In the following Q&A with FreightWaves' Brian Aoaeh, our CEO Pratik Soni shares how Omnichain is weathering the COVID-19 crisis while helping clients navigate supply chain disruption.
Brian Aoaeh (BLA): What does Omnichain do?
Pratik Soni (PS): Omnichain provides a forward and reverse intelligent supply chain management software. Our solution connects disparate stakeholders through distributed ledger technology, creating a connectivity layer for our in-house artificial intelligence and machine learning models to run predictive analytics and execution. The result of which is holistic orchestration, transparency and proactive decision-making across the supply chain.
BLA: What have you been experiencing in 2020, and especially since COVID-19 became a global issue – say in late February? Is this very different from your experience before COVID-19?
PS: With regards to our day-to-day operations, our main office is located in a building with numerous other innovative companies. Early on, when COVID-19 was still a developing issue in the United States – particularly in California – we recognized the risk it posed for community transmission to our employees. We were quick to mobilize, restrict business travel and shifted everyone to working from home, where they would be safe. We’re relying heavily on our numerous virtual communications and productivity tools such as Slack, GoToMeeting, Monday and others keep the team aligned, communicating and productive.
We’ve been fortunate that COVID-19 hasn’t hurt our business because the majority of companies we serve are in the consumer goods industry, including food & beverage, retail and health & beauty. Products within these industries are more important now than ever, with heightened demand on essential items such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer and food products. Currently, we’re actively working with customers to stabilize their supply with demand and drive efficiencies to ensure the availability of necessities and supplies for consumers and our communities.
BLA: What are you hearing from your existing customers, from potential customers and from other startups?
PS: From brands and manufacturers in the marketplace, we’re hearing about significant disruption to their supply chains. Upstream, many are struggling with production bottlenecks and increased transportation lead times due to lack of parts or materials from overseas suppliers. To protect employees within production sites and distribution centers, some facilities are operating with reduced staff sizes and thus reduced operating capacity. Further downstream, the sudden and unexpected spikes in demand for certain items have diminished supply and created difficulties with demand forecasting and timely fulfillment and replenishment. Many of our potential customers have identified significant gaps across their supply chains and are prioritizing supply chain connectivity and transparency as leading initiatives to help drive real-time and accurate decision making and intelligent process automation with the help of Omnichain.
Seeing these challenges, we are enabling organizations and the operators that manage these complex supply chains achieve higher productivity levels across their supply chains. We made the decision to offer our software solution free for three months – post-implementation – to quickly help organizations struggling to manage their supply chains during COVID-19. We want to give them the end-to-end visibility necessary to make smart decisions around supply availability, meeting demand and the efficient transport of goods. It’s our way to do our part to minimize disruptions caused by COVID-19 and stabilize the supply chain – both for the sake of the economy and to build resilience in face of uncertainty.