What are 'rules-based' logistics? Why doesn't 7bridges' AI use rules?

Rules tell you what you have to do in a given situation. They are a brittle way of operating logistics as they quickly become outdated (for example, when a new shipping provider is onboarded or if your shipment volumes or prices change).

When rules become outdated, suboptimal decisions are made, which contribute to lower performance and higher costs. Therefore, rules in your supply chain require constant review and maintenance... which is a massive time-drain for the organisation and tech team. It’s much better to work with constraints, which is how 7bridges tackles the decision-making process.

Constraints tell you what you can’t do and leave space to optimise within what’s possible.

This ensures that you're always optimising your supply chain, according to your business goals.

Here's an example of constraints in action: One of your providers increases their pricing. In a rules-based scenario, you would have to go back and update EVERY RULE that related to the selection of this now sub-optimal provider. In a constraints-based scenario, you simply update the pricing for this provider in the 7bridges platform, and the technology will automatically lower them down in the selection choices.

Is 7bridges a consultancy?

In short, no! We’re a technology provider. That said, we do offer a consultative approach to sales and, similar to consultancies, are driven by providing maximum value through our platform.

From the moment you first engage with 7bridges, our team of experts will work with you to fully understand your business and unique use cases.

In fact, working with 7bridges comes with a significantly lower capital expenditure (CapEx) than paying a consultancy to build and maintain your own tools. We’ve done the hard work, so you don’t have to.

How are you different to carrier management solutions such as Metapack and Scurri?

7bridges is different to other logistics and supply chain solutions in a number of ways, both in terms of the value we provide and the use-cases we can solve.

We tend to deliver 3x more ROI than our competitors.

  • How? Our proprietary logistics optimisation technology scales much better than other logistics technologies. The 7bridges platform can adapt in real-time (and therefore quicker) to price and service level changes in the supply chain. This has a significant impact on cost and performance.

We provide a breadth of functionality across the entire logistics operation, from freight to parcel. We also provide solutions for different use-cases, including:

All of our functionality is unified into a single platform. This means that customers only need one integration (with us) to manage and operate all of their logistics. We act as an orchestration layer and have built user interfaces and customer front ends to facilitate this.

  • Most supply chain technology providers just provide APIs. This means that their customers have to spend time and money building their own front ends and interfaces, as well as integration points, rules/logic etc in order to operate these APIs effectively and get value out of them.

Our technology offers greater resilience to changes in the supply chain (from simple price changes, to unexpected events like hurricanes or border closures). This is because:

  • We use real-time, live data feeds (rather than static information like rate cards and quoted transit times) to inform our logistics processes.
  • Aided by live information, our AI-powered logistics technology can rapidly adapt to changes in your internal or external supply chain environment, to prevent delays and maintain profit margins.

We integrate at an order level - much 'higher up' than most of other solution providers. This means we can deliver greater savings to your business, by optimising your logistics from start to finish. For example, at order level, we can dictate:

  • How orders are shipped (i.e. drop-shipped, consolidated services, freight etc.)
  • How stock is distributed (based on predicted orders, such that they’re closer to the customer)
  • Where to ship from, including enabling drop-ship and ship-from-store strategies, in order to minimise cost.

Other solutions simply integrate 'post pick-list', where all of this is already decided. Therefore they are limited to simply making decisions as to which carrier and service to use. 

How do you ensure our data is held and used securely?

We take security very seriously at 7bridges. In fact, our Chief Technology Officer, Ben Ede, has written a blog article about it 'How secure is 7bridges, the AI-powered Logistics Platform?'. Here are a few things you need to know:

  1. We don't need access to your network: you have control over what data you to send us. 
  2. We encrypt your data as soon as we receive it, so if someone tried to steal it, it would be rendered useless to them. 
  3. 7bridges has multiple layers of security, including VPC, VPN, 2FA, RLS and RBAC. We've also partitioned critical systems and data, and our tech employees follow strict security measures to gain access to our development environment. 
  4. We actively monitor the security of our systems, using a service called GuardDuty and we run Dynamic Application Security Testing to identify potential exploits and prevent malicious attacks.   
  5. We use independent, CREST certified, 3rd party security experts to test our security - both inside our technology and to ensure none of our employees fall foul to phishing, smishing or vishing! 
  6. We will soon gain our ISO 27001 information security accreditation.

It's important to remember, that any of your data used by 7bridges to optimise your logistics and supply chain, is YOUR data, not ours. If there's ever a day when you want to end your relationship with 7bridges, we will be obliged to remove your data from the platform.

Is 7bridges an aggregator?

Our business model is not to be an aggregator as we want to be impartial in the decision making process. Carriers also prefer to deal with owners of products shipped directly, so you can often find that it’s preferential to engage directly.

That being said, as 7bridges connects a large number of logistics service providers to our customers around the world, we do have agreed rates. Where these are advantageous to you, you can access these rates at cost (i.e. 7bridges will not add any margin).

Have a question we haven't answered here? Drop us a line.

Speak to one of our team to learn more:

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7bridges is already trusted by pharmaceutical businesses, fashion brands, medical technology providers and manufacturers. We've also been voted as one of the most exciting artificial intelligence startups in Europe by Business Insider.

Upgrade to world-class logistics with 7bridges

Powered by artificial intelligence, the 7bridges platform enables you to swiftly upgrade your logistics:

☑️Integrating 7bridges to your business can take less than two weeks
☑️The 7bridges platform can generate ROI in just one month
☑️ You can rapidly connect to new logistics suppliers, globally
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