Founded in 1967, France-based logistics service provider FM Logistic is a pioneer in warehousing, transportation and co-packing businesses. The company, which entered the Indian market in 2016 with the acquisition of Spear Logistics, has become a leading player in the country with a presence of over 90+ locations and manages 6.0+ million sq. ft. of warehousing space. In this article, we explore how the company is using a customer-centric approach and technology at its Grade A multiclient warehouses to deliver excellence and meet the increasing logistics needs.
The warehousing sector over the years has changed several gears to meet future challenges. From being just a shabby building structure called godowns to being organised tech-enabled warehouses, the sector is evolving fast with the changing nature of business and technology.
The continuous rise and success of the online retail marketplace has increased the demand for warehousing space. However, the decline in warehousing space and the high cost of building or renting a warehouse is forcing manufacturers to drop a single dedicated facility and switch to Multi-client warehousing, which allows several companies to occupy a single warehousing unit.
While Multi-client warehousing provides benefits like cost-effectiveness, improved efficiency and reduced risk and responsibility of managing warehouse insurance, system & processing, its adoption in India is very low. However, the growing logistics needs coupled with the outbreak of the pandemic has forced businesses small or big to adapt to online mode and leave behind the brick-and-mortar model, compelling them to adapt to Multi-client warehousing.
To meet the increasing logistics needs, FM Logistic, a pioneer in multi-client warehousing, is focused on developing state-of-the-art Grade A Multi-Client Facilities (MCF) in the most important economic zones in India.
Alexandre Amine Soufiani, MD, FM Logistic India while speaking about their facilities, said, “Our facilities are well-connected to the major distribution centres in the most important economic zones. We provide our clients with a suite of e-commerce, omnichannel logistics services – all under one roof.”
Citing an example of its soon-to-be operational Grade A MCF at Farukhnagar near Gurugram, he informed that it is the first in India to combine LEED and FM Global Certification. With a built-up area of 700,000 sq. ft., this MCF enjoys strategic access to Kundali, Manesar, and Palwal expressways for faster connectivity to all major consumption centres in the North.
The new MCF will have a storage capacity of 100,000 pallet positions and provide a dedicated area for co-packing and other value-added services. Furnished with best-in-class safety and security features, the MCF will offer cost-efficient quality, storage, and handling services.
Moving the bar a notch higher
FM Logistic India, which provides Warehousing & Distribution Logistics services for the FMCG, Retail, Automotive, E-commerce, Engineering, Telecom, Pharma, and other sectors, has set itself apart from the market competition by adopting a customer-centric approach and making technology one of its key drivers.
Mr Soufiani says, “FM Logistic India has an extremely strong clientele that includes several blue-chips Indian and multi-national corporations. We have adopted a customer-centric approach which has resulted in long term associations with our customers.”
Coming to technological adaptions, the company has always been on its toes when it comes to leveraging or adapting to new technology. Some of the latest trends adopted at FM Logistic’s facilities include:
1. Omni-channel Logistics – Commissioned with an array of WMS & IT solutions to enable Omni Channel services for their customers, FM Logistic partners with clients to realign supply chains to cater to omnichannel (both B2B and B2C flows) from the same warehouses, under one roof.
“Our omnichannel strategy synchronises inventory, logistics, and distribution functions across all sales channels to meet our customers’ demands. Our state-of-the-art Multi-client Facilities, backed by our indigenous WMS and IT solutions, our well- experienced collaborators efficiently manage omnichannel operations and can support our customer’s growth strategies”, Mr Soufiani says.
The company’s expertise and technological know-how in terms of IT modules further enable them to offer customised warehousing solutions to their clients.
2. Connected Life – FM Logistic offers secure, real-time access to the consumer’s ecosystem of connected devices which enables a variety of innovative pick-up and delivery services, along with improved customer service support and valuable insight generation for logistics providers. Furthermore, it offers technology-based solutions starting with paperless operations, realtime dashboards, live to tracking of shipments, inventory count by drones, automatic conveyor systems etc.
3. Green Energy Logistics – As the logistics industry makes a shift towards renewable or ‘green’ energy sources (solar, wind, etc.), FM Logistic inculcates efforts to go green across its value-chain.
Mr Soufiani informs that “FM Logistic is a proud member of the United Nations Global Compact Network in India. Sustainability is at the heart of our DNA at FM Logistic. We are one of the few 3PL service providers in India to be associated with this initiative for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) with the United Nations Global Compact Network.”
The company in recent times has commissioned its first solar project at one of its warehouses for the largest industrial manufacturer. Solar panels having a capacity of 150 kW will be used to power up a large warehouse of 1,80,000 sq. ft., the company informed.
Furthermore, the company has taken steps to reduce the use of plastic in packaging by using sustainable filler material and is exploring the use of paper tape in packaging.
FM Logistic has also heavily invested in electric trucks for urban distribution as a sustainable and environment-friendly solution to support their urban intra-city logistics strategy.
“All our upcoming MCFs will have solar panels to generate electricity as well as share excess solar power back to the public grid”, Soufiani added.
4. Augmented Reality – By adding virtual layers of contextual information onto a heads-up display or other digital devices, AR empowers workers by providing the right information at the right time and in the right place.
Globally, FM Logistic uses AR to train its warehouse staff on handling and operating complex processes with higher levels of detail. Also, they use technology to demonstrate their capabilities to their clients.
5. Internet of Things – Leveraging IoT for its e-commerce operations, FM Logistic tracks the performance of their operations and also identify the bottlenecks in their processes using the data provided by its connected scanners.
They are also in the process of implementing a digital cockpit that will enable them to monitor the behaviour of their container drivers on a real-time basis.
6. Robotics & Automation – “Driven by rapid technological advancements and greater affordability, robotics solutions are entering the logistics workforce, supporting zero-defect processes and boosting productivity. This is a primary area of focus for FM Logistic,” says Mr Soufiani.
FM Logistic India has implemented drones for inventory control at one of its operational MCFs and is in the process of getting this implemented across all warehouses. Furthermore, the company has implemented a fully automated packing line for various clients across India. Globally, FM deploys AGVs and Robots for various activities like loading, unloading, picking, palletising etc.
The Next priority
Moving forward, the next priority for FM Logistic is urban logistics with green energy and last mile.
“Policies to address the challenges of combating air pollution, reducing CO2 and noise emissions, transport congestion and improving safety are becoming increasingly important. FM Logistic is committed to the objective of decarbonising our distribution activities and last-mile logistics,” Mr Soufiani says.
In line with the same, FM Logistic created Citylogin, an urban, sustainable, and effective solution, in 2014 intending to limit the impact of delivering goods (pollution, noise, congestion, etc.) in city centres, by using suburb-based warehouses and small hybrid or electric vans.
In India, the 3PL service provider has invested in electric vehicles to carry out hyper-local deliveries in cities. These vehicles will be operational by the end of this quarter.