You get nowhere without IT. Information technologies are so closely intertwined with all the business processes of transportation and logistics companies, that even coffee machines monitoring is implemented as an remote solution. Here’s an interview with CEO of RusHOLTS Alexander Kuzmin for the magazine «Technologies and means of communication», # 1, 2016.
— What the trends in the field of IT and telecommunications are priority for your organization?
— Logistics companies of 4PL level are engaged in supply chain management, they become part of the business processes of partners with whom they work. We organize the supply chain of gas station chains in all aspects that relate to the non-fuel business. Simply put, we supply all the necessary from the goods for sale, supplies, furniture, coffee machines to IT-solutions that automate processes of gas station’s daily operations. Gas stations chains as a retail object have a lot of features. Each store by itself is small, but the scale of the chain may be hundreds or even thousands of stations. The total number of chain’s cafe and store items is about 3000 SKU (items’ ID), the station may make an order starting from 500 rubles worth. And everybody can imagine Russian distances very well. The organization and supply chain management in these conditions are a heavy task requiring a lot of masterhood which is impossible without IT.
Non-fuel business for a long time did not recieve enough attention from owners of Russian gas stations chains, so, for example, the system «ADR» in the retail networks is the industry standard, but for gas stations it is considered as being a great progress. Gas station chains do not have their own logistic structures, warehouses and transportation. That is why they cooperate with 4PL logistics companies, outsourcing a number of key business processes, especially in non-fuel businesses.
— Please tell us about the most significant projects in the field of IT and communications, which were implemented in 2015. Assess their effectiveness in terms of meeting your expectations.
Company RusHOLTS follows the path of creating its own IT-solutions that reduce the impact of human factors. We started with «ADR» system, without which the work is almost impossible. For the reformation of the «Cafe» category the crucial point was the remote monitoring. The system, which can manage and control hundreds or even thousands of coffee machines. Now we are working on the same system to manage and monitor the performance of microwave ovens, refrigerators, air conditioning systems and combine the data into a single cloud-based system. Regarding the transportation industry, it is extremely important to develop a system of online monitoring of isothermal transport (transport of goods requiring the maintenance of given parameters of temperature and / or humidity) .In 2015 coffee machines remote monitoring system has stood the test of implementation at the level of federal customers with more than 1 thousand gas stations across Russia. In 2015, for the visualization of this system functionality we have set up a monitoring center and won the competition «Project of the Year. The choice of Russian IT-Directors». So we are happy with the implementation and progress of the development of this project.
— What are the priorities of your business automation development in general in 2016?
— The next endeavour is development of IT-solutions for the merchandise display management. Having a system of sales representatives who monitor the availability of goods and their display for the gas station chains — is very expensive. No staff of merchandisers is able to keep track of what is happening on remote stations. Shops at gas stations operate in a self-service mode, where the display of goods is the main tool of work with customers. If the logistics company becomes part of the business processes of other large companies, their problems and tasks stop being percieved as someone else’s problems.
— The current economic situation in Russia leaves its mark on the transport sector. How in this difficult period you manage to develop your business?
— With the reduction of external traffic we are witnessing the growth of the internal one. Possibility of on-line monitoring increases the quality of services and reduce costs, and this can not be but interesting to our partners.
In addition, by using our own transport we cove about one-fifth of the traffic volume we need. The rest of the vehicles we hire from third parties. Owners of transport companies reduce prices and look for stable customers, which we are.
— What are the trends in the field of IT development in transport? What are the technologies of the future?
— It would be necessary and useful to have a system of on-line monitoring of the vehicle position and status, providing not only an understanding of where the car with the cargo is, but also observing the conditions of cargo transportation, especially the desired temperature mode.