In this episode of Get Linked, we’re hosting Michael Allen, the General Manager at Rampart. We’ll be breaking down how location technologies can help improve daily operations and discuss how Link Labs works with Rampart to deliver on the promise of full enterprise asset visibility. We’ll also be taking a look at some of the challenges involved with introducing new technologies in companies that already have established processes and why it’s well worth the effort. Listen now!


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Episode Transcript

Carson: Welcome back everyone to our Link Labs podcast, Get Linked. I'm your host Carson Garner, we've got a great episode for you today. Today actually marks our first time ever hosting one of Link Labs partners on the Get Linked podcast. And I couldn't be more excited to welcome Michael Allen, who is the general manager of Rampart Industrial. On today's episode, Michael and I will be discussing the relationship between our two companies, as well as, the importance of implementing location technologies to improve companies efficiency. Michael, thank you so much for joining me today. I'm so glad to have you. 

Michael: Thank you, man. I'm excited. Thanks for having me. 

Carson: So tell me a little bit about yourself and your professional journey. I know we were talking a little bit about it before the podcast, but tell me a little bit about yourself. 

Michael: Yeah, so like I was telling you earlier, I grew up in Madison, Mississippi. I've always been an athlete, played baseball, played football, all kinds of sports growing All throughout, I played college baseball and I got my master's degree along with my undergrad from the same school all throughout, you know, while I was playing baseball. Worked with Rampart Industrial, obviously, while COVID was happening. So that was kind of, you know, the perfect time to start a company. I started working with them going off through COVID. And then, you know, the owner of the company offered me the general manager spot as soon as I got out of getting my master's degree and it's been, you know, foot down running ever since. So I've enjoyed it. 

Carson: Yeah. And baseball wasn't something you wanted to pursue? 

Michael: Oh, no, it definitely was. I wouldn't say I was bad, but I definitely wasn't the best on the team. You know, these guys are coming from all over the country. Definitely, I wanted to play professional baseball, but it just didn't work out for me. So I play golf as an unprofessional now. That's my story. 

Carson: So what got you specifically into where you are now with Rampart and, you know, mobile home work? 

Michael: Yeah for sure. Well, I actually, when I started with Rampart through COVID, I was kind of just doing, you know, hands on stuff, you know, labor type, processes, I guess you would say. And then Keith, the owner, started walking me through the beginnings of leadership, general manager roles, sales roles. And then I signed, you know, one of the biggest vendors that we needed to, you know, sell other things to other customers. And he was like, hey, this is a big deal. And I was like, you know, I don't. This is normal to me. This is just networking and things like that. So he was like, what do you think about growing within the company? Let's start you out at a management role and then let's see if you're good at sales. Well, just, I guess my personality allowed me to progress very quickly. So now I'm technically the general manager, but I'm in pretty much 100% in sales. That's my main focus is to try to network, build relationships with customers, things like that. So that's kind of how I started at the base layer. And I think that's why I know how to work things because I've done those bottom level things before. And that's how I've kind of progressed throughout the company over the past three and a half years.

Carson: Well, you know, sometimes that's how it works. Your personality takes you a long way. So if you have that go getter personality, it can do a lot for you. So could you tell our listeners, I know our listeners probably don't know a lot about your company, so could you tell them a little bit about what you guys do specifically? 

Michael Yeah, absolutely. So Rampart Industrial came about in the year 2020, like said, slap dab in the middle of COVID. And one industry that just never slowed down was the mobile home industry. It was, you know, they're building these houses left and right, and they couldn't build them fast enough. I mean, you know, interest rates were down, they could just, you know, build as many as they could in a day and sell them. So we kind of originated to how can we bring such an old school way of doing things into a new life of let's make these guys work a little simpler and faster. That’s actually our slogan, faster, simpler, more efficient. And that's exactly what we did. The first process, I think, was a sub-assembled product that we ended up moving forward with them, which saved them 36 hours. I mean, that's one item. We started that over a two and a half year span. The one item we started with is now 75 items that we sub assemble or manufacture for them because it makes them faster, simpler, more efficient. They don't have to do it on site. It's there, it's finished, put it on the house, let's get the next one rolling in. So that's kind of how we originated and that's blossomed into the automotive industry. We've dabbled in a little bit of other industries too, just because of how we can we make any company faster, simpler, more efficient, not just the mobile home industry. And that's kind of where we started and where we're at today.

Carson: Yeah, I really like that slogan. I feel like that slogan will work for our company as well.

Michael: That's what I was just about to say in the next couple questions. It's like, we have the same values. 

Carson: Well something that both of our companies are trying to do is transform companies processes. Like you said, specifically when it comes to tracking valuable assets. What are some of the older ways that you see companies follow when it comes to managing their physical assets? 

Michael: Yeah, let me show you this right here. This is the old school way, and I am not making fun of that, that's just the way they've always done it. The way they track their assets, the way they track their inventory is, here's a folder of papers, go check if it's there and how many there are. When you start counting thousands of products, you may miss a couple hundred or something like that, but it's a lot of the same thing they did 20 years ago, same thing they did 30 years ago. They're tracking these assets by a manager role or even worse, a base layer employee. They're going out and counting this stuff and it's inefficient and it's also, you're putting it into the hands of somebody who doesn't have the company's values in mind. They're just getting paid. Let's go count it. If I miss a few, who cares? That's the mindset that they have. And that's just not the correct way to do things in our opinion.

Carson: How were you guys managing your assets before you got involved with Link Labs? 

Michael: The exact same way to an extent. We have some platforms that we use that we update daily, which that kind of helps you not have to do the quarterly inventory or whatever you want to call it. That's the way we were doing things. prior to meeting you guys. And obviously now we're a little bit different of a market you would say, as far as we don't really need to track our assets. It's kind of hard to explain the scenario of, we don't have as much if that makes any sense. We can put our hands on our assets a lot easier than somebody who has a 100,000 square foot warehouse can put their hands on theirs. 

Carson: Yeah, yeah. So what would you say, and you've touched on this a little bit, what would you say are some of the big issues that come with these outdated methods. 

Michael: A big issue is obviously accuracy. That would be number two. Then the very first issue is efficiency. And when you're paying somebody that's in a management role and they could be using their strengths in a different field instead of walking outside spending three hours, sometimes a full day, looking and tracking their inventory and tracking their assets. Could we use those guys in a better field? Could they have been used when they were out? That’s the type of thing where efficiency is one. I mean, if you can tell somebody, hey, I just did your entire job that normally takes you three hours in 30 seconds, you probably want to do that second option.

Carson: So why do you think people continue to use these methods? You know, if they're so outdated and they don't work as well as, you know, implementing some type of asset tracking solution is better. Or do you think maybe they just don't realize that  there is a solution to fix it? 

Michael: No, that's exactly right. And that's what we realized, man, I've never seen an industry like the mobile home industry in my entire life. It is definitely the second one you said with them. I mean, it's the lack of knowledge because it's not that they're not trying to go look for these different technologies, you know, things to make them more efficient. It's that they are so busy that they can't. They don't have an hour at the end of their workday to think, how can we do this in a better way? They're just nonstop moving the entire time, 110% all the time. And they don't have somebody that is in a role of thinking how can we do this more efficiently and faster? And that's exactly why we originated. How can we do that for them and they don't even have to worry about it. So it's your exact right to lack knowledge.

Carson: Yeah. Like how would you say... would be the best way since you are a company that's trying to get that knowledge out, what would you say the best way to go about that is? 

Michael: The best way to go about that is to be as specific as possible. And when you bring a company a solution, don't bring them a broad solution. You want to bring them a specific, what do they deal with on a day-to-day basis? And that's where it all comes down to customer relations. If you know these guys, you can be honest with them, be straight up, hey. you walk outside in this warehouse and you count 7,000 rolls of whatever insulation, we can track these assets by doing this using a tag. And I can tell you exactly how many you have in this specific area at this specific time. And when it leaves the area, and this is it, and you show them an example. If you can be specific and tailor it to their specific company, that's a no brainer. But if you go as a broad spectrum, hey, do you wanna track assets? They're not going to... you know, take the time to really understand what you're talking about. They will say we don't need that.

Carson: That makes a lot of sense. But as we both know, Link Labs has created a technology solution that allows companies to gain visibility on their assets while avoiding the problems that you just mentioned. What benefits have you seen specifically from this new way of tracking through link labs? 

Michael: Um, definitely information. I feel like we're in a day in an economy where if you can acquire more information than you could a month ago, 10 years ago, five years ago, then that's everything. If you can gather information and hey, by the way, you can also gather this information in about 30 seconds to five minutes, instead of weeks, days, months, that's the biggest thing for any of these people. And that's what we've seen that work is. What kind of information are you gathering? So one project that obviously you know about Carson is that we are tracking some houses and some relief help from hurricanes in Florida. The guys are able to track their houses and specifically where they're at, and how many we've sent out, because they use that as some power to generate their business as well as how can we say that we're better than the competitor? Well, we track all 7,000 houses that we've sent in this relief housing. Can you tell us how many? We can give you a ballpark. Well, we can give you an exact answer. It's allowing us to sell something, but it's not just gaining you information, it's gaining your company value. You're able to have that as a step above your competitor because you have more information and that's where it all comes down to. If you can acquire and show more information than your competitor, it normally helps you out a lot.

Carson: Yeah, and you know, it's so important to, like you said, not only have a solution that helps customers, but also helps the environment, helps the world. And that's what Link Labs is doing, And so it's a perfect match to put each other together to help sustainability efforts. So that's great. So clearly there are some hurdles though with this technology. We try to be as perfect as possible. And I think Link Labs gets our technology to about perfect. But what are some challenges that you have witnessed when transitioning from this old way or old to new technologies? 

Michael: Um, honestly the only problem that I've ever ran into is just a customer understanding and saying yes. You can give them all this information and tell them, Hey, I'm solving your problem. I'm a problem solver. Here's a solution. That's all great, but if they don't pull the trigger on it and they don't have the confidence in saying yes. And that's the only problem you really have normally. In all of the solutions we've provided the customers have said yes. They've been, you know, super happy with it. And we're not going to stop until they're happy. We're not somebody that's, and that's why you're so great because we work the same way. Hey, we're not going to sell this customer product and then say, Hey, good luck. Hope it works. No, we're going to make sure that it works, that you're happy with it, that you're getting what you want out of it. But the main problem is, and the challenges from the new technology and the old ways is just believing and having faith. Yeah. I mean, having faith that this is going to work. That's why I always use the slogan, don't wait to do something. In a master's tournament a couple weeks ago, a guy was playing, and he had a tattoo on his shoulder that said that from his dad. It's like, don't wait on your next door neighbor to make the leap of faith and do this technology, and then they blow you out of the water because of it. Like, that's the hardest part, and the challenges come from saying yes or no. 

Carson: What solutions have you found to help overcome these challenges?

Michael: Exactly what I said earlier, as far as if you can... Tell them exactly a solution specifically to them. You can't go at it from a broad spectrum. Hey, I'm doing this with five other people and you should do it too. You have to walk in at a time where they're, you know, super stressed out and say hey, what's going on. Oh, I had just done inventory for six hours for the past two days and I messed up and we're a million dollars off on our account. Well, hey, I can fix that. I can do exactly what you're talking about. I can fix exactly that and they kind of perk up a little bit, like really? I mean, it all comes down to, you can't have a broad answer for these guys. You have to be specific, you have to care about them. And that's where it comes from. It's like, you're not trying to sell anything. You're trying to make their jobs easier. You're trying to make them simpler, faster, more efficient. I mean, that's where it all boils down to sticking with what you know your values. 

Carson: Yeah, you said you're mainly working in the mobile home aspect. You said that you are trying to branch out and do more. What does that look like? 

Michael: Branching out is just being able to use the strengths of the company and how can we help even more people? So the mobile home industry is obviously an area that in North Alabama, we've got, you know, we're talking 10, 15, 20 customers just in that area. So the automotive industry is a little bit different because the automotive industry has a lot of technology. They know what they're doing. not saying that the mobile home does not, but it's just the automotive industry is always looking for how we can do all this robotically? So they don't have as much of a need, but they still have a need. The same thing with these local electrical guys and how their contractors that are hammering and nailing we can make some things a little bit easier. Oh, where's my where's my impact rich that I had two days ago that cost $300? Well, we can track that and we know it's in the back of her truck, that type of thing. So it's it's bringing some another old school economy into, hey,  we can use this technology here to like, let's try to do that. 

Carson: Absolutely. Well, thank you so much, Michael, for taking the time to chat with me a little bit today. One more thing before we go, what would you say the future of a rampart looks like? I like to ask that too. You know, a lot of the people that we have had on the podcast so far with Link Labs, but I wanted to give you the chance to, you know, rep your company a little bit. So what do you say the future of Rampart looks like? 

Michael: I see Rampart being a company that is well known throughout the country. You know, we're just in the south right now. I think that if we can get enough people to believe in us, which we already have, we're not even breaking the ice yet for that. I mean, we are a brand new company, three years old. I think the future for Rampart is huge. Sky's the limit. We've got the motivation. We've got people that support each other. We believe in each other. We're not, you know, hoping for things. You know, we're just waiting for things to explode. And we know they will. And that's really what we're striving towards in the next five, 10 years. How can we make where you're in the north part of the country, oh, we know who Rampart Industrial is. You know, we know what those guys do. The main thing is, how can you look at a company and know exactly what they do and what they're good at? That's when you know you've got a really good company. There's no question about what they do. 

Carson: What do you think the future of Rampart looks like now with Link Labs asset tracking technology? 

Michael: Well, That's what I was just about to say. And once we met you guys, that's where a lot of new avenues opened up to where we can rep something that we are trying to do at a smaller scale. Y'all are the big scale. That's the technology that we love, and help the guys do the easier stuff. You guys are going to allow us other ventures, other avenues that we can rep that people are going to love and that's what the great thing about it is. I feel like you are just an added person to our Rampart team. We're not working separately. I feel like we're just a big team and you know, if I need something or if I have a question, it's answered literally within the hour, within the 30 minutes and that's great and that's what any great partnership is. This is literally exactly what you want. And that's how we want it to be.

Carson: Yeah, we want you to feel that way. We want all our customers to feel that way. We don't want to be aloof to what you guys are doing. We wanna be right there in the midst helping you guys. So that's amazing. I don't know about you, but I'm super excited about the possibilities that our companies both have through teaming up together. Could you tell our listeners a little bit about how they could get connected with you if they have any questions or concerns about Rampart or Link Labs technology or anything of that sort? 

Michael: Yeah, I can actually, my email is We have our website, And we can, if we need to tag it in the podcast, little captioner thing, we can do that. And yeah, I mean, just call me. I'm more of a, I like to talk to people on the phone. I like to be personable. I want to know who you are, where you're from, that type of thing. Not necessarily how many dogs you have, but I just like to be a personal person. Yeah, just honestly phone number, email. I'd love to talk to, you know, anybody who has any questions. And obviously, if I can't answer them, I promise you I can get them answered very quickly because that's just how good our  team is and how good y'all's team is. So, yeah.

Carson: Well, I hear your construction equipment in the back banging and stuff.

Michael: Oh, yeah.  And I told everybody I was about to be on the podcast. They said, oh yeah, we'll be quiet. 

Carson What's a podcast? I've never heard of that. 

Michael: Yeah, exactly. What is that? Oh, it's the 21st century, don't worry about it. 

Carson: Well, thank you for joining me today. It's been a pleasure. 

Michael: Yeah, man, Carson, I appreciate you having me on. 

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 wanna learn more about Link Labs and asset tracking and all the many benefits that we can provide to your company, visit our website at and be sure to follow us on all of our social media platforms at Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, subscribe to our YouTube page, and of course, subscribe to this podcast for more episodes to come in the future. We look forward to seeing you next time. Thank you so much for listening in.

Written by Carson W. Garner

Carson W. Garner is a proactive marketing and business development professional with the goal of turning opportunities into sales. Carson is heavily involved with collateral development, website development, customer success, business development, and he hosts Link Labs' podcast Get Linked. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Marketing. Carson brings creativity, vision, and dedication to the Link Labs marketing and sales teams.

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