In a recent episode of the "PayPod" podcast, hosted by Jacob Hollabaugh, the spotlight was turned onto the critical role of supply chains in modern businesses. Jacob interviewed Padhu Raman, Osa’s co-founder and CPO; the pair delved into the evolution of supply chain management, the role of AI, and the transformation of industries through connectivity and collaborative visibility. Here are the key takeaways from this insightful podcast episode.
Jacob and Padhu spoke about the terminology commonly associated with supply chain management. Padhu explained the concepts of 3PLs (third-party logistics) and 4PLs (fourth-party logistics), making clear the journey from retailers and brands owning their distribution centers to the emergence of cooperative models. He also introduced the concept of 5PLs (fifth-party logistics), highlighting the ongoing evolution of supply chain strategies.
The Role of COVID-19
Padhu addressed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on supply chain management. He discussed how the pandemic accelerated pre-existing trends, such as the shift towards e-commerce, customer engagement, and convenience. Pado highlighted that the pandemic acted as a catalyst for changes that were already underway, rather than creating entirely new trends.
Solving Complex Supply Chain Challenges
"The idea behind Osa was to enable connectivity of all these marketplaces... connecting all the players in the supply chain, establishing communication, providing collaboration, and then enabling co-existing, co-thriving and solving the complexity of the supply chain," Pahdu explained when Jacob asked about Osa’s founding mission. To streamline the complex web of supply chain interactions, organizations need a holistic platform for brands, manufacturers, logistics providers, and carriers to collaborate effectively. Padhu went on to emphasize how robust supply chain technology breaks data silos, which increases visibility and provides actionable insights.
"The idea behind Osa was to enable connectivity of all these marketplaces... connecting all the players in the supply chain, establishing communication, providing collaboration, and then enabling co-existing, co-thriving and solving the complexity of the supply chain."
Osa Co-Founder and CPO
Tech-Agnostic Philosophy and Integration
One of Osa Commerce’s key principles to the success of supply management is the use of tech-agnostic solutions. Padhu discussed the importance of integrating with various technologies and platforms across the supply chain ecosystem. This philosophy is what has transformed the Osa Collaborative Visibility Platform to connect with different partners and provide seamless collaboration, ultimately benefiting all parties involved.
Jacob also raised the question of how payments are integrated within Osa's platform. Padhu explained that Osa’s platform integrates with existing payment providers and is developing additional solutions within the platform. He highlighted how the platform can accelerate payment cycles and improve supply chain finance by leveraging blockchain technology.
The Role of AI in Supply Chain Management
Jacob and Padhu also delved into the role of AI in supply chain management. Padhu discussed how AI-driven insights help businesses optimize their operations, make data-driven decisions, and enhance collaboration. "There will always be a collaborative aspect where the majority of the work will be done by the actual intelligence and then, of course, supported by the AI," Padhu explained. AI would enhance and augment human decision-making rather than replace it entirely.
"There will always be a collaborative aspect where the majority of the work will be done by the actual intelligence and then, of course, supported by the AI."
Co-Founder and CPO of Osa
The conversation shifted to the impact of AI on various roles within the supply chain industry, emphasizing that AI enables collaboration, automation of labor-intensive tasks, and faster decision-making. Padhu drew a parallel between the integration of AI and the historical impact of calculators on accounting roles.
This podcast episode offered a deep dive into the realm of supply chain management, AI, and the transformative potential of technology-driven solutions. As businesses continue to evolve and adapt, Osa Commerce will continue to emphasize connectivity, collaboration, and data-driven decision-making in optimizing supply chain operations.