• Member Spotlight: Ron Guido

    Ron Guido is an independent consultant specializing in brand protection, marketing, and supply chain management. During his most recent role as Vice President of Global Brand Protection for Johnson & Johnson, his group was responsible for anti-counterfeiting programs and policies. Guido--broadly recognized by industry peers and government agencies as a leading authority on anti-counterfeiting practices and technologies--now consults on the topic of supply security. He received an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering from Rutgers University and a master’s degree in management engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology.

    Q: Give us a brief introduction of yourself, your educational background, and your current place in the industry?

    My current professional position is an independent consultant in the growing field of anti-counterfeiting and supply chain integrity. Commonly referred to as “brand protection,” this discipline focuses on safeguarding products from breaches such as counterfeits, grey market diversion, economically motivated adulterations, and trademark infringements.

    My background includes 36 years of experience in the health care industry with Johnson & Johnson. At J&J, I served in a number of functional areas, including as head of the Brand Protection and Supply Chain Integrity group for seven years.  While I was educated as an engineer, holding both a bachelor of science and master of science degrees in engineering, most of my career has been in sales, marketing, and general management.

    Q: How has ISA benefited your work in the brand protection space?

    I am a newcomer to the good work of ISA. In fact, I was invited to speak at the Food and Pharmaceuticals Industry Symposium on serialization in March 2014, which was my first exposure to the organization.

    At that event, I found a very engaged group of ISA members, willing to discuss new safety standards and supply security measures. Such passion for work that protects consumers and patients from the dangers of counterfeit products has kept me busy in my consultancy. As a society, we must adopt a ‘zero tolerance’ position against counterfeits and others who profit from illicit trade. This battle needs more momentum from private industry, political leaders, regulators, technologists, and, of course, the general public.

    However, counterfeiters work outside the purview of the legitimate business environment, so in order to thwart these menaces, we need to understand their methods and apply innovative practices and technologies to the problem. In fact, today all supply chain managers should incorporate anti-counterfeiting safeguards, such as authenticating technologies and track-and-trace systems into their standard operating procedures (SOP’s). The good news is that many fellow ISA members are on the leading edge of transforming the supply chains of food and pharmaceuticals companies to increase security.

    Q: In addition to your brand protection work, you teach at local university. When and why did you get involved with teaching? What do you enjoy about it?

    My alma mater, Rutgers University in New Jersey, reached out to me about five years ago to lend my business experience to their Mini-MBA TM curriculum designed for executives and other business professionals seeking additional skills. I teach four different modules in the areas of business strategy, marketing, market research, and supply chain management.

    It is fun because the classes are highly interactive and the real-world experiences of both the instructors and the students bring an important reality to the academic concepts.

    Q: What advice do you give your students?

    As the course materials are absorbed, invariably the students discuss personal success criteria beyond that which are covered in the lesson plans. I typically share what I think is a formula for success in any professional pursuit. First I tell them to do an excellent job in their current role because it is difficult for business leaders or customers to reward poor or even mediocre performance. Second, they should demonstrate general interest in their colleagues and business affiliates because one’s reputation as a trusted business associate is oftentimes the differentiator in securing an opportunity. And third, I encourage them to “give something back” every day, i.e., donate personal time or resources for the betterment of others. In short, strong performance results, trustworthiness, and the willingness to give unselfishly to others is a pretty good lesson plan for success in life or in business.

    Q:  What websites/ blogs do you read to stay updated in this industry

    To keep abreast of developments in the health care industry and in particular, within the anti-counterfeiting field, I regularly read trade journals and blogs such as Securing Industry, Life Science Connect, Life Science Leader Magazine, Pharmaceuticals Commerce and Rx360.

    Q:  What trends do you see emerging in the industry?

    I see two key mega-trends emerging which are transforming the way business is conducted globally. The first is that consumerism is overhauling traditional commercial norms in virtually every industry sector. People no longer want to be “sold to” but instead want “to be served.” In short, due to social media and other readily available sources of product knowledge, the growing presence of millenials as consumers is manifesting itself in bypassing traditional demand-creating sales engagements in favor of direct supply fulfillment activities. As a consequence, product and service companies are investing less in Selling, General and Administrative Expenses (SG&A) and more in building their supply chain competencies.

    The second related trend I see is the unrestrained use of mobile devices to force businesses to be “always on.” Traditional store hours and face-to-face transactions are being rapidly abandoned in favor of 24/7 electronic communications. Retail outlets are becoming non-commercial showcases for on-line shoppers and consumers are gathering decision-making insights and product information from websites, blogs, and social media. The ability to gratify an on-line shopper has led many companies to adjust their value proposition of price/quality/delivery... placing more emphasis on fulfillment than ever before.