the process of dropping radio from the name. So while you can still go to [inaudible] dot com or wherever you get your podcasts from soon enough, you’ll be going to supply chain So stay tuned on that, but with no further ado, Greg, we talked about how excited we are about this conversation. Let’s welcome in our featured guest, Sophia Reavis, Herrera supply chain, enthusiastic Sophia. Good afternoon.

Sofia Rivas Herrera (01:56):

Hi. How are you guys? I’m so excited and grateful for being here. I love the invitation. Yeah,

Scott Luton (02:04):

Well, it’s great to have you. It is great to have you, and it feels like we already know you are in our interaction and, and, uh, your facilitation of, of really disseminating some really key takeaways and insights from, from various, not just our program, various supply chain programming, a lot of folks have really enjoyed those key takeaways. So we’re really pleased to have you here so we can take a deeper dive into the individual behind the intellect.

Sofia Rivas Herrera (02:32):

Yeah, for sure. And I’m reviewing these also, so try to keep them very good and professional.

Scott Luton (02:41):

Okay. Alright. So Sophia, before we get into industry and, and start picking your brain there, let’s get to know you a little better. So tell us about yourself.

Sofia Rivas Herrera (02:55):

I am from Mexico, which is the second biggest here. Uh, I have a twin sister, so we come in a package of two. Yeah. And she’s my brother.

Scott Luton (03:07):

Well, we know that you’re you and you’re not your sister. You’ll never know. I’m so sorry. Are you that close?

Sofia Rivas Herrera (03:14):

Yeah. Now she has a currently here and yeah, we’ll uh, be different.

Scott Luton (03:21):

Okay. Well what’s your sister’s name. Can you share Andrea, Andrea, so hello to Andrea and, uh, it’s great to hear how, how close you are as sisters important part of your life. And you’re from, you mentioned you’re from Guadalajara. Um, the second biggest city in Mexico to, uh, share with folks geographically, where is that in the country? And is there one thing that Guadalajara is really known for share that with our listeners?

Sofia Rivas Herrera (03:48):

So it is like central West kind of, it’s not very, it’s like four hours away from the closest beach, my car. And it’s like one hour away by flight from Mexico city. So I think I will, then we can put a map on the BDO and just show it to your guy. Um, and it’s very known because it’s the word tequila is from. So you know, that champagne can only be made in that area of France. So it’s the same year. And we’re very known for that. And we’ll even have like a trail or a ho like tequila tasting tours and stuff like that. So it’s very interesting. If you guys want to come, just do it and I’ll tour you around.

Scott Luton (04:41):

Great. Love it. Very good friend, who is a tequila connoisseur. If you can believe that he is

Sofia Rivas Herrera (04:47):

There’s water Connors, who are, is through, you know, they’re like water.

Scott Luton (04:52):

Brilliant. That is impressive.

Sofia Rivas Herrera (04:54):

Well, how water tastes then? Stuff like that.

Scott Luton (04:57):

Huh? I suppose you can refine your palette to about anything. Right. And that, that encouragement is, is all that a portion of our audience deeded to depart this podcast right away and go water. Yeah. Tequila.

Sofia Rivas Herrera (05:14):

Somalia. Yeah.

Scott Luton (05:16):

So Sophia, let’s talk about, uh, your, your days growing up. So when you think about that component of your journey, give us, give us a story or two about your upbringing.

Sofia Rivas Herrera (05:27):

When I was eight, I will. Well, me and my friends and my sister, we used to make movies. So we have our own firm off movie production and I was the director and screen writer. My sister was part of the light and camera man and stuff like that. And then my other friends from then our, where like the actors or the makeup person or something like that. So we made movies, but we took it very, very seriously. Okay. So we would rehearse and then like record and rerecord and then use a movie maker on a big PC that just one of us had because no one had computers back then. Well, not as many. Well, yeah, it sounds like I’m very old. Right. But yeah, we only had one PC, so we shared it and we used to like edit the movie there and then publish it and then projected in like on the street and invited people to our premiere

Scott Luton (06:44):

Wow. Years old, you did this. So, you know, one of the things is this instantly takes my mind to, and we’re going to not for shatter too much is you clearly liked orchestration and marshaling of resources and, and management at an early age. And really what a perfect, uh, intro into the world supply chain, which we’ll talk about in a minute. So what, what was your, um, so in these big productions, what was the, the, the folks come out? What was your biggest gathering for one of your productions?

Sofia Rivas Herrera (07:17):

Well, I mean, all of our parents went to the premiere, so I’d be in at least like 15 people go watch it. And we will have like a red carpet that was just like a big, uh, no, it was not even red, but it was like a carpet that we had and we just put it there and went to it and our parents would take pictures of us and we would feel important. And, and then we will pretend like I’m having an Oscar or something. Ah, it was so funny. Yeah. But no, I watched them again and Oh my God, they’re not very good. But we had a lot of creative creativity yet. We may have one that talks about AI, that we do your name and understand what AI was, but,

Scott Luton (08:07):

But it sold tickets clearly. Yeah. I know that you have been thinking about content. My gosh, that would be awesome to see, put that on. Instagram are so fascinating. You don’t have to identify yourself. You could just say some local kids love it. That’s a great idea. You know, your, your kids are going to cherish that, uh, as you get older and, and keep that, uh, pass it down to the family and it’s neat what a production, you know, it makes me think of the Sandlot or, um, little Rascals or something. Those kids, a bunch of kids getting together to really make something cool happen. That is that’s fantastic. Did you submit anything to the Aspen film festival? And it sounds like you’ve got some things to,

Sofia Rivas Herrera (08:53):

Oh, we did it. We didn’t. We should have,

Scott Luton (08:56):

Yes, you should have. Well let’s um, all right, so we’re gonna put you through the lightning around Sophia, so stay tuned for that. But before we do, is there anything else that when you, when you think back on your time growing up as a kid, uh, that really, that is unique to who you are.

Sofia Rivas Herrera (09:16):

So at one time I was really passionate about trying to save the world, but I didn’t know how so I just like collected, it started like my recycling business or something like that. So I just collected trash from everyone and started making like jewelry, hats, glasses, stuff like that. So I was really creative and crafty about it. And then we try to sell them. Right. But because we’ll leave in a gated community, like there’s not a lot of houses, so no one ever came to buy just my parents, like, yeah, yeah. What a beautiful matte class. And it was all like recycle stuff, like cans and plastic bags and stuff like that. And I was very into it, but then I found out that they all their ways are perhaps more impactful, but in my mind it was like the way we could do it, like just start wearing crash as a fashion trend. Yeah.

Scott Luton (10:27):

I would, I would say that the reverse logistics and sustainability and industry didn’t learn so differently than that. Right. They tried what they thought was effective and they’ve built that knowledge over time. What a great gift, I mean, and maybe even a potential area of focus in supply chain, is that right? Yeah. That’s a good point. Uh, and, and early on, it seems like you were very mission oriented and purpose, purpose driven. So I love that story. Um, all right. So moving right along, we need that, you know, Greg, we’re gonna have to get a sound effect for the lightning round. We’ve broken this thing out every once in a while and it’s simple. Yes. Yeah. Is that a bar? Is that what a bumper is? Maybe who knows? Yeah, I don’t know. Um, but this is really meant to be quick questions with quick answers. So we’ve got four questions we’re going to pose to you Sophia before we dive more into your educational background and of course, supply chain. So, uh, uh, Greg was putting you on the timer. I got to stop. Okay. Alright. So first question is perfect. Given what you shared about your, your childhood. So favorite movie?

Sofia Rivas Herrera (11:40):

I love Milan woosh from bass Norman.

Scott Luton (11:44):

Okay. Good movie. Good stuff. Award winner. Secondly, favorite recent read, or where do you go to get your news? Either one,

Sofia Rivas Herrera (11:55):

Uh, the moment of lift by Melinda Gates.

Scott Luton (11:57):

Nice. Is that fiction or nonfiction?

Sofia Rivas Herrera (12:00):

It’s a nonfiction real story. Empowering woman.

Scott Luton (12:05):

Oh, love that. Love that. Um, all right. So speaking of empowerment or inspiration, who is your favorite inspirational leader or one of them Harry Jaime’s supply chain queen. Yes. Good stuff there. She’s one of our favorites too. What is one company that you admire for their give forward, especially during a challenging year, like 20, 20. And, um, is there one particular aspect of that that you really have appreciated?

Sofia Rivas Herrera (12:38):

So first of all, they’re really into sustainability and their C O Paula gone. It’s just amazing how he speaks about the company and how he tries to give back to society. So, for example, in COVID, they, they started rebranding in such a way that also nurses could wear makeup or feel pretty, even though they were 24 hours working and nonstop, right. Or what they’re doing right now with their packages and how they’re trying to recycle them and make them more, um, biodegradable materials. And, yeah. So I love that company.

Scott Luton (13:23):

Yeah. That’s a really interesting, uh, company on a variety of different levels. Greg is we’ve chatted about Gartner pointed out a year or so ago. I think it was last year of supply chain rankings, how they were really a great model for mass personalization, mass customization, right. And some of the things that they were doing to allow consumers to have a greater choice while containing price and delivery for that matter. So a lot of innovation coming out of L’Oreal. Um, Greg, were you going to add something else there? Oh yeah. I just think that, um, you know, they’ve, they particularly have a really good supply chain practice. So I had the opportunity to work with them through another company that was partner with mine and, uh, incredible then. And they’ve improved even since that in the last three, four years. So yeah. Very impressive organization. Agreed. Agreed. Okay. So Greg, at this point, I’m going to pass Baton cause we’re going to dive deeper into Sophia’s educational background. Yeah. So let’s, so let’s talk about, I mean, you’re not exactly fresh out of school, but less than a year, correct. Or just over a year, just over a year. So let’s talk about that. So, um, I’m curious, uh, why you, why you selected engineering and, and how, how how’d you come to that? I would’ve expected, frankly, maybe the arts or film from your childhood.

Sofia Rivas Herrera (14:53):

I, at some point I even high school, I wanted to go all the way into becoming a professional ballet dancer. Cause ever since I was like four years old, I’ve been going to classes and rehearsals and I was very into it. So before that, right now I speak up supply chain all the time. But back then I could only speak about Valley all the time. And I really liked it. I, I thought it was like my passion, like, Oh yes. But then when I started growing older, I went to a lot of competitions and realized the, it was one in a million, the people that could make it there. And I was like, I mean, I’m number 534. I don’t know if I’ll be like, yeah. So, cause there’s like very few companies in comparison with the amount of people that are into Bali. And then like, you also need to think that your body is just going to last up to certain points.

Sofia Rivas Herrera (16:12):

So you can just bend and break so many times. And I had been broken or injured before. So I was like, can I still do this? Like my whole life and perhaps not. And on the other side I’ve always been very good at math and studying. And I really like problem solving. Then my dad is an engineer. And for me as a key, I’ve always wonder the why of everything. And he has always had the greatest answers I would like, he knows. So perhaps if I become an engineer, I will know the why too. So I went into engineering at the end because I figured out what he was more lasting curator and it was going to be with my mind.

Greg White (17:09):

Right, right. Which is hard to break.

Sofia Rivas Herrera (17:12):

Yeah. And your mind can last forever, as long as you can keep feeding it and growing in him. Yeah. So that’s why

Greg White (17:23):

That’s brilliant. It’s funny how often, whatever diversionary path you might take your path in your career comes right back to what you saw. Right. What you were able to see day in and day out through your parents or family or other experiences like that. That’s really impressive. You must have an incredible grasp for math because I couldn’t help. But

Speaker 4 (17:50):

Noticing when I looked at your profile that you also have, I think it’s a certification from MIT for Python programming. Correct. Is that what it was?

Sofia Rivas Herrera (18:02):

I have that in my, I also have as certification in supply chain and logistics from MIT. So right after graduating, I got a scholarship to, to do that program. And so it went like half residential and half, um, online. So I got to go to MIT, which for me was something that was untouchable or unreachable before, because I thought it was yeah. On attainable. But then I, when I applied, I was like, I’m going to apply for, have some, get it. And I did. And I lived there and I took classes. There were some of the brightest minds then. So that was an incredible experience.

Speaker 4 (18:55):

So we, so we’ve noticed your passion around supply chain from, in the fairly recent past, from you, um, being engaged in some of our shows and reviewing and recapping them in brilliant fashion. So was your passion for supply chain ignited prior to go into MIT or from the MIT experience?

Sofia Rivas Herrera (19:20):

So it was prior, but we’ve in my tea. I think it was like the cherry on the cake for me who were like, yes, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. But, well, so we’d all started like halfway true in engineering. I beat industrial engineering. So at least here in Mexico, it is really focused on manufacturing and production lines and lean six Sigma and Kaizen and all those things that I do. Like, but I thought they were lacking something. We were just seeing that area and we were not, but it had to be part of something bigger or greater. So when I took a class on inventory management, that was the first time I heard the term supply chain and I was like, what is that? I want to know. And then I did all my exchange semester is like focusing on supply chain. Cause my school didn’t have have that classes. So I just like took all the extra classes from those universities in supply chain because I wanted to learn about it. And yes, that’s why I like you. I like it because it is a holistic view and we are all part it like, we, you can be a consumer Amy, but you can also be part of the decisions made to get a certain product or service to a customer. So that’s what I like about,

Speaker 4 (21:05):

I like that you acknowledged that consumers are part of the supply chain. There are people who have been in supply chain for 20 or 30 or 40 years who need to hear that. So

Sofia Rivas Herrera (21:16):

We are, we drive everything.

Speaker 4 (21:18):

Yes, absolutely. You’re dead on there. Well, that’s interesting at the many different schools, MIT or wherever that you went to school, any mentors or, I mean, did anyone take you under their wing and kind of nurture you and nurture this passion? Any professors maybe that helped you out or

Sofia Rivas Herrera (21:37):

My bachelor directors? Cause I had many, they all were very passionate about giving opportunities to the students that made them feel accomplished, I guess. So for example, [inaudible] or even Victor Rogers, they were all my directors and they all like hailed me fine. What I really like. So I would go to their office and just like, cry. I have this situation, I want to talk to you. And they would just talk to me like wide, openly and like, yeah, tell me about other opportunities or other countries or other books. And I was like, okay. Yes, thank you. But at the end, the, they also like show me this world of supply chain. And that was something that is something I’m very grateful for. And well recently I don’t know, like my mentor right now would be Martha she’s from Kenya, but we met online actually calling me clean, but she has been really giving and supportive and coaching. And uh, she has taken me under her wing ever since I met her. So we could, we have been having long conversations, offline and stuff like that. So yeah, I really, really appreciate all that she has been doing for me.

Speaker 4 (23:18):

That’s incredible. That’s great to have a practitioner to help guide you through this journey is going to be really, really helpful. Um, so it’s not always easy to get into this industry or to make your way through school or whatever. Tell us about any, any major obstacles or hurdles or anything like that that you’ve overcome and maybe share with, with the audience, how, how you feel

Greg White (23:46):

Like you got there.

Sofia Rivas Herrera (23:47):

Yeah. So ever since I have been growing up, I I’ve always struggled with the way that I approach people, I would say so, or before more, if I know it doesn’t seem like it, but before it was,

Greg White (24:04):

It’s hard to imagine that right now, but okay. Must have worked very hard on it.

Sofia Rivas Herrera (24:10):

Yeah. So I have, I still work on it because I like, I feel very strongly, so it’s either one end or the other, but never something in between. Right. So when I was in elementary school transitioning to junior high, which is a big change for everyone, I would say, because elementary school is like very cared for in a bow, you know, that you feel nurtured and you only have one teacher that teaches you all subjects and stuff like that. But now you’re going to junior high. And for me it was very hard to make friends because I, I took every comment, very personal these, a thing that I have of amplifying emotions, where it’s very well for empathy or for public speaking or, but he has to be paired with emotional intelligence because otherwise it’s a barrier builder, I would say, so you protect yourself from others, but you don’t let anyone eat.

Sofia Rivas Herrera (25:27):

So that happened to me. And then I discover that, yes, perhaps you can make it on your own, but if you get faster, if you have people with you, right. So I’ve been working on it in such a way that I showed the best version of myself to people as a open door to establish a relationship. I know that it’s impossible to be the everyone’s cup of tea, or, but if you have the best faith you can have other beginning, then you have that invitation for everyone. And that is like the start of a virtual cycle instead of a negative cycle, right. Because we all live in this ocean of people and although not all, all of them will be, um, your friends, at least they’re going to be part of your journey, right? Even, so everyone has something to give back or you, you can learn anything, someone, even though you perceive it as a me personal person or a bad person. So that’s the way I have like transition the way I see, uh, the importance of creating your network.

Scott Luton (26:59):

That is a really mature and well thought out and obviously studied and intentional approach to things that I think that’s valuable to anyone, whether they perceive that they do struggle with personal interaction or they don’t, you can always be better. And you can always learn from that, that intentional approach, creating a virtue cycle instead of a negative cycle. And, um, yeah. Wow. That’s impressive. Yes. Uh, very mature, lots of business maturity there. Um, you know, we had a recent guest come on the podcast and talk about the, the, uh, critical need to learn, how to learn, because you know, for many that doesn’t come naturally, especially all the different ways and shapes and forms that we all learn as, as adults or throughout our journey. And a lot of what I heard you just talk about is how you adapted your mindset so that you will be in best, in the best optimal position to learn and absorb knowledge and regardless of industry knowledge or, you know, we all figure out how the world works type of knowledge, right? So that’s a big part of the journey. And so a lot of, a lot of what you just shared there, I heard about how you prepared yourself to really optimize your path to learning

Sofia Rivas Herrera (28:18):

True. Yeah. It’s, it’s something that everyone should work on. Um, there’s you don’t stop learning never. And if you feel like it, then perhaps it’s your last day so honored because I, I don’t, I can’t figure you cannot have that type of mindset when approaching people.

Scott Luton (28:45):

Yep. Well put, all right. So, uh, to our listeners take that as a threat, you stop learning and your approach at the end of your day is I think that’s a very, there’s a lot of truth there cause we gotta, we gotta learn every day, every hour in this environment. Goodness gracious. Okay. So Sophia, we’re gonna change gears a bit here and we want to share, want to get you to share with our listeners what you do professionally now, and then we’re gonna pick your brain own some, uh, some of the opportunities that you see. So tell us what you do now.

Sofia Rivas Herrera (29:17):

So I work as a data analyst and the airport industry, and I’ve been here for almost a year. And what I basically do is I help create financial reports, help analyze data from our passenger traffic demand. And also I do a, of benchmarking and comparisons with other peers in the industry.

Scott Luton (29:49):

So you got a with what you just shared right there. And of course, Greg and I are kind of privy because we’ve seen you in action, a number of different ways, but man, analytical thinking right now is a skill set, hot in demand. And it’s not going anywhere, especially the ability to crunch data and, and benchmark, right. Compare and contrast, and then, uh, uh, output all of that after you crunch it into a powerful document that others can learn from that learning may be the theme of today’s episode. So is that, uh, going back to what you talked about, your reason for getting into engineering, which, you know, there’s a lot of that type of thinking in that discipline, how you really had an emphasis on wanting to know the, why is that part of the reason why you developed these natural skills there?

Sofia Rivas Herrera (30:38):

Yeah, it is because, I mean, right now data literacy is a must I would say. And I, I was not part of it, but then in my job I found like, okay, it’s not enough to just go around this spreadsheet or it’s not enough to try to take, make good looking graphs for me. But if you learn a coding for data analysis or database cleaning, that makes your life so much easier and much more effective because you take less time in the things that don’t add value in your work. And then for example, being able to know how to create these dashboards that are dynamic. That is something that is even better than just a spreadsheet or a PDF.

Scott Luton (31:45):

So, Greg, I don’t know if, if you’re gathering this, like I’m gathering it. But when I look at a big, massive spreadsheet, for me, I’m quickly overwhelmed by all the tough math, but we always have fun playing around with here. But when Sophia looks at it, I get the sense that she’s like, she sees the matrix of possibilities. Cause that’s kind of one of the ways she’s wired and is such a, a, an outstanding attribute. Um, especially in this day and age of, of, uh, data overload, right? You gotta, you gotta find the signals. I can’t help, but think it’s, it’s a great opportunity, a great position to be in, to be breaking into supply chain, to be able to analyze and deconstruct and, and develop data at the same time. I feel like it’s gross under utilization of, of your broad skills, Sophia so much more

Speaker 4 (32:40):

To you than that. Yep. But if this is what gets you into the industry, so someone can discover that you should be managing some aspect of supply chain down the road. It’s a great entree. Right. But I can see it’s so obvious just from the disco, the portion of the discussion we’ve had so far so far, that you can tackle that the very analytical parts of it. I imagine you being one of those kids who took apart, the camera that you used, or the toys that you played with while you were eight years old, um, hence the engineering bent, but also you understand the art and physics of things because of ballet and your own awareness of the frailty of the human body and things like that. And, and yet your intention, intentionality and recognition of using brain power and using that brain power for good.

Speaker 4 (33:34):

Um, it’s, it is the foundation of great leadership, frankly. So we got to get you into supply chain and then get you moving up the ladder. Let’s go. Okay. End of show. Aspiring man. Alright, so real quick, I forgot the name of the, the hero in the matrix. Uh, so y’all have to Neo Neo that’s right. That’s right. Oh gosh. Alright, so let’s keep driving here. I want to get your thoughts. Are you saying she’s the chosen one? And I kinda kinda sorta, you know, there’s all the traits are there. Supply chain is all about the matrix across the world, right. So who knows if the tunnel fits? All right. So Sophia, let’s get you to weigh in on a couple of observations in terms of the role that aviation plays in global supply chain.

Sofia Rivas Herrera (34:25):

Right now, I think it has gained a lot of spotlight as well as supply chain, right? But we have seen how fragile the industry is, especially travel industry, right? Because we see how dependent it is on passengers. So if you’re not flying, then there is no revenue for airlines nor for airports and so on, but there must be something else that we can do. And I think we’ve seen it with air fright. So there’s been the PP boom off flying in from different parts of the world, especially from China to the us. I think we can see opportunity there because we know tariffs are ridiculously high and it’s also because of the way aircraft’s are built, right? It’s a lot of, a lot of space. And if they are not very, or most of them are not costs fuel efficient, right? So if it’s expensive and it will continue to be expensive, if we don’t change the way in which we move things by air.

Sofia Rivas Herrera (35:58):

So that’s one point and another point is that we’ve seen how creative airlines have become in terms of offering flights to nowhere, uh, Singapore and lifespan, or, uh, delivering their catering food to your doorstep. So imagine people that are like nostalgic about eating on a plane, I mean, I’m not like that, but there is people that do that. So Thai airways is doing bad and there’s a lot of creativity here. And also like the fact that they took all the passengers seats and started loading in the opera deck. That’s also very interesting. And I would say that we need that creativity in airports, imagine all the on utilize pace of, uh, of on airport and all the yeah.

Speaker 4 (37:07):

Restaurants and all sorts of things. Right? Yeah.

Sofia Rivas Herrera (37:12):

And then like you see that perhaps you have a lot of spades that is not actually needed you just the way in which you, or they’re the processes of checking and security and, and getting into the plane. Right. So, I mean, we need to start being more resilient and looking for ways to keep gaining money, but that do not only depend on passengers. And there are things, I mean, they, some airports have leased their space for, um, uh, storage or also I’ve seen, uh, concerts being made on, on the, like on the platforms because they live stream them or, I mean, there’s a world of possibilities, but we cannot just be focused on yeah, I’m just gonna do commercial flights. And I’m just gonna sell a lot of things here because we’ve seen the retail just like travel retail, one be very resilient in the years to come,

Speaker 4 (38:31):

Right. That model is going to be disrupted is what I’m hearing you say. And it’s

Scott Luton (38:36):

Been the same way for far too long, perhaps. Um, but you know, when it comes to airport operations, we’re kind of spoiled here in the Atlanta area, given a heartfelt Jackson, um, international. But you know, if I could just find my car that I parked when I returned from my flight, I’ll be a very happy consumer. I can, I can’t park it until we had the van Greg, once we got in the van. Cause it’s taller. That’s right. But Sophia, um, a lot of good thoughts there. I, I think there’s a lot of, um, not necessarily parallels because there’s a strong retail component to our airports. Right. So it will be interesting to see, especially given the huge setback to 2020 is, or has been for the aviation industry on a variety of levels. Um, how airports will continue to try and try to find ways and bent, uh, reinvent themselves and, and for that matter, um, monetize and, and drive revenue.

Scott Luton (39:32):

So, um, Greg, before, before I move from that topic and, you know, kinda hear other, any other Sophia, uh, ideas that she might have for, for improvement, any thoughts based on what she’s shared on your end? Well, I think we know that the impact on the air line industry and likely the airport industry is going to be a number of years long. And in fact, the CEO of Southwest recently said a decade or more to get back to 2019 levels. So, wow. Um, this is going to be a long period of analysis and reinvention and more analysis and more reinvention, and then an evolutionary shift back to, um, more prominence of, of passenger airline traffic. But I think in the time that that occurs a lot of the, um, a lot of the investigation and re-engineering of the process will undoubtedly occur, right? So the airline industry, when it comes back in any measure is going to look different when it comes back in great measure to complete measure, it’s going to look dramatically different than we see today. It has 10 years, 10 years to get back 2019. That’s not amazing fingernails on chalkboard. Okay. Um, well just stuff there and Sophia, I appreciate your weighing in, you know, before we, we moved more into a global, uh, conversation, um, any other, when you think of opportunities to drive improvement, whether it’s related to aviation and the airline industry or that component of global supply chain, what else comes to mind?

Sofia Rivas Herrera (41:16):

Well, so I’ve been tracking the COVID-19 vaccine perhaps because I, I, I am excited that it’s coming and it’s like a silver, silver lining for all of us. And what I’ve seen is that there is a lot of airports, um, coming together in order to distribute it and it’s all going to happen. Or most of it is going to happen by ear, which excites me because how you have different airports across the world with different sizes of space and volume and capacity. And you have different airlines in the world that have that capacity. So there’s this morning, I just read the, uh, IATA. That is one of the organizations for, uh, airlines, aviation industry, um, is gonna make all those efforts, uh, seem a little bit more coordinated. They’re creating a platform called I think one, and what they’re doing is that they’re going to be matching the capacity needed on airports and the capacity needed on planes in order to make these distribution allocation better.

Sofia Rivas Herrera (42:50):

Love it. Yeah. It’s so I really like it because imagine how to coordinate all these people, without someone stepping in, um, how are we supposed to know who has this pace or not, or who’s willing to move it or not. Uh, if you don’t have like these common network or common platform to doing so, a lot of things have to happen in order to move them fast. And because I also, it’s also on the article, I would send it to you guys, but, uh, they call chain association that I know you’re very fond of Scott is if I actually coordinated part of it, because it all has to happen with a temperature regulated. Um, yeah. This

Scott Luton (43:44):

Cargo and freight. Yeah.

Sofia Rivas Herrera (43:46):

Yeah. So it’s gonna get really interesting. A lot of companies now, like ups, DHL, FedEx Lachsport is there, uh, everyone’s getting into it and a lot of airports are getting ready, like in their storage places, they’re adding temperature controls.

Scott Luton (44:10):

Yup. It is such a Herculean effort to bring the vaccine, not just to the, as we all know, not just a major markets. I mean, you know, accessibility is going to be a big, big part of the decision making matrix. And, and, you know, you were mentioned some of those companies, Sophia, um, and Greg, I think it was a few weeks back where we got a lot of truth and transparency and honesty from leaders from those companies that said, Hey, we’re not ready yet. You know, we’re not ready to serve the world a vaccine because, you know, think about this, think about how long it’s taking consumers, you know, just to connect in all of this important, my cell, I’m slowly her to take, to connect the dots and really understand what drives eCommerce. But man, getting a vaccine to the world’s population makes that to some degree look like maybe not quite child’s play, but you know, it’s not close, especially when, when it is close, because especially when you consider it to Sophia’s point it’s it’s it’s it’s, it must be temperature controlled, not just in transit, but in storage.

Scott Luton (45:13):

So the complexity and the sheer size of the challenge that we lay ahead. And then of course, you’ve got, we’ve got to live with, you know, it’s not going to be all of a sudden, you know, be that silver bullet, Greg, that, that makes all our problems go away. I know you’ve talked a lot about that. How a lot of elements of this current environment we’re going to live through and cause the first edition of the vaccine may not, it may not be the, um, the wonder drug that many folks are kind of expecting. So there’s so many different aspects of this challenge that we’ve got that, um, it’s really intriguing.

Speaker 4 (45:44):

Well, logistics aspects are, you know, the ones we’re all best qualified to speak to. But, um, I think our hope is greater than our knowledge at this point on both fronts. Our hope for a vaccine is much greater than our knowledge and our hope for how to construct, um, a fair and effective distribution methodology is greater than our ability to do so. I mean, there are so many things to consider. We’ve talked about it a little bit on a few shows. It’s not just whether the supply chain can handle it. It’s whether when the supply chain handles it, can, can we count on governments and healthcare entities to be able to deliver the final mile because ultimately that is the final millimeter really, right, because that is really where it counts. So it is a very, very complex problem in it. And it will get outside the purview that the control of supply chain before it gets to the, those in need. So we can only do what we can do. And then we have to trust healthcare agencies and governments. And you can’t imagine how hard it is for me to say, trust governments in a sentence.

Speaker 4 (47:05):

I know isn’t that. So I don’t mean to dash hoax by saying trust government. Um, but it’s possible. And I think some will be better than others. And I think that some of the more competent and equitable and fair governments will intervene to help assure that some of the less so still bring it to their people.

Scott Luton (47:28):

It’s it’s the noble. And as Cara Brown says a lead coverage, it is, it is supply chains time. And, um, you know, to Greg, we all echo that hope and we hope that we hope that some of the sheer challenges that we know as, as you know, being in the industry for quite some time, we’ve got easier answers for given the scope of the challenge. So we’ll see, uh, optimistic here. Alright, Sophia based on what Greg and I were just sharing. And as we start to wrap up the interview here, any final thoughts on your end? And then of course, we want to make sure that our listeners know how to connect with you. So any final thoughts related to the vaccine and, and or, or, uh, any other issues globally.

Sofia Rivas Herrera (48:10):

So I think in general, we, as a community or supply chain professionals need to position ourselves in such places where we are the ones making the call, that we are the ones that have a say on the final decision. Cause as, as Greg was saying, uh, you need to trust the governments for that final mile delivery. If there’s no one in supply chain in the government, how, how is the president or the governor going to know what that is important, right? Or to consider everything. So we need to move and take action there

Scott Luton (49:06):

And elevate expertise in global supply chain, into the high, all levels probably of government. You know, we need a, what, 20 years ago they were creating czars Greg here in the States for different things we need to supply chains are right here, at least here in the States or every country. Right. And we need, and we need for consumers for the inpatients to know how things work so that they have the appropriate expectations. Because I anticipate a day when somebody says there’s a vaccine and everyone goes, I want it now. Yeah. Same day delivery, Amazon or whomever. Right. Where where’s, where’s the buy now button. Well, Sophia really appreciate your mature. Doesn’t quite do it. I mean, Lyceum beyond that comes immediately to mind what’s that Greg enlightened is the word that comes immediately to mind. Agreed. Yes. Uh, really appreciate that perspective, uh, and, and kind of lens you see the world and the industry through. So really have enjoyed kind of learning more about, uh, the Sophia behind all of the live streams, the summaries and the, uh, analysis of a lot of discussions that we’re all part of. It’s really been fascinating. Uh, Sophia has been such a

Sofia Rivas Herrera (50:28):

Great talk and I’m really the first time I’ve done this in my life. And I think it went well, I will review it later, but

Scott Luton (50:39):

You will. Yes. So w we can’t wait to hear how you judge yourself. I’m sure that you will be, I’m sure that you’ll be pleased when you hear it. And as a, as a director and screenwriter, I think you’ll be very pleased with the outcome as well. Well, Sophia, you all do this a daily, weekly, monthly, I mean, more folks need to hear your perspective on things and, and, and your view and your point of view. I think a lot of folks can benefit here. So hopefully this will be the first of many, many, many, many, many to come. And of course, we, we look forward to, uh, not only sharing this with our audience and beyond, but having, you know, having you continue to engage and share in our community here at splotch in now. So thanks so much, but Sophia, how can folks connect with you after this interview to learn more

Sofia Rivas Herrera (51:29):

So you can contact me only intervene. So it has become like my social media, even though, like, if I had said that to me, like five years ago, I would say like, really why, but yeah. So I answered, I tried to reply very fast and just send me a message with your invitation, like, just to get to know you a little bit better and yeah, for sure. And also I have a new Instagram account that you can follow that I’ll be also sharing my post-truth there so that other audience looks at it because I think the way to make supply chain attractive and interesting, uh, it’s also being part of that type of social media and getting to the people that are deciding what to do with their lives, which is that young professionals,

Scott Luton (52:36):

Well put undoubtedly can’t stick to our old age old channels. We’ve got to really branch out and, and teach ourselves how to, you know, learn, learn new ways, learn new ways of outreach, whatever it takes to bridge that awareness gap that, that continues to persist. So, uh, and you know, to our audience, we’re going to make it easy. Uh, as we always try to do, we’re going to include, uh, Sophia’s social links in the show notes of today’s episode. And hopefully you’ve enjoyed this very Frank conversation as much as Greg and I have so big. Thanks. Sophia Reavis, Herrera, uh, very proud supply chain. Let me, let me back up very proud, highly informed and enlightened supply chain enthusiast. Thanks so much, Sophia. There you go.

Sofia Rivas Herrera (53:19):

Thank you so much guys, for having me.

Scott Luton (53:22):

You bet, you know, if I had Greg to follow me around all the time and it helped me with my vocabulary, I’d be, uh, several, several miles ahead of where I have here. Great. It’s funny. I, I can only think of those words cause I have the time, right. You do all the heavy lifting and I just sit here and think of really impressive words. Alright, well, uh, so Greg has a really big thing. So Greg, as we wrap up here for our sign off, um, what’s, what’s one of your favorite things that you heard here from Sophia viewpoint? I mean, I think that important thing we’ve, we’ve kind of come back around to this as we’ve talked to more young professionals getting into or hoping to get into supply chain, the value that we saw so long ago in Houston or Austin, sorry of God.

Scott Luton (54:07):

Did I say that, um, in Austin of people who are physicians enough physicians, physics majors, now I’ve completely lost it. See, we need really good professionals in this industry, but have come from other areas of expertise and have a viewpoint on the world of other than supply chain coming into supply chain and bringing those perspectives and that knowledge and that expertise into the industry. I think that’s so important and particularly the emotional maturity that Sophia has and, and considering the discussion we had just before this, which was a live stream, which they won’t line up at all with when they get released. So, uh, but the, the great need for emotional maturity in certain segments of the industry, certainly, but in the industry in general and in business in general. So I, I feel very good about the future of supply chain and business when there are more people like Sophia getting into it, absolutely echo all that you shared there.

Scott Luton (55:13):

And you know, my, one of my favorite, one of my favorite parts here was with, if, you know, if we have a team on our end and I think any organization that has folks as passionate about truly knowing the why and that relentless pursuit of knowing the why we’re all gonna be better off as I lose my, my headphones there, but Hey, with no further ado to our audience, hopefully you enjoyed this conversation as much as I have. And as much as Greg has, again, a big thanks to Sophia Reavis Herrera. Uh, and you know, if you enjoyed this episode, check us out at supply chain now, Um, you know, on behalf of Greg white and our entire team here at supply chain now do good give forward and be the change that’s needed, just like Sophia is doing and all that. And we’ll see you next time here.

Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.

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


Scott W. Luton is the founder & CEO of Supply Chain Now. He has worked extensively in the end-to-end Supply Chain industry for more than 15 years, appearing in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Dice and Quality Progress Magazine. Scott was named a 2019 Pro to Know in Supply Chain by Supply & Demand Executive and a 2019 “Top 15 Supply Chain & Logistics Experts to Follow” by RateLinx. He founded the 2019 Atlanta Supply Chain Awards and also served on the 2018 Georgia Logistics Summit Executive Committee. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and holds the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) credential. A Veteran of the United States Air Force, Scott volunteers on the Business Pillar for VETLANTA and has served on the boards for APICS Atlanta and the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance. Follow Scott Luton on Twitter at @ScottWLuton and learn more about Supply Chain Now here:


Upcoming Events & Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Subscribe to Supply Chain Now and ALL Supply Chain Now Programming Here:
Leave a review for Supply Chain Now:
Connect with Scott on LinkedIn:
Connect with Greg on LinkedIn:
Connect with Sofia on LinkedIn:
Supply Chain Now Ranked #1 Supply Chain Podcast via FeedSpot:
Supply Chain Now Ranked #3 Supply Chain YouTube Channel:
AIAG Virtual 2020 Supply Chain Conference:
Download the Q2 2020 U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index:
Register for Reuters Events Supply Chain USA Virtual 2020 Summit Here:
WEBINAR: Stand Up & Sound Off-
WEBINAR: New Market, New Mindset-
AME Toronto 2020 Virtual Conference:


Check Out News From Our Sponsors
U.S. Bank:
Vector Global Logistics: