One Year with our Vice President of TechnologyMarch 01 2021
On February 24, 2020, I published this blog welcoming Mark Keller, our new Vice President of Technology. Last week was the first anniversary of his time with Kingsgate and our tech team has achieved so much in the year he’s been working with Kingsgate.
When asked about how Mark hoped to bolster Kingsgate’s growth he said, “in short, it’s my belief we should always stretch our vision and keep our focus on the priorities. I think that will be the best way to meet the challenge to be innovative. I want to work closely with the leadership at Kingsgate, with the technology team and with all of the Kingsgate Family. I think everyone has a stake in the vision.”
After reflecting on a hard year, here’s what Mark said about the past, present and future of Kingsgate’s technology team:
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT THE TECH TEAM HAS HAD SINCE YOU’VE JOINED KINGSGATE? WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
The release of Compass PO and several rounds of feature adds has probably been the most impactful this year. Compass and especially Compass PO has attracted new customers and customers are pleased with the added visibility to their inbound vendor shipments. The value proposition is easily perceived by prospective customers who view it. Close second this past year has been our expanded integration capability by deploying our new cloud-based Managed File Transfer system. This platform gives us much more flexibility for EDI and other integrations with our customers, carriers and other partners.
LOOKING FORWARD, WHAT GOAL DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH IN THE NEXT YEAR? HOW CAN KINGSGATE CONTINUE TO BE CUTTING-EDGE AS IT PERTAINS TO TRANSPORTATION TECHNOLOGY?
We’re starting to work on a “Next Generation” Compass release. In this release, the entire portal will be rebuilt on the latest web application platform. In this release and using this platform, the portal will be more feature-rich, perform better and allow us to scale up better. We’ll also take this opportunity to update and improve the user interface. With the success we’ve had so far, we believe making the Compass Portal better and stronger for the long run will be a good investment. We want to improve internal process by developing and deploying a new and improved Indexing and Billing Workflow automation. This will help keep us lean and will be more scalable as we grow. We’ll also continue to leverage our new integration capabilities and look for opportunities to smooth our business flow with customers and carriers. We’re also focusing on expanding the skills of our technical team and they are excited to be learning and working with new things.
WHAT HAS THE PAST YEAR TAUGHT YOU?
Even as the years pass and many cool things have been done, there are still many opportunities to leverage technology in this industry and in our space to make the business cycle easier and expand our reach. I think the successful formula is to listen intently and stay as close as possible to your customers. Finally, block and tackle every day and make steady progress and continuously deliver value based on customer feedback. In my view, we are making that happen at Kingsgate and the team is structured and motivated to make it happen. As for COVID, purely from the standpoint of the technology team, I think it has made us more efficient. The energy saved from not commuting daily to more concentration-time I think has benefited our team. Using the typical communication technical tools such as instant messaging and video conferencing has enabled us to stay connected and we don’t feel like we’ve lost anything. Yes, it’s hard to completely make up for face-to-face but purely from a production standpoint, I think we’ve actually done better.
We can’t wait to see what else our team comes up with over the next year and so appreciate having Mark as the head of this department!
All the Best,