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Technology and Innovation in the Warehousing Industry With Abigail Power

Updated: May 31, 2023


Abigail Power

Abigail Power is a third-generation Sales and Marketing Manager at Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group (SPWG), a family-owned warehousing and logistics company primarily focusing on food storage and distribution on the West Coast. SPWG provides supply chain logistics services, third-party warehousing, custom packaging solutions, and D2C fulfillment solutions. Abigail has a BA from UC Berkeley and now lives in Modesto, California, with her husband and rescue dog.



Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Abigail Power's experience attending ProMat and what she learned

  • How Abigail and Mark Hiddleson collaborated on a D2C fulfillment program

  • The challenges Abigail and her company faced when the pandemic hit

  • How Abigail's work roles have evolved at Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group

  • Abigail and Mark discuss their favorite books

  • The adoption and expansion of technology in the warehousing industry

  • What you can learn from other industries

  • How the pandemic impacted the supply chain

  • The future of women in the warehousing industry


In this episode…


Technological evolutions provide excellent opportunities for players in the warehousing and logistics industry. Companies that embrace automation experience more efficient production processes, faster innovation, and improved service.


Adopting technology that creates efficiencies within your business will give you optimal long-term results. Leading her family-owned business forward, Abigail Power says you can learn from other companies' solutions and apply them to your business and industry to cut down on time-wasting logistics that bog down employees and slow production. She explains that whether it's logistics or communications, there are many time-saving technologies you can embrace to speed up and smooth out the internal and external workflow in your company to help you reach your goals.


In this episode of The Tao of Pizza Podcast, Mark Hiddleson sits down with Abigail Power, Sales and Marketing Manager at Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group, to discuss technology adoption in the warehousing and logistics industry. Abigail shares the benefits of working in a family-owned business, how the pandemic shed light on the importance of supply chain logistics, how technology can be applied in your business, and the future of women in the warehousing industry.


Resources mentioned in this episode:


Sponsor for this episode...


This episode is brought to you by Specialized Storage Solutions Inc.

Listen...

I have been in the logistics and storage industry for several decades. I know I don’t look that old, but it's true.

We provide industry-leading warehouse storage solutions nationwide.

So basically, if you have a warehouse that needs Rack, Shelving, Carts, Conveyors, or Mezzanines, we help with....design engineering, installations, inspections, and repairs to help clients optimize their logistics operations.

Sometimes people don’t even realize that we can actually help with permit acquisition services.

We take a holistic look at your entire business supply chain ecosystem to develop the resources for continually improving your operation.

To learn more, visit specialracks.com or give us a call at (707) 732-3892. One of the best ways to learn more about our products and services is to follow us on Instagram. And there’s a link on our website to do that.

I will even give you my personal email address for podcast listeners, so email me at markhiddleson@aol.com if you’re ready to take your warehouse storage and retrieval systems to the next level.


Episode Transcript:


Intro 0:01

Welcome to The Tao of Pizza where we feature top logistics leaders, entrepreneurs, and supply chain innovators and share their inspiring stories with a holistic twist.

Mark Hiddleson 0:17

Mark Hiddleson here host of The Tao of Pizza Podcast where I talk with top industry innovators in the warehousing logistics and supply chain industry with a holistic twist. Before I introduce Abigail Power, today's guest, this episode is brought to you by Specialized Storage Solutions, Inc. Look, I've been in the logistics and storage industry for several decades. And I thought it didn't look that old but people are telling me I really do. What we do is we provide industry leading warehouse storage solutions nationwide. So basically, we have a warehouse that needs rack shelving carts, conveyors, or mezzanines, well put the design engineering installation inspections and repairs to help our clients optimize their logistics operations. And it's funny Abigail sometimes people don't even realize that we actually stock truckloads of safety equipment like guardrails, rack protection, and equipment barriers. We take a holistic look at your entire business supply chain to develop the resources for continuing improving your operations. To learn more, visit us at specialracks.com, or give us a call at 707-732-3892 even get my personal email address for podcast listeners. So email me markhiddleson@aol.com if you're ready to take your warehouse storage and retrieval systems to the next level.

And I want to mention one more guest I hosted Bonnie Artman Fox last week and her book How Did My FAMILY Get In My OFFICE?!, we had a great conversation about her book and amazing boss whisper coaching business. So check out that episode. And it'll kind of relate to today's and that's why I want to mention Bonnie's because we're going to talk about family. Today we're joined by Abigail Power. And Abigail is a third generation Sales and Marketing Manager at Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group, which is an independent family run warehouse company in the Central Valley of California. They deliver supply chain logistics services, including third party warehousing, custom packaging solutions, and a full service location for club and retail packaging. They also do direct to consumer phones fulfillment solutions for the West Coast and beyond. Abigail graduated from UC Berkeley, and now lives in Modesto, California with her husband Harrison and rescue dog Truman, Abigail, welcome to The Tao of Pizza.

Abigail Power 2:37

Hello, thank you so much.

Mark Hiddleson 2:40

It's great to have you. And I did mention Bonnie's booth because I was thinking one of the reasons I've wanted to interview is that you're third generation. And it's awesome. I know the name of the founder of your company is your grandfather. And it's a it's a family business. And I've modeled a lot of things off our family, we only have a second generation. I look at you as I see you as kind of a visionary leader in the hope in our kids and our kids do kind of have the same approach to business. So thank you for joining me.

Abigail Power 3:14

Of course, thank you so much for having me. Yeah, I mean, I'm only five years into it at this point. But I'm starting I'm just now starting to get the hang of the family dynamic and you know, how I can you know, best you know, lead the company forward.

Mark Hiddleson 3:28

Yeah, and there's a lot of opportunities this business in another reason we just attended a Roma, which is a industry you know, it's all the latest technology of this industry. So you got to see everything and even we have been in this industry for almost 30 years and now I'm always blown away when I see what people are doing and warehouses and and there's so many different solutions. And what we noticed there's there's somebody does everything and what our our business has always been about is relationships because I think there's a lot to learn when it comes to new technology. So what were some of the things you saw, I'd love to hear your perspective. Just from promo what what are some things that stood out for you? Yeah, I

Abigail Power 4:14

think one of the things that Chromat that I was kind of surprised by was what Sierra Pacific primarily focuses on food food storage and distribution and it was interesting seeing solutions and storage for you know, Amazon fulfillment kind of things where there's you know, pens and papers and packets and a lot of like non food items which is different for me because we are so used to like the crazy detail of Lot Batch Control and like physical checks and like really making sure that like hold placard or placards are on all the items and really making sure that the food safety is the priority. So I think I was a little surprised. Okay, this this works on a core good program but cannot work for You know, the food, the high importance items that are consumer facing. So that was interesting just to kind of see like, Okay, this is how it works for, you know, drums of, you know, acid. But you know, how would it work when it comes to like actual like pieces of tuna or tomato paste bins. One thing about Sierra Pacific is that because we're a food warehouse, we have a lot of different items, and they're not all consistent. So that's another thing that I saw was, yeah, it's great when you're taking box A and box B, and they're the same dimension, same weight, and they can kind of go one to two, one to two. But we've got a lot of case picking, you know, trickier things. So, I mean, I was shocked and amazed to see what was there. But I'm curious to see how it will actually apply in our warehouses. And if it's something that's feasible, for, you know, independent smaller companies to integrate, because a lot of those places where their their booths were like 1010 stations wide, right? They took up half the half the aisles. So there's some big people that are invested in a lot of cool tech. I'm just not sure where we're gonna fit into it. Right now. Yeah.

Mark Hiddleson 6:01

Yeah. And I think there is, there's so much, one of the reasons I go to that, because I deal with, we're more there's a lot of innovation that can happen before you get to that level. And you and I worked on a project. I don't know if you remember this, but we went to it was during the pandemic, I wanted to bring this up the trip? Where? Murphy, yeah. And he said, In order to do COVID rules, we have to get in and get out in 24 hours with testing everything else. And I remember you took it was a meeting, we've wanted to look at an operation on the west coast or east coast, basically duplicate it on the West Coast. Is that right? Do I have it? Right? Is that what we were supposed we were doing there? It was yes.

Abigail Power 6:48

So that program was a direct to consumer fulfillment. So that was basically like we're taking the master pallet cases and reading someone order someone's order, and essentially grocery shopping for them and putting it in a box. So we had a fulfillment center in Stockton, that did it all, in a like, there was requisitions. And then there were bays where there was a conveyor belts, essentially where you picked to the box, and you sent it along, and then people just took the box and passed it down. So we had you come because we're like, Okay, we're gonna need to create this rack situation with the bays, that's, you know, the height of the product, everything. So we had this all mapped up in our head. And then we can't, we get to the place on the East Coast, they don't use any kind of racks, they just have all the product, like all over the not on the floor. But like they've got it spread out. And each shopper or picker is walking around the warehouse all the time trying to, you know, pick and pack the order to, you know, to ship it out to the consumer. And we looked at it and we're like, they must be wasting so much time walking around, like it would make more sense for everything to come to them. So we kind of you and I kind of came up with a middle ground of it, where we had rolling rocks that had the product where they were picking it to order, and it wasn't all on this conveyor belt. But we could push that rack back into the freezer, so it can stay frozen, come on out. And we could have large quantities of food, you know, being moved in and out. But it was closer to the pickers themselves. So that they didn't have to, you know, walk so far in between. So I think that was like one of the biggest kind of paradigm shifts was going into it with, okay, we're going to build this facility, it's going to be exactly how it isn't stocked. And we're going to do it the same way. But the people on the East Coast, we're doing like 10,000 boxes a day with that, you know, procedure. So we kind of were like, Oh, I don't know if this is for us, but we kind of found a hybrid together to you know, use what we knew worked. And then, you know, try some new ideas as well. So I think we found a good spot at the end of it, though.

Mark Hiddleson 8:47

So we did. So that's what I mean, it was it's low hanging fruit in in but it takes it was a partnership because there were things we tried in the cards. There were ways in which the cards failed miserably,

Abigail Power 8:58

because it was like, Yeah, corner.

Mark Hiddleson 9:02

Corners, okay, because it was a lot of weight, or we didn't realize like they're not gingerly pushing this card and making sure it's like they got a job to do. So. It wasn't unscathed. And I think that's one of the things but it's, it's a similar technology that I've seen. And it's funny one company came up with, I think Kiva was the was what it was called. But it was a automation where robots move the shelves to the people. So I was basically using that concept as well you can do that because the challenge was the orders had to be in the freezer, and then you pull it out to pick it so you wanted to limit the time. And also you had time that you could set everything up ahead of time and then roll it out where instead you'd have to bring out a pallet of everything the way they were doing. So we didn't do the hybrid and stuff didn't get messed up. So that's what I want to say thank you for being willing to fail. And that's kind of what it takes. You know before you automate it for you go to a fully automated system. I think that was a cool like you said it was a high Hybrid normal. This is the idea of bring the work to the workers instead of spreading it all out, and just walking around. But you're right, it did work. And I thought was a great team team ever. I love the way you took notes, I was fine when I thought like I should be taking better notes. And then I looked over and you had like a whole page. And I was like, well, if I'll take pictures, and she's got notes, and we'll combine forces.

Abigail Power 10:24

Well, that was also a really interesting time of where I was within the company, because I started in October 2019. So everything was hunky dory. Everyone's like, oh, this, like our warehouse, our warehouse is so fun, you know, the office is so lively. And we've got a great team. So I started up, like all excited for, you know, this new adventure or this great new opportunity to be a part of the family business. And then three months later, we're in complete lockdown navigating, you know, a pandemic, not knowing what to do, my husband's the safety manager. So he was just, you know, concerned, you know, with all the daily reporting, and so it really, really, I dove into it kind of headfirst. And a week after the pandemic started my dad, you know, our CEO, came up to my cubicle, and I think we're gonna start direct to consumer fulfillment, because people are gonna need this stuff shipped to their house. And I was like, oh, okay, sure, I'm still learning how the warehouse side of things works. I wonder how this is gonna happen. But I learned everything backwards, right, I learned from the consumer facing side what they want to see and then learned the law components of warehousing and, you know, forklift operations, all that good stuff. So I learned from it backwards. But when we went to the East Coast, I was still not confident. I guess, they keep my voice heard about how I felt about things, because I didn't feel like I had the authority to say anything. So I was so new. So I think a lot of that like really diligent note taking was just a reflection of me like letting you know, my dad representing the company, letting everyone else speak. So I could like absorb everything. That's not to say that I'm not opinionated, because I know I am. But I think that it was something that I was just kind of getting my bearings of what I didn't understand it fully. And I am really grateful for that opportunity. Sometimes I was miserable, working in the freezers, you know, making that program happen. But it really made me learn everything. And I'm still learning a lot. I don't know, everything, I'm still not really new. But I was able to learn a lot more by actually doing it as opposed to just coming in and being like, great. This is how it works. So it was an interesting, an interesting year or three, to say it's to say the least. Yeah,

Mark Hiddleson 12:43

yeah. And you guys face some challenges, you know, with the number of employees you have, and the protocols and everything I remember going there. And we picked up a check. And Kenny had like a thing that you get your golf ball out of the water thing, and he handed it like a 10 foot social, like word following everything by the book. Yep. Letter of law. With 150, or more, right, you have like,

Abigail Power 13:12

yeah, it was, yeah, we have, we have 150. And I think the hard part about it was that we were following all the procedures, but people were still getting sick. You know, like, we we and that's one thing about our industry in particular is we never got to work from home, you know, we you can't load a forklift, from you know, from your house or from behind your zoom camera. So some of our biggest customers who were shipping massive quantities, called us on March 17, then we're like you're shipping everything tomorrow. And we're like, Yep, so we just had to, we tried to provide our customers pretty much the same level of service that they would have gotten pre pandemic, and we worked really hard and had to face a lot of challenges to do. So. We had testing every week to make sure that we could catch it early. You know, we learned that the hard way that if you don't catch it right away, it just, you know, spirals. So we had a tough we have a tough couple of years. And we're proud that we followed the safety protocols that we did and you know, works really close in hand with the county to get the vaccination stations set up here in our in our region. But yeah, it was it was tough when you're when you have 18 call outs on a Tuesday morning and you've got you know, 100 orders to pick you just you roll up your sleeves and you know, do what needs to be done or you have to make the hard calls to the customer and let them know that they're going to you know, let some of their their end users down. So you know, not fun all around but I feel much stronger for having gone through that.

Mark Hiddleson 14:43

Is that the silver lining, I'm a silver lining guy and sometimes people are like, look at dude, there's no silver. Is that it? Is it the resiliency or?

Abigail Power 14:54

Yeah, I think it's um, I did a lot of things with just with Did my job that I don't think I would have thought I was expected to do not not in a bad way. But like, I think I just had to learn how to step in everywhere. And in case of, you know, someone's out or you know, something goes wrong. So I think that I learned a lot. And I was able to, I feel more confident now. So I guess that's a form of resiliency. But I think it's also just, you know, getting a crash course and feeling more confident from having that crash course, being able to be like, Hey, I don't know if that's a great idea. Or like, maybe because we did, we did it this way, before it failed miserably and just kind of be in like, reminding of like, having more experience and anecdotal, you know, stories to share. But yeah, I think resiliency and then Harrison and I work very closely with my husband and learning how to navigate the nonstop hard work stuff. Also, you know, being you know, newlyweds married, you know, and learning how to navigate, you know, a family relationship and dynamic within a lot of trauma. And

Mark Hiddleson 16:02

so your, your wedding was scheduled? There. Yeah. So you, you had to deal with that. So,

Abigail Power 16:09

yeah, we got engaged in 2019. And I started here in 2019. So we were just like, starting are, like it was gonna be awesome. Yeah. So we had our wedding October 2020. And it was just our parents at our wedding, we decided not to postpone, which ended up being the right call for us. And we had the best team in Berkeley that helped us make it happen. But yeah, so we were navigating like the joy of being married, but not really getting to share it with the people we loved. And then also dealing with the onslaught of, you know, work stuff,

Mark Hiddleson 16:39

but it ended up, you know,

Abigail Power 16:41

we're doing great. We're still together. So fingers crossed.

Mark Hiddleson 16:44

That is awesome. Yeah, I remember, because there were people I knew I needed probably four or five people who were getting married around that. And a lot of people did move the day. And I remember I think you told me on the East Coast, because it was coming up. It was a few months after that. I felt Yeah, yeah. And you were just we're not going to postpone and I thought, even a kudos to you guys. I think. I think we did. We talked about that. Yeah. It's like, yeah, your love was on time. That's what was supposed to happen.

Abigail Power 17:12

You're one of the recipients of my like, eight invitations, like save the day. And then like, here's the wedding invitation. And then wait, just kidding, it'll be postponed. And we'll have you later. And then nothing's happening. So I had a lot mint Did you know, the stationery company was probably stoked, because they got so many orders off me. But yeah, it was, it was the right thing to do. And I think the harder part was seeing all the other people who postponed those big life events, whether it was a wedding, or a party or an anniversary, or whatever it is, the longer they set a new date, that it just became okay, well, no, it's gonna be this. And it just kept extending and kept extending. And quite honestly, we wanted to have like an anniversary party. And we're like, that was a lot of work. And who even knows if a year from now we'll be able to? And then I don't want to do this all again. You know, so we just wait, maybe we'll have like a 10 year party or something? And maybe it'll be safe, then. I don't know.

Mark Hiddleson 18:06

That is awesome. So you made it and I love what you said about in the silver lining possibly being because of the circumstances of the everybody was kind of scrambling, you felt like you have more of a voice to step up and say that's a great observation on your part, too. And it is like this chaos created an opportunity.

Abigail Power 18:30

Yeah, like there was a while there. We were just like anybody with a pulse? Like, come on. Let's do it.

Mark Hiddleson 18:36

Yeah, I mean, your business. And this is one thing I tell a lot of people and I can tell because in our business, we have to ask a lot of questions about the systems like you and I we're working on a project right now where there's a lot of questions about your client and the volumes, how many cases is it pallets of cases? Is it per truckload is it you know? And to be in sales, you have to know the case picking sides, you have to know. And so you have that background you've done. You're wearing all the hats. I mean,

Abigail Power 19:06

because it's tough.

Mark Hiddleson 19:09

It's tough to give the client the right solution without you don't know yourself what it takes. And I think there's Oh, never there isn't the when those salespeople don't have the overcommit and whenever I bring up my clients that we have somebody liked our stuff.

Abigail Power 19:23

100% and I totally am guilty of that. When I started, I was quoting people left and right. I was like, great. This is how it works. You know, it's like, Sure. And then, uh, sure enough, they started up and I mean, there's a little bit of this in the industry as well. But as soon as they started up, nothing was as they said, it was gonna be like, oh, yeah, we've got standard pallet sizes, and they come in and they're, you know, Euro pallets that are skinny, and you can't stack it, you know, and so I had a lot of those kinds of hiccups, where I didn't do the research that I needed to do and started up these accounts that became a headache for then 40 people that I had to handle Every day and so, you know, really, you know, taking responsibility for in the early days, and even now, you know, sometimes I'll miss something and being like, Okay, we gotta, you know, revisit this call the customer and tell them you know how it works, how it doesn't work. But I Yeah, there's definitely a few customers that are still here that I still think about it like, oh, yeah, that was that was a rough. That was a rough startup. But everyone was really annoyed with me. So so now I'm, I've worked I know, you interviewed Judy Jardine? A while ago, but she joined our team a couple months ago. And she's just the question asker she's like, okay, no, no, no, like, this is what they said, but did you get a copy of their orders? Did you get a copy? Do you know everyone on their team, like, you don't want to do business people until you know everything. And so I'm getting better at that now and being like, Oh, my great, like, sure if it works, it works. It also helps that we are very full right now, a lot of our facilities. So my sales gig for lack of a better term is much more on marketing to our current customers, and making sure that they're happy, not so much going out for new customers. We would love to get new customers, but our space has just been locked with the port backups and everything. So really, what I'm learning how to do is just now that we can start to visit people in person, you know, building those relationships, because a lot of people have never met me before. Because they've been with the company or been with Sierra Pacific for you know, 20 years always worked with Chris and Merv, and then the pandemic started. And then I was just the one sending them rate increases. And they're like, Who's this person? Like? I have no idea. So

Mark Hiddleson 21:33

meeting with her get?

Abigail Power 21:36

Exactly, exactly. And so like, are part of the I'm a very process oriented person. And so part of what I was brought on to do was to really create structure to our sales team, and like, have, you know, yearly reviews their customer? Like, is this what you said it was going to be yes or no, if it is great, you're like, let's restart. But if it's not that we need to, we need to revisit and actually like reevaluate your charges and rates. And those conversations are really hard for me to have still like I, we had to just for cost of living increase a lot of our customers rates, and I just had a panic attack about calling people and having to tell them that they were getting increased rates, because we had just kind of always done stuff the way it was before. And then I joined and then I'm like, okay, every customer is getting the rate increase. And I was like, I have to Oh, my gosh, I don't know these people. I hate confrontation. And I have to tell them, they're gonna pay us more. And I really, really struggled with that. And that was something that Judy and my dad have helped me with quite a bit. And just kind of understanding that it's not about the hard conversation. It's about taking care of our team. And that in order, we can't do this, and we're not doing we're not doing this for fun. Yes, we would love to, you know, make sure that your program goes smoothly. But our real focus is making sure that our team is taken care of and that they're getting compensated for the time that they're spending to make everything work. So when you think about it at from a people perspective, it makes it easier to pass along those those increases. Despite the hard conversations, that's something that I'm really that's my goal for 2023 is getting better at having hard conversations, because I'm a positive person, and I just have a hard time. I have a hard time with that, for sure. That is a great.

Mark Hiddleson 23:20

You are so right onto I think and that is part of in business, even in asking for the money. It's interesting how much a part of just owning a company or being is asking for it. And everybody's the prices are going up. I mean, our prices are really doubled. And in you know, was super steady over the years, like it would go up 8% 2% at 20 and under would have always be stable. And so yeah, people who called you five years ago and bought and they get a quote now, like yeah, oh my God. It is a business to the thing is to that costs go up faster than you can recover because you don't call to somebody every day or every month, like gas just went up. You know, luckily, there's fuel surcharges. Like that's one of the reasons fuel surcharge is that it could go it can go up and down. But yeah, that is having tough conversations is what it's all about

Abigail Power 24:16

is not my forte and everyone knows we've market it so much everyone knows we're a family business. So they know like it's not like I've gotten some corporate CEO telling me to like push the bottom line like they know it's me and Chris so it's not like they're like go talk like who's like what's your higher up higher upside and it's like they know it's my dad they know I could talk to them they know it's coming directly from us you know, I am not able to like pass the buck off to like Oh, our corporate management is doing this you know, so that's kind of it gets it can get personal you know and

Mark Hiddleson 24:49

this is like it was it's Abigail the hatchet raise our rates.

Abigail Power 24:55

Yeah, yeah. And so not sometimes like I think a lot of people their jobs, I think that might be one of the bigger differences of being a family business is just you, you can't like I feel like a lot of times talking to people in in meetings, they're like, oh, you know, well, my higher ups are doing XYZ, you know, that is, and it's like, we don't have that here. Like, it's like, no, I love I love them, you know, it's a really close corporate structure very small, like, no overhead, we're just, you know, it's just us. And so you can't really ever pass that along to your customer like, well, you know, boss is saying this, I gotta do, you know, corporate, yeah, that we can't say that we are corporate, you know, like, that's me that's in. So that's, that is an interesting part of it. Because so I feel like that's, it's a balancing act, because we want to promote, I think that might be one of the harder things is that we really tried to promote that we're like a flexible family owned, like, creative company. But I think in doing that, and having that flexibility, sometimes we get not taken advantage of, but like, the expectation is that we'll always, you know, bend backwards for our customer. And we love doing that, like, we are always so proud when we're able to make a solution or come up with something that works. But now we're figuring out like, okay, like, we'll do that. But what is this costing our team? Or what does it take to do that. And so I think that that's kind of our, the line that Sierra Pacific has to

Mark Hiddleson 26:26

walk is, you know, being accommodating,

Abigail Power 26:32

doing whatever we can to make the customer happy. But then also making sure that we're getting paid for those things. And that's not always like a fun, fun line to cross. But I'm really proud of the fact that we are, we are someone that wants to, you know, make sure our customers are successful, and make sure that if they've got a crazy idea, we'll hop on board, you know, and during the pandemic, we had our lines shut down, and we needed the ship for Christmas. So we flew my husband up to Portland, and he like built a like, ad hoc Distribution Center in Portland because the warehouse was shut down and like my shift from there, and it was like a Hail Mary. But we did it. You know, like, we're not opposed to anything, but it just a matter of making sure that it works for both of us, I think.

Mark Hiddleson 27:16

Yeah, that's awesome. That's awesome. And, and having those tough conversations will you'll learn, you'll get better. You're super young. And it's great. You have mentors, like Judy, and and your dad is even I didn't realize, Murphy, when when I first got in the business, he was like a veteran, because he had three years of experience. Zero. And so I always looked up to him. And I didn't realize till probably, you know, five or six years ago, I was like, yeah, what did you say? Because like, I started in 1994. And like, Well, I started in 1997. We were pretty close, but those relationships. And he was a customer I want to share this about we build our business around clients is you have special needs, like you have special needs. Special Needs quite well. It was It wasn't

Abigail Power 28:08

I'll take it I'll take it needs. We have specific specific needs.

Mark Hiddleson 28:12

And it is because you know, a lot of times in third party warehousing. And I was able to do some of these projects with Murphy because he would bring me one time. This was when the internet and I thought the inner he's like you've heard of the internet, right? I'm like, oh, yeah, that's where like people who are nervous about stuff, share all their information and special thing, but like nobody else is using again. Yeah, again, the

Abigail Power 28:35

horse people before the car. Right, exactly. I would ask

Mark Hiddleson 28:37

him to ask about that earlier. That was Yeah. And he'd asked me for used equipment in a in a for a drive in rack and push back rack. And I went to my boss and goes, Oh, you can't do that. The systems are too complicated. There's dimensions like we don't really know about it. And kind of like the corporate like, they don't do it anymore. He gave me the thing. So then I came in, I just relayed that to your dad. It's like, well, I asked somebody, they said, No, he basically can't do this. And he was said, Well, do you know what the internet is? Like? Well, yeah. And he brought me around to his side of the desk. I think it's a huge I think in the old days, it's changing a lot. I think more people are like, your dad, Murphy, and that they'll bring you to their side of the desk. And he showed me his computer and he was surfing on the web. And I was like, Well, what does it do? And he pulled it up. And there was this company in Minnesota that had it and like it had their pricing and and and he's like, look, this does exist. Okay. Go find it for me. And so it was one of those. Aha, no, I was on a horse. And people were driving cars. Yeah, yep. And so, you know, I've heard of eBay. But he and I thought it like again, I thought was for people like selling old toasters or something or anything. So

Abigail Power 29:48

like how Amazon started us selling books like oh, let's make a bookstore online and now it's the biggest corporation in the world. Yeah, and

Mark Hiddleson 29:55

one of the reasons they were able to do that is books was one of the lowest mark He's talking about asking for money. So books are super competitive. So if you're in the book distribution center, all your stuff has to be like to sell a book. They're like 20 bucks, right? How much are they making on each one.

Abigail Power 30:11

But if you think about the time like that the author spent in their life writing that, like, there's no real value you can put, like, it's crazy that you can buy a book for like, 12 bucks, because it's so much time that someone spent on it anyway. Good. Yeah,

Mark Hiddleson 30:24

yeah, no, you're right. And I'm trying to publish one that I thought would be out by now. And it's gonna be actually a promise to be November. I mean, it takes a lot of time, and it's expensive, and it's everything and then I'm gonna market it. promised that I'm gonna go and do one on ones like this. So I'm like, okay, only five bucks.

Abigail Power 30:50

Yeah, take everyone go buy, go buy a book today. Go support books. Five bucks, read a book.

Mark Hiddleson 30:58

You know, it's funny. I was gonna, how much reading I was gonna ask you how many? Well, how many books a year? Oh,

Abigail Power 31:07

I love reading. I'm actually reading a book right now. But probably like for not a whole lot.

Mark Hiddleson 31:14

I did.

Abigail Power 31:19

Um, I love historical fiction. So like, I have majored in history at Berkeley, but like stories that are set in a time period of something that actually happened, but the characters are made up, you know, so like, I'm reading one about female spies are in World War Two. And like, I just love, you know, a fictional story that I can fall in love with. That is based on a an area that I know a lot about, so I can kind of like, be there. And you know, imagine it, of course, when I was young, like Harry Potter was a big thing. But now it's more, you know, historical fiction, a little bit of nonfiction, some autobiographies or history books, but yeah, what about you? What I feel like, I know what yours are, but what are your books?

Mark Hiddleson 31:57

So would it be more fun for you to guess?

Abigail Power 32:00

I'm guessing it's like, spiritual mental health, like figuring things out and a different perspective kind of books? I don't know. I would assume

Mark Hiddleson 32:13

that's a that's a great one. And there is it's funny, it was like no, but that I have joy. Like right here.

Abigail Power 32:20

Yeah, is what I think,

Mark Hiddleson 32:23

an evolutionary process to awaken inspiration, focus, intention, and manifest fulfillment.

Abigail Power 32:28

Exactly. That's what I that's what I meant to say. That was literally what was in my head.

Mark Hiddleson 32:33

So you nailed it. And so it's funny the other so in the last few years, and I don't know, I was thinking about you. And I was thinking about, about this. And like, I was gonna ask you, because in the last few years, I've read books, that are the classics, I call them the classics. It's not the classics, like, Socrates and everything like that. Although I think that good old man in the sea, kind of stuff kind of stuff. So I've read in the last couple years, East of Eden. Oh, it's so yeah, it's a historical fiction. And, yes, it is. But it's true. It's kind of its rural people. But I mean, he wrote it. It's that's Fitzgerald, right. It's Stein. Stein back.

Abigail Power 33:15

And back. Yeah, yeah. So

Mark Hiddleson 33:17

I got

Abigail Power 33:19

a hero historical fiction in the mid 20th century, about what time period

Mark Hiddleson 33:24

so he published it in the 50s 1950s. But it was about the period in California, Salinas Valley specifically, which were kind of, I mean, we're like east of East of Eden. Yeah, look at where, where we grew up. I grew up in the valley. I was born in Berkeley. It's funny. I was actually born in Berkeley, throughout in Modesto. And then I got moved to Sacramento go to school, and then Napa so I've never really been that far away. From

Abigail Power 33:51

what what hospital reborn at Berkeley. cultivates the Bates alto Bay. veyts. That's a good one.

Mark Hiddleson 33:59

Yeah, 1969. So, all the time. Yeah. To solve specific problems.

Abigail Power 34:08

They're like this, this decades been psycho. Let's bring in Mark, he's going to fix everything. really bring it down. Anyway, he used to be it used to be

Mark Hiddleson 34:18

I read it. And I don't know, like I normally read like you're saying the awakening and awakening wisdom and all that stuff. But I kind of want to do it for the same reason. And I had read some Steinbeck quotes. And I actually have read Cannery Row. Count. Oh, yeah. And the only reason I read that is we went to Monterey, we didn't have reservations. My wife and I one time, and they said, Well, we have the Cannery Row room available. This last room and it comes with a copy of the book cannery roughly, like we'll take it. Sure. Let's do. I read it was fast.

Abigail Power 34:51

Have you read my sermon?

Mark Hiddleson 34:53

I have my son man. You haven't read that one.

Abigail Power 34:58

Oh my gosh, that one is a that's a tear jerker. That one's that's like a classic that you read in school. But I haven't read the other two Steinbeck's that's the only Steinbeck book I've read. But that one is heart wrenching. Oh, that's a rough one. But that's the that's the, it starts with, or the whole idea of it is the idea of mice and men are brought or something, I don't know, there's a cool, there's a cool quote, you would like it. But it's a sad book, but it's about farmers, like, you know, traveling farmers and like people working on farms in the 30s during the depression and just like these two guys that are friends. I don't know it's really good. You gotta you gotta check it out. But it is that.

Mark Hiddleson 35:38

So those books, they set a context. And it's, it's interesting, because a lot of the same when I booked so you're so right. So I went into a bookstore in Oregon, this is the other thing, the only way I buy my books is walking into the bookstore. And wandering around. I usually have like, I wanted to buy something from Kurt Vonnegut is a book called player piano. And it's about a fully automated America. And he wrote that in 1950. And it's a 52, or like, early 50s. And it's scary how accurate is like his dystopia that gets created, because basically the robots take over. And he writes his fictional account in 1950. And it's funny his really Kurt Vonnegut has really his whole thing is the anti war. Yeah, thing, but he goes, if you write if you tell him you're writing about anti war, then no one's gonna read it. And Steinbeck's kind of the same way is that it's really even though you're telling all these stories, it's kind of it's warnings about, like, too big a government or so what I was gonna buy. I wasn't I wanted to buy a sign like book, but I don't want to, but they were selling the journal that he wrote while he was writing East of Eden. So I bought the journal. So I'm like, I just want to read what he was thinking and everything else like that. Well, I accidentally knocked a copy of the sun even off the thing, and it fell on the ground. And I was like, Oh, shit, and I, I picked it up. And the binding was a little jabs and everything. But I kind of looked over my shoulder and just put it back. But then I was in line. And the person in front of me the lady, she found like a little knick on the book, and she goes, Oh, do you want me to go get you another one. This one's damaged. And I was like, oh, man, I really messed up. The one that I dropped was 10 times worse than not one. So did you go by? What's that? So I went back and got the book on the graph. So then I had to read it. And it's fascinating because it's when we talk about innovation I was talking about like, we were talking about relationships. Another thing I had I have in a presentation I do about innovation is the Steve Miller Venn diagram, because there's so many different kinds of people in the world. So the Steve Miller Venn diagram is like six circles. And there's the pickers, the printers, the lovers, the sinners, the smokers chokers. And it's this Venn diagram. And there's all these different people and not not everybody is Steve Miller, right. But those who are clear for those things that are people, like, I only happen to be all the while

Abigail Power 38:17

you're the little, you're the beautiful Center, where everything overlaps. You're like the middle of a daisy, you know, like that a

Mark Hiddleson 38:25

little. I love that. So the Steve Miller Venn diagram, and it's just like a big, like, colorful thing. And I was like, Oh, my God, I was just drawn to it. But but the point about those books, and especially I would think player piano if because people you asked me a great question, I want you to ask me again, because it was before we got on, and it was about technology and adopting technology. And it seems like bigger companies have more access. What What was it that you were specifically you want? Oh,

Abigail Power 38:56

yeah. So really, really the the question that I'm at right now, when we were at pro Matt was, yeah, these technologies are great. Like, of course, I want them. But that's millions of dollars and an investment? And is do we get in now and start buying things that are going to be irrelevant? In a couple of years? Like, Let's take, for example, the iPad charger, right? If, let's say we invested in that, like that really wide one that was you know, 10 years ago? Was it like everyone had it? And then like three years later, they change it because you have to buy the smaller one because that's the only thing they make now. And they change the models and like, do we get in now and invest in the OG iPad? Or the OG iPod that had the little swirl? Or do we wait until the iPhone and you know, get involved then? And like, are there things that are there small bits that we can you know, invest in now? So that's kind of like the overwhelming question but I kind of just feel like, I don't want to be the person that when the cars came out, was still with my horse and buggy just being like, there is nothing better then this horse and buggy and you guys are all crazy. You know, like, that's, I don't want to be that. And I know that history looks back on those people. And it's like, oh, what idiots, you know. So I want, I don't want to be that. But I am so hesitant to investing in automated technology, because I think for the scope and scale of what we're doing right now isn't ready for it. Even in certain ways, like, I'm all for low electric technology, but like, when it comes to our truck drivers, the whole system that has to be in place for that to work, like, there's just so many different wrinkles, I think need to be ironed out before we can put our own capital into it. So yeah, that's really my question is, am I am I the horse and buggy person, you know, and how can I not be the horse and buggy person, could I be like a, like a horse with like a motorized buggy, like middle ground, you know, like a middle ground in some way that can, you know, really be advanced and take advantage, but also is

Mark Hiddleson 40:56

feasible for our company, but also keeps our team

Abigail Power 41:00

strong, I don't, we're not an Amazon kind of company that wants as few people here to get stuff done. Like, we really love our team, we've got so many people that are 30 plus years, you know, and I really want to I don't, I'm not trying to get rid of jobs. Like that's not what I want, I want, you know, the people that are doing their jobs to have a more efficient and you know, more pleasant place to work. So that's the goal. I don't know, I'm just trying to figure out where we fit into it where we're at right now, my gut says to wait like five years, and then see once they've wrinkled it out, like once it's ironed a little bit, and then we can, you know, start putting our own money into it and maybe see if there's any, like kind of investments or subsidies from the government that kind of like, get involved for smaller, independent businesses.

Mark Hiddleson 41:45

So I think there's always in your business. I mean, it's a great question. And I think you have to have the most talented people in your company asking it everywhere they go. And I think that's really, and when you're so the good news about being small as you're nimble, like there was this book that was called it isn't a big that He's so small as the fast that needs to slow. So I didn't read that book, by the way, but my boss, but I

Abigail Power 42:16

find out it was like a terrible book and a lot of bad ideas. Like really hate hateful people are in it, but you're quoting it everyone.

Mark Hiddleson 42:24

I recommend East of Eden piatto. But I

Abigail Power 42:28

only only add ways of joy. Gotta keep ways of joy in the

Mark Hiddleson 42:32

way of joy. I highly recommend that. wrote that book.

Abigail Power 42:37

Shout out, shout out.

Mark Hiddleson 42:39

Yes. Vicki is she's actually I've had her on two interviews. You might have seen one of them. She's a Yeah. And he coach. She's dynamic. Yeah.

Abigail Power 42:49

But I think it's a great question and the way

Mark Hiddleson 42:54

you have great leaders at your company, I really I mean, I really think, you know, Mike McNulty, your grandfather, Chris was one of the reasons Chris and I our relationship developed because we were going on warehouse tours. I mean, I was involved in the Northern California. And I still think that's one of the greatest ways to learn is to to or somebody else. It doesn't even have to be your business. You brought up a kid pointed Chromat. One of the things I always I always like to take an idea from what's funny is one of the greatest warehouses used to be in Wheeling was RadioShack was a Tandy Corporation, Tandy Corporation had this high tech and that's a great ones that they had the best technology, they ended up going away. I don't know. The slow the feather, but there so you go into RadioShack warehouse, but you could apply it to the food business, or you could apply it to lumber or because we're calling on a lot of these different industries, the beverage industry, I've done a ton of because of where I live in Napa Valley. We've done a lot of wine. Pepsi was a big account for a while we do a lot with coke. So we there's these verticals. But human, I asked you why do you think it's easier? Like it's almost easier to learn when you're at somebody else in like another industry?

Abigail Power 44:10

Like, like, if you're at like a like if I was at a winery instead of being at a warehouse kind of thing, or? Yeah. Or just being at a different facility and seeing how they do things?

Mark Hiddleson 44:25

Yeah, cross disciplinary learning where you can apply things that seem totally even if it's totally non related. No, wait a minute.

Abigail Power 44:34

I agree. And I think something that, honestly is really great is sometimes you're at another facility or another warehouse, and you're like, oh my gosh, I wish we don't ours looks like this or we had this. Other times. We're like, We're amazing at what we do. And you know, and it comes back and you're able to like give feedback to the team like this is something that you guys do so good. Like we were just somewhere and we did not see safety protocols being involved. load or, you know, there was broken pallets everywhere or something. So it's like a double it's, it's both, you know, you can get inspired by other facilities and learn and you know, see how they're doing things to improve your own processes. But then you can also be like, Hey, we're actually not failing at everything we're doing. Because sometimes you feel that way. You're just like, Oh, why is everything going wrong? And then sometimes when you're at those places, you're like, oh, no, like, we've got a good system, we're just, we're hard on ourselves, we want to improve. But these guys really this mess, you know. So it can go both ways. You can learn new stuff, but they can also give yourself a pat on the shoulder every once in a while, for realizing that the systems you have in place are working.

Mark Hiddleson 45:40

Yeah, and I'm going to, I'm doing a host some tours, and we'll find out what happened to work because they kind of went away and haven't come back like there was normally we were hosting for tours a year locally, like there'll be one and Tracy, there'll be one we did the port was one of the last ones. And even when you go to the port, I mean, that was a great tour like nobody's port. But then when you see what's happened in the port, it gives you a better idea of the bigger picture. Okay, we're waiting for these containers, and we can see what it takes.

Abigail Power 46:09

And I do think, yeah, and I do think that's something that if we're looking at Silver Linings, I think as far as the pandemic goes, I don't think anybody including myself, really ever thought about the logistics supply chain. I remember growing up and being like, I don't know what my dad does, like he, like the people make food and people store food, it's like before it goes to a grocery store was like all I really knew growing up, and I obviously benefited from it quite a bit, I'm very lucky to be a part of this business. But the pandemic really shed light on like, oh, like, that's how we get our our goods and like, the importance of, you know, warehouses and the value of the trucking industry and the value of, you know, the containers in the port and how everything works. And I think people really had that have a direct impact and hit on their life, whether that's good or bad, you know, obviously, most often bad for shortages and stuff like that. But I think that it really highlighted what we do and brought it to the attention. And I've seen just last week, I don't know, have you been to the Paterson logistics Training Center? I have. It is so cool. I just went for the first time. And there were so many students that I met that were like, I'm so interested in supply chain, like I just think this is so fascinating. Like, I want to make sure that shelves are stocked and things are good to go. And at high school, I never would have thought of that. Like that would have never been something on the table for me. So I think that's another thing like, you know, the port delays, were front page news for months, you know, and I think that having the highlights on our business and how we do things, gives us a little bit of, you know, like cred, I guess, for lack of a better term, and people are understanding what it is that we do. And you know, every little piece, everything you see at your desk or in your room came from some form of logistics supply chain, you know, like your apple you ate didn't just like up here, you know, there's a whole line of 80 people or companies that got it there. So yeah, I would I haven't seen the port yet. But I have worked closely with it for the past couple years. I'd have others complaints and pros and cons of the of the ports, obviously. But the technology there is next level in there. Yeah. And there are people and offices

Mark Hiddleson 48:25

and I love that Patterson facility. It's actually I mean, I've known Judy Jardine for a long time, but we toured it we actually toured it with work the warehouse education. Yeah, they're the ones that Judy was there. And she was asking these years like she had the questions. She was asking these high school students. And she was grilling them. It was like I was looking over there like Judy, their high school kids, but they were nailing it. Like she was kind of looking over like really just ask them that. And they had all of the answers. And I was floored that she was going on like scenarios like okay, a customer calls in.

Abigail Power 49:01

If you're new and she's intense. And I love it. I like like I mentioned earlier one about asking customers what their programs are like, I was kind of missing a lot of those details. But she's like, No, no, no, no, no, she's restructured our entire onboarding, because she's like, these are the questions you got to ask. And yeah, it can be a lot sometimes but I love her she's she's great. And I think with our with the job fair, we were out last week, I was shocked at the like, the competency, the confidence the they had their resumes, they had questions that they asked they asked about like, what are your 401 K benefits? Like what are some things? What are things you look for when you hire an employee? Like what kind of team do you want to build at your facility? Like, what opportunities are there for vertical mobility and this is like some of them are sophomores in high school asking those questions. And Larry and the team there are doing an A let Larry and Glen They are just building a really great infrastructure. And even if they don't do anything with supply chain, they've learned how to go into a job interview and learn how to present themselves. And I couldn't have been more impressed. It was very, very cool. And I, I have my friends majored in supply chain in college. Like, I just think that there's a whole generation of people coming into this industry that are going to bring a lot of new, a lot of cool ideas, a lot of inclusive ideas, which I think are really important, especially being a female in the industry, you know, seeing more women that are coming in and you know, shaking up a man's world for lack of a better term as it's been for a long time. Yeah.

Mark Hiddleson 50:39

Yeah, yes. Right. And so,

Abigail Power 50:42

I'm really excited to see and like, there were some, some women that I spoke with last week. And I was like, So what are you interested in? They're like, the warehouse side, like, I want to be picking orders. I want to be checking orders. And I just, I was so glad to see that because in our industry, it still, unfortunately is like, where warehousemen that's literally the term and all of our agreements is warehouse person. Yeah, not warehouse person. You know, if you look at all the history of warehousing, it's warehouseman, and the office staff, the clerical the ladies, right, it's like the ladies and the warehouseman. So I'm really excited to see that be, you know, shaken up a little bit and, you know, women going in and, you know, being leads on warehouse teams, and, you know, men coming into the office space, and being the clerical, you know, proofing people like having it, the roles switch so that it's not so boys, worlds, girls worlds separated, I'm really looking forward to seeing that integrate more. And our corporate structure is really me, Thad Harrison, Kenny, Michelle, Mike, right, but you know, of six people, two of us are women. And, you know, I just I hope that that's not very common. And so it's exciting to see, and I hope that more of them, you know, come up, come up through the ranks, whether it's, you know, wherever in the industry, it's really exciting.

Mark Hiddleson 51:59

It is, and you're passionate about that, um, and I want to I want to give a plug for The Tao of Pizza because I've had a lot of female. Yeah. So Nancy,

Abigail Power 52:10

I don't know if that says more about you, or just the fact that you enjoy talking to

Mark Hiddleson 52:16

him as well. But the thing is none of him. I mean, it really isn't because I've been lucky. And I guess for me, you know, maybe it's because I've been open to it. I mean, I was surrounded by dynamic women. By the time I was really young man. And, you know, aunts, cousins, I mean, just leaders. They're all rock stars. I was thinking about I was like, all my cousins are rock stars there. But Nancy, you know, her dad is 50 year industry veteran, she second duration. And she there was actually an article written about her I'm gonna put a link to that article. Yeah. And she in the article, she, when I read it, it was fun. I got really emotional when I read it, because I've known her for like 25 years. And like, I've seen her go through this because it's a man's but especially engineering sees engineering, which is even this kind of like warehousemen is like what we're going to do here. And she said, At first, she was really trying to bring like a masculine energy. And Nancy resist stuff, like the way of joy too. And so yeah, he's done a lot of personal work. And she said, you know, why am I trying to bring this there's already enough masculinity. She's She's, I'm getting chills, because she's like, I want to bring my femininity. Yeah, the nurturing side, the other sides of this business. And she's a really powerful, dynamic leader. She's just a lot like, you know, I

Abigail Power 53:33

agree. That's something that Judy says all the time, she's writing a book right now. And she's like, it's the truth about logistics, and it's going to be a huge hot pink high heel on the cover. She's like, I'm going feminine femininity, it's something you can bring that others can't. And regardless of gender, bringing, you know, just softness and hard lines when you need to openness and understanding when you can as well, I think is really important. But yeah, bring what why I think that's what makes it unique and makes you stand out is being able to see other perspectives that aren't being talked about at the conference table. You know, before everyone goes to have a whiskey and you know, golf in the morning.

Mark Hiddleson 54:13

Golf, I'm out.

Abigail Power 54:14

Oh, yeah. No, oh my gosh, um, that is also kind of off topic. But something that I'm struggling with is that everyone freaking golf, like every, like, this whole office is pictures of golf pictures, and I'm just not, I'm not in I don't like it like, so. My dad is like, No, you really gotta learn because like so much businesses don't on the golf course. Like that's the place to be at. I'm just like, I don't know, if I have four hours to not be working on other things. And so I'm trying to I'm, I'm in the middle spot right now of being stubborn about not wanting to get into it, but also realizing that you're left out of half the conference if you don't do the tournament. So I know it's technically an extracurricular activity, but it's something that I'm really trying to figure out. Do you golf? Are you a golfer?

Mark Hiddleson 55:03

I'm terrible. And we even whenever we signed up for a country club was when we played tennis Casey and I play tennis, okay. And I had a client who wanted me to join their country club was kind of the same thing. Like, this is good for business. It's the people, you're the owners. And when we were doing our initial walkthrough, she asked me what her handicap is, or what my handicap and I said, I don't have one. And she laughed at me. She was like, I guess that's funny.

Abigail Power 55:30

I would be like, I don't know what that is, like, handicap. I was I, literally like, I mean, I've my whole family, like my grandfather lives on a golf course, I grew up like going around there, but I just over my head. So we actually did golf, we golf last Saturday, I drove the cart and had a cocktail and kept score. Honestly, keeping score is important because people are sketchy on their like, I caught a couple people saying that before they didn't, you know, like, so I'll be the scorekeeper. I'll keep people honest. They'll know that my books are clean. I think it's a great business model. You know, like, I'll just they'll see that I my attention to details. That's all they'll be scoring scorekeeper. That's how we'll get engaged in the sport. But as far as the masculine, you know, masculinity and the norms and the trends, creating more inclusive activities for everyone to be involved with, like, there's still all these ladies luncheons, and ladies teas at the events we go to. And it's great. It's an awesome networking opportunity. But it still kind of sucks that we have to do it, you know. So we'll see. Hopefully, we see some good change and growth over the next couple of years.

Mark Hiddleson 56:39

Yeah, and I promise I'll find some better networking opportunities because there's other Michelle, Michelle Carol. She's another one. She's been in this business for a long time. I've hosted her on the podcast, and she was a cscmp. She hosted all the events. She did. So I had her on but again, Sue's Rockstar in the industry. We co hosted events work, Nancy, Judy is another one. So it's not like I just like visiting with beautiful women, although I'm not complaining. No.

Abigail Power 57:10

It's great.

Mark Hiddleson 57:11

So I can't believe that we're out of time, I want to ask you one more question is, is there any new technology you're using? Like we started using Slack this year, and it was something like, one of those guys, too, was like, Whoa, I don't have time to learn a new thing. But it's actually super simple. And is there anything you're working with either a podcast you're listening to or new technology, something simple that you're using, that you weren't using a couple of years ago,

Abigail Power 57:36

something that we're using, that we weren't using a couple of years ago,

Mark Hiddleson 57:40

um I, this doesn't sound

Abigail Power 57:46

this exciting, but it honestly is. We've created like new networks and new,

Mark Hiddleson 57:55

like support groups within

Abigail Power 57:56

our communication within our within our email. So like, if there's particular issues like we have dedicated people that are like odd each of them. So like we used to just have if somebody was, you know, reaching out for an appointment, they would just email Modesto, and every clerical person would have to kind of relates to Slack, because I know slack is like a workflow that they would be like, Okay, so we just have to sort this and we have to identify from the email, what are they bringing in product are they wanting to ship out products we've created like all these different, like apps that our customers are using, so that we can have like a dedicated person doing, you know, inbounds, a dedicated person doing support like it setup so that we haven't segregated so people have different responsibilities. We're just about to revamp that and change our entire process. So we're more in the middle of changing that. But I do think just as far as our accuracy and success and something that we utilized, that was a good update was that it's not a great tech update, but just something as far as workflows that went well. We

Mark Hiddleson 58:59

that's that's exactly the kind of thing. So so to me, that's more important than the Tech because of the problem. So like to me in order to solve the problem the right way, you have to be able to solve it manually first. Yeah, that's not gonna the techs gonna mess more stuff up than it fixes I mean that here's the other thing. It's like you put in a new system. We have a customer right now that like I've got one of the CEOs he's terrified to call me about the racking because he's in charge of them changing over their whole system. So he's not even returning phone calls right now because they're gone. So yeah, what the stuff you talked about the like, that's what I call the low hanging fruit. You saw an opportunity and created these networks, I think of it's like a triage, right? Yeah, the three R's were and those are the communities stay on stuff like that and the tours and go into conferences and if you learned how to play golf. That will be the innovation I know. So I know you had a backside of this. I can't this time just flew by. But Yeah, oh my goodness, power. You are dynamic. That leader, young, smart, a lot of energy. I love having you. Thank you. Thank you for joining us.

Abigail Power 1:00:11

Of course, of course and I couldn't be happier to talk to you. We always have the best conversations and I love hearing your perspective on things. I know that we have very similar opinions on lots of things, different opinions on others, but I just I think that we always have on and you know, we'll mark we'll always have Paris, we'll always have. We'll always have Paris.

Mark Hiddleson 1:00:32

Paris. Yeah, that was wild. That was like 10 More than 10 years ago, right. I think I think

Abigail Power 1:00:38

it's 1010 years this year. That was the first time I met you, though. Yeah. Walk it up, like a humbling out of a metro station with your suitcase.

Mark Hiddleson 1:00:46

two suitcases. It was on a four week trip and traveling on the train to meet your dad for important as one of them will focus on the most important business meetings I've had in my life. By the way, I've rarely. It was funny. I was I told Murphy, I said, Hey, if I was if I was in town, I'll be in my car and driving to meet you right now I go, but I'm in London. He goes, Well, I'm gonna be in Paris on the weekend. So if you're really that want to meet me, it's a three hour train ride. And we ended up making it happen. So

Abigail Power 1:01:14

Oh, my gosh, that's so funny. But that was a good business trip, though. Because that was before, obviously, 10 years ago, it was before I started with the company. So you guys are probably talking about Brax customers, everything I had, like, none of that. I just remember walking along way on the sun, get into the Eiffel Tower and be like, Oh my god, this is a lot of walking. But you guys probably like it just interesting how your perspective and your context changes. When you're in a different situation. I don't know how you you experience things differently. Like now, if I had been in that position, I would have seen so many other things that I wouldn't have seen before. So it's all about growth.

Mark Hiddleson 1:01:50

Bastille Day in one of the most impressive military parades I've never seen I thought we were in Moscow or something. I'm like, I thought France was like, peaceful company. But it's like tanks and missiles out planes. And the

Abigail Power 1:02:03

best part was we were trying to find a spot. We're like, Okay, where are we gonna stand for this? And dad night, like, look over and you're just holding a glass of champagne in a window? Like, I got a table.

Mark Hiddleson 1:02:16

Yeah, we watched the tanks roll in.

Abigail Power 1:02:18

Yeah, well, we've had a lot of adventures. And I really appreciate you being someone I could always talk to and, you know, giving feedback on whether it's family dynamics of a workplace like you have with your sons or, you know, just general friendship. And you know, I'm looking forward to the years ahead with you.

Mark Hiddleson 1:02:34

Yeah, super pleasure. Thank you again.

Abigail Power 1:02:38

Thanks, Mark. Okay, cool. Well, I'll see you again next week.

Mark Hiddleson 1:02:37

Yeah, I guess.

Outro 1:02:42

Thanks for listening to The Tao of Pizza Podcast. We'll see you again next time. And be sure to click Subscribe to get future episodes.