Supply Chain Now Episode 306

Prefer to watch the podcast in action rather than just listen?  Watch Scott as he welcomes Tim Debus and Mike Wasson to the Supply Chain Now Studio in Atlanta, GA.

In the newest episode of Supply Chain Now, Scott welcomes Tim Debus with RPA and Mike Wasson with Tosca to the Supply Chain Now Studio.

[00:00:05] It’s time for Supply Chain Now Radio. Broadcasting live from the Supply chain capital of the country, Atlanta, Georgia. Supply Chain Now Radio spotlights the best in all things supply chain the people. The technology is the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.


[00:00:29] Hey, good afternoon. Scott Luton here with you Liveline on Supply chain. Now welcome back to the show. On this episode, we’re going to be featuring a couple of Supply chain leaders, especially from a sustainability in reverse Logistics perspective. Stay tuned for pratical insights and observations as we look to raise your Supply chain IQ on a quick programing note. Like all of our series and supply chain now you can find it’s where we get your podcast from. Apple podcast. Spotify, YouTube, you name it. We’d love to have you subscribe so you don’t miss a thing. Let’s welcome in. Speaking of, are our fearless Supply chain leaders welcome in our feature guests here today? Tim, deepest debose. Okay. Thank you very much. You saw the fear in my eyes for us. I saw you go in there. President and CEO of the Reusable Packaging Association. Tim. How you doing? Good. Wonderful. Thank you. Was terrific to be here. You know, it really is great to have you. I wish that we had recorded our pre-show conversation because I really enjoyed kind of getting your perspective before we even get started now.


[00:01:32] Wonderful. That was great. The chat in advance. And obviously we could ever had a podcast. Then at that time. But it’s great. And maybe some that will be repeated for the audience here.


[00:01:42] Yes, absolutely. I’m sure it will. And joining you today is Mike Wasson, amongst other things, chief operating officer with Tosca. Mike, how you doing? Doing very well, thank you. Good to be here. Good to be back. Repeat guest. We love our repeat guests.


[00:01:57] And as I was referring to your other roles, a big industry contributor on the board with the reuseable Patch Packaging Association, I believe chair elect chair chair of the board trade RPA for, gosh, six, seven months now in that role.


[00:02:17] Bittern been serving the board for a few years now. So, Treasury Secretary, I think prior to that and chaired the operations committee for a little while, which was terrific, really getting a little bit more tactical and out and now moving into the the chair role last year.


[00:02:32] So I’m convinced, Mike, but based on those two roles we’ve talked about and others, that you got clone’s somewhere and deployed and we just don’t know. We’re not smart enough to figure out when you’re in three of the three different places at once.


[00:02:46] Yeah. First off, nobody in their right mind would clone me. I have far too many defects for that. No. You know, I am I am blessed not not only on the RPA, but but on the ACM as well as at work at Tosca. Just blessed to be working with terrific people that pick up a lot of the slack and just do terrific work on on my behalf and I try to take some credit for it.


[00:03:12] Agreed. Well, the industry’s agreed with me taking credit for the other people’s work.


[00:03:17] Well, the industry is better off for what efforts that you’ve got that you lead. You contribute. And we need people like that. We need especially practitioners. You have folks that know the industry. They’re in the industry because we all we all benefit get better from that. So looking forward to diving into both Tosca and RPA today, learning more there. But for starters. So, Tim, we want to get there before we we we talk shop. All right. Before we dove into all things reusable packaging and more, let’s get know Tim Debose a bit better. So. So where are you from where you grew up in? And you gotta give us the scoop on that upbringing a little bit.


[00:03:57] Yeah. Thank you. And I always refer back that I’m a Midwesterner. I was born raised in St. Lewis, went to school at Indiana, prouder to claim to be a Hoosier. Okay. I spent four years there and it was fantastic.


[00:04:10] I just had a big event with the coach coming back on campus, I think for one the first times and forever. Bobby Knight. Yeah. Bobby Knight.


[00:04:18] When he sent me, it was fantastic. I was privileged to have gone to school there during Bobby Knight’s tenure as his head coach. In fact, they had just came off the year of winning. Then the national championship did not repeat it while I was there, but certainly was a fan of his. There’s a lot of great stories about Bobby Knight will save them. Mine have been very positive. And I see having that back in Bloomington in the in the assembly hall, there was really special for us watching. And it was it was terrific almost to kind of bring it full circle, heal some wounds and celebrate, you know, a great inspiration for the kids. University of Indiana. And of course, basketball fans around the world love it.


[00:05:04] I’ve got to give a quick shout out to the biggest who’s your fan I know prior to meeting you. Jeff Smith, who lives our way in Walton County. So he thought it was very special moment as well.


[00:05:16] It’s really neat to see, you know, legends, you know, kind of like try to think some other sports folks that kind of drifted apart and then they get back together. And it’s just it’s how it should be. So neat moment. So Midwesterner born St. Lewis went to Indiana. That’s correct. Wow. Bobby Knight was there. And then what?


[00:05:36] Yeah. Thank you. You know, when I graduated, I hadn’t seen the sun for quite some time. I decided we were going to change things. And so I headed out to a San Diego good place to be to see some sunshine and start to a career. My background’s in politics, actually, political science. And I went out there and look for a job working in government affairs. And I was real fortunate to join a company if an agricultural biotechnology firm that was really breaking through with using genetic engineering to produce traits, favorable traits and bio pesticides and didn’t plant seeds to produce proteins. And in this case, whether it’s bio pesticides and then toxins to kill pests or for other properties favorable for for agriculture, really heavy hit and stuff. By the way, it is you know, I’ll spend it just I was working at very the ground level at this technology and had a lot of fun and have somewhat of a upstart company breaking new ground. And I was in the regulatory affairs department. So getting the permits, the approvals to build a commercialize. So those products when that journey ran out. You know, I thought what do I what really gets me excited? What really fires me up? Where do I see myself spinning a career? And so I didn’t move all the way across country to get a master’s degree in political management. So specialty and running political campaigns, public affairs, lobbying. And at that time was introduced into the trade association world. I joined United to Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association of Tastic. The advocacy group for the fruit and vegetable industry. But they’re my my specialty and my role was actually managing the International Banana Association.


[00:07:23] OK. I worked with the North American banana industry, representing their interests, bringing them together. The principal players to do things that are going to improve the industry. And really found that a lot of my my my skill sets, my interests in politics, diplomacy. I think Mike would agree, working with multiple groups, multiple interests right there and bring them together for the common cause just was was fascinating. And Bo was there about six years. I had a great sense. I am indeed a banana expert having spent time working on behalf of the industry. But I left that role, moved down to Tampa, Florida, where I am now. But I joined a company that was it was in product development. And the first product assigned to me was develop a reusable plastic container for bananas in a star is born right there. Right. So I not only took the role I had as an industry representative, but took it all we to the farm level and develop packaging products for bananas for distribution around the world and in particular the North American and European markets. So I was at the ground level and saw the supply chain of a very complex or very interesting supply of of a perishable commodity in this keeps bananas, all export products into the U.S. and really just was fascinated by all the dots had to be connected, but took the technology, took the innovation of packaging and really understood what it took to to bring that level of new product design and innovation into the business.


[00:09:02] And so I got to ask the church, do you still have plenty of friends and contacts at the trade banana trade group?


[00:09:09] Actually, it’s not as active as it used to be. It was a very small shop, really, consisting of seven companies subtracted. Three of them represent about 85 percent of the industry. And you know them by the brands as well. But terrific people. I really enjoyed the the experience. And when you look at the time I’ve spent in Latin America and the people I met so kind and there I was just able to to accomplish somethings and instill without being fluent, if not good at Spanish at all. They were able to to work with me and I just look back and thoroughly enjoyed that moment. So in the end, what I did is I took my interest in politics, public policy, my experience and trade association work both with. Nanas and I had spent time before with the Reusable Packaging Association as a member to that organization. The position came up and it just was a natural fit. So for me it was not a straight line in my career. It was. But all the all the dots do connect and jagged lead. But ultimately leading to the position I have today, I love it.


[00:10:19] And I was going to add, you realize that they rename the Savannah Sand. That’s the Savannah Bananas. And I like baseball. So big, big friend of the industry right down there in Savannah playing good baseball. So that’s really neat how your background kind of came together that I’m sure serves you really well as you lead the Reusable Packaging Association, which we’re gonna talk more about what it does in a second.


[00:10:47] But my hunch as we talk preshow is that despite all the growth and just how far they are pase come we’re entering. Thankfully for many folks, the golden age of probably while the RPE was founded and how it’s going to be to serve more, more folks and companies.


[00:11:03] You’re correct about that. Interestingly, last year was the RPE 20th anniversary. Okay. When we talk about sustainability, when we talk about source reduction like reuse and you know, many folks think those are relatively newer developments in business and supply chains. But we’ve been the lead promotional arm of of looking to reduce transport packaging for for two decades now. And you’re right, I often end my talks it at shows and conferences that the best is yet to come. Agreed. And, you know, technology is enabling us to do things that we’ve never been able to do before to really optimize the value of reusable packaging. So. Well, you know, we look at technology and, you know, breaking through a lot of different industries.


[00:11:48] Arts is included in then and allowing us to do more with with reusable packaging and to improve those systems. So I do believe, gosh, we’re on the cusp of really taking reusable packaging, which has been around for a long time. But going to a whole different level of the opportunity with re-use and the value creation that it brings to those who are practicing with reusable packaging it we really have not seen it. For many of us, the vision of where this is going is still unknown. But yes. But look favorably with trends that we’ll talk about it as it’s pointing in the right direction. And Daryl. Those members of the Reusable Packaging Association been fantastic supporters and behind us in order to achieve those industry goals.


[00:12:33] Agreed. And we’ll we’ll talk more about that in a second. So, Michael, I’ll bring you back in. Mike Wasson, C.O.O. with Tosca. Before we talk about Tosca, let’s talk about I’ve got a little appreciation for your background because we’ve had a variety conversations. You’ve been on the show before, but for folks, it might be new to Mike Wasson. Where’d you grow up? And you’ve got to give us some skeletons in the closet with Europe. Bring it to.


[00:12:54] Yeah, I am not a banana expert. Yeah, my my background very different than than Tim’s. I grew up in Chicago, moved around the Midwest a little bit, but went went back to college in Chicago at a small Jesuit university degree in marketing. Because first off, at the time, you know, Supply chain wasn’t really a thing. Right. Supply chain, largely as a degree program didn’t exist except in a few specialized universities. And where it did, it was a part of a program, either a business administration or a marketing degree. And I would say if I went back to school today and in sort of my my passion at the time and why I chose marketing was because I liked to understand how people think. And I probably would have done something like Industrial psychology or or one of the degrees that’s available today and to a degree in marketing. My my very first internship in well, back back in the day, a long time ago, I interned for the V.P. of Supply chain. I’m sort of sales and operations. It was his job title. He was a part owner in a small company in Chicago.


[00:14:10] And my intent was to learn the marketing and sales side from him. And I found that I gravitated much more towards the shop floor and getting out on the floor and looking at how the materials flowed and how orders went. I went from a customer order through the supply chain, through the manufacturing process and the shipping process and managing demand and forecast and all that. I I was I was much more interested in then side of the operation. So, you know, graduated with my degree, but but then went right into a traditional supply chain roles materials manager. I spent, gosh, 18 or so years in transportation in some form or fashion, working with some of the greater trucking and transportation companies in the country. Spent that six years or so with the Coca-Cola Company, which is the greatest. Marketing company in the world that just happens to produce better drinks and stuff. And then for the past five and a half years now, I’ve been with Tosca and started in a VIP of Supply chain, an operations role, and then about a year and a half ago moved into the CEO overall.


[00:15:17] So, you know, going back to your internship, I think that as you illustrate, one of the very powerful and important components of why we need to have more and more internships, because despite what you study, despite the path and the trajectory you choose throughout, you know, tech school or university or what you name it, until you’re out in the environment working, you can uncover where your true passions lie. And and there’s so many different it seems like to me, I’m not sure maybe internships are on the way back and a new apprenticeship seem to be there’s a new found value there here in Georgia. We’re doing we talked this morning about some that German style apprenticeships that Stayton and other folks have gotten behind here in terms of supporting. But it seems like internships are so valuable because you may not have been C.O.O. of Tosca, you know?


[00:16:09] I would not. Yeah. And the reason I think internships are valuable, particularly in Supply chain. Right. Supply chain is a really broad career path. And if you think about, you know, manufacturing, distribution, warehousing, demand planning, a lot of the artificial intelligence and I.T. stuff really. Pells in the self the supply chain space. Yeah. So many opportunities here that people don’t traditionally think of as a career path.


[00:16:35] But but boy, you can make a whole career out of just doing data analytics and still being a supply chain role. Yes, I think getting that internship and getting exposure to what the opportunities are and really starting to understand how you can leverage your your particular passion and make a career out of it. Yeah, really invaluable to did not lock yourself into a degree program or career choice until you understand what’s out there.


[00:16:58] Yes. And one other vast analyzation I will make here his. It seems like academic programs are getting better better at baking in a real practical element that helps students discover, you know, where their passions are calling what they want to do. Seems like, again, a big generalization. But you know, there’s one and there’s more than 500 supply chain management programs degrees with a two year, four year debt man. I mean, it’s really grown dramatically. Okay. So now I want to I want to switch gears back over to Tim. And if you could share with this guy in a nutshell what the RPA does, why it was founded, and they will talk about where you spend your time.


[00:17:41] Yes. RPA is a reasonable packaging association is a nonprofit trade organization. The mission is to promote the use and value of reusable transport packaging products. As I mentioned, it would Sprint was founded back in nineteen ninety nine as really a coalition groups decided that we should get together more less Washington, D.C. based and to look at policy work with EPA at the time, looking at re-use as a as a tool to be able to eliminate waste within the supply chain look at systems approach to manage packaging. And so the founding was a smaller coalition that has since grown into a full association. And what what we do is we bring our members together. We’re a company based. We’ve got about 60 member companies. And fortunately, that they represent very sectors of the full supply chain. So while we have a lot of companies as members who actually design and manufacturing supply reasonable packaging products like pallets, Benz containers, trays, we also have a lot of companies that are engaged into the services side of that full system, including the recovery reverse Logistics technology providers. So automation equipment providers. And so what we look as an association now is an organization that can truly represent and speak on behalf of the full reuse cycle. It’s not just a forward supply chain organization of how you pack products and move them to the point of consumption or point of views. But what happens to the management of those assets in those products to be able to bring them full circle allowing for reuse forward and back? And that’s really where we see the the significance of the impact that we make is is allowing for our members in our industry to promote that full reuse cycle and have expertise behind that to be able to work in the marketplace.


[00:19:38] What what RPI does for the most part is to raise awareness about the opportunities with re-use, the education, exposure to different elements of the business and and use the educational platforms to be able to provide that case studies and in evidence and and documentation validation about re-use and the. Value that it brings to supply chains. And what we do is working with the board of directors is set our our strategy of how we think we can make the most impact by working together as an industry on pro-competitive activities. So partners and competitors can’t come together to work together on ways that we can have a growth in the marketplace. We can have more impact as far as the competitiveness of re-use. Any very competitive market in packaging and we do things, whether it’s a trade, shows, events, conferences. Mike mentioned a committee earlier. We have committee activities that focus on the food and beverage market operations and Logistics and we work with public of government affairs, trying to make sure that that our regulators and legislators understand what what we’re UCI’s and how that can be applied to policy as a tool to create favorable conditions, whether it’s packaging, waste elimination, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, etc. So we execute on that with those programs.


[00:21:03] And and really every day think about how we can bring value to the members who are participating in and bring them benefits of being in the organization that’s going to be favorable for their business.


[00:21:16] All right.


[00:21:17] And this is a neat episode because we’ve got a company that is, you know, Supply chain super competitor, a reverse Logistics super competitor and an organization that helps companies like that happen and grow and also helps companies like Tosca that we’re talking about Sheer some as best practice back with members in the industry. What not so very interesting element here to this episode. Mike, tell our audience that may have missed your earlier earlier guest star appearance on Siplon. Say now. What Tosca is it what it does in a nutshell and and catch all the growth you’ve been seeing the last couple of years?


[00:21:58] Yeah. So really exciting growth. So so Tosca is a primarily a supply chain company. But but we manage a pool of reusable packaging are our primary focus is around perishable food. So we spend time in the produce space that Tim referenced earlier. Eggs, case ratey, meat, poultry, seafood, things like that. We do dabble a little bit in non-perishables and we’re always looking for the right opportunity really to implement reusable packaging in any space where we think we can add value. Interestingly, when we were talking earlier about the I think you mentioned the golden age at Tosca, we talk about the reusable revolution. Right. And if you think back through through the history, you know, there was the industrial revolution in the. But I I don’t have nearly enough of the command. But. But in the industrial revolution. Right. It’s it’s when we started to introduce machinery to replace manpower. Right. What we think of the reusable revolution now is starting to introduce reusable packaging, not not to be recycled, not to be thrown away, but but to really revolutionize the space of of transport packaging. And we do think this is the beginning of that revolution.


[00:23:13] There’s been so much movement, I think, in other parts of the world where maybe the population density is a little bit different. The tax structure is a little bit different. But we think particularly in the U.S., we’re just at the beginning of that revolution right now. For Tosca. We’re absolutely thrilled with the growth opportunity. We recently acquired a company called Polymer Logistics, really excited about that, about bringing together two great organizations that we think actually share a very similar value set. We’ve been really impressed is we’re bringing the two organizations together and that the the value proposition that we both bring thinking about stuff maybe just a little bit differently. And in the past we had been competitors. In the past, we had both had had opportunities to serve on the board with the RPA and see where we had commonalities and see where we had differences. But we’ve been now working for the past couple of months on that integration and bringing those two great organizations together for the for the greater good.


[00:24:17] So I got to ask, did that fellow board ship for lack of better that help the process of the actual deal?


[00:24:27] It did not. And again, it for a couple of reasons. Write it in the RPA. We are, I think, overly cautious around competitive nature and left, right, the anti-trust implications and we don’t talk about anything competitive, anything that could be even a little bit construed as anti-trust violation right now. So so we had a sort of a friendly relationship and a healthy respect. For one another.


[00:24:59] But but, you know, that relationship through the RPA in no way, in fact, that actually I would say may be hurt because because of the antitrust implications and because of the transaction, we steered clear one another through the process.


[00:25:14] I can relate. So I worked for a great company, Cisco, Cisco, Food and way back through seven lifetimes to go. There’s like. And it was drilled in our heads. Even though we’re coming into the kitchen as the competitors are walking out of the kitchen. You better not say hello. You better not ask about his or her golf game. But in there, talking to the kitchen manager, only for those exact exact reasons. Right.


[00:25:37] Don’t want any kind of slight notion that there’s a trust issue. All right. So. So lots of growth acquisitions. And maybe you’ve made a couple of acquisitions. Author or maybe I was out of getting my wife.


[00:25:52] Yeah, I really just. Just the one big acquisition we have gone through some change of ownership or change of control of the the primary private equity group that we work with. But yeah. Really on a pretty solid trajectory were 60 and a half years old now. So we’ve we’ve gone through a lot. I don’t know if you’re thinking of some of those some of those other things back in the day. But but, no, this is our first big acquisition here, recently hired a lot.


[00:26:18] Been lauded as a employer of choice and the environment. Right.


[00:26:24] Two years in a row as best places to work in Atlanta, which we’re excited about, which is where you’re headquartered, which is where we’re headquartered here in Atlanta.


[00:26:32] Mark Supply chain city. So gosu, what isn’t going great at task? I mean, it really is striking to me that all of all of that growth in an industry that seems to just be entering into what’s going to be a phenomenal time to be in the industry. So things are really looking good, Mike.


[00:26:50] They are. And thank you for noticing that. Yeah. No, it’s an exciting time. Well, selfishly, it’s a really exciting time to be at Tosca with all of our growth.


[00:27:02] I think that the strategies that we’ve put in place, the leadership team is extraordinary. And I think we’ve got a lot of terrific stuff going on. It’s also a really good time to be in the reusable packaging space as well. And I think we’ll touch a little bit later on not not just the focus of the the RPA is primarily focused on transport packaging. Right. So it’s it’s but there’s a lot of alliteration here, predominantly secondary packaging. But but the the consumer push for more transparency in their supply chains and wanting to know where their food is grown. And, you know, they want to know the name of the cow that produced the milk or the name of the chicken that produces egg. And how it got to the table. And the reusable packaging, I think enables that so significantly. The the ability for reusable packaging to enable blockchain is tremendous. Right, because you have fixed assets that you can track much more easily than, you know, slap on a barcode on the side of a cardboard box.


[00:28:00] So I want to move into a lightning round just for a minute, because we love asking executives where they spend their time. But we also want to get to some industry red meat, so to speak. Right. So in an in true Reader’s Digest form, tell us real quick where you spend your time as C.O.O. if you had a bullet down to a couple of areas.


[00:28:22] Boy, so, yeah, most recently, integration spending a lot of time on on the the people side of the business and making sure we’ve got the right folks in the right seats. Prior to the integration, I spend a lot of my time just on that. I would call it sort of optimization. Right. How do we make sure we’re utilizing our assets. Well how do we make sure we’re creating a network that supports continued growth, a network that supports a customer demand, a network that lend itself to reusable packaging? Right. So a bit building out the infrastructure, making sure that we’ve got, you know, capacity and capability close to the point of customer demand, things like that. But a lot of time on that space, I’ve got a tremendous team that focuses on the day to day execution, making sure we’re providing clean food, safe containers in an ISO 22000 certified network so that the customers have confidence that they’re getting a clean great to reuse every time. Great, great, great people doing that every day and allows me to spend time on the people side and on kind of optimizing the network.


[00:29:25] I love it. And then same question for you. And thank you, by the way, Mike. Nice. Nice. That great guy with a Birgit share with us, that same same role as president CEO of RPA. Where do you spend your time?


[00:29:37] It’s on execution. We’ve got a game plan mapped out for this year. I mentioned some of our core program areas and we’re not a big staff. We don’t have more resources at every turn to to draw on. So we work very smartly efficiently and making sure that we can get in and deal with the details. So everything is seamless, whether it’s at trade shows or conferences. Certainly the work that we do with the committee writing white papers, bringing and talking about standardization of of of the industry and those opportunities that come with it in technology. So I know we want to execute. We want to very narrowly set a plan and deliver on that. That’s what our board has assigned us to do. That’s what our members are counting us to do. You know, the one area that I really love to free up as much time is to go and get engaged with with our companies, with our members, learn from them, see what they’re challenged by, and then take that information and start molding it to a really always flowing strategy. We don’t sit idle as far as our strategic planning. In fact, we’ve talked about redoing it, but it changes so frequently on how we how we want to approach the market. I know strategy is something it’s set and we do that. It’s something that we still work towards. But we want to be very nimble as well because of this rapid change in the business assurance of the many different directions in which reuses now taking turns to to provide value in the marketplace and to capitalize on that right where in the industry, even the large shifts that are taking place can one directional shifts are taking place across supply chain.


[00:31:20] Still, things change on a dime that small little nuances of those big shift.


[00:31:24] So being nimble that that’s what is enabling so many small teams that you’re referencing to not out out play, but that can’t compete with the large firms. Right. That that that is an ability. Is that a word? We’re going to coin it, isn’t it? Yes.


[00:31:42] I was going to add one thing to maybe four for Tim. So the RPA is a volunteer organization, right. So so though the staff is small, the pool of volunteers is a lot larger. And I think Tim spends a fair amount of time debating, cultivating the volunteer network and managing the the ever moving, ever shifting schedules of all the volunteers and making sure that the the staff and the and the association is a whole really provides value for all those volunteers and members.


[00:32:12] Has such a great point in this. In this. And for members of our audience, it may be a part of an association or maybe a volunteer or maybe they lead associations and you’ll think understand where we come from here. The volunteer landscape landscape has changed so much where volunteers are looking for that value proposition. You’re speaking to more more so than I think ever before. You know where I’m member. When I first joined certain associations, folks did things because it was out of habit or they just want to serve. Right. That’s not nearly as prevalent these days. So it’s a tough job that might just spoke about it very much.


[00:32:47] So I’m so cognizant of the volunteer time that I’m able to draw on. And I and I very much take that to heart and everything we do. In fact, time is the biggest resource that our membership can’t provide to the association. And so I some may think I’ve asked too much or reach out. But I try and find that happy medium ground as far as being able to have great engagement with the members, being able to have them participate in our programs so they can take advantage of what we offer and at the same time recognize that they’ve got day jobs and we’ve got to be just careful. And, you know, the big one of the biggest challenges I have is scheduling meetings and bring everybody together at the same time. So it can’t be cumbersome in the activities. But I tell you, it’s a fantastic volunteer organization. Leaders like Mike and in the board of directors that we have. That’s the strength of the organization that we have and being able to really take advantage and ultimately lead us into that next step, five, 10 years of the growth and the promise that we’ve talked about.


[00:33:53] Yep. So on that note, you’ve already spoken to both of you all spoken a good bit to kind of the role and scope of the Reusable Packaging Association in the industry.


[00:34:05] So let’s move to some of the macro trends in global forces that are influencing that the space for across global supply chains to speak to that 10. Let’s start with you. Speaks a little bit. Some of those some of those major we’re talking about earlier about what is one directional shift. Speak to some of that.


[00:34:23] Yeah. Thank you. And we talk about the exciting times of reusable packaging. Unfortunately, the conditions that are being created are being the forces that are moving ah ah are not favorable for Hurley environment for it forward the climate for society. And that’s driving the interest in reusable packaging. So when you look at some these big forces and how companies and governments are responding, you’ve got climate change right at the the research science community sounded the alarm and said, look, we’ve got another 10 years to not just a. Recip a change. Change behaviors. We’ve got a global solid waste crisis. The World Bank estimates that in the next 30 years there’ll be a 70 percent increase in solid waste. Around the world is more developing nations becomes consumable nations. We’ve got a pollution problem where, you know, 8 million tons of plastic enters the ocean every year. So we’re not managing our materials. Certainly not to a sustainable but even not to an economic benefit as well. And of course, the population growth, 2 billion more people that it’s expecting mostly in the US. The inner city areas. Right. Urbanization is continuing to grow. So you have all these these geopolitical and macro forces that are driving change. You know, we’re already seeing that with climate change and how that disrupts supply chains. You don’t where we have, you know, more severe storms. You’ve got fires. And these changes are really affecting operations on a daily basis and probably more regularly in terms of the severity in which nimbleness needs to take place within the supply chain. So, you know, these are I guess this is a good business in the sense of having these forces, everybody become more awareness that reuses a better opportunity to address it.


[00:36:23] When you re-use a B product to your evitable, be saving it from from any type of Lu of waste. You’re extending the life of that and you’re protecting it in a controlled the business model so that it’s not escaping from its management, it’s it’s controlled. So therefore, it doesn’t go to a pollution and it doesn’t go to waste. So, you know, it’s great to be on the solution side, but unfortunately, the problems are pretty significant that we face out there. And governments now are moving to look at some really significant policy decisions, new laws, because. Industry and society hasn’t figured out how to move more aggressively on this on herself. So you need to have these public policy tools to actually change behaviors. And so we’re going to see more of that. In fact, I think in 2020 you’re going to see some significant legislation from the from the state level here in the United States. That’s going to regulate packaging. It’s going to place burdens or shift the burdens from the consumer’s, let’s say, in terms of managing waste to the producers. And that’s that’s where it’s going. It works. It’s something that, again, is from our perspective. When when the reusable packaging can address that all these conditions favorably, we know we’re on the right step. And that’s where these forces are causing more people to rightfully look at source reduction and reuse as a way to help and help mitigate some of these problems and get us into a better position where we’re managing materials and allowing for that value to be extended and created through their use.


[00:38:08] Yeah, I think some of what you’re speaking to that the point we’ve got to get to is where at least folks are willing to stop and make a conscious decision about some of the some decisions that otherwise are just habitual.


[00:38:22] You know that that’s what we’ve got to get to. And I think we’re making progress in that regard. Mike? Well, we’ll bring you back in. When you think of trends, global forces, some of the things that are making sustainability, reusable recycling, all of these things more relevant than anything we missed.


[00:38:40] Yeah, I think the one thing we Tosca focus on a little bit more than what Tim referenced is really the labor climate, too. Right. So the one I think significant difference in reusable packaging. Reusable packaging is standardized. Right. It it’s typically a rigid but produced container, which means that it’s easier to automate. It’s easier to flow through an entire supply chain. It’s much more predictable on KUB utilization on a truck. And, you know, square footage in a warehouse because it is very standardized.


[00:39:17] Real quick, if I could get someone paint and paint a picture for our audience and tell me if I’m wrong. OK, so everyone’s been in a big box store. These big box stores, they’ve always have at least one, sometimes two hours dedicated to rigid, plastic, versatile containers. Sometimes they have separate lids, sometimes are integrated in the package. That’s kind of what you’re speaking to, right?


[00:39:40] It is. And actually, in my opinion, if if we do if we do it well, if the retailer executes well, you would never notice the packaging itself. When you go into the perishable food section, into the produce section, most of the retailers, it sort of looks like a farmer’s market. Right. You all you really notices the produce itself. You don’t notice the package that it’s in, right? You do notice it when it’s maybe a center aisle. You’ll you’ll notice cardboard boxes stacked up. You notice some bent and damaged in, but you don’t notice the reusable packaging that’s actually in the display itself. And that’s by design. Right. But but the labor benefits, when it comes off of a truck in the container that goes right into the shelf, right into the cooler. You don’t need to restack it. You don’t need to have a utility knife to cut boxes open. You don’t need to worry about the damage boxes and what happened to the to the perishable foods inside of it, because it’s well protected. And again, it means it moves moves more efficiently through the supply chain, through the D.C. network, through the retail network, easier to automate because it’s rigid plastic, you know, cardboard for all its benefits. Cardboard doesn’t function really well in a wet environment. It absorbed absorbs moisture, which means it’s harder to automate down conveyors and clamp trucks and things like that. Sure. So from a labor climate. I think that’s where we get some attention differently than you do from the climate and the sustainable side of it.


[00:41:10] Right. But if you can also if you can do all of that, which we do now, and you can save labor and you can reduce damage, which is another key component of it. When you damage food in transit, you’re contributing to the food crisis. Right. One in seven Americans are food insecure. They’re not in 100 percent sure where the next meal is going to come from. If food is getting damaged on the way to the market, you’re not helping with that situation at all. Right. So through through the adoption and continued use of reusable packaging, we can take food waste out of the equation as well. Right. So fewer, fewer trips to the dumpster, fewer trips to the landfill. You’re not throwing away or marking down food. You can be more efficient through the Supply chain network. You can take in a in a really tight labor market, even at the retail level. You can have store associates that are spending time adding value, engaging with a consumer. Right. Instead of stocking your shelf right now because you can take it off the truck, put it right on display. Meaning your your your associates are adding value instead of taking a box out of one thing and putting it into another thing. Right. Right. Not adding about. A tremendous amount of value. So I think that’s a big difference, too, that we focus on is that labor climate agreed.


[00:42:26] It just add to that. Mike, as you mentioned a couple times, design how important it is to have a designed that can produce the results and can excel in all those different conditions that you mentioned. And that’s what’s so exciting about reusable packaging is that the design opportunity material sciences, Mike mentioned a couple materials, but it in fact, when you’re looking at re-use, it could be any material is something that design safely that can be reused over and over again. And you know it before it’s an intended purpose.


[00:42:59] You know, that component of design and ergonomics for for labor specifications to fit with automation equipment, ventilation to help airflow and cooling to keep perishable product at a certain temperature to sustain and maximize shelf life. There’s just so many components to design. And that’s another exciting area that design, sciences and capabilities with technology, with 3D printing faster to market to protect it from prototypes to commercial product that’s really gonna accelerate to re-use and design is going to help us designed for all of those macro conditions that we talked about.


[00:43:37] Right. Let me. I’m going to throw a quote out at you here and see if you see if Tim can name the author. But it but a great man said the design is the first signal of human intent. You know who said that?


[00:43:49] I do. It’s not like was the noise, as you said yourselves. Not Mike was. No. Bill McDonough. That’s right. Bill McDonough, who? Cradle to cradle of fame. And he’s a fantastic advocate for this SQLite lifecycle management. And you’re under percent correct. When you’re looking at the design and you know that his question is, is this all we can do is the best we can.


[00:44:13] And that’s why really why would you design something that’s intended to get thrown away when when you use it once? That’s right. And yeah, can I think considered by many to be sort of the father of the circular economy movement and the sort of this sustainable supply chain as well as one of them for sure, an early adopter or an advocate.


[00:44:32] And Veridian had much great foresight.


[00:44:36] I think when he was writing and doing a lot of his work in this business, and that’s how we’re going to realize the full potential it you know, as we’re talking preshow, it’s so much more than we’re cycling. You know, I’ve heard this phrase from a continuous improvement standpoint, used pretty often that culture is not enough or engagement is not enough. You can apply that same thing here. Recycling is not enough. We’re not recycle our way into a more sustainable environment. It’s good that we do it. But to your point, get back into proactive design. Mike, as you said, not design something so can be thrown away at a certain life component of that cradle to cradle. I love that. For the first time I heard that phrase. I love it. You know, it makes so much sense now.


[00:45:20] Absolutely. And, you know, design, I guess one example that I recently came across in the news is you’ve got a wind turbine blades and these big fiberglass blades real strong that some articles have come out that those are not recyclable.


[00:45:35] Yes.


[00:45:36] I saw an article about this that, you know, all these wind turbines now have these blades that are being replaced, but there’s nowhere to go with them. So they’re actually landfilling them.


[00:45:44] Yeah, hearing that, I saw the pictures. They’re stacked up with parts of the same article maybe.


[00:45:48] So when you look at design is to take a step back is as part of that product development should have been designed for that product to have a end of life recycle capability or another use capability. But it’s not so. We’re in a situation now because that design stopped short at use and didn’t think all the way through. Very similar to to recycling. Right. If if we’re designing items to ultimately be used one time, go to waste and then recovered for recycling. Are we doing enough at the design phase to maximize the value of the product and the resources put in to that product? And it’s supply chain. And and I would say no. In fact, this year in April is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. 1970 was the first Earth Day. Recycling has been around even longer than that. You know, the Make America Beautiful campaign or Keep America beautiful campaign that came out even in the 50s really focused on recycling. Right. Recycling is all the disposable. Let’s recycle more. Well, we’re 50 years into this cut cut consciousness, I think of Earth Day. And we only recycle about 35 percent of the solid waste that we generate. And when you look at packaging, 30 percent of that solid waste. So 50 years of really an emphasis on recycling. And I can say that we’re not very good at it. Yes. Now we should get better at it. But clearly, we’ve got to do more. We’ve got to think bigger. Yes. About how we’re managing materials. And when a material is waste, then we can be effective in terms of utilizing the materials and resources that it contains to be able to extend of the value of it.


[00:47:42] All right. So I want to shift gears. This could easily as many of the good conversations, passionate conversations can be a four hour fireside chat because we’re not FBO get enough do. But let’s talk consumers.


[00:47:57] I believe that at some point I’ve put this out there before that with all the e-commerce providers, all the boxes you get, despite our best efforts at. It gives shipping everything together. Right. I hate when I get 17 boxes. I think there’s going to be a really sharp entrepreneur out there that’s going to develop like a home pallet, Taza. Right. And services are going to pick up nicely. palletized smaller scale, the grocery store once a week like we do trash and the recyclables right now. That’s, you know, e-commerce to get a long way to go before it’s a for most families, a daily delivery. But gosh, sometimes the holiday season. Raise your hand if you weren’t over overwhelmed with all the corrugated laying around for a month and a half. So let’s talk about consumers. Let’s talk about one of the great forces that is making to your to your point. It’s not this isn’t new. This is a new movement. It’s just got new found in many ways. But beyond some innovation and new found commitment, it’s got new found support in driving forces. So, Mike, I’m a start with you on this, this notion that consumers demand it. Not only are they aware of this, of reusable as recyclables, single-use, plastics, all the different things, but they’re demanding greener packaging, greener products and transparency behind that, right?


[00:49:25] Yeah, I think some consumers. Right. I don’t know that you can paint that with that broad a brush. Some consumers. It’s nice to have some. Some would like it if it’s cost neutral proposition. Right. But but some say, boy, if you can have transparency here or I can go over to this retailer and buy it for a dollar less. And I’m not really confident where it came from. Right. Right. We do see some of that. Right? Right. I think there is a momentum in that space, though, where by creating that transparency and that visibility, it puts a little bit more pressure on the supplier, the manufacturer and the retailer to to be better at that process. And I think with that continued focus, not only will they be better at it, but they will find ways to be more efficient at it, which will help bring cost parity maybe to sustainably ethically sourced products from the norm. Yes. Well, whatever that norm might look like today. But but I think it’ll help drive some of that that compliance, I guess, on the on the supply chain side. Good point. Tim, weigh in on the consumer.


[00:50:33] Well, certainly, I think as companies and and products are adapting to more re-use models, I think the consumers will participate. The whole idea is to make re-use as convenient as though the recycling program. The plus is, is that the re-use opportunity would bring a higher level value to enable that behavior to be in compliance as far as reuse, as far as bringing the product back. So when you’re done using a product instead of walking outside to your garage and putting on your recycling bin, for those who have the curbside recycling, you take your re-use bottle, you put it in the same similar Ben, and then it gets picked up by the operation. So there’s there is not any additional inconvenience. In fact, if you tie technology to it, you can certainly make it much more effective as far as how consumers would order in return products. The other, though, is I’ll go back to design is that a lot of these new innovations at the consumer level are actually have, you know, having product that has other benefits to it. Ice cream packages that are designed to keep the temperature of the ice cream cooler longer. And actually the beautification of the bottles. Right. So you just say you’ve got detergents.


[00:51:49] What we want to do as consumers is buy the detergent, but put them under the cabinet and put them away out of sight with design, especially if it’s built for reuse. You can design beautiful packaging your soap dispensers that they’re so nice that you want to put them on top of the counter because they add to the aesthetics, they add to this this look and feel they’re stainless steel and they’re made with great components. So now all of a sudden you’re. Through re-use and the durability is that you are putting more money into the product, but you’re generating more value to the consumer that they’ll want to participate in that program, whereas single use. The whole idea is to how do we make it as cheaply as possible that, you know, there’s no value to the consumer. So will you put in recycling or throw it out? But it’s it’s enhancing the value through reuse, through durability, through the design of characteristics. That’s going to drive interest. It’s going to drive that demand. That’s the to me. What’s the secret? And then, of course, leveraging reverse operations that are either in place or can’t be created in partnership with companies collaborations. So that it is very convenient to bring them back to me. Those are the components that is going to allow for reuse to to hit at households and to be a very effective value, creating a product for for for the supply chain.


[00:53:09] So this wasn’t part of our planned conversation about us. Wants to give you a chance to kind of weigh in on this would do. We’ve got a regular series with the Reverse Logistics Association. We’re big fans of that Tony Sciarrotta. And what they do to really help companies figure out not just reverse Logistics, but returns, returns, returns and returns is such a big aspect of sustainability, especially as as consumers are now. It is our God given right to return when everyone returns, it seems like, right? That’s right. And folks are. And surprise, surprise, consumers are returning it. Right. But companies are struggling with what to do with returns, especially if it’s a big a highly brandel item. Allow those returns to get destroyed because of brand integrity concerns. Anything you want to comment on the return side of e-commerce and consumers?


[00:54:04] Yeah, you’ve got really two parts. So the return is the physical inventory that companies take back. And so there’s a Logistics of getting that product to returned and accounted for in order to have that inventory in place. But I’d like to look at returns as a way to be able to repurpose resale those products that are returned and have a secondary market to take shape that could either be discounted or wait to be able to save money and satisfy the consumer returning it, that they’re able to maybe get a different sized product or they decided to longer want it. But to have a product that’s very saleable, that’s very marketable to a secondary buyer, and that is somewhat of a whole re-use market as well. Right. It’s not inventory that’s damaged and should be thrown away. It still has value. So how do you market the opportunity for that value to be achieved and realized by, you know, another consumption pattern area? And maybe this is where you have collaboration at that level is allowing for returns to come in in Logistics behind it to be able to, you know, have more volume driven efficiencies created with those returns.


[00:55:15] And, of course, use packaging that could be reused over and over again so that it’s not a waste generating practice.


[00:55:22] And, you know, I have returned exactly two things to Amazon in my entire career, and that is juxtapose against my wife’s record, which will with Huvelle get into numbers. But it really, you know, wants to find out more about how companies are struggling with returns and what really happens to them. And now the cool thing is what we’ve what I’ve learned in recent months is that it’s creating this niche market of liquidation. And and you see more and more folks buying pallets of return items and they’ll know exactly what’s in there. You know, sometimes they they can reclaim things and they sell it again. It is is absolutely fascinating to see all the different facets and and dynamics s involved in this effort to to get better and better get and get more sustainable. And, of course, which are doing I really apply which are doing at the RPA because packaging is such a big part of that. You were speaking to earlier in terms of the power of packaging and I promise you, most folks probably don’t even realize the behaviors that packaging in of how it influences them.


[00:56:30] You know, it’s it’s the platform on which products move to, you know, point of sale or point of consumption. We all receive products that come or can in some type of reusable packaging. And so, you know, that’s that’s where it’s important to look at that platform in so many different ways that that platform can contribute to other parts of the supply chain, whether it’s data transmission with using technology for location for a condition and provide for better inventory management as well. If you’re aware of where that product is and how fast it’s moving. You can have more predictive analysis in terms of managing that inventory. So maybe that also helps with a return. Yes.


[00:57:14] Provide more of an expectation in your logarithms of how products and when products are going to get returned and know about that, that data utilization once get once packaging can figure out how to guilt the consumer of keeping the product.


[00:57:27] We’ve really gotten a 4.0. I got to tell you this really quickly. I was I was behind in line at a club store, a woman who is returning. I don’t know exactly how many several gallons of ice cream because she had bought too much for whatever event had it and it and it as a.. An advocate for re-use and an advocate for sustainability. I was troubled at how she expected the club store to absorb her error. Right. But because there’s no way you can take you know, it was five or 10 gallons of ice cream that she does. But I’m envisioning, you know, a kid’s birthday party or something, but she’s returning it to the store and expecting them to say, oh, yep, got it. We’ll give you all your money back and we’ll just go resell it. Right. And you know that that can’t be resold. So, yeah, I think there is a a guilt component that has to come into play here. We have to drive better consumer practices, better behaviors, a better understanding of the negative impact of making poor choices. Right.


[00:58:28] That they need to understand how re-use versus recycle versus landfill, it impacts the bigger picture. Right. And until we do a better job of education, I’m not sure we’re gonna get there. You can get it either through education or through. We started to touch on this earlier government legislation or regulation or taxation or incentives for re-use versus landfill things like at some point it’s going to be at a cost.


[00:58:54] Right, because municipalities aren’t going to be able to run the recycling programs. So if they are, they gonna have to charge consumers with the cost of waste. Right. Not unheard of. That’s going to hit the pocketbook. And, you know, we just can’t keep offering free waste management. And so as those costs increase and ultimately are incurred by the by the consumer, Mike, I do think that the that may help with this awareness. And can behavior change to go to more sustainable options?


[00:59:24] Because I have seen that the garbage truck come through my neighborhood and we we do separate. We’ve got, you know, a landfill and a recycling bin. And I have seen where they dump both of them into the same. Yes. Hopper ramp, which which tells me that the the efforts that we’ve gone to have maybe been less than fruitful.


[00:59:40] Well, let let’s not kid ourselves. There’s no such thing as free shipping and there’s no such thing as free returns. There’s just there’s not science prepaid. That’s right. All right. I hate to bring this conversation to a close, but I do want to make sure a to two points here that folks know how to reach back out and learn more about the RE, the RPA and Tosca. So, Tim, how can folks learn more about your organization?


[01:00:02] Sure. Best place to go is reuseable as dot org reuseable story gets to our Web site. All the information. Again, it’s more of an education web site about how to re-use y re-use. We’ve got a contact information there. We continue to focus on, though, the Web site is the hub of information that we generate. And so we’re always adding new items, new content, new perspectives. Our members are all listed on the Web site. We’ve got videos of some of our education sessions that are open for people to view. So I would encourage those interested in learning more about re-use, especially with transport packaging, but also about the organization and what we do and how to become involved. Reusable. Dot org is the best place it can sign up to be a member online.


[01:00:51] I always really would love to drive some greater participation there, get broader perspectives in the RPA to love it.


[01:00:57] And Tosca. Mike Huckabee folks kick the tires more and toss it.


[01:01:01] Tosca l.T D dot com and there’s a spot on there too. I forget what it says now, but you know, contact us and it will go through the, you know, the channels and wherever it is intended to end. UPS if you’re looking to send me a message, if you click on there and put this messages for Mike, it’ll it’ll wrap to me directly through the I.T. folks. Great information on there as well. We’ve got Supply chain calculator so you can evaluate the right decisions and how a reuseable program can benefit your company. It it has a little bit more detail on the different industries that we serve in the retail and supplier partners that we work with. So if you do want to be a responsible consumer and anyone understand retailers and and suppliers that are participating in a robust re-use network, you can go on there and see who they are and then and then make your buying decisions accordingly. Nice. Very nice.


[01:01:58] Okay. I want to mention mutex were quick to wrap up. I know that RPA is collaborating well with MHR, the incredible powerful team behind Madox, which, you know, as our listeners will know, the largest siplon. Chain tradeshow in the Western Hemisphere. Thirty five thousand people right here in Atlanta. So tell us about Tim Yarl’s involvement with Botox.


[01:02:21] Just a few weeks away, RPA is hosting the sustainability feeder. It’s an on floor theater that’s been that’s being built by our pavilion area. And it’s going to focus more on sustainability topics with supply chain and materials management. We got to 12 sessions that are lined up to talk about sustainability and how companies are looking to drive more sustainable practices. But there is going to be a nice weight of of reused discussions, including a panel discussion at Mike’s going to serve on, along with some of our other board members to talk in more detail about how we should.


[01:03:03] Yeah, well, I’ve got to sign a form for you to make sure. But we’re we’re excited. It’s it’s a great forum. We love working with MHR and the partnership. And they are definitely supportive of the reusable messaging system, the broader sustainability theme and their show. They’ve given us a chance to to lead that effort. At this year’s show, coming up in March. So we’re going to give it a shot. And we hope that those attending will come by and say hi and set into a session or two and pick up some great insight related to sustainable and reusable packaging.


[01:03:38] Love it. And we’re big fans, Madox and MHR as well, where Emmy broadcast and throughout the four days at Moto X. And by the way, the listeners Mode X is free to attend Mode X show dot com. Also as a great folks over at Tosca, know who’s one of our community sponsors. They’re hosting our 20/20 at Liegghio Supply chain Awards on March 10th. They’re at Moto X at the Georgia Georgia World Congress Center. And I think they’re taking every available room. Huge. Massive. Okay.


[01:04:08] Yeah, not not good for traffic, but great to continue to establish Atlanta as a supply chain capital of the world.


[01:04:15] That’s right. Atlanta is sacrifices we make to proliferate all the supply chain best practices. All right. Okay. Really appreciate Tim and Mike’s your Tom. Just a real quick note as we wrap up here to our audience. Be sure to check out our events and webinar tabs at supply chain. Now radio dot com. We’ve got a variety of in-person and virtual events coming up with partners around the world from E.M.T. Rorters events to the Automotive Industry Action Group, the Georgia Logistics Summit, DHL resiliant 360, Moto X, as we mentioned, much, much more. And if you can’t find something you’re looking for. If you’ve got a question, I don’t have a we don’t have a really cool A&B drones waiting to root. But you can hit up our chief marketing officer at Amanda at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com or send me a tweet over at at Scott W Luton. And that’s all you T-O in. And we’ll see if we can’t serve as a resource for you. OK, big thanks to our guests today. Great conversation. I hate that we couldn’t get to as much as we’d like to, but we’ll have you back, both of you all back. And we’ll talk more about this ever evolving, highly influential and really important world. All things sustainability and and certainly re-usable. Tim divis, president and CEO of the Reusable Packaging Association. Tim, thanks so much. Thanks, Scott. And Mike Wasson, chief operating officer of Tosca, amongst other things. Mike, always a pleasure. Always. Thank you very much for having me back. You bet. Be sure to check out other upcoming events, replays of our interviews, other resources at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. You can find supply chain now wherever you get your podcasts. Be sure to subscribe as we wrote route. We are rolling out new subscriber rewards very soon. Half the entire team here Scott Luton. Wishing you a one full week ahead and we will see you next time on supply chain now.  Thanks everybody.

Tim Debus serves as the President and CEO of the Reusable Packaging Association (RPA). Tim promotes reusable transport packaging systems and advances the common business interests of member companies in the RPA.  He has 25 years of experience in bringing to market new technologies and leading industry initiatives to improve the production and supply of agricultural commodities including the development of reusable plastic containers, role as executive director for the International Banana Association, and management of regulatory activities for biopesticides and seeds derived from biotechnology processes. Visit to learn more.

Mike Wasson, CSCP, is chief operations officer at Tosca, an industry leader and innovator, providing a comprehensive portfolio of reusable packaging and supply chain solutions across a diverse range of perishable food markets. In this role, he provides leadership and direction for a state-of-the-art supply chain network, providing unmatched service and lower costs to growers, suppliers and retailers. Wasson has more than 25 years of experience with other industry leaders, including Coca-Cola, DHL Express-USA, YRC Worldwide and Hammacher Schlemmer. He also serves as chairman on the board of directors for the Reusable Packaging Association (RPA), a non-profit trade organization representing and promoting the common and pro-competitive business interests of member suppliers and users of reusable packaging products and services, and fulfilling the promise of a zero-waste, resource-efficient and highly-visible supply chain through reusable packaging. Wasson has previously served the RPA as treasurer-secretary and as chair of the operations and logistics committee. Wasson is also the Chair – Elect for the Association of Supply Chain Management (ASCM), the global leader in supply chain organizational transformation, innovation and leadership. Wasson has previously served on the ASCM and APICS Supply Chain Council board of directors in various leadership and officer positions, and the APICS Corporate Advisory Board.

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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