Breathing supply chain and logistics since 1900, Jeena & Company is the largest custom house agent in India and the biggest national air freight forwarder in the global market. The company is a one-stop-shop for all import and export supply chain and logistics solutions, hosting an array of industries which include chemical, pharmaceutical, automobile, engineering, retail and high-end fashion. Leveraging its network of international agents who are leading forwarders in their respective countries, Jeena & Company embeds a stalwart stature, maintaining high level of trust and dexterity in meeting client expectations.
Technology stimulates services in an unprecedented environment
We at Jeena & Company anticipated COVID-19 entering the country and that it will widely spread, much before the lockdown measures came to force. By the time the signs of the pandemic became visible, we introduced the work from home policy for the well-being of our employees. The necessary IT infrastructure and processes were put in place in a short span of time, and our teams across India were working from home and efficiently conducting business.
All this was possible because we already have an effective IT-driven commercial strategy for operations management- handling cargo and communications with customers as well as vendors. Digitisation has improved the speed, dynamics and resiliency of our supply chain operations, leading to greater customer responsiveness.
Right Message, Right Time, Every Time
As a freight forwarder, we gathered detailed information about the impact of coronavirus outbreak on carriers in terms of their capacities, and we shared relevant information with customers from time to time to enable them to coordinate with their counterparts and plan their shipments. Sharing the right information available at the right time will increase the overall awareness to chalk out go-to strategies.
Specific management and integration of operations
The entire top management team was available round the clock to respond to unexpected situations of obstruction of movement of cargo and staff to the port locations. No single standard process could be adopted to handle such unexpected obstructions arising out of different mindsets of local administrations operating at different locations. Each incident had to be handled with utmost care to comply with the local as well as national regulatory orders while carefully using the windows for open operational facilitation.
Speed and friendliness in response
Customers were given the commitment that top management would be available for the operations management teams 24×7 to guide and facilitate resolution of issues that may arise in movement of cargo. Multiple options that were not in use at the time of business as usual were pressed into service to provide the required flexibility that customers wanted and interoperability and manageability when moving their cargo to and from seaports and airports.
To adequately keep up with this shift, additionally, customer support departments need to not only enable their internal teams with a searchable knowledge base, but also build a customer support knowledge sharing portal so that customers can find the information they need on their own.
Diversity is king to prevent lock-in
This new reality requires strategic solutions to maintain control. Technology has been a great enabler and recent initiatives for paperless transaction of business between Customs and ports came handy for us to change over to work from home within a short time. Moreover, the use of video conferencing was highly relied on for quick management and prompt decision making with faster communication between various teams.
The document turnaround time from one desk to other improved considerably. There were no bottlenecks experienced other than the constraints of physical capacity amongst carriers, which was an outcome of the pandemic.
Utilising business data to motivate constant evolvement
Management information systems were modified to capture additional relevant information to facilitate quick decision making for realignment of internal resources between different departments, areas of activity, and to accommodate the changing operational requirements. As an added bonus, it can help generate referrals for business partners and bring more business, while reducing overutilisation of resources spent on administrative and other time-consuming tasks.