Supply Chain Now
Episode 635

Episode Summary

“If you look at sales alone, not considering returns, you are missing a piece of it because any customer that is returning an item would like to have the money back. You’re losing sales at that time and you could be losing that customer for future sales.”

– Joyce Cruts, VP of Supply Chain & Operations for Acer America Corporation

 

 

As a large and growing segment of the consumer population begins to emphasize the desire for companies and consumer brands to act responsibly, the returns process – known as reverse logistics within the supply chain profession – has to become more sustainable as well. Even though the most cost-effective option is to dispose of an incorrect or unwanted item, companies are working to find ways to keep that material out of the waste stream.

Joyce Cruts is the VP of Supply Chain & Operations for Acer America Corporation. One of her passions is promoting supply chain sustainability initiatives. By reducing non-value-added processes and eliminating redundancies and inefficiencies, she is able to optimize the supply chain for social responsibility and promote the fiscal health of the company at the same time.

In this episode, Joyce tells Tony Sciarrotta, Executive Director of the Reverse Logistics Association, and Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton about:

· The multiple tiers of repurposing and reuse that make it possible to keep most materials out of landfills

· Options – including company provided videos – that help consumers make a better purchase up front, reducing the need for returns

· The many ways companies are experimenting with reselling returned product to keep their costs low and put objects to use

Episode Transcript

Scott Luton (00:00:32):

Good afternoon. Good Friday afternoon, Scott Luton, Greg white, with he right here at supply chain and welcome to today’s live stream, Greg, how are you doing? I am doing quite well. Scott, as a matter of fact, I have to tell you, I, I just really watched our little lead in sequence for the first time, really carefully. Is that pickles that they’re packaging in the beginning of that? I don’t know. Hey, we love pickles in the Luton household that may very well be pickles, kosher deal. Our favorite time pickle guy. Uh, I like them on barbecue sandwiches and, and burgers, but I don’t like I, don’t not a huge pickle fan. Oh hot dogs, of course, which we had that discussion. I don’t know if you recall that with Mike Griswold, the great micros Walden, what you put on a hot dog we’ve tackled that burning conversation, burning chain topics, like what to put on your hot, hot dog.

Scott Luton (00:01:28):

Right? But today it’s all about continuing our reverse logistics series with our friends at the reverse logistics association. We have not only a home run guest is always repeat guests with Tony Sciarrota. We’ve got a great, uh, PR uh, leader practitioner, executive practitioner, uh, from the, um, ICT industries. Does that sound about right Greg computer, computer electronics industry, perhaps that’s more accurate. We’re holding back the name until you make the official intro. Aren’t you? I am. How’d you, they’re going to know as soon as, as soon as you give the name, what industry, well, folks, as, as great as our live stream was yesterday, if you happen to tune in with Zucca and Jenny, uh, today’s enables wonderful today’s live stream is also going to be really, um, uh, I think, uh, very informative with lots and lots of been there, done that lessons learned.

Scott Luton (00:02:18):

So stay tuned for today’s conversation, but first Greg, we must, I T industry Tony. So Tony is from the green room. He’s given me tips. It industry’s the best way to put it. So thank you. Okay. So let’s share a couple of programming notes really quick. I want to add this to the stream here. So Greg, this has been a big week of content, big guests, big conversations, big issues, right? Issues of the day, which, which is par for the course here at supply chain. Now Charles Redding, CEO of MedShare. Now the livestream Greg was last week. I believe we published the replay on our podcast channels and this guy, man, we continue to get feedback from what Charles shared, huh?

Greg White (00:03:00):

Well, this was the topic of our, one of the topics of our team call for the whole company today. So to give you an idea of what kind of impact this one had, uh, yeah, definitely get eyes and ears on this incredible stories, some great life lessons, um, yeah, really impressive stuff.

Scott Luton (00:03:17):

And med shares, making it happen, helping lots of folks in need. So love what they’re doing at MedShare. So that was, uh, what we published, I believe yesterday. And then earlier today we published a replay of our Dao P for procurement series and Kelly Barner. Greg, I think you tuned in at least in the cheap seats, perhaps she was quite a quarterback as she navigated this conversation between co-write cozy with Gartner and fill out of sin from art to procurement, a ton of, of procurement insights and POV on that one.

Greg White (00:03:48):

I learn something every single time I tuned into one of these procurement things. I really knew, knew not a lot about procurement coming in, even though I was in purchasing, which sounds like the same thing. It gives you a really clear idea of how siloed those, those, um, entities are within a company. And I thought I had a grasp on it, but every single time I tune into one of these things, I learned just a little something more

Scott Luton (00:04:12):

Agreed, excellent point. And, and, uh, there’s not a better person to learn from, from Kelly Barner and her friends, especially when it comes all things procurement. So you’ll check out that wherever your podcast from search for supply chain out and subscribe for free, with a money back guarantee for you with the money back guarantee. All right. So let’s say look to a few folks before we bring Joyce and Tony into this conversation, you are going to enjoy. We had a great time just in a warm up conversation, uh, um, talking with both of them. So, so stay tuned for a great, great discussion, but let’s say lo to a few folks, Diego Espinosa is tuned is ready to go, right? Uh, via LinkedIn. Great to see here, Diego. Hey sure. Nevus. Great to have you here from India. Um, you know, there’s a ton of, of, um, uh, really tough and challenging and depressing stories playing out across the country of India.

Scott Luton (00:05:09):

Our hearts and prayers are with you. Uh, we’re hoping to feature, um, leaders from India next week and livestreams are really helped paint a picture of what’s going on. And more importantly, how folks can help. Uh, I saw earlier today where Salesforce was making a huge commitment to send, um, millions and millions of dollars of, of resources to India. And then we got to enlist thereby as help. So hope this finds you and your family well, and, uh, we’re with you. So, uh, all right. Muhammad is also with this field, LinkedIn. Great to see you here. Muhammad Shannon’s back. Shannon was making some waves. Uh, was it yesterday, Greg? Yes.

Greg White (00:05:43):

Yeah. Yeah. Full of good comments.

Scott Luton (00:05:46):

Agreed, Peter. Beaujolais all right, Peter, you can’t go down the food. I’m starving. He says good Friday afternoon. Oh, Ooh. Pickles on a chicken sandwich. Um, hope this finds you. Well, who’s this Greg, when your face.

Greg White (00:06:00):

Yeah, she is. Who really runs our LA I think Tony Wilford.

Scott Luton (00:06:06):

Oh, well

Greg White (00:06:08):

She ha she always contributes. When, when we’re talking about food or kids, she was also contributing yesterday, right. That the story of what her daughter wants to be teacher police officer, I think farmer and cowboy, something like that. And she said yes to all of those things.

Scott Luton (00:06:26):

She sure did. I forgotten about that. That’s a great comment, Felicia, but I’m disappointed, Greg. Usually when Felicia hits our live stream, her entire name rolls off your tongue and magical fast. Yeah. Felicia.

Greg White (00:06:40):

Well, Justin now’s in there for me to be able to pronounce it.

Scott Luton (00:06:43):

Yes. Well, I think you enjoy pronouncing her name as much as your friend Diego and you should have been, the price is right. Announcer. You’re really good at it. Um, let’s see. Who else is here with us today? Hey, Vinay. Great to see ya. You’re back with us. I think you were, you had joined us on a couple of earlier sessions. Great to see here today. And it is going to be, uh, um, a common and a unique topic here today. I think, I think common in reverse reverse logistics and returns, which we talk about a lot with our friends, our lay, but unique in terms of how Joyce is going to tackle it from, from her organization and industry

Greg White (00:07:19):

A lot more prominent. And finally, right.

Scott Luton (00:07:23):

Thankfully is right. A great point. Greg Simon. Great googly. Mooglie it’s nearly may. People were going to have to get that meme ready to go for Monday, Greg, with, uh, Justin Timberlake. Are you ready? It’s my dead right on top. Culichi via YouTube from Nigeria. Great to have you here with us today, Khaleeji, uh, Harshad via LinkedIn is tuned in great to have your T squared his back. He holds down the Fort force at YouTube. Just what I need for my 44th circle. A good smorgasbord on reverse logistics. Is that being Greg is today’s his birthday. Is that what he’s implying?

Greg White (00:08:01):

I don’t know. Is that what it means? 44th circle is, could it be his birthday? Well, he’s going to have to tell us, you have to clue us into your code. Oh, wait, wait a minute. Hold on. Oh, wait, hold on hold please. Hold I moved. There it is. Is that a clue as a clue,

Scott Luton (00:08:18):

Happy birthday to squirt. Yeah. May you get extra nourishment today? And then finally, I know we have a few folks we can’t get to, but, uh, Annie Hyder is with us via LinkedIn. Looking forward to this discussion. She shares I’m on the reconciliation side of reverse logistics, looking forward to the conversation. Excellent. That’s a challenge too. It is a challenge. It is. All right. So Greg and welcome everybody. And we want you all to get your, your voice and your POV ready, because we love hearing your comments on the conversation that you hear here today. We’re going to try to share as much of that as we can. Okay. So Greg, we’ve set a low we’ve shared some corny we’ve said hello to folks we’ve shared programming notes. I think our work prior to the guests is all done. Is that right? I believe that it is.

Greg White (00:09:02):

Is Scott. Uh, yes. I think we should press forward at this point. Let me check. Let me check the guidebook.

Scott Luton (00:09:10):

Oh yes. Wonderful. Well, let’s walk him in on that note. Our guests here today, our wonderful guests, Joyce Cruts vice president of supply chain operations with Acer America corporation and the one and only Tony Sciarrotta executive director with the reverse logistics association. Hello?

Greg White (00:09:28):

Because I had to do your walkout song with the swoosh. Got me. Tony tried to get there. Didn’t you?

Scott Luton (00:09:33):

The swoosh waits for no one as we’ve learned around here. So, uh, but Joyce and Tony, we really enjoyed our pre-show conversation, Greg and I and the whole gang did and welcome to supply chain now and tea and the latest episode of our reverse logistics series. So how are we doing? Very good. We’re doing great. And Joyce, you are welcome board. Indeed. You’re on the West coast out in beautiful San Jose. I bet. I bet it’s beautiful out there. And, and Tony you’re, you’re a fellow Atlanta. That’s right. So let’s start right there. Um, uh, we’ve enjoyed Greg. We’ve enjoyed beautiful Greg and Tony wonderful weather here lately. The last couple of weeks, uh, he’s been crisp in the mornings for the most part and it hadn’t gotten too hot yet. Right? 147 degrees is right around the corner come June and July. And I’m only exaggerating by a couple degree points, unfortunately. But, um, so Joyce, I bet it’s gorgeous out your neck of the woods. What do you like to do typically in non pandemic years? You know, w w where do you like to spend your time when you get outside?

Joyce Cruts (00:10:37):

We go outside. It’s hiking because it’s so beautiful here in California, hiking trails enough, um, wine tasting, of course, California wine tasting goes together. Some gardening and the academic year has helped us a lot. We had our supermarket back in the yard.

Greg White (00:11:02):

Maybe Scott, you could get some tips from Joyce on gardening,

Scott Luton (00:11:06):

Reading my mind, Greg. It’s amazing how well you can do that. Um, yes. I need to get some best practices from, from you, from you joy we’re slowly but surely building a garden in our backyard. One other thing about Joyce that we’re not gonna build to dive into no pun intended.

Greg White (00:11:22):

Oh, he did it. He went there

Scott Luton (00:11:26):

Is Joyce is, uh, she participated in the youth Olympics, uh, and was a semi-professional swimmer, uh, champion swimmer. Uh, so next time, Joyce, when you come back, you’ll have to share some stories from, from those ventures. Great to have you

Joyce Cruts (00:11:39):

Here today. Thank you.

Scott Luton (00:11:41):

All right. So Tony, welcome back. Uh, one of our favorite series here, because as you have stated, the reverse logistics and returns industry never gets enough attention, but before we get into the work,

Tony Sciarrotta (00:11:54):

The heavy lifting, what are you doing with your time outside in this gorgeous weather, getting ready for outdoor music festivals and, uh, trips to Nashville so that the city has woken up and there’s music and, uh, maybe even make it to new Orleans again. So just getting outdoors, as Joyce said, is, uh, is, is great. And the CDC now tells us we don’t have to wear masks outside. That was great news. Wasn’t it? Are you kidding me? Um, so, uh, uh, you know, th th the outdoor stuff, and by the way, uh, local boys here, we’ve got, uh, a good farmer’s market going on in Alpharetta. So if you’re a busy tomorrow, if you’re open tomorrow morning, I can meet you there at the, um, maybe the hot dog stand high, and we can see what we were just talking about. Hot dogs and Nichols.

Scott Luton (00:12:47):

Um, one quick comment. Uh, so kidding aside, as we dive into, uh, the kind of the center plate content, before I pass over to Mr. Greg white, I want to share this comment from Shannon. So, uh, she, she had referenced how a supply chain organization, I think in China was, was, was jumping into the fight to get, uh, supply oxygen concentrators, uh, to India. And I love the sentiment here. Love it. She says when supply chain is able to support world’s needs, anytime in, anywhere in the world, that I agree with that wholeheartedly. And, you know, the, the supply chain industry is truly going to get us drag us into the post pandemic environment. So Shannon, great way to start the conversation. Okay. So from there, Greg, where do we go with Joyce and Tony next? Well, let’s figure out what it is that Joyce does for a living. Let’s start there. So titles are often not completely descriptive of what your role is every day. Joyce. So tell us a little bit about what you do at Acer.

Joyce Cruts (00:13:45):

It’s actually easier to say what I don’t do.

Greg White (00:13:50):

We can go that way.

Joyce Cruts (00:13:52):

Well, in supply chain and operations, what it means here for me is basically anything. What, what, what is needed to get a computer from the factory to the user and anything in between. So you can think about logistics, uh, customer expectations, um, how to do the fulfillment, uh, quality, et cetera. And that’s my responsibility. Do I do that alone? No. I have a perfect team that is really supporting me and that are relying on to, to make it all happen. And in the, in this last year, we thought we have seen it all, but everyday I still got a no surprise. Really? Yeah. It goes from being posed congestions to contain us falling off the ships. Uh, you name it, we have seen it all. So

Greg White (00:14:52):

That’s a great, that’s a great segue to what I was going to ask you next, which is what are the kind of three or four things that are impacting you and reverse logistics in general? I mean, tell, tell me about what’s real. You see really impacting the industry

Joyce Cruts (00:15:07):

Actually, uh, from our point of view, how we look at rehearsal Jessica, um, one of our key points is actually what, what is it that the ant user needs? What do they require from our products? That’s our, that’s our key focus. And that is what we try to measure, uh, and that you need data to, to, to be able to understand what it is, what should we improve? What, what new features to the users, what would they like to see? Right. That’s one of the key aspects. The aspects that we are focusing on is how do we get returns back quickly and what is actually wrong with it? Um, can we generate any data from it, uh, to support us again on the new designs and then what makes it, um, responsible for a company of our brands? What are we going to do with those units as soon as they come back? So you have the financial aspect to it will, how can we recover? Most of it, that’s one aspect to it. The other aspect, which is very important to us is how can we be sustainable? Meaning not only from a, what do we do with the products, but how can we protect mother earth? Uh, how can we protect the communities? What can we do basically to, to be social responsible, be responsible for the environment. So that’s really one of the keys. So we have three main aspects.

Greg White (00:16:47):

This is a really tough task for the computer industry, because the technology changes so fast, it’s constantly, you know, and it’s not just broken goods. It’s, it’s, I’m sitting here with two, seven year old servers back when we had servers. And I don’t have any idea what to do with them. Right. I know that there are places you can go that do that, but there are a lot of things that are less obvious. I’m rocking a couple of Acer monitors right here, Joyce, and matter of fact, so, and they’re doing a great job, so I don’t anticipate needing to return them anytime. Um, but, but it, you know, this particular industry I think is really, really challenging because the technology is changing so frequently. Um, so I, I love that you guys have that sustainability initiative, uh, you know, and I know that you, you also subscribed to Tony’s philosophy, which is build it better and inform the customer better when you sell it so that the stuff doesn’t come back, right. I, part of reverse logistics

Greg White (00:17:50):

Is avoiding reverse logistics.

Joyce Cruts (00:17:54):

Um, um, I remember when I met Tony the first time I have to say, he’s a very good mentor to me in the beginning, because I was new when I came to the United States. And I was really shocked from coming from Europe to the United States, seeing all these returns. And I was actually quite funny. I was in Costco and I saw a person returning a rice cooker, which was seven, eight years old. And I was really that’s possible here in the United States. I mean, sorry, I didn’t think about that. Right. Because I wasn’t living here. So I saw that I was like, that’s actually, I’m good. And then I was wondering, what are they going to do with those, uh, you know, products that they’re returning? And the first time I went to the show for returns, consumer returns, I met Tony and I asked him many, many questions because I wanted, I was thinking there should be a better way. And that was my journey, actually, that started how to tackle the returns, uh, that we are, that we have to deal with. The she’ll be a better way just to get them back and maybe refurbish and then sell them or destroy them. There was a better way. So I hear a lot of people was asking, how did you do it? It’s a long way to go. It doesn’t start overnight. You don’t have results within the next quarter. It will take a couple of years before you start seeing definite results.

Scott Luton (00:19:24):

So limit, let me chime in. If I can, I want to, I’m going to go all the way back upstream to something you shared early on Joyce and your commentary. And that is, uh, getting data on these returns. I spent time in retail, uh, in a couple of summer jobs for a, um, a department store. That’s no longer with us. And I can remember getting items back. And not only that we not get information, but, but management was not training us to take information. Uh, you know, and, and I, I can’t remember where, where we’d put things in. Certainly not where they went, but needless to say it didn’t, it didn’t make it back on, on shelves, Tony. So getting data on returns to talk to us, what are you seeing and how new of a, of a thought is that? And what are industry leaders doing to get that data that so that they can, they can optimize how the, those returns are used?

Tony Sciarrotta (00:20:11):

Well, this is a, this is a big box of a lot of things in it. And I, and I love Joyce. Thank you for mentioning that we started together. Um, I don’t consider myself a mentor. I consider myself lucky to find people like Joyce, who said, why did this stuff come back? If there’s nothing wrong with it? Okay, that’s the nightmare. Why does it come back when there’s nothing wrong with it? And if you’re in a supply chain world, honestly, you don’t, you almost don’t give a in some ways you don’t because your job is to move it. Not to stop it from moving, right? It’s move it fast, move it furious, move it quickly. And, and so one thinks about how did this, how did the returns happen? And unfortunately, Scott collecting data to Joyce’s point, you’re collecting it after the fact. And all, you know is 90% of the computers coming back had no technical problem.

Tony Sciarrotta (00:21:00):

Now we get into that whole technical problem versus ease of use usability, human factor engineers, world. That we’ve talked about way back when, but it’s relevant today because imagine supply chain geeks, all of us, if you could stop 10% of the returns from flowing back on trucks, you’d free up, right? You free up trucks, you free up trailers. You free up warehouse space. If we could just stop 10% of the loads, and you could do that. If you just put some practical notions in at the beginning, I love what Joyce said. The words are, make sure the customer’s getting what they need, not what you want to sell them, but that they’re getting what they need, because we did the surveys. We know that the people return things say 75% of the time, they say it, didn’t meet our expectations, you over promised and you didn’t deliver.

Tony Sciarrotta (00:21:51):

And that’s the worst you can do in the consumer world. Especially when you have retailers who I, I won’t pick on any names in particular, but the retailers are all forced. And especially the e-tailers, it’s a competitive sledgehammer now, right? The returns are, you have to make it easy for people. You may not like it, but you have to do it because everyone else is. So finding out at the beginning. And again, I loved the story of the one test that we did it at. And I can say Walmart, they’re on my board. So they’ll let me say this story. And this is a way back in the early days, early two thousands, maybe earlier, when you go to returns desk, they do ask you a reason code. And, and as Joyce, and I know it’s kind of a joke, right? Because there’s the, is going to say the first thing that they think will work.

Tony Sciarrotta (00:22:37):

And we actually flipped the reason codes at the Walmart return desk. They had one through 10, let’s say, and we flipped around number one, two, and three. And we put them with seven, eight, nine, moved them up. And it was always number one. Number one reason code, whatever it was was always why move fast, hit number one, don’t think twice. That’s the reason they returned it. So we don’t get good data. Scott, coming back to your initial point, we don’t get good data very well upfront. We do get it at the backend. So that’s when you have to start thinking. And what I also love about Joyce, one of the smartest people, I know she doesn’t go down to six Sigma road. She went down at like I did and said, no, it’s not six Sigma. It’s not about making a perfect product. It’s about making a better experience. So Joyce understood that she caught it well. And we love to trade stories about that nightmare.

Scott Luton (00:23:28):

So Greg, before you pick back up on what Tony and Joyce just shared there, I want to share this from Vinay he’s, he’s illustrating what we’ve taught. What Tony’s talked about a lot reverse logistics does not get much attention to business and management always focuses more on sales, marketing, higher losses that they returned side of supply chains have

Greg White (00:23:46):

An, a excellent points there. You find a lot of kindred spirits here. All right, Greg reverse logistics is the redheaded stepchild of the redheaded stepchild supply,

Greg White (00:23:56):

Right? I mean, if you think about it,

Greg White (00:23:58):

It really is. It really is. Um, I mean, it’s, it’s unwanted frankly, right? I mean, I, but I think it’s so necessary. And that’s why, because it’s exactly what Vinay is talking about. That’s why Tony’s philosophy is so critical. Right? And Joyce obviously, you’re, you do subscribe to that, make the experience better, represent your products effectively, get the consumer able to implement your product because you know, you’re, you’re selling laptops and monitors and things like that. And when, when you get a service call and somebody in one of your service professionals says hit the hit any key, many people can’t find the, any key on the keyboard,

Greg White (00:24:42):

Right? So it’s crazy. It’s crazy.

Greg White (00:24:49):

You have to think about in order to avoid these returns. So it is a, it’s a tough world. It’s absolutely necessary. It’s a big contributor to sustain sustainability. And as you said, responsible commerce, and that’s a big initiative for you all at Acer, right? So you have this focus on responsible supply chain. You alluded to it earlier. So share a little bit more about that and how that works.

Joyce Cruts (00:25:11):

So, um, as a bit of a unique position as the default one side and the reverse side, and that gives me one of the advantages that I can see end to end of the supply chain and our philosophy is anything that happens on for what happens on the reverse to accept the reverse is to lead a bit more in the chaos, right? You have to imagine on a forest that you have a nice palette. Nice, cute, nice stack. On the first site, you can get anything back. So knowing that, yes, I know a lot of people see, we first as an isolated, as a silo within the company, but if you start making everyone aware of who’s in the company, that basically your returns is impacting your sales. So if you look at sales alone, not considering reverse you missing you missing actually a piece of it because any customer that is returning, but I said to customer would like to have the money back, right? So there’s the credit. So you’re losing yourself. You’re losing that sales at that time, you lose, you could be losing that customer in the future for future sales. So it definitely has impact to sales.

Greg White (00:26:30):

Peter, you know, we were just talking about continuous improvement. Peter says, cousin lean six Sigma, all the flavor of the day. At some point, every new COO has their preference. And the rest we learned to pivot a long time ago, uh, T squared likes your point. Greg imagined that a stepchild, stepchild and supply chain, and then more to the point, Joyce was just making here. And Simon, we’ve talked about this in, in, in both from a rebate and like a fees standpoint on previous episodes, he says, give people a rebate. If they return responsibly, any comments there, I love it. I think that’s a great idea and it can be challenging to implement it. Um, but absolutely for Joyce and especially the higher cost, uh, products in the it world, not just computers, but, uh, servers and, and, uh, and, and other products that are just really expensive. And you don’t want to take them back if you can avoid it. But Joyce, I don’t know if that can be implemented. It’s a great idea.

Joyce Cruts (00:27:29):

Actually, I’m a co-PI, but it will be difficult, uh, to do that with, with the partners, uh, maybe direct with the rack at use us, it’s easier, um, bus, we should not forget one aspect to the hopelessness is I tax returns or trade in. Right? So to get products basically back where customers could get a certain dollar amount for the product, depending on what the, what, what the level is, or the quality level is and cosmetically. So that could be considered as one of the aspects of rebate kind of rebate, how you want to call it. At least I get some money back how to, how to implement the non returns, have to think about that. But I like the idea, um,

Greg White (00:28:19):

Greg, what do you, and w we had some passionate debate around fees and, and rebates. It seems like a month or two ago. What’s your take? I love the idea. I mean, I think I’m, so I leaned so heavily on trying to prevent it. I just can’t, I just can’t turn away from that. You know, I CA I came from a retail industry with intentional returns because I was in the automotive industry. So we had cords that we intentionally wanted back. We wanted batteries, starters, alternators, things like that, and they were rebuilt and, and then resold. So, um, but I, you know, I think about, you know, we did a billion dollars in retail sales in the, in the nineties. And I think about how the shoveled, even that returns process was, um, you know, just stacks of stuff and, um, kind of on tables and things like that.

Greg White (00:29:12):

I really feel like somehow that the retailers and the, and the brands they need to serve themselves better in order to serve their consumers better, because the point that Joyce made around how returns impact your sales, think about that. That is a customer. A return is the ultimate customer returns or customer experience. I worked at Kmart, which most people probably don’t even know what that is. The sales man said, uh, sales and store manager that I ever met. Her lock Baines, Pew store, 71 17 in Wichita, Kansas, um, said, it’s not your money. Just take the product back, make the experience good, make the experience good for the consumer. Right? And, and then as Tony said, um, if you get, if you make it easy for people to return goods, don’t be surprised when they do, but you have to make the entirety of the PR of the process, um, a good experience for the consumer, because everything represents your brand, the product going out, the experience of buying, of using, of interpreting how to use the product and, and returning it as well as Joyce said, they may never buy from you again, if they return your product too much, or if that returns experience isn’t good.

Greg White (00:30:31):

Or nowadays, I think if people perceive that that’s, that returns experience is not sustainable. So, you know, it’s part of the identity, sorry, Joyce, go ahead.

Joyce Cruts (00:30:43):

So there’s actually a good point that you bring it up. If we look at the younger generations and there’s a shift happening of, um, from where, from whom they are buying, or even which brands they are buying, and they are much more cautious about who is actually, uh, uh, social responsible who, uh, supports to, to avoid any damage to the environment. Uh, new generations are really particular about that. And they want to understand before they actually buy, if that brand is really supporting those kinds of, uh, uh, how do you say that? Thinking ways or philosophies, et cetera. And, um, just to go back to your previous point, Greg, um, when you ask me what we do, basically on the sustainability point. Yeah. So one of the key cases, what, after we produced or sold, how can we do in the first place reuse it because reuse, you don’t need to use energy again, to produce it, right? And you don’t need to produce a new product, which means you need to buy new earth materials, right? So that is the first point. How can we reuse it then? How can we resell it? If all of that is not possible, then we have to go to the second layer. So first we look from a finished, good product then would go to the second layer. Can we do the same thing on component level? Can we reuse? Can we resell? If that’s not possible, you go further down through our materials.

Greg White (00:32:20):

Something that Joyce has focused on to, uh, that Joyce began at Acer. And now you see other companies doing is selling the goods herself. Um, Acer is offering refurbished goods to consumers. So that secondary market that Joyce is mentioning is something that many manufacturers are picking

Tony Sciarrotta (00:32:40):

Up on. Because as she said, the millennials, they love responsible companies. They will buy a refurbished computer from Acer. They’re even going to buy refurbished or return Nike shoes from Nike. So there’s an acceptance now, today that there wasn’t a few years ago and Joyce, and, you know, even at Phillips, we helped push that bubble of, of offering those goods to the consumer, with the credibility of the band name, right behind it, buying it from a flea market. You’re not buying it on eBay from an unknown, you’re buying it from Acer, or you’re buying it from a brand name. And, and that’s, that’s part of that circular economy that, that she’s so importantly referencing it is circular to take it back, not rebuild it, just fix it up, whatever it needs to sparkle on it and send it out the door again for somebody for a lower value. It’s a great concept. We love it. All right. So, so much good stuff here. I want to share Greg, a couple of comments here. I want to start on the lighter side as Rhonda and Rhonda. Great to have you here. She says late to the party. What did I miss? Scott Luton. Peter goes pickles. You missed kosher pickles

Tony Sciarrotta (00:33:47):

For that. Peter and Ron that love it. Hey, kidding aside. And I don’t mean to cut you off. I’m gonna try to read a little bit of this and I’ll take it down, but Laura’s has a great comment here. Reverse logistics can, in some cases also drive sales. I think Tony and Joyce, but you both mentioned this general dynamics. Canada had a contract to tear down old vehicles and were used components and new builds. This was a labor intensive operation that was politically attractive to numerous governments looking to improve employment and efficiently being able to mass process returns was an order qualifier with many contracts, if not an order winner, large. So any commentary on that? I want to share one other one in a second from, uh, Oh, we’ll lobby, but Joyce coming on that, how can we, we can really weaponize, uh, reverse logistics and, and optimize returns processing to, to grow the top and the bottom line. Right?

Joyce Cruts (00:34:41):

True. Uh, I mean, um, you can imagine the components that are coming out of certain products is a product that could be other brands. You can reuse them in other kinds of products. So produce no, no, no products that production, you can keep within your own country. You don’t need to go overseas. So if you can continue that within your own country, we are where the returns are basically happening. You can create new jobs

Ton (00:35:09):

That appeals to any, anyone in any leader, any government around the world, it’s like a universal attraction, Tony, but there’s just a little sticking point that Joyce and I know which is HP got in a lot of trouble for taking parts out of returned computers, putting them in new computers and not telling people. And they got fined megabucks so there’s some rules and regulations. We want to be careful with Joyce. Joyce gave an interesting fork in the road that you can take, you take the parts out of the returns and you use them in other different products, like batteries that come out of cell phones and the commodity computers could be used in toys, and they can be considered new. It’s a, it’s a really complicated mess and the government regulates this and they probably should be relooking at this. Uh, but Joyce is smiling because that’s the truth.

Tony Sciarrotta (00:36:01):

You can’t take a part out of a computer, put it in a new computer and call it new. And if you call it refurbished, then you wasted money, but you can take it and put it in electronic toys, uh, some other cool stuff and have a new product. So it’s, it’s very sticky, complicated, a little messy, but if you care about sustainability as, as Joyce’s company does and others do, then you’ll find ways to do those tricks. Imagine that what’s old is new. Again, bad leadership practices will still bite you in the rear, regardless of what sector you’re in. Uh, so Greg, I want to share this comment from oval lobby and it kind of touches on what we were talking about a minute ago about consumer behaviors and whatnot. He says barely a month ago, I was going to return a three day old laptop because it does not have a keyboard light, but I had to stop because of the return policy. It comes with a 15% restock fee. So he didn’t return it. How about that policy for shaping consumer decision-making any collateral?

Greg White (00:37:02):

I hate restocking fees. Um, I think they are a terrible pro uh, policy. I think they’re just a terrible policy and I get why people do it. It was big in the distribution, uh, industry to keep companies from, from stocking up on goods and then dumping it back when, when it didn’t sell or whatever, but in retail, I absolutely hate it. I’m not sure if it’s effective or not, but it does make you make an economic decision. So I bet instead of a keyboard, like he’s going, okay, 15% of what I paid for this. I could buy a little light for less than that and shine it on the keyboard, right? I mean, I guess it forces you to make those kinds of decisions, but what a terrible customer experience policy.

Scott Luton (00:37:43):

I like your, I love your comment there. And Joyce, a little of you to weigh in here in a second, but also going back to what Tony shared about better descriptions, better consumer information. So these are he, or she sees the keyboard light and they realize they’re going to be on long international flights, you know, in normal times when there’s no lights in the cabin, uh, or you don’t want to irritate your neighbor and that’s important, you just pass over and not choose to purchase that and eliminate the return opportunity all together. But Joyce, what does that, uh, what are some thoughts that this discussion Congers with you from you?

Joyce Cruts (00:38:14):

I I’m really, uh, I’m sorry to hear still the 15% restocking fees, maybe. Sorry about that. Um, about, um, to tell the customer what they’re buying. Yes, very important. Uh, you’ll need to, um, be able to simplify simple message, but tell the customer exactly what the product actually has as features, but also what it does. Um, it’s a little bit more complicated if you go to a brick and mortar store to, to, to really tell everything that, uh, that the product has because they buy it off the shelf, but that’s where the packaging come and place was really important. But if you send it online, you have a little bit more possibilities. You can, uh, add key features and don’t make a whole story because most customers only read the top four. Um, but you can add in pictures, you can add in a video, a very simple video, how to unpack it, how to set it up, how to use it and what it does.

Joyce Cruts (00:39:20):

And that I think these days makes so much more sense to have videos, uh, show what it does, how to set it up, that that people actually are more comfortable with it. And this is also one of the aspects. And I know Tony, you always tell me that, Oh, that count. We have more returns. And I always keep on saying, no, we actually see lower returns on.com. And I have to say, this is purely product, uh, uh, category category related. So it’s not for all product groups. And it’s also, if it’s a product moment, chore actually on.com because she can be, uh, you can be more precise for the w what the product is, what it does. We do see that it helps actually customers not returning the products, because then they shop for what they need and what they want. And then they buy it. It’s, it’s not an impulse buy. They think about it. They check, they look at the pricing and then the buyer,

Greg White (00:40:20):

You make an excellent point. We’ve been talking about what the retailers should do. We’ve been talking about what the brands should do, and you’re talking about what the consumers should do, right? We should be diligent when selecting these products. I can tell you, I hate returns. I don’t care how easy they are, or if they’re free. I just hate the bother of them. I feel like a failure. If I have to return something, that’s just me. Um, so I am a once burned, twice learned kind of, of shopper. I look for. And I did, because I was burned by the way, although I was burned just like you, I bought a laptop that did not have a lit keyboard, and it me off because it was not easy to find. It was not easy to find whether it was lit or not. And when you looked at the picture, not the video, but when you looked at the picture, it looked like the keyboard was lit. So I was like, okay, I’ll buy it. And sure enough, it was not lit. Oh, I was hot. Oh, now I look for those words. And if I don’t see those words, I don’t buy the thing. Just like you said. And, and you also went to the video, think about how many people Tony has talked about this people who are making livings with videos of, of returned goods, but also making a living, doing unboxings of products,

Greg White (00:41:37):

Right? Unboxing

Greg White (00:41:38):

The product and showing people what it really looks like, how big it really is and how to turn it on and how to use it. There’s there are whole channels out there. I use them all the time for how to start your Canon [inaudible] HF R G 60, whatever the heck that is.

Tony Sciarrotta (00:41:59):

And also

Greg White (00:41:59):

Your cool Acer monitors, right? Hard to produce. If someone can do it in their basement right now, the brands can, can add to our ability to be responsible consumers, but ultimately, ultimately the return comes down to the consumer. We need to be diligent and careful,

Scott Luton (00:42:25):

Amen to, uh, preach, preach, preach us so important for us to embrace that and own that as consumers to drive real change.

Tony Sciarrotta (00:42:32):

But we do need to go back and suggest that I I’m sorry, there was a 15% restocking fee. And then frankly, I find it amazing that someone actually charges restocking because Nigeria, Tony, I’m sorry, that’s in North America. Um, we’ve made it too easy the last year. And, and we’ve extended windows from 90 days to 120, because we were afraid that the virus was on the box. So we put the boxes in quarantine. I mean, just all this crazy things that have happened. Um, I’m in shock that there was ever a restocking fee, but it is a way of slowing things down a little bit. But Greg, you also mentioned about the light. You thought it was a lighted keyboard because of bad lighting, but you are a somewhat, um, uh, sensible buyer and, and you miss that. They should have pointed it out. And I’m willing to bet if you look up Acer computers online, that Joyce is making sure the marketing team is saying everything that you should think is important, because if you’re a novice buyer, you don’t know, but when you get it, like, like Scott said, you got in the airplane at night and you’re like, I can’t see my keyboard.

Tony Sciarrotta (00:43:40):

So you need, you need the marketing people to help you do that. And I know Joyce has been very, very forceful in pushing that at her company.

Scott Luton (00:43:50):

It makes a huge difference. All right. So w we got to move right along because Greg has an unboxing video at one 15, and we gotta make sure he’s out of here. Right? Ready to go.

Tony Sciarrotta (00:43:58):

I’m kidding. Kidding. Kidding. So let’s,

Scott Luton (00:44:01):

And I’m gonna share a couple of comments, and then we’re going to kind of shift gears as we start to wrap up. We’re gonna be talking about Eureka moments that, that both Joyce and Tony have learned in recent times, but I want to share a couple of things here. Uh, let’s see, you’re starting with, uh, your, uh, friend team member, Mark Erickson, who says Tony made sure returns didn’t end up in a black hole when we worked together at Phillips and made sure sales took over.

Tony Sciarrotta (00:44:26):

I was in sales Tony. There was a bonus program involved. Remember,

Greg White (00:44:34):

Hey, actually, that is an excellent point. It works. You get what you motivate and you motivate with cash. So, um, you have to examine every aspect of your business, including your compensation methodologies, right? Excellent. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:44:49):

Uh, Hey, El LA from Sudan. Great to have you here today on the reverse logistics series. Hope this finds you well, uh, Venay again, this is getting a lot of attention, uh, transparency and, and detail. He says catalog pages should be all marked as per product specs. Product quality is a brand’s responsibility. I like that retailers should perform quality checks being in a consumer’s shoes to sustain, given promise the customer and even making lesser return cases. Excellent point Benet. Um, and then Jason where’s with us. I think Jason has been, we’ve been interacting with Jason on LinkedIn earlier. Uh, people never see the reverse logistics process and action, but it can be so smooth and make customers come back. If there is an efficient process, uh, set up, he also says that, uh, he is a YouTube certified mechanic. Um, and then finally Rhonda says my husband never returns anything ever on joy and appreciate those in boxing clips. For sure. I tend to look for them when making online purchases for things I haven’t purchased before helps me be a smarter, uh, less return and pulse of consumer. I completely agree. Excellent point. Um, all right. So, uh, a lot of, a lot of kindred spirits here amongst this panel, as well as with our folks in the cheap seats and keep it coming.

Greg White (00:46:11):

This is clearly an emotional, emotional topic because we’ve covered all of the profanities except for one in this episode. And that’s rare for us. So I agreed. I mean, seriously, I think people are really emotional about this. And that is, that is when I think they’re emotional on both sides, but particularly consumers. And if that doesn’t ignite retailers and brands to be as responsible as Joyce and some of the other members that we talked to, I don’t know what’s going to do it right. I mean, I think Joyce, your philosophy and the application of it is, is stellar by industry standards. And I, and I think more companies need to do that because you can see the emotion that this drives. And we’re just talking about returns. Just imagine the profanity that’s spewed as someone who’s doing a return. Right. Excellent. Experiencing it.

Scott Luton (00:47:03):

Yeah. I would add to that, Greg, I believe what’s making consumers more emotional, more aware and perhaps more guilty is what you might have talked about for, for years now. It’s all these boxes piling up every week from all the e-commerce deliveries. I mean, if that doesn’t make it better, if that doesn’t bring this really, this whole challenge front and center and make a perfect visual, something you gotta touch to, to, um, you know, get into your recycling bins or whatever,

Tony Sciarrotta (00:47:30):

Uh, that is, um, that hopefully will help us tackle these problems and really move the needle when it comes to, uh, uh, optimizing the whole returns game. I want to share this comment. This is from Peter Clark. We can’t see this here. I think this is Peter and clay and Amanda y’all correct me, really enjoying the conversation. It’s a, it is, as he says, a fascinating world, we live in when someone can make a full-time living by unboxing products, Shiraz, and Peter’s got some fans in the comments. So we’re going to check out, Oh, Peter Clark. Um, but you know, interestingly enough, I’ve seen someone on YouTube that he, he buys regular, um, big boxes of YouTube, of, uh, Amazon returns. And then Greg to your point goes one by one and also keeps a count of what he can resell at and how damage, you know, and, and the condition, everything. And he’s got a massive following. It’s just, I think it is intriguing for so many practitioners and non practitioners

Greg White (00:48:25):

Feeling. That’s what Tony spends his time doing on YouTube is walking that cause he introduced us to that concept. First people buy whole pallets, right?

Tony Sciarrotta (00:48:33):

So we’re going one step further folks. It’s not just YouTube. Now we have stores, right? Are buying truckloads, right? The pallets into the store. They’re only open on the weekend. It’s $5. Anything you want, it’s called. One’s called [inaudible]. So you dig in the bin, you go through it, you pull out the good stuff. You walk up, everything you could fit in the bag, $5, an item it’s easy. And then the next day it’s $4. The next day, it’s three, the next day, it’s two. Then they started all over again. It’s an incredible, it’s YouTube taken to the retail store level.

Greg White (00:49:07):

I love it. That that is somehow getting those goods used instead of thrown into the dumpster, because I’ve also seen documentaries of how many courses they were mostly picking on Amazon, but how many e-commerce returns just go straight in to the bin. Right? I mean, they wind up in, in landfills and it’s tragic, but a lot of it is, I mean, there is a lot of junk. I mean, we, I watched a guy do an unpacking and, you know, broken guitars and things like that. It must’ve got, it must have got his, uh, returns from peak towns and Tony, um, at a couple of broken guitars in there. Um, but you know, there was a lot that was usable that they pulled out of it and it had some good value. Right. So, you know, stuff worth hundreds of dollars.

Tony Sciarrotta (00:49:59):

Yep. All right. So, uh, let’s see, logistics consulting is ready to share some profanity, uh, say the word now spread like wildfire. So I missed that comment, but a little more serious note, Joyce, you’ve got a bunch of big fans. Shannon says her mom is an Acer fanatic. She only buys Acer for our office and her personal laptops and full transparency. Shannon is not part of the supply chain. Now team, I can assure you of that.

Greg White (00:50:24):

And this is not a paid endorsement. Right. Thank

Scott Luton (00:50:28):

You. Um, all right. But let’s so as we start to wrap Joyce and Tony and Greg, if y’all, can’t tell, not only does these conversations get all four of us, you know, blood pumping, but also everyone is tuned in, I mean, it’s great to your boy was worn out yesterday when we’ve done with this one today, but it is, it is an emotional it’s, uh, it’s, it’s captivating, we’re all consumers. So naturally it’s a universal topic, so we can’t get enough of it. Alright. So Joyce, as we start to wind down Eureka moments, one of our favorite questions around here, because there’s no shortage of them. Some of these, you get, you got five and, and you know, those are, they can be good and bad days sometimes. But what is a, um, a Eureka moment that you’ve had here, especially in the last 18 months or so

Joyce Cruts (00:51:14):

In the last 18 months, um, we were very happy that we were pushing towards how to sell to an end user, to the next user. And unfortunately COVID hits. We all know, but for us, because we were pushing that direction, actually it helped with the resell of all the returns, because everybody wasn’t able to go to the store, they have to buy online, they needed a computer. So our inventory is sold through. So the fact that that com is actually growing with this pandemic, it’s actually the pandemic accelerated that, uh, and users are buying online. Even the ones that were maybe not comfortable with it, they, uh, they became comfortable because out of a necessity, not because they want it because of a necessity. So that’s one of the things the other things is like, um, because of what’s happened the last year, uh, we also found out that customers are reviewing the products differently.

Joyce Cruts (00:52:16):

Different needs came up. I came out, right? They, they work from home. Then suddenly we found out more spills because people have the kits on the lap. They having the coffee, the water next to the computer happens. I didn’t even think about that. Those kinds of things happens as, so luckily we have a keyboard protection spill under the keyboard, so it can prevent from, uh, uh, sipping through to the components that can be destroyed. However, we do see returns though. So with more spills effect, also end users needed more, better cameras because everybody used a camera, they needed different, they needed more adapters instead of using one at that, but they wanted two or three. They want one for the office, one for home, et cetera. So all of these little pockets, but all of this yet, it’s very different. So what I always say, stay flexible.

Scott Luton (00:53:17):

I love that. Uh, Joyce, um, cause every time you click, um, purchase or, or buy now, yeah, that sends that signal throughout. I mean, supply chains have to act on that every, every time. And if it’s a wrong thing, eventually the other side of the, uh, the reverse side has to act on that. And we can just just fall in Greg’s lead own it, be responsible. And just a little due diligence goes such a long way. Someone, someone famous said that I can’t remember, uh, may have been Franklin or something, but nevertheless, I want to share a couple of comments. I, as T squared says, this needs two more hours. I agree with you, Joyce and Tony are fascinating people. Uh, and, and Greg, I’ll put you in that bucket too. And as Tony said, Greg is a sensible consumer. Tony. That’s a t-shirt, isn’t this wonderful. Um, but I want to add, I want to share a couple of comments here. First one on a lighter note, Nearpod says blessings to the supply chain. Now family, may you continue to bring us value? Smiles, tequila asks sunrises and hairdos as Greg is, right? Yeah.

Tony Sciarrotta (00:54:15):

On the birth of your son. Yeah. Mean as well.

Scott Luton (00:54:17):

Well, congratulations with that. And [inaudible], uh, on behalf of our entire team, uh, sorry about your recent loss as well, but I love how you’re turning that the loss of your mother into doing big things and challenging others to do good. Uh, so Nearpod all the best to you and your whole family. Um, on a much lighter note, let’s see here, uh, Mohan, Raj, and I probably got that wrong. I apologize. Let me know. He says, what skills should he develop? What did you, what’d you say, Greg? I think that’s pretty close. Sorry. Is it close? Okay. Yeah, we’ll try and hard here trying hard. He says, what are the skills that he should develop the shine and supply chain field. Okay. As a great question. And I’ll tell you that we’re going to be addressing this. We’re going to stand up some programming to address this question. We get all the time. So [inaudible], we’re not going to tackle that today, but stay tuned. We’re going to be rolling out some really helpful practical advice, guidance, tips, best practices, you name it to really fuel your supply chain and really your business career. So, so thanks for tuning in here. Greg

Tony Sciarrotta (00:55:17):

Being coachable enough to ask is step one. Hmm.

Scott Luton (00:55:21):

That is an excellent point. Excellent point. And then let’s see here, um,

Tony Sciarrotta (00:55:26):

Eureka moment for you. So as I’m, as I’m getting ready for our keynote speakers for our conference is September. I realized I may have three women on the stage as keynotes. And if you remember in the last couple of months, we’ve had Joyce and Becca mine’s from best buy and I’m learning that women are really good in reverse logistics. I want to say better, but I’ll get in trouble if I say that. So I’ll just say, women are really good at this. And, and it’s interesting because in many corporations, it’s, we’ll say it again. It’s the shop, right? The reverse logistics world is not where people want to go for their career advancements, but you never lose a job. And I’m just saying, uh, as I start to look at the list of people to invite to speak that, that there are some very good women in this space, in this industry, and I’m really proud to know some of them, including Joyce. So, yeah, well,

Greg White (00:56:24):

And I think Joyce, your role too, of doing the forward and the reverse logistics, how great would it be to have every organization have that level of awareness, right? Tie that into merchandising and product development and that sort of thing, you know, at the executive level. And you can really change things really fast.

Tony Sciarrotta (00:56:44):

Greg Joyce, big fans, big fans, uh, appreciate you taking time out, uh, love your thoughts, your, your forward-looking approach to, uh, not just reverse logistics and returns, but leadership. Um, so, uh, how can folks connect with you if they want to compare notes after the fact, or maybe check out a new Acer monitor or other product, how can folks connect

Joyce Cruts (00:57:07):

So they can connect with it? It’s appliance on ayso.com. Um, they can go to, uh, my, my LinkedIn, they can be part of our community. Eh, same website is so.com subscribe, um, for our refurbish go to eateries certified.com. Um, and then as well, um, uh, look@youtube.com as well. Is there how to unpack their own unboxing videos? Actually, we do.

Tony Sciarrotta (00:57:44):

It sounds like maybe we’ll be able to catch Joyce in a keynote at an upcoming RLA event. We might have that happening. Yes. Awesome. Well, uh, Joyce, a pleasure. Thanks so much for your time, but Hey, before we, uh, have y’all depart Tony, how can folks connect with you and, and get plugged into RLA and you name it? What’s a good thing. We put my whole name up there because the Schroeder part on LinkedIn is a little challenging to find I’m one of very few. So once you get the Schroeder part, right, you’ll find me on LinkedIn, but rla.org, www.rla.org. Uh, that’s our community, uh, we’re global. You can join the community for free. There’s no cost to become a member of the community. And I’ve seen people from supply chain. Now, coming back to us on that membership is some additional benefits, but please join the community because what we care about is, is doing what we can to make reverse a better world, love that. And you know, uh, what a great point or Apple and Tony, because we see it. You know, it’s deeds, not words. We see it every day with you and your team. You know, there’s a reason why the RLA is the leading voice of the returns versus reverse logistics industry. And we’re pleased to continue our collaborations. So love y’all’s both of your leadership, Tony and Joyce, thanks so much for your time, Greg final word to our guests before we switch.

Greg White (00:59:04):

Thank you. This is an emotional topic. I appreciate what you guys are doing. Tony, you drive the philosophy and have for decades, just a couple of decades of this entire reverse thing. And I think it is in good, good hands because of the way that you think about it, prevent as much as facilitate returns. Thank you. Well, enjoy. Thank you so much. I love what you guys are doing again, I’m a big fan too, but, um, I love what you guys are doing and I hope more companies watch your YouTube videos and learn how to do it for themselves. Yeah, well said,

Scott Luton (00:59:39):

All right, we’ve been chatting with Joyce Krutz, uh, VP of supply chain operations with Acer America corporation. And of course, Tony Schroeder with the reverse logistics association, you’ll have a wonderful weekend and we’ll see you back really soon. Wow. I love man, Joyce and Tony, quite a one, two punch as always,

Greg White (00:59:57):

Probably the concrete nature of how she defined and described what they’re doing. I mean, they have really, really thought this through. Yeah.

Scott Luton (01:00:06):

Agreed and, and going I’ll, I’ll, I’ll circle back to our friend Mohan, Mohan, Raj here. It’s free to join that community. So if reverse logistics and returns and, and making connections there and, and, uh, um, consuming content there, as far as you’re telling us that it’s free to join. So go to R L a.org. Maharaj that would be one additional step you can take. Um, so, and I appreciate all the comments we’re getting and sorry, we couldn’t get to all the, the, uh, the questions and some of the comments here today, Greg, I do want to share this. So, uh, as we talked about, so we’ve got folks in our community here today, uh, from India, you know, everyone should do their homework, find how you learn more about what’s going on, and then find ways you can help. There’s a great article out of many that I came across here recently, I’m gonna drop it in the comments. If I can do this at the same time, you know, Greg, I’m not good about walking and chewing gum,

Greg White (01:00:59):

Stop talking, remember where we’re on a live stream. So you’re supposed to stop talking and look at your computer, like with a blank look anyway. Right.

Scott Luton (01:01:07):

That’s all right. Uh, yeah, just like that. They’re going to Greg, just like that. I gotta master that, but, uh, on a, on a, on a serious note, y’all check out this, this is a great New York times piece. It really shows some practical ways, regardless of budget, regardless of where with all that, you can jump into fire and help people. And as Greg and Corian once noted, um, you know, it doesn’t matter how much doesn’t matter how often, but just give and, and start somewhere. And Greg I’m, I’m butchering your quote, but, but how would you advise folks on that note?

Greg White (01:01:39):

Simple start small start now, right?

Scott Luton (01:01:43):

Yeah. And that is that’s the best way. Best man. Couldn’t think of a better message to wrap on today. So Hey, big, thanks to, of course our friends at RLA love their leadership, a big thanks for their facilitation of, of having Joyce Jones join us here today. It was certainly worth the price of admission and then some, uh, and Greg, a pleasure to have these conversations with you. But Hey, as, as Greg said, y’all, y’all jump in, find a way, uh, and do it today. And there’s lots of folks suffering. And, um, you know, of course we’re partial and supply chain and, and, and how supply chains globally are gonna, uh, pull the global community through. We can all play our part as consumers and non supply chain folks, or you name it. And opportunity is really it’s one click away. So a big thanks for everyone joining us here today. Big thanks to our team. Hey, about Manda and clay and, um, Allie and Natalie who are helping us out with the production, um, what a huge week, huge week of great conversations, uh, Greg, we’re going to leave it there, challenging the folks. Do good. Give forward, be the change. Take action. You’ll have a great weekend and we’ll see you again really soon.

Intro/Outro (01:02:49):

Thanks for being a part of our supply chain. Now, community check out all of our programming@supplychainnow.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.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

The Reverse Logistics Series: Featuring Joyce Cruts with Acer

Featured Guests

Joyce Cruts is the VP of Supply Chain & Operations for Acer America Corporation. She is a proud member of the RLA board as well as Co-Chair of the Consumer Products Committee. She is a Solution-driven Operations Leader with nearly 20 years of demonstrated expertise in the execution and management of complex operations processes in the consumer electronics business. Joyce is a strategic thinker with focus on resolving complex business challenges end-to-end, implementing new approaches, and developing short and long-term strategies to achieve business critical goals. During the years she gathered extensive knowledge of all facets of the consumer electronic business in local markets and abroad. She is passionate about promoting sustainability and “green” supply chain methodologies to serve a higher level of social responsibility. By strategically optimizing the supply chain via reducing non-value added processes, eliminating redundancies and inefficiencies, she can fulfill this passion while making the best fiscal decision. Connect with Joyce 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/

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Patch Reilly

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.

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Vicki White

Controller

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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

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Greg White

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.

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Karin Bursa

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.

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is 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.

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Jeff Miller

Host

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.

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Amanda Luton

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.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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

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Ben Harris

Host

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.

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Page Siplon

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).

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. 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).

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

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.

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