• Launching our exciting new conference - contact us for details


Dr Irina Neaga is a lecturer and MBA top up programme leader within Plymouth Graduate School of Management at Plymouth University, Plymouth, United Kingdom. Her research and teaching are focused on international logistics systems, and supply chain management applying advanced computational techniques and software systems, including big data approaches.  Prior to this appointment she has worked for several years as a researcher for Loughborough University, Leicestershire, United Kingdom, on large-scale, strategic partnerships of business continuity logistics systems engineering, management and innovation through research, education and consultancy.

She received the BSc/MSc in Computer Systems Engineering from “Gh. Asachi” Technical University, Iasi, Romania; and the PhD from Loughborough University, United Kingdom.

She has pursued in-depth research on advanced computational systems based on knowledge discovery, data mining and big data studies to support e-logistics and cognate engineering domain.  She has worked in higher education, industry, and research consortia in Canada, Finland, Romania, United Kingdom, and The Netherlands. She has contributed to the European funded research and large interdisciplinary projects funded by Research Councils, Innovate UK (former Technology Strategy Board), Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and international industrial collaborations with companies from North America and Europe. She is a member of British Academy of Management (BAM), and Humanitarian Logistics Association (HLA).

Richard Needham has over 20 years Supply Chain experience and is a member of the Chartered Institute for Logistics & Transport. Having spent 10 years in Supply Chain roles at Telewest, Ntl and more recently Virgin Media Richard decided to move to Telefonica in 2012 and is now responsible for the UK Supply Chain Service team. His role covers delivery of the award winning Supply Chain forward & reverse logistics operation for O2 including the largest mobile device recycling scheme in the UK (O2 Recycle). Richard’s passion is for the customer, working with best in class Supply Chain partners to deliver differentiated and cost efficient customer experiences. Richard is married with two children and most weekends are spent spending quality time with the family in Yorkshire & Lancashire.

Phil is an industry professional having worked within and on behalf of several logistics companies during a career spanning more than 30 years. The career could be defined as: 50% third party logistics and 50% automation design. Phil states “I have worked within 3PL companies as an automation expert and within automation companies as a 3PL expert”.

Phil has always had a bias towards ‘technical solutions’ and has been responsible for some very large 3PL fit-out projects including those with mechanisation/automation aswell as those without. In terms of full automation, Phil has been integral in the design and implementation of some of the largest projects incorporating technologies such as high speed sortation, automated storage and retrieval systems, advanced picking solutions and more.

In more recent years, Phil’s concentration has been on retail and ecommerce solutions  – especially during his 6 years at Clipper and now within his role at Knapp. Phil believes that automation has a huge role to play in the future of logisitcs as labour rates continue to rise and land availability diminishes. “This is the most exciting time to be working with automation as the returns on investment have never been so good.”

Steph is Returns Manager at XPO Logistics UK & Ireland and prior to joining XPO held a number of returns and reverse positions over the last 12 years, with experience working in retail, manufacturing and e-commerce sectors.

Other relevant experience includes:

  • Leading the design and implementation of retail returns operations
  • Experience of working in 3PL and in-house for major retailers and manufacturers
  • Knowledge of reverse logistics value add activities and their implementation

Sean has spent the vast majority of his working life involved in supply chain and logistics operations. Prior to joining Fowler Welch, earlier this year, Sean spent 2 years working as a independent Consultant, 17 years at Brakes and 12 years working for Safeway.

During his time as a consultant he worked with organisations such as 2 Sisters, GS1 UK, The FWD and Martin Brower UK. It was also during this period that he first supported the Fowler Welch ambient business as a Business Mentor.

Sean was a director of the FSDF and has also sat on the UK ECR Board for over two years, where in his role as co-Chair of the ‘Sustainable Distribution’ work stream he worked with companies from across the retail, wholesale & manufacturing communities to drive shared efficiencies across transport operations in excess of 200 million miles.

Since joining Fowler Welch Sean has been focusing on developing the business plan for the next 3-5 years. This plan will look to draw on Fowler Welch’s leading position within the chill and produce sectors and apply the basic principles to the ambient marketplace.

Based in Kent. Operations Director of Oakland Invicta.  Robert was previously Freight Director of P&O Ferries and Commercial Director of EurotunnelPlus.  Has also held key roles within the transport and Customs clearance sectors.   He sits on the Strategic Freight Group and is Vice-Chairman of the Dover Port Users Group.  Robert has spent the last 5 years developing and running the Motis FSA Freight Clearance and Truckstop Facility at the Port of Dover and has a strong working relationship with UK Border Force, the Environment Agency, DEFRA and the FSA (Food Standards Agency).


Paul joined Wincanton in 2007 as Business Unit Director after sixteen years in 3PL management in the UK and Asia. Over the past few years Paul has led the development of Wincanton’s home delivery and fulfilment business and now leads the Home & DIY Sector with customers such as M&S, Screwfix and B&Q.


Nicky McGroarty qualified as CIMA Management Accountant 14 years ago having spent 7 years working in finance for a high street Retailer. Having spent most of her early career in Retail Nicky decided to move into Telecommunications in 2003 and joined Telefonica O2. Not long after the move Nicky moved from Finance to Supply Chain and now runs the Supply Chain for the UK business. Nicky’s passion is for the customer, unlocking the potential of best in class Supply Chain partnerships to deliver differentiated and cost efficient customer experiences. Nicky is married with 3 children and most weekends are spent running walking or cycling in the countryside.

An experienced supply chain professional, for over 25 years Graham Best has driven innovation and fresh thinking, positively disrupting traditional models to rethink and re-engineer solutions to allow his clients to do business better.

Graham spent 10 years working with manufacturing and distribution companies globally, and a further 10 years specialising in inventory management as European Director of a global software company before he launched TSB Supply Chain in 2006, where he focused on providing specialist supply chain services and outsourcing.

His passion for pioneering solutions saw him focus very specifically on the managed returns sector though, and to launching ReBOUND in May 2013. The company offers innovative cross-border returns management solutions for clients across the e-commerce sector, including retailers, manufacturers, and carriers.

Driven by a belief in business being a win:win, Graham and his team have evolved their groundbreaking software platform to offer the ultimate ease for end consumers to return items, transparency and intelligent insights for retailers, and a recognised position as global leaders for his company.

Graham is now working with his clients to provide them in-depth data around their returns, allowing them to make commercial decisions and to understand the full buying behaviours of their customers for the first time ever. This level of insight has never been seen before and has the power to truly revolutionise the industry.