Inbound Logistics | April 2023

CHILD STARS: TECH STARTUPS TO WATCH Innovation and investment in new supply chain technologies continues to grow. Here are some new players in the market.

APIs. “Automation will happen only if systems are connected and can speak to one another,” says Matt McKinney, co-founder and CEO of Loop. AGILITY AND FLEXIBILITY TOOLS Many consumer goods companies see spikes in demand during the holiday season. Others may see sales of a particular product take off when a social media campaign goes viral. Agile, exible supply chains enable companies to manage through the volatility. Digital twins. Improving the accuracy of demand and supply planning can help companies more intelligently allocate resources, boosting productivity and agility. Digital twin technology—in which a virtual model is designed to accurately reect a physical object—can be used to run simulations, study performance issues, and generate possible improvements to the original physical object(s), according to IBM. How might this apply to supply chains? Leaders of efcient supply chains need to answer several questions, says Igor Rikalo, president and COO with o9 Solutions, a planning platform. These questions are: • What is happening within the company and why? Dashboards and business intelligence have typically been used to answer this. • What is going to happen? Often, formulating predictions has required the use of algorithms to “chew through different data sets,” Rikalo says. • What should we do? That is, how should the company connect planning to execution? Instead of addressing these questions with multiple disconnected technologies, the holistic view possible with digital twin solutions lets supply chain leaders more quickly understand how their competitive environment is changing and adjust operations. Digital twins can also boost efciency at a more tactical level. For example, a company can digitally adjust its warehouse layout and then review the impact on operations.




To provide consumer goods companies with daily item-level insights so they can anticipate supply chain challenges and respond quickly. Provides a platform for any type of information or transactions between companies. The long-term goal is to create a platform where companies in the life sciences industry and third parties can collaborate to build their own supply chain solutions.


Demand and inventory control tower


Blockchain-powered network


Digital freight network To make freight operations more ecient— reducing shippers' costs, increasing carriers' earnings, and reducing carbon emissions.

Supplier intelligence platform

To make supply chains more resilient through supplier data and software tools delivering monitoring and insight into global supply chains and market intelligence. To enable autonomous inventory management in warehouses. Up next: yard management. To help retailers delight ecommerce customers by powering interactions across multiple touchpoints (web, mobile, email, Google assistant) and streamlining order tracking, delivery, and returns. Intelligent robotic fulfillment systems designed to autonomously pick, pack, and ship ecommerce orders while reducing warehouse size by up to 75%. To simplify how retailers buy perishables, increasing sales while reducing food waste. To orchestrate, scale, and optimize supply chains from a single connected platform. Aims to help businesses compete with Amazon on fulfillment and shipping. To enable instant delivery and ultimately create a global logistics system that can reach all humans on the planet.

Gather AI

Drone-powered inventory monitoring


Ecommerce post- purchase platform


Robotic ecommerce fulfillment

Shelf Engine

Demand forecasting for grocery stores


Cloud-based logistics platform


Autonomous drone delivery

April 2023 • Inbound Logistics 51

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