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Infoactiv: Operating and Thriving in Supply Chain Vertical

Successful businesses rest upon the strong coordination and integration within and among the company’s processes. An inter-connected process brings incredible value to the companies. Thus, it is now imperative for business houses to overhaul their traditional process and think afresh about strategies’ to keep their products and services constantly flowing in the marketplace, speedily and efficiently in optimized time and cost, to take on this changing dynamics. And, Supply chain Management (SCM) is the key to that. It provides oversight of finance, information and material as the products transit from the hands of supplier to manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer to consumer, and finally to recycler for asset disposition. Right from sourcing the raw materials until the delivery of the final products, Supply chain Management carry out the end-to-end process. Ultimately, it is the supply chain that effectively reduces the inventory and lures the end-customers. A dynamic provider of unique managed services in supply chain and sustainability arena is a privately owned Australian Company— Infoactiv. Incorporated in 1999, sustainability and environmental stewardship are the Company’s core strategies.

Partnership: A Game Changer
The outcomes of individual endeavours are never more successful than the partnerships. Collaboration and cooperation among businesses are pivotal elements for success. Partnering with companies that are innovative, market and consumer responsive and dynamic, means their requirements across the SC need to be real-time, on-demand, IT savvy, process controlled and design smart; this partnership ensures both companies are at the top of their game and are a DNA match. Operating from Melbourne AU, Infoacitv is keen on leveraging partnership and collaboration for delivering superior results. This is the sole reason behind Infoacitv’s partnership with Cisco in 2001 for management of their IT fleet of assets across Asia Pacific.

At the helm of Infoactiv’s operation, since its inception, is Helen Jarman, who is a seasoned entrepreneur and the recipient of Telstra Business woman of the Year. From the day one, she has put her heart and soul into Infoactiv to make it the largest independent provider of Managed Supply Chain Solutions across the Asia Pacific. Being a leading provider of e-waste management services and sustainable supply chain solutions, it partners with brands, OEMs, corporate, government and industry associations to design, procure and manage their supply chain requirements. Helen Jarman, the present MD of Infoactiv, elucidates, “Infoactiv is an extension to the client for helping them to achieve their growth goals in a much responsible and sustainable manner by providing them a hand-holding support across the entire range of the supply chain.”

EMS, an Integrated Solution:
Given the present day’s industrialization and increasing population, there has been a significant degradation of natural resources globally. Therefore, management of social and environmental impact is of paramount importance. In parallel, companies are now gaining heightened demand from their stakeholder, regarding the environmental performance of their products and processes. To help the enterprises grappled with environmental concerns, Infoactiv introduced its Environmental Management System (EMS) ensuring very high levels of internal and operational performance in key areas of consumption and impact like energy, water and waste. Helen states, “Infoactiv’s team is passionate about the environment and ensuring a greener supply chain.”

The Environmental management and sustainable development at Infoactiv are drivers for innovation as well as catalysts for new product and service offerings. Infoactiv proactively uses its EMS to positively engage Company’s staff and suppliers. In a broader sustainability strategy, Infoactiv’s EMS seeks to maintain and expand a business based on Responsible Prosperity and ‘doing good’ in the wider community. Helen notes, “Our environmentally oriented procurement approach is integral to the EMS and delivers lower impact products and processes that benefit business as well as the environmental outcomes demanded by our customers.”

Being a part of the Uber generation, Infoactiv’s model focuses on strong management, expertise, technology as well as every aspect of handling product and logistics without owning trucks, warehouses, de-manufacturing plants and recycling infrastructure. All the physical aspects of handling product and logistics are tightly managed by Infoactiv across an approved pool of vendors. Regardless of any sector, product type, waste stream and territory, the company builds services around the customer to deliver the best financial, brand and environmental outcomes. “Most importantly, we see our business model and the customers we work with and for, as directly contributing towards the Circular Economy,” Helen comments.
Of late, Infoactiv has partnered with IBM Global Services Delivery to deliver the Asset Management solution across theatres as part of their global engagement with Cisco. Additional services to Cisco include logistics and transportation services, returns activity for spare parts under warranty and end of life equipment recycling. Speaking about the partnership Helen submits, “Our continuing work on e-waste product stewardship with local government across Australia represents a very important and significant commitment to making partnerships productive and environmentally positive.”

The Environmental management and sustainable development at Infoactiv are drivers for innovation as well as catalysts for new product and service offerings

Creating a New Edge in Supply Chain:
In spite of the availability of the most disruptive and innovative ERP systems and finance processes, Enterprises these days are still losing out more than expected. Moreover, supplier invoice management process still remains a management impediment. While dealing with multiple service providers, contractors, shipping agents and international premium services, every enterprise should spend their expenses in a very calculative way. Company’s flagship Assurance service invoice auditing solutions ensures appropriate audit trails across the company to accurately detect and recover significant funds. For instance, the Company has secured over $5M in credits for a major automotive company simply by checking their logistics supplier invoices prior to payment. Besides, the Company also look for Invoice errors, discrepancies, duplicate billing, all major issues that continue to plague the industry and affect customers’ bottom line regardless of sector. Helen says, “We have many competitors in one or two areas of what we do, but not the breadth, depth or combination of what and how we deliver triple bottom line value to customers.”
Infoactiv is a truly independent organization, not aligned to any one service, provider or business model, that continuously engages in strategic design and ideation processes to determine the roadmaps and deeply understand client’s GTM strategy and objectives.

Although, the Company’s scope varies with each customer, Infoactiv provides assistance in four key domains: designing and managing solutions for warehousing and logistics; providing helpdesk services for all product support needs; building IT portals and platforms to support sale and product warranty processes; policy formation and operational execution of reuse and recycling programs that meet customer’s environmental product stewardship and compliance requirements.
The Company deeply understands the clients’ requisite about what they want to do, products they wish to release, markets and geographies they aim to cater and their targets placed on each business unit. Based on their given requirements Infoactiv then design and execute in a manner that ensures their SC remains responsive, flexible, reliable and high-performing. Helen expounds, “This is a collaborative and proactive process of communication and planning that keeps everyone on the same page.” Helen adds, “We sit on the same side as the customer and partner, in a way, that no transport provider, 3PL or downstream recycler can do. We thrive on difference that consistently creates value.”

Charting the Course for the Future:
With expertise in design and execution of SC and sustainability programs, Infoactiv has so far served customers across a diverse range of industries and sectors including ICT and consumer electronics industries, automotive, manufacturing and retail. To count some of the industry bigwigs to whom the Company has rendered its managed supply chain and product recovery solutions are: Telstra, Nikon, Apple, IBM, Cisco, Ford, City of Sydney and many more. Helen spells, “Our solutions apply equally to any industry that is seeking to gain efficiencies and improve the performance of their supply chain ‘post sale’.”Its deep knowledge, industry proven expertise and solution-oriented approach has fetched it with prestigious accolades such as Whitehorse Excellence Business Awards in 2014, 2013 WMAA Pam Keating Award, 2004 Telstra Business woman of the Year, and 2013 WME Leadership Award for Waste Management& Resources.

Presently, Infoactiv is focussed towards developing innovative customer-oriented digital technology that will be more collaborative across business. Creating value in diverse ways is part of how Infoactiv supports its clients and partners. It even intends to participate and influence the sustainability agenda in future, and expand its geographical reach further around India, Singapore and New Zealand. Being an advocate for responsible prosperity, innovation and good design, Infoactiv will go a long way in discerning the challenges faced by its clients.