Creating Timely Supply Chain Solutions
If you’ve been following our past few blogs about our project in partnership with AMII and Scale AI, you likely are familiar with the use cases and benefits of this initiative.
But you might be wondering, why now? In this blog post, we sat down with our CEO and Co-Founder Mike Allan to get all the details on why this project is more relevant than ever.
Prior to COVID, digitization and visibility were important topics, but the COVID pandemic created an urgent need for new solutions by highlighting the existing issues as well as creating new ones.
We’re partnering with AMII and Scale AI to create AI-powered supply chain solutions that enable better demand forecasting, sequencing, and warehouse layouts.
There Has Always Been A Need for Insight, Foresight, and Oversight
“We started Routeique a number of years ago, obviously, well, well before COVID, we've always felt the demand is there and obviously clients like Nestle, our very first and oldest and biggest client, feels the same way. There's always been a need for what we do in this space in terms of transparency, visibility, and accountability in the supply chain,” - Routeique Co-Founder and CEO Mike Allan
Visibility and digitization have always been top priorities for businesses aiming to achieve the most efficiency possible. However, prior to COVID, adoption was something that could be sidelined or put off until a future date.
COVID Propelled Supply Chain Issues Into The Spotlight, and Created New Ones
“(...) [COVID] was a wake-up call really for everyone. And that's really what has driven the popularity of supply chain and supply chain technology in the media. I would hazard a guess that everyone from the children to the grandmas now know the term supply chain, and not a lot of people did before COVID.” - Routeique Co-Founder and CEO Mike Allan
While a lack of visibility has always been a problem, the onset of the COVID pandemic back in 2020 was the catalyst for the acceleration we have seen in the past 4 years. “COVID showed everyone in the world that a just-in-time approach with no slack, an approach where you're managing by the seat of your pants without data and without tools like the ML/AI side is, is fraught with problems,” says Mike.
In many areas, the just-in-time system collapsed under the weight of a global pandemic, which was apparent in everything from groceries and meat to toilet paper, to car parts.
We saw customers who had approached us with longer timelines begin to have additional urgency. For example, one of our larger customers approached us, in the early days of COVID, with a need to have an enterprise onboarding integration with Routeique set up in 4-6 weeks.
The COVID pandemic also led to a greater need for visibility into warehouses, in addition to the final mile. As a result of the pandemic, “customers started calling us asking, ‘But what's happening inside the warehouse?’” This is because businesses started storing 30 to 50% more product because they panicked during COVID, you can't build warehouses that fast. They were having to stuff product everywhere, making it difficult for warehouse staff to accurately track, pick, and pack.
Today and Beyond: Businesses See Supply Chain As A Competitive Advantage
“(...) in a sea of companies struggling, if you're the one that's actually managing to make a go of it through those times, like like a COVID crisis, you have a huge advantage.” - Routeique Co-Founder and CEO Mike Allan
In the wake of the supply chain crisis during COVID, businesses are now fully aware of the importance of managing your risk and the opportunities within the supply chain. At this point in time, there is a high demand for supply chain digitization, demand forecasting, sequencing, and warehouse layout optimization.
Want to learn more about this project? Head over to LinkedIn for regular updates, or sign up for our newsletter for curated details. We’ll be sharing a video series and retrospective towards the end of the year.