#35: Frictionless Supply Chain with Andrew Kirkwood CEO of BluJay

Frictionless Supply Chain with Andrew Kirkwood CEO of BluJay Featured Image

Andrew Kirkwood is Chief Executive Officer at BluJay Solutions. With 25 years of experience in the supply chain and SaaS market, Andrew provides leadership to the BluJay organization through the creation of vision, strategic, tactical, and financial plans, along with organizational and goal development, performance measurement, and liaising with stakeholders. He joined BluJay in January 2019 after a successful 14-year career at RedPrairie and JDA Software (now BlueYonder) in a number of senior roles.

BluJay Solutions helps companies around the world achieve excellence in logistics and trade compliance – it’s in our DNA. Through a blend of Data, Networks, and Applications, delivered in the BluJay Way, our DNA platform powers the Frictionless Supply Chain for thousands of the world’s leading manufacturers, retailers, distributors, freight forwarders, customs brokers, carriers, and logistics service providers – 7,500+ customers.

BluJay conducts business in 112 countries, has 1,200+ employees worldwide, and powers a global network of over 50,000 customers, carriers, freight forwarders, and service providers. With BluJay, 1.9 billion transportation transactions are processed, and 4.5 billion boxes shipped annually. Over 58 million electronic customs declarations are cleared annually using BluJay’s global customs solutions.

Listen to the full discussion here:



Connect with the Guest:

Andrew Kirkwood: LinkedIn

Some of the highlights from the podcast:

  • [08:14] The collaboration between LLamasoft and BluJay
  • [12:09] Creating a freight market index with spot capacity pricing and made it available to everyone – this lead to keeping prices down for the consumers.
  • [13:11] 40% volume search spike in demand for some industries on their transportation solution – this made the Christmas period look insignificant.
  • [14:20] BluJay has 1300 associates working remotely –  just finished their first quarter and they exceeded all of our targets
  • [23:24] Releasing 5 new products during lockdown – the importance of innovation – hackathons and collaboration with partners
  • [26:12] A culture based on transparency: “A problem shared is a problem solved”

Show notes:

  • [01:48] What are some of the main milestones of your career? And what is the most exciting part of being the CEO of BluJay?
  • [02:49] I think the really big move for me was joining Manhattan Associates when they didn’t actually have an office outside of the US, so I was part of the team that set up the office in Europe, just West of London.
  • [04:49] How would you say BluJay is different compared to the other players in the market?
  • [06:55] What would you say are the most important supply chain trends that you see happening in the next few months and maybe even longer-term?
  • [09:23] How did the partnership with LLamasoft started and where do you see it developing? Also, if you can share some of the go-to-market implementations that happened and what are the results?
  • [11:21] What are some of the questions or requests that you receive most often from your current clients during this pandemic? Is there a trend there as well?
  • [12:57] Can you share numbers or maybe you have some examples of clients who have seen excellent results working with the solution from BluJay?
  • [14:57] I’m pleased to say that we are starting to see across our systems and trade moving somewhere towards normal levels and getting that recovery.
  • [16:13]  I’m sure some clients come to you for clarity and ask questions like, 
  • ‘Should we prioritize our operations?”, “Should we focus on redundancy?”, “Should we focus on diversifying our suppliers?” and so on. What do you usually answer to these types of questions?
  • [20:19] What are some of the challenges and maybe some of the solutions that you have seen in implementing working remotely?
  • [22:24] What are the biggest milestones for Blujay? Are there some expansion plans being made?
  • [25:57] How do you define good company culture? And what are you proud of when you’re thinking about the culture at BluJay?
  • [26:20] You need to create a culture that you can make mistakes and you can be transparent because a problem shared is a problem solved.
  • [29:11] As a hiring manager, how do you interview? What are you looking for when you interview for your leadership team?
  • [31:28] If someone has a character that won’t work, it doesn’t matter how good they are they will not be successful, in my opinion.
  • [31:57] I see a lot of executives who fall into the trap of thinking that if they have enough people with data-driven capacity, they don’t necessarily have to do it too much. What would you say to somebody who thinks that way?
  • [34:09] The CEOs that have been successful have combined data and instinct and leverage those two together. 
  • [34:20] How do you know you are a successful CEO? What type of tool do you use to measure your success?
  • [37:05] What would be a piece of advice that you’ve received or you would give to our listeners for a successful career?
  • [37:25] Focus on the bad things, the tough things, and not the good things because it is easy to pat yourself on the back.

Quote from the Episode:

About the Host:

The host, Andrei Palamariu is the founder of Supplify where he and his team works on building a platform to connect the supply chain tech ecosystem. His most interesting discussions with the clients are focused on implementing the best technology, digital transformation, company growth and expansion, turnarounds, and product and business development.

Alcott Global connects and upgrades the supply chain ecosystem by finding the right talent through executive search, developing talent through learning solutions, and meeting supply chain technology needs through a comprehensive crunch base marketplace.

The supply chain executive search has been our focus since the very beginning, offering recruitment services for top-tier supply chain roles at every level of the end-to-end supply chain: plan, source / procure, make, and deliver. Our consultants have years of experience in placing top talent, in North America, LATAM, Europe, the Middle East & Africa, and APAC, and besides speed, one of our biggest strengths is our network within the supply chain industry, and we capitalize on it to find the best solutions.

Through the years, we have grown as an organization and our offerings with it. One of our initiatives, the learning solutions- training and supply chain academy, is focused on transforming leadership- self-leadership, executive presence, influence capital, and business acumen. Through Supplify, we aim to match corporations with the top technology companies to solve their supply chain and logistics challenges with a focus on innovation and digital transformation.

We are in constant touch with the leaders in supply chain, inviting them to inspire the supply chain professionals in thought-provoking podcast episodes and events, and showcasing what is possible at the yearly Leaders in Supply Chain Awards.

Related Episodes:

Adaptability and Customer Value with Pascal Bensoussan CPO of Ivalua

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

Energy Efficiency and Sustainability with Tom Raftery Global VP at SAP 




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