Audience, Automation, and Culture: Why they matter most for digital transformation

Audience, Automation, and Culture: Why they matter most for digital transformation

Getting things from A to B isn’t as simple as it sounds.

Especially when we’re talking about continent-wide shipping processes.

That’s what we recently chatted about with Lindsey Shellman, Vice President at WIN (Web Integrated Network), where she’s responsible for sales, operational, and strategic direction.

“We identified early on that shippers wanted a tool to manage their own shipping,” Lindsey said.

The old way to do it: Make a bunch of calls. Get a bunch of quotes and compare them. Go to different websites and start typing. Print stuff out. Try to coordinate all the info somehow.

“It’s not efficient and it takes up a lot of time,” Lindsey said.

Cue the new way: WIN.

“It’s a single platform that you can use to manage all of your shipping,” she explained. “It takes a lot of time out of the process and provides a lot more efficiency.”

Because everything’s integrated.

“Know your audience.”
— Lindsey Shellman

Pioneering Digital Transformation

It sounds simple, but it isn’t.

WIN is a cloud-based solution for automatically connecting your ERP system with all your different carriers.

“You can see your contracted rates, you can see your shipments all within a single tool,” Lindsey said.

“WIN will pull in your origin, your destination, it’ll pull from your ERP or warehouse management system. What product you’re shipping, what’s the volume, what’s the weight.” And you’ll get rates from carriers, just like that.

And that’s a digital transformation that has rewritten how over-the-road domestic shipping gets done.

“As a leader in a technology startup, being involved in everything from how we built the system to how we built the actual business, I’ve learned that to be a digital transformation pioneer, you must be agile and you must be open to change,” Lindsey said.

north-america

3 Main Lessons

Lindsey has learned a lot about how to be adaptable from her front seat perspective of the digital transformation of shipping.

Here are her three main takeaways.

1) Audience

“It’s simple,” Lindsey said. “Know your audience.”

Ten years ago, it was okay for technologies to be built by developers, for developers.

But not today. The average user may or may not be tech savvy. (And most likely not.)

“Many tools out there fail because either the tool was too complex or the implementation was too complex,” Lindsey said.

“We have our sales and our operations teams both with our ears in the market. They’re talking to shippers everyday, finding out what works, what doesn’t work, what are their pain points.

WIN isn’t built for developers. It’s built by developers for users who are described by a sales and marketing team that really knows its clients.

“WIN is truly a solution built by the market for the market,” she said.

Focusing on the user is what makes the difference between tools that fail and tools that people can’t imagine doing business without.

2) Automation

Web services have transformed many industries–and not just shipping, either.

“Supply chain has become the next big focus,” Lindsey said.

To manually load a contracted rate agreement can take hours or days. After you automate it, it only takes seconds.

If you have a carrier that won’t respond to an email for days or weeks, with API web services, you can start tendering the market instantly.

“We’re moving away from the clunky, less reliable EDI and closer to real time, quick seamless web services,” Lindsey said.

Automation has also helped WIN directly connect ERP systems without having to bother a client’s IT department about it.

“Once we perform the initial mapping with any ERP, future integrations are a walk in the park,” Lindsey said.

Automation for the win.

“The team is the most critical part.”
— Lindsey Shellman

3) Culture

“We’ve put a lot of focus on building a great tool, but you need to put equal emphasis on building the business behind that. Building a great team and a great culture is critical,” Lindsey explained.

“We’ve equipped the WIN team with tools, technologies that they need to better perform from our earliest days,” Lindsey said. They’ve implemented tools that allow a few people to do the work of many.

She credits that strategy with their success today.

“I truly attribute the success of WIN to the WIN team. These are the folks listening to the market, these are the folks designing the building of the WIN system, these are the folks automating the heck out of everything.”

She is excited to be a member of a team with so much energy and dedication–and that type of culture is hard to find without great products and great services. Work you can be proud of.

Not everyone wants to implement large-scale change, though, so it’s important to be choosy.

Part of it comes with describing exactly what—and who—WIN is. “They understand they’re the pillars of WIN,” Lindsey says about each team member.

“It’s because we feel each other’s victories and we share each other’s shortcomings. The team is the most critical part,” she said.

Taken from an interview with Lindsey Shellman from WIN. Hear more from other Digital Transformation Pioneers.

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