#46: Control Tower and Real Time Tracking with o9 Solutions and FourKites

Control Tower and Real Time Tracking with o9 Solutions and FourKites Featured Image

In this episode, we have Mathew Elenjickal Founder & CEO of FourKites and Stephan de Barse EVP of o9 Solutions as our guests where we talk about how their recent strategic partnership brings more added value to their clients.

About Mathew Elenjickal:

Matt is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of FourKites. He founded FourKites in 2014 after recognizing pain points in the logistics industry and designing elegant and effective systems to address them.

Prior to founding FourKites, Matt spent 7 years in the enterprise software space working for market leaders such as Oracle Corp and i2 Technologies/JDA Software Group. Matt has led high-impact teams that implemented logistics strategies and systems at P&G, Nestle, Kraft, Anheuser-Busch Inbev, Tyco, Argos, and Nokia across North America, Western Europe, and Latin America. Matt is passionate about logistics and supply chain management and has a keen sense of how technology can disrupt traditional silo-based planning and execution.

Matt holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from College of Engineering, Guindy, an MS in Industrial Engineering and Management Science from Northwestern University, and an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. He lives in Chicago.

About Stephan de Barse:

Stephan de Barse is the EVP of o9 Solutions, driving digital transformation with some of the leading Fortune-500 companies. Globally responsible for all Business Development, Digital Marketing, Creative Marketing, o9 Design Lab, Alliances, Sales Activities, and Strategic Networks and shared P&L responsibility for the Global Revenue Number of the Company.

Founded in 2009, o9 is an AI-enabled platform providing solutions for operations and business planning. Its offerings include demand forecasting, commercial planning, supply chain planning, and Integrated Business Planning, among others.

o9 serves clients in many industry verticals, including retail, consumer goods, apparel, consumer electronics, industrial manufacturing, and oil & gas. It boasts large enterprises such as Google, Walmart, Estee Lauder Companies, Bridgestone, Caterpillar, Nike, General Electric, T-Mobile, and Starbucks, among its clients.

Listen to the full discussion here:

  • Stream by clicking here.
  • Download as an MP3 here.



Connect with the Guest:

Stephan de Barse: LinkedIn
Mathew Joseph Elenjickal: LinkedIn

Some of the highlights from the podcast:

  • [05:17] Connectivity between freight visibility and planning Control Towers – why does this matter?
  • [07:00] “I know where my truck is and when it’s supposed to arrive, so how can I proactively address any potential issues arising from it?”
  • [10:02] Creating a full digital twin of the supply chain
  • [22:16] Digital transformation and planning based on real-time data has now become an executive board topic.
  • [27:51] How do you know the partnership is successful? 

Show notes:

  • [01:37] It would be great to start with a slight introduction. Maybe you can share what are the main problems that both o9 and FourKites are focusing on at the moment.
  • [02:09] FourKites, we are in the supply chain visibility and predictive analytics space.  Our foundational product is the real-time visibility platform, which is a new category that we created back in 2013 – 2014 timeframe.
  • [03:09] o9 Solutions is an AI-powered platform that is supporting organizations with revenue planning, supply chain planning, and financial planning with the purpose to drive better planning and better decisions based on real-time market data and supply chain data.
  • [05:17] How did the partnership between o9 Solutions and FourKites come together? How did you bring connectivity between freight visibility and then planning control towers?
  • [07:02] The integration between the visibility of what’s happening towards what is the impact on my ability to serve the month, and then the ability to run scenarios and see the trade-offs is of critical importance. And that’s where we are super excited about the connectivity. 
  • [08:54] Moving away from the traditional planning of using historic data to real-time data is powerful. And in the current environment with COVID, one thing that we learned is that historic data doesn’t make any sense. So that’s where we believe this partnership is going to be super powerful because we have the real-time data.
  • [10:02] What is super exciting as well if you think about is in essence what we are doing right is we are creating a full digital twin of the supply chain.
  • [12:06] Is there a client that already is doing something with both of your solutions together and maybe some numbers, some resources that you could share? 
  • [14:22] Google Maps can tell you when you should leave for the airport when you have a flight to catch, we applied it in the enterprise. So, we can actually start prescribing when particular shipments will be delayed and then update the resolution protocols accordingly.
  • [18:17] A key piece of sustainability is companies working together. You cannot achieve sustainability goals by just optimizing within the four walls of your supply chain.
  • [21:05] A lot of companies are seeing that just upgrading their current ERP stack, there’s not much ROI to get, but combining real-time data and planning together, that’s where the business case sits. And we definitely see a shift in the market of companies moving in that direction. 
  • [21:37] The market and value for used cars have been growing tremendously in the past months. Have you seen these kind of cases that were unexpected for you and are there certain industries that stand out? 
  • [22:16] I think we’ve seen that supply chain digital transformation, planning based on real-time data and making real-time data available, turning that into insights is not something that sits at the director or VP level, but it has now become an executive board topic.
  • [27:17] If I’m at a retailer, I’m only controlling 50% of the supply chain, the remaining 50% is controlled by my vendors. So having access to the vendor managed supply chain means we can collaborate better and so there will be more products and we can avoid empty shelves.
  • [27:51] Looking ahead for the next few months for the partnership, how would you measure or what are some KPIs that you are going to use or are currently using that will tell you the partnership is a success?
  • [28:18] Both o9 Solutions and Fourkites, we want to drive value for our clients. We want to measure that value and we want to then celebrate that together with our clients. And I think that helps in terms of how to define success. 
  • [28:29] Success is not the number of deals it’s how much value we joined to generate our clients.
  • [30:01] This partnership is more than just putting out a positive sign or creating some noise in the social media, but it’s about what can we do together to really make the execution better and do better planning.

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:

End to end Visibility with Stephan de Barse EVP of o9 Solutions

Theory of Constraints with Dr. Alan Barnard CEO of Goldratt Research Labs

E-commerce in Indonesia with Phil Opamuratawongse Co-Founder of Shipper




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