We shouldn’t be surprised by these melodramatic headlines. In our increasingly global and interconnected world, supply chains are an invisible force with a profound impact. Port congestion, a lack of truck drivers, and computer chip shortages will affect our daily lives – not to mention global economic growth.
However, complicated times like these can breed innovation. And in this particular case, the innovation is happening right in our backyard.
Meet Kennedy Muteti (pictured above), co-founder and CEO of Cloudsyte, a Boca Raton-based startup that has developed a suite of tools to help manufacturers and importers keep track of their supply chains.
For the last ten years, Muteti has been a manufacturing and supply chain expert. “I saw a need for the product because in every company I went to, and in the conversations I was having with peers, I learned about significant operational challenges,” he explained to Refresh Miami.
What were the major challenges? A classic pre-digitalization tale, according to Muteti: “There was excessive use of emails and Excel.” He said that in his previous jobs, it was not unheard of to start the day with more than 500 emails from suppliers every morning.
In early 2020, he teamed up with his cousin, Dr. Dickson Wambua, a scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to build Cloudsyte. Little did they know that a pandemic would bring increased scrutiny – and relevance – to understanding and improving supply chains worldwide.
“To succeed in building a resilient supply chain in today’s volatile environment, there’s a need to converge supply chain execution and manufacturing operations,” said Wambua. “That’s what the Cloudsyte system does best, helping teams connect all the moving parts of their operation so they can have total control of their business.”
The startup focuses on procurement processes, which Muteti called one of the key performance indicators in supply chain management. “With Cloudsyte, teams have a clear way to control and measure the performance of the entire procurement process,” he said. “Our goal is to help teams cut back on time spent putting off fires, and channel that time into building the business.”
Cloudsyte has already had some early successes. For instance, one client is a medical device startup that, in partnership with the World Health Organization, has made a product that detects cholera in just thirty minutes. They are using Cloudsyte to place purchase orders, enabling them to ramp up production more quickly and securely than traditional Excel and email methods.
Recently, the startup took part in Florida Atlantic University’s Tech Runway program. This enabled the team to land a grant from the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps program, through which they have conducted more than 400 interviews with manufacturing companies, importers, and local governments.
“A lot of these organizations expressed interest in our system,” asserted Muteti. He said that Cloudsyte has started onboarding some of these companies to the platform.
Muteti and Wambua are originally from Kenya, having arrived in the US thirteen years ago to study. Since then, Muteti spent time all around Florida – from Daytona to Tallahassee to Sarasota – before landing in South Florida.
Cloudsyte’s core team of seven employees hail from across the US, with an additional handful of international staff members. Muteti said that the team’s near-term goal is to grow, which includes launching Cloudsyte Version 3 in mid-December 2021 and preparing for a seed round of funding within the next few months.
On top of the leads from the I-Corps program, Muteti believes that the government and consumers’ post-pandemic spending patterns bode well for Cloudsyte. “We are very optimistic about the future, and what we can grow this company to.”
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