The new president of supply chain visibility provider FourKites says the company’s network of “democratized” shipping information will help add new subscribers beyond its base of large U.S. brands.
Rocky Subramanian, a seasoned tech executive who had previously worked at SAP, Oracle, and Ceridian, was named to his new post leading Chicago-based FourKites this week and will work alongside the firm’s founder and CEO, Mathew Elenjickal.
The expansion will be backed by financial investments in FourKites made during 2022 by parcel giant FedEx Corp. and by Mitsui & Co. Ltd. That relationship was deepened further this week when the Japanese tech and investment firm said that its Mitsui Knowledge Industry Co., Ltd. (MKI) unit would be the exclusive reseller of FourKites’ real-time supply chain visibility solutions in Japan.
FourKites’ expansion plans are not only intended to build market share but also to respond to its customers’ evolving needs. “When Matt started the company [in 2014], there were a lot of assumptions about supply chains, and the industry had fragmentation between different borders, laws, and geopolitical tensions. But a lot of people were trying to solve those problems with stone age tools,” Subramanian said.
Over the past decade, visibility data from FourKites and other providers has become a critical part of greater trends toward supply chain transformation and digitalization. And it has also become a tool to address broader goals. “Visibility used to be just about ‘Tell me where my shipment is.’ But after the pandemic, that’s just table stakes,” Subramanian said. “Now they say ‘What can you tell me so I don’t have any surprises’ like a shortage of goods or a glut of inventory.”
Logistics sector companies are also shifting their business goals in response to global economic turbulence, moving from a growth-at-all-costs stance to a strategy with conservative fiscal spend and a greater focus on profitability, said Subramanian.
Editor's note: This article was revised on April 14 for clarity.