All About ISCPO

Editors note: The International Supply Chain Protection Organization (ISCPO) is a non-profit professional association that connects members from a wide array of sectors across the global supply chain including retail, wholesale, e-commerce, manufacturing, insurance, risk management/legal, distribution, operations, and logistics, as well as law enforcement and government agencies, to promote a collaborative effort of networking, benchmarking, and resource development for security professionals across the global supply chain. The ISCPO mission is to promote, support, educate, and advocate for the advancement of supply chain security and protection through strategic partnerships, international agency engagement, and the building of strong cross-industry networks within the global supply chain. Following is our conversation with Rhett Asher, ISCPO board chair and senior vice president at ALTO; Glenn Master, director of asset protection and security, McLane, Inc, and ISCPO board member at large; and Byron Smith, CFI, LPC corporate asset protection manager, 7-Eleven, and ISCPO board treasurer. This story was originally published as a part of our Winter 2023 Issue.

Stefanie Hoover: Could I ask you to provide a little color around how ISCPO got started?

Glenn Master

Glenn Master: By 2013 I had attended numerous loss prevention and security conferences recognizing that there was limited networking taking place with peers, who were strictly supporting the supply chain. I approached a longtime friend and industry colleague Rod Fulenwider with the idea of creating a professional trade organization. Over dinner and a bottle of wine at an Olive Garden in Ohio, we mapped out on a napkin what this organization would look like and how would it be different from every other trade group. We then took the concept from napkin to action and created a group on LinkedIn to see if anyone would be interested. Within three months, we had over 200 people join the group from multiple countries. We knew then that there was a need and wanted to take the next step. We brought Byron Smith into the mix, created a board of advisers, and became a 501C. If we all knew how much work outside of our normal jobs this was going to be, we probably would have thought twice. However, it’s been a great journey that started with one industry conference and has now grown over the years.

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Stefanie: Why should someone join or have interest in your association?

Rhett Asher
Rhett Asher

Rhett Asher: ISCPO membership gives you access to an ever- expanding resource; tools and education library; participation on developing share groups and working committees; key industry partnerships; various global threat communication information; key industry programs; discounts on our annual conference and other member only programs and events; and access to our network of industry professionals.

Stefanie: If there are chances to network at the conference, what would that consist of?

Byron Smith
Byron Smith

Byron Smith: We like to keep the conference simple. We have a cocktail hour the night before, which is a great opportunity to network with other conference attendees. What really makes us different is that we don’t overload our conference with vendors. We have created a vendor-partner program where select businesses are asked if they would like to participate in the conference. All the vendor partners set up tables inside the conference hall, so they can hear each speaker and have direct engagement with all participants. This is as much a chance for them to learn about the challenges we face as practitioners, which provides them with an opportunity to help solve problems. I can recall making an introduction to two different vendors that both were working with my company on separate security issues. We discovered that the vendors shared a mutual interest, and they became partners, which actually benefited my company even further.

Stefanie: Outside of your conference, what else does your association do?

Rhett: The ISCPO has three primary objectives:

  1. Networking—across global lines of both private and public sectors.
  2. Partnership and advocacy— create the avenue by which private and public relationships can move into successful business relationships.
  3. Training and education—provide adequate, professional, and timely training (via multiple venues) that is industry specific and relevant. An example of this would be tours of local distribution centers incorporated into our conference as a sort of field trip and learning experience for our attendees.

Stefanie: Pitch your event to someone who has never attended.

Byron: Join our diverse group of industry professionals and take advantage of the wide range of topics related to global supply chain security, e-commerce, industry trends, and investigations. As in years past, the conference also provides a great venue to network with global industry peers, transportation and logistics professionals, law enforcement, and select vendor partners. It’s tailored for the supply chain security and loss prevention community which is not addressed in the industry’s larger conferences. Anyone is welcome to attend. Many attendees primarily come from six key industry sectors: manufacturing, retail and wholesale, logistics, distribution, law enforcement, and risk management and legal.

Stefanie: How do you determine where the conference will be held?

Rhett: Typically, we rely on our host to determine the conference space. And we are very thankful for those that have supported the ISCPO’s mission. It will be held at the 7-Eleven SSC in Irving, Texas this year.

Stefanie: What should attendees expect at the event? How many days, when during the year, types of presentations, and so forth.

Glenn: Attendees should expect a community of supply chain, logistics, transportation, loss prevention and asset protection professionals, and solution providers. The conference will be April 11‑13, 2023. Topics include social media investigations, ransom negotiations, workplace violence and police interaction, cargo theft trends in Canada, unions in supply chain, and security in the middle east supply chain, to name a few.

Stefanie: Will there be an exhibit hall?

Byron: Yes, the event is a tabletop show allowing for better interaction between solution partners and all other stakeholders. There are a select group of solution providers joining the conference to maintain the personal feel when discussing their services.

Stefanie: Are there opportunities for attendees to earn continuing education units (CEUs)?

Byron: Yes, we have partnered for attendees to receive CEUs for LPC, LPQ, and CFI certifications. But they will also be able to use them toward other educational program requirements.

Stefanie: Any advice you would give to those attending for the first time?

Byron: Don’t expect to get lost and left out at the ISCPO conference. We have always liked a smaller conference to allow attendees, speakers, and solution providers better interaction.

Stefanie: Anything else you would like to add?

Byron: Take time to check out our LinkedIn group and sign up for our monthly newsletter to become more aware of the support in your industry. Our board of directors is always available to answer any questions or point you in the right direction. Visit ISCPO.org to learn more.