• Tuesday Aug 17, 2021
  • Wednesday Aug 18, 2021
  • Thursday Aug 19, 2021
  • Friday Aug 20, 2021
7:00 AM – 3:15 PM

2021 Conference Golf Tournament

  • Networking Event

Hit the LINKS with your colleagues on Tuesday, August 17 for a free round of "max score of par" style golf at Celebration Golf Club. Experience is not required, but enjoying the beautiful Florida sunshine is. Transportation from the Gaylord is provided.

The 2021 golf outing is made possible by our sponsor, National Retail Systems.

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Supply Chain Leaders Council Meeting

  • Committee Meeting
This is a private meeting for RILA members on the Supply Chain Leaders Council, composed of the senior-most supply chain leaders from the country’s leading retailers—the executives who oversee supply chain planning/strategy, transportation/logistics, distribution, fulfillment, inventory, sourcing, returns, trade/customs, and more. These leaders are envisioning the supply chains of tomorrow, even as they’re benchmarking on the common challenges of today.

5:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Welcome Reception

  • Networking Event
It's been a long time since we've been together! Join us to 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.

7:15 AM – 8:00 AM

Breakfast

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

8:00 AM – 8:30 AM

Conference Kick-off & Welcome Remarks

  • General Session
Please join us as we kickoff the annual LINK2021: The Retail Supply Chain Conference with an update on RILA's activities and how leading retailers are addressing current challenges and opportunities.

8:30 AM – 9:15 AM

Opening Keynote

  • General Session
New this year, LINK2021: The Retail Supply Chain Conference is co-located with the Retail Asset Protection Conference. Our keynote will open the combined event with insights and lessons learned from the past year, and explore what's next for retail in the coming year.

9:15 AM – 10:00 AM

Bringing a Strategic Focus to Your Role

  • General Session
Research shows that while most leaders understand their function and can serve as subject matter experts, fewer than 10% operate at a strategic level. If you aren't intentional about the way you grow, use your strengths and collaborate with others, your value to the organization will max out. Join leadership expert Pamela Rucker in this practical discussion about how to use your personal leadership identity to create strategic relevance and drive your organization’s biggest business priorities.

Speaker
Pamela Rucker
President, The Rucker Group
Instructor, Harvard Professional Development
10:30 AM – 11:15 AM 4 Concurrent Events

Lessons Learned from a Perfect Storm

  • Breakout Session
In a year marked by a pandemic, natural disasters, and civil and political unrest, supply chains have had to adapt and change on the go. Leading retailers share the lessons learned from an unprecedented time.

Retailer Success with Contactless Pick-Up and Delivery

  • Breakout Session
What began as a safety measure for social distancing and touchless deliveries has evolved into significant improvements in visibility and driver and employee experience. Leading retailers will discuss efforts to implement contactless operations, including e-BOL (bill of lading) solutions for both DC and store deliveries.

Target’s Culture of Safety

  • Breakout Session
Target is on a multi-year journey to create a culture of safety- both physical and psychological. Hear a discussion of the cultural and procedural changes that help the Target team meet the needs of their team, guests and business partners.

The Permanent E-Commerce Boom and the Evolution of Omnichannel Strategy

  • Breakout Session
The e-commerce boom of 2020 occurred far earlier than initial projections; however, even before the pandemic, the high demand and growth was projected to occur at some point. E-commerce is here – and it’s here to stay, but it’s not enough to simply offer an e-commerce store. To truly remain profitable and ahead of (or in some cases on track with) the industry, you’ll need to implement an omnichannel strategy. In fact, it’s how many shippers survived the pandemic. This session will detail the importance of omnichannel strategy, as well as best practices to keep in mind during implementation.

11:30 AM – 12:15 PM

Plated Lunch

  • Networking Event
Join your peers for lunch and networking before listening to our lunch speaker.​

12:15 PM – 1:00 PM

General Session

  • General Session
Our exciting lunch speaker will be announced soon!

1:45 PM – 2:30 PM 4 Concurrent Events

How Petco Serves the Increasingly Digital Consumer

  • Breakout Session
Consumer behavior is rapidly shifting toward a digital-first shopping experience in parallel with growing demand for multiple delivery and return options. These higher "table stakes" mean that retailers and manufacturers alike have an opportunity to apply digital and supply chain ingenuity to differentiate themselves and exceed customer expectations. Hear how Petco harnessed this opportunity by building a customer-centric omnichannel strategy.

Launching the World’s Largest Industrial Blockchain Payment Solution with Walmart

  • Breakout Session
Hear how Walmart Canada is developing and deploying a blockchain payment solution using new technology in a groundbreaking application. Learn about the lifecycle from problem statement and developer selection to building out a scalable process of this new tool utilizing the blockchain platform.

Micro-Fulfillment Centers and the Secret of Cost-Effective Rapid Customer Response

  • Breakout Session
Obtain new insight on the power of micro-fulfillment, the rapid response order assembly solution for grocery and general merchandise retailers that need to support same day delivery, as well as click-and-collect. Find out how retailers are using micro-fulfillment to support ultra-local distribution by positioning order fulfillment close to the customer, usually inside a retail store or in an urban distribution location.

Unlocking the Black Box: How Vendor/Supplier Visibility Sharing Can Improve Performance and Customer Satisfaction

  • Breakout Session
Lack of visibility and disjointed communication is impeding supply chain innovation, especially in retail where competition is tougher than ever, and stores depend on hundreds of different suppliers to keep shelves stocked. Presenters will explore the importance of total visibility and collaboration with supply chain partners and how shared visibility collaboration platforms can be implemented as a means to drive supply chain decision making, reduce manual work, and identify waste in the supply chain.

1:00 PM – 2:45 PM

The RIC Stage: Research and Trends

  • Retail Innovation Center Stage
Learn about emerging trends focused on consumers, shipping, e-commerce and the science behind many of today’s operations. You will also explore the company-wide impact of different business models.

2:45 PM – 3:30 PM

Startup Innovation Award Pitches

  • General Session
Startups are disrupting the status quo when it comes to solving retail’s most pressing challenges, and RILA and its Retail Innovation Center's Startup Network is a resource for some of the most compelling startups in the space. This year, our Startup Innovation Awards drew more than 50 applications, and this session features the best, as selected by our Asset Protection and Supply Chain RTech Committees. Hear the pitches, then be sure to vote for the companies you believe offer the best and most innovative solution for Asset Protection and Supply Chain. A winner for each category will be announced Thursday at 4:00 pm on the General Session stage and then you’ll have a chance to ask questions and learn more at the Retail Innovation Center Stage. Powered by RILA's Retail Innovation Center

3:45 PM – 4:30 PM 2 Concurrent Events

Omnichannel 2.0

  • Breakout Session
Omnichannel commerce, once a novelty, has now become a way of life for retailers. Seemingly overnight, fulfillment methods like buy online pickup in store, ship from store, and curbside pickup have gone from “nice-to-have” to “must-have.” While most retailers today offer some form of omnichannel services, forward thinking retailers have moved past their initial omnichannel projects and are now focused on taking them to the next level by improving their effectiveness and efficiency. This session will focus on the state-of-the-art omnichannel tactics and tools used by top retailers to keep up with ever-changing customer demands while optimizing their inventory investments, associate performance and overall profits.

Six Years in Six Months: How the Parcel and Broader Transport Markets Changed With COVID-19

  • Breakout Session
In 2020, the transportation industry underwent a massive shift – surging demand for goods, scarce carrier capacity, rising prices - requiring shippers of all sizes to navigate a changed industry with creative solutions. Join Chris Johnson, Senior Analyst at Cleveland Research, as he digs into the industry’s prevailing strategies and trends. Chris will specifically focus on shipper best practices and experiences for parcel shipping as part of a high-level analysis of overall transportation markets and strategy, while a leading retailer shares insight into mitigation tactics. This conversation will include results from the latest annual GMT Parcel Benchmark Report.

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

The RIC Stage: Applied Technologies

  • Retail Innovation Center Stage
Learn how innovative technologies are applied in practical use. We will help you navigate the cycles of trending technologies like AR, drones, and robots, distilling the hype from the impact on retail.

1:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Expo Experience Open

  • Networking Event
  • Expo Experience
The Expo Experience opens now! Join us to network with and learn from the service providers helping retailers meet their asset protection challenges and improve their results! The Expo Experience runs from 1:00-6:00 p.m. today.

4:30 PM – 6:00 PM

Expo Experience Reception

  • Networking Event
  • Expo Experience
Join other conference attendees for this great networking opportunity.

7:30 AM – 8:15 AM

Expo Experience Breakfast

  • Networking Event
  • 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.

7:15 AM – 8:15 AM

Women in Supply Chain Breakfast

Breakfast Session sponsored by Women in Retail Supply Chain (WISC) Hear from a panel of top supply chain leaders' career journeys, perspectives on diversity in representation, and strategies for personal and professional development.

8:30 AM – 8:45 AM

Welcome to Day 2!

Please join us as we kick off day two of our Retail Asset Protection Conference, co-located with LINK2021: The Retail Asset Protection Conference.

8:30 AM – 9:15 AM

Day 2 Opening Keynote

  • General Session
And the learning continues... Join this morning's industry leader to kick off our Day 2 main stage sessions!

9:15 AM – 10:15 AM

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Do What's Best

  • General Session
The DE&I imperative for business is real, as many companies have doubled down on their efforts to create meaningful, systemic change toward more equitable and inclusive environments. Join experienced coach, consultant and diversity trainer Vaney Hariri to learn how to move beyond just doing what's right, to doing what's best, for your organization, community, and staff. Vaney will be joined by a retailer speaking on their practical experience implementing their program.

Speaker
Vaney Hariri
Co-Founder
Think 3D
10:45 AM – 11:30 AM 3 Concurrent Events

Coast to Coast: What is on the Horizon for America's Port Operations

  • Breakout Session
This discussion will focus on emerging short- and long-term strategies that are expected to enhance port operations and service levels. Hear from government experts, port operators, and transportation providers as they address port operations, infrastructure, and legislation.

Next Week, Next Day, Next Hour: Meeting Ever-Increasing Customer Demands

  • Breakout Session
Customers expect a best-in-class experience when it comes to e-commerce. Speed of delivery is a major source of brand loyalty, but not the only factor when deciding between online options. Faster shipping, accurate tracking, flexible delivery options and a seamless returns process help retailers stand out in the digital crowd. Learn how to identify the right technology mix to capitalize on changing and increasing customer demands, achieve greater end-to-end visibility, and how to profitably grow your operations while maintaining high service levels.

Stop the Spin! Control the Revolving Door of DC Talent

  • Breakout Session
Despite efforts to boost wages and deploy robotics, the revolving door of hourly talent entering and leaving your DC workforce continues to turn quickly. How can you slow the spin rate? Successful retailers will discuss innovative retention strategies focusing on DC culture improvement, labor sharing, and the opportunity for professional advancement.

10:30 AM – 12:15 PM

The RIC Stage: Session Expansions

  • Retail Innovation Center Stage
Ever left a session wanting more…? Session expansions are an opportunity to do a deeper dive on some the technical solutions and operational rollouts introduced during conference sessions. Bring your questions and enjoy this 200-level conference track.

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Expo Experience Lunch

  • Networking Event
  • 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.

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM

Asset Protection Executive Insights

  • General Session
Join RILA's co-located Retail Asset Protection Conference and hear from top executives in retail asset protection, each covering an aspect of the business that they are passionate about, in these brief, TED-talk style segments. Or, use this time to head to the Expo Experience, hold private meetings, or visit the Retail Innovation Center Stage.

1:45 PM – 2:45 PM

Supply Chain Executive Insights

  • General Session
A highlight of the conference. Hear from three top new-to-role executives in retail supply chain, each covering an aspect of the business that they are passionate about, in these brief, TED-talk style segments.

3:00 PM – 3:45 PM 3 Concurrent Events

Build a Reverse Logistics Strategy That Differentiates and Drives Your Business Forward

  • Breakout Session
The pandemic accentuated the need for flexibility, as well as preparation, in all aspects of a business, including returns. Today’s retailers need a deliberate yet flexible reverse logistics strategy more than ever before and one that differentiates and drives the business forward. Learn from retailers with industry-leading reverse logistics strategies and discover ways to bring your returns strategy to the next level.

Managing Inventory Availability and Visibility Through a Collaborative Supply Chain

  • Breakout Session
A major lesson learned from the COVID-19 crisis is how vital visibility and availability of inventory throughout the supply chain is. This session will focus on ways retailers and their suppliers can work together to improve balancing inventory across retail networks.

The Living Model: How Dollar General is Leveraging Digital Twin Technology for Continuous, Collaborative Supply Chain Improvement and Innovation

  • Breakout Session
Digital twin technology (a virtual model) has been receiving a lot of buzz lately; but what exactly is a supply chain digital twin, how does this approach differ from classic supply chain modeling, and how can those differences drive better management of the supply chain? Learn how Dollar General has leveraged digital twin technology to transform their supply chain with confidence in order to improve, innovate, and be better prepared for disruption in an increasingly uncertain world.

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

The RIC Stage: Understanding Ecosystems

  • Retail Innovation Center Stage
An important opportunity to hear from VCs, Startup Award Winners, and retailers about partnerships and experiences that you can draw on and apply to your own roles.

4:00 PM – 4:15 PM

Startup Innovation Award Winner Presentation

  • General Session
See the results of your votes, as the winners of RILA's Startup Innovation Awards are revealed! Powered by RILA's Retail Innovation Center

4:15 PM – 5:00 PM

General Sesssion

  • General Session

5:00 PM – 5:30 PM

The RIC Stage: Understanding Ecosystems

  • Retail Innovation Center Stage
An important opportunity to hear from VCs, Startup Award Winners, and retailers about partnerships and experiences that you can draw on and apply to your own roles.

7:30 AM – 6:00 PM

Expo Experience Open

  • Networking Event
  • Expo Experience
The Expo Experience opens now! Join us to network with and learn from the service providers helping retailers meet their asset protection challenges and improve their results! The Expo Experience runs from 7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. today.

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Expo Experience Reception

  • Networking Event
  • Expo Experience
Join other conference attendees for this great networking opportunity.

7:45 AM – 8:30 AM

Breakfast

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

8:30 AM – 9:15 AM

7 Imperatives for the Retail Industry

  • General Session
The retail industry has seen more innovation in the past year than at any other point in the prior decade. When faced with lockdowns, an array of new health-and-safety regulations, and volatile consumer demand, leading retailers proved resilient and agile. So, what has set the top performers apart? And how can retailers thrive in 2021 and beyond, even amid continuing uncertainty? Based on research conducted with RILA’s audience of CEOs and other C-level executives from the nation’s top retailers, RILA knowledge partner McKinsey & Co. will delve into the seven imperatives that can give retailers the ability to adapt to a changing consumer landscape while pursuing new opportunities, updated with the most recent data.

9:30 AM – 10:15 AM

General Session

  • General Session

10:15 AM – 10:30 AM

Closing Remarks

  • General Session

11:30 AM – 2:30 PM 2 Concurrent Events

DC Tours - Retailers Only

Lunch will be provided. Pre-registration is required.

Post Conference Workshop: DE&I Leadership: The Power of Culture and Communication - Retailers Only

Building on the earlier general session, join this 3-hour workshop to take a hands-on, deeper dive, into the what you can do today start doing what’s best. Work through how a healthy culture and effective communication build the foundation for a strong, diverse, and equitable organization. Lunch will be provided. Please note, the post-workshop conference requires purchasing this separate $50 ticket in advance to attend. You may add this ticket to your registration at a later date before the start of the conference.

Speaker
Vaney Hariri
Co-Founder
Think 3D