The future of logistics is paved with innovation
The co-founder of a Bengaluru-headquartered logistics firm tells 'India Investment Journal' how advanced technology is transforming his industry. The logistics industry is going through a time of rapid change. It was not long ago that ideas like the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing and drone delivery, were things of science fiction. In less than half a decade, industries across sectors are deploying these futuristic technologies on the ground to provide faster, cheaper and more reliable delivery experience for end customers. At present, India's logistics industry is worth $300 billion, also, the logistics industry aims to grow at a CAGR of 13-15 per cent by 2020 while the Indian markets would grow at an average of 10 per cent year on year. The Indian logistics market currently accounts for around 14 to 15 per cent of India's GDP on various cost incurred in logistics and transportation operations. This cost incurred, is substantially higher when compared to other developing nations, which is around 8 per cent to 10 per cent of their GDP and developed nations which is around 7 per cent to 8 per cent.
Logistics and technology go hand in hand. With the emergence of e-commerce industry in India, the need for logistics infrastructures has grown to a very great extent. Companies realise the importance of last mile logistics and retailers want to have control over this portion of their supply chain. Strong relationships between retailers and logistics providers have never been more important in ensuring positive experiences for end consumers. This huge demand for hassle free supply chain management can be met by introducing the advanced technology, to make their day-to-day operations cost-effective, efficient and easy. All this automation in any enterprise, basically corresponds to lesser errors in the system. The logistics firms are hence moving from a traditional setup to integrating their systems with technology for their operations. The industry as a whole has moved from being just a service provider to a position where they provide end to end supply chain solutions to their customers. Smart technology comes into play through predictive analytics which helps optimizing operations. Technology has allowed the industry players to come up with products which could help the logistics markets to cater to the various operations ranging from first mile to last mile. For example, the operations manager helps to schedule the deliveries keeping in mind the time slots, the pickup address, the drop address, and the products to be delivered. It powers entities to focus on their core business while the rest is being taken care of through automation. This in-turn helps operators with more data collection to improve the route planning, the dispatches and especially the accuracy of the ETA prediction. For the entity, it corresponds to increase in market size, as their ability on reach becomes wider. Enterprises and start-ups are developing more and more interesting features and solving problems, making the future of the sector look promising. Growth and Locus: There are essentially four critical enablers of growth for any tech company:
- The need of a solution for the logistics industry was very evident. When Locus started off, my team visited various warehouses to understand their current systems. There we saw the operators and planners worked merely on intuition and guesswork. They had no idea of where their riders were, what the situation of live traffic was, etc. Everything was dependent on manual sense. This sort of approach was not scalable, as it was highly inefficient and inconsistent. Route planning is more suited for computational algorithms when compared to manual planning.
- Validating the Product-Market Fit becomes important to achieve a reasonable number of users. This is possible by developing a repeatable, scalable and most importantly sustainable model which converts to active customers. Locus has been successful in creating proprietary algorithms, solving Knapsacking, Traveling Salesman Problem, Bin Packing separately and together, to achieve the best possible solution among millions of contenders.
- The Adoption of a new technology can be realized only when it is widely diffused and used. It is this diffusion that determines the pace of growth for the product. Also, change is difficult for people, no matter how well you manage it. That′s why investing in planning, communicating, and training is key for successful adoption. Locus, has been adopted by leading enterprises in India, like Urban Ladder, FreshMenu, Delhivery, Lenskart and more, for who we have started automating their intracity logistics.
- Creating a Value proposition will lead to more number of consistent users. Our Clients have seen substantial improvements in terms of their deliveries. We have managed to increase efficiency for companies using Locus by 25 per cent within 3 months, a 100 per cent Jump in number of orders and a 15 per cent reduction in logistics cost.
Our resources, human and financial, are being used to strengthen our technology that we offer in order to solve hard problems in the logistics industry. Locus has been fortunate to be at the right spot at the right time, to make a change in the industry. Through this, Locus is rewriting the Infrastructure for Logistics ground up.