Seven Mumbai startups that are disrupting diverse sectors with their tech solutions

Seven Mumbai startups that are disrupting diverse sectors with their tech solutions

Edtech, logistics, enabling defence, and detecting fake news, these Mumbai startups are addressing different problems with innovative answers.

While Bengaluru and Delhi-NCR are spearheading the startup ecosystem, metro cities like Mumbai aren’t far behind. The ‘Powai-Valley’ near the IIT Bombay campus has seen its fair share of successful startups and shutdowns.  For every failed startup like Tinyowl, Doormint, or Housing, there are successful ones too – online ticketing platform BookMyShow, edtech startup Toppr, e-pharma startup Pharmaeasy, RevFin and AI-chatbot startup Haptik, in which Reliance Industries recently picked up a majority stake.

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VOPS Fleet Management Automation Solution with IoT, Software & analytics

VOPS Fleet Management Automation Solution with IoT, Software & analytics

Fleet Management Automation System

VOPS stands for Vehicle Optimization & Profitability Solution. VOPS Fleet Management Automation Solution is designed to provide tangible business benefits in terms of increased revenues and reduced costs thereby making trucking operations more profitable.

It is a platform that eases carrying out fleet business dramatically with  integrated view of entire business by combining different technologies at one place. All these technologies harness the power of cutting edge technologies such as IoT( Internet of Things) , Machine Learning (ML) and more.

How VOPS increases Profitability?

At present disparate systems or technology is used by transporters. The problems with current system are summarized as following:

  • Wide spread use of paper based processes making management rely on timely arrival of information, decide on the basis of incomplete information and worst to take decision on wrong information
  • Different software or systems for different part of business. Problems arising from using different software or System makes taking timely decision costly and most of the time impossible
  • Human errors
  • Lack of transparency
  • Losing business to tech savvy startups

What are the different Components of VOPS?

VOPS Fleet Management Automation Solution combines following modules to provide integrated view of your transport business:

  1. Business Dashboard : Provides all the details with exception & alerts at on place . Watch Below

     

     

     

     

  2. Tracking Management System : The tracking system is unique as it provides tracking through different technologies including GPS, Lo-Ra, Mobile Phone Tracking, App based tracking . Explore More
  3. Fuel Management System : Enhance fuel efficiency by 5% + by giving real time view of fuel consumption with real time filling and draining alerts, mileage calculation . How you can improve Fuel Efficiency?
  4. Tyre Management System : Provides automation for inventory management of tyres & also alerts in case of sub-optimal tyre pressure thus increasing tyre life & Fuel Efficiency . Case Study
  5. E-Way Bill Management System : Automates E-way bill management . Watch Video & Get Free Trial
  6. Tool for ERP Integration: Enables easy integration through APIs  with any ERP , CRM or Accounting  system

How is VOPS priced?

VOPS prices are transparent with following two components :

  • Hardware prices : Available on it’s shop . Shop Now .
  • Software prices: 6 month charges with discounts on annual payment . Available on request. Contact us

Is it difficult to implement VOPS for my Fleet Management ?

Absolutely not!  It is as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Create your Free Account     Login Now
  2. Purchase Hardware from TH-SHOP       Click Here
  3. Simple installation by anyone. Ask for      Online Help or Request for Installation by TH

What are the available alerts &  reports ?

The detailed reports are available for all the solutions. The reports deep dive to a very granular level of analysis in a very intuitive way:

  • Tracking reports with performance of each level in term  of ignition, stoppage , distance & much more
  • Geo fence reports on vehicles stay duration at Geo fences( can be defined by the users
  •  Fueling , draining, mileage reports for fuels at aggregate and individual vehicle level
  • Tyre performance report in terms of km traveled till any given date , comparison between brands and much more
  •  Alerts on unauthorized fueling, stopping , rash driving , tyre theft , retreading etc.

 

Quick Way to Automate Fuel Management to Save Millions Instantly

Quick Way to Automate Fuel Management to Save Millions Instantly

What will you gain?

Automation of fuel management saves you  both the fuel costs and reduction in operations team to the tune of INR 2-3 lakhs (USD 30-40 K)  per vehicle per year. The advantages can be realized quickly at less than INR 30,000  in the first year and ~ INR 7,500 per year there after for every vehicle. You can recover entire costs in 1.5 months .In addition,  the sensor will enable you in many other ways to improve transportation business.TOP advantages of  Intelligent Fuel Management Solution  include:

Saves costs by automatic alerts

It is one of the major problems faced by transporters . At present, many  transporters have system of fixed mileage decided for the driver. If the driver saves something it goes to him and if he spends more than that it is his loss. Other transporters try to check with other means and determine the mileage based on their experience and negotiate with the drivers. Both methods have problems as first method always has some padding for the drivers and second method is more cumbersome to implement

Integrates Fuel System With TRIP costs

Trip Expense Sheet is the most indispensable part of any transporters business . Without reliable and accurate  TRIP costs the quotation to clients can never be sent with high success rate. For example, normally fuels expenses are taken with general mileage for a type of vehicle while ignoring the route and exact effect of cargo the vehicle is carrying . Moreover, fuel costs are different in different states and changing frequently making it difficult to incorporate all the changes manually. An Intelligent Fuel System calculates all this effect and inputs an appropriate value  while calculating TRIP expenses.

Single view on all fuel expenses and reconciliation with Fleet cards . 

Almost all the major transporters have adopted cash less system to different extent. One of the major cashless systems in India is Fuel Cards provided by Oil Marketing Companies. They act like debit cards and money put can be put in each card by a controller and fleet drivers can use the card to fill fuel or meet some other expenses. The problem here is that reconciliation with OMC is difficult especially when there is a difference in actual amount of fuel filled and the amount debited . The Intelligent Fuel Management System can pull the data from Fleet card system in real time and reconcile with actual filling  almost instantly . In case of any exception , the system raises alert so that the problem can addressed quickly

High ROI

The gains from an Intelligent Fuel Management System are very large as compared to the costs involved. The entire fuel management costs can be recovered as early as 30 days and in worst case 60 days . The Return on Investment (ROI) for the lifetime of a vehicle is more than 100 i.e. you gain 100 for INR 1 invested.

 

Compare Prices

In case you are further interested on knowing the economics, the link provides prices of the hardware. Hardware are the one time investment and life is more than 5 years. 

The applications of  RFiD (Radio Frequency Identification) & Barcode in Transport & Logistics

The applications of RFiD (Radio Frequency Identification) & Barcode in Transport & Logistics

Barcodes and RFiD both get used in tracking and data collection. If there is large volume of goods, assets, vehicles or they are difficult to track manually,  the technologies like  RFID , Barcode , QR code, GPS and many other  can be deployed .. However,  it is difficult to choose suitable technology which is dependent on host of factors such as cost, accuracy , ease etc. For example, GPS technologies are good for tracking movement within the error margin of 2-3 meters usually but not so accurate  when the material, assets , equipment & vehicle need to be moved within smaller area such as a warehouse  or a factory.

In this article I will cover two technologies that  are increasingly used for the movement and analysis of movements undertaken for short distances. These technologies are Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) and Barcode . which are stable and easy to use. It may be noted these technologies only get teeth only when they are combined by clever algorithms and  useful software designs. For example,  readers should not confuse that an RFID based gate open/ close system  is same as process improvement solution , though they both use same technology for tracking. The latter is much more complex  given the permutation and combination of processes in different places.  I will discuss the software part in subsequent articles and devoting this article to help users with pointers to decide which technology can work better in different contexts.

RFID & Barcode: The Similarities

RFID and barcodes are similar in a few points:

  • If you want to track your materials both RFID tags and barcode labels can help in that for you.
  • They are both means of collecting data.
  • Stored data on both kinds of tags can be retrieved via either fixed or handheld scanning devices, and, therefore, both are incredibly popular as part of the inventory tracking.
  • These are all used for inventory management and tracking.

RFID & Barcode: The Differences

However, these two types of tracking technologies also differ quite a bit:

  • Barcodes are designed to be scanned one at a time whereas many RFID tags can be scanned at once.
  • Barcodes require that the scanner maintain a line-of-sight with each code, while RFID is a “near field” technology, so the scanner only needs to be within range of the tag to read it.
  • Barcodes are generally printed on paper or adhesive labels, so they are prone to wear and damage, while an RFID tag is generally a tougher product that can withstand more abuse.
  • The type and volume of data on barcodes is more limited than what can be stored on an RFID tag.

RFID & Barcode: Which is better?

Barcode technology has been there for ages, RFiD is a relatively newer technology. However, we just can’t say that RFiD is superior to the barcodes as it is new. It all depends on the usage and both the technologies have proven themselves over a period.

In some circumstances the barcode can be a better choice than RFiD. For example, if the needs of a business can be accomplished within the limitations of barcode, then the barcode system will be a better choice as the cost of a barcode-based system will be less expensive to purchase and integrate. But just in case you do not want to bind your system with the limitations that the barcode offers then the RFiD based system is better as it has lesser limitations than barcodes. Due to this fact the RFiD based system is becoming more popular.

Placed head-to-head, RFID does generally win on most performance metrics:

It may be noted that RFID technology can be used for purely automatic tracking but bar coders are easier to handle manually . Barcode Readers  tend to be far cheaper than the RFID scanners .

RFID vs. Barcode: How do you choose?

As already noted, whether it’s done via handheld scanner or if items are passed through a fixed site, each barcode label needs to be directly read by a scanner that “sees” its unique image. The barcode label needs to be relatively clean and intact, or it may not read correctly. The opportunity to automate any part of the inventory process is fairly limited outside of the conveyor belt scenario, because scanning a barcode is a very deliberate action that must take place in a particular way, or it won’t work.

RFID tags, on the other hand, just need to pass somewhere within range of an antenna, and multiple antennas can operate simultaneously to read any number of tags. Since the antennas can be built into various configurations and setup with varying ranges, a passive, highly automated process can be designed around whatever the current workflow or environment requires. This flexibility is one of the key reasons many organizations end up going with RFID even if barcoding could work for them.

Following table gives the insight into the different types of RFiD available and how they compare to the Barcode in terms of the reading range.

Benefit from RFiD and Barcode based solutions from TransportHub.com

TransportHub has various inventory management and tracking solutions based on these technologies, with several analytical reports and very low cost of owner ship makes it easier to adapt these solutions.

 https://top.transporthub.in/in-plant-monitoring/

https://vops.transporthub.in/new-trim/

Conclusion

Preceding paragraphs  provide a quick view on how the RFID and Barcode technologies compare . It may be also be noted in case the objective is reduce human intervention , accuracy and automation RFID wins. However, barcode technology is not without use due to its ease both in terms of development and deployment. A mobile app can work as barcode reader plus and analytics tool , whereas RFID scanners  , though powerful , need different hardware.

To summarize , RFID technology is utilized in following typical scenarios:

  • Automatic scanning
  • Large volumes
  • Complex processes which tend to give rise to human errors and data unavailability
  • Use cases are Asset Tracking in a warehouse of factory with multiple processes ( e.g. Entry, Weighing , Parking , Loading time , Billing and QC , Exit ), Equipment tracking ( Forklifts , cranes etc. ) in small area , Consumables tracking ( Tyres & spares etc.), Highly accurate material tracking in a warehouse etc.

Whereas, Barcode technology is deployed in the scenarios characterized by:

  • Lower volume
  • Manual intervention such as when each SKU needs to be manually entered ( though RFID can do without manual intervention it is more expensive )
  • Less budget ( typically a tenth to fifth that of RFID)
  • Use cases are material tracking in a warehouse with manual inspection , process mapping when the workflow is simple etc.

About the author

Bimlendu Verma is the Senior Vice President of Technology atTransportHub.com. He has spent most of his career in the automation industry and has spent the past few years developing IIoT products and services. This blend in knowledge of Automation Technology allows Bimlendu to quickly understand how these technologies be applied with existing systems to assist customers so as to improve their productivity and quality. Bimlendu.Verma@transporthub.com

Need of hour – E-documentation in Road Transportation

Need of hour – E-documentation in Road Transportation

Many articles have been written detailing out advantages of digitalization of documents in road transportation space . However, the acceptance of digital document is still negligible. There are myriad reasons for low acceptance and most of them relate to inertia and internal constraints in the organizations. The technologies are ripe and proven but the companies in India and in most of the countries have not considered digitalization of documents as strategic.  The leaders must now take notice as the digital documents  are not only essential for reducing costs or improve efficiencies but also for saving the  businesses from crippling consequences.

Background

It is worthwhile to note that documentation are important part of logistics of goods . They prove provenance, quality , quantity , ownership etc. among other things. Since the goods change many hands, documents are the common thread across a long and complex logistics chain. At present, they are carried in hard copies and hop from one part to  another of the chain with proper recording of trail. To illustrate with a simplified example , a copy of Lorry Receipt( LR) carry the necessary information about quantity, product name , reference to invoice & E-way bill, Vehicle details consignee etc. They are carried mostly by the lorry driver and when the consignment is delivered endorsement is taken on the hard copy with notings, if any, by consignee. The LR copy is the principal document for  processing of bill of transporter. By insisting on hard copies of documents , a customer enjoys certain tactical advantages such as longer credit cycle by the transporter. There are genuine reasons as well such as any loss or pilferage is noted on the LR.

On the flip side,  the documents in current form( hard copies)   need to be kept  in the same way for later references such as internal audit, GST purposes, dispute resolution, as evidence etc.  For IT savvy companies , data contained in LR is punched manually causing mistakes and inaccuracies. The documents are difficult to analyse for strategic and analytics insights . As an example, the data in hard copies is very difficult to be  used  for finding which customer and drivers are giving problems.

With the spread of  COVID – 19 virus , these documents should be looked from another point which may have lasting negative impact on the entire logistics  chain. The documents act as carriers to pathogens and can spread from persons holding or touching  it. It may  be appreciated that these documents move from place to place with innumerable touch points making all things they come into contact with potential carriers. The documents are moved through at least 10 pairs of hand from generation to bill processing. Thus, the documents can play significant role in community spread of any pathogen or communicable diseases. The documents are kept in unhygienic conditions which in turn  provide thriving conditions for pathogens.

Some may suspect that  digital documentation is very difficult due to lack of proper technologies or it is very expensive. The fear is unfounded in today’s scenario when technologies and their applications are booming at an unprecedented pace.  Technologies for digitalization of documents are available and can be used off-the-shelf with little implementation efforts. Even the trust issues could be resolved by technologies like blockchains(  Elsewhere I covered why blockchain tech is not the solution in India but the point is that technologies are available to replicate the current usage by digital means)

Why digitalization has not taken roots?

So why the digitalization of document has not been adopted yet ?   I will try to propose few answers, which by no means exhaustive, based on my experience of the industry.

First, digitalizing documentation for road transport is  very rarely pushed by Senior Management. It is hardly perceived as a strategic matter that needs constant focus. In fact, lack of management focus may be seen as the only road block as other constraints can be overcome by little more involvement of the management. The leadership sees logistics as a cost centre and which can at best be handled by the middle-management and not above. I have rarely seen in the minutes of board meetings that how logistics can increase revenue and drive motivation amongst employees.

Second, accounts and audit teams still insist on hard copies of the documents. The accounts team usually fails to see beyond immediate advantage of extending credit by pushing for hard copies. This is true for even the largest and most aware companies in India. For instance, our simple idea of sending digitally signed document was shot down by one of the largest consumer goods Indian companies. The reason again is that it has to be a management call despite digital signature being legally enforceable.

Third, the logistics teams are averse to change as they are used to work in a certain way. Moreover, any new system will require efforts and training by the company.

Fourth, the choice of technologies is a question which cannot be resolved by the logistics team alone and that will require coordination with IT team and initiated by senior management .

But, there is no time to lose

 

As discussed before, the adoption and move towards digitalization can only be pushed by the top management and the boards of the companies.  The spread of COVID-19 also gives a reason for the management to think of the initiative and implement digital documentation on war footings.  If COVID -19 persists , which is seen as fairly probable , for long time , the logistics chains will go for major disruption. Nature of logistics industry also makes the industry susceptible to worsening the pandemic across the country.

It may be now or never!

 

 

Contact us :

Rohit Chaturvedi
rohit.chaturvedi@transporthub.com

Why better roads and GST not translating to reduced logistics costs in India ?

Why better roads and GST not translating to reduced logistics costs in India ?

It is well known that Indian logistics sector has one of the highest costs in the world as a proportion of GDP. It is also widely accepted that industry is inefficient owing to poor infrastructure and bad government policies. However, evidence suggests that even after the improvements in National & State highways and advent of GST, the efficiency is not visible in material ways.

Why is it so?
Firstly, customers inadvertently encourage oligopoly in the vehicle procurement operations. The key reasons for the same is bandwidth issues with the logistics team and comfort with limited set of transporters. The transporters thus can collude and the advantages of efficiency is not passed to the customers.
Secondly, logistics teams do not have strategic insights to correctly design vehicle procurement process. It is not uncommon to see that in the same industry, different companies use different vehicle procurement policy. For example, a company in the cement industry might go for spot procurement and another company in the same sector may opt for annual contract.
Lastly, most of the tasks involved are still handled by humans. Vehicle planning, indentation, loading , tracking , billings etc tasks are undertaken by human efforts with or no integration & automation.
The problem of inefficiency is also persistent due to lack of preparedness by transporters and lack of visibility of loads at different times in future to them. I call that Information Obscurity or IO . Because of IO on return loads, the transporter adds a premium on forward leg which increases the transportation costs.

What is the potential solution?
The key approaches to optimize logistics costs involve automation, transparency and analytics. Modern technology combined with clever algorithms can automate the tasks involved in logistics management. The processes can be integrated to reduce the human involvement and curtail the amount of errors significantly.
Technology can increase the reach by allowing customers to reach as many transporters as possible with ease, thereby, increasing competition. Increased competition, it has been proved, reduces possibility of collusion and helps in discovery of true market clearing prices.
Technology also enhances transparency with clear audit trails.
Automation of process will also have a very important side effect in collecting the relevant data with accuracy. The high quality data can then be utilized further to derive strategic insight through meaning analysis. For example, customers can base their planning and develop different strategies for vehicle procurement process based on routes, seasonality and so on.
The analytics can also be utilized by the transporters to plan vehicle trips. For example, the analytics can provide inputs on the available return load at various times thereby reducing costs. Moreover, predictive analytics can make decisions more robust.

Why are companies not doing right things?
There may be multiple reasons for the same. Few of the reasonable assumptions are that supply chain and logistics function is not seen strategic in nature by the companies. Many companies combine transportation services procurement with general procurement function. The main focus of the function is on local optimum such as negotiating down the transport costs. In fact, it is unheard that organizations have CXO level position for supply chain. To provide a perspective , a supply chain position at CXO level is expected to give equal or more value than a CFO in many types on industries. The value is not only created through reduced costs but also via positive impact on many other processes which affect top-line as well.
Another reason is high development and maintenance costs of developing technology system. This can be particularly daunting for small and medium size companies.
Yet another reason may be skill related. Designing a system for the industry requires both the deep understanding of technology and sector knowledge. The person driving the product should have good understanding of technology and industry which is rare.
End note
Although India has witnessed development of better roads and GST has eliminated state and octroi area borders, better turnaround and efficiency of vehicles has not translated in improvement in logistics costs.
The reasons may be attributed to the way transport management is handled which has not changed with times. The resultant effect is human errors, opaqueness and little fact-based insights.
Technology has the potential to transform the transport management. However, developing technology in-house is difficult due to variety of issues.
Yet new models will surely be unleashed and disrupt the industry to solve these problems. It is high time that the companies must view supply chain technology as a strategic function rather than a cost centre. Incumbents rooted with traditional ways of handling logistics and supply chain functions are likely to face existential risk.

 

 

Contact us :

Rohit Chaturvedi
rohit.chaturvedi@transporthub.in

https://vops.transporthub.in