#74: Eliminating Waste with a Purpose Driven Unicorn

Johanna Småros (PhD) is one of RELEX Solutions’ three co-founders. Before founding RELEX, Johanna conducted ground-breaking research on retail supply chains. Johanna received the Young Scientist Entrepreneur Award in 2014 and the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award in 2017. In 2021, Johanna was recognized as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digital.

Listen to the full discussion here:

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

Connect with the Guest:

Johanna Småros: LinkedIn

Some of the highlights from the podcast:

  • Growing from around 800 to 2000 employees in the span of 3 years
  • What are the most important milestones for RELEX – how they closed 500 mil euro funding round
  • 10 mil euro donated and 100 mil euro in stock for the RELEX Foundation
  • Five core values in RELEX – What does “Humble World Domination” mean to RELEX?
  • Reducing food waste – how this makes a huge difference in the purpose of each RELEX employee
  • What’s next for RELEX – expansion and growth

Show notes:

  • [1:21] How has the company been evolving in the last three years?
  • [2:55] How things have progressed in terms of the number of team members, maybe clients’ geographic expansion?
  • [3:53] The company has grown quite significantly. To be honest, I can’t even remember how many people we were 3 years ago but currently, I think there are almost 2,000 in the company.
  • [7:06] Other than that business-wise, even team management-wise, have there been some big challenges that you had to fix?
  • [9:53] What do you think makes you different, one from a product perspective? And second, it might be from a client relationship perspective.
  • [15:58] Can you share with us some customer success stories that have happened in the last month, where they started using RELEX and things have changed significantly.?
  • [20:59] Can you tell us more about food waste and how they are being reduced?
  • [22:19] “Producing food waste is like shoveling money into the garbage bin.” 
  • [23:34] How are things in the culture department inside RELEX?
  • [24:09] We’ve kind of established or documented core values. That’s something that we always come back to and that’s also kind of an expectation towards people who want to work for RELEX.
  • [28:45] I was wondering, what’s next? What do you see on the horizon? What excites you, because I’m sure there are a lot of milestones coming up in the future that you’re working towards.
  • [29:16] We acquired a promotion planning and optimization company last year. And you know, last year we focused on making it an integral part of our planning platform. And now, of course, we’re moving full speed ahead with it.

Quotes 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.

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