Joe Hudicka and Lora Hudicka helped their children, Joey and Heidi, develop the Launch! board game.
How’s this for leveraging business contacts?
Joe Hudicka and Lora Hudicka reached out to numerous manufacturing companies while helping their children produce an interactive board game designed to teach grade-schoolers the fundamentals of entrepreneurship.
In doing so, they not only got background information for their kids, they got a lead on an entrepreneurial opportunity of their own.
“We ended up getting to know U.S. companies that were conducting global transactions in the game manufacturing space and were asked for some assistance in identifying a quality platform and solution that would provide better capabilities for the market,” Joe Hudicka said.
Hudicka, a veteran in the software industry, connected those companies with Ricardo Medem, founder and CEO of Neurored S.A., a cloud-based supply chain management software and service provider founded in 2011 in Madrid, Spain.
Serving as the middleman led to the next logical step, the creation of Neurored U.S., which started in Flemington in January 2016.
With Joe Hudicka serving as managing director and Lora Hudicka working as president, they have been rolling ever since, filling a need they believe is underserved in the U.S.
The Hudickas said they were surprised when it came to their clients’ visibility into the supply chain.
“Many companies are still dealing with spreadsheets when it comes to managing their business relationships and transactions,” Joe Hudicka said. “That (increases) the chance that what you need to do your job will not show up on time.”
Neurored corrects this, the Hudickas said.
“Neurored takes what normally would be a very complicated series of transactions and centralizes them all so that everyone in a company, from sales to operations to customer care, can get the information needed in real time from one application,” Joe Hudicka said.
The cloud-computing software provides global supply chain and transportation management solutions for manufacturers, traders and freight forwarders — including real-time tracking capabilities.
By utilizing SalesForce, a cloud-based platform, the Hudickas are able to focus on their business expertise in global trade while leveraging the best of the platform in terms of security, scalability and accessibility.
“If you are a manufacturer, for example, you would not only utilize our application to manage your supply sourcing, but also your client relationships and fulfillment, shifting from a transaction system into one that assists with planning and decision making,” Joe Hudicka said.
Freight rate management, for example, is one of the most difficult models for manufacturers and logistics providers to address, Hudicka added.
“Each supplier manages their information in their own proprietary ways, with most heavily transacting companies being forced to negotiate individual special rates,” Hudicka said. “What then happens is that logistics providers need to adjust their rates throughout the year based on various market conditions, such as the cost of fuel or the demand on specific trade lanes.
“Being able to keep up with the volatility of those rates across a bunch of different suppliers is a difficult challenge to satisfy and is something that every account we have engaged with has battled for years.”
Neurored U.S. provides companies with the ability to bulk import freight rates from any Excel or PDF file received from carriers.
“It is refreshing to be able to provide a standardized solution that allows companies to easily upload various formats of information from different sources,” Hudicka said. “In addition to planning orders and fulfillments, now companies are also able to plan out actual sourcing at a cost level by being able to decipher fully-landed costs ahead of time.
“You also can look at the quality and success rates of each of your relationships in recent history with different suppliers and take these other variables into context when planning your next order or shipment.”
Neurored U.S. also offers real-time container tracking, allowing its users visibility into the supply chain beyond when a product hits the port.
“You can oversee ships by knowing where they are and if they are on track without having to wait for that information via multiple phone calls and emails,” Hudicka said.
It includes step-by-step event data, which lets a company not only know what happened each step of the way, but proactively sends alerts if a shipment is on its way to becoming delayed.
Neurored U.S. also provides users with the ability to compare supplier quotes from different countries — considering variable import and export costs — conduct inventory and forecasting within their warehouses, and effectively produce and manage various documents.
“Between our ports, our proximity to both Philadelphia and New York City, and the ideal business and manufacturing activity going on in the state right now, New Jersey is a fantastic place for us to leverage the innovative technology that we’ve developed by providing incredible access to those companies here involved in global trade,” Hudicka said.
Neurored U.S. operates virtually from Flemington with three full-time employees: the Hudickas, plus a senior technical architect. There are 30 remote employees total between the U.S., Madrid and Belgium locations.
“We also flex with our independent contractor relationships as well as strategic consulting partner relationships,” Hudicka said.
Named a 2017 Top 25 Logistics Technology Solutions Provider by CIO Applications magazine, Neurored U.S. has grown 200 percent this year, boasting a renewal rate of 120 percent.
“We want to establish ourselves within a few different verticals beyond building, construction and manufacturing, by building our presence within the logistics industry here in the U.S. much like the way we have done so in Europe, Africa and Asia,” Joe Hudicka said. “We also want to continue working within the financial technology space to completely disrupt and transform the landscape of financial transactions in global trade.
“We put a year’s worth of hard work into building awareness of our solution here in the U.S. and now have a really bright outlook for 2018 and beyond based upon our success.”