Kathleen Marran enjoys living in a world where people push themselves to experience life’s many diverse possibilities, expect more from each other, and help others reach their highest heights.
As UPS’s VP Marketing for Diverse Customer Segments, she draws upon her 25-plus years of experience in Marketing and Logistics optimizing UPS’s global Diversity and Inclusion efforts in order to be the logistics partner of choice for underserved, diverse owned & operated enterprises. With experience in launching products and campaigns, overseeing critical revenue plans, project management and leading marketing teams globally, she is primed to initiate and drive this new marketing division to mutually beneficial growth.
Her career has been fostered by the exposure to a myriad of business challenges and solutions and has benefited by living and working in cities in Asia, Europe and the US. She delights in supporting customers’ growth objectives in new and unique ways. Reward for her comes from the team members she has helped promote and develop, the charitable groups she has sponsored and confidence in her ability to adapt to changing situations and environments.
When she is not hard at work at UPS, you might find her with her high-school sweetheart husband traveling, cooking, volunteering, or supporting her alma maters (University of Georgia and University of South Carolina). If not there, she will be with Leadership Atlanta friends or Board colleagues of the Greater Women’s Business Council or the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta.
Her passions are in creating new experiences for herself and her teams wherever that may be while continuing to work on ways to advance the position of women in business, politics and society as whole.
Connect with Kathleen on LinkedIn.
Debra Wilson has been with UPS for 14 years and is currently the Director of Marketing for the Diverse customer Segment – a newly created role for UPS. Prior to this position, Debra held several roles in US Marketing and Marketing Research. Before joining UPS she worked for several family owned businesses, and eventually started her own business and was a UPS vendor.
Debra is a passionate leader dedicated to the ongoing development of individuals, teams, and herself to achieve effective partnerships and business results. She has taught 100’s of UPS employees as a trainer in UPS’s Global Marketing Capabilities courses and currently leads UPS’s Diversity Growth Council.
Debra is a lifelong learner and has been described as almost annoyingly curious. She enjoys cooking with her 17yr old son, reading, gardening, paddle boarding and walking her 2 dogs.
Connect with Debra on LinkedIn.
Intro: [00:00:02] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, it’s time for Atlanta Business Radio, spotlighting the city’s best businesses and the people who lead them.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:17] Lee Kantor here with Roz Lewis. Another episode of GWBC Radio. Roz, you have put together quite a crew today. But before we get too far into things, let’s recap a little bit for the folks who weren’t at the POP of that.
Roz Lewis: [00:00:32] What an exciting event.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:33] Right?
Roz Lewis: [00:00:33] Right? And more importantly, for the first time, we were broadcasting live-
Lee Kantor: [00:00:39] That’s right.
Roz Lewis: [00:00:39] … from this event with Business RadioX. So, it was so much fun. I know you all were exhausted. There’s been what?
Lee Kantor: [00:00:46] It was a long day for us.
Roz Lewis: [00:00:46] 18 interviews-
Lee Kantor: [00:00:46] Right.
Roz Lewis: [00:00:50] … with our women businesses, and corporate members, and attendees that were attending there. We have heard great things about, one, people love being on the radio.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:02] We’ve established that. But more importantly, the impact that that event had for all the members. We were just overwhelmed by the amount of folks that came through our studio there, kind of mobile studio, and told us how important GWBC was to them and their business, and the impact it’s made for them, for their community. It was a really inspiring event.
Roz Lewis: [00:01:23] Yeah, I think, always, what we try to do is engage our women businesses, giving them opportunity to meet with other corporate members, and also support other women businesses as well. And while they’re in that networking environment that they also walked away with a couple of nuggets of information that’s going to help them grow their business. So, we had several workshops as we did our radio show, the previous radio show on cash flow. Well, we had that as well along with wealth, how to grow your business through entrepreneurship, or how to grow wealth through entrepreneurship were some of the workshops that we had. And that keynote speaker-
Stone Payton: [00:02:06] Oh, she rocked it. I love that.
Roz Lewis: [00:02:08] Oh my gosh.
Stone Payton: [00:02:08] And I’ve seen a lot of keynote speakers in my time. She was fantastic.
Roz Lewis: [00:02:12] Yes. Well, you always try to get someone—people engaged especially after lunch, right?
Lee Kantor: [00:02:17] Right.
Roz Lewis: [00:02:17] So, people don’t go to sleep, but she was. She was active, engaging. So, if you thought you were coming into an event where you were going to be just a audience, participant, no, she got you engage into understanding how do you receive the apology. Get the apology you never received.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:38] Right.
Roz Lewis: [00:02:39] Right? Or accept the apology that you never received, so.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:41] Yeah, it was a great life lesson.
Roz Lewis: [00:02:43] Yes.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:44] And today’s show will be no different. There’ll be a lot of education inspiration happening here today. Who’d you bring with you?
Roz Lewis: [00:02:50] This morning, we brought Kat Marran, who’s Vice President, Diverse Customer Segments at UPS, and Debra Wilson. She’s the Director of Marketing, Diverse Customer Segments for UPS. And we’re gonna be talking a little bit about exporting, right, about the export business, because we do have an event coming up on the 18th of October on Women and Exporting. And what better company to give us information about that than UPS?
Lee Kantor: [00:03:22] Yeah, they might know a thing or two.
Roz Lewis: [00:03:24] Just a thing or two.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:26] So, who wants to kick it out? So you want talk about your roles at Diverse Customer Segment?
Kat Marran: [00:03:30] Sure. Good morning, everybody.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:34] Kat.
Kat Marran: [00:03:34] This is this is Kat Marran from UBS. Roz, it’s great to see you again this morning. Roz and I also share responsibility. I’m on the board of the GWBC. So, I get two hats today-
Lee Kantor: [00:03:45] Oh, wow!
Kat Marran: [00:03:45] … which is fun. So, I kind of feel like an entrepreneur too who has to wear multiple hats. I’ve got multiple on today. But my normal day job is one that supports women-owned businesses and diverse-owned businesses across the globe. And our objective is to find the solutions that make the most sense to help those businesses grow faster. And as they grow faster, the economics get better for the communities, which means, again, in a for-profit world, which is what I think many of us are are looking to improve upon, we actually see an uplift in employees. We see an uplift in brand management. We see an uplift in growth for everybody. So, we’re really excited about this segment that we own and that we learn from every single day by being on conference calls, by being in conferences, by talking to people like Roz, and all the other weebees that we have out there. It’s an exciting, dynamic space of innovation. And I’m very happy to have this role.
Lee Kantor: [00:04:43] Now, how did you get involved with the GWBC?
Kat Marran: [00:04:47] It’s a longstanding relationship that UPS has had, actually, with the GWBC and Roz, in particular. I’m not sure I’ve got all the years but I think 20 plus, if I’m not mistaken.
Lee Kantor: [00:04:56] Oh, wow!
Roz Lewis: [00:04:56] Yeah.
Kat Marran: [00:04:56] We were one of the-
Roz Lewis: [00:04:56] We’re coming up on 20 years.
Kat Marran: [00:04:56] We were one of the founding companies to help GWBC kind of start its mission. We did that through our Supplier Diversity Program in particular. So, how do we, as a good standing corporate partner, find innovation and business opportunities that exist out there and diverse-owned and women-owned businesses that can be our suppliers, so they help us to be successful every single day, and we believe that we help them be successful. And that happened through GWBC to a large extent.
Roz Lewis: [00:05:26] Yes. And, again, I want to thank UPS for taking that opportunity to support our organization and its growth. So, it was wonderful. It’s been a great relationship and experience, and they’re still here still.
Lee Kantor: [00:05:40] Still here 20 years later.
Roz Lewis: [00:05:41] Yes.
Kat Marran: [00:05:41] And we still put people on these radio programs to support.
Roz Lewis: [00:05:45] Yes.
Lee Kantor: [00:05:45] And keep showing up.
Roz Lewis: [00:05:45] Yes.
Lee Kantor: [00:05:47] So, now, when you look at the business opportunities globally, how is that—how do you even kind of a wrap your arms around that? That seems so large.
Kat Marran: [00:05:56] It is huge. Again, as UPS is pretty large, we do service 220 countries around the world. We do have solutions that fit any market that’s needed. But in recent years, there has certainly been an uptick in what societies, what cultures, and what governments, to some extent, want to do to help diverse communities strengthen their ability to grow and to create more business opportunities; and therefore, stabilize the market. So, when we look at it globally, there is a very vast difference on what diversity means around the globe.
Lee Kantor: [00:06:29] Like culturally in the different countries?
Kat Marran: [00:06:29] Yes, exactly. So, we don’t want to be presumptive in that. We don’t dictate what that is. We work within what’s defined by the communities and what the governments have started to support. And we try to align with that to offer things that cultivate what the culture is and what the governments are kind of putting out, which means, for the most part right now, the best place to do that is women-owned businesses globally. They are on the rise in tremendous numbers. And so, we have launched many programs outside of the US, as well as inside the US to support women exporters, in particular, because we firmly believe that if you can extend an opportunity to grow your business outside of your own community, you actually can grow far faster. We’ve seen stats that show that. So, we focus on women outside of the US to a large extent. In the US, we have a much larger diverse program as well on top of what we do for women-owned businesses.
Roz Lewis: [00:07:27] The line with some of the other corporations too, like Coca-Cola, has a 5by20 Initiative Program, meaning five million women businesses by the year 2020. And so, they are pretty much on track to achieving that. But it’s a great marketing, I think, initiative as well of how you increase your market. And so, the question I have is, is UPS working with some of those customers, corporate customers as well, to kind of bill that and align with it because I always say it’s good to partner, at times, in order to create that community of growth for women businesses?
Kat Marran: [00:08:07] So, you’re talking about, does UPS align with other large enterprises? So, we do. A few big ones that—I’ll move to both corporate and government. So, let’s start with, again, we have strong relationships with USAID. We signed a pretty large agreement with the US government earlier in this year to help fund a lot of infrastructure changes in global markets to help women businesses, in particular. We do that through an organization called SheTrades as well, which is part of part of the UN, and how it reaches out to developing markets.
Kat Marran: [00:08:39] In broader sense, from a corporation perspective, we are closely aligned with organizations such as WEConnect as well. So, WEConnect helps women-owned businesses, in particular, to find alternatives to find support outside of the US. So, whether it’s the legal needs when you expand and export, or you’re trying to build infrastructure to resources and labor, to marketing support in different languages that you might need if you’re starting to explore in different countries. So, we have connected with both the facilitators, with the government regulators, if you will, and we advocate on behalf of those things. We also are connected with other large companies like Delta, like BP, and some others that are doing supplier diversity efforts outside of the US. So, we can all learn from each other in a way that brings up all organizations in these space.
Lee Kantor: [00:09:32] Now, when you’re working with other large corporates, is it open where you’re like, what are you doing here with diversity? There’s some best practices that maybe we’re not aware of, or we’re doing this, this works. Are they open to those kind of conversations?
Kat Marran: [00:09:46] Everybody, it seems—my experience in this diversity and inclusion space is everybody seems to be very open to share what’s working, what’s not working. We—I won’t say we have a formal coalition of any kind, but we have an informal one with fellow board members from GWBC and other groups that my team circles in. I feel total confidence, if I picked up the phone, and said, “Hey, what is your company doing in this space, and how is it working, or what are the challenges? Internal, sometimes, through bureaucracies of big companies. And then, externally, how do you do that? And nobody has refused that call, and everybody has been very open. Debra, have you felt the same way when you’ve connected?
Debra Wilson: [00:10:22] Oh, absolutely. We’re in really good company. And there’s a lot of collaboration and partnership among the large corporations. But, also, in our work that we’re doing with the small and medium businesses too, there’s a partnership and a willingness to learn from one another, which I think is really exciting.
Lee Kantor: [00:10:38] Now, do you think that that collaboration is what is kind of allowing this acceleration of more and more female businesses to grow as rapidly? You think that that’s kind of adding fuel to this fire that it’s kind of expanding?
Kat Marran: [00:10:51] There is certainly, again, whether you—when you do the psychological studies of of what motivates women, you’ll find that a lot of it does kind of come back to collaboration, and teamwork, and a nurturing of each other, and, at least, a general philosophy of a rising tide rises all boats kind of philosophy. And so, I think that that is starting the momentum. I think it doesn’t preclude men from this conversation at all because, quite candidly, more men who hear the voices and bring their own to this equation too create that tide as well. So, I won’t say it’s absolutely exclusive, but I think what I’m starting to see is just the willingness to talk more openly about what drives us, what motivates us, what challenges us, and there’s more organizations out there than ever that are stepping in to kind of help feed gaps when we’ve identified them.
Lee Kantor: [00:11:40] Now, when you are talking to the small business owner in, let’s just say in America because we’re in America right now, is—like exporting, is that even on their radar a lot of the time? Is this something that maybe it’s—do you—you see it every day, and you’re like, “Everybody should be exporting. This is obvious to us.” Like, “Come on. What are they thinking?” But you see the person that’s in a market, they’re just out there battling in their own market, they can’t even see going outside the State sometimes, let alone internationally.
Debra Wilson: [00:12:10] It can be daunting, right? I mean, thinking about shipping your products outside of the US can be very complicated.
Lee Kantor: [00:12:16] Right. And forget about your product. What about the money coming back to me? Like that’s a whole other kind of can of worms.
Debra Wilson: [00:12:22] Yeah.
Roz Lewis: [00:12:22] So, the commerce, right?
Lee Kantor: [00:12:23] Right.
Roz Lewis: [00:12:23] The e-commerce of it.
Kat Marran: [00:12:24] Right.
Debra Wilson: [00:12:25] Right, absolutely.
Kat Marran: [00:12:26] When you look at it, I mean, part of the compelling, I think, point about revenue generation, for even the smaller businesses, is 95% of the world’s population exists outside of the US.
Lee Kantor: [00:12:37] Right.
Kat Marran: [00:12:38] 95% of it. So, it’s going to-
Stone Payton: [00:12:40] That’s important perspective that I think we should all regain from time to time.
Kat Marran: [00:12:43] Yes. So, as well as you might be doing in this market there, there’s obvious potential outside of the US to take advantage of. And the other piece of it is with e-commerce, and with just general globalization, and information that’s so free flowing, more and more companies, more and more people can find products anyplace in the world. That wasn’t necessarily true 20 years ago. So, if you only think about staying in your one physical market, you are limiting yourself and your customers are telling you this. We’ve got many tools, we’ve got many websites that we help our customers to even just show them how many times they get pinged from somebody else in another country who’s curious about their product. How do you actually, then, take advantage of that and fulfill that? They’re not as complicated as it has to be, but just the first recognition, the awareness is where we start is, there’s plenty of wonderful things to do outside of the US, and many people want to buy your stuff, so.
Debra Wilson: [00:13:40] Right. And then-
Kat Marran: [00:13:41] Everybody should be exporting, Lee. That’s the message.
Lee Kantor: [00:13:42] That’s the bottom line.
Roz Lewis: [00:13:43] But where do they start, right?
Lee Kantor: [00:13:45] Right. What is-
Roz Lewis: [00:13:45] Where does a small business start as far as that expanding. How far-
Lee Kantor: [00:13:52] Right.
Roz Lewis: [00:13:52] … should they extend? And what countries? If you think about it that you consider, I would say, safe harbors.
Lee Kantor: [00:13:59] Right. Some baby steps.
Debra Wilson: [00:14:00] Baby steps, absolutely. Yeah. So, the first most important thing is to understand your product, right? There’s a lot that goes into where you can sell your product, how you can ship your product. Fortunately, as complex as all of this is, there are a lot of really great tools and resources to help businesses learn about what it takes, right? You need to think about where you’re going to export to. Some people might be very adventurous and want to go to all of the countries that they can go to as they expand all of a sudden. Sometimes, it’s good to stay in your comfort zone initially, right? Find some countries where we have free trade agreements. You’ve got 20 countries to choose from. Work with company—work with countries where someone in your business can conduct business fluently in the language, and someplace where you have some idea about business customs and just customs in general. These are some of the things to help you get started.
Kat Marran: [00:14:54] Then, also, as indicated, there’s some really good web analytic tools out there as well. Simpleweb, I think is just one that’s not—it’s one of many, but they will quickly, for your website, just tell you, again, what’s happening outside of what you think is happening. And if you see that there is an uplift in a country that you hadn’t thought about before, then that’s your starting point too is to see just who’s naturally, organically coming your way in the first place. Debra indicated, obviously, some proactive things that you can look at but there’s also the reactive side too. More people are connecting and seeing what you are putting out there than you may realize.
Roz Lewis: [00:15:32] Wow. Well, given that, so you’re talking about the product, know your product, but do have to adapt my product in order for shipping or to go overseas because-
Lee Kantor: [00:15:45] Right, like having translation in a language.
Roz Lewis: [00:15:49] Right.
Kat Marran: [00:15:49] Again, there’s lots of alternatives to think through. I, actually, put a small plug in here for the US Commercial Services Group, which is a government agency that sole purpose is to help US businesses figure out what and where they should sell outside of the US. So, they are here to help you grow your business through opening up new markets. They have tons of information both on products that are viable in other markets, things that people want to buy in businesses that need those products that US companies make. But they also will tell you the restrictions on them. So, they’ll help you figure out what the compliance is in those countries.
Kat Marran: [00:16:29] We have tools as well that can help you figure out some of that, as well as the taxes, and the duties, and things that will be applicable. And there’s lots of other consulting organizations. Again, WEConnect is another who’s right there to help figure out as you step into this, whether you put your little toe in there, or whether you’re ready to actually build out facilities. There’s a whole myriad of steps that can happen in between. And I think, Roz, that it might seem overwhelming at first but know that there’s plenty of organizations who will come and help you figure out how to get through some of those.
Roz Lewis: [00:17:00] Well, that’s always good to know that you have access to those resources. I guess, they just go to the website and look that up. So, can you just repeat the name of that organization again, so that we can0—the listening audience will be able to, hopefully, tap into that resource. And then, there’s the Department of Economic Development. That’s also a Department of Commerce also because they do trade missions. And keep in mind, businesses, you can always go on trips with them to these countries that give you-
Kat Marran: [00:17:33] Often funded by the government-
Roz Lewis: [00:17:35] Right.
Kat Marran: [00:17:35] So, it’s not under your-
Roz Lewis: [00:17:36] Exactly.
Kat Marran: [00:17:36] … revenue pocket.
Debra Wilson: [00:17:37] Right, right. So, the organization that we partner with most frequently is the US Commercial Service when we’re working with small businesses here in Atlanta. They have a fantastic local office here. But the website that they’ve put together with unlimited educational materials and tools, one of my favorite tools is a market diversification tool where you can go in and look at your products that you’re shipping, and it will help you to identify some of the countries where it would be viable for you to expand to. But that website as export.gov. And a lot of really fantastic resources for all sizes of businesses.
Lee Kantor: [00:18:12] Can you share a story maybe of a small firm here in town or somebody that you personally dealt with or heard about that has dipped their toe in, and then had some level of success?
Debra Wilson: [00:18:25] Wow!
Lee Kantor: [00:18:26] You don’t have to name names but just like, “Oh, they were an apparel company, and they did this, and they’ve never done that.”
Kat Marran: [00:18:31] There’s many, again, that-
Lee Kantor: [00:18:33] Sure.
Kat Marran: [00:18:33] … go the exporting side. Some of them had to start first with thinking about just the basic nature of fulfillment. So, I’ve got an example of a—it’s a New York based company who creates flip flops.
Lee Kantor: [00:18:46] Okay.
Kat Marran: [00:18:47] And they were challenged with thinking-
Lee Kantor: [00:18:47] Not high tech. This is-
Kat Marran: [00:18:49] Not high tech. Yeah. So, it doesn’t always have-
Lee Kantor: [00:18:49] It could be anything, right?
Kat Marran: [00:18:52] It doesn’t always have—they’re cool flip flops.
Lee Kantor: [00:18:53] Right.
Debra Wilson: [00:18:53] They’re really nice flip flops.
Kat Marran: [00:18:56] They’re really nice flip flops, but it doesn’t have to be overly-
Roz Lewis: [00:18:58] [Indiscernible].
Kat Marran: [00:18:58] Yeah. And they’re sustainable. And, well, actually, they’re good stewards of the community as well. So, we were proud to work with them and solve, not only how they wanted to fulfill here because they were starting to get orders that were coming in fast and furious. And they had almost moved from the quintessential in their garage, and they were ready-
Lee Kantor: [00:19:18] Right.
Kat Marran: [00:19:18] … to start expanding. So, we helped them to figure out how they were going to fulfill, in general, and how they were going to get to more marketplaces to do that. So, some of our products, you know, something we call UPS eFulfillment gets you 21 marketplaces in one fell swoop. And it allowed them to boost their sales. Well, when the sales boosted, then they had to fulfill, and they didn’t want to have to put capital up. And so, they didn’t want to have to find warehouses around the country. Again, this is what our eFulfillment does. It allows, if they’re ready, to have the UPS environment store it in the warehouses across our country, and pick, and pack it, and get faster time in transit, and lets the flip flop company focus on flip flops-
Lee Kantor: [00:19:55] Right.
Kat Marran: [00:19:55] … as opposed to supply chain. Leave the supply chain, to some degree, to those of us who can work it better in different ways. So, as they were continuing to grow in the US, they caught the eye of international people as well who want these lovely flip flops. And so, then, they have that added challenge of, “Where do we go next? How do we do that?” So, we have, again, information tools. We have contacts through the US Commercial Services Group and WEConnect, and we put them in contact with how to find those right markets and for them to grow faster by getting into them. And then, we help them fulfill it, so they didn’t have to put the capital into the countries they wanted to fulfill.
Kat Marran: [00:20:31] I believe they started first in—they actually started, I think, in a few Asian markets. I think the Chinese were actually looking at there, which is not necessarily always the norm. Sometimes, you start in language.
Lee Kantor: [00:20:43] Maybe language can be like you’re selling to people that speak the same language.
Kat Marran: [00:20:45] Yeah. If your website is in English, oftentimes, you’ll find it easier for other people around the country or around the globe to find you first in English. So, you see an uptick, obviously, in Canadian buyers, and UK, and Australia, et cetera, but that doesn’t preclude the rest of the world who clearly also studies English-
Lee Kantor: [00:21:00] Sure.
Kat Marran: [00:21:00] … and can figure out a website what a flip flop looks like.
Lee Kantor: [00:21:02] Right, actually.
Kat Marran: [00:21:03] So, they were getting pinged by other countries a lot. And they-
Lee Kantor: [00:21:08] That’s where the analytics where you can start saying, “Wow! There’s a lot of people in Japan that seems to be, at least, going to our website.”
Kat Marran: [00:21:16] Correct. So, how do we want to do that?
Lee Kantor: [00:21:17] Right.
Kat Marran: [00:21:18] How on earth do I, then, do this? So, with some tools that we’ve got that allowed them them to figure out how to predict what was going to be the duty and tax, so that their consumer would have the information upfront, we help them to revise their website. So, although it may not have been in every language around the globe, it, at least, took into account the internationalization of the duty and tax of the exchange rates, et cetera, so that it made it so far so much easier for them to communicate what they needed too to their buyers. So, they’ve seen an uptick, obviously, in their international growth. They’re very happy with both their business, and, quite honestly, they’re happy with the relationship they have with us. So, just one example for sure.
Lee Kantor: [00:22:00] But that’s where UPS is really partnering with them? Like they didn’t have to hire a supply chain guru. They just called UPS, and somebody, a human being, help kind of work-
Kat Marran: [00:22:10] The human being can help. If you’re not ready for the human being and the intensity that we bring, sometimes, we actually have on ups.com, there’s a knowledge center that we have as well. And if you’re a small business or in whatever industry, there’s both articles and things that we put out that help give better guidance on what fulfillment means, what it doesn’t mean, what marketplaces are, what they aren’t, how they help you, how you need to watch. And then, at the same time, there’s places where you can say, “And I need help.” So, if you put your information in, then we can set up either a a free 15-minute consultation with somebody who can help you with whatever is your solution you’re looking for.
Lee Kantor: [00:22:44] Because you don’t know what you don’t know.
Kat Marran: [00:22:45] Correct. Just come ask the question.
Lee Kantor: [00:22:46] Like this is uncharted territory, right.
Roz Lewis: [00:22:48] But that also saves then if you think about it,.
Lee Kantor: [00:22:50] Right.
Roz Lewis: [00:22:50] They’re not paying—they’re not having to worry about funding a warehouse. There is on at-needed basis. So, to me, it’s a great just-in-time system throughout the supply chain and more cost effective to sell those, the jewel.
Lee Kantor: [00:23:09] Right.
Roz Lewis: [00:23:09] … flip flops.
Lee Kantor: [00:23:10] Sustainable-
Roz Lewis: [00:23:11] Sustainable-.
Lee Kantor: [00:23:11] … flip flop.
Roz Lewis: [00:23:13] … flip flops.
Lee Kantor: [00:23:13] And it’s kind of an honest broker. It’s not somebody with an agenda that is—might—there’s a lot of people that are not—I wouldn’t say disreputable. There’s people out there that may not have the best interests of this mom-and-pop flip flop company at heart. And you know that with UPS, you’re giving somebody that’s a trusted resource.
Kat Marran: [00:23:32] A trusted brand, we hope. I think that that’s a valid point. So, I guess our best suggestion is go find organizations that legitimately are looking to help you.
Lee Kantor: [00:23:41] Right.
Kat Marran: [00:23:41] Now, certainly, we do believe that we are the best in the business when it comes to logistics and supply chain solutions, but we know that there are other partners out there. So, we bring in other solutions that may not have been readily available to you.
Lee Kantor: [00:23:54] Right.
Kat Marran: [00:23:54] So, we have partners that help our customers create revenue. Although I am a marketer, this is not my company’s core. We don’t sell marketing products. We sell transportation logistics.
Lee Kantor: [00:24:05] Right.
Kat Marran: [00:24:05] But guess what? We have contacts because we can leverage our assets, if you will, to bring in other partners. So, whether it’s the net elixirs of the world or search engine optimization companies, we can—we have mechanisms by which we provide those to our customers, so that they have another third party they can trust to go to, to develop what they need to develop. So, if it’s not what you want from your UPS directly in terms of moving package from A to B, or putting it on a boat coming in from China as your source, we still have other things that you can leverage from us is the point.
Debra Wilson: [00:24:40] If we’ve done our job well, we walk away from some of these conversations with businesses saying, “Hey, I didn’t know UPS could help me figure that out.”
Lee Kantor: [00:24:47] Right. But from marketing in the same way, that must be frustrating because you want them to know all the stuff that you offer. Price is a double-edged sword.
Kat Marran: [00:24:54] Right. Someday, someday. But—and I don’t want to wax philosophical but I think as I started the conversation, and Debra and I take this to heart, there is something very compelling and something very rewarding about finding a way to have any business be able to find greater strength and growth. Would I love them to be a diehard UPS user? Absolutely, but you know what, at the same time, if I’ve found a way to make them happy, they’ll eventually come back-
Lee Kantor: [00:25:19] Right.
Kat Marran: [00:25:19] … and have a conversation with us, or they’ll advocate for us in another way indirectly.
Lee Kantor: [00:25:24] Sure.
Kat Marran: [00:25:24] And I can live with that because I think that that’s a positive way for us to look at diversity and inclusion as well.
Roz Lewis: [00:25:30] It’s also a way of paying it forward, right? And so, it always comes back or circles back to you. And women are loyal. They’re loyal to those corporations and companies that support them. So, I think, having this information. So, what I might take away from this just now is basically, UPS is also in the business of growing other businesses, right? And marketing that as well of saying, “We are looking at you in totality, not just as a shipping customer.”.
Debra Wilson: [00:26:05] Right. Our partnerships are with companies as suppliers to UPS, as customers of UPS. I mean, at some point, even if you’re not doing business with us right now, we hire a lot of people as well. And so, having those business relationships and helping grow the businesses that are strengthening the communities that we’re in provides us better access to really qualified employees who can help us continue to do the work that we do.
Kat Marran: [00:26:32] It’s mutually beneficial to see, again, economic uplift by small and medium businesses. So, even the big companies out there, I think, more and more frequently, are recognizing this and doing something about it. So, we’re not just talking about it anymore. I think we’re actually putting practical solutions out there in a more direct and more intentional way that we have in the past.
Lee Kantor: [00:26:53] Now, are you seeing more and more companies kind of take the leap into exporting? Like is that something a trend that you’re seeing more and more of, or is it flat? Like, where is it right now?
Kat Marran: [00:27:04] The export market is on the rise in general. And I say that over a probably a five or seven-year period. With that said, the last year and a half has been a little bit of a challenge-
Lee Kantor: [00:27:15] A little whacked. A little whacked.
Kat Marran: [00:27:15] … to say the least.
Roz Lewis: [00:27:15] What do you think could have contributed to that?
Kat Marran: [00:27:18] There’s a lot of conversations, obviously, about the globalization, and trade, and certainly policies. So, the short answer is I think we’re seeing a little bit of a dip because there’s some concerns about what that really looks like. And not telling everybody on the radio what they already know, but when you’re trying to make your margins hold true and as tight as you can, and, all of a sudden, you have a supplier who’s got to pay a very different tax scenario than they used to because the policies have changed in whatever direction by whatever country-
Lee Kantor: [00:27:50] Right.
Kat Marran: [00:27:50] … it’s a major impact to you. So, companies like us are, at least, aware of that. So, we are starting to see more conversations about, how do I export to the right markets? So, again, some of the support we give is although this might be a lucrative market, maybe this is not the time perhaps-
Lee Kantor: [00:28:07] Right, the timing of it.
Kat Marran: [00:28:07] … to find another one. And the inbound is just as important to look at. So, as more and more companies, regardless of size, are sourcing outside of the US, because it’s smart to do, it’s economically viable to do, some of that is closing a little bit and tightening. And as a company who’s thinking about it is always trying to be flexible about where they can find those suppliers too. So, some of the things that the US Commercial Services does as well, and we help where we can, is if your supplier base outside of the US has kind of dried up for cost reasons, where else can you go? Where is another viable supplier to you maybe in another market that’s not currently having the same policy change or tax scenario? And having that flexibility to figure out how to do that is really critical to keep a company alive.
Lee Kantor: [00:28:53] And the uncertainty is what? Small business, they don’t like uncertainty. Everybody wants as much kind of understanding the lay of the land as possible. And when it’s turbulent, it just makes it difficult.
Kat Marran: [00:29:05] Indeed. Indeed. I think all businesses face that, whether it’s in fuel prices that-
Lee Kantor: [00:29:11] Right.
Kat Marran: [00:29:11] … we’re seeing these days. I mean, when you fly a fleet that’s as big as ours, 13th largest in the globe, yeah, you don’t like the uncertainty.
Lee Kantor: [00:29:19] You pay attention to that, right.
Kat Marran: [00:29:19] You pay attention to all kinds of uncertainty. So, it’s not missed on companies like ours that when you put it down to the micro levels too that it’s highly impactful for continuity.
Lee Kantor: [00:29:28] Right. And people don’t realize kind of when one domino falls, kind of the ramifications of that foir dominoes away from that.
Kat Marran: [00:29:36] Absolutely right. It’s trying to predict and plan for that too. And we often talk about if you don’t plan, and you don’t forecast, and you don’t measure it, then, obviously, you’re not going to move the mark where you need to. But in a time of uncertainty, it really gets even more complicated to forecast. So, having abilities to see what is going on in your business is also important. So, if I can take this just along that path for a second, we are big at UPS about data, and we are big about dashboards. We talk about them all the time. I’m sure many of you guys out there have thought about your business dashboards too. And it all comes down to the data that you have that drives that, so that you can, as close to real time, see the impacts that are happening to you. And therefore, be able to pivot and move as quickly as you can.
Kat Marran: [00:30:22] And in the supply chain, that’s really critical, especially when we come to trade, and we come to fuel prices, and everything else. It’s, how do you know what’s about to hit you as a small business? If you can see that even a day or two in advance, you can adjust for it. You can’t fix the past. So, dashboards and tools that are available to you, you should seek out. And again, where we can help, we’re happy to try and build those with you.
Lee Kantor: [00:30:45] Now, a company that’s thinking about exporting, is that something that if they partner with UPS, they have access to some of those tools for themselves, so they don’t have to go, and invest, and create these kind of tools for themselves-
Kat Marran: [00:30:58] Absolutely.
Lee Kantor: [00:30:58] … and their export business?
Kat Marran: [00:30:59] Absolutely. And what we’ve just launched in the last few months, after a lot of years of learning with our consumers, we have something that we call My Choice for consumers. It’s where it started. And it was giving them visibility. Hopefully, many people have used that. But we’ve now advanced that into the B2B world. So, it’s My Choice for business. And it does, it allows you to see real time what’s coming into you, how that’s coming in. It helps you to figure out your inventories and maybe your finances relative to your ordering process. And then, it figures out with you your outbound and where that’s going to play. And if we close this whole circle on e-commerce, most companies have to have a solution of returns of some kind. And if you have that ability, you can see what’s coming your way, and going out, and the whole full circle. That’s an easy downloadable program by UPS. It’s a simple registration. My Choice for business, see if it works for you. It’s ready and available.
Roz Lewis: [00:31:57] Well, I really don’t think—I’m a proponent of not reinventing the wheel. And when you have resources such as UPS, and granted, the listening audience, yes, you have other options out there, but why not make sure you’re focusing on what’s core to your business and leave that type of information to the experts who do this day in and day out and partner with them on that? And how do we encourage more small businesses to utilize these products and services?
Debra Wilson: [00:32:34] Right. That’s what we like to say, right? Let us be the trade compliance and customs experts, so you don’t have to be. You’re running your business every day, you’re doing business development, you’re training your people, you’re hiring your people, you’re looking for suppliers. Let us solve those complicated problems for you. One of the ways that we’re helping small businesses to explore their export opportunities, and if they’re already doing it, get better at it, get more efficient at it, is through a series of workshops.
Debra Wilson: [00:33:01] I don’t know if you want to talk about the one that we have coming up soon. You mentioned it just a bit earlier in the beginning, but we’re putting together a growth workshop for small businesses. And this is one of the workshops that we’ve done in several parts of the country, but we’re particularly fond of our Atlanta area partners in the GWBC. So, we have the honor of hosting this group at our beautiful corporate offices. So, it’ll be a lot of fun.
Debra Wilson: [00:33:24] It’s Friday, October 18th. It’s 9:30 in the morning until 3:30 in the afternoon. And this is intended to be a growth workshop for those businesses who have a product that they’re interested in exporting. And so, the agenda is broader than exporting. It’s going to include facilitated sessions with our subject matter experts on knowing your customer, finding the right marketplace partner, understanding your supply chain, and also gaining access to capital. So, in addition to getting to spend some time with our subject matter experts, and to ask your questions, and to network with one another, I think you’ll also find that you’ll get to spend the day with a whole lot of really great people.
Lee Kantor: [00:34:06] Now, are these first time exporters? Are they veteran? Like who’s invited?
Debra Wilson: [00:34:10] You can—yeah, you can be what we call the accidental exporter, right? You’ve got an order on your website, and, all of a sudden, you’re trying to figure out how to ship to Mexico.
Lee Kantor: [00:34:19] Does that happen? That must happen all the time.
Debra Wilson: [00:34:21] Oh, it happens all the time. It happens all the time.
Lee Kantor: [00:34:23] So, what do they do? Because that’s the thing-
Roz Lewis: [00:34:26] They call you, don’t they?
Stone Payton: [00:34:26] Oh, right.
Debra Wilson: [00:34:26] They muddle-
Roz Lewis: [00:34:26] They call UPS.
Debra Wilson: [00:34:26] They muddle through. If you get lucky, it’s a good experience for you and your customer. More often than not, it’s a little bumpy for you and your customer. And that’s an area where we can help you get more intentional about preparing yourself to be able to do that, to accept orders, but also be more intentional about marketing. That’s-
Lee Kantor: [00:34:46] Because that’s the—in this online world, and you have a website, and you sell something, and the internet is the world, so anybody can access it from anywhere. And then, they go to your website, and they’re from another country, and they’re like, “Send me your widget,” and you’re like, “Huh?” Like, where-
Roz Lewis: [00:35:01] Now, what do I do?
Kat Marran: [00:35:03] Yeah. And unfortunately, a lot of times, you—we find that companies say no. They have to turn it down because-
Lee Kantor: [00:35:08] They say no?
Kat Marran: [00:35:08] They say no because they don’t know what to do.
Lee Kantor: [00:35:10] Wow!
Kat Marran: [00:35:11] You have another set, to Debra’s point, who will try. And maybe they don’t know how to fill out the customs document properly, so the product gets stuck-
Lee Kantor: [00:35:19] Right.
Kat Marran: [00:35:19] … or gets returned back to the US. And so, not only did you spend a lot of money to get it there, your customer didn’t even get it.
Lee Kantor: [00:35:25] And they’re mad, right.
Kat Marran: [00:35:25] And then, they’re mad, and they’ve gone someplace else. So, what Debra is trying to describe too is this—this is an opportunity for those to take that surprise moment out of the small and medium businesses, so that when they see that order from Mexico, they’re like, “Yes. Now, we know what to do.” And even if it’s not an intentional marketing campaign for them, at least, they can respond in a way that still keeps the revenue and profit moving.
Lee Kantor: [00:35:48] Right.
Kat Marran: [00:35:48] But we are glad to support anybody who’s moving up from that phase too-
Lee Kantor: [00:35:52] Right.
Kat Marran: [00:35:53] … and is wanting to be more intentional about this, and find more markets, and actually create growth strategies around it.
Lee Kantor: [00:35:59] Right. So, you’re not the accidental exporter.
Kat Marran: [00:36:02] Correct.
Debra Wilson: [00:36:03] Exactly.
Kat Marran: [00:36:03] Accidents happen.
Lee Kantor: [00:36:05] Right.
Kat Marran: [00:36:05] But you try the next time to-
Lee Kantor: [00:36:07] To kind of plan for it.
Kat Marran: [00:36:07] To keep them from being detrimental.
Lee Kantor: [00:36:09] Isn’t it ironic though? They have a website. I guess they don’t think like this is the world. Like they think their website is just for them or the people around them, but it’s the world. Every time you put something out there, the world can find it. And then—so, it’s just surprising that if they would do some sort of an online marketplace, they would think like, “Oh, no one’s going to order from outside of the country.” Like it wouldn’t—and so, they would be surprised, but I guess that happens.
Kat Marran: [00:36:34] It does happen.
Debra Wilson: [00:36:35] And some companies will be intentional in saying on their site, “We can’t ship outside of the US,” because they haven’t figured out how to do it. Maybe it’s—they haven’t figured-
Lee Kantor: [00:36:43] Right.
Debra Wilson: [00:36:43] … out how to do it cost effectively, or how to ship their products to protect them, or how to get them there in a timely manner. And these are all things that we can help businesses who are just starting to think about this do and people who are already doing it do it better and more efficiently.
Lee Kantor: [00:36:59] Right, because that’s a clue. Like if somebody from outside the country wants your stuff, that—it’s hard to get customer [indiscernible]. So, it’s—you know.
Kat Marran: [00:37:07] It’s hard. So-
Lee Kantor: [00:37:07] So, you got a customer outside, it’s like, “Hey, there might be other ones out there too.”
Kat Marran: [00:37:11] Well, especially—and I talk a lot about this when I meet with women-owned businesses and other diverse—actually, all small businesses quite candidly, is where do I find more companies or customers who want to buy my things, and how do I compete with the big guys out there who are dominating in lots of ways because they can? How do I compete with that? Well, one of those pieces is, we would argue, is don’t miss out on a market that’s untapped for you first and foremost. So, it may not be in your backyard anymore. It may be someplace overseas.
Lee Kantor: [00:37:41] Right.
Roz Lewis: [00:37:41] Well, we just said, right, 95% of the population is outside of the US, not inside the US. So, it would almost behoove small businesses to really seriously consider and think about, especially with online capabilities of how do you target that customer outside of the US.
Debra Wilson: [00:38:03] And customers outside of the US will to buy products from US companies. We’re known for the quality of our products. We’re known for the uniqueness of our products.
Lee Kantor: [00:38:12] Right.
Debra Wilson: [00:38:12] But we’re also known for creating products that are going to be healthy, and safe, and sustainably produced. And that’s very appealing to to consumers outside the US and businesses outside the US.
Lee Kantor: [00:38:22] Now, what-
Kat Marran: [00:38:22] Especially a growing millennial market outside the US too-
Debra Wilson: [00:38:25] Right.
Kat Marran: [00:38:25] … because that 95% includes an awful lot of younger people who, to Debra’s point, have different views on what’s the value proposition of a product these days. And it may be more than the actual product itself. It may be all the other pieces surrounding it. So, there’s markets to be explored.
Lee Kantor: [00:38:42] Now, Roz, we kind of promoted this episode throughout social media, and we have somebody from the audience, I think, that has asked a question-
Roz Lewis: [00:38:53] Yes.
Lee Kantor: [00:38:53] … because I knew that some gurus of exporting were going to be in the room here today.
Roz Lewis: [00:38:57] Yes, we do. And this is coming off of Facebook. And this is one of the questions from Julie Weldon. And that is, what are some of the pitfalls to be aware of in exporting? And there’s actually a two-part question. And what are some of the tactical steps, or tools, resources a business owner can take use when considering exporting?
Debra Wilson: [00:39:24] I know a really great workshop you can come to.
Lee Kantor: [00:39:26] But she’s outside. We got the pleasure to interview her at the POP event, and she’s outside of Georgia, but she should come because it’s open to everybody.
Kat Marran: [00:39:38] It’s just a short jaunt from North Carolina. We gladly welcome—we’ll gladly have them come into it. This is not exclusive.
Lee Kantor: [00:39:44] All right, [crosstalk]. Peer pressure for her.
Kat Marran: [00:39:46] But in answer to her broader question—I’m sorry, Debra. In answer to her broader question, some of the pitfalls, I think we’ve covered a few of them, but just to kind of re-emphasize a few of them. Number one, knowing whether or not your product is legally viable for another country is, I think, one of the key points first. And again, using sources like the US Commercial Services to confirm that. We find that, sometimes, with all the the goodness that happens online, people stumble into some things that cause them longer-term challenges when they send something they shouldn’t be.
Kat Marran: [00:40:19] And then, the other pitfall is once you know that you can do it, it’s how do you do it? And there are smarter ways to do it because you can’t avoid duty in taxes. You do not want to do that. None of us want to see that happen because it’s a bad customer experience across the board. The product doesn’t get where it’s supposed to be. You get charged more, or there’s fees that can be involved, et cetera.
Kat Marran: [00:40:41] So, learning about these things upfront is the smartest thing that you can do to mitigate all of those risks as you think about exporting because the pitfalls on a tactical level can happen really quickly. Long-term strategy is about actually figuring out how far you want to grow and how you want to create new sales opportunities, and warehousing, and things like that are much larger conversations but, again, there’s resources, like WEConnect who can take companies who are ready to go do those things as well.
Lee Kantor: [00:41:10] And this is one of those things where these are some unknowns for these people that have never done it before. And it sounds like that’s a lot, or it’s hard, or there’s penalty. Like there could be fear around it. But once you have some trusted partners, and you kind of get your systems down, then it’s just normal business. There’s a learning curve, but once you get through it, the payoff could be huge.
Kat Marran: [00:41:31] It should be huge. And again, you’re right. Like anything, you’ve got to dabble and learn a little bit.
Lee Kantor: [00:41:36] Right.
Kat Marran: [00:41:37] And maybe you revert, and fix, and then go forward. But with the right solutions, with the right support, you can certainly get through all and any of that pain. Most companies who are growing faster and, in fact, we show that women, women businesses who are exporting, actually, they produce higher than women, businesses who don’t. They hire more people than women business that don’t because they’re growing faster. They provide higher wages for their employees when they do this. So, there is, again, a halo effect of forcing yourself to learn what you need to learn because, again, it, hopefully, suits not only your growth objectives, but it also supports maybe your principles of what you want to be as an economic stimulator too.
Lee Kantor: [00:42:18] Right. And the payoff is so high that the risk reward is so in the favor of reward for taking the leap, I think. Just go for it.
Kat Marran: [00:42:28] Go for it. You don’t have to go by yourself.
Lee Kantor: [00:42:30] Right.
Kat Marran: [00:42:31] Come with us. We’ll be okay. Or go with somebody. Again, there’s other support factors out there that will take this from being something daunting to something that is, sometimes, really fun.
Lee Kantor: [00:42:43] Right.
Kat Marran: [00:42:44] You get to open up a new communication with people around the globe.
Lee Kantor: [00:42:46] Around the world, right.
Kat Marran: [00:42:47] And they give you new insights as to what they want to see from you. And I got to imagine that with the creative people that we’ve got on the phone and who want to do new things in innovation, it isn’t just limited to the US market by any stretch.
Roz Lewis: [00:43:02] Well, almost, the question is, too, how much education you will you need to have about these other countries and knowing what’s happening in there> Because there’s so many things that can impact your business when it comes to exporting. And I know we’ve been talking about exporting, but even importing. So, Debra, what happens? What is it that I need to know as a business owner, or how far do I—can I just rely on my transportation partner?
Debra Wilson: [00:43:36] You need to do your research, right? So, this is not an area where you want to fly by the seat of your pants, right? You want to plan in order to be successful. When I’ve worked with small businesses who are kind of looking at taking the first steps, I always recommend going to export.gov. They have some really fantastic tools that I’ve mentioned before. One of the tools that I really like is the—it’s called the market diversification tool that I mentioned earlier. That’s your starting point for thinking about, “Okay, you know what, I’m gonna look at Canada, Mexico, and Australia.” Well, then you can find market guides specific to each of those countries that, then, will help you dig into what the rules and regulations are, and what the barriers might be, and what the considerations would be for your product. And then, it just helps you create that very intentional pathway and strategy to say, “This is what I’m I’m gonna do next and how I’m gonna go about doing it.” And it helps you avoid some of those pitfalls.
Lee Kantor: [00:44:29] And then, each—no matter what the person is selling, there’s going to be different kind of challenges associated, right? So, an apparel company might have a different challenge than a manufacturing company that might have a different challenge than a high-tech company, right? There are different rules and different kind of pitfalls that each one of those provide. But when you go to those kind of governmental resources or UPS, you can kind of help them stay within the lanes of whatever it is.
Kat Marran: [00:44:56] Correct. Whatever compliance is necessary.
Lee Kantor: [00:44:58] Right, because all different, right?
Kat Marran: [00:44:58] They can be very different. I think, with the amount of emphasis that we’ve placed over the years on learning more about the total industries and what’s happening in there, we monitor the trends, whether it’s health care or high tech and the subsegments below them. What is actually going to be an advantage for companies as they trade? And what’s going to be the disadvantages, or what’s going to be the challenges and the changes? And to the degree that we can—we bring those forward to our customers, we’re doing a better and better job of forecasting them ourselves, so that we can be that consultant if you want to think about that to our own customers to say, “Watch out for this. This is coming your way.” So, even if you started down a path, and you feel really comfortable, things change, right?
Lee Kantor: [00:45:42] Right.
Kat Marran: [00:45:42] So, watching the politics, watching the physical side, I mean, for goodness sakes, even watching weather, you wouldn’t maybe believe it, and if anybody ever comes to Louisville to visit us at UPS< we'll show you our huge meteorological society that we have in there because you got to imagine, when you're moving aircraft and vehicles- Lee Kantor: [00:45:59] You got to know where the hurricane is. Kat Marran: [00:46:00] ... you got to know where the hurricanes are coming and how you- Roz Lewis: [00:46:03] Right. Kat Marran: [00:46:03] ...how you continue to do it. And maybe some of you in different places have even seen our package cars and the flight still moving when others aren't. And that's because we know how to work the network well. Same thing happens in small businesses. Predictability, figuring out what you can identify ahead of time is far smarter. So, you have consultants, you have advisors through UPS who help to do that by industry, by geo, and by product to some degree. Lee Kantor: [00:46:31] Now, Roz, having relationships with UPS and these other corporate partners that you have really gives the small and midsize business owner, the members of GWBC kind of a leg up. It's almost kind of a secret weapons to help them grow. Roz Lewis: [00:46:47] It is. And more importantly, even though you're small, and these are for, I would say, the women businesses who are certified through our organization, and I'm going to put in a plug, we offer a discount on the shipping that is available. So, you may not be that large corporate customer for UPS, but it still doesn't mean you can't take advantage and utilize how you increase your gross margin, right, on your products or services that you're shipping. And so, we encourage you to do that. And that's one of the reasons when we were talking about this subject and knowing that this was coming up that we wanted to expand this opportunity for people to get more insight as to what all that UPS does. And granted, they market themselves as logistics, but what does that mean- Lee Kantor: [00:47:42] Right. Roz Lewis: [00:47:42] ... because it's so broad, right? Lee Kantor: [00:47:44] Right. Because if you're a flip flop company, like what does—how does that pertain? But then, you realize it pertains in lots of ways that you may not have even guessed could occur. And then, once you have conversations, and, all of a sudden, that leads to more or more opportunity. Roz Lewis: [00:47:59] Right. But if you think about it, we're always shipping. Lee Kantor: [00:48:01] Right. Roz Lewis: [00:48:02] Whether it's for business or for personal. Lee Kantor: [00:48:03] It's common. You are going away from- Roz Lewis: [00:48:05] Right, We're always moving a product somewhere. And. of course, the holidays are coming up. And so, that is just going to be overload. I love it when they do, "This is the last day that you're going to be able to ship—" Lee Kantor: [00:48:19] If you want it there. Roz Lewis: [00:48:19] "... if you want it there on Christmas Day," right? Or any of those holidays, you got to realize that you do have to plan ahead in order to get that. And that's a supply chain effect as well. But I think more importantly, I've learned so much more on the inside of what they do, what they offer. And I think that, to me, is the broader message of all the tools and resources that you, as a small business, don't have to have, but it's a plethora of opportunities for you to gain that assistance in order to move that product outside of the US to the over 95% of population- Lee Kantor: [00:49:04] Of the rest of the world, right. Roz Lewis: [00:49:04] ... and to the rest of the world. So, see, man, yes, you're a customer here in the US, but also think about and plan of how you can gain additional customers. Lee Kantor: [00:49:15] Right. It's a big world out there, and think big, aim high, right? Roz Lewis: [00:49:19] It is. Also, it's generative, right? If you think about it, Kat mentioned earlier, we talk about millennials and how they are cause-driven and looking to be more engaged, but their online buying is growing, of course, as a market. Well, guess what? It has to get to me, right? So, it's not that I'm going in the store and picking up, but even then, they've got to ship the product. They've got to even get it to the stores. So, I just think that's an opportunity there as well for them to look at how do they utilize a company like UPS to help improve their shipping to their customers. Kat Marran: [00:50:02] A really quick short thing that can be done by anybody is take the time, take 10 or 15 minutes in your business, and get a piece of paper in front of you, as best as you can, draw the globe, draw the US where you wanted to be and the other countries around the world, and just map out. We call it supply chain map. Just map out how your products are created, how they move, how your customers need to return them, and then overlay on top of the physical movement. Think about the information that you need. So, how do you think about the information from your suppliers to your customers, and then back around? And then, how, quite honestly, does the money move? If you think about just those three things in your supply chain - goods, funds and information - and you draw it on in piece paper, you're going to find places where you've got weak spots. And as you do that, you can solve for them. And so, that kind of mapping session you can do on your own or, again, we have people who can certainly help to do that, including Debra myself. Debra Wilson: [00:51:00] And you can come do it at the workshop on October 18th. Lee Kantor: [00:51:02] That's right. Kat Marran: [00:51:02] Final plug. Roz Lewis: [00:51:03] When is that workshop again? Debra Wilson: [00:51:05] That would be Friday, October 18th. Roz Lewis: [00:51:07] At UPS- Lee Kantor: [00:51:08] UPS. Debra Wilson: [00:51:08] At UPS. Roz Lewis: [00:51:08] ... headquarters. Debra Wilson: [00:51:11] And there'll be more information available about that and how to register on the GWBC website very shortly. So, be looking out for that. Lee Kantor: [00:51:18] And that's one of those things where the opportunity is there. It's there for you to take if you want it. And there's information and people who want to help you be successful. So, I mean, it's silly not to, at least, explore it at the minimum. And earlier, you mentioned that the analytics on your website can give you some clues. Like if there's a lot of people from another country hit your website, you may want to consider trying to sell something, right? Roz Lewis: [00:51:44] Agreed. Lee Kantor: [00:51:46] So, now, Roz, if somebody wanted to learn more about GWBC, some of the events like this, what's the coordinates? Roz Lewis: [00:51:52] Well, we always encourage you to visit our website at gwbc.biz. And more importantly, go to our calendar page because on our calendar page, it's going to show you some of the events of programs that we will be hosting such as the one this on October 18th, right? The UPS on exporting. But if—whatever you have on your schedule, if you can move it, I would encourage you to change it and come to this event. Roz Lewis: [00:52:23] We also have another event that's coming up on Monday, Cash is Queen. Once again, we want to talk about and really deep diving into those financials for you because that is key. That is important. In other words, you've got to have cash flow in order to be able to export those products or services, export those products. So, that. And more importantly, along with aside from your other homework that you just got from Kat of looking at a global map and outlining that supply chain effect, and you mentioned something else tied to this Cash is Queen is currency. So, that might be another segment that, Lee, we need to talk about- Lee Kantor: [00:53:05] Right, to learn about that. Roz Lewis: [00:53:05] ,,, is learn about the type of currency because that, also, will impact your bottom line. Lee Kantor: [00:53:12] And then shout out and thanks to Julie Waldon for her question. And be on the lookout for the GWBC Facebook page because as soon as we have the topics for next month, there's going to be an opportunity to ask questions of the guests, so that you can get your question answered here on the show. Thank you all for sharing your story today. Kat Marran: [00:53:33] Thank you very much, Lee and Business RadioX, for helping us out. Debra Wilson: [00:53:35] Well, it's always a pleasure. Lee Kantor: [00:53:37] And thank you, Roz. Roz Lewis: [00:53:38] Thank you. Lee Kantor: [00:53:39] You have any words of wisdom for our crew out there? Roz Lewis: [00:53:41] I do. I always have my parting thoughts, right? And my party thought for it today is ignoring online marketing is like opening a business but not telling anyone. So, keep that in mind. And that's anonymous actually. So, I can't even give credits. Lee Kantor: [00:53:59] That's you. You say- Stone Payton: [00:53:59] As Roz always says- Roz Lewis: [00:54:01] Roz always says- Kat Marran: [00:54:01] It's to be quoted 1500 times today. Debra Wilson: [00:54:08] So, hopefully we've gotten someone really fired up today about wanting to figure out how they can export. So, we've got the workshop available to you. I also wantA to give you are our email address, so that you can contact us if there's something that Kat and I can do for you to help you think about, what is your next best step. Please reach out to us. It's email@example.com. We'd love to hear from me, and we'd love to connect with you, and help you figure out what that next step is. Lee Kantor: [00:54:34] And the website for UPS too for—is it just ups.com? Kat Marran: [00:54:39] ups.com. Debra Wilson: [00:54:39] ups.com. Lee Kantor: [00:54:39] And they could- Kat Marran: [00:54:40] Go to the Knowledge Center, in particular. Lee Kantor: [00:54:41] The Knowledge Center has a whole bunch of resources. Kat Marran: [00:54:44] Agreed. Lee Kantor: [00:54:45] Good stuff. Thank you again for putting this together, Roz, GWBC Radio. So important to serving the community. Roz Lewis: [00:54:51] And thank you, Lee and Stone. We love the partnership. Lee Kantor: [00:54:55] All right. This is Lee Kantor for Stone Payton, Roz Lewis, and all our guests here today. We will see you all next time on GWBC Radio.
About Your Host
Roz Lewis is President & CEO – Greater Women’s Business Council (GWBC®), a regional partner organization of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and a member of the WBENC Board of Directors.
Previous career roles at Delta Air Lines included Flight Attendant, In-Flight Supervisor and Program Manager, Corporate Supplier Diversity.
During her career she has received numerous awards and accolades. Most notable: Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2018 Diversity & Inclusion award; 2017 inducted into the WBE Hall of Fame by the American Institute of Diversity and Commerce and 2010 – Women Out Front Award from Georgia Tech University.
She has written and been featured in articles on GWBC® and supplier diversity for Forbes Magazine SE, Minority Business Enterprise, The Atlanta Tribune, WE- USA, Minorities and Women in Business magazines. Her quotes are published in The Girls Guide to Building a Million Dollar Business book by Susan Wilson Solovic and Guide Coaching by Ellen M. Dotts, Monique A. Honaman and Stacy L. Sollenberger. Recently, she appeared on Atlanta Business Chronicle’s BIZ on 11Alive, WXIA to talk about the importance of mentoring for women.
In 2010, Lewis was invited to the White House for Council on Women and Girls Entrepreneur Conference for the announcement of the Small Business Administration (SBA) new Women Owned Small Business Rule approved by Congress. In 2014, she was invited to the White House to participate in sessions on small business priorities and the Affordable Care Act.
Roz Lewis received her BS degree from Florida International University, Miami, FL and has the following training/certifications: Certified Purchasing Managers (CPM); Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity (CPSD), Institute for Supply Management (ISM)of Supplier Diversity and Procurement: Diversity Leadership Academy of Atlanta (DLAA), Negotiations, Supply Management Strategies and Analytical Purchasing.
Connect with Roz on LinkedIn.
The Greater Women’s Business Council (GWBC®) is at the forefront of redefining women business enterprises (WBEs). An increasing focus on supplier diversity means major corporations are viewing our WBEs as innovative, flexible and competitive solutions. The number of women-owned businesses is rising to reflect an increasingly diverse consumer base of women making a majority of buying decision for herself, her family and her business.
GWBC® has partnered with dozens of major companies who are committed to providing a sustainable foundation through our guiding principles to bring education, training and the standardization of national certification to women businesses in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.