Logistics Startup of the Month: Cloudleaf

Logistics Startup of the Month: Cloudleaf
7 min read

Every month we select one logistics startup which represents a positive example of innovation in Logistics and Supply Chain and has the potential to alter the way the industry operates. This month, Transmetrics selected Cloudleaf, a digital visibility provider, as the “Logistics Startup of the Month” for its outstanding contribution to the supply chain virtualization.

In order to learn more about the company and what makes Cloudleaf unique, we have talked with Lisa Magnuson, CMO at Cloudleaf, about the startup’s journey and how digital twins can transform the supply chain.

Congratulations on becoming the Logistics Startup of the Month! Can you please briefly introduce Cloudleaf and the focus of your services to our readers?

Thank you for selecting Cloudleaf to be featured in the Transmetrics blog! Our horizontal Digital Visibility Platform provides one true data source for purpose-built applications throughout the supply chain. We’ve built the industry’s first hyper-scale digital twin to model the end-to-end supply chain. Using AI/ML with structured and unstructured data, we help supply chain leaders solve complex business problems. We are data, device, and cloud-agnostic, future-proofing your investments.

Our Digital Visibility Platform provides customers with continuous visibility and intelligence into the context, condition, timing and location of material and assets throughout the supply chain. Starting at the edge, Cloudleaf’s Sensor Fabric works with both existing and future devices. We leverage real-time data from both passive and active data streams, business rules, and data science expertise to accelerate and improve decision making, and to create a digital twin for analysis and scenario planning. Our SaaS platform leverages hyper-scale cloud, digital twin, AI/ML and IoT technologies to deliver continuous visibility and intelligence. We virtualize and visualize the end-to-end supply chain and combine real-time events from sensors, business processes, disruptions and risks. We enable supply chain leaders to make the right decisions in real time to increase revenues, avoid disruptions, deliver better business outcomes and customer delight.

What issues within the supply chain does Cloudleaf tackle?

Supply chains built on outdated monolithic systems are limited by siloed data, manual inputs, and communication gaps between functions and suppliers. This leads to a lack of visibility, operations and logistics failures, inventory and planning issues, and compliance violations.

We power next-generation digital supply chains with insights from ground truth and real-time decision-making. We enable businesses to bring together data from a multitude of sources, including edge sensors and enterprise systems, in real-time from across the supply chain to eliminate data silos and provide a current, complete view of their supply chain.

Our platform’s real-time data collection allows customers to gather information on the current condition of their product. For example, if a company has a product such as blood plasma, it is extremely important to monitor temperature and dwell times to make sure that the product is not spoiled. Clients also benefit from advanced analytics which helps them build a resilient supply chain that can weather fast-changing markets, changing partner/supplier relationships, tariffs, increasing customer expectations, and global disruptions.

Example of Cloudleaf’s In-Transit application. Picture Credit: Cloudleaf

What kind of clients are you targeting with Cloudleaf solutions? What are the benefits which your clients can get from using the platform?

At Cloudleaf we work with customers in multiple industries such as manufacturing, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, and retail. Many of our clients have temperature-sensitive products or complex manufacturing processes and need an easy to deploy a solution to monitor and track the condition of their products. 

Customers benefit from the real-time data collection from multiple types of sensors – we are sensor and data agnostic. Our platform collects real-time data for analysis which companies can act on to make decisions quickly, eliminating product waste, costs, and disruptions in their supply chain. 

In response to COVID-19, Cloudleaf extended our powerful platform to monitor employee temperature and other conditional data while at the workplace. The idea of Safe2Go was created when a large retailer approached Cloudleaf and asked for an employee safety solution to enable its 40,000 employees with a safe return to work.

With our new Safe2Go application, we target a vast array of retailers, schools, and factories. Every industry is looking to get back to the work, school, or the office safely and Safe2Go provides an employee safety solution that monitors the temperature, location, and proximity. It’s secure and confidential.

What makes the Cloudleaf platform unique among other supply chain visibility solutions?

The Cloudleaf Digital Visibility Platform uses continuous data streams to create a digital twin of a company’s supply chain, processing billions of events every second to provide continuous visibility into the context, condition, timing, and location of material and assets throughout a company’s supply chain. Another significant difference is that the foundational strength of our data-driven platform allowed us to respond quickly to COVID-19 by creating our new Safe2Go application, which extends the power of Cloudleaf to enable companies to monitor employee temperatures and other critical conditional and location data while at the workplace.  

Can you please share with us a recent customer success story and how Cloudleaf helped them in particular?

The pharmaceutical industry loses approximately $12B in revenue each year due to penalties and material waste is a growing concern. Cloudleaf works with a large biotech company that manufactures life-saving medicine from blood plasma. The company had a lack of insight and visibility throughout the manufacturing process that led to biomedical material ending up in quarantine for retesting or complete material loss. Cloudleaf provided real-time temperature, location, and inventory tracking of biomedical material containers that resulted in annual savings of $10-$15M dollars. With Cloudleaf’s Digital Visibility Platform, the company now has a complete system to accurately monitor location, dwell times, condition, and history. As a result, the company has experienced a reduction in re-testing, spoilage, and FDA fines, amounting to millions of dollars saved.

Example of Cloudleaf’s Sensor Fabric Dashboard. Picture Credit: Cloudleaf

Amidst the recent COVID-19 outbreak, how can digital transformation and visibility help companies in the supply chain and logistics sector overcome the current challenges? Do you have any advice on the best strategies to take during this period?

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, companies have had to deal with numerous disruptions in their supply chain. By leveraging a digitized supply chain and visibility platform, companies can gain a complete view of operations, which enables them to minimize the visibility gaps in their supply chains. The best strategy for a company to take is to develop a digital twin of its supply chain, which enables it to test “what-if” scenarios to improve processes or avoid down-stream issues. The granular visibility provided by a digital twin can help anticipate issues and provide visibility within and between the handoffs within your supply chain that are often the most vulnerable to issues. By having both a visibility platform and access to real-time data within their supply chain, companies can make decisions faster and pivot in response to disruptions such as COVID-19.

In your option, what digital trends will influence supply chain and logistics in the next 5 years?

Right now there is a lot of focus on AI/ML, and how businesses are going to incorporate data analysis into their business strategy. Now that companies are starting to digitize  their supply chains, they can add an extra layer of AI/ML to transform their supply chain into a strategic one. They can use the Cloudlead platform to run scenarios and make predictions of future obstacles and demands. 

What was the biggest lesson for you throughout the development of Cloudleaf? What would you do differently, if you had the chance to start over?

I would focus more on two issues: talent and amount of change management necessary in digital transformation. Talent is number 1. If you have the right people, you can do things faster and better. The start-up game is all about time and money, so it’s very important to get the right team in place as quickly as possible.  Second, not initially understanding the extent of change management involved in digital transformation. True, digital transformation is not one project but a journey to truly digitize processes; it’s not easy to change human behaviour. It’s important to have both the vision and the ability to solve some of the “low hanging fruit” to show the value of digitizing a process. 

What developments should we expect from Cloudleaf in 2020?

In response to the unique requirements for bringing employees back to work during the current pandemic, we have recently expanded our offering to include Safe2Go, an app that enables businesses to plan a safe and thoughtful return to employee entry/exits and dwell times and as well as monitoring employees’ temperatures in real-time in the workplace, keeping both employees and customers safe. 

Safe2Go tracks the vitals and location with a sensor band, paired with a mobile app that continuously captures and sends temperature and location data to your dashboard. The Safe2Go solution provides businesses with a COVID-19 Health & Safety dashboard, analytics, alerts, incident resolution features, and employee reference checks against contact-trace databases. Safe2Go helps keep people safe as businesses, shops, and schools reopen.

Our Digital Twin product will be launched this summer. Digital twins increase situational awareness, and companies can leverage this visibility to make better decisions by triggering appropriate responses in real-time.

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