Supply Chain Now Radio
Episode 144

Episode Summary

In partnership with the Reverse Logistics Association, Scott and Greg welcomed Tony Sciarrotta to SCNR to tale reverse logistics and all about the business of liquidations.

Episode Transcript

[00:00:06] It’s time for a Supply Chain Now Radio broadcasting live from the supply chain capital of the country. Atlanta, Georgia. Supply chain. Now radio spotlights the best in all things supply chain. The people, the companies, the technologies, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. Now here are your hosts.


[00:00:37] Good afternoon, Scott Luton here with you. Love Owen Splotch Now radio. Welcome back to the show. Second show today as we’re coming to you live from Vector Global Logistics, a company that’s providing world class logistics services all while deeply investing into the communities that they serve, based right here in Atlanta, but with an international reach. This company is on the move. You can learn more at vector g l dot com. On today’s episode, we’re kicking off our latest series that we’re really excited about, focused on the white hot, very important space of reverse logistics. It represents a new partnership. We’ll talk more bout with the rapidly growing, rapidly growing reverse logistics association. Quick programming note. Like all of our series on SPLOTCH on our radio, you can find our replays on a wide variety of channels. I think as Clay, our marketing guru, tells us, we’re up to twenty seven hour. Forty seven different channels right now. Apple podcasts, SoundCloud, Spotify or some of those you can certainly find us on or wherever else you find your podcasts. As always, we’d love to have you subscribe, so don’t miss a thing. Plus now radio is also brought to you by a variety of sponsors, including Apex, Atlanta Supply Chain, Real Estate, dot com and VeriSign and numerous other leading organizations. Be sure to check out the show notes to learn more about our valuable sponsors. So let’s welcome in my co-host once again today, Greg White cereal supply chain technology entrepreneur extraordinaire. Greg, holy smokes. You had a word every single time you do that. Hey, it’s great to be here, but I want to ask you a question that you don’t often get asked. How are you doing? I’m doing fantastic. That’s good. We’re having the time of our life doing what we’d love to do with people that we love to collaborate with, talking shop and insights and trends. And we’re doing it all in a in a real casual, approachable format, hopefully. Yeah. And our audience, you know, that’s the feedback we’re in that we’re getting. And we’re here to serve them.


[00:02:32] And in a really cool space. Right. With our friends at Vector, at Sandia here at the beautiful King Plow.


[00:02:38] Yes. Center. Yeah. And as you were talking earlier today, uh, as we had Dave Maddox, Owen and Amy Tinsley Owen from South, the governor. Yeah. Yeah, that’s it. What a perfect embodiment of the circular economy these days. You know, this great facility that was built back in the 19th century, a plow manufacturing plant. And it’s been instead of being torn down and pay for, you know, concrete, you know about brand new concrete block. Yeah. It’s been reinvested in and revitalize. Our guest today was tell me about some of the concerts he had been here. I mean, from arts to entrepreneurial incubation to logistics firm, leading logistics firms like Vector really cool space here. Okay. What an intro. We kind of took a right turn there. And so now we’re back to know where we’re what we’re about. Absolutely. So let’s welcome our featured guest today. Our listeners are in for a treat. Back by popular demand. Tony Schroeder is executive director with the Reverse Logistics Association. Tony. How you doing? Doing terrific and excited to be here at King’s Plow Arts Center. Absolutely. Thank you. We’re glad to hear, you know, you’ve been on it at least one podcast with us. Well, we’re talking to reverse and reverse logistics and returned with one of the U.P.S. leaders. Yes. Uh, you have done one of our more popular webinars and we’ve done hundreds of webinars. Going back to 2013, that clearly resonates. And so now we have the opportunity to kick off a series with you and probably members and some of your supporters and folks that know how to do reverse logistics start and put today’s show. Exactly. We’re looking so forward to it. We are, too. And we’ll talk more about that partnership as we move into the latter stages of our interview today as we talk more about the lay and what you do and how we’re going to be collaborating in them in the months to come. But glad you’re here. And you know, Greg, you have unearthed, uh, four thousand three hundred twenty seven page study chock full of reverse logistics and returns data.


[00:04:44] It feels like old news when you put it in front of Tony. But, uh, actually, he’s gonna get the opportunity to update these numbers. But, um, in 2018 and November of 2018, NRF, the National Retail Federation, um, did a their 13th edition of the consumer returns in retail in the retail industry report. Um. Great timing. Since we’re we’re talking to Tony today. But, uh, it’s really interesting stuff. And I can’t wait to see what the newest numbers and and more complete numbers are. So NRF, who, um, covers almost all retail industries, not B2B, but almost all retail industries, saving convenience stores, restaurants and, uh, a couple of other small categories. Yeah. Um, is talking about three point six trillion dollars with a T IT trillion with a T.


[00:05:37] Not even Jeff and it only B as it basis.


[00:05:39] Just one T and one R. Unlike Tony’s name, which is two hours and two teeth. Um, so three point six trillion dollars worth of sales and they’re seeing a median number of rate of about 10 percent of that. Three hundred and sixty nine billion dollars billion with a B in returns. Three hundred sixty nine billion dollars worth of returns. And they report that ninety three percent of the retailers are seeing an increase in buy online return in store for those of you out there in the audience sometimes called Boris. Um, Boris, um. Russians are involved in everything, aren’t they? Um, but they, uh, they’re seen in 93 percent of those retailers are seeing an increase in buy on line return in store growth. And that is, uh, unbelievable. Although, as Tony has said in the past, you know, if you if you allow and encourage your customers to buy online and return goods, don’t be surprised when they do. So we’ve had a number of people talk about that.


[00:06:47] And, you know, Tony, Tony, being the godfather of returns was the originator of that.


[00:06:53] I’m not sure if Tony knew what he was up, up, up for in this new series here. But this is the hot. This is extremely you know, there’s a lot of supply chain folks. I mean, this is are roughly a hundred fourth episode.


[00:07:06] And in all those conversations and all of our industry conversations with eight groups like Apex, A CMC, RCMP, all these associations, there’s a lot of supply chain professionals that are really curious and have a big gap or blind spot as it relates to the space that Early and Tony specialize in. So that’s what really excites me about this series, because I think we are just like Aurelie has identified this opportunity to spotlight this space. We’re gonna help them amplify their work. Right. And get better. Get the message out. But I’m sorry.


[00:07:36] Well, I can tell you that in a previous life, having been a retailer, I can tell you that even then, which was decades ago, returns was was a major issue. And you didn’t have the number of channels and you didn’t have the savvy consumers. Savvy and sometimes more than savvy, which I’ll talk about here in just a second. Knowing how to work the system. In fact, one, um, one of the best. Best ploys I’ve seen is, um, there’s there’s some change, some, uh, soft goods chains in Florida with an overabundance of ski coats. And the reason for that is. Because people will buy the colors that they like, maybe three colors in what they think is their size. The size above and the size below. And then they will return. What they don’t buy to the store. So that creates a logistics issue. I’m sure Tony is well familiar with that.


[00:08:34] Those are some savvy costs. That’s really slick.


[00:08:37] I mean, that’s beyond savvy. That’s slick. I had never thought of that, but and I have never used it, by the way, personally. But here we are. There is a bit of brilliance that the term you’re looking for is called bracketing. Yes. Yes. Clothing manufacturers have learned that Barack and they’ve created a term for it. Yes. So above bracketing is fraudulent and just barely above it. And twenty eight point eight percent of retailers report an increase in fraudulent Boris returns. So, you know, there is clearly an issue in the marketplace that needs to be addressed. And that’s really what Tony and his organization are about, is not only not only what to do with it, but what to do about it.


[00:09:23] Well said and disseminated those best practices. Building a platform at a wide variety of events to get that that those practices, those ideas as insights out and you know, you really thought about this angle that you just bring up in this day and age where the customer or generally speaking is so much savvier and of course, more demanding. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. You know, that really fuels the fire. Wow. Wow. You know. Supply chain organizations, teams, organizations in general have to really get serious about their reverse logistics and then they return strategies.


[00:09:59] Well, and in a longer story for another day. That that sort of behavior is not going unnoticed. That sort of behavior, if repeated too often, can actually get you banned from Amazon. Mm hmm. So interesting that the believe me, that the retailers are taking notice and taking action.


[00:10:17] Well, just let Jeff be. No, I’ve never returned anything from Amazon. I’m the one the outlier. Uh, I can’t speak for my wife. But, you know, we have, uh, used Amazon quite a bit because, you know, as an entrepreneur, you think oftentimes you don’t always think ahead. Right. Sometimes you need something else in the moment. In the moment. Yeah. So we lean heavily on their outstanding supply chain. Um, but I’m I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe, um, the consumer that, uh, uh, some of those charts that they use in the insurance industry that they bank on. Yeah. I just I just accumulate stuff in the supply chain. Our radio warehouse. Welcome County. I don’t have a resale business and returns.


[00:10:55] And Tony will probably talk about this. But returns in the e-commerce business are about three times what Internet is showing as the median for retail overall, I think 30, sometimes 50 percent. He is absolutely gonna be chatting about that.


[00:11:09] Absolutely. It’s created an entirely new industry. Secondary market. We’ll talk about that as well. Yeah.


[00:11:14] So. Well, let’s, um. Any, um, any other insights before we kind of dive into Tony’s, uh, background. So kind of set the stage prior to this. I was insightful. Now I’m inside him to plead it. Oh, yes. Okay. Third up. Oh that S s such a S s a meaty topic to lead off with. And we can. We’re gonna be taking off some elephant, uh, bites elephant as we go through. I can’t wait to hear what the new numbers are even broader. Yeah. You know, I know Tony’s aware of that. So. So, Tony, Tony Schroeder, executive director with the Reverse Logistics Association. Good afternoon again. Thank you. Great to have you. Um, so, you know, beyond the podcast and beyond the webinar we’ve done together, we collaborate on a great tour of a local retailer who has one of their three return centers here. That was a fascinating tour. It was an eye opener tour to see, uh, and not only what you’re too much, but I think 300 trucks per weeks, what they are processing. And to see that stuff come back and see those hardworking people, what they have to do to get to the bottom of it, to protect everybody and to get some of that stuff back to, uh, um, where they can sell it or back to the the OEM or wherever it’s going.


[00:12:25] Right.


[00:12:25] I think the biggest frustration there is knowing that 80 to 90 percent or more of that product is perfectly good. It works and there’s nothing wrong with it. Consumers return because we have a culture of entitlement and they return if something doesn’t meet their expectations. Mm hmm. So. Or they rented it for the weekend.


[00:12:45] It’s happened. And that’s a part of the fraudulent.


[00:12:48] Greg, where we are referring to people will do that. Uh, the big, biggest joke of the industry that I was in was Super Bowl Sunday. Yep. Big screen TV as our AC the week before and return like crazy the week after. I’m very, very frustrating.


[00:13:03] Chicken wings and big screens, but they don’t return to wings. Yeah, they call that and figured out how to do it. So let’s let’s be real here. All right. So let’s get to our audience.


[00:13:14] Gonna enjoy talking with Tony as much as we do through the last couple of years. So, Tony, let’s let’s put. We’ll put the reverse logistics kind of off to the side for a second. So I really want to get to know you live bit better and afford our opera, our audience, the opportunity to do that as well. So where did you grow up, Tony?


[00:13:30] Well, I’m a product of the great city of Detroit, Motown. And, uh, in the city, born in the city, raised just outside the city, went to school in the city. I went to college nearby and spent about thirty five years of my life in the great state of Michigan. Really? Yes. So, uh, with that backdrop, what’s what did, uh, growing up in the city of Detroit teach you? What is one life lesson that maybe folks that day grew up in Detroit might not know? Well, some of the lessons I learned in those early days about returns was that, uh, the newly created Kmart’s and Wal-Mart’s of the world, man, you could buy anything. And if you didn’t like it a week later, you could take it back. Or if a new version came out, uh, you could take the old one back and get your money back. And that was an amazing lesson for a teenager to learn and kind of sad. But it’s. It goes on. Today, it was the core of the retailers who say take anything back anytime. That was the start of it.


[00:14:29] So what we’re. Let’s talk about early role models because we can talk about what you went on to do in your career prior to early here at the moment. But what are some early role models that you really looked up to and really shaped what you have done in your career?


[00:14:45] Well, I think we’ve got a skip over the fact that I was in the consumer electronics sales industry for a long time. And and then I took I didn’t take I was pulled out of that area, that world, and thrown into the returns, world returns, management, reverse logistics. And the mentors really started to pay attention. I felt like I was lucky in sales. I’m not just lucky, but I could do my sleep. I enjoyed it. It was good. I was a consultant salesperson type. But being pulled at Phillips out of the sales world and being told go figure out how to solve returns introduced me to a whole new group of people. And I’ll never forget the first mentor I connected with was because I went on the Internet. Way back and there was a book called Going Backwards. And the book was a supply chain book written by Dr. James Stock and Dr. Dale Rogers, and it was the first use of the term reverse logistics that I saw. I wound up getting to know Dr. Dale Rogers, who is an academic from Michigan State, and I was from Michigan. So we we had the rest a little bit at first, but Dale turned into a great mentor.


[00:15:53] That was the first, uh, second strongest mentor was a gentleman named Chuck Johnston at Wal-Mart, because when they threw me at the job and said, go fix the returns, I knew who the biggest culprit was. So let’s go to Wal-Mart and figure out why there’s so many returns. And I was introduced to Chuck and we we’ve been friends now for 20 years because Chuck made me realize that most people don’t usually go to the store to buy something, only to take it back a week later. They really don’t. And so we have to think about systems and reasons why it happens. What we have to think about systems that is either breaking the 1 percent fraudulent people or hurting the 99 percent people that are honest. So that was something that Chuck and I worked through for many years. And I’m so proud of the success we had. Even at that at his retail establishment, at his company, that we put in some best practices in place that produced amazing results. I don’t know if you want to jump ahead to that.


[00:16:54] Yeah, absolutely. I think we’re right here and we’ll take advantage of the moment. So let’s talk about some of the results that you you’re your work in and some of things you did with these these huge brands and American icons.


[00:17:08] Really. Let’s talk about results.


[00:17:11] And we’re careful about calling them American icons because the world of electronics is not as much American. I worked for Sony for five years, didn’t see a lot of returns there because the brand name was kind of like a Rolex. And people didn’t tend to return it. And back in those days, people actually fixed things. They repaired their television set. They repair their video recorders and so on now.


[00:17:34] So real quick in Walton County, where I’m from. We live in Logan Ville and in Greyson, which is where we go to church, Grace and Highway. We go back and forth. And one of the establishments that that still has all of its signage is a Zenith TV repair shop, Mike.


[00:17:51] And it still has. You know, think of that old Zen, the sign, right, with the big wavy Z and. Yeah. And every time passed by that shop, I remember the big TV sets that we probably all grew up with, sometimes very lucky and had a rotating base. But it was still this massive box, right? Yeah. With the remote that always gets lost. And it is such a to your point. I can remember growing up where we would get it tuned or get your TV tuned.


[00:18:17] That never happens anymore, does it? No, it doesn’t. You know, the world of electronics has moved really far ahead. And and unfortunately, as we mentioned, a lot of it is no longer people think about repairing things. They think about throwing it away and replacing it. And by the way, the pricing decline also encourages that. Why would you buy a new one or why would you fix an old one for 400 dollars when you could buy a new one for 450, things like that? And it’s a factor. Mm hmm. But it’s so Sony was a few years. But then I had a really fantastic career with Philips for twenty five years and starting in the sales and marketing, but then having this major change of life. Now, just think about yourself, whatever profession you’re in, whether you happen to be in sales or marketing or service or any. And suddenly three senior vice presidents pick you out of a hat, felt like a hat and sat down together, all three of them, one of whom was a consultant, by the way. So there was a consultant, senior vice president of sales, senior vice president of service. And they all said, we have a problem with returns and we want you to fix it. It’s like, what? Okay.


[00:19:28] This said something smart at the wrong time to that consultant. And that’s how you got drawn out of that hat.


[00:19:33] It was, uh, it was a it was. I learned many years later, Bill Stewart, another mentor of mine, who was the consultant at that time. He was the influencer in that decision. And it was a good decision. I obviously here I am 20 some years, 30 years later, very happy to be trying to lead this edge of making things better. But I know that the early Phillips days, when I think we can share numbers of two billion dollar company in just consumer electronics just in North America was experiencing about an 11 percent return rate. Mm hmm. I’ll let you all do the math. Then what happened at around the turn of the century? Is digital, took over digital started taking over digital, came in in the form early days of a MP 3 player. Right, MP 3 was the first nightmare product that I can think of that was out there. MP 3s were these wonderful little gadgets that play digital music. You could download from the computer, but they didn’t play nice with each other. So if you are downloading from I tunes or Napster or Windows Media, they wouldn’t like each other and they break down, stop working bee return when there is nothing wrong with the product.


[00:20:51] They were returning at a rate of 40 percent of sales of MP 3 players that many were coming back because consumers didn’t understand them. And now they knew as they downloaded from one format, it didn’t work and they took it back. So that nightmare led me down the road of fighting with these amazing, not amazing engineers who thought they were amazing, who were proving to me that, look, we’ve tested at 90 percent of what you’re taking back. There’s nothing wrong with it. So it’s your fault you’re taking it back from the dealers. Except there’s more to the experience for a customer who buys the product than does it work? Does it work? He doesn’t know. They’re not technical. All they know is, does it do what I expected it to do? And suddenly, no. So, again, learning from mentors like Dale Rogers, Chuck Johnston, and saying, OK, people are returning things, we don’t want them to, but they don’t want to either. So let’s both work on ways to improve it. And within the next three or four years, does return numbers came down from 11 percent to about 6 percent.


[00:21:58] Wow. And so if you’re slow at math like I am, I had to break out the abacus and my calculator. But the overall opportunity of nobody who’s listening knows what either one of those things are.


[00:22:09] Yes. Well, and that’s further evidence of where I am in my life.


[00:22:12] But so to be in roughly to be in our company, if eleven percent return does give me roughly a 220 million dollar opportunity. Right. And to take that from 11 to six, ruthless, cut that number in half and half a hundred ten million dollars, which it might not all go straight to the bottom line, but it really close. It really is close. Correct. So. So beyond those those really incredible numbers and what what what my hunch is. Is your sales and marketing expertise that allowed you to really focus on what was important, not not what we valued as the sellers or as a proprietors, but really focused on the voice of the customer. Yes. You’re able to kind of navigate through that process by focusing the organization on what’s important, not what we think is important, what we want to be important. Right? Absolutely.


[00:23:00] And it was all about customer experience. And it was a science that now is developed. There’s a lot of sea sap measurements, then a net promoter score experiences and so on. That didn’t exist back then. I knew we needed something like it, but it really didn’t exist. But I’ll give you a really simple example. Remember the days when you’d open up a package and it would say, for example, stop before you take this back, call us? Yes. If you bought IKEA furniture, you’d see the red stop sign with an 800 number. Please call us. We’ll send you the parts for free. OK. That was a message that was intended to reduce returns, but might not have been the most positive message. We actually did it at Philips as well. And then we said, you know what? Maybe there’s a better way to say this. How about a gold star that says congratulations on your new purchase? We’d like to help you work this product out and give them a quick start guide. And this gets into those nightmares of, for example, owners books are written in multiple languages in. And they’re all Greek. Yes. Basically, for any American consumer who not just American consumers, but many consumers. But in America, Penn State taught me that the average reading comprehension level of an American consumer is sixth grade level. So if you write an instruction book that’s any higher than that, no one’s going to read it or understand it. So we learn. And the other industry we learn from, by the way, is the restaurant industry. We learned that. Waffle House and Big Boys, they always sell the most pictured items the most anything that has a big juicy picture.


[00:24:43] Patty, much else like Patty Monfils is paramount. Absolutely.


[00:24:47] So those those pictures finally made their way into the product industry and we learned make a better picture, make it look better, make it simpler. Do F.A. cues start guide one, two, three. And you’re in business, by the way, back then. It took about six hours to turn a computer on and get it up and running. Now it’s turned the buttons on and it works.


[00:25:09] Yeah, we’ve come a long way since then, but there’s been a lot of returns along the way. That’s my world.


[00:25:15] A long, long way since then. A long way. So let’s be impressive. What you and some of your mentors in those teams got accomplished at these large organizations. And no wonder you know how you were a great fit to lead. An organization is dedicated to reverse reverse logistics, especially, again, going back to kind of your mix and you weren’t an engineer that only got the process side or the technical side. But you could you seems like you could gather both sides of the coin, so to speak.


[00:25:48] I could gather them, but I was not an engineer. I came from strictly a sales and marketing background and that. But I did learn about new kinds of engineers because I was losing the battle against the technical engineers, the new kind of engineers that existed around the turn of the century exist. That came about from companies like Intel, Microsoft, now something called Human Factor Engineers. And I met them and I loved them. They understood the concept of give a consumer product. Let them take it home, open the box and see what happens or do it in the lab. Yeah, but Human Factor engineers, another term like interoperability, interconnectivity. These are things that engineers didn’t think about, didn’t care. They made a great product. When you take it home and try to connect it to other things, if it doesn’t work, that’s not their fault, right? Except it is because they don’t think about that. By the way, the leader in the world, the king of of the human factor experience would have been Steve Jobs. Yeah. And Apple. I mean, that’s all he was about. He could hold a product in his hand and he knew if a customer is going to love it or not. And that holds to this day. So these are all of the new ones that came around after the turn of the century when we were just young about reverse logistics and return. Right.


[00:27:02] Well, now that’s that’s table stakes these days. You know, if you don’t if you don’t if you cannot offer that and offer that and then the fish is right in efficient way, that makes the customers happy. Right. And gives them confidence and making purchases on the front end because they know in the back end that we’re taking care of. If they make their own decision, it is really take it’s really less than the onus on us to consumers to do our homework on the front end. In many cases, not with every single case, but many cases. I think weigh in on that.


[00:27:28] But I think that’s what technology and solutions and consumer products are about. Look, they’re about convenience, right? There’s nobody wants to have to hit three buttons to turn on their television. Right. And if if left to an engine, a traditional engineer in those days, that could very easily have been the case.


[00:27:45] We’re gonna get some hate algorithms coming our way. But what you get, you’re about the way.


[00:27:50] Don’t count on that.


[00:27:52] About, um, I guess the human factor engineering was so important to me. And then the major change that saved my career and my life at Philips was the switch because I was losing the battle against the engineers. Right. They kept showing to the management team, look at he’s taking this stuff back. There’s nothing wrong with it. Nothing wrong with it. It’s like Nu was losing that battle. But then Human Factor in years. And then in the early 2000s, Phillips at the board of management level turned on net promoter score, which suddenly and I used to speak at these events in early 2000s and say we need a paradigm shift in this industry for it to do anything major about returns. And that paradigm shift came. Net promoter score.


[00:28:40] Net Promoter Score is measuring your experience as a customer, not the products experience. Screw the product. It’s all about are you gonna be happy with it? Does it do what you expected it to do? And in the best situation, it’s gonna do something more than you expected to do. I love that approach. Net Promoter Score. It has now proven very successful in a link to financially successful companies like Costco. Yeah, American Express, Trader Joe’s. These are local companies that I know that used net promoter score and they’re very successful. Apple very successful. The ones that are not so good at Net Promoter Score. Let’s see. Cable companies, right.


[00:29:23] Any utility, maybe utilities are pulling no punches here. Okay.


[00:29:29] I got to tell you, though, I wonder, though, I don’t know if you guys have been to a DMV lately. But I wonder if they might be using that, because I have actually had pleasant. I have had pleasant experiences at the DMV and it is such a dramatic change that they must be using something like that. Well, I’m sorry.


[00:29:49] Sidebar no sidebar on the way out the door. So many places now they have that big sign that press here with a smiley face or a mad NDA or neutral. Yeah, and that’s net promoter score. What does the customer think of what they just went through? So that’s absolutely not. It’s not just called net promoter score. That’s a general term for measuring customer satisfaction. Now that that was great. Right. And in the first decade, that was great. And it helped and it helped reduce returns. Some other things that we did. We could talk about it again, but then e-commerce took over. And and I’m a big believer that history repeats itself, and the history is that when Kmart and Wal-Mart were growing big, they were taking returns back with no hassle to anybody. And that’s where e-commerce decided to use the same sledgehammer and say, we’ll sell you anything, we’ll sell you as many as you want. And if you don’t like it, we’ll take it back. We’ll pay the freight back. And so, my God, now people look at a picture on their phone of a product that they think they want and they order it by pushing a button on this small 5 inch screen or smaller. Right. And it gets to their house. And nine times out of ten, it probably doesn’t look like it did. And that little phone. So we’ve just gone into the. We’ve gone down the roller coaster hill again.


[00:31:12] What have we done to this ride? Well, Greg and I talked shop on some insights. Yeah. So, you know, I have to bring the tech angle at this level. Let me say also just real quick. I worked at Kmart. I got my first job the old fashioned way. My dad was vice president of merchandising. So. Thirty one hundred West. Big Beaver Boulevard in Detroit, Michigan. Yep. Most famous, uh, um. Address next to 8 Mile Road. And in Detroit, Detroit or around Detroit. But I was one of those returners. I actually got yelled at a number of times at the customer service desk. The customer no service desk if some people call it because people would come in with something and and I would just give them their money back. As as the brilliant store manager heard Locke Baines Pugh, as he told me, it ain’t your money, right. Make the customer happy. So, um, put in it. It worked for us, but I think it did start to set the expectation that you’re talking about that’s exacerbated by e-commerce. So. So let’s let’s shift gears a little bit and talk about some tech stuff. So and some other industry trends. This one in particular we shared before the show, I just can’t wait to get to. So companies are trying to solve this problem, right. Not only the way you did it, which I think is a brilliant recognition, by the way, recognizing that the biggest issue in regard to returns is meeting, knowing and meeting customer expectations. I mean, even as an old time retailer, that was a revelation for me. So I really appreciate that perspective. If there’s anything anyone should take away from your discussion today. It is that.


[00:32:53] Well, let’s give everyone one more number. Yeah. And this is the number that’s worth one hundred thousand dollars to everyone is listening right now. The studies by myself at Philips, when we interviewed returning customers, we actually surveyed them was repeated by. Am I allowed to name some consulting companies, the big boys have all used this same figure.


[00:33:15] Let’s say let’s keep it right. This case is just a big six.


[00:33:18] I’d say the big six firms are out there advocating how they can develop reverse logistics strategies that they all use the same figure.


[00:33:26] They show that seventy five percent of the returns are because the product didn’t meet the customers expectations. Right. And those are numbers that I found in the early 2000s with Philips by using university to survey customers. And then I saw that number presented to my senior team by a couple of the big six companies.


[00:33:48] And they added one term that I did love. And I and I put on my cubicle door, which was they believe that every company should have a return czar.


[00:33:58] I love that those Russians and the Russians are back. I came a return czar.


[00:34:03] And because it does cross over many silos in every organization. So make sure that your listeners understand that’s valuable advice. They could pay a lot of money for it from the big six. Or we just donate it.


[00:34:17] I think it’s interesting, too, that that doesn’t meet the customer. Expectations in a lot of people’s minds could mean broken. And there is a clause that there is a delineation between. It just wasn’t what I thought it was and it was broken or not. Right. I mean, I think it’s important to make that delineation. And I think you’ve done a good job of that by describing how how you don’t meet the customer’s expectations. Right.


[00:34:43] Well, you know, I saw a quick blog article the other day from CareerBuilder about the top 10 positions that were being hard in supply chain and returns. Tzara was number four on that list. Don’t you know that? So your predecessor. All right. That predecessor. A pioneer. Yeah. Pioneer. Yes.


[00:35:00] Pioneers. Take the arrows. Just remember that. And he’s got the scars to prove it. Yes, they do. So. So I know there are a lot of technologies and a lot of methodologies being applied here. Everybody, of course, we can’t have any discussion around supply chain without talking about a A.I. and block chain, of course. And I know the federal regulation. Yeah, that’s right. There’s an FTC FCC regulation must always be mentioned. I know that things like forecasting and grading returns, which you mentioned earlier, are are being done with a I in block chain. And there’s a whole show probably around that. And I think we can go deeper into that. But it has it has it been you’re finding that companies are starting or progressing in using those kind of technologies.


[00:35:47] So keep in mind, yes, some companies are starting to pay attention to A.I. and to block chain, block chain to help track the products A.I. to help figure out what to do with the products. And that’s important. And now there’s another major shift that’s happened in the last, say, 10 years. Prior to that, when I was at Philips, we took everything back from everybody, whether it was earphones that have been used, whether it was HDMI cables, we took everything back. And the problem belongs to the manufacturers. Right now, the problem is being shifted. The manufacturers, especially CFO people, and I love you guys. But, you know, sometimes you need to go out drinking with them because you need to understand that’s a whole different world. But but they like predictability, right? Yeah. Your time, my forecasting and they like predictability. You cannot predict returns very well.


[00:36:34] If you could, you be you make a lot of money on Wall Street. So it’s not predictable in the returns world, but an allowance is. So now you say to this number one, two, three, four retailers, the biggest ones around, look, instead of taking this stuff back, we’ll just give you an extra 4 percent, 5 percent allowance to get rid of it. Yeah. You get rid of it. So now we’ve created entirely new industry of those getting rid of people. OK. And those getting rid of people are getting smart. And by the way, the retailers, I feel sorry for them because they’re just being dumped on. I like being told to make this stuff go away. Yeah. And also another important lesson for your audience is no allowance program will ever work. The reason is at the end of the year, no company has ever gone back to Philips as a manufacturer or others and said, you know what? You give us too much money. We’ll give you some back. They always say we’ll take a little more than we need it. So explain that.


[00:37:32] Just so everyone’s on the same page. What isn’t an allowance? Well, in the way you’re using the term, what what are you speaking about?


[00:37:38] I’m speaking about if you’re selling hundreds of of products, clothing, of furniture, electronics, small appliances. As a manufacturer, you can make a choice to give the retailer an extra funding. You give them advertising funding. Now you’re giving them a liquidation fund, an allowance fund, so that instead of taking it back as a manufacturer and paying the freight and touching it, handling it, you tell the retailer, get rid of it.


[00:38:08] Now they take that allowance, they put it in. A bucket and they liquidate those products. Many products on one truckload or one pallet load. And where we’re going to with this is the A.I. world. So the people who have gotten very sophisticated with their software programs, they’ll now say that truckload of returns from retailer W or retailer T. I can see what’s on it. I have a manifest. I can scan the Internet, I can see what the value could be and I will bid X dollars for it because it’s an auction game. Now, that liquidation has become an auction game and the auction is based on the A.I. intelligence that says the value of this is X. If you can get it for Y, you can make a lot of money. Remember, the retailers want you to take it away. The liquidators have to pick it up. Open them up, do something with it, sell it and make some money.


[00:39:05] That’s their goal. Refire it, refurbish it, et cetera. So A.I. has become critical in that space. We can talk a lot more about other aspects, but that’s the number one driver right now is what do you do with this stuff and how can you do it? So a guy is there for that already. That’s data mining, right? That’s just going on the Internet and saying this, Michael, cause sheet and pillowcase said is worth X dollars and so on. Now, the mystery, of course, is when that truckload arrives, opening it up. And is it really still in the package? Is it really what it was supposed to be in the package? Or did some consumer play his own little game and return something else inside that other box? It’s like Al Capone’s vault.


[00:39:49] It’s well, it’s not usually empty. Right. Right. Like Geraldo discovered in 0 9. I was a downer. That was such. But cab driver Gatto got his day in the sun, didn’t it? Yeah, he did.


[00:40:03] Well, these these trailer loads aren’t empty, but the expression is there’s golden them there. Hills, I guess, comes to mind. But you’ve got to really look for it.


[00:40:14] Yeah. And really look for. So you’d mentioned that the big liquidators. Yeah. But I’m fascinated by this group of people you describe prior to this session.


[00:40:25] You’ve got to tell everybody about what’s going on with some of these.


[00:40:28] So where this stuff goes is as varied as the big lots of the world and the bargain hunter stores of the world. And they take it in. But it’s also entrepreneurs and there’s a whole group of them appearing on YouTube on a regular basis. Now they will buy a pallet load of product that came out of a Walmart or Target or any other store. They’ll take a pallet load of this product and they will videotape themselves and broadcast on YouTube how they go through the box, taking out one piece at a time, spreading out of the garage floor, taking close up pictures of it and saying, this is great. This is they don’t know what they had when they had this in the box. And I will make so much money on this piece or this is garbage. I can’t believe that I paid any money for this. I mean, they’re making an adventure series out of this. And now they’ll say, I paid only six hundred dollars for this pallet. I’m going to get about three thousand dollars out of it. Or they’ll admit, you know what, I paid a thousand for this pallet I thought was gonna be worth gold. I’ll be lucky if I don’t lose too much money on it. So it’s a whole adventure series if you just search on YouTube. Liquidation entrepreneurs or something like storage wars for return it.


[00:41:40] Can we expect Hollywood to jump into the returns and make a blockbuster movie? Maybe Tony should do. Yeah. Maybe Star Reality series. All right. Well, I like that. It’s really present, the expression earlier about being the godfather of the industry. I think I thought it was a crude reference to my Italian heritage, but I like chopped up.


[00:41:56] Oh, I didn’t even think about it. You said, yeah, great. You can count on me to say I actually have been called that.


[00:42:04] But I’ve been called worse. But I have been called The Godfather because I’ve done this for so long. Yeah. And I and I make a point of being visible because I think it’s important to the world to know that there is this problem and we got to address it. You just you have to say, I’ve literally appeared all over the world from Singapore to Mexico City to Europe. I’ve gone to events, spoken from the stage and said what you said earlier. Greg, you make it easier for people to do returns and they will in droves. Yeah.


[00:42:32] And we have to do something at some point. Is it to us to do this?


[00:42:36] Yes. It’s going to continue to take place. I mean, if you ignore it, how can you can’t measure it. Right. But let’s let’s re. So it’s all good fun. We know Tony and love his passion for this. So let’s rename him the grand poo bah of revert to the Godfather like Godfather.


[00:42:54] I like to have fun. Oh, yeah, yeah. All right. Well, I was just trying to.


[00:42:57] Okay. Options. Options. Go ahead.


[00:43:02] So you had mentioned the big lots and and companies like that. Correct. So clearly there is a place for these goods. Right. But is there something I mean, I know you have the aura lay and we’re going to talk about that in a second here. But is there something you see that changes the trend in the marketplace? I mean, clearly, the numbers that we’re talking about are not. Complete, they’re probably not even as high as you’ve seen. Um, you know, in terms of the three hundred sixty eight billion in returns. Is there a way to.


[00:43:39] Shift the trend while shifting the trend, it is gonna be impossible for a while. We made reference to the clothing industry.


[00:43:48] They sell online men and women and men who buy clothing online. They use that bracketing concept where they buy a size larger size smaller, maybe multiple colors. And they make sure and by virtue of bracketing, you just establish a 66 percent return rate. Right. You’re keeping one out of three. All right. So that’s occurring more and more. And these solutions, like the technology to videotape your body and size, it hasn’t gone over real well because people they may want to share their phone number and email, but they don’t want to share their body shape.


[00:44:21] So you said on the Web. So.


[00:44:24] So some of the solutions have a problem and it’s clear that the trend line is going up. The reason it’s less visible. Greg, and the reason I know that that 10 percent number is not too far off yet. E-commerce returns are three to four times that rate. Right. But e-commerce is a smaller part of the economy than people realize. They think Amazon owns the world. So there must be like 50 percent of the business in the world. And the U.S. is is done on Amazon and it’s really only about 8 percent. Right. They’re not even just e-commerce. Retail. Correct.


[00:44:55] But now to your point, the returns numbers, the 400 billion range, and I think it’s above 400. Couple of factors about that, 400 billion in returns. Some of it does go back on the shelf. Okay, let’s be fair. Mm hmm. Some of it does go back to the manufacturers and the retailers to liquidate. And I tell you that on the virtue and basis of the virtually a few companies that are in this industry that are big. I mean, think about this. Two hundred billion of product has to be liquidated. Who’s doing two hundred billion? Who’s even doing two billion? You can count on one hand of companies that are liquidating billions of dollars of product and there’s two hundred plus billion to be dealt with.


[00:45:37] So that product is creating an entirely new secondary market that you were referring to. And I love some of these channels, the dirt cheap stores. Sure. It’s actually a chain of dirt cheap stores. Right. Ollie’s bargain outlet. Oh, that’s one of my favorites. These are these are companies that are growing and they’re growing. Right. Family Dollar, Dollar General, pawn shops. They’re getting their hands on this outlet stores. They’re getting their hands on this. And they’re growing because the returns in e-commerce are growing and they have to be liquidated somewhere. So this is happening more and more. And I’ve seen and we have in our group, in our organization, like a Dr. Zach Rogers, who does an entire presentation on that secondary market and where it’s gone in the last 10 years directly as a result of the commerce growth. So it’s creating a new industry. It’s a great opportunity for consumers, consumers who are buying primary first line on e-commerce or in stores. Their expectation levels are now higher. They expect better, more, faster. And if it’s not, they will try it. Mm hmm. So that’s a self serving loop that if Amazon doesn’t continue to get better at what they’re doing and they are they’re very good at it. But it’s forcing all retailers to get better at what they’re doing, because if they don’t, the consumers are like, you know what? I’ll just send it back. It’s free to pick it up.


[00:47:01] Yeah, it’s very easy. So it’s created this new marketplace. And and again, it’s important when you talk about reverse logistics association global orders. We have all of these people, people from all of these walks of the industry included. True.


[00:47:17] It’s got people losing and making money on this industry, don’t you?


[00:47:20] I mean, really good. Quick. Certainly great. And I’ve got an incredible credible grasp for the obvious. So well said.


[00:47:28] So speaking of as we kind of wrap up here, as we’re talking with Tony Schroeder, executive director with the Reverse Logistics Association. So first off, let’s stop morning early. But we’re really excited about our partnership. Absolutely. Kicks off. I think what’s going to be a fun and hopefully a content rich pilot really is gonna be fun. But hopefully our audience, it resonates, right? That’s the North Star. But this be a monthly podcast. A name we got name the series, but we’re got it. We’re gonna get the marketing team together. Come up with a real snazzy name for the series, but it’s gonna be a monthly podcast series that culminates, at least for this this first season with the reverse logistics conference and Expo in Vegas in February 20.


[00:48:15] Right. Yes. The fourth or the sixth? Yes. Registration is not quite open. Not quite. Okay. It will be soon. Sponsorship, of course, will be available. Exhibitors are you’re doing a exhibitors as well.


[00:48:27] We have an expo hall just ahead of the presentation hall.


[00:48:30] And so we are really proud to be there in Vegas broadcasting live throughout the session, really spotlighting folks that are their thought leaders. Tony’s team at. Its leaders in the supply chain space, so we’re looking forward to that. And this has been a partnership that that’s kind of it’s it’s, uh, well, it’s been previous webinars or podcasts or events of that that really need event. I’ll talk I spoke about earlier. It’s neat to build all of that and launch a series with you, Tony. I think if our audience cannot pick up on it just from the last 50 minutes, you’re a walking encyclopedia of of, uh. I’m trying to do it. Justice is not just reverse logistics because it goes far beyond. I mean, you’ve got a sense of the sales marketing side of supply chain management side of how to run a positive experience.


[00:49:23] Yeah, that’s right. Right. Was a return czar.


[00:49:25] Yeah. Yeah. Yes. I’ll stick with that title. I’m not getting in trouble anymore. I’ll stick to that title.


[00:49:31] But I think most importantly, as an entrepreneur that really focuses on how can we continue to create content. Hopefully our audience really resonates and enjoys. I think you are a perfect partner. So I’m really looking forward. I’ve had a lot of fun with this first series or this first episode that Greg and I both have. Yeah, I’m looking forward to what’s next avenue in Sunday’s topics that we were able to touch on but not dive deep.


[00:49:55] I think this is a great found a foundation for what’s coming down the road. Right. And good to understand. I think the customer oriented nature of this issue, I mean, it’s critical.


[00:50:06] The amazing part about the association is you’re with friends when you’re at these events and you’re with friends when you’re on a committee call, you’re you’re with friends. When you’re writing an article for the magazine, you’re with people who share your pain. And let’s face it, in the reverse world, there is a lot of pain involved. Yeah, because no CFO ever says you’re a you’re making them happy because you’re always losing money in the reverse world. You can put it on the books any way you want to. But ultimately, every return represents a loss somewhere. And that’s an important recognition. Now, I recognize it as a lost customer and potentially CFO is recognized it as a lost dollars. And it’s important that we have so much opportunity to make things better. My expression is not just being the global voice of the industry. Join the community. But also most important to me is join the community and be a hero at your company. You have that opportunity. Like nowhere else in any industry.


[00:51:06] So this is my Carnac moment. It’s gonna lead off asking about why the organization like Art is relevant and you’ve already answered that. So there’s a Carnac moment. Tony, you all lease out capes for folks that want to become their organization. Neat little conference at and in February. So Gosar has already taken that. Yeah. Well, I’m trying to think with the czar, what would the A culture might be when it comes to clothing? My hero clearly is cape robes. Yeah. Definitely robes. Definitely robes.


[00:51:36] So we can question wolfhound. Right. You want him by my side. We get a lot of fun with this that conference.


[00:51:42] But so let’s let’s talk about some of the things. I mean, you’ve spoken to the why why Arlie is relevant and in some of the why to getting plugged into it. Give us some specifics about some of the things all do and where folks can, you know, some of the vehicles you have created to, um, to pull out best practices and share them and disseminate them.


[00:52:04] I’ve said it a couple of times and I’ll make it more clear. Join the early community. You go on our Web site. It’s our L.A. dot org. It’s free to join the community. And then the next week or so, we’ll be offering a free white paper, some basics of reverse logistics for anyone who signs up. As a user, you can start as a user just looking at the site. We’re very transparent. There’s a lot of information already there as you want to become more of a hero for your company and really make a difference and grow in this industry. You’ll start to look at membership and what those benefits are of of participating in the monthly meetings. Reading the magazine Smart Brief is a very handy newsletter that comes out three times a week. Very short stories that you can dig further and deeper into if you choose. And again, we’ll have the Library of Information of research presentations, white papers, case studies, all of that will be up and available very shortly. And again, it’s been active. Don’t just look at the stuff. Be active. We’re all passionate in our company, in our organization because we’re members driven. So we listen to you. But we also try to help advise you with any area. So before the conference in February, there’s a lot you can do to come up to speed and get some information. You don’t have to wait till then to learn best practices and learn how to network. But when you show up in Las Vegas, I promise you, in three days, you will get to meet a lot of people. Well, who share your pain? We’ve come a long way to really grow their expertise in this area.


[00:53:45] Mm hmm. Those face to face learning opportunities are invaluable. Yeah, absolutely. Uh, us got to point out that from our stage we don’t have advertising. We have industry subject matter experts. Industry thought leaders from the Dells, the HP, the Wal-Mart, the best spies of the world. Those are the board companies, Google’s Intel, Cisco. All great companies. And. And these are the leaders. They have been through this for years. They know what they’re doing. They know what they’re trying to do. And they’re also always looking for the newest latest edge of of where can we go next? What else can we do to make this better? So the conference is significant, but we also do these events in between doing an event in Florida, a one day seminar, we call it. That’s consumer products. We include a tour of a facility, a parts and distribution center facility and a reverse logistics facility in Fort Lauderdale. In in in October, we will be in Austin, Texas with Dell as our host. And they’re going to allow a tour of the Dell Command Center, which is where the entire world of after sales support is being run by Dell. And yes, it looks like NASA. It is. It’s the coolest in the world. And we’re looking forward to that. Dell is one of our core members board company, and they’re going to show this to our members as part of that day, that seminar day. So whereas that again, that will be in Austin, Texas. All right. Well, that’s probably not far from Round Rock. It meant that this Round Rock, Texas, that would be Round Rock is where Dell headquarters is. It is a suburb of Austin.


[00:55:25] Sorry, I didn’t mean to be captain obvious. I’m. Clearly, I said to study up at my Texas geography. Oh, goodness.


[00:55:32] So what a incredible tour opportunity, though, because to see the NASA control center at a at a world renowned leading P.C. provider or manufacturer.


[00:55:44] And that is coming up when that is October. Twenty eighth in Austin. That’s a Monday. We’ll have the tour during the middle of the day for a couple of hours. And then there’s many other events coming up. Whereas as we were talking, we’re invited to speak. All of these are on the site, are all on the air. L.A., that work site. Yeah. The conferences, we are actually going to Singapore for a one day event. Yes. They have returns in Asia. They have to deal with them, too. Singapore is in September. And then our event at the end of September, September 19th in Fort Lauderdale, October has a number of events as well. And I am speaking at probably 12 events for the balance of the year, preaching and talking about reverse logistics, its importance. But what I appreciate the most, Scott and Greg, is that supply chain now radio and other supply chain organizations are finally paying serious attention to it. And and they I wish there were more of me, frankly. I wish there were. I am glad that we’re the major organization to help people through this. But it’s so big. It’s 400 billion in the US alone, just in one in retail. So I wish there was more of me. In the meantime, I’ll do a lot of traveling. I’ll bid my wife goodbye for a couple of weeks, then I’ll be out of the ropes. You know, I’m honored to say that Amazons invited the early to participate in a global summit. I’m standing in the renewed space, the sustainability. You use the term circular economy. That’s one of our partners in Asia that’s putting on our event.


[00:57:18] Circular economy is ultimately its sustainability on steroids. So it’s it’s all about the ultimate in returns management, reverse logistics. So there’s a lot of great things we are going to have fun exploring and the next few episodes. To your point, we’ll try to get some other subject matter experts. I can talk for hours on this, but I know it’s nice to have some other voices involved as well in some good industry experts.


[00:57:42] Outstanding. So learn more at our L.A. dot org. Check out. Be sure to check all the events.


[00:57:48] But in particular, the February conference and expo that we’re going to be broadcasting live from in Las Vegas. OK, man, we covered a lot of ground in the like it when I really felt like I had a great time. Yeah.


[00:58:02] Even though if my geography in the great state of Texas takes us and we’re gonna be in Austin in a minute, not too long from now.


[00:58:10] But Tony Schroder, executive director with the Reverse Logistics Association. Uh, great way to kick off a series focused on a very important. Never, ever more important space of the supply chain. Reverse logistics and returns. Honored to be here, guys. Looking forward to a lot more of these and helping people out. We are to you. Absolutely. Our L.A. dot org. And of course, you can find all these links on show pages.


[00:58:37] Ok. So, Greg. Uh, we invite our audience, come out and check us out in person, right. We, uh. I’ve got a pretty aggressive schedule. Not not quite like, uh, Tony’s schedule. It doesn’t seem nearly as aggressive now. We do not demand, says the hourly Lear jet gal gassed up ready. Good for a world rock n roll. You don’t want to come to Singapore. I’d love to. In there. Yeah. Yeah. Have you really? I bet I can guess what the weather is. Same every day. Is it really? Yeah. Never been. Um, so, Greg, let’s talk about where we’re gonna be broadcasting in addition to Vegas in February. We’re gonna be in North Charleston, South Carolina and about a month. Right.


[00:59:16] Yeah. So. So from the previous show today. Right. Amy Tan is not actually the governor of South Carolina, but I’d vote for, um. So that’s the two thousand nineteen AIG SC AC supply chain and Quality Conference. AIG is the Automotive Industry Action Group out of Detroit. No one in town. And, uh, South Carolina Automotive Council. Um, all about the automotive world, right? World. And, uh, and, uh, manufacturers. And, um, I’m looking forward to seeing what the parking lot looks like there.


[00:59:52] Me, too. Uh, and in particular gonna me focused on supply chain and quality within automotive. They’ve got a great and growing lineup of speakers. Uh, Bosch, IBM, Volvo, numerous others. Uh, I didn’t, uh, connect the dots total just in the last couple weeks, but Volvo put their first North American manufacturing plant in South Korea. So they’re gonna be there talking. And Volvo has been growing left and right. Dramatically.


[01:00:15] You can’t give the auto industry credit for actually inventing the industry of reverse logistics. They can call it that. But they took auto parts back and they rebuilt them. Yeah, well, you know, you try to use that all the time. That’s right.


[01:00:27] Absolutely. So, um. So that’s September 12th and 13th. And our sponsor there is the effective syndicate. One lovely. Yes. The one and only. And lovely Bo Gruber. Absolutely. We’ve got to connect Bo and Tony. Yeah.


[01:00:41] Darby, who we have to. We can’t do that. Show love. All right.


[01:00:46] So moving right along, Georgia manufacturing, some really excited for that event. October 9th with our great friend Jason Moss and the GM may leading the panel session and broadcasting lab, a couple of big guests. And in fact, I know you’ve been you’ve, uh, can tease it again. Yeah. Yeah.


[01:01:03] Um, so we have at least one and potentially two, um, general counsels of, uh uh, sorry, consul generals of, um, of neighboring countries. Yeah. That that, uh, maybe on our show we’ll definitely be part of the panel. Well, absolutely. The international panel is not messing around.


[01:01:21] No. Albert Schweitzer is leading that one. We’re leading one. Trends track supply chain. And not only do we have Tangerine Bellamy with U.P.S. joining us for that. We also have a V, uh, just confirmed today, will not release the name just yet. But V.P., a supply chain with a leading, uh, HBC manufacturer. So really looking forward to that. We’d like to hear about that on October night. Yeah. Uh, HVAD kind of theme of this week. Yeah. Um, proud media partners. A movement along. Two thousand nineteen Logistics C O Forum in Austin, Texas, hosted by our friends at I for transport. Yeah. Yeah. T. But with Nick over there this week they’re based in London. They do shows across the world. Yeah. In fact Tony was there. We were both there. That’s right. Uh, three people in jeans clutching summit in June in Atlanta. Yeah. Yeah. So we’re gonna be in Austin, uh, November 7 3 8 2. And so you might as well. Keep it weird. Okay. Keep it, weirdos. Tony Scott might be the only person on the planet who doesn’t know what that means. Oh, boy. It’s gonna be like a meme or something. They stole it from Portland.


[01:02:27] Thank you. Same sign when you’re going to Portland, Oregon. I keep it where we are gonna get so much nasty grams. I can see it now. Yeah. All right. All right.


[01:02:36] Keep them moving. But check that out. Great event. We’re really excited to be there. November 7, 8, 2019. Also Broadcasting Lab.. And finally, Moto X. Um. Uh, Murdoch’s come back to Atlanta in March 20 20. Not only are they hosting our 20 20 Atlanta supply chain awards, which to our lay was a big part of last year or earlier this year, um, but we’re gonna be broadcasting live throughout the four days at one of the largest sports and trade shows in the country in March. Now let’s go to and it was about awesome. Yeah, probably sit down. Interview Tony. You’re probably speaking there, too. I would imagine they should.


[01:03:11] Why not? I’ve spoken at the intro logistics, but not Moto X yet.


[01:03:14] Okay. Not yet. Yes, sir. Can we roll the supply chain now? Radio forward Ford Transit Transport into the booth.


[01:03:22] You think it get it right?


[01:03:24] You know what? Um, so it’s a big haul. Hey, Old Dominion did it. That’s right. We’ve been on. Well, we’re gonna be on the road so much rather than, um, continue to, uh, put my Honda cord and lots of pain. Uh, with a Ford Transit with 12 miles from our friends at Logan Bill for who listen to the podcast, which is just it’s so meet up. Yeah. We’re gonna we’re gonna pack up the mobile studio and be there at the Georgia World Congress Center in March. I about that. All right. So we’ve covered a lot of ground, big thanks to our guest today on Supply Channel Radio, Tony Schroder with the Reverse Logistics Association, new partner of the Sports Now radio team. Uh, Greg White, co-host extraordinaire. Uh. Oh, absolutely. I thought, uh, I’ve enjoyed these these shows this week. I think this is a well, last week, but this week I think this is our fourth show this week. And we’ve got three more to three more teed up next week. So good stuff.


[01:04:19] So to our audience, be sure to check out other upcoming events, replays of our interviews, other resources that supply chain now radio dot com. You can find us on Apple podcasts, SoundCloud. All the leading sites where podcasts can be found. Be sure to subscribe to almost anything on behalf of the entire speech. Now we’re your team. This is Scott Luton, wishing you a wonderful week ahead. And we’ll see you next time on SPORTS NOW RADIO. Thanks, everybody.

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Tony Sciarrotta serves as Executive Director of the Reverse Logistics Association. He was nominated and selected by the Board to serve as the Executive Director on August 1, 2016. Since Mr. Sciarrotta had been an active member serving in committee leadership of Reverse Logistics Association since 2005, he had also served on the Board of RLA from 2005 to 2012 while employed at Philips Consumer Lifestyle as their Director of Sales & Marketing. So it was a simple decision for the selection team at RLA to approve Mr. Sciarrotta. Since his experience, qualifications and service to RLA was more than substantial to meet the requirement that was needed as the next Executive Director. Mr. Sciarrotta has held a variety of sales and marketing positions in the consumer electronics industry for over 35 years, most recently as the President of Reverse IT Sales & Consulting. Tony brings so much experience to the RLA team, including 25 years at Philips Consumer Lifestyle. His background helped prepare him for a developmental role as director for returns management activities, and in 1998 Tony was assigned to create and manage a cross functional department to reduce returns and their associated costs. He was successful at implementing effective returns policies and procedures with a variety of dealers, and in 2005, Tony assumed responsibility for maximizing asset recovery of all returned consumer goods. Tony has specifically targeted best avenues for reselling returned goods at the model level, by using tools developed with finance support. In 2013, after establishing best-in-class results for returns in the consumer goods industry, Tony retired from Philips and now sits on various committees and industry groups. Learn more about the Reverse Logistics Association here:


Greg White

Principal & Host

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Additional Links & Resources

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2019 AIAG/SCAC Supply Chain & Quality Conference

Georgia Manufacturing Summit on October 9th

eft Logistics CIO Forum in Austin, TX

Reverse Logistics Association Conference & Expo

SCNR to Broadcast Live at MODEX 2020

SCNR on YouTube

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

Katherine Hintz, MBA is a marketing professional who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.

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Kim Reuter


From humble beginnings working the import docks, representing Fortune 500 giants, Ford, Michelin Tire, and Black & Decker; to Amazon technology patent holder and Nordstrom Change Leader, Kimberly Reuter has designed, implemented, and optimized best-in-class, highly scalable global logistics and retail operations all over the world. Kimberly’s ability to set strategic vision supported by bomb-proof processes, built on decades of hands-on experience, has elevated her to legendary status. Sought after by her peers and executives for her intellectual capital and keen insights, Kimberly is a thought leader in the retail logistics industry.

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.

He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.

A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www., which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics.  He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.

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Vicki White


Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.

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Allison Giddens


Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.

She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.

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Billy Taylor


Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.

An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.

A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.

A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning.  He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.

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Tandreia Bellamy


Tandreia Bellamy retired as the Vice President of Industrial Engineering for UPS Supply Chain Solutions which included the Global Logistics, Global Freight Forwarding and UPS Freight business units. She was responsible for operations strategy and planning, asset management, forecasting, and technology tool development to optimize sustainable efficiency while driving world class service.

Tandreia held similar positions at the business unit level for Global Logistics and Global Freight forwarding. As the leader of the Global Logistics engineering function, she directed all industrial engineering activies related to distribution, service parts logistics (post-sales support), and mail innovations (low cost, light weight shipping partnership with the USPS). Between these roles Tandreia helped to establish the Advanced Technology Group which was formed to research and develop cutting edge solutions focused on reducing reliance on manual labor.

Tandreia began her career in 1986 as a part-time hourly manual package handling employee. She spent the great majority of her career in the small package business unit which is responsible for the pick-up, sort, transport and delivery of packages domestically. She held various positions in Industrial Engineering, Marketing, Inside and On-road operations in Central Florida before transferring to Atlanta for a position in Corporate Product Development and Corporate Industrial Engineering. Tandreia later held IE leadership roles in Nebraska, Minnesota and Chicago. In her final role in small package she was an IE VP responsible for all aspects of IE, technology support and quality for the 25 states on the western half of the country.
Tandreia is currently a Director for the University of Central Florida (UCF) Foundation Board and also serves on their Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Previously Tandreia served on the Executive Advisory Board for Virginia Tech’s IE Department and the Association for Supply Chain Management. She served on the Board of Trustees for ChildServ (a Chicago child and family services non-profit) and also served on the Texas A&M and Tuskegee Engineering Advisory Boards. In 2006 she was named Business Advisor of the Year by INROADS, in 2009 she was recognized as a Technology All-Star at the Women of Color in STEM conference and in 2019 she honored as a UCF Distinguished Aluma by the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems.

Tandreia holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management Systems from UCF. Her greatest accomplishment, however, is being the proud mother of two college students, Ruby (24) and Anthony (22).

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Marty Parker


Marty Parker serves as both the CEO & Founder of Adæpt Advising and an award-winning Senior Lecturer (Teaching Professor) in Supply Chain and Operations Management at the University of Georgia. He has 30 years of experience as a COO, CMO, CSO (Chief Strategy Officer), VP of Operations, VP of Marketing and Process Engineer. He founded and leads UGA’s Supply Chain Advisory Board, serves as the Academic Director of UGA’s Leaders Academy, and serves on multiple company advisory boards including the Trucking Profitability Strategies Conference, Zion Solutions Group and Carlton Creative Company.

Marty enjoys helping people and companies be successful. Through UGA, Marty is passionate about his students, helping them network and find internships and jobs. He does this through several hundred one-on-one zoom meetings each year with his students and former students. Through Adæpt Advising, Marty has organized an excellent team of affiliates that he works with to help companies grow and succeed. He does this by helping c-suite executives improve their skills, develop better leaders, engage their workforce, improve processes, and develop strategic plans with detailed action steps and financial targets. Marty believes that excellence in supply chain management comes from the understanding the intersection of leadership, culture, and technology, working across all parts of the organization to meet customer needs, maximize profit and minimize costs.

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

Laura Lopez serves as our Supply Chain Now Marketing Coordinator. She graduated from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente in Mexico with a degree in marketing. Laura loves everything digital because she sees the potential it holds for companies in the marketing industry. Her passion for creativity and thinking outside the box led her to pursue a career in marketing. With experience in fields like accounting, digital marketing, and restaurants, she clearly enjoys taking on challenges. Laura lives the best of both worlds - you'll either catch her hanging out with her friends soaking up the sun in Mexico or flying out to visit her family in California!

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Jake Barr


An acknowledged industry leader, Jake Barr now serves as CEO for BlueWorld Supply Chain Consulting, providing support to a cross section of Fortune 500 companies such as Cargill, Caterpillar, Colgate, Dow/Dupont, Firmenich, 3M, Merck, Bayer/Monsanto, Newell Brands, Kimberly Clark, Nestle, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Sanofi, Estee Lauder and Coty among others. He's also devoted time to engagements in public health sector work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. At P&G, he managed the breakthrough delivery of an E2E (End to End) Planning Transformation effort, creating control towers which now manage the daily business globally. He is recognized as the architect for P&G’s demand driven supply chain strategy – referenced as a “Consumer Driven Supply Chain” transformation. Jake began his career with P&G in Finance in Risk Analysis and then moved into Operations. He has experience in building supply network capability globally through leadership assignments in Asia, Latin America, North America and the Middle East. He currently serves as a Research Associate for MIT; a member of Supply Chain Industry Advisory Council; Member of Gartner’s Supply Chain Think Tank; Consumer Goods “League of Leaders“; and a recipient of the 2015 - 2021 Supply Chain “Pro’s to Know” Award. He has been recognized as a University of Kentucky Fellow.

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Marcia Williams


Marcia Williams, Managing Partner of USM Supply Chain, has 18 years of experience in Supply Chain, with expertise in optimizing Supply Chain-Finance Planning (S&OP/ IBP) at Large Fast-Growing CPGs for greater profitability and improved cash flows. Marcia has helped mid-sized and large companies including Lindt Chocolates, Hershey, and Coty. She holds an MBA from Michigan State University and a degree in Accounting from Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay (South America). Marcia is also a Forbes Council Contributor based out of New York, and author of the book series Supply Chains with Maria in storytelling style. A recent speaker’s engagement is Marcia TEDx Talk: TEDxMSU - How Supply Chain Impacts You: A Transformational Journey.

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Luisa Garcia is a passionate Marketer from Lagos de Moreno based in Aguascalientes. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes, Mexico. She specializes in brand development at any stage, believing that a brand is more than just a name or image—it’s an unforgettable experience. Her expertise helps brands achieve their dreams and aspirations, making a lasting impact. Currently working at Vector Global Logistics in the Marketing team and as podcast coordinator of Logistics With Purpose®. Luisa believes that purpose-driven decisions will impact results that make a difference in the world.

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Astrid Aubert was born in Guadalajara, she is 39 years old and has had the opportunity to live in many places. She studied communication and her professional career has been in Trade Marketing for global companies such as Pepsico and Mars. She currently works as Marketing Director Mexico for Vector Global Logistics. She is responsible for internal communications and marketing strategy development for the logistics industry. She is a mother of two girls, married and lives in Monterrey. She defines herself as a creative and innovative person, and enjoys traveling and cooking a lot.

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Constantine Limberakis


Constantine Limberakis is a thought leader in the area of procurement and supply management. He has over 20 years of international experience, playing strategic roles in a wide spectrum of organizations related to analyst advisory, consulting, product marketing, product development, and market research.Throughout his career, he's been passionate about engaging global business leaders and the broader analyst and technology community with strategic content, speaking engagements, podcasts, research, webinars, and industry articles.Constantine holds a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA in Finance & Marketing / Masters in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.

From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.

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Greg White

Principal & Host

When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.

Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.

Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.

When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog.  He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community.  Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include CiscoMicrosoft, Citrix and IBM.  Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane UniversityO’Reilly MediaLinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight.  Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems EngineeringCarrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.

He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

Amanda is a production and marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Amanda currently manages, produces, and develops modern digital content for Supply Chain Now and their clients. Amanda has previously served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah, and founded and managed her own successful digital marketing firm, Magnolia Marketing Group. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now production team, you can find Amanda in the kitchen, reading, listening to podcasts, or enjoying time with family.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.

Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.

Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.

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Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

Mary Kate Love is currently the VP of marketing at Supply Chain Now focused on brand strategy and audience + revenue growth. Mary Kate’s career is a testament to her versatility and innovative spirit: she has experience in start-ups, venture capital, and building innovation initiatives from the ground up: she previously helped lead the build-out of the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific and before that, MxD (Manufacturing times Digital): the Department of Defense’s digital manufacturing innovation center. Mary Kate has a passion for taking complicated ideas and turning them into reality: she was one of the first team members at MxD and the first team member at the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific.

Mary Kate dedicates her extra time to education and mentorship: she was one of the founding Board Members for Women Influence Chicago and led an initiative for a city-wide job shadow day for young women across Chicago tech companies and was previously on the Board of Directors at St. Laurence High School in Chicago, Young Irish Fellowship Board and the UN Committee for Women. Mary Kate is the founder of National Supply Chain Day and enjoys co-hosting podcasts at Supply Chain Now. Mary Kate is from the south side of Chicago, a mom of two baby boys, and an avid 16-inch softball player. She holds a BS in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more.  In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys.  She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.

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