We spoke with USPack Chief Information Officer Tim Ramsey about our business strategy, new technology, and the future of logistics technology.
How does the final mile intersect with technology capabilities?
I believe that being good at technology is ironically not all about technology. It’s also about being good about business. The tech team knows our customers business. So, I like to describe them as businesspeople who happen to be very technical, but that combination of business knowledge and technical expertise allows us to collaborate with customers on solutions that are truly effective.
USPack’s IT team is unique in their wide range of capabilities, including software development?
It starts obviously with infrastructure and support. We take a big business approach to our technology in terms of redundancy and resiliency. On top of that we have a group of folks that are probably the most powerful in the organization. Our business analysts can speak multiple languages. They translate business needs into a technology requirement and then we pick that up to a full development team. SQL developers, .NET developers – we have that in house so if we need to, we can develop those custom applications.
Our software strategy 100% calls for buying it. If it’s available, if we need, we can buy it. We will because – why would we reinvent the wheel? But if we do need to do something like purchase a piece of software and then integrate it to get its full value out of it – ok, we’ll do that. But if we have to build it, we can and we will.
What’s next for final mile or logistics technology in general in the next 5 to 10 years?
Suppliers now are moving products closer to their final destination. In some cases, in advance of an order even being placed so you know we’re going to need to do more with less [information]. The techs, I think are going to be critical are big data analytics, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and possibly blockchain to a lesser degree on the contract side. Those are the big technologies that I think are going to help us drive the efficiencies the logistics industry is going to need just to keep up with the pace of business.