The Smartwyre CEO was featured in a recent Q&A with The Scoop. Read the entire interview below and find the original article here.
For the past four years, John Brubaker has led software company Smartwyre to exclusively serve Ag retail, distribution and manufacturers. The CEO says the simple goal is to connect the businesses with the information they need.
What is your footprint today?
In terms of connections, we connect to 90% of the market on the manufacturer to distributor level. And we connect to about half of the ag retail side of the business, which continues to grow.
What problem does your technology solve?
We help manage the commercial complexity between retailers, distributors, and manufacturers regarding critical business information: product prices, product information, incentive programs, and POS/EDI data transactions. For example, on an annual basis, retailers are eligible to earn against 600 different rebate incentives. We help securely share the information for them to operate their business in light of those complexities and volumes. We have built a platform that can calculate 100% of the seed and chemical rebate programs in the market. We believe we are first to the market with an industry wide rebate network between manufacturers, distributors and retailers.
What is to be gained?
It’s one of the tensions in this business—how important the rebate structure is to retailers. And Smartwyre provides real savings in the human costs to fulfilling spreadsheets and net sheets. It’s about providing a higher quality of work for team members by digitizing, tracking, and publishing information for what previously were manual tasks. It’s about enhancing the workflow to simplify complexities and get more value by accessing the data directly. We’re solving this problem—the major administrative headache–but doing it in a way that is secure and protects a retailer’s information by maintaining chain of custody and preserving their ownership of their business data.
Why is this complexity built in the market?
The challenge for the retailer on the “what happened” side of the data is that everyone upstream who needs to pay them money at season-end wants something different. Suppliers use different service providers to collect that transactional data, which creates a black box. We mapped the process as it should work for the retailer and built software to support that process. Data needs to be shared, but in a way that creates security for the retailer. It can help generate quality business data that is usable by the retailer, not just the manufacturer’s rebate processing outsourcer.
What’s the future?
I believe we are witnessing the beginning of an era of connected Ag commerce. One advantage we have in agriculture is that we can use some of the lessons from other industries and be even more efficient in how we create digital connections in the business-to-business space. We’re excited to be one of the companies helping the US industry drive business performance with new digital tools.