Let’s Talk Logistics: Experts Share Practical Solutions on Managing Supply Chain Volatility in the Festive Season

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As the land brimming with festivities welcomes the busiest months of the year replete with joy and celebrations, companies are preparing themselves to deliver the best to their customers despite these challenging times.

To set the festive mood and enlighten our audiences with discussions around supply chain volatility during the festive season and the role it plays in driving customer gratification, we at Logistics Insider set the stage with yet another edition of our LinkedIn Live Talk Show. The show was presented by CargoFL on the theme “𝐒𝐮𝐩𝐩𝐥𝐲 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐢𝐧 𝐃𝐫𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐂𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐫 𝐃𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐃𝐮𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐅𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐒𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐨𝐧” in association with Shadowfax.

Click here to watch the video

The event which went live today saw huge traction of viewers and was brilliantly moderated by Sandeep Chatterjee, Associate Director, Deloitte India.

Mr Chatterjee opened the floor for discussion with a positive note on the acknowledgemnt that the supply chain industry has gained during the unprecedented times. He said, “Traditionally supply chain was looked upon as a support function. However, the pandemic has told us that you can have the best products and services but if you can’t deliver humanity will not survive. While supply chain was always very critical it was never much acknowledged.”  

Now as the tables have turned supply chain is considered and much acknowledged by the industry and hopefully in the coming years the next CEO will be a supply chain professional.

Speaking on the event on the changing consumer delight and way to tackle the demand, Lt Colonel Vijay Nair ( Veteran), Vice President, Head Integrated Electronic SCM, Reliance Retail says, “During festivities, the demand goes up, the insistence of the customer to receive the product on a particular day goes up tremendously and the consumer desires also go up”.

Further, while quoting an example of consumer led changes in operations, he talks about the rise of Omni channel. He said, “All the retailers who were looking to become omni channel and were still at preparation stage suddenly got an injection of mutants and they just shot up. This has come up from the consumers’ desire, the consumers want multiple channels of ordering and multiples channels of delivery.”

He says, to tackle the demand one needs the technological support along with a lot of planning and innovation.

Further extending the need and role of technology during this upsurge in demand, Rajat Sharma, Head – Supply Chain, Hamilton Housewares Private Limited – India, very well explained how technology helped them deliver SLAs even in these turbulent times.

“ During the festive season, everyone across the value chain is stressed. However, there is a certain predictable trend during the festivities and we are so well entrenched with the planning processes that we are fairly aware of the kind of demand we are going to face. But that did not happen post COVID the whole demand pattern changed, but since the entrenchment was high, we could reach out to the ground level in every 15 days and were able to redistribute stock and plan it in a better way. It was technology that has helped us. Whatever effort we had put in the past for creating visibility has proven to be successful. If I had visibility in my inventory and in my partners inventory those were the channels which I was able to address in a far-far better way. Upholding my SLA even in these turbulent times. While the channels where I did not created this visibility is where we found ourselves constrained and restricted and unable to deliver the same kind of SLAs”   

~Rajat Sharma, Head – Supply Chain, Hamilton Housewares Private Limited – India

Kartik Shah, Head – Supply Chain, Sennheiser India while speaking about the increased demand gave an insight about the importance of collaboration.

Mr Shah said, “During these times as everyone started to work from home, which resulted in an increased demand of our product. A particular headset was out of stock across India in offline and online mode. And as we procure the products globally to make the final product locally, we faced a huge difficulty during the sudden pick in demand. And, this all was happening during a time when there is scarcity in flights and vessels to move the good from one point to another. This made us realise that close collaboration not only inside the supply chain but across the value chain is important.”

While answering the question about the top three priorities that anyone should look at while catering to consumer in festive season Alexandre Amine Soufiani, MD & CEO, FM Logistic India said, “To govern is to foresee. If one needs to control one needs to foresee, off cource one needs to be open to adapt and flexible. But without being able to anticipate what will happen based on data past experience but also on the patterns that one sees in the near past but also in the present will help plan very well and deliver our level best.”

Further adding he says, the work with customers during festival season starts much before we need to set up the right strategies and plan in place, to be fully ready ahead of the season. The foundation needs to be solid. If you have to succeed in the festive season one needs to have a fixed core team which is very well trained, engaged and committed.

Also, speaking about warehouses the best solution during festive season is to host your stock in a multi customer facility. That is a  ‘A grade facility’ with strong team, technology and IT-driven  shared with multiple customers. This create added value and mutualise efforts to succeed in a plan. Further, this help scale up quickly without having to add warehousing.

Deepesh Kuruppath, Founder and CEO at CargoFL(innoctive Technologies Ltd) speaks about reaping the benefits of technology by banking on the right partner while talking about the vision of their company.

“At CargoFL, we are building a logistics technology platform. It’s a technology ecosystem. We personally believe that we can build reusable models with some tweaks in configuration. If we do something for last-mile in India, I believe we can take it out and deploy the same in US, Canada or other geographies as well albeit with some tweaks and configurations.But the fundamental model of last and first mile remains the same, from a technical perspecective.”

“If you trust technology with the right partner, it can do wonders. However, if the implementation does not go well, it will incur costs. So having the right partner is important.”

~Deepesh Kuruppath, Founder and CEO, CargoFL

Speaking on what can be done to reduce the cost of last mile, Aniket Nathvani, AVP Sales & BD, Shadowfax highlights the use of technology and how important it is for cost-reduction.

Mr Nathvani said,“It is a major challenge, and to cut on cost it isn’t possible without technology. We have a tailor-made solution to do the delivery as well as provide end to end visibility of shipment to our customer. So, whether its real time availability of supply in terms of delivery partners in an area or the exact proof of delivery to be uploaded at the point of handing over the shipment. So, all the cost reduction is controlled by technology.”

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