When Covid shut down much of the world in 2020, it ended up wreaking havoc on the supply chain. Suddenly companies built for just-in-time production couldn’t find the parts they needed to build their products.
Even as Covid subsided, supply chain issues continued. Supply management veterans like the founder of startup Amplio watched and thought there must be a better way to avoid these kinds of disruptions in the future by using software to find parts wherever they were.
Amplio launched last year with that goal in mind, and today the startup announced a $6 million seed to build a system to detect parts shortages. Trey Closson, CEO and co-founder of Amplio, says his company’s goal is to build more resilience into the electronic component supply chain.
“We help our customers understand the components that are most at risk of causing material shortages, and then we connect our customers with alternative sources of supply to mitigate those shortages,” Closson told businessroundups.org.
He knows what he’s talking about. He has spent his entire career in supply chain management and has seen firsthand how disruptions can negatively impact a company’s operations. He blames “Just-in-time production” techniques for the problems we see today.
“The supply chains are designed for 30 or 40 years to optimize for cost and best case scenario, but the reality is we don’t live in a best case world. We live in a world of constant disruptions,” he said.
“The way our platform works is we connect to our customers’ record keeping systems or their ERP solutions, and we take their BOMs and their operational data and then combine that with external data sets to be able to show the customer their capability to buy their specific components in the next six to 18 months,” he said.
In addition, in cases where the customer cannot find the components, customers can go to the Amplio marketplace to find suppliers or other manufacturers who may have excess inventory that they are trying to sell.
Closson’s most recent job was at Koch Industries, where he led the international supply chain for Georgia Pacific, where he was on the front lines of Covid-induced toilet paper shortages. But he decided to focus his startup on electronic components.
“So while supply chain resilience across the market is critical, we want to focus on the electronics industry because it has such a huge impact on the global economy,” he said. He conceived and incubated the company as part of a program by Koch and High Alpha Innovation, the program launched by former Exact Target execs to help startups with entrepreneurial ideas.
The company currently has 6 employees but plans to expand with funding (which closed in May). He says as he grows the company, diversity and inclusion are an important building block. “Diversity is one of the core principles for our recruitment and decision-making processes. So just from a selfish point of view, diverse organizations make better decisions and have more creative ideas, and ultimately are more successful,” he said.
Today’s round was led by Construct Capital with participation from Slow Ventures, High Alpha Capital, Flexport Ventures, Alpaca Venture Capital and several industry angels.