Key Findings from Fictiv’s 2023 Manufacturing Report
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Vinny Licata of Fictiv discusses the state of manufacturing and how logistics teams can prepare for the market. He covers key findings from Fictiv’s 2023 State of Manufacturing Report including the engineer talent shortage, AI adoption, and companies prioritizing speed and innovation. Listen to gain insight into manufacturing trends and how logistics enables product development.




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Show Transcript

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Blythe Brumleve: 0:05

Welcome into another episode of Everything Is Logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight. We are proudly presented by SPI Logistics and I am your host, Blythe Brumlevee. Happy to welcome in Vinny Licata. He is the head of logistics over at Fictiv and we're going to be talking about the state of manufacturing and how logistics teams can best prepare for the market. So, Vinny, welcome into the show.

Vinny Licata: 0:28

Thank you very much, glad to be here. Thanks for having me.

Blythe Brumleve: 0:31

I have to say, for being a podcaster, I get PR pitches all the time. All the time, like 20 emails a day from PR companies trying to get on the show, and most of the pitches are not very good, but yours was very good because I just wanted to read it for the audience that's listening, and the PR pitch reads as follows Following a year of economic turmoil, supply chain issues and labor shortages, manufacturing leaders have shifted their priorities. As almost all leaders, 93% are preparing for a serious shortage of skilled engineering talent and more than half 51% are investing in technology solutions to drive productivity gains, while 85% say their company is already adopting AI solutions. Fictiv, the operating systems for custom manufacturing, is releasing its annual state of manufacturing report that outlines findings on the shifting priorities of industry leaders and the 2023 outlook. To me, that is just a 10 out of 10 PR pitch. It comes in with data. It comes in with something that I absolutely need to be covering on the show. So kudos to you and your PR team for coming up with that, because it hooked me right from the beginning.

Vinny Licata: 1:43

Great, yeah, no, we're very excited to talk about it and kind of tell you where we're at with the whole state of manufacturing.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:52

For sure. So, for folks who may not be familiar with you, your background, can you give us a sense of how you got into the world of logistics, because you've been in it for a pretty lengthy time, covering a variety of fascinating industries in my opinion?

Vinny Licata: 2:08

Yeah, so I started out in the semiconductor world. So I've been doing logistics now for almost 25 years. So we were a small company. We were a $1.5 billion semiconductor company. We made wafers in the US and we shipped those wafers to our subcons and our assembly and test sites in Asia. From there we took it. We had distribution centers on our assembly and test facilities, which were Malaysia, philippines and in China, and we had two other distribution centers, another one in China and Hong Kong. And when we got our products back in we took it and we shipped it all around the world. We were shipping about 10,000 varts a day. I kind of stumbled into logistics with this company Back when I was studying. We really didn't have a lot of logistics degrees, so I joined this company. I was able to grow and actually learn logistics hands-on With that many shipments we had. A small group of our departments were small, everything was kind of outsourced. So I was managing a lot of vendors and just, we were global. We were shipping to 46 different countries and we had to do it with as few people as possible. So again, we had technology from our vendors to be able to leverage and be able to have that visibility. We were delivering our products within four business stays worldwide. Fairchild was sold so I joined Diebold Nick Storf and began making ATMs and moving those around the country. I also managed their parts logistics and then from there I moved on to Johnson Controls where I was part of their Sensomatic Division and when Fictiv came to me I was like, wow, this is a very exciting company. They have a lot of things going for them and it's a really exciting value proposition and it's a really good opportunity to be able to help define new product development.

Blythe Brumleve: 4:02

For sure, and I was looking at Fictiv's website because it's a really I mean, it's a very pretty website. I know some people will hear the word pretty and they kind of cringe at it, but I thought it was a really great design. That's probably the better way of putting it instead of just a pretty website. But I thought it really broke down. I thought I had an idea of what Fictiv's does, but the website helps a ton just to help me in the research process of this interview, and so maybe for folks who aren't aware of what Fictiv's does, can you kind of give us that high level view of who they are as a company.

Vinny Licata: 4:35

Yeah, so as you said earlier, right, Fictiv is the operating system for custom manufacturing. We make it faster, easier and more efficient to source our supply mechanical parts. So customers come in and they upload their part design and basically they get quotes in seconds, right, and they can decide whether they want it close by or they can decide if they want it overseas. They're also getting DFM information, which is designed for manufacturing information. So they understand hey, can I manage this part over time? And again, we're trying to reduce this new product development cycle from weeks and months down to days. So we want to free up time for the engineers so they can focus on new product development versus being in procurement.

Blythe Brumleve: 5:20

What kind of products are they?

Vinny Licata: 5:22

So there could be mechanical parts, right? Hey, I've got this design that I need to actually define and see if it'll actually work. So they'll upload their part and then we'll take it. And we have manufacturing partners all over the world or you know, we have a bunch in China, we have a bunch in the US and in India and we'll Look at the part, we'll define how much it'll cost to build it and then send it out to our manufacturing partners who will build it for us. We'll take it back and we've set up different quality specifications with them, make sure it meets our quality and then we'll ship it back to our customers. And again, this happens in days versus months.

Blythe Brumleve: 6:01

So it's a lot of machinery that maybe a part. I was looking at this, this TikTok shop and this guy makes this one small part for the KitchenAid blenders and it prevents the mixer from hitting the equipment or the bowl and it's helped, I guess, sort of extend the shelf life of these KitchenAid blenders with this one little part. Is that kind of like what you guys do with you know, maybe some existing machinery and things like that that maybe there's a little small part that could help out that piece of equipment? Is that kind of like that?

Vinny Licata: 6:35

Yeah, absolutely, it could be small pieces, it could be multiple pieces within a part. It could be, you know, aluminum, it could be steel, it could be plastics right? We do injection molding, we do 3D part printing and also CNC machining, right? So, yeah, it could be one small part that we're manufacturing or it could be a whole set of parts that we're working on and we're actually looking at trying to do, you know, build material type activity.

Blythe Brumleve: 7:01

Oh, that's cool. So I imagine are these fairly large companies that you guys work with, or is it just maybe? Is it also the opportunity is open for like a small mom and pop shop that's right down the road and they have a really good idea and they can upload their design to your platform. Is that also an option?

Vinny Licata: 7:19

Yeah, no, it's the whole gamut, right. It could be one person starting a new product, or it could be, you know, a large corporation that says, hey, I got these specialty parts, I need them fast. Can you produce them for us? So our customers are small and our customers are large. So it really is dependent on you know what they're trying to produce.

Blythe Brumleve: 7:39

And so for you with being head of logistics. What point do you come into the mix is to help them with their shipping processes, with the goods that are being sent around. At what point does your expertise come into play?

Vinny Licata: 7:55

Yeah. So you know, Fictiv started out as a US based company and now they've grown where we're doing a lot of products and manufacturing overseas. So what we need to do is make sure hey, you know, just shipping apart is not just moving a box from here to there you have customs compliance at the export, you have it at origin, you have it at destination. It's not only is it the material flow, it's the paperwork that has to flow, it's the financial flow and it's just working with all the groups to make sure our products can move through that cycle, you know, in as little time as possible. You know our customers some of them, you know time to market, getting that product out as quickly as possible, is extremely important. So we want to make sure the whole logistics process is streamlined, make sure that it doesn't get held up in customs and make sure customers can get their parts as fast as possible. So it's really just making that whole logistics network more robust.

Blythe Brumleve: 8:49

So on the customs side of things, do you typically? What are some reasons of why something would get held up at customs?

Vinny Licata: 8:57

Yeah, so with the, you know you have different tariffs that are coming in from China and hey, all of a sudden, is this going to be a dutyable part or not? Is the classification 100% correct? Do we need to reclassify the parts? So you know, our customers have to provide a lot of information for us. So it could be, hey, the information isn't quite clear and we need to reclassify it, but it could get held up for dutyable reasons as well. So it's understanding what that product is up front, making sure we have the right classification so it can process without any issues or delays.

Blythe Brumleve: 9:29

For sure I mean the least amount of headaches, I imagine as possible in order to keep that flow of goods moving. Now, from you know, there's been a lot in the logistics world I'm sure you guys are experiencing this as well where it's almost like this strong focus used to be on off-shoring, now it's on near-shoring. Is that? How is that affecting you? Is it affecting you guys at all?

Vinny Licata: 9:51

Yeah, I mean, we already have a near-shoring option. But near-shoring is important, right, it needs to be one of those tools that you have, but you still need to be off-shored as well. So I know everybody wants to say, hey, near-shoring is the answer, but it's not. It's just one of the tools that you need so you can stay agile. Because everybody says they want manufacturing in the USA, but when it comes time to purchase something, you're going to be like, wait a second, that costs a little too much. So it's just having that balance and being able to have the options for our customers to say, hey, do you want it here, do you want it there, and what type of time frame, so we can meet that.

Blythe Brumleve: 10:29

And then for because you guys don't just have the offices in the US. I believe you have five different offices globally, correct?

Vinny Licata: 10:38

Yeah, we have offices in the US and India. We actually have a couple offices in India that we support out of, so we're really shipping out of all three regions to our customers.

Blythe Brumleve: 10:50

What is, I guess, maybe some of the major differences between shipping from India versus the US? Are there any big differences?

Vinny Licata: 10:58

So it's all about the labor content and how costly it is for the labor to be able to support your machinery, right? So near-shoring is usually typically more costly for labor, but when you're off-shoring there's more cost for logistics. Right, it costs a lot of money to move a heavyweight product halfway around the world. So it's again trying to find the right balance and technologies right. I mean, we have manufacturing partners in China that are extremely good and they have a really good process for us meeting tight tolerances. So we need that type of technology to be able to support our customers' needs. And hey, it does take a little longer and it may cost more to ship it, but we might have a little less labor in that product.

Blythe Brumleve: 11:45

Yeah. So it's almost like you got to almost like pick your poison, like do you want to wait a little bit longer and pay a little bit less, or do you want it quick and do you, you know, is made in America or made in North America important to you? So it's kind of like it sounds like they have to weigh those pros and cons.

Vinny Licata: 12:00

Absolutely, you know, at the cost and the time as well. That's always key.

Blythe Brumleve: 12:05

For sure. Now I want to get a little bit into some of the key findings, because you guys did release the 2023 State of Manufacturing Report. I believe you surveyed around 250 folks within a logistics, supply chain and manufacturing, and so there were a bunch of key takeaways and I was wondering if you could give us the logistics angle on how you're tackling some of these different takeaway stats. So one of those first takeaway stats is 93% of manufacturing leaders are preparing for a shortage of skilled engineering talent. What's sort of the skinny on that? And then how are you tackling it from maybe a? I don't know if you're tackling that from a logistics angle, but how are you approaching that?

Vinny Licata: 12:48

Yeah, I think you know that whole engineering gap. Right Our product is something that can help with. Right Our company, because we're we can help make sure we get design for manufacturing information faster and easier for our customers. Right, I know there's 51% are investing in technology solutions so they can have productivity gains. Right Our product, we keep trying to make it easier to use, more simple. So if we can make it easier to use and more simple, right, it's not going to take someone a lot of time to, you know, go out there and procure this product. We're trying to make it as easy as possible so they can focus on their real work, not the procurement piece of it.

Blythe Brumleve: 13:31

And when you say your product, you're meaning like they've already have their designs. So take those designs and start getting pricing immediately or very quickly through the Fictiv platform, because I think you can just upload directly the files right to the platform, right?

Vinny Licata: 13:48

Yeah, no, absolutely. It really is a neat process. You come in, you can add that file. It takes a couple seconds to add the file and we can give you pricing information. You know whether it's near short or off short pretty much instantaneous, and it's that type of simplicity and we're giving you direct feedback. To hey, can this be manufacturable? So we're giving you a lot of information very quickly and trying to make it as easy to use as possible to try to help make sure that if you are having a shortage of people, that they're not wasting their time on non-value. Add activity like procurement. Keep it on the new product development side.

Blythe Brumleve: 14:24

Right, because I imagine just being able to directly upload without having to get on a phone and have three meetings with decision makers to see if it's a good fit, and then go through the pricing process. You just kind of leap frog all of that and just get the stuff you need immediately right.

Vinny Licata: 14:39

Correct. Yeah, we're talking seconds. It really is a neat. When I saw it and I was able to do my, I've done my own product builds on it as well.

Blythe Brumleve: 14:48

Oh, that's cool.

Vinny Licata: 14:49

It's really fast.

Blythe Brumleve: 14:50

What kind of products are being built? I know you mentioned machinery, but what kind of machinery is it? Maybe robotics? Is it farm equipment?

Vinny Licata: 14:59

So it could be. You know it could be a small, you know it could be caps. That we're talking about, that we're manufacturing. Oh well, I know the quip toothbrushes. We did a lot of activity for the quip toothbrushes, trying to help them get up and going and building a lot of materials for that. So it all depends, right, it could be small, little parts or it could be larger parts. So we're really we're stretching the gamut. We do have some size, I think I forget how big we go up to, but again, we're making very small parts and we're making very big parts that can go into manufacturing.

Blythe Brumleve: 15:35

For sure, and it sounds so that definitely, I think, opens up the door for a lot of different functionalities, because, when you think about or a lot of different inefficiencies or efficiencies, because, like the quill toothbrush, for example, you probably have to find somebody that you know with the bristles and that somebody for the batteries, for the brush and then the actual compartment that it all holds into. That's like the source for my logistics people who don't, I guess, maybe fully grasp that part of the process. You have to source all of those things first and probably have more than one source for each one of those things in order to develop a product or bring a product to life, correct?

Vinny Licata: 16:15

Correct. Yeah, I mean it takes. If you have a hundred different parts, it could be. You know, those could be coming from 17 different areas and trying to bring them all together at the same time to be manufactured is challenging, right it's? Everybody thinks it's just shipping, but you have to coordinate the pickups, you have to coordinate the deliveries. If something gets held up, you're ready to keep a line from running. So it's just being able to coordinate all of those things and try to make it as smooth as possible. So you know we are trying to get into more of this bill of material so we can consolidate some of that and make it simpler for our own customers.

Blythe Brumleve: 16:54

Are you in freight sales with a book of business looking for a new home? Or perhaps you're a freight agent in need of a better partnership? These are the kinds of conversations we're exploring in our podcast interview series called the freight agent trenches, sponsored by SPI Logistics. Now I can tell you all day that SPI is one of the most successful logistics firms in North America, who helps their agents with back office operations, such as admin, finance, it and sales. But I would much rather you hear it directly from SPI's freight agents themselves. And what better way to do that than by listening to the experienced freight agents tell their stories behind the how and the why they joined SPI? Hit the freight agent link in our show notes to listen to these conversations or, if you're ready to make the jump, visit SPI3PLcom, all right. Next stat that I have from your state of manufacturing report is 85% have plans to or already have adopted AI technologies to help dry productivity and operational efficiency gains. I love talking about AI, so I would love to hear your take on, or the skinny on, this fact.

Vinny Licata: 18:01

Yeah, I mean AI is the is the new word of the of the month, right, I mean you have Nvidia and all these stocks going crazy because of it. You know AI technology is important. Right, you got to be able to learn and be able to adapt. I know our platform takes some technology and we're trying to improve our, our platform to get better pricing, better information to our customers as fast as possible. So it's really trying to use a stream line and become more efficient so we can actually get our products fast for market.

Blythe Brumleve: 18:32

Yeah, for sure, and I would imagine, maybe on you know, is it large language model adoption that these manufacturers are adopting, or is it more like maybe on the marketing side of things? Where do you think that that that movement in AI is happening? Or is it mainly on their own internal processes for manufacturing and maybe securing procurement partners, things like that?

Vinny Licata: 18:55

So we're seeing. You know, if you look at the the findings as well, 97% think it's going to impact product development and manufacturing functions. So you know, the AI will be able to look at your products and maybe be able to refine them better, maybe be able to make adjustments faster than the normal process, but also be able to look at the manufacturing process and figure out what in that process is causing a constraint that can make it easier and more simple to manufacture over a long term. So it's really just you know, fine tuning and making the processes better is where I think AI is going to make a big play.

Blythe Brumleve: 19:31

Yeah, for sure, anytime you can alleviate some of the grunt work that people have to do and especially give them more time to be able to look at things from a higher level view and maybe have that extra pair of eyes. They might be digital eyes, they might, you know, be AI eyes, but at least you have that extra help. I know for me. I'm a you know one essentially a one person marketing team and it has helped me tremendously be able to streamline a lot of my different processes, including with this podcast being able to. One major thing was not having to listen to the podcast and hand transcribe it word by word and pressing pause and play over and over again, and now I can just have software just immediately do it in about 15 minutes. It saves me hours every week.

Vinny Licata: 20:15

Yeah Well, getting getting your product to market as quickly as possible, right? That's what we're trying to do. Look at Tesla right, If they didn't get their EV to market first, right? All of a sudden, you have other players making faster inroads, but they were so fast to market, they're able to own it for a little while. So that's why getting products to market as fast as possible is extremely important for customers, Because once you adopt the product right, you don't always want the knockoff. So that's why we're trying to make sure our platform can provide our our customers that quick response and quick turnaround so they can get their product to market as fast as possible.

Blythe Brumleve: 20:51

No, no. You mentioned earlier about your experience with semiconductors and then obviously with a. I like that all of that sort of intertwines together. But have a side question how do you ship semiconductors? What does that process look like?

Vinny Licata: 21:08

Yes, so you know, the wafers are really where all the money was at. So our wafer shipments would be, you know, a hundred thousand dollars worth and it'd be one little small box. So it was the wafers that were always the problematic piece. The semiconductors are. You know, we put those into reels, are we put them into tubes, and we were shipping maybe ten thousand in a box. Wow, there they were small. We were shipping one. I think that was one point three billion chips a month. So there was a lot of chips that were moving in and out of our, our factory. So they were smaller boxes because the semiconductors are fairly small we did have some larger ones. But moving those boxes it was all pretty much partial but you were moving, you know, thousands of dollars in those small boxes just over A lot of distance is probably one of the.

Blythe Brumleve: 22:01

I don't know if you've ever seen one of those pictures of like a truck, and then the whole entire flat bed is empty, except for one box that securely strapped in. I imagine that that's what the semiconductor shipping looks like.

Vinny Licata: 22:13

Yeah, we were filling a lot of you all these for our vendors, so those are those on the airplane, so we had like two or three of those for location.

Blythe Brumleve: 22:22

Oh, that's cool. What about? I know you mentioned a tm's to. How do you ship a tm's?

Vinny Licata: 22:28

Yeah, those were going on a lot of ltl and ocean shipments, so they were heavy, right they were. They were hard to move around. You didn't want to get damaged, so we did a lot of that on our ltl network.

Blythe Brumleve: 22:38

And I imagine for those things like semiconductors, a tm's like you almost have to have extra security for those type of products, right?

Vinny Licata: 22:47

Yeah, our. So our average selling price for our semiconductors only about nine and a half cents. So we weren't as secure as maybe an intel or an amd. Right, so we're in these. This day and age is qualcomm, but it was. Security was important for us, a tm's as well. Right, the whole security about an a tm. Was that really about installation and keeping the whole software system secure? So that was really where the key part of an a tm was on the installation, not necessarily on the shipping side.

Blythe Brumleve: 23:20

Yeah, so not really like a whole, like government entourage of you know, like the feds securing the video, the vehicle it's more of on the prelim side of things where you make that, the security adjustments.

Vinny Licata: 23:32

Yeah, it was when we went and did the install. We'd have to actually go into a secure network, make sure that the a tm when it was brought up online. That was where the big security was. A was really implemented.

Blythe Brumleve: 23:44

Oh, wow, that's super interesting because I wonder how you keep the integrity of that of the security there once. I imagine once it's already set up and established, then it's pretty like clear sailing after that correct.

Vinny Licata: 23:56

It was just that whole security piece and there was a whole process to make sure that the line was secure and that there was a tunnel that was directly to the banks and be able to get the information they require.

Blythe Brumleve: 24:07

That's cool that. Thank you for placating my my side questions. Next step, next step that we have that is actually related to the state of manufacturing report is 95% of manufacturing leaders are struggling to solve workforce issues. I imagine this kind of ties into what the Fictiv product does well, and that's eliminating the need for the back and forth at the meetings and things like that. Where they have a new product that they want to get pricing on, they can just immediately upload it and get that product pricing. But is there anything else that's missing from this? 95% of manufacturing leaders are struggling to solve workforce issues.

Vinny Licata: 24:43

Yes. So when I was on the other side of the business saying the semiconductor world, right, the logistics departments really are concerned about getting products to the customer. So when you're an engineer in, our engineers used to come to me hey, I need this shipment moved here there. Right, it didn't get quite the visibility that maybe it should have that had I known. Right, that whole new product development cycle is needs to be faster. But you know, the focus of the logistics group is really on the other side of it getting those products to the customers. So what we want to do on our side is try to make it easier for our customers so they don't have to rely on their logistics teams. We want to be able to help bring some value and say let us take your shipment, let us worry about getting it through customs and let us try to deliver to you as easy and seamless and frictionless as possible. So that's how we think we can help with that, you know. Reduction in workforce.

Blythe Brumleve: 25:33

So almost like more on the freight forwarder side of things versus like a traditional freight brokerage. Is that accurate?

Vinny Licata: 25:41

Well, it's really just let us manage this shipment for you, right, and let us put it on our network, and we'll get it to you with little to no issues.

Blythe Brumleve: 25:50

And I'm sure, a lot of these companies. They're just, they're ready to just take that whole list of things to do and give it to someone else that they trust in order to take care of it.

Vinny Licata: 25:59

Right. So that makes you have to make sure you have a good process and that you have a good network that can deliver to your commitments.

Blythe Brumleve: 26:06

And so for you being head of logistics, you know, with all the turmoil that we've experienced over the last few years, how are you making sure that your logistics operation is running as smoothly as possible when all of these things change on a dime, and change dramatically?

Vinny Licata: 26:23

I think it's all about relationships that you have with your vendor. Right? I've always talked partnerships and that's it's just a word. Right? It's how you actually interact with your vendors. Right, you can say, yes, I need a, I can beat on them for price, but that's really not what it's about. Right? It's about trying to find the balance of pricing, quality and also working through issues. We're always going to fail. Right, shipments are going to get delayed. It's how you react and how you can work with your vendors to make sure you can resolve those issues, because we're going to see them, they'll something will happen here. But if it's how they respond and it's how you guys work together to get that solved is really the key. So I'm all about making sure that I have partners I can work with, that can listen to us and make sure that, hey, if we're not doing something as a company, what do we need to do different so we can get this product to our customers without any issue?

Blythe Brumleve: 27:14

Yeah, definitely the proactive approach I feel like is very underrated, but much needed. All right, there's a couple more stats that we have here for you. It says 2023 reveals an 11 point increase from 2022 and companies prioritizing innovation speed as a top priority, signaling a focus on growth. So for a lot of folks, they're terrified that we're going to continue to enter into a recession and that's a whole, I guess, set of questions on the major, like a populist sort of problem that's going on, but from the manufacturing side of things, it actually sounds like there's room for optimism, there's room for growth, because that's what they're planning for. Is that an accurate sort of assessment of that stat?

Vinny Licata: 27:59

Yeah, I mean, manufacturing is not going away. People still need products where we're infatuated with the new gadget or the new item. So I don't think we're going to see any downturn in manufacturing. It's just finding that balance of whether you're going to be near short, offshore, and how can you provide that network that your customers really need.

Blythe Brumleve: 28:20

Okay, and then final question for the state of manufacturing report Are there any stats that you really like, that really stood out to you, that I didn't already mention?

Vinny Licata: 28:31

I think you covered a lot of them. I did mention the 97% expect AI to impact product development, manufacturing functions, but one of the keys is just that the agility of the supply chain is critical. Improving that visibility is a top priority for, basically, whether a company is big, small or medium size, it's just making sure you have visibility and agility.

Blythe Brumleve: 28:56

For sure. I think diversifying and being able to stay agile, I think is the new business norm for a variety of industries and a variety of ways. If you can have those two things, I think that makes you really strongly suited for the future. Now I do have a few questions that I ask on the podcast that are occurring set of questions. So, if you'll placate me here for a little bit, as you did with the ATM and the semiconductor question, we have a few questions that we'd like to target around the attention economy and your favorite apps and things like that. So kind of fun, kind of casual. So first question is what is your favorite SaaS product that's not your own, Like a tool that you use maybe every day, that you couldn't live without? Some people say like Slack, but it's like you can live without Slack.

Vinny Licata: 29:49

Oh, we could not live without Slack. Oh, really, that's a new service that I've been utilizing in the last six months here at FICTED, and I could not live without that right now.

Blythe Brumleve: 29:59

Oh okay, so you're for it, I do a tremendous amount of communication through Slack. That's awesome, okay, okay. So Slack is a for sure one for you. For me, it feels like another social media app that I have to check the notifications, but if your whole organization is in it, then it probably is to everybody's benefit.

Vinny Licata: 30:18

Yes, we are functioning as an organization. It takes a little bit to get used to, but it really is a good product and we've been able to master it to get as much value out of it as we can.

Blythe Brumleve: 30:31

Now I typically like to ask people like do you have a favorite logistics or supply chain factoid? You've worked in logistics for a while in a bunch of different cool industries. Do you have a favorite logistics fact?

Vinny Licata: 30:48

You know just that at any one point in time. You know, when I was in the semiconductor world, we were managing 10,000 shipments in the air at any one point in time, which was a lot of product for basically an organization that was a size of about 40. Wow.

Blythe Brumleve: 31:04

Holy crap. Yeah, that's a lot of management, that's a lot of visibility needed for a lot of those products.

Vinny Licata: 31:14

We just had a network, a partnership in the product. You know if you can execute right. Logistics is kind of an unknown or unseen right. You're only seen when you fail Right and unfortunately there's nobody to come in and make up for our failure right From the logistics world. You can make up for manufacturing failures, you can make up for planning failures, but there's nobody to come in and save you in the logistics world. So it's being able to manage all of those and and be able to do with as few people as possible. That, I think, is interesting.

Blythe Brumleve: 31:48

I typically will compare logistics to the CIA, because you really only know what the CIA does if there is a failure.

Vinny Licata: 31:56

Yeah, we had a person that says well, you're just shipping a box, how hard can it be? And again, if they just don't realize all that goes into moving something across the border, it's like, let's see you try it.

Blythe Brumleve: 32:09

That's why you pay us. All right, and last fun question what's your favorite social media platform and why?

Vinny Licata: 32:20

I think Instagram, because I get to see my niece right. She lives in a different state and we're constantly where is she, what's she up to. Because her mom really does a great job of getting them well, niece and nephew, getting them both on to social media so we're able to see them grow through Instagram. So it's a positive thing for us.

Blythe Brumleve: 32:45

That's awesome. That's a good reason to keep social media, because a lot of people answer that question like, oh, I can't stand social media, but that's a very good reason to have it.

Vinny Licata: 32:55

Yeah, and I'm not on some of those other platforms, so I keep it. I have a hard enough time keeping up with social media. It's just, it's challenging, right it's?

Blythe Brumleve: 33:05

a part-time job. It really is.

Vinny Licata: 33:07

Yeah, for sure.

Blythe Brumleve: 33:09

All right, vinnie. Well, as we kind of round out the interview, is there anything that you feel is important to mention of the Fictiv brand that we haven't already talked about, or anything coming down the pipeline that we should expect?

Vinny Licata: 33:24

Just you know, having agility in the supply chain is something that's critically important, and being able to have partners that are, you know, have that options to be near short, off short, and just be able to give you the flexibility you need as a customer something that Fictiv can provide and help free up some of the time of the engineer so they can focus on their new product development.

Blythe Brumleve: 33:46

Yes, keep the engineers from booking unnecessary meetings. Just go right to the Fictiv website and do an upload. That sounds super simple and I don't know why other companies haven't done that before, so that was really fun to learn. Thank you so much for sharing your insight. Work and folks follow more of your work. Get linked up with Fictiv. We'll obviously add some links in the show notes to the state of manufacturing report and also to Fictiv. Any other social platforms that you want to highlight that you're not active on?

Vinny Licata: 34:18

I don't have anything else.

Blythe Brumleve: 34:20

Well, we will make sure that we link to the Fictiv platforms so, for anybody who's interested in that, you can also download the report or follow Fictiv. They have a really great YouTube channel, so I highly suggest that and I'll make sure I link to it in the show notes. But, vinny, thank you so much. This was awesome to learn about Fascinating discussion and we appreciate your time.

Vinny Licata: 34:39

No, I appreciate Thanks for having me Absolutely.

Blythe Brumleve: 34:46

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 you all know about another company I operate, and that's Digital Dispatch, where we help you build a better website. Now, a lot of the times, we hand this task of building a new website or refreshing a current one off to a co-worker's child, a neighbor down the street or a stranger around the world, where you probably spend more time explaining the freight industry than it takes to actually build the dang website. Well, that doesn't happen at Digital Dispatch. We've been building online since 2009, but we're also early adopters of AI, automation and other website tactics that help your company to be a central place to pull in all of your social media posts, recruit new employees and give potential customers a glimpse into how you operate your business. Our new website builds start as low as $1,500, along with ongoing website management, maintenance and updates starting at $90 a month, plus some bonus, freight marketing and sales content similar to what you hear on the podcast. You can watch a quick explainer video over on DigitalDispatchio. Just check out the pricing page once you arrive and you can see how we can build your digital ecosystem on a strong foundation. Until then, I hope you enjoyed this episode. I'll see you all real soon and go Jags.

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.