Perspectives: Iolani Torraca, Shipping Manager

At goTRG, Iolani gest daily opportunities to solve problems, wear multiple hats, and see how her work contributes to the company’s overall mission. In all its successes and opportunities for growth, goTRG has been her non-stop source of inspiration and education. 

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 this 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 we are and how we continually evolve as leaders in the industry. 

Over to you Iolani…

Profile photo for Iolani Torraca

 

My name is Iolani Torraca. I joined goTRG 2.5 years ago in a sales and support role for our wholesale subsidiary company, Direct Liquidation. Today I work as the Shipping Manager where I incorporate everything I’ve learned along the way. 

I’m a doer, a multi-tasker, and a supply chain junkie.

Like many people, I’m also passionate about the environment. At goTRG, I get daily opportunities to solve problems, wear multiple hats, and see how my work contributes to the company’s overall mission. In all its successes and opportunities for growth, goTRG has been a non-stop source of inspiration and education. 

My first year at the company was in customer support where I learned everything there is to know about wholesale. During that time, I handled all customer inquiries related to shipping because I was comfortable and interested in the topic. Whenever I didn’t know an answer, I’d reach out to more senior colleagues to find out. I would regularly stay late rummaging through email chains and shipping documents, trying to solve the piece of the supply chain puzzle that my customers needed help with.

Sometimes it was like spotting a needle in a haystack, but the resolution made the pursuit worthwhile. 

I’m a problem solver even in my personal life, so my work feels like a natural extension of what I enjoy doing and where my strengths lie. That’s why I think I’ve been able to excel in my current role as Shipping Manager. I know our customers need products fast. So, the challenge I’ve accepted is navigating across various internal departments, external carriers, and a whole lot of paperwork to get products out the door whenever our B2B customers need help arranging pick-ups. I also negotiate pricing on their behalf to get the best deals possible. I love solving their problems because I know how important it is for them to have a positive experience with Direct Liquidation, and by extension, goTRG. 

Many of our wholesale customers aren’t huge corporations with massive logistic teams. They are mom-and-pop shops, budding entrepreneurs, and sometimes, lower income families looking for extra earnings.

These customers rely on goTRG, and on me, to get what they need, fast. 

The first time I realized the importance of being our customers’ internal advocate, was when I was working in support. There’s one success story I’ll never forget. It was a Canadian customer who only spoke French but was determined to buy merchandise from Direct Liquidation. At the time, I was the only rep with enough patience to Google-translate all of his chats. After several conversations, I passed his information to our Chief Sales Officer (at the time he was the Director of Sales) and fellow french-speaker David Malka. David took the call and helped the customer buy his first two wholesale pallets. 

To my shock, the Canadian entrepreneurial-hopeful quickly re-sold his first wholesale orders on the secondary market.

After that, he continued buying from us until pallets turned to truckloads and his “basement business” turned into a warehouse of goods. 

This impacted me so much because for the first time I realized goTRG isn’t just making one-time deals. We are nurturing people into becoming their own profitable businesses. And as a huge bonus, we’re supporting sustainability in the process by keeping these items in a closed loop circular economy.

As a result of our returns management solutions, goTRG has diverted 10M+ products from reaching landfills by refurbishing used items and reselling them to wholesale and retail customers. But, our environmental impact doesn’t end there.

We try to limit waste in every area of the business. For example, we try not to repackage refurbished products for the sake of vanity. We understand a fresh new package looks better, but placing a box inside a box can be wasteful and needlessly adds weight to shipping.

Limiting packaging makes sense to us, and most customers agree.

The only time that strategy backfired was when a customer ordered a Crock Pot one year to surprise her daughter for Christmas. It arrived in the actual Crock Pot box and unfortunately the daughter saw it. That was the first time a customer ever said, ‘you ruined Christmas.’ Eek.

I felt bad but ultimately goTRG is a sustainable company. We do everything we can to eliminate waste and that includes using extra packaging as well. It’s a funny story, but also true. The only waste we have is what we can’t recycle or sell as scrap. That’s something to be proud of. When goTRG says that sustainability is one of our corporate values, it’s not just words, there’s meaningful intention and action behind our efforts. 

Everyday we work hard to be socially responsible while we transform the returns industry and rapidly solve problems for our customers–no matter what their size. I feel lucky to be part of that. goTRG is by far the most dynamic company I’ve ever worked for and that means I get to work in wholesale, customer support, shipping and sales–all in a given day.

There’s never a dull moment and that’s what I love about this role. 

 

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