Dec 9 2021
How Zoox is Directing the Future of Autonomous Vehicles with Bruce Baumgartner, VP of Procurement & Strategic Partnerships
Fate is often associated with the divine. It’s this idea that things are pre-ordained by a higher power and that outcomes are out of an individual’s control. There’s no doubt that there’s a lot of life that can’t be controlled. But there’s another way to look at destiny — it can be about making foundational choices that give a particular vision the best chance to be realized over time. Then, the outcome may look predestined to an outsider, but in reality, destiny is being determined by an established mission, the major choices that underpin it, and the many smaller decisions, adjusted as needed, made to achieve it. This does not mean there will never be setbacks or failures. It simply means this mentality increases the opportunities within one’s control to move ever closer to the goal. Bruce Baumgartner, the Vice President of Procurement & Strategic Partnerships at Zoox, a vertically integrated autonomous vehicle company, that appears destined to build a fleet of autonomous taxis. But is Zoox’s desire to control its destiny only about succeeding at building autonomous vehicles, or does it have an even higher mission it’s striving to achieve? Find out on this episode of Business X factors how destiny can be controlled by an individual person, and even by an entire company, if that drive is aligned with a higher purpose.Main takeaways: Vertical Integration Pushes Innovation: To expand businesses, companies can choose to either grow horizontally with acquisitions or vertically, where products are developed in-house. The advantage of vertical integration is more control over product quality, the planning of production and alignment with the needs of the in-house end product. There is less dependence on suppliers, lower shipping costs, more design flexibility and efficient investment. Companies can avoid interference and adapt products faster. Go Big or Go Home: Normally, betting the house is not good advice, but when it comes to start-ups the advice of Theodore Roosevelt that, “You must dare greatly, step into the area and give it your all,” could be a good strategy. To be an entrepreneur, you will find yourself in an arena where the competition is great and standing on the sidelines is not an option. It can be terrifying when you have everything on the line, cash is tight and things are tough when you take big risks, but they can be managed. Make the hard decisions sooner rather than later, consider the consequences of risk, ask yourself the right questions, have a backup plan, plan for all risk scenarios, and understand the odds you are up against. Sustainability from the Word Go: Many companies do not have a comprehensive understanding of the sustainability impacts of their supply chain. If you are an entrepreneur that is growing your business vertically, ensure that sustainability is built into the supply chain right from the start. For businesses that uses suppliers, an early step is to inventory suppliers, identify the most significant environment and social challenges they have, and prioritize suppliers according to that. New Balance Athletic Shoe is an example of a company that has reduced its footwear supply chain by 65% to form strong positive partnerships with its suppliers based on sustainability criteria.---Business X factors is produced by Mission.org and brought to you by Hyland. For over a decade, Hyland has been named a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Content Services Platforms, leading the way to help people get the information they need when and where they need it. More than half of 2019 Fortune 100 companies rely on Hyland to help them create more meaningful connections with the people they serve. When your focus is on the people you serve, Hyland stands behind you. Hyland is your X factor for better performance. Go to Hyland.com/insights to learn more.