shipping yard

Rovigos (official site) is a Korean startup that is taking on a seemingly entrenched and difficult market: global logistics, with a really interesting strategy most people would not expect from an up-and-coming company: handling the supply chain monitoring and forecasting from end to end (supplier to shelf).

Photo credit: “Drone Shot of a Docked Cargo Ship at a Port” by Tom Fisk, via Pexel.

Their logistics and supply chain management (SCM) solution is designed to help small and medium retailers achieve the kind of logistical efficiency only attainable by retail giants before. The endgame is to reduce the inventory management costs that can harm the retailer’s profitability.

Rovigos recognizes that inventory costs can represent about 40% of their customers’ operations. That’s because many small and medium retailers don’t have a sophisticated inventory system, leading to poor management and money sitting in unsold inventory.

But the system isn’t just about inputting warehouse-based information about what was sold or what’s available. It can track the supply chain from the final end-user delivery to the product supplier (possibly on the other end of the world). That includes the real-time position of goods being shipped and the state of the containers (motion, temperature, shocks, etc). It is even compatible with drone deliveries.

Rovigos has a Fresh Guard solution to enhance container tracking by enabling solutions like cameras, lidars (to detect human presence), and heat sensors. This is very important for shipments sensitive to temperature variations (detect thaw + re-refreeze cycles) or theft during shipping, as both can significantly reduce profitability and could be the shipping company’s responsibility. Customers would be able to monitor the temperature and even control it!

Using this data, Rovigos claims to provide more accurate short-term and long-term forecasts (by AI of course), which should lead to reduced inventory. It makes much sense at a conceptual level since this would raise the efficiency of previously “low-tech” distribution companies closer to giants like Amazon, FedEx, and Walmart because they use similar high-tech strategies.

Rovigos’ services are delivered as a SaaS (cloud page), and that’s an important benefit of being a cloud-era company compared to those who use legacy systems that are more expensive to operate and upgrade. The two major components are the Inventory Management and the Distribution Management.

I imagine getting up and running with this SaaS is still much work. Still, since it is many times more cost-effective than established alternatives like SAP, etc., it creates a possibility where there wasn’t before. Many will be tempted by the chance to compete in logistics at a higher level, even though a startup would not compete with software giants on every single feature, far from it.

We even discussed the possibility of Rovigo serving customers like taxi companies because their software can handle fleet-management use cases. That’s more of a long-term goal, and I suspect the company will focus on core use cases instead of spreading itself thin.

Let’s keep an eye on adoption in the near future to see if the promise of enabling top-notch inventory forecast and management is fulfilled, but this is a ray of hope for small and medium companies in an ever-more competitive world. If you want to hear our whole conversation, check the video below.

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