Supply Chain Now Episode 315
Prefer to watch the podcast in action rather than just listen? Watch Scott and Greg as they welcome the good folks from ProGlove to the Supply Chain Now booth at MODEX 2020.
“Think about the amount of movement that a human does that is unnecessary but demanded because of the technology they’re currently using.”
– Tracy Hansen, President, North America, Global CMO, Proglove
For supply chains to perform with the required level of efficiency, companies have to bring together process, technology, equipment, and humans in just the right combination. Each innovation must be tracked and measured long beyond the initial implementation, both in terms of how it achieves its goals as well as how it affects the other interconnected parts of the management process.
In this conversation, Tracy Hansen, President, North America, Global CMO, Proglove, Paul Günther, Proglove’s founder, and Justin Griffith, CTO of StayLinked, talk about what their organizations are doing together to trim precious seconds out of the handling process by making information more accessible and eliminating unnecessary movements.
In this interview, recorded live at MODEX, Tracy, Paul, and Justin tell Supply Chain Now Host Scott Luton about:
· Their joint innovation on a new scanner that increases the productivity of front-line supply chain workers
· The challenges presented when integrating new technologies with legacy systems that never envisioned being used the way we use them today
· How leading companies are balancing precise measures of efficiency with the human need for ergonomics
[00:00:05] It’s time for Supply Chain Now Radio. Broadcasting live from the Supply chain capital of the country, Atlanta, Georgia. Supply Chain Now Radio spotlights the best in all things supply chain the people, the technology, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.
[00:00:29] All right. Good morning. Scott Luton here with you, Leive of Supply chain. Now, welcome back to the show. We are broadcasting live today from Modica. You might can hear in the background the largest supply chain trade show in the western hemispheres. And that’s being held right here in Supply chain City, Atlanta G-A. On this episode, we are speaking with a small roundtable of Supply chain technology leaders. We’re going be discussing how everybody scans. Everything is scanned multiple times as of course, it courses through Supply chain. But maybe we’re still doing it wrong. I don’t know. We’re going learn a lot more quick programing note like all of our podcasts here. splotched. Now get our podcasts wherever you get yours from. And be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a single thing. OK. Looking forward to an outstanding panel van. So let’s introduce them to my right here, starting with Paul Guenther, co-founder of Pro Glove. Right, German maker of wearable scanners for global industry. And Paul, understand that you were just cited in The Wall Street Journal article.
[00:01:31] Pretty cool. Oh, yeah. Yeah, that Douglas. That was amazing. I when we started the whole thing, I never thought, like, at some point we’re going to you you’re going to be featured in a Wall Street Journal.
[00:01:41] That is. It’s like a landmark. Yeah, I think so. Great, great signal. And looking forward, learn a lot more about pro glub. You’re joined by Tracy Hansen. Omar left here, president of Pro Gloves U.S. Operation, which is headquartered in Chicago. And Tracy, you also serve as a company’s global chief marketing officer. That is true. Those are two big hats. They are EFT. So looking forward to diving more. I mean, I’m gonna move this in just a smidge. Here we are. And then Justin griffeth over to my right here. Chief technical officer at St. Linked, which from what I’ve been told, is the most advanced terminal emulation solution in the entire world. Yes. And we will learn more a lot more about that, right? Yes, sir. OK. So Paul, Tracy and Justin all here exhibiting at Mode X. We’re just getting started here on the first day. Well, we say just getting started now. Y’all been setting up four or five days like we have. Yeah, but it’s all come together. All right. So as we talked about in in in in the pre-show warm up, we want to give our audience a chance to kind of get to know you all the better. I’ve already gleaned a couple of details from our little warm up as we’re getting a soundcheck. So, Paul, starting with you, tell us all by yourself, including where you grew up. And give us an anecdote or two about about your upbringing or your education.
[00:02:59] Yeah. Yeah. So I grew up in Germany in the south and part that’s a lot of automotive industry. So I always wanted to do something with automotive. So I studied like management with technology. And while I was student, I worked for BMW in the factory as a tour guide. So I learned all the technologies and also why it’s so much about efficiency. And then, yes, later that helped me a lot when we came up with the idea of pro-cop.
[00:03:30] Now I have to speak. Well, I’ll have the back with one of the world’s finest automotive companies. Yeah. breakwall and of course, Beenable tour guide. The operation that you probably had a unique opportunity to kind of see it in the in. Right, which is really helpful.
[00:03:44] Yeah, exactly. Okay. Well basically from the steel, from the bass steel until the ready made core belief to factory everything.
[00:03:51] Yeah. Very cool. All right. So shifting gears, let’s go over to trace it. It’s a trace of where you grew up and give us a good or two about you, too.
[00:03:58] Absolutely. I grew up outside just outside of Boston, right near Route 128, which for those of you remember, it was the technology hotbed in New England. OK, so I was really obsessed with technology. I was obsessed with international business. So in graduate school, I studied ISO 9000, which for those of you know, is really at the heart of Supply chain and making sure that things are quality controlled and that you can operate efficiently and effectively. So I’ve been doing this for a long time.
[00:04:25] Outstanding. And what so you said outside of Boston. What town or borough or what? Go Tigers. Newton North, Newton North or the pride of Newton North. Awesome. OK, so let’s shift over to Justin Griffith with Stabling. So same question where you grew up with Justin and give us give us the goods on your upbringing.
[00:04:44] Yeah. So I was born and raised in Orange County, California, and that’s where we operate out of as well. And I’ve been with the company now 16 years. And it was a family company. It was started by my dad almost 30 years ago. Nice. And. When I first started with the company, it was it was one of these scenarios where he’s had me down and it’s terminal emulator and he’s saying, OK, don’t get too comfortable here. It maybe has two or three years left and 16 years in. Kind of the conversation has shifted around. There’s all of this great innovation and great technology, but it has to find a way to be integrated smoothly with these entrenched systems. You know, the fact that I still have a job now is is a testament to that.
[00:05:30] What’s old is new again. Yeah, in many ways now. And so what we’re going to learn more about. Stay linked here momentarily. But in the meantime, Siplon, Justin, tell us about. So you’ve been the same company for 16 years. Did you do anything prior to. Has this been your literally.
[00:05:46] So this was my first professional job. I was doing retail. So that was a unique experience, too, because I saw sort of the end game of where a lot of this stuff gets executed and, you know, where the customer actually picks it up. But but, yeah, I was using the technology. I’d be running the software for years later. Why? Yeah, all those years ago. And your dad started the company? Yeah.
[00:06:07] Really cool. So. So you got a sense of kind of the entrepreneurial side of the tech business.
[00:06:12] Yeah. Yeah. And also sort of this how a company adapts, you know. So before doing this we were solving Y2K, you know, and fixing backend systems for Y2K zone. It’s funny how technologies and how companies kind of adapt to the new whatever the concern is.
[00:06:29] Roll with the punches right now. Okay. So, Paul, let’s come back. Your kind of give us a sneak peek of some of your early professional journey being, you know, working at the BMW plant and touring groups through there. What else? Prior to your role here program?
[00:06:48] Yeah. So aside from my job with BMW, I worked a lot of electronics just out of interest and then realized like how quickly I was able like to built prototypes out of hardware and put some software on it. And then that was amazing. So you could just readymade all the oldest parts. You had some idea and then you could prototype it and then test it basically if you use us. And that was also super helpful then for the ongoing journey later then with program.
[00:07:19] Okay. Someone ask you about what triggered what calls you that found the company in just a minute. But but Tracy, before we do, I’m for learn more about pro glove and kind of its background. What what preemptive your current role. Give us a little sneak peek of that.
[00:07:36] So right after grad school, I went to work for a startup called NetApp based out of Silicon Valley and was there for 12 years. My job was to help ensure that we were ISO certified and from there really grow the company. We went from 200 people to about 14000, about 20 million in revenue to about 6 billion. So it’s pretty nice. Yeah. And then Andreas Koenig, who is our CEO at Pro Glove. He was there at the same time. I was. And we paralleled he was running Europe and I was doing marketing over at NetApp as towards the end we got certified way early on the set when he tapped me about pro glove and he said, let’s do this again. Got a chance to meet Paul and the other co-founders and just said, absolutely, let’s do this.
[00:08:21] All right. So if I can throw a curveball, Sheer went with that type of growth that you just described. There are some unique dynamics around them and some some of our listeners that are in entrepeneur oil field or maybe they’re with with fast growth companies can can do that. It resonates with them and others. You know, there may be new to that type of growth if there’s one thing that you could hang your hat on that is really unique to that type of global growth. What would that be?
[00:08:46] Patients, patients, patients. It’s all about the people. Right. And it’s so dynamic. And you have to understand what motivates people. You have to understand what moves them forward. And when there’s stress in the organization, when you have that type of the group, you need to be able to have patients and bring people along with you.
[00:09:05] Well-put. Well-put. And it’s almost like a counterintuitive answer, but it makes perfect sense. OK, so Paul, let’s switch gears and come back to you, because it really kind of one of the feature stories here as part of this conversation in this episode is the pro glub story. So tell us about what prompted you to found the company.
[00:09:27] Yes. During my time at BMW, I figured out, OK, that’s all about efficiency. So there was one guy, for example, at a cemetery line. He was taking kind of adhesive on his from a suspender dispenser and I’d put it in the car. And then when there was a little bit more time, he put it everyway on his glo things, on his jeans, everywhere. So he was faster if the next car. So that was something you could observe everywhere. That was one thing. So the efficiency I saw there and the other thing was so wearable devices. So in. In the three you already used to have a vest, safety shoe, Southwire, also gloves, and so at some point we thought, OK, if you can make a smart glove for industry, that helps the worker to do its job easier. Because like, did you do it like the one step you do 1000 times every shift? And then that’s a big, big help for the worker and also for a manager, because they’re always looking into how can we save some seconds, especially when we started and with the automotive industry, they’re really interested into keeping D. The automotive industry in Germany and being efficient. And so there’s always someone like looking into squeezing out seconds and cannot interject for one second.
[00:10:47] It’s all it’s always fascinating as one is Pallot fell off the machine. Sounds like it’s always fascinating to hear a technology company, a technology trailblazer. Talk about the people and start with the people in terms of why you found that that really sticks out. It’s not an everyday occurrence. So I can really appreciate that. And so let’s talk about currently. So. So we kind of got a sense of why you found that. Give us give us an example or two about the current application. You know what work and we find pro pro-bowl of helping operations today.
[00:11:22] Yeah. So we we started in automotive like typical assembly line. Every part that you basically build into the car you want to document. So you need to scan it. And usually you do this with a handheld scanner like a pistol scana. But like you need to krepp this first. You will lose it somewhere on the pallet. And so that costs you quite some time. Also, it’s not ergonomic photobook of it. These things are quite heavy, these guns. So we integrate it. This scanner, we made it really, really tiny in integrated into a glove so you can wear it on the back of the hand and then just trigger it in your natural movement. And that not only helps in the automotive industry on the shop shop floor, but like in every warehouse. So that was then the second big sector for us. Like everywhere where you order something, someone needs to pick this and wants to document that in a in an efficient manner and runs through a warehouse. And these are then our users are like that.
[00:12:27] So I once collaborated with a linson, say, Mark Preston, and they always said winning when you toured operations, look for Elbow’s especially production operations, because if you don’t find elbow’s to your point, you find folks reaching. And if you could throw out your back or it’s just not a comfortable work environment. So as you describe that, I can almost sense how much easier that would make my role, especially if you’re on a production line for eight hours doing tough work in automotive or they’re just a little bit of pressure, right. Keep things moving. Before we talk more about de-linked, what else would you add to that? Tracy, the application absolutely.
[00:13:04] So pro-Kiev really applies itself well in transportation Logistics warehouse and distribution centers, retail. And we’re actually seeing quite an emergence in healthcare. Really?
[00:13:15] What? So do any of those industries you just mentioned. What’s the easiest application to kind of Sheer that our listeners can kind of picture?
[00:13:25] You think, oh, let’s see, let’s talk about warehouse and distribution. I just had the opportunity to visit a customer last week and walked the floor and we could see exactly what you just described, people reaching deep into the to the shelves to pull boxes out or bending down low to scan items. And so when you think about the amount of movement that a human does that is unnecessary but demanded because of the technology they’re currently using. You can visualize putting pro-Kiev in its place and instead of having to bend down constantly, just scan with the click of a button or is it having to reach deep and be able to just pull things out because you’re not having to to orient your body in a way that’s unnatural to accommodate the technology. Let’s make technology accommodate the human.
[00:14:12] I love it, you know. So we’ve got a couple of dogs at home. We order dog food all the time. What one? My least favorite things to do is go to the grocery store and buy the 40 pound dog food. My dogs go through it in three days. And while we get online now and it’s shipped trip to the house, if you if we’ve all seen how the retail environment is a brick and mortar adapt to those guns. Right. So that that customers that they have to pull those things out the buggy. It just makes easy, you know, make adapt the technology to the worker or to the consumer. I love it.
[00:14:42] Well, can we just take that dog food analogy, that dog food? That one bag was probably scanned about 20 times. Sheer. It was scanned when it was delivered to the warehouse. It was scanned when it was taken off the pallet, when it was put on the shelf, when it was pulled off the shelf, when I was put on the truck, when it was boxed up, when it was shipped to you and when it was taken off. The bus or the tri? That’s where everybody scams. So let’s talk about how we might be scanning incorrectly. And what are some of the things that we can do to address them, the much needed scan in a way that that meets the needs of the supply chain.
[00:15:15] I like it. I like it. It makes it makes so much sense. You know, we’re all looking for a way and we’re going to touch on some inefficiencies and whatnot. We’re all looking for ways to gain just a couple of things and have our global supply chain. Right. Few less touches. Certainly a lot less empty miles or more. But anyway, stay linked. Justin, let’s bring you back to the conversation here. I really want to. Two things. I really want to understand more about what the company does. Yeah, I’m not a technologist. So when I was doing my homework around the terminal emulation thing above my pay grade.
[00:15:48] It’s an obscure hog in End to end.
[00:15:51] And then secondly, kind of if you could speak to the alliance that you almost have as firms.
[00:15:56] Yeah. Yeah. So terminal emulation. Right. Now that the prevailing kind of info is that, as they mentioned, when you’re scanning all of this stuff, generally speaking, you’re using some sort of mobile device with a built in scanner. And about 70 percent of the time that’s being used in conjunction with the terminal emulation software. So it’s the software that presents the screens from warehouse management system telling you what boxes to pick and what what dogfood bag to grab and and that sort of stuff.
[00:16:25] Gotcha. So the scanning technology in terms of the physical technology connects with the emulation solution. Right. To help guide the work that takes place.
[00:16:35] Exactly. Yeah. We’d be the thing telling you. Wrong. Wrong box. Right. Or you’ve got enough here. Move on to the next work. OK.
[00:16:42] And then so that that is you’re speaking to the second question I had in terms of how you all work together. Right.
[00:16:48] Yeah. So so again, for a lot of these workflows, apart from just two in basic sort of data entry, the grand majority of the industry has moved toward this scan validation model. You know, everything’s bar coded so you don’t, you know, less error, more efficiency. So, again, one of the huge opportunities we’re finding in the Logistics space especially is the more efficient you can make that scan and the more accurate you can make that scan. And now with some of the new form factors they’ve got, the better you can alert users when there’s an exception, a condition, an error or something like that. The more efficiency you get, the more boxes out the door.
[00:17:27] And who’s not looking for that? Exactly. Everybody. Right. Exactly. Not that a stumble across something maybe with my conversations with somebody else. Team members here. You’ve got a big announcement in the works. We do. And I don’t want to preempt anything that folks are going to know that this could be a few weeks away from when we publish the episode. But is there anything you can share or want to hold back?
[00:17:48] Now, let’s let’s talk about it. So let me start. But, Paul, you jump in. OK. All right. So this week at Mode X, we are announcing our newest scanner. It’s called Mark Display. And what you’ve heard us describe so far is a scanner on the back of your hand before Mark Display. It was a solid scanner. So there was no display. And this week we’re announcing the ability for us to actually show the person, the front line worker data. Right there on the back of their hand without having to go access a tablet or other device. So, Paul, you wanted to share some more?
[00:18:22] Yeah. So this the tablet or a phone running, stay linked, for example, still in the equation, but you don’t need to look at it all the time. So you will start your process in the morning. But then you can put it away. You can store it. And then all the information that is critical for the shop you’re currently doing, like what shelf I’m going? How many do I need to pick? What do I need to pick? That is an all right in the back of your hand. And so you don’t need to pull out any other screen or look at any other device. And then like to get a whiff, stay linked. We can implement this into you. A warehouse application. Love it.
[00:19:01] And you know, you already have a couple of sites that you’re targeting for initial deployment. Parking Sheer too much there, but you can’t share too much.
[00:19:09] But we do. We have a couple of customers who are putting this into production right now. They are looking at making their frontline workers more efficient. The device itself is feather light. It’s about 1.4 ounces. So it barely weighs more than a feather. Yeah. And it is allowing them to find operational efficiencies, give their employees real time data. Right, in context to what they’re trying to accomplish. Paul is exactly right. It will tell me where I need to go next. How many things I need to pull. It will alert me if there was a mistake made or it can actually be blasted with additional information. If I need to alert my team members to different things out there on the floor. It’s an e-ink display, so it’s really crystal clear. And that’s a great idea. That’s a good idea. It’s fun. And it just it really is a powerful tool for us. And. Early adopters are finding that this is cutting down even more seconds. And every second counts in the Supply chain.
[00:20:07] Absolutely. It seems like it maybe not in the first deployment, but there’s beyond the straightforward operational gains then that this type of technology allows. Seems like you’ve got some some some cultural questions and some gamification that seems like all kinds of versatility taken to have fun.
[00:20:27] Yeah, you could have with this. Very cool. It has a very similar kind of value proposition like we were talking about it inside the office. Like all the value proposition around. Heads up display that this is a hands up display, you know, and everything that you could do and alert users to. But with the addition of having the built in scanner, not the efficiency you get at it.
[00:20:47] It’s just awesome. Yeah. Pretty exciting. So I want to transition less. I don’t wanna leave any any important detail about this big announcement. I think it’s gonna be a couple of days before you really roll that out here at Moto X, which is to pick where 35000 of our closest supply chain friends are at the largest supply chain trade show in all of North America. Pretty cool place to roll out that type of announcement in the same week that you get covered by the Wall Street Journal not to get Charles autograph booth here. I want to switch gears. I kind of want to broaden out just a smidge. And there’s three things that that we all identified kind of pre-show in terms of general themes of the supply chain landscape, the supply chain environment, the global business of our AURIN efficiencies, workforce and outie. And we can probably all based on the first part of this episode, kind of make some linkages. Right. But one thing I want to own a kind of go around the horn here and just I want to start with you. We think of efficiencies and we think of this type of solution. We think of Industry 4.0 against the backdrop of what is. Got to have it.
[00:21:57] Got to have it now. Yeah. What is that? What what comes along? Yeah. It’s been a really interesting topic, especially over the last couple of years, because again, we’re sort of facing it from from the perspective of, okay, how do I integrate it with the system that was not engineered to consume. Right. Right. You know, it wasn’t engineered to speak to a display or wasn’t engineered for for lobbys new technology. So that really jumps out to us is okay. How do people use these new technologies that there’s obvious gains you get from in a way that they integrate quickly and in mass, you know?
[00:22:30] So that’s that’s the biggest thing, because for us in our industry, we’re measured more than anything by how many boxes get out the door. Right. And unless you get more boxes out the door, you don’t get integrated.
[00:22:40] Well, and, you know, they’re not naming names, but they’re story after story providers and the e-commerce space that are looking at those per hour production efficiencies per day. There’s a ton of pressure there. You know what you’re speaking to. Paul only gets your way. And when you think of efficiencies, what else comes to mind terms of the opportunity in this in this e-commerce area that we live in?
[00:23:04] Yeah. So when we started a company in 2015, there were a lot of fun to play us. Also looking into the Industrial space. The problem with most of them, where they were super complex to integrate and to get running. And so if you have some gains after a project off two years like your customers are probably not interested. And with our solution, we had a we had something to trust, could go to the assembly line, plug in and then instantly could integrate it into a death process and safeties these four seconds. And that was super helpful to us. So you don’t need to have a super complex solution. DB To solve the problems of your customers, it’s really important that you can have something that is easy to integrate and then they can get started and will see some benefit and not only not only after two years or so of using it.
[00:23:58] Simplicity is a beautiful thing and everyone doesn’t quite appreciate that. I certainly do. And you know, we’ve talked a lot on on our previous shows. Let’s keep the small things to be small things. Right. And in the mountains, they have to move mountains. We’ll tackle that in due time. But man, simplicity is just so underrated. All right. So when Trish Boehm bring you back in the conversation, when it comes to efficiency’s, what what else is the opportunity here?
[00:24:24] I want to build on what Polish is talking about, because as we introduced Smart Display, we’re introducing a cloud concept as well. So how do we do data analytics and give intelligence to the organization that is using or pro glub and similar to what we did with the hardware? We’ve been striving to do the same thing with the software. We want to make sure that it’s as easy as possible to make it as efficient as possible. So the benefit of it is received immediately and with all of the data that we’re able to collect now and give back to the customer. They’re able. To see where their workers are on the floor, they’re able to understand the spaghetti drawing of the foot pattern in the distribution center. And with that visualization and with that insight, they’re able to gain even deeper efficiencies, not just from scanning, but how everything is actually organized and set up. So, so critical.
[00:25:18] I want to go back to something you just shared and put you on the spot. But, you know, I think a lot of folks say we have a lot of folks in still in college looking to break out in the supply chain and they listen because they want to get a sense of of the global market and who’s doing what. So when you say spaghetti diagram, I love that a map might have made some our listeners hungry. What is that? What is that?
[00:25:43] If you can visualize an AutoCAD drawing of your shop floor and seeing where everyth all the panels are laid out and where all the bays are, you can actually visualize where people are walking, where they’re touching, where they’re stopping and get heat maps and footprint basically. And we call it the human digital twin. And that human digital twin gives you a real analytical approach to understanding how your operations are actually set up.
[00:26:11] Data’s powerful and there’s the spaghetti diagrams and especially in warehousing and fulfillment environments, manufacturing environments are so critical to making life easier for the workforce. You know, if you’ve got something in the wrong place at the end the facility, why not move it right? The other thing you spoke to, tracing gets all the way in on regardless if it’s equipment like pribilof offers or if it’s other all the technology systems, you find Moto X, you’re speaking to that immediate return because we’re all looking to get that. Yeah. That payback period in as short time for Fritz. You speak to the minute.
[00:26:49] Sure. Absolutely. Guys jump on it. But we think there’s a sense of immediacy. If I’m going to invest in something, I understand it might take time to fully realize the return on that investment, but start showing me immediate improvement. So we’ve geared our organization and our partnerships to ensure that as we’re working with our customers, as we’re talking to them, that they’re able to see immediate results even if there’s a long term strategy at play.
[00:27:18] I love it. That would be that would be kind of the important thing that we’re seeing a huge focus in a huge shift towards people buying platforms that grow. It’s not necessarily that they want the end game right now. They just want know they can get there and they want to know it’s a well, they can keep going back through to get better and better step out.
[00:27:35] Great point. Justin, so let’s just talk about people, you know, shopping and and a lot of that happens online these days to mention the big A. All right, Amazon. They’re still running a pretty healthy business and moving into different operations. And is is of course, it’s fascinating. Right. Despite something we’ve talked about is kind of the. There’s also a anyone but Amazon kind of movement. Right. Looking out how to how can they collaborate in different ways right now and protect some of the leverage. But let’s let’s talk about Amazon. Despite the fact that all the folks that put the work twenty six thousand unfilled job openings for actual humans.
[00:28:22] Yeah. Let’s let’s talk about humans. Yes, please. So core to Paul and that and the other co-founders vision was to keep the human and the center of the job. So there’s a job that needs to be done. And while there is absolutely an opportunity for automation, inevitably a human is engaged in that process. So the the focus on putting the human at the center of the workforce is really a core part of our vision. So the fact that Amazon, one of the most highly talked about companies in terms of automation and robotics. Yeah, still has nearly 30000 human worker jobs, just paints an incredible picture that humans are essential to the job that needs to be done. And how do we make sure that we’re building technology and processes that keeps them ergonomically fit? Safe. Yeah. iNcontroL of the job that needs to be done.
[00:29:15] Yeah, I think I think there’s a just another point on on that subject is that there’s a perception of it’s got to be either or either you do automation or you focus on on the human. What we’re seeing is that there’s kind of the the fact is we need all of it, you know, that there’s so much demand out there and there’s so much pressure on Logistics to do it better and faster and and more effectively that we really need the press kind of on all fronts. Yes.
[00:29:39] Great point. All right. So, Paul, we’ll bring you back in here. I love that’s on the best things I’ve heard this week. And again, my week is not starting today. It’s going back. It feels like today, six or seven. But the focus on the human element, that is such a wonderful element to this this business that. Found speak to how important it is to you.
[00:30:01] Yeah. So in the founding team, a part of the team, it’s like me coming from the industry. The other part comes from design thinking user centric design and like setup ideal. One of the biggest consulting firms in the sector in Germany. And this is why it’s really strong, strongly integrated in our DNA. So each time we have something new like alter the mark display, we have a we go out with very, very rough prototypes. They look super ugly.
[00:30:32] They break quite easily. I’m super ugly. Really? Yeah. I’m in John Haber as a highly technical term. Paul So yeah, we take whatever.
[00:30:42] It’s the fastest. So. So they definitely don’t look like look nice. And then we go and give this to our users and they tested and we get instant feedback and then we go back a week or a week on it and then we go with the next iteration, with the next prototype. And so we have around in Munich, we have a couple of customers like BMW, also some warehouses where we can just come and go as we want. And we do this for multiple years now. And they have some of them have a stockpile of prototypes. So sometimes I need to go and get them all back and give them proper hardware, actually. But it’s super important then that like everyone in development in the sales team, like they all live up to this philosophy and know how to observe the USA and to figure out what is like getting feedback and what is actually the right solution for the user. And so we we all spend actually quite some time on the shop floor and observing users and doing interviews. Okay.
[00:31:42] All right. So before we leave the workforce segment, because I want to talk about outie, which of course, is front and center not only for organizations and business, but for consumers. Anything UPS were missing when it comes to workforce now, there’s probably a lie.
[00:32:00] Good point. We could have a whole another session just on that.
[00:32:03] I’m serious. Exactly. All right. So then let’s switch over the r.t, because I really want to. There are no shortage of acronyms and buzz words you write in this landscape we’re in. Right. So let’s talk about the modern day, the more sophisticated way that we’re applying outie, not just going back to my for example. I’d love to have an instant connection so that when we take the last scoop out of the dogfood container that it sends a message instantly to where wherever third party e-commerce folks we get it from and it’s on my doorstep without forgetting for three days. Right. But that might not be the most sophisticated application of I.T. that I get a sense that you are more involved with. Right. So, Tracy, and I’ll start with you. How do we how do we get the right level of, you know, keeping a simple solution in mind, but to your point of getting the most bang for our buck? How do we get that right? Sure.
[00:33:05] So I love what you said earlier in the podcast around. Let’s keep the simple things simple and deal with the mountain later. That’s exactly what we’re trying to do today with the combination of the cloud solution, the emulator and the the display. We knew from observing our customers that they needed more access to information in real time quickly. So employing the whole internet of thing construct, how can we get information from the cloud to the worker quickly, efficiently, simply? And then how can we take data from that worker more quickly to the cloud so that the people looking at the operations and the supply chain could glean information and data from that transaction? Timely manner. Timely. Quick. Simple. So actually, to tieback what Justin said to people are looking for a platform. They’re looking for something that will grow with their business, not just solve a problem today, but the problem that they visualize 3, 5, 10 years from now. But they need something today. We’re also employing I.T. as a as a mechanism to start collecting data, to start understanding information and to start delivering information to people who need it in a contextual way is where we believe the payoff. Yes.
[00:34:22] You keep talking about context. I think that is such an important in this in this air that we live in where we’re getting overwhelmed, right? Yeah, probably sitting here in the last thirty five minutes, I bet you have gotten plenty of email, social media texts, her, you name it. But that context is so important. Absolutely. Yeah.
[00:34:41] Ok, on that that to that point about data. Right. Because we’ve been playing in the space now for for a number years. And there’s just so much data out there that’s just interesting. You know, you can’t do anything about it changing that number. You can’t really tell how it would affect the operation or efficiency. So. So, again, to her point. Right. It’s about data in context and sort of the new expectation is that when you’re going to make a leap in technology, you’re going to make an improvement. You have to have something keeping you accountable to say I will receive a benefit. And quantify that.
[00:35:15] So, Paul, and to bring in on this, it can along the lines of what Justin was just talking about. You know, we’ve all there’s that there’s a great phrase. I’m a butcher it. But basically, you want to do it with your people, because if you do, if you plan without your people, you’re doing it to them versus doing it with them. And what I envision is your kind of describe the initiative and the innovation things that are rolling out is you are doing it with the people. And not only is the business from an efficiency standpoint and all of the standpoints gaining, but the people are gaining, the workforce is getting and speak to that little bit ball.
[00:35:53] Yeah. So in this regard, we have a couple of customers that are looking into like not only handing out smart devices to the white collar, but also to the blue collar workforce because they say, yeah, we want to integrate them better. We want to give them regular updates, access to email, to Internet. All these things that they maximum have like a terminal standing around somewhere. And so the push like from UPS, from smartphones into the industrial sector also has a lot of benefits for the Birkhoff. So, for example, if you want to get updates about a health insurance policy or something, you can just use your device and like anytime you can get regular updates and you don’t have to go to to some special place to obtain this information. Really? Yeah. So this is some something we see you off with a couple of customers.
[00:36:55] It’s not completely rolled out yet, but in some factory, Easdale already testing this out. Yeah.
[00:37:02] You’re speaking to the art. The art of the possible that we literature earlier, all the kind of different things that that information that be conveyed with context that would be beneficial to all those that we’re.
[00:37:15] Well, I’d love to build on something Paul said. And it is about the terminal. So one of the things that’s really important. And that goes to the context part is under tethering your workforce from a stationary location, the job getting done is somewhere else. It’s always some place else on the shop floor or someplace else, perhaps where you are your customer, EFT. And if you can move your your frontline workers to where the job needs to get done with the information they need in that spot. But untether them from a stationary terminal. Imagine how much more quickly you’re solving a problem or addressing a customer need.
[00:37:54] Have. Yeah, absolutely. So. In the past you had like stationary computers and screens and everything attached, for example, on assembly line in a warehouse. That’s impossible nowadays. Like even an assembly line where you run a car production a couple of years, it’s in constant change. So you really need to untether the information that you want to transfer to your workforce.
[00:38:16] Such a great word. You can almost see it right on tethering take place. Okay. So I’m tempted not to say this because there’s so much more about outie we could talk about. But I do want to I want I want to Broadcom continue our broadening journey here. 18TH the last word before we leave our T. Before I give you all Mandella question. OK. All right. Good. I’ve got your permission, Tracy. Thank you very much. Yeah, first. OK. All right. So, Paul, I’ll start with you. So we we, you know, leaving the world of efficiency’s workforce and outie. And there’s a great Venn diagram somewhere right there between those three. But and you’re looking at the global supply chain management landscape, boran kind of beyond those areas we’ve touched on what sticks out, what’s on your radar more than others. And it’s really an open ended open canvas question. You know, a lot of folks we talked to on this show that they they they go down the leadership path and they go down workforce path or they go down technology disruption and all the things that means tarmacked cliche is right. And what is what are you tracking more than others right now?
[00:39:28] Paul Yeah. So, yeah, that’s quite a broad question. So we discussed already a lot about our field philosophy. So the human BRK.A is always in our center. So automation is interesting to us. But I always like to integrate the work. Because we think this like the book has so capable of adapting to to a new process or if something goes wrong that is super difficult for automate the nation. Nevertheless, the automation. It has its place. There’s some very boring chops to do and or heavy lifting. So that’s great. And beside that, so I am I’m looking into a roadmap. Yeah. So we are looking into like Met Jua Technologies and making them more accessible for the workforce. So we’re not doing necessarily so like extreme high tech like things that will play a role in five years from now. But more something that is mature maybe in another sector like, for example, in the consumer sector. And then apply this technology to the industrial sector.
[00:40:38] You know what is unmistakable for anyone that listens this interview is how within the DNA of your company, the workforce in the in the human element is is front and center is at the core of that. And that was a very refreshing element in this automation age. Right. Which is a great thing. But as it is, it should be all addressed. One of times the human element kind of gets forgotten about or becomes less of a priority. Okay. Same question.
[00:41:05] Just took my answer. No, I think I think to build on that a bit, I think what we’re really focused on is the integration, not just on on the systems side of the technology, but integrating it into a user’s day. How do you get the users to adopt quickly? Right. And how do you how do you lower the barrier of entry for them to be able to do their job better and more efficiently and not not fight the technology? How do we help it do their job better?
[00:41:34] Yeah, that’s so important. Right now, I’m kind of going back to that notion of not doing it to the workforce, doing it work with the more. That’s where the the secret sources. OK. Tracy, which to the weigh in here. What what are you tracking more than others right now?
[00:41:50] What am I tracking more than others right now? It’s the customer journey. So I am obsessed right now with really understanding across the four verticals we mentioned earlier in the podcast. Healthcare, retail, travel and logistics. Transportation and logistics and warehouse distribution. Now is understanding what’s the job that needs to be done? What’s the effect of all of this amazing technology and innovation that’s happening? And how are our companies responding to it? So the better we are at understanding the impact of all of this innovation is to the the companies that we’re working with and the partners we’re coming to market with. The better we are at helping to get the job done in a better, more efficient way with the human in the center of it.
[00:42:32] Yeah. So anything but technology for the second technology. Absolutely. Latest bells and whistles like innovation by bias scrying. Yeah. Yeah, but the appropriate application of the practical application of technology is kind of what I heard there.
[00:42:48] Absolutely. Let’s let let’s build a solution with the human not adapting the process for the technology. Let’s focus on the human.
[00:42:58] Okay. So I want to make sure our listeners can connect. But before we get goods count as we sort of wrap up the interview, this is day one of Moto X I think. Ya what booth. Ya all E3 Ruxin Booth. Right Booth. Are we at. I want to say that you are at. Well then look it up. We’re at the best the fifteen eighty. I want to say I’m close. Well we’ll come back, we’ll edit that out. Nigel Keane 0 8 19. Teamone so. mutex Booth 19 0 8. What else? As you walk over. I think that is in either concourse A or concourse B. You think it draws attention as you’re you’re you’re wandering through the desert to find us here at 42nd on Sunday?
[00:43:52] Well, it did and it was the abundance of robotics. I’m glad I’m not the only one because there was some really big robots. Yeah. You know, which again, isn’t bad. It’s much needed. And. And Paul said that there’s there’s jobs that need to happen, that that these robots and the automation it absolutely appropriate for. But again, 30000 jobs out there for frontline workers in one company. Yeah, right. So humans are a part of this as well. So what stands out as amazing innovation and opportunity to to further adjust the supply chain? How do we keep it all connected with you and with you?
[00:44:31] Well put. Okay. Well, anything else? I mean, that was I think.
[00:44:35] Yeah. Now, same thing. And kind of when I look at all of those systems and you look at sort of the classic way of getting those systems integrated where they would all be their own little silos or their own sort of separate integration integration teams and separate projects for a customer like I look at that and say, okay, well, how could we simplify all of those systems and get them to speak to one another and then give context to a system that tells the user? Where they’re gaining and where they’re not.
[00:45:00] Yeah. Excellent, excellent. OK, well, let’s make sure our listeners can can follow up with each of you and your two organizations and learn more and if they can connect with you individually. Sure. I’m sure there’s lots of folks that may want to compare notes based on what they’ve heard here today. So for starters, Paul, how can folks learn more about pro-GOP?
[00:45:22] Yeah. So first of all, we have a lot of user stories on our Web site, pro life dot com. So, for example, on the airport, in the warehouse, like everywhere, really diverse applications and also how these customers got them the maximum out of our solution. So d._a pretty interesting to watch. That is what I would recommend as a starting point.
[00:45:46] Outstanding. They are also active on social media as well. Tracy.
[00:45:51] Absolutely. So program dot com. Obviously you can reach me on LinkedIn. Tracy Hanson. And then on Twitter, it’s Appro Glove. So love to hear from you guys. Tweet about us. Come check out the Web site and feel free to connect with me. Love it. OK, Justin.
[00:46:06] Same deal. Yeah. At our Web site, stay link dot com and they can reach me at the lengthen Justin Griffith. And yeah, if if they have any questions or anything info, it’s dahling. Talk on the right place. Start.
[00:46:20] And stay tuned. And now we’re going to be hearing a lot more about what the three of you and your respective organizations are up to. Big press release coming out that will probably already have dropped by the time this episode hits. Congratulations on all the growth thus far. Thank you. Who knows that that company missed earlier? It might be this might be the chapter two terms. I know it well.
[00:46:42] Thanks so much. Tracy Hansen and Paul Guenther with Pro Glub, Justin Griffith with State Link. We’ll have to have you all back all maybe later the Sheer and see how things turn out. Thanks. Thanks. Thank you. So stay tuned. One second, sir, to our audience. Be sure to check out our events and our webinar tab at Supply Chain Now Radio that com a wide variety of upcoming virtual and in-person events ranging with partners at E.M.T. Rorters Events, Automotive Industry Action Group, the George Logistics Summit mutex, which we’re here throughout the rest of week. Much, much more. Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. You can’t find something. She just note to our CMO Amanda Supply Chain Now Radio dot com and we will serve as a resource for you. This. Yeah, you all set a high bar for this first interview X so that the folks coming up behind you that they’ve got they’re going to have their work cut out for. So thanks so much to our audience. Again, you heard from pro glove and stay linked here today. Stay tuned for the rest of our coverage up here at Mode X in Atlanta, G-A. Be sure to check out the upcoming events, replays, rare interviews, other resources up Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. Find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcast from OMMA. Half of our entire team here. Scott Luton. Wish you a wonderful week and we will see you next time. ONU Supply chain now thinks about it.
Tracy Hansen leads the company’s global marketing strategy. She brings 20 years of marketing and executive leadership, having worked with top global companies like NetApp and Tealium to launch strategies that advance organizational vision, accelerate business transformation, and influence customer behaviors. She focuses on disruptive innovation, championing ideas that stretch boundaries, and mobilizing teams to deliver business value. Hansen also heads ProGlove’s U.S. entity as president and managing director.
Paul Günther is Founder & Product Engineer at Proglove, the Munich-based company created in December 2014 by former BMW and IDEO employees. After winning at the Intel “Make It Wearable” Challenge the company applied its human-centered design approach to the commercial deployment of a wearable barcode scanner which now counts more than 500 customers in logistics, transportation, manufacturing, retail, and healthcare and has the backing of growth-focused investors including Summit Partners, DICP, and Bayern Capital.
Justin Griffith is the CTO of StayLinked and is responsible for driving StayLinked’s overall product roadmap and strategy. A proven leader and a major contributor to StayLinked’s recent global expansion, Griffith joined StayLinked as a technical support specialist in 2004, ultimately rising to CTO. In 2017, Griffith conceptualized and directed the implementation of the industry’s first Terminal Emulation hardware automation framework. His guiding principle—to always remember the human element—has reinforced StayLinked’s reputation as an innovator in helping companies move to new technologies and optimize productivity.
Scott W. Luton is the founder & CEO of Supply Chain Now. He has worked extensively in the end-to-end Supply Chain industry for more than 15 years, appearing in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Dice and Quality Progress Magazine. Scott was named a 2019 Pro to Know in Supply Chain by Supply & Demand Executive and a 2019 “Top 15 Supply Chain & Logistics Experts to Follow” by RateLinx. He founded the 2019 Atlanta Supply Chain Awards and also served on the 2018 Georgia Logistics Summit Executive Committee. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and holds the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) credential. A Veteran of the United States Air Force, Scott volunteers on the Business Pillar for VETLANTA and has served on the boards for APICS Atlanta and the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance. He also serves as an advisor with TalentStream, a leading recruiting & staffing firm based in the Southeast. Follow Scott Luton on Twitter at @ScottWLuton and learn more about SCNR here: https://supplychainnow.com/
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