Continuous Delivery Experience with Adam Compain CEO of ClearMetal

Adam Compain is the Founder & CEO of ClearMetal. Prior to ClearMetal, Adam spent 5 years at Google launching their geoCommerce technology and 19 years as the Executive Director of SEND, the nonprofit he founded. Adam holds five technology patents, two degrees from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from Stanford.

ClearMetal, Inc., based in San Francisco, CA (USA), is a leader in the Continuous Delivery Experience (CDX), enabling supply chain organizations to optimize logistics and provide their customers with easy access to trusted, live information about their shipments and a customer experience that is a differentiator and revenue accelerant. The ClearMetal CDX Platform uses proprietary machine learning to break free from static-visibility paradigms and turn supply chains from a cost center to a competitive advantage.  ClearMetal was founded by top software engineers, data scientists, and operations researchers from Stanford University, Google, and Silicon Valley and is funded by Eclipse Ventures, Prelude Ventures, Innovation Endeavors, NEA, SAP.io, Prologis Ventures, PSA Unboxed, DCLI, and the founders of GT Nexus, Navis, and Uber Freight.

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Connect with the Guest:

Adam Compain: LinkedIn

Some of the highlights from the podcast:

  • [05:48] How organizations in the industry solve problems using technology
  • [07:40] 80% of companies believe they’re delivering a superior experience when in fact only 8% of customers agree.
  • [11:02] The CDX (Continuous Delivery Experience)  framework – continuous, live, clean and trusted information
  • [15:30] Georgia Pacific case study – how they improved their personnel operational efficiency by 30%.
  • [25:39] How sales teams from the client-side leverage their customer portal to drive more revenue.
  • [30:05] Having an extremely high Say to Do ratio – how does this shape the culture of the company.

Show notes:

  • [01:53] Could you introduce yourself shortly and maybe cover some of the main milestones of your career. And then what is the most exciting part of being the CEO of ClearMetal?
  • [03:39] What I really started to understand there was how big this industry has is as a backbone of the global economy. But I think moreover, how important and how challenging the problems in the supply chain were.
  • [04:04] You’ve been in Singapore working with Google then California, and then you set up to go to Hong Kong. How did you make this decision? What triggered you? 
  • [05:48] What prompted it was the curiosity with how do companies in supply chain and logistics use technology to solve some of their biggest problems.
  • [06:08] I imagine you work with clients all over the globe and you’ve seen the situation from Asia to the US and Europe and other regions. What’s your impression of the current trends, maybe short term and also long term, because we are still dealing with the pandemic. I’m curious to get your take on it?
  • [07:20] Supply chains aren’t actually set up to meet today’s modern customer demands. And that has created a huge gap in expectations between how companies believe they’re delivering and delighting customers and actually how those customers are experiencing that brand. 
  • [10:12] People are spending way too much time playing around with data when they should be up-leveled by having the right information in their hands at the right time. 
  • [10:45] I know that you are very focused on customer experience, and I think there is a term that you’re using CDX, Continuous Delivery Experience. I’m wondering how is ClearMetal being different compared to the other players and what is the CDX?
  • [12:29] We give softwares to large shippers manufacturers, retailers, et cetera, that will help them plan how products should move internationally and globally, and also get visibility into how those products are moving and at the same time, we provide these companies with the ability to get a better experience from their suppliers and also give a better experience to their customers downstream. 
  • [13:25] I imagine that there is a company out there that was struggling with some of the decisions, and then you guys stepped in and at the end of the process, they saw results. I’m wondering if there are any specific numbers or clear story that we can talk about.
  • [16:49] We equip our customers with a customer portal that enables them to give their end customers a real-time trusted view at the click of a button of what is coming at them. And what we’ve heard from these companies is that there is an improvement in their C-SAT and NPS score and a reduction in customer service costs.
  • [18:17] What are some of the main challenges in implementation that you’ve spotted and maybe how have you overcome them? 
  • [20:00] Over and over, we hear companies say, “Hey, I don’t have the IT resources to do this.” And then they find out I don’t need many because we can provide the data. We also have a set of APIs that we can help integrate pretty quickly, maybe weeks, or a few short months.
  • [23:11] Structuring a system in a user interface that makes sense and fits in with their workflow instead of just being another set of tasks they have to do has been really powerful because that is what people want to use.
  • [25:20] What are some of the exciting next milestone that you see in the main development of the company? What are some expansion plans?
  • [27:49] We sort of earned the right to invest further in connecting suppliers with their customers. And so that’s a big area of investment for us that is really doubling down on that experience side of the continuous delivery experience. 
  • [27:54] When you’re thinking about this part of connecting suppliers and the customers, are you thinking of expanding to different regions or is it more going on different industries. How do you think about this? 
  • [29:11] How do you define a good company culture and what are you most proud of when it comes to the culture of ClearMetal? 
  • [30:58] We’re very conservative as a company on what we promise because we guarantee to our customers that everything we promise we deliver and we deliver well. So that’s first, we’re very proud of it. 
  • [32:39] How do you interview when it comes to your leadership team? I was reading in the news that you have to recruit and interview and bring in the team a lot of people who have much more experience in the domain than the core team, how do you go about it? And what’s your philosophy on that? 
  • [34:56] What keeps you up at night when thinking about what’s next for ClearMetal, this is the first one. And the second one, what gets you going in the morning? Maybe they’re connected in a way, but I’m curious what’s your perspective on both?
  • [36:36] What is your advice or what would be your best piece of advice for a successful career? Maybe you can connect it to being successful as an entrepreneur.

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Heart, Mind, and Backbone with Niklas Hedin CEO of Centiro

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LEX GREENSILL​

Chief Executive Officer, Greensill​

Lex is the co-founder and CEO of Greensill, and a Senior Advisor and Crown Representative to Her Majesty’s Government on Supply Chain Finance. He was awarded the CBE for Services to the British Economy in Queen Elizabeth II’s 2017 Birthday Honours.

Lex previously established the global SCF business at Morgan Stanley, and led the EMEA SCF business at Citi.

Lex holds an MBA from Manchester Business School, and is a Solicitor of the Supreme Courts of England and Wales, and Queensland.