The logistics landscape is riddled with complexities and inefficiencies, especially for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) as they struggle to navigate the myriad of manual processes and logistical impediments..
The industry has realized the need for a seamless, digitalized platform to facilitate document exchange and mitigate the cumbersome manual documentation processes and logistical bottlenecks that have long plagued the industry..
Shipping and Freight Resource caught up with Liji Nowal, Founder and CEO of ODeX as part of the Executive Insights series to discuss the essence of technology as an investment and the transformative power of aligning technology with user needs and some of the challenges and solutions offered..
Key executive insights from Liji Nowal
ODeX is a community platform for the logistics industry where stakeholders can exchange documents, get shipment statuses, and collaborate on solutions. Although the platform started in India, it has expanded to 10 countries currently with the aim of being operational in 4 continents by next year.
1) On industry challenges and solutions – There is a high dependency on manual documentation in the logistics sector which especially affects small to medium enterprises (SMEs) as they often bear high logistics costs.
The solution is to simplify document exchange, primarily for SMEs, solving issues related to manual processes, and to digitalize and streamline business-to-business payments and document handovers.
2) User-Centric Approach – A user-centric approach over a technology-first approach is necessary in the industry and putting user needs first leads to easier technology adoption by the customers. ODeX is committed to continuous user feedback with even the founders and heads of departments taking support calls to understand user needs and challenges directly.
3) Community and Collaboration – The platform has enabled stakeholders, including freight forwarders, customs brokers, shipping lines, terminals, banks, and cargo owners, to collaborate and communicate efficiently. Users have embraced the platform, creating user-generated content such as tutorials in vernacular languages, highlighting the sense of community and the value users see in the platform.
4) New technologies – For new entrants in the logistics tech space, it is crucial to focus on continuous feedback and user involvement to test solutions, particularly in the SME segment because their challenges are very distinct and are vital to achieving profitability and adoption.
5) Technology and adoption – For companies struggling with adoption, technology should be viewed as an investment with clear goals, and companies should choose the right partners over the cheapest ones to implement digital solutions effectively.
Listen to the full interview here