Supply Chain Now Radio
Episode 176

Episode Summary

In partnership with the Reverse Logistics Association, Scott and Greg welcomed Tony Sciarrotta and Joe Hurley to SCNR to discuss best practices for reducing returns.

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] It’s time for 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 technology’s the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.


[00:00:29] Hey, good morning. Scott Luton here with you. Log on to Supply Chain Now Radio. Welcome back to the show. In today’s show, we continue our reverse Logistics series. We’re all talking all things reverse Logistics returns and a lot more.


[00:00:43] And if you want to conduct a podcast on reverse Logistics, you couldn’t find a better partner than a reverse Logistics association. So we’ve enjoyed the kickoff to this series. We’re looking forward to today’s episode. We’ve got a great conversation teed up on a quick programming note. Like all of our series on Supply Chain Now Radio, you can find our replays on a variety of channels Apple, podcasts, SoundCloud, Spotify, wherever else you find your podcast. As always, we’d love to have you subscribe to almost anything. Supply Chain Now Radio is also brought to you by a variety of sponsors, including the Effective syndicate, Talentstream, Verusen and Supply chain Real Estate dot com and some other leading organizations. Be sure to check out the Joe notes to learn more about our valuable sponsors. Let’s welcome in my co-host today Greg White co-hosts Supply Chain Now Radio Serial Supply chain tech entrepreneur and SIM, my trusted advisor.


[00:01:35] Hey, don’t give it another day. It depends on what I’m driving. That’s how I’m driving a semi that I’m fully trusted. Good to have you back.


[00:01:43] Yeah, great to be here. Always love to have Tony with us. And, you know, great to add Joe to the mix. Tony and Joe’s friends, these these cats might know each other.


[00:01:51] Yes, we just might. Yeah. Love it. We’ve got a great conversation. Tito had an interesting conversation this morning on the state of Logistics technology report that you have to put out. That was interesting. And then, you know, one of our newest series is Reverse Logistics series has gotten a lot of feedback, garnered a lot of feedback. We’ve got a lot of inbound messages and questions and topics that are suggested. So great. Back in with Tony and Joe here. Let’s introduce our featured guest, the one and only Tony Schroder, executive director with the Reverse Logistics Association. Tony, how you doing? Doing great. I’m happy to be here. Great to have you back. Enjoyed our August edition of this series and look forward to what I think can be a very relevant and compelling conversation here today. And Tony, your good friend, former colleague Joe Hurley, senior vice president, business development at Encompass Supply Chain Solutions Joe. How you doing? I’m well, thanks for having me. You bet. Great to have you down from Knoxville. Great cities, Bill. And hopefully traffic wasn’t too bad making way down here. It wasn’t well, it wasn’t great, but it wasn’t too bad. All right. So welcome to you both. Great to have you here. So, Tony, as always, we want to always want to paint a picture in our listeners minds of kind of who our guests are. Now, you’ve been on the show before. I think we kind of took a deep dive in your background last month. But to refresh our listeners memory. Tell us about who Tony Schroeder is in a nutshell.


[00:03:12] Well, I’ve been in sales and marketing for a number of years. Then back in around the turn of the century, Phillips decided I’d been there about 10, 15 years and they decided they needed to do something about returns. And suddenly I moved from being a sales and marketing guy to being a returns guy and figuring out the endless issue of how do you slow down returns, make them go away and not take things back that are still working and still good and seeing those liquidated and wasted. And in the universe here. So I did that. I successful was very successful at Philips and finding ways to work with retailers and and do something good for both sides, reduce returns, reduce their costs, find new homes for those goods that did come back that had to be resold. And some of that activity now has developed into running this reverse Logistics association. We’ve been around the association for about 15 years. I was on the advisory board and then I took over in 2016 and I’m calling us RLA to point 0 as an indication of we are very different than the way it started. We’re members focused members are the retailers, the manufacturers who have the returns problems and then companies like Encompass with Joe Hurley, who has some third party solutions, partnerships and ideas and programs that are effective ways of reducing returns.


[00:04:44] Well put. And we’ve enjoyed and we’ve collaborate on a number different things from a number different angles. But you can tell the member focus on this RLA 2.0 and you know, that’s in this ever changing industry association landscape. Yes, much different than what what has been. 10, 20 years ago. That is so you get associations, they get that they have a laser focus on our members and their customers, so to speak, and you get others that don’t. And so I welcome. It’s like a breath of fresh air with the RLA. OK, so Joe the before mentioned Joe Hurley. So you’re new to the show. Let’s let’s kind of paint a picture for our listener. So first off, where are you from? Born and raised in Orlando, Florida. OK, so now we see the Florida gator connection. Here we go. There it is, sick. Now, what did you do before your role now encompass?


[00:05:34] I worked for Phillips for a number of years. Literally, the day after high school, I moved to East Tennessee to attend Carson Newman College. Now University. Go Eagles. Yeah. And to work my way through college, beer, money and rent money and whatnot. I got a job at Phillips in the call center. So customer service one. Go on. Avoiding returns one to one. So I did a lot of the little old lady with a VCR flashing 12:00 on the front. Helped her, helped her get that time right. Set her timer recording and all that kind of stuff. So I’m dating myself. I know. Yeah. So but I loved it. That fit me like a glove. I just love the industry. I love the call center business. Did that for Phillips for no years and then eventually made my way over to the parts business, which is where I am now. For all intensive purposes, that’s what Encompass does. We are a parts distributor. We do a much more than that.


[00:06:32] So that’s how kind of Tony and I met at Philips and have stayed in touch. And when I heard about RLA 2.0, Encompass was all too eager to to be a participant and be a supporter. In fact, last week we hosted a tour at our facility during one of their events in Fort Lauderdale. So proud supporter. Definitely a lot of synergies between our two organizations.


[00:06:57] And the tour is where it’s at some secret secret sauce. I mean, getting folks out into the operation and put their eyes and ears on what’s going on, what’s working. What are some of the challenges? I mean, that really that’s a great reason. One of the great reasons to be plugged into a group like RLA, right? That’s right. Absolutely. But it takes organizations open the door. So appreciate Encompass doing that. To what? Speaking of Encompass, what what does what does a company do?


[00:07:23] Ok. Well, we’re in the aftermarket services business. We specialize in parts Logistics, three P.L. services for APL, Depot Repair, Asset Recovery Board repair. Any part of that process that could possibly include a part solution. We are right there in the mix of things.


[00:07:40] I think in some of our e-mail exchanges, you referred to yourself as the parts guy, the parts gap.


[00:07:44] Right. Right. Parts guys are kind of unique. You can put two of us in a room of a hundred people and I’ll take about 90 seconds for us to find each other. So, yeah, I like to say there is really one way out of the parts business and that’s a pine box.


[00:07:59] So let’s keep it in the parts business for absolute so long and we know what your goals are. That’s right.


[00:08:05] So specifically with your role, what where do you spend your time?


[00:08:10] I spend my time working with the the OEMs and the manufacturers aligning programs that fit their needs, that support their objectives. Also with the customers that need access to those parts today, we support well over 200 brands and 20 different product categories. And, you know, our our job is to optimize that inventory and make sure we have the parts in stock that they need when they need them. Get them to the customers in time and make that whole entire transaction completely transparent. You know, usually we find that just the access to information is half the battle. Hey, I have the part you need. I’ve shipped it. Here’s a tracking number. It’s gonna get to you. Everybody involved in that process needs to know about that. The OEM, us, of course, the customer, the consumer on the other end. All right. And if you can provide them with access to that inventory, we find that, of course, we saw a lot more parts, which is our objective, and reduces returns. So if you can get connect the customer with a consumable and spare part, the do it yourself or with what they need to repair their own product, perhaps the service industries that service these customers, then that’s that’s what we’re trying to do.


[00:09:22] So you are essentially creating economies of scale for companies like Philips who can’t get the kind of scale that you can by carrying a part that may fit multiple devices or multiple brands of devices. Is that a fair estimation of what you’re doing?


[00:09:38] It certainly is. And moreover, for Philips, let’s say you have their own parts infrastructure to build that for one brand versus me supporting it for two hundred plus brands. I have enormous economies of scale, right. You can do it much more economically than they can inefficiently.


[00:09:57] And you’re doing more than just part. I mean, you’re the party guy, but. You’re doing more than just parts as well. I mean, are you the face of the customer face to port? The customer? Sure. Ever? Absolutely.


[00:10:06] Yeah. And we provide other services as well, like board repair. You know, we bring back circuit boards, for instance, in consumer electronic products. We stock them in some cases. We. We bring them back and send them back to the OEM or in other cases we repair them ourselves. We do that in concert with what the OEM objectives are, but that creates sustainability, keeps the products out in the marketplace, keeps them repairable, keeps the parts affordable and reduces, we think, products from being disposed of unnecessarily.


[00:10:42] You make a great point and I love the sustainability angle. You know, we’ve talked about this maybe on earlier shows. I’ve got a printer by big name and I bought it four or five years ago when we were printing a bunch of courseware. And unfortunately, the first printer wave the white flag after a couple of months and it just went kaput. Well, the next day or two days later, I had a new primary manufactured printer on my front door and they made it really easy to put the old one in the same box and sent it back. And I’ve been using the same remanufacturing printer ever since and haven’t missed a beat. And so I love the sustainability factor that you’re speaking to there.


[00:11:24] That’s great. It’s an interesting example that very well could have been us that since you that now that replacement, we have a number of those programs in the printer industry. You see a lot more robust than it than it was when the prices were higher for printer products. But we do a ton of that in it. Lawrenceville today.


[00:11:41] Interesting. And that’s why I was going to jump in and say Joe and Encompass are the hidden face customer. They’re the hidden face to the consumer because it might have been an HP printer, might have been a Ricoh printer. But behind the scenes, behind the front page that you looked at, Scott, when you went for, the problem is Encompass. And so you don’t see their name, but you see that they’re running that page for them and taking care of it. Is Joe set. So it’s kind of like and compasses. This is the back door, the back room, the behind the scenes, getting it done and getting it done effectively. So while a lot of people don’t know the name and Compass, but they know HP and they Lenovo and they know all these other brand names that have a Web site that says if you need a part, come here and suddenly you’re on Joe door.


[00:12:27] It’s this model has been used in the aerospace and aeronautical industry for a long, long time. Their parts are very, very expensive, obviously. Right. So it’s similar to that where some sort of pools, all of this work. And then, you know, the number you dial determines how the person answers the call. Right. Or or, you know, the Web site that you hit determines how you get funneled through the process. Yes.


[00:12:52] You’re showing a great service showing your air capital of the world. Lu. It’s very well. And help it can help it. Wichita, Kansas. Yes. OK.


[00:13:01] So one more question before we talk about how you got involved and why you get involved. Nala is art. Joe at Encompass. Are you feeling some of the pressures when it comes to just the speed of the Amazon Air we live in?


[00:13:14] Absolutely. It’s changed tremendously since I’ve been in the parts business, which is about 20 years now. You know, I used to be a. Here’s your part. You call your order in. You’ll get it in five, six, seven days. Oh, you didn’t get it. Call me back. You know, there was all that. There was a lot more visibility now. And the expectation is I order today by 5:00 p.m. I want it tomorrow and I don’t care where it is. So they want to end a day. Yeah. Two days, max. Yeah. So that’s that’s how we have tried to retool our solution to ensure that that happens, not only us, but, you know, others like us out in the marketplace, selling in different verticals. Get that part of the customer the next day. By the way, no one wants to buy anything these days without seeing it first. So here’s a photo here.


[00:14:02] Here’s the UPC. Here’s the G.S. one. Here’s the weight dimensions. Everything that they could possibly want to know about it. And then then I’ll buy it from you. So that’s that’s how we’ve had to adapt our solution. Even in my tenure at the Encompass.


[00:14:16] Kick the tar 17 times. That’s right.


[00:14:19] Well, people are frustrated by the process. First of all, their product breaks. Then they get a part and it doesn’t work. And we’ve lost our ability to tolerate that. Right. I mean, you know, the Amazon effect, if that’s what you want to call it. But the reality is we didn’t really need to tolerate it. What we had to tolerate it before. We didn’t want to tolerate it. Right. It was kind of a latent desire. But now that that that ability to deliver in a day to be able to see and evaluate a product exists, it’s become an expectation, right?


[00:14:50] Yes, absolutely. Expectations. And last time we talked about number one driver for returns and dissatisfaction with consumers are the unmet. Dictations and that Amazon effect you mentioned, Greg. That’s the we wanted here. We want it now. We want it to be perfect. That’s. And if it’s not, it’s free to send it back and we will. Yeah, well.


[00:15:11] Ok. So let’s talk about why, why and when you got involved. Joe in the reverse Logistics association.


[00:15:19] Well, we were involved with RLA prior to Tony.


[00:15:23] I would say someone to you. Let’s call that Peter Beattie. We were. We are our ally back in the P.T. days, but we really got serious and focused Daryl with RLA 2.0.


[00:15:34] Yeah, Tony came along. Obviously, there was the you know, I know I’m I know what he’s about and what it was really eager to see what the reboot looked like. And we’ve been just very pleased. And it’s been beneficial as there’s a lot of cross pollination between what Encompass does and the RLA industry. So proud supporters. Yeah, we are, too.


[00:15:55] Okay. So let’s dive into the red meat of today’s conversation that is universally relevant. Really. It’s hard to think of a segment of the Indian in Supply chain that returns an inverse Logistics does not touch these days. So we’re going to be talking picking your brain on. How can we reduce? How can our listeners reduce returns? Multi million dollar question these days. So. But first, let’s state the obvious in many ways. Why? Tony, question for you. Why is Rick? Why are returns and growing day by day, hour by hour, and what the the huge emphasis these days on reverse Logistics?


[00:16:38] So we related it to a couple of things. One is what Greg just said about that Amazon effect. Consumer expectations are higher than they’ve ever been in history and they want it delivered above X. Now, it used to be that we try to exceed expectations. That’s a major challenge these days to try to do that.


[00:16:56] So there’s the Amazon effect, which is really related to e-commerce. The fact that a lot of not as much as people think, but a lot of business is happening v. e-commerce. And e-commerce means, for example, if you order clothing, you’re going to order size above what you think you need, the size below what you think you need, and hope that the size you order that you think you need is going to work. But that’s automatically two thirds of the products are going back. And that’s happening with the e-commerce world where the returns are much higher than when you go in a store. You touch it. You feel it. You look at it. So there’s that effect. We also mentioned, I think the last time the IO T effect and this gets into the whole issue of what’s going on in this world where they now know everything about you from a marketing standpoint because you’re wired and you’re connected, whether your shoes are smart shoes or smartwatch or smartphone or your purchase habits. Everyone knows when you go online and you look for a flight to the United Kingdom, for example, you’re suddenly flooded on Facebook with a bunch of ads that relate to airline flight. So the marketing aspect of this I O T Internet of Things, we are all connected. We are all wired. Well, there’s a little problem with that one to the IO T standards by the I triple E there’s over three hundred variations, which means there’s three hundred ways that things cannot talk to each other and break and appear to appear to break and appear to not connect. And that’s the number one driver of returns as well.


[00:18:24] All one do is pair my remote with my TV.


[00:18:27] That’s all I will do. Sometimes I fill all three on earth because there’s variations of well l things can’t connect.


[00:18:33] All right. So so clearly just as you laid out, but also going back to your talking about the customer focus and giving the customer what they want. In some cases that we’ve talked about in the pre pre show, customers are buying multiple items because to your point, Joe, they want to touch it and feel it and wear it and they’re going to keep on and send several back. Right. Yeah. And that’s just that is that the era we live in? You’re talking about one of the one of the resources that you use and you’re trying things out and send the back way. We’ve got to process all that stuff, right?


[00:19:09] Yeah. Well, and returns as part of the model now. Mean, right. Completely. You know, companies not only provision for it because, Tony, you probably know these numbers better, but the old numbers were 30 odd. Percent


[00:19:23] Of all e-commerce sales at least came back. Right. It may be higher than that now. It’s it’s trending upward. Yeah, it’s definitely trend. Well, as as as e-commerce goes up and as you talked about that Amazon effect, that instantaneous gratification or that expectation of of flawless service as that continues to increase, it’s going to happen like that. Right.


[00:19:46] So here we are at Supply Chain Now Radio. We’re in the Supply chain world. And this is sort of good news for everyone that’s listening to this podcast. Right. Because it means you’re going to move a lot more boxes if the opportunity to move a lot more product around the country and around the world. Because the next nightmare that’s coming up is cross-border returns as the Amazons and new Eggs and Bed, Bath and Beyond and wayfarers of the world say, okay, we’ll start to ship to Canada, to Mexico, maybe even across the water. The aspect of what happens with that return is its own unique nightmare. When you’re dealing with different countries, different rules, different regulations, but from a supply chain side.


[00:20:23] While the future looks very bright, I agree we are growing our ability to create and bring more value to the table right in this global economy that we’re in. And whether you’re moving boxes or whether you’re you’re crunching numbers is a supply chain analysts behind behind the scenes, so to speak, or whether you’re, you know, leading warehouse operations or you name it, are so many different ways that we can solve problems proactively these days with all the data available and make it happen. So let’s bring it back to read. Reducing returns, I keep want to say eliminate returns, but we’re not guessing. Tony said don’t say that. That’s right. So that when I got to 82 and asked it. Yeah. All right. So let’s talk about reducing returns. And what I love about shows like this is this is it can conjecture. We’re sitting with two folks that have done this right. And if our listeners will, we’ll take some notes like I’m really bad at doing really good to do it. Maybe they’re going to learn some tried and true proven best practices for positioning your organization, your operation for reducing returns. Right.


[00:21:31] Well, let’s bring this back to Joe’s early days in life and the call center world and the uniqueness of the call center world and how that’s shifted about 180 degrees or more, if possible, in those old days. Joe and others like him on a call center trying to solve someone’s problem. You’re really trying to make them happy with what they own, because usually there’s nothing wrong with it. There’s nothing effective about it. But the driver at many corporations, until maybe the early 2000s, the driver was reduced. Call time, help, reduce, reduce, reduce. Because you’re cutting costs because every minute on a phone costs something and then you flip that one on its end. With a company like Zappos in the shoe business, they brag about how long their call center agents talk to their customers. They’re proud of it. They couldn’t average 25 minutes per phone call. And again, if a CFO was watching that and say no reduce cost, would they be cutting the average handling time in some of those metrics that Joe and others have participated in? But we we learned that we needed to flip that around. It isn’t about how short can you make the call, it’s how happy can you make the customer. And that’s a dramatic change that came along with that net promoter score change as opposed to just measuring failure. Things like first time resolution became they were important in those old days. And frankly, companies like Philips, we used to penalize our call center agents or our partners if they didn’t reduce average handling time and if they didn’t reduce first time resolution. So but that’s the first point of contact with that customer to avoid a returned or to minimize a return or to reduced returns. And again, just live that life so you can speak to even more.


[00:23:12] I sure have. Your customer service agents are your number one salespeople. You don’t want to rush them off off the phone with a customer that if someone was to call you and tell you about their grandkid or their dog, just, you know, have that conversation. You’re building a relationship with that customer, you know, and they’ll be back. They’ll remember that.


[00:23:30] They sure will. I had a call in to a financial institution yesterday, and everybody everybody just got the exact same thing all at once.


[00:23:44] Well, you know what? Who goes to this?


[00:23:47] This CSR? She did a wonderful job. She went. She did. And what I love when I call in a customer service is they don’t just the good ones, don’t just read the policy and start and stop there. She put me on hold a couple times a go back and ask the questions and do some digging in that really, you know, when I hung up 20 each, say, 24 minutes later, 25 minutes later. Yeah. I didn’t have exactly what I needed, but but I knew a lot more than when I went in. And that’s due to that that person’s doggedness of not just mailing it in. She set out to help give me what I needed. And now that was that was a great experience. So but going back to reducing returns, that one the first point we’re making here, what I’m hearing is it starts with the customer service members and it starts with the call centers. It starts, you know, really upstream to really maybe not put words in your mouth, Tony. But what I heard you all speak to is maybe educate the customer that it is working just like it’s supposed to work, right?


[00:24:47] Yeah, absolutely. And you got to make it easy for the customer to get a hold of you.


[00:24:53] An obvious like, okay, I’ve got your product. I’ve unboxing it. I’ve done something with it. Now what? I’m confused. I have a question. Don’t make that return. Something that they want to do. Make it obvious. No. Stop. Call this number. Go to this. Your L.. The instructions are very clear. They’re actually in, you know, plain English or whatever language you speak in.


[00:25:16] And here you go to be English. Yeah, exactly. And English.


[00:25:21] And that’s a great point to have had that content out there. Now we strive to do that, make it easy. Here’s how you change a water filter in your refrigerator. Right. Here’s here’s the accessory you need to make this do what you want. It wasn’t supplied. But here’s an easy and inexpensive, inexpensive way to get it.


[00:25:40] Yeah. And just go back to the fact that we know most products that do come back through the channels are not defective. There’s no technical failure. So that means a company like Encompass and Joe people are that first stop where you can prevent something coming back. That’s not really broken in any way. It’s simply that the customer doesn’t understand it. And the critical ness of those call center agents can’t be undersold and Joe. Maybe you’re seeing that most corporations are getting that message these days. They’re focused on not reducing average handling time, but improving customer satisfaction.


[00:26:16] Well, I wish I could say that. I’m saying that. But just in my own personal life, I’m not. Good try, Tony. Yeah, right. I wish I wish that were that case.


[00:26:26] I think that that’s a recognition that the industry needs to have. And I agree. I mean, look, this guy, Tony, if you’re only on podcast, I’m pointing at Tony. Tony is a pioneer in this and I think a high thinker relative to this, because one of the solutions that he relayed to us in the previous podcast was don’t just wait till there’s a return to solve the problem, try to preempt that. And one of the pre-emptive measures that you had talked about was letting people know what to expect and helping them. Helping them understand how to work the product in in your day. Maybe with paper. Right. Nowadays, a YouTube video or whatever it is. But pre-empt that lack of understanding, that lack of satisfaction. I think more companies ought to be focusing in those two areas, preempting and responding effectively. Are taking a peek at Mount Joe. Not sure.


[00:27:17] So you’ve got a great chrono. You know, I never look at the show. That’s why I always ask everything out of order.


[00:27:24] So one of the things you’re touching on. I’d love to get Joe and Tony to weigh in on it. Is that repair videos that do it yourself? Culture? Yes. How does that factor in to reducing returns?


[00:27:36] Well, I thought Joe. I don’t know if Encompass has made it, but there’s there’s a legendary figure now in the industry whose name is Kyle Wiens with a Web site called I Fix It Die. And and I just saw Kyle this week at the E! Scrap Show in Orlando. And Kyle is literally he was a born tinker. Right. And he loved to fix things. And so he created this Web site where people can post videos of literally fixing anything, anything from car issues to electronics. And he said he’s a strong advocate for the right to repair organization and legislation that they’re pushing around the country. Because if you let a customer take care of what it is that they’ve got and you’ve got a company like encompassed in the background that can help supply the parts to do that, those videos on YouTube, et cetera, are are amazing. And and again, I’m sure Joe going to say not enough companies are doing it, which is sort of sad, but I’ll let Joe add a little bit to that.


[00:28:37] Yeah, yeah, sure. You can find out how to do just about anything on YouTube and elsewhere. I do it all the time around the house. And as my wife can attest, I’m not the handy guy in the world, but I am cheap. So I will go out. I’ll fix my own faucet. I’ll do whatever if I can. Right. And you know, YouTube is an invaluable resource. And so we try to participate in that.


[00:29:01] We have a number of different even on our side of do it yourself videos. And we’ve seen a real shift from the OEM level. When I first got into the service business, I don’t know. You don’t want to repair your own item. Don’t.


[00:29:15] Don’t do it right. You know, void your warranty if you’re out of warranty. It’s a bad idea. And it’s like we’ll send you the wrench. Yeah. Here you go. Yeah. Sometimes providing the box.


[00:29:24] Yeah. Yeah. So we’ve seen a real shift in that. So not every company I think is embracing it yet, but that is certainly the direction that things are going.


[00:29:33] Yay.


[00:29:34] So what I would like to see is it seems like so I’ve had the same vehicle same today in five different versions, almost the same exact car. And then we’ve had three over to three version of the same truck. And I used to build the change of old headlights. My wife will not. That sounds like Joe. You mean you might have in common? My wife knows how unhappy I am, right? But when I could go in there and change my own headlamps on the first version of this truck, I’ll say, man, I’ve really done something. Then you can snicker all you can. But you know we are.


[00:30:09] And then the new truck came out and you had to take off the whole fenders, the headlamps. Yeah. What in the world? I guess they want to protect the the time and in the repair shops. Right.


[00:30:22] There are a lot of reasons for that. But some of it has to do with crash safety, particularly on cars. But I mean, there are ways to make that accessible. Well, there a YouTube video. You probably can show you how to do it without breaking anything.


[00:30:37] We did. We checked all about YouTube. And fortunately, the videos I saw were off with folks that seemed to be much more technical than I was.


[00:30:47] May I just see you when I’m watching them see the fender just fall off. But you’re about to say something.


[00:30:52] Well, Joe can tell you the stories about my fights with the engineers back in the old days because the engineers are convinced that they know how to make the perfect product. And they point to their their test on the returns that are coming back that they’re not technically at fault. So they think that they’re geniuses. But remember, we may have mentioned the other the other side of the world in engineering, human factor engineers. And clearly one’s missing Scott and that truck that you’re trying to replace anyway. But the human factor engineers, the companies that pay attention, they recognize that simplicity and ease of use is is just as critical as whether it technically works or not. It’s can the customer get their hands on it? Another prophet pioneer. What do you want to call in? That was with Steve Jobs. I mean, look at the iPods and things like that. He minimized the buttons so that it couldn’t confuse people. And then you’ve got the other end of the extreme weather. You’ve got the twelve different buttons that do the same thing on a cell phone or products like that. So there’s got to be that change in that shift on ease of use. And again, by the way, a company like Encompass, not Liegghio, speak to it. They’re aware of the kinds of issues that they get the most call sign or the product parts that they get the most calls on. And companies don’t listen enough to the encompasses of the world as to, hey, you got a problem with this design. I mean, they should have fixed it before. But at least a company like Encompass can reach up and say, hey, guys, red flag here and I’ll let Joe one of those stories.


[00:32:21] It sounds like you’re making you and your team make afraid a parade of very happy.


[00:32:25] Yeah. Well, tell us more. We are. So I’ll give an example. We have a product today in the keyless entry lock space. Name brand. That we hit all the Birgit Logistics Logistics, for we bring him back. We test him something like 70 percent of em. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with them. At least that’s the way it was. So we brought them in and we developed the test procedure and recertification procedure and we put it back in a brown box and use them for your warranty replacements for ones that actually are defective. And then this particular company then sells the B goods in secondary markets. Well, we were discovering over and over again. Here’s the same issue over and over again. And these. There’s nothing wrong with it. What do we need to do upstream to reduce that? So we’ve we’ve been working with this particular company and it seems like the returns are coming down. And those reasons that we see that they’re coming back are beginning to be reduced. So it’s important for your if the return does come back. Use that as an opportunity to reduce returns in the future.


[00:33:36] Yeah. So moving upstream sounds b critical to it is producing returns, right? It is for sure. Okay. So let’s talk about one of the things that we were talking preshow was that access to spare parts and accessories. How does that. And we’ve kind of alluded to that and spoken to that conversation. But tell us more about that, how that can impact ability to produce returns.


[00:34:01] You bet. So we find that a lot of particularly overseas manufacturers, spare parts and accessories are an afterthought. Laser focus is on production, reducing production costs, making this product doing a run and retooling and moving onto the next thing. And we’re always kind of in the background saying, hey, don’t forget about us. How many products are you manufacturing based on our experience in that particular industry? This is the known failure rate. And going back to the design of the product, did you design it with serviceability in mind? All right. And if so, what are the service parts that would be necessary in a in a service scenario, which are gonna be a fraction of the actual part used to manufacture the product? So we’re out there trying to make that message clear. You’ve got to have service parts available. This is how many you need. And in my industry, you know, the ideal scenario is you procure procure just enough to where the last one you ever saw was the last one you ever needed.


[00:35:10] Well, that has never happened and probably never will. So. So it’s always kind of a gamble.


[00:35:16] Do you do you have too few or do you have too many? Both have their own drawbacks. Right. So we try to do a number of things to prevent that. We mentioned core repair earlier. Any PA, anytime you can bring back and can be repaired, you probably should take a strong look at that as a manufacturer, whether you partner with someone like Encompass or you do it yourself. That serves a number of purposes. A it reduces your excess and obsolescence risk because if you have a defective part sitting there and you’ve got a recycle that at some point no big deal. It keeps the product in the marketplace for a longer period of time, makes it more repairable, makes the typically the price of the part is going to be less. And, you know, if I’m a customer and I buy a product and three years later, let’s say I can’t get it repaired or I can’t get it repaired economically, that does not speak very well for the brand. It does not build your brand recognition. However, if I can get it repaired fairly cheaply and efficiently, then I may consider that began again in the future. You know, when you have a repair scenario with product, it’s an opportunity. It’s it’s not something you want to happen, obviously, as a manufacturer. It’s a customer is anyone. But if it does happen, use that as an opportunity to build your brand. Don’t don’t go the opposite direction by not having spare parts and stuff.


[00:36:41] All right. And let’s bring in another terminology that Joe just alluded to, that core repair. I love being in reverse Logistics and the returns manage Froome world. But honestly, it started in the automotive industry a hundred years ago. Henry Ford and the other pioneers said, you know what? We shouldn’t just throw engines away or all starters away or starters or batteries. We should figure out a way to reuse that. Yeah. And that was that entire core return repair, replace and use it again and use it again. And that’s part of the broad term. Now is the circular economy. Yeah, I know we didn’t delve into that very much. Last time was more appropriate today when when Joe and companies like Encompass are the cornerstone of the circular economy and millennials and other young people are not getting a little more passionate about the fact that they don’t just want to buy something and throw it away. I mean, they’ve gone through that enough with. All the cell phones every year, throwing one away. Throwing one away. Getting a new one. And people are starting to react to that and think we have to figure out a different way. So it’s important to say that this circular economy concept, which is being watchdog by many companies that are participating, but also companies that are not participate, that are getting caught doing stupid things with their returns. And I had the privilege of being in front of the Amazon organization recently, Amazon renewed group. They’ve devoted this entire business right now to selling those returned goods. They know they’re generating a lot and they’ll do what they can to stop them. But on the flip side, they’re now building an entire business of this Amazon renewed product. And those are products that companies like Encompass are able to produce because at a high no fault found return rate.


[00:38:25] Well, company encompassing companies like them are inherently part of that circular economy by creating those economies of scale just for the parts. I mean, I couldn’t help but think, as you were saying, you’re always left with some parts, right. By the time a product is completely obsolete, but better, those tiny parts. Yeah. Go back into the ecosystem then. One hundred and fifty thousand televisions or something like that. Right. I mean I think inherently in your business is is that circular economy and sustainability. Yeah. By pooling products from multiple companies, you create less duplication and waste as well. You do.


[00:39:04] So let’s talk about this notion. You mentioned automotive. And as you describe that approach to manufacturing. Yeah, definitely. And there’s a neat business here based in the Atlanta area, car pool part. And they run they run a variety of. I use the word junkyards or use different to salvage. Salvage. Thank you very much. And and they really helped facilitate the re usage and then be able to find the spare parts going back years or a fairly recent bill. And of course, we also know that in aerospace, you run it. Airspace affords a lot of cannibalization. You know, being an air force, we are sometimes, you know, pulling parts off one aircraft ahead, other issues. But it’s not airworthy. Yeah. I keep the other one not. You want to be other missile capable. That’s right. So. So this notion of hara harvesting parts to supplement the supply chain Joe. Tony, I’ll speak to towards that notion. Yeah. Yeah, sure.


[00:39:59] So you bring a product back and you do everything you can to make it in like new condition. But in some cases it’s just not possible. I see a TV for instance, if this screen is cracked. Forget about it. But there are three, four, five boards in there that are that are very useful.


[00:40:17] There’s the stand, there’s the base. There’s all sorts of things that you can salvage from that to produce a higher yield on the next batch that comes in. Yeah. And then there are even going to be parts left over from that process that that you didn’t need in the refurbishment process that you can offer in the marketplace and then at a fraction of what the new part would cost. So that extends the life of the product, makes the parts less expensive. And, you know, everyone’s happy. I know I, for one, have no problems at all buying something that’s remanufacturing or reuse. Now, that could be because I’ve been in the industry so long and they’re actually better products and in a lot of cases, happily the software updates, etc. But that is that is one of the ways that you can use the harvesting solution to help supplement the supply chain. And it does all the other wonderful things that say what recovery does. It reduces your inventory value, it reduces your risk. It you know, it produces a higher fill rate, which means the customers happy, they’re getting their product repaired or backup and service or a consumable or something that they may have not been able to obtain otherwise. And they’re happy with your brand. Net promoter score goes up, you know, rinse and repeat. That entire cycle is made time. Boswell agreed.


[00:41:28] And you know, you mentioned the Amazon group earlier, Tony, and some things are doing, too. On the return side of that. I would argue that in this day and age, you can buy remanufacturing products more, much more more prevalent than any other time writer. It seems like there’s always that option. Lot of stuff we purchase online.


[00:41:49] Absolutely. We’re feeding the beast because returns are going up. Those returns need to be resold as opposed to the companies that got caught like the verusen of the world and ancient EM where they were burning the returns Lu time burning the return purses because they want to protect the brand as opposed to figure out how to offer a value in the secondary market. And there is a balancing act that Joe and I both know from Phillip stays between protecting your brand and making products affordable in a secondary market because the fear of your cannibalizing new good sales. But the circular economy demands you pay attention that you don’t just burn it. You don’t just throw it away. You find a reused for it. And everyone cares about that more and more of these days.


[00:42:30] Yeah, well, which could burn some tires or hunt some bald eagles. What kind of what a short sighted approach. I hate to hear that.


[00:42:35] It seems like there’s so many better solutions their own age or be creative, I mean, tires have been shredded and made into running tracks in schools around the country, football fields all over the country, right.


[00:42:46] What? There’s a there’s a business up the road that I spent a couple years since I sat down with it. They developed one of the first fully Greene tires. So when especially for light, the mining industry and some these other were yet its huge tires, right. Or at end of its usage it go into machine and outcomes, natural gas outcomes, oral and outcomes, even the belting that’s within it can be recycled.


[00:43:12] It’s fascinating technology, you know. Wow. OK, so let’s talk about it before we move on. I want Tony, we want to ask and it’s important for our listeners know the verb the reverse Logistics Association is global. So these are global opportunities for you to plug in what we’re going to pick Toni’s brain on momentarily. But anything else? Do you all think that you can share with our listeners that are trying to manage returns?


[00:43:39] And that’s kind of on.


[00:43:41] Dunning specifically on minimizing returns. Let’s not forget the basics. Let’s make the instruction books in plain, simple English. Unfortunately, I think we talked about it at 6th grade level. Yeah, that people know and love makes sure that it’s easy to use that the buttons aren’t complicated. So instructions the fit. I mean, there’s things that people need to do about fit that kid can’t do. I think we made jokes about the cameras that take pictures of your body and, you know, and sizes it up for you. But there’s other software programs now that are out there solution wise. And then the key is this circular economy. There will be returns. The no fault found returns we talked about before. It doesn’t mean that there’s something didn’t go wrong. Something went wrong for the consumer. And and Joe and others like that help determine what that really is. But make sure you understand that you’re paying attention to it. We talked about that. The message inside the box, when they open it up, don’t be a red stop sign. Be a gold star. Congratulations. So let’s be very circular going forward. Reduce returns by representing the product for what it is and don’t promise that it does something that it won’t do very easily. No, I would. I would also add to that,


[00:44:57] You know, meet the customer where they are in terms of where they how they want to interact with you.


[00:45:03] If it’s social media, if it’s you know, if they want to pick up the phone and call you, if they want to back, use them information or send you a smoke signal, did matter, meet them where they are and make that interaction easy, transparent, informative. You know, don’t rush them. Let them make their decision and their time. Yeah. And then if you have the opportunity to help them with a service issue, I can’t hook this up. I can’t say something’s wrong. I need a partner accessory. I need some sort of consumable make that super simple and and make the returns process, you know, easy if they need to return it. And then that’s fine. The worst thing you can do is make that difficult on them because that does not build your brand at all. And those things, I think will help overall reduce returns.


[00:45:52] There’s one more new best practice that’s out there. A relatively new some of the online e-commerce companies are figuring out that if they offer the customer a discount to keep the product because they know it’s going to cost them X dollars. Let’s take a one hundred dollar pair of shoes. They know that if they take it back, it’s going to cost them X dollars. Take it back. X dollars to put it back in stock. Maybe resell it, maybe not be able to sell it. So they tell a customer via the chat bots or the online communications. How about if we give you a 30 percent discount to keep that and give it to you on your credit card right away and you go buy something else? So that’s a new best practice that I’m hearing a little more about. As the e-commerce companies get a little more sophisticated about approaches to reducing returns, offer the customer a benefit that they can use to keep it. Now, unfortunately, there’s a stretch there going on and the e-commerce world is going to be rocked when these companies, their practices of saying, you know what, just keep it, we’ll give you a full credit. Those stories are going to get more and more popular. Wayfair and Amazon are already being caught that they’re telling people, keep your stuff, we’ll just give you a credit. That’s going to kind of proliferate and people can start taking advantage of that. So is this balancing act between taking it back when you need to or offering a discount or offering to keep it for free, which gets a little bit silly, but there’s the best practice. New one, though, is that discount. Thank you for your purchase.


[00:47:19] But keep it information. Certainly power information in these these modern day analytics of knowing exactly what the costs are so they can give these options back to the customer. My lovely wife, Amanda just informed me that not only is my Apple Watch refurbished, but our son, who just was just turned seven, received a Nintendo switch as his gift. And he’s all about Super Mario, these Mario, Star Wars and Clemson and of course, the Braves. His Nintendo switch is refurbished, which is neat. So probably more places.


[00:47:53] And then than I even am aware of how we’re purchasing refurbished and re manufactured gifts. Thanks, Amanda. It’s right. Right back. All right. One final point before we would pick your brain. RLA, Tony, is is really what I’m hearing or talk more about this afternoon with Beau Gruber and the Effective syndicate. It’s got to be culturally, it’s got to be important to the organization to get serious about sustainability, get serious about taking care of the customer, but also get serious about reducing returns. Right.


[00:48:25] And again, reducing returns can be a financial driver to build your profits as well. Everyone thinks that becoming Greene becomes sustainable. It’s going to cost you money. Ultimately, it’s going to pay you back because. No one people are looking at that and they’re paying attention to companies that are part of the circular economy that you’re trying to be Greene and they’re going to start to lean towards those companies. So those are important aspects of the future of where the business is going. And so companies Joe and I were both at Philips together when Net Promoter Score became the big thing. And it started at the board of management level. I think I mentioned it’s in the last typecast, but it’s you can never emphasize it enough. If your bottom line is your only driver, you’re going to go wrong. If you start at the top and say our driver is to make customers happy and love us and love our products, then you’re going to go in the direction of this net promoter score trying to exceed expectations, make people happy. And that includes a simple, easy, but effective returns minimize process.


[00:49:31] It’s an important thing because I think people, as you said, that people have always thought of returns and the nature of whether you generate them, how much you generate and how you handle them as a bottom line issue.


[00:49:45] But it’s a top line issue today. Right. You can’t do stupid things like burn your stuff. That’s right. Right. And be popular. Tyra’s pocketbook. Is that matter? Yeah, right. I mean, that that that is going to impact the top line. And as you said, you’ve got to think about it from both standpoints. Right. Top line impact is it is as much of your brand as anything else, your logo, whatever else. And bottom line. So, yeah.


[00:50:10] Ok. So moving right along from returns and hopefully our listeners found a lot. I think I think I’ve got three, maybe 17 pages of notes. What’s a good takeaway there? That that I think is relevant across sectors. All right. So as our audience can bar here, we’ve got we’re based once again Vector Global Logistics today.


[00:50:29] They are making it happen back behind us, closing some business and moving. Sounds like it. Yeah. OK. So, Tony, you were here probably with this about 30, 35 days ago and you probably have hit 17 countries.


[00:50:42] Since I’ve been tracking your move. I have flown over more than 17. Cops believe it. I believe it. So what’s new in the reverse Logistics Association world?


[00:50:51] Well, right after our last podcast together, I did go to Singapore and Asia was representing their company. Countries like India participated Australia, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, China. And we gave a great sessions, a day of sessions focused on sustainability, circular economy returns, reduction with some great people from Daryl, from the circular economy of Asia, from Shanghai University. Dr Howe, who’s Mr. Reverse Logistics of Asia, as he calls himself. He’s your cousin or my cousin? Yes. So Singapore was was a good event, a great day of learning and in a beautiful city halfway around the world. And I did fly over many countries on the way back. So that’s a reverse Logistics event. From there, I went to Las Vegas for the ACM, the Supply chain Count conference, where Jack Allen of Cisco, one of my board members, spoke directly before me on the circular economy. And my follow up was the returns world and Reverse Logistics. So that was good. We went to Florida, as Joe alluded to earlier, and mentioned, we we had a group of about 25 people touring this facility and seeing what’s being done on the back end to help reduce returns. And and this week was E scrap in Orlando again. Everything that happens after the sale. I’ve said this before. Everything that happens after the sale is part of the reverse Logistics world, whether it’s call centers, whether it’s repair centers, whether it’s a supply chain moving it and whether it’s scrapping it. At the end of the day, scrapping is an important viable option. And I shouldn’t say scrapping, I should say recycling. That’s really the correct term because these companies in Orlando are all focused on ways to make better use out of the returns. And that’s becoming a challenge, of course, because China closed their door and said, don’t send any more plastic, scrap metals, anything over here. So these companies are being entrepreneurial and creative, finding new ways to keep the products here and do something with them. And that’s an important aspect of the reverse Logistics world. So just a few places.


[00:53:13] So looking forward to. Jack Allen was on the show probably out a year and a half ago and really enjoyed his perspective. Looking forward to getting him back on talk and circular economy. No, he stays. He he speaks a lot. Both you all are have busy schedules. Yes. But we’ll look forward to getting back on and getting his perspective on what Cisco’s doing, which is was voted what one of the most or the most sustainable company, or they’re close to the top.


[00:53:39] That’s why Jack was in. Las Vegas giving a presentation to a full room and again expanding that idea of the circular economy. He used the example of the cell phone industry. One of the changes is that the secondary market is very strong for cell phones so that the manufacturers now can entice you to return your old phone at some point and give you money for it. Two hundred two hundred fifty dollars on a return phone that’s not broken in pieces, but works because they can turn around and resell it into the secondary market and they give you a new product, a new phone. So that’s that’s very circular. It’s generating new sales and doing something with the old products.


[00:54:18] Jack alluded to that situation and then he talked about Cisco’s role in it. Yes, very circular economy company. Cisco’s focused on that extensively and. Absolutely. And they find partners that that think that way as well. And that’s why I talked about the financial aspects of this is is that the companies who are focused on this laser focused on generating more circular economy initiatives, they will become more profitable. They are becoming more profitable. And the ones that focus on net promoter score are becoming more profitable. So we’re going to see a reward of the marketplace to those companies.


[00:54:57] Yeah. OK. So let’s let’s tell our audience how they can learn more from our plugging with RLA or plugging with Encompass. Tony, you go first.


[00:55:07] How can folks learn more RLA? The site is up fully functional, 100 percent focused on the RLA 2.0. O features, benefits, events, research. Everything is there now.


[00:55:22] And if you’re listening in India, if you’re listening in Taiwan, some countries countries you name, there’s something for you at RLA. Org and that encompass Joe. Tell us more.


[00:55:33] Yes, go to solutions that encompass dot com to learn more about us. Or do me a big favor. Go to encompass dot com.


[00:55:40] Go buy something fantastic. I love the troop is dead guy. Yeah. Actually the bias for action. I love. That’s right.


[00:55:48] Well, let me give one last plug. Sure. RLA. Org Web site. You go to that page and it says join the RLA community and you can do that at no cost. Yeah, you can simply join Miura community and get started on this. A new approach to what are we doing with our returns?


[00:56:05] So just being part of the newsletter that you all produce and the smart brief is fantastic information about this industry. You can learn a lot there. You’ve been bragging a lot about that smart brief ever, ever. Well, there is particularly, you know. Yeah. Yeah.


[00:56:19] You’re doing your homework for these shows. I like that, Greg. I’m full. Well. Well, big thanks.


[00:56:27] Always a pleasure. Sit down. Tony Schroeder, executive director with the Reverse Logistics Association and Tony’s longtime friends and colleague. I knew Joe. You’re gonna fit right in. And you did. Joe Hurley, senior vice president of business development at Encompass Supply Chain Solutions.


[00:56:42] Scott, do you have time to plug the fact that this is monthly series leading up to a big event, right?


[00:56:47] Huge event. You read my mind and maybe my show notes. One last things which we always cover is you encourage people to come out and check us out in person. We love sitting down with leaders that are out there making it happen across supply chain. And we try to get out there often got a new van. They help us do so. It’s no longer driving things around in the old Honda Accord. Now we really enjoy getting out and connect with people and getting their stories heard. So as Tony is alluding to, one of the events we’ve got coming up that we’re really excited about is the reverse Logistics Association Conference and Expo out in Vegas in February 20 20. I bet when you’re out there, you do a little scouting maybe.


[00:57:29] I was it was the same hotel. It was in a mirage for APICS. And I said, I like this Froome better than our room.


[00:57:34] Did you get him to switch the meeting rooms? Yes. I reached the meeting rooms. Hard to beat the mirage. Don’t ever doubt it. King Plow came down, Tony. All right.


[00:57:45] So that event we’re going to be broadcasting live throughout this is kind of the series we’ve designed as a buildup to the event. You know, these conversations once a month will focus on the reverse Logistics industry and returns and really everything that goes into reverse Logistics. Tony, you’ll be with us hopefully most of the time, whether we’ll be fighting with his schedule, maybe we’ll plug him in remote. We’ve got some other guest speakers like Joe teed up that are passion about this industry. And then as I culminate with our live broadcast throughout the days there in Vegas to roughly about two and a half days might be a pre conference day and then two conference days or you go three full days.


[00:58:23] Ok. Looking forward to that. February, maybe some remote broadcast from a craps table to a fork in the water.


[00:58:29] Maybe I’ll be there. You won’t be alone. Good, good. Maybe we should do it. You’re gonna be returning all of your money. That’s right. Push it right in the middle. Well, that’s proven best practice to learn more about that event at RLA dot org.


[00:58:46] Or you can shoot us a note. But we’re gonna mention a couple of events here. If you can’t find what you’re looking for. Go to the events tab at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com or you can shoot us a note to connect at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. All right. So Greg, before we get to that big event in Vegas in February, we’ve got a couple of events between here and there, including October night, where you’re going to be leading our live broadcast where at the George Logistics summit.


[00:59:11] Right. So we’re gonna be at the Georgia manufacturing alliance. Ari, keep saying that. That’s how Scott and I met. It’s the Georgia Logistics summit. So, yeah, the Georgia Manufacturing Summit by the Georgia manufacturing alliance right. At the Cobb Galleria Center, October 9th. That’s right. So and Scott, you’re gonna be doing something interesting there with a panel session.


[00:59:31] We’ve got a great panel from with leaders from across industry, U.P.S., Mitsubishi Point, a last Georgia Pacific and HMTX Industries, which is a huge global flooring manufacturer, talking about trends, tracking supply chain. And the event is got keynotes from PSG and Keith. So you can learn more at Georgia manufacturing alliance dot com. OK. And then flip the calendar a couple of weeks. We’re going back in Charleston. What’s going on on October 20th?


[01:00:03] So that’s tech talk with the South Carolina COMPETES organization. So we we shared some time with them at the AIG, the Automotive Industry Action Group in South Carolina Automotive Council event just a few weeks back, did not get to go to magnolias for dinner. So I’m really looking forward to this.


[01:00:22] We are a lot of reasons where we went to dinner. So we’re going to talk about that. But yeah, that’s gonna be good.


[01:00:31] So we’re gonna get to talk to some tech leaders. We’ve met some great Logistics leaders in South Carolina. What they are doing is truly impressive. You know what they’ve already done with particularly with the automotive industry, but with the ports and other industry. Aerospace.


[01:00:44] Yeah, yeah, infrastructure. And you can learn more about that event. Some neat things at the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness is competitiveness is doing at SC Competes dot org. I sure am glad they shorten that on the euro. Yes sir, is a mouthful, but they’re doing great work and they’re making it happen, especially in South Carolina and beyond. Okay. And then Austin, Texas, we were just talking with our friends. If t this morning we’ve got the Logistics CIO forum in November 7th and 8th, 20, 19. What’s going on there, Greg?


[01:01:13] So that is that is their Logistics CIO forum, about 300 Logistics CEOs from all over Google. I didn’t even know Google had a Logistics CIO, but from Google and Redwood. Yeah. Forward air and a number of other companies getting together and sharing ideas with among themselves, but also with solution providers. And Logistics service providers. So that’s gonna be a great couple days in Austin. Absolutely. Boston. Keep it.


[01:01:43] We’re working on a couple of things between now and end of the year.


[01:01:48] Busy time in the Supply chain event and tradeshow calendar. And then we talked about, of course, Vegas with Tony and the RLA crew in February. And then finally Moto X 2020. And our Tony, you’re you and your team were there last year. We collaborated on that. That Joint Industry Association approach, Moto X would be bringing about 35000 people from across Siplon. It’s one the largest trade show. Supply chain trade shows North America. And Scott knows all of them well. So we’re going to be broadcasting throughout the four days. And we just secured our keynote for the 2020 Vetlanta Supply chain Awards. And that’s going me Christian Fisher, president and CEO of Georgia Pacific. So we’re excited about that. Looking forward to Moto X and it’s free to attend the Moto X show dot com to learn more. Okay. I think that does it went missing.


[01:02:42] I can’t imagine that we did. You know, one thing I would like to say is if if you’re watching this, this is the second episode of the series with Tony and the reverse Logistics Association. Go back and watch the first one and stay tuned for the next couple. Three. Right. Three more. Right. And and do take a look at this. Look, this is a really, really important issue. It’s not just about financials, as we talked about. It’s also about sustainability. And that’s important to this generation and to the next generation and the generations to come.


[01:03:10] So, yep, that’s a perfect way to conclude today’s conversation. So big. Thanks. Just thought of that. Yeah, well, I think it’s very genuine and I think it’s very applicable to the conversation. Big thanks to Toni Schroeder, executive director with the Reverse Logistics Association. Once again, big thanks to Joe Hurley for coming down. Make the trip down from Knoxville. Senior Vice President, Business Development at Encompass Supply chain Solutions Inc.


[01:03:36] Big thanks to my passionate co-hosts. Greg White. Good. Good to see you. One more shot today. And to our audience, thanks for tuning in. One new things we’re doing is we’re publishing these to our YouTube channel. You kind of get to get kind of behind the scenes video snapshot of the conversation. So check that YouTube. Check out our podcast, Apple podcast, SoundCloud. All the leading sites where podcasts can be found. Be sure to subscribe. So don’t miss a thing. Of course, you could check us out at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com, too. On behalf foreign to entire team, this is Scott Luton. Wishing you a wonderful week ahead. And we will see you next time on Supply Chain Now Radio.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Watch Scott and Greg as they interview Joe Hurley and Tony Sciarrotta for SCNR Episode 176 at the Supply Chain Now Radio studio at Vector Global Logistics.

Featured Guests

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:

Joe Hurley started with Encompass in 2008, serving as Senior Vice President of Business Development since 2015. He oversees the company’s business development and marketing functions, comprising the promotion, development and execution of programs that leverage the full Encompass value proposition including parts logistics, forward and reverse logistics, returns management, asset recovery and other comprehensive solutions. Joe has served in the aftermarket service business for over 25 years. Prior to joining Encompass in 2008, he served as Director of Parts for Philips Consumer Electronics. Joe held other notable positions for Philips, including Parts Sales Manager and Call Center Manager. Joe earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, TN. Learn more about Encompass here:


Greg White

Principal & Host

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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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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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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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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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

Host, The Freight Insider

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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Mary Kate Love

VP, Marketing

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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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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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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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

Host, Supply Chain Now

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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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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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 & CMO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise

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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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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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

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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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