Cornerstone Edge: Committed To Building Trust & Delivering Value For The Long Haul

20 Leading Companies Of The Year 2022

The advent of new technological advances has revolutionized every industry, including the complicated world of supply chain. As more complex solutions become available, companies are increasingly reliant on professionals who can guide them in choosing a solution best fit for their needs, that’s where Brian Carlson comes in. Carlson, founder at Cornerstone Edge, has over two decades of experience in the supply chain space. During his tenure at one of the largest professional services networks in the world, he noticed their focus was more on billing than providing real solutions, and that troubled him. He shared, “After routinely witnessing projects go over budget and take longer than anticipated, I decided it was time for a change.” He leveraged his extensive experience to build a company that focused on building trust and delivering value. That company is Cornerstone Edge.

Carlson is an experienced leader with a passion for delivering strategy, enhancing productivity, and providing technical guidance. At Cornerstone Edge, he is focused on identifying and growing professional services in the supply chain market across a variety of specialties, including distribution, transportation, supply chain performance, and more. His entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to creativity are the backbone of Cornerstone Edge.

Cornerstone Edge

We had an opportunity to interview Brian, and we now have a thorough understanding of what Cornerstone Edge has to offer, especially how they are committed to delivering the best no matter the circumstance.

There have been a lot of supply chain transformations over the years. How did Cornerstone Edge navigate them?

Cornerstone Edge focused on what we could control. We concentrated on improving turnaround times once goods were in the warehouse by identifying and testing technology to move goods efficiently throughout warehouse operations. We also turned our attention to finding better distribution locations for our clients to reduce travel time and improve overall network efficiencies. We’re currently looking into advanced visibility technology that delivers insight into exactly what container a particular shipment is in which will help us build a strategy for quickly turning the goods around.

How did Cornerstone Edge come to be?

After spending some time with one of the largest professional services networks in the world, I knew I didn’t want to work for a company that focused more on billing than on providing real solutions. After routinely witnessing projects go over budget and take longer than anticipated, I decided to build a company focused on building trust and delivering value.

How do you like to get things done?

Cornerstone Edge is all about collaboration. We bring the best and brightest to each project by partnering up with resources we trust that share our dedication to creatively developing solutions to get the job done. More importantly, we’re obsessed with listening to our customers to ensure we know what’s unique to each one. We don’t offer a one-size-fits-all approach, instead, we’re focused on finding the right solution for each individual client, and are beholden to no one.

What does Cornerstone Edge offer to its wide range of clients?

We’re all about vision, and strongly believe that if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there. That’s why strategy is one of our top areas of focus. Whether a customer needs help with assessing their overall supply chain, inventory position, flow strategies, forecasting, facility location & design, or 3PL options, we can help. We’re all about positioning our customers to make their supply chain their key differentiator. Our focus doesn’t stop there, however. The strategy needs to be supported by tactics. That’s why we also offer services to enhance productivity and are well versed in the latest tech, including all the supply chain hardware and software solutions available. We’re proud to be technology agnostic, meaning all our recommendations are based on merit, not on fulfilling a bogus partnership requirement.

How do you ensure that Cornerstone Edge offerings are unique and relevant in the industry?

As a part of the Collinear Alliance, Cornerstone Edge has the benefit of tapping into a wide network of experts. We attend twice-yearly strategic meetings to go over industry needs as a whole and we hold monthly meetings with select partners to stay current with any new needs that arise throughout the year. The name of the game is flexibility, that’s how we stay ahead.

What does an ideal team look like to you?

We work best when we have a team that is diverse in age, experience, and expertise. A team with varied opinions empowers us to consider all options available and provide our customers with the best possible solution.

Given the hardships and stress associated with the pandemic, what was the motivation mantra for Cornerstone Edge that helped you sustain the challenges?

Though the pandemic was a burden, it also proved to be invigorating. We saw it as an opportunity to find new ways to work while still achieving our goals. We collaborated, remained flexible, and forged on. We propelled our momentum with one thought: This is different but we can do it.

How would you describe the current state of the supply chain industry and what do you think it needs?

Though we all wish it were otherwise, we’re really in a tough spot right now. But there is hope, and though it’s not an easy fix, I know it can be done. In the short term, I believe we need to focus on freeing products stuck in ports by repositioning transportation methods around the country. We also need to increase transportation capacity by adding more trucks and drivers to the roads. For the long term, there is lots to be done, but two main tasks rise to the top. First of all, I think changing the hiring age of CDL truck drivers to 18 will have a lasting impact on improving the driver and capacity shortage we’re constantly experiencing. Second, we need to work on bringing outsourced products and components back into the country to help strengthen the economy and give us more supply chain independence.

Cornerstone Edge Quote

What should businesses be focusing on to prepare for in the year to come?

I believe the two most important areas of focus are supply chain visibility and the sourcing of mission-critical products in this hemisphere. Visibility is crucial for obvious reasons; knowing where products are at any given time gives us the power to get them where they need to be. Sourcing mission-critical components, such as computer chips or diesel engine connecting rods closer to home, will give the entire supply chain industry more independence, reducing the chances of its downfall during another unexpected crisis.

As a leading company of the year, what can we expect from Cornerstone Edge in the following year?

We’re doing everything we can to foster supply chain visibility and speed to market. We’re learning more about parallel tasks and are putting that knowledge to the test before sharing it with our clients. We’ve achieved so much that we didn’t think was possible in the last two years. We’re determined to provide our customers with that same growth and success.

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