All my life I have grown up hearing about the food supply chain; at family dinners, around the house, and just here and there in conversation with my dad. Even though I heard about it countless times, I never had a full understanding of how the industry worked. This summer I had the opportunity to get on the front lines and work directly with the marketing team at Procurant to get more insight on how food gets from farm to table.
At first I wasn’t sure what to expect. I am a finance major. marketing is foreign to me. I did not know if I was prepared or knowledgeable enough to be a valuable contributor. However, within the first couple hours, any concerns I may have had were quickly put to rest.
The first day was hectic, but also informative and helpful. I sat down with four company Vice-Presidents to learn what role they play in keeping the company productive and efficient. I heard a variety of different perspectives, and the pieces started to come together. Learning how long it takes a truck to get from Arizona to the Northeast or what a distribution center is may seem like trivial information, but it helped me get a grasp of what Procurant does. With this better understanding of the company’s operations I was ready to see one of the new products. At the end of that first day I saw a demo of one of the new products. Learning about the operations of the company and then seeing the actual software completed my understanding of how Procurant contributes to the food supply chain.
I was then off to work with the marketing team. Procurant is a startup and the marketing team consists of just two people at this point. Although it was a small team, they moved quickly and efficiently to keep up with a rapidly growing company. At this time, two major retailers were getting set up and there was no shortage of work. Much of our work was done through software called Salesforce. With over 700 new suppliers we would spend our days creating quotes and sending them out. This is the part that I enjoyed the most. I had always thought of marketing as advertising and billboards, but getting to work with Salesforce was a pleasant surprise. The aspect that really intrigued me was the variety of work that came with it. Sending out quotes was just the beginning. I also got familiar with DocuSign, customer service and many other systems and processes.
To finish the summer off, I got some experience working with QuickBooks. Considering I am studying finance, getting to work a little on the financial side and see how invoices are processed was really beneficial. I also found it interesting because it tied the whole process back together. Creating, sending, and receiving signed quotes in Salesforce was the first half. Sending out the invoices is what essentially wrapped up the whole process. Getting exposure to all these different platforms and seeing how they all intertwine with each other made the process of onboarding a customer much easier to understand.
I also want to say something about the people and the culture of Procurant. I haven’t worked at a startup before and I can honestly say I really enjoyed it. At other jobs there seemed to be some type of conflict among a few co-workers. At Procurant, I saw a company where everybody gets along, which I think creates a more efficient and smooth work environment.
Another aspect that I admire about Procurant’s culture is how the management works. The idea of strict micromanagement is something that I did not see at all at this company. From my experience, management’s role was seen more as guidance and mentorship rather than enforcement. As a result of this, employees are much more likely to learn and ask questions, creating a much more open, positive work environment. The culture and all the learning are what made this a great experience. I am so grateful this opportunity came my way, and I will never forget this summer.
Procurant is transforming the global food supply chain with technology to reduce waste, increase visibility, improve food safety and digitize business from production to consumption. The company was founded by industry veterans with decades of experience delivering solutions to growers, shippers, distributors, retailers and foodservice operators.