“At a certain point, you can’t fight consumer behavior. The faster you can accept what the customers are demanding, the sooner you can lean into it.”
– Becca Meinz, Vice President of End-to-End Supply Chain Strategy at Best Buy
Over the last year, there has been nearly constant coverage of the trends and shifts in consumer demand. From a surge in eCommerce to BOPIS, retailers have been agile and responsive in a two-pronged effort to meet consumer expectations and bolster their top line. But that is all forward logistics. Have they fared as well with customer returns and reverse logistics?
In this episode of the Supply Chain Now podcast, we get some answers from Tony Sciarrotta with the Reverse Logistics Association and Becca Meinz Vice President of End-to-End Supply Chain Strategy at Best Buy.
Best Buy has actively managed their reverse logistics for a long time, but over the last year they have evolved to manage it ‘end to end.’ This means that they are no longer managing these products separately from the rest of the business, but instead integrating everything together from costs to visibility.
In this episode, Becca provides insight into how this well-known consumer electronics company manages their reverse logistics:
· How Best Buy is using technology to monitor the consumer market conditions that should dictate whether it is cost effective to refurbish and re-sell an item
· The focus being placed on the cost and performance associated with the Geek Squad as part of their reverse logistics operation
· The data analytics that Best Buy uses to better understand consumer behavior within its stores by location and/or region
Welcome to supply chain. Now the voice of global supply chain supply chain now focuses on the best in the business for our worldwide audience, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and today’s critical issues. The challenges and opportunities stay tuned to hear from those making global business happen right here on supply chain now.
Scott Luton (00:00:32):
Hey, good afternoon, Scott Luton, Greg white, right here with you on supply chain. Now, welcome to today’s live stream, Greg, how are we doing today? Let me check with my palate. We’re doing great, Scott. You know, I never know what you’re going to, how you’re gonna respond right on the front lie. Well, a pleasure. I’ll tell you this has been, well, this has been a heavy production week, but we’re really, you know, as much as we’ve enjoyed each of the shows w facility a fabulous Friday here, as we dive into the reverse logistics series right here on supply chain now where we’re partnering with, uh, Tony Sharada and the great team over at the reverse logistics association to put a big spotlight on what’s going on in leadership circles, practitioner circles, across the returns and reverse logistics, logistics landscape, right? Yeah. I loved, I love this topic.
Scott Luton (00:01:23):
You know, Tony, first of all, I love Tony’s philosophy and some of his sayings and I have adapted them. Can’t remember what it was, but I can’t remember how I adapted it last time, but his, you know, he loves to say, if you give people the opportunities to return goods easily and for free, don’t be surprised when they do no kidding. And that’s a good one as economy we are. And what I love also about these conversations is the consumers in all of us, whether you’re in the stream and you’re in supply chain, or if you’re not in supply chain, we’re all still consumers. And we’re all having these, these consumer and customer experiences. And that’s where I love seeing some of the, some of the discussions that take place in the comments and in the stream. So we’re going to say hello to a few folks momentarily, right before we bring in Tony and our featured guests here today, before we do, let’s make a couple of program notes.
Scott Luton (00:02:15):
First off, we’ve published an outstanding podcast today, entitled unconventional wisdom, a conversation with Theodore lounge and Theo Theo. She is her nickname. She is author of the new book beyond good. And Greg, I want to give you this little quote because you being the, our, our investment guru and, and startup guru and you name it. This is a quote that I really admired and she dropped lots of nuggets. But the shared with us quote, we started this journey because we have spent so much time working with founders who do not have access to capital because they don’t look a certain way. I want to get them in front of other people because that’s what creates opportunities. I’m fortunate to have the mic. So I want to use it for in quote. And so if that resonates with you, you’re going to want to check out that podcast, ewherever you get your podcasts from, can search for supply chain now and subscribe for free, but Theo
Greg White (00:03:11):
Dynamo. And there are plenty of funds out there with people who don’t look a certain way at Kibera. We have people, our general partners don’t look a certain way. Um, and, and so many people who do look a certain way who are looking at people who don’t look a certain way. I think the awareness is finally there though. I heard some disappointing statistics on funding recently for women founded companies, particularly in the last quarter, but believe me, the awareness is there and we’ll, we’ll start to see it, uh, really, really impact investment. Yeah,
Scott Luton (00:03:47):
Well, we’ll say it. And you know, we share kindred spirits with, with, uh, Theo, because w we want to spotlight the conversations and the leaders and the founders and the, and the practitioners you name it, that don’t get enough visibility. So that her conversation really resonated with me. I was, I was honored to be part of it and her book beyond good is blown up as, as you might expect. So you’ll check that out in the mainstream. Uh, of course, check out tequila, sunrise, uh, Greg publishing, outstanding discussion with his daughter, middle daughter, Delaney white. Who’s a dynamo in her own, right? So y’all check that out wherever you get your podcasts from. Okay. Gregory will let’s say look to a few folks, and then we’re going to dive in with an outstanding guest and pseudo co-host today. All right. So we have, let’s see, [inaudible] via LinkedIn. Great to have you here with us today, Muhammad as usual. YouTube. Great to see you. Andrea is back. I am so glad that you’re here with us here today.
Greg White (00:04:42):
I have a real quick question for Andrea. I want to know which one’s the evil twin twin, Andrea Todd.
Scott Luton (00:04:50):
Hello, tendon via LinkedIn. Great to have you here, Muhammad also via LinkedIn. Let’s see. Gada and I’m, I apologize. I’m getting that wrong. Tune-in from Tunisia via LinkedIn William also LinkedIn. Hey, Dr. Rhonda boom. Pinza Zimmerman may have gotten a notification. We’re working on that folks. LinkedIn’s been a little bit shaky. We’ve got some great input from Peter, right? We’re gonna, we’re gonna try a few things out, but great to have you here, Rhonda, what were you gonna say?
Greg White (00:05:17):
He is probably leaning on him. You know, clay, clay, a special influence. The dog has special influence with all of our platforms. It’s like, I think they have a special channel for him to provide them feedback.
Scott Luton (00:05:28):
I agree. Uh, he, he, he has some clout. Clay has clout. Let’s see here, Mahesh tuned in from LinkedIn. Great to have you here. Mahesh Mary Comans. Hey, great. So great to have you here with us here today. I think a fellow supply, if I’m, if my memory serves me, right, I think Mary formerly was with Caterpillar. So it’s certainly an industry. Great to have you here. Peter, bullae happy soaking wet Friday morning, simply pouring rain here in Montreal thinking the Suez could use some of the moisture, the flow to ship right about that. That, well, hello, everybody. Great to have you here. Sorry. We couldn’t get to everybody, but on that note, really quick slate. We’ll try to drop it the comments, but slate published a really neat collection of solutions from kids of how to free that ship in the Suez canal. And as you might expect so many roles, uh, alright, so great. So great to have everybody. And by the way, she answered your question, Sophia.
Scott Luton (00:06:25):
All right. So with no further ado, we’ve got a wonderful, wonderful conversation teed up here today. I want to welcome in our guests, uh, beca mines vice-president end to end supply chain strategy at best buy. And of course, Tony Sharada executive director with RLA. Good morning, Becca and Tony. Hi, good morning. We’re so glad to have you, uh, ears. Clearly your ears were burning as we were. We were, uh, talking about the conversation we’ve got teed up. We didn’t, you know, usually we have a, a little bit fuller of a pre-show conversation, Greg, but Murphy’s law bites us all the time, but we’re really excited about you sharing your thought leadership with us back here.
Becca Meinz (00:07:03):
Yeah. Happy to be here. I’ll apologize in advance. I’m sure many of you are working from home and some of you might be investing in your home. So if you hear a impact driver in general, like bathroom remodel noise happening, what sounds like right above my head is because, right? Yes, yes, yes. Thank you. You know, right now it would just be a hot mess, but yeah. Glad, glad, just glad to send an after. I’m excited to get to the after, but yeah. Here’s how it’s going now. Exactly, exactly.
Scott Luton (00:07:35):
You know, so as busy as you are really appreciate carbon Tom out, Tony, this has been a great series. This is a third installment of our re-invigorated, uh, focus on reverse logistics and always a pleasure to do that in conjunction with the RLA. So with no further ado, our community knows Tony, as Greg was alluding to, we’ve already got some of his t-shirt isms out there. We’re gonna be printing those soon, but Becca, you being, uh, our, our new guests here in supply chain that we’d love to better understand who you are and your role there at best buy. So can you share a little about yourself and your role?
Becca Meinz (00:08:06):
Yeah, of course. So I am, um, job title, right? VP for end to end supply chain strategy, relatively new to that. Um, a lot of things changed during the pandemic, and that was one of those things, you know, pre pandemic. I was the VP for reverse supply chain, but I think as part of what we’ll talk about, a lot of that kept evolving into just seeing how integrated those operations were and how important it was to lean into the full end to end perspective and drive out costs all across the whole supply chain profile and think about things in a really holistic Lance. So, so now my time is, is I’ll say split right between the core, you know, resale operations and core rivers’ capabilities. But a lot of my time now is being spent and thinking about what’s next for supply chain in total for best buy, whether that has to do directly with the return side or just the whole way that we’re evolving to answer
Becca Meinz (00:08:56):
It out to what is happening in the ecosystem right now. So it’s exciting times
Scott Luton (00:09:00):
And, and it sounds like several full plates, uh, Gregg to me, huh?
Greg White (00:09:05):
Yeah. Well, I mean, I worked actually worked at, with, as a service provider with best buy back in the nineties, they implemented a technology called S3. I doubt they use it anymore, but always very supply chain aware they were at the forefront of showrooming and the e-commerce revolution have adapted to that. Well, I, I fully expect that they are fully or will soon be fully in control of what’s going on, both on the front and the back end of the supply chain, really, really solid organization. They’re always looking to improve. So definitely
Scott Luton (00:09:40):
Really quick before we dive into some of the things you’re, um, you’re tracking right now, Tony, great to have you here back with us, appreciate y’all’s partnership. You have, uh, as you look to, as you and early to disseminate best practices in this space of returns reversals,
Tony Sciarrotta (00:09:56):
When, when did you beat back up about a year and a half ago? Best buy has been one of the best supporters of the RLA alliteration and tending to way back with best buy. I’m proud of them as a retailer. There was a time when there were a few other big box electronic stores, and I’m so proud that best buy figured out the right formula to succeed and survive. And part of that is because they did take a good look at the reverse side and they did things about it. But I also, you know, some of your veteran listeners will know that I, I preach a lot about the financial aspects of reverse logistics. And Becca is one of the first people that I spoke to who gets it really gets it. That is hidden. Now her title is, and the end because people don’t look at that. And, and so first time we met and talked, I was actually trying to twist her arm to be an early board member. And she turned me down guys. Wow. But no, it’s an honor to have them as active as they are. And, uh, she keeps getting promoted. So I don’t think she had time for an advisory board role. I have a feeling there was some foresight there. Yeah.
Scott Luton (00:11:04):
Well, you’ll say no to Tony and by the way, I I’m happy to chip in with some of that remodeling work whenever you need. So, uh, Greg,
Tony Sciarrotta (00:11:15):
Where are we going next?
Greg White (00:11:16):
Yeah. So let’s, let’s talk about, I, I assume you had some eyes on reverse and the returns and circular and all of, you know, all of the things that you guys deal with at best buy for anyone who doesn’t know, which I doubt is anyone, but one of the largest, I believe electronics retailer in the States, correct?
Tony Sciarrotta (00:11:39):
Greg White (00:11:41):
And of course, lots of computers, lots of TVs. Um, that whole Magnolia section, when you guys put that in, I just want to thank you for that. Um,
Scott Luton (00:11:52):
Really just check how much you guys
Becca Meinz (00:11:54):
Have bought at the company before I come on these things. Right.
Greg White (00:11:56):
Uh, you would be proud, but anyway, because of the dynamics of your industry, I’m sure this has been a big, a big issue for you and you’ve been tracking a lot of things, but when you think about the reverse, the return side of things, what are some of the topics that you’re seeing most prominently right now?
Becca Meinz (00:12:18):
Yeah. Yeah. Well even pre pandemic, we were seeing a real wave and in best buy to Tony’s point has always been really active in the reverse space, but a little bit more in like brute force, expand sales channels, think through how to plug in our existing service capabilities, you know, obviously best buy as big and repair as well as the sales side of things. Like we can make something really interesting happen with that, but just even pre pandemic, we were really starting to see the importance of investing in technology in this space, you know, before it was, it was very static, you know, that this computer that came back used was destined for some path and would eventually wind up on a shelf regardless of how the market conditions were evolving. Our current weeks of supply condition. Like we were still thinking about the used space as, as a separate and static area in our business.
Becca Meinz (00:13:06):
So now that idea of technology and responding to market conditions and having conditional decisions against whether you would serve as something or not, not just, you know, expect to get this amount, but if we already have a ton on the shelves, is it really worth the time? And so on, that’s really been heavy in our investment side now that the massiveness of importance of, of investment in as much as machine learning and market scraping and so on can start to play an important role with that too. And now God COVID has brought this top of mind for everybody, but the idea of agility and overall resilience, you know, supply chain, we all heard, like you thought about it as a certain portion of fixed expenses. Eventually you hit a step function and then you March along this line again, and everybody is being pressured to just add and flow with whatever is, comes your way.
Becca Meinz (00:13:52):
And it’s true in the reverse space too. I mean, we got stuck with a real whiplash feeling beginning of COVID versus when that first stimulus check hit, you know, and, and all of us were tasked with like thinking completely differently about the operations on the forward and the reverse side. So now, like how quickly can we adjust the operation to respond to volume and changing customer demand? And so on is very, very top of mind. And third with that, you know, this movement into digital, you know, we, we are seeing it on the forward side, certainly. Um, and we’ve leaned into, you know, ship from store in a real way. We propped up a full curbside capability during pandemic, all of that very impressive on, on forward side, but on the reverse side, like we need to expand our thinking in that space, you know, with people are how much more comfortable or how much more were they willing to pay for a specific photo of that specific product, not a generic open laptop, so to speak.
Becca Meinz (00:14:45):
So we’re thinking completely differently about how we would resale things online and how to, into a really cool best buy supply chain capability, and now a best buy it capability as well as thinking about the whole returns flow, keeping customers happy, evolving consumer behaviors and expectations and so on. So those are probably the hot things now that, that were big before COVID, you know, but, but since COVID all of them have amped up that much more or higher stakes are, are huge. And God, the, the pace at which everything is changing, even if, before we saw all these trends and five years out, that’s going to be a real thing. It’s now it’s right now we gotta figure it out. Yeah.
Greg White (00:15:25):
I think I, I’m curious as you, as you’ve experienced some of this, you know, you, you best buy, it seems like ever since e-commerce has, has sort of hit the front page that best buy has been one of the biggest examples of that. And I imagine because your adaptation, right, your ship from store, and recently you also announced that you’re going to be fulfilling e-comm from the stores as well. But I imagine a lot in this reverse space, you will come to the forefront of that as well. So I’m curious, do you guys relish that position? Do you just accept that you’re going to be thrust into that position because the products that you sell are just so high profile or do you seek that?
Becca Meinz (00:16:08):
Yeah. Yeah. It’s like at a certain point you can’t fight the consumer behavior and the faster that you can accept, like this is what the customers are demanding, like lean into that, you know, lean into it like crazy. There was a time with best buy when one of our old, old CEO’s frankly came out with the idea of firing a customer because they weren’t profitable enough, very unpopular. We move away away from that. Like you bear was vocal about embracing the showroom. Yeah. Come in and look and feel it and build a relationship with the company, have a higher purpose and a different kind of, uh, a way of working with your customers. And then we see the reverse space in exactly the same way. Partly as it’s very interesting weapon and capability that we have to fund a high touch, high, great experience for customers, but also a whole different traunch of, of product and whole different tranches of consumers that we can reach to that might not normally shop at best buy that we’re able to capture in that way with different kinds of ways of thinking. So totally embracing. Now we we’re done, we’re done fighting like the wave of, of tech and where customers are going. Yeah.
Greg White (00:17:13):
I’ve got a quick question. If I could interject this from Todd and Beck, if you can’t answer no worries. We can take it offline. But Todd asked this question, does best buy, do their own reverse logistics? Or is it sub contracted out?
Becca Meinz (00:17:24):
We do our own, there are certain cases where, um, there’s bits of, of repair or, or resale certainly, or we’re lean on third party partners. But when it comes to the logistics side and processing, we do own that,
Greg White (00:17:35):
Right? And they’re one of the only ones doing that. And I also, uh, I’ve been around it maybe a bit longer than Becca with best buy. You actually did attempt a third-party partnership years ago at a facility in Indiana. And you took it back.
Tony Sciarrotta (00:17:50):
I was really proud when, when that happened, you control your destiny and that, so you have to take the blame if it doesn’t go right, but you don’t have to throw it out if it’s someone else. And, uh, and that was a big move. That was a giant move. Cause you went with one of the industry leaders at the time and then pulling away from there made a statement about best buy, wanting to controlled sown destiny. And I, and I was always impressed with that. I’m going to say Scott, there’s also a couple of other best practices that best buy has led in and others are trying to follow. One example is when you take something back to best buy, if you open the package, they have a PO a policy and a program to put it back on the shelf, even cables, and just put a Mark down, sticker on the bag.
Tony Sciarrotta (00:18:37):
And they’re not afraid to do that where some retailers maybe also based in Minneapolis, worry about how good the store looks and they don’t want even an open package. And then the other side, of course, with the geek squad, people being in, in every store, then there’s the opportunity to double check that product and put it back in on a shelf. As you said, with the markdown and Greg, I may not have as much spending, uh, available as, as you might have going to Magnolia. But I also go to Magnolia for those open box deals. I mean, they’re up there and like, let’s see what the treasure piles got. And so you’ve created a culture where people come there and it’s okay with them that some of these are open boxes. That’s such a major consumer entitlement opportunity. It isn’t just bring it back and we’ll take care of you. It’s bringing it back. But we also have great values for you in the store. And that attracts a certain clientele, like some of us and maybe Greg too.
Greg White (00:19:32):
I love the open box stuff. I mean, frankly, that’s what has enabled me, allowed me mentally to do it online, but I much prefer to do it in the store because all the people in the store they’ll let you pull it out and look at it and right. And you know, I think we have to acknowledge one thing to that is if you think about it, if you go way back into best buy is history, they literally started in the circular economy because they were the store that sold one and two year old televisions that the traditional retailers cast off. Right? So they have a significant advantage in understanding the consumer dynamic and having created a consumer culture that allows them to do things like Mark it down and put it back on the shelf. Right. And, and man, you know, they were just coming out of that as their primary model. When I started working with them in the mid nineties, which is just over two decades ago, I probably shouldn’t have confessed that. But, but I think that the culture of innovation that best buy has and the culture of constant improvement that best buy has. And frankly, as Becca’s has alluded to said outrightly, they don’t fear that change. They know that they’re on the forefront of that change because
Scott Luton (00:20:48):
Of the industry that they’re in. There aren’t many shows in Vegas about products other than consumer electronics, right there. Isn’t a toilet paper show in Vegas, not yet right
Scott Luton (00:21:04):
Now. Interesting. Interesting. Uh, I love the fat love pioneers, especially pioneers in, in the remanufacturing space, which is what Greg has alluded to. And, and going back to being able to make the bold moves as an organization leadership team, to bring things back in and take it on if it doesn’t work when you outsource. I mean that, of course, as we all know, that’s not solely challenges, uh, in the reverse logistics space. That’s that supply chain, as we, as we know it here in 2021, we got we’re real quick. Before we move on to the next question that Greg’s going to pose to you. You mentioned a geek squad my most fateful day as an entrepreneur involved the geek squad, but it really, they, they did a great job. My two year old at the time pouring milk into my PC, which, which it will crush any disc.
Scott Luton (00:21:51):
How does that come out? Um, not, not a good day, not a good day, but the great, great folks at geek squad. I bet I spent eight hours with them. Uh, so really appreciate what they do. Okay. So Greg, I think kinda next, we’re moving into some lessons learned and things that may stick, right? Yeah. Let’s look into our crystal ball and look forward a little bit. Right. And, and, and talk about what you see coming in both of you, frankly, but what you see coming as the biggest changes in reverse. I’m interested, obviously there’s a lot of self self-interests here, but I’m interested in what you see in terms of innovation. Uh, but what you see also from the practitioners and what their needs are, what their goals are, what their actions you expect them to be coming forward. Becca, you want to start.
Becca Meinz (00:22:39):
Yeah. Yeah. I’ll kind of for a lesson learned, I suppose, if you want to start someplace, I think a lot of my time and energy and a lot of the energy on the reverse side before COVID had been spent in exploring different sales channels and third-party partnerships and so on, like how do we, how do we think about just making our resale opportunities larger? And the operations were what they were, you know, we, we were capable of certain things since COVID like the emphasis on that operation because of the need to be so agile and flexible with whether you service or don’t where you sell it, or don’t like we were in and to some degree still are for different reasons in a very product constraint environment. If you can recognize that upfront, actually the value of that laptop, do you used to think it was only this, but people are working from home or schooling from home and they are really eager to buy this, like, change your thinking, get it on the shelf right now, these kinds of things, and like the need to be super agile and own that operational side as much as possible is very, very, very key for us.
Becca Meinz (00:23:42):
It’s key across the company with other things we’re thinking about in forward fulfillment too, but certainly on the reverse side. So we’re getting more into, you know, more localized operations, you know, the concept of keeping things in the market and turning them quickly expanding the, the localized geek squad presence, for instance, instead of, you know, letting things kind of go down the normal route that they might go down, those are the kinds of things that you’re going to hear more and more and more about, um, on the Ford fulfillment side, it’s a lot of localized, or even like employee led delivery. And on the reverse side, it’s really localized repair and resale and all that to see where all that can lead in a different kind of way. You know, like I said, the digital piece is a big part of that, but we’ll sort that out, but really a lot of the heavy lifting is going on how this product flows through and how we look at the operations in Odo. Very different kind of way
Greg White (00:24:34):
Of that. If the geeks, yeah. The geek squad connection is such a huge leverage point for you. I mean, in a way, I mean, it’s conceivable I haven’t done the financial analytics, but I bet you have, it’s conceivable that you might even do some local refurbishment in the store and make that product available right there.
Becca Meinz (00:24:52):
Right. Right. Well, that’s part of, you know, you talked about, you know, it’s not just best by having the wherewithal to allow for an open package and the look feel and so on. There’s a whole like brand and, and responsibility and, and, um, consumer trust that you get when there’s a big geek squad placard on, on whatever it is that you do. So now, you know, we, we have a presence in our, our normal stores, right. And in our regular best buy stores, we have a smattering of outlet stores. Now, do we think about that a little bit differently, actually, like all things service and resale geeks that you can trust a little, a little bow ties, right? Like the, the exact right, you know, nerdy person to walk you through. Like I looked at this, I, I looked it over. It’s a great product. Here’s what I did to it. And you can, you can trust it. You can take it home, like a different way of thinking about it that you wouldn’t get from any other consumer. And like, we can really proactively in a different way, Owen resale for consumer electronics, right. Not just, you know, have to deal with more products than anybody, but own the resell side in a totally different way.
Greg White (00:25:55):
Yeah. I think in, particularly in your industry where there is such a prolong life of the disposed goods in the consumer electronics and con and, and computer industry, I think the more we can do to keep those things running the better. And, and I, I really think the consumer recognizes now and appreciates that. I know that’s a big initiative in RLA and there are several companies that work on that for other other brands, I mean, and other retailers and whatnot, but I really think that’s, it that’s a great service to not just consumers, but just generally the world. Right. Commerce agreed. So I got to go back to something Becca said earlier in the discussion that is getting some play on Twitter as we last tweet today’s live. So we’ve
Scott Luton (00:26:44):
Got our first, well, we got several, but our, one of the t-shirt isms we have here, Becca, you can’t quote, you can’t fight consumer behavior. You’ve got to lean into it in quote, I love that so much because as we’re talking about, what’s going to stick or what’s been here already, and it’s going to be just in, for further emboldened com post pandemic, which we’re all fighting, clawing to get into is, you know, stores and retailers, can’t just sell how they want to sell and how they want to do business. But the ones that are really thriving are to your point, they’re understanding how the consumers want to build those relationships and make those transactions and do business. And they’re finding a way to do it. You know, we were asked earlier today, Greg, on either one of your, your socials or w something we did here, it was a post about how the retail landscape is, is, uh, it’s certainly evolving, which is fascinating by the way.
Scott Luton (00:27:33):
But the question was, what does that mean for supply chain? Well, we’re gonna, we’ve got to find a way just like it’s always been, but, but we’re got to find an even more innovative way. And to what Becca said earlier, we’ve got to be responsive faster than ever before. It’s just a fascinating time. Yeah. All right. Anything else before we, uh, I don’t want to shift gears so much. We’ve got such a brain trust here and supply chain and reverse logistics and retail and returns. So I don’t want to live to, uh, move too fast to a more broader leadership category. Anything else that you’d like to really speak to in terms of really sticky lessons that we’re learning from the pandemic environment
Tony Sciarrotta (00:28:10):
I’ll throw in for, uh, for Becca’s new role, one of the most expensive aspects of returns and reverse logistics is the added touch points. It’s estimated in supply chain world that forward touch points might be on a high side, six to seven times from factory to the end consumer on the reverse side has been noted as high as 20 to 30 touch points. And what Becca was alluding to is the fact that they can do it there at the store. And then people like Greg and I go and look for values, but, but that’s a big, that’s a huge number because part of it, and this relates to financial results that I’m again, proud of best buy having some good financial results over the last few years, because the highest recovery on a return product is selling it direct to a consumer. If you have to second tier it and third tier to a liquidator, you’re going to lose every step of the way. So instead of recovering pennies on a dollar for return product, they’re recovering quarters and, and more on a dollar. So it’s all about, again, there’s the consumer experience that’s important, but this is part of the consumer experience. And you’re very much closer to the consumer and you’ve taken out return touch points. And that’s huge.
Scott Luton (00:29:28):
Yeah. Well said. So we’ve got a couple of quick great questions here from Mahesh and AA, who AA is in the air capital of the world in Wichita, Kansas. I’m going to pose these to you. And again, uh, we happy to take things offline if must Mahesh
Greg White (00:29:42):
Says, Hey, what kinds of checks do the return products go through in best buy? And what strategies do you use to not repeat the same mistake, Becca, any commentary there?
Becca Meinz (00:29:54):
Yeah. You know, it kind of varies by product, but there’s, there’s everywhere from like base funk checking that might happen at a very local level there’s tiers of different service abilities that we have at every single store versus something that we might move to a more central location, at least in today environment. So there’s like different, you know, triaging more or less, but that goes into place and layered on top of that is a lot of like, okay, is it worth it to send it to the next step? Or do we think about the resale and a little bit of a different way as for, I love the question, like what strategies do you have to not make the same mistake twice? Because believe it, you know, w we have a thousand stores almost across the country, many, many, many different geeks out there. And as much as like you employ different ways of like funk checking, wiping consumer data, my God, like, like these kinds of things can bubble up.
Becca Meinz (00:30:41):
And unfortunately, sometimes it happens in form of customer feedback, but we are pretty constantly going in and checking on like, is this really excellent or is this really fair? Here are the different ways of thinking about that, you know, re reinvigorating training and so on to try to get pretty precise. But I do think like when I alluded to thinking about these localized operations a little bit differently, and maybe leaning more into like an outlet concept or a different way of selling that there’s a sort of decentralized centralized approach here that at least, um, starts to pool labor a little differently shares outcomes across the service individuals and how much we’re going to get back for this product. But that feedback loop happens a lot more quickly and we can make more real-time improvements to how we’re working with the product. But excellent question. Very top of mind.
Greg White (00:31:32):
Excellent question, Greg, as I do the abracadabra to bring Tony back in, do you want to follow up on her comments? Everybody look over here. I’m back. You’re back you’re back. Yeah. I mean, I think all of this makes me think back to too having worked with the company, and I just think it’s also consistent with the way that they have managed. I mean, even though it was probably two or so CEOs ago, let’s put it this way. Becca, you were still in Eden Prairie when I worked with you all. So, um, yeah. Um, and, and relatively new to Eden Prairie if I recall correctly, I don’t know. But, um, in any case, I think it, just, to me, it just, enunciates an organization that I would say relishes the spotlight because you would be hard pressed over the, over the course of the last 20, 25 years to have been more high profile than best buy.
Greg White (00:32:28):
And they have come through with flying colors and the reports were not great when you, you know, in the mid nineties customer service was not good product. Uh, follow-up was not good. They frankly had come out of, in the first part of the nineties and, and to have come back from 243 stores when I was working with you and, and just being happy to be opening two stores next year, they’ve added over 750 stores. And I think that speaks well to the financial wherewithal, the response to the customer and that customer response has changed dramatically over the years. And the ability to stay ahead, they’ve outlasted circuit city, and I don’t even fries and whoever else, um, other big, big companies that have just gone away in this super tough tight margin market with high, high expectations, because people like Tony [inaudible] who, if anyone doesn’t know is one of the most discerning ears as regards technology and music, uh, you will ever know, I can tell you, he has spent a pile on his sound system, and those are the kinds of people. I mean, they are, it is an unforgiving customer base that has such an incredible technical knowledge to be able to please those folks and to continue to reach, to be better, I think is, is a really, really powerful statement.
Scott Luton (00:33:49):
So welcome back into an EMR Murphy’s law is alive and well, as we were talking about pre-show, we’ve got a couple of more questions from the
Greg White (00:33:55):
Plan fortnight, Scott. I bet
Scott Luton (00:33:59):
I want to, I want to pose to Rebecca here momentarily, but really quick. Follow-up Tony, anything that you’d like to piggyback on what Greg?
Tony Sciarrotta (00:34:07):
Yes, because I also want to acknowledge that best buy is one of the largest corporations in the world with a woman as CEO. And I don’t think we’ve touched on that yet. And Cory Barry is an amazing leader and she is literally up from the ranks, correct? Becca. She came up from the store level and Rose through the company. So she is, uh, I mean, she’s all over LinkedIn with a lot of, of good, uh, statements and represents a, again, such a move towards diversity. And, and I give credit again to, uh, Cory Berry and rest of her team who do focus on that customer experience because ultimately this stuff moves around fast, but ultimately if you can reduce the returns by improving the customer experience, that’s one measure of success and you build net promoter score and Beck. I didn’t look up net promoter score for you, but I think you’re, your numbers are getting up there quite a bit compared to other companies that are out there as well.
Scott Luton (00:35:05):
They’re doing well, but they’re doing well. All right. A couple of quick comments, and I’m going to share your next question from AA here. Becca kind of, it kind of falls in conjunction with what Mahesh asked earlier, but first Simon says, Hey, five more guests, and then stop watching now can play tic TAC toe a great commentary there. Simon love that.
Greg White (00:35:22):
Can we fit that many? Because I think we should, if we can,
Scott Luton (00:35:26):
Peter says squares or something. Yeah. There you’re fitting right in. I’ll tell ya. Hey, Peter says, love that look inward for solutions and learn as you move. I agree, which brings us to A’s question, what type of supply chain data analytics help you lean into customer behavior? And, and of course, one or two be perfectly fine, not deep dab.
Becca Meinz (00:35:51):
Woof. That’s a great one. That’s a really great one. We actually were, this is an area that we’re starting to invest in, in a more interesting kind of way, because to Tony’s point, right? When I, when we know our NPS numbers it’s cause like that has been like the guiding principle for us to set bars for ourselves, like end of the day, as a customer, pleased with the experience that they got, probably be like a lot of supply chains. We measure everything on, on speed spend and service right. Spend has always been just that outcome, but we know the customers wants things fast. We know that our customers want things, you know, in the way that they wanted and the right level of service. So it has been a lot of how we’ve been, been leaning on things in the past. It probably a little bit more informal on the survey side, but then more formalized on the speed metrics and so on where we’re hoping to go is, is more in actually watching shopping behaviors, thinking about all of that, not just nationally, like we have been, but at a very localized level, we’re recognizing more and more that, you know, the Manhattan market and the demands of a Manhattan customer is different than a Kansas city customer or you name it.
Becca Meinz (00:36:53):
And so the solutions and the bars and the metrics and all that need to be thought about in a very different kind of way. So you’ll see us expand more in the data and analytics side, certainly to think about not just big picture, our customers happy, but how are they actually showing us that they’re happy? Are they coming back and the idea of brand love and how that shows up, and then thinking about all that Adam or hyper-local level and making adjustments within the markets to make sure that those customers get what they need for their situation.
Scott Luton (00:37:22):
Love that so much involved in that. It’s interesting to hear a trailblazer further investing and just looking to widen the gap and what you are doing when it comes to supply chain analytics. One more quick follow up question, and then we’ll move on to kind of broader leadership or get Greg or Tony. Mary has got a great question here. And, and again, this is above my pay grade, so, uh, Becca feel free, but this is interesting, you know, does the current price for rare earth metals change decisions on disposition of returns? [inaudible] yeah,
Becca Meinz (00:37:55):
It should. I that’s one of the, when I mentioned investment in technology and keeping tabs on market conditions and all of this, like this is exactly one of those places that, that we need to work with more. And we have great relationships with our recycling partners that do more of their rare metal earth harvesting on our behalf. That’s not something that we own within our operation that starts to evolve the way that we would think about the bar for investing in a product versus, you know, relying on some of our talented friends in the space. It’s not as real time as I would like it to be. It’s more informal, but I’ll get a yes. Ish.
Scott Luton (00:38:27):
Yes. That’s fair. That is that rare earth metals. And of course semi-conductors talk about some fascinating aspects. Yes. Yes. All right. So before we move on to the broader topic, well, let me take this. This is a comment from, from big show, Bob, Bob, uh, Bob hope this finds you well, returns are a big application where we’re born voice automating right now taking wait touches to Greg’s earlier point, making it more accurate and move much faster. Love that, and hello to Jenny from, uh, over in South Africa, Jenny, great to have you looking forward to our next live stream, focused on, uh, supply chain leadership across the, uh, across the continent of Africa. Okay. So let’s talk about leadership. That’s one of our favorite topics to talk about here, Greg and Tony, and now Becca, anything, any Eureka moments that, and 10 let’s start with you. We’ve been peppering Becca with questions and she’s coming up, but Tony, let’s start with you. Um, you know, there’s been no shortage of lessons learned takeaways and teachable moments, uh, in the last 18 months, but what’s been a recent Eureka moment for you, especially related to leadership and, and, you know, leading a team
Tony Sciarrotta (00:39:42):
Well in that space, I think I look towards major companies of the world and are they paying attention to this circular economy concept and doing things about it. And I think the biggest eye-opener for me was when you started to see major clothing brands and shoe brands announced that they’re going to take things back from consumers and give them a credit to buy new things. And I think Adidas might be a world leader in saying that in the next 10 years, they anticipate making all of their shoes from returned shoes made out of sustainable materials, both of those. So, and you don’t, you ask Becca, the question too is related. It’s related to this rare earth metals question. This really has to happen at the manufacturing side. They have to be the world leaders because that the resources, if we keep acting linear, we’re going to run out.
Tony Sciarrotta (00:40:37):
But if we turn circular and say, how do you make a shoe that’s decent out of sustainable materials? How do you take Apple announced they want to take all their phones back because it can actually be cheaper to tear phones apart and get gold out of them than it is to dig in the earth. It’s not a rare earth metal, but it’s an example of that’s what can happen. So leadership to me is watching Apple and Adidas make these big announcements and why, because other companies will follow, they will have to. And because the consumer is going to pay attention, especially the younger generation and they’re willing to buy pre-owned shoes, pre-owned clothing, because they think it’s also helping save the earth and be circular. So it’s, it’s getting that’s great leadership, I think. Yeah.
Scott Luton (00:41:24):
Well said there, Greg, any thoughts on what Tony just shared? What, yeah.
Speaker 6 (00:41:28):
I always go back to what Tony, I think is the ultimate leadership in, in reverse and circular
Greg White (00:41:34):
Economy is figure out a way that helps eliminate as many returns as possible. That is the most important return strategy ever created. And that is, you know, it is to enable someone, especially with highly technical products, like what best buy has enabled someone to figure out how to make the thing work rather than return it because they couldn’t figure it out. Right. Put in any key on laptops. Don’t you think that would work for people? Good pickup, Tony, I’m glad, glad you gave me a courtesy chuckle there. Um, but, but I mean, seriously, I think that, I think we have to figure out a way to eliminate as many returns as possible. And as I was thinking about what, what Tony has said and what Becca said to this point, I’m thinking a way to make even even the possibility of making upgradable electronics, right? I mean the possibility of swapping out, uh, you know, a chip and sliding another chip in to make those things upgradable, if it’s possible, right. Or even feasible, because really where I know where a lot of the growth is, is in resolute screen resolution. But anyway, I think there are lots of ways that we can address that. And that is the critical kind of leadership that the world, not just the industry needs
Scott Luton (00:42:54):
Agreed. I would add to that. And I think we all have different takes here. This has come up in previous shows, but this one, I feel strongly about it. W we’ve not as consumers, we’ve got to own that responsibility, right? We’ve got to do our homework a little bit better, which will help cut down on, on the universe of returns. I tell you, I hate to return anything. I really do. I don’t think I was sharing with y’all last, uh, last month I opened my packages very carefully so I can, so if I have to, I can put it together and hopefully it can, it can be reused easier, but we’ve got to own that as consumers. And, and that’s just my personal take. Not representing anyone here. I want to share a couple of quick comments and Becca, we’re going to come back to you on Eureka moments, uh, related to leadership or anything really Simon says, Hey, load, the history returns into planning, create those return forecasts. Then you can be better prepared to execute the right economic and strategic decisions. Excellent point there,
Greg White (00:43:46):
Or fire customers. I mean, there, there are retailers. I mean, I know it’s, it may not be best buy today, but they’re our customer or retailers who fire their customers who disproportionately returned goods.
Scott Luton (00:43:58):
Sure. I mean, we’re not in retail, but we’re seeing that in the railroad industry. Right. Uh, one of the CEOs of, one of the largest railroad companies came out and said, Hey, if it’s not profitable, you’ve got a chance of us not moving your freight. And that’s, you know, there’s a lot of those decisions to be made, not just the supply chain, but, but, uh, across business, uh, right now. Okay. So Becca, when it comes to these Eureka moments that we’re talking about, whether directly in supply chain or in a broader sense, what comes to mind for you?
Greg White (00:44:26):
Yeah, probably more broadly. Right. But I think before pandemic best buy, I used to look around
Becca Meinz (00:44:32):
And wonder, like, what was slowing us down was holding us back, you know, and you could never quite put your finger on it. And then there was this sort of forced run at rapid pace, you know, get quick alignment, like stay connected and just, just go right. Just go, go, go. And what what’s cool about that actually, you know, in, in work from home environment, I’ll add, like we can’t actually get in a room and make a decision. What’s cool about that is it. It’s kind of forced us to get into a new way of working together, like a very quick, you know, stay connected, collaborate, align, go try it, you know, with, with a little bit more license for like, look, if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. That’s okay. We move on. And so it’s really bred this idea of what we’re calling aligned autonomy and returning authority.
Becca Meinz (00:45:12):
You down to the people who work for us, who are truly in charge of their own business, who know it way better than I ever will. No one person can have a full grasp of what’s going on in my conversations as a leader have totally changed with my team. Like, like you said, our plates are all full. So now instead if I can give them this perspective and paint an overall picture for them and just empower them like crazy, that’s the only way that you can survive. And this kind of reminds the only way that you can make changes at the pace that you need to. So that’s one thing that, that I think Corey is emulated in, in a very, very effective way, that idea of aligned autonomy and just empowering people to go and run. But it’s something that I think that will keep hanging on to get less hung up in like making a formal RASCII and instead just huddle up and move. And it’s really about, yeah. Yeah. Oh man. Really? Yeah. Yeah. That was a big thing. Not in the, not so distant past, but now it’s like, okay, who owns the decision? Let’s go and it’s cool. It’s a different way of working. It’s, it’s something I think we’ll keep sticking around or our people love that kind of feeling that they can just go run and we get more done
Scott Luton (00:46:17):
On that note. I bet from a recruiting standpoint, from a career fulfillment standpoint, that makes sense. I bet. I bet your team loves that. And I bet the organization loves that the ability to, you know, do your homework, make the decision, own it and move on. And, and you know, of course that old phrase fail cheap and fail fast. Of course that’s so cliche these days, but still you gotta decisions gotta be made and, and someone’s gotta step up and do it. And it sounds like the culture there enable empowers folks, no matter their job function to make decisions.
Becca Meinz (00:46:48):
Absolutely. And that, yeah, I don’t know how many times I’ve told my team to like, go fail. You have like, you have your recover. You’re fine. You know, go fail, go figure it out. You know? Cause we can’t wait to have all the answers all the time. It’s really just where the environment we’re living in right now
Scott Luton (00:47:02):
That that’s. So that is my favorite teacher ism, some leaders that aren’t afraid and cultures that have the appetite to tell their, their team members go fail. We’re going to, we’re going to figure it out. You can’t get everything. Right. So thanks so much for sharing that, Becca. Okay. So Greg, I’m gonna circle right back around to you. Uh, Tony and Becca, both kind of shared some, some lessons learned here from the last 18 months or so what I bet I can share a couple that I’ve heard you, you harp on numerous sounds, which I love that’s the benefit of being co-host and when I’ve got my Greg white certification just about, but what else would, what else would you add
Greg White (00:47:36):
As far as leadership? Yep. Well, I think one is to recognize that, you know, it’s funny, I’m probably not going to mention any of the ones that you’ve got listed. So you might have to pick me up here, but this particular discussion has really got me thinking about right. Make sure I hit the checklist. Um, and I can’t, I can’t recall the first word it was collaborated or coordinated autonomy, which, what was it? Becca autonomy aligned. Okay. Aligned autonomy. I think that is, there’s a t-shirt ism right there, right. Is, is for every everyone to be rowing the same direction, but to have the right to, you know, to make their own decisions. I think that is a really, really critical element fail fast. But in the spirit of, of of course the ultimate goal, which is success be right a lot, right? I mean, I think you have to, right.
Greg White (00:48:29):
We can’t use the, we can’t use the cover of Becca as our manager for the opera to be sloppy. We can’t use that cover to be sloppy. We still have to think things through, with whatever we’ve got. And Scott, my favorite leadership ism, which comes from the military is you have to make life and death decisions in an instant with inadequate information. So I think if you think of it from that perspective and, and you think very discerningly about the life or death of your company or the heavy impact to your company, your customers, or your shareholders, then you will make the right decisions. Even if you are given the cover to fail to me. One of the things that is really enlightening, empowering, I have three daughters is that there are so many strong women leaders in this company. And I think Tony, I think about the bunch of smart guys that we were talking about it is, it, it, it will be a lot of guys who are really, really rigorous about how they feel about technology and to take on that industry, take on that industry, internal to a company, but also the customer base, which is unforgiving in any measure to take that on and embrace it and to want to be in the forefront of that kind of change.
Greg White (00:49:44):
And as an example, as a company in so many ways, I think that is a really powerful example. There’s anything that really stands out to me, Becca, from what you’ve shared and what we’ve seen over the years with best buy it is you want to be the point, the tip of the spear, right? You want to be out there leading, stumbling, taking the arrows and changing things. And I think you’ve done a hell of a job today as a company. And it sounds like in your relatively new role, right about three months, right. That you have, you have, you have a great perspective from a finance perspective. And yet the other thing that stood out at me is your creativity and the embracing of creativity that you do to solve those problems towards a financial goal. Critical, absolutely
Tony Sciarrotta (00:50:28):
Critical in this day and age so much,
Scott Luton (00:50:31):
Uh, you know, you blink and we’re almost at the top of the hour is at the bottom of the hour and I never get that. Right. But regardless, Becca, we, we really appreciate your time here today that you’ve got so many plates and the retail landscape is such a fast moving one. It’s so intriguing when we have retail leaders in reverse and supply chain leaders join us from that space. How can our folks, our community members connect with you and, you know, connect with best buy.
Becca Meinz (00:50:55):
Yeah. Um, find me on LinkedIn personally. Right. And uh, if you want to keep up on a lot of the things that you’ll see our CEO posting and best buy posing, we’re all over it, right. It’s a nice way to keep in touch just to see what the company’s up to. We’ve certainly start with a lot of personal stories. Our employees are very centered to what it is that we do in great customer stories out there too, to start to see in generally what Rutgers a company and, and ping me anytime.
Scott Luton (00:51:18):
Awesome. Well, thanks so much for carving some time out here. I really have enjoyed what you’ve shared and, and thanks for taking those questions, uh, from, from our community as well as those from our panel here. And Tony, same question for you. I know y’all got a bunch of things going on at the reverse logistics association. How can folks connect with you and the team
Tony Sciarrotta (00:51:37):
Most important of what we’re doing these days is this great, um, series. Once a month, we find an industry leader to talk about the end-to-end picture of the reverse logistics side and, and so proud that they’re engaged and members of the RLA and the rest of the audience can be a member of the RLA community by going to www.rla.org. So that’s the reverse logistics association website. It is free to join the community. There are membership benefits for corporations to join and sometimes individuals. And I’m on the second page while I’m on the front page two, but the second page find me and email simple. It’s firstname.lastname@example.org, T O N Y. And that’s it, it’s that easy on the management team, page two. So, uh, um, we try to be very accessible to the world. We are global
Scott Luton (00:52:34):
Agreed and, and I’ll tell you Becca and, and hearing from Becca mine’s here with best buy is very representative of the incredible people that make up your board and make up, you know, those, those leaders and practitioners that are helping disseminate information and best practices in this fast moving world of reverse and in return. So, Becca, I really appreciate your time here today. Vice-president in, in supply chain strategy at best buy and Tony to always a pleasure with the reverse logistics association who have y’all both back very soon.
Tony Sciarrotta (00:53:04):
All right. Great. Thanks. Thanks Tony,
Scott Luton (00:53:08):
Man. I’ll tell you what that was. Uh, I think we gained some kind of degree or certification after having that conversation. It really, if you think about the scope of what’s behind Becca is a POV shared here today is fascinating. And so this is, this is one of my, each of these, we learned different things from each of these different labs, streams and different series, but the re anything touched in the retail space right now is one of those that is a business lesson. And every conversation
Greg White (00:53:36):
It is, uh, you know, I think one of the things that just really jumped out at me, even before we got on the air is her title, right? Vice-president end to end supply chain strategy. That’s a big commitment for a company to make right to say, we’re, we’re doing it right. We’re putting somebody powerful in charge of it. I think that is an incredible commitment by any company.
Scott Luton (00:53:58):
I agree. Great point. I want to share a couple of quick comments here. I’m gonna avoid some of them. Uh, I’ll go back to one. I completely agree with, he says this to get says, Greg, right, rocking it. I love it. Greg is always rocketing here. Folks. He’s the cool one on our panel as always, let’s see here. I want to share a couple of, uh, this year. This was maybe Krupa. This could also,
Greg White (00:54:22):
I didn’t see that, but I agree. And that’s really critical because not only is the process of creating batteries, not only is that process highly impactful to the environment, but the disposal of them is so, and there are a lot of companies who are actively embracing, reuse, or pro appropriate disposal of, of battery.
Scott Luton (00:54:45):
It’s really interesting sector because it’s almost, [inaudible], it’s not perfect, but a little bit of a general realization in the battery space. You’ve got folks innovating and doing things differently and thriving and growing, and then you’ve got folks going bankrupt because they’re clinging to, you know, very, the traditional aspects of that sector. So that’s a great comment there. Krupin I hope I got your name right there. Peter Boulay shared. I don’t think I mentioned this played against sports. They’ve been, they’ve been in a re re use space for a long time. One of the retail pioneers there. That’s a great call out there. Let’s see here. Simon potential miserly, no return alternative company could be no behind, probably not viable,
Greg White (00:55:26):
Like best buys evil twin. We were talking about either twins before, but that could be best by his evil twin, right?
Scott Luton (00:55:31):
Yeah. Well, you know, uh, I was watching something about eighties, TV shows, night rider, not rider, the good car was kit and the bad evil twin was like cat or something. So I think everyone’s got an evil twin.
Greg White (00:55:43):
I did not know that. I don’t recall that. I’m certain that I saw that. So
Scott Luton (00:55:48):
If the Hoff ever had a bad day, Greg white, you could step in and play that lead role with that. Uh, then I’d rather not miss a beat man. Alright.
Greg White (00:55:58):
The pec implants that he had, Oh, wait, that wasn’t until a Fe watch. Right?
Scott Luton (00:56:02):
Are we still allowed, Bob of it says people at the point of the spirit will always give you the best ideas for any process in the inventory flow. Yeah. You’ve got to go to the gemba. That’s where the expertise is. I love that. Agreed, Jenny Tom flies, and we’re having fun and learning and being inspired. Yeah. Agreed. Felicia is with this from the RLA.
Greg White (00:56:24):
I love it. When she shows up, you don’t have to wait until Tony’s here. Felicia show up. Anytime.
Scott Luton (00:56:32):
Speaking of that circular economy, of course, Debra Dole is doing big things and that circular economy space and has been really for years, you know, there’s a lot of new players in that space, but Debra is very passionate about that. And, and
Greg White (00:56:44):
Jenny reached out to her and said, Hey, you need to be watching this. So now we’ll send you the replay link. That is right. Um, wherever in the world you are. And I mean that quite literally
Scott Luton (00:56:55):
AA says fail fast, fail often to get the right solutions is the agile mentality in action. How about that? Andrea, you got to own your decisions. Companies who have this dynamic are proven to be more efficient. You need to learn, and in order to do it, you need to make decisions, fail and rise from it. Excellent point. And you know what? Rhonda agrees with me that Greg white is the cool one of our bunch here, Rhonda, we have a great time and great. So great to have you as part of these live streams regularly, we’ve got everyone
Greg White (00:57:27):
That sounds so cool. I want you to bring me down a notch. I want you to tell me what are the leadership tenets that I didn’t mention there, or that you saw that, that we should have been learning from
Scott Luton (00:57:38):
Know, I’m going to save that for the next live stream, but you remind me what, I’m what I forgot to ask Tony. And he’s, he’s already left the green room. Dad come in, Tony Sharada loves music, loves me. And I was going to give him a trivia question. I’ll go ahead and share this before we wrap. So who do you think Greg is the first artist to become, to have top tens in every decade, seven of them since billboards, a certain chart originated in January, 1964, 1964, but this artist has had hits top 10 hits in seven decades
Greg White (00:58:13):
Since 1964. Uh, that would have to be Paul McCartney.
Scott Luton (00:58:19):
That is Willie Nelson. What is
Greg White (00:58:23):
Some of those were writings? I was thinking singing’s some, because Willy was a writer, right. Or Elvis and hang. Right, right. Yeah. That’s, that’s a, that’s a trick question. I bet. I bet Tony. Would’ve known that though. Maybe some serious. I do knows a lot about music, man
Scott Luton (00:58:42):
Had a great guest. Bob Dylan would have been a great one, uh, there, and, uh,
Greg White (00:58:47):
I’m not Googling, not Googling. I’m sick. I’ll answer with both hands up next time. Right.
Scott Luton (00:58:54):
But kidding aside, Andre here. One of our last comments we’ll share leadership goals to be like Becca. I mean, really that is my leadership goal. I mean, to hear and, and you know, I love it when, when, when senior level leaders are just very transparent and authentic and an earnest who doesn’t want to work for folks like that, you know? Yeah. So a lot of good stuff today love this series and I’ve had a great week of shows and podcast production. So Greg, one thing you’ll do with this weekend, and then I’m going to sign off. What’s one thing you’re looking forward to this weekend. I’m looking forward to getting outside into some 70, maybe even 75 plus weather, you know, I’m nice. We had some kind of severe weather come through here last night and I slept through it. So my mother, uh, in Kansas who’s people in Kansas are always highly attuned to tornadoes. Yes. Asked about it. But yeah, I’m definitely going to get outside and do some hiking. My dog needs a run.
Scott Luton (00:59:52):
Well, I hope you have a great weekend out there. It looks like it’s really pretty right this second. And then we’re going, you know what? We’re going to have to have your mother on the show after she made an appearance last week, week before last, uh, we’re out to have her own, she’s got a sense of humor. That clearly is a winner. So, but, but Hey, let’s set that off to the side for right. The second Greg, hope you have a great weekend. Everyone showed up and all the stuff that, uh, all the comments and perspective you shared really appreciate y’all that that’s one of our favorite elements of these lab. Streams is learning as much from our community and folks in the comments as we do from folks that make up the panels. So, uh, on that note, be sure to check out supply chain now and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from.
Scott Luton (01:00:35):
Amanda is not with us here. So I’m gonna go ahead and mention new website next week, new website. She’s given us the go. Now this has given us the go, it’s not nearly as fun to talk about it. It’s next week though, right? Yes. That’s right. Yeah. Wow. So look forward to that. If it’s going to be, if that’s really focused on that UX, right? The user experience, better search functionality and then many other things. So y’all check that out a lot easier to navigate, to get to the specific shows that you want to select a podcast or a YouTube. It will cut down on the links. We have to drop into our posts and hopefully save a lot of people. Steve, Keaveny some time in trying to find the newest episode. Yes. He makes a lot of money. We got to make sure he doesn’t waste any time and find his podcast can make him happy. Wait, everybody have a wonderful weekend. And if you do anything, do this, do good. Give forward and be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see you next time here at supply chain. Now.
Thanks everybody. Thanks for being a part of our supply chain. Now, community check out all of our email@example.com and make sure you subscribe to supply chain. Now anywhere you listen to podcasts and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on supply chain. Now.
Becca Meinz has been at Best Buy for over 10 years. She began her career as an Engineer at a biomedical device company before earning her MBA at the University of Minnesota. At Best Buy she held various roles in Finance before moving into the Supply Chain. She currently leads the Reverse Supply Chain team and is responsible for Best Buy’s End to End Supply Chain Strategy. Connect with Becca on LinkedIn.
Tony Sciarrotta serves as Executive Director of the Reverse Logistics Association. He was nominated and selected by the Board to serve as the Executive Director on August 1, 2016. Since Mr. Sciarrotta had been an active member serving in committee leadership of Reverse Logistics Association since 2005, he had also served on the Board of RLA from 2005 to 2012 while employed at Philips Consumer Lifestyle as their Director of Sales & Marketing. So it was a simple decision for the selection team at RLA to approve Mr. Sciarrotta. Since his experience, qualifications and service to RLA was more than substantial to meet the requirement that was needed as the next Executive Director. Mr. Sciarrotta has held a variety of sales and marketing positions in the consumer electronics industry for over 35 years, most recently as the President of Reverse IT Sales & Consulting. Tony brings so much experience to the RLA team, including 25 years at Philips Consumer Lifestyle. His background helped prepare him for a developmental role as director for returns management activities, and in 1998 Tony was assigned to create and manage a cross functional department to reduce returns and their associated costs. He was successful at implementing effective returns policies and procedures with a variety of dealers, and in 2005, Tony assumed responsibility for maximizing asset recovery of all returned consumer goods. Tony has specifically targeted best avenues for reselling returned goods at the model level, by using tools developed with finance support. In 2013, after establishing best-in-class results for returns in the consumer goods industry, Tony retired from Philips and now sits on various committees and industry groups. Learn more about the Reverse Logistics Association here: https://rla.org/
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.