By Chris Fenton, Managing Director of Industrial and Transport at Wincanton

Data is only as useful as the decisions it informs. In the right hands, data can unlock the potential to accurately predict outcomes, effectively monitor quality, plot demand, create plans for the future and much, much more.

We’re now in an environment in which data is more readily available and processing power greater than ever. Because of this we can better extrapolate meaning from it to make informed business decisions. The benefits of doing so are particularly interesting within logistics.

Supply chain and Innovators

The logical nature of supply chains means many processes are ideally suited to artificial decision-making. Human interaction and reasoning are still vital in many big decisions at different stages, but the ability to automate repetitive tasks increases accuracy and speed, while reducing the potential for error.

This, coupled with the relentless growth in data from providers at each stage of the supply chain, means the need for new, innovative processing solutions is more urgent. And that’s the driving motivation behind ‘Intelligent Decision Making’ being one of the four categories in this year’s W2Labs programme.

We were looking for innovators with new ideas and ways of interpreting data with real-world impact. Creative uses of information can lead to better customer service, more efficient route planning, improved inventory management, better HR processes and help to create safer working environments.

Start-ups e-Bot7 and Value Chain Lab are tackling these challenges this year, with their ideas having the potential to solve existing problems in the logistics space.

e-Bot7 are exploring artificial intelligence in customer services. By analysing incoming messages, their software provides accurate, approved responses. This automates elements of customer operatives’ roles, reducing handling time by up to 80% and allowing them to deal with queries that require greater input.

Value Chain Lab’s approach is a platform that helps businesses make timely and effective operational decisions. It does this by combining data from all stages of the supply chain in a ‘control grid’ to enable users to view information from different perspectives; such as supplier, customer, business unit and region. This offers insights for effective decision making.

More intelligent decisions will help the logistics industry to move with changing demands, and we’re supporting this year’s start-ups to take on this challenge.




  • Thought leadership
  • Innovation