In Conversation With Rubal Jain
Safexpress, since its inception, has been offering a wide range of innovative supply chain and logistics services to the nation. Even with the changing market dynamics, and the second wave of the pandemic impacting all fronts, the company has left no stone unturned to maintain efficient business continuity and deliver excellence. Rubal Jain, Managing Director, Safexpress, in an exclusive conversation with Logistics Insider, speaks about the company’s innovative approach to redefine logistics, the impact of the second wave on the industry, ways of delivering customer satisfaction, its future investment plans, and much more
With India now facing the second wave of the pandemic, please discuss how Safexpress has been making efforts to
tide over the crisis and how the lessons learned from the first wave are helping in minimising its impact.
Last year, amidst the unprecedented pandemic and resultant lockdown, Safexpress had adroitly managed business continuity to ensure stable, secure, and effective workflows in such challenging times by working in a pro-active, consistent, and planned manner. During the pandemic, Safexpress took a strong decision to stand with its partners,
customers, and employees, creating a thriving work culture. We ensured complete and on-time payments to all our team members and partners and supported them with all safety gear as well as training. Due to our state-of-the-art infrastructure, we were able to ensure all our customers’ packages were safe, secure, and stored till the time their
stores or delivery zones opened up for delivery, in some cases for over 9 months.
We learned from the first cycle that proper and continuous communication with all stakeholders is the key to ensuring calm and positivity across the board and this allowed us to make quick decisions that converted the adversity into an opportunity. We now know that the continuous channel of information and updates are well-maintained and the safety training and awareness drives along with ensuring supplies of safety material across all offices are the norm in the current times.
The philosophies, on which we thrive – paying the involved business community on time and taking everyone along, ensuring transparency, working on an asset-light model, zero debt financial stability, have made us strong to stand and remain in the forefront with resiliency in times of ambiguity.
How has Safexpress helped redefine the logistics sector through its innovative approaches and development of
Usage of technology has become more prominent than ever during these uncertain times. Safexpress has been on the journey of digital transformation throughout and has entrusted in technology-driven business acceleration
and growth. Our in-house development team has helped Safexpress to digitise its platforms at the first mile and last mile for swift capturing and simultaneous verification of the documents given by the customers.
Safexpress had transitioned to the digital platforms even before the pandemic, where all the pick-ups, loading, unloading, deliveries, waybill capturing, E-Way bill filing, payments, claim settlements, e-PODs, e-MIS, and even gate pass access take place through app and web environment with zero or minimal contact while taking utmost care of consignments.
Also, we were the first logistics company with the NIC integration for auto-Part B generation and validity tracking for e-Waybills for ease of operations and our integrated Oracle Financials ERP ensured swift management of accounts.
We have leveraged IoT and analytics to significantly speed up our delivery operations, reduce manual errors and bring down operation costs.
The recent development of PROPEL-I with our partner IBM is an internal logistics operations management suite of applications designed specifically with a mobile-device-only policy.
That enhances the capability of field staff to work remotely and free the company to migrate to a desktop-free environment that maximises office space. The platform is based on microservices, which is a cloud-native architectural approach in which a single application is composed of many loosely coupled and independently deployable smaller components or services.
What initiatives have been taken by Safexpress to make its operations sustainable and environmentally friendly?
As an organisation, we are well aware of the environmental crisis that the world is going through and are determined to contribute towards environmental sustainability. Safexpress strives to reduce its ecological imprint on the environment through multiple initiatives and plans on the field, hubs, and offices.
Safexpress, with its Go Green initiative, has minimised the usage of paper, which is a colossal change for the industry. Introduction and use of PROPEL software, implementation of digital platforms for cashless payments, and digitisation of documents have all supported in making a majority of the company’s transactions paper-free.
All waste papers, magazines, tires & plastics are periodically recycled and reused. Safexpress works in close coordination with the NGOs/ Charity Organisations and donates all the discarded papers, newspapers etc. which are reused, recycled, and contribute to preserving the environment.
Safexpress has 61 Logistics Parks across the country with many more coming up in the next couple of years. Safexpress Logistics Parks have a ‘Rainwater Harvesting System’ in the premises.
Extensive green zones have been developed and maintained around our Logistics Parks. Inside the Logistics Parks, natural sunlight is used during the daytime to conserve energy.
Since these Logistics Parks are huge, the use of sunlight helps in saving a lot of electricity, thus conserving energy. Also, there is proper ventilation at all the LogisticsParks, which in turn further reduces energy consumption. LEDs are used in all offices with energy requirements being reviewed monthly. The use of solar panels at Safexpress warehouses further helps to reduce C02 emissions.
Safexpress’s fleet of over 7500 vehicles is ISO Certified. Safexpress tries to reduce its ecological imprint on the environment by installing smoke filtration devices in its fleet. Our vehicles are replaced and upgraded with newer technology every 3 years to ensure lower carbon emission levels. We have also partnered with other bodies to incorporate electric vehicles in our fleet in a phase-wise manner.
In March, Safexpress had launched a new facility in Lucknow. Can you throw some light on how this new facility will contribute to the growth of the logistics industry and help fulfill the warehousing needs of the companies located in the region?
Lucknow is a hub for various industries in India, and multiple well-known brands have their manufacturing plants situated in the region. It is also one of the largest industrial hubs of Uttar Pradesh, needless to say, that Lucknow is
a crucial location from a supply chain & logistics perspective. Opening a logistics park near such a location will ease logistics bottlenecks and will be instrumental in supporting the industries and yielding economic growth by providing the fastest connectivity to and from UP.
The recently launched 1.5 Lakh sq ft ultra-modern logistics park in Lucknow is capable of loading and unloading over 35 vehicles simultaneously, which ensures smooth and uninterrupted movement of goods.
Operations at the logistics park are highly streamlined. The logistics park has a column-less space of over 120 feet, which facilitates uninterrupted movement of goods within the facility.
This facility is a perfect mix of nature-friendly initiatives and technology. We have developed robust IT systems to increase operational efficiencies and inventory visibility. The logistics park is equipped to fulfill the warehousing needs of companies located in and around central Uttar Pradesh.
This is an abridged version of the interview that was originally published in the May issue of the Logistics Insider Magazine. Click here to access the complete interview and much more.