The Silicon Review
Supply chains today are moving to a “sense and respond” paradigm where value is generated by the speed at which companies respond to changes in demand.
In recent times supply chains have become more sophisticated. Most companies struggle to understand the linkage between end-to-end operational processes, functional groups, and systems. They constantly try to break down barriers between organizations via programs that map end-to-end processes and automate workflows within and across functions. This is a constant battle, and the supply chain becomes stale as soon as the program is completed. Some of the other significant factors that affect the supply chain are vendor and supplier relationships, strong logistics partners, effective cost control, and using innovative supply chain technologies.
Modern supply chains have access to more information and technology than ever before, this in turn creates a new digital supply chain. Companies need to figure out how to make their supply chains agile and self-learning with a continuous feedback loop, using a data-driven approach. This kind of data-based Supply Chain Management (SCM) will provide visibility from end-to-end monitoring the goods, services, and information from the point of procurement to the manufacturing and delivery to the end consumer. The smart supply chain system is both self-organizing and self-optimizing.
Advent and rise of Mareana in the SCM segment
Founded in 2014, Mareana is a big data, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence company with a dual focus on supply chain and unstructured data. Since its inception, Mareana’s enterprise-scale AI platform, qSuite™, has provided companies with smart supply chain solutions using AI techniques to generate valuable insights that would otherwise not be possible using traditional methods. Mareana’s products are specifically tailored to the supply chain domain as well as other use cases that deal with large amounts of structured, semi-structured, unstructured data spread across a variety of systems. Today, the company’s clients include leaders in the Pharmaceutical, Medical Devices, Chemical, and Manufacturing industries.
Mareana is at the forefront of technology, constantly challenging conventional wisdom in supply chain management across industries. It has become the mecca of research and innovation where new ideas are generated, established norms are challenged, and new ways of solving problems are discovered. Over time, Mareana has developed market-leading products, recruited and groomed the best talent, and partnered with the best minds in its customer organizations to re-imagine supply chains by using artificial intelligence technologies.
Mareana believes that the world will be a better place if the flow of goods across borders becomes seamless and efficient. This will have a huge impact on business and society – particularly in improving quality of life – e.g., patients will get essential drugs on time, water and food will be available to all segments of society at minimal cost, remote areas will be able to benefit from on-time goods availability, education will become universal and available to all.
Altering the dynamics of the manufacturing plant and the broader supply chain
A big shift in manufacturing is taking place – the implementation of a smart factory – which fuels the digital supply chain and Industry 4.0 initiatives. The smart factory combines many technologies, such as IoT, augmented analytics, digital twins, empowered edge, and immersive experiences. Sensors using IoT technologies are becoming embedded in every equipment/machine and are emitting large volumes of data in real-time. The digital twin, a virtual representation of a physical manufacturing plant blending the physical and digital world, is fast becoming a reality. Mareana’s Manufacturing Data Hub (MDH) builds the essential foundation for all of this data and utilizes machine learning to power smart factory capabilities such as digital twin, batch genealogy, real-time release, continued process verification, and multi-variate analysis. This results in improved operations, reduced waste, and higher yield from the manufacturing plant.
On a broader note, Mareana believes that the end-to-end supply chain can be better understood by “following the data” rather than “mapping the processes.” Data, like water, follows the optimal path, and any deviation to that path immediately offers the opportunity to optimize. The resulting action applied within the right technology framework can deliver a continuously learning supply chain system – one that can sense and respond in near real-time. Mareana’s Network Visibility and Risk Management (NVRM) product can “x-ray” the entire supply chain in real-time and then apply AI techniques to generate actionable alerts enabling decision augmentation.
Enterprise-scale AI Platform and Products of Mareana
All products are built on Mareana’s qSuite AI platform. qSuite offers four key capabilities/modules:
Google-like search for enterprise unstructured data: qFind™ by Mareana lets customer teams find internal data as quickly as they do on the web, making previously inaccessible documents available for consumption and analytics.
Consolidate data locked in multiple sources: qSync™ by Mareana lets customer teams extract, merge, and syndicate information from multiple sources into a standard, structured format through data orchestration and mixing of statistical and heuristic data-deduplication and match-merging. This enables you to analyze data previously locked in silos, like government websites, quality control reports, and legal contracts.
Liberate the data “trapped inside” image files: qArt™ by Mareana lets customer teams locate, convert, and organize information trapped inside art files—such as design documents, JPGs, or PNGs by grouping, processing, and deduplicating images while enabling uniformity and standardization across files.
Get a head start with Machine learning and Mathematical Modeling at scale: qSci™ by Mareana lets customer teams test many different models quickly and get to a decision in a fraction of the time, all within a user-friendly interface. The Mareana team can also customize the analytics inside qSci™ to meet a company’s unique requirements.
Network Visibility and Risk Management (NVRM): Improves the speed of “sense and respond” across the end-to-end supply chain by “following the data” in real-time and applying AI techniques to generate actionable alerts for optimization and decision augmentation. Smart algorithms answer critical questions such as ‘where is my product,’ ‘how do I project the future’, and ‘how do I learn from trends of the past’?
Manufacturing Data Hub (MDH): Lays the essential data foundation and utilizes machine learning to power smart factory capabilities such as digital twin, batch genealogy, real-time release, continued process verification, and multi-variate analysis. This results in improved operations, reduced waste, and higher yield from the manufacturing plant.
Engineering Drawing Analysis for Medical Devices: Digitizes drawings and uses AI machine learning to understand content, extract metadata, and classify it into appropriate groups allowing search and consumption of the contents. In the Medical Devices industry, this product is used to find duplicate parts across various product categories to manage inventory and make better sourcing decisions. One Medical Devices company saved $300 Million in two quarters by eliminating the production of duplicate parts across divisions.
Manish Varma is the CEO of Mareana. He spoke about the company in an exclusive interview with The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.
Q. How can enterprises embrace your products?
We have spent a lot of time ensuring on-boarding is as seamless as possible. We essentially connect our platform and product to their ERP, MES, and other related systems using our pre-built connectors and extract relevant material flow data to initiate the process of feature detection, classification, training, and iteration. Results of the first few iterations go through quality control, and the refined data set is ingested for further training. The model accuracy improves to a point where our customers not only can see what’s happening in their supply but also act to change the future behaviour, thereby enabling a continuously learning supply chain system. Clients do not need to allocate many business resources as we draw insights from existing data flowing through their supply chain.
Q. What makes Mareana different from other companies in Smart Factory implementation?
At Mareana, we are solving the hardest problem in the smart factory implementation. The volume, variety, and velocity of data generated from diverse systems (IoT, MES, ERP, etc.) need to be intelligently curated and managed at the right level of granularity. Critical to success in smart factory implementation is the ability to gather historical data, mine for insights, detect patterns, and predict outcomes. Mareana’s “Manufacturing Data Hub” product on our qSuite platform lays the essential data foundation for powering smart factory capabilities such as digital twin, batch genealogy, real-time release, continued process verification, and multi-variate analysis.
Q. Give me an example of a recent innovation from Mareana.
In the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, our employees developed a crisis risk management tool (within ten days) and offered it to our clients (for free) to manage supply chain risks related to Suppliers, Plants, Distribution Centers, and Customers. A few of our data scientists also participated in the “MIT COVID19 Challenge – beat the pandemic II” to solve the most challenging pandemic response mechanisms. Some of them were part of the winning team within the supply chain track.
Q. There is a huge dearth of talent with AI skills. How do you hire employees in Mareana?
We organize full-day hackathons periodically and invite candidates to participate and solve three problems. The candidates can research the solution using any resource. They can also collaborate and consult with other candidates. In the end, they present the solution where Mareana’s sponsoring team evaluates the solution, the approach, and the thought process. Offers are made to the best and the brightest. We then take the candidates through an immersive program designed by our HR and Culture Lead to assimilate them into the organization. Our hiring practices continue to deliver the best talent, and we have been able to recruit data scientists from top universities and organizations like Google and NASA. From time to time, we conduct these recruiting events and hackathons for our clients and help them build a strong data science organization.
Q. What is your company’s strategy to stay ahead of the curve?
A well-devised business plan, strong financial discipline, cohesive teamwork, and a standout product will create a stellar future for Mareana. I am constantly looking to add strategic advisors who have meaningfully disrupted established methods and created new growth trajectories in their careers. We continue to promote a culture of continuous learning and aspire to deliver unequivocal product advantage to our customers. Our management spends a considerable amount of time, “imagining the future” as a fundamental approach to product innovation.
Q. What makes Mareana a special place?
The company is constantly evolving in its pursuit of excellence. The culture is contagious, and the energy is enormous. Like many of our employees, I considered other opportunities and decided to join Mareana because I feel that my contribution will make tomorrow better than yesterday for the world we live in.
Meet the leader behind the success of Mareana
Manish Varma is the CEO of Mareana, a Princeton-based high growth company that is delivering enterprise scale AI solutions for transforming supply chains and generating unique insights from unstructured data in pharmaceutical, medical devices, manufacturing, and chemical industries. In previous roles, Manish was Chief Strategy Officer at ArisGlobal and Vice President of Information Technology at Johnson & Johnson. Manish is a visionary technology leader with a track record of exceeding goals in delivering transformative business outcomes through application of cutting-edge technologies. He is a world class operator who inspires organizations in a global setting to deliver innovative, market leading, and scalable technology products to solve complex business challenges. Manish holds an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and a BS in engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur.
“Mareana’s proprietary qSuite technology platform uses data sciences techniques to generate insights and value that is otherwise not possible using traditional methods.”