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RapidFire: Redwood Logistics

Eric Rempel, the CIO of Redwood Logistics, used the word “orchestrate” during his presentation at the Marketwaves18 conference in Dallas when discussing his company’s solution. It echoes a phrase on the company’s website describing RedwoodConnect: it is a “rule-based orchestration engine behind the scenes allowing you to efficiently chain multiple processes.”

“There is a problem out there and it is that system integrations are complex and risky,” Rempel said. “But what if you didn’t need complex IT support for integration at all? What if you could get all your legacy systems and communications systems so they’re all communicating with each other in real time?”

That is what Redwood Logistics attempts to do. It is a complex system that is hard-pressed to be demonstrated in a seven-minute presentation, a deadline all companies faced on Marketwaves’ Demo Day.

Or as Rempel said during his presentation, RedwoodConnect is “the glue in between those systems” – those systems being the numerous technology solutions that a company in the supply chain might be using, with their capabilities to speak to each other somewhat limited. But Rempel described RedwoodConnect as a “drag and drop” process that allows “your two systems or multiple systems…(to) talk to each other.”

Redwood’s goal, Rempel said, is to take a process of integrating systems that now can take months or at least weeks, “and we are hoping to take this level down to a few days.”

Addressing the other presenters at Demo Day, Rempel said they had “awesome” products but likely had a similar problem. Getting products to interact with each other, depending upon the capabilities of the customer in question, might “have to take a suboptimal route.” And when they do, he said, “your engineers have to stop focusing on your product and your platform and go to integrate those customers.”

“We get your customers onboarded for you quickly,” he said.

RedwoodConnect is not new; Rempel said it has been the company’s platform for five years. What he was demonstrating was the next generation of the program.

The company’s goal remains the same, as Rempel laid out in this scenario. “What if a business could describe its optimal supply chain to logistics experts, and they could listen and actually understand what you want to happen, instead of dealing with offshoring, IT specs and all that complex stuff?” he said.

The RedwoodConnect platform also is designed to provide high-speed data warehousing and cloud analytics, Rempel said. The APIs in the platform are creating “gateways” that are at the same time building an ETL pipeline – Extract, Transform and Load – that takes data out of the information flowing through the platform and putting it into a “data warehouse.”   

With all of that data, Rempel said, customers using the platform “can start becoming data-driven supply chains and more modern organizations.”

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John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.