Kristina Harrington on Manufacturing Happy Hour

Kristina Harrington is an eCommerce expert with no shortage of experience when it comes to easing the process of doing business with manufacturers. Having moved up the ranks with large equipment companies like Bucyrus and Caterpillar, she is now the President and COO of GenAlpha, a B2B eCommerce software business for equipment manufacturers.

In this episode, we hear about Kris’ career journey and how her work experiences took her from Wisconsin to Latin America and back to cofounding GenAlpha. She gives us a rundown of GenAlpha’s Equip platform and how manufacturers should be leveraging eCommerce and analytics to grow their business. Finally, we’ll get to hear about Kris’ agricultural side hustle and the lessons she’s learned from farming that have helped her in her career.


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3 Quick Things from this Episode

  1. Slow down. Simplified communication and dialogue are key for communicating ideas and getting things done.
  2. Most manufacturers have the data they need to implement a robust eCommerce platform but just need to get it into a usable, valuable format.
  3. eCommerce gives you the opportunity to analyze information you didn’t have before and make business decisions that can improve everything from inventory to marketing.

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Tweetable Quotes

  • “Data breaks down barriers to buying.” –Kristina Harrington
  • “You’ve got to do the work. You’ve got to plan the seeds. You’ve got to weed. And the harvest will come.” –Kristina Harrington on the business lessons she’s learned from farming

Please Scroll Down for Full Show Notes and Recommended Resources from this Episode

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What We Discuss with Kristina

  • We kick off the conversation by addressing one of the main objections Kris hears from manufacturers that haven’t adopted an eCommerce strategy.
  • Kris shares how her experiences abroad while in the mining industry shaped her early career.
  • As someone with a financial background, Kris shares why it’s so important for engineering leaders and finance leaders to collaborate.
  • Kris discusses lessons learned from being part of the Bucyrus acquisition by Caterpillar.
  • We wrap up the first part of the interview as Kris shares how and why she and her Co-Founders created GenAlpha.
  • Kris gives us an overview of GenAlpha’s Equip eCommerce platform, including search capabilities, identifying and ordering parts via drawings for when you don’t know the SKU, and customization for the user’s unique equipment.
  • We talk about the finer points of “naming” mining equipment.
  • Kris breaks down the power of data and analytics in manufacturing eCommerce.
  • Two Girls and a Farm is a 5.5 acre farm and side business that Kris and her wife run; their work ranges from farming to farm-to-table personal chef services. Kris explains why every season is “a big experiment.”

GenAlpha LogoRecommended Resources

  • GenAlpha, a B2B eCommerce software for equipment manufacturers
  • Two Girls and a Farm, Kris’ CSA (Community Supportive Agriculture) farm based in Big Bend, Wisconin that provides sustainable and Earth-friendly products
  • Tres Locos, a Mexican restaurant and bar in Muskego, WI

Connect with Kristina and GenAlpha

LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Kris’ LinkedIn