Happy Accidents with Greenscreens CEO Dawn Salvucci-Favier
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In this episode, Blythe speaks with Greenscreens CEO and Chief Product Officer Dawn Salvucci-Favier about her transition from administrative assistant to freight tech innovator. Dawn discusses the evolution of freight brokerages, TMS systems, and the power of predictive pricing using AI and machine learning. She also shares insights into the changing freight landscape and strategies driving successful freight tech companies.




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Show Transcript

See full episode transcriptTranscript is autogenerated by AI

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 0:05

Wow, the things that a freight broker needs in a TMS are completely different than the things that a shipper or a 3PL doing managed services needs from a TMS. So we've really seen a separation of more brokerage focused TMSs versus more shipper 3-focused TMSs. Is really what I think we've seen, and not a lot of crossover. There's some, but there aren't a lot of TMSs that cross over.

Blythe Brumleve: 0:37

Welcome into another episode of Everything is Logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight. We are proudly presented by SPI Logistics and I'm your host, Blythe Brumleve. We've got a stellar guest for you all today green screen CEO and chief product officer, Dawn Salvucci-Favier. Did I say?

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 0:54

that right. You got it, you did, you nailed it.

Blythe Brumleve: 0:57

Thank God for phonetic spelling Now. She was analyzing and quoting lanes without software in her early days of joining the logistics industry, but now she has one of the most forward tech programs or software applications in the industry. So I'm super pumped to talk to you today because we were talking before it hit record. We both come from the administrative executive assistant slash life and now find ourselves running our own respective companies, so you're a person that I look up to in the industry. So that just made me love you even more.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:33

Well, thank you, Blythe. That's great. I am so excited to be here and finally have the opportunity to sit down and talk to you. This is going to be great, thank you.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:40

Awesome, so perfect. I mentioned that you got your early days and I started with I think it was TJ Maxx. Is that correct, yeah?

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:49

that's right. That's right. Working as an admin to the VP of transportation over there and literally did not know the difference between a tractor and a trailer, when I started working I was like which one pulls it and which one gets pulled right? That was about my level of knowledge around freight.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:10

And so I am a little ashamed to admit that I just learned the difference. I'm like I thought that trailers were all part of the same thing, but Matthew Leffler, friend of the show and I'm sure a friend of yours as well, he's a trailer enthusiast.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 2:24

He's a trailer enthusiast. He is a trailer junkie. Yes, he is.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:33

He definitely broke it down for me in ways that I could understand, so it was very helpful and that's honestly. That's why I like doing this podcast, because I get to learn from smart people like him and like you as well. So I'm curious did you have any knowledge? So you say you didn't have any knowledge of the industry, but I'm curious as to what was that first sort of aha moment when you're working at TJ Maxx and you're thinking I can do this.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 2:56

Yeah, I think there were many moments, but I think the biggest one was the company was putting our national LTL business out to bid and they had been with a particular provider forever, right, Like they had always just had the same provider. The gentleman that I was working for was new-ish to the company, you know, trying to put his mark on the business. So he decided he was going to put all the business out to bid. And you know, first he was like well, I need you to help me write the bid package. Now, mind you, I'm going to date myself here, but this is when we actually printed out paper bid packages and sent floppy disks with lanes. I mean so, for the first part was actually writing the bid right, or the, the RFQ, with all the requirements, and then putting together the lanes and doing all that information. So I learned a lot through that process. But then, as the bid responses started coming back in, he said would you like to do the analysis of the bid responses coming back in?

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 3:57

Because I had dabbled in Lotus 1-2-3 at the time. This predates Excel, but I had dabbled in that. I had some skills there. I guess I was okay at math. I'm actually really not that good at math, but math is hard.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 4:14

But he was like do you want to do the analysis and I was like, okay, sure, I'll try, and it took a little bit of guidance. But I think my big aha moment was he was like, okay, well, I'll try, and you know it took a little bit of guidance. But I think my big aha moment was, you know, he was like, okay, well, all of our regional VPs are coming in and all the distribution center leaders are coming in and you need to present the results and make your recommendation of who we should select as our LTL carrier for our national and regional business. And I think that was really kind of the big aha moment for me was okay, I get this, I'm confident in what I'm going to tell these people, who have far more experience in this industry than I do, and actually kind of got into it with them a little bit about, you know, because nobody wanted to change right. Change is uncomfortable and I was kind of like look, you make this change, it's going to save the company $35 million. And I was kind of like, look, you make this change is going to save the company $35 million, like it's who cares about your comfortable shoes. You know, it's like make this change.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 5:11

And they did. They took my advice and so I think that was kind of the first aha moment of okay, I'm kind of good at this. And then, ironically, we had a department of women. I think three of the women got pregnant all at the same time and like needed to go out on maternity leave. So then I started processing freight bills and then I started routing freight and and it was just all these different opportunities to the extent that you know, by the time I left there I was leading a team of load planners and when TJ Maxx bought Marshalls they sent me up to Marshalls to learn about their business and be part of integrating the two companies together. So it was just a lot of opportunities that, through trial and error, I was like I think I'm kind of good at this.

Blythe Brumleve: 5:59

Now, when you are working with a couple different retailers, as you said, I think you listening to the FreightPod with Andrew Silver. Your interview on there was just a wealth of information, and I think you had worked for Staples as well. And so when you're working for these different retailers, is it largely the same things that you're doing for each one, or is each one a little picky about the way that they do things and why?

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 6:22

Well, so those two companies in particular are very different. They have a very different supply chain model, right? Well, certainly they did back in the 90s when I worked there, because I'm an old lady, but you know, if you think about TJ Maxx and even Marshalls, right, never the same place twice, I think was even the theme, right. So it's a lot of opportunistic buying, right, they're buying clothes out, they are buying opportunistically and they may buy a trailer of I don't know Dooney bags once and they'll never have that in the store ever again, and not every store in the chain is going to get it. So, whereas Staples is replenishment driven right, it is replenishment buying they have specific SKUs that are always expected to be in stock and they will always have those SKUs, and you know. So. Very different supply chain processes and therefore the transportation is very different as well.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 7:20

Back at that time too, it was unusual for retailers to manage their inbound transportation. So they managed a lot of their outbound, but it was unusual for retailers to manage their inbound Generally, they would let their vendors manage their inbound freight and it would be added onto the invoice, or you know, as prepaid freight or prepaid, and add whatever the case may be. So both companies were kind of trailblazers in that respect, in that you know they were going to control their inbound for different reasons I think in Staples' case it was because it was so replenishment driven. They knew that by taking over their inbound transportation it would give them better visibility. So look, we've been talking about visibility for over 30 years here. Right, but by taking over their inbound transportation would give them better inventory visibility and therefore could shorten their cycle times and lessen their carrying costs and all of those things. So when I started at Staples, we were just converting all of those vendors over to collect freight managed by us from a prepaid and ad program.

Blythe Brumleve: 8:25

Is that almost like a not a 4PL, because you're not manufacturing the goods yourself, but it sounds just very different from, I guess, a traditional freight brokerage or not freight brokerage, but just a traditional retailer and how they manage their freight. Would you say that a lot of that same management philosophy is in place today, or has that evolved?

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 8:46

I think it has evolved from there. Yeah, I think back then in the early to mid-90s it was unusual. Your inbound freight is going to just help you better understand your inventory and transit and therefore, you know, help you to cut down on your inventory cycle times and your inventory carrying costs and all of those things, right. But I think it was the evolution of supply chain, right? Look, when I started at TJ Maxx, our department was called the traffic department and we reported to loss prevention. Now there is a whole supply chain discipline, right. So and then I think we moved from loss prevention to distribution and now you know both companies have a supply chain discipline. But that supply chain as a practice didn't even really exist until the late nineties, right? Even you know Penn State big logistics school, supply chain school until the late nineties they called it business logistics. They didn't have a supply chain program, they had a business logistics program.

Blythe Brumleve: 9:54

Oh, that's interesting. That's interesting how the I guess the phrasing has evolved over the years and I guess the acronyms and that's one of the bigger learning curves I think for new folks coming into the industry is just learning how those things evolve and even what things are called as they evolve. So where all these different roles that you had, with learning different skill sets within each company, did you have a particular favorite that you really loved working on?

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 10:24

Well, I think it's where I ultimately ended up was the tech side right. So at both companies I had the opportunity to participate in the selection of our TMS, which, again, this is the very early days of TMS right. Tms is really commercial. Tms is, let's say, really didn't exist until the early 90s and you know, first at TJ's and then at Staples, but then also with the TJ's and Marshall's acquisition, we were on two different TMSs and needed to consolidate onto one right. So I was able to A participate in the selection, became kind of the subject matter expert or the super user of the TMS, learned that I had an aptitude for it. It's interesting, when I was at Staples, you know, we had a lot of support from the IT staff and the database administrators while we were going through our implementation. But then once we were alive, that support kind of went away and if we would have an issue and I would call the support line for cause, this was before the cloud right.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 11:26

So everything was on premise and so I would call our vendors support line and they'd be like, well, you need to go to the command prompt on the Unix server, and I'd be like I don't know what that even means, but I had to learn those skills because I was responsible for supporting the TMS.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 11:50

So you know that helped me to develop. You know project management skills and implementation skills, and you know, being the one who kind of owned the relationship with the vendor, triaging problems with the software and then learning how to write SQL queries to get data out of the system and running Unix command line prompts and occasionally having to reboot a server, right. So it was just all of those things. Because you know I was part of the selection, became the subject matter expert on the implementation and the rollout, and that's what brought me into tech. So it was one of those software vendors that you know approached me and said look, we are looking for a product manager for a part of their product offering that Staples was actually one of the early adopters of. So I was one of the first users of the product. And after about a year they're like we're looking for a product manager for this product. Would you be interested in the role? And so that's how I came into tech.

Blythe Brumleve: 12:45

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Blythe Brumleve: 13:35

I love that backstory because one for folks who may have listened to your interview with Andrew Silver on the Freight Pod. You had talked about how your mentor, that you first joined at TJ Maxx and then he left to go to Staples, that you went with him and that he sort of started building his team there, but then eventually it got to a timeframe where he would retire and I was just curious as to what was that like to have almost like a transportation partner mentor that you've worked with for years and then, all of a sudden, you're not working with that partner anymore and now it's really it's you, and maybe that was a slow evolution. What was that process like?

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 14:21

It was a slow evolution and I think, look, one thing that this man did particularly well is he surrounded himself with great people, right, he hired a lot of great people. So there was a team of individuals you know, outbound transportation manager, inbound transportation manager, you know all of these different roles that he had hired that we had kind of moved together. Some of us had also worked at TJ Maxx, some of us were new, but so it of course it was hard. You never want to see somebody who you've kind of grown up with and who has been a mentor to you leave. But you know he, he had established, he had put his mark on the business. He had established a team of good people.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 15:01

We had established ourselves on our own right. So we, we had a voice in the company. We no longer needed him, and when the new people came in, we were confident, right, that we knew what we were doing, and so it was, you know, again sad to see somebody go, but you know it was also okay. You've learned enough from me. Now it's time for me to move on, and so, but yeah, that was what my old boss said to me.

Blythe Brumleve: 15:30

He said it's time for me to push you out of the nest. So it was much more of like you need to go and do this because you're driving me nuts, because there's no more room for you to grow here. So go do your own thing. And they ended up being my first customer.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 15:45

So that's amazing. I read a quote somewhere recently. I'm going to totally screw it up, but it's something like when when the I don't know when the student is ready the master arrives, and when the? No, it's when the when the student is ready, the master leaves, or something like that. It's. It's like I don't.

Blythe Brumleve: 16:05

I totally screwed it up. Nevermind, I get your point. I definitely it was scary for me, I think, because it was just a situation where I didn't know where my next paycheck was coming from. But you learn from your mentors of how to manage through, and it was one of those things where it's like this isn't anywhere I haven't been before. I just have to use the same philosophy of wanting to learn, wanting to solve problems, and apply it to business, which sounds exactly like the philosophy that has been so successful for you throughout your career.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 16:36

Yeah, I wish I could say it was intentional. It really wasn't. I guess it's just an intellectual curiosity. It was like, oh, I'm actually pretty good at this, well, what else can I do that I didn't know even existed. So I think it was just that constant pursuit of knowledge. Knowledge is power, right? Intellectual curiosity? Yeah, I wish I could say that. You know, when I was 23 years old, I said I'm going to get into freight and this is what I'm going to do. And then I'm going to get into freight and this is what I'm going to do, and then I'm going to go into tech, like no, I think you know I was an admin and that was what I was going to be. I was a mom and an admin and and that was how life was going to be and that was fine.

Blythe Brumleve: 17:16

So what did that? I guess the next step look like after Staples, did you? Did you stay in the industry? Did you maybe try out other industries or take a little time off?

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 17:27

No, that is so. I left Staples and actually joined the tech company who was our TMS vendor.

Blythe Brumleve: 17:33

And actually.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 17:33

I moved my family from the Boston area to Philadelphia to join this company, and I left like two months before they did, and once my kids finished school and everything, my husband and the kids came down, but, um no, I, I I really kind of left right from one to the other, interestingly, um. So my husband and I had just gotten married. We had we've been together 13 years before we got married, had our children, but we finally said we should probably get married. Four. We got married, had our children, but we finally said we should probably get married. So we had just gotten married and really had not even considered that we would ever leave the Boston area and that I was going to leave Staples when this opportunity to join this other company came along and would require me to move to Philadelphia. And so we were married three months and we were like, okay, let's do it.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 18:26

So, uh, picked up and moved to Philadelphia. We we had actually eloped for our wedding, but we had, um, we got married on millennial new year. Um, we had known that we wanted a summer reception though, so we had already planned that we were going to elope on new year's Eve and then have a big party in the summer. So we moved away to Philadelphia and then came back and had our wedding reception with all of our friends and family in the Boston area and then spent the rest of our time in Philly until 2010.

Blythe Brumleve: 18:58

I would imagine that going to the TMS it's almost like a startup environment versus like big kind of corporation corporate. You know structure rules lots of a startup environment versus like big kind of corporation corporate. You know structure roles lots of people maybe versus smaller people.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 19:10

Well, it's interesting, the company that I joined was actually pretty well established, so it was the early days of TMSs. But if you think back to the 90s and the early 2000s, there was really just a handful of TMSs that were out there. There was a company that I worked for called Manugistics, there was a company called iTWO Technologies, there was McHugh Software which became Red Prairie, and there were a few others right, but those were really the major players in the space. All three of those companies are now part of Blue Yonder and I had worked for two of those three companies. So I worked for man Ujistics, which was acquired by JDA, which is now Blue Yonder, and then after that had worked for Red Prairie, which was also acquired by JDA and is now part of Blue Yonder. So to get back to your question, it was a more established company. I think I was employee number 1,200. So it was still corporate, like not as big as Staples and TJ Maxx was, but it was still a pretty corporate environment.

Blythe Brumleve: 20:14

And what was your role at the new TMS provider?

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 20:17

So I started as a product manager for their freight audit and payment product line is kind of where I started out.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 20:24

It was fairly new as I said, we were one of the early adopters, needed a lot of work and a lot of enhancement, so it was really writing functional requirements that would feed the developers on what the product needed to do, working with the customers and the user group and gathering requirements, helping to sell the product when necessary. So that's kind of where I started and then picked up some additional product responsibilities, other kind of product modules that we had, and then my boss, who was the director of product management, quit in a blaze of glory. It was wonderful, but he quit and they asked me if I wanted to take over his job. Um, but they wanted me to move and I said, well, no, I'm not going to move to take over his job, um. So I was actually about to get laid off, like I was 30 days away, and then they were like okay, we changed our mind. We decided that you don't need to move, you can work from home, and that was in 2004.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 21:29

So I've been working remote since 2004. I was like not moving my kids. The cost of living in DC is a lot higher than it is in Philly. I'm not going to do that, and that's when I started working remote.

Blythe Brumleve: 21:40

How did your boss quit in a blaze of glory. Do you mind sharing?

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 21:49

Oh, I don't know if I can say these words on podcast, but no, I mean he essentially had a disagreement with someone superior to him and told him to F off and walked out the door and it was so much fun to watch. He said the quiet words out loud that we all wanted to say but so yeah, I'm that we all wanted to say.

Blythe Brumleve: 22:06

I'm sure that felt good to witness. Oh, it did.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 22:09

It was a lot of fun.

Blythe Brumleve: 22:11

So you also spent some time in Charleston. So how did you make the move from Philly to Charleston?

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 22:18

Yeah, so while I was at JDA, jda acquired that third DMS company, itwo Technologies that I mentioned, and I was part of the integration of those two companies but had an opportunity presented to me. It was a small company called Shippers Commonwealth, based out of Charleston, and I had the opportunity to take on the role as a chief operating officer and president of that company. And I guess I kind of I missed a piece of my time at JDA where, you know, taking on, I took on the director of product management role. But then when JDA acquired Manugistics they created this role. It was a what were we called Global solution experts and it was essentially it was almost like a horizontal general manager for a product horizontal, which transportation was a product horizontal.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 23:11

So sales didn't report to me but it was kind of a dotted line reporting relationship. I still had the product management team reporting to me. You know again, development didn't report to me but it was almost like a dotted line type relationship. So I had been doing that for three years and then we acquired I2. And then I was presented with the opportunity to be the president and COO of this small company in Charleston called Shippers Commonwealth. So that was my next move from Philly to Charleston. My favorite city in the world now is Charleston, south Carolina.

Blythe Brumleve: 23:46

Oh yeah, it is a beautiful city, great, great seafood too.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 23:50

The best.

Blythe Brumleve: 23:51

So I'm curious with all of your time spent working within, you know, tms platforms outside of, like you know, modern day sort of API integrations that are capable now are TMSs mostly the same.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 24:11

Yeah, I think, if you take apart, like what you said, api integration, kind of more of an open architecture, not being so monolithic, if you take that away, yeah, I mean, cause, look there's, there's the core functionality that that every TMS needs to have. It needs to have order management, it needs to have load planning, it needs to have execution. I would say that you know those core things. You know, if I go back to the late nineties, the TMSs that I was using way back then didn't have tendering, tracking, tracing. That didn't exist. Now that came about in the late 90s and kind of evolved from there.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 24:50

So I think they're more or less the same from big boxes of functionality. But I think the depth of capabilities is where we've seen a lot of evolving the optimization tactics, right, there's been a lot of evolution there. But I think the biggest change in evolution is the speed of processing and the amount of data that is now available to make better decisions, right, and so that's been a big change. And I think the usability or the whole UX, user experience of TMSs has evolved dramatically. It's so so much better now than it was even 15, 20 years ago.

Blythe Brumleve: 25:34

Well, getting into, I guess, sort of the modern era or the present day era of your career. What was the, I guess, the jump from TMS to green screens? Was it a very conscious choice? Was it something that you were thinking about for a while?

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 25:49

It was again another happy accident. I seem to have a lot of those now. So, look, my last job in TMS was with a company called 3G TMS, where I was one of the co-founders there, and I stayed for seven years and then decided there. And I stayed for seven years and then decided I got my seven year. I tried it.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 26:09

It was time for me to try something else, do something different. I had been working at by that time I had been working in TMS for 20 years, and while every TMS probably has a few things that they do exceptionally well, tms is mostly TMS is mostly TMS, right. So it was like I'd been telling the same story for 20 years. I just needed to do something different. But I also knew that I wasn't going to find a job while I had a job, because I was a very busy person, right. So I just quit.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 26:37

I, you know, we, it was on good terms and it was a nice long separation period to, you know, make sure everything got transitioned. And I didn't really know what I was going to do. The only thing I did know was that I had a non-compete agreement that was going to make it extremely difficult for me to work in the TMS space. Beyond that, I didn't know what I was going to do, so my decision was first I was going to take some time off and then I was going to start marketing myself as an independent consultant, working either with freight tech companies that needed help with go-to-market strategy and product management, or with freight companies that needed help with a technology roadmap, right and and identity, or, you know, buying new technology, whatever the case may be. Um, so that was what I was going to do. I started my LLC. What was I even calling it? Terralon Strategic Services.

Blythe Brumleve: 27:38

Where'd you come up with the name.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 27:40

My husband's name, my daughter's name and my son's name. Oh nice, yeah, I was like, because everything I was like I don't know what to do. So my husband is Terry, my daughter is Allison and my son is Christian. So it was, yeah, terralon Strategic Services. So that was really kind of what my my plan was. But it was a very short-lived plan because the very first pitch that I made was to somebody I think we all know, ben Gordon, with Cambridge Capital. I was introduced to him by just a colleague that knew what my plans were and really my pitch to Ben was I would love to work with you in your portfolio, as you're doing due diligence for M&A activity or if you have somebody in your portfolio that needs interim or fractional support and go-to-market strategy or in the tech roadmap, because Cambridge works with both tech companies and logistics companies. And that was kind of my pitch and I would love to meet you and Ben actually lives nearby. So I went down to Palm Beach and met him in person and gave my little pitch and he had at that time become personally involved in green screens not through Cambridge, you know, we were at the time startup too small for Cambridge, but he had personally, kind of as an angel investor, if you will gotten involved with green screens um, and was designated as the chairman of the board and he was like well, I would love for you to look at this company and you know, let me see what your work product is. It was essentially. My interview was to look at green screens and give them some feedback about what I thought about the company and um. So that that was how I I met the folks that had kind of founded the company before me.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 29:26

The product at that point I would say was pre-MVP, post-hypothesis. So there was a product. They had already started working with some of the early adopter customers, but it was very, very early stage. They hadn't really finalized their go-to-market strategy or the messaging or any of that Um. So spent some time with the folks, really loved what I saw. I was like, wow, this is a great product. It's really addressing a need in the industry that has existed for a long time and nobody has solved it Right. I was really excited by what I saw.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 29:57

Um put together a proposal back to Ben. Here's what an eight week engagement would like. Here are my deliverables. This is what I'm going to work on and you know the conversation was something like that's great, but we're looking for a CEO, would you like the job Is kind of how that went and I said no, I really don't. I want to have my consulting business and work eight months a year and take the jobs I want to take and not the ones I don't. But if you know Ben, you know he's also very persuasive. And here I am.

Blythe Brumleve: 30:32

Great story. I'm curious as to what your so when you finally decide to take the role. What are some of the first ideas or strategies that you're implementing when you take on that role?

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 30:45

Yeah, I mean, look, I have a methodology that I was trained in a couple times over my time at the TMS vendors. It's called pragmatic marketing or the pragmatic institute, if you are a product strategist or even anybody who needs to do business plans, or they've expanded so much now. They have partnership, they have all these things, but the Pragmatic Institute, they just really have a whole methodology and a framework. That has really become my North Star and my.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 31:12

Bible. So there are some very specific things that you know. I kind of started from the beginning. Who is your target audience? What is the problem that you're trying to solve? And you know, really started with putting together a positioning outline that you know, really started with putting together a positioning outline that you know what are your three to five differentiators? Who are your competitors? Why are you better than them? What is your distinctive competence right, what are just all of these things?

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 31:34

And just really started from there and, of course, digging in on the product side to understand what have we already built? What do we need? You know how do we get to an MVP product, a minimum viable product? Cause we weren't quite there yet but fortunately again, they had already engaged with um, three brokerages. So they were working with NFI. Actually four NFI, uh, gulf Relay, which is now Mariner, um Logistics and Cargo were kind of the four companies they were working with. So we had a little bit of a head start of what are the gaps, what do we really need to bring a product to market? So I was more than focused on the kind of the go-to-market strategy and the messaging and the positioning. I remember one of the first things that you know, the company website. I was like oh God, no. Like oh God, no, this is, this has got to go this is like, like what I'm curious.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 32:27

Well, their tagline was um what was it? Money ball for logistics. And I was like, well, what does that even?

Blythe Brumleve: 32:34


Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 32:34

Like I, it, it was and there wasn't. You know, I I'm a firm believer that when you go to the homepage, someone's homepage it should be really clear what they do. I've seen far too many in our industry that aren't that way. But I was just like money ball for logistics. What does that even mean, like you know? But that was the company tagline at the time and I was like no, that goes, that that's gone, right, so, but no, that that's really what it was. It was, you know.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 33:03

Okay, here is an outline, working with the folks that were already here talking to the early adopter customers, putting together this outline, landing on what we thought and, of course, feedback from our board. We had some great strategic advisors and board members getting feedback from them, and then the next step was really testing the market. So we did a little bit of market testing in, let's say, the fall, just companies that I was friendly with right, I had worked in the industry for 20 years, former customers, people that I knew that it was like look, will you give me an hour of your time to validate our message and see if this resonates with you, and see if this makes sense and you have no obligation to buy, whatever the case may be. And so you know, there was a handful of those conversations that people were very generous with their time and their feedback and then at the end of the year, we really did a soft launch to the market and we launched a free trial. It was a free 60 day pilot program and we launched our new website with, you know, improved messaging and started going on podcasts and started posting things on LinkedIn and we engaged with Kinetic, nick Dangles and Kinetic to kind of help us, because at the time, honestly, our US-based employees at the time were me, um, my daughter was our customer success manager and our pre-sales demo person, um, and one of the uh original founders was was still helping out from like a data science perspective.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 34:33

So there's three of us in the U? S and that was it and we kind of just so we engaged with kinetic and Nick dangles and helping with LinkedIn and social media content and and cold calling and things like that. So that was kind of how we got it started Went well, we signed on probably a dozen or so pilot customers in that quarter and once we had those pilot customers on board is when we did a formal launch of the product into market. So we converted some of those early pilot customers and early adopters into paying customers. I think we got our first. We issued our first invoice in November 2020 and got our first payment in December 2020 and have just grown from there.

Blythe Brumleve: 35:18

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Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 36:20

And look, I think we were fortunate of the timing of our launch, right, because if you think about what we do predictive freight pricing and what the market was doing at that time historically high market rates that we had never seen, very tight capacity the timing was very fortunate. Again, happy accident, unintentional, but the timing was fortunate. So if there's a silver lining that came out of the pandemic, that was it for us. What is really exciting to me, though, is that, yes, we launched the product at a time in a very up market, historically high, good time to be a freight broker.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 37:01

But when the market shifted 18 months ago, two years ago, whatever the case may be we really didn't have to change our messaging. We maybe tweaked some of the underlying the way that we talked about it, but you know, cause our, our tagline, what we ended. When we got rid of money ball for freight brokers or money ball for logistics, whatever it was we we changed a quote with confidence, win more business, more profitably, and you know so that applied in an up market, but it was probably maybe even more important in a down market, right? So that that was just really exciting to me that, as the market shifted, our message still held true Right, so that that kind of proved out all the work that we did.

Blythe Brumleve: 37:45

I would imagine that a lot of your conversations that you're having with customers helps you to shift that messaging on a regular basis. Is that a safe assumption?

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 37:55

Yeah, look, we have a very high touch engagement model with our customers. In fact, one of the things that I pride myself on is that we tell our customers and we don't just tell them, we show them that we are an extension of their team. If they are a larger freight brokerage and they already have a pricing team or a data science team, great, we will be an extension of that team. We will work side by side with them. If they are a small brokerage, a startup, or just a small or medium-sized brokerage that doesn't have the luxury of having a data science team or a separate pricing team, we will be that team for you and, again, we will walk right alongside of you. Every one of our customers is assigned a customer success manager and a pricing analyst, and all of our CSMs and pricing analysts have actually sat in the seat of our customer. They have been freight brokers, they have run brokerage operations, they have booked freight, they have worked on pricing analytics teams, and that is something that I am so, so proud of and something you know, what I'm most proud of there is when I hear our customers talk about that and the way that we engage.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 38:59

But to go back to your question. Yes, it's that constant interaction and really, you know, living as an extension to our customers, as much as they will allow us to. I'll be clear on that. Some customers want more of a hands-off engagement, and that's fine too. We don't force it. But through that engagement with the customers, yes, we are able to really shift, but again, we're not having to really shift our top level messaging. It's really kind of the supporting details. Okay, so now that the market is shifted, why is it important to win more business, more profitably, or why is that a bigger problem, right?

Blythe Brumleve: 39:35

So it's talking about the underlying problem differently, not changing our tagline not changing our tagline, is it just and I say just, but I would imagine it's not just a copy change on the website. How are you maybe advising your employees to bring home these new copy points or this new messaging goals? Is that regular communication internally, so then that communication can be consistent externally?

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 40:04

Yeah, it's interesting because, look, I think we do it well. But if I were to choose an area where we could improve, that is probably one of the areas where we can improve. Just because we've grown internally as a company so quickly, and I will go back to that. But because we were born during the pandemic, when everybody was working from home, we've actually figured out internal collaboration and, by the way, we are still a fully remote organization in the US. So we have, I think, 24, 25 US employees now, and they're all still remote.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 40:39

I'm a firm believer in, you know, hiring the right person for a role regardless of location rather than hiring a person in a location, and I've always felt that way. But this company, because of when we came to be, has allowed me to do that. So we've really have gotten really good at internal communication and internal collaboration. We have a product call every morning that you know myself as the CEO, our head of engineering, all of our customer success and data analysts. People are on every morning and it's scheduled for a half hour.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 41:11

Sometimes it's only five minutes, sometimes we're only on long enough to say good morning, we have nothing to talk about today. Sometimes it's 35 minutes. Usually it's on the shorter side. Every Thursday the sales team and the marketing team joins us for that call and we extend it to an hour, and then every Friday we have a go-to-market call. So anybody who is in a customer-facing role gets together. And so it's just through that collaboration and repetition and sharing feedback from customers and from prospects and all of that and that's really what's feeding a lot of our messaging. I should say we have a remarkable marketing team, but it's all of that interaction and that feedback that's really feeding our marketing.

Blythe Brumleve: 41:53

I think that your quote was green screens has a lot of brand movement on the freight pod, which I thought was really well put because you guys are everywhere, Like you know it's, it's all feels very intentional, from the podcast to the green shirts at a conference, Like it all feels very intentional, but also fun it it.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 42:16

It is fun and I don't want to say that it's unintentional, because we are always looking for you know how do we stand out right, how do we continue that brand movement? And you know, look the Hawaiian shirts. It started as just a silly idea going into. It was actually Capital Ideas last year, where you know it was at the resort that was at was kind of like Polynesian themed or Hawaiian.

Blythe Brumleve: 42:41

I remember that yeah.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 42:42

Yeah. So we were like, let's all wear Hawaiian shirts for the reception or whatever. How are we going to stand out? Cause, you know, we of course had our green screens polo shirts and we had our pullovers. But it was like, well, how are we going to stand out? How are we going to be fun? And we were like, well, we're, we're Hawaiian shirts and leis. Um.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 43:05

So it kind of started just as a fun, one one-off thing. And then the next conference we went to, when we didn't wear them, everybody was like where are the Hawaiian shirts? Like no, that, that's like your thing now. So we had to continue it. So now we have three different, non-branded Hawaiian shirts that we rotate through, and now we have a branded Hawaiian shirt with the green screens logo on it and a truck and and all of that because our marketing team is phenomenal and you know, now we're getting some of our fun t-shirts right the no outages, no overages, no averages and the no BS, just GS, which, by the way, I think as a team, we've started talking about, you know, our mission statement and and all of those things, as we're growing and who we are as a company and what most represents us, and I really believe that. No BS, just GS is kind of where we're at with. That is yeah, we're going to give it to you straight, we're going to be a good partner, all of that.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 43:58

But so I'm sorry I lost track of your question. But the brand movement, oh, that's what it was. The brand movement it's just. You know, we have a lot of fun together, right, and we have a lot of people with a lot of experience, but they're fun people and we just we want to stand out because we are competing against some very large incumbents. We want to set ourself apart, but one of the things that we've always been trying to be really careful about is we want to be known to be fun, but we also want to have an elevated voice. Right, we want to be seen as sophisticated, a trusted partner, knowledgeable, all of those things, but we don't want to be stuffy or staunchy or any of those things, Right, and um, I think that we've we've done that Well, um, I really do, and we do have a lot of brand movement.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 44:43

I mean, we talk about the growth we ended 2021 with. I think we had 12 customers at the end of 21. So we launched the product officially in April of that year we had like 12 paying customers at the end of 21. We ended 22 with 83 customers. We ended 23 with 154 customers. So the growth not only from a customer perspective but from a from a internal people perspective you know, in the first quarter we hired seven people, we're going to hire 28 people this year. We hired 17 people last year. So the growth has just happened so, so quickly and that's why I'll go back to what I said earlier. If there was something that we need to work on is because of the fast growth is just being more efficient with some of that knowledge transfer right?

Blythe Brumleve: 45:37

Well, we have made it 43 minutes into this conversation without really breaking down, like what green screens does, so I think this is probably a good opportunity To your point. Who is this person? Well, with all of the, you know, great marketing can only do so much, right, you have to have a great product as well, which you know. I don't have to explain that to you. So what I guess, for folks who may not be aware, what does green screens provide Like? Is it an extra tab you have open on your screen? Is it, you know, integration into your TMS? What does that look like? To use green screens?

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 46:14

Yes, it can be any and all of those things. So really what we do just at the highest level is today we serve freight brokers and 3PLs and we are using big data and machine learning to generate predictive pricing for the truckload spot market. Right, so understanding how the market is going to move, but really doing so on a predictive basis, not looking at what was the market rate last week or four days ago or 30 days ago, but really using data, machine learning to understand where is the market going right. What will it be doing? We currently are integrated into 13 TMSs. Ideally, with those TMSs, we want to be embedded right in the user's normal workflow. We don't want them to have to go to another tab. You know that's app fatigue out there. How many browser tabs do you have open?

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 47:07

I think I have at least 27 open right now myself. So, and that's on one window, right. So there's all of that out there and we don't want to and it's and it's less efficient, right, and we want to be right into the user's workflow. So that's the approach we've taken with the TMS ecosystem is API integration, so that some TMSs the integration is API calls they're going to send us a request for a rate prediction. We're going to send that back and there is real estate that exists within the TMS where the data that we provide is just going to be shown to the user, right, and it's shown in different ways. Sometimes it's shown as a max buy rate, sometimes it's shown as a quote to a customer. It's depending on what they're asking for and what we're giving back.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 47:55

But we also have a developer's toolkit for user interface developers because, again, the real power of what we are providing isn't just the predictive rates, but it's all that decision support information that goes along with it. That is helping the user understand. Not only this is what we're saying the market rate is, but why is that right? So there's a lot of decision support data that we're providing with that that comes along with our user experience, so our TMS partners are also able to embed our whole UX directly in the TMS so that those users never need to leave the TMS.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 48:29

They're, you know, trying to book loads, they're trying to quote customers, they're able to get all of that context right within the TMS without ever having to leave. And you know, with our partnership, which we our partnerships through our capacity on tap offering, which is with companies that are, you know, capacity providers, capacity solutions, they may never even need to leave the TMS to source capacity. Companies like Highway, like Cargo Chief, like ISO, like, you know, texlocate, never need to leave the TMS because we're also making all of those partners available in the green screens UI as well, kind of aggregating all of that. So it's a very different approach but it's worked quite well for us, and so I guess what factors go into predictive price?

Blythe Brumleve: 49:18

I mean, I'm sure you can't reveal all of it, but I would imagine maybe weather, is it market conditions? It sounds like there's a lot of factors at play. There are a lot of factors.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 49:27

But I will say our primary data source is really real-time booked loads from our customers, because that is really part of the requirements to be a green screens customer you must contribute data to the network. We only have one exception to that, so it's you know. You must contribute data to the network. We only have one exception to that, so it's you know. You must contribute data so we're able to use that data in real time again, because we are connected with the TMS. So every time a broker books a load, our algorithm has visibility to that, so we can, in real time, see how the market is moving and see how prices are changing in hours, Like we have seen our algorithm react to a market shift in a matter of hours, not days, right, Because of that.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 50:12

So you know, we're looking at a lot of things, right? We're obviously looking at origin destination, we're looking at day of week, we're looking at time of day, we're looking at, of course, equipment type, we're looking at customer who is the shipper at, of course, equipment type. We're looking at customer who is the shipper, right? So there are all of these attributes of loads. Lead time, right. How much lead time is it? Is it a, you know, 250-mile haul that's got to move over a weekend. Picks up on Friday, can't deliver until Monday. Right, it's looking at all of those kind of parameters or attributes, if you will, of a load, but through the aggregation of data there are other things that surface right. So weather we today are not feeding any type of weather into our algorithm, but weather conditions driving market shifts will surface in the load data itself. Right, and again, because it's real time, as those loads are being booked.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 51:06

We're seeing, or let's look at the Baltimore port situation right, within hours we'll be able to see okay, are those rates going up in Baltimore because of congestion, because of more demand to get those containers out of the port of Baltimore? Right, so that wasn't a weather condition, but, just as an example, things like that will manifest in the data itself. That's the really cool thing about machine learning, right? Machine learning can look at huge volumes of data and identify these patterns. Now, a lot of the things that the algorithm is doing is no different than what an experienced freight broker would do. Right, you or me, we're an experienced freight broker. We're trying to figure out how I'm going to price some loads going into the Baltimore area or picking up out of the Baltimore area for my customer. Well, what am I going to do? I'm going to go out and I'm going to look at data. Maybe I'm going to go to some load boards and see where loads are being posted. You know, I'm going to maybe look at some adjacent areas and see what the prices are at.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 52:09

I'm going to look at my load history, but it's going to take you or me 20 minutes maybe more right In some cases, depending on how well we know it, to figure that out, whereas the machine learning is able to do that in split seconds. But look at way more volumes of data than we would ever be able to.

Blythe Brumleve: 52:28

Is there any apprehension for businesses to share their data?

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 52:34

Limited and I would say, you know, in the four years since we started at this, it's become more limited. I think early on there was a lot more hesitance in people to share data, but those silos are breaking down and, look, I think it's a realization that people are coming to that. You know, if I'm not willing to share my data and I can't get access to an aggregate, a reliable, clean, accurate aggregated data source, I'm only ever going to be as good as my own data, right? So? And one of my peers, you know, kevin Kevin likes to say, yeah, it's kind of like doing a Google search based on your own Google search history. Right, essentially is what it is.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 53:18

And you know, we now it wasn't our intention again, unintentional benefits or happy accidents wasn't necessarily our intention again, unintentional benefits or happy accidents wasn't necessarily our intention to go after some of the very large more than $1 billion brokers as customers. We were really more focused on the mid-market. But some of these very large brokers that you know have gone down the road, have taken the journey to maybe try to build something like this themselves on their own data. And, look, you know, several billion dollars of data is a good bit of data. But what they realized is number one.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 53:49

It's hard and expensive to build and maintain this, but, more importantly, what I said, they will always be limited to their own data right. Nobody is going to give them, no other broker is going to give them their data right. And what if there is a new lane they've never priced before? Or you know what if they're not the market maker right? What if it's a new market for them? Or they're not the market maker? How do they get better at it? And we've been able to, you know, bring on seven of the top 25 brokers in our customer base over the past year.

Blythe Brumleve: 54:23

For that reason, and so I would imagine that, with these very high-level enterprise companies, they have an enormous amount of data that they're trying to sort through and find value in it as Green Screens grows. How are you guys managing that enormous amount of data from a variety of sources, especially with all the customers you know that you're bringing on it? I would, I'm just curious how you're scaling that data management and finding those nuggets of insight.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 54:56

Yeah, so the team architecturally did a really good job from the beginning, right On just architecting our entire platform to scale very quickly. And you know, nice job with the initial architecture which, by the way, I have been in positions in my past life in tech that if you don't get that right at the beginning, it's going to be really, really difficult to change. You know, going back in my past, things that we never anticipated needing to be multi-currency, multilingual, things like that that you know as a domestic TMS, as we grew in scale and needed to go global, we had to do a lot of re-architecting in order to do that.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 55:36

Going to multi-tenant, right, the movement to the cloud and multi-tenant that required a lot of companies to do a lot of re-architecting. So the team that's been here from the beginning did a really nice job with architecting the platform for flexibility and scalability. And you know, as we've grown, sure, have we had to keep up on scale and add new tools and things like that? Yeah, we have. But I think it really started with a great architecture. To begin with, we are entirely in AWS, right, so we are in the cloud, so we're also able to leverage a lot of the scale of AWS, but also the tools that they provide for their customers, right. And then, as far as capabilities and finding the nuggets and the data to your question, it's continuous development, continuous improvement. You know our data science team is doing continuous R&D and in a lot of ways, you know, testing new things. But also, as an example, we do have about 36 external data sources, so PPI, cpi, fuel, right A lot of those things like that. We have some more localized economic indicators, right, that we're bringing in as well, but we're constantly testing the impact of those things and what we've actually found is some of the more index-based things the Cass truckload line haul index. Things like that are less impactful to predictions right now because the market has just been so insane for the past four years that a lot of these index-based data sources are just meaningless when it comes to predictions, right. So it's constant iteration and testing.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 57:18

You know what if I enabled this attribute of data that we have in the machine learning and allowed it to train on that? What might happen? Or what if I turn this one off? So we have that from our data science team and building out the algorithms. But then the other part of that goes back to I mentioned. All of our customers have a customer success manager and a pricing analyst or data analyst, as well, as our product manager actually grew up through our data analysis team. A lot of the best nuggets of data are coming from those folks, the ones that are interacting with customers every day, and those customers are then going to their analyst and saying, hey, can you answer this question for me from the data that I have? And they're the ones that are finding that. So we're also delivering a lot of insights to our customers.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 58:11

Advanced analytics things like that, which you know, kind of leads me to our next chapter we're going to be launching three new products this year that I'm really excited about. I can't talk specifically about any of them, I will tell you. The first one is being launched at Capital Ideas next week, so that will be the first one. But it's really taking the tool from more of a transactional you know, on the brokerage floor tool to elevating it to a strategic tool right For igniting your sales strategy, for kind of illuminating your market position and things like that. So really excited about the new products.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 58:52

But a lot of that innovation again is coming through that interaction and engagement with our customers and our data science team there just continued innovation and looking for better answers. We measure the success of our product based on accuracy. How accurate is our price prediction to what our customers are actually booking their freight at? And that is the number one thing. So we are always looking for ways that we can improve that. Right now, on average across all of our customers, our margin of error is low, single digits on average across all of our customers.

Blythe Brumleve: 59:26

That's incredible and I can't wait to hear about that new addition, because I was in charge of marketing at an asset-based freight brokerage and my TMS or the TMS that we used at the time was largely worthless. All I could do was just export email addresses and just hope and just spray and pray, and that was the extent of it. So it sounds like, I guess. Before I ask my next question, I did want to ask about the onboarding experience. What does that look like for a green screens customer? How long is that timeline? I would imagine it's not really plug and play. You have to go through a series of steps to get that data clean.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:00:02

Well. So it's almost plug and play, depending on what TMS you're on. So, as I mentioned, we are pre-integrated into 13 TMSs. So if you were on one of those TMSs where we have that pre-integration, you know getting the project started is as simple as us exchanging API keys with you, know you giving us permission to access that data. Excuse me, but once so, the first thing we do when we engage with a customer is we generally ask for one to four years of their load history, their booked load history, and that's what we use to train the machine learning. So the machine learning understands about that customer and how that customer buys, what their buying behaviors are, what their buying power is against the market. So that's the first thing we're going to do.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:00:55

But to your point, the data sanitization is the first step. So we want to protect the algorithm from dirty data, from outliers. If I go back to the work that our team did very early on in architecting the platform and the automation tools, we've made that process really easy. So data onboarding is fully automated. We have data filters that are designed to identify outlier data that could be potentially dirty. So the first part of that onboarding is we're going to load that data file. We're going to pass it through those filters and we're going to flag any of the data that we think might be dirty and categorize it right. So we flag it. It gets categorized into different buckets of why we think it might be dirty and then we're going to have a review with the customer of that. Generally speaking, on average when we bring a new customer on, no matter how clean or dirty they think their data is, on average it's about 35% of a customer's data initially gets flagged. So then we're going to review those kind of categories and we're really only looking for big buckets of data. So same lane where more than, say, 20% of the loads in that lane have been flagged right, or a single customer where more than 20% of the volume for that customer has been flagged, and we'll start reviewing that with them.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:02:18

And you know, just as an example, one of the filters we have is anything under 5,000 pounds is going to be flagged and thought process there being it's probably not a full truckload, maybe it's a partial or an LTL that got miskeyed, whatever the case may be. But we have some customers that ship empty plastic water bottles, which a full truckload of empty plastic water bottles is like 3,500 pounds. Full truckload of empty plastic water bottles is like 3,500 pounds. Or we have a customer that ships a lot of components for SpaceX on flatbeds that they're lightweight but they're very large aeronautical components on flatbeds. So we have and those are the types of the discussions that we'll be able to adjust those filters to say for this shipper or for this lane, remove that 5,000 pound filter right so that we can get as much of the data in that right there.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:03:08

So getting the data from the customer and that process right there is the majority of the onboarding process, hard stop. Once we've gone through that process, we will generally have a trained model for our customers so that they can start working in our system within two to three days and then from there it's really working with the customer's team to fine tune the model. To ensure that we're getting to a usually less than 10% margin of error is the target that we want to get to before the customer goes live. We usually achieve that within the first two weeks before the customer goes live. We usually achieve that within the first two weeks and then from there it's just rolling it out. So our average implementation from contract signing to when the customer is live is 47 days right now.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:03:55

Usually the first two weeks of that is the customer, you know, trying to organize their data, get the project kicked off, things like that, trying to organize their data, get the project kicked off, things like that. So really, from the time we receive the customer's data, it's about 30 days, 32 days.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:04:19

And then at what point does the team start using green screens? You mentioned that it could be integrated into their current TMS provider, but when are they putting that into practice?

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:04:26

I mean, usually it depends on the size of the company, right? Normally what? During that that period of time when we're trying to fine tune it, we ask for just a few users who are going to be advocates for the product, that are going to help train, you know, train the trainer type thing. So the first two weeks we will have actual users in the system validating the rates that we're giving them. Do they look right or and there's feedback tools in there or whatever so they're they are using the product.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:04:54

within two to three days, for the first two weeks but it's a subset of you know kind of people test users and then and then it's from there we roll it out to all of their users. So you know again, usually go live is a large portion of the the customers. Users have been trained and are using the product right. So it's 30 to 45 days is usually when they're actually using the product and getting value, and sometimes even before they're live getting value.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:05:24

We have a customer who they were still in their implementation. They needed to respond to a bid for a big shipper and they used our tool. You know we have a batch upload thing where you can upload thousands of lanes and get input. You know the same input you would get through the UI out in a batch file. But they did that. So the company was about a $25 million brokerage at the time responded to this bid. They weren't even live yet, they were still in implementation. They really kind of didn't tweak a lot of output that we gave them. They kind of took it for what it was used that to respond to the bid and they were awarded $6 million in new business before they were even live, right. So one of my favorite stories to tell because that's huge right Customer was two weeks in, used the tool to respond to an RFP and was awarded $6 million in new business from a major shipper right. So it's pretty exciting.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:06:24

If you see me furiously writing off to the side. I typically write down timestamps when the guest says something really cool and I'm already at the end of my post-it note, so it's a good sign for this conversation. I did want to know from a historical perspective you've worked with a lot of different TMS systems. You're helping a lot of different freight brokerages. I was just seeing some article from Brush Pass Research, Kevin Hill's company, that was talking about the amount of freight brokerage closures over the last year and the percent I think it's like a 10% difference in those closures from this time last year compared to this year. And so I'm just curious as to the evolution of TMS throughout the years, the evolution of freight brokerages. How do you sort of see what the future of those two systems look like, playing nicely together between the TMS and the freight brokerage world?

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:07:23

Yeah, no, that's a really great question and I guess I think we should start with the evolution of freight brokerage and I'm going to totally screw up these percentages. But so I'll be honest, I until probably 2015, did not work with freight brokers very often, except for the fact that I did work for 3PL actually NFI, who had brokers, but I'd mostly worked with shippers until about 2015. So it was about 14, 15 when I really started working with brokers. So I didn't really at the time know a lot about brokers. But working with shippers and having worked for a 3PL managed service before, in my mind brokers were like the option of last resort. And if you were to look and I can't remember the stats, but I've seen them very recently of the percentage of market share that brokers had 10 years ago versus the percentage of market share they have now are very different. I want to say it was something like freight brokers versus asset carriers, like freight brokers had like 12% market share and it's like 30 something percent market share now or something.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:08:28

Please don't quote me on that I've heard that same stuff.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:08:30

It was huge. It was huge and that's in like 10 years, right. So first there's that, I think, the evolution of freight brokerage. I also saw Kevin's report, the Brush Pass report as well, and what really stood out to me, though, is, if you look at over the five-year picture, right so, of the percentage of growth in the first three years of that five-year period, as opposed to the percentage of shrinkage over the past two years, we still have not seen all of that growth that came into the market during the pandemic has not exited.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:09:10

A supply-demand imbalance is really what happened, because pandemic volumes were insane, right, as our supply chains were recovering from these global shutdowns and, you know, rebuilding inventory and all of those things.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:09:27

Yes, we needed more capacity. So that's when all of these new entrants came into the brokerage world and it was a damn good time to start a freight brokerage right came into the brokerage world, and it was a damn good time to start a freight brokerage right, but then that, in and of itself, created a supply demand imbalance. So I think this is a market correction. I hate to say it, and unfortunately, I've seen some very good people have to close their freight brokerages that started, and, you know I never liked to see that happen, but I do think it's a market correction. But I'll go back to your question about TMS and the evolution of that. You know, because brokerage as a practice has grown so much over the past 10 years, so have the TMS capabilities more geared towards brokerage. So, as I said, having worked in TMS for 20 years you know we didn't really have a lot of buy-sell capabilities we didn't have.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:10:21

You know, the TMS was more focused around load planning and optimization, right, what shippers do building multi-stop loads or consolidating orders or making the decision between should it go LTL or parcel or truckload right, the modal decision and that type of thing. There weren't a lot of you know execution systems around. If you were, they were really more focused around planning. But I think with the growth in brokerage right, everything brokers do is execution and there's the buy and the sell side of it. The financial transaction becomes so much more important, right. Those are all things that I learned as I started working with freight brokers back 10 years ago was like, wow, the things that a freight broker needs in a TMS are completely different than the things that a shipper or a 3PL doing managed services needs from a TMS. So we've really seen a separation of more brokerage-focused TMSs versus more shipper, 3pl-focused TMSs is really what I think we've seen, and not a lot of crossover. There's some, but there aren't a lot of TMSs that crossover, right. I do think we will see that change.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:11:33

I think that freight brokers are here to stay. I think freight brokers are very important right as an intermediary between the shippers and the carriers. There are a lot of shippers out there that you know. Think about how expensive and how long it takes to onboard a new carrier for freight brokers. There are shippers out there that won't even talk to an asset-based carrier that has less than 200 trucks. But if you look at the sizes of the fleets, I mean what's there's? Others See, I'm so bad with stats and math, but you know what is it? Most of the fleets in this country are 50 trucks or less right.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:12:09

No seven, seven trucks or less.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:12:11

Seven trucks or less. Okay, there you go. So I think freight brokers are here to stay. I think they're going to continue to grow. I think they're going to continue to add more value. What we're also seeing a lot more and, as I said, 10 years ago or 15 years ago, freight brokers, from a shipper's perspective, were like the option of last resort. Right, I am screwed, I have to move this. I'm going to call a broker. We are seeing now so much more of the broker-shipper relationship is contracted. We are seeing brokers earning spots on the shipper routing guide as a primary carrier and actually owning lanes. So I think we're going to see brokers evolve even further and just some of the value-added services that they're offering for the shippers that oftentimes asset-based carriers can't offer, I think we're going to continue to see them grow Is there?

Blythe Brumleve: 1:13:04

anything else that's going on, shift movement philosophy-wise, that you see going on in the industry, that you're kind of paying a little bit extra attention to, or it might be like a back burner item for now but it could come to fruition in the future.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:13:24

I mean, one of the things that I'm excited about and keeping an eye on and I like to think that we're at the forefront of that as well is just the amount of collaboration that we're seeing among the tech providers in the freight industry right now and just the number of whether it's well-established tech vendors because there are several you know truck stop, I'm looking at you that are well-established and have been around for a while, or new up and coming tech vendors, but all really starting to understand that we can add so much more value to the industry together rather than separately and, you know, dictating the way that we need to operate with each other. So I'm seeing the ecosystem, the tech ecosystem, is kind of expanding and being much more open and becoming much more connected, and I think that the TMS vendors are following in suit right. I think you know I said this earlier every TMS has the you know a few things that they do extraordinarily well, but it's very difficult to do everything very well and be able to serve the needs of everybody. So I think the TMSs of the future are going to be more of kind of an operating platform that you know. They're going to have some apps or capabilities that they've designed and they've created themselves, but they're going to give more optionality to their users because, you know, it's not a one size fits all. One financial package is not. You know, that's good for one company might not be best for the other company. So I think we're going to see a lot more of that.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:14:58

The one thing that I am keeping an eye on, and especially being an AI company, is AI regulation. Now, I think a lot of the concern and the regulation that we're seeing around AI is different type of AI than what we do, right, we do machine learning. Machine learning is a branch of AI, but it's not the type of AI regulation or the fear that we're seeing. You know where? You know, using chat GPT to write television scripts or to use chat GPT to do marketing and and the those types of things. I'm keeping a close eye on that to see how it might impact us, but how it's going to impact the industry in general, right, I don't.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:15:40

I'm a firm believer that you know, ai is not going to replace humans. A human using AI is going to replace humans, right? So I think it's something we need to embrace, but we have to be careful about it, right. So you know some of the images, what the Taylor Swift images. You can't tell what's real and what's not anymore. That's you know that's tough and we have to keep an eye on that and govern it carefully. So it'll be interesting to see. I think we're still in the very early phases of adoption of AI. By Gartner's standards. We're in that trough of disillusionment. I think there's been a lot of unfulfilled promises made with AI and technology, so that we're starting to weed out a lot of that. Um, but it'll be really interesting and I think we'll see. We'll see it kind of reach the peak of adoption, probably within five years.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:16:40

Is is kind of where I'm where I'm at. Have you played around with these tools? I imagine you have.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:16:44

Yeah, it's interesting, we, we, we actually call uh, chat GPT, billy the intern. Um, so, uh, we, we do use it. I mean, we use it in, you know, sometimes as we're trying to build user stories for product requirements, right, we know what we need it to do, but how do I quickly write a user story? We'll use ChatGPT for that. We have used it in some of our marketing, like, hey, what would be a, you know a fun but you know intellectual name for this, right? So we use it a lot.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:17:21

I hate, hate, hate when people misuse AI or generative AI in marketing. I feel like I can sniff them out a mile away. Or you know all of the solicitations I get to people that want to sell me fleet management software or, you know, help me with risk in my warehouse, and you know it's like, if you just didn't, I feel like it's lazy selling. So I'm pretty firm with our kind of sales and business development team, I'm like we will not be that company we're not going to sell lazy team. I'm like we will not be that company we're not going to sell lazy. So, yeah, but we do. I mean, we do use it, again, not for marketing purposes, but I guess ideation.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:18:03

It's interesting, though. What I have discovered is that, with ChatGPT specifically, I asked it some question. I don't even remember what I had asked it, but the data is two years old and it's on purpose. So if you wanted, today anyway, I'm sure it will grow and evolve, but if you wanted to use chat gpt as an example to do what we do in predicting freight or even understanding what the recent history has been you, you can't do that, and that's part of the controls they have in place, right, because that data is like two years old. But at least billy, the intern, was honest about it and said I'm sorry, my knowledge ends, you know two years ago, so I can't tell you about 2023.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:18:42

What are some of the dead giveaways that someone used AI to write an email or a social media post?

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:18:51

Well, yeah, I think it's. You know I want to sell you fleet management software. You know I had one recently. You know I think it's great the value that you guys are adding for the video production industry, because our name is green screens, right, and you know, then proceeded to pull out certain messages from marketing that we had done, whether it was on LinkedIn or from our website but calling it out, but saying, you know, I think it's really fantastic what you're doing for the video production industry and it's like so it's the. You can just tell when it's really disconnected, like that it's it's either. This is not relevant for me, and if you would either use better prompts and maybe sometimes they they need which new job? I just recently learned about a prompt engineer.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:19:38

That is an actual job. I was like, wow, okay, new positions being created, so maybe you just need better prompts or maybe you need to do a little bit homework, I don't know. But yeah, I and there's just a certain tone I feel like and I know you can tell chat GPT to write it, you know the tone you want it written in, but I just I don't know. I feel like sometimes there is just a tone and you're like, oh God, yeah, that's, that's AI generated for sure.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:20:06

The overuse of like revolutionary, innovative. I think that those are the two that really stand out to me and anytime we've used it, or if I'm scrolling through social media, I'm like oh yeah, this is clearly. Or if I'm scrolling through, like podcast titles, for example, because we have an AI that syncs with the podcast and suggests titles, and all of them are innovating, world-changing, revolutionary, and I'm like not every episode is going to be like this, yeah exactly, exactly.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:20:41

A couple last questions here. Do you outside of green screens, do you well, actually side question? Because I was thinking that while this pricing is helping with predictive analytics and predictive, or while green screens helps with predictive pricing, I would almost think that it would help, like internal marketing and sales teams too, to know who to target with their messages and why. Is that a safe assumption or not really?

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:21:08

You mean the broker sales and marketing.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:21:09

Yeah, Like the internal broker, sales and marketing teams, could they use that as a way to I don't know secure new carriers in a specific lane or something like that?

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:21:19

Well, look, I mean, there is some data that we are providing to customers today and we'll be kind of productizing more of that, where we will show them. We'll say look, here are your top N lanes where you are buying better than the network, right Than the market. And that would be something that they could then give to their sales team and say go find us more business in these lanes, right In these areas. On the other side of that, here are your bottom end lanes where you're buying worse than the market. Give that to your carrier sales team and say go find us some new carrier relationships here. Give that to your carrier sales team and say go find us some new carrier relationships here.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:21:58

We have also again, I mentioned our capacity on tap offering, which is you know, look, about a year or so ago we got feedback from our customers where they said look, we love your rates, we believe in your rates, but you're only solving half of my problem. No matter how much I believe in your rate, I still need to go find capacity at that rate. What can you do for me? And you know, we kind of looked stepped back and we said you know, could we build a product to do this? Yes, we could, but there are a number of companies in the industry that already do this really well and the one issue that a lot of these companies that we hear from them is they need to aggregate the capacity right. So they need the carriers and the brokers to come to them. So, even if we could build the product, it could take us years to really be able to aggregate a meaningful amount of capacity for our customers.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:22:47

So our decision was then let's aggregate those who are already aggregating capacity. So what we're doing is we're essentially presenting, through our partners like Cargo Chief, like Highway, like Texlocate, like Freight Friend, like Truck Stop, presenting our brokers with capacity that may exist outside of their network that they could then reach out to and communicate with to try to cover the freight right. So that is one way that we did it, but rather than building it ourselves, that's where we chose to partner really well and bring them in. So that's kind of today, some of the tools. And there are some other tools that you know we are giving customers around win rate and margin and things like that. But again, going back to some of the new products that we'll be launching this year, we will have a lot more for sales and marketing teams coming throughout this year. That is really a focus for us is really more on the sales side and improving sales, improving margins, helping even introducing some kind of light CRM type capabilities and doing some more matchmaking and things like that.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:23:58

I love that. As a former freight marketer that, like I said earlier, all I had access to was just exporting emails from the TMS Just sounds like a breath of fresh air to help marketers that are already majority of them are one person teams working in this industry. They need to be able to utilize all the tools at their disposal, but very rarely are they built for their job duties. One last question that I did want to ask because some of your LinkedIn posts I love and it's so much more of a realism like stop DMing me. The second I accept your request. Yes, yes, I imagine there's a handbook that you have that you tell your team. You are absolutely not doing this, because I hate when it happens to me.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:24:45

I do and sometimes they listen to me. I hope that they listen to me, but no, I mean, look I, I, we interviewed a candidate for a sales job and she was really, really proud of the fact that you know, some guy she was trying to get in touch with like kept ghosting her. So then she just put a meeting on his calendar and I was like, oh, yeah, no, you're not going to do that here either. Like you don't, you just don't do that. And she's like, well, he accepted the meeting and then he didn't show up. And I was like, right, exactly, so I don't have a handbook, but they know how I feel about it and I don't want to be that company. Right, it's like you don't want to be the creepy uncle Like, yeah, no, we're not going to be the no, stage three clingers not having it. So but it is funny, that is, you know, we were talking earlier about the, the freight pod, having a life of its own.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:25:38

That post had a life of its own. I did not intend for it to kind of go as viral as it did. And I think, you know, a couple months later I was at Technovations or something and some guy got on the elevator and he's like hi Dawn, uh, you don't know me, but uh, please don't delete me, or what it like. He's like hi Don, you don't know me, but please don't delete me, or whatever. Like he's like I loved your post and again, complete strangers like walking up to me about that, that darn post. It was just a moment of frustration. I thought he was going to apologize to you because he was one who did it.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:26:09

No, he didn't. He didn't, but no, it's just. It was a moment of frustration and I treated LinkedIn like Facebook and it had a life of its own.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:26:20

I think the realism helps a ton on LinkedIn because it's a professional platform, so they say, and so a lot of stuff from other platforms don't really apply there. But when you try it out sometimes it can really just hit a nerve with people in the right way.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:26:39

Well it is. I said earlier about when I think about who we are. Who is Green Screens? It really is the no BS, just GS. That's who I am. I always like to just say just be your authentic self. Right it's, it may not always work, but it's usually. Being your authentic self is usually going to be better than trying to be somebody you're not right. And and that's exactly how I feel about the company no BS, let's just straight shoot. You know, might be a little bit of old school in there, but that's who we are?

Blythe Brumleve: 1:27:12

Do you think that what companies in logistics do a pretty decent or good job at marketing?

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:27:20

Well, uh, you know, truck stop social media team these days. Bravo to you, they are doing a really, really great job. Um, I think highway has done a great job in marketing. Um, tie TMS and a fantastic job with marketing these days. Yeah, and I've just seen so much evolution right in a lot of these companies that we've been working with, you know, for quite a while now and, yeah, there's a lot that are doing a great job with their marketing right now.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:27:52

Well, goodness, dawn, this was a great conversation. I've taken up entirely too much of your time, but it's very appreciated, and I'm sure the audience will feel the same as well, as my post-it note runneth over as far as quotes, I guess it's time to end.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:28:08

Yes, exactly, exactly. This has been a lot of fun. I love it. Thank you for the opportunity. I really appreciate it.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:28:16

Thank you for coming on the show. Where can folks follow you? Sign up for a demo of Green Screens? Whatever you tell us, we'll put it in the show notes to make it easy for folks to find.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:28:26

Yeah, absolutely, my email is dawn at greenscreensai. Pretty easy to remember. You can always follow me or Green Screens on LinkedIn, on all of the social media platforms. We're on X, I think, we're on freight X, we're on Insta, so you can follow us in any of those places and request a demo, or our website, green screensai. Just don't forget the AI, cause you'll be taken to some weird places. So, but yeah, that's how you can find us, or it? Hey, if you're going to capital ideas, t uh, but yeah, that's how you can find us, or it? Hey, if you're going to, uh, capital ideas, tia capital ideas. Next week we'll be at booth 17. We're hosting a happy hour. On Thursday night. I'll be moderating a session with some of our favorite customers uh, mode, global, its and LGI um and then broker carrier summit at the end of April in Kansas city, so come see us there too.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:29:19

Heck, yeah, so this was a great conversation. We'll, we'll put links to all of that in the show notes. But, don, this was awesome. Um, thank you so much for for joining the show again and, uh, we'll, we'll, we'll. Hopefully we'll have you on again in the future.

Dawn Salvucci-Favier: 1:29:33

I'd love to Thanks for having me.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:29:34

Bye will have you on again in the future. I'd love to Thanks for having me Bye. I hope you enjoyed this episode of Everything is Logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight, telling the stories behind how your favorite stuff and people get from point A to B. Subscribe to the show, sign up for our newsletter and follow our socials over at everythingislogisticscom. And in addition to the podcast, I also wanted to let y'all know about another company I operate, and that's Digital Dispatch, where we help you build a better website.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:30:04

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Blythe Brumleve: 1:30:40

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About the Author

Blythe Brumleve
Blythe Brumleve
Creative entrepreneur in freight. Founder of Digital Dispatch and host of Everything is Logistics. Co-Founder at Jax Podcasters Unite. Board member of Transportation Marketing and Sales Association. Freightwaves on-air personality. Annoying Jaguars fan. test

To read more about Blythe, check out her full bio here.