Platform Science lands former Walmart EVP of logistics

The Platform Science team based in San Diego. (Photo: Platform Science)

Platform Science, a pioneer of integrated hardware and software solutions for commercial vehicles, announces the appointment of Chris Sultemeier as chairman of the board. Sultemeier formerly served as the executive vice president of logistics and president and CEO of Walmart Transportation, LLC, where he spent nearly three decades in various roles at both Walmart and Sam’s Club.

“We are thrilled to have Chris aboard,” Jack Kennedy, CEO of Platform Science, tells FreightWaves. “His insights as both a major customer of carrier services, and operator of a significantly sized fleet provide us a unique advantage, when it comes to anticipating the needs of our end users. Be they drivers, or consumers of transportation data.”

“We consider ourselves extremely fortunate to add Chris to our team,” said Kennedy. “His experience running one the largest logistics operations in the world provides unmatched insight for our team, particularly as we expand our product and customer support organizations to meet the needs of enterprises. There is no substitute for experience when matching great technology against the challenges of highly complex industries.”

At Walmart, Sultemeier was responsible for all distribution centers and fulfillment centers as well as all domestic and global ocean transportation functions. Walmart Logistics represents over 100,000 U.S. associates, 200 facilities, 7,500 Trucks, 8,500 drivers, and 55,000 trailers that cover over 1.4 billion road miles annually and is continually recognized as the United States’ premier retail logistics organization while the Walmart Private Fleet is often recognized as the best in the industry. Sultemeier retired from Walmart in April 2017 and is currently an instructor in the MIT Masters in Transportation and Supply Chain program.

“I’ve had the good fortune to be both an operator of one of the largest logistics organizations in the world, and a consumer the services of the largest fleets in the United States. Through these experiences, it has become evident that telematics solutions must provide safety, productivity, and an ever-growing list of complex compliance requirements, perfectly,” said Sultemeier.

“More importantly, they need to do so while also connecting vehicle, driver, and freight-related data to the enterprise, supply chain participants, and software providers need that data to innovate and continue to drive cost and time out of logistics and transportation operations. Platform Science uniquely addresses these exact needs, and it would have proven extremely valuable to have deployed their solution when I was at Walmart.”

As FreightWaves observed after the Pilot Flying J trial in early February, the majority of carriers are small, though there are big regional and national players, especially as consolidation entered a new phase last year with the Knight-Swift mega-merger. Due to trucking’s fragmentation, the adoption of new technologies and the distribution of technological resources, including computing hardware, software licenses, and data professionals, has been very uneven.

“Data is the new oil,” as the mantra goes. And the uneven distribution of data expertise in trucking has translated to a corresponding uneven distribution of power. While blockchain offers many solutions along the complexities of the supply chain, often the real answers in the short and mid-term, lie with IoT partnerships. Some companies have technology, but either haven’t fully (or correctly) applied or integrated the data. Also, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach for carriers.

Enter, Platform Science. Founded in 2014, the company replaces legacy telematics solutions with a revolutionary IoT ecosystem designed to unlock the value of disconnected data streams throughout the transportation and logistics industry.

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Chad Prevost

Chad is radio host and broadcast media specialist for FreightWaves.