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Optimizing Every Aspect of Return Logistics With Dennis Hoang


Dennis Hoang is the COO and Co-Founder of Patturn, a company that aims to extend the life cycle of products, promote sustainability, and power circular shopping. With over a decade of expertise in reverse logistics and the returns industry, Dennis brings a wealth of experience to the table. Recognizing that solving the returns issue is not only crucial for a company's financial success but also for the planet's well-being, Dennis leads Patturn in providing a fully managed return solution. Through its dedicated platform, Patturn optimizes every aspect of the returns process, addressing the logistical puzzles inherent in managing returns efficiently and effectively. Under Dennis' leadership, Patturn is revolutionizing the way businesses handle returns, driving both financial success and environmental impact.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • How did Dennis Hoang establish himself in reverse logistics?

  • What inspired Dennis and his brothers to develop Patturn?

  • Dennis explains how he became a top seller on eBay

  • What makes Patturn stand out in the marketplace?

  • Dennis talks about Patturn’s Ideal client

  • How Patturn makes data-backed decisions

  • Patturn’s approach to handling waste management with returns

  • Dennis discusses Patturn’s warehouse setup

  • How is Patturn integrating AI?

In this episode…

Returns in retail and logistics play a significant role in modern consumer behavior, shaping the dynamics of commerce. As online shopping continues to soar, the management of returns becomes increasingly intricate, demanding innovative solutions. How can businesses navigate the complex interplay between customer expectations, sustainability concerns, and operational efficiency in returns?

Return logistics expert Dennis Hoang sheds light on the intricate challenges surrounding returns in retail and logistics. He emphasizes the significant financial losses incurred by businesses due to returns, where each returned item not only results in a complete loss but also incurs additional costs for shipping. Explaining the complexities of reverse logistics and the fragmented nature of the returns ecosystem, Dennis underscores the imperative for innovative solutions like Patturn's fully managed return platform. Through Patturn's comprehensive approach, he aims to address the multifaceted aspects of returns while leveraging strategic partnerships with leading marketplaces like eBay. T​​o navigate returns effectively, companies must collaborate with innovative platforms that facilitate streamlined processes.

In this episode of The Tao of Pizza Podcast, Mark Hiddleson speaks with Dennis Hoang, COO and Co-Founder of Patturn, about optimizing return logistics. Dennis talks about establishing Patturn with his brothers, using data to make better business decisions, and integrating AI into Patturn’s business processes.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode:

This episode is brought to you by Specialized Storage Solutions Inc.


I have been in the logistics and storage industry for several decades. I know I don’t look that old, but it's true.

We provide industry-leading warehouse storage solutions nationwide.

So basically, if you have a warehouse that needs Rack, Shelving, Carts, Conveyors, or Mezzanines, we help engineering, installations, inspections, and repairs to help clients optimize their logistics operations.

Sometimes people don’t even realize that we can actually help with permit acquisition services.

We take a holistic look at your entire business supply chain ecosystem to develop the resources for continually improving your operation.

To learn more, visit or give us a call at (707) 732-3892. One of the best ways to learn more about our products and services is to follow us on Instagram. And there’s a link on our website to do that.

I will even give you my personal email address for podcast listeners, so email me at if you’re ready to take your warehouse storage and retrieval systems to the next level.

Episode Transcript:


Intro  0:01  

Welcome to The Tao of Pizza where we feature top logistics leaders, entrepreneurs and supply chain innovators and share their inspiring stories with a holistic twist.


Mark Hiddleson  0:16  

Mark Hiddleston here host of The Tao of Pizza Podcast where I talk with top industry innovators in the warehousing logistics and supply chain business with a holistic twist. Today, we're joined by Dennis Hoang, and we're gonna jump right into return logistics as a whole, and how his team generates significantly better execution and the majority of companies offering return services. And we'll also be giving shoutouts to people doing great things in the returned logistics space before introducing Dennis This episode is brought to you by specialized storage solutions. Okay, I've been in the logistics and storage industry for several decades. And I always hate to admit that I'm not old, but I know it's true. We provide industry leading warehouse storage solutions nationwide. So basically, if you have a warehouse and these racks, shelving carts, conveyors and mezzanines, we help with the design engineering installations, inspections and repairs to help our clients optimize their logistics experience. Sometimes dentists don't even realize we actually helped with permanent acquisition services. So we like to take a holistic look at your entire business supply chain ecosystem and help our clients develop resources for continuing improving their operation. So learn more, check out our website, Or give me a call 707-732-3892 and also give my personal email out to podcast listeners, So if you're ready to take your warehouse storage and retrieval systems to the next level, give us a shout. I got one more thing before I introduce Dennis there was a string of of people who needed bank than how we met and I'll explain it once I've read once I introduce Dennis But Dr. Jeremy Weisz and Rise25, Paul Jarrett of Bulu Group, Joey Spanjers of Tricor, Kevin Lawton of The New Warehouse podcast. I even have to give a shout out to one of my associates from JFK University Donald Gerard and I'll explain why in a minute. But today we're joined by Dennis Hoang. He's the CEO and co-founder of Patturn. He's got 10 plus years experience of reverse logistics and the returns industry. And look, you know, returns are an ever growing problem with customers experiencing unmet expectations and buyer's remorse. So solving the returns issue is essential to the company's financial success. And for the impact of the planet. Patturn fits into the puzzle by providing a fully managed return solution that optimizes every step of the returns process; their dedicated platform was built to solve the logistical puzzles of returns. And until now, the only guide on reverse logistics was a book written by Rich Bolger, which is updated for 2024. Other than that, the earliest version of reverse logistics was written in the early 90s. Dennis, welcome to The Tao of Pizza.


Dennis Hoang  3:01  

Thank you, Mark. I appreciate that awesome intro, I would have never ended up myself.


Mark Hiddleson  3:07  

Until I changed, I found some of this stuff on your website. But I also saw the podcast you did with Kevin and one of the reasons I had to give all those shout outs is I have somebody I work with, they're kind of a podcast coach, business coach or one of the resources is Jeremy and he was kind of sharing with me how to tag people on LinkedIn a certain strategic cuz you don't want his tagging everybody on everything. But I didn't interview with Paul and Paul had tagged a few people that, you know, it made sense to mention them in the interview because it came up so you know, one of them was Kevin. So I looked at Kevin. I've been wanting to connect with Kevin. He does the new warehouse podcast and Paul bears all these you know, Paul Jarrett, he's been on the podcast. Jeremy's been on my podcast. So those are all episodes. And then Donald Gerard is my friend from graduate school, which I've never been on social media or anything. I'm over 50 years old myself and I'm not digital. 


Dennis Hoang  4:06  

You don't look a day over or you don't look a day over 40. 


Mark Hiddleson  4:09  

Well, that's because I'm at the Indian Springs Resort in Calistoga trying to rejuvenate my youth. But all those things are kind of how we met. And it's cool about the podcast and how you mean I had to give all those people shout outs and even Donald was the one that first suggested I get on LinkedIn back in probably Oh, '03, '04 Whenever LinkedIn first and we were teasing. We're like that's a dating app. It's called linked up. We were called LinkedIn. Oh, you're on LinkedIn. Oh,


Dennis Hoang  4:37  

yeah. That makes sense. That makes sense. Right? That big? Yeah.


Mark Hiddleson  4:41  

The God on it. And now I really use it. It's a great tool for connecting in business. But anyway, I


Dennis Hoang  4:48  

I agree. I agree with you on that. So that's


Mark Hiddleson  4:50  

how you got on the show. So share, share a little bit about your journey and how you got into reverse logistics because it's a great topic. It comes up for me all of the time, but how did you get into it? Yeah, yeah,


Speaker 1  5:02  

I bet I bet it does, especially on the storage side, right? Like, how much space is being saved? How much space in your warehouse is being dedicated to that piece of the puzzle, right? If, if your business is generating $100 million in revenue, a significant portion of your warehouse has to be dedicated to that one piece, right? But how I got into the business, crazy story. So my parents essentially had a small startup, it started with a small computer shop here in DFW, so Dallas, Fort Worth. And long story short, because of their, through their, through their connections with working in industry of the electronics, they started partnering with, you know, the Dells of the world, the HPs of the world, and you know, those big theater companies, just because for some reason those big computer companies really didn't have those capabilities. Right. So in short, it started off with my parents. And what happened was, historically, in Asian culture, we grew up working alongside our parents, right. So that meant weekends, right, I'd go out to the shop, I'd go out to the store and help out my parents, right. And long story short, I grew up with a business, right. So you know, the 10 years that I say it's 10 years, I say the 10 years of nuances, but honestly, it's ever since I was young. Right? But I'm 28. But if I started when I was 10, you know, it doesn't really, it doesn't really make sense. Or like, I don't look like I am 18 or 19 years worth of experience, right. And often people don't perceive that. But I mean, I just say that as a flat rate. Yeah.


Mark Hiddleson  6:33  

My oldest is 29. And he's like, he's still I think he was, I mean, it was probably 11 When we started paying him, but he wasn't Yeah.


Dennis Hoang  6:43  

Still, he was still probably helping out, he was probably helping out pop up at the shop, right, like, you know, building a building custom, like a like, you know, stuff for stuff for you. So I wouldn't be shocked. So essentially, the one of the problems My parents always had was, they never really had a system in place to help them manage all of the repairs they made, right? Where electronics, especially in laptops, there's you have to really track costs, and you really have to ensure each thing that you repair is unique and are not necessarily all the same, right? And then tracking the cost part, it has been the hardest part for them. And we tried going on a hunt to develop a kind of a similar software to what we build, but it never came into fruition. And as I got older, maybe about in 2018 2019, my brothers and I took on more of a management role or more strategic role. Because you know, we got older, so I finished college after that. And what happened was that we found the same thing as well. There's not a lot of return software that is available on the market, I mostly have returned software's, but most companies keep those behind closed doors, right? Like, oh, no, only I only get the benefit from it. Right. So. And that's, and that's and that's the reality of it. Yeah, what happened?


Mark Hiddleson  8:10  

Because you mean like, so you build something for a client that's unique to their needs. And then they don't want you to just like, okay, every proceeds the apparel business, or its electronics or somebody that doesn't want their competitors that have the same strategic advantage, because you can really make returns a strategic advantage. Is that what you're saying? Then once you create a solution, nobody wants to share the


Dennis Hoang  8:30  

best practices or Yeah, I mean, I mean, to be fair, I mean, to be fair, I get it. I got it. It's totally understandable, right? No one wants to share their, you know, secret sauce, right? So we're like, it's our turn to create that secret sauce. So we essentially my brothers and I came together, we essentially wrote out every single piece of the business that we have a problem in, whether it was online selling, whether it was tracking repairs, whether it was receiving, whether it was warehouse management, whether it was people management, we just that's basically what we describe as Patturn is the all in one system that helps us manage this returns but everything from returns initiation, everything from you know the nitty gritty part right. Earlier we were talking about how you built a conveyor belt system for a company or a company to kind of essentially bring in their returns and process it right. That's a big piece of the returns puzzle that isn't being solved very well. Right. Yeah. And alarmingly,


Mark Hiddleson  9:33  

in solving it with the equipment, I mean, really, the system should be driving the equipment and the way. A lot of people look at it. I mean, I want them to buy equipment from us. I have 30 years experience. The client I work with was John Salvatore, so I wanted to give him a shout out. That was one of the things we promised we'll give people a shout out, we're doing well, but for them, they're throwing a lot of work at the problem. So and it's the season So sometimes you might only be five or six people, because it's apparently sent. And then sometimes you need 22 people. So we built a system that was flexible, it can handle, you know, if you're just doing four with a regular volume, but they don't have software and their challenges are. So that's why I'm curious about your solution. Because there's some stuff, I look at the pile and you can always tell the return what I love is like going to a warehouse and letting go, oh, that's your return section right there. People always make it so you can just yeah, they're


Dennis Hoang  10:27  

always there. They're always gonna be like, Oh, we got a lock this way. Where do they leave at night? Right? Yeah, but no, they won't take you to the they won't take to the back room where the returns are just piled up, probably as high as they can be. Right? Yeah, that's definitely that's so common.


Mark Hiddleson  10:42  

But there's multiple. So when you get a return, you have to give the customer with theirs, they have to give them a customer credit, and then kind of take it out of the packaging that came with them. So they process it and give the customer credit, then they have to clean it, then they have to repackage it and then put it on the shelf. Yeah, all these and so so let's share it some how you guys solve that puzzle of getting off on deciding should this even be here? Should we just donate this before even


Dennis Hoang  11:12  

Right? Right? That those are those are? Those are common, great questions, right? The reality is that returns are a 100% loss plus the cost of shipping back and forth, right? Historically, people provide free shipping there. So let's say on us that on average, a t shirt costs about eight bucks to ship to the customer, right? Let's say let's say it's $8 for somebody, right? And Jerry doesn't like a T shirt for some reason. And he only wore it for like a week. And then and than most companies provide free shipping back, right? And then let's say that shirts 100 and 100 bucks. You're, you're already out 116 bucks. Yeah, like, and and you bring it back and you're like, What do I do now? Like, I don't want to I don't want this to compete with my other existing marketplaces. I don't I don't want to compete with anything. Right? But it's still 100% loss. So you want to try to recoup as much as you can, you know, even if it's pennies, even if it's $1, or even $1 Or two, right? Because this does add up. But how we're different is, a lot of times companies are there's the honestly, the the reverse logistics ecosystem is still like broken. And there's one company working out, there's one company working on one piece of the puzzle. And then there's another company working on another piece of puzzle. And then there's another company working on the last season, right? So you'll, you'll get a pallet here and the other ship to ship, ship it to be warehouse and then after you ship it to be warehouse, it needs to go to the warehouse to go like get fulfilled, right? And you can see how much of the cost that's going to be overall. And that's why for us, we wanted to do everything under one roof that away. It really helps save on costs. And then the last piece is how do I how the heck do I make my money back? Right? That's an important piece just because again, like after you do all this value out of work after you do those repairs, on how to resell it. And in general, we've developed a variety of methods to resell. We are one of the top five sellers on eBay in the fashion category. And that has really left with the brands. And some of the retailers that we work with, we really leverage that partnership with eBay that we've built over the years to essentially kind of like be that be that piece on eBay, right? Like we have for the last two years, we became the top seller on eBay across like 30 million sellers more specifically in the web, and more specifically in the women's category, right. So this is everything from shoes, this is everything from shoes, apparel, and handbags. So you name it will probably be like one of the top guys. On top of that. On top of that another marketplace that is known for fashion is known as Poshmark. We are one of the only software companies that is directly partnered with them, we work with the development team, pretty much on a daily basis to essentially upload our inventory every day to make everything from an Enterprise Client like to make sure everything's smooth sailing. But in general, in general, the next phase of what we're working on is we're trying to build out another marketplace that we've described as gender as a sustainable marketplace, right? For example, you can go to this marketplace and buy new or used, let's say Nike shoes, right? new or used Lululemon, I guess, a tank or a t- shirt, right? That's the next goal of what we're trying to work on. The website has already been launched. And we have roughly about 140,000 unique items there. Everything from shoes, women's apparel, but now we're trying to drive more traffic into that website as well just because, again, we're trying to give people some really good deals because most of the stuff is at a deep discount. It's never going to be for it's never going to be at 100 MSRP is going to be within a range of about 60 to 70% MSRP. It's most of the items, I promise you are basically new. And that's the reality. And that's the reality of fashion returns.


Mark Hiddleson  15:11  

Yeah, because so that's great. And I love because we're in the US business too. And so I want to release this podcast because I've always I mean, you. It's tougher to do that in our business, because it involves engineering and specifications and things can be somewhat when I first got in this business, and I wasn't online or anything, but I had a client. And, you know, I was telling them because we deal with used equipment, and I've always had used equipment that we bought it might be in Bakersfield might be in Los Angeles, it might be in Salt Lake City. And a lot of times we were able to make projects happen with us materials, because we had the logistics set up and he goes, Oh, he goes, You're like the eBay of racking. And this was like probably 1997, 1998. And I didn't know eBay was I just kind of nodded my head.


Dennis Hoang  15:56  

 You're like, yeah, yeah. Love. Yeah.


Mark Hiddleson  15:58  

So it's like a secondary market. So that's why it's a huge environmental impact for environmentally, too, because a lot of this stuff, like you said, people don't want to compete with themselves. So they're not going to donate them. I want to end up destroying stuff, right? Or, yeah,


Dennis Hoang  16:13  

yeah. And the waste, the waste pile returns is real. Right. So I think the statistic this year alone was the total, the total market, the total value returns was 750 billion, as of this year, and then maybe less than a billion of it made it back it made its way back into the secondary market. Right.


Mark Hiddleson  16:38  

Low hanging fruit, right? I mean, yeah, yeah. Right.


Dennis Hoang  16:41  

And, and again, I, again, like even with all the big players in our industry, it's still not enough to essentially tackle the problems. 


Mark Hiddleson  16:51  

So we'll have, make sure we have those websites, because I always make shownotes. So really, anything we mentioned in the show, if I mentioned a person will put a link to, you know, to their profile on LinkedIn, if we do have a website will point people to that. Because I think that is awesome. Anything else you want to say on that? Because I'm gonna, I'm going to ask you about your, like, your RFP process, or how you onboard customers, but anything else about kind of what makes you different?


Dennis Hoang  17:22  

Awesome, awesome. So I think what makes us different is our ability to move the inventory, right? A lot of times, brands will partner A lot of times brands will partner with


a lot of different returns partners, right? They'll they'll build them fresh websites, they'll build them, they'll build them a network, returned specialist, but it's not really getting rid of the inventory for us, we're able to effectively get rid of the inventory, and you know, still have to make some money off of it as well. Because at the end of the day, they want the inventory. You know, ideally, our goal is to never go away, right? Like, we'll always try to figure out a strategy of how to reduce that waste, right? Just because I promise you, like if I like there's a lot of waste that happens. And that's our effective goal.


Mark Hiddleson  18:13  

Yeah, and so and so I'm thinking of a hybrid solution, too. Because in apparel, I mean, this is how we got involved in projects is, you know, I probably have four or five clients in apparel and it's consistent. They had like 30% returns, because people order multiple sizes, like the lower the return the one that doesn't fit. So Oh, yeah, they know. 


Dennis Hoang  18:34  

Yeah. Oh, yeah. They know, that's, I don't know that it's fair. I don't know that. It's hard for that. But I mean, that's what people do, like I'll buy like or not, I'll buy, people will buy like a size 9, 10, 11. Like, sneaker, right, let's say there's some kind of pseudo like, child three, and then I can return the other two for free. I know, penalty, then that's, that's, that's the reality of right. But the problem is that, once it comes back to that brand new brand, that brand will just kind of push it to the side. But as I keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger, that's


Mark Hiddleson  19:04  

So, do you ever do a hybrid solution where people, you know, that's happening in their sub stuff? Can they make a determination? Like we want to bring that either two ways, either they bring it back in house, put it back on their shelf? Or do you offer where, because what technology is nowadays, even if they resold it, and it was on your shelf, because you're telling them, look, we're going to tackle this whole thing over here bringing it all under one roof. You can still ship stuff to fill their retail orders off of there, correct?


Dennis Hoang  19:32  

Correct. Is that a possibility? Yes, it is. We integrate with most, we integrate with most marketplaces, we integrate with most, I guess whatever WMS Florida mass projects they have, as long as they're using some kind of technology to manage this stuff. I promise you we can probably connect with them.


Mark Hiddleson  19:53  

Nice. And do you call it? You were saying that is it a 4PL or 5PL or do you use that terminology because that's been something that's been coming up lately. And the way you describe that it comes up to me as this kind of being a 5PL.


Dennis Hoang  20:06  

Do you use it? No, I'm not. I'm not. I'm not super well versed in a lot of the supply chain lingo. I only know it from the reverse side. And that's kind of where Biden has been to where my name has been. Yeah,


Mark Hiddleson  20:20  

It came up on the podcast with Paul Jarrett. So I asked him, and he gave a pretty good explanation. And he had but even he had been researching it, but I thought I was sure I knew what 4PL meant, but I've asked him multiple people and I was probably what I was seeing is 4pl is really a dedicated warehouse and there's three peel and then a 4PL would be managing multiple 3PLs. Yeah, and a 5PL was laughing with one but he goes and then a five pills, you're managing multiple, 4PLs.


Dennis Hoang  20:44  

And then I guess it's 6pm, and so on, and then and so on, and so forth. Right? And then we were laughing


Mark Hiddleson  20:49  

to kind of make sense. And I go, I'm gonna start, the cutting edge is a 5PL, I'm gonna manage multiple 5PLs under kind of what you're talking about. It's multiple sales streams, and maybe multiple shipping points, because there should be some stuff from their warehouse that is brand new. There should be some stuff from your warehouse that has been returned. Exactly. The same thing. Same packaging, same value add same everything. 


Dennis Hoang  20:49  

Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Exactly. 


Mark Hiddleson  20:50  

And they wouldn't know the client wouldn't know if it came from no knowledge. Or where's your world? 


Dennis Hoang  21:22  

We're based, and we're based in Fort Worth, Texas. Okay,


Mark Hiddleson  21:26  

Fort Worth. Nice. We're doing a pretty good sized project there in the next couple months. So nice. I love Dallas. I'm a Dallas Cowboys fan.


Oh, it's kind of hard to be a Dallas Cowboys fan sometimes. Yes. I'm a die hard fan. But I mean, I think we'll keep it at that for respectable cowboy fans.


Mark Hiddleson  21:44  

Since I was five years old, I didn't really worry about it. And then I'm the kind of person that once I make up my mind not going to change.


Dennis Hoang  21:51  

I'm the same. I'm in the same boat as you. And so it's every other Cowboys fan. Yes.


Mark Hiddleson  21:58  

Yeah, another disappointing season, but and I guaranteed everybody that was going again, and then


Dennis Hoang  22:05  

We'll go to play. We'll go to the playoffs. Yeah. And yeah, that's not. And that's all she wrote. That's how I describe it. 


Mark Hiddleson  22:13  

Yeah, so I've had a lot of fun. Over the years, it's been entertaining. I've read articles that you're actually a more avid fan if your team is kind of like 500 because if they win all the time, then you get kind of complacent. It's like yeah, we're just gonna win.


Dennis Hoang  22:26  

We're gonna win the Superbowl yadda yadda yadda.


Mark Hiddleson  22:28  

But if it's like the Patriots a few years ago, it's like, Well, okay, they're gonna win seven out of the next 10. And everyone just accepted the Cowboys, it's been 30 years of nothing.


Dennis Hoang  22:39  

To be fair, like, I think I like games. Where are our Close? Close? Right? If we're just like, we're destroying if we're just destroying one team. 40 points. And like, by the second half, it's not like I don't know, it's not that it's not that fun anymore. I like games where it's funny. It's 21, 21. Two minutes left on the clock. Cowboys ball. What do we do like that? That's the game. Like, that's the game that those are the type of games that I like, yeah,


Mark Hiddleson  23:09  

We've had, over the years, I've been going to games since 1992 or 93. Watson played for the Raiders when they were still in LA and they won the Super Bowl that year. And then we went to go the next year. And my buddy, we laughed, we counted all the wins and losses. And we're like 500 in those 30 years. Like, exactly 500. 


Dennis Hoang  23:29  

Yeah. Yeah, I think you have some questions for me. Right?


Mark Hiddleson  23:33  

Yeah. So I wanted to ask you about your RFP process? And how, you know, how do you know what's your ideal client? How do you find them? And then what? Because I think that's a lot of you know, when it comes to returns is like, are you asking all the right questions in the beginning? So what's Yeah.


Dennis Hoang  23:50  

So a good measure, a good measure of when returns start to become a real problem is once you've hit one, when a brand or whoever reaches maybe the 50 million, maybe the 50 million, like revenue mark per year, right? Once you start hitting, once they start hitting that 50 million revenue mark, that's when they really had to start thinking about palletizing, like palletizing, like the return, like returns just to put away right? They can't just sit on a shelf anymore, have a pallet somewhere and sit on a pallet maybe on one of you know, one on one of your racks or something. Yeah, right. For us, that's kind of where we specialize in. But how someone starts with us is essentially what we'll always do, we will always do a pilot just to see if it makes sense for that brand. A couple will say things like, Hey, we'll take charge, we'll take charge of your tires, we'll essentially pay for the returns to come to our warehouse. Right? And long story short, we'll show you what we can do with it. Right? And if it's not, and then we'll give you the data, we'll give you the analytics and if it's not something that you want to do, we'll set it and send it right back is as simple as that. Just because again, like, it really depends on what the brand is looking for. Right? If they want the most, if they want the most return, they have to resell it. If they want to donate it, we're not really in a donation business. We're mainly in the, in the reselling part.


Mark Hiddleson  25:16  

But you can resell it. And it's hard to protect the brand. Like you see, you don't want to be competing with yourself with the same inventory on the same. So there's I guess there's some conversations that you have about that. 


Dennis Hoang  25:27  

Yeah, it's a lot of time. So a lot of times, it really just depends, right? We can set up like for us and that brand, we can set up price points, right, we'll give recommendations on where we think how much it is valued in the market. A good example, I wanted a brand. A good example is Oh, my goodness, the MSRP of this European shoe is like $350 like pounds. But I like to pursue it, right? But then what happened is, what happened on eBay is a marketplace. Brand news, for some reason, it's not going above $60. Right? Because that's the value, that's the desktop perceived value of that brand on, on that platform. But right and the same thing goes, the same thing goes for maybe, like on Amazon or on Poshmark. Right. And we were working, we were working with them. And they were like, hey, like, if you want your inventory moved, that's just, that's just how it is, that's just how it's gonna work. Everyone, everyone up all these other sellers sell it for about 60 bucks, right? But you want us to sell it for 360 bucks, like we'll never, you'll never make your money back. It's just gonna feel like it's just gonna chill there forever.


Mark Hiddleson  26:44  

And I think I found it, so here's what makes it good for you. Because you guys have these secondary markets and eBay and everything like that. Their return policy isn't like retail. It's like you bought it, you own it, right or right.


Dennis Hoang  26:58  

So it's a mixture. It's a mixture of things. So we purchased, we purchased liquidation. But we also part we actually also partnered with directly branded retailers, the stuff that we purchase, we have more price controls, right. But when it comes to the actual partnerships with brands we don't have, we don't have nearly as much price control.


Mark Hiddleson  27:16  

What do you take in return? Like? That's my question, like if people buy it, right? They buy from eBay? What's eBay? Like if someone sold it?


Dennis Hoang  27:23  

Ah, yeah, so we have


Mark Hiddleson  27:25  

because you don't want it to be dumb again.


Dennis Hoang  27:28  

I would say yes, we get from all the sales that we got online that we get our own returns as well. And then we just rinse and repeat. And we rinse and repeat that same process again, right? Like our internal returns are chilling on a shelf somewhere and it's going straight back in terms of going straight back into marketplaces to be resold.


Mark Hiddleson  27:46  

You guys are going to reach a point in volume where you need to hire 3PL for return. Because you're doing


Dennis Hoang  27:54  

Yeah, no. It's nice that it's nice that we know, we're dedicated to return. So you know, we have to do it. We have to do it ourselves, too. Right? Yeah, that's just kind of the nature of the beast, right? Like ecommerce is gonna have foreign sales, but then gonna have returns as well. There


Mark Hiddleson  28:11  

was this commercial that used to be for hair, I'll do this one because you look like you got a good head of hair. But there was a thing it was, was a Hair Club for Men and the guy that commercially goes, I'm not just the president. I'm a member. That's like you. You're not doing it for other people. You're doing it


Dennis Hoang  28:31  

We're doing it for ourselves, too. Yeah, exactly. Yeah,


Mark Hiddleson  28:34  

all the people I mentioned on the podcast will get that joke, but it's, uh, yeah. President of the Hair Club for Men. I'm not just the president. I'm a member. So that's cool. And so you're doing it, as well. So can your statistics, the same as industries? Or is it lower? Kind of because of your policies? Or, you know, how do you do your data line up to the retail return? 


Dennis Hoang  28:58  

Sure, in terms of the REIT, okay, so in terms of being able to move our inventory, I don't know, I don't know how other marketplace, I don't know how other people are, that's not readily available data. But for us, anything that we add into our inventory, it has roughly a 60% chance of selling within the first 30 days. And that's how fast we're able to do something.


Mark Hiddleson  29:24  

And you guys have the data at your fingertips so much that you don't and you're not like you're making the decisions based on the data that you're not looking at. This affects the brain.


Dennis Hoang  29:32  

Oh, no, no, no, no, no. 90%. It's 100% data driven. Unfortunately, our industry is dominated by old outdated systems and Excel. We've moved away from that model, and we track everything. We track everything on the line. We track every piece. We always receive something in our inventory. It's going straight into kind of like a data poll that says Hey, what should we do next? And that's kind of the key. That's kind of essentially the key to initiator, there's this kind of coined term in reverse logistics called disposition. And what basically disposition means is, once it comes back into your warehouse, what do you do? Right? And a lot of times people say, Oh, I think it should go here, or I think it should go here. Right? But your decision should be a little more data driven. Right. So that's what we're doing. That's what we are, that's what we're doing right now. We're making every decision about what to do with this product based on just our historical internal data. Yeah, so I can see a huge say,


Mark Hiddleson  30:34  

I mean, I've got three clients that I'm introduced to, and I'm talking to say them online, but I do mention the specific people that I've worked with. I mean, Michael Thomas is one of the ones that I think he's going to be involved in. Reverse, so when you get if you're doing a company that's 100, say 50. Mil, you said 50 million plus, and who are you normally working with? Is it the founder, the CEO? Is that the CFO? Or is it more people like the warehouse manager? So who are the key people when you're working with a client? A


Dennis Hoang  31:10  

a lot of times I work with the supply chain manager, or I work with, I never really worked directly with the CEO, just because he's more focused on the Ford stuff and making the money stuff right. This is typically returned to our backburner these, a lot of times I'm either working with their internal sales team, or I'm working with supply like their supply chain team. 


Mark Hiddleson  31:31  

What was the first thing you said the internal, their internal sales team or their internal? 


Dennis Hoang  31:37  

Yes, sales? Right? Because we do because a big part of our business is actually purchasing liquidations for resale. So a lot of times retailers will have truckloads of inventory they want to move and will purchase it and will own it outright. And we were typically able to flip it so quickly. 


Mark Hiddleson  31:57  

Nice. I'm so glad to have you on because I've been thinking about this for a long time and with technology. There should be a way to get this up like 700. You said there's $750 billion in returns, but only one so one out of 750.


Dennis Hoang  32:16  

I think I think that is the number I also might be wrong, but I promise you,


Mark Hiddleson  32:20  

but it's it's like a Pareto thing, where it's


Dennis Hoang  32:23  

It's huge. It's really, again, like the disparity, the disparity between the problem itself and what's actually being happened. It's still vastly being so underserved. Unbelievably underserved. 


Mark Hiddleson  32:37  

Yeah, it's like point 00100. It could be


Dennis Hoang  32:42  

some absurd number. Yeah, right. And that even with that, even with all the big companies that are doing big things in our industry right now, it's still not at all.


Mark Hiddleson  32:52  

So the other one is another one, I'll ask you, this may be a little off the path. But the other thing I'm thinking about this, I see all these all the shipping is something I think about what about the packaging? I don't think there's a lot of waste in the packaging. 


Dennis Hoang  33:09  

Oh, 100% o 100%? Right? The box dish, right? So how do you guys deal with that? So the box issue, there's a couple of things we do. We oftentimes we like to reuse boxes as much as we can internally. But you know, unfortunate, the unfortunate reality is that each return let's say if we get let's say if we get internal return, right, let's say if something sells on our sustainability marketplace, right? But then it gets returned to the customer, right? The customer is going to return it in a random box. And we're going to be like, well, I can't really do anything with this Kroger box. So I just have to toss it. And that's and that's an unfortunate reality of


Mark Hiddleson  33:48  

So the sustainable people are using whatever box they found that they like, because I was thinking there was I saw this YouTube video a long time ago called your grandma was green. And my grandparents do . They grew up in the depression. So they use a mayonnaise jar to save leftovers. They have my grandpa Yeah, yeah, help them fold up the grocery bags, because they'd be reusing paper ones in the seven, he would show me like all of that. In the very. So I think that value and I think people, I think people, a lot of people are willing to do a little extra work if they're like, Hey, we're saving, you know, saving the environment and lowering that cost. Ultimate. 


Dennis Hoang  34:25  

Yeah. And that's, and that's the whole and that's the whole idea that we're trying to prove, right? We didn't say we can start off by saying the product itself, right. And then as we as we keep getting better and better at that we can find to our internal supply chain, like our internal you know, logistics and supply chain pieces to try to be to try to maximize this idea of sustainability as possible just because again, for us, like we were trying to do zero waste, right? But every company is going to have some kind of waste and that's just a reality. And that's just the reality of it. 


Mark Hiddleson  34:57  

Yeah. So it's great that I love sustainable peace. And I think I mean, that's what the future is. I think the more one there, there is no future. That's the option.


Dennis Hoang  35:08  

I mean, there's no future, right? There's no right to do is extend, all we're trying to do is extend. We're trying to extend this future as much as possible, right? But if brands and retailers keep dumping it, brands and retailers keep dumping their returns into landfills, down there, they're gonna end up losing way more money than they think they know. 


Mark Hiddleson  35:27  

Yeah, so I love the idea of kind of letting the market decide and then managing the logistics, because there's like you said, but you gotta take it under one roof, you take a lot of that logistics costs, right, down, down, down, up, and then especially because they're using data, you know, you could think, you know, if you're working with sales teams, I love sales team. Like I only always just want to deal with the sales. Yeah. Just on a motion, you're like, look at I don't care what the data says, we'll just run it through, you know, but you guys, it's data. What's the data? What's the data, right, and then make this Yeah, it's not emotional, whatsoever. 


Dennis Hoang  36:02  

No, no, no, it's not. It's not, it's not emotional. We haven't become like, we used to be really attached to our inventory. But now we are. But now with just how we've been utilizing our data better is theater, it's either if it moves or doesn't, right, then what do we do next? Right, we always have to, just because we're selling us inventory, right, with no real with no real pricing benchmarks. And the longer our inventory sits, just the more the value goes down. So the speed, the speed of which we have to move for each on a mobile basis is really fast.


Mark Hiddleson  36:36  

Nice. So I just thought of I'm gonna ask you selfless question I hardly ever is I guess I'm thinking about I'm trying to envision your warehouse and what kind of systems you have like racking shelving conveyors with do you have set up as a two policy three belts? The is mostly floor like what's what's your 


Dennis Hoang  36:54  

Yeah, sure, sure. So our warehouse is straight racking to the roof, our roof is about 20 feet. And we're and there's maybe about like, from the racking to the roof itself, there's maybe about a five foot gap. So we're up at the top, we're at the very very tippy top we have, we have power storage, we have storage , we have the whole shebang. And you kind of mentioned the used racks. All of our racks are used. They're not, they're not brand new, which is great, which is great. So we're saving a lot. We were able to save on costs from there. But in general, we're utilizing that we operate out of two warehouses in DFW, the biggest one that we operate out of right now is about 50,000 square feet and I probably should every inch of that warehouse is filled. So it's not just straight warehouse warehousing racks. So nothing


Mark Hiddleson  37:47  

Who does your racking just out of curiosity because I know there's two um, do you know the name of the call is good if you don't know the name?


Dennis Hoang  37:56  

It's good. I don't remember off the top of I don't know off the top of my head, unfortunately. Yeah,


Mark Hiddleson  38:02  

I have a few friends of mine, Alain de Yun. He's retiring. In their house, Grady shady prairie or Grand Prairie. It's something it's


Dennis Hoang  38:12  

grant. Probably Grant probably Grand Prairie prairie. Yet. There


Mark Hiddleson  38:15  

are Grand Prairie. And then one of the biggest guys in the business is called warehouse. And that's Neil Kamberg. And they kind of are they are the eBay of


Dennis Hoang  38:27  

I mean, that might be them. Yeah, I could be wrong. I could be wrong as well. Yeah.


Mark Hiddleson  38:34  

So Neil camber, he's the owner there. He helped me when I was young. When I first started my company, they gave me credit lines, they gave me a promise we were gonna give people shout out the reverse logistics. But those are shout outs for racking. But uh, yeah, I'd love to visit your warehouse, where I'm gonna be out there in the next few months. I'll make sure I love doing warehouse tours, I think it is one of the greatest ways to learn. You know, if you allow me to, I'll take some pictures, and I'll share it, because I'm going to introduce you to our clients, because I have I mean, those are the kinds of introductions that you're the kind of people I want to have on the podcast, because you're, you're at the cutting edge. It's one of those problems that not a lot of people either don't want to deal with it, or they're dealing with it well, and I think there'll be a trend to I've seen this in every part of the business where they either want to do it in house, and then they'll go This sucks. And then they'll send it out. Yeah, and they'll see,


Dennis Hoang  39:23  

I know, there'll be there'll be like this also talks as well doesn't know which one do we choose? Which sucks? Do we choose A or B? Yeah, it's so common. It's very, very helpful.


Mark Hiddleson  39:31  

so it's gonna ask you a question about AI. It's funny. Um, amen to that. I'm just looking at it. And you know, we're using chavvy GPT. A little bit, but are you what you guys are? How are you working with data? I mean, obviously, everything you do is related to data. So let's talk about AI and how you're integrating it. 


Dennis Hoang  39:58  

Oh, oh, We that's kind of your next step, right? Like, ideally, every item, every return that you receive should have a smart data driven decision. Right? And if we can incorporate AI into there and to include being like, Hey, this is how this, this is how you can take it even further. That's right. That's the next goal as well. That's what we're trying to figure out how we can incorporate it. Right? The term is smart. The term coined is smart disposition.


Mark Hiddleson  40:26  

Because this right now, disposition is the term and I'm glad I always love adding to the vocabulary. That's another reason I started the podcast like, how do I learn? I learn new stuff. So and then the smart disposition? You basically get a client set up for success that they have the right systems in place for collecting the right data connecting it in the right way. Then you can bolt on an agnostic,


Dennis Hoang  40:50  

Correct? That's correct. Yeah, correct. Nice.


Mark Hiddleson  40:55  

So what are some of you have any morning rituals or daily rituals or anything you want to share with kind of more on a per? Yeah,


Dennis Hoang  41:05  

um, I think one day, one thing that my brothers and I love doing, because this is this, so one of the co founders, but I have an older brother, David, who's the CEO, and then I have a younger brother, Doug, who's the CTO, one of the things that we really tried to do outside of work is to do something hard. Does that make sense? Like whether it's working out, whether it's working out, challenging myself, outside of work. And what we've been training for is a marathon. And I have a marathon here at the end of this month. So I'm super excited. I'm super excited for it, guys.


Mark Hiddleson  41:44  

What's it called?


Dennis Hoang  41:45  

It's called the urban marathon. So it's going to be here at the end of the month. So and


Mark Hiddleson  41:51  

I will post a link to


Dennis Hoang  41:54  

Oh, good. Oh, I wouldn't, I wouldn't want anyone to watch me wrong. It's ugly. It's an ugly process. So


Mark Hiddleson  42:02  

I do cycling and I've been doing it since I was 47. I'm like, I want to be awesome. It was a 64 mile ride, like 3500 feet of climbing and I wasn't a cyclist at all. And I love bicycles. Like I'm a sustainability guy. But my idea is bicycles, like riding your bicycle to the store to get a six pack of beer. And I work out in other ways I like to live No,


Dennis Hoang  42:23  

but that's, that's fair. That's fantastic. Like that's, that's an achievement in itself. Like that's, that's a significant begin about I have friends who are doing because I have friends on social media that will essentially post their bike rides and sometimes the ride for five or six hours, and they'll get like 80 or 90 miles and so some insane, some insane, like, kind of like Texas road trip kind of like mileage I it's It's shocking. But


Mark Hiddleson  42:52  

So how are you training? I think two marathons are a little hard. Well, what are you thinking you're gonna finish in like four or five hours? What's your five?


Dennis Hoang  42:58  

hour range? Honestly, I'm not. I don't describe myself as a runner. I don't enjoy running, but I enjoy the process. And I enjoy the results of it. I enjoy the process and the results of it, right? Like, you know, like when you when you started, when you started the biking market as a pain, right? Then you're like you but then as you keep as you keep getting better and better. You're like, oh, I can push a little harder. Yes, I can push even harder now. Oh, wow, this wasn't this wasn't as bad as I thought it was right. And I like really trying to challenge myself on those goals, right? I'm not super worried about my time. I'm not super worried about my placement. I'm just more I'm more worried about hey, like, am I giving my 110% into this thing? And on the contrary? I think that translates. I think that also translates into the business as well. Right? Like, I think if you are well versed, physically, I think on the flip side, you are well, you are training yourself to understand that, you know, it's hard to run a business, right? It's always hard, like, it's not easy. Yeah, it's stressful, you have to go. It's stressful, right? It's stressful. And you know, especially as the owners of the essentially as the owners of the business, it's your job to grow the company, but also you're responsible for the well being and the wellbeing of others as well. We employ employees, right, as you know, we're blessed to be able to make payroll every, every single month, every single week, I believe we also want our employees to grow with us as well. How can we give them more opportunities? How can we give them more opportunities for growth? How can we give them more opportunities to grow within our company to take on bigger roles, to take on bigger responsibilities, and honestly, to grow with us, right? Because at the end of the day, that's what we're trying to do. As early stage champs, we want people to grow with us and we want them . We want to hire them to be, you know, the managers we want. We want them to be the next, you know, innovators for our company. Right and that's that's honestly what I think is the hardest are trying to build new business so that everyone can eat. Nice. That is,


Mark Hiddleson  45:06  

that's great in the physical part, do something physically challenging. I mean, that's, I would probably that's at the top of my list of things that worked well for me over the years, because it's like you said, the stress is going to come. And I've taken a lot of classes on stress. I've got a holistic health education, master's degree, you know, learning about meditation, movement, therapy, everything. And that was when I started as a kid. And it's like you said, if you when you train with your body, you know, you see the result, you feel the results, you kind of you are the results. And so it's kind of a metaphor, like in business, like you're saying, you're solving problems, you're creating something, you're generating the capacity for your team to do something you're building like, just like, body darkly, to the same principle, exactly the same kind of hard work. You don't just show up two days before the race day. Okay. Yeah. 10 miles today and 10 miles tomorrow and then 23. Exactly,


Speaker 1  45:59  

exactly. But I think, but I think overall, like being, like, physically healthy, really helps you with the worksite. Right, for example, right? Like, you know, like running after, maybe after running for two hours straight, right. And I started on our left in my run, feels like I'm getting punched in the face, right? Boom, I just got a punch in my face. Because it's like, I'm pretty sure there's a point in your bike and where you're like, okay, I'm good for the first couple of hours, right? And then like, as you keep as you keep creeping up, up, up higher and higher. Ooh, it's going to be like it the way you're feeling is starting to go down. Yeah, it's like you're getting punched in the face. That's right. So I it's kind of a it's kind of ugly, but like, what, what do you do when you get punched in the face? You know, you have to really figure it out. 


Mark Hiddleson  46:48  

That's the Mike Tyson question like everybody has a game plan until they get punched in the face.


Dennis Hoang  46:54  

until they get punched in the face. Right. Yeah. Yeah. You know, because I like that's, that's, that's how I felt. That's how I felt. I ran a marathon back in December. And I got punched in the face at about minus 16. Who knows. And that's from me training for a while for that. Right. So what do I do when I get punched in the face? Right? brokenhearted I can just finish?


Mark Hiddleson  47:15  

Yeah. Yeah, it's mental. And it's, that's awesome. I'm glad you're doing it. And then I'll tell you I chose cycling because I'm passionate about bicycles. I think there's this statistic like if people rode their bikes on every mile, every trip of three miles or less, like you go to the grocery store and you go run an errand, it would cut fuel consumption, like, I don't know, it was something huge. It was like in half or something. Because most of your trips, don't think about it's a mile here a mile here. 1.2 miles, three miles, three miles, if you add up all those trips if you wrote on a bicycle. But the other reason is, it's a real quick, get better real fast. Like you can write 30 If you can write 30 miles to start. After a week, you can go 40. After two weeks, you can go 50 Because you your body catches up really fast. But it does take a lot of training. 


Dennis Hoang  48:01  

And it just takes time; everything takes time. There's no it's not a one day thing. So anything goes for business.


Mark Hiddleson  48:09  

What is the best way for people to get in contact with Patturn what's the best way to reach out to see


Dennis Hoang  48:15  

So you can email me at Dennis. So dennis@patturn which is Or you can just honestly I prefer just the phone call just give me a phone call. Let's just start like I think. I think the exchange between emails just takes too long. Just give me a call at 682-238-1811 and if I don't answer immediately I'll call you back. Don't worry. Okay.


Mark Hiddleson  48:46  

Dynamite that's the same thing I tell my clients we'll post the number on the show notes but people can jot it down right there if they're listening. And Dennis I want to be the first to say thank you. I mean this has been awesome. You're a talented, obviously bright young man. I love what you're doing in this industry. Oh one more quick question. Are you going to Modex? Forgot to ask you


Dennis Hoang  49:09  

I'm not going to Modex. Yeah, yeah, I'm yeah, I'm familiar with Modex. So what's wrong with me? Am I going? What are you doing? Yeah, I'm not conference wise. So honestly, honestly, not like I like we we're not we're not attending any conferences simply because I think that it's really hard from our life, for how small we are to connect with big brands and big brands and retailers. The beauty of it is that and reverse logistics. There's actually very niche and specific conferences that we typically attend. And that's where the majority of our business is actually being grown and nurtured. Okay, awesome.


Mark Hiddleson  49:57  

Well, again, thank you, thank you for coming on. It's been a pleasure. I've learned a lot. This is awesome.


Dennis Hoang  50:04  

I really appreciate it. Mark, I appreciate you adding me on podcast and I hope eventually you'll shout me out. Right? 


Mark Hiddleson  50:12  

Yeah. You will get a shout out. Yeah. Thanks, Dennis. Appreciate it.


Outro  50:18  

Thanks for listening to The Tao of Pizza Podcast. We'll see you again next time and be sure to click Subscribe to get future episodes.


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