Leaders in Supply Chain and Logistics with Radu Palamariu

#26: Troels Randbøll Støvring CEO of Twill Logistics

October 03, 2018 Season 1 Episode 26
Leaders in Supply Chain and Logistics with Radu Palamariu
#26: Troels Randbøll Støvring CEO of Twill Logistics
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Leaders in Supply Chain and Logistics with Radu Palamariu
#26: Troels Randbøll Støvring CEO of Twill Logistics
Oct 03, 2018 Season 1 Episode 26
Radu Palamariu
Born out of a desire to simplify shipping for small and medium enterprises, Twill is a multi-carrier digital freight forwarder that enables you to book, manage and monitor your shipments at the click of a button.
Show Notes Transcript

Troels Randbøll Støvring is the CEO of TWILL. Born out of a desire to simplify shipping for small and medium enterprises, Twill is a multi-carrier digital freight forwarder that enables you to book, manage and monitor your shipments at the click of a button – from quotation and documentation right through to delivery. They take the complexity of getting your cargo from point A to point B and make it seamless. Now present in 19 countries, Twill is rapidly expanding worldwide. Troels has been with the Maersk group since 2012, the first part of Maersk Tankers, then Damco and now Twill. He took the position of starting a start-up within a corporate. The idea was generated in a strategic assessment done 4 months earlier by Damco.

Discover more details here.

Some of the highlights of the episode:

Speaker 1:
0:01
Hello and welcome to the leaders in supply chain podcast. I am your host, Rhoda Palomar, you global supply chain practice head for Morgan Phillips Executive Search. Today I'm delighted to have with this chose Strongbows still CEO of twill born out of the desire to simplify shipping for small and medium enterprises. Clearly as a multi-carrier digital freight forwarder that enables you to book, manage and monitor your shipments at the click of a button from quotation and documentation right through to delivery. They take the complexity of getting your cargo from point a to point B and make it seamless. Now present in 19 countries, twill is rapidly expanding worldwide. Charles has been with the, with the Mars group since 2012 he was first part of mirth tankers, then Danko and now too. He took the position of starting a startup within a corporate. The idea was generated in a strategic assessment done four months earlier within them call and their first task was actually to get a small team, which we located to Berlin and I will let tell you the rest of the story because very interesting one. So Charles, welcome to our podcast and it is a pleasure to have you with us today. Thank you. Super. So maybe, maybe let's, let's, let's tell our audience a little bit the story of twill, how it started. Um, how you, you got it on, on the feet and where it is today.:
Speaker 2:
1:18
Yeah, sure. Well, thank you for inviting me here. Um, so definitely a bit about what tools, but because freight forwarding is a, is an industry term or the not a lot of your writing knows. Um, so the is about, it's about looking at the actual service and our service is um, if you are, for example, a, a company if more company in Spain who designed to do import and sell cups in your local market and you find a cop produce in Indonesia that the you want to work with. Um, then both the producer and the importer of, of these cops are probably experts in college, but not a lot of their main experts in actually the trade and transportation off the cops, which will often be in a container. And it's actually quite complicated to know exactly how to do that. So Twitter is about making sure that that that transaction, and I'm trying to page one of those cops I simple as possible.:
Speaker 2:
2:13
So basically just the keg of mouth or kick of your thumb on an application. That's what we're trying to do. But, but you asked me how we started. So you said that Oh, we are a part of within a corporate, which is already an interesting set up right there. Um, in the beginning I think we were actually an experiment. So we want to experiment to think, can we actually, we think the way we do freight forwarding and not just in Bamako and the way we do the patient in most but in the industry. And then can we actually create this new oil class, digital customer journey for the customer, Eh, by also utilizing the strength we have of them go in the back. And that was how we set out to test thinking, to talk to customers to develop and fast way and to see how customers react to things the way we develop software and try it again.:
Speaker 2:
3:09
And now here we are two years from, from when we, when we started discussing this idea and I think we have, we approved that there is, there's actually value from the customer point of view in a, in rethinking the approach we have to this market. We thinking the way we think about customers and customer engagement and everything, the way we look at the customer journey or even two years into the process in this industry I would say we were quite new. We quite small, we still are learning a lot. Um, but we need to continue on this course, eh pass really make an impact on what we're trying to do.:
Speaker 1:
3:47
Super. And thank you for the, for the example because the tens are very easy to understand. Picture in terms of what is freight forwarding and what you're trying to, to, to, to address. Right. Um, well let's just, let's just go back cause I think that there is an interesting story. Why did you go to Berlin first and foremost, right? So you said that initially when you started the startup within a corporate, right, then you went to Berlin, Berlin to get to started. Well why Berlin and then what was the idea behind it?:
Speaker 2:
4:11
Well, in for no particular reason besides the fact that we're working with a partner there, it could have been anywhere in the world. Um, I think the key thing is, Eh, as you want in a corporate, you have to be really want to rethink the way you do stuff. No matter what you need to work on, you really have to test yourself from, from conventional wisdom and experts within this area here. Um, because that's just going to limit your thinking. It's gonna limit your experimentation. Um, so from day one thinking was let's get out of the headquarters, but does not have a project team in the corner that needs to, Eh, what the corporate stakeholders and have a corporate stucco. Let's send some, some, some team young dynamic team, send them to another city. Let's have them work with a strong part of their and see what they can come up with on their own. I think that's a pretty cool way to work. And is a bold move to make as a corporate right? The encourage that kind of working?:
Speaker 1:
5:12
No, absolutely. And it's not, I mean, it's not, he's not a common story actually. I mean, you're still here. Sometimes you do hear sometimes the story of corporates investing in a startup, right? So that they invest in a startup, they let the start up do their own thing. Um, um, and then, uh, and then that kind of story. I, I, you know, it's more, it's more common, but the, you kind of like the co creation of a big corporate, right? So the, it's, it's interesting how it, uh, it came into fruition, right. So, so that's why I wanted you to share a little bit because I think it's a, it's a different way of doing things and differently creative. Right?:
Speaker 2:
5:46
Any good reason for exactly doing it that way. Um, so we would do that if you think that some of the capabilities within the corporate can actually significantly strengthen the, what you, when in the, in this style. Um, and here we see we think that, so we want to do something that the tempo most have not really done before in terms of creating this world class customer experience in particular for small and medium sized enterprises who don't have the, the, the logistics expertise and don't sh it shouldn't spend time or just, um, but we do have some really strong capabilities within most can then go, how do we take those and make them come alive in a new, new way of thinking? Um, so when, when the eyes are that strong and I think this setup makes sense.:
Speaker 3:
6:32
And obviously, you know, you, you sit into, I mean it's the biggest is the, he's one of the largest or the largest shipping corporation in the world of this. The Merced, a dumb call is a, is a top 20 freight forward. And then your talk a lot about the twill experience, right? You've been mentioning about the twill experience, um, how, how would you define that? You know, I mean you were saying that you want to offer the customers that, that experience, that simplified experience. How would you define that real experience?:
Speaker 2:
6:58
The biggest compliment we can get in as well is when we actually have a sales guy or some Elson full sitting with the customer and the customer looks at the screen and says, wow, that was easy. Um, I don't know how to phrase it better than that. But that's really what we're looking for. And then coupled with the trust that we can actually deliver on the promise that we provide. So making a booking, getting a price, getting a process for handling your documents problem in this support and handholding throughout the process. When that is just that, that easy. Then there, then we really have our moments and then also the trust in terms of saying that will is not just a software business. It is basically a software mixed with the physical world. So too much twill experience. They should also feel that they actually trust us to handle the physical execution. And also trust us to take care of anything that might go wrong within in the shipping and international trade. Things go wrong. We can't control the weather, we can't control for example, what codes on in local porch.:
Speaker 3:
8:14
Yes. Yes, for sure. And also you talk about cocreating with your customers right. For Co created with your co creating with your, with your um, um, clients. How do you do that? How do you involve them in the, in the, in the, the way you develop and add new features?:
Speaker 2:
8:32
Well, cocreation is actually quite simple and it makes a lot of business logic. It develop what the customers actually asking for instead of what we think by asking for. Um, so in terms of software development that it's quite simple. We have a backlog of things we'd like to build and we always try to get customers to have a view on since sure that we are building the things that make things for the place we're in right now and what they're looking for right now. But we do that by a direct interviews with customers. We do that by getting impacted or get information back from our sales processes. Eh, we get that by sitting down with lots of groups of customers to discuss really big theme or we get that by also I'm putting tests out into the platform so the customers are asking for a certain function.:
Speaker 2:
9:25
Maybe that function takes us six weeks to develop. Then instead of using those six weeks, eh, we developed a very small version of the function. We put the button in the platform and we check how many extra clicks that um, that's, that's an easy way of testing if that's actually interesting for the customers as a, as a group or it's just a particular customer's asking for speech. So it's a little bit of a, it's an all around approach. I'd always make sure that you make decisions based on, on, on what customers have asked for. There's also a good test internally when we start looking at what to prioritize. We have to ask ourself, so who are the customers that ask for this and why are they asking for it? Is it that specific feature that as simple as it, is it a more general problem that to yes, very, very concrete example.:
Speaker 2:
10:15
Customers told us we want the reporting from him necessarily. We didn't want to build a recording function because we wanted to have everything on the platform. So you know, the standard, the standard reporting extract to excel I kind of reporting for. Um, so now we just, we just put the function up there. Okay. Let's see. I'm actually next to be getting quite a lot of shit, but it's also interesting to understand why are we getting clicks? So why do they want the reporting function and they don't want to report in function because they are looking to have everything in excel. Often they are looking for reporting function because they want to be able to share the information, eh, with customers, other people in the organization. Then it's our, basically our job to assist with Isa Excel reporting function. Then the best structure is that is what they used to. So maybe we can develop something that is cooler and easier to fulfill that desire.:
Speaker 3:
11:10
Oh yeah. I mean it's, it's um, yeah, it's a great example and definitely for just for historical reasons, excel is definitely the most popular but not necessarily that this disease:
Speaker 2:
11:20
love, excel. I Love Excel in this industry here we built an outlook and excel. That's the two main software platforms we use.:
Speaker 3:
11:27
Correct. Um, but maybe, maybe tell us a little bit more also about the benefits of using and uh, you know, an online platform like trail, right? Because of course you provide transparency, you provide instant, instant price quotes. A booking is a, is simplified. So, so does that mean you, you, you do away with the, with a lot of paperwork a, does that mean that the clients save a lot of time? I mean, maybe you can give us some examples of some concrete case studies of how, uh, how you save the well, what some of the benefits for your clients.:
Speaker 2:
11:55
We, we have times coming back to us saying, then I'm not going to use the name right here, but um, we have many times coming back to us and setting us. So that's the, wow. The one I'll share a moment from before they're saying, okay, we just saved half a day because everything was just there. Oh, we were able to book on a Saturday and actually get a confirmation back immediately. That meant with reached directly out to our customer and tell them x, y, and zed. And so we're getting a lot of feedback in particularly on time savings I would say. And then they, because that's what its most tangible for the customer, that's what they can compare to. Um, so, so I think that that's an s concrete as a gift. I just a little bit in the ease of use is something that the, um, it's really difficult to articulate what is not there.:
Speaker 2:
12:41
Um, but when it's there you can all of a sudden and see the impact and what the customers see is more access to the service. Um, Eh, quicker response times, um, and less time spent on doing a service that they did before. And me when I'm looking at, um, if you bench market, then I would pinch market to what Uber has done for the taxi industry. Not that I'm a fan of refer of Uber, the way they have expanded and the coaches are built. But I do think the way what they have built within how we interact with an old school, physical service is fantastic. The taxi, the texting, the actual service, Uber is still the same thing I was 30 years ago. It's not even a flying car is Chi. Anything is still a guy that picks you up. You're still truck, you're stuck in traffic, you have to pay fee or you still have to go in a normal car. Um, so I think the best way to articulate the, what we're trying to do with saying we want to change the way you interact with the physical service just as Uber has.:
Speaker 3:
13:45
Yes, yes. Is that interface correct? I mean that's, and, and, and, and, and the kind of putting it into the perspective of a, of, you know, twill as being part of the Morris Group. Um, and, and you know, damn code is in there as well. I mean, is the plan for thrill to emerge to be the sole customer interface for them going from Merced? You know, eliminating and replacing traditional customer front-ends in communication channels or, or is is, is there a different, a different intention:
Speaker 2:
14:16
as it, there's a big question, right? Um, most of the loaded question. Yeah, yeah, definitely is, it definitely is be honest. I don't know. I think it's the customer that will tell us that most Gundam could have have a, I'm very eager about it. Really support we want to do, as I say, as a global company, we want to be the one simplifying logistics for our customers and Twitter's all about that. So it fits nicely in if we will be the only, I would say customer interface, the class time or well at the end of the day that's the destruction of the customer not asked. Um, if we are able to, to build this really world class customer experience that is able to scale that and customers love it, then then they would be a no brainer. Let's definitely do it. Um, but I'm not gonna bet all my money on, on, on, just make making saying you're twins should be the single front end for most as like that is not really a goal in itself. Right. That's very internal focused thing to say. So at the end of the day, we want to grow, we want to grow aggressively and most is the, is behind that and we to call them that. But it's kind of, it'd be the customer who tells us if we can actually do what you asked.:
Speaker 3:
15:34
No, it's a, I mean, I'm a, I'm impressed by, by that answer to be, to be fair on a personal note because again, it kind of speaks very, very clearly of your customer centricity, which is not something that, uh, for good and for bad. I mean the larger the organization, the more they, they, they lose focus with their clients. So I think there's a, it's, it's a great thing if you maintain that perspective into, um, and probably what has led to the success so far. Um, and also I, I need to answer it because obviously in the last couple of weeks there's been quite a few announcements within the most, uh, uh, group. You've also kind of changed the brand affiliation from them, got tumors and there's been a few, few big announcements within, within the groups. So how will it fill a position? I mean, how will you position yourselves in the market to create competitive advantage if you have all this, this, uh, kind of announcements within. Okay.:
Speaker 2:
16:24
And so the first thing is we changed our brand affiliation. We did that a couple of weeks before. Most Kathy, mayday, mayday, any award announcements, um, around what is going to happen in particularly the commercial part of, um, we did that completely a separate decision. We wanted to, we want to go much more to an online as well, interacting with our customers because you think that, that, that's much easier for the customer and to do so we need customers to trust us. We need to trust that we will do what we say. We will do what we say, but we need, it's a little bit of a stronger brand affiliation and Merced liturgy sticks. We just have to, we have to focus on this are very, very strong name. It's a family name of a Danish family who basically built the company from scratch who has been a large part of, of uh, designing the transportation industry as it looks today. Um, how, how much, how strong a brand can you get them? That is 114 years old. Um, so we want, we want, when people see 12 missy well is immersive innovation on people's thinking. Okay. That means it's a, they're here for the long run and they have the capacity to actually do what they say. That's very important for us. That gives us a strong competitive position in the market.:
Speaker 2:
17:51
Secondly, I would say that the US, it's been, it's been put a little bit different within the [inaudible] mercy organizational structure. Um, the reason why Twitter's been put different in structure, it's just to give to a leads independence, um, in, in, in the, in every structure is easier to get the way you want to work, the high your position and organization. And we even put a little bit higher. And that just makes it a little bit easier for us to, to challenge some of the conventional wisdom as we discussed in the beginning. I think that's just a, again, a strong signal of intent from mercy that we really believe that we can be, make a difference for the customer.:
Speaker 3:
18:31
MMM hmm. Super likes. Makes Sense. Um, and I also wanted to move into a little bit of more specific, a specific question, but uh, cause I think, uh, you know, artificial intelligence is something that has been on the lips of a lot of people and is being used more and more in data and digitalization has been used or has been thought to be. I'm on the verge of transforming goals. So the way we do logistics, shipping supply chain, um, and within [inaudible] and within marsh, he will have access to a lot of, a lot of, a lot of data right. That you could potentially potentially use Twitter as well. So are you, are you thinking of using artificial intelligence and using this data to make better decisions for your clients? Or are there any thoughts that you have around this?:
Speaker 2:
19:15
A simple answer is yes, we thinking a lot about it. Um, cause you know, when, whenever we talk about technology now, they always have somebody who mentioned is a Ai. There's somebody who mentions the blockchain. Um, and it's a very interesting technologies that, that we will definitely be able to be utilized. Correct. There's a lot of data available in Merced that we potentially can utilize, um, spending on Gdpr. Um, but, but um, we definitely would love to do that. The one push back I always give when I get that question is always asking people to take a look at where we are today. Um, blockchain is great machine learning. Ai Is Great. We can definitely use eyes to make better decisions for our customers. But today, eh, we still have customers, Eh, and we also push them to do it that use fax, excel and email as the main means of communication within the trillion dollar industry.:
Speaker 2:
20:15
So I think we have a lot more low hanging fruits we could utilize a before we actually get the benefit of, of block chain and AI. And definitely not saying we shouldn't do both, but our focus now is to, okay, how do we get customers to an online platform instead of excel number one. And then we have the company within Verisk, Eh, the, the collaboration between most can. Ibm who works on blockchain time to, to basically create a new infrastructure for the way we exchanged information ministry. We think that is super cool and it's definitely something you want to utilize, eh, but right now I don't see Twitter's the one spearheading the blockchain technology or AI technology. I think we have dedicated functions and companies that can help with them.:
Speaker 3:
21:04
Understood. And I mean it's a, it's a, it's a, it's a great point that you're making. And I think a cross across the industry and you know, across conferences when, when we go to conferences and I just came back from one in Shanghai and I'm sure it's, it's, it's, it's happening everywhere in the world. Um, it's, there's a lot of hype, there's a lot of discussion that people like to talk a lot about technologies and like artificial intelligence and blockchain are probably the two most prominent and common use terms on everybody's lips. Um, but, um, indeed the greater challenge for most organizations right now is the fact that they haven't gone digital, that they still, you know, there's still a lot of paper involved. There's still a lot of excels involved and without proper data and without putting that in a digital format is not even talking about artificial intelligence and blockchain because that's, uh, that can be done. It's just impossible to product.:
Speaker 2:
21:54
We need to do both. I do both. And the best, this is how it is, again, this mentioned that they really give us great opportunity, but we just have to take a look in the mirror and look at where we as an industry. And then there's two boats.:
Speaker 3:
22:08
Yes, yes. Um, and then you also, you also, you also mentioned the, the part with the, with the, uh, with the blockchain and with Trade Lens, the solution that IBM has been developing with, with Mars. Um, and I think that's, that's an interesting, that's an interesting platform that I'm sure that you will, uh, you mentioned you will be part of. Um, so let's see also how that, um, how that will unfold. And as a funny coincidence, uh, you know, we've, we've had a podcast on, on that that will be released soon and end, I think, uh, the, your, your partners at IBM were also mentioning that they key, the key focus is just trying to get people to, to adopt and embrace the digital wave. And they were quite impressed actually that there's a, there's, there's a, there's a lot of, even on the government side, on the customer.:
Speaker 3:
22:51
So I decided, and even in maybe, you know, third world economies, they are trying to leapfrog directly from, you know, from being quite, you know, quite a paper focused directly on the, on the platform. And they can do that through a blockchain, blockchain enabled technology. So let's see how that unfolds. Um, but, but back to like, yeah, super exciting for sure. And definitely it will take time as well, which a lot of people tend to underestimate how long this change does take. I mean, it will take years before we actually see, but, um, it's, it's, it's a great time to be within the industry. Um, so coming back a little bit to Twitter and coming back a little bit again to a pretty specific question, but I think it's an important question because it's about how you guys handle the risk management, right? In terms of what the customer would accept. Would this be an algorithms? What type of variables would we, would you, would you consider? Because I think it's, it's a big concentration also in part. Maybe somebody that hasn't:
Speaker 1:
23:46
used you before.:
Speaker 2:
23:47
Yeah, sorry. I hope it's not too disappointing of an answer. Um, but this is, this is where we have to and we really enjoy leveraging the EMCO. Um, so so our main focus as mainly a couple of times, but I'll just do a seven is creating this fantastic customer experience to the customer and that's not easy to do. So so to do so we have to have an focused organization. A lot of organizations really struggling focusing. We have, we have an advantage. They I think because Eh for example the miscommunication of of credit terms you can look at also actually risk of transportation is something at the end cause worked with for decades and also before they called them go. Then we have experts, we have processes. So instead of just saying, okay we need to build everything from scratch, then we just pick processes that we say here we are going to get people into strong expertise that we have in our mothership and particularly on risk assessment.:
Speaker 2:
24:50
Also on a customer level there we just go directly to to Damn Cohen say can you please help us out in this process here? And that's, I think that that's one of the things that makes us go fast. Is it going to take us? A lot of times I just developed process for that. It doesn't say we shouldn't do it and we may need to do, we may should to it because we can give a better customer experience based on that. Um, but, but um, but today this is not something that the customers has asked us to focus on and therefore with the folding back to existing process.:
Speaker 1:
25:21
So if I am to kind of use a metaphor for what you're doing, you're trying to, you know, whenever, whenever it's possible, you know, don't, don't walk on your, on your feet, don't walk on your hands right. Don't reinvent the wheel. If you can use and leverage existing is exempt frameworks that Danco has already had in place and use successfully for the, for the long time you use it and where there is a need for innovation, you do that as well. So if I'm going to summarize what you just said,:
Speaker 2:
25:46
yeah, name is a moving target, right? Because then what do you think is need for innovation now may maybe a more expanded in six months from now. You learn from the process. And as we say, when I really want to reinvent this, the customer journey, how you interact with, with your, with your faith for water, I think that's very important for us. So that's where I'm focusing my team.:
Speaker 1:
26:12
Got It. And you're, you're now present to, this is not present in around 19 countries around the world, if I'm not wrong, 1920 countries. So what's your, what's your next mark is? What's your next target for the next 12, 15 months?:
Speaker 2:
26:23
Um, well, I'm just coming from two sessions today. So I introduced the, this morning I had a session with Australia, has thing with Germany is a kickoff session, um, to get them ready to, to, to uh, balance. Well, those are pretty evident markets. Last time, last week I had the same with the UAE in the Middle East. So we, we launched me a lot of markets. Um, this is, this is key for us and over the next 12 months, basically when we, we're gonna focus on going global because going the all is important for the customer journey is important for our customers. There's a lot of our customers, even though they're a smaller or medium size, they often have different entries in between. Um, which, which means that we need to make sure that we can be on all of those trade lanes, be relevant for the customer. Um, so it's gonna be a country Rollout Gallo for the next 12 months. We're going to have a traveling team. We call them rock and rollers because they live by a rock and roller and the rollout twill. Um, they are going to be child into a lot of different countries. Being the one spearheading this will kick off in those countries.:
Speaker 1:
27:33
Sounds like fun. Yeah, it's, it's like a, you know, having concerts and developments and it's country. That's a cool thing to be part of that. Um, and, and um, uh, talking about your customers because I would love to touch a little bit about, about that. You know, what are some of the most important clients you deal with? Because I remember when I was reading that when you started, you had a hypothesis that a, that you were expecting tech savvy customers to be the first ones to adopt twill and and in reality you realize that just the basic level of proficiency was all that was needed. If you can buy anything online, you can book your Shipping Online, right? So there is, there was no need to be tech savvy. So maybe it maybe give us some examples of some of your customers if you, if you can mention one or two names and maybe some case studies, just so you know. So then we kind of put it out there:
Speaker 2:
28:18
and you guys don't mind my favorite costume you mentioned not that is my favorite customer, but they are dear to my heart as an example of a customer that we wreck. You really fit the bathroom. Not none more tech savvy than any other companies. Just normal as you say, as a company called ginger rate based in the UK. Not a super big company, but a company that makes a living out of importing a party items for kids, parties, weddings, birthdays. They in polar from, from, from China and from Asian, you know, um, and they're really good at that. I think they are, they're less than 50 people in this organization. They don't have anyone who's really focusing on logistics. They have a really good at finding the right people to work with Neisha where they can get their products to do and the quality they want and they're just super happy with, with the, the process of using Twitter as the provider because it makes the life easier and makes them able to focus on their customers in the UK.:
Speaker 2:
29:31
So the retailers and also make them focus on the suppliers and Asians and make sure that they are producing the right product. And these guys were actually the one who gave us our very first booking. Yeah, the 22nd of February before we went live. We got the first booking from the injury. I was there in the office watching my team back in Berlin at that time on, on, on, on Skype and seeing when they, when they, when the lady Molly place the booking and seeing the team in Berlin going crazy when it popped up in the screen there and then we build likes the work. Um, so, so I think ginger racist equate example of a time of customer really want on our platform.:
Speaker 1:
30:12
Got It. And they actually don't have a logistics manager. Yeah. 50 people that don't know logistics manager simply enough for anybody to use.:
Speaker 2:
30:20
Yeah, exactly. So they, they have a, they have procurement people, right. That's, that's what they need because it needed to be able to procure the right right stuff. And often you always lump, okay, yeah. Your procurement and logistics as well. And that's how we normally see it in these companies. And then they have to basically become experts on, on, on logistics, um, which is not their job. And they don't really create value for the customer and doing so. So no, they don't have you just explain this is what they need.:
Speaker 1:
30:51
And I have the whole board. I want to, I mean out of curiously my personal curiosity, how about cause this is, this is a, this is a good example. How about a larger organization was I'm sure that you work with, you know, with maybe a larger, larger customers. I mean how would it work for, I don't know, a global organization or I mean some of your larger customers. What would be some of the key, I mean I also imagined that it was a bit hard than maybe to get some of those guys on board. Um, but I'm just wondering how it, how it is, but:
Speaker 2:
31:20
I think he was quite surprised. And how do we go? We didn't, we didn't intentionally want to build something but larger customers, we want to build something for this more than one cause we sold that was where the problem is. And then them Vancouver where sat at also bring twill the value proposition just after that to customers and lactic acid, one side telling us as sounds kind of interesting. Could you come to us and show us what, what it can do and say, all right, we'll, we'll, we'll, we'll, we'll, we'll go. And now at, of course taught us a lot of things. So we're told us that we still have some, some way to go to actually fulfill all their needs but not necessarily something we're super interested in because we want to stay focused. Um, but also told us that some of the, what we think is large and more complicated customers actually have done really good job at having lean and tender processes.:
Speaker 2:
32:06
And when they have that, they find Twitter client, they acquired it in ice for them. So yes, we have, we have LaChayal accounts in Mexico and the u s in the UK, predominantly those three countries has decided that they will thought handling all the shipments through the two platform. It's just my ego, but they have today. But it's because they quite mature and where the needs that they have, they have a mature process so they know how to do it because we haven't built, you know, a, they haven't built an all encompassing forwarding solution that they fit. Exactly. There was big customers. So, um, we have that, we have, I think less than 10 though I have these big customers putting out that form. And as you can just make clear that you can't really, you can't really segment your customers on, on size. That has to be more intelligence to it than that.:
Speaker 3:
32:59
Yes. Yes. And it takes, again, it takes time, right? So the more you're going to build, build the features, I think that will come with the, with the, with the process and at the time. Um, and if we're to move a little bit, cause I wanted to, to ask you a bit about the twin of culture, because I think that's a key differentiator, again, in terms of what you've built. And then you have that culture of move, move, fast, break things, adapt, change. Right. So, um, maybe I think you are implementing the agile methodology if I'm not, if I'm not mistaken, right? Yes. Basically at first, uh, I think it works in sprints, right? So you, you work in two week sprints where you have to have a tangible, minimal viable product at the end of it and then, and then go from there. So maybe can you share with us, uh, how will this work? Did it work well? Um, and give us some examples of what, what it did for you.:
Speaker 2:
33:48
Yes, definitely. I can talk about in two phases. So thank you for wanting to talk about this. That's close to my heart. Um, so as CIO at time, what really allows you to do is it keeps us dynamic. It keeps us a, it brings speed. It brings focus. Think back to your school time. Think back when you were told by the next two weeks, the only thing you do is focused on together with a small group of people. You focus on delivering this project here and matching where you can actually achieve in those two weeks instead of having eight topics at the same time. It's just amazing what focus and dedication and alignment on what it is I need to build can do. And that's the way, that's the way we really trying to work. That's, that's uh, that's also a learning journey to be on.:
Speaker 2:
34:35
Um, but really defining at the start of any of these two week processes, not just for our tech team, but also we do an HR Eh, same process to redefine this what we need to work at and then just focus on it. And then following normal biology, you will look at the, what did you, what did you achieve, what it new chief, how did an estimate what you should do in the next two weeks? And then how do you learn from, and how they become more, more lean as a, as a small team. It also means you can work in these, these small teams. So think agile really makes speed and focus possible. And we will built twill from, from the, from the first piece of code, Eh, we only spent 20 weeks until ginger, Amy first booking. It wouldn't have been possible if we didn't, Eh, didn't take the agile methodology.:
Speaker 2:
35:25
But as you also say, speed. Speed. And actually I'll also pastas mistakes. We do mistakes, we do a lot of mistakes but, but that's kind of, that's kind of just part of normal life, right? If you can't make mistakes. How I was going to learn. So he asked me what case studies, I think we have 15 to 20 case studies per week. Um, which is good. We're happy with it. We've been running this session every Thursday where we get together, we'll get a drink or we kind of synced up the mood or we want a session called failure of the week. Um, where a Twitter as we'll go out, people they asked to nominate all the trailers or themselves or great failure. They did all saw this week and focus on learning. And then after we vote we vote on who's the failure of the week. And then one person or one team gets to be the failure of the week.:
Speaker 2:
36:16
And that's actually an honor to be that. And we made some, we made some, we made small, we make small mistakes all the time and lots of these 15 to 21 so quite small. We also made big mistakes, but we've learned from built using a super inefficient and wrong software code base. So we had to rebuild twill entirely that we learned a lot from, we didn't know it was, it was the wrong code base when we started off. So, so we just started and got going. That earned us the first customer, but we had to rebuild to try to speed up control out cause we thought we could do this quicker because we need more countries and we fucked it up. We really made a hash of a couple of countries that have spent a lot more time on the, basically bring the country back up to just normal. Then we also have nothing that's not anymore, but more in the beginning. All of a sudden in the past one would break down because a developer made a decision. That's of course something that our processes for us, we don't. But we want to encourage our developers to make decisions. We want them to be empowered. So we do a lot of progress to be honest. But it's good, good photographs.:
Speaker 3:
37:31
Yes. I mean that's, that's the way to go forward. Definitely. So it's just the embracing failure, embracing failure, learning from it. It's just that again, the bigger the organization typically people that are more and more afraid of it. So, um, and how do you use it in HR? You've got me curious and obviously all businesses, HR, I'd love to maybe pick up your, your brains. How do you use, how do you use a gel and two weeks sprints in nature. [inaudible] morning.:
Speaker 2:
37:55
Yeah. It's a quite simple leaders used as a framework and Ramona are ahead of people is, he's the one who was implemented, I think they aren't squint for now. So it's quite new. But basically it's about looking at, so what is the key focus right now? Let's say the key focus is hiring tech talent. You say that recruitment is part of our peer process. Then you're going to say, okay, I'm going to focus my 70% of my, of my HR team. And people seem on hiring tech talent this week, at least two weeks, we will focus on these positions here and we will be able to close them. But then in these two weeks, many just have complete focus. Those that also means in terms of communication internally when somebody comes in, cells are low. We need a new policy for parking is something that I can't be those two weeks. Um, because we laser focused on just focusing on what we decided we want to build those, those two weeks. So I think it creates focus and create speed and it also enables you to communicate clearly a inside an organization, um, how you're prioritizing your work.:
Speaker 3:
39:00
Got It. Go to, so it's very much, it's very much outcome focus. This, I mean again, your example I think with the school day with the high school is perfect. So, um, yeah and indeed if you have that single single focus, typically it is more results. So yeah, I'll try to think where I'm getting all implemented. Um, yeah, we can do it enough. I, I'm pretty sure I can't. Yeah, it's just, I mean, I need to focus there. So I think that's my problem as well. And I'm multitasking. What I think. Yeah. Probably focusing on one thing at a time. Um, tell me a little bit, what were some of the key lessons that you've learned so far? Isn't it as an intrepreneur if you may? Right. I guess so what you are as an entrepreneur, right? An entrepreneur within a, within a large corporation, he listens.:
Speaker 2:
39:43
Um, so one of the first thing from then on everything, um, I think something I actually didn't know before I started this, and I think this, to be honest, this is the relates both to intrepreneur an entrepreneur is to the importance of going to market with your idea. And that was when I was new to me and I will tell you, it was painful to launch the first version of Twitter into the market. You know, when you, when you look through it and you look at it and you know all the details, you know, where we can, you know, here I'm missing that I'm missing that I'm still putting in front of a customer. That's, that's painful, but we decided to do so and we followed through and within a couple of weeks you learn most of about your own product that you could have learned in a year if you stayed within your own four walls.:
Speaker 2:
40:27
So, so recommendations, all intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs go live. And if you don't feel super uncomfortable with going to market, then you launched too late basically. [inaudible] but I didn't know that when I started this out and I really see the value of it now. Um, Redo. It's an intrepreneur. I think what you need to do is, what I learned is you have a bigger role in terms of communication and you would probably have as an entrepreneur will, Eh, internal communication because you are challenging existing ways of doing things and you're doing good. All the best intent in the world, but you have to be somewhat sensitive to the messaging and the processes your company's doing. And because you're not doing it because you, you saying you suck and we grade, but you were saying it because has said in the beginning, right? We have some processes you think are great. We have some processes we think that can be innovated to fit the times better and that's what we should focus on. So I see myself as having a quite big communications I stakeholder role within the entirety of mercy and to ensure that we are supported and, and CNS as something great within the company.:
Speaker 1:
41:40
MMM. And that's, that's very tricky isn't it? I mean, yeah, it's um, it's a fine, fine balance. Um, so yeah. Next [inaudible] few land mines. I'm sure. I'm sure since you're still here today, I think you survived. So, um, and then kind of to, to bring it to two hour, I'll play field, which is executive search, which is hiring and hiring people, which is selecting the right leadership in place. What do you look at? What kind of key attributes do you look for when you're, you, when you're hired and we are still hiring your, your leadership team, your, your next, uh, rock and roll stars, right. To open up to fill in other markets.:
Speaker 2:
42:20
Yeah. So of looking for it for the capability leadership, um, and of course that, that just needs to be there. Um, you can hire somebody who is not fit for the role immediately. The Shan shouldn't use throw people too far. So bad thing and overuse and also intangible item to look at his attitude. Um, so if you come in to 12 with the attitude that you've been 15 years in industry and, and you know how stuff works and you want to implement as well, they're not the right person to, if you come into to where twill saying, Eh, I can really see a fantastic opportunities, you know, using language that including Natalie's, imagine if Fomo, if we can do that and if we can do that, imagine what impact it can have, what the customer could cause. Think of us, that's kind of what we're looking for. You know, that, that kind of visionary, almost naive thinking of what you can actually do if you put your mind to it. Um, anything can put people together with the same open mindset of changing stuff and who has the smartness to actually do. So I think the best we can do, we just leave them alone and let them, let them change stuff. So I'm really young, really attitude and passion.:
Speaker 1:
43:48
Attitude. Passion. Yeah. And how, um, I'm going to probe a little bit further. How would you, how would you determine that, you know, in an interview, right? I mean like, cause sometimes it's, it's, it's a bit tricky isn't it? I mean it's, um, and I don't know, I mean, I don't know. What's your process? You know, I don't know if your place like metrics, if you do, um, I don't know the assessment centers with them or, but how, I mean, what's your method, right. But sometimes it's also down to the individual. Right. And what's your method? Let's say you're hiring somebody when your direct team or sea level that, right. I'm a C minus one. What's your method to, to determine whether the person has the right attitude and now we might be spilling the beans and then the next couple of candidates that will come to you for an interview. We'll know the answer, but the basics, I:
Speaker 2:
44:32
know if they has depended, actually prepared to know what he's into. Is he willing to, to brainstorm with you in a session? Eh, does he or she have her experience that tells me that this is the way they think that that should just follow the interview process. We move course due to a logical tests as just fundamental parts of the interview. One thing we do is we will fade democratic about the hiring process this week. Here we are, we are hiring a c level into 12 and we involved in almost the entire company in it. Oh, tomorrow we are hosting the first candidate or something we call a data tool. Again, Ramona invention. When the candidate comes in in the morning and basically then they meet people in one to ones and not not senior people, but people who had a part of the organization and knows how the organization actually works and they get to coincide view, which, and I would even say, and I do that all day and we ended up with a calibration session and at the dinner and then we should have a decision on that candidate. I didn't have a day, but it's a long day, but it's a fantastic day. Um, that means you have more input into your decision making and not just the standard input from a couple of sea levels in Danko and the competency levels and 12 and nighttime manager instant team for the size of this one.:
Speaker 1:
45:55
Yeah. Yeah. That's fantastic actually. Yeah. Cause it feels a, I mean, everybody feels as part of the decision, right? To a certain extent. Yeah.:
Speaker 2:
46:03
Yeah. And you also have to live with the fact of there may be somebody saying this person's not right. And we ended up hiring them anyway. Um, because other people like them too. So there's going to be different opinions on it, but it's a cooler discretion when you have 12 people in the same room discussing your candidate, all kinds of different backgrounds. Right. Few Liking and disliking that Canada.:
Speaker 1:
46:22
Yeah. Farm work. It's pretty fun. Uh, final question from us. Looking, looking back at the twill story so far, what are the things that make you most proud of?:
Speaker 2:
46:31
Uh, so I'm, I'm, I'm proud of being, being alive.:
Speaker 1:
46:39
Yeah. Not Getting fired is a good one. Yes. Getting closed down:
Speaker 2:
46:47
as, as any, as any startup, a staying in business thing in the market is a fantastic measure of success. Um, if, if you don't show the right traditionary, if we don't show the right, eh performance, then we should not be allowed to continue. We would run out of money. But we still here two years in two still kicking and still having fun. I'm still developing. I think I'm super proud of that. Or if you think about two years ago we went idea on two flights and today we actually exist in 20 countries that you'd say I'm, I'm so proud that all also proud of launching in 20 weeks. So, so I'm proud of the fact that mutated and probably will be worked so long nights and weekends. Will you be able to launch the product in 20 weeks cause being sent, we want us to do that and we did that and we got the first real book here.:
Speaker 2:
47:38
We got the first bill of money on the platform. That's, that's also fantastic. And then merge the two most, two more things. Yeah. What really makes me, uh, proud and happy is when we have a sales guy visiting a customer and they come back then the saying we use slack as an internal communication. Um, the developers told us that and it's fantastic, eh, then they share a message and send the picture and say this customer here they told us this and this and that and, and that's the best way to, to go home from work if you get one of those messages. And then lastly, perhaps for your domain is that I think we've been able to really attract some, some strong talent and also some from telling that perhaps would not have been interested in the logistics industry if it wasn't been for a little bit of a different approach. Um, you know, when you go out of school or when you're 10 years until you, your, your working life and looking at what you want to do when you really want to change stuff, then to be honest, logistics and shipping is not high. And a lot of people's lists not that sexy. Um, but now we actually getting a lot of applicants and for the sea levels we are hiring that now we're getting so many interesting people and I'm super proud that we're able to attract the interest, those types of people. Yeah.:
Speaker 1:
48:59
Near shooting. Yeah. It's, it's, it's not a small thing as you said. It's not a, it's not a historically, uh, an industry that, that used to do that. But I think, uh, slowly, slowly and surely is changing and is becoming more and more interesting than the, than it is. It is partly because of projects like, like twill because of projects like, uh, um, you know, also ecommerce, obviously this paying of playing a big role. So I think that's, it's more and more people that attracting of that. So, um, yeah, I so far, well trolls. I really appreciate the sharing. I appreciate the stories. I appreciate the, you know, the, the open, open, the inflammation in terms of all that you've been through in the, in this two years. And indeed, it is an impressive, uh, it is an impressive story. I think it's, it's quite unique from, uh, from across the market. The way you've managed to set it up, the way it was set up as part of a large group and the way that you've managed to grow it up till today. And I'm sure that we will hear a lot more in the next couple of months and I wish your uh, you know, a rock star success in opening as many markets and in 12 months we'll, we'll touch base again and we see where you are. Yeah, let's do that. Other of my phone, phone. My pleasure. Be in touch. All right.:
Speaker 4:
50:06
Thank you for listening to a podcast. If you liked what you heard, be sure to follow us on [inaudible] dot com slash podcast for all the show notes, links and extra tips covered in the interview. Make sure also to subscribe to our emailing list to get the news in the nick of time. If you're listening through a streaming platform like iTunes or stitcher and you like what we do, please kindly review and give us five stars so we can keep the energy flowing. It get more people to find out about our podcast. I'm most active on Linkedin, so do feel free to follow me to stay tuned for our latest articles as well as future guests for the podcast. And if you have any suggestions or any other ideas, please feel free to write to me. I respond to all, and also please make sure not to miss our next episode where we'll, we'll be having a few other c level and top leaders in supply chain joining us. Stay tuned.:
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