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Several months ago, supply chains and all their foibles seemed to be regulars in every news cycle. The COVID-19 pandemic blew up everything, knocking out employees and stopping ships, trucks and trains from delivering their goods. Millions upon millions of consumers were impacted by slow shipments, lost shipments and mishaps with delivery systems. The fallout from this has continued into 2022, with ships still waiting for port berths and trucks lined up to be loaded; at least this year, there’s no end in sight, to these issues, according to industry analysts.
These supply chain problems, while not in the news as much as they were back then, are still with us as new workers are being hired and new software management solutions are being tested to better coordinate all the transactions.
One of the software-as-a-service packages being deployed is made by real-time supply chain operations platform-maker Cloudleaf, which today announced two things: a strategic rebrand under the name ParkourSC, and the closing of a $26 million investment led by Cota Capital, including former executive chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems John Chambers, the current founder and CEO of JC2 Ventures.
Eight-year-old ParkourSC specializes in digital transformation, manufacturing and the pharmaceutical industry. Its real-time platform creates a digital twin of the supply chain and processes billions of events per second to produce diagnostic and predictive insights for location, condition, utilization and anomaly detection. The service can be added to an enterprise system without the need to make costly changes to existing technologies and infrastructure, CEO Mahesh Veerina told VentureBeat via email.
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Supply chain disruptions expected to continue through 2022
Research company McKinsey has predicted that over the course of a decade, the average company will lose half a year’s profits due to supply chain disruptions. Supply chain managers in 2022 must manage constant disruptions, such as economic instability, uncertainty over demand, unexpected delays in raw materials and logistics and operations stoppages due to lack of resources. Reliable IT help is a must in this business.
“Supply chain disruptions remain the No. 1 issue for CEOs across industries, underscoring that there are many opportunities for innovation, improved efficiency and more reliable resiliency,” Chambers said in a media advisory. “This will continue through this year. Supply chain operators today are faced with endless challenges and require tools that enable them to make well-informed decisions at any given moment. ParkourSC is arming the industry with a more transparent view across every aspect of supply chains, allowing their customers to remain agile in a way that has never been done before.”
ParkourSC differentiates itself by using AI and machine learning to provide the only real-time supply-chain operations platform to predict variance to plans and enable supply chains with resiliency, end-to-end visibility and agility to prevent waste and increase transparency to boost customer satisfaction, Veerina said.
“We monitor inventory at the product level, meaning customers have detailed visibility into inventory and product state, such as temperature and tilt, across every point in the supply chain ecosystem — inside trucks, at the warehouse and at the final destination,” Veerina said.
How the AI and ML are utilized
ParkourSC couples AI and ML with other next-generation functionality in its SaaS package that includes hyperscale graph modeling and massive real-time data ingestion from IoT and other contextual signals, Veerina said.
“ParkourSC uses AI and ML to digitally model a customer’s entire ecosystem and enable central, proactive monitoring and management of their supply chain,” Veerina said. “We collect signals from any system, sensor, vehicle, context and location in the value chain and update customers’ digital supply chain ecosystem in real time.
“From there, customers can obtain the end-to-end visibility they need to optimize their inventory, assets and manage logistics operations to anticipate risks and build resilience to prevent shocks. For example, AI and ML models are used to predict failures in thermal capacity of a package for quality and compliance in pharma and life sciences, route and lane prediction in logistics and ETA prediction in transport.”
ParkourSC, as Cloudleaf, is in the process of evaluation by Gartner Peer Insights, although no reviews had been published by March 3, 2022.
ParkourSC has already seen success in supporting temperature-controlled supply chain operations for pharmaceutical and life sciences organizations, Veerina said. These include:
- Achieving continued 300% growth in both bookings and ARR year over year for the last two years;
- Establishing significant partnerships with major cold-chain packaging players, including CSafe Global and Cold Chain Technologies;
- Expanding its carrier ecosystem to more than 800 carriers and TMS platforms, such as MercuryGate International and BlueYonder;
- Established footprints with extensible IoT and sensor providers from Qualcomm, Zebra, Sensitech, Elpro, OnAsset, Nimbelink, Adapt Ideations, 7P Solutions, EyeSeal, Tive, Roambee, Quuppa, Wiliot and others through Parkour’s extensible data platform.
“ParkourSC has already made major strides in today’s critical supply chains, most notably in pharmaceutical supply chains where smart cold packaging is critical for success and minimal loss,” Veerina said. “In fact, ParkourSC’s ecosystem of partners and integrations already underlies 90% of the pharma and cold-chain packaging space today. “The latest investment in the business was led by JC2 Ventures, Cota Capital, Sigmas Group, and WestRock Shared Services, LLC, with participation from previous investors, BOLD Capital Partners, Celesta Capital (previously WRVI Capital) and Intel Capital. The funds will support ParkourSC’s continued revenue growth; leadership additions; engineering team expansion in the U.S., India and other regions; and an extension of the GTM footprint into EMEA.
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