Supply chain management facilitates smooth processes and optimizes the flow of info, products, and operating finance. It improves business efficiency and creates and maintains provider-customer relationships.
Today, leaving no business segment untouched, Industry 4.0 is transforming the supply chain space. Companies must adhere to value-added solutions and the optimum customer experience in this scenario.
In the race for such competitive organizations, Ecubix stands out with its proven records of building solutions revolving around business processes. What makes it even better is that these solutions have completely helped customers automate or digitalize their supply chain management processes.
The company puts much emphasis on value creation for its customers, and with the help of its products, clients have been able to save more than 350 Million. In an exclusive interview with CIO LOOK India, the leader Vipul Shah, CEO, narrated the amazing story of his leading solutions-providing company. Let’s have an informative read.
Please brief our audience about your firm, its USPs, and how you are currently positioned as one of the best-performing supply chain management providers.
Ecubix is a solution and value-oriented technology company employing Industry 4.0 technologies such as IIoT, ML, and AI to help customers generate value. Through our unique solution engineering approach, we design and deliver Industry 4.0 solutions, enabling our customers to derive the best possible return from their digital investments. Our solutions strategically reshape industrial enterprises by facilitating seamless connection, monitoring, analysing, ensuring data reliability, and acting upon data through practical applications across departments.
Additionally, with technologies and features like QR Code, ML, Channel Performance Management, goods return tracking, Stock Aging, Business Pace, and Demand planning, our customers can gain the highest possible traceability of their material’s movement and customer business behaviours.
Please brief us about your journey in the supply chain management industry and how you have made Ecubix excel in its niche.
I lead by considering the following aspects:
Leadership and Management Skills: I, culturally, am a hands-on leader, but that in no way means I am a micro-manager. My leadership style is more leaning towards the coaching style. I don’t dictate a solution to my team but prefer to work along with them to co-create a solution. In my opinion, such an approach helps drive ownership in the team, facilitating execution. Also, I believe in my people’s capability and that ordinary people will surprise you by doing extraordinary things if they are given the right environment and guidance.
Vision and Innovation: Questioning the status quo is the bedrock of innovation. I questioned the status quo in my role at Port business, which led to a significant restructuring or readjustment of the supply chain from one of the portfolio ports. All our products at ecubix also challenge the status quo.
Adapting to Change: I firmly believe that change is always for the good. Change nudges us out of our comfort zone, which is a silent killer of our potential. I don’t just believe in adopting and adapting to change but in driving change myself. I led the business transformation project at Adani Ports. At ecubix, we help our clients drive change through digital transformation. We also drive change through our cutting-edge products and services.
Continuous Learning and Improvement: I am a big fan of constant training and development to push my people to the next level regarding their capabilities and competencies, whether they are functional or behavioural. At ecubix, we don’t use the terminology called ‘training cost’ – we use the terminology ‘training and development investment’.
With these skills and expertise, I have worked with Adani Ports for almost eight years in various capacities, including Sales and Marketing, Business Development, Commercial controlling, Business Process Transformation and Corporate Planning and Control. My varied roles in the port sector have provided me with deep insights. My roles at Adani Ports allowed me to understand the nuances of supply chain costs and reengineer the supply chains at Adani Port’s portfolio of ports to optimize the supply chain costs for our customers. It led to tangible savings for our customers while helping the Ports business grow at a healthy CAGR.
At ecubix, I focus on driving excellence through continuous improvement. We use Kaizen-type techniques. The idea is to do something better today compared to what we did tomorrow and learn and grow as a result.
What professional qualities and values do you think your clients admire in you the most?
We offer the following values in our services:
- Knowledgeable: Our clients value the technical and functional knowledge our people bring. One of our core values is ‘Openness’, which implies open debate on ideas. We are mindful of our gaps and deficits and always open to gaining knowledge from outside the company and our colleagues. This culture of free and fearless debate usually creates much value.
- Adaptability: Our core value of openness also makes us adaptable. This core value helps us invite new ideas/new perspectives/changes to the business environment. Instead of despising such changes, we discuss what new opportunities such changes would throw up.
- Reliability: Consistency and dependability are important qualities we imbibe in our employees. Our clients truly appreciate our resilience and commitment. We work by standing in the face of tough situations and doing everything possible to deliver excellence.
- Resilience: One of the biggest virtues of Ecubix and part of our DNA is to stand by our clients come hell or high water. I must proudly say that we have been working for a few clients for more than five years, some even more than a decade.
Our journey over these past years hasn’t always been smooth. We had a roller coaster ride and our fair share of challenges. But, never have we left a task unfinished and let down our clients. More importantly, we never have abandoned a project or dumped the problem on someone else’s back.
Our long-term clients know that whatever the situation may be, Ecubix will be there and will stand steadfast. I believe this is our biggest strength and virtue, which we will never change or abandon. It is the very soul of Ecubix.
We believe in long-term partnerships, not opportunistic transactions.
- Problem-solving: That is the business we are in. We analyze client problems and offer the most optimal solutions.
- Confidentiality: I prioritize user privacy and confidentiality. Clients appreciate knowing that their interactions with me are secure and that their information will never be misused.
As an experienced leader, share your opinion on how adopting modern technologies like AI and ML impacts the supply chain management solution space and how your company adapts to the change.
AI and ML have been crucial to our future with clients in our journey to be the leading solutions provider. They have helped us provide the clients with better business planning, lead time management, and production planning and understanding of clients’ business behaviour in depth, Competitor analysis, Business forecasting, etc.
Moreover, from customer-specific to geography specific to Country specific business planning and visibility are made available based on the business data and with relevant integrations. With the help of such modern technologies, we ensure that the customers are catered to the best and the latest based on their requirements.
Considering the current industry scenario, what challenges do you face, and how do you drive your firm to overcome them?
We work in a technological space, and one of our biggest challenges is resource crunch. The second challenge that we must deal with is hyper-competition. To overcome these challenges, we drive simplicity and process orientation in our operations and become less and less person dependent. Moreover, we focus on minimizing hyper-competition through product customization and long-term client relationships. Ecubix will increasingly move towards our software products, packages solutions and consulting services blended by IT deployment. We are already a CMMI level 3 certified company and aim to achieve level-5 in the next two years.
How do you envision scaling your brand’s operations and offerings in the future?
Ecubix stands for Reliability, Resilience, Focus and Value. In the Supply chain space, we aim to improve our Channel Performance Management (CPM) solution. I aspire to make Ecubix CPM the world’s premier Channel Management solution in the future. We also have a large business in Smart factory solutions.
This business offers products and services for the digital transformation of factories–manufacturing operations. We focus on power, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas and chemicals. With a couple of innovative products in this sector, we aim to keep improving them over the next years and establish them as a benchmark.
What would you advise budding entrepreneurs aspiring to venture into supply chain management?
If India must become the third largest economy in the world in the thirties, and if India’s supply chain costs have to reduce to align with those in the developed nations, then supply chain management has space for everyone.
I suggest budding entrepreneurs focus on a niche and avoid becoming a jack of all. Instead of many mediocre solutions, implementing niche solutions/specialization and a focused approach to solving a particularly nagging problem will appeal more to the market.
At ecubix, we adhere to our core expertise in one element of supply chain management. We excel in measuring and providing analytics of our clients’ finished product distribution channel performance. We have deliberately resisted the lure of getting into route optimization or warehouse management as there are already good products by other software companies in those spaces.
If we must deliver a larger project, we will use these third-party products as part of our solution rather than develop our geographical route optimization package or a Warehouse management solution. Instead of investing in these areas, I would invest my company’s time, intellect, energy and money in bettering my product–Channel Performance Management solution.