To celebrate Earth Day, host Carson Garner and guest Jason Whitfield discuss the relationship between technology and sustainability. What is sustainable technology, and how can technology be used to further environmental causes? This episode seeks to dismantle the misconception that technology and sustainability are incompatible and what it means to use technology for a greener tomorrow.
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Carson: Happy Earth Day, everyone, and welcome back to our Link Labs podcast, Get Linked. I'm your host, Carson Garner, and we've got a great episode for you today. My guest today is Jason Whitfield, who is the marketing manager here at Link Labs. And today, Jason and I will be discussing the impact that technology has on sustainability. Jason, thank you so much for coming on this episode to talk a little bit about sustainability with me.
Jason: Thank you. I'm glad to be here.
Carson: Yeah, we're glad to have you. Could you tell your listeners just a little bit about yourself and your professional journey?
Jason: Yeah. So I started in marketing probably about 15, maybe 16 years ago. Uh, and just have, have been a part of a digital marketing and um, you know, offline marketing such as print and television and just kind of worked my way through the, the, you know, the, the professional world, if you will, um, from, you know, marketing, e-commerce to, to marketing, um, you know, lead generation type of marketing, um, and all the way through. So it's been a, it's been a very eye-opening experience for me.
Carson: What interested you in marketing to begin with?
Jason: I like to be able to see how efforts bring in results. And looking at the data and looking at the metrics around that to be able to make decisions based off of that data. And, you know, that part took the longest time to learn, really making data-based decisions. So yeah, but that's really what interests me the most.
Carson: And what through your marketing journey led you to Link Labs specifically? I know you've talked about how you haven't really been involved in technology. So what brought you to Link Labs?
Jason: So with Link Labs, you know, I was really sold on the concept and not just the concept, but the, you know, the experience of the company, and where the company was headed and where the company is headed today. I was really able to do my due diligence and research the company, you know, and it seemed like it was just a really exciting place to be at. A lot of growth, a lot of advancement in asset tracking and, you know tracking technology and everything like that. The engineers and everything behind it too are just incredible. Yeah.
Carson: For our listeners who don't know, Jason lives in Texas. Jason's on a farm right now. And that's why you hear so many roosters crowing in the back.
Jason: Yep, yep, yep. Hopefully, they're not too loud, but sometimes they are.
Carson: No but, it's always fun to learn. Marketing is so unique because you know, you can market for any type of company. I bet you've learned that throughout your years. You've started with e-commerce and you go on to, you know, marketing for, you know, a B2B. So there's just a lot of different variety and marketing that is just exciting. So since Earth Day happened a few days ago, I wanted to focus today's episode on sustainability. Why it's important and the role it plays in developing a more sustainable world. When our listeners think of sustainability, I bet they probably think of, you know, reusable grocery bags or electric cars or, things of that manner. But, you know, it goes beyond that, right, Jason?
Jason: Yeah, it really does. You know, I think everyone, whether it's personal, whether it's business, has the same basic goal in mind, and that usually involves reducing emissions and reducing waste. But, you know, in reality, businesses often have to take a different approach.
Carson: Yea, Can you give an example of how that may be different for businesses?
Jason: You know I think it really relates to us. Um, it really is about building processes to help reduce the overall or to help improve sustainability. Right. Whether that be based on of battery life, whether that be based off of the technology that's going into to, you know, what we're building. Um, you know, it's really about building the processes out to help support a sustainable product. A sustainable service.
Carson: Yeah, yeah. And technology, you know, sometimes it gets a bad rap and it's given a negative connotation about sustainability, but it actually has proven to be extremely beneficial to making businesses more environmentally friendly and making the world a more environmentally friendly place. Where does that misunderstanding come from?
Jason: You know, again, from my point of view, I think where that comes from is there's a lot of raw materials that go into technology when you think about it from a manufacturing standpoint. So a lot of it uses natural resources, to build that technology. But at the end of the day, what think that technology a lot of technology does is it helps us create an environment and advance our, you know, quite frankly, our civilization and our ability to create a sustainable product or to create a sustainable service as well. So I think a lot of that comes just, you know, purely from the manufacturing process. But at the end of the day, it really is to advance. You know, a lot of the technology that's created is used to advance, and have the benefit of building out a sustainable platform or a sustainable program.
Carson: And you know, at Link Labs we are an IoT technology company, so we do provide technology. How would you say that our technology benefits the environment?
Jason: Yeah. So I think the biggest thing hands down is is going to be battery life. You know, we have a higher battery life than what is normally out in the market for asset tracking and cold chain monitoring. So we're able to really help build a sustainable program there in regards to the overall battery life. And I think it also goes into the technology that goes into each of the products that we offer as well. Being able to really design and build and partner with other IoT companies. Other manufacturers allow us to really take the technology that we're building and be able to reuse the technology, be able to build upon that technology, and really be able to take the same products and services that we have and advance the core hardware that's within that technology as well, while still utilizing the same, you know, the same outer structure, if you will, of, of that product and service.
Carson: And I think another unique thing to mention would be that our solution isn't just catered to one unique industry. You know, we can provide sustainability for all types of different industries, manufacturing, and logistics. There's a lot that goes into logistics, you know, health care, construction, all types of things that need to have better sustainability. And specifically with construction, there's a lot of different waste that goes into construction, a lot of different, you know, a lot of materials that can be reusable. So we have a solution that can help a lot of different industries. And if you're looking for a solution, if you're a logistics company, if you have some type of logistics plan, reach out to us. We'd love to help you with your sustainability efforts. Jason, Are there any new sustainability efforts that technology has allowed for?
Jason: Um, I think it goes back to, you know, asset tracking overall and cold chain monitoring. When we're talking about cold chain monitoring specifically, you know, the purpose of our technology is really to help reduce waste. Help reduce the amount of, you know, produce that is being ruined or products that are being ruined because, you know, maybe they're in a trailer and they that trailer gets too hot. Well, you need to know that very quickly so that you can correct that issue. Right. And if you don't find that out, if you don't understand that, you know what's happening in that trailer, then you're going to run the risk of actually losing all the products or all the products that's in that particular trailer. So that in itself, I think helps with sustainability. Now, when it comes to asset tracking, you got to think of it this way. You know, if you've got a thousand pallets that you're you're tracking or 10,000 pallets that you're tracking and you lose 1% of them or you lose 5% or even 10% of those, that's a lot that you're losing. And when you think about it, it actually goes into this, uh, you know, you have to reproduce all those products.
Carson: and that adds up to dollar signs for companies.
Jason: It does. Yeah, it really does. And, you know, the more that we can capture that and help companies capture that and track those assets, track those trailers, track what your cold chain environment is doing. We're able to build a more sustainable environment.
Carson: Yeah, You've talked a lot about cold chain and I knew you would because that's the area that we're really, really, you know, diving into as of recent. We just had an episode last week with Carlos and Emily that was about cold chain monitoring. So if you want to give that a listen, go back and listen to it. It was a great episode, but we learned through that episode that monitoring cold supply chains actually helps reduce waste. And I've touched on waste a little bit, but are there any other ways that asset tracking helps reduce waste?
Jason: Yeah, I think you can see that in not just cold chain, but you can look at manufacturing and construction and, and even getting down to like, you know, leasing equipment. In fact, you know, we can talk a little bit about that. I know that's not one that we always touch on, but when you're looking at, you know, sometimes manufacturers bring in leased equipment, right? Just because they don't have a real purpose to be able to purchase that. Well f you have an asset tracking, a location tracker, or a usage tracker on that particular piece of equipment, you can begin to identify, hey, we're using, we're over utilizing this piece of equipment or we're underutilized equipment. And when we underutilize it helps us identify, hey, this is waste that we are essentially having here. You know, as a business, it makes business sense for us to ship it back to who we leased it from. So that's purely one example. There are other examples, too. You can see that on, you know, the manufacturing floor where you've got a sensor that's monitoring something and you know, maybe that pallet that it's on hasn't moved. We're not seeing much being utilized in that particular pallet or that particular tote, whatever the case may be. You know, we can identify that as a way of, hey, let's reduce waste by getting rid of of that particular pallet or that tote. So I think there are a lot of different ways that we're able to reduce waste in that manner.
Carson: Yeah. And you've worked for a lot of different companies. Would you say that reducing waste is a popular goal for those companies?
Jason: I think it's becoming more and more so. When I go back to, you know, the 2010 time frame or so in 2008, you know, it wasn't as popular. We didn't have obviously the technology that we have now. But I think we have this new technology that becomes more mainstream and we're having more cost-efficient ways for us to look at things like returnable pallets, you know, for construction companies or rechargeable batteries across the board. I think it is really becoming more and more, um, mainstream. And it's, you know, not only is it good for the environment, but it's also good for a business's bottom line.
Carson: And I think it will continue to see it become more and more of, you know, a priority for businesses as we go into the future. What are some other goals that companies would have to become more sustainable?
Jason: Yeah, that's a tough question just because, you know, it's going to it really is going to depend on each individual business and how they are, um, you know, their processes and really trying to figure out and identify ways that they can become more sustainable and reduce waste. And, um, you know, I think, I think a lot of it comes down to building those processes. Integrating asset tracking, integrating location services like what we provide into a business process, into an overall business strategy. And the more that you ingrain that into that business strategy, the more money you can actually see returned and even made because you're reducing the amount of waste you're reducing the amount of or increasing the availability in some cases of some of the, you know, the raw materials or the products or whatever the case may be. But you're also reducing the amount of waste and non-use, if you will, of certain, you know, whether that be raw material or, you know, whatever the case may be for that business. Some of the goals can be, you know, really trying to look at where your waste currently happens or where you're seeing a lot of problems and issues that come up, and being able to track those. And you know from a manufacturer standpoint, your work in progress or your WIP tracking. You know, the more that you do that and track that, you're able to start reducing time spent on a particular piece of that manufacturing process. So it all really, you know, at the end of the day comes into building a more sustainable business.
Carson: What specific things should companies keep in their mind when trying to achieve sustainability goals?
Jason: You know, I talk a lot about processes and it's because I believe in processes. And, you know, most manufacturers do with Six Sigma and all that good stuff. But, you know, I think it's just a good point to reiterate. Build processes. You know, sustainable processes around your manufacturing process, your logistics process, your cold chain monitoring process, your waste process so that you know what that looks like and ways that you can continue to improve that. And a lot of the missing piece of that is not knowing where things are, whether that be waste, whether that be the product, whether that be produce, or whatever the case may be. So I think that is what people need. You know, what companies need to keep in mind is to build out a process that includes tracking and monitoring those vital pieces of that process so that you become more and more sustainable. Yeah.
Carson: And we don't want any company to feel like they're alone, you know, planning out their processes and making sure that everything is to the t of what it needs to be for sustainability. We want to be there. We want to help you and we will with our products. If you come to us and you need anything at any time if you're one of our customers, we'll help you and we'll be sure to make sure that you're doing everything you need to do to have the most sustainable and efficient organization. So, Jason, thank you so much for joining me today. Could you tell our listeners where they could connect with you if they have any questions about sustainability or technology or anything of that sort?
Jason: Yeah, definitely. You can always connect on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a very big platform, so you just look me up and I'll be there. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Um, and yeah, I'll be happy to answer any questions. Help out as much as I possibly can.
Carson: Thank you so much, Jason, for joining.
Jason: Thank you!
Carson: Thank you so much for listening to our episode this week. Link Labs is a leading innovator in all things Internet of Things. Link Labs offers an asset tracking solution that uses technology to improve company’s efficiencies. If you want to learn more about link labs and asset tracking and all the many benefits that we can provide to your company, visit our website at link-labs.com and be sure to follow us on all of our social media platforms at Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and of course subscribe to this podcast for more episodes to come in the future. We look forward to seeing you next time. And as always, thank you so much for listening in.