The country’s transport and logistics industry must explore the opportunities offered by digitization, automation and blockchain technology to enhance efficiency in logistics, ocean transport and the port and terminal sector.
Capt. Arjun Vikram-Singh, MD and CEO of Quantum said while the transport and logistics industry in the Philippines is large, its tremendous potential is restricted by the slow rate change in adoption new technology and process innovation.
He said the environment is right for digital transformation with the many technology options, as well as a significant reduction in costs.
“Many businesses are traditional, family run and conservative but a new awareness is coming in and change will follow. A younger generation is driven by technology and machine efficiency rather than the conventional thought of people processing and excel are already making bold decisions,” he said.
“Philippines has a significant advantage over their neighbors through language skills and a vibrant young population that is digitally enabled and well ahead of their global peers.
Philippines has also been a natural destination for off-shoring of key business processes from the high-tech development, financial services and business process outsourcing (BPOs). A dynamic work force that is tech-savvy and at ease in the use of mobile apps and the e-Commerce auger well for the future,” he said.
When questioned on why was the Philippines lagging behind in adapting to new technology he replied; “It is a combination of a conservative mindset, distrust of technology, and a workforce that is relatively cheap. However, there is now an open mind to change so long as the price was right. Companies large and small are in dialogue with Quantum and it is clear that they have seen the signals and completely appreciate that technology is a critical aspect and a business imperative.”
“Quantum’s business cases documents for the Philippines show that on an average 80 percent or more of companies in the freight forwarding sector run on either a pure manual or a partial system, and that duplication was rampant with inefficiencies costing them a high but unquantified amount. In order to be competitive, use of technology to integrate, automate and drive efficiency were needed to be their goal. Significant benefits were there to be achieved with simple adoption of technology,” he said in an interview with The Manila Times.
He added that the big challenge remains in introducing the best solutions to the industry and create confidence through dialogue.
When speaking about Quantum, Capt. Vikram-Singh said that after holding senior management positions at Norasia Line and the CSAV Group, he had seen first-hand the tremendous opportunity to modernize and transform this industry.
Having started Quantum in 2003, today Quantum has products for the ocean carriers, freight and logistics and port terminals. They deliver advanced ERP systems on the latest technology as well as business intelligence.
He said the future of shipping is in real time on-line processesing that is similar to the airline and hospitality industry, which could only be achieved through an accelerated use of smart technology, standardization and simplification. New technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, block chain were already here.
“Quantum aspires to be an innovative company, always the first to bring in new ideas.
Technology is changing extremely fast. Technology multiplies an exponential factor every year. A challenge is to bring in this technology to our software and in turn bring about quantum benefit to a customer,” he said.
“Our goal is reduce transaction steps from 30 to 13, which essentially should reduce the workloads to less than 50 percent. In that way, you change the focus of people away from repetitive and manual work to more value creation and commercial and customer centric ones. It also allows businesses to expand and diversify. With good technology you empower people, attract the best talent, and create a committed and driven workforce.” he explained.
Quantum offers enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions that integrate the entire organization, from budget through operations to results. The solutions are Philippines localized and cover all business processes and are tried and tested.
“We make sure that all processes are uniform, the rate booking, operations are all in sync. So when you raise the invoice and collect money there is no delay. This is process -centric, workflow software,” he said.
In a very bold statement, Quantum’s CEO said, if a customer ever makes a double entry, Quantum would give them a dollar for each such duplication.
Quantum offers industry standard security, block chain integrated, modern user -friendly design and quality experience. For comprehensive application, they have automation, integrated, industry specific, cloud- hosted, AI enabled, user friendly design integrated EDI, e-Commerce.
It has 14 product portfolios across transportation. Quantum has a large business intelligence and analytics practice of 12 products using Qlikview and Power BI. The Quantum Intelligence systems track and display all company KPI’s, results, insights, predictive analytics and a whole range of “What-if” simulations.
In the Philippines, Quantum already has a range of clients across all three spectrums — with systems for Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI) and ICTSI’s Manila International Container Terminal (MICT); carriers such as Magsaysay and IRIS; Freight and Logistics such as Pacific Concord, Container Bridge, Road Runner, Port Net, Triple V and Gateway Logistics.