Andrés Birlain
CEO
Rivus Material Handling
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The Infinite Value Cycles Behind the ‘Rivus Method’

By Alfonso Núñez | Mon, 02/21/2022 - 11:46

Q: What does the “Rivus Method” consist of and how does it help the company stand out in the Latin American market?

 

A: The Rivus method gives our clients the tools they need to function as decision-makers. The methodology has two infinite value cycles. The first is the “creating value methodology,” which identifies a client’s operational challenges and the points where we can make a difference. We then offer clients the technology or solution that best answers to their needs. The second initiative is the “customer service methodology” because it is not enough to offer single-sale opportunities; we have to offer multivalue, multitime and multipurchase opportunities. This latter option ensures long-lasting attention on customers to generate added value.

 

Q: How have Fetch Robotics autonomous mobile robots (AMR) been incorporated into Rivus’ logistics processes?

 

A: The logistics industry is trying to redirect humans away from low-value tasks and into tasks that directly benefit the company. AMRs are the next step from automated guided vehicles (AGV), which follow a different model. AMRs involve cooperation between humans, machines and other products to manage materials. These autonomous robots can carry out and automate typically human functions. E-commerce & Retail companies are used to transport merchandise using hydraulic lifts with human operators throughout warehouses as big as 30,000 m2 which is insane. But this process can be fully automated using robots that also perform numerous other tasks, such as picking, sorting and radio-frequency identification (RFID).

 

Q: How is the data needed for the AMR functions collected and used to aid customers?

 

A: There cannot be AI without collecting data. We use software as a service (SaaS), which allows users to program robots to handle tasks and execute processes. The robots collect the data and send it back to users to make decisions. The robots are autonomous but need configuration, so there always has to be a human mind behind them.

 

Q: What technologies being used in other markets would you consider bringing to Latin America?

 

A: Rivus is the only company in Latin America that democratizes innovation. For us, innovation is not attached to money and can occur in all areas of logistics. We are an alternative for all industries in the region and for any budget. We focus on five areas: industrial safety in material handling equipment and environments; intralogistics and material handling productivity in a client’s distribution center, plant or store; logistics and distribution low-cost efficiencies; cold chain control; and sustainable shipping and packaging materials.

Many countries have innovated in logistics, leading to the development of new standards for logistical processes. We apply the best practices and technologies from the international market in Latin America.

 

Q: How do your products booster sustainable practices in the logistics industry?

 

A: Logistic operators have worked with pallets, plastic wraps, forklifts, racks, cranes and belt conveyors for the past 25 years. We focus on making these products more sustainable, more flexible, more scalable particularly pallets.

We have alternative products for the usage of pallets in practically all industrial logistics. This trend of pallet less handling will grow worldwide and in Latin America, as it minimizes costs.

 

The pandemic confirmed that logistics is not a complement to our clients’ activities but critical to their function. Logistics is now regarded as a fundamental piece in their business strategy. But cost reduction is still a priority for the industry because other commodities are becoming more expensive. 

 

Q: How did the COVID-19 pandemic change the relationship between sellers and buyers in the logistics industry as well as the centralization of purchases?

 

A: Rivus disrupts the relationship between sellers and buyers that had been prevalent in the industry for many years. The current process uses information in fully domain by the seller that only trickled down to the client when they think they should share, making the latter dependent on the former for decision-making information. Our value philosophy is different. We are building a digital platform for our clients so they can use the information contained in our digital platform to make 95 percent of decisions. As a one-stop-shop, Rivus is a single entity that offers thousands of solutions for material handling whenever clients need them. We do not sell products; we sell an integrated solution trusting that a long part of the decision-making process must be free for our customers in terms of the timing and maturation they need to buy goods.

 

Q: What challenges is Mexico facing in its supply chain for pharmaceuticals and how can you help clients to overcome these?

 

A: With food and pharmaceuticals, the supply chain must ensure that the product that will be consumed by the final customer is in its best condition. The cold chain is critical for users and it must consider control, registry and temperature monitoring. A good cold chain is a transparent chain, one in which everyone has the same information about how the product was handled. Traceability is central to RIVUS’ value offer.

The cold chain can be managed through active temperature solutions, which is the most common strategy as clients often think refrigeration is their only option. We offer an alternative through passive temperature solutions, which protect products with isothermal membranes that isolate heat. These solutions have been used to transport vaccines that require a constant temperature of -90°/-40°/-18°/0-4°/2-8°/25° C during their entire transportation. Our passive temperature control solutions include reusable and disposable isothermal containers, isothermal blankets and multitemperature refrigerant gels. These tools are sustainable because they reduce the energy and costs involved in transporting these products. Vaccines protected using these methods can even be transported by air, which is typically not an option for refrigerated products. Our solutions increase the methods for transporting vaccines, benefiting countries that do not have the structure necessary to transport these products in their best state.

 

Q: What trends do you see for the logistics industry and how do you think the simplification of purchasing processes will impact the market?

 

A: The logistic or supply chain department will no longer be complementary toward businesses. Logistics chains will soon become a spin-off of financial departments to their organizations as they are a nice universe to find multiple alternatives to take companies where they want to be in terms of profitability and sustainable growth. RIVUS is expanding its services and operations to help the market, opening now operations on the northern region of Mexico.

Alfonso Núñez Alfonso Núñez Journalist & Industry Analyst