Supply Chain Now Episode 349
“Over the last 15 years or so, we’ve seen a big push where products are not only valued on the components they’re made out of but also who made them, where they were made, what materials are inside, so now those are being tracked and monitored.”
– Tolga Yaprak, Senior Consultant at iPoint Inc.
Because today’s supply chains extend through many companies, countries, and continents, they begin very far away from where they end up. This means that the chain extends through parts of the world and industries that are plagued by working conditions that do not meet the labor standards set by countries in the industrialized world.
This creates significant challenges for companies who want to benefit from global partnerships while remaining compliant with standards and regulations governing forced labor, modern slavery, human trafficking, and conflict minerals. Conditions are always changing, requiring ongoing monitoring, and it is essential that companies not just be compliant – they have to be able to prove they are compliant.
These are not easy, comfortable topics to discuss, but corporate leadership teams have to address them head on if their CSR policies are to be fully operationalized.
In this conversation, Tolga tells Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton about:
- Three critical things companies can do to improve their operational alignment with policies and regulations
- Red flags that companies should be on the lookout for, potentially indicating a problem
- The (positively) disruptive impact of consumer empowerment and the availability of information
Amanda Luton (00:05):
It’s time for supply chain. Now broadcasting live from the supply chain capital of the country, Atlanta, Georgia, heard around the world. Supply chain now 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.
Scott Luton (00:28):
Hey, good afternoon, Scott Luton here with you on supply chain. Now welcome back to the show. Today’s episode, we’re speaking with a leading provider of software and consulting for environmental and social product compliance and sustainability. This interview is part of our continuing collaboration with the automotive industry action group, also known as AIG. So stay tuned as we look to increase your supply chain. Accu quick programming note before we get started here. If you enjoy today’s conversation, be sure to find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from. When a welcome in my fearless and esteem cohost on today’s show, Greg white, serial supply chain, tech entrepreneur and trusted advisor. Greg. Good afternoon.
Tolga Yaprak (01:14):
Hey Scott, how are you? Doing? Great. Uh, back here again with the, uh, quite a stable of AIAG thought leaders, folks that you know, support the organization that speak at the organization and it’s really been a, um, such an informative series of interviews thus far.
Scott Luton (01:32):
Yeah, I mean, we’ve really enjoyed meeting with being in your org and I can’t wait to hear from Toga. So perfect. Pretty solid team we’ve got here and of course love the initiative that AIG has, um, with this summit. So let’s get into it, man. Absolutely. So perfect foreshadowing. So in a welcome in our featured guests on today’s episode, Toga, Toga, [inaudible], senior consultant compliance and social responsibility with [inaudible] Toga. How are you? I’m fine, thanks. How are you guys doing? We’re doing great. Thanks for joining them. Absolutely. I know it’s a challenging time for many and uh, but still a busy and a very eventful time, so I appreciate you carving some time out so we can share your perspective and, and thought leadership with, uh, with our audience. So for starters, Toby, before we dive into our point, all the good things you and the team are doing there. We want to know about you. So tell us more about Togo, where you’re from, and give us an anecdote or two about your, either your upbringing in and, and, or your professional journey.
Tolga Yaprak (02:41):
Sure thing. Thank you. Um, thanks for having me guys. And, uh, I’m from Ann Arbor, Michigan. I went to Michigan state university, which a lot of people kind of turn around and they go, what, you know, pardons that’s right. Go green. Um, so I went to Michigan state, got a degree in international studies and political science. Uh, but then I ended up becoming a teacher and I went to, I went to Guyana to serve in the United States peace Corps. So I did that for a while. Uh, I taught and then I also moved to Turkey to stumble. Beautiful city. Um, in fact, I think maybe one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to. Uh, met my wife there and you know, she’s, she was a teacher also. And then, so we decided to move back home for me, back to Michigan and, uh, got married, uh, kids. Uh, and then I got my MBA at Eastern Michigan university where I sometimes, uh, teach a couple of their courses there as well. Oh, wow. Hey, tell me about, um, so
Scott Luton (03:45):
the weather in Turkey as it compares the Michigan does, it’s your wife enjoy that?
Tolga Yaprak (03:54):
Oh, I don’t think there’s a way that I could, you know, say it without it being a complete understatement when every day is perfect weather when they’re there. Winter is, you know, rain. Um, and then, you know, Michigan is in, uh, almost perpetual winter from September to may and then it’s like a hundred degrees with humidity. Whether it’s not the best,
Scott Luton (04:21):
sure doesn’t always work out well. Hey, y’all are in love. And she could, you know, as we all look past other elements, including weather, uh, that’s a wonderful story. Hey, let me ask you too about, okay, before we kind of move on in your professional journey, you’re the peace Corps commitment. That’s a big commitment. I’m not sure how much travel you had under your belt when you, uh, when you committed to helping others through that, that to your
Tolga Yaprak (04:48):
Scott Luton (04:50):
why did you do that? Why did you make that big commitment to help others?
Tolga Yaprak (04:54):
Well, honestly, part of it was, now you’re at that age 23, something like that and you know, trying to find something to do and as long as you can work a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and answer, you know, 50% of your emails, you can do about 30% of any job. So for me it was a matter of all right, you know, there’s, there’s multiple different avenues I could choose, but, uh, I wanted it to mean something. And so joined the peace Corps ended up going to Guyana, which is, uh, borders, Venezuela, Brazil, and Suriname. And honestly, you know, it was the most eyeopening experience I’ve frankly ever had. And you know, doing that, even though I continue to teach for a couple more years, when I did end up making the transition to business and getting my MBA, it started with peace Corps. Gotcha.
Scott Luton (05:54):
Okay. All right. So I love that. I’d love to just pick your brain more on those experiences because so many folks don’t get the opportunity in those early formative years to, to have those global experiences. But nevertheless, we’re going to keep driving, uh, from a professional journey standpoint. So you got back, uh, sounds like you earned your MBA, you’re doing some part time instruction. What else that led up to your, your current role with point?
Tolga Yaprak (06:21):
So I started to work in a company that deals with international trade and customs. And as a result, um, through that customs and customs compliance work, I kind of, you know, jump down the rabbit hole towards the corporate social responsibility compliance and they have all these different products coming in. We were already looking at, uh, you know, different trade value and tariffs and whatnot. And you know, over the last 15 years or so, we’ve really seen a big push where products now are not only valued on simply the components that it’s made out of. Um, but also who made it, where was it made, you know, what, what are the materials that are inside and now those are being tracked and monitored. So that’s, that’s really how I started my career in this field. And then, um, when I made the move to I point, uh, within about a year or so, I attended a just a grassroots event at a local university in Michigan, Wayne state. And there was a, I was going there actually too. I wanted to hear a speaker from the UN who was going to be there that was really interested in, but there was a survivor, a victim of human trafficking. And she came up and she, she told her story. And, uh, my life hasn’t frankly been the same since then. Um, it was heartbreaking. Yet at the same time, you know, she was from Michigan, lived in Lavonia, you can go to Detroit free press.com and check it out. Um, and I realized how prevalent
Tolga Yaprak (08:14):
forced labor, modern slavery, human trafficking is everywhere, even though we don’t necessarily see it. Um, it is, it’s a massive, massive industry. So that’s, you know, that was a very big turning point for me and how I started to then build my career, uh, at I point,
Speaker 4 (08:36):
wow, that is a, that’s an impactful moment. I, I have friends who are very active in combating human trafficking and things like that, and it, it, you know, I’ve only heard, um, a few of those tails. And it is, it’s a travesty and frankly, it’s hard to believe in a lot of ways that goes on and in today’s society. But of course, we all know that it does. Yeah. So how did that, I mean, how, how did that impact you in terms of what you do today with, with I point, well, maybe you ought to share with us a little bit, if there’s anybody that doesn’t know yet what I point does and then tell us how you kind of turn that arc into what you do today.
Tolga Yaprak (09:29):
Sure, absolutely. So I point, uh, we are traditionally a software company. We build software that helps companies, uh, you know, whether it is an automotive OEM or a small electronics supplier, medical device, whatever it may be. Uh, in my opinion, um, really manage their data or compliance and reporting. A lot of that is customer reporting, which anyone who is involved in that area knows it can be really difficult. You know, they want it in X, Y, Z format, ABC, et cetera. So it can be, it can be hard. And you know, so the supply chain fashionable, who is working with procurement and engineering, just trying to go through all the legacy data, all, I mean it is just, it’s a massive headache. And so what we do is we built software that lets different systems connect and speak to each other, essentially a report out for, you know, whether it’s materials compliance, like reach or Rojas, um, or providing information in automotive industry for the international material data sheet.
Tolga Yaprak (10:44):
IMDs and then, so that’s kind of our main bread and butter, what 90% of the people at the company do. But what I do is, uh, I could do consulting for conflict minerals compliance, which is I would say, kind of the middle ground between materials and social responsibility and, uh, anti human trafficking or forced labor compliance. So I’ll do a lot of the, you know, I’ll go to company and I will meet with their different relevant personnel. And um, by the way, I just signed on a side note for anyone that works in either legal and or investor relations or anyone that works in procurement, supply chain, et cetera. When you get those two different groups of people in the room, that can be the hardest conversation. Lot of times they’ve never met. Each other. Legal will come in and say, alright, you know, we need to do the following.
Tolga Yaprak (11:46):
If a supplier doesn’t give us data, we’re going to take them out of the supply chain. And of course procurement and the supply personnel is like what, you know, we can’t just get rid of people that easy. So what I do is I find middle grounds, build a due diligence program for them and then actually operationalize it, put it into effect, review it annually, do the reporting to the sec and you know, repeat essentially. Yeah. Wow. So it’s interesting because, um, in one of our other interviews we took, we talked with, and I think we might’ve mentioned this pre show Aston Carter, who is the CEO of the dragon fly initiative or TDI strategies. And they do a similar thing. Do you ever cross paths with them? Absolutely. Um, my, the team that I work on and I point, uh, we see, see the dragon fly initiative.
Tolga Yaprak (12:49):
Uh, well recently we haven’t seen anyone physically for a while. Now, none of us have exactly, but our paths cross quite a bit. It’s difficult to be in the anti human trafficking world and you know, not be a hands breath away from Anne’s breath away from a dragon fly. So are you, are you all doing complimentary Coopa or, um, how would you say that cooperatively competitive or um, straight competitive type things or competition. There you go. That’s good. I like that. Uh, uh, so definitely no competition. Mmm. The truth is, is the, an anti human trafficking field for a long time has really been focused on the abolitionist movement. And you know, especially when it comes to PR, the big thing is like sex trafficking, right? That’s the one that everyone’s talking about. It’s always in the news and it, it’s certainly, uh, it’s easily be highest revenue generating sector of forced labor, but when it comes to volume, you know, you’re talking about maybe 20% of all forced labor or human trafficking victims are in that particular sector.
Tolga Yaprak (14:20):
Almost everyone else is in some sort of labor, whether it’s domestically or manufacturing agriculture. So, well, we’re trying to do, you know, my, my personal, a goal I suppose, you know, for lack of a better phrase is the supply chain is where everybody needs. That’s the most, you know, global polyglot, uh, institution that’s not an institution. You know, it’s a true market where everyone has connections to each other. Um, you know, you could, you may not, you know, there are a lot of our customers who don’t even know food, 20% of their suppliers are because they outsource it, you know, in fact, it’s probably much higher than that. Our supplier, it doesn’t work like that. Oh yeah. Yeah. Like conflict minerals. It goes all the way to where the metal was dug up out of the earth. Right. So when you get all those, those aspects, you know, there’s, we’ve got some people who are on the law enforcement side who want to take, you know, human trafficking rings to court, which is great. Um, but for me, yeah, we as a, as not only as a society, but specifically as a business society has a business culture, we can make the most impact the most effectively and efficiently. If we all just essentially learn about our supply chain, find out who’s doing what. Once we do that, nip the problem in the bud.
Speaker 4 (16:02):
Yeah. I mean it, you know, w uh, we talk about so many things that we want to do better in supply chain sustainability, obviously ethicality like this. Um, and it all comes down to economics. And if we hit the bad actors in, in the wallet, then we’re going to get the kind of change that we want out of them.
Tolga Yaprak (16:25):
Exactly. And, and you know, the funny thing is, is the, uh, maybe not funny, I suppose ironic might be a better phrase, but the more and more you, you look into it, do you realize a lot of it is, is extremely straightforward and a lot of the forced labor that happens, uh, especially in like component manufacturing or agriculture
Speaker 4 (16:48):
Tolga Yaprak (16:50):
it’s simply a matter of just people not knowing what it is. You know, all the red flags are there, but they don’t know what they’re looking at. And, uh,
Speaker 4 (17:00):
traditional business plan, people don’t even suspect it, so they wouldn’t know what to look for, right? If you come at it through the lens of their doing business, like any other business, you’re almost blind to what those red flags are.
Tolga Yaprak (17:17):
You know, I’ll tell you, uh, just a quick anecdote, um, few years ago I was a, with the client and the CFO came in and the CFO was there and the general counsel assisting counsel, et cetera. And I had been working with the supply chain people and we were talking about, you know, taking there anti human trafficking program to the next step. Right? So more than just having a blanket statement of, you know, we don’t have slaves. Um, because obviously no one can prove that. So, you know, we were talking about, well, how are we going to, to measure this? How are we going to eat? You know, are we going to ask suppliers questions? What questions are we going to ask them? Are they going to be responsible for filling it out? So they come in and, and uh, telling the CFO of, you know, a company that’s one of the largest and it’s tire industry that Hey, you know, no matter what you think, I can guarantee you, but there’s forced labor in your supply chain. That can be a really awkward conversation. They just immediately know, I don’t know. And then, you know, you talk it out and starts to make a lot more sense, but it’s not, it’s not an easy topic to broach.
Speaker 4 (18:30):
Yeah, yeah. I could see why you would be unaware of it. I mean, someone who’s not engrossed in it every day would be unaware of it. And then just in complete disbelief that it could be existence even. And then in greater disbelief that they are in some way, perhaps inadvertently contributing to it.
Tolga Yaprak (18:53):
Exactly. And honestly, that’s the first step. There’s simply the, you know, uh, like the denial or getting past the denial, acknowledging that it exists. And then you can actually go further and say, all right, well what products are at risk? Are there particular markets that are at risk? Then what am I going to do about it? And so that’s where we, you know, that’s where I, myself as well as I point, it’s focused, we’re trying to get, you know, we’re trying to operationalize anti human trafficking, conflict minerals, compliance, things that we can do to essentially make the world a better place.
Speaker 4 (19:37):
So, and, and as you said, I mean, the problems you’re helping your clients solve is first to recognize it, which as you said, is harsh and stark realization, right? Facing the brutal facts in the most brutal way and second then what to do about it. So what, what at the highest level, I mean, I know there are probably thousands of things you could do told them, but at the highest level, what do you do about it?
Tolga Yaprak (20:05):
So there’s essentially three, uh, you know, high level three things that you do. Number one, Mmm. You educate your team internally, right? So whether that is, you know, whoever is taking ownership of this, usually it’s legal, um, or combination, you know, dotted line to supply chain, or it’s in supply chain, dotted line to legal, right? First, you just kind of educate that team. That team’s got to know, you know, what kind of risk actually exists because it can make an impact on the materials that you’re importing. Um, but you know, we can save that one for later. Number two, you just have to simply educate your supply chain. You know, on a very, very basic, like five bullet points. It happens. It exists. Keep your eyes open any time, you know, someone is keeping a passport. That’s number one. That’s the first red flag if you have to pay to get a job.
Tolga Yaprak (21:08):
That’s another, some of those really, really simple. Uh, red flags. And then, uh, lastly, yes, just like any other initiative, Scott, to collect data, survey your supply chain. You know, it doesn’t have to be, Mmm. Anything that is super complex, just ask them. And I always recommend that no customers give their suppliers the option to say, I don’t know, because frankly that’s the real truth. Anyone that says that they know for a fact that it’s not happening and whatnot is that doesn’t really understand. But nonetheless, it’s really that simple. Just, you know, learn about it, figure out how it can affect your business and then ask your suppliers.
Tolga Yaprak (21:58):
Love it. So let’s move from this point of the conversation around your role with our point and company and some of the methodology, some of the, the basic elements of, of your approach as Greg suggested, we know that that wow, we are solving some very complex problems and it’s tough to kind of dissect that in less than an hour. But let’s shift gears and go broader with the conversation now. So Toga, um, as we all know, dealing with a complex, challenging situation, certainly for global supply chains, but really for everybody. Um, you know, as you survey the landscape, what’s, what’s one thing or, or, or maybe even a couple things in particular that, whether they’re developments or innovations or, or news stories or, or, um, challenges even what’s on your radar more than others right now?
Tolga Yaprak (22:51):
That’s a great question. Um, I think there’s a few, uh, you know, several topics that we could talk about, but really, okay. I think it’s just one major market trend and it’s difficult to measure, you know, on a day by day basis. It’s more of a, you know, very big picture kind of thing. But there was a, uh, British economist, okay, 18th or 19th century last name, Schumpeter, I can’t remember his first name, but he had this theory, or at least it was the first one to call it theory of disruptive innovation. Um, so, you know, as soon as one new innovation happens, it disrupts the entire supply chain, disrupts the market, nothing’s the same afterwards, internet a rail, um, telephone, right. That kind of stuff. I think what we’re seeing now is consumer empowerment and the availability of information. So we are at a point where so many different products are commoditized.
Tolga Yaprak (23:58):
I mean, you can go to the store, take a look at four different phones and you know, if you look at the specs, they’re essentially the same. Right? You know, what you do is you buy it based on my kids have three iPads, so I might as well get a phone, an iPhone, you know, so we can share the same, right? Like the, the purchasing decision that you’re making is, is based on much more than the actual product itself. Right. And the companies are finding more, to your point, finding more and more ways of enhancing that stickiness. Right, exactly. And so a lot of the companies that are, you know, really, uh, not just surviving, but thriving are the ones that are taking hold of that. You know, they’re the ones that are at the forefront of, you know, whether it’s ID or, uh, poverty or greenhouse gas emissions, Paris climate agreement, you know, they’re not waiting for the government because to them that doesn’t matter.
Tolga Yaprak (24:58):
The people who are paying the money for their products. And one of the groups that it doesn’t get mentioned nearly as much as it should is the investors. Um, and investor groups, art transferring just thinkable amounts of assets. Two SRIs are socially responsible investments. So it’s one thing to have like a consumer electronics company who is, you know, all right, well if I can’t say that my phone is conflict free, people are going to buy the one next to it for 20 bucks more. Mmm. But when you talk about like medical devices, right? Cause you don’t go into the ER and be like, hold on, is this x-ray conflict free? Is this scalpel made with, you know, totally. You know, that’s not the first thing on your mind. But it’s the investors that are pushing it because they’re the ones that control the direction of the company.
Tolga Yaprak (25:57):
So they have a lot of power to say, Hey look, Mmm the U S government may have pulled out of the Paris climate agreement. Well you’re not going to otherwise we’re going to take our investment somewhere else. And I think that with the consumer and the investment side where you have people who are making the choice to spend their money where it is as well of course, is the fact that now there are so many more different types of people around the world that have money to spend. Right? So that’s the biggest trend that I’m seeing. And they’re, uh, that is providing more backstops to fuel, uh, CSR initiatives, right? Cause if, if the consumers care about it, and Greg, it feels a little bit like Groundhog day because this just happened to be one of the themes
Scott Luton (26:44):
and a lot of these conversations we’re having right now, consumers care about it. They’re voting with their wallets and purses. They care about what these companies are doing, what these brands are doing. And of course, uh, by virtue of that, you’re going to have investors that care about it as well. Um, because they get that companies that, um, figure out a successful CSR approach and especially a company that’s savvy enough to communicate, uh, the impact they’re making. There is a lot of, a lot of growth to be had, right?
Tolga Yaprak (27:17):
I mean from 2017 to 2018 we went from 8 trillion to $12 trillion transfer to socially responsible investments. That is an unfathomable amount of money. Sure. That much capital being transferred specifically because a company can say, Hey, you know what,
Scott Luton (27:40):
I’m doing the right thing. Here’s my proof. And that, totally, I’m so glad you brought it back to that because you know, I think there’s a lot of kindred spirits on this conversation. Clearly with your commitment early on, even if you, you know, at 20 or 21 years old, you wanted to see the world. And eight, I don’t blame you at all, but still I can, I can tell and hearing you tell that story and what you’ve done later in your career and now you’re, what you’re doing now, there is a give back as part of your DNA. And so, um, and I think three of us shared that. So I love on its face, I love, uh, social responsibility programs and initiatives and, and, and companies that get it and companies that invest in it and they do it because of course there’s a financial return, but they do it because it’s the right thing to do. Like you said, Toga. Um, all right, so in any, before we shift over for the sake of time, and Greg’s going to ask you a question too about AIG and y’alls involvement there, any final words in terms of Toga walk companies while we’re seeing, uh, or how we’re seeing that, that massive, uh, shift in the landscape that you just just mentioned too. How, how many, how many trans dollars did you say?
Tolga Yaprak (28:54):
From eight to $12 trillion? Just from 2017 to 2018. Wow. Okay. Yeah.
Scott Luton (29:04):
Well then, um, so Greg, let’s, let’s talk about AIG. Well, can I take you back? I’m sorry. This is, I mean, this is the first time we have really discussed forced labor and human trafficking this head on, right, Scott? So, um, I’ve got a few questions, right? Sure. You know, and one is I know that they’re large, large groups, over 20 million people. Um, and, and maybe those that’s even outdated data. Um, uh,
Speaker 4 (29:42):
you know, you’d mentioned sex trafficking, but aside from that, what are the biggest offenders in terms of industries?
Tolga Yaprak (29:49):
Great question. Um, so first of all, 20 million is actually really, really close, so, uh, you’ve been keeping up very well. Um, I think the latest estimate was 26 million in a particular year. Uh, so that’s more of like a income statement as opposed to a balance sheet kind of view. And when you take everything together, I think it’s a little over 40. Um, nonetheless, uh, when it comes to industries, of course there’s always the monkey on the shoulder is that it’s really hard to measure because people don’t necessarily publicly exactly right. They, they, they don’t always, you know, uh, post their, their stats. Um, but with that being said, there actually are a lot of really easy ways to monitor it. Um, in fact, uh, just as a, uh, quick anecdote, one of the coolest ways that I’ve seen technology work in this area is a, I don’t know if I can name them by name, so I won’t, but there was a financial services company two years ago and they facilitate the exchange of money between people across borders. They were able to just take, you know, terabytes of data. Yeah. [inaudible] identify human trafficking hotspots because of money that was being sent from at-risk areas to a couple of villages in Bulgaria.
Speaker 4 (31:27):
Tolga Yaprak (31:28):
Yeah. So, yeah, even though they couldn’t necessarily get the industry down, they were able to track the money and that was a huge success. So, um, it’s certainly possible, but industry-wise, number one, anything that’s manual agriculture, and that includes manufacturing too. Uh, I mean, we outsource a lot of our manufacturing work all around the world and, uh, it’s really easy to say, you know, I mean, obviously there was the, uh, shoes issue many years ago with the sweat shops. Several years ago there was the issue with component manufacturing in Southeast Asia, and those are only the ones that we see. Um, a lot of it goes underground, so yeah. Uh, shrimp, farming, any of the food, textiles, cotton, anything that requires manual labor.
Speaker 4 (32:27):
Tolga Yaprak (32:28):
Yeah. Construction. Yep. All of it.
Speaker 4 (32:33):
Interesting. Well, and I, and Asia, I mean that area of the world is the
Tolga Yaprak (32:40):
biggest concentration. I think many people have been. Um, you know, they’ve been introduced to a fairly large ethnic group in China. We are basically the one of the, I mean, a large portion of that ethnicity is forced into slave labor, essentially. Yup. Right. You know, uh, North Korea actually, I think they’re the only country, but actually exports people their own people as a good, um, North Korea, everyone or I shouldn’t say everyone. People that, that work in this field are aware that North Korea will send large groups of workers to go work at a factory somewhere else. So instead of, you know, outsource or instead of exporting like timber or iron or, or, you know, semi processed metals or whatever, they’ll actually export their labor. Wow. Yeah. Mexico, they’ve been found in a shipping yard and Poland, so it can be anywhere. So clearly, AIG has
Speaker 5 (33:59):
very strong, um, corporate responsibility initiative. And that’s what this whole summit is about. And this is a really very serious issue. And, and you know, one of the things we’ve been asking a lot of the participants that we’ve interviewed is, is what, you know, what sort of value has this brought to you personally or your company or your initiative? Um, you know, how, how do you benefit or how do you see, um, members benefiting from AIG and their membership and these sorts of summits and
Tolga Yaprak (34:37):
sure thing. So I’ve, uh, I’ve worked with AIG for many years, uh, including before I was at high point, I was with my previous employer, I worked with them and took part in different committees and whatnot. And so there’s two main, uh, there I should say two primary value adds through AIG. First and foremost, they move the needle. They really do. You know, not every company can be a Google, not every company can be Microsoft. And so, you know, there are some companies that have a chance or an opportunity to do good work and communicate that. Right. And of course the market reacts. Um, but you know, not everyone has that kind of budget, but if you can, if you can mobilize, not just, you know, a couple of silos when you can mobilize the network. Yeah. Then you’re talking about real change. And that’s what AIG has been.
Tolga Yaprak (35:45):
In fact, they’re their acronym, the expanded version of their names, not automotive industry action group that is one on hundred percent accurate. They are the embodiment of action. And that kind of goes to the second point, which is, you know, there are some across industry groups and, and uh, or industry specific groups where a lot of executives, um, and it’s kind of a, you know, it’s a nice fun kind of thing, but that’s just kind of, you know, that’s it really. They don’t really do much. Um, you know, you can put the label on your website, Hey, I’m a member of this, but at AIG, the people that are there, the volunteers from the member companies, um, but they’re there because their care that they care, you know, they’re not there for, uh, the publicity or anything. Um, and same with AIG employees. So they have this just amazing work ethic and they, you know, honestly, I’m shocked that every single business school in the country isn’t doing, you know, case studies on their success every year because they’ve been able to mobilize an entire industry, the entire supply chain for that industry, many different tiers all the way down to raw materials and they make a difference.
Tolga Yaprak (37:15):
And so that is something that, you know, no one could ever take away. Yeah. I have so much respect for them and having worked with them for so long, honestly, they’re just really down to earth. Really nice people and Tanya and the team, and I’d have to agree a hundred percent with you there, that’s for sure. But they are about action deeds, not words. And that has stood out from our earliest conversations. So when I echo that sentiment, that’s so important in this day and age of a, unfortunately, lip service leadership is not going away. It’s part of certain organizations, uh, DNA and culture. Uh, and so when you, when you partner with a group that is about action, it’s always refreshing. I think so. On that note, um, let’s make sure, I bet. Guy, I’m just going to go out on a limb here and I bet you have got some of our listeners really thinking about some of your observations and your expertise and perspective. Um, so let’s make sure our listeners know how to, how to reach out and connect with you and our points to tell us more. Sure thing. So I would recommend a LinkedIn. It’s always great message directly through. Um, I think that would be the best way. Um, just connect to me directly. And then for the company, uh, we’re www.ipointhyphensystems.com.
Scott Luton (38:49):
You’ll be able to see all of our
Tolga Yaprak (38:51):
webinars with Homeland security, um, all the different, uh, groups that we work with for regulations and, uh, all of our free, you know, resources and whatnot and all that information is there.
Scott Luton (39:05):
Love it. And you know, Greg, one of the things I really like about our point is, um, is their support of AIG, right? This is, this is tough times for anyone trying to hold an event to help people get better at what they do in operations to get better at what they do and, and clearly, uh, points, uh, support, uh, is helping this event take place in the first place. So, uh, on that note, Toga, really appreciative of you and your team and your industry leadership and, uh, your support of making things like this summit upcoming summit, uh, take place. Well, thanks guys. I really appreciate your time. It’s been my pleasure. Alright. Uh, Greg, we’ve been talking with Toga yacht, senior consultant compliance and social responsibility with our point and wow. I think I wish we had about three more hours to dive into some of the things, some of the Mandering ways that these conversations always take place.
Speaker 5 (40:07):
Yeah, I think, you know, this is a particularly poignant topic because we’re talking about human beings, right? And, uh, you know, we’re not talking about somebody ripping you off for 20 bucks by charging you a higher price. We’re talking about somebody controlling your life and um, you know, it’s, it’s a very important topic and interesting that, and I think, uh, particularly important that, um, I point and TDI and AIG are continuing to focus on this in this, these economic and, um, health times when they could be focusing inward and it would be very easy to think about or forget about the, these kinds of issues in the world. And I think it’s, um, you know, it’s commendable that they, they continue to focus on,
Scott Luton (41:01):
you know, helping people get their lives back. Absolutely. That’s a great perspective to wrap up the conversation on. So Toga all the best to you, your team, your family. It looked forward to reconnecting with the appoint team at the summit, uh, to our audience. Again, you can check, you can connect with Toga on LinkedIn or learn more about the organization that are point hyphen systems.com. Lots of expertise there. So good stuff. All right, Greg, we’ve gotta wrap up the conversation here. We want to point our audience to supply chain now, radio.com for a variety of, of industry thought leadership, much like we heard from Toba here today. Um, and we want to ask if you enjoy the conversation, Hey, find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from on behalf of the entire team, Scott Luton, Greg white, wishing you a successful week ahead. Stay safe, don’t panic. But please do follow the expert advice and precautions that have been distributed by your local healthcare authorities. And if you know anything, hold the faith brighter days. Lie ahead and we’re gonna see you next time on Supply Chain Now.
Would you rather watch the show in action? Watch as Scott and Greg welcome AIAG CR Summit speaker, Tolga Yaprat, to Supply Chain Now.
Tolga Yaprak is a Senior Consultant at iPoint Inc. for corporate social responsibility (“CSR”), specializing in conflict minerals and anti-human trafficking compliance and reporting. He custom-designs compliance programs for corporations and drafts their legal and SEC disclosures, such as the Form SD and CMR, and the UK-Modern Slavery Act statement(s). Tolga served in the United States Peace Corps, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Eastern Michigan University. He is also an Instructor at Eastern Michigan University’s Graduate School, College of Business where he teaches advanced methodologies in market research.
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