ExpediteNow sits down with Simon Bunegar to inquire about how up-and-coming CX North America is changing the technology game in expedite.
EN: Simon, tell us a little bit about your background.
SB: I started out doing research in AI and speech recognition systems. That turned into 10 years as a hardcore tech-head building specialised satcombased networks in some rather volatile parts of the world. Since then I’ve been involved pretty much non-stop in the B2B technology space for the transport and customer service sectors, no less challenging but less need for bodyguards or obscure vaccinations!
EN: What is your favorite type of music right now?
SB: Tricky question that one as my tastes are pretty broad but probably either some early Blues or some obscure alternative rock bands from the 1990’s and 2000’s.
EN: What are some changes you are seeing in the transportation industry over the last several years?
SB: The rate of change of the business landscape is faster than ever. There’s always been change but over the last few years a ‘Perfect Storm’ has developed that’s squeezing established industry players between ever increasing customer expectations and tightening margins.
In the past a successful transport company often sat within a network of shippers, brokers, carriers and independent contractors that may have changed little in years. These networks were stable and based on personal knowledge and trust. Nowadays the threat (and opportunity) of the so called ‘gig economy’ is driving professionals towards needing different and faster ways of collaborating safely and easily together. CX North America is beginning to make their name in expedite trucking!
EN: How can you help drivers and motor carriers to make this industry more effective?
SB: Far too often technology companies promise huge rewards if you’ll just work their way. The expedite trucking industry in North America is a very well established and highly professional industry. Its members don’t need telling how to do their job or what business processes to change. They just need better tools to communicate, collaborate and compete more effectively.
We know we can help. We’ve spent the last 17 years helping transport companies keep their word. Our solutions all start with giving better visibility whether it’s of loads, vehicles, documentation or performance. We then give companies and drivers the ability to choose who, when and how they communicate that to. Border crossing hold-up? Capacity needs? Electronic PODs? Future availability? Pickup or drop-off update? All done simply and safely from one of our apps or any desktop computer.
EN: What would you consider to be the “secret sauce” or the most important thing about what CX North America can offer?
SB: Well that’s a secret! Ok, seriously, there’s a couple of things actually. Firstly we don’t think our users should be penalised for being busy, there’s no usage based ‘tax’ on deploying our services. Wherever we operate around the world we offer flat rate services so the more we’re used the better value it is, margins are tight enough as it is without someone else trying to take a cut.
Secondly we don’t have any conflict of interests, we are not a telematics manufacturer, TMS software vendor, carrier or broker so we’re happy to work with those who are in an open and fair manner. We’ve put our considerable R&D budget into integrating easily and safely with others rather than try and reinvent the wheel as it were. Drivers and carriers using CX North America should expect us to make it easier, not harder, to work with the many systems and partners that they need to on a daily basis. Take tracking for example. We’re already fully integrated with over a dozen major vendors and users can also take advantage of our own mobile app based GPS services… all visible on the same screen in a single simple view. What are some of the top challenges you believe this industry will face in the coming years? The industry is being squeezed from both sides. On the one hand customers, driven by their experiences in the consumer space, are being more demanding than ever. If they can get 20 minute delivery windows, on a Sunday morning, with real-time updates to their smartphone, of that recent online purchase then their unlikely to accept much less when they get to work. On the other hand the giants like Uber and Amazon will only get more disruptive to the industry. Whether it’s shifting the burden of investment in infrastructure onto the transport sector or bypassing the need for drivers entirely with drones and driverless technologies, this industry will have to increasingly adapt and adopt some of the technologies behind the gig economy in order to survive. The firms that succeed will be those who use these new collaboration and communication technologies to better do what they are already good at. You will be exhibiting at the Expedite Expo this coming July for the very first time.
EN: What are you most looking forward to about the show?
SB: Actually we’re not even going to be exhibiting in the usual sense, we’re not going to bring the usual big stand etc. Rather we’ll be just setting aside a comfortable space where folk can sit down and talk to us or just each other. We look forward to simply being able to talk and network with true industry professionals. Listen, learn and hopefully help a little too!
EN: What will be your primary objective, and/ or message at the show this Summer?
SB: We may be relatively new to North America but we’re well established worldwide with thousands of companies relying on us every day to help them keep their word. Our objective is pretty simple, to help expedite trucking professionals get better collaboration, communication and control.
EN: Is there anything else you would like to make sure our readers know about Simon Bunegar or CX North America?
SB: For me personally, despite visiting 66 countries (so far) around the world, it’ll be my first time in Kentucky so I’m really looking forward to that. As far as CX North America is concerned we’re a friendly bunch, come over and say “Hi” and we’ll be happy to see if we can work together.