In a year shaped by high volatility and changing customer preferences, leveraging the best of technology to fulfil business requirements has emerged as the mantra for logistics platforms across the globe. Deepesh Kuruppath, Founder and CEO of CargoFL (Innoctive Technologies Pvt Ltd) offers his valuable two cents as he talks about staying ahead of the curve, technology trends that can redefine the industry in the days to come and how the CARGOFL platform acts as a nexus that brings the stakeholders, together. Excerpts follow:
What are the key takeaways from the pandemic, in your experience?
When the lockdown was announced, we saw an increase in demand from our customers to go digital in every form of communication and technology. The pandemic taught us to act fast and make decisions keeping customers at the forefront. As the demand was sporadic and random, we realised that staying agile is very important i.e. both our processes and technology implementations should be in agile mode.
As the payments were also getting delayed & deferred from customers, we prioritised on the key focus areas thereby reducing spend and shifting to a lean mode of handling business. Staying lean has been a very important lesson from this pandemic.
Also as a company, we also realised that one should always have alternate revenue sources planned and worked out for e.g. about 5% of our team should work on latest technology trends, pilots and proof of concepts, this way we stay ahead of the curve and stay relevant at such times like the COVID pandemic.
Finally, taking care of the team is very important; our employees are our real assets as they have been working hard & remote to deliver excellent customer experiences. This is the time when work-life balance makes the most of its sense and so that’s definitely a priority.
How can predictive analytics be leveraged to enhance operational efficiency at warehouses?
The technologies available today are adept in turning data into insights and uncovering trends that can lead to unprecedented efficiency. For e.g. the planners can use predictive analytics to create a strong alignment between supply and demand, use decision-making capabilities to try various combinations, assign risk metrics to decisions and assess outcomes.
Predictive analytics can provide deeper insights into demand and supply variation, accurate inventory level predictions and how the minimum order quantity levels need to be looked at and managed for improved customer experience.
Also, the manpower allocation can be streamlined and optimised based on metrics derived from predictive analytics, which in turn will lead to improved
How can AI at work within fulfilment centers reduce risks and increase automation in a swifter, inexpensive way?
AI is a computer system that mimics human intelligence for example-voice recognition, speech & text translation, decision making etc.
Voice recognition technology can be applied for voice picking in fulfillment centers, this will help warehouse staff in picking up items quickly from large warehouses thus saving time and effort.
Speech and text translation can be used in warehouses to communicate with ground local staff thus setting up a unified global process for all warehouses across the globe. Also, this technology can be used to train people to work more efficiently thereby improving overall productivity.
Cognitive robotics is another AI trend where robots are being used to pick and drop packages/cartons within the warehouse from one point to another, as of now these are limited to large warehouses and large players however its predicted within the next decade or so, these advancements will get readily available to small and medium sized businesses also.
This is an abridged version. To read the full interview, click here.