I hope this message finds all of our RLA members healthy and safe during these challenging times. The reverse logistics industry has remained essential and in fact, working hard to keep up with the tsunami of returns due to the new normal volume in eCommerce. RLA member companies have been forced to learn new ways to handle and disposition returned goods in changed warehouses to accommodate social distancing, sanitizer stations, masks, and shift adjustments. Costs to process and liquidate returns have increased, returns continue to be high, and the total RL industry is larger than the volume done by Amazon or Walmart. There is a need for investment in the aftermarket space, and equity companies are looking for companies to buy and to consolidate.
The Reverse Logistics Association has continued to grow during the pandemic, and I want to thank everyone for the support shown in the last year. We continue to listen to our members and the monthly webinars that are open to the community continue to draw hundreds of registrants. The RLA is expanding the benefits for members such as RLA Connect for RFIs, the Education partnership with the American Public University (APU), market research, podcasts with our colleagues at Supply Chain Now, and the soon-to-be launched RL Industry Directory of service providers and solutions partners.
There is a light at the end of this long year of pandemic and I hope to see everyone in person September 28-30 at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas for our Conference & Expo. The RLA is your association and the only one in the world focused on the returns management and reverse logistics industry. We consider that a serious responsibility and welcome your ideas and feedback.
Warm regards from your RLA Magazine Publisher,Tony SciarorttaTony@rla.org
In 2016, Tony took over the Reverse Logistics Association and became the Executive Director and Publisher after 12 years of active involvement on the Advisory Board and on Committees. Tony has held various industry positions including 15 years in returns management at Philips. During his Philips years, Tony developed new reverse logistics strategies and implemented many new returns initiatives. He worked with retail partners and industry groups on best practices still being used. Tony then became an evangelist for improving the customer experience to reduce returns and their associated costs. Today, Tony is considered a subject matter expert in reverse logistics and speaks for the industry at conferences all over the world.