The Reverse Logistics Series: Featuring Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth with the American Public University System

Episode Summary

In this episode of the Reverse Logistics Series on Supply Chain Now, hosts Scott Luton and Greg White welcome Tony Sciarrotta with RLA and special guest Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth with American Public University.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:00:03):

Welcome to supply chain. Now the voice of global supply chain supply chain now focuses on the best in the business for our worldwide audience, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and today’s critical issues. The challenges and opportunities stay tuned to hear from those making global business happen right here on supply chain now.

Scott Luton (00:00:32):

Hey, good afternoon, Scott Luton, Greg White with here right here at supply chain. Now welcome to today’s live stream, Greg, how are you doing on this fine Friday, midday afternoon

Greg White (00:00:43):

To quote the great philosopher Wyatt. I am rolling. We have tombstone that’s doc holiday talking to wider.

Scott Luton (00:00:53):

I only know one doc holiday and we’ve already established

Greg White (00:00:56):

That supply chain.

Scott Luton (00:00:58):

Yes. And today’s his birthday? Fred Tolbert. So for Edward,

Greg White (00:01:02):

That is awesome.

Scott Luton (00:01:04):

Uh, see, Facebook’s good for something. Um, they remind me, they alert you to

Greg White (00:01:08):

Ever move place and alert you to, to say to the world happy birthday. I love this person, right? It’s never been easier, less. You be forgotten as well as they,

Scott Luton (00:01:23):

So Fred, wherever you are, hope you have a wonderful birthday, the doc holiday of supply chain, but Hey, today is all about reverse logistics. As we continue our very popular series dedicated to reverse logistics, leadership. Yeah. Growing, you talk about spaces that are growing in importance and not just going back through the pandemic, but going back, you know, 10 years or so. Tony will say a lot more than that, but you know, this is a really important space and dialogue to be talking about for the global end to end supply chain this year. Right? Undoubtedly,

Greg White (00:01:54):

You know, we keep talking about end to end, but truly it’s more circular network driven and reverse is a great, it’s a great example of that, right? When you talk about reverse logistics it’s stuff, coming back, actually the optimization of reverse logistics is to keep as much from stuff from coming back as possible, right? So I love that philosophy. Every time we have Tony on, I say that I think one of the best things we can do to optimize reverse logistics is to eliminate it. It’s obviously impossible to do that, but as long as we continue to strive for that, it’s powerful, right? It’s impactful to the economy. It’s impactful to productivity. It’s impactful to sustainability. It’s powerful stuff.

Scott Luton (00:02:39):

Agreed. And I’m going to go to my death talking in the end. I can’t, it’s a phrase. It’s just, I don’t think there’s

Greg White (00:02:45):

Anything wrong with that. I think a lot of people get their knickers in a twist over it’s a network, it’s a circle or whatever it is, but the truth is it’s, you know, it’s just nomenclature, right? Having just published, uh, a little supply chain commentary on getting our nomenclature together. There are just certain things that are, that are kind of tough, tough to do agreed.

Scott Luton (00:03:09):

But you know, the, the greater, the greater takeaway there should be. We, we gotta push a circular thing and the circularity of thinking into design, right? Cause that to your point, that will help us eliminate even the need to recycle many things that are coming back and, and some of the challenges we’ve got there. So, but anyway, stay tuned for a wonderful conversation. I promise you, you’re gonna learn things from this conversation with Tony and Oliver, which we’re going to introduce momentarily that you hadn’t thought of yet and be ready for some Greg white hot takes the patented hot topics, which I always enjoy these conversations. Okay. So I’m going to kind of flip the script a bit. I’m going to welcome some folks and then we’re going to tackle some programming notes and then we’re going to welcome in our guests and get down to business. So let’s do that, Greg. So first up Shanae, this tuned in via LinkedIn from Indian Geneva’s has always hopefully found you and your family better. I think we’re getting some, some, some good sauce and better signs here at least Greg, huh?

Greg White (00:04:03):

Yeah. Yeah. In fact, I talked to [inaudible] by the way, who is heads down, working hard at her gig and has, uh, had another, a second child too. So obviously that’s taken her time and she has her brother and her mother went over there because her grandmother passed away and they got stuck there, but they are starting to see the tide turn there as well. And she’s hopeful that they can get back to the states.

Scott Luton (00:04:28):

That’s wonderful. So Schenevus hope this finds you well, and [inaudible], if you’re listening, listen to the replay all the best to you. Great to see you Kevin’s tuned in from New York city via LinkedIn. Hope. This finds you. Well, Kevin, who we’re talking to, we’re talking someone other day from, from New York and was talking about the weather. I think it already heated up, up there a bit.

Greg White (00:04:49):

Was that Alex was that Alex Ramirez. Thank you. Right,

Scott Luton (00:04:53):

Alex, Tony, Tom. So along those lines, we talked to a lot of people in New York. That’s right? Yeah. Ola Tola from Nigeria via LinkedIn is tuned in. Great to see here. Benay is back with us. Uh, Vanay, hope this finds you well, Jared tuned in from Newport news, Virginia. And I appreciate you sharing that, Jared, if you’re new or even if you’re not new, we love reminders. So tell us where you’re tuned in from what part of the world you’re tuned in. I love to do that. Love to hear, uh, Jennifer from the west coast, gorgeous and sunny Los Angeles, California. Mohit is with us back with us, I believe via LinkedIn. Great to see you, Michael is tuned in via LinkedIn. If I, if I mispronounced that, please set the record straight and set me, set me straight to see here. Luis from Portugal has tuned in Vanay is he’s he’s um, we’re kindred spirits here, right? Everything he says about reverse logistics is interesting. I think he’s just melting. Tony’s heart. They’re in a green room, Whitney.

Greg White (00:05:56):

Yeah. Undoubtedly mean, I think if there’s anything Tony, and all the folks at RLA would like to see it’s more recognition. Right? I think Tony has used the term red headed stepchild before. Um, but I really, I really think the tide is turning on that particularly in Europe because of the legislation in Europe, we’re seeing a lot of innovation as regards to reverse and reuse and all of that coming out of, out of, uh, companies in Europe.

Scott Luton (00:06:24):

Agreed, agreed. Ashley, just here getting my supply chain insights in route Dublin from Gallway about that. Very nice. Ashley, look forward to your, your voice in POV.

Greg White (00:06:37):

You might run across a Mervyn.

Scott Luton (00:06:40):

Yes, that’s right. It’s always tuned in these live streams. He’s there in Dublin. You have to get connected, uh, one final, uh, shout out memory, some memory. Great. Have you back from Johannesburg, congratulations, because you earned a big credential, something you’ve been working for for quite some time, and we’re very proud of you and your perseverance and your achievement. So looking forward to what’s to come, uh, by the way, on a much lighter note, we had Dr. [inaudible] from IBM yesterday. We’re talking about New York city a minute ago and clay reminded me there in a green room. It was, uh, Dr. Mansa is in up in New York city. And so we had a playful moment Knicks versus Hawks. Cause we we’ve got James, but he was, he is much a much bigger Manchester United fan. So he pulled for the Knicks because his daughter swore him to pull for the Knicks.

Scott Luton (00:07:29):

So, and he lives in there, but a great NBA playoffs are heating up. All right. So Greg let’s really quickly share a couple of program notes. Welcome everybody. Sorry. We couldn’t get to everybody. I see Peter and Lacey there and a bunch of the folks get ready for a great conversation. All right. So let’s see if I can do this really quick. June 8th, our next webinar coming up with our friends at Transplace we’re talking about real supply chain innovations, not the fluff and the cliche stuff. We’re going to be talking about things that are really happening. That’s part of the silver lining related to the pandemic here. So join us on June 8th at 12 noon. I think the link to sign up is in the show notes. And then Greg, you like golf, right?

Greg White (00:08:09):

I’ve heard of it, Scott. Yes, of course. I moved here from Phoenix. So I’m a huge ping fan. Right?

Scott Luton (00:08:17):

Well, you know, I learned that, that just because you purchase a nice, wonderful set of pink golf clubs, if you’re a bad golfer, like it does it, it doesn’t change the game. So, but the cool thing is, is we’re going to talk about paying. So for all you golfers out there, we’re gonna be talking about pings, supply chain and the transformation that they’ve, they’ve gone through along with their friends at John Galt over the last, um, a year, two years. So tune in for that June 22nd, 12 noon. I think the link to register there is in the show notes as well.

Greg White (00:08:47):

Yeah. An amateur golfer can overcome any advantage that the outstanding clubs can, can give them in just a few swings. So get good blood. I mean, pings, you know, paying the reason that they became famous first was this amazing putter that Dr. Karsten Solheim invented that made the ping sound, hence the name. And then he figured out a way to make clubs that were actually more forgiving. So Duffers like myself could play a little bit better. And I play with pink clubs to this day. Well, that is not a paid endorsement. In fact, ping is the only club manufacturer that does not pay for endorsement. How about that? Right? They don’t pay the pros to play their clubs so,

Scott Luton (00:09:30):

Well, they’re not, they’re definitely not paying me to put their name on my really bad game and that’s okay. But moving right along, Hey, want to say hello to Felicia? Great to see you here. Uh, Rhonda, Rhonda, you didn’t, you may have missed yesterday’s show. We started at 1230 yesterday and I tell ya, check out the whole conversation, but in particular checkout, last 20 minutes that made our week here. And, uh, and Peter is confirming your historical note there. The fun fact that her name does come from the sound their driver makes putter, sorry. I put her mix. Um, all right, so Greg, we gotta get down to business. You ready?

Greg White (00:10:04):

I’m as ready as I ever am, which I think everybody in the community knows that

Scott Luton (00:10:10):

Greg’s always ready. Alright. So I want to welcome in our two distinguished guests here today. Really looking forward to continuing this, this critical reverse logistics conversation and series. We’ve got Dr. William Oliver, Hedgepath professor with American Public University. And of course our dear old friend, Tony Sciarrotta executive director with the reverse logistics association. Hey, good afternoon, gentlemen, how are we doing? Doing well? Hello everyone. So, you know, as much, as much as I would love to continue our pre-show music conversation and really enjoying other’s company there, we’re going to talk, we’re not talking music. We’re going to talk burgers. You know, while we’re going to be talking burgers, folks

Scott Luton (00:10:49):

Will call it Memorial day weekend. Well

Scott Luton (00:10:52):

That, but national hamburger day is today, Greg today, uh, there’s a day for everything as we’ve learned. So what I want to do, I’m gonna go around our panel here. And of course I want to hear from our friends in the cheap seats community out there, how do you make a perfect hamburger? Or if you’d rather not spill the beans there, where do you get a perfect hamburger? So your option here. And I want to start with our distinguished guests, Dr. Hedgepath, which we’re gonna refer to as Oliver, because he warned us. He broke her arm. If we didn’t throw out the conference, all of her were tell us about this perfect hamburger.

Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth (00:11:23):

Well, the perfect hamburger I get is from my granddaughter, Ashley, she grinds up steaks. When grant gets a steak, she doesn’t go buy hamburger anymore. She makes her own hamburger and grinds it up. And, uh, I usually go to the, as my pack of hamburgers and cook them. But, uh, she grinds them up and then I put onions and cheese in it. That’s all happened in it. It tastes pretty good, but she’s got some secret, something she’s sprinkles in it. And she won’t tell me what it is. Some kind of Heinz 57 plus something else. And it tastes a lot better than mine, but I prefer just going to the store and buying it. That’s what I used to do all my life and throw it on my charcoal grill. But she grinds up the make. Not who in the world grinds up a steak for a cheeseburger. Are you kidding me? But she does. It’s good.

Greg White (00:12:14):

If it works. It’s a steak burger. It’s

Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth (00:12:16):

A steak burger is a good burger hurries or mine tastes there. Okay. After you’ve had about three Coronas.

Scott Luton (00:12:24):

Well, as memory, memory agrees with it, you want a perfect hamburger. You got to make it yourself. And as Leah says, juicy burger secret, Nick’s barbecue sauce and onions in the meat. Cause it keeps the moisture. How about that? Okay. So Tony continuing our burger, uh, conversation. What’s your take,

Tony Sciarrotta (00:12:42):

Go to the other side and I’ll tell you, um, being from Detroit, some of your team knows, um, great hamburger joints in Detroit. And, uh, uh, one of the favorites was there G uh, I’m not going to give away the years it’s been there all along Miller’s burger place. Miller’s pub in Dearborn, Michigan, not far from Ford world headquarters. And it’s been there so long that the, that the grill has absorbed all the moisture of people sweating over it as they cook. And it’s really added to the flavor. Those of you think it’s a little weird, I’m sorry, but it’s great. Just a simple cheeseburger with onion and a, and from a grill that is seasoned for 30 plus years or more, this was before my time. So, uh, that’s, that’s my, that’s my go-to and I get to go there next week. So I’m all excited about it.

Scott Luton (00:13:32):

Well, it was wonderful. Uh, the, the visual you paint for us, Tony, I’m not sure I’ll I’ll, I’ll the jury’s out on that one. However, on a serious note, happy BIR happy 27th birthday to Tony who celebrated

Greg White (00:13:43):

That. And good, good, good to have

Scott Luton (00:13:50):

On that note. What’s your, what’s your take

Greg White (00:13:53):

Steamed and grilled buttered bun thin Patty. This is a unique Wichita way of making burgers grilled on a grill, fried onions, mustard and dill pickle only. That’s it.

Scott Luton (00:14:08):

Wow. Okay. Uh, and I’m not too particular. I know better. I know better, but I bet it’s delicious, Greg. I bet you’ve made us hungry. As Amanda says, got to have a hamburger now know what’s going to be for dinner tonight. Well,

Greg White (00:14:22):

Of course. And it should be it’s national hamburger day,

Scott Luton (00:14:25):

Right? That’s right. All right. So supply

Greg White (00:14:27):

Chain, I had supply chain for dinner.

Scott Luton (00:14:32):

Um, all right. So one more fun question. Before we get into the heavy lifting, we’re going to talk about, you know, we’re getting signs from at least across the states, right? We, as we talked about yesterday, we got to get the globe, the entire world into post pandemic, current state. However, we’re starting to see a lot of signs here in the states. Uh, folks are starting to really get back to normal is wonderful. And, or at least Greg, I’m gonna have to say it the new normal, because we know it’s gonna be a little different than some things have changed for the permanent. And some things are changed for the temporary, but regardless, the good news is things are starting to loosen back up. So on that note, all of our back to you in any big tradition, you’re looking forward to here as we get into summer in the next few months.

Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth (00:15:09):

Well, yeah, we live about an hour and a half away from, we got a little beach condo and a place called Willoughby spit. And it’s down in Virginia Beach area, but it’s about a 20 mile stretch where only residents seem to be able to park. And so on a weekend like this or 4th of July, get on the beach and it’s like, you know, 10 people in any direction. And we haven’t been there since gosh, 2018 called it is pandemic thing. So when I hang up these headsets, we’re getting ready to go there for an hour and a half also day, and then come back and do some grilling, but sit on the beach, but umbrella up and grills and those hamburgers, my granddaughter is making and have fun looking at the beach, walking along and picking up some seashells and just getting a suntan that’s, you know, that’s me. That’s cool. I can look off and see the Navy ships coming in. We were right there with the ships come in and the submarines and all that, just being on the beach, man, get in the way. That’s whew. It’s time to do it.

Scott Luton (00:16:08):

I love that. Good hamburgers, the ice cold Corona. So I hope you’re great. You’re good. There’s Coronas

Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth (00:16:13):

Down there too. I got a big, my granddaughter. My granddaughter has got one of those real expensive, you know, things, you put my stuff in coolers. My cooler’s about 40 years old and it’s falling apart. And duct tape she’s got one of, is expensive, $300 ones, and it’s full of Rhonda’s for me

Scott Luton (00:16:34):

On a serious note, you mentioned seeing the ships come in with the us Navy, a Godspeed, all those who serve in uniform throughout this weekend. And of course, those made the ultimate sacrifice on Monday with moral burial. Keep, keep them in their families, in your thoughts and prayers. Okay. So Tony, I’m going to pass the Baton to Greg and we’re getting down to business, but what are you looking forward to the next few months?

Tony Sciarrotta (00:16:57):

Music live and, uh, already seeing it happen. We’re going to Asheville for, uh, North Carolina for the Ash jam in the end of June. And, uh, the outlaw country music festivals coming to Atlanta. Willie Nelson is back on tour Sturgill Simpson to Atlanta, and he’s bringing a Nathaniel Rateliff and the night sweats that’ll be out on the, I still call it the Verizon amphitheater grounds, uh, the grass and a nice, I can never remember the Marist or, yeah, I think it changed names again. It’s like a, yeah, but anyhow, that’s, that’s happening. Music live back in business and, uh, grateful to be vaccinated and not worry as much when I sit out on the lawn with people.

Scott Luton (00:17:44):

Awesome. So much. I appreciate all your sharing, all those good thoughts and positive Bob’s there it’s, it’s been it’s, it’s a, as we’ve said, a thousand times, keeping a healthy sense of humor and optimistic outlook has been really important as we get through these, these challenging, uh, weeks and months. Okay. Gregory White. Where are we going next with this distinguished panel?

Greg White (00:18:03):

Well, I think we ought to just find out just how distinguished the panel is. So let’s ask Dr. Oliver Hedgepath uh, tell us a little bit about, uh, your work at American public university. A little bit about your, your journey there, I think would be interesting for folks and then what you’re doing with APU and AMU.

Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth (00:18:25):

All right. Well, my journey began in logistics many, many years ago. I’m a logistician. I’ve had three careers, all in logistics. And, uh, I work at American public university, which is online, is online. University is celebrating its 30th year this year. And we have, uh, just graduated about 14,000 people. I believe something like that. It’s a big number, but our university is exciting to me. I came from university of Alaska. I was logistics director there and retired out of there and came back here to the beach area. And we developed a reverse logistics program at APU. We got really involved and understanding what was going on. I was really excited about, uh, what was happening with RLA. I got involved in RLA early on when it was getting and getting started. And I got all excited and we really said, let’s develop some reverse logistics programs along with our supply chain and other things, which I think is cool because I’m a logistician. I mean, I love moving boxes and worrying about them, where they’re going and the supply chains are complex. Yeah. Oliver, if I can just put in for a second,

Scott Luton (00:19:37):

Did you hear that he loves moving boxes and caring about where they’re going? How about that? I love it.

Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth (00:19:46):

A lot of people need to move the blue box. The one thing this pandemic did it identified where the boxes were not, you know, this is really cool. I’ve got students who come in and said, I didn’t realize how big the supply chain was. And these students of mine had been working in a warehouse, you know, for 25 or 30 years, they didn’t realize their boxes were coming from India or England or the boxes where the head, you know, parts coming from Africa all over the world. People didn’t realize the clothes were wearing this shirt. You know, this shirt says made in USA, but I happened to know that it wasn’t a hundred percent made in USA. Even the color, this color comes from Canada. We can’t even turn it blue without going to Canada to get it. So that’s what, that’s what I’m all about.

Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth (00:20:34):

I love logistics and our university is right on top of it, especially with reverse logistics association. We’re, we’re tied in with those folks and, you know, reverse logistics really helps define who we are. People don’t really understand that, you know, everything we’ve got and the trash that’s building up. Oh my goodness. You know, we’ve got to get rid of all this trash stuff, but APU has a good university. There are many online universities out there, but not all of them teach reverse logistics the way we do, a lot of them are doing it. I don’t put them down a lot of them and doing it over in England, Cambridge, all those folks, they’re doing it over there too. So that’s who we are. Okay. It is any questions about what we can do not do that tell you. Well,

Greg White (00:21:17):

I think so, Tony, I got to ask you this. How, how did you connect with Oliver and APU?

Tony Sciarrotta (00:21:26):

Well, APU, it, it, uh, it is the only university that I know of in the world offering a bachelor’s program in reverse logistics and the master’s program in reverse logistics. If there’s any other schools, there are none in north America that offer that I’m aware of a bachelor’s degree. And around the world, there’s some focused on reverse logistics, but none offering a master’s program. So Oliver’s being very humble here because he actually developed that program at the school. It didn’t exist. And, and for someone like Oliver to stake his career and his background on it and say, this is important. We need to do this around the year, 2010, they developed this program, put it in. And, and by the way, before that, you, you all know, I go a little ways back further and reverse space being thrown into it by Phillips around the year 2000.

Tony Sciarrotta (00:22:20):

And there was nowhere to learn anything, right? You just, where did you go learn about reverse logistics? The school of hard knocks? I mean, come on, we make enough jokes about that. But at some point, yes, I learned a little bit at the school of hard knocks, very grateful. But as you all know, we need the young people coming up through the schools to take over and be smarter than us. I’m looking forward to a lot of them being a lot smarter than me in this space and figuring out new solutions. So it didn’t exist. And, and we think, uh, APU, we now have it posted on our website that they are the education partner for us. I’m proud to say there’s board members and other members of the RLA engaged in the program right now, the, the masters. So it’s, how could I not run into them?

Tony Sciarrotta (00:23:04):

Greg? It’s like reverse logistics. You guys do it. It’s it was very amazing. And, uh, so very cool. Yeah. Let me add it. Did I, did I did develop it. Yes. I had a student who was getting her PhD dissertation in logistics and I CA and I controlled, or he might say a condor and they’re doing some called reverse logistics. She got excited. And we found out we studied every university in the world, their reverse logistics program here and there, little, little courses here and there, but no one had a bachelor’s or master’s degree. And I convinced our leadership that we needed to do this. And I focused on reverse logistics association and what you are doing the business and the business world is out there. Look what they’re doing. They didn’t know what reverse logistics wise. And they got excited about it and they let us go with it. And so now we have, oh, about 120 courses that are in development development, and we’re expanding it too, by the way, Tony, we’re getting more, we’re getting certificates. I’m trying to focus on this stuff. But anyway, yeah. Toot our horn a little bit. I don’t like to, but yeah, we’re the only one out there. And, uh, if someone’s out there listening and says, oh, I got one, please knock on my door and tell me so, okay. But you won’t find them. I don’t

Greg White (00:24:24):

That’s that’s fascinating. Cause it wasn’t that long ago that there were only a handful of supply chain by chain. Right, right, right. I mean basically Michigan state, Penn state and Stanford, and that was about it. And now there are hundreds, literally hundreds of those programs and, and this is an important element of supply chain and it’s worth its own own course of study for sure. Because otherwise it will always remain a segment of, of broader supply chain. Right. So I think it’s interesting Tony, that you said there’s a lot, we can learn from the folks who are getting educated on this. Right. But the keys that have made supply chain into a discipline rather than a practice is adding things like optimization and data analysis analytics in and of themselves, right. Mathematical programs and, and deep learning and knowledge about these things. So that aspect of this as Oliver, you said so important, so important to understand the dynamics of it at an academic level, and then turn that into practice in, in the craft. So I’m curious, because I know you teach students all the time, but I’m curious as you are sharing your knowledge of this and you’re seeing them come through this program, what kind of learnings are you seeing from the perspectives of students coming through your program these days?

Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth (00:25:48):

Well, there’s two sides of this. Uh, it’s a good question from the student side, by the way, the average, the age range of our students is around 22 to 75. Yeah. And average is around 30 to 40 in that range. And these are people working at Amazon. They’re working at Walmart, they’re working in a warehouse, they are truck drivers. There are military men and women loading trucks over there in Iraq and other places over the years. So they’re learning, what’s going on with, with teaching them academics. But they’re teaching us, what’s really going on. Like it doesn’t work. Here’s what doesn’t work. Here’s what does work or here’s how we do things a little differently, but worry about waste or anything like that. But the students or the wide range and they’re teaching me because I’m learning from them. There are things going on inside any organization.

Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth (00:26:41):

If you work at an organization, there are things that are not written in the textbook. And here’s how you do stuff. Real life is real life. It has errors as mistakes. One of the biggest things we’re teaching them and they teach us is what does not work. There are a lot of things don’t work in reverse logistics. There are a lot of trucks that turn over. One of the truck turned over on the highway. Yeah. That’s part of our logistics world. Okay. What did they turn over? Or why did the entire warehouse collapse? I’ve seen pictures that you may have seen the whole warehouse collapsed one time when somebody hit it with a forklift.

Greg White (00:27:17):

Oh yeah. I love that

Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth (00:27:18):

Video. I love that video more than they are. I really believe it. But the ones what’s really exciting about me teaching these people is that my students are Tony’s people who belong to him as well, belong to organization. They are there as managers and supply chain managers, reverse logistics managers, and they are learning something. One of the best things I ever had was automatic. I got eight years ago and we started this stuff eight or nine years ago, one lady came and she was working in a warehouse and she was taking all these stuff. And he said, oh yeah, I’m laying on these terms. And she says, you know, I got all this stuff. We’re throwing away in a warehouse or the styrofoam and it’s cardboard and all this metal stuff and it’s just going to trash. And we started working on it. I said, why don’t you write a paper about it? And uh, it’s like, nah, my boss wants to read a paper. She turned out to be the reverse logistics manager is six months later tripled her salary and they don’t throw anything away. Well, it’s really exciting. I mean, I learned a lot. I mean, and Tony, Tony is this person too, who teaches me a lot. And I try to tell him what we’re learning too, but I learned as much as the students do. I mean, it’s yeah. I really like talked for about five more hours on it.

Scott Luton (00:28:33):

I know we’re just getting scratched into the iceberg, but Greg, if I can weigh in for a second, we’ve got a ton of comments here from folks in the, uh, our, our dear community members in, in the, um, uh, aptly named cheap seats. Right. Uh, I’m not sure someone coined that term, but anyway, memory says understanding kind of going back to what Oliver was saying earlier, understanding the geo diversity of your supply chain partners is always vital. Excellent point there, Peter. And by the way, congrats Peter, on your daughter’s graduation, I think from a nursing program. So find

Greg White (00:29:05):

An issue with an issue admission to a nurse.

Scott Luton (00:29:09):

I’m sure of that then. Um, best lessons learned are those

Scott Luton (00:29:14):

Firsthand yeah. Exit point.

Scott Luton (00:29:15):

And you know, that’s one of the, several linings of the pandemics we’re learning so much that oftentimes are new learnings, right. Things broke down that we had assumed would, would be just fine. Uh, and now we’ve got to apply those lessons.

Greg White (00:29:27):

I think sometimes the rest of the world is learning what Tony already knew and has been shouting from the rooftop in vain for decades. I mean, truthfully, that’s the, I think that’s the case in supply chain in general, but Tony, do you ever, I just got to ask this, do you ever just want to say where have you been people? Yes.

Tony Sciarrotta (00:29:47):

I do want to say that all the time, especially in the last year, as it came to a head at their face, right. The pandemic drove that reverse logistics front and forward. And uh, but

Greg White (00:30:00):

The impact people heavily Tony, but they had all day to sit and think about it because nobody was working or anything. Right. So, yeah, it is interesting. And I think, you know, I think I am, as Scott said, thankful for the benefit of this awareness at the same time, I’m hopeful that it doesn’t take another global catastrophe for us to, to recognize the frailties and opportunities in supply chain and reverse logistics. Right. I agree. Good

Scott Luton (00:30:29):

Point. Excellent point as Leah, it is interesting to see how there is a plethora of academic experience and work experience and work experience that can all find a place in supply chain and it’s all applicable. I love that abolition. We’re going to be, we’re going to be kind of answering this question indirectly throughout the whole conversation. So stay tuned and let’s see here, Peter says, or a simple told you, so

Greg White (00:30:53):

Do you want to do it now? Tony told you, so,

Scott Luton (00:30:59):

All right. So, so Greg, where are we?

Greg White (00:31:04):

Yeah. All right. Let’s get back on track. Scott, Tony, how could you de-rail this like that know Peter

Tony Sciarrotta (00:31:13):

Derailed us because I liked his comment about in the seventies, reverse logistics was backing into a parking space coupled with a 15% restocking charge. Right? Exactly. That’s what people thought of with reverse logistics. And, and I did see a comment also from Keith back at that, a good description of what you RLA used to be thought of. I do want everyone to know this is not your grandfather’s RLA anymore. This is RLA 2.0 since 2016, 2017 with a new website, new advisory board, new members, um, and, and great people involved like, like Dr. Oliver and others. So, um, it’s not your daddy’s RLA anymore. I’m glad

Greg White (00:31:56):

For that. Well, so what sort of, that’s a good point. I think it’s a good juxtaposition against the history of, of supply chain and reverse logistics. So Oliver, it would be great if you could share with us kind of what you see in the current state of, of reverse logistics and the education around their 120 programs. Is that what you said? Is it 120 courses,

Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth (00:32:21):

120 courses and developing more and more and more Dr. Robert Gordon’s in charge of it now and there, and he’s doing a great job innovating, you know, where are we going to go to different areas? Cause yeah, it’s

Greg White (00:32:32):

You think are the biggest areas where we need increased knowledge around reverse logistics? Oh goodness.

Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth (00:32:42):

Where did we begin ask the professor that question or ask Tony that question. Let me tell you the pandemic opened a lot of doors of what’s going along and broken. That’s one thing. And one of the factors of reverse logistics is not just, you know, what do you do with this cup when it’s broken or plastic bottles that are flooding, you know, the oceans up in Alaska, but it, you know, I tell you information technology, we need to do some reverse logistics thinking on information and data that’s being moved around. I come from the early days of, uh, computer generations of data and how we manage data when it was bits and bytes. And now we have billions of bytes of pieces of data flooding us 24 seven about our business what’s going on and where things are in the supply chain. So we need to worry about managing, not just at physical something, but also the electronics.

Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth (00:33:35):

So I really make, when you look at some e-commerce type things, electronic stuff, that’s one thing people need to understand. It’s more than just a box. Now it’s data. Look at, look at us. What we’re doing right here. And the technology we’re using is really exciting. Trying to figure out how we’re talking and communicating back and forth, but that information shares supply chain data to somebody, and you’ve got to get it to somebody right on time. There are still companies. I work with companies in Alaska and across the country that really don’t have good electronics communications about what’s breaking, what’s going wrong. A truck drivers really now tuned in 24, seven, every second, something goes wrong on a truck. He says, I got something going wrong back, back in the office. They know what’s going on. They know that tractor trailer just rolled over and then the private, no, it adds it’s rolling over, but we need a communication. There was a lot of people still don’t talk properly and we need to understand how to manage that data. And there’s a lot of bad data and good data we’re seeing. And we’re also, I’d say it assets or, you know, e-commerce, that’s one thing besides just manufacturing, electronic data. That’s one big area of looking at where we need to go next. Well,

Greg White (00:34:50):

I got good news for you. They’re all over. And that is, uh, we were talking about this a little bit before you guys came on. And that is because of some of the government mandates in Europe. We’re seeing a ton of innovation in technology come out of there. And it is, um, what some people call re commerce where, you know, so many people have seen the video of LVMH or whatever brand big luxury brands burning their goods rather than putting them into the secondary market. Absolute travesty, frankly, I think criminal, but not that anyone cares what I think, but except Scott, um, that’s only for, that’s only for seconds at a time, but they are, they are starting to figure out how to even those luxury goods, get those back into play in big goods, which stunningly things like furniture go to the landfill rather than going back into commerce. And it’s just stunning at the rate at which that happens. So there is hope there is activity. I think that activity will come across the ocean soon, much like the Beatles did, and we’ll see them on a, on a network television show and we’ll be introducing the next wave of reverse logistics technology. So, so Tony, what, since we posed the question to all of her, what about you? What do you think needs to be more educated on or more focused on, more acted on,

Tony Sciarrotta (00:36:11):

I mean the topic here too is, is basic that there’s not enough education, which I might, how do we educate? We can’t do it just through these livestream broadcasts. We’d love to do them, but ultimately we need educated people with, with the train, the 120 courses. That’s, that’s a nice start. There’s a lot more, I know. Well,

Greg White (00:36:33):

There’s only so much one school can do, right, Tony. I mean, that’s what we really need is more schools to recognize what Oliver has I think. Right?

Tony Sciarrotta (00:36:40):

Absolutely. And so that’s a topic and then I want to make sure that it isn’t just about reverse logistics. It’s about the whole industry, which is incredibly broad as we’ve discussed so many times, we have a wide range of, of listeners that you’ve brought on and it’s, and it’s very broad. It’s almost too broad. It scares us, which is why the degree’s important, but it’s also becoming such a big deal right now. We may have said this before, but you can’t say it enough circular economy, then I’m a big buzzword. We’re taking sustainability and we’re going to the next level. Don’t just design it for an afterlife, but build it so that it can be reused repurposed. I saw an interesting quote, Greg and Scott that, uh, that apple is announcing. They want to recycle all their old phones into new phones. And they also acknowledged that it is now less expensive to get a ton of gold out of cell phones than out of the ground. Yeah. Think about that. That that’s circular, that’s it. And the technology is there now to get the gold out of your old phones and think about that more gold out of your old phones then out of the ground and it’s recycling. It’s, it’s just, that’s uh, that was a cool, when I read that this past week or so,

Greg White (00:37:58):

It’s fun you say that Tony, because I just experienced the strangest thing. I just bought a new phone. Yeah. And the program was, they gave me a $700 credit for my, I got the new phone for 99 bucks, rare earth.

Scott Luton (00:38:18):

I wish we’d launched that program years ago, but a and Greg, Greg spoke about some of that on his list, NEP POV on LinkedIn today, which, which, by the way, y’all got y’all y’all, can’t miss that he easily drops at about eight 20 each morning on LinkedIn. You’ve got to follow and connect with Greg to see it. Hey, I’ve got to wait in here. There’s so much good. All three of y’all been talking about, we’ve got a ton of comments. I’ve got to share a couple of these. I’m going to start with kind of continuing some of the resources and some of what needs to be in programs since we got Oliver and Tony. So Keith Conlin, uh, Keith used to be formerly, I think he retired from at and T as a VP of supply chain a year or so ago. My timeframe may be off, but Keith hope this finds you well. How about college of Charleston picking up Keith Conley and now all of that experience. So he asks a great questionnaire. He says I’ve recently started as an adjunct at the college of Charleston with one semester under my belt. I found a great end-to-end supply chain text, but coverage on reverse is paltry, especially compared to the importance in my mind of this. I love that Keith have any texts or other books you to recommend for colleges? Yes.

Greg White (00:39:24):

Take the stage

Tony Sciarrotta (00:39:25):

Probably going to Tony, Tony, Tony. Well, the original textbook folks going backwards. How great is that a name for a book on reverse logistics going backwards written by Dr. Dale Rogers, Dr. Ron Lemke, and it’s free. Yeah. Had this story before it is free. It’s on the rla.org site. It’s about 200 pages and it’s incredible. And, and Alvar, I admire that some textbooks are just simply classic. If, if they’re written smart than what’s in, there can apply two decades later. And it does. So the information in going backwards is a great textbook. It’s free. Download it and enjoy it. Yeah, I’m my comment. Yeah. I’ve, I’ve known Dale Rogers. Uh, a long time we got involved in reverse logistics. He’s, he’s the king of reverse logistics in my mind doing the survey of what’s going on out there and writing that book. That that was a book that I use in all my classes, along with the normal supply chain management tax or logistics tax at which there are thousands out there, but to really make it make sense because the textbooks give you all this perfect way for a warehouse to work a perfect way for supply chain work.

Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth (00:40:39):

What you want to do is find out why breaks. Okay. A good supply chain manager. Does it finish that cup of coffee? It take the first sip in the morning until the phone rings. And it says, oh, we don’t have that supply coming from India right now. And so we’re going to be delayed at general motors on those seats that are supposed to be in there at six o’clock tonight. That’s his first cup of coffee. There was some realities there. And Dale Rogers brought that to my attention and to everybody. So yeah, that book, but Dale Rogers and that’s that’s the king, but he did research. He got paid some money to go out and study all these things that are going on at various companies. And it’s still good today because at the key points, he brings out that here’s what fails. I just

Greg White (00:41:23):

Free. And RLA

Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth (00:41:25):

Well, it’s not our book. It’s not our book, Tony. It is free. It is free on our website. Join. If you join the community, joining the community does not have a cost right now.

Greg White (00:41:37):

All right. That’s a great service,

Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth (00:41:41):

Tanya. Thank you. I’ll keep speaking the truth, whatever that truth might be. Okay. If you still like it. It’s true. Okay.

Scott Luton (00:41:49):

I asked this, uh, this, this question from Maria, you know, we’re all after a Frank discussion here and Mervin’s a where you’re part of our live strains. Hope this finds you well, Mervyn, you know, this is a good question. And, and, and I’ll, I’ll throw this out to our, all three of y’all here. He doesn’t mean to be skeptical, but, but how sustainable is that circular economy who would like to address that first Tony take that first?

Tony Sciarrotta (00:42:12):

Well, I think I just gave the example on, on Apple’s commitment to take phones back and rebuild them into new phones. It’s incredibly sustainable. The circular economy involves design and a way to reuse repurpose. And I’m very proud. I spoke earlier this past week with an apparel conference and you don’t think about clothing normally is being repurposed reused. And I’m proud that there are companies out there in the RLA members who take old clothing, re returned at the stores and they can repair it. They can rebutton it reciprocates. So it, if it needs it, and then it can be resold and sounds like a lot of labor, but yeah, vintage clothing. It’s popular again now. So, and I, and I really know the surveys indicate the younger generations respond very well to vintage products. They just do they’re, they’re willing to, because they can consider it a commitment to the economy, the ecology, the world, the planet, everything you can take old stuff, use it again and feel good about it.

Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth (00:43:18):

Yeah. The, uh, hum idea of sustainability is, and you’re not, it’s not, it’s like logistics and supply chains and rivers, all of us together, not every supply chain is working a hundred percent sustainability. Everybody just say, oh, here’s what it is. And let’s all do it. It costs money for our company to invest in sustainability or recycling things and to bring it back what at and T is doing with the phones is great, but not every product, you know, is being, is it being used that way or recycled that way? It’s just takes time, like many things. But I got to say, reverse logistics, what we’re doing or what you’re doing. RLA it’s, it’s come of age. It is, it is more common now. And every place I go, every warehouse I talk to, they understand it. They do it, uh, look at, uh, look at the Amazon and all the robots that are moving around. We have some of that stuff. That’s part of it as well. Yeah. Okay. Technology, but sustainability it’s there, but it’s not a hundred percent. We just need to keep working it and it’s getting better.

Scott Luton (00:44:23):

Yep. All right. So Greg, I’m gonna throw it back to you for, uh, your last question, but really quick. It does take time. However, I would argue just like when president through the gauntlet down and said, we’re going to have folks on the moon by the end of the decade, it seems like the pandemic, uh, has also added a huge sense of urgency to address a number of issues. And, and, you know, again, when you look for silver linings in a really tough, tough time, I mean, industry is going to be better off and stronger, whether we like it or not getting through the painful days ahead because of what we’ve experienced. So Greg, uh, where are we going next? Well,

Greg White (00:44:56):

Can I, is it okay if I address that before we move

Scott Luton (00:44:58):

On? Hopefully I’m right.

Greg White (00:45:01):

Well, I think it’s a hell of a lot more sustainable than the alternative, which is not to try. And I think the economics support it. The economics may not support for every brand or every retailer or every manufacturer to do the reverse themselves, but where there is chaos, there is profit and where there’s profit, there are new companies. And I, and I see, like I said, I see lots of new company companies coming in to try to solve different aspects of that solution. So at the end, even aside from that, it is every bit as sustainable as each one of us consumers commits to committing to it. You know, we really are the final arbiter, those of us who hold those goods in our hands, we really are the final arbiter of how sustainable, how practical, how executed, how well executed, reverse logistics is. You know, one of the examples Mervin gave was aluminum, right?

Greg White (00:45:59):

So, you know, if we make sure that happens, it happens. And, uh, you know, I think with those three dynamics going for us, it’s eminently symbol. It won’t be a hundred percent, but it will be a lot better than it is today. And it better be. Yeah, that’s the point. I mean, we just have to do it. So, so speaking of which, speaking of looking to the future, all of our, how are you guys, how do you, how do you feel like APU and, and your programs, how do you feel? And of course, your association with RLA, how do you feel like you’re helping to accomplish some of those things are helping to drive people towards some of those things in a future forward way? Well,

Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth (00:46:42):

I go to conferences, logistics, supply chain conferences, reverse logistics, association, conferences, and talk. Okay. I write, I write every week I’m publishing something, but one things we need to do as an academic world and academic world is we’ve been talking about things, you know, that you can see, I can see that when recycling your phone, but there’s other things going on. And I was excited about this last two years from the government. You know, there’s a government push as a government thing on reverse logistics. I found out, uh, this last two years, it’s congressional recycling act. I bet they want knew about that. Or there’s a congressional plastic solution task force. Now the task force out, they’re trying to find out how to do stuff with plastic. I may not agree with everything they recommend, but they’re thinking it. And there’s the presidential plastics action plan.

Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth (00:47:31):

You know, that the president is inter you know, th that, that high level politics, no matter what side you’re on, it’s, it’s actually going on in Congress and elsewhere in the world of thinking politics and government control and there’s government money being used to invest in recycling, reinvest in a new way of turning something into a new product. So that’s one of the things exciting about me. It’s more than just how business is doing. It’s more than what Walmart is doing or Amazon’s doing, or the little company down the streets doing it. It really is all tied together. It goes back to that sustainability question. It’s not all there yet, but it’s all working together. This is extremely complex area. Tony is on top of probably the most complex supply chain operation in the world. I really believe it. That’s where we’re at. And that’s my little speech. Hey, well,

Scott Luton (00:48:25):

Oliver, I admire how you acknowledge all the gains that, that, uh, your program and the, the academic community have made, but you still, at the same time acknowledge, Hey, there’s a lot more work and heavy lifting to be done that, you know, that’s that frankness we don’t always get, I think, and across the training and especially development and academic circles really appreciate that. W we, we blinked and it’s 1251 and we still got, we still got a little border to get into here. We’ve had a lot of comments here from, um, uh, from, uh, the community. Greg, I’m gonna move us ahead if we, if that’s okay with everybody, we’ll go forward, Tony, we’ll get you here. Um, really appreciate you bringing all over with you here today. Uh, and, and we talked, we dive deeper into that. The education needs that we have as a global industry, but Tony, apart from that, when you survey global business and put your finger to the pulse, what else is really sticking out like a big sore thumb that you’re tracking more than others? Right now, I

Tony Sciarrotta (00:49:20):

Was really proud to see best buy, get the, uh, recognition for zero waste certification for one of their returns facilities. The one that we toured two years ago with one of our, our member seminars. So really proud to see that going on. And, you know, everyone needs to consider that the net carbon programs and so on, those are reverse logistics programs. They have to figure out a way to reduce what’s going out to make it the reduced on the way back and do something with that. So really proud of that. But I also want, well, we’ve got Oliver. Let’s, let’s acknowledge that there’s a great career in reverse logistics for anyone. Okay. I came out of sales. I’m a sales guy, right? Smoking mirrors in reverse logistics. It’s not smoke and mirrors folks. It’s hands-on you got to do something with this stuff. So it, it has great career potential.

Tony Sciarrotta (00:50:12):

If you’re in supply chain, move over a little bit and you can become a freaking hero at your company because on supply chain, we’ve said this before, you can say pennies on packaging. On the reverse side, you can save thousands of dollars. If you can, them down or find a better use forum. You think your company won’t appreciate that. And what we don’t have enough of right now, there’s, there’s only one vice-president of reverse logistics that I know of in the climate right now, one with a box company. And that’s it. I look for them on LinkedIn, but you don’t find vice-presidents of reverse logistics. So there needs to be, there will be, yes. And so get into the space, get, get the degree, get the education, go out there and move from supply chain, just a few degrees over. And you can only, so

Scott Luton (00:51:01):

Tony, I think, you know, humble observation is just like organizations have really identified in the last five years of what true supply chain expertise and experience can offer to an organization and then how they can weaponize it in a positive sense and how that adds to your competitive advantage. And so then they start reorganize an organization and create functional layers of leadership and, and bring them into the C-suite. I think in many ways, maybe not exactly, but many ways would allow those dynamics are going to eventually reply, uh, be applied to the reverse side, because especially if you want to be an e-commerce player, consumers are demanding better answers. And even though we don’t have them all today, we’re going to have to have that more functionally oriented leadership that know how to get returns handled and, and how to handle the customer and employee experience and partner experience supplier experience and on the reverse side, as well as just, just getting stuff done and move stuff from a reverse manner. So I think that’s the crystal ball ahead. I believe undeniably everything

Tony Sciarrotta (00:51:58):

You said, Scott is so true. And I want to tell you, I spoke to an SVP from one of the largest retailers in the world. They don’t know where to put the reverse logistics group. Is it sustainability? Is it customer care? Is it supply chain? Is it sales? I mean, you just said so many areas that it’s involved in and they’re calling me for advice. Where should we put it? And I think we have to have kind of a conference just on where does reverse logistics belong in org structures? Uh, maybe a new course. Hey, I gotta tell Robert Gordon, we got a new course

Scott Luton (00:52:35):

And charts, leadership charts and organizational charts will be redesigned undoubtedly on to share a couple of comments. And then I want to come back and get Greg’s comments here on what we’ve just tackled. See, Charles, Charles hope this finds you well, zero waste initiatives are amplified and reverse logistics, and he also says reverse logistics builds care. I love that. Um, I’m going to go back to Tanya. Tanya said earlier, even in the fortune 100 and 500 banking industry, it started doing reverse logistics on H a on HTB side per your comment,

Scott Luton (00:53:11):

That hardware excellent point. Yep. Yep. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:53:15):

There you go. Tanya. Hopefully you will not be sitting stranger and you’ll keep coming back to some of these live streams. I love your comments here. Peter says all about the use and we’re used to be the change. I appreciate that Peter. And one final one from Keith Duckworth, I’m coming to you. Greg key says I work in [inaudible] supply chain for the Michigan state, Michigan state university, and a big push in academia and businesses is to either find ways to repurpose it equipment and have it supported by company providing after OEM support or sell it back to a company to repurpose it and sell it. Someone else love that thinking, Keith, there’s so much, so much still goodness that you can get out of this, this growing of these growing mountains of electronic equipment, hardware equipment. Okay. Gregory, man. There’s so much, so much to be said so little time, but I know you’re, you’re chopping a bit to kind of respond to some of the things that we’ve been talking about the last few minutes.

Greg White (00:54:09):

Well, think you’re hard pressed to find a bigger impact on, on the environment than the reverse logistics and supply chain. Of course, there’s a ton of waste and moving stuff forward. Eyes are all over that today, right? We’re changing fuels for ships. You know, we’ll eventually be autonomous and electric for, for trans transport vehicles, all sorts of transport vehicles, but you know, some of what was really shocking to me and, and Tony, we talked about this last time you were on a last couple of times, the couches after being ordered and rejected go to the landfill. I mean, it’s just insane. Some of what this is. So the impact is dramatic. The initiative is worthy. The, you know, the response and the capability is woefully inadequate, adequate, not for the fault of either of these two gentlemen here and their respective teams, because Oliver and APU are a, they are a force of one and 121 classes right now, 121.

Greg White (00:55:15):

And likewise with RLA, you know, they’re out there and have been shouting from the rooftops forever. Tony is attacking, he’s attacking sustainability, he’s attacking reverse from a prevention and from a resolution standpoint, both of which are necessary and thinking about how long it took us to figure that out in supply chain to think, Hey, if we didn’t do this idiotic thing to begin with, we wouldn’t have this portion of supply chain. Tony figured that out when he was still a sales guy though. So we’re way ahead of the game in terms of intellect, in terms of will, what we need is more hands and feet on the ground and more heads in the game. And, uh, you know, to that extent, I think also we need more academia, port Oliver and the APU getting their shouting into the wilderness. Now they need somebody to hear that message into and to echo it back.

Greg White (00:56:10):

And for them to be able to collaborate like the 500 supply chain programs in the states do today for supply chain, we needed at least one more, I would say at least one more reverse academics program in the states, for sure. Um, and I think, you know, an international effort will probably have to come before an additional academic effort, uh, comes because it’s, it’s a much bigger deal in places where people live much more closely together, like in Europe, like in Asia and, and there’s a lot we can learn. And the beauty of our world today is there are no physical boundaries. There’s not a, as my, as my father used to say, when I was at, uh, what should I say, enthusiastic driver son, you can’t outrun radio. And the truth is, but your thing is you can’t outright. You can’t outrun, you know, this sort of digital media that can be broadcast is being broadcast around the world right now and can connect organizations and people and initiatives in an instant and forever. So that’s, that’s my take on it

Scott Luton (00:57:19):

That I wish I could do a standing ovation for all three of y’all. But Greg, I think that really puts a great, uh, period on this conversation dialogue we’re having, we’ve got to have all of her back. Of course, Tony’s with us just about every single month. And you know, we’re very proud to, you know, help, help get that message out there because there’s so much goodness that RLA and Tony and the voices of the industry are doing, we’ve got to have these conversations, right? Industry will be better off if we feel in these blind spots, uh, because consumers are demanding, demanding it and, uh, and the times are demanding it as well. So Tony, how can folks connect with you in RLA? Well,

Tony Sciarrotta (00:57:55):

If they can spell my name, then it can find me pretty easily on LinkedIn. Srotas not the easiest ones to write that down. LinkedIn is popular and then, uh, www.rla.org. It’s free to join the community, my pictures there somewhere, and a lot of the rest of the great team, the advisory board, and a lot of information for free. Awesome.

Scott Luton (00:58:18):

And better yet. We’ve we’ve got the one click on the show notes. You can connect with Tony and Oliver that way all over your back. How can folks connect with you?

Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth (00:58:25):

Well, uh, I got a phone number somewhere here on my phone. It says right. If somebody get up, if you got paper and pencil, I don’t have to do eight oh four. Okay. Nine two one zero four nine three. That’s this phone right here. I don’t mind somebody to call me. I’ll cut it off at 11 o’clock at night. So you can’t reach me at three in the morning, but (804) 921-0493. You know, and uh, and my email address is William dot Hedgepath. If you could spell it@mycampusdotapus.edu, give me a call

Scott Luton (00:59:05):

And then we’ll, we’ll make it even easier. So if you, if, if you didn’t get, if you’re, if you’re driving up Chicago or flat in Chicago to get here, Greg white next week at his keynote, and you didn’t get a chance to write it down, Hey, reach out to amanda@supplychainnow.com. We’ll make sure we get you connected. Of course, you’ve got LinkedIn profiles in the show notes. Well, and, and there you go, Greg, thank you.

Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth (00:59:25):

I, by the way, the last mile is in logistics. What is the last mile in recycling and sustainability? That’s another course.

Scott Luton (00:59:38):

One 22, one 22. And Greg, I think you and I both tried to throw this up there with Keith. Sorry. I love that. Uh, Charles says, call now. Call him now yours, yours, yours. Okay,

Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth (00:59:54):

Gary, I dare you give me a call. Come on, get that call.

Greg White (01:00:01):

I guarantee, well, Hey,

Scott Luton (01:00:03):

I love it. You know, before we went live, Oliver said, you can ask me whatever question you want to. Tough questions, you name it, bring it. And I love that spirit. We need to have, we need to, we need to celebrate those that are welcoming of the tougher conversations and the tougher questions. That’s how we’re going to move forward as a globe, not just one industry or one sector or one country as a globe. So I’m a pleasure to have, uh, Dr. William Oliver, Hedgepath professor American public university with us here today, along with our dear friend, Tony Sharada with the reverse logistics association folks. Hope you have a wonderful weekend, Tony. We’ll see you again soon. Oliver, we’ll have to reconnect with you once again really soon. Thanks for what you’re doing. Enjoy your birder gents. Thank you, Greg. Thank you, Scott.

Scott Luton (01:00:48):

Wow, man. That was a lively conversation on Jordan. I think as much as you did Greg, but I got off topic off topic. As we start to wrap here, thanks to all the great comments and questions and perspective that comment you made about you. Can’t outrun radio that’s that that is coming to modern day. Equivalence of that is you can’t outrun data and information here in the information age. And to that end, I found myself the other day and I’m a big YouTube fandom. It’s amazing what you can find on YouTube, how to the set the other. But I happened to catch live some good old boys from Alabama that had made the venture up to Kansas hate the Hays Kansas area. They were chasing storms and they were live streaming as they were doing it. But wait, it gets better. So these guys had about everything you needed to chase storms, clearly that the equipment technology, you name it, but they were cutting down through fields on dirt roads on that Kansas deadpan. And as after a big rain and they got stuck and it was, it was some of the most enjoyable 30 minutes of live problem-solving you could see. So to your point, you came out, run radio, you can’t outrun the internet. And if you’re lucky, you can not run some of the storms there in the Midwest, but all I could envision, I could just see you walking up with a bear from the fields saying, boys, what are y’all doing? But we’ll have to save that. Uh, there’s those exactly

Greg White (01:02:13):

How it happens in Western Kansas. It’d be something like you, boys stuck. That’s a shame, uh, rich about tractor, a thousand bucks an hour. Good

Scott Luton (01:02:25):

Stuff there on YouTube. All right, but, but, uh, great stuff here. I mean, what a great installment of our series focused on the reverse logistics space, the return space, there’s this growing importance. And of course, with our friends over at the reverse logistics association, as you all saw in the comments, it’s free to become a member of the online community. You can check out the resources like some of those have dropped here and don’t miss their September big national event out in Vegas, which you can find that rla.org. But Greg, before I sign off, before I sign off, what would your, your final, I think the,

Greg White (01:03:01):

Probably the most important thing that we can do is as consumers, not even as supply chain professionals is figure out what we can do to Mervyn’s point earlier. This entire thing is sustainable. As we are willing to put effort into it. I, I, I had this flashed through my mind as I was doing that diatribe earlier. And that is, we used to spend all our time as human beings, just trying to survive. Certainly we can take a little bit of the time that we used to spend, trying to survive to help assure our survival by doing some simple things, like putting the aluminum where the aluminum goes in the glass, where the glass goes and all of that sort of thing, so contribute whatever you can and consider it, your sort of caveman offering to survival. Excellent. I mean, to me that it’s, it’s the simplest way to think about it. Yeah.

Scott Luton (01:03:52):

You know, lots of t-shirt isms today. Lots of real, real Frank conversation here today. And you know, I think you mentioned recycling. I think recycling industry could, could, we’d all be better off. There was a lot more clarity and honesty in, in some of the recycling, uh, conversations that are out there. So yeah,

Greg White (01:04:08):

Honestly, that’s an excellent observation, Scott, right? What do they call it? Greenwashing, pretending like you’re contributing, right. That,

Scott Luton (01:04:17):

And, and just all, all of what is communicated can be recycled and will be recycled that ultimately to your point, you know, once they got it, there’s no game, it’s just going straight to the, the dump

Scott Luton (01:04:27):

And w we can’t have that. So, yeah, but

Scott Luton (01:04:30):

There’s lots of great organizations and thought leaders that are working again about that circularity and, and they’re, they’re driving the conversation so that we hopefully don’t have nearly as many as those outcomes in the, uh, uh, with the next generation. So own on behalf of our entire team here, we’ve run over almost 10 minutes. We have had so much fun what, uh, so many great comments, great panelists. And of course all the great insights from the comments. Thank you all. And don’t, don’t be strangers. Y’all come back. Uh we’re we won’t, we won’t be doing the buzz on Monday. Right. Memorial day is a data really appreciate and celebrate those that, uh, have made those ultimate sacrifices, but we’ll be back with you on Wednesday at 12 noon with Mike Griswold, with Gartner, once again, and hope you’ll join in the conversation on behalf of Greg white and Amanda and Natalie and clay all behind the scenes here. Uh, Tony Oliver, our guests, Hey, Scott, Luton signing off hope. Y’all have a wonderful weekend wherever you are, but most importantly, do good give forward and be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see you next time right here at splotchy now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (01:05:33):

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 Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth with American Public University

Featured Guests

Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth is a full-time professor at American Public University (APU). His current APU research grant is analyzing the replacement or augmentation of online teachers with robots and AI systems. Dr Hedgepeth integrates the principle foundations of engineering management in terms of complexity theory and data analysis methods to logistics, supply chain and reverse logistics academic courses and publications. Connect with Oliver 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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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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Jamin Alvidrez

Founder & CEO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now, Veteran Voices, This Week in Business History

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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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 singing second soprano in the Grayson United Methodist Church choir.

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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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Allie Krasinski

Marketing Coordinator

Allie is currently completing a degree in marketing with a certificate in entrepreneurship at the University of Georgia. She got her social media start through an internship with Shred, a personal training app, and she’s been hooked ever since. She works to optimize our following base while assisting the team with content creation, influencer outreach and other marketing endeavors. Allie can’t wait to keep growing alongside Supply Chain Now.

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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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Jada Carson

Marketing Coordinator

Jada is a recent graduate of Old Dominion University, having earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications with a media studies concentration and marketing minor. Jada got her start producing content at 16 years old, while attending a radio and broadcasting journalism program in high school, and hasn't looked back!  She is an asset to the Supply Chain Now team as a media specialist, podcast and media producer, and production coordinator.  Outside of Supply Chain Now, Jada is a big Lakers fan, and also a music journalist and enthusiast.

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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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