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How Digitization Transforms Supply Chains and Customer Relationships with Arun Samuga

by Victoria Meyer

Elemica’s own Arun Samuga, Chief Innovation Officer, was a guest on the Chemical Show Podcast. Arun joined Elemica in 2009, and his career journey transitioned from aerospace engineering to software development and supply chain innovation. A veteran at Elemica, he’s been an integral part of developing Elemica’s leading edge software and solutions and an invaluable member of the team.

He recently brought his expertise to the Chemical Show Podcast, which features chemical industry leaders and experts sharing their insights and wisdom to the industry-specific audience.

Listen to the episode here or keep reading for the full run of Arun’s conversation with host, Victoria Meyer.

Hi, this is Victoria Meyer. Welcome back to The Chemical Show. Today, I am speaking with Arun Samuga, who is the chief innovation officer of Elemica, a global SaaS based supply chain network software solution. Arun joined the Elemica in 2009 through a merger with Rubber Network. He was promoted to the chief technology officer position in 2018, and Arun leads Elemica’s global development organization and was responsible for the continued development of new software products and solutions. Today, he is really tasked with accelerating the ever-expanding opportunities in the area of supply chain innovation. So, we’re going to have a good conversation about digitization, supply chain and more. Arun, welcome to The Chemical Show.

Thank you, Victoria. It’s a pleasure to be here.

What’s your origin story? What got you interested in technology and eventually chemicals and Elemica?

From 1990 to 1994, I studied Aerospace Engineering at IIT, Indian Institute of Technology, in Mumbai. One thing about aerospace engineering is that many people think it’s just about aircrafts and aerodynamics, and then you’re done. Well, if you dig deeper, there’s a lot of computational fluid dynamics like control theory and, of course, aerodynamics. So, a lot of math and also a lot of software programming as part of the coursework and as part of projects. Obviously, you’re not going to have access to an aircraft on demand, so you have to model things online. So, there’s a lot of 3D modeling and fluid dynamic style activities which naturally promoted me into the software space.

In 1995, there was this huge movement around large multinationals moving to India because of low-cost software development centers tapping into engineers and high skill labor. So, I just jumped on the bandwagon, to be honest with you, and I joined Tata Consultancy Services who interestingly posted me in the United Arab Emirates. Then I worked in Japan and the United Kingdom and finally came to the US. Fast forward to 2002, I joined Rubber Network as an integration technical lead and built the business-to-business integration software as we merged with Elemica in 2009 -- it was a natural extension. So that supply chain pivot occurred sometime around 2001, 2002. But most of my time I’ve been very close to technology and software. That’s my genesis in a nutshell.

So, tell us a little bit about Elemica, just a brief overview of the company and where it is today.

You may have known Elemica from the 2000-2001 time frame. In those days, the focus was fundamentally around getting systems connected. It was around making business processes automated, ensuring that there is a level of collaboration especially between the buyers and sellers. What we noticed over a period of time was, it was not enough for it to be just a buyer-seller relationship style automation. So, it extended naturally. If you look at a classic supply chain flow between a buyer and a supplier, the buyer always initiates an order to supply a response, the supplier ships the goods, and then the supplier invoices the buyer. Now that’s a very, very simple model. If you break it down further, the supplier is also responsible for shipping the goods that they manufacture to the buyer. And in the processing industry, it’s even more complicated because there could be multiple tiers of suppliers trying to produce parts for the same product. For example, a car has like, 40,000 parts. As you can imagine, the supply chain there itself in terms of tiers is super complicated. You add transportation into the mix, and it gets even more complex.

I’m explaining this because our journey also kind of mirrored the growing complexity of these tiers. While our roots were in technology, we extended the paradigm of the buyer-supplier relationship to include a shipper-carrier style persona and relationships. Slowly, we realized all these things are intricately connected to each other. and that there is a lot of dependency between these flows. If you order X amount of material for Y delivery date, and the supplier says no, or they provide something less or at a different date, it’s difficult to separately have to coordinate that change with the carrier. That’s why we decided end to end supply chain is actually the right space to be in. So, we slowly expanded our product portfolio all the way from 2002 up until 2019. Eurazeo acquired us in 2018, and since then, we’ve been focused more on growth. Of course, growth has 2 components. There is organic growth through our network, which is 80,000 participants strong now. It started with a simple order flowing from DSM to BASF, and now it’s global with expansion into Latin America and Asia Pacific.

In 2012, if you remember, there was this genesis of the 4 big forces: cloud technology, big data, business social like LinkedIn, and then mobility and mobile technology. So, these 4 forces forced us to re-evaluate our tech stack, and then we rebuilt our network platform ground up in the cloud in 2012. We got about 13 patents in total for the technology. It has been exciting times, and that’s more like a timeline-based journey.

In the last 3 or 4 years, we acquired 4 different companies. One based out of Chicago called GSQA with focus on quality management and validation. EyeFreight out of Netherlands, a level 5 TMS, full truckload, less than truckload optimization and planning. Then we acquired Omprompt, which is a non EDI data processing engine, so think unstructured data as you hit the long tail, especially around PDFs, Excel files, images, HTMLs. You have to convert that to structured data because ultimately all that needs to go into the ERP or a TMS. We acquired them out of the United Kingdom. Then ProcessWeaver which is more of a last mile parcel shipment execution company, especially if you think about retail, there’s a lot of shipments that need to be delivered same day, less than a truckload. It could be parcels, a lot of samples especially in the process industry, get shipped via parcel as well.

As a result of these acquisitions, while our roots were in the process industry, I would say we’ve diversified fully. Now it’s consumer packaged goods, we are adjacent to pharma, heavy duty industrials like ABB, and a lot of growth in food and beverage as well. So, we cover the entire gamut at this point in time, and that to me has been a spectacular story. While the roots are in the process industry, with the end-to-end solution suites that we now have, and a scalable network intrinsically, we are able to penetrate markets much deeper and much broader.

Headshot of Arun Samuga, Chief Innovation Officer of Elemica.

In fact, I was introduced to Elemica at its formation around 2001. I was working at Shell doing eBusiness which was very customer and commercially focused, more on a
one-to-one basis. But I had colleagues that were working on Elemica and helping develop that platform along with, as you mentioned, BASF and DSM and others. So, it is interesting this transition from being chemical process industry focused, to a much broader focus. It’s quite a big evolution.

I would agree because, you can try to grow organically, but that’s very hard and there are incumbents. I think we are on the right strategic path, looking ahead as well, we are constantly trying to grow. We also put in a lot of focus onto our partner network. We have partnerships with a many different companies, including giants like SAP, Oracle, NetSuite on one side. Also, the systems integrators like Accenture and Capgemini. The ecosystem, in general, is growing. I think that’s essential, just because of the global nature of supply chain, and the focus on increased resiliency in the supply chain. You cannot just do it by yourself. It’s almost always a multi-vendor, multi-partner play and we’re right there.

Yeah, and I know at the beginning, it was really about connecting ERP systems together. So, it was a bit of a behind the scenes tool in some respects. Is that still true today? Is it still really about connecting business systems together and to support the supply chain or is there also storefronts and other things like some other platforms are developing?

If you think about a digital journey, it almost always starts with digitization. Connectivity is the foundation. You need that. Now how you do it might be different. Things have changed, you have to have APIs nowadays, where you can just push data into an endpoint and get data back. There are specialist companies like project44 who only focus on visibility. You can take their services for visibility. You can take Elemica for network expansion and process automation and then you could use our last mile parcel for shipping samples. It’s become more of a mix and match zone for our enterprise clients. You will see multiple vendors, if you look at a traditional enterprise client, like BASF or Dow for example, they will almost always have Salesforce. That’s their CRM, but they will almost always have an ERP. They will almost always have a TMS. So, there is a lot of adjacency around these huge systems which fundamentally need to be glued, from a workflow automation perspective.

If you extend that enterprise to the external trading partner base, your enterprise’s customers, their suppliers, or their logistics service providers, then there is a lot of room in terms of automation at varying levels for different business processes. Even in the classic buyer supplier relationship there is the purchase order management between a buyer and a supplier. But a buyer and supplier could decide that collectively they are spending a lot on working capital, and they want to fundamentally reduce the inventory. So, they might engage in a vendor managed inventory style process. It doesn’t even need to be purchase orders. Things have evolved from a process automation perspective. Lots of interesting digital models have come into play. While connectivity can be viewed as a foundational step, I think what’s happened now is, it’s become a land of specialization with a lot of mix and match capabilities.

To your point about web shops, yes. In speaking with some of these large companies, even BASF and Dow, they have their own storefront. They have and You can go there and place orders. Instead of calling it commoditized, I would say there are these large enterprise clients who are looking at multiple channels in order to propagate the sale of their goods and maximize customer delight. All these things go hand in hand. On the other side, they have to ensure that they have the goods come in from their suppliers and shipped correctly to their customers. Otherwise, they’re going to have unhappy customers. Web shops have made their way in. A lot of movement around APIs as well.

Okay, so you’re going to need to decipher for us? What’s an API?

An API is application programmable interface. Traditionally, connectivity was achieved through EDI, where machines talk to each other. Those EDIs are really good for asynchronous communication. Like, hey, I want to send you an order. Here is an EDI, and it goes into your system. Great. Now what if I wanted to place an order, and while I place the order you as a supplier want to check if you have enough inventory, and you want to check the availability to deliver, and you also want to immediately check if the carrier is willing to ship those goods. How do you do this? You don’t want to keep sending EDI messages. So what happens in the API landscape is as a supplier, you open up a programmable interface, which the buyer calls, and you are able to execute these other searches in real time with other enterprise systems. All trading partners beat your carriers, beat your internal systems in terms of inventory position and immediately respond back to the buyer. The speed you’re able to take a decision or provide some inputs to the buyer in that equation has significantly changed through APIs because they can be synchronous in nature.

Okay, that was helpful. So, you’ve talked quite a bit about these large enterprises. How does this work for smaller companies, because what I know from talking to people across the industry, is that there are many companies who have not really digitized their platforms, their supply chain, their transactional interfaces. The reasons for that are, one, they see that there’s a lot of barriers to entry and two, they really wonder about picking the right solution.

So, you’ve talked about these big companies, but you’ve also talked about the land of automation and the ability to mix and match, which I don’t think is apparent to business leaders who really just want to be doing business effectively with their customers. So how does this play out when we scale down? When we’re not talking about multibillion dollar businesses, but when we’re talking about, a lot of the companies that are in the heart of the industry, mid-tier and other companies.

If you look at the size of a company, for example, there’s small to medium, medium to large and extra-large but, one point I would like to make is even for a large company like BASF or Dow, some of their customers are very small. So, ultimately, the supply chain is an interesting field exactly for that reason because you could be a very small customer of Dow, but you could be a giant customer for somebody else. Now would you want to invest in terms of your automation levels with Dow in that equation? Maybe not because it’s not worth the cost of operation. If we extend that logic to really small companies to your point, the way we look at it from a network perspective is there is this long tail. That’s how we look at small companies.

Now with their incumbent large trading partners, you can get away with EDI, with the existing ERP implementations, with the existing infrastructure. You extend it, connect to the Elemica network, and then boom. You have your automation done. We notice that you cannot just be limited to 20% of your partners who generate 70 to 80 percent of your business. There’s a huge, long tail. Some of them have 120,000 suppliers, and obviously, to your point, not all of them have these technological capabilities. Some of them might be in a remote location in Latin America producing one specialized thing that’s absolutely needed. How do you engage with them? You have to or we’ll end up with data silos, which are even more dangerous, because how are you going to keep track of your KPIs as an organization?

So, we devised what we call a multichannel strategy. You don’t necessarily need to have EDI or XML capabilities to transact with Elemica. We can handle emails. We can handle PDFs. We can handle Excel files. All that can be converted into structured data very easily. A lot of the small companies engage with us through those channels. I would say broadly a multichannel strategy is what we offer to the market. From our enterprise client’s perspective, they could have small customers, small suppliers, or small carriers who could also engage with us through this multichannel strategy. Whether that be through email, through a web portal, or APIs if they have a little bit of technology investment.

When you look back at the events of the past couple years, the pandemic, all the supply chain challenges we’ve had in this acceleration of digitization What’s been the effect on Elemica’s business?

The pandemic itself was a sad event, it was a global disruption. But what companies did was, I think they went selfish. for lack of a better word, they started piling up inventory like crazy. So, we saw an uptick in transactions during the pandemic. There were some companies who came and asked us for relief, especially in terms of payment terms, which is completely understandable. The commercials aside, if you look at the supply chain transactions, those went up during the pandemic. I did some research later, so it peaked in 2021 and then come late 2022, the order volume started going down.

Yeah. We’ve been seeing this.

I reached out to a few clients, and I said, “What is happening? Did you notice there was a 13.6% reduction in order volume across the network between 2021 and 2022.” I go back to some of these clients and say, “You went down by only 6%, but the Elemica network order volume went down by 13.6%. Why is that?” Their response was, “We did not stock up as much as some of our other peers.” I knew that the pandemic, while a sad event, was actually very good for us from a transaction volume perspective, but then when you look at what happened outside, companies just stockpiled inventory, and now they’re basically trying to reduce the order volumes. And it’s coming back to normalcy. The one thing that the pandemic has started, supply chain risk has become a very important topic. So, I would say there is more focus on resilience. Then with the circular economy and sustainability taking newer heights, I think climate control and climate change has become an important topic as well. As a result of the pandemic and some of the events in the last 2 or 3 years, there is rebalance of supply chain volume and there is higher focus on risk resiliency and sustainability.

Absolutely, I think you’re right with that. Did you adjust your platform or offerings as a result of how the markets and the needs have evolved in the past few years?

Yeah. It was during the pandemic that we acquired 2 companies, I would say two and a half because one kind of bled into the pandemic. Acquiring 3 companies during a pandemic is hard. We could not travel, we could not meet these people, it was all remote, which was very weird. We acquired this company, but we can’t go and meet anybody, that was unheard of. To answer your question more directly, we added 3 strong capabilities onto our network platform. One in level 5 transport management solution, one non-EDI data processing solution, as well as the last mile shipment execution solution. So absolutely more focused around the long tail data processing because, we have capabilities for the bigger guys. Now it’s in house. Then transportation is always a hot topic because there are multiple ways to optimize routes, and there are multiple places to get things from. A lot more companies are investing in network optimization as well as dynamic inventory optimization. As a result of that, you will notice that transportation becomes a very natural objective in terms of the need for optimization. I think we made the right moves there, especially focusing heavily on transport optimization.

You talked about some of the insights that you’ve been able to draw, and you’ve gone back and you’ve done some research around the level of ordering upticks and the inventory declines. It strikes me that in this world of big data Elemica itself has access to a lot of data. Now I know that you’re also bound by confidentiality, and you have firewalls around data. But is this something that you and the company look at in terms of how to identify and drive trends? And is that a service that you offer to your business partners? Or is it just that the data is there for them to take advantage of if they will, or is there something that Elemica does specifically around leveraging insights?

It’s interesting you call it insights because we call it insights. That’s our data analytics layer, embedded analytics layer. We started that about one and a half years ago. We put in a lot of focus because, to your point, we realized data is extremely crucial in terms of decision making. Earlier, we would just automate the process, get it to 80%, and you’re good. Well, let’s take a look. If you say 80%, do you know how many suppliers are actually responding to your orders electronically? Even if they do, do you know how many of them are accepting your orders the first time you send it? How many of them have a qualified order response saying I can’t deliver it by this date, and I can’t deliver that much quantity? How many of them deliver things on time? How is the carrier performance doing? Are these carriers doing well for one customer over another? So, we are in a very good spot in terms of identifying those trends.

What I’ve done as part of the innovation lab now is added a lot more focus there. I picked it up late last year in terms of building a complete data lake from scratch where all these transactions get stockpiled. Because of the patents, we also have auto correlation capabilities like a purchase order number in a purchase order, is a purchase order number in an invoice. As long as they match and it’s between the same buyer and supplier, our system’s automatically correlate it. So, we have a step up there in terms of the network technology. We are able to mine data. I’m extremely interested in process mining because at the end of the day, it’s not about automation alone. It’s about taking a look at the data as a result of automation and getting deep insights into all these different vectors across the different trading partner types and going back to these clients and saying, “You know what? Your suppliers are not up to par. This is how you transform your business.” It’s not just about digitalization and digital transformation, it is about business transformation. This is how you can improve your trading partner relationships, and these are the key insights that you have at your fingertips.

So, we started doing that with a few specific clients just to validate whether these things stick and these things are meaningful. What I’ve noticed as a result is, a lot of the CIOs in these companies have started expressing interest in this and for good reasons, because the thing with data is you cannot just distribute data to everybody because not everybody is going to treat it the same. You need the right data to get in front of the right persona. That is where we are in terms of saying, if it’s a CIO, package up the data in this way, so that you can relate it to some KPIs. It should be relatable easily to days inventory outstanding or days sales outstanding or some metric that resonates with the broader organization, and that’s when you realize not all enterprises are the same. We are at that point where we have a productized service here, but then each enterprise wants something else, and different personas within enterprises need something else. So, we are shifting to that, and that’s just digital maturity journey that we have to embark on regardless.

Right. So, what are companies looking for today, when they’re thinking about digital solutions? What are the problems that they’re trying to solve?

There are performance indicators that people are measured by. People look at supply chain variability, people look at demand sensing capabilities, people want excellent customer service, they want to reduce their operating cost, and analyze how they’re performing. So those are some of the performance indicators, but then there are the broader supply chain metrics. I mean, what is your cash-to-cash cycle look like? What is your perfect order rate? What’s the ROI on your gross margin? So those things stay, those things haven’t significantly changed. That’s what companies are looking at on a strategic level. What’s happened now is there are multiple risk categories that have come into play. There’s force majeure, there are man-made risks which we’re seeing in a warlike situation, geopolitical risks, and most notably, cyber risk. That’s become huge, it’s changing the way people are reacting to technology. Now when we get a lot of requests for proposals or requests for information, there are two or three things that almost always stand out. Are you open to us doing a security audit before we sign off? It’s become mandatory.

Not really a surprise in the world that we’re in today, right?

Absolutely. You look at all these vectors, you have your KPI, your performance indicators, and your risk. But people underestimate the changes driven by technology itself. AI has come a long, long way, very, very fast. Now AI as a technology is actually pretty old, but then the democratization of AI has happened very, very quickly.

What does that mean when you say that?

It means, the mass, everybody has access to AI. It’s democratized. The models, the large language models are available for everybody to use. You can set up an account with OpenAI and ask questions to chatGPT in the next 10 minutes.

I’ve got one, I use it occasionally.

Exactly. I’m not going to comment on the quality of the output, but my main point is technology changes like RPA, IoT sensing, people putting devices on trucks in order to measure humidity, to measure vibration, to measure decibel noise, to measure temperature, like cold storage. A lot of things have changed fundamentally. When you look at these four vectors, you have your KPIs, your performance metrics, the risk categories, and then these technologies that are coming into play. The juxtaposition and the way these things mingle and play with each other has fundamentally altered the landscape of large enterprises, and we see that on a daily basis.

Now through the power of the network, because it’s so flexible, we are able to adapt to these needs. Think of an endpoint, if an IoT sensor is sending data through streaming, our network handles it. It’s easy. We spoke about API, if we hit MarineTraffic for example, it’s a company that provides visibility into ocean vessels. Now our clients don’t need to set up an account with MarineTraffic, they’re already doing the transport execution through us. We just have a link with MarineTraffic through an API. We get the status of a vessel, and then we show it to our customers. So, we’ve opened up our flexibility in terms of a broader ecosystem in order to cater to some of these changing demands on the customer side.

What strikes me with that is that we have this ever-increasing need for fast information and figuring out how to surface it and provide it is critical. And it’s a journey. It’s changed dramatically in the time that Elemica has been established and even just in the last year.

Absolutely. If you were to ask me, pick three things that are the highest focus for most companies. You can’t just go to a company and say, you pick three things, it’s going to be slightly different from some other company. Based on my research though, I would say the top three things that companies are focusing on at a high level is business transformation, even though they call it digital transformation, but that’s not what the C-suite is looking at. They’re looking at business transformation. The 2nd category is supply chain resiliency. People want to ensure that they’re risk proof as much as they can be. The third thing is sustainability. To me, those are the three areas where I see a lot of moving pieces from a strategic perspective.

Building a benefit case

So, Arun, when I think about digital solutions, and when I talk to people across the industry, and some of the biggest companies have already made the case, but building a financial benefit case for digital solutions is often challenging. Companies view that digitization does not necessarily change who they’re doing business with. It simply makes it more seamless and ties the information together. Often people say, “I don’t know where the money is in it.” How do you respond to that?

I think it is about educating a potential client on the advantages of embarking on a digital journey. We need to be very clear about what the ROI is. We have lots of case studies. I can throw a couple of data points at you. When I talk to a client, I go there and say, “Client A actually reduced their inventory by 50 percent in 2 years, and that’s inventory gone out of the supply chain forever. That’s a clear working capital gain that you have there.” Now that by itself can translate to multiple dimensions. It could be that you’ve reduced working capital, but now you have a lot more cash on hand in order to invest it in customer delight and many other areas like increasing your sales channels or investing in sustainability. So, there’s a lot of things you can do there in terms of an ROI. We have case studies and we have value calculators. Then we have a broad industry view, and the data to back it up as well.

We can say, look we’ve seen an uptick in the order volumes because of digitization. Otherwise, these were all manual processes, and you need 150 people in your customer success department or customer service department, and now you only have 22. What happened? Well, the others are focused on more higher order problem solving capabilities for the organization because they moved on and they’re doing something bigger and better. There are a lot of ROI positions that we clearly articulate. As a result of the acquisitions, you can also look at us going into the market with a land and expand strategy. You don’t need to buy everything Elemica has to offer right away. If your pain point is last mile partial execution, just take that. Over a period of time, once you get familiar with it and you start realizing the benefits of Elemica as a network company, you will start using more and more of our products. From our perspective, it is a cross sale opportunity, but then from an enterprise client’s perspective, they are embarking on a rather long, large digital journey of maturity.

We’re convinced that’s our story, and that’s how we talk about it. You might want to buy one product now, but bear in mind, this is where we want to take you. It has all these different dimensions. There are your customers, your suppliers, your carriers, your warehouses, distribution centers. We impact different personas all the way from fulfillment to procurement to customer service. And then with all of this data that goes through, we push it into the insights layer. We can also send it back to you. We can provide deep insights which you can use in order to just transform your business. So that’s how we go to market, and that’s the high-level story. But as you can imagine, each one of those is very well supported with a lot of data that we’ve gathered over a period of time. So, the ROI definition is something that we do pretty clearly. To be honest, I don’t think we’ve gotten any pushback so far in terms of the quality of the content or the nature of the conversation itself.

Role of Elemica in the Customer Experience

Awesome. One of the things we talk about a lot on The Chemical Show is the customer experience. So how does digitization and maybe Elemica really affect the customer experience in that customer journey?

If you think of sales order automation, everything is persona based within a customer base. What we ultimately do is ensure that an order is going to be perfect and it’s going to go into your system seamlessly regardless of how and where it came from whether it’s EDI, XML API, RPA, came from Ariba, came through an email. Wherever it came from, it’s going to get into your system because we come in there and ensure that you don’t have to worry about it. What that does is it improves the quality of life of the customer service representative. Similarly, when you look at a transport planners day in the life. They’re basically executing shipments left and right. They’re trying to call carriers and negotiate rates. We have a rating engine built into the transportation management solution. You just change it once every year during contract negotiations and upload it. After that, as soon as you get an order, we are able to translate it into a transport order, optimize it for a full truckload, identify the right carriers based on rates and lanes, and send it out. Now the planner is sitting there going, all I have to do is manage exceptions. The planning part and the execution part is completely automated. Now the planner has more time to focus only on exceptions.

Speaking of exceptions, if there are failures, we have a lot of rules and validations in place. We can validate against them for our entire network. We can validate it for a given client. We can validate it for a trading partner pair. or a trading partner pair and a particular document type. So, we go broad and deep in terms of rules and validations. Now not only have we automated the exception management for the planner or the customer service representative, we ensure that they only focus on things that are truly exceptions. We also provide end to end visibility into the life cycle of an order as well as the life cycle of a shipment. We’ve created a glue within the enterprise where you have the customer service representative in communication with their customers who are already happy and who also have the same level of visibility. The enterprise is working seamlessly because the transport planner is completely in sync with a customer service representative who knows that the supplier who’s going to ship the goods to them are also aligned because of how we go in with the end-to-end strategy. You have the procurement division within the enterprise also aligned. You’ve hit procurement, transportation, and customer service to create a glue. You’ve created a beautiful workflow between them. Which makes everybody’s quality of life better from a personal perspective, but then from a professional standpoint, there is more time in order to actually cater to the key objectives that the enterprise has. So that’s how we transform the organization, typically.

That makes sense. I think that aspect of working on the exception, spending time where it’s really critical to spend time to solve customer challenges and supplier challenges, versus on standard, business as usual things. It should make the experience better for everyone.

So, what’s next for you in for Elemica? What should we be looking forward to over the rest of the year?

The board is very keen on us from a growth perspective, so they look at it through that lens very consistently. I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up acquiring one or two more companies. We’re always looking for the right company and the right partners. So that’s one area of growth. We are aggressively extending our partner ecosystem, as I mentioned earlier. More and more people are working on the Elemica network being able to create value for our clients. We’re also doing a lot in terms of AI, sustainability, and the advanced embedded analytics. So that’s another area from a technology perspective where we are investing. I would say these three big buckets are going to constitute a lot of 2023 and into 2024. So, M&A activities for growth, investment in new technology, and our extension of our trading partner ecosystem, and that’s going to position us very nicely for years to come, especially as it relates to the world of supply chain automation and orchestration.

Awesome. Well, Arun, thank you so much for joining me today on The Chemical Show.

Absolutely. Thanks a lot for your time. It was a pleasure.

Absolutely. And thanks everyone for reading. Keep reading, following, and sharing, and we’ll talk to you again soon.

About Arun Samuga:

Arun is Chief Innovation Officer of Elemica, a global SaaS-based Supply Chain Network software solution. He joined Elemica in 2009 through a merger with Rubber Network. Promoted to CTO in 2018, Arun lead Elemica’s global development organization and was responsible for the continued development of new software products and solutions. In his new role, he is tasked with accelerating ever-expanding opportunities in the area of supply chain innovation.

Arun has more than 20 years of relevant global industry experience in the Software and IT Services market. Prior to Elemica, Arun worked for RubberNetwork as the Director of Supply Chain Implementation and as a Supply Chain Project Manager. 

Arun is a member of the Forbes Tech Council and Supply Chain Insights Network of Networks. He has been awarded Provider Pros to Know award several times from Supply & Demand Chain Executive magazine. He also has achieved 3 US patents for messaging technologies over the Digital Supply Network. He frequently writes articles for industry and trade journals. Arun is an MBA graduate from Georgia State University with a graduate degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology.

Arun lives with his wife and two children in Atlanta. In his spare time, he loves to cook, to read and to teach his dog new tricks.

Much has evolved and progressed in the past few years in supply chain digitization and management and will continue to do so. Elemica’s is committed to leveraging data and technology to drive meaningful business transformations for their clients while emphasizing the financial benefits and improved customer experiences that can result from their solutions.

What the future holds for end-to-end supply chain solutions can be anyone’s guess, but one thing everyone rallies around is that digitization and automation will only grow. This is especially true when including the innovations and innovators who call themselves Elemicans.

With such a comprehensive and informative interview, it may be helpful to go back and hear Arun’s words live. For those who want to take a listen, follow the link here.