Online Exclusive: Nick Cova, VP, Savi Networks

Nick Cova explains what makes Savitrak such an attractive proposition.
Nick Cova, vice president at Savi Networks.
Nick Cova, vice president at Savi Networks.

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Savi Networks vice president Nick Cova explains what makes the Savitrak solution such an attractive prospect for Middle Eastern supply chain outfits.

With a number of other companies providing real-time tracking solutions, what would you say makes Savitrak unique in terms of the other products available in the market?
First and foremost, the business logic in the SaviTrak application enables companies to manage their supply chain execution from a financial perspective – thus, delivering quick and tangible ROI.  Competing solutions focus on showing where an asset is on a map, which we consider to be basic functionality provided by SaviTrak.

Secondly, SaviTrak is the first solution that is cost-effective. The track-and-trace industry has generated standalone device providers.  Before Savi Networks, no one has offered a complete turn-key solution that was designed from the ground-up to be cost effective.  An example would be that we worked with our communications providers during design to ensure the lowest-cost manufacturing, as well as securing exceptional rates in over 150 countries around the globe.

What other advantages does the solution provide?
Alternative tracking devices require constant power sources. Therefore, they are only applicable for, for example, tracking the tractor/cab. Savi Networks provides the first complete solution that tracks unpowered shipping containers, trailers, and similar unpowered conveyances. Similarly, alternative tracking devices are designed for Asset Management.  Thus, they are designed to be permanently affixed to the conveyance. The issue is that most companies don’t own their containers and trailers, and only utilise a given conveyance for one shipment.  Therefore, SaviTrak utilises devices that affix to the conveyance in a matter of seconds without the need for tools and are just as easy to remove at the end of the journey.

Furthermore, Asset Management applications are monitoring the conveyance with limited to no regard for the contents inside. In contrast, SaviTrak focuses on the goods inside the conveyance.  Therefore, the devices monitor security to ensure that the inventory hasn’t been tampered with, and environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, shock/vibration to ensure the highest product quality is maintained.


How does the technology behind Savitrak work? Do you employ RFID or other technologies?
The devices utilise Global Position Satellites/Systems (GPS) to understand where they are located, and depending on the device: Cellular, Satcom, or RFID to back-haul the data. Right now, our best-selling option is GPS + Cellular, as this is the most cost-effective for the coverage. The software server side of the solution is built upon web-based technologies and is accessible globally via an internet browser.

Does Savitrak assist clients who are exporting goods to the US deal with the new security legislation?
Yes – across multiple fronts. One example is that we have a device that provides an electronic version of the 17712 mechanical bolts that are required to be on shipments bound for the US. This enables companies exporting to the US a value-added means for complying with this requirement. 

Additionally, we are solution providers to multiple programmes sponsored by various Customs agencies.  All of the programmes have different specifics, but they share the fact that benefits are delivered to the shippers. In certain programmes export clearances are reduced from an average of 48 hours to two hours by utilising SaviTrak within the framework of the programme. Additionally, Customs inspections are not required at all if shipment integrity is verified by our solution.

Are you considering setting up a base of operations in this region?
We work with our 3PL and freight forwarding partners to provide the SaviTrak service to the Middle East. In fact, we have live shipments right now that are in various stages of shipment to Dubai, for example.

Do you have any Middle Eastern clients?  
Yes, some of our 3PL and freight forwarding client partners have a significant presence in the Middle East, and there are also end-users that have facilities receiving or initiating shipments from the region.

How important is the Middle East to your business plan?
By definition, we are a global service provider. And as such, we follow the macro-economic trends for shipping. Right now, that means that the Middle East is a hotbed of activity for us. The growth in the region is astounding, and we continue to expect significant growth in our business to meet that demand.

Why do you think Middle Eastern firms should be interested in Savitrak?
Very simply, it enables companies to have better Visibility, Accountability, and Control of their supply chain execution – which in turn provides quantifiable financial benefits. Competition in the 21st Century will be measured on three primary dimensions: a) Customer experience, b) Supply chain agility, and c) Total costs.  SaviTrak helps companies across each of those dimensions.

What does your company have in the pipeline for this year?
Fortunately, the need to cut costs is driving customers to adopt solutions like ours. And given that we continue to prove to be the reliable, low-cost provider, we are seeing strong demand. Despite the bad economy, we expect this to be a significant growth year for Savi Networks.
 

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