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Let's Talk Supply Chain

Let's Talk Supply Chain is not your average supply chain podcast. We feature not just the top of the industry, but also diverse voices from within the community, new innovations and the disrupters making waves in the industry. Don’t listen to the same ol' same ol', be sparked by new ideas and fresh perspectives only on Let's Talk Supply Chain.
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Now displaying: October, 2019
Oct 28, 2019

In today’s episode Sarah talks with Rob from Inmar, a company that started in the coupon industry and is now fully immersed into helping companies with their supply chains. What in particular do they focus on? Making your e-commerce return process smooth with reverse logistics.

The main challenge when it comes to handling returns is driving friction out of the process - processing returns is costly, time-consuming and a negative experience quickly builds a bad reputation for the company. Using reverse logistics, Inmar manages the return process for the company, including inventory control, managing consumer credit and offering top customer service. Customers want different options when returning an item, and interconnecting every single aspect of the chain is the only way to provide a seamless experience.

Inmar handles returns by offering clients their software, micro-warehousing services and leveraging their network. As a result, companies are saving millions, reducing waste and getting a chance to get closer to their customers through a process that helps them stand out from competitors.

In this episode we discuss:

  • [3.04 What is reverse logistics
  • [6.50] The challenges when handling returns
  • [10.56] Managing consumer versus wholesale returns
  • [17.23] The potential ROI of returns
  • [23.09] Why Inmar?

Resources and links mentioned:

Oct 21, 2019

In today’s episode Sarah catches up with David Croft from OOCL Logistics, a logistics services company who's success has be defined by their customer experience and holistic approach to supply chain. Headquartered in Hong Kong, they now have 100 offices in over 40 countries, and have been working in supply chain since 1975.

What makes them different from other supply chain providers? They believe they’re more than just a freight forwarder; they focus mostly on customized solutions with cutting edge information technology. OOCL Logistics don’t consider themselves just a provider, they call themselves an ‘extension of our customer’, and take on the role of a partner in every activity they undertake.

This customer-centric mindset is what made OOCL Logistics one of the best known freight forwarders in the global market, and a leader in innovation. But they’re not stopping there: soon they will be providing customers with visual graphics on analytics, data and supply chain insights. They’re also working on artificial intelligence, environmental sustainability as well as contingency planning for risk assessments. The information technology revolution will soon be taking place and OOCL is making sure they’re staying on top for their entire network.

In this episode we discuss:

  • [4.36] The OOCL Logistics story
  • [8.45] Are they just a Forwarder?
  • [13.15]  supply chain insights
  • [23.54} A real life example
  • [30.31] Future strategies for OOCL Logistics

Resources and links mentioned:

Oct 14, 2019

In today’s episode Sarah talks to Matt from RPA Labs, a robot process automation company that automates repetitive manual tasks with bots and software. At a recent conference, VC's mentioned how RPA is the next frontier technology, so we are excited to get an opportunity to discuss what exactly is getting them so excited!

What is the difference between RPA and AI? Matt puts it adequately: AI is a collection of different tech such as machine learning and OCR, and RPA is itself part of AI. How does RPA Labs implement this when helping businesses? They have 3 main applications: document, conversation and workflow. For example, instead of manually replying to customers and keying in data, RPA Labs offers intelligent bots that read messages and can answer simple customer queries.

Their solution is pretty groundbreaking because contrary to other software providers, RPA Labs does not require signing into portals or hiring new developers. They call themselves ‘system agnostic’ and provide tech that sits on top of a company's email or website. This means no more time wasted answering basic queries, keying in data or even categorizing emails from documents; RPA Labs can do it all for you. If you want to stay competitive in 2025, this is the kind of technology that will be an absolute necessity.

In this episode we discuss:

  • [0.36] How Matt got involved with RPA Labs
  • [9.16] The difference between RPA and AI
  • [12.07] 3 main applications to move you into the future
  • [17.52} Why VC's are getting excited
  • [24.01] Why portals are an outdated solution

Resources and links mentioned:

Oct 7, 2019

In today’s episode Sarah talks to Lori, a senior executive at JDA, Lori has worked in supply chain for 8 years in various different roles and her largest challenge has been keeping up with the very fast development of technology - something she believes is key for future generations to educate themselves on.

Lori manages her team remotely, and focuses on having a healthy work life balance, being able to prioritize effectively and taking on the right risks. Her advice to other women in the industry? Make sure you’re doing something you like doing and make sure to learn about innovation, tech and machine learning. She also emphasizes on the importance of having the right mentors and leaders.

For those who are just getting started in supply chain, Lori says it’s important to know your framework and your passion. Internships are great to try out a career; if you realize that you’re doing something you don’t like, don’t be afraid to move on and try something new. Tech is going to be a core part of supply chain and business in the future, so she believes it’s important to make sure to learn a little bit about innovation, technology and AI!

In this episode we discuss:

  • [3.21] Lori’s past career challenges
  • [7.49] How to prioritize
  • [17.32] The importance of mentorship
  • [23.03} Advice for women in the industry
  • [35.53] Advice for those fresh out of college

Resources and links mentioned:

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