Paul Noble, Founder & CEO of Verusen.
His passion for entrepreneurship has always shaped my approach for go-to-market strategies and tools, which was the driving force to pursue his dream of launching his own organization to improve the availability of easy to use technology for optimizing the supply chain for materials management.
Connect with Paul on LinkedIn.
What You’ll Learn In This Episode
- Things that are going for Verusen as they have made a home in Technology Square
- The key challenges they are hearing from their customers in the supply chain today
- Their view at Atlanta’s role as Supply Chain City and its impact on the rest of the world
- Company’s expansion and look ahead at 2023
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:04] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX studios in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s time for Atlanta Business Radio, brought to you by on pay. Atlanta’s new standard in payroll. Now, here’s your host.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:25] Lee Kantor here another episode of Atlanta Business Radio, and this is going to be a good one. But before we get started, it’s important to recognize our sponsor on pay. Without them, we couldn’t be sharing these important stories. Today on Atlanta Business Radio, we have Paul Noble with Verusen. Welcome, Paul.
Paul Noble: [00:00:42] Hey, Lee, Great to be back.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:44] Well, I am excited to get caught up. For those who don’t know, tell us a little bit about Verusen. How are you serving folks?
Paul Noble: [00:00:50] Yeah, So we work in the supply chain. We’re supply chain software company, and we focus on materials intelligence. So we help simplify all the complexities that are going on for mostly Fortune 1000 manufacturers and their suppliers so that they can trust that they have what they need, where they need it, when they need it for the perfect balance of capital and risk.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:14] Which sounds like an important job in today’s chaotic times. I guess the timing is perfect for you guys, right?
Paul Noble: [00:01:22] Yeah, it has. It has been over the last 24 to 36 months, quite a quite a roller coaster for our customers and partners and one that we’re excited that we were developing the solution prior to and have been able to do our part to help minimize the chaos as much as possible. And I think that as we continue to look ahead of what’s coming next, 12 to 24 months and beyond, there’s going to be a lot of a lot of new, new things that will be introduced as challenges and and ones that we’re excited to continue to develop and expand and grow to to help alleviate those pressures for the global supply chain.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:11] Now, for the folks who aren’t as kind of deep in the weeds as you guys are, can you share a little bit about when you talk about supply chain, can you just give us kind of a 101 explanation of what that means and and some of the complexity that you’re helping deal with?
Paul Noble: [00:02:30] Yeah. So we focus specifically in the materials space. So these are materials that organizations need to run their operations and make sure that manufacturing facilities and warehouses and things of that nature can function appropriately from an asset perspective as well as, as we’ve talked about before earlier this year, moving into. What does that mean for what do I need to build my product? So every organization is tasked with what do I need to actually build the product, where do I get it from and how do I get it there once I place an order? And so there’s a lot of variables on where you’re sourcing, how you’re sourcing, when you’re sourcing and what availability there is for those materials. What do I inventory? And there’s a lot of analysis and scenarios that need to be run there. And so it’s a challenge from organization to organization on how they wrap their arms around what what’s going on across a global supply chain that kind of goes from start to finish on getting making their products and then delivering to their customers.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:47] And then each organization has a different philosophy when it comes to how am I going to get the next step in this process? Like, am I going to have a warehouse filled with these and then I can use them when I need them? Or am I going to use kind of the transportation and logistics as my warehouse and I’ll just get it right when I need it? And do you help manage through all of that as well?
Paul Noble: [00:04:10] Yeah. Yeah. No, exactly. So there’s there’s always been this, this challenge of how do I keep as little as possible so I don’t have to buy extra warehouse space and inventory more than I need for a longer period of time than I need it or to alleviate risk. Do I boost inventories. And that that happened a lot during the pandemic because it’s been traditionally either or. What we’re trying to allow organizations to accomplish is overcome their system challenges, overcome their process challenges, and overcome the people challenges in and across in and across the organization to make sure that they can invest in what they need to fulfill production and orders and things of that nature and keep assets up and running without the uncertainty of overpaying for it and insurance policy or being left stocked out or with downtime, not producing product. So it’s a pretty challenging problem and one that by wrapping your arms around the data that’s flowing through all of these organizations and understanding it in a simpler and more scalable way, which is what we provide for our customers, helps dramatically be able to pull whatever lever you need at any given time without having to react and be a lot more predictive and proactive in that approach.
Lee Kantor: [00:05:51] And this is kind of a very fragile game of musical chairs, right? Like if if I guess wrong, I could be sitting in a warehouse full of last year’s fashion items that aren’t going to be sold, or if I play in the wrong way and the other direction, I might have all this demand that I can’t fulfill and then I’m out of business from that standpoint. So it’s it’s very fragile, the relationships, but they’re all playing together in order to be successful. And that’s why your technology is is trying to help them be as effective and efficient as possible. Right?
Paul Noble: [00:06:31] Yeah, exactly. I mean, it’s a it’s a it’s a delicate dance between what your what you’re able to control and what your suppliers control and what just the general supply of these materials, whether they’re widgets or raw materials or ingredients for something. One one little hiccup can can throw off an entire product. And I think we’ve seen that with automobiles and and other shortages for key elements that go into products. And so whatever you can do to to find where the bones are buried, so to speak, and be able to surface that intelligence out of the data so you can make more accurate decisions across procurement and operations and finance and reliability and all these folks that are working on different parts of the same problem, the better off you’ll be in terms of eliminating surprises.
Lee Kantor: [00:07:38] Now, is there an opportunity to leverage artificial intelligence in this space to really become more efficient?
Paul Noble: [00:07:47] Yeah, absolutely. That is that is how we do all of this, right? So as we’ve talked about previously and what. We don’t use A.I. or ML or any of the technology buzzwords, just just to say and we’re just to use them. I mean, they’re they enable our ability to and what you’re seeing a lot in supply chain is purpose built software products that can plug in and remove a lot of the uncertainty and heavy lifting of manual processes and start connecting and supporting people so that you can combine, combine the knowledge of the two. And so how we use it is being able to essentially use what they call natural language processing and be able to read things and tell. If I call this material, this my supplier calls it that, their supplier calls it this, but they’re really the same thing or interchangeable with one another because as a whole, people are still naming these things across systems like SAP, and it just gets. Untenable in terms of what data is flowing through, what system. So we essentially can understand that in its natural language and then drive outcomes. So these models work together so that we can drive the business outcomes that people care about and they don’t care that we use AI, but it’s important to how we deliver the business outcomes that matter.
Lee Kantor: [00:09:27] Well, I mean, communication’s difficult, you know, with people that speak the same language in the same office. Imagine how it is across cultures and countries and oceans to all get on the same page. When it comes to saying widget widget a means the same thing across all of those languages and cultures rather than I call it this, you call it that and then you think you have a lot and I don’t think you have any.
Paul Noble: [00:09:55] Right, exactly. No, we we we talk about that with our with our customers and partners that it’s everyone up into this. Up until recently, their solution is like, oh, we need to control the naming and put in rules of how we’re naming different things in an across a system and governance. And certainly that’s important. But we’ve we’ve seen over the past few decades and obviously highlighted over the last few years that that’s not a solution to the problem. It’s just it’s a bandaid, so to speak. So rather you wouldn’t necessarily tell everyone in your organization that you couldn’t say hello, you have to say hi or how whatever their language of greeting someone. So why would you do anything different and tell them you have to name this something in your system or you have to call it this or call it that. When someone’s inherently going to circumvent those rules and call it what they’d like and then make it challenging to understand what’s what, what’s where.
Lee Kantor: [00:11:00] Right. And you’re asking, that’s a big lift for everybody to get on one page rather than let’s just meet everybody where they are and let’s let the technology do the lifting.
Paul Noble: [00:11:12] Yeah, way too much change management in that scenario. And that’s what we’ve seen. And that’s why a big part of why we’re experiencing the problems that we are. It’s lack of trust, lack of uncertainty. And when we when we when it comes down to it, that’s what we provide for our customers and partners is trust that you’ll have what you need for the perfect balance of capital and risk. Now you can execute upon that intelligence.
Lee Kantor: [00:11:40] So that technology you feel is a large part. That’s what’s taking you to this new milestone over 2 billion in manage inventory.
Paul Noble: [00:11:49] Absolutely. Yeah. We keep adding to that and expanding this experience again to now outside of challenges. We are also seeing people shortages, labor shortages. And so what we’re working to do is expand on the experience for our customers where we can pass the baton to a partner to help them execute more effectively where they don’t have enough people to do it in a more traditional way with some of the things that we surface. And so by simplifying this and being able to drive value quickly and in a scalable way. We’ve continued to grow our presence in and across organizations and obviously new organizations and new partners that serve our customers in a different way adjacent. And so we’ve seen a lot of growth in terms of what we’re supporting and managing, and we’re going to continue to see that grow and double over the next year and beyond.
Lee Kantor: [00:12:57] Now, are you still seeing Atlanta playing a vital role as part of this supply chain city? I guess that initiative that we’ve been trying to brand ourselves as.
Paul Noble: [00:13:09] Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s we continue to see more and more organizations look to Atlanta for all of. All of the support from a technology and subject matter expert perspective. A great place to do business. And so we continue to see really great startups emerge in different, different parts of the supply chain, from logistics to. To procurement services and on down the line. And I think we’ve we’ve been meeting recently. I think a story you may have covered Georgia Tech was just granted with the largest grant as a part of the build back better program to invest in AI, in manufacturing projects and research, which I think is solely a testament of the great work that’s being done here in the metro Atlanta area.
Lee Kantor: [00:14:10] Now, how do you view Atlanta regarding this supply chain kind of center of influence that we’re becoming? What are some of the things you wish we had more of?
Paul Noble: [00:14:22] Yeah, well, certainly I know that there’s there is a lot of talent here. We would we would love to continue to see people relocate to the area and become part of the many businesses that use or provide services. I think there’s been a growing, growing opportunity and positive movement in capital that’s available for. Where we were a couple of years ago in terms of getting seed capital and and early stage capital for new technologies and people that want to start businesses that can help solve really big problems. I think those are a couple of things that come to mind right away.
Lee Kantor: [00:15:12] Now, when it comes to talent, is that something that you’re and everybody in this space is just really hungry for that There’s just not as many talented folks as you need right now.
Paul Noble: [00:15:27] Yeah, I think it’s one thing and one thing we look at is, I think, one. The positive of supply chain kind of being in the news is that it’s a more fun problem to work on for very talented engineers and data engineers and data scientists and a lot of folks that could do anything in any sector. Right. I think we’re seeing a lot more individuals say, well, this is this is. Time that I can invest and join a company that can really make a difference in the world. So I think that’s changed and that helps from a what remains a still a very competitive. Talent, environment, people, environment. Even with a lot of the news that you’ve seen in terms of companies downsizing, it’s still pretty competitive when you come down to some of those core technologist types of roles. And I think now it’s going to help the supply chain area to be able to. Recruit and attract that this is a fun. Problem that affects billions of people every day.
Lee Kantor: [00:16:51] But is it something that you’re seeing younger people at an earlier age consider? You know, supply chain logistics. This isn’t your grandfather’s supply chain and logistics. You know, this is a different world now. This isn’t, you know, warehouses. I mean, it has warehouses of forklifts, but those might be run by robots and there might not be a human in the building. So it’s not what it used to be. And maybe there’s kind of a perception that isn’t the reality for young people that are considering this.
Paul Noble: [00:17:21] Yeah, no, I think a great point. Things are shifting, jobs are shifting, but we see a lot more interest. We see a lot more programs that are growing in the supply chain management space as a. There’s a concentration and even majors. Right. And I think that I look back I was having a conversation with Tim Brown at Georgia Tech and I was like, I didn’t even know to go into supply chain when I was entering school and wish I could have. And I think it’s great that there’s a lot more visibility and opportunity for that to be an intentional pursuit for young adult entering undergraduate or graduate programs and entering the workforce, that that’s something they want to do. That can be a great career.
Lee Kantor: [00:18:23] Well, you recently secured your 25 million for a Series B. What is it that you need more of to kind of keep this expansion and growth going? Are you hiring right now? Is there something we could be doing to help you with How can we help you?
Paul Noble: [00:18:40] Yeah. So certainly always looking to connect with great customers and partners and it’s still a pretty uncertain and challenging environment. We’ve been able to continue to grow and serve, serve those customers with that. We are always looking for great people in it, across a lot of different functions, especially in the in the technology function here. And so if you’re interested in some of the things we’ve been talking about here today, whether you’re a practitioner, a technologist, or could potentially remove some angst and uncertainty from your day to day, we’d love to talk to you in any of those capacities. And should be should be a lot of fun moving ahead.
Lee Kantor: [00:19:30] So what’s the website? What’s the best way to get a hold of you or somebody on the team?
Paul Noble: [00:19:35] Yeah, we can. You could always reach out to via the website VeriSign dot com and we’re at VeriSign underscore I on most of the social channels. And then you can always reach out directly to me at all embarrassing dot com.
Lee Kantor: [00:19:53] And that’s VeriSign v e r u. S e cnn.com.
Paul Noble: [00:19:58] Correct.
Lee Kantor: [00:19:59] Well, Paul, thank you so much for sharing your story, doing such important work. And we appreciate you.
Paul Noble: [00:20:05] Thanks, Lee. Always great to be on and I appreciate your support.
Lee Kantor: [00:20:09] All right. This is Lee Kantor. See you all next time on Atlanta Business Radio.
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