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From Paper to Platform: Solutions Panel

ZUUM Transportation hosted the webinar, From Paper to Platform: Adopting Logistics Technology Through Collaboration & Partnerships on March 11th, 2021 where they invited industry experts, venture capitalists, executives, and founders to share their insight. Watch the full recording on-demand here.

For our Solutions Panel, Eric Johnson, the Senior Technology Editor from The Journal of Commerce moderated a discussion between Mustafa Azizi, CEO & Co-Founder of ZUUM Transportation; Kurt Hoppe,  formerly the Global Head of Innovation for Connected Cars from General Motors; John Fitzgerald, Vice President of Business Development from project44; and Bobby Harris, CEO of BlueGrace Logistics about how logistics companies have managed to weather the storm and what strategies they can employ to bring  more value to their customers.

Addressing disruption has been  primary concern for the industry as a whole, but was we move towards a post-COVID world they shared some of the biggest challenges included uncertainty, fragmentation, lack of digital technology, and mindset. While fragmentation existed prior to the global lockdowns, Hoppe highlights that inefficiencies were aggravated. Fitzgerald disclosed that 85% of U.S. companies  struggled due to lack of digital infrastructure. Azizi pointed to talent with the right mindset as a barrier to growth in the industry, but Johnson chimed in to suggest that the recent influx of VC funding has managed to bring in new talent into the industry.

The panel agreed that supply chain management, transportation, and logistics has been elevated in public conversations. This has led to more conversations with chief executives and a shift in focus from cost to service.

Breaking through skepticism and changing mindsets is a common obstacle for tech companies, including those in logistics and supply chain. Azizi and Fitzgerald advised dedicating time to educate potential customers on the employed technologies, quantify their business case and projected ROI, and foster champions within the prospect company.

When it comes to the idea of collaborating with your competitive set, the company executives acknowledged inclination to do so with the objective of delivering better service to their customers and advancing the industry as a whole.

At the close, Johnson poses the question: “Is there a way to keep the fragmentation and increase the collaboration?”