On this episode of Supply Chain Now broadcast live from the RLA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, Scott and Greg interview Caitlin Roberson, VP of Marketing with Happy Returns.
[00:00:05] 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 technologies, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.
[00:00:29] Hey, good morning, Scott Luton. Back with you here once again live on Supply chain.
[00:00:33] Now, welcome back to the show. On today’s show, we’re not broadcasting from Atlanta, Georgia. We’re here in Las Vegas, which is the center of the universe for the returns and reverse Logistics market industry space, you name it, the reverse Logistics Association Conference and Expo. We are continuing our live coverage of this gathering of supply chain and business thought leaders that are helping solve the challenges in the returns and reverse Logistics space. So today’s episode really important to Sheer with He is brought to you by Recog Murse re commerce group. Industries is an industry leader in a variety of things return product management, return center services, remanufacturing reprocessing, repairing and recycling of consumer products.
[00:01:18] All all the reas, all the reas and an all time high.
[00:01:23] All really important services in today’s circular economy. Companies are are looking for good partners that can help in all those areas. So learn more at RE Commerce Group AEK dot com. Quick programing note. Like all of our podcasts, you can find a set up on Apple podcast on Spotify. Really wherever else you get your podcast from, including YouTube. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss anything. So as you’ve already heard him, we cannot be contained. Let’s welcome in my fearless co-host, serial supply chain tech entrepreneur, chronic disruptor, trusted advisor, Mr. Greg White Greg.
[00:02:00] Hey, don’t cage the Tigers. Scott. What? We’ve had a blast here. All right. This is day.
[00:02:08] This is interview two of day one. Right? We are knocked out seven interviews all day zero.
[00:02:13] We’re so ambitious. We work on day 0. Right. While everyone else was party in. Yes. Gambling, gambling again. And shows congratulating themselves for winning the Super Bowl. Go, chiefs. And while the parade is building in Kansas City, here we are. Yes, in Las Vegas. Interviewed the best of the best. That’s right. That’s right. That’s right. Reverse Logistics and sprinting. And more on the ladder. May maybe.
[00:02:41] Yeah. And later, an interview. All right. So we’re sitting here with Caitlin Robertson, V.P. of marketing with Happy Returns. Caitlin, how you doing? I’m doing great, Scott. Great to have you here. Thank you. You know, we have been paying back and forth for four months now with you and your firm. Daryl had a fascinating journey growing quite a bit as we look forward to darvin more into what Happy Returns does and is doing. But before we get there, let’s talk about who you are as the person. So where did you grow up in and give us the skinny on on some your upbringing?
[00:03:13] Yeah. So first off, three kids. I was born during medical school. u._n._c Chapel Hill. My mom’s in the Bahamas. Dad’s from from North Carolina. And I grew up there. And then also in California. OK. The Bay Area.
[00:03:28] Your dad’s from what? Know what town in North Carolina? Yes, Asheville. Asheville, a great town. Great town stuff. Family there.
[00:03:35] So you’re mountain tribe and and a beach tribe. All kinds of. Yeah. Yeah. That’s a great X. So at home anywhere. So yeah.
[00:03:45] Growing up with with East Coast and West Coast Family Dynamics. Give us Woody Allen. Would you love to spend your time.
[00:03:53] I I loved to read. My favorite time of day actually was when we all piled in bed right before bed. And my mom would read his books, which got to pick two. And there were three of us.
[00:04:03] She read six books every night. You went to bed? I’ve. I did not think that was weird until I got older. That’s a lot of hop on. Right. Right. That’s it’s a lot of work. Yeah. It’s a lot. A lot of Dr. Seuss book.
[00:04:16] A great read. A great parent. A great mom, though, that that that books, of course, plays such a big role in kind of figuring out what your passion is in life. Right. All right. So before we dove more into happy returns with Greg here. Any, you know, early role models or early experiences that kind of shaped how your your professional journey would take place.
[00:04:39] Sure. Yeah. So one, there were many. But one comes to mind as it relates to my career in particular. I was in college. I majored in English and Spanish, which is another way of saying that I loved awards and didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. And I heard the founder of a nonprofit speaking and he was talking about what is on. It was doing they. Long story short, I went overseas to rescue victims of different kinds of oppression from things like sexual slavery or land seizure, so on. And I was really struck with his ability to tell a story. And so I actually had my first internship after college there. And it was a PR comms related internship. And I think it that the insight that I was able to gain at that organization and through kind of just his power of storytelling with how much that can motivate people to do different things. Now, obviously do something kind of different today. But what I’ve always been fascinated by is like how can you communicate something that matters?
[00:05:38] To get someone to do something differently. I love it. That’s Maureen, obviously, as a marketing thought leader. Right. We’re big believers in the power of storytelling. And then play it, folks are a lot of people lose that.
[00:05:52] Right. They want to they want to pitch. Right. And and marketing is more about the storytelling. Yeah. Than it is about pitching.
[00:06:00] Yeah. Especially get people take action. Yeah. You’re talk you’re talking about. But you know, we were on a recent episode came. It was we were we were talking about some of the companies that really get it right. Publix and Apple are the two first companies that came to mind, you know, Publix every time around holidays. Some of the stories of the families come together and then parents try to reconnect with kids. And, you know, they don’t talk. They don’t focus on any their products. But you feel like you want to go to Publix after that commercial ran out Apple. I mean, see. And of course, Google during the Super Bowl, that Super Bowl commercial. And they did a good job this year. Yeah. High on day two and loved it. I missed that one. What?
[00:06:44] It’s I’m blanking on the actress name from the office. And it was where he was like in the car and pushed the button. And it automatically parks and it automatically comes out of a parking spot. Yeah. That’s right. That’s blanking on its name.
[00:06:55] Yeah. The new. Oh my gosh. That’s embarrassing. Is Jim from the office? Here we go. We’re mouth. Malcolm is trying to clue. I can’t read lips.
[00:07:05] Well, he plays he’s got to Amazon series. Yes. Tom Clancy. Yeah. So we’ll try to do now. Yeah. By the power of storytelling. Clearly is ever more. It is arguably never been more relevant, especially when we’re getting thrown so much information at us from a wide variety of channels. So, Greg, I know you got some questions around happy returns and Caitlin’s team.
[00:07:27] Yeah. So interested in what you know, where you all fall in in reverse Logistics and supply chain in general. But I think it’s important for our listeners to understand what what is the problem, what are the key words or what is the problem or pain they’re feeling that makes them reach out to happy returns? And then what do you do to kind of.
[00:07:50] Yeah. Well, so I think there’s there’s two different ways I would answer you. One is the problem of what they’re aware of. And then I think there’s other tangential problems that they may not know and we could help them solve. But I’ll put it this way. So products that are bottom line, one out of every two of them are returned and that is a one out of every two up top up to one of them out of every two. Yeah. And that’s specific to a peril. Sometimes it’s it’s less different kinds of products. But what that means essentially because consumers today expect shipping to be free and they tend to return boxes individually by mail. Is that companies are essentially paying for people to buy their products and then paying people to send them back. So they’re losing money. Like just put it this way. Let’s say that someone the company spends one hundred dollars selling product and then 50 dollars of it is returned. That’s a that’s a good that’s a big loss.
[00:08:43] So you define, as you might imagine, at the reverse. Logistics Association event returns has been, you know, part of re upset. It seems like there’s consensus that consumers are starting to connect to connect the dots more and more about. Yeah, it’s convenient. It is part of the e-commerce air. The ability return things, but it seems like more and more consumers start and figure out kind of the the strain that puts on sustainability initiatives and whatnot. Is it do you feel that same way?
[00:09:14] One hundred percent. And that’s actually that gets to kind of the tangential issues. I think business leaders today are tasked with a new problem that you I often refer to as the triple bottom line. So how do you take care of your business at the same time, your business profitability, right. At the same time that you take care of your shopper at the same rate, take care of the world. And the way that returns are currently handled today impact all of those in a negative sense. And so by partnering with us are our retailers and revolve Overlain Roth is there doing things differently. And they’re showing that companies, if they have a different approach, they can re-imagine how their business functions.
[00:09:52] I think that’s a really important recognition of retailers today is their role in the supply chain and how they. PAX Sustainability I don’t think companies have always been aware of. I know that, yes, I’ve been in retail. But I know they have not been always been aware of that. And I think how you do business and who you do business with is a really important growth for a lot of the retailers. It’s arguably one of the last frontiers of e-commerce. M Yeah.
[00:10:19] Sorry, I’m next, Ana.
[00:10:25] So tell us a little bit about. So you obviously you’ve got great storytelling skills and you guys have a great story to tell. Happy Returns would tell us a little bit about what’s a day in the life of Julia Roberts.
[00:10:37] Sheer that’s a great question. Well, I am about four months into the job. So a lot of it involves Googling terms that I’m understanding for the first time because I’m new to retail.
[00:10:46] That’s right. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We used to go to the library.
[00:10:52] It’s true. You know what? A library. I heard of it. Yeah. Oh, I think they would just love to explore. I know. Warned they think before. Not to date myself.
[00:11:02] So I think the first four months or so of the job have been obviously around building a team. But mostly when things are being done differently in an industry as they are being done in retail around returns, there’s often a mindset that needs to shift. And typically that mindset involves companies or the industry innovators seeing an opportunity where there’s previously been a challenge. So I spent a lot of my first couple months figuring out just sitting with different members of the team and with our customers and our partners to understand how they view the world and how they view returns. And then getting to the point where I can confidently say that returns are an opportunity for businesses, whether it’s to generate exchanges so they retain revenue, whether it’s to reduce their shipping costs, whether it’s to improve customer’s experience, Ryder or enhance sustainability. So a lot of listening up front. We’re also building marketing infrastructure to make sure that when companies come to our Web site, we get them to salespeople and understand and learn. You were dealing with that right before you came here. Right. We were reviewing Web sites. Yeah. Well, actually, there are two. We’re splitting up. How’s it going? I will find out when it goes live.
[00:12:11] So true tomorrow. You kind of have to go. Love to see how it’s going. Right. Yeah. Right. You have to pass the bill before you get Ryder. Right. You know what?
[00:12:23] You know. We skipped over a little bit. I think it’s important for the for the rest of the context. A lot of what you’re sharing is prior to happy returns. Yeah. What? How did you form your marketing world view over some your previous roles?
[00:12:38] Great question. So the first call it five years or so, I did PR and executive fundraising at a nonprofit which shaped my view of storytelling because it grounded it really in like an emotional human element, which is very important. And it also grounded me in needing to find third party statistics, kind of backup the trends that we were talking about. Then by chance, I got into enterprise software and was a ghostwriter for a couple of really well-known enterprise Southwire companies and grew an agency for the next five years after that.
[00:13:11] We worked with LinkedIn and Google and Marchetta, which was Oracle’s biggest acquisition. And a couple others that really exposed me to how you can tell an emotional story for a very boring segment of the world.
[00:13:25] Welcome to Supply chain SEUS. Actually, I didn’t even know this level of writing existed.
[00:13:31] And we had twenty five clients, fifteen, fifteen employees. And so got to work with a lot of different hypergrowth SAS companies. So that worked in venture capital for a couple of years and a Tier 1 venture capital firm. And so that really shaped my view of storytelling to kind of see best practices. And I think my main insight from that was watching how much of founders vision really means to shape storytelling like people leave golden handcuff jobs to go take risks on founders visions. And that’s really that story comforting at loss as a company scales or as a product suite gets developed. And so I guess what I think about now is really that the synergy between those two, the wrapping up real quick venture capital and then I worked at the B2B startup inside of Lyft called Lyft Business Pre and post IPO and grew the marketing team and the brand content.
[00:14:29] And imagine Mark. Wow. As a diverse. Yeah. You you benefit from all those diverse sectors and industries. Well, the different points of view as well and different a lot of different ran on industry.
[00:14:43] And I think the thread is I’m really drawn to founders that I resonate with, which is why am I happy returns. And then the other thing is I’m really drawn to challenges that can be turned around into opportunities through thought, leadership and marketing. And I actually really enjoy it when I don’t know a lot about the industry at first, because it gives me the psychological comfort to ask the dumb questions and maybe like understand an issue as a layperson might.
[00:15:08] Yes, I’m so important that asking the dumb questions we supply chain supply chain where we love our acronyms, we love how we talk about spending all my googling. Yeah.
[00:15:17] And you know, that’s a YouTube and googling or like today’s functional diagonals, right? We all use it.
[00:15:25] I get you back something. You were encyclopaedias. Yes. All right. Yeah. Funking, I was gonna pretend like I knew. Yeah. Fucking you. What was the other kind? Britannic tannic shenanigans that I know. So you picked the most obscure of an obsolete genre of product. What what does. Last episode. Who was. Who did you say? What was that analogy? Have it. So let’s just ask Caitlin if she knows that’s a good gladis. Say it. Gladys Kravitz heard the name once. Nosy neighbor on Bewitched. The original bewitch from the 60s that you have to watch on Nick at night. Know, but I watched the replays. Ask how he wove that into the episode. I don’t remember how I wove it into the air. Said it was something.
[00:16:09] Well, the modern day version of GLADD blockchain was a lot of logging. Verusen. Yeah, that’s right. Right. Always watching. Yeah, that’s blockchain. All right. So back to I want one quick comment before Greg can dove deep with happy returns. We just talked about kind of tongue in cheek supply chains, boring. We just kicked off a series called Supply chain is boring coin very tongue and cheek sarcastically calls. Supply chain is not what it was not even 10 years ago. Right. And there’s some reasons why we’ve got to get the word out, because the industry is fighting for the top talent unlike ever before. And we got a seat at the table. Yes. Tavor But that’s our modern business happening. It never has had a seat at the table from it. There’s a reason why you’re seeing Chief Supply chain officer positions created more and more because that’s what can you get done these days.
[00:17:05] Even in this digital world, Apple’s CEO is their X cheese chief supply chain. Yes, sir. I mean, I can’t see a would have ever thought. First of all, that a title like that would ever exist because it’s four letters, not three, like all the other C-suite positions. So we’ve got to do something about that.
[00:17:20] So Chris Barnes, the first episode sat down with.
[00:17:23] Dr. Ben Kandinsky. Yeah, from from Emory University. Big time. Supply chain guru. Yeah. So we’re gonna see. Yeah, I know, Ben, and I know that he’s not boring. So I think it’ll really be interesting if if Chris can draw the boring out of bed.
[00:17:40] Yes. What’s been it’s been what we’re seeing thus far. So it is the irony of Jenny boring. So that’s Gamby Citigroups. So I love how that’s how weird that. Yes.
[00:17:49] How really matching a naive audience. Right. I mean, you alluded to it before. You have the blessing of what I call the blessing of naivete, because either through lack of knowledge or clear knowledge or lack of attention, which is where most of anyone, any company’s prospects are. You have to speak to them in kind of dumbed down terms. Yeah. And it’s really helpful to do so because then they get you. And that’s another thing that makes storytelling so impactful is because it resonates with people. They’re like, oh, I get right how that works. Right. So that’s a great insight.
[00:18:24] It is kindred spirits here. We fit right in. So, Greg, let’s talk more about happy returns. Let’s do talk more about it.
[00:18:34] So so we talked a little bit about, you know, what what is going through people’s heads when they’re you know, when they discover they have a need, when somebody walks in your virtual door and says, hey, I need help. Yeah. What’s the pain? I mean. What are they? What do they think? You mentioned that they might think they’re solving one thing and there are a lot of other things they can solve, but what really draws them to you? I guess what we’re trying to understand is if somebody is out there going, do I need what? What Happy Returns does and what hurts them the most right now? Is it that margin loss that you were talking about?
[00:19:10] So I think what they’re aware of is the number of returns they’re getting and how much it costs. OK. Generally, though, it’s that elephant that people want to sweep under the rug because returns are something that everybody hates.
[00:19:23] I think the look on the industry side. Mean, I don’t enjoy it. Yeah, I guess. Yeah. Good point. Yeah.
[00:19:31] Yeah. In terms of why they’re excited to work with us. I think a lot of it is related to that, which is we’re the only provider that provides software and reverse Logistics. So from the moment that a shopper gets on your Web site, every tellers web site and says I want to return or exchange this all the way to when they ship it back, drop it off at a store and then it’s sent to a hub and processed. Most vendors offer silo’s solution. Yeah. And so this is a way for someone to kind of get returns off their plate and have more time to focus on why they might actually be in retail. Interesting.
[00:20:08] So you’re the inverse of a fulfillment facility, whatever that is, a return permit facility. Right. I mean, you know, I mean, there are companies out there and they’ve existed for a while. eBay Enterprises and of course, Amazon does that. And lots of other companies. Where? Shopify. Yeah. Where you just click the button. And from that point on, it’s handled. But you’re doing the same on the reverse logistics side, aren’t you. Just click the return button and you guys have it from there. That’s great.
[00:20:37] Yeah. I think you know, especially due to see brands like you think about Birkenstock and recently Nike and all these other brands that are leaving Amazon, you know, they’re starting to think about how they can go toe to toe with Amazon. Jerai is to give revenue to Amazon these days, what few do. Right. And so what that requires you have to have best in class reverse Logistics to reduce your costs, enhance sustainability, make your customers happy. But you probably as a retailer, don’t have the time or expertise to develop best in class solutions yourself.
[00:21:08] So Penthouse model, while brands and retailers are really good at developing and marketing brands and merchandising and selling. Right. And this I think the beautiful thing of what I call the MBA, the anyone but Amazon as opposed to fulfill by trademark registry. It is trademark. Yes. Anyone but Amazon, class of businesses. And I would put you all in that class of businesses. Is they do you do allow that level of independence? You’re not beholden to Amazon to get everything done right. I’m sure that you integrate with Amazon for reconciliation and all that sort of thing as well. So it allows a brand that wants to stand on their own two feet to do so. Yes. And that’s going to happen more and more so as more data see and and retailers come into the marketplace.
[00:21:54] You know, I think the two sided sword that is Amazon, it is such a fascinating study in all things disruption, innovation, powering the e-commerce, giving, empowering the consumer, especially with returns. We all have our probably our own story about how our first Amazon return went. And it’s like, man, is that easy. OK. No wonder I’m a Tumbi five shoes and figure out which ones I like. And Cinderella’s back bracketing. Yeah. BRACKETING is what? Right. And so it is a fascinating company and best practices what I will do. But the flip side is it’s kind of reach that tipping point where now to collaborate. They have all the leverage. And so to see these big brands. And for that matter, small brands. We interviewed several here in the last few days that are figuring out that ABH strategy that is equally to us, at least to me, as fascinating. Right. Because we’re all at it. It seems like one of the even if it’s not spoken questions in a lot of our conversations is OK. Amazon’s been the dominant 800 pound player. But what’s the shelf life of that? I mean, where the end in sight. So I love seeing how companies get creative about whether they’re collaborating with or competing against Amazon and maybe doing both in today’s e-commerce market, you know, almost always. Yeah. Yeah. All right. So with your role as vise president marking, we you have a sense of where you spend your time, sir. What else? From getting the word out, from a telling that story taken action, what these are or maybe the path ahead. What do you see with happy returns?
[00:23:37] How are we going to tell that story?
[00:23:39] That the question that and how do you fit in the marketplace going forward?
[00:23:45] That’s an niche. I’d love to hear that.
[00:23:46] You know, how do you see happy returns? Considering what we’ve described here, how do you see happy returns playing in the marketplace in the future?
[00:23:54] Sure. Yeah. So I think we’re going to very quickly get to a place where a couple of things are gonna come to bear in terms of big changes in the industry. One, all retailers will offer intelligent exchange suggestions in their online return flow or with software. That’s something that our software obviously offers. But when a customer gets on your Web site and they tell you they want to return something and then they tell you why. So let’s say that I say these shoes are these top size, seven and a half shoes are too small. Your website should immediately say to me, oh, no problem, we have the eight. Can we send those to you like that? That is a moment of serendipity where companies aren’t retaining revenue and they all will be very shortly like it wells. The second thing is you think about what customers are really used to. Sorry. Let’s just take this is about people in general. Rightly, if I’m hungry, I can pull up 8000 apps and order food if I want to ride. I generally go one of two places on my phone. I’m used to choice. I’m used to immediacy. So choice is also becoming really important in the options that we give.
[00:24:59] Customers choose to get items back to retailers. So whether that’s by mail, whether that is by dropping off in an in store or dropping off at a third party network like our return, not return Barnett work. So that’s something else. All retailers will be offering choice and I think they will offer an in person option because invariably that’s what data tells us that shoppers want. And then I actually think that we’re going to very quickly get to a time as well where companies are going to start charging again for returns by mail, because as retailers are becoming aware of how they need to make it their entire supply chains more sustainable and eco friendly and as consumers demand that as the brands that they patronize. There’s some education that needs to happen. We have we just got some very early results from a survey that we did with Retail Dove and we’ll be coming out in March. But it basically underscores that shoppers don’t really understand the impact of how much cardboard they’re using and just to set like a level set. E-commerce returns waste one hundred at one billion trees a year. Right. So there’s incredible just industry change that will happen on things.
[00:26:07] 1 1 billion, A trillion B is in. Yeah, it’s we have a split. I’m a big fan of the. For changing the phonetic alphabet.
[00:26:15] Yes. Yeah. I’m a big fan of the fee based returns because as Tony and his research and experience established, there’s no such thing as free returns someone’s paying for in consumers or in the absence of the individual paying for it.
[00:26:30] We’re all paying. That’s right. So it’s roll out right into the costs.
[00:26:33] Yes. Friend of the show and my wife Amanda probably does not agree. Right. Because we have different shopping patterns. I don’t return much, but I know I’m paying for everyone else that returns quite often. Right. Not singling you out.
[00:26:47] And it’s a little bit bitter about it. But but you know what?
[00:26:50] Well, you know, what comes up is it’s really not for me. It’s not about the price because it’s. Let’s be fair. It’s incremental. Yeah. Industrial. But to your point about corrugated, you know, we use from groceries to you name it and the amount of cardboard. Drives me crazy. Evens out as I try to consolidate everything. Least amount of packages. We’ve talked about this Kurt, this crazy idea that they never come to fruition. I used to be a Winn-Dixie stock boy. Cool. Right. And so we had a big beiler in the back after stocking everything on a Sunday afternoon. We bring all those boxes back and create these these cross pallets. Well, we’re going to get to the point where we’re going to need like personalized versions of that to make sure all that core Gates is recycled. You know, it is overwhelming sometimes. Right. And I’m hoping that the consumers do continue to be more and more aware and cognizant because you’re speaking to it just from the return side and how much it produced the billion trees. When we all know just only the forward side, how much we’re using, we’re going to mean how can we make gains?
[00:28:00] Ryder page siplon. The thing is, you can use things like reusable packaging, which is what we use. And you can use those containers over and over again. And ideally, if you’re thinking really holistically, you’ll aggregate the shipment of product like we do, right. Instead of sending twenty one item boxes, send 20 items in one box. Think about how much fuel that saves and how much cardboard that saves. It’s just it allows more efficient.
[00:28:25] You’d be amazed though even when you try to do that. I just did that with some equipment we needed for the for the show. I set the vendor asked me to consolidate delivery dates to ship in one package. They still shipped it in two packages.
[00:28:43] My beloved wife is also our engineer. We’ve been looking at each other while we’ve been talking about this.
[00:28:49] Cause we just spent three weeks after Christmas breaking down just the boxes we received for the shipments coming in, right.
[00:29:00] And putting them in in in the recycle bin because they won’t take more. Whatever. Yeah. So I mean there is a tremendous amount of waste in the supply chain already on the front end. You see things and and this is another thing. Consumers are really aware of this. They’re really aware of when the packaging is excessive for the product that they buy. What they’re not aware of and I think this goes to your point, they’re not aware of their impact and they aren’t going to be aware of their impact until it costs them something. Yes. It’s all about economics. Very much so. Right. I mean, we are we’re all environmentalists until it costs us something to do it. Right. I mean, some of us still are even beyond. Well, we all hope you said hope. You’re right. I think we have to motivate with economics. Yeah. Right. Good isn’t because consumers are not going to we’re not gonna be trained to do anything except what’s most convenient for us. We just don’t think that way. And there are X number of billions of people we have to train. Yeah, it’s a lot easier to train people when you give them a motivation. And the only motivation that’s universal is.
[00:30:01] Yes, because cost down to what’s in it for you. And I give you one more answer. Ryder loves you. The other kind of like how we fit into the ecosystem. But it’s more of a trend of what I see among the direct to consumer brands in particular. Yeah. The digital experience and the physical experience are very difficult to merge. And yet that is an expectation from shoppers. And so you’ve we’ve seen companies that are just online. Right. And then sometimes they’re starting now to go and open stores like Rice, for instance, there. They’ve had one in seven Tesco that are opening their second, third, fourth and fifth. And then you’ve also got the other end of the spectrum, the big box retailers that are consolidating the number of locations. And we’re all very familiar with the retail apocalypse. Right of headlines. How many companies are going bankrupt and and shutting stores down? And I think that there’s I think we’re. And this is what I love about with the way the world is headed. This win, win win idea. I think we’re headed to a time where you don’t have to choose either or from the perspective of stores. And that’s where third party networks are going to be coming into play. So, yeah, for instance, with something like a return bar network, which is where Paper Source or Simon Malls or Office Depot or cost plus world market.
[00:31:15] Bed, Bath and Beyond, where they host return bars in their stores where products that are bought from our retailers. So Rotha is and Revolve and Hackberry an American giant. Shoppers can come in with their item, no box, no label, no tape. Drop off that item and get their refund immediately. That’s a great way for the retailer to enable really simple, simple and seamless an amazing experience. It also has a sustainability element element and a cost reduction element because the products that aggregated back to our hubs and reusable packaging. But it’s it’s a great way for retailers across the industry to partner, because all of a sudden, let’s say I get a paper source coupon while I’m in the store for five dollars off and I buy a couple cards or I get a product gift wrapped or whatever it is, there’s all of a sudden people are starting to benefit in ways they need. So in this case, foot traffic and conversion. I know. So I think that’s somewhere we’re headed soon to where this outsourcing model companies are going to move away from feeling like they need to own their storefronts.
[00:32:16] It’s not unlike the way that they have moved away from owning their own warehouse networks. I mean, there are tons of Franklin warehouse providers. All right. So. I could see ultimately that happening right where somebody hosts many stores within a store, if you will.
[00:32:32] And in a in a play from that playbook, not exactly I’m talking about, but Toys R US and Target for the holidays at Toys R US, as did Web site, actually went to Target’s fulfillment. And I think even the transaction was made on the target infrastructure. So all types of different collaboration take place, whether it’s two big brands like that or lots of the players. Yeah. All right. So let’s let’s shift gears a bit as we start to wind down the interview and listless. What’s one topic or issue or challenge outside of kind of a happy return space that you, the Supply chain leader? It’s on your radar more than others right now.
[00:33:17] I would say it’s that triple bottom line that I spoke about. I think weather relates to reverse Logistics or not. Companies are being held to a higher standard as they think about staying in business to also take care of their actual their employee base as well as their customer base. Right. And their partner ecosystem. And then holistically together stay in business. And then also take care of the planet.
[00:33:40] That’s something that I’m fascinated by. I’m a big believer that challenges eventually give you a much better solution. And I think a. Challenges are pretty significant.
[00:33:50] Well, the retailers hold all the power there so they can make. They can definitely make it happen. Right. I mean, you if you are the customer of your suppliers and your supplier, you want your suppliers to act ethically and in a sustainable manner. All you got to do is ask. They have to or else you have the ultimate control. You can choose to do business with somebody else. All right. Well, I’m glad that retailers are starting to take the floor there.
[00:34:16] Ok. So how can our listeners get in touch, you know, connect with you and learn more about happy, happy returns?
[00:34:23] Sure. So Happy Returns Web site is the best place to go. Happy returns, plural. Dot com. And me personally, like LinkedIn is probably the best way. Definitely not Twitter.
[00:34:35] No, not at all. Or I’m on it. I think. Yeah, Twitter is.
[00:34:41] It’s like it’s hot and cold. You love it. And you in and you love using it daily or you absolutely hate it and you don’t have any interest. And it’s just a weird thing like that. But. Well, happy returns, plural. Dot com. Yes. And linked in. And also the event circuit. Are you all are you all active? You’ll get out in an exhibit and speak and share it in SRI conferences.
[00:35:11] We do. So we’re speaking here. The reversal just X conference. And then I think our next one up is going to be at shoptalk.
[00:35:17] Ok. Fantastic to be a woman these days. Oh, you know, that’s the curve balls now. Yeah, you’re not. Let’s us the glass. Right. What I really enjoy.
[00:35:32] I’m glad we’re able to nail this down and sit with you and learn more about Caitlin Robberson, the professional, as well as the happy return story. So what the chip back in with you a few months down the road and keep her finger on the pulse of all the cool things and growth that you are experiencing. And happy returns and congrats on the possession. Thank you. Clearly, you’re a quick study. You said four months ago. Holy cow. Well, that that’s probably not going too far back. But but when you go through when we have the experience and all the different sectors and as you put it, points of view per view, what have you. Yeah, that part helps you get a quick read. Quick study. So you can you can make traction as early as possible.
[00:36:09] That’s super kind. And thank you by you guys for having me. It’s our pleasure. Honored around such an industry icon.
[00:36:15] Shout. Wow. We’re an icon. Thank you.
[00:36:21] Well, pleasure to speak with you. So, Greg, we want to do here and sit tight for just a sec. Lightning round. Are we doing lightning? Let’s do the lightning round. Our events that we’re gonna be.
[00:36:30] And we love to invite our audience to come check us out in person. And while we do a lot of our content from our home base and in studios in Atlanta, we get out as much as we can. And, you know, because there’s such value in the face to face in a personal in this ever more digital world. So what’s the next event on our radar?
[00:36:50] No-tax. Right. So motets is a big material handling show. Thirty five thousand of your closest Supply chain Cavort in Atlanta, Georgia, at the Georgia World Congress Center, March 9th through the 12th. And then on the 10th during Moto X being hosted by Moto X at Moto X is the Atlanta Supply chain Awards where Scott Supply chain now and I and a whole bunch of people from the Atlanta area are going to celebrate what goes on in Supply chain hand out some awards to companies that are either based in or do business in the Atlanta metro area. So get some nominations in. That at Atlanta Supply chain Awards WSJ.com Moto X is Moto X MDX show dot.
[00:37:34] Yep. And it’s so Moto X which is Greg mentioned largest Supply Chain Now Radio in North America free to attend so good moto x Sheer dot com to register Vetlanta supply chain awards wsj.com that break complex Compaq. Complicated naming of that web site. I don’t know where I don’t know where we came up with that, but nominations are open through February 15th and we were very fortunate to have Kristian Fisher, Presense CEO, Georgia-Pacific serve as our keynote this year in year two of this event. Great, great event partner that we facilitate along with our friends at Metro Metroliner Chamber, CSC, Peatling, a roundtable and a PIC’s Atlanta. Okay. Then we’ve got two events coming up with the Automotive Industry Action Group, right? AIG. We took I was gonna see if you we’d talked about it enough to be on your right.
[00:38:20] No, but you’ve given me a card here that allows me to read it. So tell us about it. Yeah, they’re corporate responsibility summit in Michigan. No, VI. No, no. In Michigan at night. So there’s an interesting story. We’ll tell you later about how nove I got its name. But April 28 and 29, right. That’s Jim Liegghio and his group at AIG. And then on June 9th, there Supply chain Summit. Also, I believe it’s at Wayne State University. Yes. The thought the follow up event, they have got a great supply chain program tonight. Yeah. Yeah. So we’re looking forward to that. Buit Michigan is so beautiful in June, right? They’re the right couple of weeks. You actually hit summer. So I know it’s great. And I’m a big fan of the Detroit metro area and the London Chophouse where we will be having a delicious and tasty steak. Outstanding. We look forward to it. Yeah.
[00:39:14] And then one last event, the A.M.E., the Association for Manufacturing Excellence, is bringing its 2020 Atlanta Leam Summit to Atlanta. Imagine that about 250 plant managers, V.P. of operations, folks that really love manufacturing and more importantly, love continuous improvement coming to Atlanta May 4th through 7th. We’ll be screaming lab that first day of that event for the second year in a row. Okay. Big thanks to our triple-A. Yesterday we didn’t talk about spritzing. We’ll save that for the next episode. Caitlin Roberson, Vise President, Marketing with Happy Returns. Really enjoyed you. Stop by and you’ll have a busy Vetlanta. Thanks Karp for a conference and time now.
[00:39:52] Thank you so much. Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. Welcome to Supply chain. Yes, that’s right. Because it is not born. It is not. We are fascinate. It’s a little scary. All right.
[00:40:04] Big thanks to our guests today. To our listeners. Be sure to check out our upcoming events. Past episodes, you name it, at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. Finally, podcast where every year podcast from including YouTube. And be sure to subscribe. So you only see thing. Scott Luton. Greg White. Whole Supply chain. Now, team, stay tuned as we continue our live coverage of the reverse Logistics conference next. But right here in the center of the universe for returns and reverse logistics. Las Vegas, Nevada. Thanks everybody.
Caitlin Roberson is the Vice President of Marketing at Happy Returns, the only provider of returns software and reverse logistics. Before Happy Returns, Caitlin served as Director of Enterprise Marketing at Lyft. She built Lyft Business’ brand, content, and demand generation teams from scratch and led customer communications during the IPO. Prior, Caitlin served as Partner at top-tier venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Previous to that, she founded, scaled, and sold a content marketing agency that worked with hyper-growth enterprise software companies like Google for Work, LinkedIn, Marketo, and Xactly. She graduated from UCLA.
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.
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.
Data Analytics and Metrics Intern
Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.
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.
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.
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.
Principal, 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.
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.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
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 Cisco, Microsoft, 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 University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier 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.
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.
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’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. 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.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. oasisafrica.org.au), 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).
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.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.