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How technology has solved complex logistics problems unique to Indian SMEs


Published: September 25, 2019 1:30:32 PM

By Abhishek Bansal (CEO at Shadowfax)


Logistics for MSMEs: Tech-driven logistics companies have been big enablers for

SMEs to deliver in markets hitherto out of their reach.


The rise in demand for same-day delivery has altered the last-mile delivery services.


Logistics for MSMEs: 


SMEs are considered to be the backbone of India’s

economy. Until recently, their scope of growth was limited by their non-optimal

resources and inability to reach distant markets. The rise of e-commerce and internet

penetration has widened the geographical scope of SME’s potential markets. But

any commercial transaction of physical goods involves a physical delivery of goods

for the transaction to complete.  No amount of internet penetration alone can

complete a physical transaction. This is where tech-driven logistics companies have

been big enablers for SMEs to deliver in markets hitherto out of their reach. It has

created a mutually symbiotic win-win situation for the SME and logistics players,

some of whom are small and medium level logistics service providers themselves.

Before the emergence of e-commerce, traditional logistics was all about moving

goods from manufacturing hubs to consumption centres. Internet-driven technologies

have enabled logistics industry to metamorphose to be more inclusive and provide

grassroots level delivery services with ease. The online retail has elevated the

significance of logistics operations and has reshaped the business in numerous

ways. On-request buyer logistics space in India is expanding, with companies

devising imaginative technologies and ways to deal with change logistics. SMEs are

benefitting all round from the amalgamation of technology in the logistics sector.


Effective solutions:


Adoption of new technologies like augmented reality, advanced robotics, drones are

some cost-reducing and effective solutions that ensure the competitiveness of both

the logistics player and its client (any whether SME or MLE) and ups the satisfaction

quotient of final customers. New age cloud-based arrangements are doing away with

elaborate pen and paper formalities and processes so identified with the traditional

world of logistics, and which were procedural nightmares for smaller entrepreneurs.


Increase in last-mile delivery operations:


The rise in demand for same-day delivery has altered the last-mile delivery services.

Logistic companies are diligently managing the pickups and last-mile delivery

processes to ensure an exceptional customer experience. SMEs that opt for tech-

enabled delivery partners can satisfy their customers by meeting the promised arrival

timings, thus, ensuring service consistency, and, also keeping a tab on the

distribution process of their goods.


Acing Reverse Logistics:


Reverse logistics management is vital for SMEs to remain competitive and to keep

up with customer delight. Efficient and functional reverse logistics is crucial for

businesses to keep hold of their customers. Logistics technologies help to increase

the efficiency in tracking, visibility and alternative pick up and drop off locations

which ultimately creates more value for the SME brand name in consumers’ mind.


‘Undisrupting’ the Disruptions in Supply Chain:


Countless factors cause disruptions in the supply chain which affect the production

timelines, increase costs and upset delivery deadlines. Uncontrollable factors like

natural disasters, transportation failures and unpredictable social situations

adversely impact the supply chain most. But now it is becoming much easier for

SMEs to access broader and diverse networks of potential suppliers, hence,

reducing the risk factor in supply chains.


Customer Relationship Management:


Integrating e-commerce with logistics gives SMEs the ability to incorporate and

display multiple services and delivery options to customers. With added options of

delivery, customers can now easily mould the deliveries to meet their specific needs,

which enhance the buying experience and increases overall customer satisfaction.

Logistics is a third-party service provision between an SME and the final customer,

but a satisfactory delivery, which ups the customer delight, benefits the SME brand

name.


(Abhishek Bansal is the Co-founder & CEO at Shadowfax. Views expressed are

the author’s own.)

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