Keeping it simple the way to go to embrace change

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E-Cargoware chief executive, Ramesh Darbha

E-Cargoware follows what it calls the ‘KISS’ methodology when designing systems, chief executive Ramesh Darbha (pictured) tells Air Cargo Week.

KISS, an acronym for ‘Keep it simple, stupid’, in conjunction with Agile development practice ensures that systems and solutions are fit for purpose and evolve over time.

Darbha says: “Because we have worked with the air cargo sector for around 25 years, we know what our clients need, and we have been able to follow and meet the demands of the industry’s process evolution.”

He says using Agile product development methodology, e-Cargoware is able to continuously enhance its product to ensure clients benefit from technological advancements, and are ahead of the competition.

Darbha explains: “We are working on a 24×7 digital sales assistant for the GSAs to promote their products and provide superior customer service, and dashboards with built-in predictive intelligence to help clients make timely decisions and win new business.”

He says a lot of companies start with accounting software and add some bespoke functionality to perform basic cargo reservation functions, and then add standalone CRM systems and business intelligence systems in a quest to acquire more customers.

They then open new locations and acquire home grown applications or a variety of spread sheet processes, which Darbha says means they quickly become entangled in system chaos, which gets expensive to maintain and slows growth.

The integrated e-Cargoware system provides full end-to-end control from sale, through to operations and management of the cargo, and includes CRM, a comprehensive cargo management system with multi-country support, integrated accounting system, analytics and management dashboards.

Darbha says: “The integrated e-Cargoware accounting system provides tremendous cost savings and improved business productivity. It provides process efficiency, improved visibility, significant IT time and cost savings and facilitates future growth.”

While embracing new technology can improve efficiency, resistance is a normal human reaction and Darbha believes it is very high in the air cargo industry.

He attributes this to fear of the unknown, so in addition to making new technology, Darbha believes steps must be taken to gradually introduce new technology, including preparing for change by understanding why it is needed, reducing the fear of change through training, delegating champions of change through training the trainer, and reinforcing change through feedback and follow up.

E-freight take up has been slower than expected, and Darbha believes the early adopters must champion the cause by communicating the benefits in terms of better customer experience, process efficiency, data sharing and faster transit times.

The outlook is increasingly positive though, Darbha says: “We see that the e-AWB has already crossed the 50 per cent point and the IATA Target for this year is 62 per cent. With the rise of the millennial workforce in the industry, I expect the adoption to accelerate in the coming years.”

Darbha comments that challenges bring opportunities, and as a technology enthusiast, he is excited to be part of a generation witnessing disruptive technology including driverless trucks, cargo drones and artificial intelligence.

He says: “Our industry needs to embrace speed and innovation to meet these challenges and be ready for tomorrow’s air cargo.”