Navigating the Supply Chain Amidst a Global Pandemic

By Whitney King Published on Aug. 07, 2020

During Northwest Arkansas’ Batch 2 Summit, Plug and Play’s Christine Pummill, and Bennett Mayrock of StrongArm Tech sat down to talk about how startups in the supply chain industry can navigate the changed created by COVID-19. 

Since the pandemic, there has been a real focus on supply chain and logistics. Bennett Mayrock says startups should embrace the shift in focus and think about how your company can help. Based in Brooklyn, New York, StrongArm Tech focuses on safety technology, and while they were focused on things like personal injuries, their technology did have the capacity to focus on safety-related areas surrounding pandemic. 

Mayrock credits this innovative way of thinking to interactions he experienced before COVID-19. “Even if you aren’t a great fit for a company today, having those conversations can lead to future correspondence. Your company can shift gears in the future, and you may be more compatible with brands you are not compatible with now,” said Mayrock. 

How to Keep up with Your Sales Strategy During A Market Shift

  1. Keep/develop your anchor clients with whom you can be honest. 

  2. Reach out to your corporate clients- ask about the severity of situations.

  3. Ask yourself if your product can help address some of the issues in the market.

Being successful with corporate clients and navigating their next steps can be complicated, but there are steps you can take to connect with corporate clients.

  1. Know your company’s value.

  2. Follow up quickly.

  3. Let them know what you have done for other companies.

  4. Take advantage of the Plug and Play team for direction.

  5. Offer your value prop. (What makes you different from everyone else.)

  6. Have your S.M.A.R.T. goals lines up.

Tips for Working with Clients during the Pandemic

  1. Make sure you are a good fit for a client by listening to what they want and need.

  2. Make a connection with relevant clients during your pitch that will last. 

  3. When you experience a substantial amount of friction with a client, make sure to re-evaluate your plans and make sure they align with your mission and client. 

  4. Corporates do not want to waste their time, and neither do you. Make sure you are clear about what their next steps are on selection day and see if it makes sense for your company. 

  5. If your goals do not align now, keep clients relevant because you may work together in the future if your direction changed. 

  6. Have tactical conversations at the end of your pitch and get contact information corporate or even the audience. 

Lastly, Mayrock has some advice for startups who are considering joining Plug and Play’s N.W. Arkansas program. “It clicked with me, right upon landing, this is a place where business gets done,” said Mayrock. Aside from the outdoor activities, museums and interesting things to do, “after selection day, we walked down the street in Bentonville, and we ran into six people who we had met or who were relevant to our business or who pulled us aside, it was pretty incredible” Mayrock mentioned.

Using these tips can better prepare startups for their corporate interactions and pitches. Using resources available through Plug and Play, can help you navigate the corporate hoops. Remember to make real connections, and as Bennett Mayrock said, “Just lean into it!.”