As the CEO of Microdea I spend a lot of time thinking about the future of both the software business and the transportation and logistics industry. The pace of technology change, disruptive entrants into the market, innovative apps and platforms, and avalanches of private equity and venture capital are all increasing volatility and making the future more difficult to predict.
As a consequence, future-proofing software and transportation businesses is getting harder. When the future is certain not to resemble the past, the way forward becomes less clear.
Building a business with true staying power in the 21st century requires strategic thinking and deliberate action. Adapting and innovating—changing the way you do things and the way things are done—are no longer luxuries. They’re table stakes.
What That Means for Synergize and Microdea
For starters, it’s meant replatforming and recoding Synergize from top-to-bottom with the most up-to-date technology stack available today.
This has made Synergize bigger, better, faster, stronger. The upgrade means greater security, faster document handling, easier upgrades and deeper integrations. It ensures that Synergize will continue to drive value, efficiency gains, and competitive advantage for the foreseeable future.
In the months and years to come, we will continue to balance the needs of today with our visions of tomorrow. We will continue to automate more manual back-office work from end-to-end, create useful extensions like LoadPal, and find ways to eliminate exceptions. We will continue to do everything we can from a document management and back-office automation perspective to ensure our customers are well-positioned for continuous growth and sustainable success, whatever the future holds.
What That Looks Like for Transportation and Logistics Companies
The pervasive use of technology in transportation is accelerating the pace of change, increasing commoditization, and disrupting traditional business models.
1. Accelerating the Pace of Change
Change is happening faster and faster because technological progress is fueled by exponential forces, like increasing computer power, machine learning capabilities, network effects, and tighter and tighter feedback loops.
Make no mistake, the technology truck has left the yard. The transportation and logistics companies who do the best job of harnessing the power of today’s technological advancements will win the lion’s share of tomorrow’s profits.
2. Increasing Commoditization
Technology is increasing capacity visibility and enabling real-time price discovery on the spot market. Information silos are tumbling down as the world is becoming more and more connected.
The result is that transportation is increasingly being treated as a commodity (a point that the new Trucking Freight Futures marketplace makes abundantly clear). Differentiation can no longer rest on tribal knowledge and having access to information others don't.
3. Disrupting Traditional Business Models
As commoditization and the pace of change continue to accelerate, T&L companies will need to rethink their competitive differentiation and how they add value to the supply chain.
Many forward-looking companies have already started making this transition, moving to digitize and automate their operations to reduce their overhead costs, leveraging the latest technology in their fleet operations, investing in innovation, and implementing strategies to deliver a better customer experience.
Initiatives to modernize, digitize, and innovate will only increase in importance and urgency as technology continues to change every aspect of the transportation industry.
What the Future Holds
The future is notoriously difficult to predict. There will always be risk, uncertainty, and things we don’t even know we don’t know. But there are some things we can say for certain.
We know the fastest-growing, most successful transportation and logistics companies will be driven by technology. Their operations will be more efficient, automatic and reliable than they are today. They will run leaner and add value to the supply chain through applied innovation.
Now is the time to get ahead of the trends, to take the lead before you get left behind, to figure out where you fit in the future of freight.
Here at Microdea, we look forward to being part of that future and to helping drive success for the transportation and logistics companies we serve—now and in the years to come.
Steve has broad oversight over strategy, finance, and operations at Microdea. Outside of work, Steve enjoys cooking, as well as playing hockey, tennis & golf. Steve holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School.