The Logistics of Logistics Podcast

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The Logistics of Logistics podcast is dedicated to exploring how things get places. Join our host, Joe Lynch, for conversations with the people who get them there. Joe talks with logistics and transportation industry leaders about innovation, technology, trends, and the future of freight.

Joe Lynch: Transportation, Logistics Podcaster

    • Jul 1, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekdays NEW EPISODES
    • 45m AVG DURATION
    • 274 EPISODES

    Listeners of The Logistics of Logistics Podcast that love the show mention: logistics, joe, content, great.

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    Latest episodes from The Logistics of Logistics Podcast

    The ShipX Story with Solomon Zakinov

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 1, 2022 43:03

    Solomon Zakinov and Joe Lynch discuss the ShipX story. Solomon is the CEO and founder of ShipX, an innovative final-mile delivery service and software solution ensuring quality performance for an exceptional customer experience. About Solomon Zakinov Solomon Zakinov is the CEO and founder of ShipX, a technology enabled e-commerce delivery company that helps retailers, 3PLs and other shippers execute seamless first, middle, and final mile delivery. He has spent the last ten years building and working with companies in the ecommerce space. First at his own ecommerce company and then at Ruby Has Fulfillment where he served as the head of sales and business development. About ShipX ShipX is an innovative final-mile delivery service and software solution ensuring quality performance for an exceptional customer experience. Their mission is to deliver reliable, cost-effective end-to-end solutions to complex shipping challenges through streamlining processes and leveraging best-in-class technology. Their state-of-the-art infrastructure and industry-leading API, provide continuous parcel tracking, customized support, and greater efficiencies at every touchpoint. From dock to door, the ShipX system is engineered for superior speed and the careful handling required of final-mile delivery. Key Takeaways: The ShipX Story Solomon Zakinov is the Founder and CEO of ShipX, a tech-enabled delivery service provider that helps ecommerce, retail and 3PL shippers optimize and execute deliveries seamlessly, from first to middle to final mile. In the podcast interview, Joe and Solomon discussed Solomon's career and the founding of ShipX. ShipX is a final mile parcel delivery service that helps ecommerce, retail, and 3PL shippers execute seamless, door-to-door, last mile delivery in the US market. ShipX provides an efficient, reliable affordable alternative to the handful of national delivery carriers that dominate — and restrict — the shipping marketplace. ShipX aims to be flexible partner providing ecommerce shippers with innovative shipping options. We'll tailor unified delivery solutions based on the parameters of your shipping volume and urgency. ShipX does the heavy lifting by identifying and unifying top performing carriers into one reliable shipping solution that can be monitored and managed on a single, fully transparent technology platform. The ShipX team is a group of problem-solvers whose goal is to accommodate the evolving needs of today today's shippers. Learn More About The ShipX Story Solomon's LinkedIn ShipX LinkedIn ShipX The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast Check out The Logistics of Logistics on Youtube

    Why Freight Tech Fails with Mike Wolf

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 29, 2022 62:01

    Mike Wolf and Joe Lynch discuss why freight tech fails. Mike is a Client Engagement Director at JBF Consulting, a supply chain execution strategy and systems integrator for logistics-intensive companies of every size and any industry. About Mike Wolf Mike Wolf is a Client Engagement Director at JBF Consulting. Mike has extensive experience in Transportation and Logistics from procurement through operations leadership spanning 25+ years. His experience is deep in transportation and the CPG / Beverage Industry with particular expertise in leveraging change management skills to ensure changes are adopted and maximize the intended value, including implementing new systems, modes, suppliers or shipping points and carriers. Mike earned his BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from The University of Tennessee. About JBF Consulting JBF Consulting is a supply chain execution strategy and systems integrator for logistics-intensive companies of every size and any industry. JBF's background and deep experience in the field of commercial logistics technology implementation position them as industry leaders whose craftsmanship exceeds client expectations. JBF expedites the transformation of supply chains through logistics & technology strategy, commercial & bespoke software implementation, and analytics & optimization. Key Takeaways: Why Freight Tech Fails Mike Wolf is a Client Engagement Director at  JBF Consulting, a firm dedicated to helping shippers of all sizes and across many industries select, implement and squeeze as much value as possible out of their logistics systems. In the podcast interview, Mike describes why freight tech fails and what can be done to improve the situation. Mike and the JBF team have learned that freight tech failures can be separated into 3 categories: Strategic misalignment – selected the wrong technology to solve the problem, inadequate ROI, vague business goals, not knowledgeable of the freight tech marketplace which is complex and everchanging. Implementation issues – lack of freight tech project management expertise in-house, team members not experienced in freight tech implementations, lack of buy-in, poor planning, and host of other problems that ruin projects and careers. Lack of continuous improvement – once the technology is implemented companies want to disband the team and move on, which often leads to under-utilized technology, misguided work-arounds, and a poor ROI. JBF Consulting works with shippers to solve the problems described above. Since JBF only works on logistics and supply chain technology, they have the expertise and experience to solve even the most difficult challenges. JBF uses a proven framework for selecting, implementing, and maximizing the impact of freight technology. Learn More About Why Freight Tech Fails Mike's LinkedIn JBF Consulting LinkedIn JBF Consulting Shipper Pain Points with Brad Forester Freight Tech Trends with Mike Mulqueen FreightTech for Fortune 500 Shippers with Brad Forester and Mike Mulqueen The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast Check out The Logistics of Logistics on Youtube

    REPOST: 3 Emerging Supply Chain Trends with Steve Elwell

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 27, 2022 47:08

    Joe Lynch and Steve Elwell discuss 3 emerging supply chain trends. Steve helps businesses manage challenges through improvements to leadership, liquidity, sales, and costs. About Steve Elwell Steve Elwell is the Founder of iDev Partners, which is a business consultancy focused on turnaround, growth, and Improvement. Steve brings a strategic and practical approach to the challenges of leadership and business profitability. He is an expert in the growth and turnaround of small and medium manufacturing, logistics, and technology businesses. He led the turnaround of 6 troubled companies and started 2 new businesses. He successfully recruited and led 6 sales forces, introduced dozens of new products, and entered 10 new markets. As a retained executive search consultant, he built C-suite leadership teams for clients in a variety of industries. Steve earned a BA in Economics and Management and an MBA.  He lives with his family in suburban Detroit. About iDev Partners iDev Partners provides growth and turnaround services to owners and executives of small and medium-sized automotive, industrial, and technology businesses. Areas of focus include new market entry, new product development, sales effectiveness, partnerships and alliances, operational excellence, and financial management.  Key Takeaways: 3 Emerging Supply Chain Trends Steve Elwell is the Founder of iDev Partners, which is a business consultancy focused on turnaround, growth, and Improvement. Steve brings a strategic and practical approach to the challenges of leadership and business profitability. In this podcast, Joe and Steve discuss 3 emerging supply chain trends. Trend #1: China represent a higher supply chain risk There is significant political risk with the current Chinese government leadership. An older, more expensive population means China is not a low-cost country for business. The housing/financial issues within China threaten the country's financial stability. Ongoing infrastructure and water issues has the potential to disrupt supply chains. Trend #2: Near sourcing and shorter supply chains Many companies are moving to supply chain partners located in North America to reduce supply chain risk, transportation costs, transportation time, and environmental impact. The port congestion and challenges caused by the pandemic highlighted the problem with suppliers from Asia. Trend #3: Better decision making enabled by end-to-end connectivity, transparency, and visibility. Investment in technology is enabling companies to make better decisions because they have visibility into their supply chains. Soon, supply chains will be connected from order-to-cash or end-to-end, which that there will be a “digital twin” that represents the physical supply chain (reality). Top supply chains practitioners are already using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to run millions of possible SC scenarios with the goal of reducing risk, while increasing resiliency, and profits. Learn More About 3 Emerging Supply Chain Trends Steve Elwell iDev Partners Previous Podcasts with Steve Elwell: Make Heroes, Make Money with Steve Elwell Avoiding Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt in Sales with Steve Elwell The Number One Reason Why People Buy with Steve Elwell Understanding the Buying Process with Steve Elwell The Only 3 Ways to Improve Your Sales with Steve Elwell Entering New Logistics Markets with Steve Elwell The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast Check out The Logistics of Logistics on Youtube

    The Axle Payments Story with Shawn Vo

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 24, 2022 45:24

    Shawn Vo and Joe Lynch discuss the Axle Payments story. Shawn is Co-Founder & CTO at Axle, a payments automation and financing platform for freight and logistics. About Shawn Vo Shawn Vo is chief technology officer and co-founder of Axle, a payments automation and financing platform for freight and logistics. A graduate of the University of Virginia, Shawn spent seven years in financial technology, building software for fast-growing startups and consulting for the top 20 largest banks before starting Axle with his longtime business partner and friend, Bharath Krishnamoorthy. As CTO, Shawn leads Axle's technology strategy, product development, data operations, and development of a technical framework to support the company's rapid growth. His expertise and innovation have helped bring new levels of automation and modernization to a historically pen-and-paper industry. Shawn runs an ever-expanding group of engineers tasked with building new products at pace while fostering a culture of tenacity and transparency. Shawn is an angel investor in fintech and developer tools. He holds certifications for machine learning from the University of Washington and advanced cybersecurity from Stanford. About Axle Axle is a financial enablement platform that specializes in freight broker end-to-end automation and intelligent back-office tools that is rapidly disrupting the $2 trillion logistics sector. Its proprietary technology allows freight brokers to simplify their financing operations and easily access the working capital they need to grow in a competitive market. Axle automates invoicing, collections, and payments - ultimately reducing daily freight broker tasks by 75%. A remote-first company, Axle has been named a Best Place To Work by Built In. Key Takeaways: The Axle Payments Story Shawn Vo is the Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder of Axle, a payments automation and financing platform for freight and logistics. In the podcast interview, Joe and Shawn discuss Shawn's personal and professional journey including the founding of Axle Payments. Axle's proprietary technology allows freight brokers to simplify their financing operations and easily access the working capital they need to grow. Axle automates invoicing, collections, and payments – ultimately delivering a better customer experience. The most asked questions in the freight business are “where is my stuff” and “where is my money.” The visibility folks can answer the first question and Axle can help you with the money question. Shawn and the Axle team help brokers and carriers understand exactly where their money is – they are where freight-tech meets fin-tech. The Axle team are experts in logistics, finance, and tech. Axle is the all-in-one financial platform for freight brokers. Hundreds of freight brokers trust Axle to manage their working capital, carrier payments, and back office processes. Learn More About The Axle Payments Story Shawn's LinkedIn Axle LikedIn Axle The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast Check out The Logistics of Logistics on Youtube

    Yet Another Tech Company with Robert Goss

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 22, 2022 53:22

    Robert Goss and Joe Lynch discuss Yet Another Tech Company. Robert is is Co-Founder and CEO at YAT which stands for “Yet Another Technology” Company, a cutting-edge Logistics Augmentation Engine. About Robert Goss  Robert Goss is Co-Founder and CEO at YAT since its founding in 2020. Prior to YAT, he spent a short time building healthcare data solutions at Waystar. His logistics industry background was rooted in the Data Science team at YRC Worldwide, now Yellow, working on various data focused projects including sales focused analytics and a machine learning driven single view of customer platform. A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, he has a bachelor's degree in finance. About YAT YAT (Yet Another Tech Company) is not just a clever name; it's a cutting-edge Logistics Augmentation Engine. The platform empowers brokers with pricing and capacity management tools, each driven by algorithms based on a dual market approach that reduces the fragmentation and anxiety in a broker's world and tech stack. With a focus on helping brokers simultaneously grow both margin and revenue, YAT's holistic approach provides brokerage leadership the technology tools needed to execute data driven strategies for their niche and customer base. Key Takeaways: Yet Another Tech Company YAT enables brokers to grow their business that fits their carrier network. YAT allows your company's sales team to operate like seasoned veterans by providing them with the following: Advanced quoting algorithm provides pricing for full, partial and multi-stop loads across all equipment types Simple UI with extensive insight for advanced users Customer segmentation automates margin management by account and equipment type Exception management and flagging system centralizes and disseminates tribal knowledge in real time Data cleaning and validation ensures historical rate integrity YAT empowers employees to continuously improve their productivity by enabling them to become more efficient, more informed and more confident. Brokers leverage YAT Augmented Logistics technology to provide a single source of truth, remove efficiency barriers, reclaim Sales & Ops manager time, gain visibility into carrier & customer interactions and surface crucial insights in every-day workflows. Learn More About Yet Another Tech Company Robert's LinkedIn YAT LinkedIn YAT The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast Check out The Logistics of Logistics on Youtube

    The NYSHEX Story with Gordon Downes

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 20, 2022 41:56

    Gordon Downes and Joe Lynch discuss the NYSHEX story. Gordon is the Co-founder and CEO at NYSHEX, a company that exists to help restore trust and reliability to global trade so everybody wins. About Gordon Downes Prior to starting NYSHEX with the mission to enable more reliable shipping, Gordon spent 12 years with a carrier at Maersk and 3 years with a shipper at SABMiller (now ABInbev). He holds an MBA from Cambridge University in the UK, and degrees in economics and law from the University of Natal in South Africa. About NYSHEX NYSHEX is the leader in two-way committed contracts. Our neutral exchange unites shippers and carriers with a predictable, efficient, and accountable system for global commerce. They are building a better tomorrow; they are a truly revolutionary company that's transforming logistics for good. They are providing market infrastructure to help restore trust and reliability and make global trade work so everyone wins. Key Takeaways: The NYSHEX Story Gordon Downes is the Co-founder and CEO of NYSHEX, a company that exists to help restore trust and reliability to global trade so everybody wins. In the podcast interview, Gordon and Joe discussed Gordon's personal and entrepreneurial story along with the story of how NYSHEX was founded. Founded in 2015, NYSHEX is a digital trading platform, which enables shippers and ocean carriers to enter into digital forward contracts. NYSHEX has developed a standardized contract template that can be used by both ocean shippers and ocean carriers. NYSHEX provides shippers and carriers with an independent monitoring service to ensure compliance with the terms of the transaction, issue determinations of fault, and facilitate collection of payment or liquidated damages when appropriate. NYSHEX ensures guaranteed rates and space allocation from six of the top ten global carriers, which drastically increases contract reliability between both parties. NYSHEX's platform also offers real-time data analytics, allowing shippers to view and monitor all outstanding contracts from various carriers on a single platform. NYSHEX is the leader in two-way committed contracts and a neutral exchange that unites shippers and carriers with a predictable, efficient, and accountable system for global commerce. NYSHEX helps shippers improve supply chain reliability and landed cost certainty through committed ocean contracts. NYSHEX helps carriers maximize vessel utilization and provide a better experience to their customers. Learn More About The NYSHEX Story Gordon's LinkedIn NYSHEX LinkedIn NYSHEX The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast Check out The Logistics of Logistics on Youtube

    Inventory is Everything with Jeff Flowers

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 17, 2022 67:46

    Jeff Flowers and Joe Lynch discuss why inventory is everything. Jeff Flowers is the Chief Operating Officer of OneRail, a final mile delivery orchestration platform providing real-time visibility, actionable data, and data-driven optimization capabilities for its enterprise clients. About Jeff Flowers Jeff Flowers is the Chief Operating Officer for OneRail. Jeff's professional career began in accounting and finance roles within the Cable Television, High Speed Data and IPTV industry. Quickly moving towards his true passion of operations, Jeff spent 2006-2016 in various roles with the nation's largest building products Distributor, BlueLinx. In his last role at Bluelinx, Jeff was the General Manager of Metal Products Business Unit which generated $250M in revenue sourcing products from 17 different countries serving 18,000 SKUs to national, regional and local building products retailers. In 2016, Jeff partnered with Franklin Young to purchase PTI Security, a leader in Physical Access Control and with support from Source Capital, an Atlanta based Private Equity firm. While there, Jeff was the Chief Operating Officer of PTI where he served the teams that helped grow PTI to 72% market share and transform legacy diskette based software to a cloud based architecture with a leading electronic locking solution. When PTI was sold to HID Global in 2019, Jeff was fortunate to be offered the position of COO and CFO by Bill and Lisa Catania with OneRail where he serves the teams that work to implement, onboard service our customers as they leverage OneRail to productize end-to-end delivery fulfillment in order to create a leading competitive advantage. About OneRail Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, OneRail was founded in 2018 by Bill Catania, a serial entrepreneur from the FinTech world, and his wife, Lisa Catania. OneRail is a final mile delivery orchestration platform providing real-time visibility, actionable data, and data-driven optimization capabilities for its enterprise clients. OneRail's cloud-based “delivery switch” simplifies same-day and on-demand delivery execution by connecting the demand signal (POS, eCommerce, ERP) with an ecosystem of delivery networks and internal fleets, in real-time. The result of OneRail's centralized view of disparate final mile data enables data-driven optimization, positively impacting the dependability, speed, and cost of final mile fulfillment. Key Takeaways: Inventory is Everything Jeff Flowers is the Chief Operating Officer of OneRail, a last mile delivery solution that reduces delivery times and costs, while providing 100% visibility and a responsive customer experience. In the podcast interview, Jeff explains the importance of effective inventory management to supply chains. Inventory is tricky – buy too little and miss out on potential sales, but buy too much and your carrying costs rise. Managing inventory is very difficult and even the best firms have stumbled recently and it impacted their quarterly earnings. Below are some threats to successful inventory management that Jeff and Joe discussed: The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) contract expires on July 1. The ILWU is a labor union which primarily represents dock workers on the West Coast of the United States, Hawaii, and in British Columbia, Canada. The ILWU represents more than 22,000 workers at 29 ports and a strike would be a huge disruption to already brittle supply chains. With supply and demand becoming very unpredictable during Covid, many companies, particularly retailers, found themselves with too much of the wrong inventory and not enough of the right inventory. Jeff and his team at OneRail partner with many brands and retailers to eliminate or greatly reduce these problems. Inventory placement and excess inventory are big problems that omni-channel retailers face. Companies can meet these challenges by partnering with OneRail. OneRail use technology, data, and a marketplace of transportation options to greatly reduce costs, while improving the delivery experience. OneRail's comprehensive 4-in-1 delivery fulfillment solution combines leading technology with a coast-to-coast courier network, a skilled 24/7 Exceptions team and a micro fulfillment labor force to solve last mile logistics more comprehensively than any other solution in the space. OneRail provides 100% visibility into the delivery flow, but it's way more than a visibility platform. With the right mix of leading technology, dependable couriers, and a vigilant customer experience (CX) team, customers get the ability to change delivery outcomes in real time. OneRail has the largest integrated courier network in the last mile space – a managed marketplace with instant access to 9 million drivers, 292 courier entities and more than 65 logistics companies across 220 major U.S. cities. Learn More About Inventory is Everything Jeff's LinkedIn OneRail LinkedIn OneRail The OneRail Story with Bill Cantania Delivering The Brand Promise With Eric Green The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast Check out The Logistics of Logistics on Youtube

    Thinking Like a CEO with Dan Slagen

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 15, 2022 44:34

    Dan Slagen and Joe Lynch discuss thinking like a CEO and why it is so important these days for every employee regardless of their job function. Dan is currently the Chief Marketing Officer at and the author of Understanding Start-Up CEOs: And the Mindset You Need to Successfully Work For One. About Dan Slagen Dan Slagen is currently the Chief Marketing Officer at, and a 4-time start-up executive specializing in scaling global go-to-market functions from early stage to $100M+ in annual revenue. With experience in both private and public companies such as HubSpot and Wayfair, Dan has built teams across marketing, growth, sales, customer success, business development, and founded and sold a video technology startup of his own. A frequent speaker and advisor, Dan has spoken at more than 50 conferences and has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, CNBC, TechCrunch, and Bloomberg TV amongst others. Above all else, Dan believes in creativity, drive, and a people first mentality. Dan graduated from Endicott College with a degree in international business and marketing, and currently lives with his family in Boston, Massachusetts. About Understanding Start-Up CEOs: And the Mindset You Need to Successfully Work For One Do you ever wonder what goes on in the mind of a CEO? What are they thinking? What motivates them? How can I be successful working for one? These are all common questions that if go unanswered make it seem like CEOs are impossible to understand. To successfully work with the CEO at any organization, you need to perform at a level you might not be used to from past positions, company cultures, or expectations. In addition, expect your relationship with the CEO to present both unique career-building opportunities as well as daunting and over-whelming challenges at times. Above all else though, remember that one of your CEO's core functions is to make sure the right people are in the right positions at all times, which means your boss will be looking at you more times than you might think and asking whether you're still the right fit given the needs of the company. This book, purposefully conversational in tone, focuses on how you can do 10x better in your role by thinking like a CEO.  About is The World's Weather and Climate Security Platform, helping countries, businesses, and individuals manage their weather and climate security challenges. Fully customizable to any industry impacted by the weather, customers around the world including  ITS ConGlobal, Uber, Delta, Ford, National Grid, and more use to dramatically improve operational efficiency. was built from the ground up to help teams prepare for the business impact of weather by automating decision-making and enabling climate adaptation at scale. Key Takeaways: Thinking Like a CEO Dan Slagen is the CMO of and the author of Understanding Start-Up CEOs: And the Mindset You Need to Successfully Work For One. Dan has led teams at both private and public companies, with significant experience reporting to the CEO. In the podcast interview, Dan shares the how to think like a CEO – see his insights below: The CEO Mindset They know it's broken/take it off their plate – bring solutions! CEO's hear everything going on in the organization so conduct yourself properly especially when "nobody is watching." Predictive adaptation/phase planning/anticipate  CEOs are successful because they don't quit or accept no for an answer. Performance and Leadership Use story-telling to describe the problem and your recommended solution. Be a daily active user of the services or tech that your company sells. Raise the bar/hire owners. Managing Yourself CEOs generally take care of themselves and you should too. Manage your energy (energize, don't lose steam, mental challenges). Don't ignore your life (stay in shape, hobbies, family, friends...etc). Believe in the mission, show up and compete. Be grateful, positive, and expect good things to happen.  Learn More About Thinking Like a CEO Dan's LinkedIn LinkedIn  Understanding Start-Up CEOs: And the Mindset You Need to Successfully Work For One Why Your Shipment is Late with Ayala Rudoy The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast Check out The Logistics of Logistics on Youtube

    DTC Logistics Innovation with Rick Watson

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 13, 2022 53:55

    Rick Watson and Joe Lynch discuss DTC Logistics innovation. Rick founded RMW Commerce Consulting, a boutique ecommerce consultancy that supports investors and management teams incubating and growing digital businesses online – both direct-to-consumer and B2B. About Rick Watson Rick Watson founded RMW Commerce Consulting after spending 20+ years as a technology entrepreneur and operator exclusively in the ecommerce industry with companies like ChannelAdvisor,, Merchantry, and Pitney Bowes. Watson was one of the first employees at ChannelAdvisor, spending 10 years there in various executive capacities and launching many of the company's flagship offerings. He was then recruited to launch the third-party marketplace at, expanding the company's product catalog by over 1 million items. After the successful marketplace launch, he served as CEO of Merchantry and led the company to a $30M acquisition by Tradeshift. Upon fulfilling the transition obligations of Merchantry to Tradeshift, Watson directed the cross-border product strategy of Pitney Bowes, a $450M business, comprised of Borderfree and the eBay Global Shipping Program. Watson's work today is centered on supporting investors and management teams incubating and growing direct-to-consumer businesses. Most recently, in partnership with WHP Global, Rick was a critical resource in architecting the WHP+ platform, a new turnkey direct-to-consumer digital ecommerce platform that powers and About RMW Commerce Consulting RMW Commerce Consulting supports investors and management teams incubating and growing digital businesses online – both direct-to-consumer and B2B. RMW was founded by Rick Watson after his more than 20 years as a technology entrepreneur and operator exclusively in the ecommerce industry with companies like ChannelAdvisor,, Merchantry, and Pitney Bowes. Key Takeaways: DTC Logistics Innovation Rick Watson is the Founder and CEO of RMW Commerce, a consulting company focused on helping investors and management teams grow their digital commerce initiatives. In the podcast interview, Rick and Joe discussed DTC logistics innovation and some of the recent moves by industry leaders in the retail and logistics verticals. DTC is an acronym for “direct to consumer.” Rick and Joe explored the topics below: The term dark store, dark shop, dark supermarket refers to a retail outlet or distribution center that exists exclusively for online shopping. A dark store is generally a large warehouse that can either be used to facilitate a "click-and-collect" service, where a customer collects an item they have ordered online, or as an order fulfillment platform for online sales. The dark store format was initiated in the United Kingdom and Europe during Covid times. It is not clear whether the trend will gain traction in the USA. American Eagle Outfitters acquired both Quiet Logistics and Airterra demonstrating their commitment to DTC business. Amazon partners with mom-and-pop stores to serve rural areas. This experimental program aims to speed up delivery times to sparsely-populated areas. Currently, Amazon partners with the USPS for final mile deliveries in rural areas. Some USPS shipments from Amazon have to be picked up at the local post office. The new service further enhances Amazon's reputation as the best delivery provider. Learn More About DTC Logistics Innovation Rick Watson's LinkedIn RMW Commerce Amazon vs Target vs Walmart with Rick Watson Amazon's Retail Strategy with Rick Watson Watson Weekly Podcast Fanatics Adopts American Eagle Quiet Platforms for Same-day/Next-Day The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast Check out The Logistics of Logistics on Youtube

    The Competitive Advantage with David Bell and Peter Rentschler

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 10, 2022 40:48

    In this episode, Joe Lynch interviews David Bell and Peter Rentschler about the new partnership between their companies along with building a competitive advantage in the transportation and logistics space. About David Bell  David Bell has been a leader in the transportation industry for over 25 years, beginning his industry career in 1993. In his early career, he started as a dispatcher at Precise Transportation and then joined Gateway Transportation Services as the Operations Manager. In 2001, Mr. Bell joined Cargo Transportation Services, Inc., where he served as CEO until 2011 when Cargo was bought by Smith Transportation Services, Inc. David was an equity holder and the COO of Smith Transportation until 2018 when it was sold to a Private Equity firm. About Peter Rentschler Peter Rentschler is the CEO of Metafora, an industry-leading management consulting and software development firm. Peter leads client service and engagement delivery. He has advised carriers and 3PLs to create and implement long-term strategies enabled through organizational change and operational efficiency. Having worked for enterprise and boutique consulting firms, Peter has worked with clients across multiple industries including transportation, retail, technology, insurance, and finance. Passionate about the future of freight, Peter and Metafora are moved by the impact people and technology have on businesses, and the ability each have to make substantial impacts tomorrow. About Lean Solutions Group  Lean Solutions Group (LSG) is a nearshore and offshore service provider that focuses on expanding and enhancing its client businesses. LSG's broad offering ranges from staffing to technology, marketing, sales, and BPO services. To succeed in the transportation and logistics business, 3PLs need to be able to hire and retain the very best talent while keeping a lid on costs. Since the competition for the best talent is fierce, companies need an edge that will help them win; LSG is that edge. LSG helps its clients set up and establish satellite offices in beautiful countries like Colombia, Guatemala, and the Philippines. LSG's team consists of qualified bilingual professionals eager to take on new challenges and become a part of your company. Since 2014, Lean has worked with over 500 satisfied U.S.-based transportation and logistics providers. Lean ensures that your satellite office is staffed with highly educated, English-speaking professionals trained in your company's processes and systems. The Lean approach is a low cost, low risk, low hassle, and they handle the entire process with their account managers. About Metafora Metafora, previously “CarrierDirect”, is the leading business consulting and software development firm that exclusively serves the Transportation, Logistics and Supply Chain space. They partner with carriers, shippers, and freight tech vendors to help them optimize their business and build software to fuel their growth. Welcome to the new way forward. Welcome to Metafora. Key Takeaways: The Competitive Advantage David Bell is a Co-founder of Lean Solutions Group, a nearshore service provider that delivers high-quality business solutions in staffing, tech, marketing, and sales for U.S.-based companies. Peter Rentschler is CEO of Metafora, a management consulting and technology delivery firm focused on transportation, logistics, and supply chain. In the podcast interview, David and Peter discuss the new partnership between their companies along with the competitive advantage in the transportation and logistics space. Metafora and Lean Solutions Group are partnering to provide IT consulting and tech development services to companies in the transportation, logistics and supply chain sectors. Metafora, formerly CarrierDirect, is a management consulting and tech development firm. Lean Solutions Group will work with Metafora to provide recruitment, staffing, and team spin-up services delivered from the Lean's nearshore satellite locations in Latin America. To compete and win the transportation and logistics space, David and Peter believe that firms must excel in the following 3 areas: A company vision that informs everything the company does – the why, what, and how they do business. Technology and operational excellence that enables the company to serve their current clients and grow, while making a healthy profit. A talent and recruiting strategy that includes a nearshoring partner like Lean Solutions Group. LSG is a nearshore service provider that delivers high-quality business solutions in staffing, tech, marketing, and sales for U.S.-based companies. This strategic partnership between LSG and Metafora is designed to directly address the labor shortage in the logistics industry by improving processes and getting reliable nearshore talent. Learn More About The Competitive Advantage David's LinkedIn Lean Solutions Group LinkedIn Lean Solutions Group Peter's LinkedIn Metafora LinkedIn Metafora website The Fastest Growing Logistics Companies with Trey Griggs 3PL Basics: An Introduction to 3rd Party Logistics with Roberto Cadena Digitizing Check Calls with Trey Griggs and Ryan Rogers The Metafora Story with Peter Rentschler Metafora and Lean Solutions Group Partner to further the Transportation & Logistics Industry through Technology, Staffing, and Organizational Improvement Big News x 3! And! Special Guest: David Bell, Co-Founder of Lean Solutions Group The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast Check out The Logistics of Logistics on Youtube

    Is Your TMS Enough with Derek Doddridge

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 8, 2022 46:24

    Derek Doddridge and Joe Lynch discuss is your TMS enough. Derek is the Vice President of Enterprise Sales for Emerge, one of the fastest-growing startups in the U.S. and is transforming the $800 billion transportation and logistics industry with its digital freight marketplace platform. About Derek Doddridge Derek Doddridge is Vice President of Enterprise Sales for Emerge. He has been with the company for three years. Prior to joining Emerge, he was Vice President of Sales for Freight Rover. His industry background also includes 10 years with Celadon Trucking, where he worked in various sales and operations positions. A graduate of Indiana Tech, he has an MBA in business. He earned his undergraduate degree in fine arts from Franklin College. About Emerge Transforming the $800 billion freight industry, Emerge empowers meaningful logistics relationships through its award-winning Freight Procurement Platform. Built by freight professionals for freight professionals, Emerge is reinventing the procurement process by offering solutions that enable shippers and carriers to make more empowered, strategic decisions. In addition to the platform, shippers can connect to the Emerge Marketplace which opens access to 35,000 asset based carriers in order to create meaningful freight connections. The world's largest shippers and capacity providers use the Emerge Freight Procurement Platform daily, showing immediate ROI for procurement and saving valuable time in the process. Founded in 2017, and located in Scottsdale, Arizona, Emerge is one of the fastest-growing technology startups in the U.S. Key Takeaways: Is Your TMS Enough Derek Doddridge is Vice President of Enterprise Sales for Emerge, a flexible, efficiency-driven RFP platform for freight. In the podcast interview, Derek and Joe answer the question is your TMS enough and the short answer is no. Shippers absolutely positively need a good transportation management system (TMS) to manage their freight, but it not the only tool needed to successful. Transportation management systems are increasingly developed with the ability to integrate with other applications that shippers need to successful. Applications that may be integrated into a TMS include apps for visibility, dynamic pricing, capacity management, carrier licensing/insurance, etc.. Emerge is freight procurement platform that many shippers are connecting to their TMS because most transportation management systems are not built to manage RFP events. Emerge is reinventing freight procurement by providing access to benchmarked rates and thousands of trusted partners to maximize cost-savings. Emerge is custom built for freight RFP events and as a result the process is streamlined, easy, and saves shippers time and money. The Emerge platform provides carriers access to more shippers and more opportunities. Carriers gain access and bid directly on exclusive contract and spot lanes that they may have never had access to before. The Emerge network connects carriers with shippers of all sizes, providing them more opportunities in the lanes that work for your company. Emerge uses a network model, which becomes increasingly valuable to users (carriers and shippers) as it scales. Emerge is FREE for shippers Learn More About Is Your TMS Enough Derek's LinkedIn Emerge's LinkedIn Emerge The Emerge Story with Andrew Leto Building a Freight Juggernaut Again with Michael Leto The Freight RFP Process is Broken – Let's Fix It with Maggie Petrovic Emerge Levels Up with Michael Leto It's Not the Market, It's Your Procurement with Andrew Haverkampf The Freight Marketplace with Dave Maddox The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast Check out The Logistics of Logistics on Youtube

    The ShipBob Story with Dhruv Saxena

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 6, 2022 49:37

    Dhruv Saxena and Joe Lynch discuss the ShipBob story. Dhruv is the CEO and Co-Founder of ShipBob, the leading global omni fulfillment platform designed for small and medium-sized businesses to provide them access to best-in-class supply chain and fulfillment capabilities. About Dhruv Saxena Dhruv Saxena is the CEO and Co-Founder of ShipBob, the leading global Omni fulfillment platform designed for small and medium-sized businesses to provide them access to best-in-class supply chain and fulfillment capabilities. Dhruv came to America (from India) in 2007 to pursue an undergraduate engineering degree. He attended Purdue University for both his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in electrical engineering, and after graduating, worked as a software developer and engineer in Chicago. Dhruv and co-founder Divey Gulati founded ShipBob from their apartment, going to extreme lengths to get the startup off the ground in 2014 - including marathon coding sessions and poaching their first ShipBob customers while they waited in long lines at post offices to ship their packages! Today, ShipBob is valued at over $1 billion (June 2021) and has seen tremendous growth over the past few years. About ShipBob ShipBob is the leading global omni fulfillment platform designed for small and medium-sized businesses to provide them access to best-in-class supply chain and fulfillment capabilities. The ShipBob platform provides merchants with a single view of their business and customers across all of their sales channels, and enables them to manage products, inventory, orders and shipments, and leverage analytics and reporting to run their business effectively. Founded in 2014 out of Chicago, ShipBob was launched through Y Combinator by co-founders Dhruv Saxena and Divey Gulati, two entrepreneurs who saw a need for more efficient shipping for ecommerce businesses. Today, the company has raised $330.5 million in funding and operates a global logistics network with 30 fulfillment centers across five countries, including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, European Union and Australia. Key Takeaways: The ShipBob Story Dhruv Saxena is the CEO and Co-Founder of ShipBob, a global omni channel fulfillment solution trusted by 7,000+ brands to ship orders everywhere their customers shop. In the podcast interview, Dhruv shared his own personal story along with the ShipBob Story. Founded in 2014 by Dhruv Saxena and Divey Gulati, ShipBob has become one of the fastest-growing tech companies in America. In just a few short years, ShipBob has grown from working out of Dhruv's apartment to a Chicago headquarters and hundreds of thousands of square feet of warehouse space across the US. The ShipBob mission is to provide the best fulfillment services for their customers, so they can focus more on what's important  — growing their business and delivering a remarkable customer experience. ShipBob enables their clients to: Ship everywhere, from anywhere. Seamlessly connect new commerce channels and apps. Gain more control and improve accuracy within the warehouses. ShipBob has a network of warehouses connected by a common technology that help their clients to determine optimal inventory placement across the network to improve delivery speeds and reduce shipping costs. ShipBob offers their customers the ability to scale efficiently by distributing inventory into additional warehouses over time. Learn More About The ShipBob Story Dhruv's LinkedIn ShipBob LinkedIn ShipBob  The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast Check out The Logistics of Logistics on Youtube

    Google Cloud Supply Chain with Paula Natoli

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 3, 2022 51:47

    Google Cloud Supply Chain with Paula Natoli Paula Natoli and Joe Lynch discuss the Google Cloud supply chain and the solutions they provide to their logistics and supply chain customers. About Paula Natoli  Paula Natoli leads Google Cloud's Supply Chain & Logistics Industry Solutions for the Americas regions, partnering with customers to deliver exceptional customer satisfaction through supply chain technology excellence.  Prior to joining Google Cloud in 2020, Paula spent 23 years with Blue Yonder (formerly known as JDA Software) where she served in leadership roles in professional services and the product management organization, building and deploying supply chain solutions used by hundreds of customers worldwide.  As a Penn State supply chain management graduate, she also served on the Advisory Board for the Penn State Centre for Supply Chain Research. About Google Cloud Google Cloud accelerates every organization's ability to digitally transform its business. We deliver enterprise-grade solutions that leverage Google's cutting-edge technology – all on the cleanest cloud in the industry. Customers in more than 200 countries and territories turn to Google Cloud as their trusted partner to enable growth and solve their most critical business problems. Key Takeaways: Google Cloud Supply Chain Paula Natoli is the Director, Supply Chain & Logistics Industry Solutions at Google Cloud. In the podcast interview, Paula and Joe discussed the solutions that the Supply Chain & Logistics Industry group at Google Cloud provide to their supply chain and logistics customers. The following Google Cloud solutions were discussed: Supply chain twin is a digital representation of a company's supply chain with end-to-end visibility, alert-driven event management, analytics, and collaboration across teams. A supply chain twin or digital twin enables companies to do scenario planning, which ultimately lead to more resilient, sustainable, and efficient supply chains. Cloud fleet routing enables supply chains and logistics providers to deliver an exceptional customer experience, while maintaining world class operational excellence. Cloud fleet routing leverages Google's technology, data, and Google Maps product to improve fulfillment and delivery. enables logistics and supply chain companies to build, deploy, and scale machine learning models faster, with pre-trained and custom tooling within a unified artificial intelligence platform. is an automated data capture platform that allows companies to convert their static documents into dynamic data that can be used to improve the business, while reducing document processing costs. Sustainability is increasingly important to consumers and brands and Google Cloud solutions help supply chain practitioners to design sustainability into their supply chain. Paula and the Google Cloud team helps companies build supply chains that are resilient, sustainable, and transformative while improving customer experience with Google's digital supply chain solutions. Learn More About Google Cloud Supply Chain Paula's LinkedIn Report: What it will take for CEOs to fund a sustainable transformation Supply Chain Twin and Pulse Manufacturing Data Engine and Connect Document AI Vertex AI The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast Check out The Logistics of Logistics on Youtube

    The CTO Perspective with Mario Paluzzi

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 1, 2022 51:14

    The CTO Perspective with Mario Paluzzi Mario Paluzzi and Joe Lynch discuss the CTO perspective. Mario is the Chief Technical Officer at Reliance Partners, a commercial insurance agency specializing in risk management solutions for the transportation and logistics space. About Mario Paluzzi Mario Paluzzi is Chief Technology Officer of Reliance Partners, a top ranked commercial insurance agency specializing in Logistics and Transportation. Prior to joining Reliance Partners, Paluzzi established, led, and deployed industry leading technology teams and transformative innovations across high-growth startup environments as well as multi-billion dollar enterprises. Paluzzi spent 10 years at Coyote Logistics overseeing technology product strategy and delivery before joining Logistics Dynamics as Chief Information Officer. He joined Reliance Partners in 2021 and has been leading efforts to drive big data and Insurtech initiatives across the enterprise to deliver a smarter insurance experience. Mario is a graduate of Michigan State University. About Reliance Partners Reliance Partners is one of the nation's fastest-growing commercial insurance agencies specializing in providing risk management solutions for the transportation and logistics space. Reliance Partners has been featured in each year from 2016-2020 as one of the fastest growing privately-held companies in the US. The company is certified as a Great Place to Work®. In addition, recognized Reliance Partners in 2018-2020 as one of the Top 50 Workplaces while Fortune also recognized Reliance Partners in 2017-2020 as a Top Workplace in America. In 2020, Reliance Partners was featured in Business Insurance as one of the 'Best Places to Work in Insurance'​ for the fifth year in a row​. Reliance Partners Chattanooga location was recognized as Business of the Year in the large category by the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce in 2018. The company faces an emphasis around technology and has been the only insurance agency recognized on the Freight-Tech 100 list each year since its inception. Freight-Tech 100 recognizes the most innovative and disciplined companies in freight. Key Takeaways: The CTO Perspective Mario Paluzzi is the Chief Technical Officer at Reliance Partners, a commercial insurance agency specializing in risk management solutions for the transportation and logistics space. In the podcast interview, Mario provides the CTO's perspective on the transportation and logistics space. Below are some of the insights that Mario shared: PwC's recent report from titled “Digital Trends in Supply Chain Survey 2022” suggests that not every company is getting a good ROI on their technology investments. When making technology investments, companies need to avoid the hype of trendy tech (Blockchain, AI, ML, etc.) and fear of missing out (FOMO). Instead focus on the actual business improvements the tech investment will bring to the business. Before making a tech investment, have a clear vision of the project goals and fully understand which key performance indicators will improve. Technology tends to simplify and automate routine or rote functions, which usually frees up people to focus on more complex problems. Mario believes companies need to upskill their employees so they can add more value. There will be less clerk work and more data science work so employees must be trained for their new role. To add more value and become more competitive, knock down the silos and drive further collaboration with partners in technology, insurance, carriers, etc. New partnerships, new data, and new ways of adding value should be the focus of transportation and logistics companies. Mario also suggests partnering with a technology partner who has the expertise and experience required to support your company's digital transformation. Mario works closely with Emtec, a global technology services company providing digital software engineering and transformation solutions to clients in logistics, transportation, and warehousing. Learn More About The CTO Perspective Mario's LinkedIn Reliance Partners LinkedIn Reliance Partners TED Talk: What if we could address the unaddressable? Digitizing Supply Chains Proving to be Slow Go Owning The Customer Experience with Larry Gordon The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast Check out The Logistics of Logistics on Youtube

    REPOST: The Supply Chain is Broken – How to Fix it with Jeff Dangelo

    Play Episode Listen Later May 30, 2022 36:04

    The Supply Chain is Broken – How to Fix it with Jeff Dangelo Larry Cepuran and Joe Lynch talk about Lou Gehrig Day and ALS, which stands for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Larry Cepuran is a friend of Joe's who has been diagnosed with ALS, which is sometimes referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease. ALS has no cure and very few treatments. About Jeff Dangelo Jeff Dangelo is the Managing Partner of Lighthouse, Prior to joining Lighthouse, Jeff co-founded Turvo, a leading enterprise software organization. Before founding Turvo, Jeff spent 13 years in the logistics and transportation space. Jeff was the Vice President of Sales at a third-party logistics start-up. As the first employee, he was tasked with building and growing the sales organization. He was instrumental in its growth to $150m in sales in less than 5 years.  Prior to joining the 3PL start-up, Jeff was a Senior Sales Executive at TQL, a $4 billion third-party logistics company, where he helped grow revenue from $20m to over $500m in sales. Jeff is a graduate of Miami University (Oxford, OH), with a degree in Marketing and Operations. About Lighthouse Lighthouse offers dedicated trucking, logistics, warehousing and co-packing coupled with the best supply chain software in the world to give everyone an amazing experience.Digital logistics companies aren't designed to provide services to support complex supply chains, while traditional providers do not have the right technology or business model(s). Lighthouse reimagined what it means to be a digital logistics provider by combining the best of both worlds. Key Takeaways: The Supply Chain is Broken – How to Fix it Problem 1: Software Every company and silo in the supply chain seems to have their own software. The information doesn't always flow well from system to system. System integrations are costing and time consuming. Creating a collaborative platform is essential. Problem 2: Too Much Manual Work Businesses are built off of manual work, having employees doing emails and calls. Increasing labor cost. Re-train customers to go digital instead of emails and calling. Create visibility and transparency to avoid so much manual work. Problem 3: Business Models are Not Aligned Traditional business models are not designed for the future of the industry. Shifting to a more transparent model. Finding ways to solve problems with new models. The solution to all of the above problems is business model transformation to include technology, visibility, and transparency. Learn More About The Supply Chain is Broken – How to Fix it Lighthouse Jeff Dangelo  The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast Check out The Logistics of Logistics on Youtube

    Lou Gehrig Day with Larry Cepuran

    Play Episode Listen Later May 27, 2022 32:17

    Lou Gehrig Day with Larry Cepuran Larry Cepuran and Joe Lynch talk about Lou Gehrig Day and ALS, which stands for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Larry Cepuran is a friend of Joe's who has been diagnosed with ALS, which is sometimes referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease. ALS has no cure and very few treatments. Donate to ALS TDI Lou Gehrig Day In March 2021, Major League Baseball declared June 2 henceforth to be Lou Gehrig Day. June 2 was chosen because it is the anniversary of when Gehrig became the Yankees' starting first baseman in 1925 and when he died in 1941.  Lou Gehrig Achievements Hit four home runs in one game on June 3, 1932. Won the Triple Crown in 1934 when he led the American League in batting average (.363), home runs (49) and runs batted in (165). Holds the record for most grand slams in a career with 23. Hit 493 home runs in his career, setting the record for the most home runs hit by any first baseman in history until Mark McGwire hit 500. Became the only player in history to drive in more than 500 runs in three years. He ushered in 174 runs in 1930, 184 in 1931 and 151 in 1932, for a total of 509. His amazing total of 184 RBI's in a single season (1931) is first In American League history and second in baseball history (behind Hack Wilson's 190 RBI's with the Chicago Cubs). Set a record by playing in a consecutive streak of 2,130 professional baseball games throughout his career, despite 17 fractures in his hands, being beaned several times, having severe back pain and suffering various other illnesses and minor injuries. Gehrig's record stood until Cal Ripken, Jr. broke it in 1995. Became the first athlete to have his number retired. Upon his retirement from baseball in 1939, the New York Yankees retired his No. 4 jersey. Today, the practice of retiring jerseys numbers is carried out in most sports. Was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939. In light of his progressive illness, the usual two-year waiting period after a player retires was waived in Gehrig's case.  About ALS TDI The ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) is the world's foremost drug discovery lab focused solely on ALS. As a nonprofit biotech we operate without regard to profit or politics. Led by drug development experts and people with ALS, our Cambridge, Massachusetts based lab is funded by a global network of supporters unified to end ALS. Our mission is to discover and develop effective treatments for ALS.  Donate to ALS TDI ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) There are currently no known effective cures or treatments to stop disease progression of ALS. ALS is a complex disease that varies from person to person and far more research is necessary to discover effective treatments for each person living with ALS. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neuron disease or Lou Gehrig's disease, is a disease that causes the death of neurons controlling voluntary muscles. Some also use the term motor neuron disease for a group of conditions of which ALS is the most common. ALS is characterized by stiff muscles, muscle twitching, and gradually worsening weakness due to muscles decreasing in size. It may begin with weakness in the arms or legs, or with difficulty speaking or swallowing. About half of the people affected develop at least mild difficulties with thinking and behavior and most people experience pain. Most eventually lose the ability to walk, use their hands, speak, swallow, and breathe. The cause is not known in 90% to 95% of cases, but is believed to involve both genetic and environmental factors. The remaining 5–10% of cases are inherited from a person's parents. About half of these genetic cases are due to one of two specific genes. The underlying mechanism involves damage to both upper and lower motor neurons. The diagnosis is based on a person's signs and symptoms, with testing done to rule out other potential causes. Donate to ALS TDI Learn More About Lou Gehrig Day Luckiest Man on Earth by PT Muldoon ALS Sucks with Larry Cepuran Donate to ALS TDI The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast Check out The Logistics of Logistics on Youtube

    Ecommerce Delivery Providers with Nate Skiver

    Play Episode Listen Later May 25, 2022 63:16

    Ecommerce Delivery Providers with Nate Skiver Nate Skiver and Joe Lynch discuss ecommerce delivery providers. Nate is he Founder of LPF Spend Management, which help parcel shippers create parcel shipping programs which reduce expense, while delivering a positive customer experience. About Nate Skiver Nate Skiver is a parcel transportation and ecommerce delivery expert, with 20 years of combined retail and consulting experience. He spent 13 years with global apparel brands Abercrombie & Fitch and Gap Inc., where he built and managed global parcel programs. In 2019, Nate transitioned into parcel consulting to use his experience to help retailers reduce shipping expense, while delivering a positive customer experience. He is passionate about increasing small parcel knowledge throughout the industry, authoring several articles for PARCEL Magazine, and being quoted frequently by media including The Wall Street Journal and Business Insider. Nate is a thought leader and LinkedIn influencer, providing unique perspective as the only content creator dedicated to parcel and ecommerce delivery. About LPF Spend Management LPF Spend Management was founded to share experience from a unique perspective within the parcel consulting space…a shipper's perspective. LPF is not comprised of former parcel carrier personnel nor are they parcel auditors which offer consulting services. Their expertise, perspective, and insight is based upon more than a decade of frontline experience creating parcel shipping value for leading retail and ecommerce companies. They level the playing field to help ecommerce shippers compete. Key Takeaways: Ecommerce Delivery Providers Nate Skiver is the Founder of LPF Spend Management, which help parcel shippers create parcel shipping programs which reduce expense, while delivering a positive customer experience. In the podcast interview, Nate and Joe discussed ecommerce delivery providers and the rapidly changing market driven by ecommerce. Nate categorized the ecommerce delivery providers into 6 categories: National, integrated carriers: UPS and FedEx Postal carriers: USPS + postal workshare carriers (Pitney Bowes, DHL eCommerce, etc.) Regional carriers: LaserShip, OnTrac, LSO, UDS (many, many more) Ecommerce carriers [recent market entrants]: Covers a range of operating models, examples include Pandion, X Delivery, AirTerra, Veho, The FrontDoor Collective Same day delivery: Largely gig driver based, includes Instacart, DoorDash, Roadie, Shipt, Walmart GoLocal Amazon Logistics The “LPF” in “LPF Spend Management” stands for “level playing field” and they provide the following solutions: Parcel Spend Management - translate the complex details of parcel contracts, rates, and expense into meaningful, actionable information which delivers bottom line impact for ecommerce shippers. Ecommerce Shipping Strategy – build a competitive edge in shipping by delivering the right solution, at the right cost. Parcel Training & Development – The LPF team is passionate about increasing parcel shipping knowledge throughout the ecommerce industry, one shipper at a time. Learn More About Ecommerce Delivery Providers Nate's LinkedIn LPF Spend Management LinkedIn LPF Spend Management The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast Check out The Logistics of Logistics on Youtube

    Beyond the Data with William Sandoval

    Play Episode Listen Later May 23, 2022 45:33

    Beyond the Data with William Sandoval William Sandoval and Joe Lynch discuss beyond the data. William is the Senior Vice President of Product Management and Strategy at PowerFleet Inc., a wireless IoT company that provides solutions to the industrial, logistics and vehicle markets. About William Sandoval William Sandoval serves as senior vice president of product management & strategy for PowerFleet, leading PowerFleet's product management, program management, and product marketing teams while providing strategic direction to drive innovative products and solutions. Sandoval has over 25 years of experience leading product strategy, technological innovation, and product development execution. About PowerFleet PowerFleet (NASDAQ: PWFL) is a leading global provider of wireless IoT and M2M solutions for securing, controlling, tracking, and managing high-value enterprise assets such as industrial trucks, tractor trailers, containers, cargo, and vehicle and truck fleets. PowerFleet is the result of the combination of I.D. Systems, Pointer Telocation Ltd., and Cellocator on October 3, 2019, when I.D. Systems acquired Pointer Telocation Ltd. and rebranded as PowerFleet Inc. PowerFleet provides a complete technology suite that delivers telematics, asset tracking, freight visibility, and driver behavior. Their solutions include an FMCSA-compliant ELD system, trailer/ container/ chassis GPS tracking, automated driver workflow, refrigeration command and control, cargo visibility and status, driver navigational assistance, and robust fleet management. Their two-way refrigerated solution integrates into Thermo King™ and Carrier™, and their suite of tracking devices include wireless sensors, photographic cargo imaging, and environmental status. PowerFleet is headquartered in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, with offices located around the globe, and a technology innovation center in Israel. The Company's patented technologies address the needs of organizations to monitor and analyze their assets to increase efficiency and productivity, reduce costs, and improve profitability. Key Takeaways: Beyond the Data William Sandoval is the Senior Vice President - Product Management & Strategy of PowerFleet, a wireless IoT firm that provides critical actionable information that powers unified operations throughout organizations. In the podcast interview, William and Joe discussed beyond the data, which describes the changes William has seen in the tracking management business. Not so long ago, companies with assets like trucks, trailers, containers, freight, etc. were thrilled to have tracking solutions that told them where their assets were. In the interview, William explained that cost-effective tracking is just table stakes, a bare minimum requirement. Companies like PowerFleet are moving beyond tracking to data collection and data analytics. Data analytics is focused on extracting insights from data, ideally business insights that will enable companies to make more money. In the interview, William described the 4 types of data analytics: Descriptive analytics provides historical information (valuable) Diagnostic analytics provides real-time information (more valuable) Predictive analytics provides information on what may happen (even more valuable) Prescriptive analytics provides information on what you should do in the future to avoid problems/take advantage of  opportunities (most valuable) Increasingly, customers of PowerFleet are looking for predictive and prescriptive analytics that enable them to better manage their assets, save money, while maximizing productivity and profit. PowerFleet (NASDAQ: PWFL) is a leading global provider of wireless IoT and machine-to-mobile (M2M) solutions for securing, controlling, tracking, and managing high-value enterprise assets such as industrial trucks, tractor trailers, containers, cargo, and vehicle and truck fleets. PowerFleet transforms the way organizations manage mobile business assets — like forklifts, cargo trailers, and connected cars. Our technologies control, track, analyze, and optimize hundreds of thousands of these assets all over the world. PowerFleet help organizations be safer, improve efficiency, and cut costs. Learn More About Beyond the Data William's LinkedIn PowerFleet LinkedIn PowerFleet Lean Solutions Group Contact Us FreightWaves The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast Check out The Logistics of Logistics on Youtube

    The FarEye Story With Kushal Nahata

    Play Episode Listen Later May 18, 2022 49:07

    The FarEye Story With Kushal Nahata Kushal Nahata and Joe Lynch discuss the FarEye story. Kushal is the CEO and CoFounder of FarEye, a company that enables enterprises to deliver at reduced cost with a superior customer experience. About Kushal Nahata As the CEO, Kushal is responsible for driving the vision, strategy, and growth at FarEye. A dynamic leader, Kushal drives the culture of ‘customer-first' at FarEye which enables the team to deliver value to FarEye's 150+ clients globally. He is an effervescent thinker who is passionate about enabling the digital transformation in the logistics industry and making it customer-centric. He is constantly working towards empowering companies to champion operational efficiency and customer experience. Under his leadership, FarEye has achieved an impressive growth rate with rapid geographical expansion. Kushal enjoys training budding entrepreneurs and guiding them through their journey. He has been mentioned in the coveted 40under40 list by Business World and The Top 25 Software CEOs of Asia for 2020 by The Software Report. About FarEye FarEye's Intelligent Delivery Management Platform is making the delivery experience better for everyone. FarEye enables enterprises to deliver at reduced cost with a superior customer experience. The low-code approach provides an environment to develop applications with a quick turn-around time and minimal code to shorten the “concept to ship” cycle. The platform leverages millions of data points to predict the shipment journey and improve the delivery experience. FarEye helps companies orchestrate, track and optimize their logistics operations. The company's flagship logistics management software supports the entire supply chain — from first-mile seller pickups to last-mile delivery — to provide end-to-end logistics visibility, reduce operational costs and improve customer experience. Key Takeaways: The FarEye Story Kushal Nahata is the Co-founder and CEO of FarEye, a delivery management platform that leverages technology to provide low-cost, efficient, and sustainable shipping to ecommerce companies. In the podcast interview, Kushal describes how he and his partners founded FarEye in 2013 and expanded the company to over 50 countries worldwide. Kushal and his partners founded FarEye in India, but soon found their customers were asking them to support them in other countries. Today, FarEye operates out of 6 offices located in New Delhi, Singapore, London, Manchester, Dubai, and Chicago. FarEye's delivery management platform includes the following solutions Intelligent Delivery Orchestration Real-time last mile visibility Last mile operational control with shipment status check-in calls Day-to-day operational clarity for drivers and increased operational efficiency (number of deliveries, fuel etc.) Intelligent Delivery Visibility Multimodal visibility across air, ocean, rail, road, parcel and intermodal logistics Parcel visibility using order ID, purchase order or SKU number Yard visibility and control tower visibility Carrier and route performance visibility Sustainability dashboard for carbon emission control and visibility Dynamic appointment scheduling Data analytics, exceptions and alerts Intelligent Customer Experience Flexible and self-service slot booking for deliveries & returns Instant order-level track and trace capabilities Special delivery instructions(pickups, drop offs, messaging) Secure & seamless communication with drivers Digital proof of delivery and customer feedback Wallet integrations Personalized product recommendations Safe & compliant deliveries Learn More About The FarEye Story Kushal's LinkedIn FarEye Gartner Supply Chain Conference FarEye LinkedIn @FarEye on Twitter The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast Check out The Logistics of Logistics on Youtube

    Disruption In Container Logistics With John Murnane

    Play Episode Listen Later May 16, 2022 51:57

    The North American inbound supply chain was well-run and extremely cheap before the pandemic brought disruption to the logistics and transportation space. Since the pandemic, the shipping industry had to adapt and is still adapting to this uncertainty. Prices are going up, congestion is at an all-time high, and these we won't recover from these challenges overnight. Join Joe Lynch as he talks to John Murnane about the disruption in container logistics. John is a senior partner at McKinsey & Company. At McKinsey, he is the leader of the logistics sector. So he covers everything from air & ocean carriers to warehousing & fulfillment. Listen and learn more about the shipping industry, shipper & carrier relationships, sustainability, end-to-end shipping, and much more. Find out about the disruption in container logistics and how it can be solved. Disruption In Container Logistics With John Murnane Thank you so much for joining us. Our topic is disruption and container logistics with my friend, John Murnane. How is it going, John.  I am doing great. Thanks for having me. How are you? Excellent. I am glad we are talking about this topic. Please introduce yourself, your company, and where you are? I am a Senior Partner at McKinsey. I am based in Atlanta. I lead McKinsey's Logistics Sector globally with a colleague named Martin Joerss, who is based in Hamburg. Tell us what you guys do over in that McKinsey's Logistics Practice. We call it a sector, but we serve the logistics industry. For us, that is all the different, interesting, fascinating parts of logistics throughout the global supply chain, ocean and air carriers, forwarders, folks doing container leasing, and Marine services. We do a lot of work in ground handling and transport, terminal operators, and rail trucks, both asset-based and brokerage. We also do a lot of work in the warehouse and fulfillment. I serve companies that operate fulfillment, real estate, and industrial developer. We also do Last Mile post and parcel returns, plus all the folks that are in and around that space doing data, transparency, tech, robotics, and all the fascinating, fun companies that are trying to knit it all together. Do you work more with shippers or the actual logistics providers? We work with both. In the group I lead, the logistics sector, we serve companies that make a living in moving stuff around. I have got a number of colleagues in a practice that is adjacent to ours that are in manufacturing and supply chain. Those consultants and partners serve the big retailers and manufacturers who pay to have the goods moved. I do not know what you guys did at McKinsey but it was not so long ago that there was no logistics practice. It was logistics and supply chain or supply chain and logistics or manufacturing supply chain and logistics. It was always the tail end of something else. We have arrived because we have a McKinsey partner who is responsible for watching over us. We have got 100 McKenzie partners that I do not know if we are responsible for it. [caption id="attachment_7990" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Container Logistics Disruption: The pandemic hit the shipping industry in many ways. People started buying a lot more, which meant more containers being moved while the staff was low. There was just a lot of congestion.[/caption]   The business needs some babysitters. Tell us a little bit about you. Where did you grow up? Where did you go to school? Give us some career highlights before you joined McKinsey. I grew up in California, pretty close to the ports of LA and Long Beach, but did not get into logistics. At a young age, I was a Mechanical Engineer at Duke. I worked in entertainment for many years at Disney and the NBA in finance and design roles, which was a lot of fun. It is not as entertaining as logistics. When I got into logistics, it was at McKinsey. I went to Business School at Michigan and then I joined McKinsey. You joke about logistics being the end. I got recruited into the travel and logistics practice because I knew a thing or two about travel. I started serving logistics companies back in the day. This is 2003 or 2004. It was not sexy. Logistics was not quite as hot as it is now, but I found the work fascinating. I liked the people. I got into rail, parcel, and trucking, and then I moved to South America to lead our logistics practice. I was in Chile for three years and then I got into the ocean space and Marine terminals. I have been hooked ever since. It has become more fascinating given all the things that we have seen in the last years, from the eCommerce boom to automation to the push for sustainability and what happened with the pandemic. It is fantastic that you have got that South America experience because I feel like we have had so much stuff in China for so long. I have nothing against China, but it makes more sense to ship stuff from Mexico or South America in general. We do not do nearly that much business with our South American partners who we fully understand compared to China. There are lots of bags coming in and out in a lot of air freight. I was in Chile, which does a lot of flowers and salmon, and exports a ton of copper and minerals. Let's talk about our topic, which is the disruption in container logistics. Why don't you take us back to before there was this disruption? Talk about what was going on in the space back in the day? You hear a lot about underinvestment in infrastructure and “failing” logistics infrastructure in the US. Many years ago, things were working well. If you were a manufacturer or a consumer, you probably had the lowest cost supply chain in the world that was able to get you products from anywhere in the world any time. The cost was quite low and the supply chain runs very well. It is smooth. As such, it was something that a lot of people took for granted. It seemed very opaque compared to now. Many years ago, if you were moving freight, your stuff disappeared into the ocean for three weeks or a month. There is also opaque because no one has looked into it. We have all learned how important it is. I used to serve clients and I did a lot of marketing and sales work, helping people with sales and pricing. I serve clients in logistics. I remember hearing sales executives complain to me. I can't make these value-based arguments. I can't talk about our value prop because I can't get access to anyone that matters. Ten years ago, people had a well-ran, extremely cheap North American inbound supply chain. And they took it for granted. I am talking to a procurement leader four levels down and they do not care about our value. It was opaque because, to some extent, there was not engagement on this topic at the highest levels, and certainly, there is now. Many years ago, you had a well-run, extremely cheap North American inbound supply chain. The infrastructure did not get bad overnight. The pandemic hit us in three ways. One is we all started buying a lot more stuff. We did not spend any less. We stopped spending on travel and restaurants. No new car, no vacation, but I can buy crap online. I can upgrade my house. I did some of that myself. I am in the house more and I invest in doing some things around the house. I got an indoor bike to stay in shape, but we spent 20% more money on stuff. I always call it not your grandparents or great-grandparents pandemic. In the 1920 pandemic, 50 million people died worldwide and there was poverty. We joke that the COVID-19 or 20 that we gained from sitting around eating and buying stuff. That is not to discount all of the misery that it brought, but most of the misery was isolation for us. When you have a situation where there is more volume being purchased, that means more containers and more trucks move. At the same time, global capacity fell by about 14% or 15% over a similar timeframe. If you have been paying attention, that probably feels intuitive. We had people that were sick so we could not stack. We had operations that were shut down at times. We had congestion because people were stacking and storing containers because they could not get them to the next place and they were waiting and also every stage in the value chain. We all saw the earnings releases that talked about, “I am 65% short of the team. I need to operate these warehouses.” They are open, but they are not running anywhere near full capacity. If it is 20% up in demand and 15% down in supply, you have got a congestion problem. On top of it, those increases weren't smooth. If those increases were smooth, our logistics industry might have had a chance, but it was overnight, then it stopped and started again. That made for some challenging times, and you ended up getting what you got, which is pretty poor service, long lines, congestion, delays, and uncertainty where things were. You also have price increases because the companies that were moving the goods were trying to manage to make sure that they were at least taking good care of the clients that were willing to pay the most. It became challenging for our shippers. I do not think it hit the biggest shippers, the Home Depots or the Lowe's. Those guys had contracted rates. They call them the bat phone when they call the shipping companies. They did not all of a sudden get double or triple the cost of a container. They were okay. It was a lot of the other smaller players. You mentioned this spike 20% up in demand, 15% less in capacity, but if you were 20% or 30% off in your headcount in your consulting practice, you could address that internally because you are all a team. This was across a whole bunch of supply chains that are spread out across the world. Communication was always difficult given time zones, languages, and the lack of computer systems. The coordination and fixes were all slow. I was talking to my daughter and she is in Portland. She was excited. She called and said, “The couch that I ordered in October 2021 is going to be here. I forgot what it looks like.” We are all getting used to waiting a little longer than we used to, but it is nice when they arrive.   We still seem to have these shocks every once in a while. Shanghai had more COVID. In the US, we are seeing shortages of headcount in a lot of places, especially in warehousing, dock workers, and trucking. There is a lack of capacity when it comes down to it. [caption id="attachment_7991" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Container Logistics Disruption: The two things to watch to know when congestion and prices will moderate are consumer spending on goods in North America and labor availability.[/caption]   I know everyone wants to know and figure out when this is going to be over. I do not think it is going to be overnight, partially because I do not think that the disruption is going to be over soon. The fact that we have got basically almost no trucking going on in China despite the manufacturing plants being open, but the trucking operation is pretty much ground to a halt. It means we have got days of inventory that are going to stack up and then need to be pushed through the system. The disruption and uncertainty are going to be a part of our new normal. With regard to when the average demand and supply get back closer to where they used to be, it is going to be a matter of consumer spending and labor. We love the idea of things normalizing and getting to a new normal, but we are seeing inflation and other problems. We see the war in Ukraine and the recurrence of issues in China with COVID. We have trade issues with China. In a lot of ways, the new normal is not normal. The new normal is going to change because of events outside of our control of weather or geopolitical. Change is going to be more prevalent in the coming decade than it was in the last few, which is why to some extent, I think we did have that false sense of security that everything was working. We did have a period of relative sanity, which allowed us to fine-tune the system despite its insufficient infrastructure. We talked about the way it used to be pre-COVID years ago and what happened. What is next? What is next is recovery. I think that, in time, we would expect to see supply improve and consumer spending on goods moderate a little bit. We are seeing an increase in consumption of services, which makes sense because there is the ability to do that. My wife works in travel and she has never been busier. People are eager to get back out and travel again. I do not think we are going to see the end of events and discontinuities. Those are two things to watch to tell us when congestion and prices are going to moderate are going to be consumer spending on goods in North America and labor availability. Talk about those shocks. There are many ways we can describe this. We could say our supply chains got a little brittle, meaning they broke rather than being bent. Another way to describe it is we have too many risks in there and a lack of resiliency, depending on how you want to talk about it. We know we are going to have some more shocks in this system. How do we deal with all that? There are a few things. A lot of this is ongoing. It is already happening. We need to stop looking at the supply chain as a simple commoditized part of the operation. It is not a simple call center. It is not something that should be managed by a small team in procurement focused on the cost lever. This is a C-level topic. The supply chain is and forever will be a C-level topic. Shippers need to be thinking about all the things that they can do to accept the fact that the logistics industry will always be more complicated than it used to be. Part of that is more safety stock. I know you are an auto guy. The old just-in-time Math assumed simple, easy commodity-priced trucking and logistics operation. The world is more complicated than that. Certainly, some companies are looking at how I can think about de-risking my supply chain, both in terms of the number of locations that I sourced from, to increase the number so I have more flexibility. If I lose one node, they will be looking at nearshoring and reshoring. The math on those deals is never easy, but they are certainly spending time thinking through that, especially thinking about that in light of new sustainability targets. All of my clients are hearing calls from their clients who are hearing calls from their customers to say, “How can I be more sustainable? How can I meet the new carbon aspirations?” You hit a whole bunch of topics. I want to break them down a little bit. It speaks to where we are at in this business. The first thing you said is this is no longer a small decision. When I used to sell logistics and supply chain services, the way I sold mostly less than truckload in some truckloads, but we had the technology. I remember I would call and say, “I want to talk to the owner, the CEO, the head of operations, or a general manager.” We impact finance because we are going to take some of those functions away. We do it as part of our service. We interface with the sales guys because they are the ones who are always saying, “Where is my stuff?” We work with your ops team on the inbound and we work with your logistics team. A lot of times, when I would call that C-level guy, they would say, “Talk to Tony in the back.” The disruption and uncertainty in the shipping industry will be a part of the new normal. It's not changing overnight. I would go see Tony and back, and he did not want to have a strategic discussion. He did not care if the finance guys had to audit the bills. I said, “We audit the bills because we have a TMS,” and I start my whole spiel. I am going to parody this a little bit. He was like, “Those guys got me Kid Rock tickets.” That is why he bought from that logistics company. He did not have that strategic focus that I wanted my customer to have. One of the things we have all been through is when you call that guy and say, “I want to manage all your freight. I want you to use our technology and you are going to see all of your shipments there. He says "I will give you an Excel spreadsheet with all our loads in it. You put your price in and if you are cheaper, I will give you those lanes tomorrow.” I was like, “I do not want to save you $50 on tomorrow's load. I want to save 10% on your annual spend.” It would be like, “What are you talking about?” The number might have been used to bend. We spend $500,000 a year, which is bad enough to leave it to somebody who does not care about the strategic function of logistics. Now that number got to $5 million, you go, “What the hell, guys?” There is a lot of change on both sides of that transaction that we are going to go through over the next few years. I have a good friend who is a former CEO of one of the container lines. He says, “Enough with this value base. I lose customers for $50 a box. It does not matter how much better we are.” That was the history. In that world, you do not have the right executives in the decision on the shipper side. You do not have the head of sales, marketing, or operations. You have someone in procurement. When you have someone in procurement, they have one metric, which is how they can get the unit costs down. You also need to get better on the sales side. The guys that I work with, the carriers, trucking companies, and railroads, now have an opening to say, “It was not so commodity-based,” but they have got to be able to deliver. They got to be able to go and articulate what they do that is different than the next guy and why that is worth it. I always use the same analogy back in the olden days when we had stockbrokers. They are transactional. You would always hear the term churn. They wanted to churn your account, “I want to sell your Dell stock and move you over to Apple.” They make money on both of those transactions. Those guys did not care about your overall financial picture. They cared about what you had in your investment account. Now we have moved to financial planners. You do not hear anybody say in their stockbroker. Financial planners are aligned with their clients. They say, “We are going to get paid 1% or 1.5% of what you have in your account. I want to make you rich so I can get 1% or 1.5% of that every year.” It is the same thing in this business. We have to switch out of this transactional thinking and move to that financial planner. A lot of companies want to do that. They do not want to be ringing the bell and having the siren go off that they made $1,000 on a transaction and celebrating at the office that day. That is a lack of alignment and it is yesterday's news. You will see more gain share partnerships and relationships like that between carriers and shippers. It takes real change on both sides. This will be the shock that gets the awareness to a place where those things are pursued. Not just between carriers and shippers, but to some extent, between different players in the logistics chains, carriers and ocean terminals, railroads and trucking lines, warehouse fulfillment operators and last-mile parcels. One of the things I want to touch on briefly is the timeout containers. We will get more back to the containers for a second. We started using containers a lot in the late ‘50s and ‘60s. There is a book, The Box That Changed the World. Prior to that, we could not even do global trade because the cost of logistics was so high. That was a tremendous innovation. We have seen this change the world. We would not be doing nearly the global trade we do now without it, but we have not seen a lot of innovation in that space. Now we are starting to see information technology. That is another piece of that. Speak to that and the sustainability that is important to us. The technology has come along in terms of tracking. It is available. You will see more adoption of that, especially in the reefer space, but also in dry boxes. I have seen a lot of startups and investments in foldable boxes and alternative equipment. The main way we are going to get better sustainability on our container fleet is by finding better ways to extend their lives.   I never heard that. We are throwing a lot of those out. [caption id="attachment_7992" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Container Logistics Disruption: 75-80% of containers are leaving LA empty so they can be filled up in China with more goods while there is a shortage. That's because the supply chain has always been an afterthought.[/caption]   We lose track of a lot of them because we do not know quite where they were. Telematics, tracking, and things like that will help there. How long does a container last? There are containers out there that have been in the fleet for twenty-some-odd years. The average is probably closer to 12 to 15. There are all sorts of uses. One of them is use for alternative storage. If anybody from the container ship lines is reading, give me a call and I will deliver you 50 containers. I live about 25 minutes out of Ann Arbor. There are some farms and not quite rural, but I always drive by and think, “What are you doing with that container?” They only need them where they need them. Our supply chain is imbalanced. They need them to pick up soybeans and send those to São Paulo. The fact that they are in Ann Arbor does not help them a whole lot because of the amount of money and time spent to get them down there. Managing that global fleet better and extending its life would be great from a sustainability standpoint. It comes up a little bit on my show about sustainability. Some people might be shaking their heads and say, “I do not believe that the man is causing global warming.” I always say, “I do not care what you think. It does not matter what I think.” This is what consumers and brands are asking for it. When one of those big brands says, “What are you doing?” you better have an answer. It is too late to do anything at that point. You do have to embrace it now. There are a lot of small ways. When it is over the road, we are trying to get rid of empty miles. That starts with measuring the empty miles, which brings me to another point. We were saying that 75% to 80% of containers are leaving LA and Long Beach empty so they can go be filled up in China with more goods for us. Meanwhile, we have a shortage and we have gone mad. It is illogical, but the understandable conclusion from the supply chain is an afterthought. The supply chain has always been an afterthought. It is not designed. It just happened. There are many forces well beyond the global supply chain that decide what is our import and export balance with China and where do we manufacture intermediate goods for auto? There is nothing logistics can do to account for the fact that there is that much import-export balance on goods. With empty backhaul and empty miles within the US, there are a lot of things that the logistics industry can do to help. There are smarter ways to reroute though there are still a lot of empty miles even in the US. I have become more aware of this. There is the empty truck that is moving from LA to New York, and you go, “That should never ever happen.” I do not think that happens nearly as often as it used to, but what is becoming more of a concern is the half-empty trucks and you go, “I had 10,000 half-empty trucks leave this location. Is there a way?” I know there are technologies and the guys over at flock freight and others are saying, “We can do something about it.” The main way of getting better sustainability on container fleets is by finding better ways to extend their lives. We will see more shared loads and multi loads where everyone will call multi-stop, where we are going to say, “That truck is full.” That is good for the environment and truckers. For the shippers, we are going to have to figure that out. We do not want to put I-can't-move-your-food onto a truck with auto parts. We have to be careful about how we manage it with the shippers but I think it is going to lower the price of shipping. Once we are fully loaded with the real cost of all of this stuff, whether it be the drivers, assets, new vehicles, or the autonomous and electric vehicles that we bring in to make a more sustainable fleet, the cost per unit is going to be higher. It is going to put the burden on us to figure out how we can make better use of each of the units. Maybe it is two hours later, but that allows me to share a load and double my density on the chunk move. All of those things can happen in time, but it takes great collaboration between carriers and shippers to make it work. The transparency and tools of the data exist to be able to do it, but it takes tremendous collaboration and trust to get it done. I am going to put you on the spot here. I know you work with a lot of different companies. I want to tick off some standard categories and what kind of work you are doing for these companies. Let's say an over-the-road carrier calls you. What do you tell them these days? What would be a typical project you would work on with them? Over the road, carriers were doing a lot of work and helping them think about how their network is going to change as manufacturers figure out a new supply chain or as we try to start to think about electric vehicles and ultimately autonomous vehicles. Not just how should you think about the timing of those technologies, but what are the network decisions you are making now that will feel sub-optimal in 5 or 10 years because the investments that those companies make in assets and infrastructure are not short-term. We are helping them think about sustainability in terms of how they can help their shippers with their sustainability targets. Those are some of the big themes. Do you talk to any brokers, 3PLs, and non-asset-based? What are you doing for them? Sustainability is a topic for them in terms of how I can provide. I am already helping them knit together. A lot of them are trying to figure out, “How can I knit together solutions across modes? How can I optimize those around sustainability targets?” We are doing a lot of work almost across the board in growth. How do companies find growth? There are a lot of new freight flows that are coming, not just because there are always new freight flows that are coming, but sustainability and the targets that all these companies are taking on are creating a whole lot of new goods to move. We are working with a lot of companies, whether they be asset-light, asset-heavy, broker, truckload, but also parcel and the like. It is like, “Where do you find freight? How do you get it? How do you leverage the tools today to find those companies?” Do you work with Final Mile or Last Mile guys? We do. We work with from a pallet and LTL Final Mile, and heavy goods Final Mile. We do a lot of post and parcel work. We have got a huge practice globally that has done tremendous work in helping drive efficiency in the postal space and parcel as well. They need it.   Those companies are struggling. [caption id="attachment_7993" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Container Logistics Disruption: Once the real cost of all these new things comes, the cost per unit will increase. It's going to take time to manage that. There needs to be a great collaboration between carriers and shippers to make it work.[/caption]   From what I understand, the Final Mile for home delivery to goods is the most expensive part of the journey. I was not being critical of the post office. We want it to be better, but we put a lot of constraints on it, and I think it is the hard part. I do not want a pallet delivered to my house and then distributed all of those parcels to my neighbors. I would like just my piece delivered to my house. Getting my piece delivered to my house is expensive. The costs are getting better relative to the pallet moves because the density of residential delivery has come up so much. Many years ago, the density of residential delivery was terrible. It was hard to make the economics work for the big parcel companies. As our volumes have gone up, that has improved the relative density, but it is still tough. What about warehousing and fulfillment? We have seen so much change in that space. What is going on when you work with them? First of all, permitting and getting sites are extremely challenging. The sites have to be closer to current consumers. If you want a site or the old model of three sites in the middle of nowhere, you can still get that. If you want the sites that people want now, which is one hour or maybe even less outside of every resident in the country, those sites are hard to come by. We do work with developers on construction and permitting on how to do that well and how to forecast and identify where the sites are going and where you need to be. We are also working with operators on how to drive productivity in those sites. We are doing a lot of work on how to refine, recruit, train and retain talent. That is a theme across all logistics. I was talking to somebody about a paint company and they said, “We do not have anyone retire from this location.” It was their DC. The reason they had no one retired from there is because it was a young man's game. He did not want to walk 10 miles picking stuff up and moving stuff around. We have to make that job in the warehouse easier so you are not breaking your back. If you walked by an auto assembly plant and walked through it, you would see that nobody was doing a job that was backbreaking or that required excessive strength, crouching, or reaching. We have eliminated those and we see that same mindset move into fulfillment. Those guys are going to become technicians rather than strong backs. We have had conversations for years about technology in the fulfillment space. Now it is happening. They made fun of us many years ago because it was early and no one had proven all the economics. It was whizzbang cool stuff, but is it having an impact now. There are certain functions that are being largely automated and you are seeing high ROIs. Also, you have got a lot of technology now that is more flexible than it used to be. Building the $10 million conveyance system just for this client and then hoping you retain them is a scary proposition for a fulfillment operator. Having flexible, robotic assets that can move seasonally or move to a new facility if you lose a client. We are also seeing longer contracts which helps. Fulfillment operators are saying, “I do not want to do a three-year deal.” You can't facilities for that and build a location if necessary for a bigger customer. We are trying robots now. This is becoming somewhat like automotive. In automotive, what we learned is if you give me one year, I am not going to invest in it. From a container line standpoint, a lot of people are trying to figure out how to facilitate end-to-end shipping better. The payback cycles on some of those technologies are getting shorter, but it is hard to make many of them work on a three-year contract. We are seeing a lot of fulfillment players and manufacturers agreeing to 5 or 7-year deals or agreeing to co-invest in the technology that they want to offer something that customers can't get elsewhere. Let's circle back to the beginning. What do you talk to about the container people, the guys with the ships, the rail, drayage, and the modal? From a container line standpoint, a lot of them are trying to figure out, “How can I better facilitate end-to-end shipping? I do not know if I want to own all those pieces of the operation.” It does not do me a whole lot of good to get it to the port if it sits in the port. Much worse is it does not do me a whole lot of good if I am sitting at the pilot station waiting to get into the port. A lot of the conversation and work in the container space is, “How do you collaborate with the terminal, the rail operation, and the consolidation or deconsolidation facility to get boxes and get them back?” The whole concept of end-to-end is probably the strongest when you think about container terminals, dray, rail, or trucks. Figuring out how to create more seamless, more partnerships, and share data to do that. In some of those, you see the metrics and the CMAs of the world that are investing quite a bit in buying companies to knit together that offering, They are buying over the road companies here. They made an extra $100 billion or something in those ship lines during COVID. To your point, they are investing in that end-to-end solution. Somebody said this to me and they work closely with one of these companies. They said, “Do not be surprised if we see single-use containers because we do have a trade imbalance with China.” If that container is only going one way and I have to ship it back on a boat that is filled with containers that are empty, somebody might say, “Why am I shipping it back there?” “It is because these are expensive containers.” Do they need to be expensive containers? Could they be less expensive and single-use? I know somebody is going to say, “What about recycling and all that?” There is a design that has to happen here. We got people like John and his team there. They will figure it out. From my perspective, we see it in automotive. Sometimes, you ship back the containers that brought your stuff. Sometimes, you do not because it does not make sense because it is one way. Do you guys work with air freight companies? We do but it has been a challenging and rewarding a couple of years for air freight. The belly players have been tough because they have not had the majority of their capacity with many of the passenger lines, much of the passenger capacity down. The pure freight players have done extremely well. Airfreight was a key enabler and one of the early winners in the pandemic and continues to be. I think the questions on air freight are how can they use advanced analytics to drive even better forecasting of volumes and, therefore, even better service levels and yield management? We think there is a lot of opportunity in the air freight space around advanced analytics and pricing. I heard it from Flexport and the guys over freight ways. One percent of all overseas volume is on air freight, but it is 30% of the revenue. What it speaks to is you are not shipping auto parts, usually on a plane. You are shipping electronics, chips, medicines, and stuff like that that is high value and small. Mostly high density. Value per cubic foot is off the charts. That ratio feels approximately right. I also heard that 50% of the air freight is passenger planes.   That is why air freight prices absolutely skyrocketed. [caption id="attachment_7994" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Container Logistics Disruption: A lot of the work in the container space today is how do you collaborate with the terminal, the rail operation, the consolidation & deconsolidation facilities? It's all about creating partnerships.[/caption]   They were flying anywhere. They moved up first. Ocean container rates have skyrocketed too, but in the air cargo, when your supply chain breaks down at some point, the only option you have is to get it there. It is the last resort for a lot of things and the first resort for high-value cargo. A lot of companies, for the release of the phone, will send enough phones for the first couple of months via air, and then they will send the backup to refill stock via ocean. In a pandemic, it was the first choice. The majority of the global air freight capacity is the belly of the passenger. When so much of our passenger fleet was grounded without anyone to pay for the international passenger move, you lost the belly cargo. I heard somebody use the term preighter, which is passenger freighter. They sometimes took the seats out of planes and filled them up. Other times, they put stuff on the seat that you might have been flying to a conference on. Now, it has got a stack of mobile phones on it. I am going to try and summarize all this and then I want to get some final thoughts before you go into what is new over at McKinsey. The topic is disruption and container logistics. John talked about the steady-state. We will talk about many years ago, pre-COVID, and what happened during COVID, that horrible time with demand spike, capacity down, sick people, and broken supply chains. We learned how brittle our supply chains were. You talked a little bit about what is next and where consumer spending is going. We are spending more on services and a little less on products. We are going to see how the industry reacts to what are still shocks and aftershocks of what happened. We do not even know the implications of the conflict in the Ukraine and inflation. We are better, but we will see. Lastly, we talked about what we learned during this time that logistics is not a commodity and that we have to insist on a seat at the table. We no longer be just a commodity service. John took us through all of the different things he and his team do with their clients. Any final thoughts on this big topic, John? A few final thoughts, two things we did not talk about and one thing I wanted to reinforce. We did not talk about the war in Ukraine. The near-term impact of that has not been huge on the global logistics industry. Carriers have pretty quickly rebalanced their networks in response to that. The long-term impacts could be significant. Ukraine and Russia are large exporters of commodities like wheat, oil and gas. I think we will see a lot of those supply chains shift around. While we are all watching the human tragedy and suffering through it, the near-term impact from a logistics standpoint has not been significant. We have been talking so much about eCommerce. It is going to be omni commerce. You have seen a bit of a drawdown and a correction back. We talked about ten years of eCommerce acceleration in two months. That was true. You have seen brick and mortar make a comeback. Some things are better are bought in person. My kids bought mattresses online and they are like, “We love it.” I was like, “I am going to have that mattress for ten years. I have to lay down on it.” I am not going to look at 5,000 reviews. I love eCommerce, but to your point, some of those shopping experiences are going to have to become experiences, not a pain in the ass experiences. Everyone wants to go to the Farmer's Market or a cool boutique. We have to get back to a cool experience if I am willing to leave the house. For shippers, many of them want to get to a place where they are managing more on Omni channel commerce supply chain. One of the most frustrating parts of the pandemic was when we had out-of-stock items on the website and obsolete items sitting in storerooms in the retail centers. That was painful and was a function of having two supply chains, which is the case for many shippers. They built their old brick and mortar supply chain, then they added a supply attender to eCommerce, and they did not talk to each other. You will see companies now figure out, “How do I have one more flexible Omni commerce supply chain?” There are going to be some variations. There will be times and products where you want to buy online or in-store. Certain companies will have a blend of the two. That is where we are going on that front, which we did not talk about but I think is important. It also needs to be designed. It has to be created. It can't be a bolt-on because we bolted on the gig economy and thought that, “We got an eCommerce solution.” Instacart, Shipt, and some of those solutions for grocery, from what I understand, the grocery store companies are losing money on those and they obviously do not like that. The gig economy stepped up. It is great. We are always going to have it. There's a lot of opportunity in the air freight space around advanced analytics and pricing. We are always going to use it in logistics, but it needs to be managed by logistics guys who are operational experts and good at routing and technology. It can't just be, “Bob down the street buys groceries for the neighborhood. It does not work as the way it needs to.” We are going to see those grocery stores become grocery store/fulfillment centers in some cases or maybe one fulfillment center in the Detroit Metro area that serves all of the eCommerce. Some of those business models will evolve. Even a company as great as Instacart or some of the early applications is adding cost on the top of the already existing flow and retail, brick and mortar, and all that stuff. The ideal way of doing that is to have dark stores that are designed for efficiency and pick, pack, and ship, not for the grocery experience that we have all grown to love. Tell us what is new over at McKinsey and how do we reach out? Do you have any webinars coming up or case studies? We love to have conversations. The best way to get in touch with us is on our website. It is easy to find me or any number of colleagues. You can send an email and we will respond. I will probably get the email. If I am not the right person to talk to, I will find someone else. On the site, we have got an interview with Sanne Manders, the COO of Flexport, which is great. We are putting up content all the time. What conferences are you guy going to?  I know we are excited about TPM in 2023. When is that? TPM is in Long Beach in the early spring every year. It is still a long way away. I do not know what the next conference we have got. We have coming up in May 2022 in Northwest Arkansas. I interviewed a professor from the University of Arkansas, the number one supply chain school carrying Gartner. John, thank you so much for taking the time. Thanks so much for having me. It was a pleasure talking to you. I look forward to keeping in touch. It was my pleasure.    Important Links John Murnane The Box That Changed the World Flexport Sanne Manders  – John Murnane – McKinsey & Company   About John Murnane John advises companies across a variety of industries and continents on their transformation and growth efforts. His broad cross-sector experience ranges from hospitality to global transport—including hotels and airlines, ocean and air freight, and trucking and distribution—and spans the value chain from capital-intensive real estate development to asset-light brokerage and distribution. He advises clients on growth at both a strategic and tactical level including M&A, new product development, value-based pricing, digital sales, and sales force effectiveness.  

    The Smart Warehouse With Dan Gilmore

    Play Episode Listen Later May 13, 2022 64:35

    Want to know how you can deploy a smart warehouse for your business? Today's guest is Dan Gilmore of Softeon, a company that provides a full suite of flexible and robust end-to-end supply chain software solutions to deliver success. He joins Joe Lynch to talk about the idea and technology behind their system. They discuss some of the big trends impacting warehouses, e-commerce, and retail. From labor shortages to automation, Dan enlightens on the benefits of WMS and WES for any business. Tune in to better understand the perks of this new smart technology for optimizing your business! The Smart Warehouse With Dan Gilmore Our topic is the smart warehouse with my friend Dan Gilmore. How's it going, Dan? It's great. I'm happy to be here. I'm glad I'm finally getting to interview you. Please introduce yourself, your company, and where you are calling from. I'm a Chief Marketing Officer of a supply chain software company called Softeon. Our company is headquartered in Reston, Virginia, outside of Dallas Airport. I happen to be in the Dayton/Cincinnati, Ohio area. What does Softeon do? It's a supply chain software company, primarily a supply chain execution. The company was founded in 1999. Our first customer all the way back then was the L'Oreal, and we proceeded to build out a suite of solutions that were brought in deep capability. That includes warehouse management systems, and all the stuff that goes around warehouse management systems including labor and resource management, slotting optimization, and yard management. A newer thing which we will get into because it's critical to what's happening in terms of the smart warehouse is something called warehouse execution systems, which have been around for a while but gained prominence in the last couple of years as a way to optimize and orchestrate order fulfillment level at a capability that's beyond even very good tier ones. This category of stuff is called distributed order management, which has to do with the optimal sourcing of products based on customer commitments as well as network capacities constraints in how do I get the lowest cost alternative that meets the customer needs? It's a very prominent in omnichannel commerce. It is almost essential in retail but we are having a lot of B2B type of successes in distributed order management as well. There are some other things that could give a flavor to what we do. You started well before eCommerce was a thing. Do you still support stores and that kind of warehousing? Traditional WMS type of capabilities for retailers, would largely be store replenishment. Now, we are moving into eCommerce fulfillment. Many retailers are also looking to have a lot of activity at the store level, whether that's buying online, pick up in-store, curbside pickup or store fulfillment. We've got some solutions there, both in terms of the distributed order management that I referenced. It is the tool going that says, “The best place to fulfill this order from based on the time commitments as well as inventory availability, labor availability, etc. is store 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,” and then have the ability to first identify where it's the right location. That could be obviously a DC, a third-party facility or something like that. The first word is the best place to source it from, and if it's a store, we have a store module that facilitates the inventory transactions, picking transactions, and shipping at a store level. That became a thing. Target is one of those companies that if you buy something online from them, they are more likely to ship from their stores these days. I have seen and the figure keeps rising. The whole market has changed. The more high-tech feel and touch, the less back-breaking work and less bending over and lifting heavy cases. It's like 80% or 90%. Let's say 90%. That's the number I had in my mind too. They are doing them from the store, which is incredible. Before we get into all that, tell us a little bit about you. Where did you grow up and go to school? Give us some career highlights and bullet points before you join Softeon. I'm an Ohio guy. My whole life, I grew up in Akron, Cleveland area, and then got a job with NCR after grad school. I got an MBA from the University of Akron. I got a job at NCR that was here in Dayton. I was a Product Manager in charge of barcode and data collection. The way serendipity works, I moved from barcode data collection systems to wireless systems and then got into WMS. I was into consulting for a while. I have done a lot of marketing in the space. I was also Chief Marketing Officer at the Red Prairie before it got acquired by JDA and became ultimately Blue Yonder. Earlier in my life, I spent a couple of years implementing WMS, a couple of major projects down here in the Cincinnati area that helped me learn a lot about how the technology works and what's good and less good. Notably, in 2003, I started a publication called Supply Chain Digest, which changed the face of online supply chain and logistics, news, and coverage. I still keep a light hand on it. I still write a column once a week still for Supply Chain Digest. I have read that. I wrote a lot of blog posts in the past. When you are a writer, I have joked that “My research is a little different than a professor's research, I Google.” You start to realize which publications have good content when you are a blogger. The bar is a little lower for a blogger than it is for somebody who is writing in a publication. I would say, “Supply Chain Digest always had good stuff.” When and why did you join Softeon? It has been a few years now. I had done a little bit of side consulting with Softeon before joining, and I was impressed with the breadth and depth of the software and the number of innovative capabilities, but as important as that is, lots of companies have good software. We think we've got leading-edge software but the approach to customers and success - I have never seen a company that consistently puts its own interests behind its customers on a regular basis. We are not going to let anything get in the way of a successful implementation. That's a direct record that's unequal in the marketplace. It's the care and concern for success at the customer level and not looking at everything through a lens of only professional services hours if I can sell or something like that. It was a different attitude. It intrigued me, and plus, the company needed some help in the marketing area to get that message out. The combination of those factors led me to join Softeon. Our topic is the smart warehouse. Obviously, things have changed quite a bit in this business. Talk about some of the big trends that are out there that are impacting warehousing, eCommerce, and retail. It impacts everybody. Most of the audience is going to say they are living this or these are big surprises but it's nice to still put it all in context, the growing distribution labor shortage and there's a shortage of manufacturing. It's very acute. Everywhere you go, that's what you hear about the turnover levels, retention, and even with the greatest rising substantially. That's everyone's concern. After about a decade of very flat wage growth in warehousing and distribution until a few years ago, now, all of a sudden, the costs are taken off. Amazon has over $20 an hour with attractive signing bonuses in many parts of the country. They now offer parental leave for twenty weeks. I saw it on TV. That would be a very attractive benefit. That's the advantage. Target announced that they were raising their wage in both stores and distribution centers, not all markets but in some markets, by $24 an hour. That's $48,000 a year, and assume there's probably some overtime in there, whatever husband and wife are making up, for example. They are working at a Target DC in those markets, you could be pulling in $100,000 a year for a family, which is not bad money. [caption id="attachment_7940" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The Smart Warehouse: With the e-commerce-driven cycle time pressure, it's unbelievable how fast you can get products these days.[/caption]   This has come up on my show a few times. I'm getting too old for that kind of work, and I can't walk 10 miles a day but if I had a choice, we need to make that job easier. We are going to get to that because this is what technology does. It also makes the job more attractive when they can say, “I go to that job, and I'm learning all this cool technology.” If you can bring somebody in, there's a different feeling when I get to wear all that high-tech gear and use high-tech systems and say, “I'm part of the supply chain,” as opposed to, “I'm a strong back, walk 5 miles a day and nobody gives a crap about me.” There are no questions about that. It's going to be both in terms of the shortage of labor and, second, building to attract people into this career. Now the whole market has changed, that more high-tech feel and touch, less back-breaking work, less bending over and lifting heavy cases, and all the kinds of things to go on and work for a long time. You are spot-on on that dynamic. If we have a shortage, that means the people we do have to be more efficient. The way they can be more efficient is with tech. That's one big trend going on. What's another big trend? There's a bunch in there that interrelated as well. Obviously, the eCommerce-driven cycle time pressure. If you look ay Amazon over your tablet, it's unbelievable how fast you can get products these days, even somewhat obscure products not that long ago, I need a new power cord for my HP computer. Somehow Amazon was able to deliver that the next day. I'm like, “Probably, they have this cable in someplace that they can get it to me one day.” Think of all the thousands of cables that are out there, and they've got mine. The cycle time pressure in that both are in terms of getting the order process from when it drops into the DC and out the door. Obviously, companies are also moving distribution facilities closer to the customer, so the transportation part of the journey is cut down as well. They will remember the specific numbers. It's Home Depot that is building 170 or 180 different local fulfillment centers that are being the largely cross-dock type of facilities that bring bulky items in and get them right to the customer in addition to the big giant warehouses that they already have. It's a fact of life. Eventually, we will teleport or whatever the product from the warehouse because it seems like we are reaching the Laws of Physics there that it can't be here any faster but maybe we will find a way. I remember, many years ago, I was working on a digital marketing project. I was helping this distribution center, nice, concise in Chicago land Peoria. They said we are one-day shipping to 65% of the population of the US. That was always what Indiana, Illinois, and there are so many DCs down in Ohio can always make that claim, and that was good enough. If you said, “I have a DC in the Midwest that can get me to the Eastern Coast, and I have one out West, that was good enough.” We are not seeing that anymore. We are going to get increasingly where same-day delivery becomes a fact of life rather incredible. Amazon and others talk about getting it down to 2 hours or 30 minutes. That's what Target is doing, not with those DCs. We think we will get to Walmart doing some of the same. What's another trend? Obviously, because we are calling the session, we are going to talk about the smart and also the future but it's largely here nowadays. We've got smart everything. We've got smart houses, cars, refrigerators, and toothbrushes even. I saw that a couple of years ago. I'm not sure if it's exactly taken off the map but to monitor how often you brush your teeth. What does it mean? Primarily, it's talked about internet connectivity and some analytics around that. The least examples are John Deere, Caterpillar or companies of that kind, putting sensors and other IoT types of devices on their equipment out in the field so they can get a sense of how people are actually using it. They can do predictive maintenance on it. They could say, “Your guys aren't using the equipment as effectively as they could if they changed their techniques.” It's certainly timely. If we are going to almost start things where it's time for the smart warehouse too but we will get into for the rest of the broadcast era left different than more internet connectivity, sensors, and things like that. That can be part of it but it is a small part of it. The bottom line of it is we are entering a new era of where all soccer technologies that are, in fact, much smarter than we have ever had before. I have argued publicly for a couple of years now that we had about twenty years of relatively incremental progress in WMS technology. I used this in speeches before but a few years ago, I was cleaning up my office and running the holidays as I often do when I found an RFP from a major food company for a WMS circuit in 2003. I looked through that and I thought, “This doesn't look all that different than the RFPs we are seeing in 2019, 2020 or whatever year we are looking at that.” I looked at it and said, “The big difference is not in the functionality being asked for. It's that now, a lot of that functionality is, in fact, core product, configurable product than maybe a lot of it had to be achieved through customizations.” That's probably true. Same-day delivery has just become a fact of life. The fundamental way of where WMS operates didn't change all that much give or take from 2000 to 2020 or somewhere in that range. Now, with the smart technologies that we are talking about, they are brought by the world's execution systems in working with WMS, I talked about before. This is a new ball game, and it was going to be fun for the rest of the people here to talk about this. You throw in a new term there. You said warehouse execution system. Those have been around for a while but they are now becoming the norm. It's becoming very prominent, and then the value is starting to be recognized. What is it? A couple of three companies had the belief and correctly, for most of the WMS systems did not care enough about equipment throughput and utilization. We wound up with big peaks and valleys, and anybody have been in a district distribution center, even a busy one. You have seen it where there are all kinds of activity at the beginning and the middle of the wave, then as the wave starts to dissipate even on a big, expensive, huge sortation system, you've got a relatively small number of boxes moving around, waiting for that wave and everything to close out. You said wave. Does that mean the orders come in waves? Yeah. The work is released in what is called pick waves. That's based on any number of different attributes. It could be the carrier schedule, value-added processing that needs to be done or workload balancing across the different pick areas of the company. You organize the work against various attributes that constitute a block of work that's typically referred to as a wave. I know I've got all these trucks that are going to show up and they are taking different orders, so maybe I'm working to that order that's going to fill up that truck. The problem, to your point, is we've got already may be a shortage of headcount in there. Now when we have waves, I'm not being efficient because I've got too much work at one moment and then not enough at another. The whole goal of WMS of what we're talking about with the smart warehouse is overcoming, I mean, obviously, you've got to plan and execute based on the workforce that you have here, and we will talk about that. Having a warehouse management system that gives me stuff was great in the past but you are saying, “I will help you with a WES or Warehouse Execution System. I'm going to help you manage the flow.” Manage the flow work and the resource utilization, and then new ways. Part of that still ties into that interest in level loading or making the flow of goods across an automation system more smooth and consistent because if you can do that, there are a couple of things. First off, the total throughput of the system is likely to be better. Second, if it's a new facility, you could probably get by with a smaller sorter because you are going to be able to utilize it more consistently over a block of time, a shift or over what you want to look at it there. The other breakthrough that Softeon said is that the WES tends its roots and level loading of the automation and better utilization there. The WES works extremely well, even in non-automated facilities or lightly automated facilities. [caption id="attachment_7941" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The Smart Warehouse: The fundamental way a warehouse operates didn't change all that much from 2000 to 2020. But now, with smart technologies, this is a new ball game.[/caption]   As a matter of fact, one of our leading customers did a press release a couple of years back that talked about 50% productivity gain from implementing WES or Warehouse Execution Systems on top of existing Softeon WMS, and doing that in a totally manual environment. Everything is part of a system. You can have a sortation system, goods to person system or put wall system or whatever. It's got a certain capacity, throughputs, inputs, and outputs. Twenty workers walked around on a three-level case pick module. There are systems too. They have inputs, outputs, throughput, and expectations. The one big difference is that with a more manual system, you can throw more bodies at it up to the point of diminishing returns and gain through the port from that area, whereas a heavily automated system is rate as its rating. You are not going to do a whole lot to affect that. Throughput is everything, whether you are a plant, a freight broker or a warehouse. The stuff that goes out the door and that we can charge for is what we want to do. Having a warehouse management system is great. I know there are certain warehouses. Probably the old ones still don't even have that. You are saying to be as efficient and effective as you need to be in the market, you need a warehouse execution system that gets me the flow and that throughput. It may not be for everybody, and there are certain things you can do. We could take your core WMS and add some select capabilities from a full-blown WES if a modest level of that kind of automation is necessary. It's not necessarily for one, and I don't want to position it that way but it's certainly something that you want to take a look at as you get to where you've got a significant number of workers. Even smaller operations, things like the automated release of work to the floor without the human being need needing to be involved, that's going to be attractive even for a mid-size operation. The first thing we need is we need to get into this. WMS is given. You said that there was an incremental improvement for many years. Now, you are starting to see big improvements that may be driven by the market that needed big improvements in recent years. Part of that is this WES. What else is there that's part of that smart warehouse? There's a whole bunch of stuff. First, as a reminder, the automation because automation is tied to the labor shortage. Even a couple of years ago, it was very common to talk to DC managers or logistics executives, and automation wasn't necessarily very high on the radar. Nowadays, almost close to 100% of the companies we talked to, even smaller companies, are looking at automation of some kind. That could be big automation where you've got traditional sortation systems but can be very large, goods to person systems, those kinds of things. There's also a lot of interest in lighter, more flexible, and less expensive technology things like what are called put walls. What's a put wall? In great simplicity, it is a technique or a structure, which is a module with a series of cubby holes or slots. In one of these modules, we have 1 customer that has 80 of these modules. What you do is you pick the orders, then when you come to the put wall, you distribute the order to the different orders that need that product. I batch pick the product. I bring it either mechanically or manually to the put wall. Typically, a series of lights says, “This company wall number 3 here and needs 1 of the skews. Put wall in. This one needs 2 that skew you put two in. This one needs 1 put 1 in.” That process repeats itself until all of the items for a given order are complete within that cubbyhole. That's called putting. That's why it's called a put wall because you are taking the order in back, and then you are putting it into the put wall. Around the backside, lights will turn on that indicate, “This cubbyhole is now complete.” The operator comes up and touches a button typically. That starts the printing of the label in any shipping documentation that's required in the orders packed, shipped, and off you go. It provides a tremendous amount of productivity. It's very flexible. You can start small. We had one customer that started with a 1-foot wall module, then added 8 or 9 more because they liked it, then they added 20 more because they really liked it, and did this all over a couple of three-year types of the period there. For any kind of piece picking, especially of soft goods but other types of products as well but often driven not only by eCommerce with any kind of heavy piece picking operation can be a great solution but you've got to have the right software to do it. You've got that big like almost a shelf you said like cubbies on that I'm putting a product through it. Maybe I walked over, and I got 10 different sweaters, 10 sweaters that are all the same, and this cubby gets one. As I do that, I'm scanning it or it recognizes that it's in there. It's informing the other side of the cubby when the order is complete. It needs two sweaters and a pair of shoes. That's just one more way. What do you call this? Technology is only part of it. The other piece of the cubby that walking up to that, I could be putting those in bins in the old days but this is putting that on steroids. The bottom line is we are entering a new era where all technologies are, in fact, much smarter than we've ever had before. It was just a new way of doing it. There are a lot of people who talk about this in terms of optimizing materials and handling systems because getting this right is not a trivial task. I don't want to steal all my thunder from later on but the ability to rapidly turn these put walls and cubbyholes are the whole key to the success. If it's taking you a long time to do that, you are not getting the throughput that you required and probably wasting your time and money but if you can rapidly turn those by making sure the inventory gets there on time and efficient execution on both sides of the wall, then you've got something that can drive a lot of productivity. I don't know what the number is. There are quite a few customers now that are using put walls. When we would go out to some new customers, we've got some videos to show them an operation, and they are interested in seeing how this works. It's the technology along with mobile robots that you are going to see, any eCommerce but any kind of piece picking as well, you are going to see a lot of adoption. I'm an automotive guy originally. When you used to go through a plant, you would see people doing lifting heavy things when I first started, crouching down and doing functions that were hard on the body. Maybe it's not hard on 1 day, 1 week or 1 month but over 1 year, you are going to have a bad back, shoulders or knees. The same thing happens in these DCS or the warehousing. This automation you are talking about is making it easier on the workers, which means, “Hopefully, I will be able to keep my workers healthy and make that job again more attractive.” One time, I talked to a VP of logistics at Sherwin-Williams, the paint company. He noted that on the manufacturing side of the operation, they were always having people retire, and during retirement, little parties were almost taken. He said, “There was no one that ever retired from the distribution side.” That's because the heavy worker is picking cases of paint as a young man's job. As people got older, they couldn't do that work anymore. People are obviously rethinking that for the aging factor, and then there's another factor, “How do I make the work easier so I can have somebody in their 50s and 60s continuing to do this at distribution center job?” If you gave me a choice to go work in an old school warehouse, go deliver food or deliver groceries, I'm going to do the grocery delivery. I can make decent money, sit in my car, and I don't have to hurt my back, or knees or walk 5 miles a day. We have to make these jobs more attractive or we are not going to be able to keep and get good people. This automation is of such interest to the jobs now that we become more technicians and less of an order pickers. Besides a put wall, what's some other automation you are seeing out there? The automated mobile robots, economists mobile robots or AMRs. There's a huge interest in that. One of the interesting things is that in both put walls and mobile robots, you are seeing a lot of adoption and interest by a third-party logistics companies. This makes the point. In the past, 3PLs were very reluctant to do any kind of heavy automation because they couldn't sync the return on investment with the contracts that they had from the shipper. If the shipper can pay off that equipment, it's going to take 5, 7 or whatever years, and the shippers only keep you where 2 or 3-year contract, the risk of automation is too great in these other kinds of systems. It includes things like voice, picks the lights, and smart cards. They are all connected in some ways. Those kinds of systems can be put in for much less expense, much lower risk, and be incrementally adapted. You can start with three mobile robots and see how you like it, then we have seven more later on or whatever until you get to the optimal point for your operation. The fact that 3PLs are making this kind of investment as a whole new phenomenon and it speaks to the way you can incrementally get into the technology and the high level of payback that they are seeing because we were very strong in the third-party logistics arena, as an aside, so we are seeing it very closely. The number of 3PLs that are interested in this mid-range of lighter picking systems, not heavy automation but it's often somewhat newer technologies. It speaks to the changes we are seeing out there in the marketplace. Those are robots. Depending on the facility, they are not necessarily always replacing people. I talked to the CEO or president of DHL. He says, “We thought we would be replacing people with robots. The more robots we add to a facility, the more work we end up getting for that facility. We ended up hiring more people.” Everyone has a shortage. Job is going unfilled. If the robots are taking some of that slack but very few case studies of people that are adopting these technologies, they are still looking for people who have been able to be on. [caption id="attachment_7942" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The Smart Warehouse: WES (Warehouse Execution System) will help manage the flow of work and resource utilization.[/caption]   What's another thing we need for that smart warehouse? Let's get into it in some more detail. We talked about some of the core software components, things like warehouse management systems and warehouse execution systems. A platform for integrating this automation with both heavy and/or traditional and newer age capabilities. There are some enabling technologies, things like rules engines, simulation and some other things. The core world's operations excellence is still the foundation. How do I get that right? That typically involves traditional WMS-type capabilities. What does that mean? What defines a warehouse management system versus an inventory system is the pervasive use of mobile terminals, barcode scanning, wireless RF devices or whatever term you want to use there, and then a lot of system directed activity, this whole notion of task management and task monitoring, where the system is orchestrating the different traditional paths of put away, receiving put away, picking replenishment, etc., and support for multiple strategies around that. We have lots of different picking method options, different replenishment strategies that I can use, and things that have been around for a while like slotting optimization, detailed labor management, labor reporting, and things like that. The foundation is core operations excellence. That's what everyone should strive to get to but nowadays, there's no ability to take that even further in terms of different types of capabilities that we think are defining what we are calling the smart warehouse. You used a term there that was an integration platform. What am I integrating? You were integrating primarily different materials handling technologies. That can be things we have had for a wall that conveyor transport and sortation. It can be some of these newer technologies like robots and put walls. The key is, “How do I optimize the flow so I don't have these islands of automation that are all doing their own thing.” I talked to somebody in the apparel industry. They have a very large and highly automated facility somewhere down in the Atlanta area. It's 1 million or 2 million square feet. They are seeing their throughput from that building after huge investments over the years and over time. They are seeing the throughput decline. What's happening, he believed, is that the business keeps changing. They keep having all these new requirements in terms of how an order needs to be processed. What they do is they keep building new wave types. We talked about wave planning before. Now they are up to like 70 or 80 different wave types. Every time there's another problem, wave fight number 82 if that solves our problem, it's not solving the problem. Part of the reason is that the system is not looking holistically across the facility and seeing how I can optimize the flow of work as a whole, not as an individual subsystem. That's part of what we are talking about here with the smart warehouse. That's the thing that traditional WMS has not done. That integration platform means I can connect all the tools and all the different systems I'm using all connect easily through that integration as opposed to the old way, which is a standalone $100,000 integration with expensive people who have to code. That's certainly part of it. It's managing the flow of work across that. I'm getting hit myself again but for example, you can have some scenarios where I have different paths for an order to be fulfilled. One of the paths and the most efficient for certain orders is maybe a group of put wall models. Let's say put wall area, for whatever reason, starts to be congested. All of a sudden, there's a big backup on the conveyor feeding into the put wall area. The system is going to automatically recognize that. For some time, route orders away from the put wall into manual cart picking, which takes them to the packing station, the same packing area where the put wall automotive leads. When the congestion is clear, then the system automatically reroutes that work back to the put walls again. Now you are looking at only the plain integration but in monitoring the flow of work that's happening and making real-time decisions accordingly. I'm an automotive guy, and we had all of those years. We used the term smart factories, and it was the same thing. How do we increase throughput? What can happen is you can end up with a local optimum where some guys are building a big stack of inventory and does nobody any good? What does all that excess inventory doing for me? What makes more sense is to say, “We are going to get this, so there's a flow to it. We are not building up too much inventory. There are no bottlenecks.” This is the same thing. What you are talking about here is, “How do I arrange my people so I don't have these guys sitting around because they already finished while these guys are in a congested area?” The core world's operations excellence is still the foundation. The term flow manufacturing came out of exactly what you are talking about there and was largely developed initially in the automotive industry. We are talking about the same thing. Now we are talking about flow distribution instead of flow manufacturing but the fundamental concepts, more of a pull-based system were being worked on capacities and constraints, more concerned with the total flow of goods and not what's happening in one individual area. All those are very consistent, whether you're looking at the principles that were established earlier in manufacturing or what's being applied here in distribution. I'm going to assume that at one time, the WMS, a big selling point would be, “We will tell you where your inventory is at,” That was probably a big step up. You go, “It does that. Now I'm going to tell you how that inventory moves off of your shelves and out the door and how you bring new inventory.” It's amazing. We still see quite a few every week, we see somebody that's a calling or emailing in, and then we talked to him. It turns out they don't have that real-time visibility of the inventory because they are using some kind of paper-based system or something, and sometimes these are even good size companies. In general, anybody that's implemented a tier-1 or tier-2 level, even WMS shouldn't have that real-time inventory visibility in doing that. It gets into that operations excellence and problem but that's the foundation, “I got to know what I got and where it is by lot, batch, serial number or whatever attribute is important for your operation or combination of attributes.” That's the foundation, but now, we are saying, “How do we optimize on top of that and get more product out the door and lower cost?” It requires investment. Having a WMS tell me, “Here is the information but it's not enough anymore.” To your point, we need all of this to get there. You asked me about some of the components of the smart warehouse, and I talked about it from a product category perspective, but now, I'm talking about it more from a philosophical or a functional view. One of the key foundations is constraining condition awareness, “What's happening in my building? What's happening with the flow of goods?” One of the things that first got me to understand WES in a deeper way is this notion that it's always-on listening and monitoring the environment. If you think about a traditional WMS, it's more sequential-oriented, “I receive the product. I put it away. I replenished pick sites. I do the picking. I take it to pack or evaluated services. I put it in this receiving staging. I get it shipping staging. I get it out the door all very good then the delivered.” A lot of companies don't have that. Organizing and automating all of that are big steps forward but we need to take it to the next level. If you think about this notion, the system is always on monitoring throughput and flow. There are certain rates and throughput that I'm expecting. I need to be able to have a flexible set of dashboards supported by event alerts and notifications. If there's a problem that says, “Here's what's happening across.” However, I wanted to find it in the area, I can define an area as a case picking module or as a whole three-level case pick module. I see that as one unit, and I want to know what the throughput is there. Maybe I want to see it at each level of that pick module. I can see it more gradually. What's nifty about this is that new level of visibility, the activity, throughput, bottlenecks, alerts, and corrective action automated, increasingly automated, if there are bottlenecks. That provides a nice set of real-time dashboards of looking stuff where people can see what's happening, “I have these many orders pending here that's already been completed. Here's how many are in picking,” or all of that level of detail. To understand what's going on here with the smart warehouse is, the system is using that same data that's being exposed to managers and supervisors that's what it's using to make decisions as well. I decided that example of being aware of the backup that's happening in the put wall and automatically, for some time, routing work around that until the congestion is cleared. That's what's different now about this visibility and activity monitoring. Being able to flexibly do that however you want to define a processing area could be evaluated services. It could be peace picking and all these things. Obviously, now the design is at these different flows throughout the facility are in sync. I'm not getting old backed up and packing, which is causing problems way back, picking and replenishment because I haven't automated the visibility and the flow, release in a way that's going to be cognizant and aware that I've got a problem here and, “Here's what I need to do about it for some time until we are adjusting. We are just taking action to solve the problem.” You sent me a PowerPoint and I have this here. It's got that real-time configurable dashboard. It's been a while since I have seen somebody had me a piece of paper but somebody handed me a piece of paper that had 40 columns. It was like an Excel spreadsheet or something, maybe a spin out of a system. It had so much, I looked at it and I was like, “What am I supposed to do with this?” I liked the idea of being able to configure it for those KPIs that I care about. [caption id="attachment_7943" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The Smart Warehouse: One of the things that got me to understand WES in a deeper way is this notion that it's always on, listening and monitoring the environment.[/caption]   I don't want to measure everything. That's just me. Tell me the 4, 5 or 7 things that matter that tells me my warehouse is moving in the right direction, and that things are working well. It says, “Orders with issues.” I also love the idea that I don't find out about the issues in next week's report. I find out about them in real-time. The point that you made is a nice transition to this notion of another component. We talked about the real-time visibility of capacities, constraints, the conditions up there, and the always-on nature of the WES. Now, we have talked about looking at a table of 40 rows of information or whatever. It's all in the past. It brings up a point there, which is even with higher-end WMS, this is one of the learnings and insights that we have. There's still a tremendous amount of decision-making that is being done by human beings. As the manager, whoever you were talking about there in your example, staring at a 40-row spreadsheet or whatever, you see the same thing nowadays of managers and supervisors staring at computer screens, trying to figure out what the right thing to do next. Here's the reality. Every time you do that, first off, you introduce some latency into the system because it takes time to look at those different screens, think about it, make decisions, and scribble some things down on a piece of paper to remind you this needs to be taken care of or whatever. In most cases, there's no way a human being can make the optimal decision in the same way that a computer can. Even if you are a smart guy or girl, there's just too much data and too much to try to process at one time. Part of the capabilities of the smart WMS is the much more advanced software-based decision-making. Things like order batch optimization, given block of orders, “What's the best way to most effectively execute that on the software floor?” What we think is absolutely huge is this notion of the autonomous warehouse, as a term of Gartner is used, and others have used it as well but it talks about being able to automatically release work without the need for a wave planner, inventory expediters or all the kind of people that you see often involved in these decisions about what work to do when. Work relation on a variety of attributes, things like the order of priority, the inventory and resource availability, what kind of optimization opportunities are there? The bigger the order pool and more optimization opportunities you have because they are more data or conditions to be optimized but you can't hold on so long. You are not getting the throughput out through your cutoff time. This is a huge one. It's sophisticated. Whereas now, at 4:00 or 5:00, when the UPS, FedEx or whatever truck is leaving, you often see, and we have made commitments to the eCommerce is going to ship, you see a certain amount of chaos going around, trying to figure out all the orders that need to go on that truck, have been on the trucking and what to do about it. What we are talking about here is we are saying, “This is the work. We know how long it's going to take to pick and transport those orders to the shipping dock.” The work is going to automatically release itself. At the beginning of the day, we are more concerned about optimization. We still got a lot of decent amount of time, so we can focus on doing it the most efficient we can but as you go throughout the day, that needle starts to change from the focus on efficiency and cost to efficiency on customer service and making sure that those items are on there. The system does that automatically. It's configured to take those into consideration. Now those orders are getting on the trucks automatically without the chaos and the difficulty that's going on out there. This is a step-change capability here. We are talking about a system that is self-learning and in optimal how releases work. This is another concept we have had in distribution software before, and this is what defines what works on the smart warehouse. I had a boss in the past when I was young, I remember I sent an Excel spreadsheet to him, and it told a story. He's pulled me into his office and said, “This is a great Excel spreadsheet. I have to go through here and come to the same conclusion you did.” I go, “It's easy.” He goes, “No. When you send me this Excel spreadsheet, send me a recommendation. I don't want to have to come to a conclusion. That's your job. Show me that you attach the data back up but give me a recommendation.” I feel the same take way about running a warehouse, “Don't make me figure it out myself. Give me an alert that says, ‘This is a problem. This is how many orders are at risk. This is how many orders need to get on that truck that isn't done yet.'” To show you a simple example. Still, a lot of people, especially for eCommerce, are doing manual cart picking. I may have a cart that's got a certain configuration 3x3 or 4x4. What I mean by a 3x3 would be 3 shelves that each have room for 3 cartons each. I have nine total orders that I'm working on there. Most companies that we see do that are doing it with paper picking or pick by label or something. There's some attempt to do that more efficiently but something as simple as cart picking. The smart warehouse can take it to a whole new level. First off, you've got to get this order pool that's out there and at any one period. I'm probably going to have done some cartonization logic there to determine what should go in what box, especially with a multi carton order. In most cases, there's no way a human being can make the optimal decision in the same way that a computer can. Even if you're really smart, there's just too much data to process at one time. If you are shipping, for example, you don't want to put perfume in the same carton as payroll because of the obvious contamination that can happen there. When a picker comes up and scans a barcode on that cart, the system is going to automatically know it's this configuration, 3x3, 4x4 or whatever. It will have done some optimization typically in terms of what's called cluster picking were, “I'm going to take that cart to one location. I will put as many orders as I can on the cart that is signed to that cart that has the same set of skews so I can minimize my travel distance. Hopefully, I'm being clear on what that means.” Now I get to that location that can be done with lights or it can be done with barcode scanning. It says, “Take one of these from this location, put it in the carton slot 3'1, which is the 3rd shelf and the first location. The next one is 3'2. 2'3, 2'1 or whatever that sequence. I'm doing that in a way that makes it very efficient but we can take it even still beyond that. What if a high-priority order comes on? The pickers walk along as long as there's a location on that cart, whether it's a carton or a tote they are picking into. If it hasn't been started, we can remove automatically a lower priority order and insert a higher priority order that has come down onto that card as long as we would typically do it. The picker doesn't have to turn around and go backward as long as it picks for the new order or ahead of that picker. We do that without the picker, even being aware that it happened. You can expedite automatically like, “I got a truck that's going to be here one hour. We haven't even started yet. Let's get this going.” We say, “If you get an order in by 2:00, we will ship it that day. If it's 1: 58, all of a sudden, an order drops. I got two minutes.” This isn't going to automatically insert a higher priority order possible. I like something you said in there that we talked about the labor problem with these guys walking around maybe 5 or 10 miles in a day. One of the reasons we are going to quit, especially if you are me, is I don't want that many steps. When I walk over there, all my orders are in the same area, then I walk over here, and all my orders are there, as opposed to one side of the warehouse, and another order on the other side or I'm walking and go, “What has my life become where I walk back and like this?” Order pool optimization as well because the bigger the batch that I'm working with, the more opportunities I have to gain those picks together. On a given card, I'm maybe walking a very few feet. To your point, and this is where you get into the whole notion of mobile robots because now, perhaps that, “I go to the pick location, I pick the order but I'm putting it on a pick card. I'm putting it on a mobile robot, and the mobile robots can move on to the next location or on the packing of the orders completed. I'm walking very little at that point or comparatively little, which is one of the attractiveness of mobile robot technology.” Hopefully, it's becoming clearer. The nature of the warehouse is changing, and a part of that's going to have to be to not only be more cost-efficient and get more out the door with the staff that I've got but it's making sure that people have a less miserable work experience and hence hopefully going to stay with this a lot longer. This is not your grandpa's warehouse anymore. To be competitive, it used to be like, “These guys are high tech because they have a WMS.” Now we are starting to spin out the automation, the warehouse execution, and the integration platform. This is all getting really high-tech. Do you think this is probably the lowest-tech business there was many years ago? House is all going to play out. It's going to be interesting to see but the lighter automation techniques, including the robots and the put walls, are so attractive in terms of their flexibility and expandability. There are machine learning, artificial intelligence, and all kinds of things going to be involved here. The warehouses are becoming technology centers. If you see the private equity money that's flowing into robotics firms, AI firms, and others, in a lot of the smart money, it's the work that they do. Companies, retailers, and other eCommerce companies are starting to realize the importance of a well-run warehouse. Was this guy's quiet logistics? They've got bought by American Eagle. That was American Eagle recognizing the traditional retailer, the same thing we're going to buy ourselves a warehousing company because that's how important this business is. The force behind what has become locus robots. We will move our vendors that happened because Amazon had bought key assist systems right before that and left a quiet without a partner for automation they were building the business on. They invented their own robot. [caption id="attachment_7944" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The Smart Warehouse: What's really different now about this kind of visibility and activity monitoring is being able to flexibly do that however you want to define a processing area.[/caption]   Bruce Welty was at my show. He's the Founder of Quiet. He said he got a phone call saying, “Are you guys using those Locus robots?” He says, “Yeah, how do you like them?” “We like them a lot. Can we come to visit?” “Sure.” It was Amazon. Amazon looked around and said, “We love this.” They bought Locus. A couple of other things I would like to bring up. First, broader use of some automation ideas or IoT type devices. RFID is starting to make something of a comeback years after Walmart tried back in 2003 or 2004. Generally, you are going to see many manual scanning activities that are going to disappear or if I need to move this way back now from being implemented at the store level by customers concerned with the eCommerce fulfillment for inventory equity purposes, you are going to see a move back up into the distribution operations. That will certainly be a big part of it. We were already doing things like, for example, we are a broker with a pick cart. Picker with a pick cart can walk up to a fixed zone. The IoT automatically recognizes that this person is on. It automatically turns on the pick lights that are on those four pick locations. It's a minor thing there but that's an advancement we are going to see. We have even done some stuff with congestion management and COVID, where we can tell exactly where somebody is in the I or using IoT and being able to assign work based on real-time visibility to who's closest to that work, but also when the COVID area being able to space people apart so that they don't get to say within 8 feet of each other, whatever that happens to be, whatever your metric you want to use, therefore that group constraint. There are some various things that can happen there. This is still slow going. It hasn't taken off as fast as many people think but you are going to see RFID and IoT start to make some mural inroads over the next years. We have this follow the notion of Gartner and what's considered to be called a conversational voice. The transactional voice is doing the picking, pallet build or something using voice technologies. Typically, reading in a location check digit and doing a hands-free pick, replenishment or whatever the task might be but we're starting to get now into more of a dialogue. We are all ready to the point now where we can have a supervisor take a smartphone and say, “Show me how I'm doing on wave number 235,” over a smartphone. That's going to bring back exactly what's happening now or, “Where's the replenishment for location on 3652?” We are still early in this game here but certainly, we will move to more of a dialogue going on with the WMS and WES than just playing transactional voice-type of technology. We ended with a very exciting where the future interface of the software is going to had. This is where that integration platform you talked about comes in handy. I can connect to all this stuff. The new killer app that comes out, I can get it. We have been left there. Automation and optimization of materials handling systems is certainly a key part of this. We refer to it, not just as a smart warehouse's the future but as the smart automated across to the future due to the interest in the technologies we have talked about several times already. We can directly connect with these picking assistance, like walls, pick the light or voice without the need for third-party software. Everyone else uses some kind of software from the put wall vendor, pixelate vendor or voice vendor, which adds another layer of integration and costs. It often results in people operating silos. We can directly control a lot of these materials handling technologies. It allows you to operate and optimize those in the context of everything that's happening in the world and all the information that's available, which provides you a lot of benefits over time because you are not just trying to operate in silos. I talked to somebody that was using a pick-to-light system. They talked about how at the end of every week, they've got to go in and clean up all these pics that some of them never were executed in the pick-to-light system. I'm not quite sure why that is but it wouldn't happen with the way we are approaching things because we would be aware of that. It probably has to wait on a real punishment. The problem is the pixelate vendor doesn't do replenishment the documents. You've got these silos going on here and there are a lot of opportunities. In terms of that integration platform, we think this is especially true for mobile robots, people are using the mobile software of the mobile robots. What that does is it limits the total optimization that can be achieved but more importantly, you are now totally dependent on that robot software. What if you want to add different robots or change horses three years from now? There's a better mousetrap that works faster or whatever that happens to be. Now you have become locked in. We refer to it not just as smart but the smart automated across to the future. We think the market needs a mobile robot and a broader automation integration platform. It's almost like an operating system for automation in the warehouse that's going to allow you to have visibility to optimization of robots of different kinds from the same manufacturer of different types for different manufacturers. You are not locked in. It's like a plug-and-play type of environment here three years from now. You can keep the robots or keep dependent you bought, but now, you want to add five more from a different vendor, plug them into this operating system, and have instant connectivity and the ability to optimize the performance. We think that's a much more low-risk approach going forward than locking yourself into a vendor that's coming to the software that's coming from the robot vendor. Get back to the idea of a smart warehouse. It's all about throughput. If I have different systems that are connecting, that are doing local optimums, that's a problem because it's not supporting throughput. I always need that one source of truth. That's the main system that says, “This is all about getting stuff out the door here.” I wanted to bring up one. Earlier, I talked about wanting to give an example of what the put wall. I referenced that as the cubbyholes in put walls. Here's the scenario we are seeing. Let's say there are three line items eCommerce order. Two of those line items in the order come from a carton flow rec area, that's very close to packing. I mean those orders are efficient to pick, in short distance to transport. The third line item is actually coming from a slow-moving mezzanine pick area that's farther away and is less efficient to pick. If you don't do anything, otherwise what's going to happen in those first two items from that order are going to show up rather quickly, then they are going to sit and wait for 10, 15, 20, 45 minutes or whatever it happens to be for that third item on the pick, the order to finally show up. The cubbyhole has been tied up that entire time. What's the smarter warehouse way of doing it? What's the WES way of doing it? Let's say it's 25% slower to go through the mezzanine or whatever the number you want to use it. We would release that third line item in effect 25% or 30% earlier. After the time it takes to pick and transport that as it's on its way to the pack station, now we release the other two orders line items in the carton flow rack. They show up at the put wall for processing at relatively the same time, and now I'm able to turn that wall without the latency that would occur if you didn't have smart software to do that. Hopefully, that's an example that makes it somewhat clearer as to how the optimization can affect operational performance. You would never be able to get that done manually. It doesn't happen. This is like drinking from a fire hose. There is so much going on in this. Put a bow on this. Give us your final thoughts on this. What do I need to get to have that smart warehouse? First of all, the benefit is it is going to reduce labor costs, have higher and more consistent DC throughput, you are going to reduce your need for automation in terms of things like the number of diverse or get more throughput out of the automation you have there. We didn't talk much about labor planning but that's a big part of it. We can dynamically assign workers throughout the course of a shift from 1 to 8 to 9, 9 to 10, or 10 to 11 hours where are they needed motion and in what quantities, improved automated decision-making. It's an assessment. Certainly, if you are heavily automated, there are a lot of opportunities for you. As I tried to make the point earlier, even if you're only modestly automated or not automated at all, these capabilities can have some real benefit for your operations there. The important thing to note with Softeon is these can be implemented very incrementally. I could implement a traditional WMS. Let's say I want the labor planning and allocation part of it. We can take that capability from WES and attach it to the WMS. To give you a solution, conversely, if you want to implement WES and leave your existing WMS in place, we didn't talk too much about that but that's a key dynamic. You need cartonization, which is a warehouse management function and even attach cartonization to that WES implementation. Flexibility is key. That's what we try to design. We call it a shirt component library, where the applications can borrow components, functionality, and services from each other. We are pretty confident that it gives us a chance to understand what you are trying to accomplish, what your operations are like or whatever that some combination of these technologies is going to have a pretty good fit and take your world to a whole new level than we have seen over the last many years. What's new over at Softeon?. What conferences do you go into? We have done with the motor show, and it was a big success for us. We not only showed the smart warehouse, we presented the smart warehouse capabilities. We had a lot of equipment pick the light, other packing stations, etc., right on our routes. At the bottom of every hour, we did a presentation. We had consistently good traffic the whole time. We did a bit of an educational track and a session on the smart warehouse of the future available on Softeon. It was very well attended. That was good. We will be at the Gartner Supply Chain Symposium down in Orlando and then break after that. [caption id="attachment_7945" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The Smart Warehouse: Even if you're just modestly automated, these capabilities can have some real benefits on your operations. These can be implemented very incrementally.[/caption]   We finished up a series of educational broadcasts called the WMS Bootcamp, six different sessions on everything from building the business case to how to implement it successfully. It was a huge success, but all of that's now available on-demand. If they go up to You will be able to find some links to that. If you have any interest in WMS, they're not commercial, educational sessions. You will find they have a lot of value. The feedback we got on it was outstanding. I would like to watch myself because we went over this and it is gone from simple to more complex over time. I know you are simplifying it but to understand what's required requires a Bootcamp. We learned a lot of lessons. I brought in some consultants and people that I knew and knew what they were talking about in terms of building the business case. We had some folks from Invista that came on and did that. I had some experience or exposure. I knew they knew what they were talking about. Some of that applies to some other consultants as well. It's a real nice series. It's non-commercial. If you want to learn some tips about how to get WMS selection and implementation, you'll find the Bootcamp serves you well. How do we reach out and talk to you over at Softeon? The way to get me is via email. My email address is You can also use for the general inquiry box. I love to hear from you. Hopefully, we came across, so at least you know a little bit about what I'm talking about and discuss your problems as well. Anyone who wants to reach out can reach out and talk to you about the smart warehouse. Thanks, Joe. I enjoyed it. It was a great conversation. Thank you so much, Dan. Thank all of you for reading. Your supports are very much appreciated, until next time and more network.   Important Links Softeon Supply Chain Digest WMS Bootcamp The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast Check out The Logistics of Logistics on Youtube

    REPOST: Supply Chains in VUCA Environments with Jim Tompkins

    Play Episode Listen Later May 11, 2022 48:26

    Supply Chains in VUCA Environments with Jim Tompkins Jim Tompkins and Joe Lynch talk about Supply Chains in VUCA Environments. Jim is the Founder and Chairman of Tompkins Ventures, a partner firm that helps executive teams address five main problems: entrepreneurial growth, industrial development, leadership, logistics partnerships and technology. About James A. Tompkins, Ph.D. Dr. James A. Tompkins is the Founder and Chairman of Tompkins Ventures. Jim Tompkins is an international authority on designing and implementing end-to-end supply chains. He is a serial entrepreneur who has started several businesses; worked with private equity; designed many industrial facilities and automated materials handling systems; implemented many supply chain information technology solutions and worked to enhance the performance of many 3PLs and 3PL clients. Earlier in his career, Jim founded Tompkins International. During his tenure as at Tompkins International the company evolved from a supply chain consulting firm into an end-to-end supply chain consulting and solutions company, with business units focusing on supply chain consulting, material handling integration, and robotics. His 40-plus years as CEO of Tompkins International and his focus on helping companies achieve profitable growth give him an insider's view into what makes great companies even better. Jim received his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering in 1969, his Master of Science in Industrial Engineering in 1970 and his Ph.D. in 1972, all from Purdue University. About Tompkins Ventures A partner firm that helps executive teams address five main problems: entrepreneurial growth, industrial development, leadership, logistics partnerships and technology. Founded by business strategy and supply chain expert Dr. James A. Tompkins in 2020, Tompkins Ventures has more than 60 partners who have all held executive positions. Each of the selected partners have a passion for helping organizations turn one or more of the above big problems into a competitive advantage for their company. Tompkins Ventures is headquartered in Raleigh, NC with partners spanning Africa, Asia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Central America, China, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Panama, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States. Key Takeaways: Supply Chains in VUCA Environments VUCA Environments VUCA stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. How to handle VUCA environments and unprecedented times. Covid-19 is VUCA, a “black swan” event. What happens to Supply Chains in a VUCA Environment? VUCA can also be hurricanes, wildfires, social evil, political issues, and others. It's not just one event; it's a combination of many. 2021: Uncertainty about uncertainty. Supply chain: the art and science of synchronizing supply and demand. COVID and the associated VUCA forced us to completely redesign what we do and how we do it. The supply chain strives for control and predictability, the opposite of VUCA. Finding solutions that can adapt to VUCA environments. How to be more resilient? Understand what visibility and awareness entail. Creating a many-to-many network. Embrace a digital supply network. Visibility needs to lead to actionability. Connect the process through artificial intelligence that can address the problem. Deploy machine learning to create rules and guidelines. Create agility with AI to work through VUCA environments. Supply chains instead of supply chain Be aware that every product has it's own unique supply chain. Reshore and nearshore supply chains and manufacturing to increase resiliency – the anti-brittle supply chain. Focus on optionality as optimality is obsolete with VUCA. Learn More About Supply Chains in VUCA Environments Jim's LinkedIn Tompkins Ventures LinkedIn Tompkins Ventures The Mandate of Supply Chain Resilience 2020 – It was one heck of a decade The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast Check out The Logistics of Logistics on Youtube

    REPOST: What Will Tomorrow's Freight Broker Do with Ben Buchanan

    Play Episode Listen Later May 9, 2022 51:24

    What Will Tomorrow's Freight Broker Do with Ben Buchanan Ben Buchanan and Joe Lynch talk about what tomorrow's freight broker will do. Ben is VP of Account Management at Loadsmart, which is transforming the future of freight, they leverage artificial intelligence, machine learning and strategic partnerships to automate how freight is priced, booked and shipped. About Ben Buchanan Ben Buchanan is VP of Account Management at Loadsmart, leading a team of account managers and sales representatives focused on growing relationships with enterprise and small/medium enterprise shippers by providing additional value to address their unique challenges. Ben has a decade of experience in freight brokerage across various leadership roles, building best-in-class teams for high growth and scalability while delivering for the customer. He earned his logistics stripes at GlobalTranz, learning the business and riding the fast growth wave to impactful leadership positions, and under Buchanan's leadership at Loadsmart the account sales team has grown in headcount by 860% and in revenue by 578% (1H YoY 2020 - 2021). Ben holds a BA in Political Science from Arizona State University and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the American Charter School Foundation. Prior to GlobalTranz he worked as an educator and high school basketball coach. About Loadsmart Transforming the future of freight, Loadsmart leverages artificial intelligence, machine learning and strategic partnerships to automate how freight is priced, booked and shipped. Pairing advanced technologies with deep-seated industry expertise, Loadsmart fuels growth, simplifies operational complexity and bolsters efficiency for carriers and shippers alike. Key Takeaways: What Will Tomorrow's Freight Broker Do Ben Buchanan is the Vice President of Account Management at Loadsmart, a digital freight brokerage that leverages cutting-edge technology and strategic partnerships to help shippers and carriers move more with less. The freight brokerage space is rapidly transforming as digital freight brokerage companies like Loadsmart deploy technology to automate processes, reduce cost per load, and deliver a superior customer experience. In the interview, Ben describes 5 things that freight brokers will be expected to do in the very near future. Of course, some of the industry leaders like Loadsmart are delivering these innovations today. Instantaneous freight quotes created by a dynamic pricing tool that delivers the right price with guaranteed capacity. No more back and forth emails and phone calls haggling over pricing. Dynamic pricing powered by artificial intelligence provides an instant rate that reflects the most updated market intelligence. Mode optimization automatically included in each quote. Mode optimization has traditionally been promised, but not delivered because the analysis was completed by people who didn't have the data or tools. Now, mode options with instantly bookable rates across modes including rail, LTL, PTL, and FTL, enable shippers to optimize shipments based on sustainability, cost, and expediency. Data insights that enable shippers to learn from not just their own data and insights — but from each other. To achieve best in class performance, shippers need to be able to compare their KPIs to their industry peers. Additionally, brokers must be able to analyze shipment data and provide actionable data insights that drive operational improvement across the entire shipping function. Rate transparency that empowers the shipper to know exactly what they are paying for. As digital freight brokers automate and streamline the shipping process that was traditionally managed manually, the value added has changed. In the new model, freight brokers won't be rewarded financially for getting a big spread (cost of truck vs price to shipper). Instead, new pricing models and incentives have evolved that align the shipper and broker. Shift to digital means that freight brokers will need to find new ways to add value to both shippers and carriers. To deliver a superior customer experience, freight brokerages will need to provide the best of tech and the best of people. Learn More About What Will Tomorrow's Freight Broker Do Ben Buchanan LinkedIn Loadsmart homepage Enterprise Shipper Small Business Shipper Carrier Beyond Cost Per Load with Felipe Capella  The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast Check out The Logistics of Logistics on Youtube

    REPOST: 5 Trends Shaping Logistics with Ben Gordon

    Play Episode Listen Later May 6, 2022 44:42

    5 Trends Shaping Logistics with Ben Gordon Ben Gordon and Joe Lynch discuss 5 trends shaping logistics and supply chain. In the interview, Ben reviews and discussed trends and interesting companies in ecommerce, final mile, cold chain, reverse logistics, and fulfillment. About Ben Gordon Benjamin Gordon is the Founder and Managing Partner of Cambridge Capital. He draws on a career building, advising, and investing in supply chain companies. Benjamin has led investments in outstanding firms including XPO, Grand Junction, Bringg, Liftit, and others. As CEO of BGSA Holdings, Benjamin has spent his career investing in and helping to build supply chain and technology companies. Benjamin led the firm's efforts, advising on over $1 billion worth of supply chain transactions. Benjamin has worked with firms such as UPS, DHL, Kuehne & Nagel, Agility Logistics, NFI Logistics, GENCO, Nations Express, Raytrans, Echo Global, Dixie, Wilpak, and others. Prior to BGSA Holdings, Ben founded 3PLex, the Internet solution enabling third-party logistics companies to automate their business. Benjamin raised $28 million from blue-chip investors including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, BancBoston Ventures, CNF, and Ionian. 3PLex was then purchased by Maersk. Prior to 3PLex, Benjamin advised transportation and logistics clients at Mercer Management Consulting. Prior to Mercer, Benjamin worked in his family's transportation business, AMI, where he helped the company expand its logistics operations. Benjamin received a Master's in Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale College. About Cambridge Capital Cambridge Capital is a private equity firm investing in the applied supply chain. The firm provides private equity to finance the expansion, recapitalization or acquisition of growth companies in our sectors. Our philosophy is to invest in companies where our operating expertise and in-depth supply chain knowledge can help our portfolio companies achieve outstanding value. Cambridge Capital was founded in 2009 as the investment affiliate of BG Strategic Advisors (, the advisor of choice for a large, growing number of supply chain CEOs. Cambridge Capital leverages BGSA's unique approach to strategy-led investment banking for the supply chain. BGSA is known for its work helping companies achieve outsized returns via targeted acquisitions and premium sales processes, and has worked with category leaders such as UPS, DHL, Agility Logistics, New Breed, NFI, Genco, Nations Express, Raytrans, and others. Our relationship with BGSA gives us deep market expertise, access to outstanding deal flow and people flow, transactional capabilities, additional resources, and a powerful core competency in the supply chain sector. The Partners and Advisory Board members of Cambridge Capital have diverse backgrounds with complementary technical, operating and financial expertise. The Cambridge Capital team has spent their careers building, growing, and advising outstanding companies in the supply chain sector. They include former leaders of UPS Logistics, Ryder Logistics, ATC Logistics, APL Logistics, Kuehne + Nagel, and other globally recognized firms. Cambridge Capital's professionals know what it takes to build great companies. Key Takeaways: 5 Trends Shaping Logistics with Ben Gordon In the podcast, Ben reviewed the following 5 trends shaping logistics:  Ecommerce Ecommerce has not only reshaped logistics, but it is also has reshaped the entire economy. According to McKinsey, 10 years of e-commerce adoption was compressed into three months. Because of explosive growth of ecommerce, small parcel companies, UPS, FedEx and DHL experienced exceptional growth. The U.S. Postal Service and Amazon have also seen huge growth in shipments due to the growth of ecommerce. Returns and reverse logistics Traditional retailers experience 6-8% of sales to be returned. Ecommerce sellers have returns of approximately 30%. Returned items are a major pain point for both sellers and logistics providers because they are unplanned, very expensive, and difficult to manage. To address the returns and reverse logistics challenge, companies like ReverseLogix have created reverse logistics technology that reduces costs and enhances the customer's experience, while increasing inventory recovery and visibility into the reverse logistics life-cycle. Last mile Last mile or final mile is perhaps the most important and difficult part of direct-to-consumer (DTC) shipping. Last mile accounts for 41% of the cost of business-to-consumer shipping. Amazon has raised customer expectations with a superior DTC experience that many companies will fail to replicate. In response, firms like Bringg are helping their clients deliver a last-mile experience that is comparable to the Amazon experience. Delivery software and service companies like Delivery Circle are helping companies leverage technology to make local delivery service more efficient and profitable. Ecommerce fulfillment Ecommerce fulfillment is the backbone of the direct-to-consumer supply chain and to successful, fulfillment companies must excel at both technology and warehousing & logistics. Many companies entering the fulfillment space from a technology background struggle with warehousing, logistics, and operations, while traditional warehousing & logistics companies may initially lack the technical expertise. Medical logistics and cold chain During COVID, the importance of the medical logistics and supply chain was highlighted especially in the areas of the cold chain. The lack of adequate cold chain infrastructure is proving to be a problem in the developing world. Cold chain monitoring and compliance is an area primed for growth. Learn More About the 5 Trends Shaping Logistics Ben Gordon Cambridge Capital 2021 BGSA Holdings Supply Chain Conference 2021 BGSA Holdings Supply Chain Conference – Welcome Remarks from Ben Gordon Related Podcasts Faster, Better Freight Quotes with Dawn Salvucci-Favier Alternatives to UPS and FedEx The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast Check out The Logistics of Logistics on Youtube

    The REFASHIOND Ventures Story with Brian Aoaeh

    Play Episode Listen Later May 4, 2022 49:51

    The REFASHIOND Ventures Story with Brian Aoaeh Brian Aoaeh and Joe Lynch discuss the REFASHIOND Ventures story. Brian is the a Cofounder and General Partner of REFASHIOND Ventures, an emerging venture capital fund manager that invests in early stage supply chain technology. About Brian Aoaeh  Brian Aoaeh is a Cofounder and General Partner of REFASHIOND Ventures, an emerging venture capital fund manager that invests in early stage supply chain technology. Prior to REFASHIOND, Brian acquired 10 years of experience in investment research and management, with 8 of those years spent building KEC Ventures from scratch. KEC Ventures is an early-stage technology venture capital firm with $98M of AUM across 2 funds, and 51 investments. Before KEC Ventures he joined KEC Holdings - a single family office, as the first member of its investing team. He joined KEC Holdings after serving as the statistical research and strategy analyst in Global Diversity and Inclusion at Lehman Brothers in New York, NY. Before his tenure at Lehman, he worked at UBS AG in Stamford, CT as the statistical research analyst in Group Diversity. Prior to UBS, he was a pension actuarial analyst at Watson Wyatt Worldwide (now Willis Towers Watson). He was a junior auditor at Issifu Ali & Co. Chartered Accountants, in Accra, Ghana between completing his secondary school education and commencing undergraduate study in the United States in 1997. Brian holds a BA with a double major in Mathematics and Physics from Connecticut College in New London, CT. During his undergraduate study he spent three years as a research assistant in the Tunable Diode Laser Spectroscopy Laboratory at the Connecticut College Physics Department - including multiple collaborative investigations at NASA Langley Research Center; He is a co-author of five articles that have been published in refereed journals. He earned an MBA, with a specialization in Financial Instruments and Markets, from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University in New York, NY. He is a CFA Institute charter holder. He is also an adjunct professor of supply chain and operations management in the Department of Technology Management and Key Takeaways: The Refashiond Ventures Brian Laung Aoaeh is the a Cofounder and General Partner of REFASHIOND Ventures, an emerging venture capital fund manager that invests in early stage supply chain technology. In the podcast interview, Brian describes his entrepreneurial journey and his own personal story as an immigrant to the USA. Refashiond champions companies refashioning supply chains. Refashiond Ventures is raising an early stage supply chain technology fund, sourcing deals from The Worldwide Supply Chain Federation's network of 33,000+ innovators, whilst leveraging their operating experience, and strong engagements with corporate limited partners as both investors and market-validating customers of their portfolio companies. The Refashioned team believes that supply chains are being refashioned for the following reasons: Unprecedented convergence is occurring due to digitization. Global trade and consumption are increasing. Sustainability Learn More About The Refashiond Ventures Brian's LinkedIn Brian's Twitter Brian's Personal Blog REFASHIOND Ventures LinkedIn REFASHIOND Ventures The Worldwide Supply Chain Federation Booklet - The World is a Supply Chain The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast Check out The Logistics of Logistics on Youtube

    Rail 101 with Ian Jefferies

    Play Episode Listen Later May 2, 2022 45:36

    Rail 101 with Ian Jefferies Ian Jefferies and Joe Lynch discuss Rail 101. Ian is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of American Railroads (AAR) which is the world's leading railroad policy, research, standard setting, and technology organization that focuses on the safety and productivity of the U.S. freight rail industry. About Ian Jefferies Ian Jefferies is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of American Railroads. (AAR). Jefferies advocates for and works with member railroads to ensure the continued viability of America's railroad industry. Before joining the AAR, Jefferies cultivated more than a decade of experience working within government. From 2009 to 2013, Jefferies served as a senior policy advisor to the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. In this role, Jefferies provided policy guidance on a host of transportation issues, including railroad economic regulation, rail safety and passenger rail. Jefferies also led the successful development, negotiation and reauthorization of major infrastructure legislation and managed the successful conference of Committee legislation relating to the 2012 surface transportation reauthorization law, MAP 21. Jefferies began his career in government serving as a Senior Advisor to the Mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, before transitioning to the federal government. Prior to serving in the United States Senate, he worked for the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the Inspector General and the U.S. Government Accountability Office. In these roles, Jefferies led program reviews on a variety of issues including infrastructure development, international trade, major weapon systems acquisition and federal contracting. Education. Jefferies received his Master of Science in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA and his Bachelor of Science in economics from the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY. About Association of American Railroads America's freight railroads operate the safest, most efficient, cost-effective and environmentally sound freight transportation system in the world — and at the Association of American Railroads (AAR) we are committed to keeping it that way. Operating over a private, 140,000 mile network stretching across the far reaches of North America, AAR members include the major freight railroads in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as Amtrak. Working with elected officials and leaders in Washington, D.C. on critical transportation and related issues, AAR ensures that the freight rail industry will continue to meet America's transportation needs today and tomorrow. As the standard setting organization for North America's railroads, AAR is also focused on improving the safety and productivity of rail transportation. AAR helps advance these goals through its two subsidiaries, the Transportation Technology Center Inc.(TTCI) and the Railinc Corp. TTCI is the world's leading research, development and testing facility, and develops next-generation advancements in safety and operation efficiency. Railinc serves as the rail industry's leading resource for rail data, information technology and information services, and uses one of the world's largest data networks to track customer shipments. AAR also supports the Railroad Research Foundation (RRF), a world-class policy research organization dedicated to sustaining a safe, secure and technologically advanced rail network. Key Takeaways: Rail 101 Ian Jefferies is the President and CEO of the Association of American Railroads (AAR) which is the world's leading railroad policy, research, standard setting, and technology organization that focuses on the safety and productivity of the U.S. freight rail industry. In the podcast interview, Ian provides an overview of the railroad industry for people not familiar with the rail business – Rail 101. Investing in Tomorrow America's freight railroads are the most productive and cost-effective in the world — and they are getting even better through strategic investments. Railroads are evolving, providing customers a competitive edge in the global economy of the future. America's freight railroads are almost entirely privately owned and operated. Unlike trucks and barges, freight railroads operate overwhelmingly on infrastructure that they own, build, maintain and pay for themselves. Approximately 630 freight railroads operate across the nearly 140,000-mile U.S. freight rail network. The seven “Class I” railroads — railroads with 2019 revenue of at least $505 million — account for around 68% of freight rail mileage, 88% of employees, and 94% of revenue. Each Class I railroad operates in multiple states over thousands of miles of track. Non-Class I railroads (also known as short line and regional railroads) range in size from tiny operations handling a few carloads a month to multi-state operations close to Class I size. AAR represents the entirety of the rail industry – Class Is, short lines, suppliers and passenger railroads. AAR focuses primarily on freight rail. AAR ultimately serves their members and works to be their unified voice – particularly in Washington Learn More About Rail 101 Ian's LinkedIn AAR LinkedIn AAR website AAR Twitter The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast Check out The Logistics of Logistics on Youtube

    Wine Logistics with Andrew Walleck

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 29, 2022 58:12

    Wine Logistics with Andrew Walleck Andrew Walleck and Joe Lynch discuss wine logistics. Andrew is the COO of Wine Access, the leading online direct-to-consumer wine platform offering the world's most coveted wines. About Andrew Walleck Andrew Walleck has 16 years of experience in Operations, Strategy, Merchandising, and eCommerce across a variety of industries. A Kellogg MBA grad, Andrew spent 8 years with McMaster-Carr, one of the country's foremost innovators in Operations, serving seven different senior leadership roles as well as a Merchandiser for a company in one of the largest product categories. Prior to that, he was a management consultant to Corning, Inc., Eaton, and others. Andrew has his WSET Level 3 and is currently studying for his WSET Level 4 Diploma. Andrew also developed his own wine label prior to joining Wine Access. About Wine Access Founded in 1996, Wine Access is the leading online direct-to-consumer wine platform offering the world's most coveted wines. As one of the earliest adopters of ecommerce and DTC offerings in the digital wine space, Wine Access curates high quality wines from every wine region around the globe, creating more accessible ways to enjoy wine that extend beyond the bottle. Wine Access' Master of Wine, Master Sommelier, and team of industry experts taste over 20,000 wines a year, offering only those that exceed the expectations defined by their prices. Through Wine Access' network of family-owned, legendary winemakers, and coveted marquees, customers have access to an inspiring curation of unique and often unattainable wines. To build a deeper understanding and connection to each bottle, every shipment includes original tasting notes, flavor profiles, pairing recommendations, and compelling original stories that capture the authentic personality, passion, and philosophy of the producer. Wine Access also offers a Wine Club membership that unlocks access to rare and highly coveted wine selections from every major wine-growing region around the globe four times a year. In 2021, Wine Access was named the official wine provider of the MICHELIN Guide. Key Takeaways: Wine Logistics Andrew Walleck is the COO of Wine Access, the leading online direct-to-consumer wine platform offering the world's most coveted wines. In the interview, Andrew and Joe discuss wine logistics and why it is so challenging. The biggest problems in regards to wine logistics and delivery are: Every state has their own laws regulating alcohol and it's delivery. Wine is an adult transaction so ensuring that the wine is received by an adult is critical. The quality and flavor of wine is potentially impacted by vibration, temperature, and other environmental conditions. Managing the uneven supply and demand is difficult. Wine makers take great pride in their products and they see themselves more as artisans as opposed to manufacturers – so they typically won't rush or send wine they are not proud of. Since wine delivery is so challenging, Wine Access has developed an online direct-to-consumer wine platform that incorporates the best practices for temperature control, security, visibility, and delivery. Wine Access makes it easy to discover and enjoy the world's most inspiring wines through expert curation, storytelling, and perfect provenance—satisfaction guaranteed. The Wine Access Teams is headquartered in Napa, California and includes a Master of Wine, a Master Sommelier, and a selective crew of industry experts who have made in-roads in every major corner of every wine region around the globe. The company's connections unlock access to the most exclusive wines, from first growth Bordeaux estates to Napa cult icons and exciting discoveries along the way. Learn More About Wine Logistics Andrew's LinkedIn Wine Access LinkedIn Wine Access The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast Check out The Logistics of Logistics on Youtube

    The Diesel Laptops Story with Tyler Robertson

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 27, 2022 53:45

    The Diesel Laptops Story with Tyler Robertson Tyler Robertson and Joe Lynch discuss the Diesel Laptops story. Tyler is the Founder and CEO of Diesel Laptops, a company that provides commercial truck efficiency solutions for truck repair facilities. About Tyler Robertson Tyler Robertson is the Founder and CEO of Diesel Laptops, which provides commercial truck efficiency solutions for truck repair facilities. Prior to founding Diesel Laptops, Tyler worked at commercial truck dealerships his entire career and throughout those years, he saw commercial trucks become more and more complex, and more difficult to diagnose - which is exactly the problem that Tyler decided to fix. Diesel Laptops started small by selling diagnostic tools on eBay and working out of Tyler's garage. Today, Diesel Laptops has grown to over $65 million per year in revenue with 200 employees doing it the hard way - without raising any outside capital. In response to customer needs, Diesel Laptops now offers repair instructions, parts, training, and laptops. About Diesel Laptops Founded in 2015, Diesel Laptops originally set out to help clients with their diagnostic tool needs. As trucks and emission technology became more advanced, a demand was placed in the market for diagnostic tools to meet those needs. As the years went on, we found that customers needed more. Diesel Laptops has now expanded into 4 distinct divisions. 1.) Diesel Repair is a web and mobile based platform that puts repair information into the hands of the diesel technicians. Diesel Repair contains information on commercial truck diagnostic fault codes, wiring diagrams, component locators, labor time guides, recalls, technical service bulletins (TSBs), remove & replace instructions, and much more. 2.) Diesel Parts enables users a free platform where they can look up their own parts by exploded views, by cross reference, by measurements, or by application. 3.) Diesel Training is the division of the company that provides continuing education for diesel technicians. This includes in-classroom experiences, online learning, and field training where we visit your location. 4.) Diesel Laptops that provide diagnostic tools to customers. Every customer is unique, and Diesel Laptops represent the best brands on the planet. Diesel Laptops surround those tools,  with our world class services and support. This ensures customers are fitted with the appropriate tools, while also giving them access to the data and information they need to truly be efficient at truck and equipment repair. Key Takeaways: The Diesel Laptops Story Tyler Robertson is the Founder and CEO of Diesel Laptops, a South Carolina based provider of commercial truck efficiency solutions for truck repair facilities. In the podcast interview Tyler shared his story of founding and growing Diesel Laptops. Tyler started Diesel Laptops by selling diagnostic tools on eBay and building the product in Tyler's garage. Today, Diesel Laptops has grown to over $65 million per year in revenue with over 200 employees. Diesel Laptops has now expanded into 4 distinct divisions: Diesel Repair Diesel Parts Diesel Training Diesel Laptops Learn More About The Diesel Laptops Story Tyler's LinkedIn Diesel Laptops LinkedIn Diesel Laptops The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast Check out The Logistics of Logistics on Youtube

    Supply Chain Lessons From NW Arkansas with Donnie Williams

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 25, 2022 60:47

    Supply Chain Lessons From NW Arkansas with Donnie Williams Donnie Williams and Joe Lynch discuss supply chain lessons from NW Arkansas. Donnie is an Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management and the Executive Director of the Supply Chain Management Research Center in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. About Donnie Williams Donnie Williams, Ph.D. in an Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management and the Executive Director of the Supply Chain Management Research Center in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. Dr. Williams has a BBA in Finance, an MBA and. Ph.D. in Logistics and Supply Chain Management, all from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA. Donnie has a passion to build a bridge between the logistics/supply chain industry and academia, seeking to build relationships that will benefit students, practitioners and faculty in a collaborative environment.  Dr. Williams' professional experience includes warehouse operations, project management and leadership training.  His work has been published in various academic and practitioner journals, including the International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Transportation Journal, Marketing Theory and Practice, Transportation Management Journal, Supply Chain Management Review and Supply Chain Quarterly.  Dr. Williams is also part of a team of researchers that provides the annual DC Measures Benchmarking study for the Warehouse Educators Research Council (WERC). Department of Supply Chain Management at the Sam M. Walton College of Business Northwest Arkansas is the beating heart of the world's supply chain industry. The Department of Supply Chain Management at the Sam M. Walton College of Business is uniquely positioned by its close proximity to over 300 Fortune 500 companies that have established satellite operations in Northwest Arkansas to support the world's largest retailer. In addition to faculty expertise, our students benefit from the Walton College Supply Chain Management Research Center, which connects students to industry executives, internships, and job opportunities. Recognizing the quality of the SCM program faculty and graduates, the U.S. News & World Report has rated the Walton Supply Chain program among the best in the United States.Since its founding at the University of Arkansas in 1926, the Sam M. Walton College of Business has grown to become the state's premier college of business – as well as a nationally competitive business school. Through teaching, research, and service, Walton College is a thought leader and a catalyst for transforming lives in Arkansas, the United States and the world. The mission of the Sam M. Walton College of Business is to advance and disseminate business knowledge using a diverse, inclusive, and global perspective and to encourage innovation in our primary strategic endeavors: Retail, Data Analytics, and Entrepreneurship. Key Takeaways: Supply Chain Lessons From NW Arkansas Donnie Williams, Ph.D. in an Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management and the Executive Director of the Supply Chain Management Research Center in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. In the podcast interview, Donnie and Joe discussed supply chain lessons from Northwest Arkansas (NWA). Northwest Arkansas is a metropolitan area and region in Arkansas within the Ozark Mountains that includes four of the ten largest cities in the state: Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, and Bentonville, the surrounding towns of Benton and Washington counties. The United States Census Bureau defined Fayetteville–Springdale–Rogers Metropolitan Statistical Area includes 3,213.01 square miles and 546,725 residents (as of 2020), ranking NWA as the 105th most-populous metropolitan areas in the United States. NWA is also one of the fastest growing regions in the USA thanks in part to the growth of Walmart, Tyson Foods, ArcBest, J. B. Hunt, which are all based in the region. Because of the companies above a lot of logistics and supply chain companies moved to the region. The co-location led to unprecedented amounts of collaboration, cross-pollination, and innovation. With all that supply chain talent living in the area, it was no surprise that The Department of Supply Chain Management at the University of Arkansas became the best supply chain program according to Gartner. The focus on supply chain in the community, university, and corporations has led to the region being recognized as a hub for logistics and supply chain innovation. Learn More About Supply Chain Lessons From NW Arkansas Donnie's LinkedIn The Department of Supply Chain Management at the Sam M. Walton College of Business The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast Check out The Logistics of Logistics on Youtube