Narvar Q&A: Meet Chris Miller, VP of Logistics

We’re incredibly excited to introduce Chris Miller as our new VP of Logistics! Chris is an experienced leader with an extensive background in transportation and logistics, and he brings a breadth of industry knowledge to his new role here.

We sat down with Chris to learn where his career path has taken him, hear his thoughts on the industry, and find out what makes him tick.

chris-miller-q&a

Tell us a little bit about your background.

I graduated from UCLA with a BA in History so naturally I went straight into logistics. I did later get my MBA from University of San Diego in Supply Chain management.

My career has spanned all aspects of transportation and a lot of geographic locations—I started out as a warehouse supervisor for Airborne Express (now DHL) and transitioned through a series of roles from operations to sales and back again. In my last job for Airborne, I ran global operations for our small package express product. From there, I moved into manufacturing logistics as  Senior Director of Supply Chain Operations at Kyocera Wireless. Most recently, I spent 10 years with Ensenda / GrandJunction. Ensenda (now TForce Logistics) is one of the premier national 3PLs focused exclusively on the last-mile with a network of over 450 carriers. GrandJunction is our SaaS based company that provides a platform for users of last mile delivery services to efficiently manage their carrier network.

I first met Amit years ago when Narvar was just getting started.  As everyone knows, he knows how to capture your interest and he’s great about staying in touch. Over the years, he kept me updated about the great things Narvar was doing, and now, here I am—VP of Logistics.

What excites you the most about working at Narvar?

I really believe that Narvar is the right organization with the right approach at the right time.

For years we’ve all watched ecommerce capabilities within the retail community develop very slowly, even as Amazon is working to disrupt the entire industry. The retail community continues to struggle with putting processes and technologies in place that will help them compete against the 800 lb gorilla. They need to have folks in their corner, and that’s what Narvar is doing—helping the ecommerce industry not only with the functionality and product capabilities, but also culturally with the focus on customer experience. In order to be successful, you have to be thinking about how to provide the best experience at all times.

Where do you see room for improvement in the industry?

The retail-carrier ecosystem is so fragmented and varied. The retailer is always thinking about what to potentially use to manage the final mile, whether it’s DHL or FedEx, a regional or local carrier, crowdsourced or even private fleet. They’re trying to determine what is the most cost- and process-efficient way to handle it. But knitting it all together to give the customer a seamless experience every time, regardless of how the retailer is making it happen, that is really hard to do. There’s definitely room for improvement there.

What surprises you about the retail industry?

I am fascinated with the complexities that we’ve built into our supply chain, and how those complexities have evolved 10x with the proliferation of different delivery modes. It constantly surprises me, the evolution of the simple practice of taking a package from Point A to Point B; you put something on a truck, and you take it off the truck. But it’s also so much more complex than that.

Where do you do most of your shopping?

I shop mostly for home improvement stuff, so Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Orchard Supply—and that’s about it. I haven’t bought any of my own clothes for the 25 years that I’ve been married.

Where would we find you on a typical Saturday afternoon?

We keep a few chickens, so probably cleaning out the chicken pen, going for a hike with my son, or working on a project around the house. I also go fly fishing quite a bit. I’ll usually be doing something outside, away from a computer.

Welcome to the team, Chris!