Next generation Cargo Community Systems
Amar More, Director, Kale Logistics Solutions, answers the questions frequently asked by supply chain companies before investing in IT tools and solutions.
Q What are the risks that a logistics company usually faces when adopting new technologies?
Technology has evolved its role in the logistics industry from being ‘nice to have’ to being the ‘necessary evil’ and is now a ‘business driver’. Technology has to be aligned with the processes which in turn have to be aligned with the organisation’s strategy. There is also a risk in changing the system without changing the mindset. If this happens then such projects can only be upgrade of technology platforms but the users may not get the true process efficiency benefits as the implementation will result in the new system mimicking the old one. The logistics companies also have to look at the experience and credibility of their technology partners. The most important factor to consider is the combination of domain expertise, commitment to the industry and the change management experience of the service provider.
Q What are the factors that supply chain firms should take into account before investing in technology?
Supply chain firms should first of all have clarity about the objectives of changing their technology. Then they should have realistic budgets for such projects. The supply firms should consider the total cost of ownership of the system and the benefits associated with the change. The choice of the technology partner has to be based on credibility, proven experience, innovation capabilities and domain expertise. Finally, the firms have to be open to adopting the modern processes brought about by the new technology and not insist on recreating the old system.
Q What is the ideal investment that logistics companies should make for technology adoption and implementation?
We are now experiencing a wave, as part of which, for various reasons, logistics companies have to upgrade their systems. The key word is ‘integration’. They have to integrate the functioning of their internal departments through new generation web-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems and they need to integrate with their supply chain partners through EDI for creating a seamless supply chain. The areas in which logistics companies need to invest are ERP, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) (stakeholder connectivity), business intelligence and mobile apps. Most logistics companies invest 0.6 per cent of their revenues in IT whereas the global average is around three per cent and most successful logistics companies invest upward of six per cent on technology.
Q What impact will the Internet of Things (IoT) have on supply chains?
The Internet of Things allows objects to be sensed and controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure. In the logistics industry, visibility and security are two very critical parameters. With IoT the ability to control or track shipments increases, resulting in more efficient and secure supply chains.
Q Please tell us about the 'Community Solutions' provided by Kale Logistics Solutions.
We have created the next generation Cargo Community Systems (CCS 2.0). In earlier times, the word CCS was misused for message exchange. But what we do is that we actually built a digital cargo community of importers, exporters, forwarders, customs brokers, airports, airlines, freight stations, customs, chambers of commerce, banks, and others.
Kale Logistics has the unique distinction of creating India’s first and only multi-modal cargo community system UPLIFT in partnership with ACAAI which is the fastest growing CCS. It has also created the world’s most comprehensive airport cargo community platform GMAX at Mumbai airport. These community solutions are very different from traditional CCS. First of all, they have much wider range than being only forwarder to airline or airline/forwarder to Customs EDI, as was the case earlier. These also allow the SME players to run their entire business on the CCS application. These have several fulfilment mechanisms including web portals, system to system integration and bureau service.
Our CCS solutions are not transaction-centric but are stakeholder centric as we focussed on the end users across the supply chain as opposed to just one entity like a forwarder or an airline or an airport. Our community systems are available on Software As A Service (SAAS) basis and companies can just pay as they use, using just any device with an internet connection. The solutions are available across multiple platforms such as PCs, mobile phones and others.
Amar More Director Kale Logistics Solutions