Driving Disruption: Stan Deak Of Super Dispatch On The Innovative Approaches They Are Taking To Disrupt Their Industries

An Interview With Cynthia Corsetti

Secure transactions and payment processing. Super Dispatch offers secure payment processing mechanisms, reducing the risk of payment fraud for both shippers and carriers. By facilitating transparent and traceable transactions, the platform boosts trust and curbs the potential for fraudulent financial activities within the auto transport ecosystem.

In an age where industries evolve at lightning speed, there exists a special breed of C-suite executives who are not just navigating the changes, but driving them. These are the pioneers who think outside the box, championing novel strategies that shatter the status quo and set new industry standards. Their approach fosters innovation, spurs growth, and leads to disruptive change that redefines their sectors. In this interview series, we are talking to disruptive C-suite executives to share their experiences, insights, and the secrets behind the innovative approaches they are taking to disrupt their industries. As part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Stan Deak.

Stan Deak is the Chief Revenue Officer for Super Dispatch, a leading automotive logistics technology company in the U.S. and Canada. He leads sales, marketing, customer success, and revenue operations in this role.

Before joining Super Dispatch in 2022, Deak was with Copado, a leading DevOps and testing solution. He managed the Enterprise Healthcare Sales team and go-to-market sales strategy for the CPG, Retail, Travel, Transportation, and Hospitality industries.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dive into our discussion about disruption, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

I’ve always been drawn to sales and marketing, especially for early-stage technology companies. Since graduating from Georgia Tech, I’ve spent my entire career at companies either just getting started or trying to find a product-market fit. I get excited when dreaming up a concept or idea, identifying market needs, building up a business, and supporting happy customers. I’ve done that throughout my career in sales, marketing, and operational roles for companies that have challenged me and allowed me to grow.

I believe a lot of where we get in our careers comes down to the risks we take. Throughout my career, I’ve embraced various roles across industries in search of growth and new challenges. This pursuit has been my passion and is what led me to Super Dispatch.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Super Dispatch stands out for its simplicity. We’ve revolutionized a previously disjointed and manual process into an easy solution for auto shippers, carriers and really anyone involved, even partially, in auto transport. We are also the only auto-transport platform that’s industry neutral, meaning we are by the people, for the people — not owned by a large broker or auction. This allows us to prioritize user needs over corporate interests.

A notable story comes from our partner Flexco Fleet Services, a family owned and operated remarketing company that specializes in providing transportation, title and registration services for small to Fortune 500 companies. Within a day of using Super Dispatch’s load board and automation services to dispatch vehicles, Flexco saw a 75% drop in their call volume while being able to dispatch orders five times faster. Using Super Dispatch, the Flexco team also streamlined and digitized their payments to carriers and saved 17 hours of work a week.

Partner story after story, we hear how Super Dispatch has made it easier for drivers, dispatchers, and shippers, by automating processes and eliminating a lot of wasted time.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

The first is to always consider what is best for the company, team and then the individual.. Pretty early in my career, and in my first management role, I had a great mentor who became instrumental in shaping my beliefs and the way I viewed my leadership role going forward. He taught me the importance of having a company-first perspective making my decision-making much more straightforward.

Secondly, I maintain my composure and treat people with respect. I always say I’m more like Ted Lasso than Bobby Knight. I’m even keeled and focused on treating people with respect and giving the people I work with the space, trust, and ability to do what’s asked. I strive to empower my team members to excel and provide guidance where needed.

This leads to my final trait of acting with integrity. I want to work with people who aren’t only skilled but are also kind and ethical. Maintaining integrity is key to both my personal and professional lives.

Leadership often entails making difficult decisions or hard choices between two apparently good paths. Can you share a story with us about a hard decision or choice you had to make as a leader? I’m curious to understand how these challenges have shaped your leadership.

Throughout my career, I’ve encountered tough decisions in managing team performance and customer relationships. Sales is cut and dry when it comes to numbers, making the balancing of individual contributions and organizational goals incredibly important and challenging. Someone may be a great team asset, but they aren’t the best resource for the organization. I’ve realized that prioritizing the company’s needs sometimes requires reevaluating team dynamics.

Similarly, assessing customer fit and alignment with company objectives is key. I would love to be everything to everybody, but that’s not realistic. It’s mission critical to ask if a customer is the right fit for your company. The answer may be no, and rejecting a potential business opportunity to maintain your company’s focus and quality can be a difficult but necessary decision for your long-term success.

In past experiences, I’ve also had to redirect clients no longer aligned with my company’s direction. Those decisions were particularly difficult as it disappointed loyal customers and impacted revenue streams. These experiences have taught me the importance of strategic decision-making and aligning actions with broader goals to see sustainable, long-term gains.

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. Let’s begin with a basic definition so that all of us are on the same page. In the context of a business, what exactly is “Disruption”?

For me, disruption means drastically reshaping the status quo. In the auto-transport industry, which has been around for 100 years, disruption involves introducing efficiencies and shifting operational paradigms. It’s about proving that methods previously deemed impossible or ineffective are viable to ultimately revolutionize the industry’s dated practices and perceptions.

How do you perceive the role of ‘disruption’ within your industry, and how have you personally embraced it? Is it a necessity, a strategy, or something else entirely in your view?

I’ve had the most fun in my career working for organizations doing something new. Early in my career, marketing automation wasn’t a thing, SaaS didn’t exist, and companies didn’t have email marketing programs. We were building technology for an industry that didn’t yet exist. Then, right at the advent of the iPhone, I spent a bulk of my career working in mobile technology in the live entertainment space, pushing the envelope. My career has thrived on selling aspirational visions and driving industry transformation. That’s what we’re doing here at Super Dispatch.

We’ve long worked on the carrier side of the auto-transport industry, bringing them along with us, and now we’re doing the same on the shipper side of our industry. As neutral innovators in the auto-transport space, Super Dispatch is uniting carriers and shippers on a single platform and advocating for a better industry standard that works for everyone industry wide. Our goal is to inspire carriers and shippers to recognize the benefits of innovation that drive their mutual success and establish Super Dispatch as the go-to solution provider in our industry.

What lessons have you learned from challenging conventional wisdom, and how have those lessons shaped your leadership style?

There are so many leadership approaches, it’s hard to know what is seen as conventional these days. However, there are a few things that I’ve done to shape my leadership style that I would recommend to any business leader.

First up, prioritize your team and company. I learned to prioritize my teams and company goals over individual needs or egos, fostering collective progress and straightforward decision-making.

Next, it’s important to act with integrity, personally and professionally. I’m proud that my team and I always uphold ethical standards. Establishing trust and credibility are essential for fostering strong relationships and driving sustainable growth.

Another lesson has to do with navigating challenges. Of course, being an entrepreneur has its challenges. When faced with tough decisions regarding team dynamics and customer relationships, we’ve been able to act quickly and efficiently, leading to our success. When it comes to being a great leader, everyone will remember how you act during the challenging times more than when things are running smoothly.

Finally, a lot of business lessons come down to strategic decision-making. Driving meaningful change and innovation takes thoughtful planning and strategic vision for organizational excellence. Being a leader means more than making day-to-day decisions. What is your five or 10 year plan? How are your decisions today going to impact the business next year? You always need to be thinking multiple steps ahead.

Disruptive ideas often meet resistance. Could you describe a time when you faced significant pushback for a disruptive idea? How did you navigate the opposition, and what advice would you give to others in a similar situation?

When faced with pushback, I think about sports, particularly football. In football, you have to move the quarterback off their spot to disrupt their game plan. The same goes for my work. I have to find ways of jolting people out of their comfort zone, routines, or preconceived notions to initiate meaningful conversations about disruptive ideas. Then, it’s not just about presenting a compelling, attention-grabbing argument. It comes down to demonstrating our innovation’s benefits in a meaningful way that pushes potential partners to look at their pain points, think outside of the box, and reassess their perceptions of our platform.

For example, when we encounter a prospect or customer who resists adopting new technologies, we emphasize the impact of our solutions on their efficiency and productivity. This helps shake them out of their old habits to overcome resistance and explore new possibilities. We do this by combining real-world partner stories that demonstrate the benefits of our ideas with ROI analysis to drive home the benefits to their business.

What are your “Five Innovative Approaches We Are Using To Disrupt Our Industry”?

It’s tough to narrow down only five ways that we are innovating auto transport, but here are a couple in no particular order.

  1. Facilitating collaboration and communication. Sometimes less truly is more and Super Dispatch significantly reduces the amount of time our customers spend calling, emailing and texting each out for updates. Super Dispatch serves as a centralized platform for collaboration and communication between all parties involved in the auto transport process, including shippers, carriers, and drivers. Our goal is to facilitate smoother coordination, reduce misunderstandings, and enhance overall operational efficiency.
  2. Digitization of documentation. In a traditionally manual industry, our team has digitized documentation and paperwork, including detailed inspection reports and photos of vehicle condition. This digital approach provides clear evidence of a vehicle’s condition before and after transport, reducing the likelihood of fraudulent claims related to damage or misrepresentation.
  3. Enhanced visibility and tracking. We knew it would be critical to offer real-time tracking and visibility throughout the transportation process, providing transparency for shippers, carriers, and drivers. This transparency improves communication, customer satisfaction, and helps mitigate the risk of fraud by allowing stakeholders to monitor the movement of vehicles closely.
  4. Secure transactions and payment processing. Super Dispatch offers secure payment processing mechanisms, reducing the risk of payment fraud for both shippers and carriers. By facilitating transparent and traceable transactions, the platform boosts trust and curbs the potential for fraudulent financial activities within the auto transport ecosystem.
  5. Fraud detection and prevention measures. We incorporate fraud detection and prevention measures by leveraging data analytics and machine learning algorithms to identify anomalies and suspicious activities. Monitoring transactional data and user behavior patterns enables our team to detect and prevent fraudulent behavior, safeguarding the integrity of the auto transport process.

Looking back at your career, in what ways has being disruptive defined or redefined your path? What surprises have you encountered along the way?

Embracing disruption has defined my career and has led me to companies that were building things that didn’t previously exist. Although it is frustrating when people are resistant to change, especially when it’s clearly beneficial, The reward is getting to work with many others who’ve been eager to explore new ideas, technologies, and solutions to issues they didn’t even realize they had. It’s exciting and energizing to help others evolve in order to grow their business.

Beyond professional accomplishments, how has embracing disruption affected you on a personal level?

Embracing disruption and change has made me want to help others do the same. My LinkedIn profile description reads, “I want to help the people I care about succeed.” I get asked about this concept more than anything on my resume. Whether it’s supporting one of my colleagues, a customer, or my neighbor’s son seeking career advice, I have a genuine desire to help those around me succeed.

In your role as a C-suite leader, driving innovation and embracing disruption, what thoughts or concerns keep you awake at night? How do these reflections guide your decisions and leadership?

As a leader responsible for driving innovation, I regularly need to choose new paths for our organization while managing limited resources. The risk of investing time and money into something that doesn’t pan out is a constant concern. This has made me more thoughtful in my approach since I find myself grappling with the responsibility of ensuring that my decisions are well-informed and aligned with my company’s vision.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Carriers are the backbone of the auto-transport industry, so if I could start a movement, it would be centered around amplifying carrier voices. They are the number one users of our platform, and I want to foster a culture where shippers and brokers actively listen to carriers on how to improve their jobs and operations.

This would be inherently good for our entire ecosystem, leading to a seamless end-to-end experience for everyone in the industry. By uniting together, we can improve carrier working conditions and enhance the overall quality and efficiency of our entire industry.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

They can get in touch via LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/standeak.

Thank you for the time you spent sharing these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

About the Interviewer: Cynthia Corsetti is an esteemed executive coach with over two decades in corporate leadership and 11 years in executive coaching. Author of the upcoming book, “Dark Drivers,” she guides high-performing professionals and Fortune 500 firms to recognize and manage underlying influences affecting their leadership. Beyond individual coaching, Cynthia offers a 6-month executive transition program and partners with organizations to nurture the next wave of leadership excellence.