In the last two decades, innumerable evolutions have taken ahold in the supply chain technology arena. These small shifts in technology have created better efficiencies for supply chain parties along the way, but with the significant supply chain upheaval that started with the coronavirus pandemic, supply chain executives must consider a new way of doing things. This new way of thinking about technology would address the individual logistics needs of each party, adding supply chain agility into their processes, but the focus would be about lifting up the entire supply chain industry.
Blume Global will use a new round of funding to continue the next evolution of supply chain technology: a shift toward holistic supply chain technology platforms, moving away from separate, task-based logistics applications.
Blume Global CEO Pervinder Johar joined Adrian Gonzalez on a recent episode of Talking Logistics to discuss the development of platform-based supply chain technology solutions and how the industry needs to adjust how it considers logtech.
“If you think of the last 20 years or so, the focus was always on applications on the supply chain side,” Johar told Gonzalez. He added that on platforms, the focus is not only on feature functions – “after a while, all feature functions tend to start looking the same,” he said – but also the overall network and the use of data.
“There’s an abundance of that data today, but there’s a lack of insight that can come out of that data,” he said.
Blume Global is using a new investment by London-based Bridgepoint Group to continue development of a platform to network the entire supply chain ecosystem, across all modes, all over the world. The goal is to create a cloud-first, intelligent operating platform that orchestrates global supply chain processes through a digital map of the supply chain world for all supply chain users. With this new equity capital, the company expects to make additional investments in R&D and go-to-market functions, positioning Blume to continue creating a truly transformative and sustainable platform for global supply chains.
Gonzalez pointed out that doing away with the term supply chain might actually be a good step toward the next evolution of technology; he argued that “leveraging the network terminology more than the chain terminology” might help change everyone’s mindset.
What’s creating demand for the technology change? Johar said that the last two years have forced companies to think about their supply chains in a different light. Shipping by air and ocean has gone through significant trials since the trade wars during the Trump Administration, and the current congestion on the West Coast is not getting any better anytime soon. Stakeholders have been forced into digital supply chain thinking in short order.
But there’s still significant work to be done before a networked platform can deliver on its promise. For a networked platform, there needs to be at least one million companies on the platform. That’s a time consuming, big goal.
“There’s a lot of innovation that needs to continue to happen in getting the world connected,” he said, noting that Blume’s R&D team is focused on 2023. Optimizing and synchronizing processes are the big challenges ahead. For Blume, the platform has been built to a large extent, and the next hurdle is generating a mass of consumers using the platform.
“The other challenge,” Johar said, “is how do we get away from these silos … between logistics and planning. Those are the first two silos that are probably going to converge; manufacturing and procurement are still somewhat isolated.
“There are tons of optimization opportunities now,” he continued. “All of these are optimizations are going to require investment into new types of processes and new thinking from the organizational perspective.”
Watch the conversation below:
As the first carbon-neutral logistics provider, Blume Global offers innovative and sustainable supply chain solutions to reduce costs, streamline efficiency and mitigate exposure to supply chain risk. The company leverages decades of experience to make its solutions available to providers of different sizes — from small trucking operations to international multi-modal enterprises — and it is committed to removing $1 trillion of waste from the global supply chain. Visit Blume Global’s site to learn more about its full range of logistics solutions.