When technology puts you to sleep

As a mattress supplier in an industry dominated by disorganized players, Duroflex sees an opportunity to carve out a larger share of the Indian mattress market.

That is, following the principles of good mattress design in its technical implementation: reliable “data foam”, good springs as manufacturing pillars, and posture-friendly fabrics in trade and marketing campaigns.

The company is currently digitizing its business processes, transforming its business into an omni-channel brand that sells mattresses across multiple channels, be it retail stores or e-commerce sites, with a unified view of customer experience, pricing, engagement and inventory view.

Duroflex Group CIO Vipin Rustagi said data is key to realizing this vision, adding that the company has invested in business intelligence capabilities as well as data lakes, which allow it to connect 30 different applications and use data to gather insights force.

Rustagi added that Duroflex will also apply artificial intelligence and machine learning in its data lake to predict its raw material supply through historical data and predict customer behavior through consumer propensity modeling.

In its manufacturing and supply chain operations, Duroflex will implement a transportation management system and an automated warehouse system in the first quarter of 2023.

“The idea is to optimize our logistics costs and increase the throughput of our warehouses,” said Mathew Chandy, principal managing director and sleep evangelist at Duroflex. “We also employ digital twins and simulation programs to increase productivity and reduce waste on the factory floor.”

On trade engagement, the company is developing capabilities and internal portals to support and accelerate trade engagement, including engagement with direct distributors.

Rustagi said the portal will allow it to coordinate order taking, simplify accounting, manage inventory and automate credit notes. “This will give us a competitive advantage in a core area that has been our strength for five decades.”

At the same time, key HR areas are being transformed and automated through applications such as Darwinbox and HRTech. Rustagi said the company has invested heavily in its workforce, its talent pool has exploded, and workforce diversity has improved.

“It would be difficult to manage all of this without the support of automated HR. From onboarding to training on the employee journey, this technology gives us speed and simplicity,” he added.

The technology investment has delivered tangible results for Duroflex, doubling in size over the past two years. “A large part of this can be attributed to the digitization of processes that has a huge impact on manual operations. We can expand into new geographies and channels and realize new synergies through technology,” Chandy said.

When asked about the hardest lesson learned so far or what advice he would offer peers, Rustagi cautioned against the “tech-obsessed” footage.

“Digital transformation has to be a business moving forward, not a technology moving forward. Also, executing a data strategy is sometimes seen as a huge R&D effort. The technology doesn’t have to be complicated – it has to be simple.”

Chandy also recommends that organizations inject more diversity into project teams, which should include not only technical but also business people, adding that business stakeholder perspectives are critical to the success of any project.

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