Consumer Returns Management 2018

October 22-October 24, 2018

Sheraton Grand Nashville, TN

Contact Us: 1.888.482.6012

Overcoming The Omnichannel Returns Challenge

07:45 AM - 08:45 AM Continental Breakfast & Registration

08:45 AM - 08:50 AM Welcome Remarks

08:50 AM - 09:00 AM Chairperson’s Opening Address

Gaurav Saran, Founder and CEO , ReverseLogix Chris Blevins, CTO , ReverseLogix


Gaurav Saran

Founder and CEO

Chris Blevins


09:00 AM - 09:20 AM The Omni-Channel Retailing Challenge: Managing Online Purchases And Returns Through The Physical Store

Jeff Girard, SVP, Distribution and Logistics , DSW
We’re kicking off Consumer Returns 2017 with an exciting keynote from a company you’d be remiss not to hear from: DSW, who boasts this year’s spot as the #1 omnichannel retailer. Whether you’re a retailer or manufacturer, it’s fair to say you’ve dealt with the scenario of an item purchased online being returned to your store—or you’ve dealt with the customer dissatisfaction that takes place because buy online, return in-store is not one of your options. Is keeping your inventory streamlined across multiple channels a concern for you? If so, you’re not alone. In this session, Jeff Girard shares his experience taking on the distribution and fulfillment responsibilities for DSW’s storefronts and .com, and the steps he is taking to deal with such high volume in a returns environment. You’ll walk away with ways to:
  • Build customer loyalty through an integrated experience by offering in-store pickup and returns for online purchases
  • Drive seamless integration of the online and store network—ensure that your customers see you as one system rather than multiple channels with separate inventory, processing and delivery
  • Cope with both inventory management challenges and price differences across stores and channels


Jeff Girard

SVP, Distribution and Logistics

9:20 AM - 9:40 AM One-On-One With HP: Change Starts From Within: Increasing Reverse Logistics’ Visibility In Your Organization

Rene del Río Ambriz, Manager, AMS Returns Planning and Strategy , HP
Being in the reverse supply chain can sometimes make you feel like an outsider within your own company. Historically, returns is seen as a dirty word—no retailer or manufacturer wants to admit that customers send items back. Rather than getting the glory of making a sale, your responsibility is recouping as much money as possible to create the smallest amount of loss which, quite frankly, can be a rather thankless job sometimes. But this is changing. With the rate of returns growing, companies are realizing the opportunity to manage the reverse supply chain better to yield maximum recovery. René del Río returns to us this year to discuss the steps HP made to better recognize the value in returned assets, as well as the cultural shift that came along with it, in this intimate interview.
  • Identify and keep your focus consistent—is your goal to drive down or forecast returns?
  • Collaborate with sales to see how they can maintain a customer relationship while working to push back on products that have no reason for a return
  • Produce internal buy-in and integrate yourself into the company model just as much as forward-facing logistics


Rene del Río Ambriz

Manager, AMS Returns Planning and Strategy
Customers that can buy from anywhere expect to be able to return anywhere. Despite this seeming like a basic principle, think of how many times you waited on a long line at your local department store and expected your money back, only to be rejected because you purchased the item online. Now, think about your own company—does your returns policy mirror this frustration? If not, are you looking to improve anyway? Fear not! This panel has insights from different retail verticals on how to implement a manageable returns policy that keeps both your employees and customers happy. What’s more is that they involve you in the conversation with their own thought-provoking questions in our most interactive panel format. Discussion includes:
  • Preparing to accept online purchases and returns through the physical store by having the downstream capabilities in place
  • Keeping track of your retail and online SKUs more effectively
  • Learning how to handle the RA process for carriers that you do not normally do business with


Paul Thompson

Director, Inbound Logistics

Steve Freemerman

Senior Manager, Global Reverse Logistics

Patrick Allard

Senior Vice President, Sales

10:30 AM - 11:10 AM Morning Refreshment & Networking Break

11:10 AM - 11:30 AM Remanufacturing To “First Quality” Standards: The Challenges And Cost Associated

Tom Gratiano, Senior Manager, Manufacturing Operations and Program Management , Bose
Struggling to identify which products are actually worth repairing to “first in class” level? Believe it or not, heavy hitter brands like Bose also encountered this problem. That’s why Tom Gratiano will explore with you the challenges and costs associated with remanufacturing Bose products to a certain level of quality, with not just internal resources but their Joint Development Manufacturing (JDM) partners. If you need to reach this level of collaboration, and you feel like you are spending your remanufacturing dollars in the wrong places, this session is for you! Tom shares with us how to:
  • Identify what the maximum threshold of spend should be in relation to the value of the product
  • Match the right reverse logistics channel to your product’s disposition
  • Yield maximum recovery


Tom Gratiano

Senior Manager, Manufacturing Operations and Program Management

11:30 AM - 11:50 AM Maximizing Recovery On Omnichannel Returns

Mike Burris, General Manager, North America, Dell Outlet
  • Explore best practices for sales and marketing strategies
  • Optimize your channels to keep your inventory streamlined
  • Build and embed a recovery-based culture across your entire organization

Mike Burris

General Manager, North America
Dell Outlet
Online shoppers want to eliminate the cost of shipping, so they prefer to return through a physical store. Additionally, a customer that buys something in your store is most likely making a visit back to that brick and mortar if they need to make a return. The point being that the physical store is a very crucial hub for the returns experience. Benchmark with the panelists where your company falls on the returns experience spectrum—and be prepared to answer some questions they have for you.
  • Make the experience as smooth and customer-experience focused as possible, without losing money
  • Ensure there are less preventable hindrances to the returns experience, such as long lines and IT issues
  • Allow online purchases to be returned in-store


Jonathan Crabb

Product Owner, Return Capabilities
The Home Depot

Kent Perry

Product Management Consultant

Justin Callisto

National Account Manager, Retail

General Lunch

12:40 PM - 1:40 PM Luncheon For All Attendees

Invite-Only Lunch

12:40 PM - 1:40 PM Invite-Only Boardroom Lunch – Hosted by Optoro

You need to place your refurbished product in the most optimal channel to avoid excess repair spend. Some manufacturers, unfortunately, are still struggling to decide if a product should be refurbished or remanufactured. The confusion doesn’t even include deciding first where the product should fall within the reverse logistics stream. Do you discount or liquidate? Recycle or donate? Eschew the remanufacturing piece all together and destroy in field? As you know, there’s a lot more to reverse logistics than a customer returning something in-store or mailing it back to the distribution center. This is why we have a strategy panel focused on how to make repairs as painless (and cheap) as possible when they do happen. Panels are best with variety, so we have Lenovo and Quanta representing the consumer electronics brands, and Avon bringing in the unique perspective on beauty, fashion and hard goods if electronics aren’t a concern for you. In this panel, learn how to:
  • Scrutinize which items are actually worth the cost of repair
  • Assess the risk of how much loss of sales is incurred before you use a refurbishment model
  • Examine why goods tend to be refurbished rather than remanufactured


Harrison Urash

Senior Manager, US Returns

Jerry Rust

Head, Operations
Quanta Computer

Anthony Yadron

Director, Business Development and Supply Chain Strategy
PCS Wireless

Kirstin Neira

NA Inventory

Industry Boardroom

1:40 PM - 2:30 PM Consumer Electronics Industry Boardroom (1:40-2:30)

A facilitated strategy and best practice discussion around the nuances of dealing with the return of consumer electronic goods. Spots reserved for the first 15 people. To request yours, contact Paula Conlon at 646.200.7516 or

General Session

2:30 PM - 2:50 PM Exploring The Next Generation Of Consumer Returns

Dennis Nicoski, Director, Field Strategy and Contracts , US Postal Service
  • See how increased customers are driving merchants to take the friction out of return labels
  • Learn about options for convenient and easy package drop-off or carrier pickup
  • Hear about new technology trends to manage returns more intelligently and dynamically


Dennis Nicoski

Director, Field Strategy and Contracts
US Postal Service

Industry Boardroom

2:30 PM - 2:50 PM Fashion & Apparel Industry Boardroom (2:30-3:20)

Kent Perry, Product Management Consultant , Macy's
A facilitated strategy and best practice discussion around the nuances of dealing with the return of clothing, footwear, and accessories. Spots reserved for the first 15 people. To request yours, contact Paula Conlon at 646.200.7516 or

Kent Perry

Product Management Consultant

General Session

2:50 PM - 3:20 PM Interview: The Customer Is Always Right? Scrutinizing Your Liberal Returns Policy

Joyce Cruts, Director, Supply Chain Operations – Return Management , Acer
We’ve all heard the mantra that’s been kept sacred in retail: “The customer is always right.” Of course, there is guaranteed to be at least one person that challenges that notion to your very core. With returns being a huge part of the customer experience paradigm, it is easy to fall into the trap of creating a liberal cash back policy… for everything. Sometimes for items you don’t even keep in your store! Joyce Cruts from Acer has a bone to pick with cash back policies, and believes retailers and manufacturers need to start meeting in the middle with their customers. Not only will you hear her case in this intimate interview, but you will also share your opinions with her.
  • Assess if lenient standards hemorrhage your bottom line more than it makes your customers happy—create a balancing act
  • Hear the case for and against cash back policies
  • Consider if your own policies need to be more strict and understand next steps you can take to keep the customer happy during the returns process


Joyce Cruts

Director, Supply Chain Operations – Return Management

Industry Boardroom

2:50 PM - 3:20 PM Fashion & Apparel Industry Boardroom (cont.)

3:20 PM - 3:30 PM Innovation Spotlight

3:30 PM - 4:10 PM Afternoon Refreshment & Networking Break

Your opportunity for the most intimate conversation yet! Want to benchmark with other companies and have a real, organic discussion about challenges and next steps on key issues? Great, so do our roundtable thought leaders. Here’s how it works. You select 2 of the topics. The first discussion lasts 30 minutes, and then you rotate to your next topic for another 30 minutes. It’s like speed dating, but you leave feeling like you actually achieved something.

1. Best Buy(Er): Optimizing Your Order Management Plan So Merchants Don’t Overbuy
Timothy Quinn, Manager, Logistics Budget and Analysis, BJ's Wholesale Club

2. Maximizing Recovery On Returned Products
Drew Simon, Manager, Omnichannel Strategy, Toys R Us

3. End-to-End Approaches To Reduce Unsaleables And Optimize Disposition
Karla Kilian, Director, Property Management – Unsaleables Reduction and Disposition Strategies, Target

4. Using Augmented Reality And Virtual Presence To Enhance Consumer Experience And Avoid Returns
Scott Sobera, SVP, Sales, Help Lightning

5. Consumer Returns, Meet Artificial Intelligence: Innovation & Technology to Reduce Return Rates
Navjit Bhasin, Founder and CEO, Newmine

6. How To Use Corporate Barter To Significantly Increase Your Yields On Excess, End Of Life, And Refurb Inventories
Brian Mieth, VP, Account Director/Business Development, ICON International

7. 4 Key Essential Business Pillars Frequently Overlooked With “At-Risk Assets”
Steve Vertun, CEO, Segue Corporation


Tim Quinn

Manager, Logistics Budget and Analysis
BJ's Wholesale Club

Karla Kilian

Director, Property Management – Unsaleables Reduction and Disposition Strategies

Drew Simon

Manager, Omnichannel Strategy
Toys R Us

Scott Sobera

SVP, Sales
Help Lightning

Navjit Bhasin

Founder & CEO

Brian Mieth

VP, Account Director/Business Development
ICON International

Steve Vertun

Segue Corporation

5:10 PM - 6:10 PM Whiskey Tasting Welcome Reception – Hosted by ReCommerce

6:10 PM - 11:59 PM End Of Day 1

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