Gary Forger  Moderator

Gary Forger


 Michelle D. Livingstone  The Home Depot

Michelle D. Livingstone

The Home Depot

 Mike Orr  Genuine Parts Compnay

Mike Orr

Genuine Parts Compnay

 Jim Bowes  Peach State Integrated Tecnologies

Jim Bowes

Peach State Integrated Tecnologies

Customers Are Telling Companies How The Want To Be Served

Consumer expectations are nothing more than a culmination of the changes experienced in the marketplace for decades. However, in the last decade we have seen these expectations change at a rate faster than ever before. The impact of technology advancements, Social Media and most important, the empowered customer, have forever changed consumer expectations. 

The customer of tomorrow will be more informed and more in charge than at any other time in our history. Consumers expect, not hope, that we (their chosen supplier for the moment) know their individual needs, and create a personalized experience every time we interact. Consumers expect that companies will be proactive in taking the time to understand their future needs – setting in place plans to collaborate and address those needs before they have time to take root and bring about problems. 

Consumers of tomorrow are not shy about telling companies why they failed to meet expectations and quickly move away from the brand. The companies that will win are those who prepare today and embrace the changes taking place, creating a team who share the vision focusing on creative solutions making the company truly customer centric. This shared vision should bring about strategic initiatives allowing for a holistic customer metric, quickly identifying the wins while proactively addressing the challenges – before the customer realizes the challenge.  

During this interactive session, our Board of Advisors panel and audience of Supply Chain Executives will discuss how their companies have prepared and adjusted for the consumer experience of today, tomorrow and the future. 

Gary Forger

 For the past five years, Gary Forger has led an industry-wide effort for the trade association MHI to develop and publish the Material Handling & Logistics U.S. Roadmap. The baseline publication was released in early 2014. To keep pace with the rapid rate of change in the supply chain, Roadmap 2.0 will be released at ProMat 2017 in early April. Both are at and  While at MHI, Forger was also responsible for a range of education programs. Those started at the college level and extended to career development. In addition, Forger served on the Board of Directors of the Material Handling Education Foundation for seven years. He retired from MHI in 2016. Prior to joining the trade association, Forger was Editorial Director of Modern Materials Handling magazine.

Michelle D. Livingstone

Vice President – Transportation, The Home Depot

Michelle Livingstone leads a team that oversees the movement of all inbound and outbound shipments into and within The Home Depot‘s multi-channel supply chain, including imports, exports, and store deliveries.

Michelle joined the Company in October 2007 with more than 25 years of transportation supply chain experience. Prior to joining The Home Depot, she served as the Senior Vice President of Transportation for C & S Wholesale Grocers, Vice President of Transportation for JCPenney, and the Senior Director of Transportation for Kraft Foods North America.

Michelle is actively engaged in the industry. She serves as a director on the boards of the Intermodal Transportation Institute of University of Denver and the Coalition for Responsible Transportation. In addition, she is an active member in Retail Industry Leaders Association where she serves on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Logistics Steering Committee. She is also involved with the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce’s Transportation Committee and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) on a local and national level. Michelle serves on the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Children’s Shelter and also serves in a leadership position for the Atlanta Chapter of the Network of Executive Women. Michelle was appointed by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to the National Freight Advisory Committee which is focused on our nation’s freight movement to ensure the U.S. remains competitive in a global economy.

Michelle earned her M.B.A. with high honors from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. She holds a B. S. degree in Business, with a concentration in transportation, from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Mike Orr

Senior Vice President of Operations & Logistics, Genuine Parts Company

Mike Orr joined the Genuine Parts Company in 2005 and has more than 25 years of experience in Global Operations for Industrial and Consumer Products companies. During his time with Genuine Parts Company, he also served as Senior Vice President of Operations & Logistics for S.P.Richards Company, a GPC Subsidiary.

Prior to Genuine Parts Company, he was Group Vice President, Operations for Newell Rubbermaid where he had global operational responsibility including manufacturing, safety, supply chain and logistics. Prior to Newell Rubbermaid, he worked for Allied-Signal (Honeywell), in a variety of engineering and operation assignments.

Mike earned his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from South Dakota State University and his master’s degree in business administration from Arizona State University.

James R. Bowes, Jr.

President, Peach State Integrated Technologies

Jim Bowes is President of Peach State Integrated Technologies, Inc. Founded in 1975 and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Peach State has deep expertise in supply chain strategy, distribution/manufacturing design and engineering, operations/systems optimization, labor standards, manual and automated material handling systems integration and customer support. Peach State team members are located throughout the USA and have completed over 800 projects for over 530 clients on 6 continents.

Jim began his career with Peach State in January 1984. Under his leadership, Jim has expanded the company from a regional material-handling services company into an internationally recognized design/build leader of supply chain consulting and engineering services. In 2014, Jim was instrumental in initiating a merger of Peach State Integrated Technologies with Associated. The merger created one of the largest integrated supply chain solutions providers in North America.

Jim is the founder of the National Leadership Development Conference (NLDC) held annually at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, GA. In 2003 he served as President of the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA), and served on the association’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee for 9 years. He is a member of the Supply Chain Executive Forum at Georgia Tech, The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) and The Supply Chain Leadership Council of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. Jim serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of DC Velocity magazine and on the Corporate Advisory Boards of several of the industry’s leading companies.

Jim holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management from The Georgia Institute of Technology.