The traditional description of a typical warehouse is some courtyard or an enclosed area with extremely high walls and an adjustable tin shade as a roof and such shade are easily adjustable as the need arises for freight handling and logistics.
Warehouses house a tremendous number of finished goods, which is ready for dispatch to various points/ locations of delivery, in a typical supply chain network.
But as we usher into the modern scenario of warehousing, the IoT dominance has had the automation quotient blossomed and this has resulted in making today’s warehouses much more organized and thus way efficient than before.
Now, as the consumer demand gets stronger, it calls for comprehensive logistics solutions based on state-of-art infrastructure to support from within.
For this purpose, many new initiatives have been taken by the government of India which are backed by a huge sum in investment. For instance, the “Gati Shakti” master plan greases the wheels of the infra development cart taking transportation and logistics into the bubble. This master plan is designed to jazz up a geospatial platform that would update many ministries about key events related to such projects and how this plan progresses.
Besides, they can also get a clear view of the benchmarks achieved in other areas such as railways, shipping and highways and plan and implement necessary decisions at times, as the time calls.
Likewise, National Infrastructure Plan (NIP) is launched which is an umbrella to 8200 projects for which, the Indian government has earmarked Rs.111 trillion and which would seek inter-state coordination with a transparent approach.
Nevertheless, numerous new roads are built and revamped and many new ports are being developed which have greatly restricted the turnaround time for logistics.
The same is true for the trade that is done on a wider scale which has customs and with 2-3 days of turnaround time, while it used to be 10-12 days earlier. Mundra Port is the epitome of modern Indian infrastructure which is an active economic hub replete with multimodal connectivity and serves the needs of North India.
There are many projects in the pipeline such as Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFC) which help in fostering the network of ports with industrial hubs enabling swift freight movement by June 2022. Once functional, DFCs would goad around 100 thousand trucks in a single day and such proliferation and enticing scenario would surely attract more investments in the field.
Such DFCs are expected to bring the logistics costs down drastically, which is currently 13% to 15% of goods costs. As a result, today, any commercial vehicle hauling goods, can cover a distance of 500 kilometres a day which could go only up to 300 kilometres earlier.
Indian field of logistics does have a few challenges as well, which need to be addressed, such as:
- Transportation agencies, warehouses, distribution points lack proper network,
- Information is not updated and shared at a given time among crucial parties,
- Climate change is clear and our projects need to adapt to such possible change,
- Goods are not handled carefully and callousness is noticed among the workforce,
- High costs charged for transportation, which can be checked through a multimodal approach.
Expecting Logistical Efficiency, Creativity Is Shouted For, Through The Voice Of Innovation:
This has become very cardinal for the organizations to rectify the traditional SCM approach and to plant the seeds of cutting-edge technology and align with innovation to malign the approaches of the past.
The logistics companies rush to deliver products needed by their loyal customers as quickly as possible in fact, in the blink of an eye. Now, for any organizational success, a propitious supply chain framework is stressed upon to command dominance in the field and to bring home a lion’s share.
Any efficiency in the supply chain network does factor greatly in customer satisfaction and this results in more sales and revenue.
Now as time has advanced on the path of technology, operations taking place at supply networks have witnessed holistic and structural transformation while archaic methods have been sidelined completely.
For the sake of Supply Chain Management’s success, sheen reflecting enhanced value, industry stalwarts put the onus upon creativity laced soaked in innovation.
Now, to sum up, the central role played by tech innovation and creativity, which can reflect operational versatility can be garnered. We need to shed some light on critical areas like supply chain digitization, the emergence of the circular supply chain as well as the convergence of big data analytics and so forth.
Corona pandemic devastated SCM and has caused complete alteration in consumer expectations and such developments have compelled enterprises to re-form and re-innovate the existing SCM frameworks to meet new scenarios. Then, there is an urgency for better products but some challenges have made their way in there also in form of inventory constraints, shortage of skilled labour, needs and preferences have become distinctive from customers, hybrid work culture (work from home options) and so forth.
It, therefore, becomes imperative for enterprises to feed creativity and innovation throughout the SCM pattern, simply to adjust to the changing times, while such evolution appears to be hard.
Human resource management and mass motivation and occupational mobilization deserve exclusive mention for the efficient supply chain management. Arguably, unhindered communication and the ability to keep track of the milestones achieved can get us business solace and help mitigate the issues arising out of the pandemic spread which isn’t wiped out completely in the world but is now available in new flavours, like Omicron.
Instances Teeming With Favourable Outcomes:
Well, dear readers, whatever I have mentioned above, in an ode to tech and innovation and their mingling in the SCM network, are not just hollow claims, but businesses are reaching the zenith in their respective fields and that have managed to endure the toughness in the pandemic period.
Beacon of hope à Stellar Value Chains Solutions, Alvarez, Marshal, NTPC, the list is long. Let’s focus upon Stellar Solutions which has helped the B2C marketplace to bloom on the back of hefty reliance on tech and have sought deep versatility in operational infrastructure.
Likewise, Alvarez and Marshal toed the line of networking logic and established the blueprint of efficient vendor management and honoured mediation by digital forces while the blockchain technology needs special mention. Rightly so, such favourable tech-operational patterns are followed by other companies too, that thrive in the SCM framework around the world.
Representing India, NTPC has flown into the forefront, which is said to have overhauled the whole set-up completely at the very component and process level.
Tech-based solutions in supply chain management are the need of the hour, such as the latest class of software and AI technology for efficacy and diligence as the SCM framework is rightly referred to as the backbone of every industry. Supply chain network can be managed with more diligence by riding high on tech innovation to ensure timely delivery and full customer satisfaction.
Further, to tackle unwanted obstacles, the proper action plan must be there and experts voice in favour of 4 step plan: Identify, Quantify, Mitigate and Respond.
In short, risks and challenges in the supply chain can be alleviated by proper evaluation. At this point, PM’s “Atamnirbhar Bharat” deserves a special mention which has resulted in augmenting the scope of the supply chain framework and by treating the menace of the pandemic as an opportunity to capitalize upon and to sail through the sea of success marked by self-dependence.
No doubt, the supply networks need to expand to equilibrate the streaming supply of goods (through cost control measures) as the commodities complete their life-cycle.
In a way, the pandemic has prompted us to look for ways to make our network logistics more resilient so, it could endure any such major jolt in the form of curbs on the movement of goods across the world.
Also, the pandemic invoked our creative side to put forth apropos tools to initiate better and most impactful decisions.
Now, as many industries have been cash-strapped, this has disrupted supply chain management too and an innovative tech-centric framework is always the antidote to such disruptive chaos.
Credible surveys are indicating that the majority of the supply chain companies will absorb modern devices run by AI (artificial intelligence) to refine their functions. Then, other techs in the group, i.e. IoT, Big Data, telematics and sensors are already changing the supply chain landscape globally.
Finally, by not mincing words, relentless stride in the field of innovation and creativity holds the key to endure the challenging trends and supply chain managers need to polish their skills in this regard, to stand tall in the uncertain environment where there are threats but we need to uncover prospects too which remain hidden there.