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September 27, 2016 | Tom Ballard

Dynamo Team #4: SKUPOS

Dynamo(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the fourth in a series of articles profiling the teams participating in the Lamp Post Group’s inaugural Dynamo logistics accelerator. We asked each team to respond to a series of questions. The 10 teams will pitch their ideas at 10 a.m. October 4 during a “Demo Day” set for the Tivoli Theater, 709 Broad Street, Chattanooga. For more details, click here.)

Today’s profile is about SKUPOS, a San Francisco-based start-up providing store owners and distributors with a clear view into their inventory, ordering, delivery, and critically-timed marketing opportunities,

Tell us about your team . . . names(s), background(s), experience, etc.

  • Jake Bolling: Spent three and one-half years in Shanghai working in supply chain consulting for large industrial companies, ranging from Caterpillar and John Deere, to oil and gas companies focused on modular housing. Relocated back to the U.S. and met Mike. We focused on acquiring distressed companies with unique and defensible IP. One of the first companies we worked on was a collapsible gas can company that is now distributed widely throughout the convenience store industry.
  • Mike Glassman: Recovering CPA, spent seven years working on Wall Street with Lehman Brothers and then Guggenheim Partners. Relocated to San Francisco with GE Capital where he met Jake. They teamed-up and eventually evolved into SKUPOS.
  • Linh Nguyen: Jumped into the tech industry at age 19 and hasn’t looked back. Spent the early years developing ad campaign platform technology in Los Angeles, prior to joining a FinTech start-up in San Francisco as the founding engineer. The technology was acquired by Envestnet in the Spring of 2015.
  • Nam Nguyen: Spent his childhood building computers for himself and friends, launching his passion for technology. He spent over 11 years as an engineering manager for FriendFinder Networks, running teams to manage large social network technologies…

Describe the focus of your start-up and the logistics problem you are trying to address. We are focused on automating retail-distribution. We leverage in-store sales data, coupled with other variables, to build smart inventory for retailers while automating previously manual processes for both distributors and retailers.

How did the idea to start the company originate? What was the catalyst? As we scaled distribution in the gas can business, we wanted to garner data around product movement, inventory levels in national accounts, and better understand where the product was succeeding and failing. We quickly discovered that this was very difficult to capture and found that this problem was not unique to our brand, but CPG’s throughout the retail network.

What was the impetus for applying to participate in Dynamo? We are based out of San Francisco, so relocating the business to Chattanooga was a decision that took great faith and confidence. Twenty-five percent of our addressable customer base is located in the Southeast, and despite the advanced state of the Bay Area’s tech industry, we found that domain expertise was lacking. We knew partnering with the team in Dynamo would bring us closer to our customers and allow us to work with teams that have successfully scaled and exited supply chain-oriented businesses.

What has been the greatest value the program has provided thus far? We have been catapulted into the Dynamo network, which has led to immense opportunities for our customer pipelines.

What do you expect to accomplish by Demo Day and what happens after October 4? We are actively onboarding clients and running pilot programs with large national customers. We will continue to grow this effort while fine-tuning our software with market feedback. After October 4, we will continue to scale the team and business and deepen our relationship with the Southeast.

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