Supply Chain Now Episode 295

Live Interview from the RLA Conference & Expo 

Prefer to watch the podcast in action rather than just listen?  Watch Scott and Greg as they welcome Trish Boehm with The Home Depot to the Supply Chain Now booth at the RLA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, NV.

On this episode of Supply Chain Now broadcast live from the RLA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, Scott and Greg interview Trish Boehm with The Home Depot.

[00:00:05] It’s time for Supply Chain Now Radio. Broadcasting live 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] Good afternoon, Scott Luton. Back with you on Supply chain. Now, Leive. We are not broadcasting on this episode from Atlanta, Georgia. The Supply chain City, actually, we’re here in Las Vegas, Nevada, a balmy Las Vegas, Nevada, 40 degrees and gales of 80 miles per hour Bill. But nevertheless, we’re surrounded by incredible thought leaders from across the space that were return a reversal just six and return space. That’s really is the center of that universe here. The reverse Logistics Association Conference and Expo, we’ve been covering a lot of the thought leaders are here that are keynoting and leading panels or participating in panels or exhibiting. Now, we’re about halfway through our programing. And I always love when we feature return guests, which we’re doing on this episode some more. Stay tuned. More to come on. Our guests here today, as well as our co-host who who has not chimed in yet. So standby. I’m thrown you off by doing. Yes, you are. But today’s episode is brought to you by re commerce. Re Commerce Group Industries is an industry leader in returned product management return center services remanufacturing reprocessing, repairing and recycling of consumer products. All the reasons we’ve been. That’s right. You can learn more at Rickon Murse Group Inc. Dot com. Quick programing note. Like all of our podcasts, you can find us wherever you get your podcast from Apple podcasts, Spotify, YouTube or Healths. You get your board gas. Be sure to subscribe pseudo mizzy thing. I’m always press. Hey, you nail that line each time.


[00:02:07] You know why? Because I lean a little bit forward. Look past trash and I saw your light on. Funny. Funny. All right.


[00:02:15] So as as if he needs an introduction, I’m joined today by my fearless co-host, Supply chain serial tech entrepreneur, a supply chain adj.. That’s one my favorites. Chron disruptor and trusted advisor. Greg White. Hatoon, Greg.


[00:02:32] I’m doing great. I do have fears though. I’d just like to say really big and not intent on. I have no intention of sharing them, but I do have one. Lost at sea. It’s my greatest fear. Really? Yes. No way. I hate those words more than anything lost at sea. Imagine drifting around, knowing that your fate is already determined. And anyway, I love snakes.


[00:02:54] I think it’s time to go fight called fear. But I hate saying I’m a spider. Yeah. Not if Azara. Oh, yeah.


[00:03:01] We’ve got our young. My youngest daughter is not a fan of spirally. I know that if if I hear daddy at 11 o’clock at night, there’s a spider. Only time she would ever talk to me at eleven o’clock.


[00:03:14] Oh. At the check out our new phobia series here.


[00:03:18] That’s right. Well hey you want to. You asked for it. OK. Easy. Take a look.


[00:03:24] We’ve got a great episode teed up. As I mentioned, a repeat guest, trist being the director of operations with the Home Depot. And Tricia joined us probably back mid-fall. Twenty nineteen. We talked a lot at Tom SHAPIRO Tony Sciarrotta with RLA. We talked a lot about the really neat and successful things and approach they Home Depot is taking when it comes to returns and reverse Logistics Anina Week. We’ve had the opportunity to tour one of their return centers which had to put your eyes on what takes place. You know everyone, if you’re in retail or in reverse Logistics or Supply chain or for that matter, consumers should tour those places. They’d all come out with some big lessons learned. But nevertheless, great to have you back. Tricia, how you doing?


[00:04:10] I’m doing great. I agree with you.


[00:04:12] The weather here is not what I was expecting. crazing very unexpected. And so I was kidding with the 80 mile per hour Gaels. They were only sixty six to worse. But it has been 40 degrees. Yeah. Who packed for that? But anyway, so, Trish, let’s do this. I want to reef may rise for those that called that earlier episode that we enjoyed so much. Let’s, you know, let them know the Trist story a little bit. The trash beam story a little bit. We’re also gonna be celebrating some of the things that you and your team do and lead that the Home Depot that a lot of companies, including world class companies, are struggling with. So but for starters, forget there. Let’s talk more about where you’re born. Raise. Let’s get the skinny on your own. Your your you. Yeah, you’re up bringing. And you were born in India? Indianapolis?


[00:05:04] I was actually born in Louisville, Kentucky. Oh, hold. Yes, but at a very my dad traveled a lot for work. He’s in transportation. And so we we moved quite a bit. And when I was six, we finally landed in Muncie, Indiana. Months, my fiancee, technically a suburb of Muncie. I’m I’m from Yorktown. OK. OK. The high school I went to. I like a map. One of my favorite transmissions there.


[00:05:27] Really? For speed. Yeah, absolutely. What is that transmission going to mostly Camaros in the late 60s. Very cool.


[00:05:35] But I really thought until you’re not interested. But that was. Thank you for legs. I said Indianapolis, because we know you’re a big colt. I am Reinhold fan.


[00:05:47] I’d forgotten Louisville first and then. Yes. Muncie. Yeah. And but tell us about, you know, what else when you when you think of of your childhood and your upbringing, some things you love to do or or early role models. Sure. What else sticks out, especially those that may have impacted your professional journey?


[00:06:07] Yeah. I you know, I was a big sports fan. I. I have an older brother. I. The whole neighborhood was all boys. And so, like, I grew up around a lot of a lot of males. And so we played all sorts of sports in the backyard. And who could hit it over the fence? You know, baseball, all of that. But actually, like my passion when I was growing up was volleyball. I loved playing volleyball. And so I grew up playing volleyball. Ended up when I went to college, I coached volleyball as well.


[00:06:36] Really? Really? Yeah. I did a little bit of coaching just, you know, 12 and under 14 and ah, you know. And where do you go to school? I went to Ball State University. No way. I. Yeah. So I when I was in and senior in high school, I did the co-op program. OK. And so where it’s basically I went to school for a couple hours and then in the afternoons I would go to work and I didn’t have a job at the time because our deal at the family was like, if you’re in sports. Right. You guys really have to get a job. Right. So I had not even ever had a job. And so the school actually helped me and said, what’s your what is what are you into? And I was like, I don’t I like numbers. And so they got me a job doing accounts payable at BorgWarner, which is a manufacturer of transfer cases and transmission’s. Yeah. So. So I did that and then they offered me a job when I went to college. And so that’s really why I stuck around months. Eve.


[00:07:29] What?


[00:07:30] So the mercy for speed is, by the way, a BorgWarner transmission, is it? Yeah.


[00:07:35] Small world. So first off, the hard hitting questions, what position on the volleyball? How does that work? Are you a Spyker center? Has that work?


[00:07:44] I’m I’m glad you even know those. Look at that.


[00:07:47] Yeah, I was my middle daughter loves watching college Vilet while it ball when it comes on TV.


[00:07:51] Or were you a liberto liberal?


[00:07:54] Right. Oh, all right. I’m thinking of I’m thinking of the English version. Well, I’m thinking of the the sign this. Right. Lately, Libra, Libra, the theme for the show. Yeah. Spoken word. The spoken word.


[00:08:13] Right. Yeah. I was a sucker. Okay. So. Yeah. I was a setter and I loved it. And it taught me a lot about teammates and working well with others. Yeah.


[00:08:24] Are the centers a Captain Veridian quarterback? Yeah. Okay. Run the plays. Call the plays. So naturally I lead in the coaching, right? Right. So you you coach while you’re at Ball State. I did. Yeah. I coached.


[00:08:37] I coached at the local high school. The Jerai, our SEAL team four. Do they win? We did pretty good. We did pretty good. Yeah. Indiana is like basketball is a tough state for volleyball. It is specifically east central Indiana. Interesting. Yes.


[00:08:53] Things, you know. So you mentioned a co-op. Yeah.


[00:08:57] And if I heard you correctly and and as always, correct me if I did not.


[00:09:02] Hurley Greg White, that co-op seems like to me the bridge got you into manufacturing. Supply chain kind of into what you’re doing now of it, right?


[00:09:11] Absolutely. I will tell you that that gave me an edge for sure. And I I had a lot going on in college. I mean, and in order to just finish school in four years and I was working full time, I had to go to school every summer. It was a lot. And it taught me a lot. I didn’t have a lot of free time. Not the normal college student stories that, you know, most folks did. But it taught me a lot. And when I graduated from college, I got an offer from J.B. Hunt right out of the gate. Yeah. To go work for them in the Chicagoland area. So right out of the gate I a hundred percent. That taught me a lot. I was pretty young, but I liked operations. And it helped me even decide what I wanted to do and study when I was in college.


[00:09:59] So. For for any high school or college women that are trying to kind of figure their path out. Sounds like coopting. It would be a highly recommended experience. What else would you know?


[00:10:17] As as we have Claudio an earlier. Claudia. Yeah, Claudia Aveo of Yale. Greene. Yeah. And she spoke a lot to developing women leaders and some of those early lessons learned and what you do, what you do now. How can other women follow in your footsteps? What up beyond co-op? What else would you suggest making the conversion into industry in Sheer leadership?


[00:10:45] I would suggest I mean, right out of the gate, you just have to know that there are no barriers. I mean, it’s it is anything you want to do. Set your mind to it. You can do it. And it doesn’t have to be a, you know, female only. This just in general, like. And again, being a competitive sports player, you know that if you wanted it, you had to work really hard. But, you know, you could get that w at the end of the day. So. So that’s that’s my suggestion. I will tell you that I think a lot of times, too, it’s just about understanding what’s even out there and available. Yes. A lot of you know, we had a women’s in reverse luncheon yesterday and just from one last year to this year, you know, it’s like tripled in size. Outstanding. Which is amazing. Yes. And so I think just knowing that there are actually jobs out there in Supply chain for everyone. Yeah. Is is is good to know.


[00:11:36] Yeah. We’re talking llobet on the las UPS said your own. You don’t know it. You don’t know. That’s one of my favorite phrases because it is so accurate. You know that that lack of awareness and fortune rears its head in so many different issues we face. Okay. So from your first sit out, run out of college, you went to work for J.B. Hunt in Chicago. Yeah, tough market. Bad by far. Take us from there and kind of give us that journey into your current role.


[00:12:03] Sure. Yeah. So I started, you know, dispatch and truck drivers and, you know, I worked on the dedicated account side. So we had, you know, set contracts with certain providers. And so my account was actually the Office Depot account. Okay. And so I you know, I I helped a lot.


[00:12:20] Can we say that RDA. Can we say that in the same breath with deeper. Yeah. Just because it’s deep out. Yeah. Just get there are lots of deals. There’s room for depos so.


[00:12:34] So ironically yeah. I worked there and then Home Depot the account we had for Home Depot for dedicated. Needed some help and so Davian asked me to go run that. And so I ran the Home Depot business in Chicago for several years and then Home Depot called me and said do you want to come over to this side? So they called me and said, Do you want to open up our first reverse Logistics center? And I literally said, What is reverse Logistics?


[00:13:06] That’s I hate you. Really, I did I. When was this an idea?


[00:13:10] This was this was in 2010. Okay.


[00:13:14] Yeah, I wouldn’t own either. Yeah, probably. I know I did. I would’ve called it returns generically, but I would have never thought of it.


[00:13:21] It’s funny how that didn’t work. Yeah. Isn’t it. I would’ve never thought of a vocation. Yeah. Reverse Logistics, right. Yeah. And at the time again I was dealing with transportation and really the forward distribution side. And so, you know, I immediately was like, wow, this sounds interesting.


[00:13:36] And so and then, you know, the guy who called me also knew I was from Indiana. And that was where the facility was gonna be go. And so he was, you know, hey, thought you might want to go home. And so did I. When I and I yeah, I loved working for J.B. Hunt, Juvera and a great company. And so was a really hard decision. But I ended up leaving and I went to start the the facility. And that was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I mean, like for you take for granted, when you sit down at your desk every day that there is a desk there, there’s no outlast Rod.


[00:14:10] Yes, there there is a cell phone, you know. And so. So a startup, you basically starting at a startup? Absolutely. So there were no lights in the warehouse. Might the day that I went to interview for the job. We drove around and picked a building like that. Was that was the day you interviewed for a day I interview. What if you had picked the wrong building? Would you have not gotten the job? Well, at least they didn’t. Let me only pick at it was a group decision. So I get one vote out of the five. Wow. That is. Yeah, it’s heavy duty or an interview. Yeah. Well, and again, I knew a lot of those folks because they were my jesmer. Yes. You know, being on the J.B. Hunt Sciarrotta.


[00:14:49] What criteria did you use to pick the. I’m sorry to drill down now. What criteria did you use? Well when you said I think that’s the one. What did you pick?


[00:14:57] I kind of stuck to what I knew and I was like. How many trailers are we gonna get in a day like so that I knew could correlate my head? How much space we needed? And and you could do that in your head? Well, you know, we’ll be around pretty close to being around being around the Logistics and warehousing. What I didn’t take into consideration is that the product looks way different on the reverse side than it dies on the Flourish side.


[00:15:24] So that was the first of what? Now, I believe HUNTY the Home Depot has three, correct? Right. Yes. That was the first one in Indiana. Yes. And after you all stood that up, successfully learned as early lessons learned and what to do, a lot more of what not to do and all that stuff. Then how did you get to the Atlanta center? Did they say, hey, these folks have been there and done it? We’re opening up number two, number three in the in the Atlanta area, which I think is a McDonough south of Atlanta. Is that how that happened, to put the Cracker Jack team on it?


[00:15:58] Yeah, we did. We actually so I stayed in Indiana for four years, but he actually about eight months after opening the Annapolis facility, opened up the McDonough facility. That’s pretty quick. What we did about a four month pilot validated some things we’re working in that, you know, we dotted all of our eyes, crossed our T’s and then opened in eight months later. McDonough And then we went two months after that to Phenix.


[00:16:23] They make you pick the locations. I keep your job. I didn’t finish if I didn’t have to do that. So you have. So your third facilities in, in or around Phenix somewhere? Yeah. Interesting. Yes. Handles probably everything west of the Rocky Mount. Exactly. So you can see I look at a map, we’re pretty well aligned with the northern division versus south and the west steps.


[00:16:44] All three centers were open if my math is right in 10 months. Yes. Okay. Is that was that always part of the plan or or did did the weather was it so successful out of the gate and the impact that they decide to accelerate or what? Anything you can Sheer there.


[00:17:03] Yeah, I mean, it was part of the plan. We you know, one of the biggest things that opening up our reverse space was doing was we were allowing and taking away testing from our store associates and giving them time to go back onto the floor with customers. And so so a big piece of it was really trying to help our stores and take some complexity off of them.


[00:17:23] Love it. So with that, I think that’s a great segue way the kind of darvin more into the calls.


[00:17:31] I’m not ready to move on. Well, I’m not either. I know a lot we could dove into.


[00:17:35] Yeah, but it’s our call from from the first time we interviewed you. Kind of the successful migrations. Some of those duties is part of the of the great ingredients that has gone into the success of the returned approach at the Home Depot. So maybe Greg was dove into what Herter did her team do today?


[00:17:59] Yeah. Yeah. I’m fascinated to understand the evolution of nothing to three facilities in in 10 and 10 months of my man and how that has evolved. So this this I think we can use this as a Segway. At least he can’t stop me from using it right now. Helpless. You had a vision of what the goal of of this this function was taking the weight off the shoulders of the of the store associates. Has it evolved into something more? And, you know, give us a little bit of depth about what it is, how it is you have done things and what how you’re doing things today.


[00:18:39] Yeah. I mean, I think initially that was the goal was to take some of that tasking and store is what we realized very quickly is is how much we could take out of the stores and how much the stores really have to deal with things outside of just selling. There’s a lot of things that come in that back room that, you know, they don’t know how to dispose of it. Yeah. The other piece that made it interesting for us was the the evolution of e-commerce sales and the growth rate there. And so you’re fulfilling from store. We were we were at the time. Yeah. So when we first started our facilities, we were not handling the returns from any of those e-commerce facilities. And so so as time has went, we obviously are now taking all those returns. And so so that’s changed changed quite a bit. And then if you think about just the type of product and the amount of flexibility you have to buy online, that also creates an interesting return aspect, because now you can have a lot of different products returned to the same center, even though it was, you know, purchased there.


[00:19:43] There is I mean, there’s such a breadth of product in just in a store or on the site. And now I know that you haven’t even broader set of categories in the product. You’re selling automotive goods now as well and things other related. Categories. Right. Absolutely. You just continue to make it more. They just continue to make it more complex for you. You know what? It’s fun. There’s never a dull moment. I’ll tell you in reverse Logistics. That’s for sure. So as you have have kind of evolved this operation, same facilities. Have you reconfigured, you know, to tell us a little bit about how your operations have changed?


[00:20:23] Yeah, I think we’ve done we’ve learned a lot, obviously. And as product mix changes, it’s forced us to kind of relook at some of our layout, some of our processes and improve a lot of those things. We haven’t done any kind of full retrofitting or anything like that. It is on our on our roadmap to do now that we know a little bit more about what we’re trying to do as a line that with some of our strategies of our company on the forward side. Like you mentioned, we’re going into a lot of different spaces we haven’t before. And so we are, you know, trying to make sure we we make the right improvements to match with what’s coming our way soon.


[00:20:56] Do you loop it back to category management or anything like that? Do you send them data or information back, though?


[00:21:02] Are then merchandising? Yeah, that can help. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah, we we do a lot. We have a whole team that is kind of like our liaison for vendors and our merchants so that we can help them. And when we do like product line reviews and things like that, we can say, hey, this is, you know, for whatever reason, this category may be, you know, coming up higher and returns or Ryder or the case might be the packaging is not conducive to remarketing or whatever. Exactly. Have those kind of discussions. We do. We do absolutely that more and more by ask. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, and even just something as simple as you know, maybe the instructions aren’t clear. The picture is off line on what’s Tony Sciarrotta.


[00:21:42] Right. I mean that that’s his thing. Right. Is let’s try to the best thing we can do to make reverse Logistics efficient is to eliminate the need for in whatever way we can for so many in that order and reverse. Yeah. Logistics events. Right. So it’s good to hear it is. Yeah.


[00:22:02] For most people in Supply chain Scott Ausland retail the season is that the last few months of the year leading up into the holidays and all the gift buying, all that stuff. However, for the returns community in reverse community January oftentimes can be the busiest can be this season. All right. So, you know, when this airs, it’ll be mid-February or later February.


[00:22:25] But but here on the main meal, will be it a panel? Yes.


[00:22:30] But here on the heels of the month of January, any beyond some of the you’ve already Sheer some of the lessons learned. I think in general.


[00:22:38] But what the January 2020 or some of the lessons learned from from this season of reverse, this was actually an interesting year for us because we had quite a few returns happen. And because the season I don’t know if you realize the season was compressed because we had one full last week for a tween Thanksgiving and Christmas. And so we had the same on the you know, on the reverse side, returns were coming. This, you know, in a much shorter window Brasso. So that was a big lesson learned. When we plan things, obviously, you plan your every year we look at twelve and things like that. But we’d never really looked at front from my side of things I hadn’t really ever thought of, like, oh, what’s the spacing between holidays and how much more that product will, you know, kind of come your way in a short amount of time? Yeah.


[00:23:29] You think about that a lot on the forward or the category management or store operations side, because you’re trying to slam that stuff out the door. You’re very conscious of that, but you don’t understand how that impacts the reverse side of the business. I don’t think anybody does. Right.


[00:23:46] I but that will be one of the scenarios as added to contingency planning. Right. Moving forward. Absolutely. What what else sticks out in your mind when you think of January 2020?


[00:23:56] I would say, you know, the team has done a great job. I’m very lucky to have a great team of associates that do an amazing job. And so what sticks out to me is just their dedication to getting the job done. And it’s a hard time, you know, coming out of the holidays to do it, for it to be your busiest time, because you’re in a lag. You’re like, oh, I just, you know, had a lot of food over the last couple weeks. I’ve celebrated the new year. And were, you know, were gung ho and asking them to, you know, work some extra time. And so. So the big thing in 20/20 January for me was just it’s a sense of like, you know, real appreciation for the associates and the hard work that they put in.


[00:24:37] So let’s I don’t wanna definitely get you to weigh in on global trends. But before we do it, everyone, pro listen, this podcast certainly here’s the Ahly event and full, full gear, right? The keynotes, the networking, the din of benchmarking and best practice sharing is just alive and well. What? Now, you clearly I’m not sure if I met Tony Schroeder, the leader of Aurélie, at the Home Depot event that are at one of the event Arlie events. Home Depot hosted, but clearly are big believers in what’s taking place here. Why? What? What what’s the value? Does the Home Depot team see in associations like Aurélie?


[00:25:22] Yeah, I will tell you a lot of it for us is also the sustainability and just kind of the the. The economic footprint of of what to do. And so one of our biggest things is, you know, how do we get some of the folks here into recycling and and in e-waste? That’s it. That’s a, you know, a big concern. And so how do we make sure we’re disposing of things the right way? And so I think RLA helps bring a lot of those out and in a lot of the providers, you know, offer good solutions to those problems or, you know, you know, we mentioned like you don’t even think about seasonality sometimes. And in some of the shorter, you know, hot times between holidays, things like that happen here where these folks are really good about saying, hey, don’t forget about this. And we all think about reverse Logistics or here’s what we can offer you. The other thing I like about it here is it’s a pretty open forum to also give feedback on, well, how can you help me do this? And people a lot of the vendors here will go back and they will develop a solution for you. And yeah, because there’s so many different like products out there that you don’t realize at some point are going to be returned.


[00:26:33] Ryan Yeah.


[00:26:35] Well, so you said e-waste earlier. So for our listeners who don’t understand, maybe. Yeah. Can you explain what you mean? Yeah.


[00:26:43] So just electronics in general and how do you dispose of them? It could be it’s it there’s a lot of things. What whether it’s not just your cell phone or, you know, things like that, but anything even from like lithium ion batteries, particularly with Home Depot, you know, everything is becoming battery operated. And so I go, right. Yeah. Gober ego is is one of our brands. Yeah. And so. So same thing is just in general, how do we make sure we’re disposing of it the right way if if you’re selling it. How do I make sure we package it the right way and and things like that.


[00:27:21] That’s good. It is. It really. We talked to Sim’s solutions, who deals with a lot of that type of waste. It’s funny he didn’t call it e-waste. Right. But Bo did talk universalize.


[00:27:34] As long as you’re on the universalize that term, I’ll tell you, we’ll introduce you to Sean if you don’t already.


[00:27:41] So let’s let’s go broader. Shane, when you when you when you look out across the landscape, that is today’s India in global supply chain. Yeah, it’s it’s evolving by the minute. What what? One or two trends or topics or challenges or issues, whether you’ll call it really stick out to you that you’re tracking hour by hour.


[00:28:02] Yeah, I will say, you know, not to stick too much on the the recycle train, but just circular economy in general is a big focus for us. And how do we do more and how do we make sure that, you know, our children and children’s children will have, you know, a good place to live? And so that’s one of our biggest opportunities and challenges. I think we have a really great program that we started, you know, with shrink-wrapped, for example. And so all of the shrink wrap in our stores, along with our distribution center, our our Elsie’s distribution centers, we collect that shrink wrap and we send it back to trucks who manufacturers our plastic. DEKI Right. And so they actually melted down and use it. Flourish for brand new ducking. So we keep all of that out of the landfill.


[00:28:51] You get a discount.


[00:28:54] So it’s just that that’s kind of the definition of circular economy, guys. And so trying to find ways to do that more often, it gets very tricky. What one thing you’ll learn is that sometimes it’s not necessarily profitable or cost prohibitive. Right. So you’ve just you’ve got to figure that out.


[00:29:12] Yeah. But there’s there seems to be so much more planning. You know, in manufacturing, sometimes the problem you get your react mood a lot. Right. Or just an interest industry in general. And playing and reacting with sustainability in mind is certainly one thing. You can you can make gains, but well of hearing you, what you shared is is proactively planning of where we can wear these things that we have to use as kind of part of industry. We always look for substitutes and alternatives that might be greener. Right. But OK, we’ve got to use them. How can we plan for them to be reused in a very positive way? And clearly. What a great idea. What else? When it when you wind up, when you scan the industry, anything else stick out that you really that that you might be tracking more than others right now?


[00:30:09] No, I don’t think so. I think we’re always keeping a pulse on the what e-commerce sales and how they grow at such a rapid rate and what that does from a return side of things. And how can we make sure that we are still offering different solutions to customers and deliver it directly to your house. But like now we’ve got to figure out the reverse of that. Yes. So how do we make an overall customer experience better to include an easy way for you to return product if you want to satisfy it? Yeah.


[00:30:38] So clearly the Home Depot has been investing in reinvesting into its supply chain, which certainly benefits the retail experience. They’ve been on the Gartner top 25 Supply chain list last couple years and where we do a monthly series with Mike Griswald.


[00:30:57] Gardner Yeah, it’s his publisher. His OK or what he is in charge of. I’m not sure exactly how to position, but we’ll get insight now. Oh, so love that old time retailer himself. Okay, so he did. He’s not just a theoretical analyst. He has lived it. So he worked for a Latin, most recently a grocery store chain before he went to work for Gartner.


[00:31:22] And that’s what his stuff with any rankings is, is great. It’s so much fun to dissect him and see who’s moving, whereas like football rankings or something, you know. So but but clearly no Home Depot gets it of how it supply chain forward in reverse can have an outstanding impact on the on the consumer’s experience. Great to have you back. Yeah. Bacall’s having toured the oral RL Elsie’s reverse Logistics centers.


[00:31:47] We call him actually repair and liquidation center repair and liquidation centers.


[00:31:52] And that’s what real Earl talked about, right? Yes. Still are still are still got that part, right? Yes. But being. Yes.


[00:32:03] But the see that and Sharee thing that you wanna share. But but to your point earlier you made it coming back is so much different than how it goes out. Yes. And and you’ve got to be comi. Absolutely committed to to to finding a way to salvaging that, whether it hits the shelves. It goes back to the OEM or whatever. It is a Herculean task, especially when you’re the size of a Home Depot.


[00:32:33] I mean, yeah, it is. I joke when whenever I take folks to one of our facilities, I always say like it’s like Christmas morning. You never know what you’re going to get.


[00:32:42] My kids would love that. They love these.


[00:32:44] These are L-O-L dolls or something. It comes like an egg and you don’t know what’s in there. And that’s the whole reason they want to buy them so they could unwrap it at times in the form of a camera.


[00:32:56] Real’s the craziest thing is I like an unboxing video. Yes, yes. Yeah.


[00:33:01] It’s all the rage these kids these days, at least that 10 year old and 8 year old community. But you never know. You never know. And then, of course, you don’t know what you’re at. You’ll be doing the rest the day, rest a week or what have you. Well, congratulations for making it through January. Twenty twenty. So love having you back on the show. Love hearing the Home Depot continued journey to, you know, being an industry leader when it comes to reverse Logistics and returns. And appreciate your time as busy as y’all are here today. Yeah, you’ve got a couple of colleagues.


[00:33:34] You’ve got other responsibilities, as it turns out.


[00:33:36] I do. Yeah. I’m gone on stage here in the next hour or two. Okay. Yeah.


[00:33:41] What a sneak peek of your wish. What would we talk about?


[00:33:44] Nobody’s gonna hear it before you do it. The whole board is going weirdo fireside chat. Just, you know, talk a little bit, introduce ourselves and will there be an action you admire? That’s the question I have. I do not know if there will be fiery topics.


[00:34:00] Man see? Yeah. Yeah. We did a monthly series with Chris until we should just call Wallflowers. Supply chain with Trey. Yes. Yes. Right. That’s the first movement to get my one name. Yeah, that’s right. That’s willing to help with anything to do whatever we can.


[00:34:17] Well, have a great FARSAD. Jeff, thanks for carving time out. I really appreciate it. And we will have to have you back on as 20:20 continues the progress. We’ll see. We’ll see how the year that was maybe late at the end of the year. We’ve been talking with Chris Beam with the Home Depot director of operations and one of their reverse Logistics and supply chain leaders. Fascinating. And and, you know, having put your eyes on these are Alices is amazing. So do you all do public tours of that with groups like RLA? Is that a rig ongoing or just depends.


[00:34:53] But RLA, we do have different committees and conventions and things like that that our view is powerful.


[00:34:59] Sorry for that false, false close air, but I just it is such a put your eyes on that stuff changes your perception of returns.


[00:35:06] You know, I got to tell you, one of the things I take away from this is that is your drive and perseverance, your almost refusal to see a limitation that is really encouraging. And I think, you know, as we were talking about, we use a little bit of this show to talk about encouraging females in in Supply chain. I really appreciate your perspective there. We hear that so often from high performers, from the leaders, female leaders in Supply chain that, look, you can do it, you can do it regardless of what this seat, where the ceiling is or Hymes got. See it, do it. Hand on it. Yeah.


[00:35:43] Once I get there, the ceiling raises and. Yeah, I get there again. Yeah. Healing will continue to reign. I love that.


[00:35:49] You, too. That’s perfect. Good deal. Well, to our audience, Tricia will sit tight for just a second or wrap up on criminal or coming of it. Yeah, we always like inviting our audience. Come check us out where we’re gonna be alive. We’d love it now, just like we’re doing here now. And picking the brain of folks out there make it happen. Leading big thing. So we’re gonna be next at mode X 20 20 plus mutex.


[00:36:13] It’s a small, small supply chain Sheer. Just the biggest. Yes. Thirty five thousand of your closest friends and supply chain materials handling basically warehouses and conveyor systems set up in the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, March 9th through 12th. Yep. Right. And free to attend unless you want to setup materials handling facility. True. But they make you pay all charge. Yeah. And then of course on the 10th Tuesday, March 10th, that is the Atlanta Supply chain Awards. That’s our little awards thing. Yeah. With the Metro Atlanta Chamber, CSC, M-P, Atlanta Roundtable and Apex Atlanta, I got to interject some pretty cool news.


[00:36:58] Since Nouse Town Tricia’s on no on the way in the Home Depot is one of our premier sponsors. That’s right. Of the 2020 Lana Supply chain awards. Right. So they’ll be part of. Not only are they helping us celebrate the best of the best across the Indian Supply chain community in metro Atlanta, but they’ll be their co presenting awards with a crew, probably a 18 crew electrician, her colleagues there in person with hey, look, we say Supply chain City, sometimes a little tongue in cheek.


[00:37:31] But the truth is, I mean, I recognized it almost immediately when I moved to Atlanta in 1995. So, you know, it’s companies like Home Depot and other leaders in Supply chain who are what we love to call you shippers. Right. A shipper or transportation company or a small parcel carriers or or technology companies. There is so much supply chain leadership and so much going on in Atlanta. It’s really valuable. And I’m glad we’re getting to celebrate that. I am, too. And it takes us to think. Yeah. Whatever part you had the sponsorship. Sure. Absolutely. Yeah. I could do to help you. He isn’t good.


[00:38:08] It takes support all levels and to do this kind of stuff. Yeah, we’re very appreciative of our sponsorship. Modoc show for more information and free registration at Moto X and Atlanta Supply chain Awards which is hosted by Moto X, but it is its own event and you’ve got to register there if you want to attend.


[00:38:26] And registration or nomination is still open for companies that want to buy. For one, they awards through February 15th. IRA Quick AIG, the Automotive Industry Action Group. We have two events coming up. Yeah. Part Responsibility Summit in Michigan, April 28. Twenty ninth. And what’s the second about?


[00:38:45] And then the second event is there Supply chain Summit, June 9th. Also in Michigan.


[00:38:50] Yes. Can you believe that? I’m kidding. And on the 10th, a little low. Yeah, kind of a what you call double secret of it. Yes. Our last episode. Double secret at Wayne State University, which you may, may or may not be familiar with. Evidently, we’ve been hearing lots of good things about the Supply chain program. Yep. We’re gonna be there meeting professors and students alike as a far as a kind of a follow up to this supply chain some hope they have those tasty little finger sandwiches. And then finally, back in Atlanta, A.M.E., which is the Association for Manufacturing Excellence, is bringing their 2020 Leaders Summit back to Atlanta. Ma Schrieber, May 4th through the seventh. We’ll be there streaming live on day one.


[00:39:32] Okay. Excellent. Any. Watts Yeah. They all have another big event next up on the calendar. Or is it hourly? Are all the time or.


[00:39:43] I’m actually I’ll be at low-tax. Oh, come on and see. Well. I’m a Colts fan and Peyton Manning is speaking as right and forgot about right. So I’m not missing that day.


[00:39:53] Well, Patrick Mahomes is still gonna be at Disneyworld. That’s true. That’s where he’s going right away. Yes. Been and gone.


[00:40:01] This is how much I care about Supply chain Flourish. I am missing the the parade and celebration in Kansas City where people started lining up at 7:00 in the morning while filling Union Station to celebrate 50 years.


[00:40:17] And here I am. Here you are.


[00:40:21] Never a dull moment. That’s how much I care about Supply chain. That’s right. First off, thanks to our guests. Again, Chris Beam, director of operations with the Home Depot. Big thanks for audience for tuning in. Be sure to check out previous podcast, upcoming events. Other resources at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. Subscribe to our podcast wherever you’re podcast from, including YouTube and stay tuned. On behalf of Greg White and Scott Luton, we’ll continue our live coverage of the reverse Logistics Association Conference and Expo in the coming hours. So lots of great interviews, much like this one. Appreciate tuning in and we’ll talk with you soon.

Trish Boehm joined The Home Depot team in 2010 as the General Manager of their first Reverse Logistics Center. She has held several roles of increasing responsibility in the Reverse space including Regional Asset Protection Manager and Regional Operations Manager. Trish is currently the Director of Operations and is responsible for engineering, transportation, systems, building services, labor planning and secondary market sales for the Reverse Logistics Network.

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:

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:


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