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Episode 271: Introducing Robotics as a Service with Kristen Moore of InVia

Episode Summary

During this episode of Tech Qualified, Tristan Pelligrino and Justin Brown chat with Kristen Moore, Chief Marketing Officer at InVia Robotics. The interview focuses on past work experience and how she’s applied a lot of lessons learned to her current role with a “robotics-as-a-service” startup. She also takes a deeper dive into her marketing strategy and how she’s focused on collaborating with the sales team.

Episode Highlights

  • Kristen started her professional career in telecom, working for companies like Lucent Technologies and AT&T, before transitioning to other tech companies.
  • Later on, she moved to digital media and other internet-related companies and software as service e-commerce companies.
  • She mentions that throughout her career, she has always been interested in new technology and figuring out how to bring that to market.
  • She discusses her roles as a contributor, in areas such as advertising, business development and even PR, which helped her figure out the right combination of marketing and how to make marketing more powerful overall.
  • Searching for creativity in her role and new technologies brought her to InVia Robotics.
  • InVia Robotics provides a mobile automation solution to e-commerce companies and helps them become more efficient.
  • InVia also helps e-commerce companies to fulfill their orders.
  • Kristen discusses the antiquated processes (at the warehouse) that are often in place for many e-commerce companies.
  • Figuring out how to implement a technical and complicated solution and determining how to select the right solution is the main challenge InVia has dealt with along the way.
  • Kristen mentioned that e-commerce has become very popular and the whole shopping process is frictionless, but a buyer doesn’t have knowledge that it creates a lot of pressure on the vendors. 
  • The ideal customer for InVia is any customer that’s selling products online, but not on Amazon, and needs help to be more efficient so that buyers get the right product to the right people quickly.
  • She talks about how a common theme in her career is tackling technologies that are new and that often don’t have a precedent in place within the market.
  • The customer’s journey of an organization is quite different from other technologies – a lot of the journey involves helping people understand automation and the importance of the new world.
  • InVia Robotics has established a mobile and agile solution that is different from traditional automation which was very fixed and rigid.
  • InVia has been in the Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, and CNBC.
  • Instead of going out and selling equipment, InVia sells robotics as a service, which is quite different from how other solutions are sold to the same types of customers. 
  • She states that trusting your team is helpful in understanding goals and will help you find a solution.
  • She mentions that she has a virtual team and tools like Slack and Zoom are used for seamless team communication.

Key Points

  • Kristen talked about her role in the organization and how she gathered research early on, “We asked customers questions about how they felt about their current system. What were the things that they thought were challenges for them?”
  • While talking about sales and new initiatives, she mentioned that “this year is really focusing on the sales support materials, effectively communicating what we do and the value that we add.”
  • With regards to working in a startup, Kristen states “I mean, you have to just sort of loosen the reins and let those failures happen and learn from them and let everybody else learn from them too.”

Resources

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