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Industry veteran McEntire joins Emerge’s quest to reinvent procurement

Procurement and logistics platform Emerge announced Tuesday it has named supply chain veteran Mark McEntire as the company’s senior vice president of operations.

McEntire has more than 35 years of industry experience, working as a fleet and project manager at J.B. Hunt Transport, followed by over 10 years as general manager of trucking leasing company Penske Logistics and then various executive positions during 17 years at Transplace.

J.B. Hunt, Penske and Transplace all “have been pioneers and disruptors in transportation and I have learned a lot from all three,” McEntire told FreightWaves.

“In 1988, there was no technology. We kept track of trucks on a whiteboard and sent reports over fax machines. It was brutal. Fast-forward 35 years and we are now experiencing an awakening of supply chain technology and I am excited to be a huge part of that again,” he said.

McEntire said he was “stunned” by Emerge founder and CEO Andrew Leto’s ability to navigate the company’s proprietary technology and answer his questions about its capabilities.

“He is a super user of his own technology, and to me, that was remarkable to see. I learned a lot just by watching him. … Also [Emerge President] George Abernathy had this true desire to reinvent how freight procurement was done. I could just feel the energy and excitement and was very intentional about the decision to take this role,” McEntire said.

With a tight truck capacity market, McEntire described how important procurement software was going to become to shippers, many of which are still using spreadsheets and mass emails as their main procurement process today. 

After speaking with a number of shipper customers, working side by side with Leto and learning the capabilities of Emerge’s platform, McEntire was excited to begin providing shippers with a proactive approach toward procuring transportation partners.

“Shippers can use the spot market and contract market in their logistics strategy. All you need is indicators to alert you when it’s time to start modifying your market strategy. We have those capabilities and Emerge is very focused on being that trusted partner by staying ahead of what’s going on in the freight market,” he said.

In his new role, McEntire looks forward to helping the team grow its enterprise side of the business, working with large multinational shippers and building long-standing relationships with them and putting his Lean Six Sigma Black Belt to use as Emerge begins to scale its operations, with plans to add more than 200 employees in enterprise sales, research and development, product and operations roles in 2022.

“I have enjoyed building relationships with shippers that stand the test of time and using my experience and Emerge’s technology to drive value for them. Also, continuous [operational] improvement is really important to me. … I get a lot of enjoyment from finding root causes, fixing those and documenting them as lessons learned for the future,” said McEntire.

Overall, McEntire expressed excitement to be reinventing technology at a time when everyone from executives in boardrooms to his own family are interested in making supply chains more resilient.

“It’s funny, we’ll go to a restaurant as a family and if the waiter says they don’t have that my kids look at me and say, ‘Can you help fix this?’” laughed McEntire. “Emerge is helping with these problems in a big way and reinventing freight procurement has become more important than ever.”

Watch now: How to think and grow rich with Andrew Leto, founder of Emerge

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The FREIGHTWAVES TOP 500 For-Hire Carriers list includes J.B. Hunt (No. 4) and Penske Logistics (No. 14).