Visibility For All™ with Michael Farlekas President and Chief Executive Officer of E2open

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Michael Farlekas joined E2open in 2015 as President & Chief Executive Officer. In this role, he is responsible for leading the company’s overall operations, with direct oversight of sales, marketing, professional services, research and development, and strategy. Michael brings to E2open more than 20 years of sales, marketing, and leadership experience in supply chain management and enterprise software.

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, E2open employs more than 2,300 people across the U.S., Europe, and Asia having operations in more 170 countries worldwide.

E2open is bringing together data from customers, distribution channels, suppliers, contract manufacturers, and logistics partners. Their collaborative and agile supply chain platform enables companies to use data in real-time, with artificial intelligence and machine learning to drive smarter decisions. Serving more than 250 of the largest 2000 enterprises globally across a broad range of industries, including high tech, CPG, industrial manufacturing, pharmaceutical, automotive, aerospace and defense, and oil and gas.

Listen to the full discussion here:

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Connect with the Guest:

Michael Farlekas: Linkedin

Some of the highlights from the podcast:

  • Why does E2open have over 240k trading partners
  • Connecting multiple applications to create one process across the end to end supply chain
  • Manufacturers over the past 40 years have transformed themselves into brand owners
  • Value add business vs data providing business.
  • Building long term roadmaps for clients – from business release 1 to 40
  • Growing the business 5x since 2015 from 75 mil USD to 380 mil USD in revenue
  • E2open’s hiring and promotion principles 

Show notes:

  • [01:35 ] I’m curious about your career, so far what are some main milestones of it, and what is the most exciting part of being the Chief Executive Officer of E2open?
  • [03:24] How is it E2open different compared to other players on the market?
  • [04:21] What makes us most unique is that we are connecting multiple applications together to create one process across an end to end supply chain. And we have data and applications that we bring together natively in one platform.
  • [06:22] I know a recent product from E2open is visibility for all, I imagine there is a connection between the chicken and the egg, the data and application, and visibility for all. I would like to hear you talk more about this.
  • [09:45] We would rather be in the value-adding business rather than a data providing business, because we think that’s more sustainable for our business and more sustainably valuable for our clients.
  • [10:27] When something like this happens, the COVID-19 crisis, which hasn’t happened in recent history? What is the relevant data that we can use? How can we make sense of it using a smart solution, a smart application?
  • [13:56] Our whole value proposition and process starts with understanding the demand signal from the source. Using the best algorithms in the world to take that data and make a very accurate prediction of what’s going to be sold in the future and then understanding the logistics process.
  • [14:34] Can you give us an example of a client who has seen excellent results in improving their operations using the solution. And if there are some numbers that you could share.
  • [17:28] We want to be a software company, not a supply chain software company, but a software company that provides the most value for our customers.
  • [17:48] You work with global clients in different geographies and different industries,  do you see other trends that were triggered by this crisis?
  • [20:15] There are a lot of maybe new clients or old clients who come to you and say, “we need help now”, “we needed this yesterday”. What are some important challenges when managing these expectations? How do you interact with these type of requests? 
  • [21:00] We really work hard with our customers to not address the symptoms of the problem but to really understand the cause of the problem in an organization.
  • [23:44] From a change management perspective, what do you think are the most important priorities for an organization to see the change? Are there any principles you could share?
  • [26:34] If we were to look ahead and look to the future for, what is next for E2open? What are some of the expansion plans or next milestones?
  • [28:47] We’ve grown the business 5x in 2015, and we think we can grow it even at a faster pace going forward. 
  • [29:01] Do you have some targets when it comes to geographies as well?
  • [30:14] How do you define a good company culture and what are you most proud of when it comes to E2open’s culture? 
  • [30:28] Culture has to be authentic, it has to be real because you can’t manufacture culture.
  • [32:33] What’s your philosophy in interviews? What do you look for in an individual?
  • [35:25] How has hiring been affected in the last few months for E2open? What’s your perception of that?
  • [37:21] How do you know you are a successful Chief Executive Officer, Michael? What’s the North star for you in this case? 
  • [37:51] I think for me what I really try hard to understand is the reality of the world for our people, for their lives and what they’re trying to manage, not just professionally, but personally, and trying to understand the reality for our clients in terms of our delivery and the reliability of our applications.
  • [40:37] How do you promote your people and what are some of the criteria that you use when promoting?
  • [45:37] What would be some of the best pieces of advice that you received or you could give for a successful career?
  • [47:06] I think people need to have a very clear understanding of what their overall objectives are and take on responsibilities and experiences that help them accomplish that objective.

Connect with the organization:

At E2open, we’re creating a more connected, intelligent supply chain. It starts with sensing and responding to real-time demand, supply, and delivery constraints. Bringing together data from customers, distribution channels, suppliers, contract manufacturers and logistics partners, our collaborative and agile supply chain platform enables companies to use data in real-time, with artificial intelligence and machine learning to drive smarter decisions. All this complex information is delivered in a single view that encompasses your demand, supply, and logistics ecosystems. E2open is changing everything. Demand. Supply. Delivered. Visit www.e2open.com.

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Energy Efficiency and Sustainability with Tom Raftery Global VP at SAP

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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.