During my nearly 25 years in software engineering, I’ve worked on some exciting and challenging projects: from submarines to supersonic bombers at Rockwell and Boeing, from the Windows XP Tablet PC to Dynamics 365 at Microsoft, and a couple of startups in between.
I am happy to share my next move as a VP of Software Engineering at C.H. Robinson, one of the world’s largest third-party logistics (3PL) providers.
For the last ten years I’ve been working within the ERP and the retail industry, and behind every retailer is a complex supply chain. Microsoft, along with most other Fortune 500 companies, use C.H. Robinson to manage its supply chain.
C.H. Robinson’s long history of success has been grounded in their people, process and technology. Rapid advancements in technology are continually changing the way they, and the world, do business. Technology is central to their ability to deliver innovative solutions to their customers around the world, and is also key to automating and streamlining supply chain management. I’m excited to join the Robinson team in facilitating the world’s commerce.
C.H. Robinson is heavily investing in technology as they look to accelerate the pace of innovation and technology deployment:
- They use machine learning to assist with challenges like connecting manufacturers, shippers and carriers; freight matching; route suggestions; and even predicting and accounting for bad weather patterns.
- They do industry leading work in route optimization, including joint research with universities using deep learning to generate loads from a trained Reinforcement Learning model. Combined with their large data science team, they are able to answer not only what route is best, but what route is most likely.
- They leverage a Robotic Process Automation infrastructure to expedite manual processes.
- They provide an API portal for customers and carriers to connect their own systems to the Navisphere TMS platform.
Considering the volume C.H. Robinson processes (120,000 customers and 76,000 contract carriers), there are endless possibilities to use technology to improve operations and make things even better for their customers. Due to C.H. Robinson’s experience and scale, the company leverages data to deliver an information advantage to customers and carriers that results in better outcomes.
One of the many ways C.H. Robinson is innovating is with their proprietary platform Navisphere – a single instance, global, multi-modal transportation management system (TMS). One of the Navisphere products, Navisphere Vision, is a SaaS tool that combines real-time order and shipment information with all of the transportation updates and external factors that can disrupt or influence a supply chain. It also offers predictive analytics and can automatically take actions to avoid potential disruptions before they happen.
One of the main reasons I chose C.H. Robinson was the people and culture. I have found everyone from the CEO on down to be genuinely approachable and down-to-earth. I’ve even been invited to go ice fishing on one of the 11,842 Minnesota lakes. Having grown up in Australia, I’m not so sure about this, but I’m game.
I’m looking forward to seeing what C.H. Robinson will accomplish in the years ahead through providing best-in-class logistics services and technology solutions to improve the world’s transportation and supply chain– and by extension – increasing the value to their customers and suppliers.