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F3 chat: How to begin your automation journey

Lean Solutions CTO gives data automation strategy tips

(Photo: FreightWaves)

This fireside chat recap is from Day 3 of FreightWaves’ F3 Virtual Experience. 

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: The important role of data in logistics: Creating an unfragmented industry

DETAILS: Alfonso Quijano, the CTO of Lean Solutions, and Mary O’Connell sit down to talk about the most effective way to harness data for process improvement. Automation is king and they discuss where to start.

INTERVIEWER AND SPEAKER: Mary O’Connell, freight broker/3PL expert at FreightWaves, and Alfonso Quijano, CTO of Lean Solutions Group. 

BIO: Quijano is an electronic engineer and technology executive focused on the logistics industry. He has participated in the creation of state-of-the-art technology solutions such as fully automated vehicle access control systems with ALPR. He is a seasoned full-stack software developer knowledgeable in various high- and low-level programming environments, as well as IT project manager and leader of software divisions, taking projects from zero to completion on live production environments in record time. 


“The primary issue is after you have [all of the data] connected, then you have to find a way to harbor that information somewhere. Then we start talking about data warehousing and ETL systems or ways to get the information and extract it from those data warehouses in a consistent and clean fashion. … To a person who has not gone down that road, that can be difficult to start.” 

“Sometimes you have all of this information and it’s hard for the common user to understand. You bring them back a bunch of new data points and key metrics and the solution ends up being more difficult than the actual problem. … It’s all about how we can use all of those data points, connect them and bring those back in a seamless way for the customer.”

“A lot of people will say an automation journey starts with having the right tools and right technology. Well it’s not. It actually starts with knowing what you want to automate and having processes very well defined before you start.”

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Grace Sharkey

Grace is an entrepreneur and former supply chain executive who has held positions in sales, operations, and consulting. She is passionate about the future of the industry and how technology can improve the experience for all supply chain members. She believes supply chain is the one industry that affects every human directly, and is looking forward to creating content that mirrors that sentiment. If you have a story to share, please contact me at [email protected]