Shining A Light On The Supply Chain With Sales Engineering

By Logicbroker | November 1, 2022

As Logicbroker’s Director of Sales Engineering, Steve Norris is responsible for leading a team that supports the sales and customer success teams by providing both strong technical acumen and ever-evolving eCommerce and supply chain industry knowledge. 

In this executive spotlight, Logicbroker sat down with Steve to discuss how Logicbroker’s recently unveiled B2B Supply Chain Visibility offering helps our customers with their eCommerce solutions and gives them complete transparency to the entire order lifecycle and visibility into current and future product availability. 

What is Sales Engineering, and how does Logicbroker leverage your team to help customers? 

The sales engineering team exists to give our prospective customers a technical expert before they choose to move forward with Logicbroker. We want to provide technical and industry expertise for our prospective and current customers who are looking forward to understanding how to succeed in eCommerce. 

Sales engineering talks a lot about what eCommerce success looks like for each individual customer in their given industry. Folks who want to automate third-party fulfillment through 3PL, marketplace, or drop ship solutions often times forget about challenges with supplier onboarding. Their merchandising team will spend the majority of their day planning assortment, evaluating new products, and working to get new suppliers onboarded, only to struggle along the way integrating their suppliers given each supplier has a different level of technical sophistication, supply chain acumen, and product content completeness. Most people just don’t have the time and resources to do all of that work. 

The sales engineering team works closely with each prospect to help them understand how Logicbroker can help, and how our solutions can automate, innovate, and improve upon their systems to best meet their goals. 

Was that experience of working with prospective customers every day what led to Logicbroker’s B2B Supply Chain Visibility offering? What have the challenges, successes, and expectations been like thus far? 

Yes! Logicbroker saw a unique opportunity in the market to be the only eCommerce solution provider that could provide complete visibility into the supply chain across both third party and first party fulfillment models. Some of our existing customers that were utilizing Logicbroker for drop shipping and marketplace solutions wanted more from our platform. Logicbroker’s scalable eCommerce solutions are led by API and not just scalable for our customers but also for our own internal capabilities. 

Several customers asked us to utilize our reporting capabilities for “owned inventory” rather than just inventory owned by the suppliers in their drop shipping network. We evolved from there and our customers Babylist and HD Supply really took the reins helping us mature our full-fledged Supply Chain Visibility product that works for customers of all types. 

Internally, we asked ourselves how customers could use Logicbroker in new and innovative ways, and we realized we had something unique with our ability to offer visibility into every facet of a retailer’s supply chain. Organizations like ours believe the sky is the limit. Folks will be dealing with supply chain issues for years to come after the pandemic and a lot of folks need to be able to establish some supply chain resiliency in the coming months. Across many verticals, suppliers have products in stock, they may just not be the suppliers that folks are used to working with, and now it’s up to the retailers to source, manage, and quickly onboard those suppliers and products. 

The unique ability of our B2B Supply Chain Visibility offering is that we can help retailers find secondary and tertiary suppliers of similar or the same products their customers want. Quickly onboarding those suppliers is a huge win for our customers and getting those products to market ensures that our customers can retain their customers they have at a fraction of the cost of trying to find new customers. 

What position do retailers need to be in to secure themselves against supply chain issues? 

I don’t see supply chain issues as they exist today going away in their entirety. The unfortunate truth is they may become less of an issue and get easier to manage, but only through the use of visibility tools and supply chain management. 

If retailers want to establish some level of resiliency, it’s important to create long-term relationships with primary, secondary, and tertiary suppliers so that your customers, which are becoming more expensive to retain, don’t flee to your competitors who have secured inventory and may offer a broader assortment. 

Our B2B Supply Chain Visibility offering also, in the long term, gives retailers better negotiating power with many different vendors. If you can say that you have access to thousands of vendors across the globe willing to supply your organization with the products customers want, retailers have more leverage over suppliers for items that are profitable for the business. 

How do you and the sales engineering team see the immediate future of eCommerce playing out, and how does supply chain visibility play into that future? 

Sales engineering spends a lot of time looking at market outlooks, eCommerce performance, and more. The reality is that economic headwinds may be coming and in some industry verticals has already arrived, so it’s more important than ever for retailers, brands, and suppliers to be “future proofing” their business model. You can do this through diversity in distribution models, establishing supply chain resiliency, diversifying your sales channels, and adopting solutions that can help you with every eCommerce need. 

Companies like Amazon, Target, and Walmart all have internalized best practices that involve a diversified distribution model. More folks need to seriously consider adopting similar models using eCommerce providers like Logicbroker that can handle every request from drop shipping to marketplace to supply chain visibility. 

It’s not just about fulfilling eCommerce orders out of distribution centers, this is more of an extension of having third-party fulfillment through 3PLs, drop ship suppliers, and marketplace sellers from one single platform. Being able to pivot your approach in any distribution area allows organizations to be more prepared for what’s next in a space that has been held back by  multiple providers providing siloed solutions for a singular distribution model. 

It’s 60% more expensive now than it was five years ago to acquire a new customer. High expectations, coupled with retailers with a wide reach and an extended assortment of available goods, means building your eCommerce solution that meets the needs of your devoted customers is paramount to retaining their business. 

What goes on behind the scenes that people don’t think about with sales engineering? 

A lot of people don’t see the immense amount of research my team does on a daily basis. We are staying at the forefront of every eCommerce, supply chain, and logistics trend along with understanding what’s happening across specific industry verticals. What’s happening now in industrial distribution is very different from what is happening in apparel. 

We do a lot of reading and listening to understand what works and what doesn’t and these conversations lead to products like B2B Supply Chain Visibility. Every customer’s challenges are unique. Automotive parts companies suffer vastly different challenges than food and beverage companies and so on. Sales engineering spends a lot of time staying on top of rapidly changing trends. 

I am very proud of the work we do and can’t thank my team enough.

About Steve Norris

With a 20-year career built in eCommerce supply chain and commerce network technologies, Steve Norris is Logicbroker’s Director of Sales Engineering. As Director, Steve is responsible for leading a team of sales engineers that support the sales and customer success teams by providing both strong technical acumen and ever evolving eCommerce and supply chain industry knowledge. Steve and his team act as Logicbroker’s core knowledge base helping customers and prospects get the most value out of Logicbroker’s platform. Steve prides himself and his team on being the glue that holds Logicbroker’s systems together melding the theoretical with the practical.  

Steve has a degree from DeVry University. He can be found in his free time working out a tune to his latest song or enjoying a new craft beer. Steve has played a variety of cool venues including The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville.  

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