Executive Update

GMA Maps Out Blueprint for Innovation at 2012 Joint Unsaleables Conference

On May 15-17 in Orlando, FL, the 2012 Joint Industry Unsaleables Management Conference brought together over 250 reverse supply chain professionals from retail, manufacturing and service/technology to examine and share best practices and emerging trends in unsaleables management.

Pre-conference staples Unsaleables 101 and Advanced Unsaleables discussions were lively, well attended and continue to rate well with attendees.

The conference opened with PepsiCo’s Senior Vice President of Customer Supply Chain and Logistics John Phillips, presenting Value Chain 2020 - a look at the trends affecting the Value Chain now through 2020 - and closed with Dr. Dale Rogers, professor of logistics and supply chain management and co-director of the Center for Supply Chain Management at Rutgers University, applying Value Chain 2020 effects specifically to the evolving role of reverse supply chain professionals.

These opening and closing sessions considered factors such as the rapid increase in consumer technology, customer service demands and food/product safety; growing concern about sustainability and scarcity of natural resources; the global shift of consumer buying power; and the adoption of supply chain technology, including the growing use of data. 

The overwhelming messaging throughout the conference was that the unsaleables discipline is evolving and the following trends are growing rapidly:

  • Internal and external cross-functional teaming
  • Alignment of trading partner goals
  • The use of data and analytics to combat unsaleables
  • Sustainability’s current and growing role

Taking a deeper dive into these topics, this conference features sessions such as:

  • Global Shelf Quality and the Impact on the Consumer’s “First Moment of Truth”
    Presented by Brent Bumgarner, corporate quality, assurance governance and capability manager at Procter & Gamble and Ron Richmond, senior project development manager at Inmar, this session revealed a process that provides a consistent and unbiased method for measuring visual packaging defects that impact the decision of the consumer at the “first moment of truth”, allowing benchmarking and analysis that can lead to process/packaging changes which reduce costs, improve shelf quality and enhance the consumer experience.
  • Gary Regina, supply chain manager atWinn-Dixie presented a case study in the session Emerging Value Chain 2020 Solutions, harnessing multiple data sources to make data-informed decisions on merchandising, category management, unsaleables reductions, and more.
  • In Packaging Development to Meet Sustainability and Unsaleables Reduction Goals, Lindsay Beck, packaging engineer, ConAgra Foods, and Laura Taney, SmartLife sustainability solutions and sales and marketing specialist, Sealed Air Corporation addressed current packaging development to meet unsaleables reduction and sustainability goals.
  • In the session Achieving Internal Cross- functional Teaming, Sales Operations Manager Jim Spaight of Land O’ Lakes presented  a case study that shared how they engaged sales and supply chain functions such as warehousing, customer service and inventory to cut over half of their unsaleables expenses.
  • Deejay Smith, North American brand protection leader, Procter & Gamble, presented the eye opening session Globalization’s Unintended Consequence: Proliferation of Counterfeit Consumer Goods on the proliferation of counterfeit consumer goods that brought consumer safety and brand protection awareness to the audience.
  • Harris Teeter’s Manager of Unsaleables,  George Thrower, and Donna Adam, senior manager, contracted sales, Nan Buckley, key account executive and Gary Piwko, director, remarketing & returns management, of Kellogg Company shared case study findings on how they have engaged sales and merchandising personnel to cross-functionally team with reverse logistics to reduce unsaleables in the session A Collaborative Roadmap for Success.

Following this year’s conference, GMA and FMI also facilitated unique opportunities for one-on-one trading partner collaboration meetings to maximize attendees experience and allow them to have face time with both current and potential trading partners.

For more information on this conference and to download available presentations, please visit www.unsaleablesconference.com