“Creating an agile supply chain from sourcing to customer delivery”

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If there are two things I believe in, they are – Tea is Magical, and D2C is here to stay! As unrelated as both of them may be, with this piece I have tried to somehow string them up together. Tea, though a British concept, has been a part of the Indian lifestyle for many years and has successfully evolved with generations from Earl Grey to Peach Green Iced Tea – we Indians love our teas. And Vahdam India has been revolutionising tea for the modern consumers. In this interview with Amlan Mukherjee, Chief Supply Chain Officer at Vahdam India, I tried to bring forth the Direct-To-Consumer (D2C) angle of Vahdam’s supply chain. Edited excerpts:

Q] How does a D2C supply chain differ from a traditional e-commerce supply chain? What are some of the complexities faced in a D2C supply chain? 

Building a successful D2C supply chain is a complex task – there are multiple variables which can impact the customer experience. More so when you’re a D2C brand for the world and shipping to 130 countries. At VAHDAM® we keep the customer at the heart and center of all our decision making. Effective management of the stocks and optimised inventory planning is critical to success. In a high growing business like ours, efficiently predicting the customer demand is very important. We are focussing on creating a robust front end and back end software to ensure a seamless flow of information. Also at VAHDAM®, we focus on creating an agile supply chain from sourcing to customer delivery. Low MOQ of production, faster turnaround of orders are some key steps that we have taken in VAHDAM®. Also we have selected some of the best last mile service providers to ensure a fast and reliable service.

Q] What kind of challenges do you face while operating your supply chain?

VAHDAM® is committed to supplying the best of Indian wellness to the world, direct from source under a home grown brand. But managing a global supply chain comes with its fair share of challenges. The COVID situation had adversely impacted the global supply chain in the last two years. Both cost and service have been deeply impacted. There have been phases of severe shortage of food grade containers due to congestion and lockdowns in Chinese and US ports. This led to unprecedented escalation of the freight costs as well. The high lead time of sending stocks from India to Europe and USA sometimes leads to stock availability challenges in a high growth situation. But we’re facing the situation head on and bouncing back.

Q] What is your process for onboarding your logistics service providers and supply chain partners?

While selecting our logistics service providers we look for high quality consistent service levels at optimised costs. The reach in terms of pin codes is also a critical aspect that we look at. Also in D2C we do face cases of challenging customer demands which requires us to have a partner with good responsiveness. At VAHDAM®, we track on time performance for all our key partners and a high level of TAT adherence is mandatory for continued partnership.

This is an abridged version of the original interview that was published in the September 2022 edition of the Logistics Insider magazine. To read the complete interview, click here.