28 Apr Surplus Medical Supplies Meets Sustainability: MedShare’s Purpose is Rooted in Repurposing
Good afternoon and welcome to another episode of the live stream Logistics with Purpose. This is our second one and I’m super excited and happy cause we have an amazing show, Adrian, how are you doing today?
Adrian Purtill (00:30):
I’m doing great. Thanks Enrique. Excited to be here. It’s a beautiful day here in Atlanta. And looking forward to the show here,
Enrique Alvarez (00:38):
We’re going to have an amazing guest today and a great company, and it’s going to be very, very interesting. So how are you feeling in general, Adrian? Do you want to share any kind of positive news?
Adrian Purtill (00:47):
Very, very positive. Yeah. I’m going to be very, uh, very, uh, self-centered, uh, positive news, but, uh, I’m a workout nut and I’m up my, the volume of exercise and frequency from January this year. And, uh, any day that I can do five days of vigorous exercise, which I did last week, uh, for me that’s a positive week. So, uh, that’s uh, part and parcel of what helps to make the week positive for me.
Enrique Alvarez (01:13):
Hey, I, um, Adrian and I worked together at vector and we had a chance to go down to a [inaudible] a couple years ago and I had the opportunity to, uh, work out with Adrian. He clearly kicked my butt, so to get going Adrian for next time. Um, and today again, amazing guests, he’s a, the precedent CEO of visionary, a chemical engineer, I relentless leader. He has lived in Mexico, China friends, the Netherlands traveled throughout the world. And, uh, and he has an extensive background in medical devices, sustainability and developing teams. Speaking of fellow sustainability, Adrian, I think a perfect timing for this episode.
Adrian Purtill (01:51):
Yeah, it absolutely left simply as with, uh, earth day tomorrow, uh, with a huge focus, draws everyone attention to, uh, the environmental environmental impact, uh, that we have and, uh, how necessary it is to, to protect the environment at all costs. And, uh, our guest today is Enrica stair the CEO of a company that is focused on helping others, helping the world, uh, and delivering sustainability. And, um, in fact, uh, they’re directly responsible for diverting 26 million pounds of medical supplies and equipment from our local landfalls, which is absolutely huge.
Enrique Alvarez (02:31):
It’s going to be exciting. It’s it’s going to be a master class. I look forward and without further ado, let me introduce you all to Charles Redding president and CEO of MedShare, Charles, how are you doing? Good afternoon. Good afternoon. I’m doing well. I cannot get used to that soothing sound. It just sounds like a Nike commercial.
Adrian Purtill (02:52):
Enrique Alvarez (02:55):
Well, thank you so much for giving us the time and opportunity of being here and, uh, Adrian, Anthony, you want to do welcome some of our, some of our guests in our live stream as well.
Adrian Purtill (03:05):
Yes. A good love graph, please forgive me if I’ve pronounced it incorrectly. Welcome to the show. Uh, Mr. Mohib, um, Christie know one of our colleagues, uh, great to see you Christie. And, um, we are looking for Michelle Cole has joined us from Cincinnati. Welcome Michelle. Uh, so yup. We’re looking for a great show. Thank you for spending some time with us.
Enrique Alvarez (03:28):
We have someone from my Monica as well, help joining us from Mexico. We have people from all over the world. It seems like,
Adrian Purtill (03:36):
Uh, Claudia has just joined. Hi Charles greeting from Claudia at EAL. Well, Charles,
Enrique Alvarez (03:41):
Just deep dive into, uh, into you. I mean, people are really excited, uh, to, to listen to your story. You have an amazing career and you’re leading, uh, an amazing organization here in Atlanta. That’s inspiring a lot of others, including vector and myself to give back. Uh, it’s a purpose driven organization, a sustainable and responsible. So with that said, Charles, let’s just start a little bit with your, with you. Tell us a little bit about yourself, your upbringing, your childhood.
Charles Redding (04:10):
Yeah. I mean, it may be interesting to others. It’s kind of boring to me in the middle of it. Uh, I am, I’m originally from Atlanta, so I I’m one of those kids that grew up, you know, riding the city, um, tended public school systems in Atlanta area and went off to Georgia tech, uh, for sure a degree in chemical engineering, which, which really opened a lot of doors for me. You know, I’ll be the first to say, I think my first job out of college was as a process engineer for Goodyear tire rubber company up in Ohio, did that for a while before joining what I considered to be one of the most outstanding companies in the world, Johnson and Johnson, you know, join them and really had a, a 23 year run on with the magnificent healthcare company, uh, providing, you know, engineering expertise, overall management.
Charles Redding (04:56):
You know, I worked my way up really to be a global vice president of operations. And so I was managing significant supply chains as it relates to, um, medical devices, uh, for this fantastic companies. And we did a lot of wound closure devices, but one thing that I truly enjoy was the international experience that I was able to get. So I spent a fair amount of time starting up a facility in Mexico that was very interesting to do a wound closure projects and then moving to my family to Shanghai, China, you know, where I manage, uh, our Asia operations supply chain, uh, between India and China for, you know, for a number of years and then coming back and living in, uh, California and then managing, you know, sites, uh, in France, Netherlands Marissa’s is name. And so it’s a really exciting, uh, career. And I think, you know, the question often goes, you know, what brought me to Beshear. And first of all, I think in doing that, it really hide my sensitivity to the need or the healthcare disparities around the world. Uh, and so being originally from Atlanta, when I got the opportunity to come back here and I started looking for jobs, I was looking for jobs that, uh, number one were continuing to help people stay within that healthcare industry and MEChA, you know, came up, uh,
Enrique Alvarez (06:13):
Facing organization. Right. And, and, and we’ll talk a lot more about Metra and what they do, but if you don’t mind me actually backing, uh, to your early stages in your career, we have a lot of young people that are listening to us. Some people that are actually just recently graduating. So tell us a little bit more about like, when you were finishing school, I believe that you’re a chemical engineers and that correct. Right.
Charles Redding (06:35):
So, yeah. So tell
Enrique Alvarez (06:36):
Us a little bit more about that time and, and what kind of mentors did you have, what kind of a support system that you have back then in Atlanta? And just tell us a little bit about your career choices, uh, very early stage.
Charles Redding (06:49):
Yeah. So one of the things I would encourage young people to do, just be a sponge, you know, learn as much as you can. I was one of those even in elementary school, I think I was attending summer school before, you know, summer school was mandatory at that time. It was elective. And you just learn, and I, I can remember, you know, starting a college curriculum when I was still in high school, just doing some engineer and research programs over at the Atlanta university center where I got an opportunity to do some pretty advanced bowel medical research work, right. Uh, doing research work on rat liver, mitochondria functions, you know, testing, you know, weak acid indicators and toxic chemicals and proving, you know, that lead nitrate inhibits, you know, oxygen intake in the brain, which was a core issue for inner city kids. And so which, which led to, uh, you know, a disparity and learning.
Charles Redding (07:37):
And so, you know, a lot of that started early on. I can remember first one to be a lawyer for about a minute. And then a lawyer before this, I was influenced by some incredible teachers, you know, my science teacher, Ms. Marjorie bollard, who I love dearly. And I think she’s, uh, probably 97 years old now, but it lives in Atlanta, but she put me on that path of learning, uh, and having a passion for the sciences and having an incredible math teacher too. And so when I decided on a career, I was really looking for that combination of strong science and strong math and, uh, you know, engineering certainly came up and, you know, Georgia tech, they had one of the top schools to attend for that.
Enrique Alvarez (08:25):
No, that’s, uh, that’s incredible. You remember some of the teachings or comments that maybe your mentor, um, back then kind of encourage you not only to switch from maybe lawyer for a little bit to, to being an engineer, and then further on that had helped you with your life. Like if you had to pick one role model or a couple of mentors that you’ve had throughout your life or your earlier career, um, which one, who would you, who would you pick and what have they taught you that made you such an incredibly successful, uh, uh, individual? Well,
Charles Redding (08:56):
I mean, I I’ve had so many, but I think there was one that said something to me and it kind of scared me a little bit, but, uh, it was what I was taking courses over at, at Morehouse. I was in high school and I was in this engineering program over there. And one of my professors was Dr. Uh, Matt Bay. And he’s a very well-known. He had worked on the atomic modeling project and things like that, chemistry very, very upon near in the, in the industry and in awareness class, very impressionable. And he said to us, pick a career such that if they had a choice of eliminating people in the world, you’ll be so needed that you would be in that group that they would have to keep now a lot of pressure on a kid to say, picks up and says, you know, absolutely need it. It’s so obviously the sciences and what they call now STEM
Adrian Purtill (09:47):
Love, right? Yeah. Yeah.
Charles Redding (09:49):
They kind of lawyers. I said, man long is the boy. You can be good at bat with them. So I threw that out, but, uh, no, it, it was really, I think it was very, it left a lasting impression, the way I translated that, you know, do something, obviously something you’re passionate about, but something that can make a difference and, and something that you can use those skills to make a difference in the world. And certainly there are many vehicles in which you can do that, but I’ll tell you the sizes for me was just so exciting. All the possibilities is the learnings and trying to figure out how things, what makes things work and then applying it somewhere else. That’s, that’s great stuff for me, Adrian.
Adrian Purtill (10:26):
So just want to welcome couple more guests who have joined us. Uh, we have really some, some international flavor as well. This morning. We have, uh, Perna from Nepal, uh, Ali from Turkey, usury from Egypt, uh, moving from Dublin move. I’m not sure if that’s Dublin, Ohio, or Dublin Ireland. Welcome Peter. Welcome back as well. Thank you for joining us again. So a wonderful, the support, the support this morning. Thank you, Carlos. Talking about mentorship throughout your illustrious career. W what has been your outlook or your philosophy on you, mentoring people, uh, in order to realize the full potential?
Charles Redding (11:06):
Yeah, I do a lot of mentoring, and first of all, everybody that I’ve had throughout my career, I stay connected to them. I mean, I just feel that investment into them and as people, and certainly I keep up with them, but I think I learned early on though, there’s differentiation between mentorships and sponsors and things in the workplace, which I found very helpful, meaning not of them. You need people that can mentor you. And these would be people that maybe have a shared interest, could give you advice along the way and allow you to make intelligent decisions. But then they’re also people that can, can make things happen for you. Right? Um, maybe they are two steps above where you are in your career there in the re in the room when discussions are coming up and career choices are being made. And I remember even when I lived in China, uh, one of my mentors at the time who had hired me many years ago, he was pretty high up.
Charles Redding (11:59):
He reported directly to the CEO of J and J and he’d said to me, so what’s your ISA? What is your reentry strategy? I said, what are you talking about? They said, you over there and you got to be out of side, we got to be out of line. Discussions are happening. I want to make sure that you stay relevant and you’re able to come back in a meaningful way. You know? So having people that understand the portals or those types of things, which you are may not be thinking of, because typically, uh, if you’re like me, you, you put your head down and you just work there at heart, and then you don’t always understand that it’s more than just working very hard, but you have to, your efforts have to be recognized and the right people have to be aware of what you’re going on. So I try to do that, uh, certainly with, uh, the people that I mentor, but I’m very careful not to over advise them. Um, but to give them a framework for consideration, you know, uh, certainly because I, I’m a big proponent of learning from mistakes. Uh, the, be honest within some, you can’t prevent them all, but you just need a good process for how do you translate that very quickly.
Adrian Purtill (13:02):
Right? Funny, you mentioned mistakes. That’s exactly what I was going to ask you next is, uh, do you, do you actively encourage or provide the, the comfortable framework, uh, that the people you meant to feel, feel like they can make mistakes and learn from them without getting, you know, wrapped over the knuckles for it?
Charles Redding (13:20):
Yeah. And that’s the key learning from them, two keys to it. Number one, you want to make mistakes? I enjoy because if you’re not making mistakes, you’re probably not trying hard enough, uh, but are taking enough risk in that. And I certainly would encourage making mistakes, but, you know, two things are required. Number one, learn from mistake. Number two, don’t make the same mistakes twice. Right.
Adrian Purtill (13:42):
Charles Redding (13:42):
As long as there are different mistakes, make them, you know, but I prefer not to see you make the same mistakes.
Adrian Purtill (13:51):
Charles Redding (13:51):
Adrian Purtill (13:53):
So, uh, turning it back directly on you now, could you share with the audience a mistake that you’ve made, um, in your career and what you learned out of it from it?
Charles Redding (14:06):
Yeah. I mean, I probably have a bunch of number, but, uh, you know, certainly I think most of them mistakes States have been as I’ve transitioned from, you know, the personalities of engineering and having to more with people. Right. And, you know, people aren’t predictable. I think we will. And so I think a couple come to mind one when I was working in Mexico, uh, and not taking the time to fully understand the culture, the way I should have, you know, I would go down to the production floor and jump right into how things are going, you know, why aren’t these rates up and I’d get all these blank stares from the people. And so one of my, uh, direct reports pulled me over and said, you may want to ask them how their families deal with it then. And so I, uh, I did that.
Charles Redding (14:53):
I started, I would just come down and just, how was your weekend? Tell me about your kids. They show photos. And then all of a sudden boy, they were just automatic as sharing things that I needed to know before you’re going to ask, you know, so that learning of please first get to understand the people in the culture has been something that has stuck with me. And another very similar one, I was in, uh, San Angelo, Mexico, which is literally in the middle of nowhere next to nothing in West Texas. And I had a business unit over 600 people at the time. It was probably one of the largest and JNJ, and I had four shifts that I would have to come up and talk to them about the business. And at that time we were talking about, you know, quality making sure, you know, our numbers are up and competitive threats coming from Mexico and other places, if you guys don’t, you know, and I always get blank stares whenever I gave these post passionate speeches.
Charles Redding (15:44):
And I didn’t understand why didn’t, it didn’t resonate with them, this vision of where we would like to take this organization. Sorry. I began to just strategically ask a few of them for feedback. And what they share with me was things like, well, I don’t have the right chair. Well, I don’t understand why we have to play this music on the radio. And I was like, so again, translating, that was that basic needs weren’t being met. Right? So the mistake I was making was trying to take people on a journey without first making sure they were prepared. And so our very candid conversation, I had 13 supervisors at the time around the need to make sure people basic environments or basic needs are being satisfied to make them to position them, to be ready, willing, and able for change. So, you know, again, key learnings. And so that has stuck with me now. So I’m a big proponent of change management, uh, you know, highlighting the visual, but at the same time, making sure you’ve got well-equipped change agents that are ready to go on the journey, because if they’re not boring, you’re going to spend a lot of, uh, wasted wind. Um, if they’re not ready, ready to grow
Adrian Purtill (16:50):
Living in, living in China and India as well. Uh, obviously they were, there was some assimilation into the business, climate and culture there as well. Any, any, um, any, uh, anecdote or two from each of those countries as to how you had to change your way of thinking?
Charles Redding (17:04):
Yeah. And I think there’s some people out here probably from India, uh, that would relate to this. It was interesting that the different perspective each solid each other. And so I had to do this task task of trying to get India and China to work together. Uh, and, and so, and as you know anything about them, they saw themselves more competitors, particularly as it related to low market and innovation and things of that nature. So I would ask the, my Chinese team, their perspective on India, and they would say, well, we think they spend 90% of the time talking about stuff and 10% of the time. And then I I’d ask the, I would ask my Indian team and they said the same thing I said, we never know what’s on their mind. They spent all their time explaining what, you know, it’s. So my, which I was, I had was really how do I bridge these cultures?
Charles Redding (17:51):
And first I went to a deep time of understanding a culture, but what I found that both were probably passionate about their culture and also the sciences and math. And so I use this strategy, I’m an Einstein fan. And so equals MC squared where I tell them that our execution was heavily dependent on our ability to, to measure, um, you know, collaborate and, and communicate. And so with that, as a platform between the two, we drove the business and they saw the things they had in common, more so than the things that had apart. And, uh, it was just great for me to get those teams together. And, and even I shared meetings, we had them in Singapore, which was kind of in between the two countries, different business meeting and set it up. But that equals MC squared around measurement as collaboration and communication was really key. And we look for opportunities to survive that, and just both incredibly talented teams that we were able to introduce market appropriate products, you know, uh, improve supply chain efficiencies and a lot of different things just by just by working together and measure measurement. Thanks for sharing that,
Enrique Alvarez (18:59):
Um, couple of comments that we’re getting in, like Scott, I’m big fans of the med chair team, loving Charles VOD Mervyn, uh, also career awesome career that Charles has. There would so many transitions, incredibly rich career on yes, Charleston. It’s amazing how many different countries and continents and people you have touched. And we haven’t even gone into the, to the real, uh, part of the show, which is you explained to us how you went into the, uh, into MedShare and to giving back to people, but great comment from a Murban, uh, joy Daniel, uh, Selia also joining us. She’s, uh, she’s been here many, many times before just like Peter, uh, as well, Kelly Barner, you have a love, you have to love a leader that is truly listening to what his team needs, and if it’s not what he expects to hear,
Charles Redding (19:49):
Great point great point.
Enrique Alvarez (19:51):
Don sent tons of comments. Thank you so much for, uh, all of you like, uh, giving those, uh, comments, keep, keep bringing them in. I’m not going to be able to read all of them, but thank you so much
Charles Redding (20:04):
From Dublin Ireland as well. Thanks for that. Love that national audience to their international audience. And so Charles, my dad was born in County, probably knows it well. So yeah, international audience today, too.
Enrique Alvarez (20:25):
Tell us a little bit about like how you are. It sounds to me that you, you were raised being a purpose driven. Uh, you have been always kind of been caring for other people. You, you were always worried about making a positive impact in the world, and that has been a trait of you throughout your entire career. And it just comes across every time you talk about your team and the things that you’re doing. So tell me, tell us a little bit more about this giving a mentality that you have. I mean, who was, so how did you get it? Was it something that you saw was there like an, a Eureka moment that kind of made you realize that giving back was important in your life? And then just share a little bit more about your transition towards MedShare before we dive deep dive into, into match here.
Charles Redding (21:08):
Yeah. You know, that’s a, that’s a great question. I think the, the desire to help others or the steel in my life there early on from, you know, from my parents and watching them, you know, serve, you know, my mother was a nurse and, uh, was always active with our church and just stay busy. It wasn’t the one that I looked up, but I saw my brother who went into the military and then he’s a police officer serving and his son was a fireman serving. And then I’ve got a sister who is working with other nonprofits and my brother volunteers at they. So he said, wow, that is so it wasn’t happenstance. You know, when they see the entire family with this, uh, passion for serving, you know, for serving others and, uh, you know, locally grown up in Atlanta, um, it’s such a great environment and saying, you know, the willingness to help others.
Charles Redding (21:56):
And I think it’s what drew me to Johnson Johnson to the fact that they had a credo, which spoke openly about their commitment, not only to the employees and the, you know, the customers and stakeholders, but also the community. I found that it would be very freshmen. It was very overt in terms of our responsibility to give back to our communities. They encourage it, whether it be through an executive exchange programs. And the, I can remember serving on a board of, uh, uh, organization up in Gainesville, Georgia called channel challenged children, a channels child, which was mainstream and kids with disabilities and make sure that they don’t feel left out of the process. And so it just was happening. It wasn’t something that I said, I just want to, it just was in me in my, in my DNA. So no surprise when I decided to leave J and J and find another company to work with, I wanted those elements to exist, the ability to help others and, you know, make a difference, uh, quite frankly, but I’ve never considered that to be the purview of just nonprofits.
Charles Redding (22:58):
Right. You know, the way I was raised, you just do that for where you are. And then as I saw that these were purpose when I call them for purpose organizations that were out there, who entire magnate was of around ignition was just so refreshing, you know, for me. And I felt that was a good transition for me as a next step, uh, particularly because of the supply chain and we’d get into it. But the supply chain aspect of, uh, companies like much here, which, you know, aren’t typical skill sets you find and, and met non-profits right. Most of them are transaction-based, uh, doing some type of after school programs, but here lies a company that many of the skills and competencies that I were very successful in utilizing within J and J we’re very much needed, uh, in the nonprofit sector. So just a good, just a good knowledge, I think, uh, to, to drive a continuous improvement.
Enrique Alvarez (23:53):
No, it sounds like a perfect fit actually from, for the career that you’ve had and the exposure that you’ve had living in all those different countries, and then just coming, uh, coming to my chair. And with that said, why don’t you just tell us a little bit more for everyone that’s listening to us right now. And that’s, I, Adrian mentioned there’s people from literally all over the world. So if you could just give us a little bit of a summary as of what metier is, and then tell us a little bit more about MedShare supply chain and we’ll deep dive into met chairs, uh, costs and purpose and sustainability, which is very interesting to everyone.
Charles Redding (24:25):
Sure, sure. So, I mean, we are Metro as a follow one C3 non-profit humanitarian aid organization. Our mission is to improve the quality of life of people in our planet. And so what you should gather from that is twofold. One we’re very passionate about, uh, helping people, particularly addressing healthcare disparities around the world. Uh, we literally repurposed, uh, products that it tended to be discarded in many instances and, and to save lives. I mean, we are constantly looking for, uh, sources of quality, medical supplies and equipment that we can repurpose to these communities that are struggling to get this quality equipment. So that’s what we do. Um, and, and one of the things I’ve tried to bring to my chair as well, Jordan, a company back in 2012, our mission was, was bridging the gap between surplus of these. So it was very, I need to tell this group, it was very supply chain.
Charles Redding (25:21):
Uh, our focus is focus a lot on how we did things and my passion was always as the why we do it. And so really just trying to bring them a lot more of that personal contact with the recipients we serve, what are their needs and how are these products that we’re delivering to them addressing these health care needs and, and so nasty evolution that we’ve been on. And we’ve translated to just shipping containers of products to now to be a very programmatic, you know, we have programs around maternal child health around infectious disease control and prevention, which, Oh, by the way, we’ve been very active in this COVID-19 delivery. Yeah. PP, uh, all these communities, both here in the us and abroad, uh, we do a lot around disaster relief, which event that’s a, you can do a whole study on supply chain management as it relates to disaster relief.
Charles Redding (26:11):
And one thing I’m really big on it because this is around sustainability is we, we offer this Baumann engineering training and support, which we help with the installation of the equipment. But more importantly, I think we have, we train them on how to use it, repair it, maintain it, keep it going. Uh, we hear statistics about 70% of equipment, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa going on use because they either don’t know how to repair it. They might experience paused manuals. So we address that need, uh, as well. And, um, and because we really truly believe our job is not just to give fish, but we really want to teach communities how to fish and sustain without us. And so a lot of my work is driving that long-term sustainability by, you know, partner with these communities to help them solve the issues that they are they’re faced with.
Adrian Purtill (26:58):
Uh, just a couple of, uh, uh, there’s a question come in from, uh, from Claudia. Um, how has e-commerce impacted your supply of donated products? So also if you could feel that for us.
Charles Redding (27:10):
Yeah. I mean, so, so let me talk a little bit about our sources of supply. Maybe that that’ll help answer the question. So, so typically we get surplus products from hospitals, uh, and this combined way of new product introductions. It could be, uh, when you’re doing a surgery, you take out more than you need for the surgery, but you’ve already built a patients. So you can’t put her back in the supply cabinet. So, so we get a lot of that. And so we partnered with hospitals on, and I don’t consider it as waste to the hospitals, but we, we partner with them on, um, on providing opportunities to save otherwise right beyond the sphere. So we do a lot of work with that. We also get products. We have a lot of relationship with direct manufacturers. So with a lot of the companies like the, uh, out of the house, the J and J is companies that are manufacturing products and go to distributors that go to the hospitals are in some cases, they manufacture the donate for us, which has been fantastic, uh, particularly as it relates to some of our disaster relief, but also they have manufactured overrides.
Charles Redding (28:11):
They have same situation. Once they introduce a new product, the hospitals no longer want the old, uh, so we’re able to, that could be a regulatory change, um, that leads to access. So we get a lot of that. And then we have the individuals that come by and drop, you know, various things off. So, so e-commerce from that standpoint, really hasn’t except for, we see the introduction of new players that are getting involved, the Amazon, some of the, uh, even some of the, um, uh, drug stores, the Walgreens CVS is, are getting in there. We see E-bay out there with medical supplies and products. So I think the one thing that it, it competes with us for a little extended people think they can find, uh, they can sell things rather than, rather than donate. Uh, but so far so good. And we really want to make sure our model wasn’t set up based on hospitals being any efficient. So, so we really, really tried to drive those corporate partnerships. And I would say 65% of the products we get donated today come direct from manufacturer distributors. So not even from the excess, from, from hospital.
Adrian Purtill (29:13):
Thanks, Charles. Great explanation. Uh, Cody, I hope that helped, um, something I’d just like to bring up. Um, as I made a, made a great point, uh, earlier in the, in the chat, um, she’s, uh, she’s pursuing an MBA, she’s an engineer. And, uh, she said, she feels, there’s a, there’s a real lack of a focus of, um, a curriculum around at college, around, uh, leadership and communication. And, uh, she, she mentioned it in engineering and then another guest of ours. Uh, Peter said that in fact, that’s, that’s across all fields of study, he feels. And so I just want to turn it over to you as to what your thoughts are about that. And, and how important do you feel that is?
Charles Redding (29:51):
No, I, I think it’s, I think it’s incredibly important. And, uh, but I, but I would say this, I know at Johnson Johnson, we had sort of a leadership, uh, Institute. And so we, we, uh, developed what we call standards of leadership and then a lot of training around leadership because we saw that coming in that lack of, cause it’s not something that’s intuitive that you learn, uh, while you’re in college, you spend all your time focusing on the core of your degree. I think one thing to a schools like Georgia tech, if I could push down, I remember when I started there, one of the first freshmen seminars they said to us, we’ve got to make sure you can talk to your neighbor on the laugh and your neighbor on the right. That was a key component. And so, so yep. We got to take electives.
Charles Redding (30:33):
You got to take stuff that has nothing to do with engineering. Yep. You got to be great communicators. Yep. You’re going to make sure you can lead because you’re going to have lab groups, you’re going to have leaders. And so I think there are schools that understand the need for that. But more importantly, I think there’s a lot of companies that spend a lot of time on Justin Stillman leadership. And there’s a debate on whether leaders are born or, or learn, regardless of that, I think there are skillsets that can be obtained, you know, with the proper training. And, uh, and certainly for those that are engineers, the knock on engineers, always, they aren’t great communicators. They aren’t, they don’t have great interpersonal skills, you know, put them in a lab. And so I sort of broke that mole, as you can tell, which is why, you know, in my career early on, I sort of switched from straight engineering over to management because I was able to demonstrate those key skills and competencies related to people. Yeah. So I think that they recognize that and coupled with a good sound engineering background, boy, you could, you could really go far because it’s not enough to just leave a business, but the know the ins and outs of how the business run. Well, that’s a great, that’s a great combination.
Adrian Purtill (31:41):
Yeah, absolutely. Thanks Charles. Uh, and Greg pointers area and Peter, thanks for your input. Um, Charles Greg, big, broad question for you now. Um, what is, um, Mitch’s current plans, uh, and what are your future plans? And, um, as an aside to that as well, are there regions in the world that you, that you haven’t covered yet, uh, and you plan to, or regions that you’re in, but you feel you’re not as strong as you’d like to be.
Charles Redding (32:10):
Yeah, probably yes, right down here, we’ve, we’ve touched, we’ve touched over a hundred different countries, you know, anywhere else. So it’s probably about 200 countries in the world, so yeah, so it was probably a hundred others that we don’t, but our focus is primarily in those, uh, those crutches where the need is. And so a lot of our work tends to migrate toward Africa, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa. Uh, I would say the Caribbean basin central South America in some cases. So, so we’re not wanting to do a lot of work in Europe or, you know, the U S but we do something. So there’s always opportunities for us, uh, at one of our key metrics and one that I, uh, wanted to really stress from last year, we measured a number of people, sir, we feel that’s a good indicator of the reach of our organization.
Charles Redding (32:53):
And so we serve in aware we’ve, we’ve, we’ve gone between one to two, we serve on average about 2 million people a year, which sounds on the surface, lots of great number, but we just went through, I just took the board through a, uh, a visionary exercise where we took a look at our strategic plan, confirmed it, but I wanted to paint the vision of, uh, you know, five and 25. I wanted to position the organization to be able to serve 5 million people or more by the year 2020. And so that’s going to fundamentally change a lot of our strategic imperative, which we have three. One is we want to drive greater recipient impact. So we’re doing a lot of work to make sure the work we’re doing is impactful for the recipient, not tactful from that chair, but it has to be meaningful addressing the needs of our shipments.
Charles Redding (33:37):
Our second one is around, uh, I want to grow, but I want to do it on a capital efficiently. So I introduced this capital-efficient growth, meaning that it’s not about planning, Metro plants open up more warehouses, you know, getting the organization, understanding inventory turns, right? We want to get that inventory and get it out, get it to the people be, I hate the word warehouse. I love the word distribution center, right? So I don’t want to just warehouse things and have them sitting there or not, but so we want to grow, but again, I want to do it in a capital efficient way. So we’re going to have more partnerships around, uh, delivering product, getting product in and getting out. And then the third was more of an internal. I want to drive an introduced the notion about organizational excellence and really created a vomit to work as one that shear right now, I have three regions in which I have a Western region Northeast and Southeast where we have warehouses, but that’s not how I want to measure our growth.
Charles Redding (34:32):
Our growth want to be as you know, how many regions of the world are we touching, uh, with these life-saving products that we’re introducing. So just getting the organization around that. So I’m expired. I’m very excited about what that’s going to mean in terms of increased fundraising, increased partnerships products, and ultimately serving more people and improving, you know, improving health outcomes for a lot of marginalized communities around the world. Clearly here in the us, we do a lot of work with us, safe in the clinics, which serve, uh, in uninsured, under insured individuals. And we provide support to them as well.
Enrique Alvarez (35:07):
Fantastic, great, wonderful, very ambitious plans. And, and I know you’ll get there in Rica. Any comments you want to run through? Well, yes, that me again, it’s been super hectic. Uh, Charles, cause I’ve been trying to read the comments and they’re just pouring really engaging a lot of people out there and it’s around the world. So I’m trying to do my best for the audience to filter some of the questions and comments, but Kelly Barner, I think it’s a critical point that made sure was not built on the assumption that hospitals always be an efficient, having multiple sources of supply that allow you to cheer for the other players in the supply chain is critical. That’s great. Claudia has another question. Really? Good question. Uh, Charles question, what role do transportation partners buying your ability to meet your mission?
Charles Redding (35:54):
Well, great. Great. I mean, I mean, you know, certainly we, part of our mission is we have a lot of, uh, transportation partners that, you know, ups, you know, being one, uh, Flexport. Uh, so we, we depend on number one, we have, we, so we’ll talk a little bit about our model, but we provide sort of a Nan solution for our shippings, meaning we take care of all of the transportation. So once we put, so we have a series of, uh, freight forwarders that we work with and logistics companies that keep up with a lot of the requirements around the world. And we’ve been really fortunate to have some great, great partners that have, uh, they provide intelligence for us. They have provided gift and con shipping, you know, every year that we don’t have to pay for. Uh, they have partnered with us on delivery of, uh, you know, just-in-time supplies, particularly in the disaster relief.
Charles Redding (36:48):
I can’t tell you the number of times that we’ve reached out to some of our shipping partners to help us fly things in, uh, to a country that needed right away, as opposed to putting it on a container. So it’s critical and transportation. Um, you know, Randy, my, my COO and we sit down and talk all the time about, you know, who are the least lists of our key transportation partners and how are we, uh, stay in connected? You know, how we try to diversify too as well. We try to mix it up. So we don’t have all of our eggs and certainly in one basket, but a missionary. That’s what I was just another one who does a lot of work in the humanitarian aid space. Uh, but it’s really based on capabilities to get into a lot of the countries that we want to get into. And we find there are various differences. Some sort of can it’s M sub came up, uh, the criminal where, you know, the thing about our work is that we don’t go to easy places usually where there’s poverty, those are pretty, it was a pretty difficult places to get into. So, yeah, exactly. So it’s not, it’s not shipping to grab a Florida, uh, wish boat. So typically we want the product, the expertise of our partners to come forth and help us, you know, help us with our documentaries.
Enrique Alvarez (38:02):
Great point. Kristy Porter brings up a great topic. She would love to hear a little bit more about supply chain and disaster relief. Uh, I know you guys are big and you do a lot. Could you tell us a little bit more about just specifically disaster relief and how do you kind of react to emergencies? Like the ones we’ve seen so many times?
Charles Redding (38:21):
Yeah, we’ve really changed in that. I mean, we used to be sober or try to be responsive and I wanted us to be a little bit more predictive. And so we created a disaster relief program. So we are, we are actively looking for partners that we allow us to preposition products, uh, before whose ashes occur also the fundraise before disasters occur. So we can respond to that in a quicker manner. And so we have a lot of partners. So the monitor reason we were able to respond, we ship, I think we, we, uh, distributed over 4.8 million units of PPE during this COVID-19, which is incredible. And the, and I was saying, we, we sent the first two to 3 million directly into China when it was a big issue at the time and then, and evolve. And the reason we were able to do that is because we had an old hat because we already had a partner for disaster relief.
Charles Redding (39:09):
And we know that these are the products that are needed across all those ashes, not at times of steep, the PPE type products. So we were sitting there with a sufficient inventory that allowed us to, so we’re really so, so this, this notion of disaster prepared as a, something that we’re trying to embrace and talk to our partners about, we had, we had, uh, transportation partners already identified, uh, that we, uh, we could, we could work with, uh, an event of disasters. We had, uh, product suppliers that allowed us to reach out to them at the time of the disaster. So, so when I think of supply chain, I remember when I was at J and J we used to always, we used to divide them into four buckets. We should talk about, and in terms of planning, sourcing, making the litter. So I’ve carried it.
Charles Redding (39:52):
So think about that plan source make deliver. That was how we broke down a supply chain and I’ve done the same thing that next year, we look at the planning, understanding we have a pretty good entail in terms of, you know, types of disasters when they occur, you know, what’s needed, uh, sourcing. We want to have a great number of suppliers already identified transportation partners, GIK farmers, and a good protocol around how we would respond. So we’ve developed a lot of that. Uh, the may process really comes around the volunteers and inventory and making sure we had, you know, these types of products in place. And then certainly the, uh, uh, distributed, uh, spoke to our distribution network with our partners and getting it out there. So that’s our philosophy, but I think what I want to leave you with is it’s not enough to just be after the fact, you got to plan ahead.
Charles Redding (40:41):
And because a lot of our vet share, we’re not first responders. So we find most of our work occurs during what we call a recover rebuild phase. When we go on there, they’re trying to, you know, rebuild the health system that has been devastated. Father’s last thought we found out where we’re much more impactful during that phase. Then, you know, first responders down during the first responders phase, we equipped what we call these medical mission teams. So these are usually medical teams that are being expanded to these areas. And, uh, we, we equipped them, you know, with, uh, some key medical supplies, so they can go there and render, they run their hand up. We put a lot of thought into it.
Enrique Alvarez (41:18):
No, I’d say it sounds like I’m pretty sure you did. And it sounds like you’re actually are incredibly, uh, BC helping others. And what Metro is doing is incredible. It’s inspiring. And, uh, and we thank you for, for really, uh, leading by the example. Um, another question that I had in terms of, um, as we kind of wrap up the show, and again, the comments and questions keep coming, and we could probably be here for at least another two, three hours, and we’ll probably have to reschedule, uh, another one and it’s been fun. So I would love to do it again. And thank you for sharing all your, uh, your story. Um, one, one thing that you would like to challenge our audience on, I mean, as we close the program, what would be one thing that you would like to challenge the audience, uh, and maybe inspire them to do?
Charles Redding (42:11):
Yeah, you know, it’s the same challenge I just entered. I just issued to my board and to the staff through, I think fundamentally we’ve got to change our mindset and not consider organizations like Matt, Matt shares charities, and began to fade more around philanthropy. And the key difference being, you know, charities offer response to some issue, or they try to give things to address it at the time, you know, that’s noble, uh, it helps. But I think when you talk about philanthropy, you have more of a partnership and understanding of ongoing the issue began to fundamentally get up the causes of these issues. What is causing, you know, fragile health system, what is causing, and, and so you have all of our programs that you can support contagiously and make sure you understand the, and then, you know, allowed programs with donors to, to address that need.
Charles Redding (43:02):
I think that that fundamental shift in how or nonprofits are look us up and we all have to just change it. These are incredible organizations out there doing incredible work, but we want to make sure it’s sustainable and not just continue to put band AIDS. Uh, and then the same thing that calls them as arranged laceration of steel. They’re less, less a chat, those things that led to the laceration to begin with. And, uh, so we encourage everyone. If you can help us and not just met you, there’s a lot of incredible companies, some with dementia, trying to do this work, uh, be a part, be a part of the community, help out in a way you can volunteer, donate your money, your time, your treasure, your own time, talent and treasure is what we always talk about. So just get involved, just get involved.
Enrique Alvarez (43:45):
Sure. So insightful Charles Redding, predictive disaster relief, as opposed to reactive we’ll well done, sir, a lot of, uh, congratulatory emails and texts coming in. So definitely well done. Uh, Kelly, interesting reflecting on the difference between charity and philanthropy that the service would pause for thought for sure. Christy, excellent point about charity, this philanthropy, um, Charles, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you. Thank you so much for giving us a little bit of your time today. And, uh, before we let you go work in, uh, our audience, uh, contact you contact MedShare, what can they do? Cause it feels like everyone’s inspired and, and maybe it could be a good time for them to go ahead and act participate in being involved as you suggested that we should do. I mean, so first of all, everyone for,
Charles Redding (44:32):
Uh, participating in your questions are rich. Great. I enjoyed it. Uh, you can find out more about meshes. We have a website is www.medshare.orgdoesmbdshare.org. Uh, there’s a lot more information about our organization. The programs we’ll have. So do that. If you’re near one of our facilities in Atlanta, uh, San Francisco, California, or the New York, you know, Secaucus, New Jersey area come out, you know, volunteer at one of our sites, you can come see one of our warehouses, meet our staff and, uh, learn more about, uh, the skirt movement that we’re on. And this it’s truly a movement. And we don’t look at it as just a solitary act of kindness. This is, uh, uh, something we’re trying to philosophical change in our world. And that’s the, this gap in health, healthcare disparities and make sure everybody feels like they deserve it
Enrique Alvarez (45:25):
Of quarters and absolute, very powerful words. And, uh, just for everyone that’s listening that actually has the opportunity to go and visit MedShare and volunteer for them. We did that, uh, as vector, uh, UN uh, before the pandemic and we’ll do it again, uh, and it was a great team bonding exercise to do, right? So it’s not only, you’re only helping people. You’re not only actually packaging all this amazing things that are going to save lives, but at the same time, you’re actually doing something for the team and it was a great event. So I, I will strongly strongly recommend that if there’s any companies out there in Atlanta or San Francisco or wherever else, uh, MedShare is participating actively and has a warehouse just use it as a good excuse to, uh,
Adrian Purtill (46:09):
Hang out with your, with your excuse, to do stuff. You’re good. It’s a good excuse to
Enrique Alvarez (46:13):
Do something different and get out of the office, help someone. And just,
Adrian Purtill (46:19):
There’s a wonderful Mexican restaurant, pretty close to that’s true, but it was incredible. It’s a little hole in the wall, but man, it was, do you know what we’re talking about? We’ll have to find that out and then go together.
Charles Redding (46:41):
So I’m very discerning with my Mexican food as well.
Adrian Purtill (46:43):
Well, I’m Mexican, so we need to talk. So, you know what I mean, though? Right. We will find out and let you know where that places cause it’s amazing taco Toto of guy.
Enrique Alvarez (46:58):
I gotta go back and maybe do another one just on food. Cause I know I
Adrian Purtill (47:02):
Would love, but
Enrique Alvarez (47:04):
No, thank you so much Charles, for being with us today. Thank you very much for the audience. And again, we’ll schedule something in the neck, in the future to see how you guys are doing and thank you once again for what you do. Thank you all. Thank you so much. Thank you, sir. Adrian. That was, uh, that was fun. That was incredible.
Adrian Purtill (47:22):
That was great.
Enrique Alvarez (47:23):
So many, so many things, so many, I mean, tons of, uh, notes and comments, uh, Scott Luton would say, uh, 17 pages worth of notes. Um, it was, it was a great, great interview. I enjoyed talking to Charles. They have, he runs a tight ship. I’d met here. Yeah,
Adrian Purtill (47:39):
That’s good, man. It’s good. He’s a, no, he’s a good eater. He’s nice. He’s uh, I like him. Um, yeah, I’d say it’s uh, it’s a good organization. Um, no, I think the flow is great. I liked the, I liked the format, man. It’s not
Enrique Alvarez (47:51):
No good question. So an Adrian, uh, before we close it to our audience, uh, is there, um, what was your favorite part if you actually had to pick one of the, uh, things that Charles mentioned today? What, what, which one would you live with?
Adrian Purtill (48:06):
I just, I think the, um, how are you, how he empowers the staff? Uh, I think the collaboration, uh, what he’s learned from Warner’s overseas experience, uh, on managing teams, um, and, and, um, you know, getting the beginning of the best out of people and working together as a United force, I think is really refreshing together. Um, I also love the format and that, um, uh, the, the, uh, our guests that joined us, uh, first of all, thank you to everyone for joining us, but, uh, it was great to see all the interaction between the guests. Uh, they were commonly commenting on each other’s posts and, and chipping in. So I think, I think that was wonderful to see that happening. I agree. Sounds good community, right.
Enrique Alvarez (48:48):
Peter, Peter coming and Natalia has been with us for a couple of shows and it’s, it’s great to see that kind of comadre forming and hopefully we can all kind of funnel some of that into giving back, making this possible for the world and helping organizations like my chair. Um, once again, for everyone that listened to us today, it’s a pleasure being here. And if you enjoy this conversation with Charles Redding and MedShare display free, free to join us, uh, supply chain now, uh, dot com, you can visit our website. You can sign up for the podcast, wherever the podcasts, uh, wherever you get your podcasts from. And you can also visit our YouTube channel. Once again, this has been another incredible episode of logistics with purpose, thanks to Charles things to met chair and Adrian, thanks to you too. It was fun.
Adrian Purtill (49:36):
I really enjoyed it. Thanks Enrique. Great to be a part of this. Thanks for everyone for joining us again. I’ll see you again soon. Bye. Bye.