Brambles puts more money behind IoT venture

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Brambles puts more money behind IoT venture

Data-driven supply chain work gets $21.4m.

Brambles is set to put millions more into a digital arm it set up last year and poached an SAP executive to run.

BXB Digital - which takes its name from the company’s ASX code - was set up as a business in early 2016, with a view to “apply technology to collect and transform data into services that track goods, optimise operations and improve supply chain efficiency”.

It is expected to touch both business and customer-facing parts of Brambles' operations in 60 countries.

The company is best known for its iconic blue Chep pallets, which can be found in supply chains worldwide.

BXB Digital is based in Silicon Valley and is headed up by Prasad Srinivasamurthy, who was formerly the senior vice president of internet of things and customer innovation at SAP.

Though the digital arm had little resources to work with early on - US$800,000  (A$1 million) in its start-up year - that quickly ballooned to US$10.3 million (A$13 million) in 2017, the company said in financial filings today.

It will now get an even bigger budget for 2018; Brambles said it will invest US$7 million more than planned this coming year, bringing its total pot to US$17 million (A$21.4 million).

The company did not provide much detail on where the extra money would go, apart from into “smart asset and data analytics” works.

Recent job postings indicate a focus around “deep data science techniques”, IoT and cloud, as well as creating proof-of-concepts that enable the company to engage on innovation projects with its customers.

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