The Global Startup Ecosystem: Automating Industrial Mobility with Saurav Agarwal
29 Jun 2021
Saurav Agarwal, Founder and CEO of SIERA.AI, explains how his company helps industrial facilities make operations safer and more efficient by digitalizing their forklift fleet with computer vision and IoT.
Hosted by Jeff Kavanaugh, VP and Head of the Infosys Knowledge Institute.
"We first enable our customers to not rely on paper, but go entirely digital for their inspections and compliance processes. It makes everybody's life easier. For the operations or warehouse manager, all they need to do is click one button to generate an OSHA report and send it to the inspector - instead of running around to look for pieces of paper that may be missing."
"There have been automated forklifts in the market for a long time. The problem was that they needed some kind of guiding tapes, wires, or external systems to tell them how to go from Point A to Point B. Today, we have the ability to take a vehicle, drive it around any warehouse to build a map of that facility, and then the vehicle can figure out how to go from Point A to Point B autonomously."
- Saurav Agarwal
- In North America, there are about 96,000 accidents. 35,000 of those accidents involved serious injuries. In talks with customers, we learned that they spend $100,000 a year just repairing facilities damages caused industrial vehicles. Then there are OSHA for missing inspections, that's $10,000 per piece of equipment. The human and financial costs quickly add up.
- We enable our customers to entirely digitalize inspections and compliance processes. It makes every stakeholders life easier. Instead of having a person run around searching for each inspection, the operations manager clicks one button to generate an OSHA report and sends it to the inspector.
- Our solution informs decision makers each time an industrial vehicle gets close to a pedestrian, how many times have they hit or damage something, every failed inspection and why it failed. Then it sends the right person the correct information to either take maintenance actions or corrective coaching if an operator is driving dangerously.
- There have been automated industrial vehicles for decades, but they needed tape or wire guidelines and someone to monitor it constantly. Today, we can take a vehicle, drive it around the warehouse, and build a map of that facility. Then, the vehicle itself can figure out how to go from point A to point B. That enables decision-makers like warehouse managers to be hands-free and not have to babysit the system.
- When people are placed in the same environment as automated vehicles, there is potential for things to go wrong. People do not always follow rules and mistakes are made. You cannot forgo safety just because you have automated vehicles.
What is unique and different about what your company is trying to do your mission, or maybe your value proposition compared to others?
What's [the warehouse] environment allowed you to do and what do you see that's distinct about automating forklifts and equipment that might be off-road?
How did you maintain your footing and your momentum during the pandemic? And then second, how has it evolved your story?
What's a lesson that someone else can take whenever they have to think about their own value proposition and keeping it current?
Can you comment on how [hope of gain/fear of loss] plays into your business plan or at least your go-to-market for a particular offering?
What about the warehouse? And what about that critical link of making sure goods that come in and go out? Do you see enough visibility there and what steps are you taking to raise that visibility to more executives?
Can you demystify what it means to have artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles running around a warehouse? What does it mean for the average professional who has heard these terms, but doesn't quite know what they mean?
How much of an improvement, or how much of an edge is it that you can control the environment?
What are the three things that you might convey to a business leader who's thinking about industrial automation, industrial mobility, and maybe taking steps towards automation or autonomous navigation?