Mister Beacon Episode #143
Supply Chain Issues and Writing Tech with Brielle JaekelFebruary 08, 2022
This week on The Mr. Beacon Podcast we’re talking with Brielle Jaekel, who is the Managing Editor of Supply and Demand Chain Executive, and host of the L.I.N.K. podcast. She has a lot of insight on the current issues with the supply chain. How can innovations in the IoT help?
We talk about this, as well as the environmental implications, tech company visibility, and much more.
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Steve Statler 00:00
Welcome to the Mr. Beacon podcast. This week we are looking into Supply and Demand Chain with Brielle Jaekel, who is the managing editor of Supply and Demand Chain Executive, and also the host of the L.I.N.K. podcast, very enjoyable conversation. I really love this chat that we had, we went in a number of directions that I hope will be helpful. So yes, we talked about the state of supply chain, and omni channel and a whole host of related topics, which I think are important for those of us who are developing solutions and selling into industries where supply chain is important. It is also interesting, just as an individual has been impacted by supply chain, but the area that we ended up talking quite a lot. We spent a lot of time, which I wasn't expecting to, but I was just drawn into it was the whole question of what you need to do in order to get coverage in the media for your story. So Brielle is the person that says yes or no to stories. And if you're an entrepreneur, part of your success is getting that important media coverage. So we really go into what she's looking for when she says no, when she says yes. So an interesting show. I hope you enjoy the Mr. Beacon Podcast is sponsored by Wiliot, intelligence for everyday things, powered by IoT pixels. So Brielle, welcome to the show. Thanks for joining us.
Brielle Jaekel 01:54
Thank you so much for having me. It's great to be on the other end.
Steve Statler 01:58
Yes, you host your own podcast, which is excellent. So let's explain to people a bit about what the link podcast is. But first of all, maybe you should say a bit about supply and demand chain executive, which you're the managing editor for, right.
Brielle Jaekel 02:14
So yeah, I'm the managing editor for supply and demand chain executive. And we cover pretty much anything related to the supply chain, and demand chain. I focus a lot on technology, I do all the main cover story. So I do a lot of tech sustainability stuffs because I'm personally very interested in that. And then the link podcast, I kind of cover any trends that are happening in the industry, I usually typically do two episodes a month now focused on one topic, so then we can really, you know, get different perspectives on that topic, you know, learn new things. I mean, there's so many different facets of the supply chain. And I try and get into it all.
Steve Statler 02:58
Yeah, I we were talking earlier about the fact that this has gone from something that no one wants to talk about something that everyone wants to talk about, what what is the typical? What's the most asked question that you get, when you explain what you do and the nature of your publication?
Brielle Jaekel 03:18
Well, right now, if I'm talking to somebody who's outside of the sector, they're asking me about what's what's coming up? What's going to be a shortage now when when can they buy a new car is a big one. You know, I really, every day, my fiancee goes to the grocery store comes home and goes, there's a chicken shortage. When did this happen? And I keep saying, it's been happening, it just comes and goes like it's
Steve Statler 03:43
and so what do you tell people when they say, When can I buy a car? That's I'm interested in the answer to that one,
Brielle Jaekel 03:48
I say, buckle up, or get comfortable in your house, because it's gonna be a long, long time before our backup on the semiconductor.
Steve Statler 04:01
Takes takes a few years to build a fab, which I think is basically what they need to do to fix that. Am I right, is that? Yeah, the key thing?
Brielle Jaekel 04:10
Well, I think with the shortages in general, what people don't understand is that, you know, we get a lot of our products from China and China shut down first. And so these things take time, you know, they build up a stockpile, and then, you know, years down the road is when it actually gets to us. It's not, you know, boom, boom, boom. And so I think consumers are really confused as to why you know, what we've been open for all this time. Why are these things having a shortage? I'm like, well, you're like, two years ago, is when, you know, nobody was working to to fix to build these things. And now those parts to not even just the thing that you want, it's the parts to build those things that you want or you know, Like the chicken, I was mentioning, like the people weren't there to, you know, process the meat. And that takes time to get you know, so it's it's getting there.
Steve Statler 05:12
Interesting. So you mentioned the question that people outside of the industry ask you the most. What's the question that you get most often from people inside the industry? I
Brielle Jaekel 05:24
think inside the industry, people are really interested in technology. So they want to know, what's the the top technology, I think those are definitely our number one, stories that are popular on the website, and in the magazines or anything related to technology, because, you know, people want to know, what's what's coming out. But at the same time, you know, not everyone is, wants to do this shiny object syndrome. So everyone has to be wary of that, you know, you can't just flock to new technology, because it's new. And it sounds great. So I really pride myself on working on what what are people actually using? What's actually helping the industry? And what's, you know, makes more sense.
Steve Statler 06:11
This is super interesting. I mean, so the reason why we invited you on the on the show was because we see, and this show is all about technology, it's all about auto ID, technology, beacons, Bluetooth beacons, Bluetooth tags, I can't believe that we're still going like, it's been about 150 sites, and there's still no end in sight, because there's just so much to learn. And part of what we're trying to learn, as well, as you know, new breakthroughs, new versions of the Bluetooth standard new vendors that are coming out with cool tech is, what is it that people are doing with our technology? Because I think, you know, I'm a firm believer that the business and the technologists need to come together and think in a joined up way for this stuff to be sustainable in a business sense of the world sustainable. And so I think it's really important that we understand what it is that people are sticking these Bluetooth tags, QR codes, RFID codes on and why and what's driving it, because then as, as entrepreneurs, as innovators, solution designers, we can, we can know what we're doing and why we're doing it. And we're much more likely to make good design decisions, if we understand who the customer is. So you are our customer, for this. For this podcast, I do want to ask you about your perspective on the technology. Not that I'm expecting you to come up with kind of inside stuff on the technology. But I think it's very interesting what you said about it's almost the conservative nature of the profession that you inform that you're writing for that if I'm running a supply chain, this is not going to be wacky, let's throw this on the wall. Let's try it out. This is like bet your business stuff. So I'm, I'm interested in this point that you made about the fact that people want the new stuff, they want to figure out how to make a breakthrough. But they at the same time. They don't want to be the first ones out there. They're not. My sense is that they're not the early adopters. How does that manifest itself in the discussion that goes on in your publication? If I'm, which I am, if I'm someone that works for a new high tech company, how should I be telling my story, so that you think that it's worth covering? And it's not just some VC backed flash in the pan thing? What do you look for?
Brielle Jaekel 08:47
In terms of being a journalist, I get quite a lot of pitches about updates, and this person bought this software. We try not to cover that, because it's not breaking news. It's not anything groundbreaking. So I do I do cover the oh my god, wow, this comes out of left field that that people might end up not using, because it's interesting, and I like to see what we're coming up with. I like to see what the industry is coming out with. But I will say that the number one thing that has stuck with me in terms of something someone said during an interview, is that a technology provider, somebody who creates technology, if robotics actually for the supply chain, they said to me, the most important thing is talking to people on the ground and figuring out what's going to help them and that's important because you have I mean obviously you have the big companies, the Amazons of the world that are flocking to the the crazy new technology because they can afford it. But then you have the mom and pop legacy warehouses that have been running on the old you know w s MES systems and TMS systems forever. And they're not likely as likely to switch on a dime to this fancy new technology. So I think it's really important to find that middle ground of actual things that can actually fit into the warehouse help these people on the ground, do their job instead of replace them. I don't really think we're going to be replacing anyone anytime soon with our technology. I mean, I've seen amazing things on the floors of these shows. But with the worker shortage with you know, Coronavirus, still wild in the world, I just don't see it happening anytime soon. And I think as as a industry, if we are look to solve the gaps instead of replace people and drive down costs, I think people get caught up and what's gonna save us the most money? And that you can't think that way you have to think of how can I be the most productive, and that's how I think we should be looking at technology. And that's how I cover technology on in the publication.
Steve Statler 11:04
So I want to come back to this thread that we're on but before we do, can you just explain for people that aren't insiders, what's the WMS? And what's TMS?
Brielle Jaekel 11:16
So WMS is a warehouse management system and TMS is a transport management system.
Steve Statler 11:23
Okay. Okay. So and examples of that, what what are people using for WMS and TMS,
Brielle Jaekel 11:30
I can't, I don't have any of the names off the top of my head, because I'm not on the warehouse floor. But it's, it's changing, we're seeing a lot of new ways that technology is fitting into each other. So, you know, a warehouse management system can talk to all these other software's, or incorporate all those other software's, and that's where the future is headed. Because I, when I speaking to three pls in the past, their biggest issue was disjointed technology. So they have two or three PL has to work with all these different other technology providers, because everyone's using a different system, every shipper, every company, is using their own thing. And so it was difficult with the TMS to be able to, you know, deal with all of that. So it's so it's been exciting to see the shift in these last few years of technology being able to really integrate, and I think since the supply chain crisis, we're seeing a lot of technology partners actually collaborate and, and work to get technology companies partnering up to collaborate and work together to kind of saw this. And I think that's another important part of the future is technology that can work together and talk together.
Steve Statler 12:51
And another important buzzword Threepio, what's,
Brielle Jaekel 12:54
what's that? Oh, third party logistics. So that's my beat on the cold chain side of things. That's what I focus on. And that's, you know, the people who are, you have a, you have a freight company or a trucking company. And they're the ones that you can actually hire yourself to take goods from A to B, or you can use a three PL, which will help manage all of that without you.
Steve Statler 13:19
Okay, very good. So let's get back to the question of what you like to cover. And for a technology company, which a lot of our listeners are, how they need to frame what they are doing in a way that's actually newsworthy. And I think you know, what I took away from the first part of your answer was read the lean startup and basically do the advice. It's in that book, which is get really close to your customer spend time, you know, talk to a lot of customers and understand what their problems actually are, and kind of understand their vocabulary and pain points. So let's imagine that I've, I've done that. And I kind of know that the know what the problem is that I'm trying to solve. And I've developed some technology that solves it, and maybe I've got my first couple of customers. How do I package that into a story that you'd actually be interested in covering?
Brielle Jaekel 14:24
Well, if someone sends me a pitch that says this company bought their technology, it I'll be honest, that one goes right into my, let's save that in case they have something important to say for like a story that I'm covering over an overall subject, but I'm not covering that news specifically. Because, you know, the readers aren't super interested in stuff like that. So for me, it would be something that really is going to make a difference in the industry. Like I recently covered a technology that's looking to get rid of delivery trucks in downtown LA. So that that company wants to, you know, completely drive sustainability with zero emissions and work on, you know, getting in and out to drop off deliveries without these bulky trucks in the way. I mean, this is stuff like bicycles, you know, autonomous delivery, things like that things that could potentially change the industry.
Steve Statler 15:31
And it makes sense. I mean, you're, you're looking at it from your readers perspective, and they're like doing their job, and they're running their supply chain, but they're kind of looking for what is it that I need to be aware of that will make me seem smart, when I raise this idea with the boss, rather than or with my board, or whoever it is that they're trying to impress, you're kind of giving them that fodder to survive in this corporate world, either. Because you know, it's driving some action or, or it's going to make them sound smart. Sounds like that's kind of essentially the surface.
Brielle Jaekel 16:03
So I would say we have four different types of written content, there's video and podcasts and all that stuff, endless, endless amounts of those. But there's for specific types of written content that I focus on for the website. And that would be news items, articles, which focus on overall, you know, trends, expert columns, and then my column. So the news items are, you know, your this technology is launching today. That's, you know, a short little blurb about what the technology is a link to their company page on our website. And, you know, I always try to include, how is this important for the industry? So that's how I'm always looking at every new story is not even how it's going to change the industry. What does the industry? Why does the industry care about this? And that's how I think about every piece of Article, every piece of news is why, why do we care about this? What does this mean? And then the articles themselves, I'll tap technology providers to help give insight on the actual trend that's going on. Like, I'm, I just worked on a piece about warehouse automation. So there, I'm talking to an auto nation provider, you know, to give me some trends, but I really try to focus on non promotional content, because no one wants to read an article or it's just like, well, the top trend in automation is my technology use it. So I'm always, you know, really strict about that. And then the expert columns are also have to be non promotional as well. And then my columns is timely stuff less evergreen, so stuff I'll write about, like, when the Suez Canal problem was happening. That's when I was writing about that. When the chip shortage first happened, that I put in a column, you know, the timely, the timely pieces, but that leads to a larger article.
Steve Statler 18:01
That's fascinating. That's really good. It all makes total sense. I think, basically, what it requires, if you want to get a story place that requires empathy, thinking about the reader, and what they're trying to get out of it, rather than just what you're trying to achieve, which is generally a good recipe for you
Brielle Jaekel 18:17
only write about what you want to write about. You will fail.
Steve Statler 18:22
Yeah, very good. Well, we love your publication it really up because we're a, you've published one or two stories about us, which is wonderful. But I think the fact that you're straddling supply chain and demand chain is super interesting. And we see I see demand chain as the future. And I was trying to explain what a demand chain was to my wife this morning, as we were trying to wrestle our dogs into into some kind of reasonable course on their walk. And she actually did a much better job of explaining it back to me after I explained it to her and I was kind of starting off from the theoretical point that conventional supply chains, they're driven. From, you know, the factory side, you know, you have a forecast and you start manufacturing based on that forecast, which is based on past demand, whereas the demand chain is really taking demand signals from the customer from as close to the customer as possible. It may be an out of stock signal in real time from a shelf or in the future. It's like, you're looking at how often someone's wearing an item of clothing, because that's a good predictor of the things they're going to be bought again, or when, when a food container is running low. So automatically having a Bluetooth tag that talks to the smart speaker and says, Oh, Steve's about to run out of cinnamon or whatever. She's, she's like, Oh, okay, thanks for mansplaining that to me? And she said, No, I think a better example, is what's just happened to us, you take your car into the garage, and they've already got the part for you, because the car that's failing has been talking back to the supply chain. And that's like, yeah, that was a lot quicker and easier to understand. And I can't wait for demand chains to come. So anyway, thanks for coming, covering them in your beat. I appreciate it.
Brielle Jaekel 20:34
Well, I think visibility and real time data is a huge part of the supply chain right now. And it's, it's, I mean, every other word, in my articles is visibility at this point, because it's such an important part. I mean, we have all this data, we better use it, you know, and it's, I think it's been great to see how the industry and not just supply chain, the retail industry, just businesses in general have been able to pivot to actually learn from the data. Because five years ago, we were capturing all this data. And that was the number one thing I was seeing at trade shows at conferences was day to day to day to data, but nobody knew how to use it. So and there would be endless amounts of data that people couldn't sort through or weren't sorting through correctly, and not looking at the right data. So this new wave of visibility in real time, you know, demand chain is super important.
Steve Statler 21:34
Actually, one off the wall question, which just occurred to me, you know, can we've got pretty lean supply chains, can they possibly get any leaner? And the reason I asked that is that we're in the state of disarray, and, you know, with my kind of regular punter hat on struggling, because I can't get the stereo, the component of preamp from stereo, because it's like, no, no chips available, and like, our supply chains are too lean, we should be having less lean supply chains, so that we don't have these problems. What's your answer to that? Is the problem that our supply chains are too lean? Or are we just not doing Lean in an intelligent enough way?
Brielle Jaekel 22:22
Personally, I think it's both I think it's been interesting to see, you know, consumers now and you know, mainstream media now realize that we have a problem, but there's always been a problem. It's, it's just coming to light now, because of all these factors. And it's not even just COVID it's, it's everything coming together at once. And I personally believe that it's the need to drive down costs, where can I get the cheapest supplier? Where can I get the cheapest packager? Where can I, you know, and that's strengthen the supply chain too far. It's one of the reasons why sustainability in the supply chain is a real issue. And I'm glad to see a lot of major companies in the supply chain focus on sustainability issues, because the supply chain is it's the number one producer of climate change, you know, the amen and and it's definitely globalization, I think is a huge part of that, and it's not and so we refer to sustainability with the three P's people profit and planet. So it's not just the planet, it's it's also there's issues of slave labor that we don't talk about that much. Because it's so far away, you don't really think about it. But you know, this globalization, I think, is the problem. So I don't think we necessarily need to reassure because that's, that's unrealistic. You know, there's certain metals that you can't get in America, you know, you have to go somewhere else for that, but But bringing it closer together, and not focusing on what's the cheapest way for me to do this and focusing on what's the smartest way for me to do this is definitely where where I think we can fix this, but it takes working together.
Steve Statler 24:09
Yeah, and I agree with so much of what you've said, and I'm a bit of a tree hugger. I did a whole bunch of campaigning about alternative energy before I joined Willie Sutton when I had a bit more spare time, but but I don't have any more as To be frank, I was getting a little depressed. I'm like, so you're working with a wonderful, it's a computer the size of a postage stamp, really cool stuff. But I'm like that, you know, the world's collapsing. And I'm living in California and I moved here, one of the first things I saw was a wall of flame coming across the hill, that backs onto the house where we live and I've never been so scared in my life. It's it's just like, this is a real real problem. And I'm like, How is My day job helping this and then I realized, actually, this is hugely relevant that if we can give people visibility onto their supply chain, I feel like there's this is not like 10% 5% 3% 2% marginal improvement, this could be massive. Because my hypothesis is at the moment, most brands manufacturers don't know what's in their supply chain. And when you don't really have visibility, if you don't know, we have, like customers that have 100,000 wholesale outlets, you know, there's a car parts company, and they literally distributing these parts to 100,000 places. And yeah, they probably know what's in stock roughly, at Costco, and Walmart, but most of their channels don't have EDI, and they don't know what's there. And so what do you do, you have to make more you just blindly produce twice as much as you need to, you have a huge track that is going around to every one of these Mom and Pop outlets, and they say, Oh, the out of stock or not. And then, you know, they don't know what's going to be out of stock. So they have to have 10 of everything. Whereas if they actually had visibility of what was in stock, and what was out of stock, then they can have a smaller track with only driving to the places that were needed. And they could make half half the stuff. I mean, maybe it's not half, maybe it's they have a 33% reduction. But you can imagine what would be the climate impact if we reduced the capital tied up in in surplus inventory that was just sitting in a warehouse not doing anyone any good and being hauled around mindlessly to trucks, because basically, the people that make anything from car batteries to soap, don't actually know what the stock levels are in the stores, and they don't certainly don't know whether you're actually using the product in the home. So, you know, I feel like if the future is everything's connected to the internet, the internet of things becomes the internet of everyday things, then we actually have a chance of solving, maybe not completely, but making a huge dent in the climate change problem. And, and the great thing is unquestionably this is important for the planet. Unquestionably, it's important for the people that his lives get disrupted when their house burns down, or there's a war because, you know, someone, some countries water supplies disappeared and as a crop failure, but also, the very inspiring thing is, this is great for profits as well. So we're not no longer kind of liberals wringing our hands, we're like capitalists saying, Hey, here's a way of saving money and making money, reducing costs and increasing your valuation as a company. And if you do this, then maybe this will help save the climate crisis. That's if I get off my soapbox, but now you're going with your three
Brielle Jaekel 28:09
P's. If you want people to pay attention, you got to show them the money. I mean, I think that's a great point, you brought up with your work and being conflicted about, you know, thinking about climate change, but you know, maybe your work doesn't align with that I felt the same way. But then I noticed, like, I can cover sustainability. So now I'm able to really focus on that and focus on the things that we need to do. And I've been interviewing people and asking them, you know, what do you think and I'm trying to, yeah, make that more visible and showing the mom and pop shops, you know, the mom and pop warehouses that, like these, like it can be done. And because it's not, not backed up, you know, we have research and and it's great to see that everyone's taking it seriously now. It's unfortunate, because it's, there's realities to it. I mean, I live on the coast. And this is a predominantly Republican area where not a lot of people were as accepting of climate change before, but now I live in on the 10 minutes away from a beach town. I live on the ocean. And every year, the island gets more and more flooded. And I mean, before it used to be a heavy rainstorm, and then we had to worry about flooding. And now it's just high tide, and you can't get through. And you know, people are understanding that this is a problem and that it's it's real, it's actually making changes to our planet into our everyday lives.
Steve Statler 29:42
Yes, I totally agree. And it's nice. It's nice and nasty. It's nice that we the climate change issue is now I think so bad that it's in my opinion beyond politics. It's it's about survival and profits, and it's impacting the bottom line. And so it makes sense for people to think about how they deal with it. And even if they don't believe in it, it just made sense from a marketing point of view to have your house in order and, and do the right thing. So that's good. Let's talk about omni channel because I was at NRF, National Retail Federation show. Last week, I guess it was maybe very recently in your backyard in New York. And I was it was great. Actually, I was very surprised that we had this see CEO of, of Walmart there in person, Ralph Lauren, obviously, these fashion companies, as you know, are based in New York. And we had one of the Nordstroms, who's kind of dialing in. But one of the epiphanies that I had was this Omniture, I don't know whether people are still talking about omni channel. But this bringing together of brick and mortar and of the web is is not going away. In fact, with COVID, and the rise of Amazon Amazon's now the biggest apparel retailer in the world, it comes in my mind, it comes down to the survival of the stores that we some of us still like visiting. So what is your view of omni channel? Why is it important? And how do you feel like it's driving supply chain systems? And are people still interested? Is that the word that people are using on omni channel? what's the, what's the fashionable,
Brielle Jaekel 31:42
you know, I have been wondering the exact same thing because I was in I started in the supply chain two years ago, next month. And before that, I was in retail. And so in when I was working for retail publication, I heard the word omni channel in my sleep, I would go to conferences, I would go to NRF. And me and my co workers would joke that we would write articles that just had omni channel, Omni channel, Omni omni channel, because that's all anyone was talking about. But it's absolutely important. And I because think of it as a consumer, like me as a shopper, like I'm in the supply chain, but I'm still a customer, I'm still a consumer, I'm still buying and using these things. So when I'm on my phone, and I'm looking at, you know, bridesmaids dresses here, and then I switch to my computer, because lunch is over, and I just, you know, want to, you know, send it to my email, I want to be able to follow that line without having to start over, you know, and it's great to see technology in the last few years change completely, because now, maybe omni channel isn't used as much, because now it's just reality. You know, years ago, when I first started I, at my retail publication, I focused on the mobile side of things, I worked for a publication called Mobile marketer. And so I was covering anything that had to do with your, you know, mobile device, and it's just so different compared to today, because a lot of the things that we were saying need to be done are just afterthoughts today. And you, you know, you wouldn't even think about it, because you just expect to log into your Etsy account on your phone. And then I want to pick right back up where I was browsing on my computer. And that shifts into the supply chain, because one people are used to that in their personal lives. So of course, they're going to want that in their work life. So a supply chain manager who's used to browsing, you know, their retail sites, and then being able to pick up on any device, they want that in their work life too. So we need omni channel on the warehousing floors, the transportation, fleets, we need all of that we need seamless messaging, you know, truckers need to be able to communicate effectively. And then at the same time, it helps for that re that real time visibility, which is the now the key word in in the supply chain. So I think it all goes together. I think it's absolutely imperative. And one of the ways I think that that's happening, or I mean the the major way that's happening in the supply chain is definitely smart assets and the industrial internet of things. So that that brings omni channel all together in terms of the supply chain.
Steve Statler 34:41
So it's like we've stopped talking about on the channel is this kind of novelty Oh, is it happening? It's now just part of the job. It's I mean, it's clear from hearing the the executive from Nordstrom, who's basically runs merchandising there that that their survival in the face of Amazon is predicated on an amazing experience. And this isn't about magic mirrors in the changing room, it's about showing up. And actually, if you've seen that something's in stock on your app, that it's actually there, and it's been saved for you or not save for you. And if you can't, and if it's in stock, being able to get to it, and it's kind of incredible, really, that we've been talking about omni channel for so long. But when I was looking for COVID, tests, like we all were, and I looked at the all of the apps of pharmacy companies, and you know, you go to the stores that say that they have inventory, and they don't, and then you know, I'm still buying stuff at the hardware stores. And yet, it's in stock, I just have no idea where it is in this massive warehouse. So it might as well not be in stock. So this is just it's kind of I think, as a consumer, it's easy to kind of be dismissive. But why is it so difficult to get this right? You think it clearly is? And there's a lot of smart people working very hard to get it right. But why, why? Why are we still going to, I won't name the name of the pharmacy, because they're actually a customer of ours. But why is it that you're not able to, as a consumer, get reliable information about inventory?
Brielle Jaekel 36:30
Well, I will say in terms of COVID tests, that's a different ballgame, because it's just been chaos, you know, especially with the spike, if you look at the graph, it's nothing compared to last year, it was so steep, because I actually got COVID, like, right after New Year's, and I saw, I was like, looking at all the information about you know, how fast it's, it's spreading and stuff. And it's crazy how much of a jump that is. So I think store associates were just at the, you know, at their ends. And well, one it comes down to is education for the store employee. And, you know, a lot of employees, they don't have degrees in technology, you know, they're they need, you know, a consumer experience, they need an easy, intuitive experience. So that's number one, when it comes to developing technology is we need it to be very, very intuitive to use. But another problem is that a lot of this stuff is hardware based, instead of software based. So I think a huge reason why all of these, like you as you can have a Squarespace website and sell, you know, clothes yourself out of your out of your house, and it can be a wonderful shopping experience online, because software is so easy to come by now. And it's it's more accessible. But hardware isn't, you know, that takes a lot of investment. So you're going to Target and I can see exactly the shelf and the aisle where my product is before, you know, I don't even have to call or anything, I can just google it on my phone. I don't even know how many times I went to, you know, target or shop, right? And I'm like, where is this and I just look it up. And it tells me right there on their mobile website, when to even two, three years ago and mobile website that worked that well that fast and had that information is unheard of. So yeah, we're used to that with the Amazons of the world, the targets of the world, because they have that, you know, finance behind them, they have that budget where they can do that. So others don't. As for the big retailers, maybe they that aren't doing as well. I think it comes down to education. And really, I think Walmart and Target are investing in research into what's actually helping us so they're putting a lot, a lot of time a lot of effort into figuring out what technology is best instead of just doing throwing things against the wall, which is I know some people are but you know, it's not as easy for the smaller retailers or the mom and pop shops to be able to invest in that hardware and that real time visibility but hopefully down the road it will be
Steve Statler 39:30
very good. So BReel What does a managing editor do?
Brielle Jaekel 39:37
So my job is basically to run supply and demand chain executive. I have a lot of tasks I have an editor in chief so I do you know report to her so we kind of collaborate together on what works best for the website, because it supply and demand chain executive is a Digital only magazine, I also help with the content of food logistics calm. So I cover the three PL beat in cold storage there. And I also usually write about software and technology and also packaging.
Steve Statler 40:18
And you do you host a podcast? Yes.
Brielle Jaekel 40:20
So I have many tasks, I host a podcast and I, I write the cover story for SDC I do videos, I really do it all. And, and the great thing about where I work is that if I have an idea, they really let me run with it. So basically, everything we do kind of comes from the heart or what I'm seeing in the industry, or what I think is, is going to be a good idea.
Steve Statler 40:47
Sounds like an amazing job. How did you get it?
Brielle Jaekel 40:52
Well, actually, so I went to school for broadcasting. And through school I went to, I started my internship and my first job at CNBC. And from there, I just got into the business, the business world. I think my most experience comes from a my previous job, which was at a retail focused company. So I covered anything that brands were doing consumer facing, which, you know, I did learn a lot about the supply chain there and retail, and, you know, just the industry and business industry in general. And so from there, I got this job, which has been absolutely amazing. And the greatest part is I was hired in February 2020. And so a month later, the world kind of completely changed. And we were always talked about, I have friends and family constantly being like, look, the news is talking about the supply chain. I'm like, I know, I'm well aware of what's going on.
Steve Statler 41:54
I was thinking about exactly that when I was going out for my morning walk with our dogs and my wife. And I was thinking like, when I started my career, which is an embarrassingly long time ago, back in the early 80s. I studied computer science. And at that time, there was no internet, no one had an email address. No one had a computer and I would you know, turn up at parties and they'd ask you, so what do you do? And I'd say I'm a computer scientist. And then they immediately changed the subject. 10 years into that everyone's starting to get email and laptops, and it would be Oh, can you help me with my, and it was just completely different. And so it seems like you went from this really niche obscure thing to something that's right, in the headlines every day, which I mean, I think about all the time, it must be really cool. It
Brielle Jaekel 42:43
was really interesting to see this switch, because I first got the job. And the last publication that I was writing for I focused on luxury marketing. So I went from this luck, luxury fashion world to the supply chain world. And I was very excited for it. Because just this company is a much better fit for me, I have such more creative control and freedom. And I can really get into the industry. And a lot of my friends and family were like, Oh, this supply chain cool. And then you know, a month later it was you know, oh, look look like so, really sweet.
Steve Statler 43:22
So is this job, what you thought you would be doing when you started your career when you started working at CNBC? Was that what you were heading for? Or did you have something else in mind? Because I think you're one of the only people I have interviewed. When I looked you up on LinkedIn, you know, one of your skills is teller prompting and which is actually a really useful skill that, you know, not not not a conventional one.
Brielle Jaekel 43:48
So I went to school for broadcasting, which focuses we had a really intense broadcasting program at Montclair State University in northern jersey. And they focus on three things, writing, producing and directing. And it's all focused around live TV. So I kind of, I mean, I was a theater kid as a child, so I I ran the gamut and I thought I would be an actress and then I went to theater school and it was a little too much for me, and I wanted something more high energy but relax. And then yeah, I just got I was really interested in being an on air personality. I you know, I really wanted to do the fashion thing. But a lot of that is based in New York and California and I have been dating my fiance since we were kids, and he works for my father and is going to take over my father's business around town. And so I just kind of got a little sick of the city life and I wasn't because I was commuting for a while into the city. I was, you know, crashing on people's couches we were looking for apartments there. And then he kind of wanted to take over the company and I wanted to stay here, you know, we live by the beach. And I just, I was able to find this medium of being an on air personality, but I work from home, you know, I get have this great studio behind me that my fiance actually built for me. And you know, I'm home with the dogs, I get to do my work. And at the end of the day, I get to clean the kitchen. And I just think it's a great balance for me. And I think the industry is super interesting. So I it's a win win.
Steve Statler 45:32
That's wonderful. And so what's your what's the business that your fiance's gonna take?
Brielle Jaekel 45:39
We run an HVAC company. So air conditioning and heating and
Steve Statler 45:44
All right, any any supply chain issues there?
Brielle Jaekel 45:47
Yeah, quite a bit. Yeah, it's interesting, because I warn them, I was like, listen, you're gonna have trouble soon. You know, I noticed the the metal, we were going to have issues with metal. And I warned them I said, you know, to Mike, my fiance, I was like, You're, you're gonna it's gonna be rough. So like, figure out what you need to do now. And they were there's a lot of jobs that have been stalled, because they don't have the ductwork and the equipment that they need to start these new builds. So they've managed because we had a lot in storage. But we're interested to see what's going to happen.
Steve Statler 46:23
Yeah, very, very interesting.
Brielle Jaekel 46:25
And he's also really handy with carpentry. And so he does a lot of work for us. And for our, you know, friends and family building things. And he noticed the lumber shortage before I did. And I was able to, you know, report on it early on, because he noticed it right away. And I was able to do a lot of research and I got right on it. And
Steve Statler 46:49
that's awesome. That's awesome. Okay, so hardest part of the show, which is what are the three songs that are kind of most meaningful for you? And why? So? Have you had a chance to think about that? Yes.
Brielle Jaekel 47:04
So narrowed it down. So I guess I would say the top song would be the girl by city in color, because that's going to be our wedding song. Oh, right. Then I would say Thunder Road or taxi by Harry Chapin, Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen taxi by Harry Chapin. Because that's mine. And my dad's two songs, and we like always, like, have to be around each other when it comes on. It's our thing since I was a kid.
Steve Statler 47:31
That is a very cunning tactic. You can turn it into four songs by having two as options there. I appreciate your ingenuity that
Brielle Jaekel 47:39
I just thought of at the last second. I was like, wait, I can't say Thunder Road only for him because taxis or is there? I don't know. I'm trying to think of a specific song from rumors. That's not dreams. Because that would be me. I, I got a record player for Christmas. And so I have all these records. And that's why it was super hard for me to come up with a song because I have all these records I've listened to but rumors has been on repeat in my house. Okay. And that's kind of my mom's thing.
Steve Statler 48:12
Yeah, that's correct. Well, it's wonderful that there's links to important people. And I actually got rumors the other day as well. I mean, I've had it on CD and so forth, but I just got some major investment in vinyl, I've got the valve amp or the tube amp as you call it in this country, and it's just the most wonderful thing on now. It's I've always struggled with meditation. But for me listening to vinyl is like meditation. It's like a linear thing. You're kind of committed, you're really focused, you're not thinking about anything else. And and when you kind of upgrade your system, then you know, there are new things and you can hear it. It's not sad.
Brielle Jaekel 48:55
Either. Love it. Yeah, we're getting a new preamp because right now I've been using the internal preamp, so I'm excited to get the real thing. Okay.
Steve Statler 49:04
Well Brielle, thanks. Thanks so much. Of course. That's the end of our show. I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about the supply chain and also a bit more about journalism and our Brielle got to where she's got. I found that interesting. So if you enjoyed this and found it useful, please do give us some feedback, raters comments on our show, until your friends until next time, stay safe