Unboxing Logistics: An EasyPost Podcast

EasyPost Analytics: Simplifying Supply Chain Visibility With James Sutton - Ep. 20

January 17, 2024 | 37:20

In This Episode

In this episode of Unboxing Logistics, James Sutton announces a new EasyPost solution: EasyPost Analytics. As head of the EasyPost Analytics engineering team, James has seen firsthand how crucial it is for shippers to have full visibility into their supply chain. He shares what EasyPost Analytics can do, who it’s for, and how it sheds light on complex logistics operations.

Why use analytics software?

Businesses that ship products to customers often have an extensive collection of technology: shipping software, TMS, WMS, OMS, ERP … and the list goes on. James explains that the goal of EasyPost Analytics is “to integrate all those systems' data,” giving supply chain professionals a full view of what’s working well and what can be improved. 

“Having the right visibility into performance metrics … can empower operations to be more efficient and save money, but also execute at a high level.”

EasyPost Analytics modules

EasyPost Analytics has several modules, each focusing on a different aspect of shipping and logistics. James and Lori dive into the details of omnichannel operations, warehouse management, and parcel visibility.

While each module can be purchased separately, James says it’s “pretty powerful if you have all of them, because then you have all the data in one place and can tell the whole story.”

What’s the ROI? 

James explains that shippers see two major results when using EasyPost Analytics. “One is cost avoidance. … You don't have to pay for the data analyst to build and maintain the infrastructure to do [analytics] in-house. … Two, by having the right visibility, there are many operational improvements that can save you money."

With these factors combined, most shippers see a 5 to 15 times ROI on their annual subscription. 



Lori Boyer  00:00 

Welcome back to Unboxing Logistics. This is the podcast from EasyPost where we talk about all of the latest trends and interesting things going on in the logistics industry. My name is Lori Boyer, and I am your host as always. And today we are going to be getting on, everyone get out your nerd glasses.

Because we are going to be talking all about data and analytics and introducing a really cool new tool from EasyPost called EasyPost Analytics. It's a really awesome offering that is going to really help change things and be a real game changer for people in the industry. So, because of that, I have invited back for his second round on the show, I'm introducing the one and only James Sutton.

James, can you introduce yourself? 

James Sutton  00:51  

Yeah, hey, thanks for having me back. My name is James Sutton, formerly co-founder and now leading the engineering team at EasyPost Analytics. Happy to talk to you again today. 

Lori Boyer  01:01  

Woohoo! So excited to have you here. What are a couple things that have happened since the last time we saw you?

I believe I heard through the grapevine that your family grew a little. 

James Sutton  01:11  

Yeah, I welcomed my son into the world, second kid. He's now a little over two months old. So I've got two kids around my older daughter is two years old and then younger son is 10, 10 weeks old now. So very busy household, but having a lot of fun.

Lori Boyer  01:26  

I love it. You see how he's throwing out the numbers at us already, you guys? Got the ten weeks, the two months, the two years. So, again, good thing you got those nerd glasses on. We're ready. James, this season, I have been asking all of our guests two questions to get to know them. So, the first one is I want to get to know who James Sutton was in high school. What were you like as a high schooler? 

James Sutton  01:48  

Oh, good question. Let's see my activities and what I was interested in high school, I like started working at Best Buy when I was 16. So that was like sophomore in high school. I started working on weekends and evenings, I got really into technology. Computers and video games kind of at an early age.

I also played baseball for several years in high school. So I have that kind of sports aspect. And then I was in marching band and regular band as well. So I enjoyed playing brass instruments in high school. Always trying to find ways to fill my time with activities. But I think I actually liked working at Best Buy the best of any of the things I did in high school.

Lori Boyer  02:28  

Okay, that's so awesome. First thing, I didn't hear a single whisper about grades. Was that a purposeful elimination, or how did you do academically? Were you the nerd? Were you the skated by?

James Sutton  02:40  

No, I, I got good grades, but I didn't, wasn't that interested in school where I overachieved and had like a 4. 6 and took a bunch of AP classes and, and I feel like now in life, I think back, like, maybe I should have focused on that a little bit more and what, what would have changed.

But at the same time, I like learned a ton about business and technology and, and, and piqued my interest on how to, how businesses work and how I can make money myself at a young age that honestly became invaluable as I moved through my career, just understanding how retail operations work and, and how businesses work I gained different experience than initially in the classroom.

Lori Boyer  03:19  

I love it. I love it so much. I mean, I took the AP classes and got pretty good grades too, but I always think the same, you know, we get older. We're like, maybe I could have studied a little more or something, but I love it. What did you play in baseball? What was your position? 

James Sutton  03:34  

I was a pitcher and so I kind of threw my arm out, but always like infield shortstop or third base was kind of my everyday position.

Lori Boyer  03:42  

Okay, cool. All right, question number two, James. This is a looking forward instead of looking back. If you won the lottery today, how would your life look different? 

James Sutton  03:52  

Good question. I would probably work a little bit less and I'd spend, you know, maybe more times with my kids, more time playing golf more time with family.

Lori Boyer  04:02  

Don't I remember that you like to cook? No, you don't like to cook. 

James Sutton  04:05  

No, I, I do, but I think I would just like have food on demand. Like I'd probably hire a chef if never, if I never had to worry about money. So, I, I think like having, having kids, it should change my perspective of time management. And where I kind of generally try to spend like where I put my time and so I'm definitely pro like hiring services to free up time to do other things. 

Lori Boyer  04:28  

I love that. I love that. I'm gonna talk to my husband about, I'll tell him I spoke to this real like genius high level really accomplished person and they said we should definitely hire out those services. So we'll see if that works. Okay, we are going to talk, I kind of teased it earlier, but we have introduced this really awesome new offering called EP analytics. And it is just, well James is going to tell you everything about what it is and what it does and if you think it's the right kind of thing for you. But before we even get into that, why, James, do you feel like analytics, or maybe you don't, maybe you're like, analytics are lame, I highly doubt that, considering your job role, but why do you think analytics have become such a focus and are so important in the logistics industry today?

James Sutton  05:13  

Yeah, I would say that having the right visibility into performance metrics and what's happening in an operation through the data can empower operations to be more efficient and save money, but also execute at a high level, which is more and more required as customers expectations have changed in the last decade.

It's actually really difficult to do what Amazon is doing by offering two day delivery everywhere. And there's a lot of systems, people, processes, technology involved in order to make that possible. And analytics is kind of the glue that sits on top of all that to inform leaders how things are going and, and find the exceptions they need in order to make, make process changes or technology changes or, or just inform important stakeholders like customers what the impacts of certain decisions are.

Lori Boyer  06:02  

I love that. So I heard visibility being really crucial. In efficiency is a big part of analytics, as you said and then just that overall performance execution, improving through analytics interesting. You kind of mentioned the tech stack and all the technology that's important in there. You know, I was just speaking with somebody recently who shared that the average company has seven to nine at least.

Technologies and whatnot. So there is a little lot of data already out there. How would you feel like, why don't you explain what EP Analytics is and how it would work on top of, or in conjunction with some of these other technologies? 

James Sutton  06:40  

Yeah, so EasyPost Analytics is a platform that sits on top of operational transactional systems that shippers are using today in order to run their business. So a warehouse uses a warehouse management system to receive things and to process orders and to process returns. Large organizations may use an order management system to allocate orders to different facilities based off of different business logic.

Warehouses may use a TMS TMS or or EasyPost or some type of label generation software to buy labels to ship through USPS or your UPS or LTL providers. You know, they, they, there may be inbound management systems. So, and then all of the financials load into some type of ERP of sorts, right? And so there's like a system for every purpose to run a business.

Each one of them may or may not have their own reporting platform built into it. But EasyPost Analytics, the goal is to integrate all those systems' data and call to action the different steps throughout the operational, or a life cycle that need opportunity or just show that you're doing things well.

So there's timestamps throughout every step throughout the, like an order process. And we're monitoring and measuring those, those events to see if things are being done the way that the process is set up to do. 

Lori Boyer  08:01  

Okay. That is a great explanation. I'm going to dig into some of the nitty gritty of some of the different pieces, what your, what that actually looks like, but I'm wondering what inspired kind of the creation of this, this offering. 

James Sutton  08:15  

Yeah. So a few of us were working at different retailers three or four years ago and honestly built some light version of EasyPost Analytics on the client side. And a lot of companies do that today. You've got some type of data team. You've got some type of analytics team. You've got business stakeholders within supply chain functional areas that are like responsible for order management or responsible for the warehouse performance of the financials.

And so they go out and, and that's what I did at a retailer a few years ago. You go and build the right visibility you need in order to like have access to the information you need to make decisions. And we realized that like, why am I spending six months to a year to two years building this internally when this should just be a platform? Because everyone really is trying to measure the same things and understand the same metrics in order to run an operation.

So we went out to achieve building a platform to do just that. And that's what we have now today is EasyPost Analytics. So we have a few functional offerings that help either a warehouse operate successfully from inbound receipts all the way back through the outbound operation, inventory management.

We have omnichannel operations offering that helps complete order management visibility across facilities, including store fulfillment, same day delivery and available to front office inventory. And then we have parcel visibility, which is where our relationship with EasyPost started and is getting a lot of traction across EasyPost customers.

It's just getting better visibility into after you ship it, what the carrier is doing and, and how many of those parcels are open and how many exceptions do you have? What is the delivery performance of your customers? 

Lori Boyer  09:52  

Okay, awesome. So I jotted down some that I'm going to want to jump back to warehouse, omnichannel, parcel visibility.

Before that, even though, I'm wondering, who would the primary target be for this kind of platform? What is it? Who, who, if our, if we have our community out there right now listening in, how would somebody know if this is probably right for them and up their alley? 

James Sutton  10:16  

Yeah, we're, really any shipper. So anyone who is running some type of supply chain operation where there's a DC, 3PL, a mix of those, stores. Anybody who's shipping something that needs the right visibility that from orders of delivery or help running their facility. EasyPost Analytics can be a solution. I would say the more complex, the more important it is to have the right visibility, the right solution like this, and honestly, the more ROI.

So if you have multiple DCs and or a mix of 3PLs, and you're using stores to ship from or to allow your customers to pick up from the more complex, the more ROI you'll see out of a solution like this. 

Lori Boyer  10:57  

Okay, great. And so you mentioned omnichannel right there. So for any of you who are omnichannel, I would love to jump into that first, if you don't mind.

What, what is it that EP Analytics does for omnichannel? What are the analytics that are really crucial for omnichannel operations? 

James Sutton  11:11  

Yeah, so omnichannel operations was our first module that we developed, and it primarily sits on top of the order management system. And we have pre-built integrations with Manhattan Active OMS, which is really best in class.

And one of the leading order management solutions in the cloud today. We also have a pre-built integration with IBM Sterling, which used to be a lot more popular 5, 10 years ago, but a lot of big, big shippers still use today. And what we do is we pull the data from those transactional systems and it goes into a data model that we combine with all the tracking data about those shipments so that retailers and shippers can understand everything in the order management process and manage our facilities for processing SLA. As well as what you're delivering from a delivery SLA to your customers. Also in omnichannel, the concept of inventory can be complicated and available to promise inventory.

So we're helping give visibility into what shippers or retailers are offering on the website after you back out like safety stock and other business rules. And then finally, it's combining with other forecast data and other inputs to understand all the complexities within an omnichannel operation and how volume is coming in compared to that.

Lori Boyer  12:26  

Okay, so James, can you walk me through it? Like, let's pretend I was a fifth grader. We both know that's about where my brain level is, right? Let's say I'm in an omnichannel operation. What you know, pretend that we're going through a scenario. What are some of those challenges I might see and how does it, you know, apply?

James Sutton  12:43  

Yeah. I mean, I think one of the biggest challenges for omnichannel retailers that have stores that are fulfilling orders, it's just managing that store fleet and understanding performance of how each store is doing. And we measure that in terms of fill rates. So how much stores are canceling and, and how much they're shipping out and then process SLA.

So how many of them are processing things on time? And in stores, it's not like a like a DC where you have ended data process things. A lot of times you set these like really aggressive customer targets. Like I order online, I could pick it up at the local Target in an hour or two hours. That means that I like that Target location has to have a picker and go like go find that item and make that available in our two hours.

And we're on the back end determining how many of those orders meet that SLA that you're communicating with the customer. So having the the data at a store level, so you can see, okay, in this district, these stores are doing well, these stores may need some management coaching these stores, you know, are getting a ton of volume.

Is that, is that appropriate? So I think managing a store fleet is a really good example of how using an analytics platform to help drive change management in stores. 

Lori Boyer  13:51  

Yeah, I love that. So you could compare even if you were like you had a store in Seattle versus a store in New York or something and you can be watching and seeing what kind of different trends as well as challenges and put your inventory as well as your efforts and your attention on processes and whatnot.

James Sutton  14:11  

Yeah, I mean, what what's typically happening. Our customers are using it for is there's omnichannel analysts that are reviewing this on a regular basis and and physically calling old stores when they're aging orders or they're having bad performance just to check to see like, hey, like you know, like we, we as a company, you want to deliver the same performance across the country and the same experience.

And so there's just a change management aspect to make sure that you have the right level of communication about expectations across the store base. 

Lori Boyer  14:40  

Yeah, that's great. Change management can be so painful sometimes. So I love being able to throw things into just data. You know, this is what the data is saying. So we need to, to make some changes. So awesome. Okay. If you're going to pick the next element. Of of EP analytics that you want to discuss, what would you come up with next? Warehouse, parcel visibility? 

James Sutton  15:02  

Yeah, let's talk about warehouse. I think we're really excited about some of the new developments we did in warehouse operations this past year.

In particular, what we've we've developed in the labor management space on top of Manhattan Active's offering. So we now have a full module to help warehouses operate effectively and give the right visibility to each functional area in terms of what their backlog is. So like if you're inbound, how many POs do I have coming in?

How many trailers are sitting in the yard? What is my performance? So like picking like how many, how many picks that I had this past hour? What is my average pick rate? And then the cost aspect is, is really generally measured in terms of like UPH. So that's like productivity metrics, which is what we would do within labor management.

So units processed per hour. We now have pre-built reporting throughout inbound, picking, packing, put away replenishment as well as inventory reporting around like space utilization. So we've developed this like kind of whole suite of real-time reports that operators can use in order to run a DC more effectively.

And you know, I, I just don't think that there's actually that many competitors in that space that are doing well. A lot of the, a lot of the other reports you see in a DC are like, just paginated by open orders report. Here's the 500 orders that are open. Not like an analytics environment where you see the metrics you need to know at a high level, and then you can drill into more details. And so that's what we're what we're doing for those customers. 

Lori Boyer  16:33  

So how often is that data updated? Is it something that you check in on each day? Is it something that's real-time updated? How does that work? 

James Sutton  16:40  

Yeah, generally we say it's like every 15 minutes. So we, we have a kind of a streaming pipeline and run, run incremental updates.

And so, it's near real-time enough to for an operation. Like I don't, like DC operations can't make really good decisions on like daily updates. And even sometimes hourly updates aren't good enough. So we try to target 15 minutes or less in terms of how fresh the data is. 

Lori Boyer  17:04 

That's great. I mean, 15 minutes feels pretty fresh. So does it give our customers any sort of notifications or alerts or anything if maybe there's a red flag or something going on that like has really backed up or slowed down? Does it give them general baselines of over time? Like this is what you tend to average and you're seeing above and below that. Is that something that comes with it? 

James Sutton  17:28  

Yeah. So during implementation, we try to set targets, especially in terms of like UPH because every facility can be different depending on the product portfolio. So we set targets and then we can measure against that target. We do have a suite of alerts. That is something we're honestly trying to work on a little bit more this year is build more proactive anomaly detection using, you know, buzzword AI.

That's something that we want to build out this year. But right now we have a suite of alerts that are just like a criteria. If certain criterias are met, then we'll trigger off an email to whoever is concerned. But right now it's, it's mostly giving like the right visibility to the right metrics, to the right stakeholders and letting them run their own business rather than dictating what they do. We just want to give them access to the information in an easy way. 

Lori Boyer  18:15  

Okay, that's super cool. Community out there, you got a little sneak peek right there at James's roadmap. So additional alerts, I think all of that is really critical today where we're so busy that sometimes we might not notice anything's going bad until it actually happens.

So that's really cool that you're working on that. Anything else you want to say about warehouse or should we move on over to parcel visibility? 

James Sutton  18:39  

Now, the last thing I would say about warehouse is we do have some customers that are putting EasyPost Analytics dashboards on TVs throughout the DC so that operators can see their performance in real time, and I think that's a really cool use case.

Most of our customers, especially the omnichannel, are like accessing our computers or their phones. It's very mobile-friendly but seeing it on TVs in the building is, is really cool. 

Lori Boyer  19:01  

Okay. I love that. And I just had to say. In a year, a year from now, everybody listening, come back and talk to me. We should have a little contest or something where we ask customers, what are the cool ways they've been using it?

Because I can totally see, you know, using TVs and having fun labor contests. And different things that you can get going and setting targets and goals. And so that's something I always love to hear from customers is, is what creative ways that they are taking data and using it for their promotions.

So that's a note for me. We're going to try to remember and, and reach out. That's way cool. Okay. Parcel visibility. It's hard to say. Maybe even harder to track sometimes. Tell us what EP Analytics does for parcel visibility. 

James Sutton  19:47  

Yeah, so there's really three things that that we're doing for customers. One is giving access to all the shipment data and near all time across, you know, the 100 plus carriers EasyPost supports in terms of tracking events throughout the ship to deliver life cycle.

So we measure that in terms of delivery performance. So once things are delivered, we are measuring like what those time of transit days are, the business days. And we're really auditing the carrier service based off a destination to to just show performance across the network. And just having that visibility can call to action some things.

I'm like, should I change my logic on the front end, am I shipping the right profile for do have the right business logic in place? So that's one. Two is understanding once something ships but not delivered yet, how many open shipments do I have? Do I have anything that's aging? And, and do I have any that are falling behind or is everything like kind of on the delivery schedule as expected?

Just having that visibility on the shipper side and aggregate is really helpful to understand and facilitate better conversations with your carriers. I think like solutions like Narvar or Aftership have gotten really popular in the last, you know, couple of decades and everyone uses them.

And so the customers, sometimes the customers know more about shipments than an actual shipper does, because you're paying Narvar and the customer knows about it, but the shipper doesn't have the data back. And so we're, we're providing that data back and empowering the shipper. And then the third thing is exceptions.

So there's really four key exceptions that we're, we're currently monitoring for, and we're constantly looking into building more. But cartons that are stuck in pre transit, so like you've created a label but it hasn't had an origin scan yet, if it's aging over a few days, you want to know about it, because it could be like a stuck trailer.

Aging in transit, so this could be like lost shipments just having visibility, anything that's like been in transit for too long and should have delivered but isn't delivered returned to sender and failed. So just having the right data and how often things are happening and be able to like have that back so you can either send that over to customer care and have those customers contacted before they contact you. There's a lot of like cool use cases on how you can leverage it, but it starts with just getting the right visibility into your supply chain. 

Lori Boyer  22:00  

So James does it work across all the types of carriers, whether it's flight, ship, train, you know, truck. Are we seeing the visibility throughout the full cycle?

James Sutton  22:12  

Yeah, so the parcel visibility is currently focused on just parcels. So if you're shipping things LTL or, or truckload we do have more custom products that we can still support your use cases. So just still reach out to us. But the standard offering is just for parcel shipping and it we actually benchmark those different levels against each other. So we put things into standardized segments. If it's next-day air, two-day air, three-day select, ground or, or like an economy ship level. And so that way you can at least like normalize that and see across FedEx, UPS, UPS, across similar like price points, like how well are things performing.

Lori Boyer  22:48  

Okay, I that it's just so important today. It feels like the disruptions in the last. Maybe it's just my mom brain exploding because I think of things with the kids, but with all the geopolitical issues with all the natural disasters with all of the labor disputes, with it just seems like there's often challenges from carrier to carrier.

And so I love that, that visibility piece. So I think that's really cool. Okay, anything else on that before I have some questions that I have curated from our community. But anything else you want to say about that before we jump to those? 

James Sutton  23:28  

No, let's jump to the questions. 

Lori Boyer  23:29  

Okay, let's put James in the hot seat. Okay integration, first question, always the question. Integrations, integrations can be the bane of people's lives, and as we mentioned earlier, most people have a lot of different softwares and systems. So, how easily is it integrated into their current systems? 

James Sutton  23:54  

Yeah, I mean, from from the beginning, our value add has been speed to implementation. And the reason why it's that is because we have these pre-built connectors on top of these popular systems that use standardized schemas across customers.

So since we developed this integration with Manhattan Active products and other popular supply chain softwares, we can implement in weeks and we actually do the work. So instead of, yeah. 

Lori Boyer  24:23  

That's amazing. 

James Sutton  24:24  

And so, and so our goal was to have limited IT involvement. We want to the IT team to own it and to help set up the resources because we like to host in a customer managed Google Cloud projects.

You own your own data. But after the initial configuration set up, we do the rest of the work of setting up the pipelines and integrations on a customer's behalf. And then we support it as well as, as things move forward. And, and that's part of our business model is since we have that experience, we, we, we help own that so that the supply chain team doesn't have to have to worry about it.

For EasyPost customers for parcel visibility, it's really easy. It's really just adding a webhook to their account and, and, and we do the rest. For the other enterprise offerings, like the main channel operations or, or warehouse operations that have more robust integrations with other systems like WMS or OMS that's a little bit more involved. But again, we do the work. 

Lori Boyer  25:19  

So can you get then, James, like parcel visibility as a standalone module? 

James Sutton  25:24  

Yeah, so each one of them you can buy independent from each other. Omnichannel operations includes parcel visibility, so you get that in that package. But you can buy parcel visibility stand-alone. If you want visibility to before you ship it, that's kind of omnichannel operations.

So if you want to help, like, understand what's happening before you ship. That's omnichannel operations. And the warehouse operations is focused on the four walls of a particular facility. So all those can be purchased separately. Pretty powerful if you have all of them, though, because then you have kind of like all the data in one place and and really can tell the whole story.

Lori Boyer  25:56  

Yeah, and they work well together. So shout out to our EasyPost customers. It sounds like parcel visibility, really easy. So you're used to the parcel visibility stuff at EasyPost. If you are an EasyPost customer, we should talk about EP, EP analytics. Okay, next question. Always everyone's favorite question, James. Cost, money. What is the cost of implementing EasyPost Analytics? 

James Sutton  26:21  

For current EasyPost shippers that are already buying labels through API, there's zero cost for implementation. There's just a small monthly fee to help pay for customer support and infrastructure to get the applications and the visibility going.

And that also gives you access to our customer support team which are very knowledgeable about shipping. A lot of our customer success is it's a lot more high touch. So it's not just like, Hey, something's not working, but it's like, Hey, I got this business question. What do you think? We like love those questions.

Cause we come from the industry and we want to help you with your data, not just like give you a dashboard and let you walk away. And then for more robust implementations for WMS or, or OMS we we're generally in like the five to 20,000 range, depending on how much time it's gonna take in order to stand it up. So we have a, a standard fixed fee based off of what applications are, are involved. 

Lori Boyer  27:14  

Okay, awesome. That sounds pretty standard. What about ROI? What can they expect in terms of ROI is, you know, how long is that gonna take? What, what should they hope to see? 

James Sutton  27:25  

Yeah. So ROI is always hard to measure in like analytics applications. Because there's a lot of benefits that, that may come up, like you're going to, you may find something that, that could save you a million dollars, but like, it's not guaranteed that you're going to find something. But we'd like to measure things in two different ways. One is cost avoidance. So by signing up for EasyPost Analytics, you don't have to pay for the data engineer, the data scientist, the data analyst in order to build and maintain the infrastructure to do this in house. So, like by man, by our managed service, you're going to save a lot on headcount and just technology fees of trying to do this yourself. Two, by just having the right visibility, there are many operational improvements that can save you money.

So if you improve your fill rate because you're managing orders more effectively that could, that could be three to five X on ROI if you decrease returns if you decrease your contact center operation because you're handling orders more effectively and canceling those orders and customers don't have to contact you as often, that that has ROI associated with it as well.

So yeah, with the combined cost avoidance, as well as operational improvements, customers typically see a 5 to 15 times ROI on our annual subscription. 

Lori Boyer  28:38  

That's awesome. Love it. Okay, our next question. Somebody had our security nervous people. So how does EP Analytics make sure, you know, security is going on, that they're safe, privacy, data, all of that?

James Sutton  28:53  

Yeah, the first thing is that even from early days, we became SOC 2, TAC 2 compliant and continue to get audited and have our infrastructure set up in a very secure way. We take that seriously. The second thing is that we've rearchitected things in Google Cloud's platform last year, where new customers. Our preferred method is to host it in a customer's managed Google Cloud platform environment with their own projects that we would just have access to.

And by doing that, customers own their own data. So that there's there's more limited concerns as far as security and what's going where. So we do take security very seriously. And I mean, a lot of supply chain transactional data doesn't have PII or anything that's like really high risk, but we still are doing the right things to make sure that our customers are taken care of.

Lori Boyer  29:40  

Great. That's perfect. This question probably was asked with me in mind for people who have maybe fifth-grade mentality like me, what is the learning curve for getting used to EP analytics or if you're getting turnover of employees, what does that look like. How hard is it to learn? 

James Sutton  29:59  

I would say our platform is really robust for people who are analysts in their job and know what to look for in terms of order management data and how to run a supply chain.

People who are good in those functional areas are going to love all the features and all the data they have access to. People who are new to supply chain operations are new to roll. Will probably take a little bit more time to read. Like we do have a public-facing doc site that we launched last year to help with some how to guides of what, what each functional area is, how you should think about those metrics, what they are.

So we did publish a good amount of knowledge out there as far as how we think about using the platform to be a guide for our customers. But for anyone who's new, I would rely on our customer success team. Any new customer, we're going to do a training and we're rounded up with any questions. So we do help with user onboarding for sure.

But anytime, I mean, like supply chains can be complicated. So for any new user there is going to be a little bit of a learning curve to, to know the ins and outs of, of all the data in the platform. 

Lori Boyer  30:59  

Awesome. So that does mean me, bring me then to the customer support element what does come included with it? If you've got me on there, you know, needing to call, can I call every day? What, what does customer support look like? 

James Sutton  31:14  

Yeah. So we do have a dedicated customer support team or a customer success team. And we have an email address that, that we constantly monitor as well as setting up regular calls as needed to help our customers be successful with the platform.

That's something that we've done from the beginning. I think that partnership will continue with any new customers. So it really can be as high touch as, as needed. Typically in the contract, we'll, we'll like say there's a certain number of hours. So five to 10 hours a month or something along those lines to, to help with with, with success.

Lori Boyer  31:45  

Okay, perfect. So we do get an agreement there and you can know how many hours, and make sure you're using them you guys. Take advantage of those. Like James mentioned boy, these customer success people are smart and they're smart at knowing business and not just you know, support in fixing X, Y, or Z. So. 

James Sutton  32:03  

And a shout out to Tom Butt. He was a co-founder with me and is now leading customer success for EasyPost Analytics, as well as the other enterprise offerings at EasyPost. And if you become a customer, you'll, you'll definitely get to know him. He's a great resource. 

Lori Boyer  32:18  

I would sign up just to get to know Tom because he is smart and fun. So you gotta love Tom. All right. Finally, any enhancements, anything we mentioned a little bit about the, the cool notification stuff you're working on for 2024, anything else that you're excited about in the roadmap?

James Sutton  32:34  

Yeah. First, I'm excited that we're officially joining the EasyPost engineering team. And, and and that. Along with that, we're going to have much more resources in order to continue to make the platform better and better serve our customers. Part of that is by leveraging the data science skills of EasyPost and starting to build things like anomaly detection I mentioned earlier, as well as benefiting from some other things on the roadmap, like Smart Tracker, which will be like EasyPost provided estimated delivery dates.

So some carriers don't provide estimated delivery dates, some carriers don't update them very frequently, but we feel like as EasyPost we can do a pretty good job predicting when things are going to deliver and whether they're going to deliver on time or late. And I think that's going to be a benefit to our customers.

Lori Boyer  33:18  

I love it. Shout out to the engineers at EasyPost. My husband's an engineer, not at EasyPost, just an engineer, but boy, they're smart. Boy, some of those, those men and women are some of the smartest, brightest minds that I've seen. So I love that you're there on your team. Any other key takeaways you want to leave us with today? We're out of time, but it has been really interesting to learn more about EasyPost Analytics. And I can't wait to hear more from you. Any final takeaways, James. 

James Sutton  33:46  

No, I would just say this is a great stepping stone evolution of the product. And for EasyPost, I think that just solidifies EasyPost as like one of the best software vendors in the supply chain space and has many offerings that can help customers improve their operations.

And we furthered our relationship with Google this past year. We launched EasyPost Analytics on the Google marketplace. So current Google customers can subscribe to EasyPost Analytics directly through their console and pay for us through the portal and use commit dollars if you've already signed commits with Google.

So just another avenue in order to subscribe to the great analytics that we've been building for supply chain teams. 

Lori Boyer  34:28  

That's awesome. So no brainer. If you're Google, if you use Manhattan, if you're an EasyPost customer, really great connections, you know, that's something you should really be looking into.

So thank you so much, James, for being here. I always love chatting with you. Is there anywhere, you know, if people want to connect to you or reach out, or even if they have questions about EasyPost Analytics, how can they reach us? 

James Sutton  34:51  

Yeah. So sales@EasyPost.com. You can email us, you can fill out the form online. You can reach out directly to me on LinkedIn if you have any questions. You know, I love talking about this stuff and always looking to connect with other supply chain professionals. 

Lori Boyer  35:05  

Awesome. I love following James. He always has super smart things to say on LinkedIn. So thank you everyone for being here.

Shout out to our community. Love you. Glad that you're here, James. Thanks again for being here. 

James Sutton  35:19  

Thanks, Lori. See you later. 

Lori Boyer  35:21  

Alright, everybody, we'll see you next time.