SupplyNote- Giving lifeline to Food and Beverage sector through SaaS
CXOToday has engaged in an exclusive interview with Mr. Harshit Mittal, Co-founder & CTO of SupplyNote
What are the most helpful technological platforms and tools you have used? Would you implement them in your organization?
SaaS is eating the world. Without really knowing it, most of us are using some tool or other on a daily basis. It’s impossible to effectively run a business today without the help of technology platforms, be they self-developed or third-party tools. The choice of the platform or tool, however, depends on the specific needs and requirements of the task or project. Most businesses feel the need to build everything in-house, in my opinion, that is never the smart choice. At SupplyNote too, we use tools like Fresh works for CRM, Jira for project management; Google docs for collaboration, Slack & WhatsApp for internal-team communications, and Google Meet & Zoom for virtual meetings.
How technology can act as a great catalyst in order to build a strong supply chain management of a restaurant?
Traditionally, the restaurant industry has operated manually, heavily people and relationship-driven with no data transparency across the supply chain which leads to pilferage and high costs. Technology can play a significant role in improving the supply chain management of a restaurant by:
Inventory Management: Technology can automate the process of tracking inventory levels, reducing manual errors, and improving accuracy.
Ordering and Procurement: Technology can streamline the ordering and procurement process by providing real-time information about supplier availability and pricing, enabling quicker and more efficient decision-making.
Logistics and Transportation: Technology can help optimize transportation routes, reduce costs and improve delivery times, by providing real-time information about the location and status of deliveries.
Traceability: Technology can improve traceability by providing a clear, real-time record of the movement of goods through the supply chain, enabling the rapid identification of issues and quick resolution.
Predictive Analytics: Technology can provide valuable insights into future demand and supply trends, enabling restaurants to make more informed decisions about inventory levels and procurement.
By incorporating technology into the supply chain, restaurants can reduce waste, improve inventory management, increase operational efficiency, and ultimately enhance the customer experience.
How can they adopt food technology to nurture sustainability credentials?
The recent SDG 2022 report by the UN refers to Goal 13: Climate Action which aims to “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts and achieve a carbon neutral world by the target date of 2050. This would mean progress towards the transition to clean energy, energy efficiency, and adaptation to the impacts of climate change. Steps taken can be –
Smart Kitchen Equipment: Adopting energy-efficient ovens, refrigerators, and dishwashers can help reduce energy consumption and lower the restaurant’s carbon footprint.
Inventory Management Systems: Tracking food waste and optimizing ordering can help reduce food waste and minimize spoilage.
Sustainable Packaging: Using sustainable packaging materials, such as biodegradable or compostable containers
Digital Ordering and Delivery Systems: Implementing digital ordering and delivery systems can help reduce the use of paper products and packaging waste.
Does your brand have Differentiated Technology?
Before the widespread adoption of POS systems, restaurants in India relied on manual methods for tracking transactions, including cash registers, handwritten receipts, and manual record-keeping. This was time-consuming and prone to errors, making it difficult for restaurants to accurately track their sales and manage their operations. While the majority of players in this space started with offline-first which requires installation setup, Supplynote is entirely cloud-first and can be accessed via any hardware such as a mobile phone, tablet, or desktop computer. Our offerings extend beyond Point of Sale, to Supply chain management, Marketplace, and Fulfilment services covering the 360 degrees of restaurant operations of any scale. Another unique aspect is that while all offerings combined give a powerful integrated experience, customers who wish to use one of the products, like our SCM (supply chain management), don’t require to first set up POS; instead, they can integrate with any POS. Similarly, if a client is looking for supplies, they can directly discover items from various brands and can buy from distributors directly from our digital e-commerce platform Vyap.in. In addition, we have developed tools like ‘Smart cart’ which automatically replenishes inventory based on our proprietary algorithms and data.
How do you use technology to tap the industry that is generally considered a fragmented and unorganized market?
The story of restaurant technology in India has been one of rapid growth and innovation in recent years. The industry has experienced significant expansion, leading to increased competition and a greater need for efficient and customer-friendly operations, hence the reliance on technology. Our principal has always been to build beautifully-designed products that promise reliability, easy to use, and with customer-should-win mindset. Customers can get quickly onboarded by directly uploading data-sheets or if they need our help, we set up their account and enable configurations that best suit their needs. Since the users aren’t very tech-savvy, we provide on-demand training and are available 24*7 if they raise any support request from the Help center. We have also built integrations like Suppliers can receive a purchase order directly on WhatsApp saving their time and increasing stickiness. We’ve also developed features like Smart-cart, so they don’t need to manually place orders with their suppliers one by one; instead, they can place the order in one go with a single click and software does the magic. To avoid the need for training, the software itself suggests to the user what action they should take next. For example, if a user has placed an order with a supplier, the system will prompt the user to create a GRN and upload an invoice copy. For us, word-of-mouth and happy customer shout-outs have been the best way to grow roots within the industry. We also regularly attend events, workshops, and award ceremonies with clients to strengthen our relationship and deeply understand their grievances to advance our portfolio.
Do you see an amalgamation of web 3.0 with your technology prowess?
Web 3.0 is still in its early stages of development and as such, it’s difficult to fully grasp its potential just yet. However, as technology continues to advance and digitization becomes more widespread, we are starting to see the foundation being laid for experimenting with web 3.0.
At the moment, our focus is on using technology to streamline supply chain management. We’re working on implementing solutions that track the movement of raw materials from the manufacturer to the distributor and finally to the end user. Connecting the entire supply chain is a complex task and we’re still in the process of connecting restaurants and suppliers.
Despite this, we’re optimistic about the future of web 3.0 and the impact it could have on the industry. The use of blockchain technology to solve problems within the supply chain is an exciting prospect and we’re eager to explore its potential as it develops further.
Are you using a self-made technology platform? How does the technology talk to other technologies used for various purposes in the domain? How interoperable is it?
Our company has developed a cutting-edge platform for inventory management specifically designed for the restaurant industry. Our cloud-based software offers a comprehensive solution for inventory, procurement, and production management.
Our platform helps restaurants effectively manage their inventory by providing real-time monitoring based on average demand, giving insight into purchasing trends, enabling production planning, predicting stock-out dates, setting low-stock alerts, and generating purchase orders automatically.
We understand the importance of seamless integration and have created APIs that allow our platform to communicate with other third-party systems. Additionally, we offer APIs that enable other platforms to synchronize their data with ours, providing a truly unified solution.
Are you using AI? Please walk us through the evolution of technology and it’s real-life application, and how would you like it to get better in the future?
We are revolutionizing restaurant purchasing through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Our innovative product, Smart Cart, leverages AI to understand and optimize restaurant sales based on demographic and inventory patterns.
Smart Cart takes into account the standard wastage rates of each raw material and uses that information to make accurate purchasing decisions. This eliminates the need for manual POS systems and ensures that the correct inventory levels are maintained, preventing overstocking or understocking.
Our goal is to continuously improve our offerings and enhance the revenue of our clients. By deeply understanding the complexities of the restaurant industry, we plan to roll out more tech-based solutions in the future.
What are the key technology pain points of the industry? How do you solve it?
A lack of digitization is a significant challenge facing the food and beverage industry, leading to decreased profit margins. At SupplyNote, we tackle this issue head-on by fully automating the supply chain to ensure control and efficiency.
One of the major challenges faced by businesses is finding reliable suppliers, especially when expanding into new markets. Our SaaS solutions address this problem by connecting suppliers and buyers on a single platform, allowing for seamless and streamlined business transactions.
Another issue faced by businesses with multiple outlets is the spoilage of supplies due to negligence, such as temperature control, improper handling, and attention to expiry dates. Our fulfillment and logistics team leverages technology to prevent these issues and ensure the safe delivery of goods.
With SupplyNote’s comprehensive logistics and warehousing solutions, F&B restaurants no longer need to spend time and money searching for a separate logistics partner. This saves valuable resources and helps to increase overall efficiency.