RILA 2018 Supply Chain Conference roundup

Fergal Glynn Last Updated: January 18th, 2020

The Retail Supply Chain Conference, a gathering of the top executives in retail supply chain concluded yesterday. What a show! This year the organizers put together a top notch program under a theme of Reinventing the Retail Supply Chain: Accelerating What’s Possible. Throughout the 3 days in Phoenix the best-in-class educational program addressed the topics that matter most to retailers.

The 6 River Systems team would like to thank everyone who spent time with us at the show, from Chuck demonstrations at our booth, to relaxing over ice cream and sampling some of the finest Tequila.

Day 1 Highlights

The first full day of the conference got off to a strong start. From Sona Chawla – COO of Kohl’s to Elizabeth Smart’s couragous journey, to executives discussing their top concerns.

The highlight of Day 1 was a set of TED style presentations which covered aspects of the business that keep their wheels turning most from The Home Depot, Walgreens and Neiman Marcus closed out the day.

Mark Holifield, The Home Depot Executive Vice President, Supply Chain & Product Development. “We plan to open 165 distribution centers including 40 flatbed facilities & 25 local facilities. $1.2Bn investment”

Willis Weirich, Neiman Marcus Senior Vice President, Supply Chain & Operations

Day 2 Highlights

Day 2 began with the women in supply chain breakfast moderated by Chris Baer – GAP’s Senior Vice President HR. Kim Vaccaro, Senior Manager, Global Supply Chain Solutions, International Logistics, The Home Depot, Nicole Chen, Associate Vice President, eCommerce Fulfillment, Canadian Tire and Emily Wissinger, Digital Connectivity Manager, Unilever highlighted the importance of mentoring programs and engaging talent early in their careers. The breakfast session was followed by Target’s Chief Diversity Officer, Caroline Wanga, deliver an inspirational keynote made the business case for diversity in the workplace and detailed how vital it is to overall company success. Wanga put the charge on attendees to be proactive in fighting for gender parity and diversity in the retail supply chain


In the Emerging Technologies & Improved Supply Chain Performance session Rick Bingle, Senior Vice President, Supply Chain, REI, focused on the journey of Omni Channel within REI. Rick provided valuable insight to organization who are just starting the journey and those who were well under way. The session also focused on how Supply Chain executives should participate in C-level conversations.

Quotes of the week

  • Jim Gehr of @DHLsupplychain asks #RILASupplyChain: “Ask yourself, what percentage of your orders can fulfill next day?” Pretty much the question underlying everything these days.
  • Anonymous: “We can put a man on the moon, but we can’t solve the chassis problem.”

See you next year!