On Episode 13 of Future of Supply Chain, we spoke with Scott Ausland, CSCO of Gulf Relay, on how innovation can drive the bottom line. Scott first entered the logistics world in 2010, when he began working for UPS in their internal sales division. Scott originally handled small package solutions over the phone, before moving to outside sales for the company. After UPS, he would then go on to work for several 3rd party logistics companies, one of them being Covenant Transport in Chattanooga, TN. In August of last year, Scott was brought on as the CSCO at Gulf Relay, an asset based 3PL based in Clinton, MS.
A Need for Transparency. In today’s technology-fueled world, the zeitgeist seems to be primarily fixated on automation, or the idea of the “driverless truck”. There are a myriad of different companies investing in the latest tech startups, all of which are hoping to see a completely automated supply chain. Scott assures us that, “This is coming, but it is still a long ways in the future.” Scott goes on to say, what really excites him, is the idea of data driven innovation and transparency in the supply chain. Now, more than ever, data is accessible to anyone through web-based solutions. This transparency amongst companies could absolutely help better the supply chain industry.
Most Successful. Selling to a well established business can be daunting to a more novice salesperson, especially if it is a large-scale 3PL, such as UPS. These companies have many stakeholders to coerce, and the coveted “gatekeeper” could be anyone sitting in the room. Scott’s theory is that, as more people are invited into that room your odds of success increase. He also believes that, “you should enjoy the process of selling at a larger company”, and that the complexities will give you a better insight on how to better market your product. Scott followed up to this by adding, “Reach out to everyone individually and make them feel valued. Also, address any problems that arise, as soon as possible. These problems can spread like a virus.”Many competitors may offer a similar software package or service to yours, this is why it is crucial give the perfect customer experience.
Innovation: Large Enterprise vs Small Businesses. The stigma surrounding large and small companies is as follows: large companies seem to only work within the status quo and are more risk adverse, while smaller businesses are the ones taking all the risks in order to stand out. However, Scott agues that, neither one of these assumptions are the case anymore. He strongly believes, “Innovation comes down to the people, not the organization.” He is also seeing larger companies become more tolerant to allowing new ideas to flourish, while noticing that some smaller ones tend to stick to their established niche in the supply chain. Whatever the case may be, a company’s innovation should be fundamentally focused on increasing the bottom line. “Customers expect our innovations in software or hardware to save them time and money”, says Scott.