In conversation with Amit Maheshwari, MD and CEO, Softlink Global
Digital transformation is quickly and quietly sweeping the industry, and the early adopters will be poised to compete for decades to come. The digital revolution is happening, and there’s no going back.
Come 2020, the gap between companies adapting to emerging technologies and those that are not will come down. Finding the right technology partner in today’s marketplace requires due diligence. And with the growing number of new entrants joining the party, it has become increasingly important to zero down on platforms that offer optimal usage of resources, superior business decision abilities and greater planning for increased productivity and enhanced profitability.
Softlink Global is one such company that has been at the forefront of the digital revolution in logistics for more than two decades now. A leading software provider for Freight Forwarding, Logistics and Supply Chain companies across the globe, Softlink Global was recently adjudged as the Best ‘IT & Software Company’ for the 6th time at the 10th prestigious MALA Awards 2019. Their comprehensive product portfolio includes superior technology solutions for strategic and operational aspects of logistics businesses.
Amit Maheshwari, MD and CEO, Softlink Global, in an exclusive interview with Logistics Insider, talks about how Softlink has been harnessing the power of emerging technologies to build innovative and superior software solutions to resolve the business challenges of a global clientele and help them grow.
Q) How do you help businesses to become more process-oriented? How does using Softlink’s application software control cash flow and reduce operational costs for an organization?
Globally, technologies have made a breakthrough in every sector or industry. Businesses are adopting technology at a faster rate than ever before and the logistics industry is at the forefront of the digital evolution. Softlink was foresighted enough to develop products for the logistics industry since decades. Our latest system Logi-Sys has become an indispensable tool to operate logistics business on a single system.
Logi-Sys efficiently manages the end to end operation of the logistics businesses right from sales and operations to financial accounting. It also enables digitalized customer interactions by sending alerts and notifications in a single dashboard.
The system streamlines and automates the logistics operations to complete solutions under a single platform which enables logistics operators to reduce revenue leakages with better planning and billing schedules.
The system provides visibility and transparency for every transaction to optimize accounting process which in turn helps to control the cash flow. Our system has been used successfully all over the world by freight forwarders, transporters and warehouse operators to manage their complicated logistics operations.
The system caters to the need of all scale of logistics operators from single office and single country to multiple offices across multiple countries.
By eliminating bottlenecks, delays and duplication of efforts, the application has enabled the logistics operators to enhance the employee productivity by 40%, operational and financial control in place has helped to leverage on real-time information for accurate & timely decision making which in turn has helped in reducing cost by 30 to 50% thus increase in customer satisfaction.
Q) How do you think can automating the Customs broking process contribute to a significant reduction in dwell time?
In Customs broking, dwell time is the measure of the time the cargo spends in the Customs custody after landing till delivery. It is the most significant factor that decides how efficiently your logistics ecosystem is working. Reducing dwell time is critical to reduce congestion and pull more cargo on ports, thus enhancing efficiency, speed and revenue.
Our economy is developing and open market in India is evolving rapidly and market demand is very dynamic.
We have a very complex Customs law and navigating through it is not an easy process. The Indian Government has taken efforts to cope with the burgeoning cargo traffic of international trade to meet the requirements of international standards.
At Softlink, the custom compliance solution Live Impex and Logi-sys is responsible for more than 70-80% of the country’s import and export.
Our latest innovative system is critically responsible to minimise the errors and reduce the documentation processing turnaround time and make it easy to navigate through complex Customs processes.
It efficiently uploads the Customs documents and validates at each stage thus reducing the dwell time during the Customs clearance process.
Q) The market is currently flooded with software and applications that are assisting companies to manage their freight forwarding processes effortlessly and effectively. How do you manage to continue to be a market leader amidst such competition?
Logistics industry is recording a paradigm shift in the market trends and everything is becoming customer-oriented. Sensing the upcoming changing trends, Softlink is always ready with the technology even before the industry foresees the challenges ahead.
Softlink, with over two decades of experience in the industry, understands the entire processes with complexities related to the logistics industry. We are overcoming challenges with Live Impex which has been recognised as the best system for Custom clearance across Pan India.
Increasing demands and technological advancements further inspired us to develop Logi-Sys to provide end-to-end operating solutions for the logistics industry. The application has been successfully implemented by Freight Forwarders, Transporters and Warehouses globally.
Logi-Sys is capable of managing Financial Accounting, Sales and CRM and Alert Notification to run logistics operations successfully and drive revenue growth to keep every operator ahead in the business.
Q) What are your upcoming plans related to integrating more modules into the Logi-Sys software? Do you plan to focus your attention on any specific domain to tap new market?
Logi-Sys is integrated with accounting, sales and CRM, billing, alerts notification and tracking facilities which makes it a comprehensive system for logistics operators globally. We are successfully catering to Freight Forwarders, Transporters and Warehouses and providing a robust system for each stakeholder.
Our support and implementation process is streamlined to synchronize and simplify operations to transform manual operations to digital. Logi-Sys is truly a next-generation web-based application that can be used from anywhere anytime across multiple devices.
We cater to the logistics, freight forwarder (air/sea), warehousing, transportation and 3PL and 4PL companies of all scale.
A full-fledged accounting system tightly integrated with Operations and Sales facilitates easy management of credits, cash flow, payment cycle and tax compliance, thereby enabling greater financial control. The application is GST and Tax compliant financial accounting system which automate and simplify the customs compliances for the freight and logistics business.
Logi-Sys WMS program gives the users business-wide traceability, employee accountability and real-time speed and responsiveness. The customer-centric features of ‘Track Your Cargo’ like real-time visibility, collaboration with customers and extensive reporting enhances the customer service capabilities and helps make your customers happy.
Our mobile app gives our customers the freedom to access the exact location of their consignments from anywhere and anytime.
Currently, Softlink is successfully operating in more than 40+ countries globally. We are planning to serve many other countries to bring more efficiency in logistics operations globally. We are sincerely focusing the newer emerging markets of Africa, Europe, Canada and Korea which can leverage on our products to operate the logistics business.
Q) You are a seasoned professional having decades of industry experience. Tell us about one such instance when you navigated your organization through a complex business situation by displaying out-of-the-box operational style?
In 2005, when the entire Mumbai city was adversely impacted by heavy downpour, we too were badly affected by the situation. At that time, our office was situated across Mithi River in Mumbai.
After 2-3 days, when we were able to reach to our office, we find that our entire office was submerged underwater.
There was no electricity, all our computers were damaged, landlines were not functioning and all communications were shut down. During those days, we used to keep back up of our data in floppy disk and all those got damaged and we had lost our source code due to water clogging in the office. Our customers were also in the same situation and they were asking for our help.
To overcome the challenge, we discussed, planned and formed a core team to tackle the situation. We had requested our support team to stay back at their residence and handle our customers’ requirements.
The programmer team started working on rebuilding the software along with the support team. Since the office land phone was not functioning, we published the personal contact numbers of our senior members and the support team in a trade newspaper so that our customers can contact us for any assistance.
In some cases, our senior development team had visited our customers’ location to provide technical assistance to restore their operations. I believe in the spirit of softlinkers which is to keep working and find every possible way to serve our customers even during such adverse situations. I salute my team for their commitment and dedication to serving our customers against all odds.