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FreightCaviar Podcast: Mark Riskowitz, VP of Operations at Caraway
Caraway's VP of Operations advocates for broker partners who use technology to enhance efficiency, stressing the shift from traditional email-based methods to more technologically advanced, effective partnerships.
In this episode of the Freight Caviar Podcast, we sat down with Mark Riskowitz, Vice President of Operations at Caraway. From Johannesburg, South Africa, to San Diego, California, Mark lifts the curtain on Caraway’s shipping operations and their experiences selling products at major retailers. Here are a few takeaways from the interview:
Transition to Storefront Sales
We began our conversation by discussing the transition from selling products strictly online to selling in stores, and its success. Mark states that the key is building a foundation on technology. This involves being proactive and carefully planning what systems and infrastructure to build from a tech perspective, as well as working with the right supply chain partners.
Securing Major Retail Partners
When asked how they started selling to big retailers like Target and Nordstrom, he emphasized the importance of curated conversations with retailers, both inbound and outbound, along with marketplaces and partners, as being crucial to success.
Defining the Ideal Broker
When asked about his idea of an ideal broker, Mark describes them as someone who understands the business and conducts thorough research on where they would fit within the company. Most importantly, they should be someone who can identify whether or not there is a problem that needs to be solved in the first place.
Regarding email communication, Mark recalls instances of both poorly and effectively approached emails from freight brokers and other partners. He has encountered situations where there was a disconnect in communication, even with partners they were actively engaging with. On the positive side, he values emails that show the sender has done their homework, pulling relevant information from conversations or case studies. These well-researched, relevant emails, which focus on understanding and building rather than solving an assumed problem, are the ones he responds to and appreciates.
Mark advises against making assumptions about a client's problems. He appreciates partners who listen and understand that Caraway might not currently have a problem to solve but is looking to diversify its carrier mix and explore potential volume increases. He finds it off-putting when partners assume a problem exists when it does not, a common issue in the industry.
Get more insights from the full talk below.