Get ready to hit the rewind button and take an insightful journey through the first year of Banyan Technology's Tire Tracks™ podcast!
In this special compilation episode, host Patrick Escolas celebrates this milestone by taking some time to highlight favorite guests and moments from past conversations. Revisit valuable revelations from logistics industry experts and get a comprehensive overview of the evolving world of supply chain management and its current trends.
From the inaugural episode with Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) CEO & President Anne Reinke to the impact of AI on the industry with Greenscreens.ai CEO & CPO Dawn Salvucci-Favier, this episode delivers the best and most informative moments from the show so far.
Tune in for a retrospective exploration that not only highlights the dynamism of the industry but also provides a roadmap for what lies ahead.
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
Jeremy Seifert: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeremy-seifert-0b38a5b5/
David McElhone: www.linkedin.com/in/davidmcelhone/
Aaron Peck: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aaronlinked/
Banyan Technology: https://www.banyantechnology.com
Banyan Technology on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/banyan-technology
Banyan Technology on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/banyantechnology
Listen to Tire Tracks on Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/tire-tracks-driving-the-logistics-industry/id1651038809
Listen to Tire Tracks on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/3Aiya6qVXFsiXbUAwMT7S7
Hey, everybody. It's Patrick Escolas here with a different version of Banyan’s podcast, Tire Tracks. Much like the decision to have me talk to you all and talk to some of the great people I've gotten to talk to, somebody above me has said, “Hey, we've almost been at this for a year. Let's do a looking back and kind of a compilation.” I thought, “Great.” That’s a few meetings I get out of in my regular day, so here we are. Yes.
So [inaudible 00:00:44] told to do this about a year back. Through that, it's been a great opportunity not just for the ability to talk without people being able to shut me up for any of the very relevant reasons. But really understanding who and what industry that I'm selling into or trying to support is really dealing with, both from a personality aspect and from kind of a pulse check as a whole.
When it all started, it was literally my CEO said, “Hey, I got this fun idea.” If you don't know my CEO, that means either a spreadsheet report or a big month-long project. All depends on what you got going on for you. But it ended up being this podcast that was about – it felt like a week before our first conference ever, and we figured that all three people in marketing didn't have enough to do, and we decided to put this together.
Behind the screens, we have David here who will never get enough credit for doing a lot of work and putting his OCD to really good work and making it so we have a really fun product, I think, that we put out there. Also, as I say this, and it's been said, special thanks to my co-worker, Jeremy, who if you watch any of my podcasts without sound, it will look like I'm trying to cast spells because apparently I use my hands a lot. So thank you for that, Jeremy.
But kind of back to business or at least back to the talking points they have, what we want to go through is kind of review what it is, who we've talked to, what are those things that they said were going to happen or we should look at from an industry perspective, and kind of give a review. Like I said, a year in review, talk about some of the great people we talked to, whether that was Anne Reinke, Mark Baxa, Dawn from Greenscreens most recently. That's Connect 22 to Connect 23. That's a year right there from key speaker to key speaker and then other fun ones like, notably, Aaron Peck for Mothership.
But, really, it's also nice because instead of me, and by me, I mean my marketing team. I'm just a talent. I look pretty. They go out and would find people for me to talk to. But in the past three, six months, people have been coming to us, and they want to talk to us, and they want to get on the podcast. So that's been a really fun change. We don't know how to say no to anybody quite yet, so we will continue to do that. Whether or not the recording goes anywhere, that's not up to me. So I, again, don't get to make any of those decisions. I'm just here to talk and, hopefully, either entertain or educate people.
But right now, one of the first things we're looking at as we start this is we always ask people. What's coming in the next few years? Like I said, coming off the decision to make the Tire Tracks Podcast and have our inaugural Connect 22 Banyan Users Conference in tropical downtown Cleveland .We had Anne Reinke of TIA, who's the president and the CIO, and she had a lot to say.
So it's interesting, too. So five years, we already have 27,000 brokers. I tend to think that they were going to get more, but I also see the impact of private equity, hedge funds who are interested in consolidation. They're interested in purchasing because they see a growing line of business that there is never going to not be a need for. So why wouldn't they try? They already have. You see it all the time, right?
So some of our members, God bless them, they're trying to scale up and, ultimately, try to be an appealing purchase for those private equities. So I see, while the continuous expansion, there is that level of, all right, there is going to be some consolidation there, too.
We also asked and we also talked to Doug Potvin, who became a good friend of mine. I did not know Doug before Connect 22 last year. I would go drinking with Doug anywhere now, as it's been a year, and we had the podcast with Trinity and not just because of what he and his team said on the podcast, not just from meeting them in person.
But Trinity and how they talked about the system, how they talked about Banyan, how they talked about the industry was very reassuring for me as someone who's starting down this venture to see – put Banyan a little bit in the spotlight with the logistics industry. Trinity and Banyan seemed to walk step in step, and he had a lot to say about the industry as a whole and where he thinks it'll go, too.
I think the industry in five years will be much more technology advanced. As for brokers, I think you're going to see interactions directly through technology people, but you'll never replace the people. Relationships still matter.
Hearing that a lot today.
Yes. Relationships still matter.
And that's good to know because I'm a person, so.
Yes. No. I don’t anticipate that ever going away because you want to provide that great service. Let's face it. Me and the other 8,000 brokers, we all do the same exact thing. We utilize the same carriers, LTL especially.
You're using FedEx, UPS. I mean, you're using the same carrier. What do you differentiate yourself with? Service.
It's who you trust and who gets it done for you.
And the relation that you have. Do you help them out in a tight situation, not looking at the dollars? But I think five years from now, I think there'll be some more consolidation within the brokerage space. I think there'll probably be more agents within the brokerage space. I think that'll be also the case so that smaller brokers will say hey because there’s also people looking to get out or do something differently. So either, like I said, a consolidation or become agents because, again, it's the backend stuff that all of a sudden takes insurance, collections.
The tertiary aspects of it. Yes.
So let’s face it. That's going to happen within the industry as itself. I think you'll see the number of brokers shrink, but actually the volume going through brokers are going to increase dramatically because as a customer, you don't want to hire 15, 20 people to run your transportation department when you can outsource it to a company like Trinity. Outsource the LTL to Kurt and his team there, and it gets handled well, and you can focus on your business, and realize the transportation's taken care.
You don't have to wear so many hats.
Correct. So I see that as well.
Another one of our great partners now is ProShip. At one point, I think that – again, I go back to the last conference. This was just coming out and hushes and maybes because ProShip's a big player in the parcel world. Banyan, to some people, still has a small B. We know that's all not true here, so it was very awesome to start to work with them. We're working with them today.
But when I talked to Bill, it was really nice to pick his brain on parcel perspective because Banyan is such a – used to be an LTL-centric-focused. For the past 20 years, it's all we did. So don't hold it against us if we needed to bring in experts and prominent players like Bill Schroeder from ProShip to tell us about what we should be looking at in parcel and how we should be looking at regional versus the big three and what's going to change in that industry in comparison to how LTL or full truckload might change.
Yes. What happened is the big companies can't add capacity as fast as the smaller companies, right? So a large number of regional players, and this kind of – it's a great topic to get into that the big three, and then there's a whole basket of regional carriers. Some regional carriers play nationally, but they are looking for very specific parcels. They don't want to move everything. They just want kind of the stuff that the big three don't necessarily want.
So we saw a real big increase in investment and in the creation of new startups in the parcel regional space. Now, that has to be normalized. A lot of them are going back after some of the – the big three are going back after that business and those parcels. That’s kind of where we're sitting now. There's some regionals. It was our expectation that those regionals would probably hit critical mass, and several of them have.
On-track and laser ship are outstanding. They've got good business plan, great execution. They manage their costs. They know how to do what they're doing. Some of the other startups were just learning how to do that. Then the volume tempered.
Rug got pulled out from under them. Yes.
Yes, exactly. UPS and FedEx, we want those parcels back, and they went and got up. Got after –
Speaking of partnerships and one of my very favorite episodes that we did was Freight Partners Group with Tom Burke out in beautiful Henderson, Nevada last year. Or, nope, technically, ’23. It doesn't seem real to me because it was snowy at home, and that's Cleveland, Ohio, like I said, always tropical, always perfect surf weather.
But went out there, talked to Tom about really the importance of one-stop shopping and technology and being able to bring all of those things together in one place for the logistics world, as we've gotten used to it and we see it in all the other aspects of our day-to-day life, whether it's getting Ubered around or making sure that your goods or groceries go from point A to point D without you knowing about the little details. But knowing that if you click a button to the right link, you know what's going on.
Yes. I really think that one of the biggest changes is going to be one-stop shopping, where people can come in for all the modes to include small package parcel and pallet rates and local pickup and delivery, the Uber model or that whole model.
That's how I got here today.
Yes, right. It’s really taught people that they can have information right now, and that is the new expectation. So I think that one-stop shopping, as well as giving people as much information as you possibly can to let them know exactly where their shipment is and what kind of time frame it's going to take to get there, and providing some of that information ahead of time.
So we talked about – we asked just about everybody where technology is, where they think it's going. Like we said, some of those are very true. Some of those still might have not come to fruition, and some things may have changed.
One thing that we talked about that I believe has become more of a subject and a key item of prominence is fraud. We talked to quite a few different people from CEOs, to lobbyists, and regulation and oversight groups. But Kary Jablonski, the CEO of Trucker Tools, was very invested in the idea of fraud, and Trucker Tools was in a position to prevent that. Here's what she had to say when we talked to her earlier.
Why is truckload more susceptible to fraud? Why is it such a question there versus parcel or LTL? Or maybe it's in those, but the conversation is always generally on the truckload side when it comes up.
My take on that is that the barriers to entry in truckload are significantly lower. So it's easier for bad actors to get in, and it is such a large market, and it's such a fragmented market, like we just talked about. When you think about LTL, for example, there's what? 20, 30 carriers of real size in that [inaudible 00:12:30].
Right. That’s fair point.
So there's just going to be a lot more – you're not going to be working with a new carrier every single day, whereas in FTL brokerage very normal to be working with dozens of new carriers every single day, adding hundreds to your network every single week. Therein lies just a much larger chance that one of those new actors is actually bad. So that's my take on it.
No. That sounds right to me, and I can – plus, there's probably – when you're doing those deals, you've got that one lump sum cost of the money to be made versus the one shipment, which is always where my thought was. But a lot of point to just – you're going to be working with a lot more carriers within the truckload space. It makes sense. No.
Something we talk about all the time is the real way to prevent fraud is by having great relationships with your carriers. When you're working with, again, thousands of carriers, it is going to be that much more difficult to develop really strong trusting relationships with all of them. So I think that that plays in as well.
Technology is a ever-changing aspect of the logistics world, whether that means that you're in a newer, nicer LTL truck that's picking up your stuff. Or you executed the load through cutting-edge Banyan technology or any of the partnership that it uses. But what we found is, though, even though technology seems to be on the cutting edge of logistics, logistics hasn't always been on the cutting edge of technology. That catching up and making it work in a way that makes sense is – it's not something that everybody has the same ideas on.
But one thing is for certain is that if you can get a good system in place that 80 to 90 percent of your logistics work should be automated. So you can really focus on that 10 to 20 percent that will never ever, as much as you want, as much as you pray, as much as you swear at your team and your carriers and your whole process, will never be easy because it needs to be moved today. It needs to be moved yesterday. Or it's just too complicated to trust in an email.
We talked to Mark Baxa, the President and CEO of the CSCMP. He really talked about a multi-tentacle approach to shipping technology that it wasn't just going to be one piece. It was going to be something – a bunch of different options, a bunch of different answers across the board, and that AI was probably going to be a part of that.
Technology changed the landscape. I mean, I know this is a broad topic. But even in the past year or two here, what have you got? What have you seen? What has the council seen? Or what do they think they'll continue to see?
Well, many of the technology providers in supply chain and more specifically in logistics are members of CSCMP. So they're quick to share the evolving nature of their business. On the outside of that, though, what we are seeing is kind of a multi-tentacle approach to advancing innovation from a digital and robotic aspect of supply chain.
So artificial intelligence, generative AI, machine learning, and understanding how to make better use of the internal data companies have, right? Using some of these technologies, particularly AI, so we can look at a better way to either predict demand, look at supply or working relationships, understand where our risks are. All of these things and many more are coming into play, and this is accelerating really, really fast. The options are just like exploding now. Probably has nothing to do with COVID. It’s just a timing and availability and access of these technologies.
There were things that occurred through COVID like nobody took a back seat that I'm aware of based on the data that we pulled together for. In a recent research study we did, nobody backed up really to speak of on the planning and innovation side. They just made – slowed down their spend. But the interest and the investments continued. People are continuing to look for ways to optimize their standardized business practices using digital technologies.
Mark had some good points. Speaking of AI and bringing this kind of full circle here to Connect 23, we had Dawn from Greenscreens, their CEO, talk about how truckload brokerage is never going to be the same, at least for those that are smart enough to get on board with the offerings and the automated intelligence and the artificial intelligence or machine learning or robot learning. Or we're just going to let Dawn talk to you about it because it's all a bit over my head, and I'm just here to look good.
Obviously, this is going to have a big impact. What do you see as a short-term impact of this on the marketplace? Three, five years from now, what does that look like?
Yes. I think in our space, in pricing specifically, I think, as I said, this is becoming a have versus a have not. I think that you're going to see a lot of companies that have embraced this more dynamic. Predictive pricing are going to start outperforming those who don't have it, those that are still relying on a post-and-pray mentality or relying on history. This is what happened two weeks ago, but that's not necessarily relevant, especially, again, in a very fast-moving market. So I think it is very quickly going to become a have versus a have not in the area of pricing.
In other areas of the supply chain, I think we're probably still 5 to 10 years away from mainstream wide adoption of AI technology in general, again, outside of warehouse automation and –
Is that just because there's gaps in the tech or?
Not the best application [inaudible 00:18:08].
I think it's an openness and, again, a change in mindset. I think when we first came to market in 2020, one of the biggest challenges or two big challenges we had was, A, people being unwilling to share their data and understanding that the aggregated data has more power for everybody. Those silos have been breaking down, and I think it's, again, that change management of something new and something maybe that they don't understand.
So when we're selling our products into the market, I would say more than half of our sale is about education, right? And educating the market on what this is and why it's different and why it's more –
It's new, so it makes sense that education's a big piece of that.
Where are we now is what we come to. Well, like I said, I'm in a fake studio that's really a boardroom with an iPhone on a tripod. Where are you now is the better question. Are you better off in your logistics phase than you were 12 months ago? Are you still trying to figure out what you're going to be doing with your business, whether that means you need to find new avenues and new processes? Or if you need to go to your VP and say, “Hey, man. These numbers just aren't attainable, and we need to figure this out.”
We talked to a lot of startups. We talked to a good amount of companies that are coming with a new process or new product. But one of my favorite conversations was with Mothership's CEO, Aaron Peck, and it's not just because he was hiding a very, very beautiful secret under his hat.
What during COVID changed things or maybe put an exclamation mark on things? How did it affect you guys in Mothership? Did it make you guys ramp up? Or did it hurt you in certain ways?
Well, like a little bit of both. So I see COVID as like a – it was a big operational distraction for every business, right? I think what you saw is a lot of people in the full truckload space and in LTL. Rates just went insane. Supply wasn't there. All these folks are – they're making money hand over fist. I think they thought like the good times were just going to keep rolling, right? So they were willing to lean into it, kind of spend all the money they had, right? Like, “This is going to go forever.”
But like there's one thing I know is like the best of times are always met than with the worst of times. Right? It just seemed like everyone was ignoring that fact. So I think there was – we had some tailwinds there, but we tried not to get too wrapped up in it, right? We tried to just stay focused on what we were trying to do on our execution, on not growing the company too fast, on not –
Going back to your North Star that you talked about, sustainable and making sure. So that probably helped guide yourself through those times, too.
So I know I've been very serious up to this point and in all of my podcast broadcasting. Is it broadcasting, or is it podcasting? These are important questions. No. We've talked about industry. We've talked about COVID. We've talked about parcel, truckload, LTL, local carrier, first, final, mile, any of those terms. But somehow, someway, we managed to have fun. I don't know how. They told me specifically not to have any fun, not to laugh. Make no jokes. Definitely don't sound like I'm having a good time. But I'm very bad at following directions. Because of that, we've got some great moments like Jennifer Karpus-Romain.
Tell us about how she's a professional lady.
In terms of overall marketing for the industry, I mean, I think that, like you said, logistics seems to be kind of a last stop. But the entire industry was similar. So I think that this like – the industrial spaces are a little slower. But they'll get there in time. We just got to be ready for it. But I do think –
Maybe give it a push, too.
Yes. I do think the more the people embrace it and really think through how do I do this, where are you getting leads from. Or if we're talking about like recruitment, like where are people – so who are you trying to recruit? If it's a younger person, like are you on TikTok.
Like are you – where they are.
How many TikTok dances have you done for TMSA.
I don't do. That is Trey's job. I am a professional lady.
I have done none either, but I cannot claim to be a professional lady.
Yes. That’s fair.
I like your reasoning, though.
Again, I alluded to Aaron Peck and the glorious man that he was hiding under his hat. I don't know why he was suffocating. As a man who suffers from none of the issues of having an overheated head, I was very jealous and was all struck. I really thought there was going to be bald under that hat. I thought that's exactly what it was, but it's not. It's not what happened.
Now, I just – I want to get this out of the way. What's hiding under the hat there? Because – are you hiding a head like mine? Oh, no. Oh, it's beautiful. Damn you. Damn you and your luscious hair.
I was here with the hat in solidarity with you, and then you did that.
Oh, as you can tell, I'm growing it out. Yes. I know you can't tell. I'm trying to negate the shine for my lighting team here, which has a hard time. Otherwise, we blind. A few holes get burned. It’s kind of like a magnifying glass at time.
From the get-go, I don't know whose fault it was. I don't know if it's David, who I guess I'm technically calling my producer, or if it's Ann Reinke’s fault. But I have gotten called and bullied many names. Call me summertime Santa. Quite honestly, I love it and I like the idea. I want to be on a beach somewhere, throwing beers from a sack at somebody. I hope that's what the job requires. But here's Anne Reinke giving me what – I don't know if you can call it famous for all 14 people watching. But there's about three people that refer to me as it, so it's stuck. So thank you, Anne.
I'm very happy to have Anne Reinke here as my first guest, and she had some awesome things to say just for our attendees here a few minutes ago. Anne, first off, again, thank you for being here.
Thank you, Patrick. I appreciate the invitation. This is summertime Santa Claus, in case you're wondering, and he's giving the gift of knowledge.
That's – I'm getting it, for sure. Whether or not I can translate it, that's going to be left up for debate.
I talked about Doug earlier at Trinity. I don't really have any words for this other than at Connect 23, Doug came up to me at the tail end of the conference. I think I had done six or seven episodes throughout the two and a half, three days, and I just wanted to go home. But Doug said, “I want to do a fun podcast. We will not talk about logistics. We will just have a good time.” That's when you got to see the chief fun officer, Doug, and party Pat.
You know what I also talked to about the guys at the front desk?
We got talking about Monday night football.
I feel like you guys at the front desk had a good time.
We had a good time. We were talking about the Jets and the Bills.
What a loaded game that was. On 9/11, Aaron Rodgers just got paid a bunch. You're going to go play. The Jets fans are so excited. What? Three plays in?
Three plays in.
Three plays and then they still find a way to win because, apparently, Josh Allen forgot how to run and decided to throw into double coverage instead of take the six yards out of him.
Well, you know what? I saw that game, and when I heard immediately when Josh Allen threw the interception.
I saw the memes come out, and it simply said, “Josh Allen has completed more passes to a Jets receiver than Aaron Rodgers this year already.” Can you believe it? I mean, it was an absolute beautiful situation there, right?
I got to stop you on one thing. It's memes.
I am not very good with my pronunciation whatsoever. Memes, memes, tomatoes, tomato, potatoes, potatoes. What difference does that make, right?
I get you. I get you. I won't give you an old tomato and a whole tomato or an old tomato.
But here's the beautiful thing. You knew exactly what I was talking about.
I sure did. A gif is a gif is a gif, depending on if it's a G or a J.
It's all how you want to look at it.
I’m for it. It’s all how you want to look at.
Thanks, everybody. I really appreciate anyone that's taken this journey with us, whether it's you've been here since episode one, if you're behind the camera staring at me wondering what other terrible, horrible fun thing is going to come out of my mouth, or if this is just the first time that you've accidentally scrolled and clicked and the sound came on and Linked In and you're wondering what's going on.
Thank you for being a participant, whether passive or active, in this Banyan Tire Tracks Podcast that I've been blessed enough. As I've always said, [inaudible 00:27:07] told. Just so if it goes poorly, I don't take any real responsibility. But, also, so I can just blame it on someone else. Thank you, everybody, who’s listening, been a guest, watched, been a part of the production, or just helped me in my growth to where I am today, both as a person, a salesman, and a professional.
Thank you, everybody. I hope the next year will be just as fun and maybe half as educational. Thanks, guys. We'll see you next episode.