Emilie Schario has some thoughts on data.
Specifically, she has some strong thoughts about what is wrong with the way most businesses access their internal data.
“The way companies work with data teams is, in my opinion, pretty fundamentally broken,” she told Hypepotamus. As she explained, it is common for leaders in other parts of the organization – be it a director of supply chain or a head of marketing – to submit a request to a data team and sit around for a week waiting for a response.
Now, there are countless enterprise software solutions that can parse through seemingly endless amounts of data on orders, revenue, and supply chain vendors. But they don’t actually help with the root problem, says Schario. And that can be a big problem for capital-intensive businesses with a lot of inventory.
“What I realized is over the last decade, [software companies] have really been focused on solving the problem of what I call a last-mile solution with better BI (business intelligence) tools or better drag-and-drop interfaces. But the underlying problem is that the average knowledge worker uses 14 SaaS apps to get their job done,” she added.
That means information is siloed and it takes too much time to make an informed business decision.
“Especially in startups, where time is so valuable, waiting a week for an answer from your data team is just too long,” Schario told Hypepotamus. “The cost of not making a decision is higher than the value of having that precise information.”
Get To Know Turbine
Schario knew there had to be a better way forward, so she started working on Turbine from her home in Columbus, Georgia. The enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is designed to help multi-channel businesses manage all their disparate workflows.
If there is one thing that all physical product companies can relate to, it is the fact that inventory is difficult to manage. An unexpected large order – or a fateful missed shipment from a supplier – can derail any business. The premise of the Turbine platform is that teams need more visibility into their inventory, supply chain, procurement, and accounting systems without having to look through multiple dashboards or platforms.
Turbine works on purchase order management, freight shipment tracking, invoice reconciliation, inventory forecasting, and margin calculations around all payouts, payments, and orders coming in across a business.
“Everyone should have access to the information they need to do their jobs and make the best possible decisions at the moment,” Schario added.
Turbine’s customers are those in operational, supply chain, finance, and planning roles within an inventory-heavy company. Right now, Schario said she is looking to connect with companies in the physical product and consumer goods companies in the $10 to $50 million GMV range.
Building In Columbus
Schario had been thinking about the premise behind Turbine for a while, but she started working on the startup full-time in September of 2022. The team currently has five employees who joined Turbine after working at organizations like Netlify, Google, and Venture For America.
Before jumping into the entrepreneurial world, Schario was an early employee and data engineer at the popular open-source software company GitLab and was Director of Data and Business Intelligence at the fast-growing web development platform Netlify.
Turbine is a Military Spouse-Owned Enterprise, something that ties into why Schario is building the startup in Columbus. Schario moved to Columbus for her husband’s job in the military a few years back.
The city itself is most known for its finance and insurance giants like Aflac, Synovus, and TSYS. But Schario says ‘The Fountain City’ is a great place to start a new venture. Startup Columbus and its incubator program are supporting the burgeoning startups in the area, and Atlanta’s ATDC (the Advanced Technology Development Center) also opened up an office in the city in 2022 to help grow the ecosystem.
“There’s a lot more than just Aflac here, which is what a lot of people think. It’s a really growing entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Schario added.
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