mark bakker mit ctl podcast title

In today’s episode, Research Scientists Alexis Bateman and Inma Borrella speak with Mark Bakker, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Global Operations at Hewlett Packard Enterprise about the tools and skills needed for sustained global supply chain management when facing disruptions.

Mark shares his insights about how HP Enterprise balanced demand and supply during uncertain conditions brought about by various disruptions. He shares tips about the skills and attitudes needed to succeed in today's business environments.

Mark was interviewed as part of the MITx MicroMasters® Program in Supply Chain Management.


- Welcome to MIT Supply Chain Frontiers, from the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics. Each episode features center researchers and staff who welcome experts from the field for in-depth conversations about business, education, and beyond. On today's episode, Research Scientists, Alexis Bateman and Inma Borrella speak with Mark Bakker, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Global Operations at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. About the skills and tools needed for sustaining global supply chain management when facing disruption. Take it away Inma and Alexa.

- Today, we're really fortunate to have Mr. Mark Bakker, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Global Operations for Hewlett Packard and Enterprises. Thank you so much for joining us today and welcome.

- Thank you. And good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. Maybe in some cases to everybody it's my pleasure to be here.

- Yes. So Mark, would you like to kick it off, and introduce yourself and give a brief overview of HP?

- I lead Global Operations for Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Hewlett Packard Enterprise is a spinoff of the original Hewlett-Packard Company. That founded in 1939 by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, considered as the founding fathers of Silicon Valley. About five years ago, almost six years ago the company went through a significant restructuring and separated itself in two pieces. One piece is HP is still considered HP which takes care of print and personal systems. And the other part, Hewlett Packard Enterprise which is focused on the enterprise side of products, server business storage, data management, networking equipment, and its associated services. That's the area where I work and lead the Global Operations Organization. And Global Operations is a combination of what is considered customer operations, everything front end, taking care of order management activities, quoting, pricing and so on. And then there is what you could call, classic supply chain activities, a part of Global Operations and classic supply chain activities include planning, everything around planning. Planning is everything. We can talk more about that as we continue to dialogue but fulfilling the product logistics, engineering is included in that sourcing and so true end to end supply chain activities fall under my responsibility. We are here to support the business, we're here to support customers on the front end, the customer operation space. We are here to support the business to be successful when they sell products, you know, we wanna make sure that customers get their products, you know, delivered. As the reality is... If you sell what you do not deliver, the company doesn't make any revenue or doesn't make any profit off of it because the customer doesn't pay for something he doesn't receive. It's the most exciting part of the business because you are, in the middle of everything and touching every part of a company. From a front end, engaging with customers to being involved in manufacturing, in sourcing, supporting, you know, the P&L performance of a business and so, and so.

- Thank you, Mark. Thank you for the great introduction to HP and also for the passionate... defense of the supply team management is face, which I could not agree more, that supply chain is so relevant for the business. And how it connects everything and how it's...

- Right.

- So interesting to work in that space. So now let's dive into some questions. So can you talk a little bit more about some of those applications, forecasting, inventory management, transportation management, and how they impact the top and bottom line of your business?

- I said, planning is everything. And that truly is the case not to, you know, to minimize, marginalize, you know, the importance of other domains or functional areas in a supply chain environment but it starts with a plan and it's fairly simple. Demand, you know, enterprise environment, customers are thinking about what they're going to spend their money on or what investments are they going to make in the next year? What is very challenging in a supply chain environment is to know, early enough, what the demand is going to look like, what are customers going to order from us? And when you think about a tech product, whether it is a PC or a printer, or, you know, in our case a server, there is a lot of components that go in there. There is memory chips, there is processors, there's motherboards, there is a storage device, hard disc drive or solid state drives and network cards. You know, all those things, you know, that make up a product and you need to know how many of those parts you need where in your supply chain, in your manufacturing network. If you are wrong, if you plan it wrongly. So you do not have enough parts, you get customer orders in order that you cannot fulfill within a certain period of time. If you have too many parts at the end of the period, you sit on inventory, which has a value and that value sits on your balance sheet is a drag on your cash conversion cycle on your cash performance, cashflow performance for the company which if you are a private company you may be able to handle it depending on, you know, your financial statements and how much cash you actually have available. But if you're a publicly and traded company, you know, that can be an influencer in the performance of your stock, on the stock exchange. So, two things, one is, you know, if you don't plan, right, you have two evils which is one is, you know, your customers will not be happy with you because they place an order and you tell them, "Well, I can only serve as you, five months from now." The other way around is, you know, I have too much stuff, your financial performance, you know, it takes a hit. So, planning super important and it goes into a lot of details. So data science, data management, analytics, et cetera comes together with managing, you know, the physical world of parts and components, you know, in an environment. So planning, forecasting usually important in the value chain, you know, as such.

- This is great. And actually you highlighted one point that we always, we repeat over and over and over there in our courses, that in supply chains. You always have to make these decisions that are trade offs.

- Right.

- Between having too much and having too little and just finding the right balance is very challenging but it's also like the way to go. So, thanks so much, Mark. I think that...

- And I think one important aspect of that, as well, as depending on, you know, the company, the product there is sometimes this aspect of perishable. You know, perishable, you know, is a term, you know, which goes both ways. One is, from a customer demand point of view. Customer demand can be perishable. Think about government spend, you know, government spend has a budget for the year. And typically they have to spend it before a certain date. And if they don't, then budget is gone because we've moved into the next year. That's how, you know, that demand might be perishable. So if you do not take the order, fulfill the order, it's gone, it will not come back. The flip side is, you know, from a material point of view or inventory point of view, some products, you know, or some parts, you know, they can perish as well. Depending on what the product set is, and so on, those are things that become even more important.

- Definitely. Thank you, Mark.

- Given that you are... running global supply chains and global operations how have you seen COVID-19 and the disruptions challenge and complicate global supply chain management and perhaps also how you've seen it drive innovation?

- Yeah. In recent years, in particular... Supply chain disruptions, you know, have become more common. Even nowadays, you know, the white house, in the United States, right? It starts to talk about it. But supply chain disruptions, you know, are... Yeah, they're significant. And I keep telling everybody they're becoming more frequently and they're becoming bigger. I've been doing this for, you know, close to 20 years in the meantime. And over those years, I've seen various forms of disruptions with significant floods in Thailand, you know, that disrupted the hard disk drive manufacturing. Earthquakes resulting in tsunamis in Japan. Has seen volcano eruptions in Iceland that, you know, created an ash cloud over, you know, Western Europe, which disrupted, you know, air freight. And air freight is usually important when you're talking about logistics and transportation. Right? They've seen many over the years, but most of the time, those are isolated in one particular area. I mean, there's other examples, of a factory catching fire, you know, which reduces a significant amount of capacity globally, but it's contained in one area. The difference with last year is that the pandemic, you know, affected everything and everybody all most at the same time. Nobody spared and impacted from finished goods, manufacturing facilities to component manufacturing facilities, to logistics networks because of local authority restrictions on moving off people in goods, even to the point of, if we would be able to find parts, built them and ship them customers being closed because they shut down their offices and there's nobody to receive, you know, anything. So, a good supply chain organization has a focus on business continuity planning and, you know, how do you react to disruptions and so on. But typically, it's a reactive activity. You always review the latest event that happened and you adjust your plan accordingly. So, what did we learn from this event? And what do we need to adjust in our continuity planning? That's great, but you know, you never plan for the eventuality of the next and we don't know what the next one, we know something's coming. After the pandemic, there is a new disruption coming. Actually the latest and the greatest already happened which was the vessel that got stuck in the Suez Canal. You know, which disrupted, you know, about 10%, 15% of global trade. You know, we were also focused on pandemic related stuff. Did anybody think about, you know, what are we gonna do if a vessel gets stuck in the Suez Canal. I think it opened our eyes to even more global disruption happening at the same time. Even CEOs and boards now think about supply chain disruptions and they talk about resiliency and agility. Are we resilience? I think many of us will say, "Yeah, we weren't resilient." Because you think of it, it took the world, maybe one quarter. And after that, we restarted a global supply chains fairly quickly. So we have a certain level of resiliency, you know, built in. And I think considering the magnitude of the pandemic we've proven that we are resilient but are we resilient enough? Probably not. Because we want to be even faster. We don't want three months, four months, you know, before we feel that we have enough toilet paper, you know, on the shelves again, right? We want it to be a week, two weeks. Or board members or CEOs wanted to not happen at all. Now, that is more difficult. Resiliency, agility in the supply chain environment comes with a cost. You can duplicate your entire infrastructure say but then you have a lot of idle capacity which has a lot of costs. You have a lot of inventory sitting in both places which is very expensive. So there is this right balance defines, you know, in terms of, I want to be resilient and agile. And agility is probably the more important aspect of this whole resiliency and disruption conversation. Which means, you know, how fast can you switch? How fast can you react and resolve the problem? I think that's where we're learning a lot, you know, about the importance of data, the importance of systems, the importance of visibility in your entire supply chain, what is happening? Where are your capacity constraints? Your overcapacity, where are your parts, your components? I think this is where, again, you know, supply chain becomes a fascinating space to work in. The importance of IT. IT solutions, applications, et cetera. And the connection. Supply chain can not function well without a proper architecture and a proper infrastructure of tools and systems and processes that provide the right level of visibility which you then can use for multiple reasons to react to the agility piece, but also to be better in terms of the way you serve customers and so on. So, I think we knew that already but the whole pandemic situation only amplified, you know, the importance of that.

- Yeah. One dimension that you mentioned was... Now that the supply chain has, you know, and the clearing of shelves and those physical manifestations of that disruption it's escalated it to conversations that may not have existed before, such as at the C-suite level or, you know, in the white house. And of course, my dad finally knows what a supply chain is. So, do you see that recognition of the criticality of supply chains, changing the dynamic of the investment of resources to plan?

- Absolutely. I think, you know, the importance of supply chain or recognition for supply chain as a critical business process if you want increase substantially increased in ordering pandemic, but actually it started already before. There's, you know, several events that triggered, you know, reactions from, you know, CEOs and boards of companies, et cetera, which was more, not so much pandemic related, but global trade and trade tension related that the introduction of import duties or tariffs on products manufactured in China, created a significant wave of reactions. You know, in, particularly in the United States companies, you know, headquartered in the United States, U.S. companies, you know, they have a significant portion of their business depending on the, you know, the revenue they make in the United States for many, many years, enjoyed zero import duty, zero tariffs, you know, on their products. All of a sudden, you know, it became 15%, 25% and that's a huge impact, right? If you think of it, you know, all of a sudden you have 25% more costs, and if you don't plan for it and consumers that buy those products not necessarily want to see prices go up by 25%, you know, because of it. So that created, you know, already a lot more interest, you know, in the whole concept of supply chain and other dimensions as well, but pandemic it again amplified some of that. As the global operations lead, I report to the CEO. I'm a member of the executive leadership team of the company. Take it five years ago, 10 years ago, you know, the supply chain leader would probably be sitting in a level two, level three part of the organization, doing more or less the same thing. But the impact in multiple areas has triggered the attention of leadership teams and boards and so on. And like you said, including politics, and it's about, you know, the impact on the financials of a company but also other things have become more and more relevant,. Social, environmental, corporate responsibility aspects, you know, become more and more important. We are seeing, you know, as one of those things is that corporate enterprise and even more so public sector. So government agencies are making some of those aspects part of their RFQ. So when they tender, you know, their businessing I'm interested in buying a ton of equipment from, you know, somebody but I want to know, is the product you are selling to me, you know, is there anything around conflict minerals or labor issues, or, you know, what's your impact on the environment where you manufacture stuff or the way you transport stuff? You know, I want to understand and it becomes a criteria for decision-making more and more. And because of that, you know, all of a sudden more people start paying attention to those things, right? So, definitely seen, you know, that happened over the years I've been involved in this, that. Yeah, it becomes more of a conversation in the boardroom.

- Mm-hmm.

- And again, like I said, the most recent, you know, example of that is in the tech industry there is a another issue happening now which is the semiconductor shortage, right? Or the chips shortage you read about in the news. Due to significantly more demand or, you know, recovery after pandemic happening faster than anybody anticipated but also, more segments sectors, you know, needing those chips, automotive, you know, cars nowadays, you know, have a lot more technology in them than they used to maybe 10, 15, 20 years ago. Smartphones, you know, keep growing. People, working from home, studying from home all need laptops, you know, and more so than ever before. We have the switch from 4G to 5G on smartphone, on telecom, which comes with IoT, right? Internet of things. There's more devices that can connect and they can talk and, you know, through mobile networks So more and more of those chips required. Now, there is a shortage. Everybody's, you know, concerned about it. Automotive plans, you know, are down, they're not producing as many cars as they can. They have millions of backlog because they're missing a 25 cent part, that's it, right? A whole car cannot be finished because they're missing 125 cent part. And so that has led to President Biden, you know, doing a workshop with leaders from the tech industry to talk about, how can we fix this problem? We need to invest in the United States because we need to reduce that dependency. So you see how in our supply chain, as a concept, as a practice becomes more and more relevant, more important, and enters in a whole range of new discussions. It's exciting... living that shortage, you know, it's not so exciting, but... You know, like I said, you know, if it's not this one, it will be something else, you know, in the years to come, so.

- Great. So... Let's continue with another question. And I think this one connects very well with something you mentioned earlier, Mark. All these eruptions we've seen in the past year and the other ones you mentioned, right? We've seen that has driven innovation and also digital transformation in many companies. So could you share a little bit how has HP innovated and billboard resilience just through implementing more digital technologies?

- Yeah... Super trendy, supply chain, disruptions, resilience, agility, super trendy words, right? Digital transformation, also very trendy, but, you know, very important. Actually, you know, from the company perspective, you look back at enterprise there is the two parts, right? The job I have, you know, that requires, you know, digital transformation and a solid architecture and infrastructure to support that. But the company sells, you know, solutions, you know, that that help do digital transformation for companies, right? So, it's a top of mind, you know, for me for multiple aspects. What have we done? There's a lot of development in new systems and capabilities. The backbone of any supply chain and operational environment is the ERP system, enterprise resource planning. What you see typically is, companies over the years, you know, the big companies, large enterprise companies they go through growth, they acquire other companies. They, you know, they started off being, you know, a decentralized company, you know, and then they started centralizing and globalizing more, resulting in, you know, having 10, 15, 20 different versions of ERP. Which, you know, if your the supply chain guy is a nightmare, because that means, you know, you have 20 different versions, you know, of data to look at. So, what you wanna do is try to get to one single instance of an ERP. But one single instance of an ERP in a global company that runs billions and billions of dollars in transactions through it, is also a challenge. Because then you get into performance issues and, you know, and so on, right? So, but a lot has happened over the years with large companies like SAP and Oracle, you know, developing new... state of the art 2021, 2022 style solutions there. So what we've done, as if others, you know, migrated our ERP system to the latest version. That's tricky because as I said, it's the backbone of the company. And so, you know, it's like open heart surgery, you know what you're doing. Because you're running your shop, and you're trying to put something new in place. You still have lots of customers that place orders that need to be fulfilled and so on, right? So, those are exciting things. So that's one, the other one is, investments in the planning solutions, demand planning, forecasting and so on investments there. But the most, I think the most impactful and, you know, where there's a lot of development from a digital transformation and investments in IT, infrastructure, architecture is, the capturing of data. The biggest challenge, you know, in a supply chain environment is that it's end to end, right? You go from customer demand, which talks about a unit. A sales guy wants to talk dollars. The manufacturing guy wants to talk to units. The sourcing guy wants to talk parts. I don't care about how many end, you know, finished goods, you know, you're talking, I need to know how many hard drives, how many processors, you know, how many network cards I need to go buy and which ones. The logistics guy, doesn't care about that. He cares about kilos, he cares about pallets, he cares about containers, you know, ocean vessels, airplane ULDs and a cost per kilo gram, you know, and uplifting that stuff, right? So, each of them have their own version, unit of measure, and each of them will generate tons of data. And if you then have, you know, my logistics data in one database with those units of measures. And I have my planning database and my manufacturing database, how do I take all that stuff and aggregate it and make some sense out of it from an end to end left or right perspective, right? That's where there's a lot of opportunity, a lot of investment as well. Visibility is usually important and huge investments, creating networks whereby you hook up suppliers and logistics providers and manufacturing partners, et cetera. You hook them up, into a network where all that data comes together. And then you put this layer of data analytics, data science and now we go into the artificial intelligence, machine learning that can help a ton. That's the next evolution if you think about digital transformation. We're investing in, from a demand planning, forecasting point of view is that, you know, we have a lot of historical data. What algorithms can we develop that will help us to be more accurate in our forecasting?

- Thanks, Mark. Yeah, I think like, digital transformation is a huge challenge on anyone, but it's like trying to make it happen in their company, now that it is.

- Yep. That's right.

- Yeah. I thought that was really fascinating. Just kind of putting in sort of those, you know, sort of that singular objective of each of those roles, right? That they need to get their job done but really to make supply chain effective, you have to look across all those functions and put them together. So, you touched on it a little bit earlier but it's something near and dear to my heart and in many, is the shift to sustainability and supply chain. We've seen clearly, there's a push for sustainability. Def, you know, broadly in business. But the centralization and strategicness of supply chain owning sustainability, driving it across the value chain. Can you talk a little bit about, how you've seen that, and what do you think it means for, you know, some of the professionals we have on the line

- Sustainability, again, as you know, different aspects, you know, there is a social, you know, aspect to it. There's an environmental aspect to it. You know, I engage with a fair amount of peers of mine, you know, practitioners in different companies, even different industries. And everybody, it's just simply, you know, everybody realizes like us in, you know, in our daily lives we've become a lot more conscious about, you know, the impact we all have on planet and the role we can and need to play. And there's, you know, one big truth which is in the supply chain environment. Supply chain has a huge impact, you know, logistics, manufacturing, right? Depending on what you manufacture how you manufacture any kind of emissions, you know, that are there, you know, have an impact. Logistics, CO2 emissions, you know, it's simply, you know, no denying that doing those things, you know, has an impact. CO2 emissions are there, which is bad for, you know, the environment and we need to be conscious about it. So it's just simply the right thing to do, to focus on it. Secondly, as we all, as consumers, as human beings, you know, become more sensitive to this we are also human beings that have a professional life. We work in companies. We are people that become decision-makers in these companies. And as we become more sensitized and conscious about, you know, the impact we built that into the decision-making process of what we buy. That finds itself into procurement departments, in companies. And when they... When you then run a business there's the two aspects, you want to do what's right. And secondly, your customers are asking for it. So it becomes an imperative by design to focus on and to do the right thing. That's mostly, you know, the most sensitivity is around the environmental stuff. But for us, you know, and the larger HP company and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, now for many years we've also been very concerned about labor conditions. We set up together with our tech partners, you know, in the industry, think about Apple, and so on. Set up huge factories in China where all these products are being manufactured. Millions of people working there. The conditions in some of, these are manufacturing places that have 25,500,000 people that live in the factory dorm. And so those conditions, you know, have been a focus for us in the tech industry, for sure, because it's just the right thing to do. Similar, you know, when you go into tech and some of the components or raw material required to build components where they come from it's mining. And so what are the conditions, you know, in mining? Are we sending little kids into mines, you know, the conflict minerals story in Africa, you know, those are things that are usually important, you know, and it's hard because it goes deep into, up, you know, upstream into your supply chain, right? It goes from raw material building this stuff. And how do you control all those things? And, you know, again, you know, it's just the right thing to do. We need to keep working it. Is it perfect? I don't think it's perfect, right? I mean, there's stuff happening every day, all day in certain places from, you know, people impact perspective in communities around the world. From an environmental perspective, it's a challenge, right? Because we all want stuff, you know, to be built and we want to achieve, and we want it fast. And, you know, then it's easy to cut corners but it has an impact and we need to be conscious about it and we need to find ways, all of us together, on how we solve that problem.

- Yeah. That was really well said, really interesting. I think the social side is critical to our supply chains. Is sort of a hidden issue that people really don't understand about, some of the conditions that are deep in supply chains that are at the raw material phase of mining and production. And I think it was just really great to kind of look at the big picture of sustainability that it's all encompassing.

- And there is this aspect of costs that comes into play. You know, one big problem where probably many of us are aware of, is the amount of plastic in the ocean, right? Huge opportunity that provides a huge source of material to collect it, right? To melt it and to reuse it as resin, you know, becoming plastics, you know, for products, and so. But, it's cheaper in order to pump oil out of the ground, you know, make resin, you know, virgin resin as they call it, you know, and use that. It's cheaper than to go out into the ocean, collect all this stuff, then you need to melt it, you need to clean it because it's not, you know, virgin. So colors, you know, things like that. You know, we've had this big debate, in the company, in our printing division about, you know, building white printers. And, you know, you take virgin plastic you can make it as white can be. You use recycled plastic, getting it white as white can be, is practically impossible because there's contamination in it, you know, one way or another. And the amount of time you would have to clean it and filter it, and so on, it's just not practical, not possible even. But then the question becomes as consumers, right? How important is it, that that printer is white as white can be? Or is it okay if it's a little bit less white? Or is it okay, you know, to pay five dollars more? So that we can collectively, you know, go out, collect all these bottles, you know, plastic, you know, from the ocean, et cetera, recycle it and so on. And those are, you know, the really fundamental societal questions, you know, that we struggled with because many of us as consumers, if you're not involved in it you just don't know, you know, some of these practicalities of it or the differences, right?

- Yeah, absolutely a great way to frame it. Inma, do you wanna grab some questions to start with?

- Yes.

- So we can get a few questions before we end.

- So, lets start with these ones, so what is one of the skills that you consider most valuable for someone working in the supply chain?

- I think that there's multiple skills that I think are important... Nowadays, depend, no matter what domain whether it is planning or transportation or logistics or manufacturing, engineering, et cetera. I think the... You know, most important skill is, you know, almost like curiosity, focus on innovation there's innovation in all possible in each and every one of these areas. Innovation, you know, the customer mindset, right? Focused on what will help our customers be more successful. Innovation and process improvement, analytics. You know, we talked about data the abundance of available data and using that data to your advantage and technical stuff. Like I said, you know, even if you're an engineer, working in a supply chain environment, engineering products, you know, need to be introduced into a manufacturing environment. Yeah. Depending on which domain, there is plenty of interesting skills required and apply.

- Okay. So data literacy and like scales innovation and customer centric.

- Yup.

- Would be like three of the pillars. And then of course, beyond that, like many other skills. Thanks, Mark. Alexis would you like to pick another on.

- Yeah. Absolutely. So, Darja asks, how resiliency was implemented in your supply chain during the pandemic and now into the new normal?

- So we did another round of working with our manufacturing facilities and partners and suppliers on, you know, taking a look at their business continuity plans. We revisited at areas where we felt, you know, we might be single sourced. We looked at, you know, our system capabilities to transfer quickly from one location to another. Because sometimes, you know, people think that it's easy, you know, or just move manufacturing of product, to another location. But if you don't have your system set up, you don't have your products set up in the system on what the bill of material is, to go build, you know, the product, you know, you can move the material but the line worker doesn't know what to do with that order because he doesn't see it in his system, right? So, we looked at things like that. Re-looked obviously again at all the locations around the world, where they are and are they more susceptible to disruptions then than other places? There's more, because as I said, you know, this has opened our eyes to a whole new concept of disruptions when it happens everywhere at the same time as opposed to one single area, you know, that is affected. So, more than they can, it needs to be done.

- So going back to the to the digital transformation, discussion that we started earlier, what is the approach? Or your approach, are to increase adherence to the new tools and processes that are implemented. You talk about the challenge of like, bringing everyone together in the new ERP system. So, how are you actually like incentivizing people to make this move?

- So, there's two parts to it. One is, you know, when you go through those mega transformation activities and you implement new systems, one of the important aspects of the process or the project itself, is to switch off the old one. So, you know, you transition and you migrate over to the new one and once you're done and everybody's on the new one, you switch off the other one. So nobody can go back because that would be a disaster. And the second one is the new systems, new ERPs, you know, they're designed and developed in a way most of the time that they guide the process, right? So, it's built on a business process or a business process is built on the systemic capabilities. In some cases, you know, these things become a lot more rigorous. So, depending on what you do in the process you sometimes don't even have a choice. And then it's change management with these big transformations. Management of change and, you know, helping people to migrate over, changes heart. We can talk for another hour about, you know, change management, manager of change, how do you do these big projects, right? And how do you get people to adopt and adapt to change? You know, that's, it's hard. It's really hard because people are used to something and, you know, you give them something new or something different. And to migrate over is always a challenge. Some people are, and more eager to do that kind of stuff. Some people are more conservative and say, you know, "I just liked the way things are today." And you need to manage that very carefully.

- Absolutely. That's really helpful. So... Supply chains need to be agile and people as well...

- That's right.

- And upgrading all the time. Any final words for our professionals, Mark? Where we're at and as we sign off.

- No, it was my pleasure to be here and cover some of these fascinating and interesting topics. I enjoy talking about these things. I enjoy being a practitioner and I hope it was helpful.

- We so appreciate your time.

- Thank you.

- And, yes. It's super fascinating for us and all those that were on the line. So really, really thankful for your time and everyone have a great day.

- Have a great day and thanks for setting your passion, Mark.

- Thank you.

- Really came through.

- All right, everyone. Thank you for listening. I hope you enjoyed this edition of MIT Supply Chain Frontiers. My name is Arthur Grau, Communications Officer for the Center. I invite you to visit us anytime at or search for MIT Supply Chain Frontiers on your favorite listening platform. Until next time.