The Matt Waller Podcast

The Matt Waller Podcast

Where the future of the retail value chain is being built. As a supply chain management professor, consultant, and investor, my mission is to bridge the gap between academia, industry, and investment by advancing the understanding and implementation of innovative logistics and e-commerce technologies. I aim to foster effective and efficient supply chains, creating value for businesses, investors, students, the university, and society.


May 14, 2024 55 mins

In my career, I have been privileged to engage with some of the most knowledgeable and strategic minds in the domains of logistics, supply chain management, and retail operations. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Tracy Rosser, a seasoned professional with over two decades at Walmart, where he held the position of Senior Vice President of Transportation and Supply Chain. Tracy's extensive experience not only in log...

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Gregoire Lehmann has had an interesting journey to becoming a principal at NewRoad Capital Partners, the Arkansas-based private equity firm. Originally from France, Lehmann was recruited to play tennis for the University of Arkansas, where he excelled as both a student-athlete and a student, earning degrees in finance and economics.

After getting a taste for entrepreneurship by scaling a business with former teammates afte...

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I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Natalia Burgett, Chief Strategy Officer at Platform Science, a company that has been making big waves in transportation technology. The timing couldn't have been better, as they had just announced an impressive $125 million funding round.

As I spoke with Natalia, I was struck by Platform Science's truly revolutionary vision of creating an open ecosystem to solve long st...

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Arkansas has emerged as a hub for professional services firms specializing in the retail value chain (RVC). Many of these firms have achieved successful exits worth over $50 million. A new initiative called Highstep aims to build on this strength by launching 10 new AI-powered professional services startups in Arkansas over 5 months.

By combining Arkansas's RVC expertise with cutting-edge AI, Highstep will create &quo...

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April 16, 2024 47 mins

As someone who has spent years working with messy, fragmented data in the supply chain field, I was immediately intrigued by Tracer - an innovative data analytics platform helping brands make sense of their dispersed information streams. During my interview with Obele Brown-West, Tracer's president, I gained valuable insights into how this powerful tool is empowering companies across industries to take control of their data.

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Deming explains that fossil fuels will likely remain the world's main energy source for decades to come. This poses a tremendous dilemma that we must grapple with.

Claiborne explained that global temperatures have risen about 1.8°F since pre-industrial times, coinciding with increased burning of fossil fuels as countries have industrialized. Simply stopping fossil fuel use is extremely difficult due to some key barrie...

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As the Senior Vice President at Emerge, a company dedicated to revolutionizing the freight procurement process, Maggie has had the privilege of witnessing firsthand the transformative impact of technology on the logistics industry.

The freight procurement process has long been plagued by inefficiencies, manual processes, and a lack of transparency. Traditionally, shippers would conduct annual bidding events, relying heavil...

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Heather Nichols' career arc through print media, digital advertising, and influencer marketing epitomizes the evolution of marketing towards a narrative-driven approach. Starting with foundational roles at Meredith Corporation and advancing through digital ad spaces to leadership at Acorn Influence, Nichols has harnessed the transformative power of storytelling to foster deeper brand-consumer connections. At Acorn Influence, h...

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I interviewed Gordon Downes, the founder and CEO of NYSHEX, an innovative company providing technology solutions to address major challenges in the ocean container shipping industry. With 80% of the top 10 ocean container carriers and many shippers already using the NYSHEX platform, it has significant implications for reducing expected lead times, lead time variance, safety stock, and out-of-stocks for shippers, while also enabling...

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Quinn Snacks was founded in 2010 by Kristy Lewis, who saw an opportunity to create a healthier alternative to traditional microwave popcorn. The idea stemmed from Lewis's interest in connecting what she saw at local farmers markets to the ingredients in mainstream grocery stores. Not finding a company making snacks in a cleaner, safer way, she decided to start Quinn Snacks just days after the birth of her son Quinn.


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I interviewed Chris Scheid, co-founder of MyCarrier, to provide guidance for both new and experienced shippers on effectively using less-than-truckload (LTL) transportation. Scheid draws on over 15 years of experience in pricing, technology, and building the successful shipping platform MyCarrier to illuminate the ins and outs of LTL.

Understanding LTL Basics
Scheid begins by giving an overview of LTL as a "sweet ...

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I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Sam Thompson and Adriaan Zur Muhlen from Progress Ventures. Progress Ventures is a specialty venture capital firm focused on investing in advertising, marketing, and media technology companies. During our discussion, Sam and Adriaan provided fascinating insights into how they identify disruptive innovators, support their portfolio companies, and anticipate emerging trends in digital media...

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I recently had the opportunity to speak with Gary Adams, who has over 30 years of experience in supply chain management at Walmart. Gary held many leadership roles at Walmart, including Vice President of International Logistics and Vice President of Walmart's Internet Supply Chain for Walmart International. He now serves as an operating partner for New Road Capital Partners, advising portfolio companies.

During our di...

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The maritime transportation industry, traditionally resistant to change, has rapidly embraced digital transformation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as detailed in discussions with Uriel Brison of WaveBL. Historically dependent on paper documentation, particularly the Bill of Lading for shipping goods, the industry faced inefficiencies and risks like loss and fraud. WaveBL, specializing in electronic Bills of Lading using blo...

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The venture capital industry in the United States is a crucial driver of innovation and economic growth, providing early-stage funding and guidance to transform ideas into groundbreaking technologies and companies. Recent years have seen record levels of investment and dealmaking, fueling a wave of innovation across the country. However, the industry faces challenges from a complex policy environment and uncertainties arising ...

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Craig Harper has long been a visionary leader in the transportation industry. As someone who has successfully spearheaded strategic initiatives at JB Hunt, Harper understands both the challenges and opportunities of transitioning to cleaner fuels and technologies.

Through rigorous data analysis and fact-based assessments, Harper highlights several systemic issues that will need to be addressed for widespread electrificatio...

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Before founding New Engen, Inc., Justin Hayashi helped e-commerce giant Zulily achieve remarkable success through his mastery of performance marketing. By leveraging creativity and data, Zulily reached $1 billion in revenue under his leadership.

Justin then ventured out on his own after Zulily's acquisition, offering his services pro bono to various CEOs. His expertise proved valuable, and within six months several cl...

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The balance between supply and demand has a significant impact on pricing and behavior in the trucking industry. During periods of excess capacity, known as soft markets, prices tend to fall as carriers are willing to honor existing contracts, as evidenced by high acceptance rates. However, in tight markets where demand outweighs supply, prices rise and carriers may prioritize more lucrative spot freight opportunities over contract...

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Eric's Journey into Transportation and Logistics Investing

Eric enjoys the privilege of a highly engaging career. His primary responsibility involves exploring the breadth of the investment landscape to identify attractive strategies that have the potential to enhance his clients' portfolios. As a generalist, his search extends globally.

His interest in transportation and logistics stemmed from networkin...

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Josh Jewett discusses several significant advancements in retail supply chain transparency and digital customer engagement. Supply chain transparency has been enabled by telemetry data from containers, cartons and pallets, allowing retailers to track purchase orders from origin to store. This facilitates timely delivery of merchandise and optimized operations for key sales periods like holidays.

Retailers are also enhancin...

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