BXB Digital Looks to Help Move Businesses into the Digital Supply Chain Era

Raj Valame and Tom Cometa of BXB Digital spoke at the Reusable Packaging Learning Center.


Pilots are underway towards the growth of BXB Digital’s Scalable Solution

Today’s supply chains are characterized by high expectations and little tolerance for exceptions. BXB Digital says it is combining physical assets such as pallets with sensors and digital solutions to help customers move from siloed, inefficient operations to optimized networked platforms. Companies can move beyond their traditional approaches to business and prepare for the digital supply chain era through the use of cloud-based systems, generating data analytics, and near real-time monitoring.

Given that Brambles, the parent of CHEP, IFCO and BXB Digital, collectively owns and manages nearly 600 million assets, including pallets, RPCs and containers, across global supply chains, the opportunity to provide digital insights to customers seems glaringly obvious.

“BXB Digital really has one key mandate,” explained Tom Cometa, Head of Worldwide Business Development, BXB Digital. He spoke in late September at PACK EXPO Las Vegas. “That is to build the best digital supply chain solutions.” BXB Digital intends to operate in two ways. One prong is to build supply chain digital solutions to help Brambles companies run more effectively. The other focus, Cometa said, is in creating digital solutions for customers to help them better run their businesses.

BXB Digital is focused on the end-to-end supply chain, Cometa said, from raw materials coming into a manufacturing or processing plant to finished goods headed to a retail distribution center.

“Every time we talk to a customer they mention two things to us,” he said.  “They say that it must be extremely easy to use, and not require any infrastructure.  Our digital approach is informed by leaders in digital transformation in Silicon Valley and beyond”. On this point, Cometa underscored ease of use, actionable data collection and customer value creation as key areas of focus for BXB Digital.

“We want to know where the assets are, but the customers want to know the location of their goods and their condition,” added Raj Valame, Vice President, Products, BXB Digital. While Customers are interested in monitoring, they are also interested in being alerted to exceptions that could impact their operational efficiencies or service level. They want to know where their goods are, what the exceptions are, and if these exceptions are one-off or indicative of patterns that they need to understand and solve.  One of the advantages of a share and re-use solutions model is that the cost of IoT (Internet of Things) sensors and tracking is shared among pool users and available without much operational disruption for customers.

“At CHEP we work with a lot of different companies,” explained Jason Adlam, ‎Vice President New Business Development at CHEP USA. He spoke exclusively to Reusable Packaging News at PACK EXPO. He stressed, in particular, the opportunities made available through sensors to record data related to temperature and shock, the two main measures of interest to pallet users, after location. “Perishable goods companies want to extend shelf life. Meat, dairy, fresh juice, produce, and even on the beverage side of things, if there is any damage or breakage in the cold chain they can be notified and take action promptly instead of having an issue later after there is a change in the chain of custody.”

“These are not projects, these are pilots for end-to-end solution offerings,” Valame told Reusable Packaging News, addressing BXB Digital’s progress to date. “They are all serviced through a common back-end, common interfaces, common code. We are not talking about a one-time project. We are using these pilots to build out our enterprise grade platform. If you think of it from the BXB Digital team perspective, a lot of us come from a very robust enterprise software background where we are used to building very scalable, high-security access controlled systems. What we are really doing with these pilots is combining that software technology mindset with the physical world so that we can build and scale the best solution possible. Just as we have a standard pallet, we want a digital platform that also serves that same kind of value.”

One gets the sense that the supply chain is about to get “lit up” and go digital. Stay tuned.

For more information, visit http://www.bxbdigital.com/.