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Return to the Future Excursion | PostalVision 2020

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“Return to the Future”

A PostalVision 2020 Special One-Day Excursion

Thursday,  September 20, 2018


Agenda and Speaker Bios Now Posted!


PostalVision 2020 and the Reverse Logistics Association (RLA) presented a collaborative event held on Thursday, September 20, 2018 — “Return to the Future.”  This one-day “excursion” was focused on the growing opportunities and challenges being seen with product returns.

Consumers are demanding fast, easy, and inexpensive product returns options.  Shippers are scurrying to develop low-cost and customer-centric services for consumer returns.  Retailers are exploring different returns models that keep customers happy but also keep their costs of returns under control, or even make returns a profit center for the business!  And there is an entire supply chain for processing and transporting product returns that in many ways differs from outgoing product processing and delivery.  The “reverse logistics” supply chain includes businesses that not only provide shipping/transportation solutions, but also businesses that inspect product returns to determine next steps and destination, businesses that sell product returns on secondary markets, businesses that warehouse and inventory returns, and a host of software and system providers linking and passing information within a complex supply chain.

Event/Speaker Announcements:

August 30, 2018:  USPS Exec Dennis Nicoski to Deliver Keynote.  Dennis Nicoski, Acting Senior Vice President of Sales & Customer Relations, U.S. Postal Service, will deliver the luncheon keynote at the upcoming “Return to the Future” event to be held on September 20, 2018, at the Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University.  Nicoski is a renowned speaker in both his current role at USPS and prior roles in the organization. He is scheduled to speak at the The DMA’s annual &Then event in October 2018, at the Consumer Returns Management 2018 event in October 2018, and at the Home Delivery World event in 2019. Nicoski joins previously announced USPS officials participating in the one-day event, including USPS Vice President of Product Innovation Gary Reblin and USPS Director of Product Management, Shipping, Jay Smith. Reblin will participate on a panel in a session around innovation in retail and the customer experience, and Smith joins the recently announced panel line-up on the consumer experience with returns.

August 27, 2018:  Panel to Focus on Consumer Returns Experience.   Just like with their parcel deliveries where consumers want it “fast, free and easy,” the product returns customer experience is just as important and has similar consumer demands!  More often, consumers want the way they can return products they have purchased in-store or online to be easy, convenient, and – of course – “free!”  According to the National Retail Federation’s 2017 Holiday Shopping Behavior Survey, nearly 2/3 of holiday shoppers made at least one return in the 2017 holiday season, and while more than 80% described the process as “easy,” for those who experienced friction in returns, 64% said they would be hesitant to shop at that retailer ever again.  How do retailers understand, react to, and even drive customer expectations and satisfaction with their returns policies and processes?   “Return to the Future” will include a variety of sessions and panels focused on product returns, including a session aimed at learning about and discussing the customer experience challenges and innovations around returns. Panelists for the session will include moderator Jim Rallo, President & CEO of Liquidity Services Inc. (LSI); and Peter Sobotta, co-founder/CEO of ReturnLogic; who join previously announced panelists Ed Stashluk, Chief Architect, Fulfillment, Delivery and Returns for the Pitney Bowes Commerce Services group; and Jay Smith, USPS Director of Product Management, Shipping.

August 15, 2018:  Ed Stashluk, Chief Architect – Fulfillment, Delivery and Returns for the Pitney Bowes Commerce Services group to Speak at Returns Event.  Retailers are used to dealing with customer returns; they are a fact of life in retail.   During the one-day “Return to the Future” event, Stashluk and others will discuss strategies that leading retailers have employed to maximize profits through better visibility and faster restocking of returns. They’ll discuss how to drive new revenue through effective communication and marketing opportunities created by the returns process, and how to treat returns more strategically by ensuring that they’re an integrated part of the overall brand experience.

August 2, 2018:  Accenture and USPS OIG to Share Latest Returns Research.  Joining the great line-up of speakers for the upcoming September 20, 2018, “Return to the Future” event to be held in Arlington, VA, are Brody Buhler, Global Managing Director, Post and Parcel industry, Accenture; and Dr. Ian Stanford, Public Policy Analyst, USPS Office of Inspector General (USPS OIG). Both Buhler and Stanford are no stranger to PostalVision events, having presented at the group’s annual events for the past few years. Buhler at the Sept. 20th event in his presentation titled, “Reverse Logistics – the Next Battleground,” will present Accenture’s latest research on ecommerce returns, and Stanford will share the USPS OIG’s recent research around the reverse logistics supply chain and returns trends.

July 25, 2018:  Academic Leaders Join Speaker Line-Up for Returns Event.  The event will feature a keynote presentation on the impact of emerging online technologies on product returns by Dr. Michael Galbreth, Head of the Dept. of Business Analytics and Statistics at the University of Tennessee’s Haslam College of Business. In addition, the event will include introductory remarks by the Hon. David Williams, distinguished professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University.

July 20, 2018:  USPS Executives to Speak on Returns Solutions.  USPS Vice President of Product Innovation Gary Reblin and USPS Director of Product Management, Shipping, Jay Smith both will be speaking at the returns event, with presentation focusing on how the USPS is working to build and enhance its product returns solutions and support the returns/reverse logistics and retail ecosystems.




Date:    Thursday, September 20, 2018

Time:   8:00 am – 5:30 pm 

(onsite reception to follow, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm)

Schar School of Policy and Government
George Mason University
Founders Hall
3351 Fairfax Avenue
Arlington VA 22201


Price includes continental breakfast, refreshments, lunch, and reception.  Hotel arrangements should be made by attendees on their own — we will post information soon on hotels convenient to the venue!

Regular Registration:   $499

Gov’t Registration:  $299