Customer centricity in logistics is the way forward

Integrated logistics providers are introducing a customer service oriented approach to the business. This will mark the beginning of a new phase for the industry.

 

By Ruchi Dogra

 

Logistics is one of the most important pillars of success for a business that help realise a company’s aspirations of wide-scale expansion and fuelling its growth. However, over the years, as modernised market places and global businesses begin to flourish, the demand for smarter, more agile and technologically-enabled logistics system also emerged. 
Apart from streamlined operations and integrated offerings that are both time and cost effective, a strong customer-focused approach to logistics is taking centrestage in the global economy. A successful transition from operations to customer service oriented processes in the Indian logistics sector has primarily begun with a transformation in some core areas. 

Access to information
Through technology-enabled channels, online logistics providers are offering a never-seen-before access to vital information that can help bring about transparency and efficiency in the logistics process. From details of freight schedules, duration and service level management to all-inclusive freight rates for shipments involving multiple freight forwarders, the online logistics startups are empowering customers to make informed decisions.

Further, details like the visibility of the entire supply chain process, transparent comparative data with delivery and pricing for multiple operations and clear cost implication, including details of the earlier ambiguous cost of documentation and permits etc., is helping the case. Organised logistics, with a strong focus on customer experience, is working on creating a transparent and streamlined process.

Intelligent processes
Organised online logistics players are introducing the best of technological advances to create a data-driven intelligent process, which in turn help manage resources better while offering customers an intelligent solution. Some of the key features include:
Forecasting: It allows efficient mapping of past shipments through data analytics. Insights into usage patterns such as frequent destinations, frequently used international freight forwarders, service providers, transport mode, average delivery times, average freight costs per shipment, weight/volume of shipments, and type of material. 
It is drawn out to facilitate customers in acquiring lower rates from freight forwarders for all future shipments. The data-driven approach also eliminate variability and helps customers procure accurate and transparent charges with little scope of additional/hidden costs. 
Order management: This is another crucial feature that allows real-time tracking and management of multiple shipments on a single dashboard. It also helps organise and simplify the process for the customer, making it easier for them to stay abreast about all real-time developments about their shipments. 
Consolidation of shipments: A major factor impacting cost and effective use of resources is consolidation. It helps create a meticulously planned logistics process. By consolidating multiple shipments directed towards a single destination from a common warehouse ensures limited documentation, better costs due to bulk discount and ease of managing the order, saving valuable time, money and effort. 

Pro-active communications
So far, due to multiple shipments being handled for multiple clients, often in partnership with various freight forwarders, logistics service providers were unable to provide their customers with a regular update about the progress of their shipment. This led to a sense of uncertainty as delayed shipments impacted revenues and was expensive as it attracted penalties.
However, with a shift in approach towards customer-centric processes, automated updates and tracking of shipments are being offered by online logistics service providers. This has become a vital feature in transforming the logistics experience of customers. With a technology-enabled system of tracking, it is now possible for customers to receive pro-active updates about the status of their shipments. Additionally, a dedicated customer service support ensures there is a sense of certainty and control about their shipment, among the customers.    

Customer focused framework
While the above factors contribute to the modernisation of the Indian logistics sector, the customer-focused framework is the central pillar for this transformation. With technology-driven processes and data-driven intelligent insights, the online logistics service providers are much more capable of anticipating customer needs and perceiving the sensitivities related to their businesses. As a result, the solutions provided are more customised, intuitive and interactive, so as to respond in real time to the needs of the customers, empowering businesses to lead and grow in a dynamic global economy. Further, by building service capabilities that are technologically enabled and offering an integrated system of service, the organised logistics sector is now ensuring a smooth and efficient operation through the new framework to drive customer satisfaction.

What’s next
With the increasing shift from product to services among modern businesses, it has become significantly important to not just offer a cost-effective and operationally efficient solution but to also ensure a smooth and delightful customer experience. The ease of operation and efficient use of the resource has become a driving factor in success for consumers and vendors. In coming years, it is predicted that customer experience and not the cost/service will determine success for businesses, irrespective of the sector. With the digitisation of logistics as a service, the sector is also experiencing an inevitable transformation that is bound to redefine the business. With the digitisation of logistics as a service, the sector is also experiencing an inevitable transformation that is bound to redefine the business. 

 

Ruchi Dogra is the Co-Founder & Director of FreightCrate Technologies

Managing Editor

Nidhi Raj Singh is the Managing Editor of L'Officiel India. You can find her hidden behind a book when she is not writing or taking photos.