Paige Cox, the head of SAP’s Logistics Business Network, believes that in order "to have the perfect customer experience, you have to have the perfect product experience.” SAP and Uber Freight have come together to optimize both. In a changing era of logistics, we’ve partnered with SAP to provide unique, customizable solutions for both shippers and carriers. Uber Freight is now available within the SAP Logistics Business Network, giving our mutual customers access to real-time load pricing and on-demand freight capacity. We sat down with Cox to find out her views on technology’s impact on the shipping industry and why Uber Freight is a natural supply chain partner.
Tell us a little bit about your role at SAP.
At SAP, I’m a global VP and head of Logistics Business Network, a part of our development organization. I work with customers, partners, and thought leaders to create new innovations for our customers.
How do you see technology further impacting the shipping industry?
I think technology in the shipping industry is tremendous because you really never know what’s going to emerge and how the industry can evolve. There are so many possibilities to create new business models, to create new values, to connect to different things, and to connect people and processes together.
I think a lot of the things we never thought would be possible, will be possible with technology. Finding the right problems to solve? That’s always the challenge.
How are Uber Freight and SAP working together to drive technical innovation?
We are very excited for Uber Freight to become a part of the SAP Logistics Business Network. To me, this is a very win-win situation. We at SAP have a very strong backbone with our shippers and have optimized our supply chain, from planning to execution. We take a product from an idea in its infancy to its manufacturing process, planning the entire inventory in your supply chain, and delivering with the best logistics. In the end, this whole loop gives you the perfect supply chain — creating the perfect product experience for that very ultimate customer experience.
Uber Freight extends our capabilities for our shippers with real-time pricing and the ability to connect to a large carrier network. It also provides the possibility to have more chances of planning, like demand or capacity you never thought of before. This creates a new business model for us as a technology provider. From our Logistics Business Network, we can match our shippers to the carrier network digitally with Uber Freight. Together we can create this open, interoperable network.
What excites you the most about the future of shipping and logistics technology?
What excites me the most is creating the ultimate customer experience. To create a perfect customer experience, you need the perfect product experience. So then how do we deliver that customer and product experience? The shipping industry will no longer be just connecting the shippers with the carriers — it will become so much more.
Imagine if we never have empty trucks on the road. Imagine if we create purpose between the shippers and carriers. The shippers can create a better experience for their customers without compromising the supply chain. The carriers can also have a good quality of life. If we can create and connect the demand chain with the supply chains, nothing is impossible.
How do you think the SAP partnership with Uber Freight will help optimize that customer experience?
To us, Uber Freight is a very unique brand. Uber itself is a very great brand in our view — it’s also a good technology platform. Our usual shipping customer usually has a traditional list of carriers who they work with. From there, they plan out their routes and transportation and how they optimize. But things happen. There are delays, whether it’s the weather or some disruption in the supply chain. Many business processes are siloed, and you require this optimization and un-disruption of the supply chain. As part of the Logistics Business Network, Uber allows us to connect to a large carrier network, and we can offer this as additional capacity and resources to our shippers. With the integration, we now can also offer instant pricing. Our shippers now have many more options to plan and execute their logistics needs.
What do you envision when thinking about the future of where this partnership can go?
Phase one was focused on how we can connect shippers to carriers, how can we have interoperable networks, and have one platform where we can bring all the ecosystems together to collaborate and get visibility. Going forward, we are discussing some exciting new possibilities. For example, together we can solve more of the empty-truck problem. Imagine if a company has regulations that if anything is delayed by a certain amount of time, the cost will be more. Can you imagine if that kind of intelligence is fed in through predictive ETAs and machine learning? Then we can already suggest optimized planning.
Today we plan and then we react to a disruption, and then we correct it by re-planning. Together, we could really move from a predictive intelligence to more prescriptive intelligence and create new possibilities together.