By Debarshi Dutta
Logistics for MSMEs: An efficient supply change management aids in the facilitation of ordering, receiving, managing inventory and authorizing supplier payments in a way that meets customer demands. It is an important aspect of a company as it protects business reputation and long-term sustainability. Thus, it is most essential for growing and small businesses to deliver a competitive supply chain that ensures a fast turn-around time, caters to increasing demand and boosts profitability.
As we entered the new millennium, the 2000s and beyond became an era of heightened connectivity due to technology. This drastic change in the way that consumers purchase goods has put heavy competitive pressure on traditional brick-and-mortar retailers and their supply chains, forcing them to adapt their business models.
Due to this, consumers became accustomed to greater choice and availability, faster delivery times and cheaper delivery costs. To add to that, the recent global shutdown due to the unprecedented outbreak of Covid-19 altered the way supply chains and logistics partners need to connect, communicate, and interact in order to move the business forward.
In order to stay ahead of the curve, businesses of all sizes—even small to medium-sized companies have realised the opportunities connectivity holds. Technological innovation is the only way to meet the challenges in the face of limited land and labour availability. Emerging technologies can help businesses to equip employees with low-power devices that run powerful analytics to deliver premium services or use augmented reality to streamline warehouse management and operations.
With traditional supply chains, spotting possible issues and predicting their likely effects can be laborious, time-consuming, and unreliable. Several optimisation methods that have been and remain focus areas for supply chains, such as demand forecasting, inventory management, warehousing strategies and distribution practices, all aim to support the shift from supply-driven to demand-driven orientation.
A successful supply chain works in close collaboration with vendor partners who come into the picture at all stages of the supply chain. Data, technology, and ultimately analytics make it possible to consolidate all data and keep a track of their performance, which finally comes in handy to redefine strategies.
Another such technology, The Internet of Things (IoT) constantly works in the background to collect and provide the raw data and enables businesses to use new data and devices to accomplish more—whether it’s automating the alerts to technicians when systems need maintenance or tracking every item shipped from a warehouse in real-time.
This results in a heightened level of customer service that addresses consumers’ previous concerns of not knowing where their goods are if they can even purchase those goods, or when their order going to be delivered.
Since connecting with local partners across India is one of the most vital aspects of moving the supply chain forward in the country, Blockchain will arguably be the most important tech to connect logistics partners with one another and with consumers to create the most transparent and interconnected supply chain we’ve ever seen.
A technology-enabled supply chain can significantly reduce costs by speeding the movement of materials or subassemblies from suppliers to the plant in the appropriate proportions. It’s worth saying that keeping pace is about being equipped to use the best channels to raise awareness, sell more, reach further, gain a competitive advantage, and keep operations running smoothly. Creating wider and broader connectivity of logistics partners will help enable a more flexible and adaptable supply chain.
Debarshi Dutta is Co-founder and CEO of Ayekart. Views expressed are the auhor’s own.