In recent times, due to the technological advances in automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) technology, logistics and warehousing industry has gained in terms of optimum utilisation of resources, tracking of consignment, and seamless distribution of cargo. A decade ago, Transportation Management System (TMS) were largely prohibitively expensive for all but the largest shippers with the biggest technology budgets, but the last 10 years have seen an explosion of such systems across price ranges and levels of robustness. Adoption of Warehouse Management System (WMS) and other IT-driven solutions are becoming effective in increasing the competitiveness of the warehousing industry. WMS helps warehouse operators to track inventory, orders and provides data about the products stored and can also be transmitted back to the manufacturers. As real-estate and construction costs are rising, it has become important for warehouse operators to maximise utilisation of each available square feet of space and also to build more economical structures. That’s the reason why alternative construction systems like pre-engineered steel buildings are becoming more and more popular. As India evolves as an economy, sophisticated logistics and warehousing systems would be a key trigger for the manufacturing sector and the entire gamut of trade activities. More recently, since manufacturing business appears to be bouncing back, new growth and opportunities for the logistics and warehousing industry underway as the year comes to a close.
Decisive actions to emerge stronger in the next normal
The last year has been unprecedented for the entire industry and businesses of all kinds. We have had our set of challenges and made peace with it in the course of time. Being in the industry of storing and distributing essential consumer goods, it was very imperative for us to be on our toes from day one. We wasted no time in ensuring that our warehouses were operational and the entire organisation rose up to the moment.
The upturn displayed by the economy after the bruising impact of one of the strictest lockdowns has triggered hope and fast road to recovery. From September onwards, we have seen most of our accounts limping back to normalcy. Despite COVID, we commenced our journey across Eastern and North Eastern part of the country by opening warehouses at Kolkata, Guwahati, and Imphal. We continue to remain upbeat and are likely to see marginal growth over our 2019-20 numbers. As the adage says ‘When the going gets tough only the tough gets going’.
Warehousing: Changing gears to meet future challenges
As a country, India has made considerable progress in the state of warehousing and outsourcing of the same. We are all witnessing the transition from godowns to warehouses to facilities at large. With time, we have all become privy to specifications of a warehouse which did not exist even five years back. There is a great thrust in the government to move warehouses from commercial to infrastructure segment. Warehousing sector have also caught attention of large funds and conglomerates like Indospace, Embassy, Hiranandani, etc. amongst many others who are in the process of building large Grade A warehousing facilities. We are all set to witness the best times across all segments of the supply chain.
Working on the market, customer strategy, performance, social commitment
We have always poised our strategies alongside our customers. The approach has always been to look at pain points and subsequently working on resolving the same. Over the last year, we have invested into put to light and sortation systems to enable higher accuracy in dispatch and enable faster delivery. We have also bought a minority stake in a company ‘MOJRO’ to bring efficiency and visibility in the transportation segment. We have also gone ahead and erected solar panels on few of our warehouses to help us save costs and discourage pollution. All these initiatives have revolved around the customer and have brought us closer to them.
Customer service is poised for an AI revolution
Various data platforms are helping vendors and customers to bridge gap by bringing them in close contact with each other leading to higher asset utilisation and efficiency. All the asset owners are set to gain in the whole process as it will trigger sweating of assets and higher ROIs. We work with all kinds of customers and one size doesn’t fit all. We have also registered ourselves on some of these portals and lean upon them according to the needs of our customers.
Managing a stable on-site essential, smart and healthy workforce
Change is the only constant in any and all industries. We are gradually evolving and imbibing best practices in our journey. Online movement of goods has made warehouses nothing short of a store and prone to zero errors. Taking a cue from that, all the storage facilities should conform to basic hygiene factors like the right plinth, statutory approvals like Fire NOCs, category operating licenses, etc. amongst many others. The industry is seeing enormous push in giving visibility to end consumers for order placement, type of shipment and date of delivery.
Partnering for growth
The stakeholders and industry always work in conjunction with each other to seize various opportunities that lie in any sector. One such example in recent times is the collaboration between Government and various logistics players to build cold chain competencies and distribute COVID-19 vaccines across the country. Another example is congruence between solar panel manufactures and warehouse owners and service providers. Many such examples are there where various stakeholders and industry continue to leverage each other’s strengths.
Branding for the win
We are working towards building visibility and hygiene in all legs of the supply chain. We are working on designing and implementing WMS segment wise, adopting TMS in our vehicular systems, building data mining tools, investing in waste recycling and new logistics parks, etc. amongst many others initiatives. All these are poised to make us a wholesome organisation.