Customer Comes First
We judge our work by the new value it brings to the customer.
At STORD, we serve two main customers: Shippers (the companies who are storing and shipping products) and Warehouses (the providers storing the goods).
While our engineering team doesn’t interact with our shippers or warehouses on a daily basis, we build in a way that acknowledges the impact our work has on the growing small-business warehouse owner, as well as on some of the largest companies in the world. Our product team regularly has learning sessions with the engineering team to share new insights from our users. We regularly prototype ideas based on customer feedback and iterate quickly (one of our company values – Learn and Iterate) to create immediate value for our customers. We avoid simply building what we think they need, and instead regularly engage them in product feedback, reviews, and experiences.
We make sure there are regular touchpoints with customers to build customer empathy and put our work into industry context. As a member of the STORD team, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with our customers directly through warehouse tours and customer visits.
From inception to ideation, prototyping, and completion — we fully own our projects.
At a startup, there are a lot of different hats to wear and a lot of gaps to fill, and at STORD, we regularly practice start-to-finish ownership across the company. We are strong believers in having an internal locus of control, or in other words, a high-degree of responsibility for what affects your life, and we look for people who share those same traits. Having a sense of ownership shows up throughout our work process: Julian Pegues (software engineer) stepped in to help augment our product process with a new feature build-out and Nikhita Sagar (data scientists) built a new operational process to improve our data flow across the company.
We also regularly encourage people to have a high-degree of ownership by practicing one of our company values, Empowering Others. Our leadership is focused on aligning and setting direction, empowering team members to own their work, then largely working to clear roadblocks. This allows team members to have a high-degree of autonomy in their approaches and start-to-finish ownership over the projects they take on.
STORD is growing quickly, but we are just at the beginning of the impact we can have on the supply chain. Do you want to join a team that is tackling real-world challenges and solving massive inefficiencies affecting economies? If so, check out our open roles and reach out!
We’re focused on winning the marathon together.
We believe success requires consistent, continual effort over extended periods of time – it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. And to be successful over any period of time requires people to continually take time to refresh, explore hobbies and other interests, and practice work/life balance.
We promote work/life balance by encouraging flexible hours that accommodate individuals’ interests and hobbies. For example, Chris Smith (Sr. Eng.) is working to improve ATL’s public transportation with software and Lorna Tumuhairwe (Jr. Eng) regularly participates in short and long runs throughout the week.
At STORD, we have regular team outings and events, and encourage employees to suggest ideas for these activities! Recent events have included a Saturday morning team 5K run and spending the evening after work playing at TopGolf. These have been great opportunities to include significant others and family and build new relationships across the company.
The most effective way to align across departments, create an inclusive environment, and empower people to make critical decisions is open communication.
We practice open communication on all levels of the business and its processes. At our bi-weekly all-hands meeting, we share company-wide wins and game plans, monthly revenue numbers, company financials, and discuss challenges and areas for improvement. We regularly send anonymous surveys company-wide, and act on the feedback. Each manager holds 1:1s with every member of their team that are two-way feedback focused. Within each meeting, we strive to invite dissenting opinions or suggestions to arrive at a stronger solution.
Part of our open communication process involves ensuring that individuals relevant to the decision are able to participate regardless of whether or not they are physically present. To do so, we place an emphasis on capturing as many discussions as possible in written form: product requirements docs, meeting notes, retrospectives, and general discussion documents. Our team also strives to create an environment where remote members can participate effectively via video calls and online interactions.
Feedback is the pathway to improvement.
We work to continually embed feedback and communication into everything we do. Several of the defined processes we use for this are 1:1s, retros, and code reviews.
Every manager holds regular 1:1s to provide an environment for facilitating open communication as well as coaching and two-way feedback. Each manager leverages a variety of questions to create a space where individuals can celebrate their wins and recognize others, but also share their lows, challenges, and concerns. Within this environment, both individuals are expected to share feedback on areas for improvement.
At the end of the day, we strive to build an environment where people feel comfortable providing constructive feedback, openly share their thoughts and questions, and provide differing solutions to improve together. As a member of our engineering team, Jake Johnson, recently put it: “When everyone respects each other, people tend to feel like they can be themselves and speak their minds.”
Safe Environment to Fail
It’s better to try and fail than to never try at all.
We believe that failure is one of the most informative teachers and if we want to truly Build for the Long Term, we need to learn as much as we can as quickly as possible. We need to push ourselves and feel comfortable dropping our egos, sharing our learnings from mistakes or missteps, and iterating quickly. Supply chain is also an incredibly complex, mistake-laden industry, so to operate within it successfully we need to understand that failure can happen, acknowledge when it does, and learn how to move forward.
We hold “funerals” for projects or meetings that we stop because we’ve learned from them, team members acknowledge mistakes across retros and informal conversations, and we regularly shout out people who have “Learned and Iterated,” one of our core company values.
We place a high value on the ability to work well with others because bridging work across departments is the fastest way to learn and iterate. Great products cannot be built by one person or one team alone; it takes close collaborations and regular interactions to build something great. To that end, we engage all departments in the process of building successful products. For example, sales and operations work closely together; sales shares the new insights they’re hearing from customers and operations shares feedback from an internal user perspective.
We work in a large open space segmented by department workspaces, but individuals from different teams are always accessible and welcome to stop by and say “hey!” 👋 We also leverage a tool called Donut, which regularly connects people across departments to meet over coffee, a meal, a walk, or even just a video call. By regularly connecting people across various departments we can share ideas and build rapport so people can easily collaborate on hard problems.
Shipping often leads to better products.
We’ve set up our workflow to allow for a continuous delivery process. From the point of opening a pull request, our code runs through a test suite in CircleCI with parallelism and our build pipelines to generate a review app for stakeholders to review and test. When the PR flows from code review to merge into master, it is then deployed to Staging. From here, relevant members of the team QA the feature work before deploying to Production.
We leverage Github, CircleCI, CodeClimate, and Google Cloud Platform throughout this process to ensure we can ship quickly while still having high test coverage, writing quality code, and ensuring passing reviews. We also leverage feature flags regularly to keep to a continual delivery and ensure high quality standards.
STORD is growing quickly, for an up-to-date list of our openings, checkout out our careers page!