AI for Logistics
What started off as an application to ensure rider safety by making cabs stay on course soon amplified into a decision-making platform for business supply chain using deep learning and AI.
Until very recently, consumer-driven ventures were leading the innovation ecosystem in Bengaluru. Locus is one of the few B2B startups in the city focussing on product innovation with technology that is gradually changing the entrepreneurial landscape.
It employs proprietary algorithms and deep technology to provide route optimization, actionable insights, warehouse management, 3D packaging and sizing of packages on a global technology platform. Human decisions are automated to deliver efficiency and operational transparency to the company using it.
Thanks to this, an e-commerce company employed a supply chain platform which resulted in its being able to save 60 percent of the conventional sorting time, 25 percent reduction in operational costs and 75 percent reduction in dispatch planning time.
Nishith Rastogi and Geet Garg (who later became CEO & CTO of Locus) had in 2014, developed RideSafe, a real-time route deviation detection application, designed specifically in the interest of women’s safety. This technology isn’t limited only to certain applications, though.
It was gradually adopted by food technology companies to track their delivery fleets and discern possible deviations, efficiently. The companies wanted to know the exact location of and ideal routes for their trucks, and Locus provided them with the exact features they were looking for.
The company has come up with several innovative products such as Dispatcher, MotionTrack, and IntelliSort, all of which serve to assist in managing on-ground resources and also help increase the supply chain efficiency of businesses. Locus Dispatcher, for example, helps to cut down costs and reduces manual dependency by optimising routes. It does this by factoring in constraints such as volume and time, which get analysed to come up with optimal routing solutions.
The 3D Packing feature helps to maintain packing arrays such as First In, First Out by appropriate cargo loading, which results in vehicle optimisation. Its proprietary geocoder double-checks the geocode addresses, an important feature to have for accurate tracking of companies’ fleets.
The analytics and insights platform developed enables its customers to build an omnichannel platform with a detailed comparison of warehouses, workforce, and vehicles. This is made possible by automating job allocation requests amongst the available service executives while maintaining their skill, rating and location preferences. Its automated decision-making system also provides predictive alerts on idle time, vehicle breakdown and traffic delays. All this serves to enhance the efficiency of business supply chain processes and in turn, improves customers’ experience.
Thanks to its multipurpose technology, Locus has gained many clients over time, including those from the retail, 3PL, e-commerce, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and home services sectors. Blue Dart, Urban Ladder, Licious, Rollick, Lenskart, and Big Basket are just a few of the mix of medium to large enterprises which count on it as their supply chain technology partner.
Locus has been funded by Pi Ventures, Exfinity Venture Partners, among others. In 2017, it won the ‘Aegis Graham Bell Award for Data Science and was an ‘India Emerging Twenty’ Finalist. It received the ‘NASSCOM AI Game Changer Award’ in 2018, for developing an innovative AI application, and has also been featured among the 42 most innovative startups in India by Inc42.
Rastogi says, “We aim to automate and optimize businesses’ logistics operations with scalable and reliable technology solutions, to help boost business efficiency and align ourselves with our customers’ goals. Our main principle is that our clients’ success drives our own”. With a ‘glocal’ focus on diverse geographies, the firm is set to expand to Southeast Asia including Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and to the West, in North America. Following this, the company plans to move towards partnering with medium to large enterprises in South America and Europe.