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Supply Chain Lessons at RVCF

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This fall’s RVCF Conference (the first in-person event since the pandemic) was held recently at the JW Marriott Camelback in Scottsdale, Arizona.  RVCF and the Marriott both did a great job with enhanced sanitization and social distancing for those in attendance and GraceBlood was there to mingle and learn!  The overall theme for the conference seemed to be “collaboration over conflict” when it comes to supplier/retailer relationships.  Keep reading to learn more about the valuable presentations covered during these three beautiful days in Scottsdale.  And check out that view of Camelback – photo credit, Shandra Locken, Director of Client Success & Marketing for GraceBlood.

 Some of the topics covered include:

  •  Surviving Amazon
  • Best practices with RFID
  • Moving forward out of quarantine
  • Partnering with your 3PL
  • What are 2D barcodes and do we need them?

 It’s no secret that Amazon is a BIG player in the supply chain world and if you’re going to do business with them, you need to play by their rules.  We were fortunate enough to see a great presentation by Jessica Butler of Attain Consulting Group entitled, Doing Business with Amazon: Benchmarks & Survival Strategies.  Ms. Butler discussed current trends in deductions, navigating the dispute process, and how critical catalog integrity is. She also had some good suggestions for resolving issues before they affect your bottom line – everything from identifying problem ASINs (Amazon Standard Identification Number) to conducting a full catalog audit.  Even sending your ASN (EDI 856) within 30 minutes of the truck departing the warehouse can help you avoid costly chargebacks.  And as is always the best practice, document everything.  Jessica Butler with Attain Consulting Group can be reached at jbutler@attainconsultinggroup.com.

 Another impactful presentation came from DSV Solutions, a Denmark based 3PL provider with over 75 million square feet of warehouse space.  Presenting The Top Ten Best Practices to Incorporate Into Your Retail Compliance Program was Carlo Lepore (VP Business Development, North America), Paul Morgenthaler (Retail Compliance Manager), Casey Mork (Director, Key Accounts) and Jeff Lindner (Director, Business Development).  The first key point they made was how important it is to identify a SME (Subject Matter Expert) to take ownership of retailer compliance issues.  Assigning one person who is responsible for compliance, onboarding and infringement tracking cuts down on confusion and that whole “too many cooks in the kitchen” phenomenon.  Another great idea was keeping a database of all retailer requirements that is easily accessible to all stakeholders and updated as new information becomes available.  Lastly, having efficient and operational label solutions can drastically cut down on label related chargebacks. For more information about DSV Solutions, contact Casey Mork at casey.mork@us.dsv.com

 Above all, it was wonderful to get together in person, break bread, toast to our successes and honor those we have lost.  Networking under the Arizona sunset with potential clients, retail partners and even friendly competitors was so much nicer than Zoom meetings. The attendance was much smaller than previous conferences but I would argue that the smaller group enabled lively and interesting discussion that might not otherwise be possible with large groups.  Big thank you to Kim Zablocky (RVCF Founder and Chairman) and Susan Haupt (VP, Operations & Member Services) for putting together such a great event. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone and look forward to the next event in 2022.

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