The Reverse Logistics Association became member focused when I took over in August 2016. What does that mean? The RLA record growth in members in the last 7 years happened in part because we asked what the members needed from this association. More companies found the RLA to be the only voice of the returns and reverse logistics industry, which gave us the responsibility to provide what member companies wanted. The usual benefits of networking, information, best practices, and global events were only the beginning. Industry thought leaders speaking about important issues has been a focus for RLA events as well as RLA Committee meetings and our community wide webinars. The community also wants networking opportunities and the balance between high content and open time at our events is a difficult one. Fortunately, RL Magazine, our website, and our research papers provide good content for anyone to learn the best practices for success in our industry.
But is that enough for our members? As the member companies have grown, we know that more is needed. The RLA Directory for Circular Resources, both in print with DC Velocity Magazine and online at RLA.org, provides great networking connections. The RLA members have also asked for RL education, RL benchmarking, and RL grading standards. In 2022 we partnered with American Public University for access to Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Reverse Logistics. In 2023, we have online RL courses coming to our site from the ReMADE Institute and others in 2024. The RLA has commissioned a benchmark study for metrics in reverse logistics processes with our major industry leaders; reports will be available later in 2023 and 2024. The RLA is working with members for a pilot test of “CPO” (Certified Pre-Owned) goods to measure consumer interest and willingness to pay a bit more for products with a history by serial number in our database.
RLA members should ask for the benefits they need for their companies. The RLA will work to make them happen.
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.