Event Program

LINK2019

The Retail Supply Chain Conference

LINK2019 has more and better content than ever before, with sessions on key topics like AI and last-mile delivery tailored to your organization's level of expertise. From deep dives on 2-day delivery to the big picture on the economy and tariffs, LINK2019 has the information your team needs to transform your supply chain.

NEW in 2019! Extended Expo Experience Hours

More time to meet and connect with the industry's best supply chain solution providers.

Monday, February 25 - 1:15 PM – 6:00 PM

Tuesday, February 26 - 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

2019-02-24
2019-02-24
2019-02-25
2019-02-25
2019-02-26
2019-02-26
2019-02-27
2019-02-27
10:00 - 19:00
Registration & Information Desk Open
11:30 - 05:00
2019 Golf Tournament

Hit the LINKS with your colleagues on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 11:30 AM for a free round of “max score of par” style golf. Experience is not required, but enjoying the beautiful Florida sunshine is. Transportation from the Gaylord Palms is provided. Space is limited. The 2019 golf outing is made possible by our sponsor, National Retail Systems. 

14:30 - 15:30
RILA’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (TRIC) Meeting

Invitation Only | Learn more about TRIC

15:00 - 17:30
RILA’s Supply Chain Leaders Council (SCLC) Meeting

Invitation OnlyLearn more about SCLC

17:00 - 17:30
First Timers’ Reception

Whether you are a new attendee or a 10-year veteran, attend this pre-session to ask questions of, learn tips from, and network with conference veterans and RILA staff.

17:30 - 19:00
Welcome Reception

Kick off the conference at the welcome reception where you can reconnect with industry friends, network with your peers and enjoy drinks and light fare.

 

Sponsored by: FedEx

07:00 - 18:00
Registration & Information Desk Open
07:00 - 07:45
RILA’s Supply Chain Steering Committee (SCSC) Meeting

Invitation Only | Learn more about SCSC

07:00 - 08:00
Breakfast

Please join us for breakfast and networking before the day begins.

08:00 - 08:30
Conference Kick-off
08:30 - 09:15
Opening Keynote – Dick Johnson
Dick Johnson
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer at Foot Locker, Inc.
09:15 - 10:00
The Shopping Revolution: How Successful Retailers Win Customers in an Era of Endless Disruption
Barbara Kahn
Professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
10:30 - 11:15
Case Study: Augmented Reality Picking for Apparel Fulfillment

Once considered a futuristic technology, augmented reality (AR) is currently being implemented in real-world scenarios.  As labor turnover in distribution centers continues to increase, one way retailers are trying to quickly onboard and retain hourly employees is by simplifying the training process and using picking tools like AR to enhance this process.  Hear how longtime kidswear retailer Cookie’s Kids has used AR to improve productivity and accuracy in their Distribution operations, then experience a demo of the technology firsthand!

Al Falack
Senior Director, e-commerce at CookiesKids.com
Charlie Armstrong
Founder, JASCI Software
10:30 - 11:15
On-Demand Distribution in an On-Demand World
10:30 - 11:15
Talent 2030: Practical Applications Today for the Workforce of Tomorrow

The retails landscaping is evolving and talent needs of the future will look different than today. Estimates suggest that 85% of the jobs from 2030 will be invented between now and 2030 (Forbes, 5/18). What can leaders do in assessing and growing talent to prepare for the future state? What are the skills and capabilities critical for success?

Join our panel in discussing the talent challenges of the future and practical applications that you can leverage starting today.

Rebecca Wlazlo
Associate Vice President, Transportation Services at The TJX Companies
Chris Caplice
Executive Director at the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics
10:30 - 11:15
Complexities of Large Format Last Mile
Session overview:
The session will consist of a panel of leading last mile delivery providers and retailers that ship large/bulky shipments requiring multiple levels of delivery/service. The panel will share perspectives on emerging trends in this rapidly evolving space, key challenges and various solutions to satisfy consumers’ needs.
Aaron Quiggle
Director, Home Delivery at ICON Health & Fitness
Steve Anderson
Executive Vice President, Operations at Williams-Sonoma
Brian McNabb
Vice President, Global Transportation, The Michaels Companies
Jeff Abeson
Chief Commercial Officer at Ryder System
John Kacherski
Chief Commercial Officer at FIDELITONE
10:30 - 11:15
Case Study: Leveraging Stores for Supply Chain Success
11:30 - 12:15
Plated Lunch

Join your peers for lunch and networking before listening to our lunch speaker.

12:15 - 13:00
Leading to Win – Abby Wambach

A leader on and off the field, Abby Wambach’s life after professional soccer has not always been a smooth path. By embracing the lessons she learned through her unmatched career, and the challenges she’s faced since leaving professional soccer, Abby’s passion and perseverance have served as a model for others. An activist and advocate in the fight for equality and inclusion for causes and people across the globe, Abby talks about issues ranging from closing the gender pay gap, to using her voice as an advocate for the LGBT community. Her messages to audiences about leading by example are enhanced by her optimism and fearless nature.

Abby Wambach
Olympic gold medalist, FIFA Women's World Cup champion
13:15 - 18:00
Expo Experience Opens

The Expo Experience is finally open! The Expo Experience will stay open during the concurrent breakout and general sessions.

14:30 - 15:15
How David’s Bridal Leverages Distributed Order Management as the ‘Omni’ in Omnichannel

As customer expectation continue to skyrocket and store-based fulfillment strategies multiply, retailers are caught in a world that demands ever-smaller fulfillment windows and costs. Learn how to not just survive but thrive in the world of connected commerce from David’s Bridal, who uses distributed order management to ensure their inventory picture is accurate, complete and dependable when they make promises to their customers. Because when the most important day in their customer’s life is on the line, David’s Bridal has to execute flawlessly.

Diane Garforth
Senior Director, Supply Chain Systems & Operations at David's Bridal
Chris Shaw
Director, Product Marketing, Manhattan Associates
14:30 - 15:15
What is Blockchain and Why Should You Care About It?

Session Overview:

In this session you will learn the basics of Blockchain and why it will revolutionize supply chain and logistics. You will gain a better understanding of the underlying technology that drives Bitcoin, ICOs and Smart Contracts. Furthermore, you will learn how Blockchain can be leveraged to drive better supply chain solutions.

 

The most important foundations of logistics are traceability and transparency. Blockchain optimizes business transactions and trading relationships with robustly secure business networks—both locally and globally. The result is an equal visibility of activities revealing where assets are at any point in time, who owns them and what condition they’re in.

14:30 - 15:15
Intro to Data Analytics
Session Overview:
How to start by developing and implementing real, simple, and powerful data analytics to empower your company to make better decisions. This session explores how to identify ERP gaps, and begin visualizing and sharing data analytics between manufacturer, retailer, and vendors to better perform on-time in full.
Corey Jones
Director, Inbound Logistics at Under Armour
Brian Catron
Head of Global Retail Services Product Strategy & Distribution Services at APL Logistics
14:30 - 15:15
How Office Depot Uses Network Resources to Optimize Omni-Channel

Session Overview:

E-commerce today is pushing everyone to have a solution to meet their customer’s need right now. Does your network have the ability to respond quickly? How do you choose where orders are fulfilled? Do you have a multi-carrier platform to be flexible and nimble when it comes to fulfillment and delivery times? Planning and execution for an optimal complex Omni-channel network is not a simple task. Effectively using network resources – order fulfillment, stores, and transportation are ways that Office Depot boosts their Omni-channel fulfillment strategy.

Rick DiMaio
Vice President, Supply Chain Operations & Strategy at Office Depot
Aaron Guild
Director of Strategic Solutions at Green Mountain Technology
14:30 - 15:15
Your Career is a Journey, not a Destination
Session Overview:
In this interactive panel discussion, supply chain leaders at different points in their career will share leadership stories and insights. Topics will include: Mentoring do’s and don’ts, how to take ownership of your career, and networking tips. Panelists will also reflect on pivotal inflection points in their career and share how they have learned and evolved with experience.
Willis Weirich
Senior Vice President, Supply Chain & Operations at Neiman Marcus
Bryan Sferra
Supply Chain Manager, Distribution Strategy & Support at DICK'S Sporting Goods
Jit Naik
Senior Demand Chain Analyst at 7-Eleven
Sharon Morrison
Chief Executive Officer at esrp
15:30 - 16:30
(R)Tech Supply Chain Innovation Award Pitches
16:30 - 18:00
Networking Reception in the Expo Experience

Join other conference attendees for this great networking opportunity.

07:00 - 18:00
Registration & Information Desk Open
07:30 - 08:30
Women In Supply Chain Breakfast Session
Heather Sheehan
Executive Director, AWESOME, Advancing Women's Supply Chain Leadership
08:00 - 08:45
Expo Experience Breakfast

Please join us for breakfast and networking before the day begins in the Expo Experience.

08:45 - 09:00
Day 2 Remarks
09:00 - 10:00
Innovation Insights
Rob Mills
Executive Vice President & Chief Technology, Digital Commerce & Strategy Officer at Tractor Supply Company
10:00 - 10:30
Insight Session: Patagonia
Rick Ridgeway
Vice President, Environmental Affairs at Patagonia
10:45 - 11:15
International Transportation: Uncertainty on the High Seas
Session Overview:
From global trade negotiations, new tariffs and the future of the WTO to new rules concerning low sulfur fuel mandates in 2020 and the implications on product sourcing decisions and ocean freight rates, this panel will cover today’s most relevant international supply chain topics and how retailers can better manage through the challenges and opportunities. Subjects covered will include updates on ocean carrier vessel/equipment conversion relative to low sulfur fuel requirements, tariffs and trade negotiations, sourcing dynamics, chassis updates, carrier financial stability, the progress and implications of China’s One Belt, One Road initiative, the state of U.S. trucking, port and marine terminal developments across the U.S. and the world and other factors impacting the execution of a retailer’s international transportation strategy.
Augie Drufke
Vice President, Supply Chain at SharkNinja Home Appliances
Bryan Ward
Senior Director, International Logistics at The Home Depot
Brian Gibson
Executive Director, Center for Supply Chain Innovation at Auburn University
10:45 - 11:15
Deep Dive Data Analytics

Session Overview:

Panelists will share practical case studies that can benefit any consumer product organization, demonstrating how data analytics helped identify gaps inherent in traditional ERP supply chain planning modules to perform On Time In Full (OTIF) and fewer chargebacks. This session will cover advanced topics such as predictive analytics and how new technology has delivered cost savings to shippers by leveraging data from multiple sources in the supply chain, powerful algorithms and artificial intelligence to predict deliveries with a rate of accuracy of nearly 100%. Retailers will learn how toidentify what data can accurately be trusted, how to implement changes, and where data is headed for the future incorporating AI, Machine Learning and IoT (Internet of Things).
10:45 - 11:15
Predicting What’s Next in Your Retail Supply Chain

Session Overview:

Learn how Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning enhanced retail solutions enable real-time decision-making that unlocks more autonomous, profitable business decisions throughout your retail supply chain. A recent retail survey found that 53% of retailers will be investing in AI and ML over the next 18 months. If you’re just starting your AI & ML journey, come learn where to begin to get the most return in your supply chain. Understand how AI solutions can analyze data to draw out valuable insights, automate core processes like planning/ pricing /replenishment, improve product availability, and increase profitability.

10:45 - 11:15
Facilitated Benchmarking: Delighting the Customer in an Omnichannel World (Retailer-Only Roundtable)
Session Overview:
As consumer expectations and behavior continue to evolve, so must our supply chains to support the always-on, omnichannel retail environment. Digital Supply Chains must adapt to support the shift in customer expectations that are no longer tied to a specific channel, but rather and experience a brand must deliver.
The retailer-only group discussion will focus on:
  • Utilizing inventory across all channels to enhance customer experience
  • Same Day Fulfillment
  • Parcel Cost vs Service
  • Customer communication and notifications / visibility
  • Ship to Store
  • Ship from Store
  • How retailers need to rapidly enable agile, customer-centric commerce and a consistent, stellar brand experience across the enterprise
  • And more!
Catherine Billing
Director, North America Transportation at Under Armour
Sean Rohde
Senior Manager, Outbound Logistics at Under Armour
Bruce Kulp
Senior Vice President, Supply Chain & Refurbishment, GameStop
Sanjay Mishra
Vice President, Trade & Global Logistics at J.C. Penney
Shana Riggs
Vice President, Logistics, Customs & Supply Chain Operations at Chico's
Jay Kirkham
Vice President, Logistics at ICON Health & Fitness
Atma Maharaj
Vice President, Logistics & Supply Chain at Petco
Darlene Krysiak
Director, Domestic Transportation at Michael Kors
Glenn Berger
Vice President, Global Transportation at Restoration Hardware
Scott Hines
Senior Vice President, Supply Chain at The Finish Line
Jeff Macak
Vice President, Global Supply Chain at Bed Bath & Beyond
10:45 - 11:15
Caution – Dangerous Curves Ahead: Domestic Transportation Outlook

Session Overview:

2018 was a challenging year for both domestic and import shippers in the retail industry with unexpected cost and service challenges. A growing economy, continued challenges in hiring and keeping drivers, and the long-awaited implementation of ELDs converged to create the conditions for significantly constrained market capacity and rising freight rates. On the international front, an unlucky combination of U.S. government trade actions coupled with carrier capacity deletions succeeded in creating an advantageous pricing scenario for carriers, and a free-for-all by shippers to secure needed space in peak. The landscape in 2019 and beyond looks no less challenging and retailers must look beyond the usual paradigms to ensure their supply chains can meet the needs of the business, deliver service, and better predict cost impacts.  2018 was a bare-knuckled ride for retail transportation practitioners with challenging conditions and steep inclines. While we may have reached the top of the hill there may still be hazards to be navigate.

 

This session will review and discuss some of the factors driving both challenges and changes in the transportation market, and provide a forum for exploring how retailers are reacting and adapting to market pressures. An interactive discussion will allow for the sharing of points of view, ideas and solutions to some of the most pressing transportation challenges and opportunities faced by retail shippers.

Martin Bernstein
Director, Global Transportation & Trade Compliance at Hallmark Cards
Mike Burns
Vice President, Global Transportation & eCommerce Logistics at Big Lots
Rod Suarez
Economy Analyst at the ATA
10:45 - 11:15
UX and Returns: The Boomerang Continues
Session Overview:
Reverse logistics has long been the “tail of the dog” in the supply chain. Not any longer. Come learn how retailers/ecommerce companies are leveraging technology, analytics and operational enhancements to reinvent their returns strategies while enhancing the user experience. One thing is for certain, returns will always be a part of the retail model, and the return percentages will continue to vary between 5-45% depending on the category. Come listen to what some of the leading retailers are doing to make returns more profitable, easier for the consumer and leveraging a more creative and efficient operating platform to drive shareholder value.
This session will help the audience understand how:
  • Technology can help shorten your returns cycle and provide visibility into what is being returned
  • Returns are expected to increase going forward and the impact on our business
  • Benchmarks from industry leaders on how to streamline your returns processes to enhance the user experience
  • Customer expectations/experience around the returns process
  • Latest trends in how to improve reverse operations
Andy Bowerman
Vice President, Supply Chain Operations & Data Science at Groupon
Jeremy Witte
Vice President, Returns, Damages & Recommerce at Best Buy
Curt Bimschleger
Managing Director at Deloitte & Touche LLP
11:15 - 12:00
Master’s Student Session: Using Data Analytics to Optimize Returns at Abercrombie & Fitch

Session Overview:

As retailers embrace omni-channel supply chain strategies, their access to a broadened pool of customers grows. But so grows the complexity of managing the omni-channel reverse logistics and returns management process. In the fall of 2018, a graduate student research team at Auburn University, under the direction of Dr. Glenn Richey, partnered with Abercrombie and Fitch, the Auburn Center for Supply Chain Innovation, and RILA to examine this issue. The students spent the semester immersed in the world of omni-channel reverse logistics problems and solutions. The team analyzed the industry environment, competitor practices, and over 25k+ customer comments to uncover eight key areas of concern for retailers. This not to be missed presentation will detail those eight critical areas of concern and cover solutions suggested by the research team and the partner organizations.

11:15 - 12:00
Facilitated Benchmarking: Delighting the Customer in an Omnichannel World (Retailer-Only Roundtable) Part Two
Session Overview:
As consumer expectations and behavior continue to evolve, so must our supply chains to support the always-on, omnichannel retail environment. Digital Supply Chains must adapt to support the shift in customer expectations that are no longer tied to a specific channel, but rather and experience a brand must deliver.
The retailer-only group discussion will focus on:
  • Utilizing inventory across all channels to enhance customer experience
  • Same Day Fulfillment
  • Parcel Cost vs Service
  • Customer communication and notifications / visibility
  • Ship to Store
  • Ship from Store
  • How retailers need to rapidly enable agile, customer-centric commerce and a consistent, stellar brand experience across the enterprise
  • And more!
Catherine Billing
Director, North America Transportation at Under Armour
Sean Rohde
Senior Manager, Outbound Logistics at Under Armour
Bruce Kulp
Senior Vice President, Supply Chain & Refurbishment, GameStop
Sanjay Mishra
Vice President, Trade & Global Logistics at J.C. Penney
Shana Riggs
Vice President, Logistics, Customs & Supply Chain Operations at Chico's
Jay Kirkham
Vice President, Logistics at ICON Health & Fitness
Atma Maharaj
Vice President, Logistics & Supply Chain at Petco
Darlene Krysiak
Director, Domestic Transportation at Michael Kors
Glenn Berger
Vice President, Global Transportation at Restoration Hardware
Scott Hines
Senior Vice President, Supply Chain at The Finish Line
Jeff Macak
Vice President, Global Supply Chain at Bed Bath & Beyond
11:15 - 12:00
International Transportation: Uncertainty on the High Seas (Roundtable)
Session Overview:
This roundtable provides open audience participation and extends the beyond the Q & A to continue the discussion around all topics relevant to international transportation from global trade negotiations, new tariffs and the future of the WTO to new rules concerning low sulfur fuel mandates in 2020, chassis management, carrier financial stability and carrier service capacity and the impact on a retailer’s international transportation strategy.
Augie Drufke
Vice President, Supply Chain at SharkNinja Home Appliances
Bryan Ward
Senior Director, International Logistics at The Home Depot
Brian Gibson
Executive Director, Center for Supply Chain Innovation at Auburn University
11:15 - 12:00
Facilitated Benchmarking: Caution – Dangerous Curves Ahead: Domestic Transportation Outlook (Roundtable)
11:15 - 12:00
Supply Chain Organizations of the Future
12:00 - 13:00
Lunch in the Expo Experience

Join us for lunch and networking in the Expo Experience. The Expo Experience will remain open until the end of the reception tonight.

13:15 - 14:00
Trade Wars: Retailers’ Strategies for Coping with Tariff Uncertainty
Kris Arabia
Vice President, Global Sourcing at Joann
Jamie Bragg
Executive Vice President & Chief Supply Chain Officer at Tailored Brands
13:15 - 14:00
Transforming Distribution & Fulfillment at Office Depot with Collaborative Robotics

Session Overview:

Changing customer buying patterns, inventory optimization needs across the multi-echelons of a supply chain, and the ever-changing dynamics of the labor market today are driving organizations to invest in the most recent advancements in robotic technologies for their distribution and fulfillment operations.

 

To meet strategic goals the team at Office Depot needed to transform distribution and fulfillment operations to:

  • Respond quickly to how and where orders are fulfilled
  • Manage regular fluctuations between multi-line and single-line orders
  • Easily on-board new pick/pack/ship associates

 

In this session you will learn how Office Depot partnered with 6 River Systems to transform their distribution and fulfillment operations with collaborative robotics.

Bob Abbondanza
Senior Director, Network Design at Office Depot
Jerome Dubois
Co-Founder & Co-Chief Executive Officer at 6 River Systems
13:15 - 14:00
Practical Solutions for Today’s Labor Challenges

Session Overview:

Join this panel of industry leaders from Journeys, Nordstrom and Roadie as they share the various ways their companies are implementing pragmatic solutions to today’s critical labor challenges including attracting qualified workers, retaining the best employees, and reducing both costs and reliance on labor.  Retailers and distributors on the panel will provide actionable insights and lessons learned from their efforts to address the challenges by becoming an “employer of choice”. Innovative labor models (gig economy), building a culture that creates stickiness, empowering your people to grow and leveraging business case justified automation are just some of the topics we’ll cover in this insight-packed session.

Carl Brewer
Vice President, Distribution, Journeys at Genesco
Chris Bright
Vice President, Supply Chain Operations at Nordstrom
Jeremy Davidson
Vice President at Fortna Inc.
Marc Gorlin
Chief Executive Officer at Roadie
13:15 - 14:00
How Your Stores Can Beat Amazon at its Own Game
Session Overview:

Omnichannel retailers are challenged to manage multiple sources of demand when customers expect everything in stock all the time, whether they are in the store at 1 p.m. or online at 1 a.m. Customers have more ways to interact including buy online and return in store, buy online and ship from store, buy online and pickup in store – placing enormous strain on inventories and demand forecasting. This leaves retailers questioning how to better optimize inventories, determine fulfillment source, and more accurately predict demand.

 

To beat this real-time “last mile” supply chain challenge, this session will explore how retailers can leverage advanced analytics to use their stores and distribution centers as one unified distribution center to achieve massive margin gains.

Marc Chretien
Senior Director, eCommerce at Aldo Group Inc.
Vivek Farias
Chief Technology Officer & Co-Founder at Celect
13:15 - 14:00
Getting ready for the future of freight today: Capitalizing on new technologies

Session Overview:

New technologies and underlying supply chain data can help retailers create a more efficient, transparent, and integrated supply chain network. Bill Kammerer, Retail Supply Chain Principal, Deloitte, will present a new vision for the future of freight. Kelly Killingsworth, VP of Transportation, Walmart, will share how Walmart is bringing this new vision to life by capitalizing on new technologies to get greater visibility on freight and create a connected driver experience. Together, Kelly and Bill will discuss key transportation trends, what is really happening, and provide some takeaways that retailers can apply today.

Kelly Killingsworth
Vice President, Supply Chain & Logistics at Walmart
Bill Kammerer
Principal at Deloitte
14:15 - 14:35
Insight Session: CVS Health
Jeffrey Pilof
Senior Vice President, Supply Chain at CVS Health
14:35 - 14:55
Insight Session: Dollar Tree
Gary Maxwell
Chief Supply Chain Officer at Dollar Tree
14:55 - 15:15
Insight Session: 3
15:30 - 15:45
(R)Tech Supply Chain Innovation Award Winner Announcement
15:45 - 16:30
Authentic Leadership: Inspire Others and Build Trust by Being Yourself

Session Overview:

Leadership can be challenging, especially in today’s fast-paced, globalized world. Leaders with a strong sense of emotional intelligence (EQ), a willingness to be courageous and vulnerable, and the capacity to inspire others in a genuine way, have a distinct advantage. This session, which is based on the core principles of Mike Robbins’ work and books, delves into practical ways for leaders to enhance their impact and effectiveness by leading with authenticity.

Mike Robbins
Author
16:30 - 18:00
Networking Reception in the Expo Experience

Join other conference attendees for this great networking opportunity.

07:00 - 10:30
Registration & Information Desk Open
07:45 - 08:30
Breakfast

Please join us for breakfast and networking before the day begins.

08:30 - 09:15
General Session 9
09:30 - 10:15
Closing Keynote
10:15 - 10:20
Closing Remarks
11:30 - 15:30
DC Tours

Boxed lunches available for participants prior to departure.

Select date to see events.

LINK2019 Steering Committee

LINK2019’s conference steering committee is comprised of senior executives on the front lines of retail supply chain. They identified the most critical topics and essential case studies in the industry and built a program of deep-dive sessions with actionable takeaways.

Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center

600 West Osceola Parkway, Kissimmee, FL 34741

When you step inside the luxurious Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, you’ll be awestruck by our 4.5-acre soaring glass atrium with winding waterways and lush gardens. Here, you’ll find the best of Florida, including the old-world spirit of St. Augustine, the rustic charm of the Everglades, and the festive energy of Key West – all in one place! Our hotel's extraordinary service and superior amenities are conveniently located in the greater Orlando area, within minutes to the Walt Disney® World theme parks. With Cypress Springs Family Fun Water Park, South Beach adult-only pool, our award-winning Relâche Spa, and state-of-the-art Relâche Fitness Center, you can accomplish all your getaway desires without having to leave the resort.

Two more weeks of savings!

Register by December 31 to save up to $400!

Contacts