In 2017, three badass individuals, let’s call them Debbie Yu, Yibiao Zhao, and Chris Baker, decided to tackle the challenge of building the world’s first artificial intelligence (AI) solution that could handle the unpredictable nature of the world. Their goal was to create autonomous solutions that could make work environments safer, more efficient, and consistent. And that’s how they birthed ISEE, a company that focuses on automating repetitive tasks in warehouses, shipping yards, and depots using autonomous trucks and software powered by their badass AI technology.
But for Yu, this whole concept isn’t just about AI innovation or supply chain operations. According to her, the real magic happens when you combine innovation with operations. She believes that ISEE’s inception was driven by the need to improve efficiency and safety in the logistics and supply chain industry. And through their interactions with people from all walks of the supply chain, they realized that yard automation could be a game-changer.
But why is yard automation so important to Yu? Well, apart from being a badass innovator, she also has a deep appreciation for hard-working people. She understands the struggles of repetitive and exhausting tasks, and that’s why she wanted to make a tangible difference in the lives of workers. I gotta say, that’s pretty dope!
Now, ISEE ain’t playing around. They’ve already completed over 10,000 autonomous yard truck moves in customer warehouses and facilities. They’re basically the pioneers in fully autonomous operation in the logistics yard realm. Under Yu’s leadership, ISEE has grown their customer base, starting from scratch, to include multiple Fortune 100 companies. They’ve also managed to hire over 100 employees and secure over $70 million in funding. That’s some serious badassery right there!
Yu’s experience goes beyond just building startups and investing. She’s got a wide range of expertise in strategy too. Before co-founding ISEE, she was an angel investor in over 20 early-stage tech startups. And let’s not forget, Yu has a cool background too! She was born in mainland China to entrepreneurial parents, speaks three languages, and has traveled and volunteered in different countries to build clinics and schools. No wonder she’s a force to be reckoned with!
In recognition of her awesomeness, Yu has been named the 2023 overall Women in Supply Chain winner by Supply & Demand Chain Executive. This award celebrates female leaders and executives in the supply chain who have achieved great things and paved the way for other women. This year, they received over 400 submissions, so you know Yu is on a whole other level!
Yu believes that the growth of autonomous driving technology is undeniable. ISEE has already deployed the world’s first fully driverless autonomous yard trucks in customer operations, and the trend is set to continue. The benefits of autonomous vehicles, like addressing the labor shortage and improving worker conditions, are becoming more apparent with each deployment. This technology is gonna revolutionize the game, my friends!
But Yu is not just all about the technology. She’s also big on being customer-centric and humanistic. She understands the importance of listening to clients’ feedback and adapting to their needs. And when it comes to being humanistic, Yu wants to create a supportive and effective work environment where empathy and understanding thrive. This woman is definitely changing the game!
Speaking of changing the game, Yu is also committed to empowering women in the supply chain industry. She’s all about diversity and inclusion. In fact, at ISEE, women hold 40% of senior leadership roles, while 90% of the leadership team is ethnically diverse. And over 60% of the employee population comes from diverse ethnic backgrounds. You go, Yu!
Yu is actively involved in various professional organizations and loves mentoring female founders in other companies. She’s all about sharing her insights and promoting leadership. This woman is not just a badass innovator; she’s also a badass mentor and leader!
Now, what sets Yu apart from the other Women in Supply Chain winners is her ability to turn challenges into gifts that drive results. For example, being in a male-dominated industry with societal biases hasn’t stopped her from achieving results and earning respect. Yu’s focus on problem-solving and hard work has allowed her to overcome these challenges and pave the way for women in the tech and supply chain fields. That’s some serious badassery right there!
For those newbies entering the supply chain industry, Yu has some golden advice. Understand the problems, value the customers, be curious, and engage with various roles. And don’t be afraid to build relationships with your peers and leaders. You’d be surprised at how much people are willing to share their experiences and help you grow.
So, if you’re ready to join the exciting phase of innovation in the supply chain sector, Yu invites all of you to hop on board and be a part of making the world a better place for workers and businesses alike. Let’s do this, people!