Why you should keep your supply chain simple — Michael Lan | Green Boom

Serial entrepreneur Michael Lan joins The Roadmap to share his insights into small business logstics, growth strategy, and leadership

On this episode of The Roadmap, host Lee Heisman is joined by Michael Lan, serial entrepreneur, business consultant, growth accelerator, and chief strategy officer of Green Boom, a biomass upcycling firm that aims to improve the oil cleanup process. Lan is the founder of multiple successful companies, brands, and products and continues to leverage his experiences as a business owner to help other startups scale and reach new heights.

Key Takeaways

1. Lan explains that consultants bring in external, cross-industry experience to a company, allowing them to form expert conclusions that those from inside an organization may be unable to perceive.

2. Lan was inspired by Shark Tank to form one of his first companies LM Ventures. He notes that a majority of the products the firm designed failed.

3. One product that did succeed was the ToddleGreen, a dissolvable, flushable plastic potty liner. It was eventually sold across 140 stores in the U.S. and Canada as well as online.

4. The experience of selling a successful product came with multiple lessons, the most important of which was that brick-and-mortar retail is difficult to enter and expensive. Lan moved his products to sell only on Amazon, simplifying his supply chain and boosting revenue.

5. Lan encourages entrepreneurs to keep their supply chains simple. While many businesses manufacture products in China, due to the high costs of shipping, packaging, and handling on an international level, domestic production may be the more efficient route for certain brands.

"We ran into so many supply chain delays and issues. Originally ToddleGreen was made overseas, so we had boxes coming in from Kansas...and we were packing it in Smyrna...So we learned that [domestic] is far easier. It's more costly to make it in the U.S., but with our oil product, we made it all in the U.S....It's our favorite [product] because it's the simplest." — Michael Lan

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