This interview is part of our new AI in Supply Chain Management series, where we interview the world's top thought leaders on the front lines of the intersections between AI and supply chain management.
In this interview, we speak with Ed Clarke, co-founder and Managing Director of Yojee, to understand how his company is using AI to transform supply chains, and what the future of supply chains holds.
1. What’s the story behind Yojee? Why and how did you begin?
EC: Yojee was created out of a dire need to improve the way supply chains are managed. During my time growing e-commerce companies in a previous life, I discovered a huge information asymmetry across the world of freight logistics where the ‘sub-contractor' was essentially doing most of the work with the least information, and the gap in modern technology to solve the issues this created such as tracking, SLA Management, invoicing and payment.
So after speaking to a few smart people and a lot of research we put some money together to go after the biggest prize of all — the global logistics industry.
2. Please describe your use case and how Yojee uses artificial intelligence.
EC: Yojee uses a complex set of microservices to rapidly deploy fleet management, network management and optimization platforms across logistics networks. Artificial Intelligence is used in areas such as costing, planning, scheduling, in a pre-execution environment and assigning jobs and re-optimizing in the live environment across one or many warehouses and regions. This is extremely complex and it's very difficult to which I think shows in that we have been already working with DB Schenker, UPS and Geodis who are three of the global top ten logistics providers who found our capabilities both powerful and unique.
AI feeds into much of what the system does, but let me give you a couple of highlights. You can feed in hundreds of jobs, and based on the drivers you have available that day, it will not only work out the fastest routes, but also cluster jobs based on commit times, driver zoning, and capacity.
Another key element is the way our system can learn about the geography of an area and types of transport during congestion. For example, if there is a cut through that a push-bike can use that doesn't show up on Google maps, our system will incorporate this new information into its understanding of the area, and use it when optimizing routes in future.
3. Could you share a specific customer/user that benefits from what you offer? What has Yojee done for them?
EC: We have a number of customers who run extremely asset (vehicle) light businesses and have been able to both increase visibility, efficiency (more jobs with fewer drivers) and control of their downstream partner networks along with going completely digital meaning they could then provide real-time visibility and also real-time finance capabilities which have dramatically shortened time to invoice and cash flow.
They typically deal with very tight commit times, electronic proof of delivery (ePOD) is essential for security, and they have hundreds of vehicles in motion at any given time. We enable them to have up to the second visibility on their operation, communicate with drivers with our software, and save valuable time by automating delivery and status notifications, all the while providing route optimization so they get the most done with the fewest possible resources.
We have bicycle couriers who doubled their volume by digitizing and having accessible APIs to new customers, Forwarders who removed a lot of administerial overhead, and line haul and express groups who can manage SLAs and improve customer experience dramatically by utilizing the technology we offer such as mobile devices, Ai solutions and real-time messaging.