President & CEO
Supply Chain and logistics industry has witnessed momentous growth until last year. However, with this continued growth comes three major challenges; agility, sustainability, and visibility. With an increasing emphasis on technological advancements, as well as the changes in customer expectations, the need for integrated supply management has become increasingly important. We got into a discussion with the CEO of ESSPL, Sudhir Jaiswal who paints us an elaborative picture of the country’s current standing in the SCM & Logistics industry. At the same time, Sudhir walks us through a myriad of services and solutions that ESSPL serves on the table to bring the backbone of India’s economy, i.e. the supply chain network, back on track.
In conversation with Sudhir Jaiswal, President & CEO, ESSPL
It’s a time when the Logistics Industry is being more demanding than ever before. How is ESSPL positioned as a technology provider in today’s logistic industry? What are the pain points that ESSPL addresses?
If there is any industry that has significantly faced the brunt of the lockdown as a result of the pandemic, it’s the supply chain industry. COVID-19 will have a lasting influence on the Global Supply Chain Networks. Consumer behaviour towards supply chain will change forever; they would look for more contact less delivery, show more sensitivity towards the origin of product, prefer lesser human involvement and possibly need for higher level of trust and transparency in the elements of SCM. On the demand side, the pandemic has expedited the digital future as there are more people shopping online. In addition to this SCM & logistics companies would face financial constraints and possible downsizing or consolidation of operations. So, to support the increasingly dynamic demand with smaller teams, they would be looking towards technological solutions to help them do more with less. The focus is expected to be on automation, dynamic routing, end to end visibility and real time tracking and technology adoption will be a key challenge and an opportunity equally.
ESSPL for the past two decades have been providing technology solutions to some of the prestigious names in logistics and supply chain industry. We have a proven track record in designing and building supply chain Visibility and Control Tower applications for our customers, critical for shipment monitoring and exception handling. With COVID-19 presenting a unique opportunity in the Automation & Optimization solution segment, we have opened up a new dedicated service-line on Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to provide a comprehensive enterprise scale intelligent automation services. We have joined hands, as a partner, with one of the premier RPA platform providers, Automation Anywhere, to bring the depth, experience and quality assurance in our service offering.
Clearly, the logistics solutions industry is a populous one. What makes ESSPL’s solutions stand out in the market? What’s ESSPL’s USP?
We are a pure- play IT services Company in logistics and supply chain domain with two-decade long domain understanding. Technology is our strength; we stand out from others by being competitive to service the business complexities with agility and sensitive to their needs. The key differentiator is our back end of subject matter knowledge and capability to deal with complex technological architecture which enables the front end delivery excellence.
We work as the extended arm of our customers, not just as a vendor but engage with them as a longterm partner to help them meet their KPIs such as total delivered cost, product identification and compliance and servicing their customers better.
We have been working in the data integration and bi analytics space for quite some time now and have a very comprehensive delivery competency model
As an IT services provider, our core business could be understood as Development, Application support and testing services and. Our technology offerings include BI analytics, Data Integration (EDI), RPA and cognitive automation technologies. We are investing not just into creating in-house competencies but also looking critically into building an ecosystem which can complement our services. We want to offer a bouquet of comprehensive services to our customers who are into SCM and logistics operations.
We are actively working in the fields of conversational technologies like Chatbots and other AI enabled services and developing use cases where bots can be integrated with the traditional business systems to provide a unified layer for human communication. Blending voice interfaces like Amazon Alexa with BI, we have created a new breed of data visualisation solutions; we call them - Voice BI.
ESSPL boasts an experience of 22 years of being in this industry. But in the last five years, the logistics industry has undergone sea change. How do you use your experience in terms of setting the trends and quality benchmarks?
Logistics industry has come a long way and in the last few years there has been a big shift towards Digital Supply chain Transformations. Businesses have been investing towards IT solution adoptions and product implementations, but this has created a unique situation, on one hand they have too many discrete system silos, each showing a different facet of information but none capable of providing a unified business visibility - the Single Version of Truth. While on the other hand, due to the digitization initiatives, companies are sitting on tons of data but lacking in their abilities to extract wisdom out of them and create actionable inputs for proactive decision making.
We have been working in the data integration and BI analytics space for quite some time now and have a very comprehensive delivery competency model. We are helping companies break the data silos through effective data integrations using standard & cognitive automation technologies like EDI, RPA, chatbots and create global visibility and control-tower systems; design and build
data warehouses and apply BI analytics models to draw intelligent inferences and assist decision making. Our goal is to not only automate but also make them intelligent, that's how we would like to stand differentiated from others.
Tell us about the major milestones that your company has crossed over the last two decades.
As is said, fun is in the journey, and we too have our moments in this journey; from on boarding one of world's largest Freight Forwarders as a customer back in 2002-03 and still continuing the relationship to diversifying and developing strategic partnerships in Europe & UK regions and acquiring our first overseas acquisition of a UK based IT services firm to expand our business in 2006, and recently establishing a dedicated Center of Excellence (COE) on RPA with partnership with Automation Anywhere, one of the top rated RPA platform providers, to add a new service-line for providing Enterprise Intelligent Automation have been few of our major milestones so far.
In future, we aspire to become a compelling brand in our space and venture into solutions development also in addition to our on-going IT services business.
Could you share a success story of one of your recent your implementations?
We are working for a large multinational Retail Franchise & Distribution player operating with multiple brands in Asia & Europe regions. Their Shipping & Logistics division needed to digitalize their supplier sourcing, transportation management and visibility of operations, having issues like inconsistent data, time consuming process, delayed shipment updates and limited real–time visibility.
“Logistics industry has come a long way and in the last few years there has been a big shift towards digital supply chain transformations”
We got engaged as a Development partner and created an integrated solution covering Supplier contracting to Shipment delivery business processes and including Shipment tracking, inbound visibility, Rate-card management, Freight audit, and Supplier KPI tracking and reporting. Our effective milestone tracking and exception handling mechanism helped them to significantly bring down their Demurrage and detention costs.
What are the opportunities that you foresee and what are ESSPL’s future plans?
Traditionally, SCM and Logistics have been a people-centric industry with multiple manual interventions, but this pandemic has hastened the need of a dynamic and smart supply chain system to withstand such disruptions and uncertainties to ensure business continuity and provide end to end visibility.
There will be an increasing thrust for both the large scale and small-to-mid sized business houses to leverage technology to deliver more with less. As I mentioned before Automation, Optimisation and Visibility solutions will be in greater demand. Mainstream business adoption of AI will encourage technology companies like us to create a new breed of intelligent digital workforce to channelize human resources to do more value-added services.
We intend to focus more on the segment of SCM business that covers from the outbound of manufacturers to the inbound of the retailers. We want to be a niche technology solution player in our operating space and have plans to bring out our own services and solution offerings to further expand & strengthen our core offerings.