IBM announced that Safexpress has deployed ‘PROPEL-i’, a bespoke, end-to-end cloud-native logistics platform, which was developed in collaboration with IBM Global Business Services. The digital platform enables the company to attain agility in demand management, obtain advanced and flexible dynamic pricing modelling capabilities and provides enhanced visibility and transparency for its customers.
Established in 1997, Safexpress offers a wide range of innovative supply chain services including express distribution, third-party logistics and consulting to its customers. Safexpress with its network of 60 logistics parks, 42 3PL locations, 1959 booking offices, 7,500 containerized GPS enabled vehicles, operates on 1,830 routes and delivers 100 million packages a year to over 5,000 corporations across 31083 pin codes in India. Safexpress has been on digital transformation journey for the last few years and has a strong focus on technology driven business acceleration and growth. The logistics market in India is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 10.5% between 2019 and 2025, according to the report, Indian Logistics Industry Outlook, 2020.
To capitalize on this significant market opportunity and fuel its growth plans, Safexpress wanted to remodel its core business processes and further expedite the adoption of next-generation technologies and digital-driven solutions. Safexpress then collaborated with IBM to design and build ‘PROPEL-i’, an innovative scalable logistics platform, deployed in a secure & resilient cloud environment.
Commenting on the collaboration, Mr. Kapil Mahajan, Group CIO, Safexpress said, “Being a technology driven organization, our next wave of business strategy was focused on building a cognitive enterprise that can keep up with the speed of transformation around us. ‘PROPEL-i’, which is our new transportation management system (TMS) platform, has been built with Design Thinking at its core and centered around 4 key pillars: People, Process, Data and Technology. Its microservices based cloud native architecture will further strengthen our position as a market leader both from logistics and technology standpoint and help us respond exceptionally faster to the market dynamics while minimizing time, cost and effort on new product development lifecycle.”
Kamal Singhani, Country Managing Partner – IBM Services, India/South Asia added, “‘PROPEL-i’ is a major milestone for Safexpress as well as India’s logistics sector and is a testament to the continued success of the company’s longstanding association with IBM. By leveraging our deep industry expertise and access to technological innovations including cloud & AI, Safexpress will be able to leverage the new digital platform to manage their growing business, enrich customer experiences as well as boost revenues by acquiring new accounts & by optimizing costs.”
‘PROPEL-i’ is an internal logistics operations management suite of applications custom-built by IBM Global Business Services for Safexpress. It is designed specifically with a mobile first policy which enables the field staff to work from anywhere and frees the company to migrate to a desktop-free environment which maximizes office space.
The platform is based on microservices which is a cloud native architectural approach in which a single application is composed of many loosely coupled and independently deployable smaller components, or services. These components can be scaled and updated independently of one another, reducing the waste and cost associated with having to scale entire applications because a single feature might be facing too much load.
Furthermore, by leveraging the container management capabilities of Kubernetes deployed on a public cloud, the ‘PROPEL-i’ platform provides Safexpress with high scalability, availability and security with self-healing runtime environment. The platform’s API interface integrates with Safexpress’ customer system and enables streamlining of workflows & efficiencies in internal processes and provides industry leading integration capabilities. The project consists of multiple components such as customer contracts, associate contracts, booking, associate management and others.