Logistics Simplified ⎜ Sarah Barnes-Humphrey ⎜ EP 126
Ryan Cramer: What's up everyone? Welcome to my corner of the internet. I'm your host, Ryan Cramer, and this is Crossover Commerce, presented by PingPong Payments, the leading global payment's provider helping sellers keep more of their hard- earned money. Hey, what's up everyone? Welcome back to another episode of Crossover Commerce. This is episode 126. I'm Ryan Cramer, host of this beautiful show I like to call it Crossover Commerce. This is my corner of the internet where I bring you the best experts in the Amazon and e- commerce industry, whether it be on product listings or supply chain logistics, which we happen to be talking about today. I want you to know who are the best experts in the industry, but also if you have a problem, we're going to make sure we deep dive into those topics and maybe level up your business 1% at least today if you are listening to this or watching to this episode. But that being said, Crossover Commerce is presented by PingPong Payments. Of course, PingPong has transferred over$ 150 million a day with sellers now exceeding over 1 million customers worldwide and to date have done over$ 90 billion, yes, billion with a B in cross border payments. Safety, security, it's all under PingPong's brands. If you want to pay out your suppliers, your manufacturers, your VA's, anyone like that, go ahead and click and sign up for a PingPong account today. PingPong payments, it's free to use, really simplifies your solutions in terms of paying out your suppliers and manufacturers. Go and click on that and let them know that Crossover Commerce sent you. That being said though, I wanted to make sure that this question is one that continuously comes up today. And actually, if you are going to be following PingPong payments social media channels and our Crossover Commerce channels, you're going to notice a trend this week. There's a lot of supply chain and logistics people on here to give their insights into what is going on in the world. And that's kind of the question a lot of people still are trying to figure out even a year and a half later. We're still trying to figure out supply chain problems, logistics problems and how to piece all these puzzles together in one cohesive way. That being said, I wanted to bring on one of the experts. She's actually a logistics master in turn supply chain mogul, has her own podcast. Specifically talks about the logistics side of business, not just here in Canada or North America, but worldwide doing things like empowering women in the supply chain, talking about how to simplify business and to find the most effective ways to put together your supply chain working with free forwarders. She's also a baseball fan, has a bunch of animals that she's a lover of, and then also has been kind enough to hop on Crossover Commerce today. I'm talking about the one and only Sarah Barnes- Humphrey of Let's Talk Supply Chain, who has a podcast on Apple Podcasts and any really channel where you can listen to your podcasts. But let's go ahead and bring her on the show. Sarah, welcome to Crossover Commerce. Thanks for joining us today.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: Hey, how are you? I'm so glad to be here, Ryan.
Ryan Cramer: Oh, thank you for joining me. And we were talking a little bit before this. You're actually located in Canada, and we were just like shaking her head. My gosh, it feels like I'm trying to uncover myself from this big pile of emails and all these things to do, and I was like, " We didn't get a chance to promote this as much as, to your listeners, as possible." But thank you for hopping on today. I'm sure you've had a lovely holiday weekend in Canada. Canada has their own holiday on July 1st. How was that for you? Is it nice to get away with the family or do you kind of miss working at a non- stop rate of all the projects you have going on?
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: It was great. I honestly didn't take July 1st off. My husband got Friday off, so I ended up working on Thursday. Most of my customers are in the US and things like that, so I just kept working. And then we had Friday off and did a few things. And yeah, no, it was great.
Ryan Cramer: Well, yeah. And those are the kinds of things where people just build that out. And thanks. Good morning, Lisa.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: Hi, Lisa.
Ryan Cramer: Always a pleasure. You were on her show, Link Up Leaders, as well with Francois over there at Noviland. And they're fantastic people as always, so thanks for listening, Lisa. I got inspired actually to reach out to you by your episode with them. You actually talked about empowering women in supply chain, I think when I was tuning in. You're a big proponent of that, but you have such a vast experience and background in the supply chain. And I just alluded to that not a lot of people, I think, go into this industry or go into logistics with a, " I'm going to do this for a living," or, " I'm going to figure out this huge puzzle," especially now in this day and age. What was it like? Why would you put yourself in this position to work with people in this segment of the business and shipping, receiving freight forwarding? Logistics is one big puzzle, right? Are you a big puzzle fan? That's the first question I'm going to ask.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: Yeah, I guess you could say I'm a problem solver. But we've been talking about logistics and supply chain at the dinner table since I was probably nine years old or even younger, and so I kind of say supply chain is in my blood.
Ryan Cramer: Why is that? Was your family in the business or were you just-
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: Yeah. My dad owned a 3PL or he owned a freight forwarding company. And so they would come home and talk about it at the dinner table. And so I've kind of known about logistics and supply chain my whole life. And it really started off with me wanting to take over that company when I was 16. And I knew that, that was... Logistics and supply chain was just my path. I was going to go to college for police foundations or private investigation, because my grandfather was a detective in the Scotland Yard, and I wanted to also-
Ryan Cramer: ... That'sreally cool.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: ...follow in his footsteps. But I hate the sight of blood, so that wouldn't have really helped-
Ryan Cramer: That would be a-
Ryan Cramer: ... That would be aproblem.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah, right.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: I thought the same.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah, I was going to say, a lot of people... In college, when you go... The university I went to is big in physical therapy, and one of the first tests they put you through is looking at cadaver, just because to open it up, know the muscles and tissues and things like that. And if you can't handle that, it may be not the field for you. So blood, probably not the best field to get into.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: No. And honestly, I looked at college, university and I was like... I wanted to go to university for softball, but that didn't happen because I had missed my chance while I was in my college.
Ryan Cramer: What do you mean by that?
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: I was living in Vancouver at the time. My parents moved to Toronto while I was in the middle of high school, and so I finished off high school on my own. And so I didn't really have anybody really telling me what I needed to do to sort of make that a reality, unfortunately. And so when I looked at college or university outside of that, I didn't really know what I wanted to do, and so I was like, " You know what? I will go and be reception at the company and learn as much as I can while I'm working." I did courses by correspondence over 10 years. I ended up with several designations, diplomas, you name it, in a variety of different things, but mostly around supply chain, so freight forwarding customs, supply chain management. And then I finally got my designation in international trade.
Ryan Cramer: That's fantastic. So you're a baseball fan, you wanted to do that. I'm a big baseball fan as well and grew up playing it my entire life. But, yeah, I understand your passion was in sports, but then you had to try to figure out... I think this is a big thing with athletes, right? We've had a couple of guests on this or... We had Ashley Armstrong, who was a big... She was an international skier actually in Canada, and she was training to be on the Olympics team. She and her family were a bunch of skiers. She would train, and then the injuries would pile up, but she learned a lot about business through those kinds of efforts. It was amazing to hear her correlate from being an athlete mindset over to business, and working hard, resiliency, practice, it's okay if you fail. As an athlete, you know that you're going to fail more times than not, especially in baseball. And this is where I relate to the most is, to be one of the best players, in general, you can fail more often than you succeed. Less than half the time you can succeed 300 times out of 1000 and still be a professional athlete. That's one of the few times in the sport it actually is forgiving. In logistics and supply chain or in business, that's not as forgiving of an industry as athletics. What did you actually apply to from your athletic background into business?
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: I don't know if I did it. It must have happened organically. I mean, I've been playing softball since I was five. I was a competitive synchronized swimmer in high school.
Ryan Cramer: Really? Okay.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: I've always been in sports, right? And I don't know. And I continue to play, right? I continue to play volleyball. I continue to play softball. And so I don't know. I think just organically everything that I've learned from baseball has sort of transitioned into entrepreneurship and business and logistics and supply chain. Like you said, never being afraid to fail, taking risks. Right? I take more risks than I think a lot of people. Sometimes people are like, " You're a little crazy," but crosstalk
Ryan Cramer: When you take those tests, you're the one who's like, " We'll take risks," or an opportunity at a bigger payday, or a higher earn- out instead of the guaranteed amount, right? The lower amount, but you might be more willing to take a risk. Interesting. How does that apply moving forward? Logistics shouldn't be a risk- taking entity, right, it should be almost more consistent you know what to expect. But here, I would say in maybe the last two and a half years, maybe two years or so, with obviously a global pandemic, but also just kind of this growth of not just e- commerce, but just global commerce in general. How are we less taking more risks, but more optimizing it so that we can grow and build our business? What are you seeing on your end as the foremost expert in the space? You talk about it daily. What are we seeing in these last two or so years or so?
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: I mean, logistics and supply chain is risk wherever you look right? Because it's a risk with a supplier, it's a risk with a product, it's a risk to spend money on that product without sales. It's a risk moving the goods, because all sorts of things can happen. A container can be sent overboard off of a vessel, right? Never to be seen then. There's a lot of different-
Ryan Cramer: Get your diving equipment now. Yeah, exactly. Get your diving equipment.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: ...Yeah. There's a lot of different risks that happen in logistics and supply chain. Over the last 18 months we've seen huge shifts. I mean, we've heard about so many containers overboard that we don't ever really hear about. We have experienced COVID at the port of LA and Long Beach. And so there was 1, 800 people off for COVID at one point, which obviously all the vessels were kind of stacked and they needed to be offloaded, and so that took a while to clean up. I think we're still cleaning up from that. The Suez Canal, right? That stopped, what, $ 400 million worth of product a day through the Suez Canal? And now we've got-
Ryan Cramer: About 10% of the global trade was going through that port or through that trade route. Yeah.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: ...Yeah. We've got Huggies, we've got bicycles that are still stuck on that vessel, and they're being held ransom because somebody's got to pay the bill and nobody's willing to pay the bill. Right? And we've seen an increase in e- comm. In some respects, it's like an increase of 300%. Well, who would have seen that? Right? You've got Home Depot going to rent their own vessel so that they can move their containers because the cost of moving products right now has gone up tenfold. There's a lot that has been happening in logistics and supply chain over the last 18 months. And actually, I did a live show this morning and I was just talking about... Because Tractor Supply, I think the CEO came out and was like, " This is going to be our reality for the foreseeable future." And I have a lot of people that come to me and they're like, " How long is this going to last? How long do we have to deal with this?" Especially a lot of small to mid- sized businesses, right? They can't just absorb these costs that are coming at us from a shipping perspective. And he came out and he said, " This is our foreseeable future, guys." So what does that look like from a supply chain perspective? How can you change things? What is that going to look like? Are you going to manufacture overseas? Are you going to manufacture here? Are you going to source raw materials locally, or are you going to source them globally? It really wreaks havoc on every single decision, every single thing that you're thinking about. Are you going to use 3D printers more often? There's a lot to think about.
Ryan Cramer: There's a lot of good points there. And I think a lot of this aspects would take days to just unpack and unfold, but for the sake of an hour show or so that I have you here, what's the most fascinating aspect? I would take it and break it down into all these different little nuances, right? You had mentioned the backup in ports, the increase with, in general, just with e- commerce as a whole, but then also that wreaks havoc on the retail aspect. You said Home Depot renting out an entire vessel, which is no small cost, if you will. It's quite expensive. And then just sheer acts of nature and acts of God. You have product going overboard or ships sinking, and people losing millions upon millions of dollars in product. Is this just the perfect storm and we're just going to have to ride it up and catch up? Because I guess my first question would be for you is, how do you catch up? Is this always going to be like work from behind or how do we lessen the pressure on the ecosystem by either introducing new aspects or products to help alleviate some of the pressure, or how do we take some of this stream or this river, or even tidal wave, if you will, and divert some of its power away so that it's a little bit more palatable to consume?
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: I think that, that's a really good question. If I had a crystal ball, I'd be able to answer it a lot better, to be perfectly honest. But I think that supply chain leaders, I think business owners are taking a look at what's been going on, what's working for them, what's not working for them, and how can we diversify? A lot of companies were manufacturing overseas for the global market. They would manufacture in China and then that product would be distributed across the world, right? Either to North America or maybe North America and Europe. I think now companies are taking a look at other locations, whether that's globally or whether that's locally, as to how they can manufacture the product and deliver it to the customer. But it's not just about delivery to your distribution center, it's how quickly can we get that product into the hands of our consumer as well? Because the consumer's expectations have... They were up before COVID. During COVID they understood that COVID was an issue. Now those expectations are coming back, that, " Hey, I want my product." And I think for supply chain professionals and supply chain leaders, they really need to take a look at what that looks like. Where are my customers? Right? Maybe my customers are in China. Okay, so manufacturer the products that are going to be delivered within China in China. Maybe some of my customers are in North America. Okay, so can I do the manufacturing in North America? And where are those raw materials? That actually opens up a really fascinating discussion around diversifying your supplier base as well? Because now you're not only looking at possibly one manufacturer in China, you're looking at other suppliers and you're diversifying. And you can take that investment and you can invest in different diverse suppliers, whether it's from the BIPOC community, whether it's from the LGBTIQA + community, whether it's a female- owned entity. There's so much more we can be doing with those dollars, and there's so much opportunity out there that I think that it's great to see, that we're now opening those horizons and seeing what's out there and who we can work with.
Ryan Cramer: Taking more of that, going back to the risk taking aspect that we were talking about earlier in this episode, and then maybe hedging your, not hedging your bets, but almost making you more stable as a business entity. And diversifying it not just around the world, but into different passions or different businesses that you do want to support of. Like you mentioned, women- owned businesses, LGBTIQA businesses, all those different aspects that are important to different people and whatnot. With that being said, is that kind of a hurdle that would be, " Oh, that's nice to, if I can do that, but maybe I worry about quality of product," or, " Things might be a little bit different if I'm sourcing from all these different places."? To me, the simplistic way to do it would be have it all under one roof and then that way it's consistent across the board. You can have your quality inspection done all in one location, and then you know it's going to be consistent, whatever is working, or you're creating from that location. If we want to diversify, how do we simplify it into the notion that we're not going to run into any of these nuanced issues?
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: And you can have that one manufacturer, but where are you going to have that manufacturer? Right? Where's your customer? Right? Figure out where your customer is, figure out where your raw materials come from. I'm not saying not to have multiple, but you can't have multiple and you can diversify, or you can just take a look at one manufacturing location globally and sort of figure out where that makes the most sense for you. Right now, with ocean freight costs being as high as... I had somebody tell me a 40 foot container last week was$ 22,000 US. It doesn't make a lot of sense for a small to mid- sized business to pay$22, 000 US for a 40 foot container to bring in product that's not already sold and they have no margin left after they paid that. Maybe for them it makes the most sense to bring some manufacturing back. Maybe it makes sense for them to invest in a 3D printer because their product could be made by a 3D printer. And the cost of 3D printing is coming down, and they can source that raw material locally. There's a lot of different things to think about, right? And it's going to vary by organization. It's going to vary by business, whether you're small, mid- size enterprise. The enterprise are the ones that will most likely diversify their suppliers and be able to manage that volume of suppliers. The small to mid- market is going to take a look at where their customers are, take a look at the raw material and figure out the best place for them.
Ryan Cramer: Right. And that makes sense because of time wise. What we always tell here is, how are you going to turn your... How are you going to work with a supplier manufacturer quickly so that time is not the issue? Because obviously, our warehouse is the conversion of currency. When you're waiting on just simply US dollar to transition over to the Yuan or the INR over in India, that just takes time that you're waiting for a simplistic thing of currency. But they can't buy or hire out their employees, or pay their employees to manufacture your products, therefore you're just waiting on that part of the" supply chain" to unfold and kind of work itself through. It's just one of those nuanced things of how do you shorten that time gap from six weeks or so when you place the order, or probably even longer now, six weeks down to maybe five weeks or four weeks? That timeframe, whether you exit your business or you just need more goods into your 3PL warehouse or into an FBA facility, that just allows you to get your goods there quicker. My question to you, Sarah, who's actually winning right now? Because it seems like it's a lot of chaos. Who are the people that are diversifying or who are apt and positioned to be successful right now? Is it Chinese- based sellers or is it companies based in Europe? Who are the people that are going to be ahead of the curve, if you will, right now?
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: It depends on the organization. It depends on the business. It depends how much emphasis they put on logistics and supply chain in the past. There's a lot of small to mid- sized businesses that leave the logistics to their suppliers. And so the freight gets prepaid, gets here, you don't know who it's going to be with because they use a different freight forwarder every single time. And your landed costs actually end up being really, really high. It really depends on how the organization really views supply chain and logistics, and how important it is to that organization. Supply chain and logistics can be used as a competitive advantage in a variety of different ways. One of them is manufacturing, which is what we just talked about. Are we bringing it home? Are we leaving it over there? Are we moving it from China to Vietnam? I know apple moved some of their manufacturing from China into India. And for them, it actually opened up a new consumer market. And so it made a lot of sense for them to open up and do manufacturing in India. I can tell you shipping out of India, not ideal because it takes six to eight weeks to get here. And that's just the transportation side of things if you're going to use ocean freight. But if India is a new market for you and you want to open up manufacturing there, that makes sense, right? Because then you're manufacturing for that local market, which is what I was talking about before. And so-
Ryan Cramer: I was going to say, is that timeframe just because of they don't have a built- out network or they haven't put in the money into turning out products as quickly as a nation like China is, or is that just because of distance? Why is there such a length of time? It feels like that's a little bit longer than we can expect from a Chinese company or a manufacturer from there.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: It is. From an ocean freight standpoint, from shipper to actual destination, it does take a little bit of time. There's some weather issues in there that damper and provide delays, right? Especially when you're looking at LCL, they might not have enough LCL and so they're waiting to fill up that container. But weather is definitely an issue,. And then just the routes over here-
Ryan Cramer: Makes sense.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: ...is why it takes so long.
Ryan Cramer: Sorry to cut you off on that, but-
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: No problem.
Ryan Cramer: ... I wasjust curious why that distance and time? Because I know a lot of people are turning their head a little bit more to different nations. I know India is big in raw materials and goods in that capacity, and that's where a lot of shortage is coming from in China aspect. You would think if you put your processes at the beginning of the funnel, it might cut down on some time, but that doesn't always seem like the aspect. There's some other outside factors that we'd have to account for. So anyways, continue, I'm sorry about that.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: Yeah. No, I mean, transit time is a really big deal, right? When you're looking at another country to manufacture in, and you're looking to bring it over to Europe or North America, transit time is a really big deal. When you are looking at a new location, you want to talk to your freight forwarder and find out how long it's going to take for an LCL shipment, right, the less than container load ocean freight shipment, or how long is it going to take for a 40 foot? What do their roll overs look like? Right now out of China, it's taking, I think, four or five weeks for a container to actually leave because it gets rolled over week after week after week after week, because there's just no space. The other thing that you need to consider too is labor shortages. This morning, on my live show, I was talking about how there's labor shortages in China. Well, there's also labor shortages in North America when it comes to warehousing. You need to also weigh your options as far as talent. The other thing to consider is that technology costs the same everywhere. So if you're going to open up a warehouse or you're going to open up a manufacturing facility, and you're looking to implement some of the technology, that cost stays the same no matter where you open that facility. The things that differ are obviously the overhead costs, but also the costs for the people as well. So keeping that in mind, how much technology are you going to implement in that facility?
Ryan Cramer: Got you. With that being said, you said there's labor shortage, that's just people getting... When you're receiving the goods in ports and whatnot, that's just people in general to get those goods in those containers off boats. Where's that labor shortage most impacted? Is it-
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: Warehousing.
Ryan Cramer: Warehousing in general. Okay.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: Warehousing in general. Yeah.
Ryan Cramer: Is that for COVID or is that just because of the growth factor of e- commerce in this industry, or what's the major factor of the-
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: It's a little bit of both.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: It's a little bit
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: of both, right. We've had some relief packages coming from the government. And so some people have decided to potentially stay home. Some people have to stay home because the kids haven't been in school. Right? And so they've had to stay home to take care of the family. And then you've also got the growth, right?
Ryan Cramer: So-
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: People are expanding really quickly.
Ryan Cramer: ...Right. And I've been a big proponent of, and I've had a lot of conversations personally with other thought leaders in the space, the people who innovate and grow and can figure out logistics and supply chain at the end of when the pandemic kind of subsides. And we're not talking about at the top of every newscast, it's whoever is going to be a figure-
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: We want them to.
Ryan Cramer: ... Right.Well, yeah, exactly. Well, again, whenever it's safe, and obviously all these other aspects of it, when society becomes focused on other major components, and this isn't such a major factor and cog in our society anymore. People have always constantly said this is the one of the component. If you can figure out logistics and supply chains, and just how to get from point A to point B quicker and more effectively, whether it's through technology, whether it's through cost and planning, you're going to be coming out ahead because you're going to have everyone pointing and looking at you and saying, " I need to work with this company or the solution or this idea." That's always been talked about in this regards. Where in this processes can we cut off some of the fat, right? Where can sellers go in this whole cog or this whole timeline, if you will, and we can start implementing and shortening our time window today? Is there a place where you can just instantly cut off a piece of fat and you see results quickly?
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: No, I don't think so, because everybody in the chain is valuable to that particular part of the chain. You got to remember, right? Supply chain starts with the sourcing of the product, the buying of the product, the manufacturing of the product, the transportation of the product, the distribution, and then ultimately the delivery to the end consumer. And so every piece of that puzzle is extremely important. I think getting everybody to speak the same language, and have the same values and share the same knowledge is where you're going to win, right? Because knowledge really is king. And share the same data. Data really is the new oil, right, in as far as value. And so I think one of the... I mean, there's really two places that you could start. One is data, getting your data house in order and really understanding where you are from a data perspective. That makes you more proactive than it does reactive. And so that's going to cut a lot of the fat, because at that point then you're basing your decisions on data. You're not actually basing it on no data, right, and just guessing.
Ryan Cramer: Right.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: I think-
Ryan Cramer: I was going to-
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: ...that's the really important part.
Ryan Cramer: ...Where do people go with this data? Each piece seems you'd have to go into weeks of understanding like obviously sourcing, and then like you said, transportation. All of those major pillars in this whole landscape, you used to not have to worry about the solution and we'd be able to just find my product, make sure it gets to an FBA warehouse somewhere in North America. For local people in the United States, a lot of people just throw it into a warehouse, and they can just store it long- term, not worry about that, but now that's not the case. We have inventory limit restrictions. We have people looking at supply chain issues. Canada, I'm sure you know is experiencing just shortages in people just because of fulfillment centers are getting shut down in general, so people have to pivot constantly in terms of where to put their goods. It doesn't matter how big or how small you are in the e- commerce landscape, people are just looking for answers, and the ones that have the money are kind of coming out on top. Right? You have the capital, resources, buy our own warehouse, figure out kind of where to put your hard- earned money. My question to you is, for a person who doesn't have this kind of background and experience, where do you get access to this data? Is it just talking with people and building out your own spreadsheets? Are there free resources that we can kind of use in the numbers we need to know always consistently and just know how your books are going to be balanced? Like you said, we're investing so much money and resource into our goods. We need to know how much capital margins we're working with, so we need to know how to work those numbers in our favor.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: Take a look at where your breakdowns are. Where's your breakdown in communication? Right? Why do you have breakdowns in communication? What does that look like? What are your processes around sourcing the product, around buying the product, around moving the products? Because remember you are in control of all of this. And so you need to be able to take that control and to really figure out what the processes are that you want that to be. Once you know the processes, then you know what data that you need to be able to help make those decisions. There's a company out there called the Classification Guru, who is Susan Walsh. She's over in the UK, and she helps to sort data. So all the spreadsheets that you have when it comes to product, right? You could have nuts spelled N- U- T- S, or maybe you have it as N- T- S. Right? And so you've got them on different line items, but they're really the same item. And so all of your data is all over the place, right? You want to make sure that the data that you have is well- organized, and she's one of the people that can help you do that.
Ryan Cramer: That's really cool. I will have to look into Susan. We'll make sure we go to any of her websites or connections and connect with people for the listener out there who's listening to this in that regard. A lot of my listeners also asked the question of, what can we expect in terms of costs? You're kind of in the weeds as well in terms of costs. We've seen prices continue to skyrocket. Is this something we need to plan for a little bit more effectively for costs to continue to rise and skyrocket, or are we going to see maybe a ceiling, if you will, and then things to maybe come back down to earth a little bit more favorably in a lot of these SMB's favor?
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: Again, I need a crystal ball for that one. But the only time that the prices are going to stabilize is when there's empty room on the vessels, I think.
Ryan Cramer: Right.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: Right. I think that steamship lines have record profits right now. And I'm not saying this, but according to a LinkedIn post that I saw the other day-
Ryan Cramer: Basically a fact. Yeah.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: ...they haven't been profitable for 20 years.
Ryan Cramer: Really? Okay.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: I'm not getting into that discussion with you because that is worth a whole nother show.
Ryan Cramer: Yikes. Yeah. We don't have enough time to unpack that.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: But it's all about demand and supply. I would hope that it's going to stabilize soon because I think our small to mid- sized businesses are definitely hurting because of these prices. I don't believe that they would have had the margins to be able to eat this. And even if they decide to turn those costs over to the consumer, which I think most people are going to be doing, I think they've got to be careful as to how much they're actually putting on their product that people are going to pay for. The other thing that you got to think about too is that everybody's not at home anymore. So where we were spending our money on e- commerce during COVID, they're now going to go back and start spending on experiences. Right? And so eating out concerts, different things like that. Their discretionary spending is going to be over a lot more different things than we had spent previously in COVID. And so I think that's going to make a difference to e- commerce as well. I think it's going to take a little bit of time, but it's going to stabilize. And then going back to our point about data as well, looking at the different technologies that are out there. On my podcast, I actually interview solutions and companies that are solving problems within the supply chain, the logistics space, and most of them are tech companies. And so you want, if you have a specific challenge, go and check it out, because you can filter by category and you can pull up an episode where you can learn more about the solutions that are out there to help you with that specific problem. And there are a ton of great technology platforms out there where you can connect with your suppliers and you can exchange data, and then you have more data that you can play with and make the right decision.
Ryan Cramer: Well, let's pivot into that segment too, because you said you, from your beginning in business aspects, you've learned so much. I'm curious too, from podcaster to podcaster and for a listener out there who's listening to this, why start a podcast in the supply chain and logistics side, because I think, what, 257 episodes for you now? I looked before this and I thought I had the number down off the top of my head, but it's around 250 episodes that you're constantly pumping out information. Why do it? Why put yourself through it? Let's be honest.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: I really-
Ryan Cramer: ...Why start a podcast and put yourself through this?
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: ... Ireally enjoy it. How many do I have now? I had 68 episodes in season one. And season one was called 2 Babes Talk Supply Chain, not Let's Talk Supply Chain, and crosstalk
Ryan Cramer: What happened to the babe number two? I was going to say-
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: When I started the podcast, it was back in 2016. And as a 3PL, it's very important as a freight forwarder to be able to tell your brand story, and so I wanted to do it in a very unique way. Back in 2016, the marketing in logistics and supply chain was very stuffy. Let's just say that. And I was listening to a lot of podcasts at the time, and I thought, " Well, hey, if Lewis Howes can do it, why can't Sarah Barnes- Humphrey?" And so I started a podcast. I asked a guy in my customs department to be my cohost, and that's how we got started. And tongue in cheek, we called it 2 Babes Talk Supply Chain because we wanted to see how far we could push the edges of the industry as far as marketing was concerned. And it worked. We started featuring companies on the show. And so we've done what I had mentioned earlier right from the beginning, featuring companies within the supply chain and logistics industry, so that supply chain professionals could really understand who was out there and what they were doing. And so in 2017, yeah, 2017, unfortunately, my dad closed his doors. But I still had guests, I still had paying guests coming on the show. And so I lost my co- hosts at the same time, I lost my whole team. And so I had to learn social media, I had to learn graphic design and website design. And it was crazy. And my first episode out on my own was horrible from an editing perspective. But that's okay, because we all-
Ryan Cramer: ...Join the club.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: ... learnand we get better, right? I just, I really enjoy it. I really like being able to tell people's stories and people's brand stories, and give supply chain professionals, or even business owners someplace to go in this crazy wild west of supply chain and logistics to be like, " Oh, hey, that's what they do? Okay, awesome. You know what? I'm going to give them a call because that is exactly what I'm looking for," without having to Google and try to figure out from ads whether they're the right person for you, or from a salesperson, right? A sales person coming to you and selling you their software is very different than listening to them organically on an episode talking about exactly what they do and why people use them. Right? One of my favorite questions is to ask them, " Give me a real life example of how you've helped the customer. Tell me, what was the challenge that they had? What was the-"
Ryan Cramer: Right, a case study.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: "... solution?What was the benefit?" Right?
Ryan Cramer: Right.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: And so, yeah, I just, I really enjoy it. And podcasting, it's also given me the opportunity to create Blended, The Blended Podcast, which is about diversity and inclusion. And so not only do we have our women in supply chain series, we now have Blended. And so we've been able to cover topics. This month's topic is going to be about transgender. We had an episode on BLM. We have an episode coming up on social inequality, or what are the right and wrong ways of handling diversity in workplace. And these are authentic conversations. I gather a group of people that I've never met before, and we all lay it out on the line as to what our experiences has been. And I think that's what we need, right? We need to create safe spaces to have different dialogues and to be able to learn from each other.
Ryan Cramer: What's fascinating about that is you're doing what we would do in a typical physical aspect, right, of if I could create a case study or if I can create conversation. You're throwing people in a room that have never met before, in this case a digital room. And that's one of my favorite things about being a guest. I think my favorite episode is always when I bring, no offense here, one or more people. Obviously having a one- on- one conversation is one thing, but when you get a group of people together, which is always super fascinating to me, you can hear people give an audible, or I should say non- verbal context to either reaction or just a, " I disagree or agree with that." And then kind of passing this talking stick around as a host, and getting all these different perspectives is super fascinating for me. It makes me think that... Again, not everyone in the world is going to have the same viewpoint or the same perspective or even the same goals, but that's kind of the beautiful thing, is that as a host, you're kind of helping tell the story. You're not the one telling the story always, but you're facilitating it, making sure it gets from start to finish in hopefully one piece. What's-
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: That's what we do.
Ryan Cramer: ... Right, exactly. I was goingto say, there's some emotional turmoil that comes after once you've clicked stop recorder, no longer live, and you're like, " What was that conversation about? Did we actually spend and have valuable time to a listener out there and provide great context in the topic?" But I'm curious for you, what was your favorite conversation to date with a guest or maybe an unexpected conversation, if you will?
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: I have so many.
Ryan Cramer: There's 207, to go back and reference. I looked it up.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: 207. Okay.
Ryan Cramer: 257. I know there's a seven at the end, but 207 episodes now that you can listen to. I have a little bit of catching up to do.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: All of the women in my Women in Supply Chain series, just understanding their journey and what that looked like, and how different it's looked like for every single person, and how some people have fallen into logistics and supply chain, some people haven't. My latest one from Monday or from yesterday, she went from banking to tech and now runs logistics for Wayfair. And so I think it's really interesting to hear their paths. Every single episode of Blended has been an emotional roller coaster for me. I think I've cried at least once in every episode or at least after the episode, just because of the authenticity and how much people trust me to help tell their story. At the end of every, I usually get something along the lines of, " Thank you. I feel heard today." And that in itself, those are very magical words. I like every single episode for one reason or another. I mean, when I get to interview a solutions provider, from any aspect of it, from sourcing, procurement, transportation, last mile delivery, they're all so passionate about what they're doing. They're so passionate about what they're doing and what they're talking about and how they can help. I don't do a lot of research before I do the interview because I want to learn from them. I want to draw their passion out. I don't want to know everything there is about them. I want the audience to learn at the same time that I do. And that's what makes it fun for me. And so every episode I take something away from it.
Ryan Cramer: That's amazing. And I agree with that, in that aspect of, of all the guests I've had on the show, I've met only one of my counterparts in- person, which is super fascinating in the aspect of all of a sudden now, as the world starts to open up and you have events, which I'm assuming you will be attending if you can get out of Canada. I'm still not sure what Canada's rules and regulations are for escaping the country, I should say. But as people open up, they're always asking you, " Hey, when can we meet in- person? How can we have a conversation in- person?" And those are not just like friendships, but they're bonds that kind of last in these kinds of storytelling. And you and I have a responsibility and platform to say, " Hey, listen, let's talk about the topic. Let's educate our audience," but let's also make sure that we can tell it in a favorable and also a very true way, right? I don't want anyone to come on the show and not feel like they can be authentic or they can say, " I disagree with that statement or disagree with that sentiment," because this is a platform that is not just for marketing purposes, it was education, and that's the number one form in this world of there's so many different ways. And the noise is so loud, whether it's through videos, social media, however you want to consume it, right, we have to break through the noise. And it's I think people ultimately find this true conversations and they stick with them. What's one moment that you felt really proud of the show that you've done, and then also maybe any of the businesses you've done? Is it a certain metric or an award, or is it just having these conversations with people? What's the one thing that's really made you the most proud of doing this journey as a host?
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: Well, first of all, telling me 46 minutes into this that I could disagree with you at any point in time in this conversation. I mean-
Ryan Cramer: I did that on purpose.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: ... can you dothat at the beginning of the next podcast?
Ryan Cramer: I'll do that.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: I think when I get a message from somebody that says that they've been listening to my Woman in Supply Chain series since the beginning and how it's helped them with their career, or they've been listening to the podcast and it's helped them with their career in supply chain, those are the moments where you're just kind of like, " Yeah, I've made a difference. I've made an impact." And even if it's with one person, that's really why we do this or why I do this. I think one of a really proud moment in this last week was announcing our franchise, and so because we've franchised into the Asia- Pacific region. And so now we've got a podcast that's going to be coming out in a little bit called Let's Talk Supply Chain Asia Pac hosted by Jonathan out of Sydney. And so we're now going to be able to focus on different regions and different areas. And supply chains look very different in different places, right, especially from a sustainability standpoint. When you think about recycling requirements in a facility that's in North America versus a facility in the Philippines, let's say, the requirements are very different.
Ryan Cramer: Right.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: Right? And so you can't treat every single facility the same. And so it's really nice to be able to do that and to be able to unpack what's happening in supply chain in different regions and with different people, right? Creating that family, creating that ecosystem. That was a really proud moment for me. The awards are nice. I mean, I'm not going to lie. It's been nice to be on the top 100 women in supply chain list, but they're not what I hang my hat on. I talk to a lot of people every single day. And just knowing that what we're doing and the content that we're putting out there is making a difference, especially Women in Supply Chain, Blended, is huge. Because I think the more we can have those conversations, the more impact that we can make, the more safe people feel in this industry. And this industry is full of amazing, amazing, amazing people, and giving voices to those amazing people in the industry to be heard. It's not just about the C- suite, it's not just about the VPs. If we keep focusing on that, we're not going to see diversity and inclusion at the conference level, at the speaking level, and we're not going to bring those diverse voices into the industry. And so that's really something that I'm proud of too, is being able to give voices to everyone.
Ryan Cramer: Well, that's amazing, and congratulations on that. Just the diverse nature that you're bringing. Again, bringing it back to ultimately one big topic, right, in the supply chain and logistics, that is amazing in general, but you're giving voices, like you said, to people who may not have had that in the first place, which is really tough to do. That's no small feat, so congratulations on that success. And just like you said, the words and recommendations are nice. And when I got the email, our podcasts was number 157 in the United Kingdom in entrepreneurship. To the one listener out there, I thank you for watching or listening to this in the UK in the entrepreneur category. Those are always kind of fun, funny little, " I can't believe that, that exists out there, but why would you send me that email or anything like that?" But ultimately, I agree with you, lots of the sentiments of why we do this, the education component, right? It's you want to see value in the information that you're putting out there, but you want to educate people too. There's constantly people coming and going in this industry, and they're trying to figure out... It's not just Amazon sellers in this space, it's people who are coming from corporate America who are trying to figure out a new business, a startup. And like you said, in the tech space, there's lots of innovation growing from there. But Sarah, in this kind of final five minutes or so that we have you, what's kind of your goal in life? And you referenced it twice, " I don't have a crystal ball," but you might have a plan or a roadmap that you want to eventually get to. If you're lying awake at 9: 00, your husband's like, " One's enough, Sarah," what are we trying to do here, if we're answering that question?
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: crosstalk
Ryan Cramer: I was going to say we've franchised our podcasts, which I truly didn't know was a thing. I'm sure I'll get an email in my inbox to my counterparts to diversify this podcast when we syndicate. But what's kind of that goal for you?
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: I was talking about this today with my business coach. I want to experience everything there is to life in the world. One of my biggest things that I'm going to be focusing on from here on out is experiences, and taking people with me to experience that with me. I don't know if you've seen this, but the Amazing Vacation Rentals on Netflix is my newest crosstalk
Ryan Cramer: It's in my list. I don't know if I'm mentally ready for that kind of commitment, because I will want to book everything I see.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: That's my issue right now. But I definitely want experiences over things. Let's Talk Supply Chain is going to grow quite a bit. We've got a lot of things in the hopper. We've got a new website coming out. We've got two new live shows that I have announced and then we've got three more in the hopper. And so just being able to create that content. And I will do this as long as everybody will have me, because it's fun, I really enjoy it. I get to meet a lot of, like I said, incredible people. I'm also looking at maybe doing a video course around how to monetize your podcast and create something like I've created with Let's Talk Supply Chain. So lots of different things going on. As far as life goals, it's really just experiences over things. And I will do this as long as people will have me. There you go.
Ryan Cramer: As long as there's always one eyeball in that top left hand corner that I can know that one person is at least watching, then I'll continue to press start and record. So yeah, I agree with you. You talked, and all people say this, in this industry alone I think I can speak is, when people talk about buy my fancy new car, buy houses or anything like that, I see it more and more daily that, that's not the case. A lot of people want to experience time and freedom to do things with their family, whether like you said, experience travel, put on pause. And I think a lot of people are trying to figure out how to fill those gaps during lockdown when those are taken away, and I think that's why you saw a lot of people struggle. But that being said, now that hopefully people kind of reset themselves no matter what that experience might be and that time down is, how do we move forward and find that true North star, whether that be like you said, experiences building their own business, taking their brand to a whole new level, figuring out the flipping supply chain and logistics nightmare that they're going through. One of those things. People are resilient when they get faced with adversity. I think that's really cool that you are doing all this accomplishments. I know I'm a big fan. I'll continue to follow your journey, would love to have you back obviously in whatever capacity, whether it's a round table or just obviously waving that banner for women obviously in the space and logistics, which we didn't get to talk on as much as I would like to. But I'm always fascinated by people's journeys and what their goals are. So thanks for sharing that today as always.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: And I love what you're doing, and I love PingPong, so I'm-
Ryan Cramer: That's right.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: ... super excited to be on your show.crosstalk
Ryan Cramer: You signed and you're like, " I'm waiting for some of my customers to pay me so I can use you guys." So that was really exciting. I appreciate that. But yeah, for the listeners out there too, check out Sarah on Let's Talk Supply Chain. We can listen where? Everywhere, I'm assuming. We're talking about Apple, Spotify. Are we trying to move people in one platform over another? No. Okay. No Apple or just anywhere that you choose to download or listen to the podcast. You have a YouTube channel.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: And the website.
Ryan Cramer: And the website, of course, Letstalksupplychain. com. You can learn more about Sarah. Get some swag, which I also didn't know is a thing, and I want to make that available. I'm going to put my face on everything; mugs, hats, everything. That's a new thing.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: Okay, I didn't put my face on everything. If you go to our shop on the website, it is not my face.
Ryan Cramer: Sarah, this is my show, it's all about me here, so we're going to put my face on everything. I know boss is listening to... No, I'm just kidding. No, you have a great resource as well too for people who can voice their opinions and obviously listen within your website. So obviously stay tuned for more exciting upcoming things that you're going to be posting about. How can they get in touch with you if they want to ask a question or if they want to interact with you in any way or any of your businesses? How can they do that?
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: Go to the website, we've got some forms, some HubSpot forms on the website that you can complete, or on LinkedIn. I'm Sarah Barnes- Humphrey on LinkedIn. Go and follow the Let's Talk Supply Chain page as well, because we not only have my live show every Tuesday morning, but we've got two new live shows coming out monthly and then we've got three more after that, that are going to be full of amazing content on logistics and supply chain. So would love, love, love to see you there. Plus, we give away that swag to the most engaged viewer and people that are commenting on our posts and things like that. We're giving out swag on a monthly basis, so crosstalk
Ryan Cramer: Well, I have a space on my shelves behind me. I always tell people there's people who want to feature swag behind me. I'm not opposed. And I will be the first in line to shout from the rooftops in one of these episodes. You'll know who it is. I'm excited about that. Yeah. But check out Letstalksupplychain.com for everyone who's listening. It's going to be in the show notes, so you can check that out as well once we publish this on our audio formats. But you can watch this, of course, on YouTube, if you didn't catch the whole thing, or on LinkedIn or Facebook as well. Sarah Barnes- Humphrey, thank you so much for hopping on today. Congrats on all success and things, or simplifying some of the questions that we had about supply chain and logistics today. Thanks so much inaudible
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.
Ryan Cramer: Of course. Have a great day, and stay busy and safe out there. We'll talk to you later. Awesome.
Sarah Barnes-Humphrey: Thanks. Yeah.
Ryan Cramer: No problem. Thanks again, Sarah. Let me get rid of that. Oh my goodness. Let me inaudible one more time. I'm going to get rid of this graphic because I'm producing in real time. Thanks everyone. As you can tell, I've been a little bit rusty from the great holiday weekend. But of course, Crossover Commerce is presented by PingPong Payments. We want to thank Sarah Barnes- Humphrey from Let's Talk Supply Chain Podcast. Go and check her out on that. And then of course, go ahead and sign up for PingPong Payments to help with your inbound and outbound payment solution as well. This week is action packed. We have guests, two more guests this week. We're going to be talking with people from GETIDA as well as other freight forwarders in this space. Again, we are going to tease them as we come out on social media. So that's your cue to go ahead and subscribe to our social media pages, whether it be LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube. Online, make sure you follow us on those channels so you can watch it and be notified when future episodes are announced and are live. That being said, I'm Ryan Cramer. This is episode 126 of Crossover Commerce. We'll catch you next time on the show. Take care.
Ryan Cramer of Crossover Commerce talks with Sarah Barnes of Let's Talk Supply Chain / Shipz about the logistics process simplified for online sellers.
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