Without further adieu, BDP International is proud to introduce BDP LEO, your Logistics Enquiry Operator. We spoke with Alex Kuzyk, Regional Account Executive at BDP, to gain some insight into the 2017 BDP Fusion winning idea, transitional challenges so far and 2019 opportunities to further disrupt through innovation.
Q: What exactly is LEO? How did this come about?
A: LEO - Logistics Enquiry Operator - is BDP’s newest employee, though you’ll be hard pressed to find him roaming the hallways. LEO is a chatbot and acts as a personable conversational interface to help assist BDP employees and customers with time-consuming tasks. The goal is to have LEO live within the BDPSmart platform to ensure an appropriate level of security.
LEO is the product of the 2017 BDP Fusion contest - a grassroots medium for uncovering the best and brightest ideas from BDP employees. Andrew McLoone, our fearless leader, told a compelling story of his experience with a major retailer’s chatbot solution that he credited with “saving the holidays”. Given BDP’s core competency as a lead logistics provider, we asked ourselves “Why not bring a chatbot to BDP?”. This was the day the dream was born.
Q: Why is this so important for BDP and our customers?
A: We see the introduction of LEO as a means to simplify everyday business for our employees as well as our customers. The goal throughout this project has been to arm LEO with the ability to take on the burden of repetitive, time-consuming tasks to allow our employees to better serve our client base. Our logic was simple - LEO will help BDP automate certain tactical conversations that would otherwise require an employee to answer. With this responsibility transitioned to LEO, BDP is in a position to save time which can be reallocated to other customer-facing efforts. From our customer’s vantage point: tactical request turnaround time would decrease significantly, resulting in instantaneous responses. Timely exchange of information is critical for sound logistics decision making; LEO will enhance BDP’s ability to contribute to such efforts.
The launch of BDP’s chatbot also reaffirms our position as a logistics industry disruptor. We take tremendous pride in this attribute and are excited to bring more ideas to fruition in 2019.
Q: How will this change the way BDP leverages innovation to serve our customers?
A: As highlighted earlier, I do think LEO - in time - will be able to provide an instant response to the majority of tactical customer service requests. This technology is in its infancy within the 3PL industry, and our thought is that customers will welcome LEO with open arms. Also, the LEO rollout is in conjunction with a recent announcement regarding BDPSmart functionality on the Amazon Alexa voice technology platform. Both LEO and voice tracking via Alexa technology further symbolize BDP’s internal emphasis on converting innovative ideas into customer solutions.
Q: How has the project been going thus far? A bed of roses, right?
A: Playing off the gardening metaphor - we do see LEO in a seedling-like phase. Our developers and project members - "the gardeners" - tend to LEO’s growth through regular attention based on internal and external feedback. We’ve received a very positive reaction to LEO and look forward to working with internal and external stakeholders to make enhancements.