Mark Nix, Founder and CEO of Cloud Logistics, has been in the logistics software industry since graduating from The University of Tennessee in 1984, when the first TMS ran on a PC with basic rate comparison functionality.
After spending more than three decades in the logistics software industry, Mark decided that it was the time to eliminate the top 24 areas that clients despise about the existing TMS solutions and their expensive deployment models. The only way Mark felt like you could change the industry back in 2012 was to start with a clean slate and a modern true cloud architecture while including mobile and social technologies to modernize the user experience.
Resilient, Perseverant and Unstoppable
Cloud Logistics being the 4th startup that Mark has worked with, he made sure to apply all the lessons he learned from his previous experiences with regards to people, process, solutions and funding. Mark has learned that as a leader, he must maintain his enthusiasm through all of the daily occurrences while sticking to the overall mission, because he thinks that with the incredible highs one will also encounter occasional setbacks within the startup environment. Mark further shares, “Lots of software companies can get distracted by chasing the shiny object (otherwise known as the one big deal that requires all sorts of customization which takes you off your ultimate objective) and we have had a few of those opportunities each year that we passed on.” “While being able to pivot and adapt to changing markets is important, it’s more important to understand the market and not lose focus on the big picture and the end goal,” he adds.
According to Mark, Resilience, Perseverance, and an Unstoppable work ethic are critical when starting a company from scratch. Also, surrounding yourself with very talented people who share the same convictions becomes very important. Marks understands that one cannot get there by himself, “So, once you find the right people with similar passion you have to quickly train them and delegate responsibility, then do everything you can to encourage and motivate them for the growth of themselves and the company,” he asserts.
Cloud Logistics: Infinite Innovation
With the mission to simplify the user experience so that clients can deploy the solutions in days rather than over several months/years and the users can learn the system in hours vs weeks, Mark founded Cloud Logistics which delivers “the fastest route to value” with their industry leading Transportation Management System (TMS Made Easy).
Cloud Logistics is a Global Transportation Management software company, providing cloud based solutions which help the clients to manage their end to end supply chain. Cloud Logistics offers the industry’s most modern TMS, by combining cloud, mobile and social technologies, their TMS enables rapid success with sure-fire ROI.
Their software solutions include Transportation Planning and Execution, mode selection, carrier selection, rating, match-pay/auditing, reporting, dashboards, Google Map visibility, alerts, instant messaging, POD signature capture, pickup and delivery appointment scheduling, claims photo capture with forms attachment, vendor/carrier/customer portals, dozens of API connections to 3rd party systems, and our own EDI broker for carrier and customer integration.
Cloud Logistics provides industry-specific capabilities to 3PL/Broker industries, Retail industries, Wholesale industries, Agricultural, and Manufacturing industries to satisfy the most demanding transportation networks.
Innovation in Solutions
As an Innovative leader, Mark believes in creating something new, something for which people may assume, is risky and potentially expensive. Swimming upstream to deliver solutions that clients may not even expect, Mark introduced “TMS in your pocket” in 2012 so that shippers and carriers could manage their operations while boarding a plane if necessary as an example.
Cloud Logistics also offers Logistics Activity Stream, which is an instant messaging tool that facilitates the communications which makes up 80% of the activities in the logistics department while TMS in your Pocket updates status messages and POD signatures to each order or shipment in real time.
Because of the innovation in the solutions, the clients need no extra training to operate the Cloud Logistics’ solutions as many learn to use the system in 2-4 hours because of its unique intuitive UI and configurable design. Existing technologies from the past require 1-3 weeks of 40 hours training to use the system which is why many companies only utilize 10-20% of competitive solutions which cuts their ROI in half.
Lessons from Mark
Mark and his team reinvest every day in designing and developing the next generation solutions to enhance the user experience while continuing to deliver improved ROI. Mark believes that, customer experience, innovation, and return on investment are the 3 key elements to stay way ahead of the competition. They always try to do whatever it takes to make the customer happy and successful as their projects and corporate environments are always unique. “If we take great care of our clients then they will stay with us indefinitely and we will continue to receive a lot of inbound prospect leads via word of mouth,” adds Mark.
To all the aspiring business people, Mark encourages them to dream big, set their goals high, and create a plan to accomplish those goals while never giving in to the headwinds you will face each and every day from the business climate, competitors, and potential venture capitalists.