EarlyBirds, an Australian company that has created an open innovation ecosystem, is enabling supply chain innovators, who are creating solutions to increase their resilience and mitigate risk, to find the perfect partners that can help them achieve their goals. EarlyBirds can assist companies, that are actively tackling the complexities of supply chain logistics, find a large corporate benefactor that can act as an early adopter organization, and support their mission with funds and expertise in bringing products to market.
The COVID-19 pandemic was an eye-opener in more ways than one. Firstly, it managed to highlight how precariously the global economy hangs on by a thread and how the house of cards is perpetually on the brink of collapse. Millions lost employment. Industries such as construction, manufacturing, trade, transport, and hospitality were the worst affected. Since people’s incomes were affected, it also reduced demand for goods, significantly disrupting in the global supply chain which was left with little hope for recovery until a vaccine was invented.
The global supply chain has always been an unwieldy and fragmented system, its complexity held together by agreements of fraught diplomatic relationships between countries. When the onus to provide goods and services moved to local providers, the system crumbled. Online shopping inventories, a huge chunk of which are manufactured at the other end of the globe in countries like India, Bangladesh, and China, were not able to reach consumers.
Even on a national level, workers stayed home fearing the spread of the virus, leading to a shortage of drivers and other semi-skilled labor such as warehouse workers. In Europe, the impact of Brexit was felt far and wide as red tape, cross-border checks, and constantly fluctuating exchange rates slowed down the free movement of goods, increasing transport times. In the US, misinformation and widespread panic over the shortage of goods for the foreseeable future lead to a mad dash for essentials such as toilet paper resulting in long lines at grocery stores and straining local supply chains further. Furthermore, even before the pandemic hit, nations were already assessing the overall impact that the global transport of goods has on the environment and energy consumption.
The quest for corporate profits has led to a system where companies try to find the cheapest way to procure raw materials, turn them into manufactured goods, and ship them to where the consumers are. While trying to draw this straight line, they make a lot of sacrifices that can end up weakening the overall supply chain by introducing too many points of failure. For a business, a leaner supply chain is always more desirable but only if it has fail-safes and redundancies to weather a disruption like a pandemic.
EarlyBirds co-founder Jeff Penrose outlines the role that logistics supply chain innovators can play in improving the current landscape by saying, “If you are working on technologies such as the Internet of Things, blockchain, AI, ML and analytics, robotics & automation, or 3D printing, we can help you give your research and innovation a practical application that can make it monetizable. The advancements in IoT can make tracking crucial shipping information such as location, weather conditions, environmental status, traffic patterns, and more, a cinch. The blockchain can add unprecedented transparency to the supply chain, preventing waste and virtually eliminating instances of fraud. AI, machine learning, and analytics can find solutions to problems using statistical methods and doing a deep dive into the data collected by the aforementioned methods. The use of optimization techniques can increase the yield of the supply chain, reduce delivery times, and also save corporations money. Robotics and 3D printing are prime candidates for creating alternate means of production as they can make the sophistication of large-scale manufacturing available to small-scale players. In the future, even hobbyists can enter the market by introducing their own innovations. To find out more about how you can leverage your innovation to secure funding, visit our website at earlybirds.io and sign up as an innovator.”
For more information about EarlyBirds, contact the company here:
Mr Kris Poria and Mr Jeff Penrose
+61 401 287 060
‘FORDE’ SUITE 10, LEVEL 1, 26 FRANCIS FORDE BOULEVARD, FORDE, ACT 2914