Transcript: Voice of Supply Chain – December 2021

Voice of Supply Chain – Dec. 2021

Featuring: Joselina Peralta

Welcome to the Voice of Supply Chain, brought to you by ISM New Jersey and SourceDay. This show takes place the third or fourth Wednesday of each month. The purpose of our show is to tell stories of people in procurement and supply chain doing extraordinary things, and boy, this year have there been a lot of pretty amazing stories from my friends and colleagues.

I’m your host, Sarah Scudder. I oversee marketing for SourceDay. We automate purchase order changes and enable supplier collaboration for manufacturers, distributors, CPG brands, and retailers. If you want to talk more about women in ERP or what’s happening in the manufacturing world, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn and follow my two hashtags: Women in ERP and Manufacturing Maven.

Today, our guest is Joselina. She and I have been friends, now gosh, I want to say for a couple of years, and she was actually just recently on my Women and ERP show, and she and I have done several other projects and things together.

This show is meant to be interactive, so don’t be shy about sharing your thoughts in the chat or using the Q&A at the bottom to submit questions. And you’ll find out quickly that Joselina is kind of an open book, a very transparent person. So, do not be hesitant if you have anything at all you want to ask her. Just again, drop that in the chat or the Q&A.

So, as we kick off the interview today, I’d love to have you tell us where in the world you are joining us from in the chat. So, feel free to put city, state, or company. And then, something that you’re most looking forward to for the holidays. And we’ll see those responses coming in here.

So, with that, I would like to kick off our interview for today. And as those who have been following the show throughout the year, I kind of go through someone’s journey, and we always like to start with childhood. So, Joselena, would like to have you tell me about a favorite childhood memory.

Thank you, Sarah, first of all. And it’s such an honor to actually be here in the Voice of Supply Chain.

So, memories from my childhood, gosh, there are so many. But I want to say that I cannot complain. I had a blessed childhood, definitely. I want to say my birthdays were a big thing that keep popping into my head as you were asking the question. My parents were so big on birthdays. They actually went all out. There was one occasion where they actually brought clowns, which was quite over the top. But it was such a big deal. So, there were family friends, tons of food, and it was always like this big thing. So that’s why, probably as a grown-up, I’m big on birthdays. And that may be explained. So, I would say that, in couple, along with Christmas, those are probably two of my fun memories. There was always a celebration with food, family, and friends, and you know, lots of fun activities together.

And you recently celebrated your birthday, so hopefully next year, you’ll be able to go out and do something big and fun with family and friends.

Absolutely, looking forward to it.

What in your childhood shaped you to be the person that you are today?

Oh, there’s probably one very poignant memory that really lingers. So, I was in an art class, and the teacher gave us an assignment where we were tasked to paint a landscape. So, I remember finishing on time, incomplete, and I didn’t use the typical color palettes, right? So, brown for trees, green for the leaves, etcetera, etcetera. So, they called my mother. Oh boy, was I in trouble, right? So, here comes Julie by using a different color palette, and I couldn’t be more proud at that moment, being the daughter of my mother. Because she was very articulate and pointed out to the teacher that, although yeah, she respected that she was trying to, you know, instill structure and, right, following rules, boundaries, and all of that, important lessons into me and the rest of the class, but she didn’t want the teacher to limit my initiative, my thinking, my individuality. And she actually went as far as pointing out that who’s to say that there are not trees or, you know, in other planets with different colors? Like, you don’t know for sure. And of course, there was more to that story. I mean, when I got home, I mean, I didn’t get the full credit for the project, but the point that really resonated with me, it was maybe if my mom didn’t have supported my different choices and my individuality, I wouldn’t have been the person that I am today, who embraces other people’s points of view, authenticity, and all of those things. And the fact that I had somebody fighting for me for being who I am and being there to be different, that really was a huge lesson that definitely shaped who I am in terms of embracing diversity and other people’s preferences, points of view, and, boy, choosing different color palettes, right?

And definitely, my mom, she was always, you know, my role model, but at that moment in time, I thought that she, you know, really rocked it and, and to a certain degree, kicked a little bit of butt, yeah, in that moment.

Don’t forget about grandma too.

Oh, we’re gonna get there, yeah. So, two very important women in my life, definitely my mom and my grandma, are a huge influence as to who I am today, right? So, those are my all-time heroes, and my only hope is that I can do them proud and then I can be a little bit like they are, because I probably have ways to go. But definitely, they are super cool in my book and extremely, you know, probably very ahead of their time women who were never afraid to challenge, but at the same time, be so graceful under pressure and also very ultra-feminine, right? So, they never really sacrificed the fact that they owned the emotional side of being women, right? So, being empathetic, but at the same
So, you could be strong. You actually could be, and there were so many layers of depth to that, and that really inspired me. I hope that people who are listening to this conversation also feel inspired with the fact that there is strength in actually showing vulnerability, and there’s also strength in actually asking for help. There’s strength in being different, and there’s strength in owning all of those things. And we’re not just one dimension; we’re so many intricate things, and that makes us, I think, all human beings interested and beautiful at the same time.

What’s a tradition you learned from your parents that you’ve continued on through today?

Oh, gratitude and being thankful, I think. The I saw it in so many different ways expressed in my household from my parents. Even from, you know, in the moment, somebody did something small or something big, just to say thanks, but also going the extra effort. Making somebody’s favorite dessert or a meal and doing something personal and bringing it to that individual. And in the workplace, that stayed with me. I usually like to bake for my team or cook or prepare something, but it could be a thank you note. The best part is really doing it often and doing it also, you know, not expected. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, but that goes a long way. And the more gratitude that you show, I think it has a multiplying effect. The more that you’re going to see that happening around you. And definitely, I learned that from both my parents, and it’s something that we try to keep as a tradition within the family and expand even within our neighbors, within our communities, with everybody that we come across with.

So, fast forward a little bit into college years, if we can think back that far, all the craziness that was when we were younger. But one of the things I noticed when I looked at your background was you are very, very educated. You, it looks like, went to many schools, have several different degrees, potentially some certifications as well. So why did you choose to major in business?

I think it’s always been, it’s probably my blood, but also I think it’s the way that I was brought up and raised. So, I always like to play Monopoly. Start there, which may be silly, and we were always making deals. I think the first thing that came out of my mouth was a negotiation with my parents. So, I always be doing this, and I had so much fun at it. And my parents, my mom specifically, she used to take me with her to the office, and I guess watching her doing it and being at ease with what she was doing and influencing people, maybe I thought, you know what, I can probably do this as well, and I’m good at it. I felt that I had a natural ability to it. And coupled with the fact that I like to solve problems, things that people find complex and difficult or challenging, those were the things that I was usually attracted and drawn to. And then putting deals and solving issues and trying to kind of find value, that kind of seemed like a natural fit. And when I remember getting my assessment in school before joining university, it was one of the things that came naturally. And everything with math, physics, and all of those things, and I said, you know what, I’m probably more personable. So definitely, I can see myself more being in the business. And the rest is history. But I always felt a very deep affinity to business in general, what it represented from a field of study. And then when I went into it, so once you actually are in classes and you’re seeing and you’re talking, then I realized that, yeah, this is for me. And I never really looked back. So happy to do what I do for a living.

And then one other thing that I think is interesting that I asked a lot of our guests that went back to school because I know it’s a question that comes up a lot: Should I go back to school to get a master’s? Is that going to help my career? Right? What’s the best use of ROI? So, why did you choose to go back to school to pursue postgraduate studies, and what has it done for you?

I think it was a very savvy decision at that time because networking is not what it is today, quite honestly. And it was a good way, so I was already working at that time. And I went back, and it was also solidifying certain business cases that were more practical in nature. So when you’re actually going for your postgraduate degree, and it was also a good way to network and talk with other peers which were also working at the same time. I saw the value not only from deepening the knowledge into the field of economics, which is ultimately where I finalized my studies, but at the same time, I had the good opportunity to talk with other peers or professionals. And it was probably the early stages of networking, very different from what it is today, and I’m kind of dating myself a bit. But it is really what I saw a little bit more of the value, and definitely I would recommend to people if they can make the time to look at it because it’s a different kind of level of networking and connecting with other professionals and other people in your field of studies.

So looking back, what advice would you give your 20-year-old self?

Oh boy, that’s a very fundamental question and a tough one. I would say probably to be more patient with myself. I learn a bit more of being more gentle with me, but I always push myself to the limit. I always think that I can do more, that I can give more, that I can actually be more present. And I’m always extremely tough on myself and very challenging. And as I’m getting older, I’m kind of relaxing a bit more about that. I don’t have to be on all the time or expected to be providing energy to other people or supporting people or taking on more or saying yes to this next project or other things. And I think in my younger years, I was always determined to do things and almost like to prove myself constantly. And when you get to my age now, I’m hitting 45, close to that, it’s different. So, you’re thinking, okay, I don’t have to necessarily. So, I can just be. So, I would say definitely to be a bit more… I don’t know if kind would be the right word, but less tough on myself. Definitely, that would have been the advice.

So, what was your first paying gig after you graduated college?

I was very lucky. I don’t know if we can say company names in here, but definitely, I was recruited right out of college for a Fortune 500 company in the fast-moving consumer goods industry. So, I started in supply chain, no less, to work in import and exports and trading in that department for inbound and outbound.

It was a wonderful experience because I started as a leader. I remember having a team of five, and all of the people that I actually had under my responsibility to care for were far more experienced and older than me. So, it was an interesting social experiment, to say the least, where I needed to really prove myself and to make sure that I built the trust and rapport with people who had tons more experience than I had at the time.

It was an experience that really shaped who I am today, and I was definitely lucky that I got the opportunity to be selected because it’s a company that I will forever be thankful for the opportunity.

So why did you leave your first gig, and what did you do next?

I stayed with them for seven years throughout a very progressive career. I was also part of what they call the accelerated leadership development for C-suite preparation and readiness. The reason that I left was that I was offered another, better gig. I was recruited into a different industry altogether, in lubricants and additives. It was a joint venture between two big publicly traded companies. This was to lead a major transformation role.

Not to say that it was not without taking myself completely out of my comfort zone because it was a completely different industry, different lingo altogether. I remember going into a meeting, and it was almost like they were talking a different language. I felt when I left the meeting because there were so many acronyms from that industry that I was not aware of. Instead of actually going home, I remember staying late and committing to really learn everything that I needed to know about those markets, the industry, and everything. Yeah, it was a tough learning process but a very valuable one.

Walk me through your career progression from leaving your first gig through where you are today.

Well, it’s been over 20 years and it’s been across four different industries, including life sciences and specialty chemicals all the way to biocides. It’s been a pretty interesting ride. I cannot be more thankful for all of the opportunities because it’s been where I have had the opportunity to shape and design organizations, build teams, and also drive organizations that were established in some instances and to even improve in more innovation and continuous improvement and degrees of more value generation.

It was also about breaking away silos across the value of procurement and supply chain. Today, especially in light of the pandemic, supply chain has more recognition. It’s not the unwanted child that most organizations saw it as 20-30 years ago. It’s really deemed very tactical and nuisance type of function. Now, it has the right level of visibility and importance, and in most cases, it’s getting all the way to the C-suite level. More Chief Procurement Officers (CPOs) are at the table, more Chief Supply Chain Officers are at the table.

Being able to be a part of the journey and being able to deliver transformations across major different industries, and even though it’s somewhat agnostic the supply chain and procurement when you do it from industry to industry, but there are so many elements of culture and how you develop people. I’m probably most proud of the people that I have developed, recruited, hired, and attracted and retained.

And I want to say that this has been a blast and I can see… There’s no stopping. So, there’s no better time to be in supply chain because it has definitely forced us to think. But it’s one of those things that put a big smile on my face. The fact that I get to do this for a living, I pinch myself, and I’m also so proud. Maybe that’s the nerd in me that actually I picked the right field to operate into and to be in supply chain and procurement for a living. I pinch myself, and I’m also so proud.

I hope that gives a sense of the context, but definitely, I’m super proud, and this is only scratching the surface. There’s so much more that is in me to give and to do, and I can only wait to see what next year will actually bring.

So, I want to dive into some more specifics because I think it’s useful for people who are with us today and are looking to maybe elevate their careers, get to that head of procurement, that Chief Procurement Officer, that executive position, or simply elevate their career or maybe make a career pivot. I want to spend some time talking about some of your career advice and things that you’ve experienced. Let’s start off with what are some of the values that drive your career decisions, and how have they served you?

Yeah, that’s an important question. I would say people-centric is at the top of my values. And it’s not probably only a value; I think it’s part of my purpose. I will say that if you truly invest in people, you get it back tenfold, meaning developing people, coaching people, spending the time to care to know them. So, that’s probably the most valuable focus but also resource that we should all make a point to invest.

I would say that curiosity, really, you want to be able to develop and foster that in yourself, but also in your organizations. And adaptability and versatility, it serves you well, especially in a global world. And if you’re looking for a global career where you’re going to be exposed to different cultures, different contexts, when you’re actually communicating to people, it’s super important to be versatile and to be adaptable.

And I will say, having an ever-ever learning mentality, an attitude. Right? So, there’s going to be changes in technology, there’s going to be changes in legislation, there’s going to be changes economically wise. There’s going to be changes, period. So, the more that you’re open yourself to the possibility, you’re going to be in this constant flow of learning and how that necessarily sits with you and how you assimilate that information and the different points of views from everybody.

And the more that you let go of, you know, preconceived notions, I think the better that you’re going to be. So, those have been my guiding values, but also almost like my guiding principles to everything that I’ve done throughout my career.

And then I continue to do. Let’s talk now about specific skills.

What skills have been most important during your career?

Definitely, active listening. Active listening is an area where… not listening with the intent to respond to somebody, but really listening. What the other person is saying to you, and what they mean, and in fact, what they’re not even saying to you. What their body language may be communicating to you. I think that’s super important because everything that comes with driving change and change management, it’s communication-driven. It’s all about communication. So, I would say communication—active listening. Empathy, especially vis-a-vis feedback and seeking feedback, giving feedback. Creating that space to have a culture of feedback, where there is a safe space for people to actually disagree with you, and hold you accountable, and hold yourself accountable in that conversation. Where there is going to be room for all kinds of… you know, how this conversation is going to evolve and sometimes let it sit and not necessarily trying to get consensus.

I’m probably going to say something that maybe will surprise some of the people listening, but I’m not a big fan of consensus. I think consensus kills initiatives. I’m a big fan of alignment, but I don’t think consensus is always needed. It doesn’t… we don’t have to think alike all the time or see things the same way in order to be able to move forward. We probably need to understand where we’re coming from and reach alignment to get to common ground and agree on how what is important and how we prioritize and operationalize that. But it always doesn’t have to be imposing that we both all have to see and think in the same way. I’m very big on respecting that there has to be freedom to think. And when it’s important, of course, you have to align, but you also have to respect that there’s going to be different viewpoints and that’s okay too.

For people that are with us today that struggle with stakeholder engagement, what advice do you have for them?

You just have to really start a conversation. It’s putting yourself in the shoes of what it means to the other person first. Do they understand your role? Do they understand what it is? Do you understand what their role is? Do you understand their pain points? So, opening the door for that conversation just to first understand and clear the air is a huge step in the right direction. And then trying to map what is the common ground, right? So, the intent. And it’s very important to state the intent as to what you’re trying to achieve from that first impression conversation, getting to know, and also to have a clarity that there’s no hidden agendas. So oftentimes, what leads to challenges and friction with stakeholders is that there’s competing agendas. There’s not an alignment into what it is that I am going to do for you. Right? Procurement is a service function. Supply chain is a service function. Operations is a service function. So, you have to really be in the mindset of what are we serving? Who are we serving? And what is it that we’re doing and what’s the value that we’re going to be able to bring? Because pretty much anybody can negotiate, anybody can probably procure to a certain degree, anybody can probably look at planning in operations and integration. So, there has to be this conversation to understand these are the pain points, this is where directionally they are looking for us to help and to add value, and this is how we come in to provide that element of service. And if all things fail, don’t give up and keep trying to open more doors where you can actually have the right level of audience, so to make sure that there is a common understanding. I would say that’s probably the first step.

What advice would you have for people that are hiring right now? I think almost every day I see five to ten new postings. People are looking to build out and grow their teams, and I know that there’s a struggle in the market to find top talent. It’s very competitive. I’ve been guilty myself in not always looking potential, right? So, we tend to have this preconceived wish list of what we feel that we need for a given role. Right? So, you want people with a certain level of accreditation, experiences, and all of that. And the more that we really have to open ourselves is really to see potential of talent. Right? So, look at the raw characteristics and what people actually have the ability to learn and to evolve. They may not have everything that you’re looking for in terms of experience, but guess what? If you don’t give them a chance, how are they going to get that experience? I think we have to really be mindful that we have to invest. We have to look at it as an investment, especially for the junior-mid-level positions. Right? We’re looking at it as an investment in people that we’re willing to help to develop and to help in that journey to see them grow. Now, if it’s more of a senior-level position, right? You have to be able to look at also the potential as to what the individual wants to do, how they actually want to align their career aspirations and desires, right? And a passion for what they bring to the table. I think it’s the process as a whole has become more autonomous. I mean, there are more and more opportunities out there. Professionals are aware that it’s not like it used to be. So, they build their own brand. They actually know what their value is that they bring. They bring a number of followers to the company. So, they command a certain value that they bring, not only in their knowledge and their experience, but also how they can further the brand and the messaging of the organization that they’re subscribing to or looking to subscribe to. I think it’s more important to actually see it more entrepreneurial as two entities joining forces. It’s not just, “Oh, they should be lucky to come and work here.” So, I think it has to be that acknowledgment that the world is different, the recruitment process is different, that the candidates are more sophisticated. They actually do their homework. They check the company cultures. They actually do their due diligence. And if they’re choosing you, if they express interest in your organization, then you also have to take that into account because they could have been choosing somebody else. So, I think it is important to recognize that the playing field is more level than it probably was years before.

One of the other things that I think is really important that we all… I think when I say “we,” I mean everyone can do a better job at is networking and actually making time in our calendars to contact, reach out, make friends in the industry. And I know it’s something that you’re really, really good at, but a lot of us struggle with. So what advice do you have for people that don’t really do much networking, know they should do it, but are so busy with their job they just feel like they can’t do it?

Thank you for that compliment, Sarah. I don’t know if I’m extremely good at it, but I definitely make an effort. And I would say it probably started even more so during the pandemic. I used to do a lot of in-person networking before 2020, and as a result of… okay, that was taken out of the equation. So with the shutdowns, I really turned into virtual communities. LinkedIn was one, and then actually reaching into different groups. There’s a whole host of organizations that you can really join and sign up for. Find what you’re actually a cause that you feel drawn to because then you’re going to find like-minded people that you can actually have a common ground to talk to. Whether it’s volunteering, whether if it’s sustainability, whatever it is that you’re passionate about, find something because that’s going to help break the ice a little bit. Then the other probably suggestion that I will make is that you have to make… you have to block time in your calendar for that. I try to block at least a couple of hours on a weekly basis, here and there, just to reach out to people in your existing network, just to go back, connections that maybe you had and you never really spent the time recently to catch up. You know, what is happening with other person’s lives, right? So much has happened over the last two years. It’s a good opportunity as any just to reconnect with people and have a conversation, check-in. And then once you actually get into the habit, it takes 21 days to form a habit. Once you get in there, it’s going to make it a little bit easier, right? Just to kind of keep going. And it’s just about making the discipline to block the time. You’re going to be better for it, and the people you reach out to are going to be better for it. And it has a multiplying effect because then you’re going to get, “Oh, by the way, do you remember so and so?”
And it’s going to generate another connection. And before you realize it, you’re going to be actually in this inflow of keeping the momentum. So, how do you stay on top of trends and industry news?

Other than communicating and working with colleagues at your company, what other resources or things do you do to stay current?

Well, I get up early, and I actually, um, thank God for the phone and thank God for the news, in a way. So, I try to watch and read so many different, you know, sources of information. So, I check probably at least four different newspapers globally, just to check headlines. Right? So, what’s going on? What’s happening? Um…

Things that are specific to supply chain, I do have subscriptions for, you know, those specific, you know, field, kind of industry-related things. But I want to say, just, you know, find what you feel that, you know, top three things that are happening globally, right? So that, at least you, you know, and then when you do have a benefit of having global teams, right? So before we start the meetings, I usually ask people, “Hey, what’s going on? You know, top news? What is happening on your end?” And it’s a good way to break, you know, the conversation, to kind of break, you know, as an icebreaker. But also, at the same time, you get additional information and perspective of what’s happening in another country, in another region where you may not necessarily be physically.

And it’s just, you know, I have this appetite for knowing, maybe as an extrovert, what’s happening. I like to be well informed. But it’s always, you know, a combination between reading, listening, news outlets, and just kind of, you know, checking different sources.

What trends do you think people in supply chain need to look out for for 2022?

Well, definitely, there’s going to be a generational change, and that’s going to be impactful. So, I think the generational X… it’s going to be probably the one dominating since most of the boomers are going to be in transition or at least, you know, phasing out. So, what impact the generational transition is going to have overall, and not only into the recruitment process, but I would say how business decisions are being made. Um, board seats, right? So, it’s going to be a lot of changes generationally at the board levels. So, I think it’s going to be interesting to see the impact and decisions. We’re already seeing that leadership is completely different from the way that it has been traditional to now, where there’s more engagement, there’s more social involvement, social responsibility, corporate responsibility to that end. So, I think in all of that, at the center of all of that, it’s supply chain and procurement. And coupled with all the issues that we have had from distribution, inbound, outbound, that’s going to be interesting. I will say a big… and I’m curious to see how that’s going to play it out over the next three years with the infrastructure bill that was signed, right? In a lot of onshoring construction plans, in manufacturing probably coming back to the United States. There’s still no doubt that there’s going to be parts, services, chemicals, products coming offshore, but it’s going to be interesting how is that going to play it out because then capability from the United States is going to build back. So, what does that mean for distribution for the rest of the world? What does that mean for the local and domestic supply chain? So, I think there’s a lot of questions to answer. And then coupled with technology… I mean, technology is here to stay. Technology is a good thing. It’s not a bad thing. It forces us to actually have more speed of information. And how do we then integrate that in a way that we can all be more connected? In the last bit that I would say, decentralization of information and processes. There’s more communities of practice coming together for main standardizations on sustainability, packaging, what is happening with diversity, equity, and inclusion? What is happening with processes? What is happening with buying standards? What is happening with mapping tier one to your two-tier three supply chains? So, there’s a lot of decentralization of information, which is a good thing. And I think it should continue. Then there’s a lot of information about system selections when we were talking about ERP, the other conversations. So, that will continue. So, I think it’s exciting to see how all of that will play. But if I were to summarize, I’m really curious with the generational impact that definitely is going to have, top to down, on how decisions are going to be different.

So, I know that you are part of the Sustainable Procurement Pledge that’s highlighted on your LinkedIn profile, and I know you post and talk about this a lot. So, would you like to share with us what it is? If somebody’s interested in being a part of the movement, how do they go about doing that? And then your thoughts in general on sustainability in supply chains and what we can do as practitioners and leaders in the industry to help.

Absolutely. Well, this is actually the brainchild of two thought leaders within procurement. So, one fellow friend of mine from Bayer, Thomas Edison, and also from Henkel, Bertrand. Essentially, they really got together, and I’m glad that they did, to kind of form this organization where there is an opportunity for procurement, since we have targets, right? So, to be more sustainable, to be carbon neutral, to actually reduce emissions. But there was not a whole lot of guidelines and information around how do you do it, really? How do you do it effectively? How is somebody else also doing it as well? So, this was the whole intent, to really create resources and make them available. But not only to make them available, to create this global community of practice. And now it has grown to a massive number of pledges, or people who actually have pledged their support. And it’s about us as procurement leaders creating the standards, but also holding accountable our suppliers, right? So, to also drive the same level of standards. And if this goes across many industries, then the more that we actually have in decentralized conversation, the more effective that it will be. And now we’re actually growing into chapters. So, we have country chapters, we have also topic and specific chapters. And I’m proud to actually say that I’m a member of the packaging chapter that is kicking off now in December. And we have to actually look at globally how do we then set up standards for packaging solutions, which is so critical. Such a visible area of impact and sustainability. Such a visible impact on waste generation.

So how do we can be more recyclable, not only in packaging but actually choose the right materials for packaging for brands, right? So we don’t pollute more of the environment. So many exciting things happening in that area, in that front. And I know that you love your big, big advocate on packaging. I mean, I remember all of your posts with, you know, the ‘don’ts,’ the things that shouldn’t be done. So I think definitely there’s gonna be room, I’m sure, to collaborate with you, Sarah, on that front also with the chapter. But yeah, for those who haven’t seen that, I will definitely encourage to check out the LinkedIn page for the SPP pledge, and definitely join us. And if you are in need of resources on they might help your procurement organization and your R&D teams, there’s a wealth of information available to you for free, and we can actually be at service. And it’s a wonderful community to be a part of.

Some of the things I hear a lot from people in the industry is they love this idea of sustainability, right? It sounds awesome. We all want to do good for the environment. But there maybe is not buy-in from the executive leadership team at the company, and so what small things can people do in supply chain to make an impact within their procurement teams?

I think there’s a misconception that it’s going to cost more, and there’s a misconception that it’s actually going to take more time. And those two things are absolutely not true, right? So in the first thing is that when you think about something as simple as tailspin, just to give a very simple example, that can, with through the lenses of sustainability, can be looked at in a completely different light. Right? So you always need to buy things brand new all the time, so where we can actually retrofit, where we can recycle, where we can actually look at different options for, you know, services. So I think there is an opportunity to look at everything in terms of waste and how we can actually reduce the generation of it. And that actually is going to yield not only savings opportunities, but it’s going to yield more efficiency and less downtime and more output and throughput. So I think if it’s just shifting a little bit on how we traditionally look at things and measure them through the lenses of waste generation, right? And if you actually look at that, that will open a whole different world of possibilities to partner all the way, not only within procurement and operations but also with manufacturing, with R&D, with the commercial heads, with marketing, right? And what does that mean across not only at a corporate level but also at a personal level? The thing is that the planet cannot wait any longer. We’re seeing it with snow in California, we’re seeing it with the fires, we’re seeing it with hurricanes coming into New Jersey. I mean, it’s coming everywhere. We had floodings in Germany no less this year, so there’s been in places where traditionally things that they were not happening, the weather and the climate is telling us, you know what, it’s no longer as stable as it used to be.

And the other thing is that there’s so many little things I have post about it that you can do at home that is not that complicated, just by even not using plastic bags when you go to the supermarket. So there are little things that is about education, it’s about education within the teams in the corporate, you know, all the way to influencing the C-suites. But it’s also about one’s self-education, right? So thinking about everything from the lenses of waste, am I really generating more or am I actually being, am I part of the program, I’m part of the solution, right? So it’s always that simple. And the thing is that if we don’t do it now, when? Because there’s not gonna be, I don’t think time to actually wait for another 20 more years or 30 years to actually see what happens. So it is a critical thing, it is actually a crisis that is not necessarily always being treated as one, and I think the more that we talk about it, I mean conversations like this definitely help, but we have to think about that if we don’t do something, all of us, it’s not somebody else’s problem. We have to really take ownership of how I actually being sustainable in my lifestyle, what I do, right? So what kind of car do I drive, how do I actually buy my groceries, what do I actually do in terms of waste, do I recycle, do I compost, do I do those things, right? So I think, do I eat enough to too much meat? There are things that we can actually do to actually be more sustainable. They are not rocket science, and they’re actually pretty easy. And the issue is when are you gonna start? If not now, then when?

So, the other thing that I know you’re super passionate about is diversity in supply chain. So, what are things that people can do to immediately start helping make their supply chain teams, their companies, more diverse?

Thank you, yeah, I’m passionate about sustainability, definitely, I can see that. And definitely, I’m passionate about DEI. Listen, I have lived in, I have the privilege of living in four continents. So, and I truly consider myself a global citizenship. Definitely, I have a lot of influences from the music that I listen to, from the foods that I eat, from the art that I like, from all of those things. And I love the fact that I cannot really point it out and make a distinction because I feel that I’m such a blend of everything that life has to offer. And this is the thing when we think about diversity and inclusion, immediately we go to gender, and it’s not, it’s so much more than that, right? So there is the aspect of culture, there’s the aspect of language, there’s the aspect of religion, there’s the aspect of gender, there’s the aspect of so many different things, including thought process. And I think the first way is to start recognizing that talent is truly universal but unfortunately opportunities are not, and how do we then create those? How do we actually are contributing directly or indirectly to generate a more even playing field for everybody, where we can actually see not only representation but we can also see acceptance. And that’s really the key because somebody once told me that inclusion was enough, but it actually is not because you can include something as a necessity, as a policy, as almost like as a requirement, but that doesn’t mean necessarily that you accept it or that you embrace it or that you support it. It’s just a requirement that you may have to comply with. And I think the difference is opening your mind to why is it that maybe I’m not accepting enough? What is it that I’m rejecting on? And then if that’s the case, then you have to really raise your own awareness and to have some genuine curiosity about it.

But I’m excited to talk about the Blended Pledge. So, me and one of our common mutual friend, Sarvans Humphreys, we have amongst with another wonderful board team, we’re actually co-founding this organization called the Blended Pledge. And our commitment is really to bring visible impact in inclusion and diversity into the stages. I mean, it’s such a broad area where we can actually make impact, but we’re definitely starting into creating a scholarship program where we can actually fund and help to put more diverse speakers into stages, whether it’s digital or in person. And also, we really wanted to create through content, digital features, and media to highlight brand awareness for the minority-owned businesses that may not necessarily have access to those resources. So, it is a non-profit organization. We’re still in the early stages of developing and creating, and of course, looking for corporate sponsors. So, if anybody’s watching this and is interested to actually learn more and be a corporate sponsor, please DM me or Sarah directly at least supply chain. But we’re definitely looking to create a more visible impact where there’s going to be inclusion across all industries, across all regions, and there’s going to be a bigger representation. And by the way, for the people who have had the opportunity to be successful in stages and speak, there’s also room for them to be a part of through allyship and also to mentorship. So, if you feel that you have had enormous success in being successful as a speaker, as a person who actually have had a trajectory of doing that and you want to be a part of mentoring junior or people who haven’t had the same level of experience and still wanted to do that, there’s also room to partner with us and also to be a mentor. So, great things to come, but I do think that it’s about just realizing that we’re all, no matter where we come from, we all have the same wants and needs. And I really hope that we keep growing in that awareness. The world truly global citizenship.

Now, one of the other things that’s also part of your Blended Initiative is a podcast. And so, I know I’ve listened to several of the episodes, and I’ve had many friends be on the show, but talk to us a little bit about the podcast and where people may be able to check that out.

Absolutely. Actually, the Blended Pledge was born as an extension of the podcast. In the podcast, credit to Sarah, she created this safe space where everybody comes and I have the opportunity to participate in one where you really share your stories and you feel that there’s a safe space to talk about it, and there’s no judgment, really. And it’s more about trying to understand, and it’s really when the magic happens, right? When you hear different people, no matter where they are, and there’s, in some cases, some similarities, but there’s also some instances where you’re learning maybe how sometimes some micro-inequalities or some stereotyping or perhaps things that we sometimes use as jokes, right?

So maybe whether it’s a defense mechanism or just we have normalized it into society, but in reality, that might have a deeper effect on somebody else who may be at the receiving end and who may not find it necessarily funny, who may not necessarily relate, or who may not necessarily understand why those stereotypes actually came to be considered to be almost like an absolute truth when in reality, they are not. So, I think through the Blended Podcast, it really helped to raise an awareness on how perspectives and how different stories really come together. But sometimes, it really opened the eye on things that sometimes we didn’t even realize that we’re having an impact right on somebody. And I was so grateful to have been a part of it and now even more thrilled that we are taking it to the next level in creating the pledge, which I think is going to help to unite more people, to actually, in the form of champions, advocates, and sponsors, right? So our hope is that we really are going to light the fire and we actually are going to create this big change. I know it’s an ambition, right? So it’s an ambitious change, but I’m confident that we’re going to be able to do it, and it’s exciting to see where the next year is going to take us. So stay tuned, but definitely, there’s, uh, it’s great. I mean, the podcast is not only going to be a resource available for the pledge, but also it’s going to be a platform to really continue to uplift voices and for people to share their stories, to hopefully continue to inspire that how we embrace authenticity and that everybody equally matters.

So we’ve got less than, gosh, 15 or so days till the end of the month, and then we’re in the next year, which is kind of crazy and insane to even think about. What predictions can you share with us about supply chain for next year?

I think supply chain will still continue to be very dynamic. I think that there’s going to be probably recovery, right, from what has happened over the last two years. It’s going to be interesting to see what’s going to happen with cost, even inflation, and some of the issues with bottlenecks, feedstocks, and things that have happened. So I think cost, really, is going to be a source of, you know, a pain point for most until manufacturing levels across the globe really normalize to a certain degree and distribution is up. I think it’s going to be a lot of focus still on reducing emissions and being more carbon-neutral, and also to be more sustainable. I think that we’re going to see a lot more of that being driven through the supply chain, and definitely, there’s going to be a continued emphasis on technology, right? Speed of information, speed of information on predictive analysis and analytics. I think there’s going to be a lot of emphasis to actually get more cognitive in not only in the supply chain, but I would say also manufacturing, which also kind of goes hand in hand. And definitely, there’s going to be a lot of opportunities for procurement to shine, right? To be able to be more effective, and not only funding growth but also to containing costs and also to finding more creative ways to drive value. I think there’s going to be a lot of opportunities for innovation. I think there’s going to be a lot of opportunities to actually see things with different lenses and to be able to drive value in non-traditional ways. I think that there’s going to be a lot of surprises for a lot of people, but I think it’s going to be, it’s still very exciting to be, and probably there’s going to be a more normalized year because if everything goes well with the scientific community that they expect the pandemic will become endemic, so less lethal. So then, that also should help with getting more normalized with the economy-wise. So I think that that also will kind of help with the recovery process in the supply chain. That will be a little bit of my position. We’ll see how that plays out.

So I, we’ve got about five minutes left, so I want to do my random spitfire round where I’m gonna throw five things at you and answer in a word or phrase. Oh gosh.

Accomplishment you are most proud of?

The people that I have developed, retained, and attracted.

Quality you admire most in yourself? Definitely resilience.

What’s your dream? Boy, so many. But I will probably say that to continue to be a multiplier force for good.

Biggest pet peeve? Tardiness. I probably generate another pet for other people, but I usually like to be really, really early, at least 10 to 15 minutes to every meeting, so yeah, I hate to be late.

Favorite thing to do in your downtime? Oh gosh, cooking, karaoke, I mean singing and traveling, and maybe all of that could be in one. In one go, right? That spurs the follow-up.

Favorite dish to cook? I’m big on Italian, so I would say that, I don’t know, I’m kind of torn between lasagna and paella, which had nothing to do with it, but those were the first two things that came to my mind.

Favorite song to sing in karaoke? Ah, man, you put me on the spot here. It depends on my mood, really. So today I’m kind of feeling Bon Jovi, right? So, but it really depends on my mood, so if you ask me, I will have said like ‘Born to Be My Baby’ today because of Bon Jovi, that’s how I’m feeling right now. But it depends, I can go from Ed Sheeran to Lady Gaga, so I could definitely don’t, it depends on the mood.

So, Joselina, for those that would like to connect with you, what’s the best way for them to go about doing so?

I would say definitely check out my LinkedIn profile. If you know, definitely open to connect with anybody, so that probably will be the easiest way at this point in time.

Awesome. Well, we are at time. I wanted to give a big thank you to our guest, Joselina, for coming on our show today, an awesome friend and just doing some incredible things in the industry. So looking forward to following your journey and path and all that you and Sarah accomplish with Blended. And for those that have found value in our Voice of Supply Chain show this year, where we interview a guest every single month, somebody who’s doing extraordinary things in our industry, we are going to continue the show for 2022. We are working on lining up our guests. If you yourself are interested in being on the show or have somebody that you would like to recommend, feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn. We are always looking for awesome superstars with untold stories. And so with that, I want to wish everyone a wonderful afternoon. Thank you.