Supply Chain Now Radio Episode 256
Prefer to watch the podcast in action rather than just listen? Watch Scott and Greg as they welcome Tim Scott and Tony Sciarrotta to the SCNR Studio for Episode 256.
“If you’re in this space, you’ll never be out of work. There’s always a job and it’s always based in North America.”
– Tony Sciarrotta, Executive Director of the Reverse Logistics Association
As the war for supply chain talent rages on, companies and leaders are increasingly looking to higher education as the focus for their recruiting efforts. Unfortunately, in most cases, they find these programs lacking, creating a gap between the next generation of supply chain leaders and the companies that need their help.
In this podcast, Timothy Brown, Managing Director of Georgia Tech’s Supply Chain & Logistics Institute (SCL), and Tony Sciarrotta, Executive Director of the Reverse Logistics Association (RLA), tell Supply Chain Now Radio Co-Hosts Greg White and Scott Luton what is being done generally to improve supply chain programs in institutions of higher learning, as well as what is being done to ensure graduates see the appeal of reverse logistics in particular.
As today’s guests point out:
- The problem begins with the fact that there is no standard definition for reverse logistics, making it hard for colleges and universities to define what should be covered in courses and degrees
- Universities are supposed to be looking at ‘what’s next’ and their leadership in the area of supply chain and reverse logistics is greatly needed
- Reverse logistics presents the opportunity for companies and consumers to create circular economies, saving money while increasing sustainability at the same time
[00:00:05] It’s time for Supply Chain Now Radio Broadcasting Life Supply chain Capital of the country. Atlanta, Georgia. Supply Chain Now Radio spotlights the best in all things supply chain the people, the technology, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.
[00:00:29] Hey, good morning. Scott Luton here with you. Labbe on Supply Chain Now Radio. Welcome back to the show. So on this episode we’re continuing one of our favorite series, that reverse Logistics series here on Air CNR, which we conduct in partnership with the Reverse Logistics Association. So we dove into the fascinating world of reverse Logistics returns much more so white-hot space in across the Indian Supply chain. And today we’re featuring featuring a leader from one of the world’s leading educational institutions, especially for Supply chain Logistics. They’re doing some incredible things, not only in the reverse Logistics space, but in a closely associated space sustainability. So stay tuned for a lot more quick programing note. Like all of our series on Supply Chain Now Radio, you can find our replays on a wide variety of channels Spotify, SoundCloud, YouTube, Stitcher, you name it, where your podcast from. As always, we’d love to have you subscribe. Still missing thing. So let’s thank our sponsors. Allow us to bring best practices and innovative ideas to you, our audience. They range from the Effective syndicate to Vector Global Logistics Supply chain Real Estate dot com apex Atlanta manymore. Check out our sponsors on the show. UPS of this episode. All right. So let’s welcome and you may have heard him already. Fearless co-host for today’s show. Greg White Serial Supply chain tech entrepreneur. Kronic Disrupter, not yet trusted advisor.
[00:01:49] Greg, how you doing? I’m doing well, thank you. Speaking of chronic, I just got back from Las Vegas. Yes. At the M.J. Blizzcon. SEC. Yeah. Yes, I’m back and I’m still standing.
[00:02:02] Well, you know what’s interesting, as you know, we already had a debrief. It was the cannabis industry and some kind of cowboys association on the national finals rodeo. Three hundred thousand people. Right.
[00:02:16] That was a lovely week. It was a.. It was a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun. And it’s I mean, it’s it’s an interesting industry. It’s not at all what you thinking. Well, I shouldn’t say that. It’s not all what you think it is in some ways. What you think people selling rolling papers and all the brownies and all those sorts of things. But when you walk in the door and I did a little article on this on on LinkedIn, but when you walked in the door was a two story extraction facility.
[00:02:50] And basically, they had built the entire facility in the entrance of this thing. And you want to talk about giving you a new perspective on an industry when you walk in, expect to see guys and, you know, in dreadlocks. Right. And what you see is these shiny chrome extraction devices. There’s I I did a little just real quick video on it. It’s it really struck me that this is a serious business. Lots of scientists, lots of agronomists, lighting companies like Microsoft and Philips, Sage, all involved in this industry. It is it is a legitimate industry, say agronomists, agronomists.
[00:03:28] It is an out. That’s the word of the day. And I’m glad I’m not I’m surprised I was able to say that twice after. So tell me what it means. But the meantime, before we talk about news, you’re other you’ve got news update for you, UPS.
[00:03:38] Let’s say hello to our guests here today. Of course, our continued partner, which we’ve been really excited. I think this is our fourth episode of the series. Tony Sciarrotta executive director of the reverse Logistics. So, Tony. How you doing?
[00:03:50] I’m doing great today and I’m loving Greg’s story about the video that I caught. I’m Liegghio it. You gotta see the video. A child, isn’t it? Yeah. I mean, they can maybe I need a career change again. Yes.
[00:04:03] A lot of people contribute to the industry without making it their career. Everyone do your part bad. I’ll tell you, we’re coming in hot and heavy. That’s what we’re hot. So also a longtime friend, a first time appearance. I can’t believe we got through 240 episodes. Haven’t had Tim Brown. Owen. Yeah. Yeah. Director of the Georgia Tech Supply chain and Logistics Institute. Tim, good morning. Great. Great. Thank you. We’re so to be here. So glad to have you.
[00:04:29] We’ve talked about him in several episodes, haven’t we? I mean when our ears have been Bourdon.
[00:04:33] Yeah, every episode Sheer. But you know, you and your your institute and Georgia Tech of course is in the middle of so much of what’s what takes place in Supply chain City. We’ve had several of your colleagues and team members own, but I’m I’m so glad our schedules worked out. Have you here today really interested in your perspective? And I know our listeners are going to benefit to have the Tony and Tim. We’ve got quite a show lined up. Yeah. So but before we do, I know you’ve got some news items from the from Malcolm in the News team.
[00:05:07] Sheer less so. Wow. If you follow our show, you’d be hard pressed. You’d be hard pressed not to know how I feel about we work, particularly their founder, but somebody is still willing to give this company money. Softbank has guaranteed 9.5 billion dollar bailout for four. If you’re not familiar with we work. They are a shared workplace operator. There are companies like Space’s and industrious other companies that do this. So you don’t have. So smaller companies and sometimes even larger companies don’t have to commit to a full lease.
[00:05:44] They can use the space either as an office or as you know, for for short term meeting space and that sort of thing.
[00:05:53] So what has happened is that that Goldman Sachs, with the assurance of Softbank to guarantee this, has opened a one point seventy five billion dollar line of credit for we work. So now that I think they’ve cleaned up their executive team and some of the issues that they had with their founder, I think there’s possibly an opportunity to salvage this company. And. And companies are getting behind this Softbank. It was a big early investor. Obviously, it hoped that the company would go public at a significant valuation. That didn’t happen. The valuation came down significantly, but it looks like they’re re tooling and reef refinancing to get this thing go and look, the concept of we work is great. Right. If they can clean up some of the issues that they’ve got, where the structure and the self-dealing and all that sort of thing, then I think there is a great opportunity here. And they are clearly, at least in terms of space and awareness and their leader in the market space.
[00:06:54] So to not be an investment, that’s a recent that’s a recent development. It’s just a.
[00:06:59] Yeah, it’s a it’s basically a bailout. So I don’t know all the numbers. I’m sure somebody in the finance community can let us know how much has already been invested in this company. But a lot of it was wasted, frankly. So they need this money to continue to operate and to continue to capitalize on what must be an evolving our business model in order to to tie this back supply chain.
[00:07:25] We all know that the level of startup activity in the industry and these co-working spaces have been great incubators in many ways, right, for small and early stage companies.
[00:07:35] So yeah, they let a small company really land somewhere without having a big commitment. And as you grow, you’re able to do so relatively inexpensively again still without that commitment. So when you’re ready to move on to a more permanent office space, you can do that. So that’s sort of the part that these these guys play. Look, whatever industry you’re in. We work is newsworthy. It just it just you know, they’re just too impactful in the marketplace. Not not to talk about speaking of so impactful in the marketplace that they have to be talked about. Amazon and this has gotten a lot of play. Again, an article that we curated on LinkedIn. And I don’t know, six or seven thousand people have sound off on this thing. Amazon has banned their third party sellers for use from using FedEx ground to ship their prime orders. So I don’t know if everyone knows, but Amazon and FedEx have had their issues this year. Breaking up is hard to do, it seems, and maybe they need a little bit of an intervention from from a counselor. But FedEx has their delivery. Reliability has slipped over the months and and Amazon is ultimately responsible for that. They don’t have any kind of relationship with FedEx that gives them the ability to come back to FedEx if they if they failed. And and apparently, Amazon is taking quite a few hits. We’ve seen some articles on that. Kathy Morrow Robertson has mentioned some of the issues that both FedEx and Amazon have had in delivering one of our favorite analysts, by the way.
[00:09:11] And Supply chain guru. Yep.
[00:09:12] And so anyway, they’ve just said you can’t use FedEx ground for your deliveries if the if it is a prime shipment.
[00:09:25] So, look, I’ve I’ve had my opinions on on this.
[00:09:30] I’m not that knowledgeable, but I am that an opinionated in a couple of years ago, you know, knowing and having worked with Amazon, I realized that they were building a fulfillment network not only for themselves, but with enough capacity like they did with a W.S. with enough capacity that they could be a third party Logistics or partial provider like U.P.S. or FedEx. You know, my feeling was still is. And maybe this is an indicator of who that one of those three. Companies would not survive that. We know that we’re going to continue to prop up the USPS, right. It’s a taxpayer funded entity and hold different all of its problems. We know that the government won’t let that fail. But but one of FedEx and U.P.S. and Amazon are going to fight for that third position. A fourth player in that space seems difficult to justify. And FedEx has shown a shoe, a few chinks in their armor in the last year or two. So I don’t know if it’s them. I suspect that it’s them again. This is my opinion, not the opinion of Supply chain. That’s important to Skilling. Yeah. And I would welcome. By the way, I would welcome any input from anybody who really knows or absolute really has the the experience or the insight to know what’s going on at these carriers.
[00:10:50] I mean, I don’t know what you guys know or think or even care about.
[00:10:55] I know there’s a parking lot of about a hundred gray vans off mcfarlin and Georgia, 400 just waiting to be painted with the Amazon. Yeah. Oh, really? Yeah. The army continues to grow.
[00:11:06] Yeah. What? And they’ve got it. And you know, those those are a lot of those fans are franchise facilities, kind of like the DHL or and the FedEx model where they’re not they’re not Amazon vans. They’re small companies that get a territory to do that. That. Yes. So they are. I mean they are sharing in that. And and those vans are a lot bigger than even the smallest vans that FedEx uses to get into neighborhoods. So I think they’re in a better position than some of these other carriers.
[00:11:39] Agreed. So fast that we’re gonna continue to report on this. There’s so much going on in the Amazon related community. And of course, we as we’re working through the season, the hits and the news and the developments continue to come. So we’re going to talk more about that. I want to dove in while we have this window of opportunity to dove right into our interview with Tim and Tony and not be so bad as our listeners should know by now as we record this at King Plow, which is a wonderful right.
[00:12:11] We should let him know we have a deadline.
[00:12:14] So it’s the roof being replaced in this beautiful facility and we’ve got about an hour window to knock out a conversation with with to do it. Yeah, we’d better do it. Right. All right. So with that said so.
[00:12:27] So, you know, Tim, as we mentioned in the warm up, you know, we’ve had the good fortune of haven’t turned on the show numerous times here and love his backstory. And of course, we’re big fans. RLA, we’re going talk more about that in a second. But I want to give our listeners a chance to get to know you a little bit better. And so before we kind of talk shop for talk about the institute, let’s talk about where you grew up and some stories related to your upbringing. Okay, great.
[00:12:50] Well, again, thank you for having me here. I guess some of you could view me as being a citizen of the U.S. in that day. I traveled about and lived many places as as a kid, a native of Pittsburgh, grandfather from Italy. And, you know, other relatives from from Eastern Europe spent most of my youth in Dayton, Ohio. Good. Yeah. Yeah. Dayton, home of aviation, the beautiful Miami Valley, then went to high school in Las Vegas. So a wonderful place to go to to school. And then the day I graduate from high school, my father started with Georgia Tech here in Atlanta. I wanted to be an engineer, so I came with the rest of the family to to to Atlanta. Wow. I did my undergrad at Georgia Tech in management, science and Industrial Engineering and ASADA career. And at that time, Supply chain didn’t exist. But really, Logistics was more of a military term. So it’s more physical distribution, manufacturing, that type of thing with Frito-Lay worked in the Orlando plant. In production and quality control supervision for for a while and really wanted to get into the Logistics side of things. You know, transportation, warehousing, that type of thing. Saw a nice ad in the paper for a job at Tropicana down in Sarasota, Bradenton and took that job. Loved it. Orange juice, Logistics and network strategy and all the stuff that I enjoyed doing and learning in school.
[00:14:26] My kids complain all the time about orange juice. Supply chain.
[00:14:30] We never can keep it one day at our house, isn’t it? Yeah. Yeah.
[00:14:35] To hijack the Tropicana train that does sixty five rail cars. Yes. Of orange juice. Three times a week to cut through here. Yeah. And so I thought it needed to improve my strategic and financial skills and get an MBA to be a consultant and start a career in consulting. So I came back to Atlanta, took classes at St. at night for my MBA, Georgia State. For M.B.A, while working for Georgia-Pacific as a Industrial and quality control engineer in a box plant down by the airport. And then when I graduated persuit, my my career in consulting went to work with the former dean of college engineering, John White, who is a true pioneer in Supply chain and Logistics. Some, as is his son, who’s the president outfought now, and started a twenty three year career in consulting with IBM Accenture Analytics. And that’s where I met Tony. Phillips was probably my longest term client. I’m helping them both. I’m Forecki Logistics. And then in 2003 we started reverse Logistics and got into that space and that was an eye opener. And. And then out of the blue, six years ago, Georgia Tech came, knocked on my door and said, hey, would you like to come back and back to tech and run the institute?
[00:15:56] And so that’s what I’ve been doing, is there’s so much there I want to ask you, but I got to you analytics. I did not know that. Yeah, I got to go into high school in Las Vegas. My eyeballs about parking. Imagine the mindset of going to high school in in the Vegas scene. So there had to be you know what?
[00:16:15] It’s it’s two wonderful things about it. One, Red Rock and all the outdoors activity. Right. I mean, you can drive 45 minutes and be snow skiing. You can drive 45 mother minutes and be water skiing, hiking. My high school was right near Red Rock so… Wow. So it’s just a beautiful outdoor area. And then Friday night, some cruising the strip and, you know, parking at Circus Circus and walking down.
[00:16:40] All right. We’re going to get it out of there with all of our money. That’s what an education hell.
[00:16:46] But I’ll love can as you walk us through your professional journey. I also didn’t understand how much manufacturing experience, specialty food manufacturer experience between Frito Lay and Tropicana to be followed by all the consulting experience. So what a great. No wonder why the institute tapped you. Because they bring both of those that the practitioner experience and a consulting experience, which, you know, they’re solving all the problems that we have in Supply chain. You’ve I bet you’ve seen close to seen it all.
[00:17:19] Yeah, I was cross-industry and supply chain. So I’ve done, you know, telecom, power companies, food, retail, did some work for the University of Michigan. Lu. Yeah. So it’s yeah it is interesting. It’s fun to bring learnings from one industry to another completely with you.
[00:17:38] I think that’s one of the the the benefits to some of the associations I’ve been in is you get folks from different sectors get in there and they find out a lot of common challenges that exist. Right. And and you see these companies that are they’re taking unique creative approaches that can work oftentimes across the sectors.
[00:17:55] When I think that’s one of the magical things that Georgia Tech is doing, is they are getting practitioners involved with students. I mean, we talked to Corona Agarwal. Yeah, right. And one of the things that he valued most was being able to work with people like Tony and Tim, who’ve been in industry, who’ve solved and seen those problems, who can talk about practical solutions rather than theoretical solutions of a textbook.
[00:18:18] So I think that’s a that’s an absolutely necessary thing, particularly in Supply chain, because you’re so often thrust in to, you know, into the fore of problems and you you have to attack them immediately. Yeah, that that’s that to me is one of the things that’s most insightful about the way that Georgia Tech approaches this great point.
[00:18:38] And you mentioned Karan Agrawal, who graduated from Georgia Tech. He was on the show. He’s at Dell now right in Round Rock, Texas. Right. Doing big things. And he had a great perspective on why Supply chain is perfect for millennials. So our listeners can go back and find that podcasts UPS. So we’ll put up put it in the Sheer notes. But but speaking of the institute, let’s talk more about the Georgia Tech Supply chain and Logistics Institute and its programing. So in a nutshell, tell us more about that, Tim.
[00:19:03] Sure. And you know, picking up on what you were saying about how tech could add up applying things in industry, you take a look at why Georgia Tech was founded in the first place. It’s a public school. Many people think it’s private, but not it’s public. It was founded to move Georgia into more of an Industrial state following the civil war after after being angry. GREENE Yeah, here’s a trivia note and other that you too realize the civil battle of Atlanta ended across the street from here is where the city surrendered to the union forces. Really? You don’t get that right? Yes. And no historical Brady Avenue, no close. Yeah, I actually. Right, right over there. Wow. Cool. Yeah. But I mean, anyway, so from its founding, working with industry is what Texas all about. And so Supply chain and Logistics Institute, we follow that legacy, taking leading edge technologies and quickly applying that. To industry and what was Atlanta’s original aim, Terminus? That’s right. So it’s it’s the DNA here.
[00:20:07] And we’re reminded regularly with the train right through here we are. Right, right, right on the yards.
[00:20:13] Yeah. And so the supply chain Logistics, too. You know, goes back decades where we had a number of faculty that were very good at post degree training, professional education, going back 70 years, teaching the latest material handling techniques and warehouse design techniques. Then we had other faculty that were very good at transportation and then others came along that were big into the math and optimization side. So Georgia Tech smushed them all together in 1992 and said, you’re the Logistics Institute. And so that was our prior name. And the Logistics Institute operated under that name, providing professional education, doing research in Logistics love. The earlier research in the 90s was in airline maintenance and scheduling revenue tools. Anything that’s really complex, you know, that can be tamed by math.
[00:21:06] And then as the term supply chain came into vogue, you know, adding to Logistics manufacturing and procurement and reverse Logistics all of that, we were renamed the Supply chain and Logistics Institute. And as Georgia Tech’s up to be more of a global university going back about 20 years or so, we were at the forefront of that, starting the center in Singapore that we have with the National University of Singapore. They go under our old name, Bill Logistics Institute Asia-Pacific. We opened the Panama office, which has a lot of activity down here in LA. And the outgoing president of Panama is a graduate of our program. He is a classmate of mine. And I noticed in the yearbook he had the biggest 80s hair of all of us.
[00:21:48] I think the thing that didn’t get out before he got elected as a predictor of success.
[00:21:54] And then we had, you know, Costa Rica and Mexico. We have global partnerships. And now schenn Zen’s actually, you know, the Georgia Tech Shenzen campus is being built and we have the interim campus there and actually some of the largest amount of our Logistics researches and Shen’s and now so we continue with our global presence, our global partnerships, doing professional education and the education side. We’ve also been asked to move into the workforce side, which is not typical Georgia Tech competency. But, you know, people said Tech successful what it does. Can you please try this? And so now our content and you know, Scott’s been very involved both in Atlanta and Savannah and getting to the K-12 environment. I know you’ve had Chuck Kier talk about the JSF program and in the past podcasts. So we’ve got the workforce, we’ve got the traditional postgraduate. We support the undergrad and the graduate degree in Supply chain engineering with doing Finding C&P Stones and internships. We do the four recruiting fairs a year there supply chain focused, but then our core competency. Now the past five years, Georgia Tech realized that Supply chain is more than just Industrial engineering. They made us interdisciplinary. So now we represent 100 faculty on campus in all six colleges that look at Supply chain and Logistics, perhaps from a policy perspective on how government policies impact it from the Liberal Arts School, the design college design, they have faculty that look at city design and how people and freight can move together and people looking at blockchain and computer science plus then all the IEEE people in that type of thing, even a history professor who looks at how sea containers changed global trade. So it’s a much more exciting dynamic. We take on bigger things now on the research side because we’re interdisciplinary research center. And so that’s our main thrust is to bring industry, government and academics together.
[00:23:53] So much is there. We could dedicate a whole series of all the things that that takes up to. Well, let’s let’s shift gears. So, Tony, love to have you love the series we’re having. We’re having there’s so much to dove into across the spectrum of reverse Logistics. So it’s certainly deserved its own series. But let’s refresh our listeners understanding of your background.
[00:24:15] Well, first off, I have to thank Tim because I now feel like I could win in an Atlanta Trivial Pursuit.
[00:24:20] No kidding. Bryce Herman, us. We know that now we need to find the address where the surrender happened.
[00:24:30] And I’m also lucky because I feel like a stepchild. I sometimes don’t feel like I belong in the Supply chain world because I came out of sales and marketing with Sony and Philips, except for Phillips discovering that there was this massive returns issue that they were dealing with. And they said, oh, let’s pick Tony to do it. And we did. It was exciting back in the round, the turn of the century to go out and find best practices in reverse Logistics because there were none. Most people didn’t know the term. Still honor to remember that I read this book called Going Backwards by Dr. Dale Rogers, where the term first existed and he let you print it free off the Internet. Really? Two hundred pages printed on my little HP printer at Philips. And I read the damn book and said, I think I know a little bit more now. So. So, yeah, sales and marketing is an interesting background to jump into the supply chain world because reverse Logistics is a stepchild. It just doesn’t know where to where to go. And. And in that career, I realize what a small world is because as Tim said, we did cross paths at EFT Phillips. And now that I know his grandfather’s Italian, I know everything that’s right about him.
[00:25:42] So naturally, his name’s Brown. I actually treant trivia.
[00:25:49] Emery Cito May is my second cousin. Oh. I met Tolmie. I married Cousin Vinny. My favorite Miura. I tell my role ever. I can only use oik a bunch of foot. So. So, Tony, back to you.
[00:26:09] So Phillips really? Ya ya are industry leaders in terms of where we are. And now I know you were instrumental along the savings that a unit team and they you talk about Tom, but we’re talking in excess of toonami dollars in terms of the return on something else work. Mer y you hit it right?
[00:26:25] It hit a peak of about one hundred ninety two million. Okay. Around the turn of Zelda market. Elmslie, I’ll get it close. It was it was staggering. Well we were two and a half billion dollar company, but it was still a big number. Yeah. And it was a number that a lot of companies were facing. And the reason I’m a stepchild here is it’s not about just moving boxes. It’s it’s about customer expectations and everything else that we can’t really fix very easily. So we’re gonna continue to have a lot of boxes moving in reverse world. A lot, especially as we know we’ve talked about the e-commerce nightmare. People don’t touch it first. They will tend to send it back or that nightmare with the fashion industry of bracketing where they buy the size bigger and smaller and then you have an automatic two thirds return rate. And it’s going to continue to go. So we’re really happy. I’m really proud of this revitalized RLA, the reverse Logistics Association. I’m calling it 2.0 because we changed it dramatically. Sure. We changed it to focus on the members, the retailers and the manufacturers who have this nightmare and the solutions providers, including universities. And glad to have a new Web site that features this.
[00:27:37] Ahli dot org is our site and it shows it premieres the academic alliances, the other alliance partners around the world. And we do go around the world. I love Tim referring to Singapore University where we’ll be back next October. We’re going to go to Amsterdam again for the European summit. And we’ve brought on Hispanic business managers. So we’re looking at Latin America, which is also an. I’m thinking Wood Panama, work for a conference summit, things like that. So there’s a lot of overlap. But I did come into this from a completely different world view. And and I also tip and I learned a long time ago about the challenge of dealing with engineers, the engineers who keep saying there’s nothing wrong with your product. You’re taking back stuff, there’s nothing wrong, there’s nothing wrong. And then discovering Human Factor, engineering and the real world about interconnectivity nightmare’s interoperability issues and now it’s just proliferating. We’ve said before the Internet of Things is taking over, except that there are at least 300 standards in IAPT. So things don’t talk to each other. Very nice. So I’ve set the engineers off to the side and said, no, this is about different things, customer experience being number one.
[00:28:56] So, you know, there’s so much good stuff on these conversations in the last time you’re here. We feature Jack Allen, Cisco, one of the most sustainable companies in the globe. And there’s so much. What I’ve learned of learning from you and learning from the RLJ And as I’ve had my own reverse Logistics and returns, you know, professional development is that you have world class companies that are struggling with returns. Reverse Logistics. And then what I love about RLA, we’ve talked about this thousand times is that yah yah so good. There’s so much passion about being a clearinghouse for these ideas and helping these companies get better, not just here in Atlanta. They obviously, like you said, globally, global goals where so many great companies in otherwise are struggling with reverse Logistics and returns interest. And for that matter, sustainability in the circular economy, what not.
[00:29:46] I think an important part of what Tony and his organization do and I harp on this all the time is preemption of returns. So that understanding that you gained right from human engineering, you all you personally. Did and then you have instilled in the RLA and the members of the RLA this concept of do those things that make it easier for consumers to adopt and not return your product.
[00:30:10] That is the first step. Yeah, absolutely. In managing reverse Logistics is to avoid it. Right. I think that’s an important aspect of what you do. It’s not just dealing with it after the fact. Yes, that’s visionary. I mean, that’s the kind of thing that that really sets this organization apart. Right.
[00:30:27] Absolutely. It’s all net note today. We’re gonna talk more about the higher education space. And this is something we’d have we haven’t spent enough, Tommo, by didn’t spend enough time on it.
[00:30:36] When I was in perfect, we had the perfect panel assembled.
[00:30:43] But we all know that the air that we live in, folks, or what we’re fighting for talent search supply chain and Logistics and reverse Logistics. We’re fighting for for top tech talent that traditionally maybe we haven’t gone after we. But the level of some issues that we’re fighting through in Supply chain, we have to have it. So what do we want to talk about? And the primary theme here today is all about supply chain reverse Logistics higher education. So for starters and Tim, we’ll start with you. What do you see as some of the the primary challenges or gaps in the current higher education offerings?
[00:31:20] So in the challenges and picking up on what were you talking about, the fight for talent? There’s a lot of exciting and we use the term sexier things there to catch students attention, which is which is good and bad for reverse Logistics in a way. So cybersecurity is hot now? Yeah. Analytics is hot now. environmentals hot now. And biomed. But you know, just now, thinking about it, when I say it out loud, all of those other than perhaps biomed are applicable to reverse Logistics are. So if we can package, you know, hey, it’s not reverse Logistics. Reverse Logistics, it’s apply cybersecurity, apply analytics, apply artificial intelligence in reverse Logistics stane ability.
[00:32:02] It’s about sustainability as much as anything, right?
[00:32:05] Vm So there’s the, you know, capturing the attention of the students who are attracted by fintech. You know, we were talking about ATDC before we went on know fintech, medtech and logic tech Logistics dacher are hot, but you have to kind of compete with with those too.
[00:32:23] And just for our listeners, benefit really quick. ATDC is a startup incubator, right. That’s based at Georgia Tech and there’s lots of big companies, small companies. It’s been very successful track record of churning out a lot of successful companies. OK, so Tony, let’s get you to weigh in on same same question. What do you see as challenges and the gaps in higher education?
[00:32:48] Well, it challenges that. Tim Tim went to reverse Logistics isn’t sexy enough. It just on its own. There are no universities offering a reverse Logistics degree. And again, it’s because they don’t see it as necessarily belonging in Supply chain. It is it is an aspect of. But Tim mentioned some of the other aspects of cybersecurity, circular economy, sustainability, packaging, design. You know, I’ll never forget. Tricia Thompson singing from the stage at Dell was pursuing packaging made out of mushrooms and it was a joke at the time. But it’s becoming more real because it’s sustainable, dry. And so that that’s reverse Logistics encompasses all of that. And recycling, it’s all about reducing returns, reusing the returns and recycling them into something else that can be used. As really it is that we can say it simply is that. But universities, it’s a little bit complicated because how do you offer classes in in in packaging? At the same time as the marketing aspect, because that’s just what the box is made out of. But what does the box say to somebody when they get it and they open it up and it’s said one thing in the box inside the package. The product doesn’t do that, at least not to the customer’s idea of what it should be. And how do you convert marketing to not overpromise, but to under-promise and overdeliver, which is what stops people from returning when you get those packages. And it’s and it’s what you expect it or more. You’re like, cool. Yeah, I’m happy. I don’t need to return this. But we’ve talked about it and I hold my phone up on the stage and say, this is what people buy from now, 80 percent of the online purchases are coming out of a cell phone image and description of the product. And how does that set expectations? We’ve talked about the issues with color choices and with just the actual size compared to the picture of this. So there’s so many aspects I’d love to figure out how to set up a program on reverse Logistics. There’s one online university. Tim Right. AP Who offers that and nobody considers them serious.
[00:34:57] Actually offer a master’s degree in reverse Logistics, so what you’re speaking to is a lack of degrees specifically in this space. Right. There are none. Virtually not working on this space. What? So let’s let’s talk about maybe a current because some of the prep conversation, Tim, Tony, we’re talking about and in lieu of the lack of programs, n° offering programs, there might be some opportunities for classes or non credit. Dacian. What what are some of those opportunities that maybe we can act on easier and we can talk about? Yeah. The cost of setting up a program.
[00:35:33] Yes, a degree. Programs are very, very difficult to start. You know, you have to get almost no board of Regents state national approval and you have to have an accrediting board and you have to have people with appropriate degrees in reverse Logistics. And it’s kind of hard to do if there is no rigorous Logistics Greene chicken or the egg, but. Yeah. So but noncredit programs, you know, a lot of the type things that we focus on in Supply chain Logistics Institute like with Apex and and other partners. Those are very easy to go to. And not everybody needs a degree. And somebody who’s been had a career in sales and marketing and wants to move into reverse Logistics.
[00:36:14] Perhaps the Tony of today would have got a pursuit, a certificate in reverse Logistics, especially if they’re wearing themselves there. Yeah. Right. A lot of it comes back to just a sheer lack of awareness. I mean, know, I’ve been in Supply chain Supply chain manufacturing for 15 years until I met Tony and Tim tried his best. He mentioned Arly and Tony Sciarrotta countless times and when I finally met him, it clicks. Right. And now, just like we were talking this morning for y’all got here about recycling and how that factors in reverse Logistics because so much you think you put everything in this container and put it down by the curb and you like to think it’s 100 percent gonna be recycled. But we all know sat around this table, that is not the case. So how can we impact upstream some of these consumer decisions you’re talking about, Tony, to change that?
[00:37:02] And all of those are topics that that can be broken down. And B, short course is, you know, a three day course, perhaps on package design for four circular economy customer experience, you know. Yeah. And, you know, we always Tony and I talk sometimes about how should reverse Logistics be defined. You know, you got to upfront taking the call from the upset consumer. You’ve got the three peoples involved and picking up stuff. You’ve got design for for Circo Circular Economy. So all of those are topics that should be modular education units, I think. And then they can be embedded in either non-degree courses or some of the existing non-degree degree courses.
[00:37:46] So that that’s a current opportunity that this. And then, Tony, I know your teams had a number of conversations with different associations, different institutions about maybe taking advantage of that opportunity. Is it that fair a fair statement, especially with ASTM?
[00:38:01] We’ve tried to develop this partnership, but right now they just want it inside of one of their courses. They’re not willing to to ten point or send the money to set up a separate course on it. And and it’s because, as Tim said, the definition of reverse Logistics, do we go narrow? Do we go broad? I think we should go broad and then set it up on a on a certification basis. But that prestige that there’s no credible degree and it is part of the evangelism that I have to do it, because as Tim said and Scott, you for once you start talking to people about it, they get it. Absolutely. But in a lot of major companies don’t even think in that direction. They’re like, I’ll just make them go away, just give an allowance, just dump them or burn them. I talked about some of the ugly side of reverse Logistics. And and, you know, I’m I’m so lucky and proud and not just lucky. When you when you look for good board member companies to represent this reverse Logistics association around the world and you get to connect with the DELS and the h.p.’s and the Wal-Marts in a Home Depot’s who at least are paying attention, they help the evangelism. And then, you know, getting a university as prestigious as Georgia Tech and and Tim, to help be part of that board, there’s a commitment by these people, as you said, Scott, earlier, there is a certain amount of passion because, you know, you can make a difference. And and I love the fact that you mentioned earlier, millennials are paying more attention to Supply chain. Yes. You know, I made jokes from the stage all the time. If you’re in this space, you’ll never be out of work. There’s always a job and it’s always North America based. You can’t really manage Logistics or reverse Logistics from another part of the world. And let’s stop there. And how that goes. But you can’t export the jobs. Yes, right. They need to be here. Some millennials go for it.
[00:39:51] Yes. Peut lots. So many opportunities. All right. So let’s shift gears over to. How academics. Let’s talk about the prep, you’re talking about how academic institutions can be the best and most cost effective consulting firms. And there’s going to be some some maybe some banner here. So, Tim, weigh in on that and weigh in on how you see the opportunity.
[00:40:17] So there seems so. So one thing I have to say is if if if the faculty hear me saying the university has a great consulting arm, I’ll be fired. Consulting’s a bad word in universities. Now, all faculty are encouraged to be consultants, but it’s not part of their responsibilities. And actually, they shouldn’t be doing consulting. They should be looking at consulting tends to be stuff that’s repetitive and generally not not all that. Yeah. So what I did in industry was fairly repetitive, taking ideas from one company to another. Whereas in universities you’re supposed to be looking at what’s next. You know, look what could block how could blockchain be applied here? It’s never been applied here before and that type of thing. So that’s my my disclaimer. But we can’t ignore the fact that Georgia Tech has, as an example, the country’s largest engineering program. All those students have to do projects before they graduate. And many of them actually are in reverse. Logistics. I think the winner of our Capstone project last week were Capstone for this semester was a Cisco reverse Logistics project Levit. So those using those students with some faculty guidance is a wonderful consulting opportunity for companies. And I think that’s helped the economy here thrive a bit because the Home Depot is a U.P.S. is the Coca-Colas, the HD supply’s the Ciscos. They’re all doing about 12 projects a year, which are basically free consulting with really good students and faculty. So that part of it. Yes.
[00:41:50] Defict huge opportunity and focusing to be more aware of being able to tap into that resource. So let’s get your take on your academic institutions and students in particular.
[00:42:00] As consulting resources, well, we won’t use that four letter term, apparently. Well, it’s more than four letters, but we won’t use the term. But early on at Philips. One of the greatest projects we did was to survey people who return things. We are capturing serial numbers. We knew where they came from. We could match it against the records of the call center people. We used the university to do the calls because interns, university academics, making a phone call to some stranger comes across a lot better than this. Is Phillips calling? Want to talk to you about your experience as opposed to the University of Nevada or Georgia Tech or Hong you. Because we’re doing a project and we’d like to know the real reason that you return someday. And a little bit more finesse, panache to that. But. But basically, it worked because what we found out was it wasn’t about the product breaking, because that’s the first thing they’re going to say when they take something back to a retail store. Right. They go to the counter. It didn’t work. It didn’t fit it. It’s like, you know, and that’s not the real reason. Right. Right. So using academics to find out the real reason.
[00:43:04] And and we may have told a little bit of this story, but the story came back. The statistics came back. Seventy six percent of the people admitted that it just didn’t meet their expectations. And that changes everything. And the paradigm shift at Phillips that occurred early 2000s was going away from Six Sigma, which is all about it works. It works and it works. We tested it. It works, too. It didn’t work for them. It’s about that customer experience. That’s what Net Promoter Score was all about. Right. And when Phillips switched to that, I won. I was so happy. And. And the university had helped do it because, again, we made jokes about its low cost consulting. But it’s it’s important that the companies that Tim is mentioning and that I think of, they’re already world leaders in Logistics and that they continue to use universities to explore the next best thing. We’re doing good now. But what are we going to do in five or 10 years? That’s the awesomeness of using a connected with universities. Yes. What’s coming down the road? What can we think of what’s outside the box? Yeah. And obviously Amazon and others have done things, so they’re figuring it out.
[00:44:12] And, you know, here everyone wins. Companies when they get cost effective solutions and new ideas. Right. Can’t. We will. You got to make sure that that is mentioned and the students win because we’re getting practical experience. What needs to be said here and also in a webcast with a couple other great technology firm here in town, and they had leaders from across industry. And one of the leaders was a senior supply chain leader with a clothing manufacturer. And she said, we can’t be dumping anymore on millennials. If you are your guys struggled to get talent, you’re gonna struggle, engage the talent. You have any. It’s just it’s not a good look. And that is that is so true, because I believe one of the reasons why maybe not as many companies that would engage in these. Resources is because they have these these horribly inaccurate misconceptions about millennials and the Joneses that are now coming out.
[00:45:05] Well, you better be careful about dumping on millennials because as of next year, they will be the majority in the workforce. Eric Right.
[00:45:11] I mean, so that first of all, I think there are a lot of I hate those generalizations. Right. I mean, I’m Gen X. Right.
[00:45:20] Everybody thought we were like drunk punk rockers. Right. It’s like. Ever do. Greg, some of us are. Some of us have been able to maintain that. Yeah. You saw Billy Idol in Vegas not too long ago.
[00:45:34] So but I think I think, you know, every generation thinks the next generation is going to be the demise of humanity. Right. And the truth is, it’s not it’s just a different approach. Yes. Right. Yes. And and by the way, I in the Zite Generation Z. And I have one of those. So I gen is now starting to get into the workforce. So I better not focus so much on a particular generation because, you know, we’ve got additional generations coming in. Gen genze or same thing. OK. So they’re the next generation after the millennials. Gotcha.
[00:46:11] Right. All right. So let’s continue down this path of higher education in supply chain reverse Logistics. Let’s talk about this notion of how universities can be keepers of the reverse Logistics industry data. And that is certainly good about you. Go make fun.
[00:46:27] The keeper of the Tarpley. Oh, Andy Griffith, where Opie was a keeper of the torch. They burned the barn in a great episode. But anyway, the keepers of reverse Logistics industry data we just talked about engaging millennials. Talk about it and you have something to talk about. All right. So how does that Gen Xers, even though so our three listeners that love Andy Griffith know exactly what I’m talking about. OK. All right. But let’s talk about the kidding aside and let’s talk about the opportunity that that is there.
[00:47:02] Yeah. And it had a really good discussion yesterday with an executive from a three P.l. About data. He likes working with universities, pushing data out to them with just some some problem statement saying here’s data, here’s something we want to look at. Have at it. And I Tony and I have chatted about this, too. We think this similar type situation can happen in reverse. Logistics. I don’t know that keepers of the data is is is what we’d want to be. Because it’s it’s everybody’s data. But deep divers in the analytics, you know, you know, pilot are artificial intelligence using the data, you know, digging deep, deep analytics, all of that, that type of thing. Faculty and students love. And so I think that’s that’s that’s a wonderful potential partnership of getting all this data in and doing stuff with it.
[00:47:52] Tony, we have the responsibility as our L.A. to find a way to get this data collected and to get it out there in an important format because it’s affecting the returns in volume is affecting the real estate industry. It’s affecting Logistics carriers. It’s affecting repair centers, recycling centers. There’s nothing being collected in any efficient or academic manner. And that’s been a goal. Now, in fairness, I’ve been at this for three years with our L.A. We just finished a Web site conversions and that was such a priority to make us look like something more than an old baby boomer Web site.
[00:48:37] Let’s generalize here. Correct.
[00:48:40] But now we recognize the importance and I’m proud to say we’ve got some members of the of the board. I mentioned Home Depot, Wal-Mart and now Amazon, who can provide that data of the returns at the at their level. We don’t really needed the manufacturing level. We need it at the retail level, because that’s what we really have to deal with. How much is coming back and where’s it going to go? We’ve got some generalized numbers, but we don’t have a keeper of that.
[00:49:07] And I am a believer and a keeper of I look at universities around the country and each of them seems to find a little niche to own Michigan with the consumer expectations levels that they measure and Penn State measures readability levels and in the United States. So every university has little niche that they want to carve out an own and B, be known for that. And we’re hoping to really focus on that project in 2020. It’s an important project. Tim has been an advocate. We’re just not sure how to get it off the ground. But we’ve got some opportunities now with with these new board members that represent. I mean, if you talk about Wal-Mart, Home Depot and Amazon, you’re talking about a trillion dollars sales. Yep. All right. Volume. And if you can start to measure that up and we do need a big 3. As Tim knows and you guys may know as well, you’d need at least a third source of information seeking an atomizer. Is that the word? Yeah, that’s right.
[00:50:05] That is work. Yeah. Sounds good to me. So some of the things we’re talking about here, some of the bigger picture of some of the reasons why this is so important. I would just offer to our listeners are some great recycling documentaries on Netflix. And if you Google on YouTube, Amazon returns, you’ll understand what is going on. And then to what what Tony was saying earlier about what happens is so many returns. That is is is not good stuff. So we’ve got to figure out a way that to change industry, change the mindset, but also the consumers. If if consumers can connect some of the things that you do it just right in this in the heat of the moment to how that adds to the challenges we have.
[00:50:49] We’ve got a huge opportunity there, too, right? Yes. Yeah. But the focus until now has been free shipping and free returns. Right. That’s all the Logistics world notes, right? Shipping free returns. So make it cheaper to ship, which you can’t really. I mean, there’s only so much you can do. Maybe the drones will help, but I don’t think so. So make it cheaper to ship. Make it cheaper to return. Make it easy. Yeah, that’s all the focus has been. It’s never been about. Why is the return occurring? It’s about how do we make it easy and simple. And millennials don’t want to print return authorizations now. They just want it on their phone.
[00:51:23] You know, Matteo Greg White and I were talking this morning. All of these conversations we’ve had around sustainability would not have got me thinking about how we can eliminate single source or single use plastics in our household. You know, once once we just connect the dots and then how we’re adding to the problem in ways that maybe we we can avoid would SAP. We have a lot of uphill climb in they go. Right?
[00:51:45] Well, Tony alluded to it earlier. Look, the place where you can solve this problem is in the states. We are by far not anywhere near the greatest contributor to plastics in in the environment. Right. But we’re among the most conscious of it. And and I think, look, we can’t expect let me change topics just slightly to the consumer. We can’t really expect the consumer to accept or undertake more work in the process. We have to do what Tony’s advocating in making it easier for the consumer to verify that they’ve got what they thought they were gonna get. Yeah, that is to me, that is the number one solution to this reversal Logistics problem that you guys you can’t see it on camera.
[00:52:36] But this little on the air thing we gave as a gift to the company at our our holiday shindig. Yeah. A few weeks ago. It looks this big in the picture and when we got it, it’s like this.
[00:52:50] It’s not much bigger than my i-Pad. We’ll get that billboard right to it. I know it’s cute, isn’t it? It’s nifty, right. But it’s not exactly what we thought we were getting. And I was uber diligent that 16 by twelve and I thought sixteen by twelve. That’s good. That’s a good sign. We’re gonna keep that. We’re gonna keep the headset at only one arewilling one want you’re going to react at all. Now. Yeah, we’re not we don’t return anything. No one adsit a problem unless we absolutely have to. So let’s in the last little bit of of perhaps silence we have here.
[00:53:23] Let’s go broader for a second. Right. One, the questions we love posing to our guest is, you know, across the global in Supply chain community, there’s so much innovation, technologies, challenges, trends, you name it, so much to keep your tabs on.
[00:53:38] What are you tracking more than others right now, just in the grand scheme of things, I guess personally and professionally, artificial intelligence. And it’s been at my forefront, some of my thinking the past couple of weeks as I kind of splurged with my kids now driving and got a Tesla thanks to my little assistants who would have gone to work for Tesla. They were able to quickly get me one. I love it. But you know, e and you you drive it and it’s all artificial intelligence. You know, it’s it’s driving for you. It’s predicting everything. Speed and lane changes and navigations. And you realize you’re not in a big you know, Tony’s a Detroit person, but you’re not in a big and combustible engine. You’re you’re in a computer where. True smart. Yeah, you’re in a computer.
[00:54:27] And that’s gonna be changing everything. So, Kimmy, can you give one? I’ve never been in a test alone. If you’ll have. What’s the biggest when you sat and wrote first time, what’s the number one thing that stood out and kind of blew your mind?
[00:54:40] Well, I had a leaf before and giving that to my daughter. So I got used to the shocking thing with the leaf is how quiet. And there’s nothing to maintain. There’s nothing to return. Talk about reverse Logistics. Tesla takes it to the next level is. Sort of scary. You know, it’s like, okay, it’s it’s driving for me, it’s staying, you know, so that that trust of the machine and its artificial intelligences. How are you doing there? I think I would find it. Yeah, I really did. Yeah. You know, with curvy roads and stuff like that, I. I can’t do it. You know? Yeah. If I’m in Las Vegas and it’s a straight road, I can see people using.
[00:55:19] Yeah. But the potholes around on 10th Street on the north side. Georgia Tech’s campus. Yeah. I don’t trust it to go around.
[00:55:28] So, Tim, appreciate you weighing in. Johnny. What about you?
[00:55:32] Well, I think you made reference to single use plastics and things like that. And I thought about the importance of the government impact. And unfortunately, we’re in a we’re in an ugly political environment here. And what I do is I look to the rest of the world to help solve this, because Europe has announced a ban on one use plastics. And when they do that, our companies are global. They’re going to have to follow. And I love that. So electronics, the same way we used to obsolete products every year. And they’ve got to figure out a way, especially Microsoft example. I know for them, if they want to get into automotive, they have to design a system that, you know, it’s that it’s that Office 365 Ryder every year. It needs to be updated. They have to figure out something that’ll last at least 10 years in automotive use if they have any hope of succeeding. And I know they’re frustrated. But Microsoft’s a joke. Every year there’s a new system. Yeah, upgrades. But they have kept 10 around. Right. If you sat around for a while upgrading it, they’ve committed to it because the auto industry forced them to do that. And yes, I’m from Detroit. And it’s really disappointing that the government policy changes where we were going towards 50 miles per gallon average vehicles was happening with pushing electric.
[00:56:51] California still driving it. But Ford Motor Company, for example, the announcement is looking to build more trucks because trucks are exempt. That’s not a good answer for the rest of the world. But someone’s gonna force Detroit to pay attention to electric. And even if it’s California, where it’s I think it’s 25 percent of vehicles on the road soil have to be non combustible. They have to have alternative fuel. So it’s it’s a you know, it’s a hit or miss thing going at rest of the world is driving it. And it would be so great if the government that we have would focus on that and say no. Well, let’s put renewables ahead of oil and gas and let’s have a Manhattan project and let’s let Tesla and Detroit come up with incredible new ideas for vehicles. But we’re starting to slip a little bit in. And again, that’s where universities can try to influence government. They can come in with all kinds of data. But when you hear the term fake news and fake science being thrown out there, it’s just very frustrating. So I’m hoping the rest of the world drags us into that future that we need to be in right now and we could be leading it.
[00:57:59] Well, the truth is, we could be there now already. I mean, if you’ve traveled the world, you’ve seen this was probably 10 years ago when when we opened our office in London for Blue Ridge and I was riding around in a Mercedes diesel wagon, station wagon, a state wagon, as they call it, in English. And, you know, the guy driving me around said, people laugh at you if you don’t get 44 miles to the gallon here. Right. Which means that it’s a it’s possible. Yeah. Because they had a brand over there that was essentially it was GM. I can’t remember what it called. It’s gone away now, but it was a GM brand. It was essentially Chevrolet and Cadillac depending on the level of the car. And those cars got 40, 50 miles to the gallon. So it can be done.
[00:58:42] And and that was that has been the case for decades. And I agree. We need to modify our support for the military industrial complex or whatever that forces us to accommodate oil and gas to to do this, because that that, to me can be the only answer to this and that this woman force that.
[00:59:01] Greg. Right. Because in Texas, the gasoline is so high. Right. And that you had to get a higher efficiency car because of the price of fuel. Right. For three or four times what we pay. Right. It states. Right. And that the government collects it. We call it taxes. And but the government forces that issue. Yeah. For industry to respond. That’s that’s a great point. But electric. I like the idea of the Tesla’s kicking it in. Yeah.
[00:59:26] And I’m fascinated now how they’re handling is fantastic, by the way, because all the batteries are in the floor. So the center of gravity, gravity is super low. And they handle fantastic.
[00:59:36] I feel like I’ve been only one missing the boat here. I’m not that good. Jack. Yeah? Before you leave here today, Tim. So there’s so much we’ve packed into the last hour, so I hate that to kind of conclude the interview. But but we must because so let’s make sure. Happening. We want to make sure our listeners can connect the dots. Follow up with your respective org. causations tremendous resources, so 10 first for you for how can folks connect with the Georgia Tech Supply chain and Logistics Institute.
[01:00:05] Sure. u._r._l S.l got G-A t DCH daddy to you. LCL dot com tech daddy to you and we’ll have that and so much to go. Yeah.
[01:00:18] Always feel free to call for a 4 8 9 4 2 3 6 2. You are brave soul.
[01:00:23] Yeah. Sciarrotta. That takes guts, right? As for Tim, yes. That’s right. No kidding.
[01:00:31] Aside, love. I mean, I really appreciate the advocate you are for all things business, but in particular all things supply chain. Of course the the team you have and what they do for the students and the connections they make. And it’s been. I’m disappointed we haven’t had you much earlier because I think what Georgia Tech does and what Instant Institute’s doing, some other groups can benchmark from that globally, you know. So great to have you all. We’ll have you back on real soon and we’ll make sure the Eurail is in the show notes. Tony, how about you?
[01:01:05] Well, I think it’s important to say thanks to Tim because he’s shown that in the last 20 years, academics have changed dramatically. They used to be the stodgy, old, boring people, and now they’re a lot more fun.
[01:01:17] Yeah, especially you’ve had a couple drinks a lot, which I haven’t missed.
[01:01:21] Oh, we’re going to fix that because the reverse Logistics Association can be easily found on the web at RLA dot org. Again, brand new site, amazing things there, amazing information. You can join the community for free. There’s no requirement except to become to give us a couple of pieces of I.D. ways to communicate to you at that site. Membership for companies, is it? It adds additional benefits. But the big event, the flagship conference of the world. I’ll say it is the reverse Logistics Association Conference and Expo coming up in Las Vegas, where the Supply Chain Now Radio people will be broadcasting live. We have a number of great speakers lined up and panelists and important topics. You’ll be there with at least 800 industry colleagues who are all thinking about this stuff and ways to improve it, ways to fix it. We’ll be at the Fabulous Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. All the best with a very, very great room rate. So if you’re thinking it’s expensive to be there, it’s not in registration rates around fifteen hundred. The rooms are ninety nine a night at the Mirage. It’s a beautiful place to be in February 4 through 6 right after Super Bowl. Most of you around the world. Winters happening. So come to Las Vegas. Jenny away from the winter.
[01:02:47] Have a couple of drinks with Greg and he will tell you some good stories, I think. They were broadcast around the corner for the alcohol, the the bar there. I sure hope so.
[01:02:57] Yeah, but getting us out RLA thought you learn a lot more. We are so excited to be there in person streaming lab and sit down interview and all the other thought leaders. Hey, one more resource.
[01:03:09] Yeah. So Tony, you have a smart brief. The RLA smart Greene. Yes. That is an unbelievably valuable bit of information. You get it, I think daily three, 3, three times a week feels like daily and there and there’s a ton of great inspiration in there. So I think they can subscribe to that here or go to Smart Briefing.com and subscribe to it.
[01:03:31] Either way, RLA, or as soon as you click the blue button it says join the community will start sending you the smart brief. And to Greg’s point, it’s it’s full of information with links to much deeper story line. But it is three several short stories on the front page, the one that catches your interest you can follow. But again, RLA Korg once you become a user. Part of the community, you’ll get the smart pre-fight emphatically.
[01:03:56] Yeah, well, and we’ve been talking with so many folks about RLA. By the way, your ears may have been burning left and right, including one of our favorite recent podcasts with the incredibly bright Scott Auslin. Oh yeah, golf reline. That’s right. I went from graduating college to C.O.O. in eight years time. Yeah, it his remarkable story. And he’s actually kicking off a path on sales. Yeah. Phone say honestly, C.O.O. in less than a decade about that. We caught up with him at an event out in Austin and there’s an incredible interview. So. So who knows? We might see him in Vegas come February. But he is one of dozens of folks that I think are what I’d like to think. They’re discovering how important the reversal just six is. And then, oh, there’s a great resource in this area. And that, you know, early dot org is where folks can learn a lot more. Okay. So thanks again so much. Both of Tim Brown Tony Sciarrotta, really appreciate our time. Don’t go anywhere, we’re going to wrap up with just a couple other quick events. So before we head out to Vegas and the incredible mirage at the reversal, just six association conference and Expo, we’re gonna be at the CSC m._p Atlanta Roundtable Miura event in January, where they’re bringing in a leader from Fastrack to talk about some of the transportation regulations and what it means for your business. January 15th here in Atlanta. And then, of course, rheumy in Vegas in February.
[01:05:25] And then what comes up in March is that Moto X, so Moto X, March 9th to 12th at the lovely jaw end and remodel Georgia World Congress Center. Right. Thirty five thousand of your closest friends building the tiny little warehouses and factories, shipping docks, everything you could want to robots and about a job. Yeah. Think about materials handling and that sort of thing. It’s a fascinating show. And at the same time on the 10th. Mm hmm. Right. The Atlanta Supply chain Awards. And by the way, Tony and his group are a sponsor of reverse Logistics. The first award. The first ever. Yes, that’s right. Yeah. Yeah. The first of many to come. Yes, that’s right. So that’s gonna be really good. That’s just tended to. Ish. Ish. Oh yeah. On Tuesday morning. I mean that’s a really condensed program again. Three hundred. You know, very carefully selected individuals to, you know, celebrate Atlanta and the southeast. What’s going on in Supply chain there?
[01:06:29] Absolutely. And the good news is Moto X, which offers outstanding networking and best practice gathering market intel, you name is free to attend. You can learn more at Moe Tech Show dot com MDX showcase com. An art supply chain awards is free to nominate. So if you’ve got a great reverse Logistics story and you got some kind of presence in the metro Atlanta area, which is 29 counties, folks, I’d be surprised just footfalls in the metro Atlanta area these days. But nominated we’ve got awards across the spectrum from manufacturing to warehousing fulfillment. We’re going to do some some bright future awards like we did last year, Tim, where we recognize students that have that are on the precipice of doing big things ministry. It’s just a great opportunity. Bring folks that love in in Supply chain together and celebrate what’s going on. And Supply chain City, Atlanta Supply chain Awards Dot.com Eurail could not be any easier than that. Right. What makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? That’s right. And we’re gonna sell out. We saw that last year. We’ll sell again. We’re going a little bit bigger this year. We’re featuring Christian Fisher, president CEO of Georgia-Pacific is our keynote change Cooper, which is incredible. Most folks know her for her time as a senior executive at Lockheed.
[01:07:38] I thought I’d read her reply. Oh, yeah, that’s amazing.
[01:07:42] So I would argue that between our keynote and our m.c, they know more about supply chain than probably the aggregate of the 300 people that be in attendance, but very well nevertheless. Modoc should ICOM Lana Supply chain awards outcome one more visit. Last one is A.M.E. Atlanta. It’s bringing their 2020 Leane Summit Ryder.
[01:08:01] And we’re gonna be there all May 4th as the kick things off. Interviewing some of their folks love manufacturing, love continued improvement in manufacturing. And if I’m not mistaken, in 2021, they’re bringing their national event here to Atlanta. So these regional events are kind of a great warmup as they bring thousands of people here to Atlanta that all of continued improvement in manufacturing in 2021. Okay. We would leave out.
[01:08:28] Well, we’ve held off the construction guys. I believe on a pretty good job roof. I can’t imagine that there’s one thing that we’ve left out. But I got to tell you, I really appreciate Tim. It’s great. It’s great to meet you. And I really appreciate what you’ve done. And you know what Georgia Tech continues to do for students and for the community. And, Tony, you know how much love we love you. I love what you’re doing with it. Off with reverse Logistics episodes.
[01:08:51] We’ll put couldn’t couldn’t say anything better. So big thanks to our guests today. Tony Schroeder, executive director of the Reverse Logistics Association, Tim Brown, managing director of the Georgia Tech Supply chain and Logistics Institute. Great conversation. We couldn’t get to everything. Whatev a second upset here soon to our listeners. Be sure to check out other upcoming events in replays for interviews. You name it as Supply Chain Now Radio ICOM finish an Apple podcast. SoundCloud. Spotify.
[01:09:18] Youtube. Ha ha. Hey. Yeah. Google podcast. Let’s give them a little bit of love. Yeah. YouTube for sure. Sorry. All guys know how I feel about YouTube. That’s right. All the sites where you get your podcast from.
[01:09:31] Were there. Be sure to subscribe. So messy thing on behalf of the entire team. Scott Luton and Greg White. We wish you a wonderful week ahead and we’ll see you next time on Supply Chain Now Radio. Thanks for about.
Timothy Brown serves as Managing Director of Georgia Tech’s Supply Chain & Logistics Institute (SCL). Mr. Brown has over 30 years of experience in logistics optimization and strategy through work in industry operations, consulting services, and as an educator. He is responsible for the strategic planning and development of executive education programs as well as serving as the liaison to on- and off-campus professional associations, organizations and individuals regarding the recruitment and delivery of such programs in support of expanding SCL’s global mission to enable supply chain professionals, businesses, and international governments to transform complex supply chains, improve logistics performance, and increase competitiveness by applying education, innovation and solutions (emerging practices). Learn more about Georgia Tech’s Supply Chain & Logistics Institute: www.scl.gatech.edu
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/
Greg White serves as Principle & Host at Supply Chain Now Radio. Greg is a founder, CEO, board director and advisor in B2B technology with multiple successful exits. He recently joined Trefoil Advisory as a Partner to further their vision of stronger companies by delivering practical solutions to the highest-stakes challenges. Prior to Trefoil, Greg served as CEO at Curo, a field service management solution most notably used by Amazon to direct their fulfillment center deployment workforce. Greg is most known for founding Blue Ridge Solutions and served as President & CEO for the Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader of cloud-native supply chain applications that balance inventory with customer demand. Greg has also held leadership roles with Servigistics, and E3 Corporation, where he pioneered their cloud supply chain offering in 1998. In addition to his work at Supply Chain Now Radio and Trefoil, rapidly-growing companies leverage Greg as an independent board director and advisor for his experience building disruptive B2B technology and supply chain companies widely recognized as industry leaders. He’s an insightful visionary who helps companies rapidly align vision, team, market, messaging, product, and intellectual property to accelerate value creation. Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams to create breakthroughs that gain market exposure and momentum, and increase company esteem and valuation. Learn more about Trefoil Advisory: www.trefoiladvisory.com
Scott W. Luton is the founder & CEO of Supply Chain Now Radio. He has worked extensively in the end-to-end Supply Chain industry for more than 15 years, appearing in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Dice and Quality Progress Magazine. Scott was named a 2019 Pro to Know in Supply Chain by Supply & Demand Executive and a 2019 “Top 15 Supply Chain & Logistics Experts to Follow” by RateLinx. He founded the 2019 Atlanta Supply Chain Awards and also served on the 2018 Georgia Logistics Summit Executive Committee. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and holds the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) credential. A Veteran of the United States Air Force, Scott volunteers on the Business Pillar for VETLANTA and has served on the boards for APICS Atlanta and the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance. He also serves as an advisor with TalentStream, a leading recruiting & staffing firm based in the Southeast. Follow Scott Luton on Twitter at @ScottWLuton and learn more about SCNR here: https://supplychainnowradio.com/
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