Lessons From Building a Logistics Technology Company
For any young entrepreneur starting up or a traditional business looking to revamp to the current times, technology should be the first thing of consideration
Logistics is everywhere around us. From the parcel that was just delivered at your doorstep to movements of containers via trucks to people commuting in cabs, everything is logistics and it forms the basis of the global economy. In the modern era, especially post the pandemic, logistics management solutions have come to the forefront and AI-ML technology has been driving this revolution.
A connected platform for global delivery management
Software has been eating the world for a couple of decades now but 2009-10 is when the world saw the iPhone becoming mainstream, cloud had picked up with AWS crossing $1 billion in revenue and Uber was taking over the world. I was working with E&Y and Deloitte at this time with several of the Fortune 500 companies to transform their logistics operations in terms of efficiency and optimization. This was also the time when Google Maps brought in the major consumerization of maps and sitting at the intersection of these trends, we started LogiNext.
The idea is to create a connected platform for shippers, dispatchers, carriers and end consumers where every information relating to logistics movement is transparent. Business owners have the capability to have complete visibility and tracking to improve operational excellence while the end customer gets a superior experience. Globally, several technology companies have been built up in the past decade to bring in these digitisation and automation and the face of logistics has rapidly changed.
Building for agility and flexibility
Having tried out several business models in the logistics space, we found a sweet spot in the SaaS business model. SaaS (software as a service) has found mainstream relevance in the last couple of years and enterprises across the spectrum have adopted these softwares. One of the biggest lessons from building this vision of Google for Logistics Technology has been to build systems and processes for everything. Flexible, agile systems which have enough room to take in change but are also scalable, systems that can be automated.
Having a grand vision
In today's times, exceptional employees require something larger to connect with. For this, having a grand vision which drives and motivates the entire team is of great value. What is that we're all in this for? What change do we want to see? What brings us to the desk every day? It is critical to address these questions and when a team is driven by this, the results are there for everyone to see. As Steve Jobs said, "Great things in business are never done by one person, they're done by a team of people."
And it is not just enough to have this vision, it has to be communicated in essence throughout the organization for the message to ring true and see on the ground results. When everyone in an organization is aligned with the vision and is working towards a common goal, motivation and engagement is bound to come in.
Technology is the backbone of the future
Humanity has taken giant strides with the advancement of technology in the last couple of decades. And every possible industry is being disrupted and enhanced with the emergence of technology solutions. Logistics forms the backbone of the global economy and although software has been used for decades in the industry, it is only in the last few years that progressive companies have adopted technology to revamp a lot of existing systems. Several Fortune 500 companies have taken a digital transformation journey and are paving the way for the future.
Not just at an enterprise level, technology has pervaded everyday life to an extent that for most of us, life without a mobile phone and internet would paint an almost empty picture! As ubiquitous as electricity, the marvel of the internet is connecting people across the world and enabling trade at a touch of the button. Staying connected, access to healthcare and education, entertainment and so much now hinges on technology and this is the future.
For any young entrepreneur starting up or a traditional business looking to revamp to the current times, technology should be the first thing of consideration. The world is changing rapidly and a lot of this change is being driven by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Technology. It may sound too high tech but at the core of all this technology is digitising processes and building systems that can be scaled and replicated. From small kirana stores, to retail chains to QSR restaurants to giant enterprises, technology will be percolating through all processes and to be technology ready is to be future ready!