goTRG is made up of more than 2000 diverse teammates across the globe operating under one vision: to revolutionize returns. With experts in every field from software and engineering to ecommerce and supply chain, we want to highlight the skilled teammates who elevate our company’s mission every day. Each month we’ll hand over the metaphorical mic to a new goTRG teammate so you can better understand who they are and how they contribute to our continual evolution as leaders in the industry.
Over to you Adam...
My name is Adam Ziegler. I joined goTRG in 2009–about a year after the company started. I wasn’t here from day one, but I’ve pretty much seen it all. Starting from a general manager, I now lead the organization as SVP of Operations. It’s been a crazy ride, and I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else.
When I started considering what to write for this article, I immediately thought about goTRG’s corporate values of innovation and teamwork. I thought about my experiences here, and I thought about Sender Shamiss, goTRG’s co-founder and CEO, who I’ve worked closely with for many years. One of the first memories that brought it all together was the 2017 holiday tour.
Every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, goTRG’s leadership team historically spends a week-and-a-half visiting every facility across the U.S. and Canada (this year is a bit different because of the pandemic). Throughout the tour, we spend each day flying to a new city. I look forward to the event because it’s a chance to see each building and every general manager I work with who helps lead our incredible global team.
The 2017 tour was different. We didn’t just visit the facilities. We spoke with the teammates at those facilities about their procedures and the legacy technology they were using to process returns. Then we brought together a meeting of minds to develop the next evolution in returns management at goTRG–the future AI disposition engine. Named after its software ticket number, the “9040” disposition engine would redefine how our teammates operated, and how we do business with our clients. But that year at that moment, 9040 was just an emerging idea.
Prior to 9040, our facilities’ teammates used technology that made disposition decisions based on flat calculations. So, if a teddy bear was valued at $5, our system would determine the price wasn’t worth the manpower required to touch it. This model was a valuable starting point, but it was stagnant and limited the types of products we could find new homes for.
Sender knew we could do better, and everyone agreed. Supply chain, sales, operations, and the our engineering team all had ideas about how to improve the current system for our clients and make life easier for our teammates in the field.
That’s the beauty of who we are as innovators. We don’t just think about how a new system can benefit one particular team or another. We work together to create solutions that serve the organization as a whole–from the production floor, to shipping and receiving, to sales and marketing.
Along the way, we fight like brothers and sisters. But that’s because we’re family. In the end we’re all working towards the common goal of revolutionizing returns management and offering the world’s largest retailers and manufacturers a product unlike any other.
Some companies are happy with the status quo, but at goTRG we challenge ourselves to get better over and over again. We don’t care that a particular process worked yesterday. We ask ourselves: “can we make that process better today?” I’ve been here for 12 years, and I still feel like I’m at a startup company for that very reason. We are constantly reinventing ourselves so we can be the best partner for our clients, the best employer for our teammates, and the best returns management provider in the industry.
After about six months of developing 9040, we started rolling out the new system in May 2018. Unlike the flat algorithm we used previously, the new 9040 application automatically weighed costs like shipping, labor, and packaging, against the potential market value of each item. This allowed us to prevent making unprofitable decisions. But more importantly, it opened the door for us to begin touching products that we didn’t realize were profitable before. All of a sudden, we started overseeing new categories like apparel and toys. This shift allowed us to continue expanding our team, diversify the types of retail clients we could serve, and offer opportunities to facilities’ staff to grow professionally within the organization.
Watching the talented individuals at our facilities grow and learn has been truly rewarding. I’ve seen dozens of green production floor workers climb the professional ladder and move on to new roles at our headquarters in Florida. These opportunities exist every single day and they exist because of the great ideas we’ve developed over the years. Whether it’s 9040 or something else, we always strive to add more value to our clients because they turn to us to provide solutions. Those solutions drive more and more opportunities inside the warehouse. One of the greatest pleasures of my role is the ability to share those opportunities with our general managers, so they can spread the word to their teams.
9040 is certainly a stand-out example of our obsession with innovation and growth, but it’s not the only one. Another recent example is our RTV program, which launched earlier this year. No matter what we’re inventing, the process is always exciting and extraordinarily challenging. But anything worth doing is also worth the effort required. If we don’t accept the challenge, we’ll always ask: “what if?” And goTRG is not a “what if” company.