WE AIM TO DRIVE THE TECHNO-LOGISTICS SPHERE

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One of the leading logistics players in the country with a presence across major markets whose aim is providing integrated logistics infrastructure and services in India and the region, and providing world-class, multi-modal supply chain solutions and service levels, leveraging technology.

In an exclusive interview with SSMB, Dipesh Gandhi, Head of Departments – Projects & Warehousing, Adani Logistics Limited, shares his rich views on the current state of logistics and warehousing sector, shares Adani Logistics’ future plans and the extensive use of technology coming into the logistics sphere.

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Q. Being one of the prime end-to-end logistics service providers across various markets, what is your take on the Indian Warehousing & Logistics Sector?

A. The Indian logistics industry is evolving rapidly while the interplay of infrastructure, technology, and novelty of service providers will define whether the industry can help its customers reduce their logistics costs and provide services (which are also growing). The changing government policies on taxation and regulation of service providers will play a crucial role in this process.

At the firm level, the logistic sector’s focus is on reducing cycle times to add value to their customers. Consequently, better tools and strategies are by the firms to enhance their decision-making. Logistics is one of the prime industries for economic growth as it is the management of the flow of products from their place of origin to consumption. India has become the prime destination for logistics service providers, while the driving factor for this demand is its economic growth, which is expected to grow at a rate of 7-8 per cent.

The Logistics sector in INDIA has today become an area of priority. One prime reason is high growth over the years in the Indian economy, which has resulted in a significant rise in the volume of freight traffic movement. The growth path also suggests increased demand is being placed on the sector to provide the solutions required for supporting future growth. The strength of the logistic sector is to be the key determinant of the pace of the future growth of the economy.

Q. ALL beliefs in Sustainable Supply Chain by ensuring smooth delivery of services. Can you throw some light on the same?

A. A sustainable supply chain integrates ethical and environmentally responsible practices into a competitive and successful model. While end-to-end supply chain transparency is critical, sustainability initiatives must extend from raw materials sourcing to last-mile logistics, product returns, and recycling processes.

Sustainable supply chains work by setting consistent standards. For a strategic supply chain sustainability plan to work, benchmarks, targets, and guidelines must be clearly defined. They must then be shared – and agreed to – among all the stakeholders and suppliers across the chain.

Digital transformation and the growing sophistication of digital supply chain technologies are playing a major part in the evolution of supply chain transparency and sustainability. Big Data management, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and security tools, such as blockchain and RFID sensors, have brought unprecedented visibility and accountability to modern supply chains. Companies now have a much greater ability – and obligation – to demonstrate corporate social responsibility and to share best practices for green supply chains and sustainable logistics.

Supply chains can be complicated, hence, we have designed our Supply Chain Management (SCM) services to help cater to your logistics complexities. The SCM services’ broad range of value-added capabilities can help achieve customer business objectives with reliability, speed, agility, resilience, cost efficiencies, and sustainability. Our expert supply chain teams can handle customer logistics processes, allowing them more time to concentrate on your core business.

We have innovated our supply chain management solutions to enable our customers to stay ahead every time. ALL SCM solutions combine shipment data and stakeholder management systems to streamline customer logistics end-to-end. The solutions are digitally enabled by modern technology platforms making supply chains simpler and better connected all the way.

Q. How do you think steel as a material will aid in the growth of the Logistics and Supply Chain Sector?

A. In the steel industry, the supply chain, apart from actual production, is an extremely complex task, that requires consideration of numerous factors and objectives. Sharply fluctuating demand, raw materials supply, and uncertain prices produce a negative impact on steel production. At the same time, the supply chain of the steel industry must consider multiple objectives and multiple stages of steel production and supply chain simultaneously in a global market. It requires an optimized supply chain alternative by extending the visibility of demand based on economy and market, raw material supply based on transportation, and suppliers and their price

Along with the growth of the world economy, steel consumption has been growing dramatically in recent years. From the rapid growth of global steel demand, turning to the supply chain in the world steel industry, steel producers are faced with pressure on raw materials, and their prices as well. According to the characteristics specific to the steel industry, the key challenge today is not merely to improve the techniques of production, but the industry is also facing uncertainty in its supply chain, which might lead to uncertainty in raw materials, marketing demand, and the price of the product.

Q. What role has technology been playing in developing the Logistics Sector?

A. Today the evolution of technology has changed the way of business. We are accustomed to doing everything online at our fingertips for immediate access. Improved technology has also increased productivity in the supply chain, minimizing costs and errors. These advances benefit all areas of the logistics industry: trucking transportation, international transportation (ocean and air), supply chain management, and shipment tracking.

Logistics, Information, Communication, and Automation technologies have substantially increased the speed of identification, data gathering, processing, analysis, and transmission, with a high level of accuracy and reliability. Technology is a means to enhance business competitiveness and performance.

The benefits technology is giving logistics firms is the utilization, of predictive maintenance tools that analyze vehicles remotely. While tech has already had a huge impact on logistics, more disruptive forces could change the industry entirely once again during the next 20 years. Robotic process automation and autonomous vehicles are likely to address driver storage and reduce the need for manual labor while improving efficiencies in the delivery process.

Another big change in the logistics industry that’s come about because of technology is that routing is improved. With state-of-the-art GPS software, there’s no worry about drivers getting lost and consumers experiencing delivery delays. Plus, even better, technology can be used to improve routing, so drivers take the most efficient paths to get places. Robust and proactive software systems will aid cyber security in this digital age, providing end-to-end monitoring of vulnerable components. IoT and Mobile have enhanced the capabilities of technology to boost Logistic and Warehouse management solutions that will involve data.

Q. What trends and changes do you foresee in the Logistics Industry in the next few years?

A. The logistics and supply chain aspect is vital for any business in terms of supply of quality raw materials, efficient manufacturing process, as well as tracking, transport, and storage of the finished goods. Companies implementing well-designed supply chain practices can meet consumer needs in a more expeditious and timely manner.

This strengthens customer relationships and loyalty, translating into revenue boost and acquisition of new customers through positive word of mouth. Hence, let’s look into some key trends expected to affect the shape and development of supply chain practices in the future.

Supply Chain Digitization: Digitization is the process of using the latest tech solutions together with other physical and digital assets to redesign logistics practices. This way, they can adjust better to the fast-paced, highly competitive, omnichannel business environment. Digitization improves the speed, dynamics, and resiliency of the supply chain operations, leading to greater customer responsiveness and ultimately higher revenue. By embracing digitalization, companies can experience real value, increased revenue, and market valuation.

Artificial Intelligence: Advanced AI solutions have numerous applications in the supply chain, especially in the warehousing segment. This includes the use of gesture recognition solutions instead of keyboards and mice in the procurement process. It also includes autonomous vehicles (self-driving cars), designed to navigate without human input.

The concept of robotics and automation is also widely implemented in the supply chain.

Stronger collaboration in the supply chain process: Solid procurement practices and stronger relationships with suppliers, should be considered a priority in the supply chain process. For instance, the procurement department can utilize the business data on suppliers to enhance supply chain decisions, such as supplier evaluation and recommendations of the best business partners.

Meanwhile, collaboration in the supply chain can streamline internal processes and reduce the overutilization of resources spent on administrative and other time-consuming tasks. As a bonus, it can help generate referrals from satisfied business partners and bring your more business.

More focus on risk management and supply chain resiliency: There is no doubt that companies must seriously consider supply chain risk management to prepare for undesirable events. The increasing outsourcing practices, offshoring, product versatility, supply chain security, and substantial interdependence throughout the supply chain further accentuate the importance of dealing with risks in the supply chain.

Knowledge work will go global: Nearly half of the work in the modern supply chain is knowledge work. This type of work includes complex analytics, planning, and procurement processing. As businesses go global, the knowledge work in the supply chain should go global as well. This will allow companies headquartered in one country to perform logistics operations, have procurement centers, or do analytics in different parts of the world.

Circular supply chain: The term “linear supply chain” refers to the conventional concept where goods flow linearly (from raw material to finished product). Modern logistics practices focus on the circular supply chain concept, involving the use of previously used products as raw materials. It helps companies reduce administrative and transportation costs, achieve higher sustainability, better customer service, and loyalty, create value and conserve resources.

Wearable devices: Wearable technology refers to devices designed to be worn by people which is combined with cloud technology. Wearable devices help employees access and input data in real-time. Through proper data collection and analysis, wearable technology allows companies to maintain control of their inventories. They can also stay up to date with product demand. Warehouse managers can use wearables for fast, accurate collection of inventory data, and keeping track of manufactured, stored, and distributed products. Wearables can also monitor vital signs so health problems (exhaustion, heart attacks) among the warehouse workers can be prevented.

Use of SaaS in the supply chain: The use of the software-as-a-service model in supply chain technologies and logistics management is gaining popularity, hand in hand with the rise of cloud computing. This is mostly due to the safety and security of SaaS and the convenience of being able to use only the services you need on a pay-per-use basis. SaaS allows companies to avoid high fixed costs of continuous system maintenance, upgrades, and infrastructure-related costs.

Enhanced supply chain visibility: Proper analysis of supply chain data can significantly improve business forecasting and decision-making. It can also optimize the use of resources involved in inventory management, storage, and transport. Supply chain visibility gives insight into what’s happening at each point of the supply chain. It’s extremely important for the efficiency of the entire supply chain process, including procurement, manufacturing, transport, and delivery. Furthermore, real-time inventory management allows the goods to be replaced as they are consumed.

Customer segmentation: To address customer needs in the best possible way, companies should segment them into groups. These groups can be based on what triggers customer purchasing decisions, as opposed to a broad generalization. By implementing a more direct-to-consumer business model and adapting their supply chain strategy to each customer and product, companies can significantly increase their revenue.

Warehouse Automation: Warehouse automation increases efficiency, speed, and productivity by reducing human interventions. Pick and place technologies such as automated guided vehicles (AGVs), robotic picking, automated storage and retrieval (ASRS), and put-wall picking reduce error rates and increase warehouse productivity. Warehouses require a combination of efficient automation technologies to control their operational logistics costs.

Q. What inspired you to build your carrier in the warehousing industry

A. You want a career that matters, right? You want to make a difference in the world, to be part of something big. You’re a team player and tech-savvy. Guess what could be the perfect match? Logistics.

Here are eight reasons why I consider working in logistics:

1. Control your destiny

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says employment in logistics is expected to grow 26 per cent faster than average for any profession. And as the industry continues to grow, so does the opportunity to either advance or move laterally.

Under the logistics umbrella, you have customer service, transportation, operations, purchasing, warehousing, materials handling, strategy, inventory control, and forecasting. There are a lot of opportunities—seize them!

2. Do something different every day

You’ll work with companies of all sizes, from Fortune 100 companies to start-ups, in many industries, including food and beverage, consumer goods, industrial goods, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, retail, and government.

3. Use your bilingual or multilingual skills

Whether you hail from a foreign country, took a foreign language class in college, or want to learn a new language, working in logistics poses a great opportunity for you to return to your roots or strengthen your skills. Logisticians should understand how the business operates in different countries and cultures and how to communicate with all sorts of people.

4. Gain experience in international business

Want the chance to explore overseas positions? The logistics industry continues to expand in this increasingly global economy, as do the opportunities to work or relocate abroad; most logistics companies have relationships with both domestic and international companies. You can further strengthen those foreign language skills, making yourself an even greater asset to the company.

5. Find opportunities for any education level

Logistics is no longer a specialty at your university’s business school; you can now earn an undergraduate or graduate degree in logistics or supply chain. If your degree is in history or communications or dance, or if you didn’t go to college at all, you should still apply. If you possess the soft skills—those personal qualities that affect your workplace relationships—companies will want to hire you. They’ll show you the ropes through a variety of career development programs and sales and operations training that will guarantee your success.

6. Develop rewarding relationships

Logistics can be demanding, yet it offers a rewarding work environment that highlights both teamwork and community. And because more and more logistics providers are offering job training and career development.

7. Nurse your entrepreneurial habits

Entrepreneurship is about innovation, and this couldn’t be any truer as companies work to revamp the old-time logistics industry with innovations in technology, transportation, and sustainability

8. Enjoy the stability and Sustainability

The logistics industry has a huge impact on the domestic and global economy, and it greatly affects our quality of life. New technological advances such as mobile apps, clean diesel technology, and re shoring make for an innovative future in logistics. And employers are hiring. Logistics is here to stay.

Q. What are the challenges faced by the logistics sector today?

A. One of the foremost challenges that the logistics sector faces today arises due to poor infrastructure. Physical infrastructure impacts transportation which facilitates logistics. The country faces challenges in port and roadways infrastructure which directly impacts the transportation of goods. Fuel costs and policy changes directly impact the logistics sector, since the higher the costs of fuel, the higher the transportation and freight costs which would directly impact the logistic companies and businesses to stay afloat. The economic and socio-political changes in policy would also result in inflation of prices, and in turn, affect costs and disrupt the supply chain. Although the logistics industry has shifted to a more technological-friendly environment over the past few years, the industry still faces challenges in safeguarding the documentation, which would be paramount in substantiating claims at the time of arbitrations and litigations. Lack of accurate data at the time of documentation along with several manual processes further aggravate this problem.

The ongoing pandemic has led to several policy changes such as perpetual and partial lockdowns which have directly affected the workers and the laborers of the nation, resulting in delays and/or stoppage of work. Furthermore, other challenges in the logistic sector involve several compliances that need to be followed promptly, along with maintaining import and export licensing. Other legal issues involve insurance policies, bank guarantees, and traversing through taxation compliances and implications.

The need of the hour is to develop adequate warehousing infrastructure in the fringe areas of major metropolitan trade hubs of the country and high commerce corridors. Furthermore, moving forward to a technology-driven documentation approach would highly impact the logistic sector by avoiding transit delays and untimely deliveries caused due to improper documentation.

Q. What are the plans of Adani Logistics for the next 5 years?

A. In February 2021, Adani tied up with India’s largest online retailer Flipkart to set up the biggest warehousing hub for the Walmart Inc-owned e-commerce company. The deal is part of Adani’s plan to expand the logistics business.

Before the deal with Flipkart, Adani 2019 had acquired a stake in cold storage firm Snowman Logistics Ltd. In the next five years, it aims to build 30 million sq. ft of warehousing capacity.

Q. What message would you like to give our readers?

A. warm welcome and thanks to all participants, for your precious time and involvement to get in touch with the incites of a warehousing and logistics business. It’s our pleasure and endeavors to present a high-value scenario of this business in today’s world. Stay tuned, safe, and secure. Thanking All

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