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Nishith Rastogi

Nishith Rastogi is the co-founder and CEO of Locus.sh, an intelligent logistics automation platform that has developed a solution to help on-demand and scheduled businesses, dispatch, track and manage their on-field workforce.

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Trends for Logistics in 2018

Logistics will be one of the largest sectors undergoing a massive transformation. There has been an enormous shift in the way we perceive logistics. It has to evolve to be the enabler to drive customer satisfaction deeming it to be the best investment businesses can make.

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An idea of taking retail online is now a significant part of the world economy. The successful model of “Click and Buy”, has gone through massive changes over the last two decades. E-commerce today has evolved to be more customer-centric, and logistics has proved itself to be an enabler to deliver exceptional customer experience. Presently, logistics is seen as a fulfilment process rather than just a cost that a company incurs. Long gone are the days where delivery is just a supply chain management.

2017 has been exceptional for the logistics sector with major turnarounds made in both regulatory and political fronts, that have contributed to organised players changing their business models and reaping these benefits. Meanwhile, the unorganised players are being pushed to embrace the change.

Here is the outline of trends that will impact the logistics industry this year -

E-commerce whirlwind -Burgeoning potential of logistics in Tier 2 & 3 cities

Tier 2 & 3 cities are no more the long forgotten battleground for e-commerce giants in India. With the opening of telecom floodgates for data connectivity to all and the influx of cheaper smart phone technology, customers from Tier 2 & 3 cities are increasingly going online. This is a ripe time to unleash the full potential of logistics, giving a chance to work cohesively to innovate and optimise supply chain challenges that are unique to these cities.

Omni Channel & Shared Economies -

E-Commerce companies today battle for the mindshare in customer’s head by being as close to the customer as possible. This has paved way to integrate both Offline & Online channels into a single ecosystem, hence, making “Omni-Channel” the way forward in 2018 for Supply Chain.

Shared economy is slated to be a $335 billion by the year 2025. Logistics companies can benefit from sharing their assets as well as goods that are cumbersome to transport. Logistics companies will soon leverage digital sharing platforms to gain access on the availability on the online network of users, including fleet, specific skills and hence contributing to more efficient transportation, delivery methods and flexible staffing model.

Increased Focus on Last Mile -

Last-mile delivery remains to be the significant pain point of the logistics industry. Last mile alone amounts to 34% of the total delivery cost for businesses and creates a platform for many companies to address on-ground challenges. Although several players have built tracing and tracking software, there are still large gaps in addressing the core problems that exist in the last mile.

Building technology platforms that factor in real world fuzziness and various exceptional scenarios including traffic conditions, business constraints and on-demand servicing is what can prove turn key for last-mile processes.

Technology: A way to go forward -

Logistics space in India is primitive, unorganised and dominated by the conventional pen-paper system. The greatest hurdle that one encounters during client acquisition is ‘change management’. Implementation of a new process brings significant changes to a company’s overall operational model. Hence, building solutions that are aligned with specific business need results that are key in successful implementation.

While, technology can appear as a black box to the end user, building a level of trust and demonstrating value before wide-scale adoption is key.

Predictive Analytics & Data-driven decisions –

New age customers have evolved to be increasingly tech-savvy making the supply chain more consumer-centric. By harnessing the power of data-driven technologies including Big Data, IoT, sensor technologies and machine learning, it is now possible to help consolidate unstructured data to give businesses deep insights into their operational efficiency. Working in a mission-critical supply chain, you just cannot afford to trust your gut. Automating data ingestion will help enable increased use of business intelligence for careful strategic planning. Predictive analysis facilitates supply chain to improve operational efficiency and better plan for future demands.

Logistics will be one of the largest sectors undergoing a massive transformation. There has been an enormous shift in the way we perceive logistics. It has to evolve to be the enabler to drive customer satisfaction deeming it to be the best investment businesses can make.

2017 was just a drop in the ocean. The ripples will create waves in the upcoming 2018!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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