Joel is the CEO & Co-Founder of Alloy. Alloy’s platform aggregates and analyzes information from all sources in the supply chain, providing insight and visibility into consumer demand. They can tell you what, when and how much stock you need – so you don’t have to guess. They joined companies like Google, IBM, Microsoft, and SAP in being named a best-in-class provider in Consumer Goods Technology (CGT) Magazine’s 19th annual awards as a top 10 vendor for both the Artificial Intelligence and Supply Chain Planning business functions.
They have closed a $12 Million Series A round for its AI-powered supply chain platform. This round brings its total known funding to $15.3 million. They are currently present with offices in San Francisco, Vancouver, and Berlin.
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Some of the highlights from the podcast:
- How did Joel go from Academia to Supply Chain?
- Data is everywhere, it’s only a matter of how you are going to use it to your advantage.
- Alloy has up to this point 400 connectors to the partners that will continue to grow.
- How retail companies often look at the historical pattern of how much was being purchased and not taking into account that 20% to 25% of the locations were already out of stock.
- Balancing out of stock and overstock and the common categories of inefficiencies that they come across.
- How does Alloy work with E-commerce?
- ” The ones that tend to be the biggest predictors of future performance is historical demand patterns. “
- ” One of the things you have to do as a leader is to trust that the team will treat sensitive information responsibly. “
- [01:36] How did you start your career? What drove your passion?
- [02:13] The data is there, it is a question of how you’re gonna unleash it and how it’s gonna help you make better decisions – I think it’s through Supply Chain.
- [04:26] How do you solve the problem of your clients? Can you give us some examples?
- [04:56] We are trying to help companies become more demand driven.
- [06:20] A retail company often look at the historical pattern of how much was being purchased and not taking into account that 20 to 25% of the locations were already out of stock.
- [08:04] Did it happen on the other side of the equation where you overstock and people stop buying and stop being interested in the product? Could you give an example?
- [09:44] There’s a lot of rebalancing that should be done but often times the high-level metrics might be okay.
- [10:34] Are there other industries where you had a good level of success?
- [11:42] CPG and consumer electronics are our two biggest verticals today.
- [13:13] What’s your pre-requisites in terms of working with a client?
- [13:24] The level of maturity of Supply Chain is not super important when working or not with someone.
- [14:28] The number one thing we are looking for when working with someone is their attitude and desire to be more data-driven as a company.
- [16:26] We help you collect data from all your partners- supply chain and network. We are the tools to analyze all of it and make you a better partner.
- [18:40] How does it work with E-commerce?
- [18:50] One of the big value proposition we can offer is to sync all of your e-commerce and traditional kind of retail business.
- [19:37] How long and how complicated is it to deploy Alloy?
- [21:13] We have up to this point 400 connectors to the partners that will continue to grow.
- [22:26] How do you model some of the pyramids that you run through this tool?
- [22:33] The ones that tend to be the biggest predictors of future performance is historical demand patterns.
- [25:01] There’s a lot of different techniques to make predictions, but what we want to do is bring all that together and try to do it in a simple way.
- [25:52] How do you use and harness the power of artificial intelligence in all that?
- [26:37] The key thing is we don’t just blindly use those techniques because they’re the newest and they have the most sophisticated sounding name. We try to figure out what’s the most productive one to use.
- [27:40] What do you see as common categories of inefficiencies that you come across?
- [34:05] Where do you plan to expand next?
- [35:04] For us, the bulk of the investment is in product development.
- [36:00] How do you maintain an open culture in the company?
- [36:30] One of the things you have to do as a leader is to trust that the team will treat sensitive information responsibly.
- [38:10] How do you make sure that you’re still building a solution that is very anchored in clients’ problems?
- [39:07] Whether you have tons of industry expertise or you’re coming in as a a new player, you have to be incredibly focused on the customers.
- [41:30] What are your challenges when it comes to hiring?
- [42:19] We look for people who are willing to embrace our current development stage.
- [45:10] What are some of the mistakes that you made when it comes to hiring?
- [48:24] People get excited about the idea of working at a startup and I don’t think they always fully recognize what that means.
- [49:48] Do you see that there’s also a shift in terms of your clients and what type of people they get in their supply chains?
- [51:02] Every company understands the importance of analytics and using data to drive more decision makings.
- [54:25] What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve received throughout your entrepreneurial journey?
- [55:52] Externally, things can look like they’re going amazing but you feel like there’s chaos inside.
Episode #37: Dhruv Saxena CEO of ShipBob
Episode #38: Professor Annie Koh of Singapore Management University
Episode #39: Richard White CEO of WiseTech Global and CargoWise