HUMANS OF OTTO MOTORS: MEET SRNA

Clearpath Robotics

OTTO™ Motors, a division of Clearpath™ Inc., designs, manufactures and operates self-driving vehicles to automate material movement inside busy factories and warehouses. Using self-driving technology much like the Google Car, the easy-to-use OTTO vehicles move inventory in a safe and flexible manner throughout the indoor supply chain. Customers include Fortune 100 brands like General Electric, John Deere, and Toyota. For more information, visit www.ottomotors.com.

Get to know the humans of OTTO Motors, what they do and why they chose a career at OTTO Motors!

Meet Srna, a Demand Generations Specialist for our OTTO™ Motors division.

Q: How did you get into this role as a Demand Generation Specialist?

My time at Clearpath, specifically OTTO Motors, has been a fast-paced roller-coaster ride that I don’t want to get off of. My roles within the marketing department have evolved into what I love most about the field: building relationships, project management and making data-driven decisions.

My first assignment at the company was to identify which marketing programs would generate the highest ROI in order to help reach our monthly targets. I fell in love with the project management aspect of the role as well having access to so much data. I then took over our most successful program – events – and that opened up a whole new world of demand generation for me. Today, I co-own the marketing plan for OTTO Motors (S/O to my teammates Joe Gelata and Matt Rendall) and help ensure we reach our fiscal year goals.

Q: What drew you to OTTO Motors?

I knew about OTTO Motors because I follow a lot of tech companies in the Waterloo Region and I try to stay up-to-date with their announcements. OTTO Motors always stood out because they work with robots all day – what person wouldn’t think that’s cool?!

My opportunity to work at OTTO Motors arose when I was on a co-op placement in Toronto. A colleague at that company told me that I reminded her of a good friend that was employed at OTTO Motors and she thought I would be a great team fit. I reached out to that good friend, Cinzia Sinnathurai, and we ended up talking for hours. The following week, I met with the marketing team and a few weeks later, I accepted a co-op position as a Marketing Programs Coordinator. Almost 3 years later, I’m still driven by OTTO Motors’ ultimate goal: to put an OTTO in every factory in the world.

Q: Did you have any prior experience in Robotics?

I did not have any experience in robotics.

Q: What does your team do?

Our marketing team runs targeted programs that get our customers and prospects excited about automation, self-driving vehicles (SDVs) and being part of the OTTO community. There are various campaign strategies and programs that we implement to achieve these goals but my personal favourite is trade shows. The entire organization comes together to ensure we execute a successful event. I love the strategy and brainstorming sessions as well as the coordination and hard work that takes place.

Image 1: A glimpse into the amount of traffic we get at events.

Image 2: More traffic on the other side!

Image 3: Matt being interviewed after we launched OTTO OMEGA (watch the full interview here).

Image 4: Another event, another product launch. This time, it’s OTTO 750! (Read PR here).

Image 4: Celebrating after making trade show history! #DreamTeam

Q: What does a typical day as a Demand Generation Specialist look like at OTTO Motors?

Ha! No day is the same. We have a saying that OTTO Motors years are like dog years: 1 year at OTTO Motors is equivalent to 7 years at another organization. This is because we’re encouraged to tackle new problems and take on projects that are outside of our job descriptions. In the last month alone, we:

  • Launched a new product
  • Surpassed our lead targets by 133%
  • Generated 39% more qualified leads from this month’s event than total leads from the same event a year ago (#CreatingWow!)
  • Successfully ran 5 product demos at the same time in our partners’ booths
  • Hosted an intimate VIP event for our customers and partners

… in just one month! This keeps me on my toes and makes my days exciting, I’m constantly learning.

Q: What’s the most satisfying part of your role?

I love wearing so many hats and having the opportunity to work with some of the brightest people in the industry (I’m not exaggerating!). The marketing team has ambitious targets to hit this year and there’s a lot of work ahead of us but I’m supported by an army of really talented peers. Together, we explore crazy ideas and support each other during every project.

Q: What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on so far?

In an effort to support Waterloo Region’s manufacturing community, we hosted an event at a local brewery and invited our neighbourly manufacturers. To increase the attendance rate, we created an “invitation package” that included a personalized postcard, a hand-written note and a beer bottle from the brewery we were hosting at. We then personally delivered the packages to each guest! We really wanted to keep the community theme consistent throughout their experiences with us because we only work a few kilometers from each other. We’re all local and therefore, should be friendly with one another!

At the actual event, one of our OTTO 100 self-driving vehicles personally delivered beer to our guests. This was a big hit and we still hear about it today!

Image 1: OTTO 100 delivering delicious beer to our guests.

Image 2: Launching the OTTO Local program (S/O to Simon Drexler!).


Image 3: OTTO 1500 didn’t miss out on the fun, this SDV also delivered beer. 🙂

Q: What are the must-have skills or knowledge for this role?

Obviously being comfortable working with data is strongly recommended but I truly believe the most important skills are being passionate about your role, wanting to generate the best results and being able to move quickly. If you have this foundation, you’ll be successful in any marketing role!

Q: What differentiates OTTO Motors from other companies?

We have a very unique culture where job titles don’t matter, people leave their egos at the door, everyone works really hard to “get shit done” and we try our best to celebrate success.

Q: What advice do you have for someone interested in applying to OTTO Motors?

Be prepared to work in a very fast-paced environment.

We use a lot of tools, discuss many ideas and are constantly trying to improve. This was one of the first things I adapted to at OTTO Motors and it’s the most frequent comment I hear from new hires. We’re always on the move because we take on lots of tasks and work hard to make them better than they were before. The tricky part is our products are highly technical so it takes a bit of time to feel “up to speed” but you’ll have lots of resources to help you with that!

Q: What OTTO Motors value resonates with you the most?

I have to break the rules and provide two answers because they’re equally as powerful: Think Bigger and Create Wow.

Think Bigger is one of my favourite values because it resonates with my #1 motivation: to make the greatest impact I can. I’m motivated to learn and grow quickly because I want to continue to push the limit and produce better results for myself, the team and the company. It encourages me to share crazy ideas and run with them because I believe they’ll make us better.

Creating Wow is about surprising and delighting colleagues, prospects, partners and customers in strange and interesting ways. These four groups shape the company into what it is, so setting the bar high to ensure they’re inspired and excited about what we’re doing is totally worth it. The marketer in me believes that we should take advantage of every opportunity that will create advocates. Having champions who are equally as passionate about our vision is really exciting!

Q: How would you describe the diversity here at OTTO Motors?

Very diverse. You’ll find people of all ethnicities, professional backgrounds and skill sets working under one roof. OTTO Motors is unique because we provide an end-to-end solution to our customers: we manufacture, design and operate our vehicles.

Pulling that off requires many teams: production, shipping and logistics, sales, IT, UX design, professional services, partner sales, project management, finance, HR, operations, quality and more engineers than I could personally count!

Q: Who is your favorite robot? And why?

Robots are effective because they make tasks easier and more efficient for humans. For me, this is true for my Roomba. It saves me so much time each week and that’s why it’s my favourite robot. 🙂

Interested?

Want to learn a ton, work with incredible people, and have a massive impact? Check out our current opportunities!

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