In today’s fast pace age, it is easy to lose track of the needs of your customer’s demands and direction. Since every customer has a slightly different marketing plan, it feels at times like there are no clear answers to having the strategies to support multiple types of customers and industries.
I remember working with several customers to develop our VIP Program and Conference Initiation Program back in 2009 and 2010, only to find out that hardly any of our other customers wanted anything to do with either. When we finished the beta test for our annual global Conference Invitation Program (CIP) in 2011, it seemed good, but within one year it was only productive for around 15% of our customers! So we scrapped the program and started talking to customers to see what was needed. But there were so many views and opinions.
Where does leadership come from? Direction must be determined by the leader of the organization. Steve Jobs was very good at determining what types of products to deliver to Apple customers. If he had asked his customer base about the iPhone they would have said “don’t waste your time”, we have great phones from so many vendors.
So the same goes for RLA. In the first 7 years everyone was jumping into the RLA events and tools that we had developed. We had educated several industries about Reverse Logistics and introduced everyone to anybody that showed interest. Just like all organizations, we repeated what had been successful in the previous years.
We have now embarked upon a new series of Events, where tens of thousands will be in attendance, education will be measured through our RL Certification Program and a Standard Committee to track material, and products in a new and exciting way using QR Code technology.
As I announced in February, I will retire in 2016 and leave the Reverse Logistics Association in good hands of our Committees, Board and a new Executive Director. It is fun to see all that has been accomplished in the last 12 years here at RLA.