Flipkart supply chain innovation to be driven by IoT sensors, robotics, automation

Flipkart has built a supply chain platform, which ensures a high degree of predictability in the delivery of its services while also being in sync with the requirements of its business.

The success of Flipkart, India’s largest ecommerce company, owned by Walmart, has largely to do with its technology-driven supply chain backbone. And now, it is looking at areas such as sensors based on internet of things (IoT), automation, and robotics to drive newer innovation.

The ecommerce giant handles millions of shipments everyday while dealing with many unpredictable factors but its supply chain infrastructure has evolved over the years to create a seamless online shopping experience.

Utkarsh B, Chief Technology Advisor to the CEO of Flipkart, feels that its supply chain platform will continue to optimise further as IoT sensors will play a key role with hardware and software blending together.

Also read: Flipkart, Amazon, and OYO are the most preferred workplaces in India: LinkedIn report

Given the technology-led mindset at Flipkart, it has created a supply chain platform that delivers on the goals of predictability, scale and business agility.

Utkarsh says,

“Supply chain is the fundamental bread and butter for us where we integrate both the physical and digital world."

This would mean that the shopping need of its over 100 million registered users who come online has to be processed in the physical world with the intervention of technology. According to Utkarsh, the company's supply chain technology platform has been established with newer innovations being added on to it.

Utkarsh delivered at the opening address at slash n, Flipkart’s flagship technology event; a platform that brings together tech community from across the country for a series of interactive, engaging and in-depth sessions on all things tech and e-commerce.

Recently, Flipkart introduced a robot-based technology at its sorting centre in Bengaluru where the entire exercise is done through automated guided vehicles. These self-guided bots automatically sort packages to the right customer pincodes by identifying encoded information.

According to Flipkart, it has removed the need for space expansion, and enabled the existing manpower to be allocated to tasks of higher value addition.

Pranav Saxena, VP – Products and Head of Robotics and Automation, says the reliability of the supply chain system has increased through the use of the robotic system while also providing them with flexibility.

The supply chain platform has enabled it to provide multiple services to the end customer. “All this is being orchestrated through technology and our decisions are based on data,” says Pranav.

The supply chain technology infrastructure of Flipkart is building a high degree of predictability where it captures the data, build insights through AI and machine learning, create that optimisation in the entire chain and on a real time basis translate into action.

Also read: Angels from the Flipkart stable: Investors from India’s first ‘unicorn’ are breeding the next wave of startups


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