It is a pleasure to have with us in this episode Sarah Barnes-Humphrey and Eric Johnson on a conversation on startups and new technologies in supply chain.
Sarah is a logistician turned supply chain marketer, passionate about bringing stories to life in the industry. As the host of the popular Lets Talk Supply Chain Podcast (LTSC), blog and The Trade Squad on YouTube, Sarah helps tell the stories and bring awareness to brands and hot topics in the industry which includes her infamous Women in Supply Chain series.
Sarah is also the Co-Founder and CEO of Shipz Inc, a new technology platform encompassing all of her experience and knowledge in supply chain bringing innovative, collaborative ideas together on her own platform for the supply chain industry.
Eric Johnson is the (Journal of Commerce) JOC’s Senior Editor, Technology, where he leads coverage and analysis of technology’s impact on global logistics and trade. Johnson regularly reports on how shippers, carriers across all modes, and logistics companies use the software, as well as new concepts impacting core freight transportation processes like procurement, execution, visibility, and payment. Johnson is a regular presenter and moderator at industry events and webinars.
Prior to joining the JOC in May 2018, Johnson spent 13 years with American Shipper in a variety of roles, most recently covering logistics technology and leading the production of a series of benchmark studies on the logistics industry.
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Some of the highlights from the podcast:
- The funding of startups amidst the coronavirus crisis
- How innovators can use the current situation for future development
- Profitability vs Hyper scaling
- Big companies and startups working together
- The importance of storytelling in attracting talent
- [02:20] How do you see the situation of coronavirus affecting startups in general?
- [03:47] Whether you’re talking about the VC industry or whether you’re talking about a company being able to invest in a piece of software. Everybody is gonna be taking a hard look at every last dollar right now because sales are down.
- [05:04] How do you see the visibility and traceability of software, tools, and startups?
- [06:17] It’s really difficult to expect any shipper or any 3PL to implement some kind of transformational technology in the midst of the crisis.
- [07:26] Innovators are gonna take a look at what’s happening right now, and they’re gonna be able to come up with new, innovative ideas, software, cloud platforms to reduce some of the risk and the pandemic that’s come from something like this as well.
- [11:12] How do you see the situation of getting people and organizations to work together for a greater added value to their clients by data sharing alliance and so on?
- [12:30] One example that I haven’t seen yet is companies coming together in collaboration to make it easier for supply chain professionals to find what they need without a lot of logins. That’s a challenge that I think that we’re facing in supply chain.
- [18:39] Do you have some specific examples of big companies and startups coming together to collaborate?
- [19:00] When I am talking about other tech companies in the supply chain, I’m thinking about the future and how we can work together because they’re solving different aspects of the supply chain.
- [22:00] Startups need demand to fuel their connections to the carrier side and vice versa.
- [24:34] There’s also accelerator programs like Plug and Play that are bringing some of the larger brands that are looking to innovate in certain areas of their business.
- [26:39] There are a lot more investors now that want their startups to have a clear path to profitability and usually in supply chain and logistics, you need a long cycle before that is achieved. Have you seen any shift? What’s your take on this specific topic?
- [28:34] VC is not prioritizing profitability over hypergrowth. VC is investing in the chance that this startup may be a huge home run and not a decent-sized business.
- [31:20] The key to success is going to be in your marketing and how you get your story out there because you have to be able to differentiate yourself not in a phone call, but in a different way.
- [35:47] How can startups and the younger organization make themselves more attractive as employers of choice and win this fight for talent?
- [36:46] It was a really compelling argument to let companies know that not only are you storytelling for the brand itself, but you’re also storytelling about the culture, the people, the leadership and the mindset to be able to attract talents.
- [40:13] You have to provide people with a more stable road map for what you plan to do.
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