Jett McCandless

Founder and CEO, project44
Jett is an established Chicago leader with a track record of success. He has steered multiple companies through accelerated growth, providing the logistics space with expertise and innovation along the way. After becoming Principal and GlobalTranz, he began building companies that would lead the logistics sector into the future, his latest venture is project44 — a hypergrowth and progressive SaaS technology provider — which in 2016 alone received a $15.5M equity raise, and grew its enterprise customer base by 350 percent. For more information, visit:
  • Posted on: 12/20/2017

    Are smart homes smart enough to foil package thieves?

    Smart locks, especially with the systems that companies like Amazon are implementing where they have access to your lock and can place packages in your home, have more potential than anything. Cameras are a deterrent, however thieves will steal something if they really want to. Stolen packages are an issue, but I don't think they're a major pain point right now. The important thing to remember, however, is that building the best possible customer experience is what's really going to separate the winners from the losers, and the best anti-theft measures are going to be a factor in all of that.
  • Posted on: 11/13/2017

    Retailers need supply chain urgency – now

    Some retailers may still be in denial about the urgency here, but it might already be too late for them. Even smaller retailers are already taking the steps they need in order to compete with companies like Amazon over the next few years. Look, full disclosure: I'm the Founder and CEO of a company that digitizes the supply chain. I don't know if there's a way to say this without it coming across like a sales pitch, but it's something I honestly believe to be true. Companies can deliver stronger value to their customers through the supply chain, and they can create smarter end-to-end shipping experiences just like Amazon, but they have to leverage the power of information. Automation and visibility are the keys here, and they're possible, but only if we start digitizing the supply chain. That means replacing legacy technology like EDI and rate bureaus with modern solutions like APIs.
  • Posted on: 11/06/2017

    Amazon undercuts rivals by adding discounts to marketplace seller prices

    Amazon is already set to do some incredible things this holiday season. Providing discounts on third-party suppliers only strengthens that effort. This holiday season is going to be a bloodbath for companies not called Amazon.
  • Posted on: 10/27/2017

    Walmart puts robots to work with humans in more stores

    Robots are absolutely capable of driving the customer experience forward through automated processes. The real test is going to be what systems they connect to in order to drive those processes. You have to have quality APIs connecting to good data to make your automated process react to the right events.
  • Posted on: 10/26/2017

    Retailers need to do a better job delivering groceries

    I think the fluctuations in product quality makes people wonder if they really got the "best" item. If you order a new phone, you basically know what you're getting, and if there's a defect you can simply exchange it. When ordering food, however, one bunch of cilantro is going to vary in quality from the next. People assume that, because they didn't pick it out themselves, there was probably a better option.
  • Posted on: 10/25/2017

    Amazon to begin making in-home deliveries in 37 cities

    This is intriguing. Amazon is pushing the boundaries of how far into their personal space they're willing to allow corporations. So far, people seem fine with inviting them into their homes (think Alexa, Siri, Google Home, Smart TVs, and countless other forms of data collection.) These companies have built up enough trust, so it seems like they're going to be alright with giving Amazon this level of access. I can't help but think 20, maybe even 10 years ago, people would call you insane if you told them everyday citizens would grant a mega corporation access to the lock on their front door, complete with a camera to monitor everything. Times have certainly changed. For people who live in busy neighborhoods, or places where theft is a possibility, this is an extremely useful delivery feature. It also gives an extended level of visibility to customer and supply chain partners alike. Furthermore, your home only has one door lock. You can have a smarthome made by two different companies, but can you have a key? I think Amazon found a way to block other companies from attempting this same service.
  • Posted on: 10/24/2017

    Target has a plan to end the Christmas sales madness

    Their omnichannel plan is particularly interesting. I still think the main reason they saw a decline last Holiday season was the shift towards ecommerce. They weren't ready for ecommerce to take center stage during the busy season, and it bit them. While having their stores ready for fulfillment is huge, and short shipping times with free shipping is necessary to compete with Amazon, it will still come down to whether or not people use their services.
  • Posted on: 10/23/2017

    Apple opens invisible hangout in Chicago

    Since they first started catching on, Apple stores have been places people simply enjoyed visiting. Even if they didn't plan on making a purchase, people would be sure to stop in the Apple store every trip to the mall. While brick-and-mortar retail is becoming less prevalent, I don't see that impacting Apple stores. People will still go there simply to be a part of the technology culture, and it will drive sales even if those sales don't occur directly inside the specific location. People like to go play around with technology before they buy it. I also think the community education aspect is unique, and I'm very interested to see where Apple decides to take it.
  • Posted on: 10/16/2017

    Will lessons learned at Amazon Books translate to Whole Foods?

    Amazon Books is particularly interesting to me because Amazon got its start in books. Nobody can forget the slow death of Borders and Barnes & Noble at the hand of Amazon. Who would have thought that was just the beginning of their disruption? I think that their ability to collect and leverage data will assist them in implementing similar strategies for their Whole Foods efforts. They're already collecting data on people's food consumption, and there's no way they got into this market without a clear strategy in place.
  • Posted on: 09/29/2017 is stepping out of Walmart’s shadow

    Walmart has made it clear that they intend to do battle with Amazon, but consumers have made it clear that they like new things as far as online retail is concerned. Keeping separate is a great idea. It's already established and growing. Absorbing it into Walmart's own online initiatives would leverage very little change. As far as which individual initiatives will be most successful ... It's hard to say. I think the real benefit will come by continuing to build strong partnerships so their customers always have fresh options.
  • Posted on: 09/21/2017

    Will a new lunch menu make Starbucks a food giant?

    They're getting better, but I don't know if I buy it. It would require some pretty significant marketing to get people to accept Starbucks as a lunch destination beyond a last-minute meal in a pinch. They'll have to convince people that it's good food, too, since their previous offerings haven't exactly been gourmet.
  • Posted on: 09/18/2017

    Did this startup make a big mistake calling itself Bodega?

    They definitely didn't think their marketing strategy through. The name itself isn't bad--it makes sense, and it doesn't imply that you're putting people out of work. The issue was in saying that they aim to replace bodegas instead of supplement them. They could have just implemented their plan and let the rest take its course. Then bodegas going out of business would simply be an unfortunate byproduct of a good idea making something more efficient. It's also interesting that people are acting like this is a new concept. There have been multi-purpose vending machines for years. Look at what you can purchase out of a vending machine in Japan! I think the backlash here was just the internet's weekly viral rage session.
  • Posted on: 09/14/2017

    Millennials, not Boomers, say associates are key to shopping experiences

    Young consumers want to know more about the products they're purchasing. Millennials have grown up in the information age, and they're used to having everything they need to know readily available to them. They're also starting to realize how misleading descriptions on the internet can be, so they trust human beings more.
  • Posted on: 09/11/2017

    Is Kohl’s giving away the store to Amazon?

    I think I'd like to hear more information about the monetary implications of this deal before I assess it completely, however I do think it's a good idea for retailers to work WITH Amazon instead of against them. Partnering with Amazon means that you're on the good side of the most powerful force in modern retail. Kohl's is giving itself priority over rival outlets in the eyes of Amazon, and I think it will pay off in the long run.
  • Posted on: 08/31/2017

    Is outsourcing a better option for in-home tech help?

    It really comes down to quality control. If retailers partner with heavily vetted, proficient people, this is an excellent idea. Providing customers with the best service possible should be the highest priority. When a product doesn't work as a customer anticipated, whether it's their own fault or not, they're going to blame the retailer. Providing them with an excellent solution makes all the difference in the world. If a customer knows they're going to be taken care of even after the credit card is swiped, they'll return to your store next time they need to make a purchase.
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